Saxon Aged 11.6yrs
Saxon is a bright, gentle boy who has recently discovered many new areas of interest; baking, gardening, all things science, particularly computer coding.
Saxon is a decent speller and doesn’t struggle at all to add new words to his ‘list’ from our spelling lessons.
Saxon will continue with weekly dictation lessons, which continues to strengthen his spelling, punctuation, listening and recall skills.
Resource: Spelling Wisdom
Saxon has neat handwriting.
Last year we focused on correcting some poor habits he had developed, he still needs occasional supervision to ensure he is starting in the correct position and writing letters in the correct direction. We also continued with cursive writing.
In the upcoming year correct position and direction will continue to be looked for and the focus will be developing his skills in cursive writing.
Creates customised handwriting practice sheets.
Saxon become a keen story teller last year, it was a joy to see this love explode and blossom.
Last year our local home education group held three Writing Workshops wherein we hired an English teacher and Saxon was keen to participate. He would regale us with his stories afterwards and these classes inspired lots of extra writing through the week.
In the upcoming year our intent is to write daily, encouraging Saxon’s love of creative writing whilst assisting him in becoming a stronger writer. His sentence structure, story plot and comprehension skills are good, his spelling skills decent.
Resources include: Writing Prompt Cards and Marist Brothers English for 6th Grade
Grammar & Composition
Saxon has a good grasp of grammar; sentence structure, correct word usage and tenses. Grammatical infractions are quickly ‘pounced upon’ by siblings so all the children are strong in this area.
Last year we focused on introducing mechanics such as capitals, commas, full stops, question and exclamation marks, correct tenses, nouns, verbs and adjectives, homonyms, synonyms & antonyms.
In 2018 we will be cementing these concepts further and introducing other concepts such as abbreviations, contractions and developing strong vocabulary skills. We will also be covering literary analysis, conflict resolution, development of writing style, paraphrasing, writing sequence to name a few.
Resources include: Cottage Press: Language Lessons for Grammar Students
A retelling of what has been read/watched/learnt into one’s own words, requires a good understanding of the subject matter, it takes concentration and sequencing skills. Narrations can take various forms; oral, written, illustrations, acting, building or creating. As we consider narrations to be an extremely important skill, a foundation for logic and writing, we will be devoting time to narration regularly for the subjects of; Faith, Geography, History and Science.
Saxon struggles with delivering narrations, even orally it’s like ‘pulling teeth’. He doesn’t have trouble extracting information, nor following sequencing, as he demonstrates with his science research and follow ups re experiments or further delving. It’s more being ‘put on the spot’ that causes him to freeze.
This year we will continue to focus on drawing longer narrations from Saxon, encouraging him in this skill both orally and in the written form.
Saxon can read on grade level but he rarely reads for pleasure. He is happy to read instruction books; gardening, cooking, fishing, but not novels, which of course is bewildering for us. However I firmly believe many non-interested readers often can become keen readers it’s just a matter for finding ‘the key, the book’.
During 2018 we will continue to search for ‘the key’, which actually I think we may have just found !! 🙂 Have just purchased Edge of Extinction – Laura Martin, which had been touted as the book to turn non-readers into readers and it’s true! He has been up reading late into the night and declared it “good”, high praise indeed.
Nurturing a love of literature within our family is at the core of our family’s learning approach, we immerse our children in quality literature from birth. We read from many genres and delight in living books – a book that makes the subject matter ‘come alive’.
Saxon enjoys listening to our daily Read Alouds providing the book selected is one he finds interesting, we sometimes search for a bit before he is captivated. He easily listens for long periods of time and comprehends well.
Resources include: Our extensive home library and the town library.
The listening to and memorisation of poetry is part of our family’s culture of nurturing a love of literature.
Saxon will continue to be immersed in poetry daily and memorise at least one poem a term, to recite at our family weekly recitation nights.
Resources include: Robert Louis Stevenson’s poetry, Classic Children’s Poetry, Children’s Book of Verse and more from our extensive poetry collection
Saxon applies himself to his maths and grasps new concepts quickly.
Last year Saxon covered ; 7 digits addition & subtraction, long multiplication, division with fraction remainders, multiplying decimals by 1000, improper & mixed fractions, percentages, algebra, problem solving, 24 hour time, calculating distance, speed & time, hectares, tonnes and capacity, cones, cylinders & spheres, types of angles, plotting co-ordinates, chance and graphs.
This year Saxon will cover; patterns and algebra, fraction, decimal, percentage conversions, addition & subtraction of fractions with different denominator, multiplication of fractions, rounding decimals, problem solving, capacity & time conversions, area of composite shapes, types of triangles, bar & sector graphs.
Resources include: Maths Online, maths board games and our living maths books collection.
Science and Technology
We desire to encourage Saxon’s knowledge and love of science and technology, to encourage him to foster his questing mind and to continue to support his confidence in tackling technological challenges. We have been owner building since Saxon was a pre-schooler and he has grown up observing, learning and building.
Saxon and his younger brother Ignatius both have a particular fascination with ‘all things science’. Both boys are constantly seeking out scientific knowledge on their own volition. It is quite common to find them watching a science youtube and then see them filming their own experiment, or the reverse order to ascertain why their experiment might have ‘failed’. To mention just one area of scientific interest and endeavour of theirs.
Last year Saxon studied various topics including; jellyfish, electricity and dinosaurs. He watched many youtubes, documentaries and science videos and undertook a large variety of science experiments, made many K’nex models to name a few endeavours.
This year our studies will include; Earth & Space, Living Things; Classification and Life cycles, the Material World; heat re solids,liquids & gases, physical properties of natural & processed materials and computer coding.
We have also purchased the boys a year’s membership with Double Helix that allows access to 147 lessons, these lessons are aimed at Grade 5-6. The boys are going to love it ? as they love their Mystery Science videos & activities.
Saxon has a love for and strong aptitude for Computer Coding, last year he delved into Scratch, Python and Kahn Academy. Our plans for 2018 include supporting and encouraging him in this whilst being open to trying other programs.
We will continue to be flexible to follow any further interests that arise, with both boys being so scientifically and technically minded we expect these interests to be many and varied. To meet these studies we will use various mediums and resources, and we’re confident that other areas of scientific and technological interest and knowledge will be sought and pursued.
Resources include: Double Helix lessons, Mystery Science lessons, Scratch, Python and Kahn Academy, our home and town libraries, Young Scientist set, DVDs and youtubes, Experiment kits, Snap Circuit Kits, K’nex and Lego
We wish for Saxon to have an interest about ‘all things history’ and want him have an awareness of world and Australian history and to understand the significance of certain events.
Last year we studied various topics including World War 1 and World Explorers; including Christopher Columbus, Marco Polo and Livingstone.
This year our focus of study will be Australian History. We want Ignatius to have an awareness of and passion for our nation’s history.
We will be studying the First Peoples, Convicts, Early Settlement, Exploration, Bushrangers, the Gold Rush through to Federation.
Arthur Bailey’s – A Sunburnt Country
Our own extensive collection of historical living books, picture as well as chapter books, and the town library.
We want Saxon to have an awareness of and appreciation for different cultures, customs and environments. To be familiar and confident with maps, to be able to recognise the different continents and many countries.
This year we will continue to use Mega Maps for our mapwork which continues to be hugely popular with our children. We will also focus on the Australian environment which will tie in neatly with our Australian history studies and explore the countries of the Asian region.
Much of our geography approach is covered by using our collection of geography living books, picture as well as chapter books, we are always flexible to follow any interest areas that arise.
Resources include: Our library and town library, DVDs and youtubes and Mega Maps
Creative Arts spontaneously happens in our household daily, there is always some form of creative arts being undertaken, currently I feel as if we live in the March household (Little Women).
Last year Saxon had the opportunity to participate a couple of Art Workshops with our local home education group, these ran for a period of several weeks, taught by art teachers, they were full, huge days with the focus on: printing, charcoal, soft & hard crayon work and mandalas. I was totally amazed at the dedication, talent and focus of all the children. Mid 2018 the work undertaken in these workshops will be displayed at the Grafton Art Gallery.
We also continued our membership with Artventure , with which we continue to be highly impressed. Saxon and Genevieve particularly enjoy these lessons and begged to sign up again this year. He has most impressed us with the level of work he has produced.
This year our local home education group has been selected to participate in the 2018 Drawing in Schools Outreach Program at the Grafton Art Gallery, at the conclusion of this Outreach Program their work will be displayed at the Gallery. Saxon will be participating in this.
We will also continue to expose Saxon to a variety of different mediums including, drawing, painting, collages, claywork and tracing.
Resources include: How to Draw books, youtubes and internet sites and our craft/art supplies including clay.
Music & Dance
Saxon will be exposed to a variety of music genres, with the opportunity for movement and free expression. With his older sisters undertaking dance lessons they often come home and demonstrate moves learnt and spontaneous ‘classes’ ensue. Dance Star and Sing Star are always the rage here, whilst Saxon doesn’t often chose to sing he will with Sing Star. Various musical instruments are available in our home which Saxon can readily access, and he has been having drum lessons for the past two terms and making good progress.
Last year Saxon spearheaded an interest in shadow puppets which was widely popular with the children, they designed puppets, props, choreographed the plays and manned the lighting. Most impressive.
This year ‘home grown’ plays appears to be the rage. We’ve already seen Red Riding Hood, which Saxon’s big sisters choreographed and all the children performed in, complete with costumes and props.
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
Values and Attitudes, Interpersonal Relationships,Problem Solving, Decision Making, Interacting, Moving and Communicating
Many of the skills learnt in these areas are covered by the values we hold as a family which are underpinned by our Catholic Faith.
To be confident in their own selves knowing their value and dignity, to understand they must treat their bodies with care, to remove themselves from situations in which may be harmful, to treat others with kindness, consideration and generosity, to extend Christian charity to all regardless of their belief system.
Saxon is to deepen his personal relationship with God and increase his knowledge of God and His Church.
Resources include: Our library collection.
Active Lifestyle, Dance, Games and Sports, Gymnastics
Saxon is to develop an understanding of the importance of an active lifestyle and nutritional health.
Saxon will compete in our annual home education Sports Day. He will be continuing to swim weekly with Swim Squad C this year. Saxon will also participate in a Paddleboard session this year as he did last, which he loved. He will be competing in a 2 km local running competition again this year as he did last. Saxon will occasionally participate in Park Run, a 5km run as he did last year. Saxon will also be kayaking regularly, he shows great aptitude and a love for this sport.
Growth and Development, Personal Health Choices and Safe Living
Saxon to have an understanding of ‘the human body’, the need for personal hygiene and an awareness of nutritional health choices. To be aware of the positive and negative choices that we can make and the consequence of our choices, information discussed of an age appropriate nature.