Very positive day today after a very busy weekend, work-wise, for me and Jon.
Emily went for her riding lesson this morning as normal; she did fantastically well on a horse much faster than the ones she’s been used to so far. She loved it 🙂
This afternoon it was time for her regular Monday afternoon session with Gramps. They finished the binary, card game-y, bitwise logical AND thingy they were working on last week – it’s great 🙂 🙂 Couldn’t work out how to put it on here in a playable version, but here are some screenshots:
Note Emily’s beautiful Houses of Parliament desktop, lol! What else would my politically minded daughter have?
In addition to work over the weekend, I finished working on my vague ideas for a photography plan of work, aided and abetted by my Dad (a photography super duper expert) who dug out one of his old textbooks for me and spent a while talking about how Emily can move on to real film developing techniques once she’s worked through the digital stuff I have planned for her. She and I have decided that she’ll work on a photography journal so she can document her progress through various projects and keep track of the different effects of various shutter speeds, apertures, exposures and so on.
I also nearly finished my Renaissance planning, but I’m eagerly waiting for the arrival of The Story of the Renaissance by Suzanne Strauss Art; bought it from the US as we had a dollar gift voucher and it works out cheaper in any case. We used the first Ancient China one back in 2007 when, among things, Emily made a fabulous relief map of China. The books are very text heavy, but great for reading together and each chapter has thought provoking questions and project ideas at the end.
Also discovered that Philip Allan do student magazines for many A level subjects and some GCSE ones, around £15 per year each for individual home subscriptions. They look great, so we’ve subscribed to the Politics one. Speaking of discoveries, also discovered that the very old, American economics textbook Emily bought from a charity shop a while ago is actually better than the A level one we had been using – much clearer, although obviously the statistics and examples refer to the US economy rather than the British one, but we can work with that. It cost her a whopping £1.50 compared to nearly £20 for the one we’ve got!
I should point out, when mentioning A level books/magazines, that we’re not forcing Emily to work at that level or indeed expecting her to perform at that level – politics and economics are just topics which only really come into their own at that level, so that’s why we use A level resources. Emily doesn’t write A level style essays, obviously, but she’s getting a great grasp of the basics of those subjects which will serve her well should she eventually (and it seems quite likely) choose to study them “properly” at an advanced level.
I found Helen’s post on Secondary Education Wobbles very thought provoking; although we’ve (more or less) decided to home educate right the way through (to the bitter end, as Helen puts it!) we do still have school wobbles and I expect we will have for years to come yet.
I’m confident that we can skip GCSEs all together and will head towards either A levels or OU courses in a few year’s time, when it’s finally clear what kind of career Emily has in mind. I’m confident that we can facilitate her education at that level, even if that means learning alongside or one step ahead of her, or, if necessary, hiring a tutor for anything tricky. I’m confident that the breadth and level of her home education is at the very least equal to that she’d receive in our local schools – and certainly more in tune with her abilities and aptitudes – so it’s just a matter of how many/which “bits of paper” hoops we and she eventually think it necessary to jump through. Oh, I’m confident of all sorts of things…. but still the wobbles come when you least expect them 🙂
I suspect we’d feel differently if science or maths were her “thing” – because I do think it’s tough to provide a high level of science education in the home. We can provide an adequate level, I think – a general knowledge of science topics up to GCSE-ish level – but not an outstandingly great level. Although my Dad is an engineer/mathematician and all round star, and very happy to help, we simply don’t have the facilities. If she thought she was heading down a science specialist route, we’d probably have to re-think. Fortunately, however, she’s (so far) much more of a humanities person – and for that, I think we’re good to go 🙂