I know its cliché, but I cannot believe how quickly time flies…the term has come and gone. There are always challenges when starting a new year and the first term of the year was not short of its challenges.
Some of the challenges I have faced lie mainly with the volume of work grade 11 brings with it. The daily challenges of completing the task as well as explaining the work. English Poetry is very challenging, as we are required to read through the poem together and understand the rhythm, rhyme scheme, etc. I don’t ever remember having to do poetry in such depth in school, it was difficult trying to explain how to do it to my son. It’s just as much of a learning experience for me.
He started reading an amazing book “Eternity in their hearts” for his Character of God subject. This is his Biblical Studies section of his work. I have also had to read it as I am required to formulate answers for the questions. I have found this book so interesting as it focuses on the past missionaries who have faced many challenges as they infiltrate the rural parts of the world with the Gospel.
Physical Science and Mathematics has been mostly revision of grade 10 work so far and we have a student who is assisting with the more challenging work.
Afrikaans has never been my strong point and this year is a challenge as it is mostly focused on writing essays. The tutor we have has been a great help in assisting my son with grammatical errors.
History is one of his favourite subjects, he enjoys it. He is learning to formulate and study essays.
We had a delay in receiving the Business Studies books, so we are still playing catch up with that.
As far as sports goes, my son has always dreamed of being a soccer player. We have enrolled him in a soccer team and he started training with them twice a week. He looks forward to playing his first game with the new team soon.
He decided to take a year off from piano lessons. I must admit it broke my heart because he was playing so well and started sounding like a classical pianist. I am learning to trust that God has a hand in this decision and need to allow my son freedom of choice now that his older.
Its been amazing to witness my younger son progress especially in Mathematics. It’s become his favourite subject simply because we spend more time on it and its not rushed and misunderstood. He now sees the new concepts as exciting and is open and eager to understand it. In the past this has been met with anxiety and a fear of failure. I constantly affirm positivity by telling him that he can do it, and as we learn together we discover new things daily. He has also started a new music instrument. I have always wanted them to learn piano, which he did for the last 5 years, but this year he decided his choice of instrument is guitar.
My daughter, I’m discovering daily, learns more practically. For maths we work with money from her money box, so she can physically touch and count it in her hand instead of just seeing it in print. Science has been practical and fun this term, which she thoroughly enjoyed. We have dissected a flower, created mould and studied the imprint of a mushroom. I also invested in a plastic model of an eye, so that she can touch and see the different parts of the eye as we studied that section.
I must admit there are different dynamics with girls. They are super sensitive beings…she responds best when I allow her to lead the way. Coupled with definite lines of discipline, I have allowed my guard to be let down a bit more this term with her. She is teaching me her way of learning and I am responding only when she calls for help.
I have also enrolled the two younger ones in an Eco club which has been amazing. We meet once a month at a nature reserve and outdoor learning has taken on a new life. We have learnt so much. There is something magical about being out in nature. They are so much more aware of nature, and alert to all around them.
The home-schooling Book Club has also been a new venture for us, where the kids meet once a month to discuss a book they are reading and explain a bit about the story. This has been amazing because it doubles as building their self confidence as they learn to speak in a group of kids of different age groups.
Our days are full of extra murals, which means a lot of driving for me. I must admit I am grateful for a short holiday to relax and re-fire for the next term.
Deborah Pretorius is a mother of 3 kids and a BCom graduate on the amazing adventure of home schooling her family.