We completed our June exam successfully! I cannot be prouder of our achievements. We chose to work through the unknown when our country started a 21-day lockdown, and everything literally shut down. I had a determination in my heart that we should continue with school as usual even though everyone seemed to be on a sudden holiday. I knew we had set goals for the year and if we had stopped schooling then, we wouldn’t have been able to achieve our goals. After all, one of the reasons we started home-schooling is so that we wouldn’t be affected by external influence. So, we decided to power through!
We started exams on the 1st June and completed on the 12th June. We received our reports this week and we were so anxious to see my daughters results as this was her first exam. Well, she exceeded my expectations! I could see her beaming with pride as she read through her report. Her response was also so encouraging for me as her mom and teacher. She said, “Mom now that I know if I work hard, I can do well, I promise to always do my best.” Those words from her heart to mine had just confirmed everything I already know. God is in the centre of our family’s choice to home-school our kids, and more than results on a piece of paper I could see that home-schooling is building and shaping her character. Our scripture verse for exams is “Study to show yourself approved!” which simply means do your best and trust God to help you with the rest.
Going into this exam I was hesitant because I felt my daughter is only nine years old and I questioned myself as to whether or not I was doing the right thing by putting her under pressure to write exams at such a young age. She proved to me that she could function exceptionally well under a little pressure. Never underestimate your kid’s ability. Always push them to do their best and learn praise them no matter the outcome. This is what I had to do with my son.
My son is in Grade 7 and is still quite playful, as any boy is. He also completed his June exam this year and I wasn’t completely convinced that he did his best. He wasn’t as impressed with his report either, but I also encouraged him to work harder on a daily basis and already I can see he is. I found with my son I can harp on the negative side a bit so I’m consciously trying harder this term to keep encouraging him to do his best. I sat him down and asked him how does he feel and if he feels this is his best work, and he replied no. I asked him what he can do to do better his results and held I him responsible for his results and ways he can change them.
He starts high school next year and his workload will be increasing. I’m thinking of slowing down his year by going at a slower pace on a daily basis. I don’t know if that’s the right decision to make but I will pray about it. I also don’t want him to feel like he can get away with playing more and doing less work.
In these daily lessons of our home-school journey I’m constantly aware that each child is so different, and we cannot compare them but rather look for what sparks their curiosity in learning and work harder in getting them interested in that on a daily basis.
We had a wonderful two week break and have now entered the second half of our curriculum we learned about Oceanography this week in grade 4 science and ended the week with a beautiful painting of my daughter’s favourite sea creature the dolphin. We also learned about the Fruits of the Spirit in Studying God’s Word. Being Patient and living with the peace of God in our hearts and minds.
In Grade 7 history we are learning about Rome before and after Christ’s birth. In maths we started learning about statistics and how to use data to plot a graph. Our poem for this theme taught us how self-control is a fruit of the Spirit and we need to practice it in our daily lives. Learning to control our thoughts and discipline ourselves to complete our daily tasks as well.
My eldest son is preparing for his preliminary exams which he will write from the 1st August. We are mostly completed with his syllabus for the year and it’s now time for revision and studying. This will be the most challenging exam of his entire schooling life. He has also applied to university and has been provisionally accepted. Pray for us as we trust God to help him study and complete his preliminary exam with success!
Deborah Pretorius is a mother of 3 kids and a BCom graduate on the amazing adventure of home schooling her family.