Ignatius is thoughtful and passionate. Ignatius impresses us with his quick and thoughtful mind, he is an inquisitive student who makes rapid progress when he applies himself. He enjoys story telling and has been collaborating in an extended novel.
Ignatius finally fell in love with reading last year, it’s been wonderful to find him curled up reading, discovering new worlds.
During the upcoming year the focus will be on encouraging him to continue to nurture his new love of reading and immersing him in quality literature. He has just started reading Redwall, so I suspect we’ll be immersed in all things Brian Jacques for the foreseeable future.
We also hosted a Book Club a couple of times within our homeschool group and the children absolutely loved it! They totally facilitated the group, the book selections, the questions, the structure, it was all so exciting to see and the children are keen to continue this in the upcoming year.
Ignatius worked extremely hard on his spelling last year, so proud of him. Spelling hasn’t come easily to him but Writing Club and collaborating on his Novel has convinced him of the need to spell well.
Last year Ignatius completed All About Spelling Level 3 and All About Spelling Level 4. He learnt about phonograms tch, dge and wor, when to use g & dge. He covered phonograms EIGH, EAR, PH, TI, when to use tion and all about prefixes.
During the upcoming year Ignatius will complete All About Spelling Level 5. Our goal is for him to become a confident, capable speller.
Resource: All About Spelling Level 5
Last year we took a break from Dictation to focus more strongly on All About Spelling program. In the upcoming year Ignatius will begin weekly dictation lessons again, which will strengthen his spelling, punctuation, listening and recall skills.
Resource: Spelling Wisdom
Ignatius handwriting has improved greatly, though there is still need for improvement.
Last year we continued to correct the poor habits he had developed, with good results, though we are still alert to the need for occasional supervision to ensure he is starting in the correct position and writing letters in the correct direction. We also dabbled in 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.
Resource: Startwrite Creates customised handwriting practice sheets.
Ignatius become passionate about Creative Writing this year, it has been a joy to see this love explode and blossom.
His keenness began with Writing Club. We hosted a weekly Writing Club with homeschool friends throughout 2019 and we will continue to do so in the upcoming year. Sebastian wasn’t initially keen on joining in with Writing Club, we let him determine his participation, and soon the synergy and enthusiasm of the others convinced him, whilst the majority of children are older than him he is doing really well. One memorable lesson he totally blew the whole group away with a letter he wrote to his future self!
Following our first Book Club meeting, Ignatius and his friend Rose became passionate about the book they had read, The Littles, they were certain they could write the ending better, in fact they had ideas to expand on regards the whole book. So they set out to write the great Novel! several times each week they ring one another, discussing and writing away, this has been going on for months now and they’ve written pages and pages. It’s been such an exciting privilege to watch their passion and talents blossom and bloom.
In the upcoming year our intent is to write daily, certainly encouraging Ignatius’ love of creative writing as he continues to write the ongoing Novel. Also to encourage him in becoming a stronger writer in other writing styles. His sentence structure, story plot and comprehension skills are excellent, his spelling skills improving.
Resources include: Writing Prompt Cards and Marist Brothers English for 6th Grade
Grammar & Composition
Ignatius 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 the upcoming year 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.
Ignatius really blossomed with narrations over the last year. He is excellent at extracting the main points of information, recalling detail and delivering information in sequential form.
In the upcoming year we will continue to focus on producing high quality narrations from Ignatius, encouraging him to maintain a high standard both orally and to be producing more in the written form.
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’.
Ignatius enjoys listening to our daily Read Alouds, he easily listens for long periods of time and comprehends well. If it’s a book he particularly enjoys he begs and begs for more, hard to resist.
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.
Ignatius 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, Australian poetery and more from our extensive poetry collection
Ignatius enjoys maths and is great at it. He applies himself well, understands new concepts quickly and easily masters them.
Last year Ignatius 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 Ignatius 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 Ignatius’ 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 Ignatius was a toddler and he has grown up observing, learning and building.
Ignatius and his brothers have a particular fascination with ‘all things science’. All three 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 Ignatius studied various topics including; Australian animals, water and weather and Coding via Scratch. He watched many youtubes, documentaries and science videos, enjoyed a variety of science experiments, made K’nex models and Kapla designs including the Eiffel Tower, to name a few endeavours.
This year our studies will include; Living Things, Earth & Space, Physics & Digital Technology, including Robotics and more Coding, as well as always being flexible to follow any further interests that arise. With the 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: Our home and town libraries, Young Scientist set, DVDs and youtubes, creating a garden, Experiment kits, Snap Circuit Kits, K’nex, Lego, Kapla Blocks, Scratch Coding, the Drone & Robotic kits; Edison, Boson and the Robobloq Qooper.
We wish for Ignatius 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 a deep focus on Australian history – we did an indepth study of Indigenous history prior to European settlement and the impact after Europeans arrived. We covered the Discovery of Australia, the First Fleet and Early Settlement and then a broader overview up into this Century. Our World History studies included Mesopotamia.
This year we will continue our Australian History studies, doing a more indepth study of Exploration, Bushrangers and the Gold Rush. We will also continue to study what was happening to our First Peoples concurrently. We want Ignatius to have an awareness of and passion for our nation’s history.
Our World History studies will continue this year to follow a chronological plan, it will include: Egypt, the Vikings and Greece.
History of Australia – Meredith Hooper, Story of the World – Susan Wise Bauer and our extensive collection of historical living books, picture as well as chapter books, and the town library.
We want Ignatius 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.
We will continue to use Mega Maps for our mapwork which continues to be hugely popular with our children, it’s excellent an excellent approach for mapwork skills. We will also use Shepard Software which is enjoyable and effective.
We will also focus on the Australian environment, our impact upon the environment and ways in which we can best care for our environment.
Much of our geography approach is covered by using our collection of geography living books, we are always flexible to follow any interest areas that arise.
Resources include: Our library and town library, DVDs and youtubes, Sheppard Software and Mega Maps
Creative Arts spontaneously happens in our household daily, there is always some form of creative arts being undertaken.
We have had an annual membership with Artventure , for a few years now and continue to be highly impressed. The work that Ignatius has begun to produce after a few years with Artventure is amazing us. He didn’t start out naturally skilled but the work he is now producing is wonderful. To see a child who was not overly interested, not naturally gifted produce wonderful artwork is so special. We will continue with this program in the upcoming year.
We will also continue to expose Ignatius to a variety of different mediums including, drawing, painting, collages and claywork.
Resources include: How to Draw books, youtubes and internet sites and our craft & art supplies.
Music & Dance
Ignatius will be exposed to a variety of music genres, with the opportunity for movement and free expression. Dance Star and Sing Star are always popular here. Ignatius loves to dance, particularly to rock and roll and Irish music.
Various musical instruments are available in our home: piano, drums, guitar and woodwind and percussion instruments which Ignatius can readily access. Ignatius will begin guitar lessons this year.
Last year Ignatius took part in the play Alice in Wonderland produced by our homeschool group. Ignatius was the Cheshire Cat 1 and bought the house down. It was a really hard part played in three parts and took exact co-ordination. He was also part of the Caterpillar body and at the last minute he had to do a stand in part for which he hadn’t practiced! He was so impressive in that he remembered the words and actions. It was an incredible production, directed and orchestrated by our local theatre director Sue Kearns. The children put many, many weeks into it and Ignatius learnt so much.
This year ‘home grown’ plays are the rage, complete with costumes and props. Ignatius is always happy to be involved, and thoroughly enjoys the camaraderie and acting.
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
Many Personal Development skills learnt 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.
We have had many opportunities in our homeschool group during the past year as it has grown rapidly, to discuss strategies and practice kindness and acceptance. Many of the children joining our group are a few years below Ignatius in age, he is the big one, the children bridging ‘both worlds’. Most of the incoming children have autism and other issues and Ignatius has been taken on a leadership capacity and put conflict resolution and negotiating skills to the test and done so well.
Ignatius will be continuing with swim squad this year, he is thrilled to be moving up to B Squad after only a term in C squad! Some weeks Ignatius will participate in Park Run, working towards achieving a Personal Best for the 5km course. Ignatius will also be kayaking regularly, he has great aptitude, confidence and a love for this sport, taking off up and down the Clarence River. Ignatius will compete in our annual home education Sports Day.
Ignatius is to further develop an understanding of the importance of an active lifestyle and nutritional health. Ignatius will continue to deepen his knowledge and understanding of the human body, the need for personal hygiene and an awareness of nutritional health choices and their impact. To be aware of the positive and negative choices that we can make for our bodies and the consequence of our choices, not only as individuals but upon the community.
Ignatius is to deepen his personal relationship with God and increase his knowledge of God and His Church.
Resources include: Liturgical Year Resources, saints biographies and the ‘Green’ Catechism.