We had a long break after a challenging year, it was just what we needed. We had a family holiday in the berg, my daughter turned 10 on Christmas Eve, an intimate lockdown Christmas lunch with our family and my middle son turned 13 on the 2nd of January (yes, my two younger kids are a week apart during the festive season😊). We had a good kind of busy end to the year. We are so grateful for God’s Mercy and Grace over our families during this pandemic.
We received my eldest son’s final Cambridge results on the 11th January. We were overjoyed that he has passed his final school year. It was a sweet celebration for our family. We felt proud and humbled by our achievements as a homeschool family. With God on our side we had faced the challenges head on and were overcome with joy. My son achieved a bachelor pass and will go on to pursue the next phase of his life. When we started out this dream seemed farfetched and unachievable, but God was faithful everyday and we are so thankful. Alison Shortridge and the team at T.C.E were a vital part of our successful end to the final year. Their support was amazing throughout the three years. We had started out not knowing anything and they assisted us every step of the way. We are forever grateful.
We started school on the 11th January. Our vision boards were set out and we began by writing down our plans for the year. Slowly unwrapping our new books with some excitement and nervousness from the kids. We decided as a family that we needed a change this year, so we will not be continuing with T.C.E. For the most part of our holiday I did a lot of research and decided on a different path for this year.
With both my kids now grades eight and five we will be doing Math U See for maths, LATL for English, Piekwyn for Afrikaans, Dr. J. Wylie’s Science series, Story of the World for History, Footprints on our Land for South African History and for my grade eight son I’ve included Economic Management Science because he is very interested in accounting. We have also registered him for an online coding course again this year because he loves coding.
For extra murals my kids do a musical instrument each as well as one or more sports. My middle son now has his purple belt in Karate after his grading in December last year. He persevered through the year with karate lessons via zoom and then the final weeks he did outdoor classes with strict covid rules. His now aiming for his junior brown belt this year. My daughter will be trying out gymnastics for the first time this year, as well as a three month modelling course for fun. I try to guide them by observing their strengths and then suggesting a trial lesson in a certain sport. I find most times something is not what they think it is until they try it out and see if they enjoy it.
I will go into more detail for each subject throughout the year as we are on our new path. I will also go into more details into our reason for changing our homeschool plan. One thing I know is that this is a continual learning experience, life is about change and we should be always willing to adjust.
Deborah Pretorius is a mother of 3 kids and a BCom graduate on the amazing adventure of home schooling her family.