Home education diary, January 1999

With a new year, we discussed and decided on a new schedule for our home education. The days would start with me reading aloud to the boys for half an hour. They both agreed that would motivate them to get up, dressed and breakfasted!  We would follow that with some foreign language learning: French Linguaphone on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and Greek Linguaphone on Thursdays and Fridays. 

We decided we would follow that with English and maths on Mondays, Science of some kind on Tuesdays, letter-writing (or email) and art on Wednesdays, English and maths on Thursdays, and something else on Fridays - history, geography, or perhaps continuing with other things from earlier in the week.  We aimed to do two to three hours of academic work each morning; in addition both boys have music lessons at various times with other teachers, and an art class on Saturday mornings. 

We hoped this was flexible enough that we wouldn't feel too bound by it, and broad enough that we might roughly follow it! We knew from previous experience that we were unlikely to stick to anything more rigid, since home education by its nature needs to have lots of space for individual questions and interests. 

We started back after Christmas in the second week of January (schools don't return until a few days after Epiphany - January 6th - in Cyprus) and went with this routine fairly well for the first week.  Richard was doing some extensive filming around Cyprus, which rather disrupted our house over a couple of weeks - however, the boys did get to see, first-hand, what goes on when filming short programmes; one weekend Daniel travelled with Richard for some location recording, which I'm sure was highly educational as well as fun!

In the third week of January, we were incredibly tired. So for the first three days we read a great deal together, and spent a little time studying 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.  By Thursday we were feeling better, so the boys did some maths and English, and spent some time on a historical research computer game; Daniel did some programming, too, which he seems to be learning remarkably easily.

In the final week of January, Tim had the flu. He was really quite unwell all week, and did little other than read. Daniel, who is very self-motivated (and doesn't care much about structure) did several hours of Visual Basic programming, and a couple of units from his English text book.

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