Saxon is delightful and observant student. He has a gift for logic processing and problem solving demonstrated by his excellent computer coding and game design. Saxon has worked hard at improving his writing skills. Saxon is an excellent student when applying himself to the tasks at hand.
To have the ability to think and communicate both orally and in written form is an underpinning of our educational goals; the study of logic is an excellent basis for higher level thinking.
Saxon will begin logic in the upcoming year. We will cover: what is a fallacy, what is good reasoning, benefits of listening, opposing viewpoints, red herring fallacies and recognising them, ad hominem attacks, genetic fallacies, tu quoque, faulty appeals, straw man, assumptions, circular reasoning, equivocations, loaded question, generalisations, analogies, post hoc ergo propter hoc, propaganda, appeals to tradition, hi-tech, snob, fear & pity, bandwagon, exigency and repetition.
Resource: The Fallacy Detective – Nathaniel Bluedorn
Grammar & Composition
Saxon has a good grasp of certain parts of grammar; sentence structure, correct word usage and tenses. Some definitions he forgets, but once prompted generally remembers. Grammatical infractions are quickly ‘pounced upon’ by siblings so all the children are strong in this area.
Last year we focused on correct tenses, nouns, verbs and adjectives, homonyms, synonyms & antonyms, onomatopoeias, homophones, abbreviations, contractions and developing stronger vocabulary skills.
In the upcoming year we will also be covering literary analysis, characters, setting, plot, conflict resolution, development of writing style, paraphrasing, writing sequence, parsing, building a copia of words, figures of speech & description, poetry rhyme & metre, outlining, summarising and chronology.
Resources include: Cottage Press: Language Lessons for Grammar Students
Saxon’s keenness for Creative Writing blossomed further this year, it has been a joy to see his interest and a fresh keenness develop and flourish. This is thanks to Writing Club.
We hosted a weekly Writing Club with homeschool friends throughout 2019 and we will continue to do so in the upcoming year. Saxon was always quietly supportive and present when we began Writing Club and the fact that initially the Club was mostly girls didn’t deter him. The synergy and enthusiasm of all has been a joy to behold and has certainly supported him in his interest in Writing.
In the upcoming year our intent is for Saxon to write daily. To assist him in developing story plot, characterisation and conflict resolution. Also to encourage him in becoming a stronger writer in other writing styles.
Resources include: Writing Prompt Cards and English for Australian Schools – Ridout, Writing Club
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 has improved his narration skills, his comprehension is solid, he can remember the finer details, can deliver sequence well, is strong at gathering the main points but it takes work extracting this information from him. It’s not a skill issue but an attitude one.
This year we will continue to focus on building on Saxon’s narrations strengths and weaknesses, increasing the quantity, both orally and in the written form. Most importantly we will work on him being more forthcoming.
Last year Saxon applied himself with discipline to his spelling lessons, he is a good speller who doesn’t struggle with new concepts or to master new words.
Our goal for the upcoming year is to complete All About Spelling Level 7 which will bring us to the end of this Spelling program. By year’s end we want Saxon to be a confident, capable speller, we should achieve that.
Resource: All About Spelling Level 7
Last year we took a break from Dictation to focus more strongly on All About Spelling program. In the upcoming year Saxon will begin weekly dictation lessons again, which will strengthen his spelling, punctuation, listening and recall skills.
Resource: Spelling Wisdom
Saxon’s handwriting has improved but there is still room for improvement regards neatness.
In the upcoming year we will continue to focus on neatness and developing his cursive writing hand.
Creates customised handwriting practice sheets.
Saxon has been a reluctant reader, whilst he has been happy to read ‘how to’ manuals, it’s been a struggle to have him fall in love with reading. Last year he finally did thanks to The Edge of Extinction by Laura Martin. Oh the joy! Then this love was further fostered by Book Club, a new endeavour we hosted a couple of times within our homeschool group, it was hugely popular! The children 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. So this could be called ‘the year Saxon fell in love with reading’, it is such a pleasure to find him spontaneously reading without being prompted!
In the upcoming year we want to continue to foster, nurture and encourage this new love, whilst ensuring the quality of language is excellent. This year he will be reading Lord of the Rings and we are thrilled to watch him fall deeper in love with reading.
Introduce Saxon to the beauty and richness of Shakespeare beginning with the audio versions of his plays, then reading the re-tellings. Choose one play of his choice to read in full.
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare – Edith Nesbit (audio version)
Tales From Shakespeare – Charles and Mary Lamb (and audio version)
Shakespeare for Children – Jim Wiess (Audio)
Stories from Shakespeare- Geraldine McGaughrean
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 still enjoys listening to our daily Read Alouds, this year we will have a ‘teenage’ reading time for our two secondary students. From experience we know this will be a really special time that we will treasure, where our books can be more aimed at teens, a time of precious conversations. To include literature discussions inspired by Socratic Discussion suggestions.
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: Banjo Patterson’s poetry, John O’Brien – Around the Borree Log, the English poets and more from our extensive poetry collection.
Saxon was introduced to the study of the Spanish language last year, Spanish has become an interest within our family, with a few of his siblings (they also learnt Spanish for lessons) and his father all enjoying communicating with one another using Spanish. Their aunt’s fiance is from el Salvador so as they prepare to welcome their new Tio to the family it’s heightened and interest.
This year he will focus on pronunciation and intonation patterns, including pitch, accent and rhythm. He will continue to work on reading Spanish and the grammatical structures and sentence patterns.
Resources include: Duolingo and soon to be new Tio
Saxon is strong at Mathematics, he picks up new concepts quickly and finds maths reasonably easy.
Last year Saxon covered; Expanded Notation using 10, 100, 1000, Expanded Notation using Powers, positive & negative numbers, addition & subtraction up to 7 digits, long multiplication 2-3 digits and algebraic substitution.
This year Saxon will cover; fractions & percentages, problem solving, algebra, decimals, integers, equations, ratio, geometry, constructions, area, volume. measurement, statistics & data and probability, polygons, pythagoras theorem.
Resources include: Maths Online, maths board games and our living maths books collection.
We desire to encourage Saxon’s critical thinking skills, knowledge and understanding in explaining and making sense of the biological, physical and technological world. To encourage him to foster a questing mind and to understand the importance of scientific evidence in enabling him as an individual and as part of the community to make informed, responsible decisions about the use and influence of science. We have been owner building since Saxon was 3 years and he has grown up observing, learning and building.
Saxon has a love of science and possess an incredible knowledge of scientific information. Saxon and his brothers who all have a particular fascination with ‘all things science’ are often seen videoing their experiments, seeking answers as to why their experiment might have ‘failed’ and to re-do the experiment.
Last year Saxon researched Water & Weather, the Living World, Benjamin Franklin, to name a few.
This year his studies will include; Biology; body systems, cells & reproduction. Chemistry; states of matter, elements & compound and changing matter. Earth & Space;minerals & fossils. Physics; energy transformations.
We will also continue to be flexible to follow any further interests that arise and we visualise Saxon exploring a variety of interest areas. To meet these studies we will use various mediums and resources, and we’re confident that other areas of scientific interest and knowledge will be sought and pursued.
Resources include: Singapore Science textbooks, Design curriculum, John Hudson Tiner collection, our home and town libraries, DVDs and youtubes and Snap Circuit Kits and Experiment kits.
Saxon has an aptitude and passion for Coding. His older brother who is studying IT and gaming at University and he, have been working on a design project together, they have created a challenge and Saxon is working on the solution. In the upcoming year he will continue to explore and utilise Scratch for coding his projects. In 2018 we were fortunate to have access to an EV3 robotic kit at the local Aboriginal Healing centre, sadly that door has closed however that opportunity ‘birthed’ a passion. Saxon has since acquired an Edison robot, and more recently two other robotic kits; a Boson and the Robobloq Qooper. As well as a Drone. This will be a year that Saxon will be able to really ‘dig deep’ in regards to coding and robotics. Saxon will also be furthering his skills in excel, word, email, webcam, etc
Saxon will be exploring force, motion and energy via electronic circuits. We have a few Electronic kits and Snap Circuit Kits and he will be exploring these indepth, his older brother who is studying to be an electrican and he will be devising challenges. Saxon will also be modifying and remodeling two computers into one to create an upgraded computer. And of course exploring the possibilities of his new Drone.
We have been owner building since Saxon was a toddler and he is familiar and confident with many aspects of building, he has been actively involved in building our home and learnt many skills along the way. He is familiar with safe work practices, what tools are the correct ones to use and what materials are needed for the job. He has learnt practical skills; reading plans, carpentry, painting, sheeting and many intangible but extremely important such as patience, tenacity and teamwork. He has really grown in his confidence in recent months, and we only expect him to grow in confidence, skill and initiative in the upcoming year.
Agricultural and Food Technologies
Saxon already takes an active part of our food preparation each week. Our goal during the upcoming years is for him to be capable of preparing and presenting at least 7 meals of his choice for 9 people. He is also to take a more active role in menu preparation and shopping. Saxon is to practice safe food hygiene practices. Saxon is to also be undertaking more baking. Saxon is to further develop his understanding of nutritional choices and their impact.
In the upcoming year we are to plant a garden to become as self sufficient as possible. The rising cost of food has now made this a must. Saxon will be taking an active and leadership role in designing, planting and growing the garden. We will also be exploring animal husbandry via care of the new baby foal, exciting times! Saxon has begun to assist in fencing the property and will continue as offsider.
We wish for Saxon to have an interest about ‘all things history’ and want him have an awareness of World History – Modern & Ancient, and Australian history and to understands the past contributes to the present .
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 and various biographies.
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 Saxon 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 Saxon to have an awareness of and appreciation for different cultures, customs, the effect of environment upon peoples and how peoples interactions effect change upon their environment. To be familiar and confident with maps, to be able to recognise the different continents & countries, and to recognise the diverse features and characteristics of a range of environments.
This year 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. We will also explore the countries of the Asian region. We will explore how landscapes & landforms are sustainably managed & protected, how the environment effects people’s wellbeing, the effect of water resources within countries & globally and the consequences of being globally connected.
Much of our geography approach is covered by using our collection of geography living and non-fiction titles, magazines and digital multi-media, we are always flexible to follow any interest areas that arise.
Resources include: Geography non-fiction titles incl Atlases & Geographica, Geography living books; Branch Library and our collection, Digital mulit-media, DVDs and youtubes 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 Saxon can now produce after a few years with Artventure is amazing us. Interactive, guided lessons from an Australian teacher, using oil pastels and watercolours, the results have been incredibly impressive. He didn’t start out naturally skilled, nor particularly interested nor willing, but the work he is now producing is wonderful and more exciting is he is engaged and keen to now produce artwork. We will continue with this program in the upcoming year and we are thrilled to see they have developed further lessons for secondary students.
We will also expose Saxon to a variety of different mediums including, drawing, painting, collages, ceramics and claywork.
Resources include: How to Draw books, youtubes and internet sites and our craft & art supplies.
Saxon will be exposed to a wide variety of music genres and styles with a particular emphasis on Australian music. Saxon will be encouraged to sing daily, singing is part of our family culture there is always somebody singing each day, at times it feels as if each hour.
Various musical instruments are available in our home: piano, drums, guitar and woodwind and percussion instruments which Saxon can readily access, he has had drum lessons and has made good progress. ‘Jam sessions’ often occur spontaneously.
Last year Saxon took part in the play Alice in Wonderland produced by our homeschool group. Saxon was the Catepillar, the ‘head’ with the speaking parts. It was way out of his comfort zone and we were so proud of him for pushing through his anxiousness and giving it his best. He was also part of the Jury. It was an incredible production, directed and orchestrated by our local theatre director Sue Kearns. The children put many, many weeks into it and Saxon learnt so much and grew in many way.
This year ‘home grown’ plays are the rage, complete with costumes and props. Saxon is now far more confident in taking part, enjoying the camaraderie and acting.
Photographic and Digital Media
Saxon will be developing skills in digital media including photography and video production. He particularly has an interest in videography. He will also be working towards producing a portfolio that includes Digital Art works.
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
Saxon is to have a strong sense of self identity and to have healthy boundaries. To gain this through personal conversations and positive encouragement
Many of the skills needed here 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 have strong, healthy boundaries, to treat others with kindness, consideration and generosity, to extend Christian charity to all regardless of their belief system.
Saxon is to have an understanding of reproductive health, the need for personal hygiene and an awareness of health choices. This knowledge to be gained through personal conversations, positive encouragement and teaching strategies of how to handle various situations
Saxon will be participating in Park Run each week, working towards achieving a Personal Best for the 5km course. Saxon will also be kayaking regularly, he has great aptitude, confidence and a love for this sport, taking off up and down the Clarence River. Saxon will compete in our annual home education Sports Day.
Saxon is to further develop an understanding of the importance of an active lifestyle and nutritional health. Saxon 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, to know how to seek help for himself or others if needed.
Saxon is to deepen his personal relationship with God and increase his knowledge of God and His Church.
Resources include: Our library collection.