Siena is keen and creative, she loves using her imagination to write stories and is eager to ‘be ahead’ in her mathematics. Siena is extremely creative and produces high quality art work, her craft skills are quite impressive.
Siena is keen to be reading ‘big books’ like her older siblings and can often be seen ‘reading’ lines, pages and chapters. Though she is not always as keen to ‘put in the hard yards’ to work on her reading skills. When she is focused she picks up reading skills quickly and progresses easily and fluently, she astounds us at just how easy it is for her.
Siena has completed All About Reading Pre Reading and is now progressing through All About Reading Level 1, she is working on consonant teams, words with final and initial blends, sight words and additional sounds for the vowels and c, g, y and ch.
During 2020 we will complete Level 1 covering words ending with ff, ll and ss, compound and plural words and open and closed syllables. We will then begin All About Reading Level 2.
Brilliant multi-sensorial program, best on the market. Ties in neatly with her spelling program.
Siena will begin All About Spelling Level 1 this year, we’ve had a few introductory lessons and she is keen to start. She is keen to craft stories and is often asking how to spell words correctly. We will be working on spelling three and four letter words, words with the phonograms th, sh and ch, words with final and initial blends, segment words with consonant blends and when to begin words with c or k. Siena will also learn when to double ff, ll and ss, when to use k or ck at the end of words. How to spell works with ng and nk, spell compound words and know which ending to use for plural words and learn about at open and closed syllables. We may get as far as beginning All About Spelling Level 2.
Multi-sensorial program that ties in neatly with her Reading program, can’t rave enough about it.
Siena has incredible fine motor skills, she correctly holds her pencil and forms the majority of her letters correctly. She has a passion for writing, often writing notes and invitations and her handwriting is lovely.
We will continue to ensure she forms all her letters and numbers correctly and encourage her passion.
Resource: Startwrite: Creates customised handwriting practice sheets.
Siena’s stories often feature a little girl, many times her name will be Siena and they involve lots of adventures, the adventures often include bush animals. We also receive many invitations to ‘a ball’, directed and orchestrated by her. Siena loves to craft stories.
Siena writes many of her stories herself, whilst I scribe for some of them. Sometimes I write out what she dictates and she copies, many times she will write and ask for the spelling of words.
We hosted a weekly Writing Club with homeschool friends throughout 2019 and we will continue to do so in the upcoming year. Siena like all our children is passionate about Writing Club and insists on joining in and keeps up despite the fact that the majority of children are pre-teens and teens.
During 2020 our intent is to write daily, encouraging Siena’s love of creative writing whilst working on the mechanics. We will continue to discuss sentence structure and logical sequencing, gently encouraging her to leave the word ‘then’ off the beginning of her sentences. Walking a fine line between keeping the story ‘her’s’ whilst gently assisting her.Resources include: Writing Club, Writing Prompt Cards and Programmed English – Clare Kinsella
Siena has a good grasp of oral grammar; sentence structure, correct word usage and tenses, and her vocabulary often astounds us. 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, full stops and correct tenses. This year we will be cementing these concepts further and introducing nouns, verbs, commas, abbreviations and contractions as well.
Resources include: Little Grammar People – Nuri Mass, World of Language – Ruth Heller and Primary Language Lessons – Emma Serl
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. 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. Narrations can take various forms; oral, written, illustrations, acting, building or creating.
Siena’s narrations are quite good, she can recall details, can do so sequentially and can also give ‘big picture’ overview when asked.
The focus for the upcoming year will continue to be on the more active forms of narration and oral narrations, slowly introducing written narrations as her skill level for the mechanics of writing grow.
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’.
Siena listens to our daily Read Alouds and has begun to listen to longer chapter books with pleasure and attention, she particularly likes to have a more ‘girly’ read aloud ‘on the go’ for just her. She still enjoys familiar and ‘meaty’ picture books.
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.
Siena will 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 poetry and more from our extensive poetry collection.
Siena is keen to continue being ‘ahead’ in maths, mostly picks up new concepts easily and is working a year above her age level.
Siena has covered: counting by 2s and 5s, counting to 100 by 10s, adding to 10s and 20s, place value, ordinal numbers, subtracting up to 10, fraction halves and quarters, recognising groups, group totals, introduction to division, adding coins and notes, introduction to area and comparing area, metres, comparing capacities, heavier and lighter mass, dot and block graphs , column graphs, telling half past time, calendar, lines of symmetry and rhombus and hexagon, 3D objects, position, language of chance.
In 2020 Siena will be covering: fractions – halves and quarters, money – paying and change, division – grouping, sharing, subtraction – trading, 2 digit subtractions, addition – adding 2 digits, adding three numbers, measurement – measuring in centimetres and metres, comparing areas, volume displacement, analog and digital time, calendars, space and geometry – right angles, the rhombus, trapezium and tessellating patterns and 3-D objects, statistics and probabilities – reading and adding tally marks and picture and column graphs.
Resources include: Maths Online, maths board games and our living maths books collection.
Science and Technology
We desire to encourage Siena’s knowledge and awareness of science and technology, to encourage her to have a questing mind and the confidence to tackle technological challenges. We have been owner building since before Siena’s birth and she has grown up observing, learning and building.
Last year Siena studied various topics including; Australian animals, bees, water and weather. She 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; Plants and Animals, Earth & Space & basic Physic principals as well as always being flexible to follow any further interests that arise. 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: Creating a garden, Our home and town libraries, Young Scientist set, DVDs and youtubes, Experiment kits, Snap Circuit Kits, K’nex, Lego and Kapla Blocks.
We wish for Siena to have an interest about ‘all things history’ and want her to have a basic 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 Siena 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 Siena 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, Siena’s skill for tracing lends well to developing 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, 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, Sheppard Software and Mega Maps
Creative Arts spontaneously happens in our household daily, there is always some form of creative arts being undertaken, and with Siena’s passion for all things arts and crafts she achieves and develops more than most.
We have had an annual membership with Artventure , for a few years now and continue to be highly impressed. The work that Siena produces via Artventure is impressive, her skill amazes us, her paintbrush strokes, her proportions are fantastic. We will continue with this program in the upcoming year.
Siena has a passion and skill for Papercrafts. She watches the most intricate youtubes and not only produces incredible origami creations but we are gifted with designs such as a paper strawberry. She can watch a youtube in Japanese and understand and produce the end creation. These are not only youtubes for children but adults too. We plan to introduce Siena to Quilling this year.
We will also continue to expose Siena to a variety of different mediums including, drawing, painting, collages, claywork and tracing.
Siena has a passion, interest and talent in a variety of handicrafts including felt sewing and hand and machine sewing. We will continue to foster and explore this in the upcoming year.
Resources include: Artventure, How to Draw books, youtubes and internet sites and our craft & art supplies.
Siena 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. Siena has a particular interest in ballet and can often be seen practicing her moves.
Various musical instruments are available in our home: piano, drums, guitar and woodwind and percussion instruments which Siena can readily access.
Last year Siena took part in the play Alice in Wonderland produced by our homeschool group. Siena was the cake and was a great hit as she called out in a loud voice, “Eat me, eat me!” It was an incredible production, directed and orchestrated by our local theatre director Sue Kearns. The children put many, many weeks into it and Siena learnt alot.
This year ‘home grown’ plays are the rage, complete with costumes and props. Siena is in ‘the thick of it’ organising and inputting.
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 Siena’s age peers, and they have autism and other issues and Siena has blown us away with her acceptance, understanding and meeting of the children’s various needs.
Siena will be continuing with swimming lessons this year, moving up to level 2/3, she will be improving her water safety skills and practice listening within a group situation and follow instructions. Some weeks Siena will participate in Park Run, working towards completing the 5km course, so far she has only made it to 2.5km. Siena will also be kayaking regularly, she shows great aptitude, confidence and a love for this sport. Siena will compete in our annual home education Sports Day.
Siena is to further develop an understanding of the importance of an active lifestyle and nutritional health. Siena will develop an understanding of the human body, the need for personal hygiene and an awareness of nutritional health choices and their impact. We will particularly focus on dental hygiene and the consequences of poor choices and the practices needed to ensure good dental health.
Siena is to deepen her personal relationship with God and increase her knowledge of God and His Church. Siena will begin preparation for her First Confession which she will make at the end of the year.
Resources include: Liturgical Year Resources, saints biographies and the ‘Green’ Catechism.