Skip to main content

Home Ed Program and Booklist 2016

Posted on: Thursday, 11 February 2016 @ 1:37pm
Blatting about

We've had dramas with the big two for the last few months simply refusing to do their bookwork and occasionally also refusing to do anything I could use in place of that (including things that they get enthused about such as making their own books or building models, sounds too much like hard work and they'd much rather play games and chat with their friends on Skype all day).  We've had some serious chats about entitlement and how no matter what they decide to do in life, no matter how much they enjoy it, at some point there is going to be a hard slog.

For a lot of last year I experimented with using a card system where I cut some A4 paper into "cards" and wrote own thigns the kids had to do.  It was things like "cook something" and "bookwork - 1 page of maths, science and English" and "watch a documentary".  The kids got $1 for each completed card.  The bigs had 7 cards each and 6yo had 8.  This partially worked as when they wanted money for something all of the cards would get done, but the bigs especially tended to just do the cards they didn't object to much and then whinge about the fact they were only getting $2-4 of pocket money rather than just doing the work that would earn them the full amount.

This year I'm going to try using a checklist approach and writing down a list of the work they need to have done each week and if they haven't done the work then they don't get paid at all, and try to get most if not all books completed by the end of the year.  Debating whether or not to allow them to replace bookwork with more "fun" work (such as doing a movie or game review instead of English bookwork or creating their own book about dolphins or something to possibly replace all of the bookwork for the next three weeks) as I tried that with the cards and they still generally refused to do the work because gaming and chatting to friends on Skype was a lot more fun.  I was pretty lenient on it in the months they were acting up, particularly in October-November where I was finishing off a paid gig and then in December because we're usually pretty slack in December as I tend to start winding everything down then anyway.

On the bright side I didn't have to buy as many books this year as they all cover a couple of years (1-2, 3-4, 5-6).

Daily bookwork for everyone is:

  • 2 pages each of English, maths and science
  • 1 stack of Khan Academy problems/Dragonbox/Memrise/Reading Eggs and Math Seeds (for 7yo)
  • 1 documentary

Edit: Afer a lot of internal and external restructuring, I have decided to go back to the eclectic natural learning thing we had going before work became an issue.  The only "bookwork" the kids have now is journal writing every night either before or after dinner (I'm currently scribing for 7yo though hoping to encourage him to start writing himself soon) which also helps to get them off the screens and start winding down for bed.

11yo (Year 6)

Will be continuing with the books we got from last year, the only extra one I got for him was an Excel Algebra book to see if he remembered anything from the Dragonbox app I got him ages ago which he apparently found easy.

Weekly activities

  • 2x 1hr football training
  • 1x football game
  • 1x 1.5hr gymnastics
  • 1x visiting great grandmother
  • 1x kung fu if it fits
  • 1x 30min swimming lesson

Spelling and grammar are not too bad from what I can tell of his Skype conversations with his friends.  Needs to practice writing! Maths is still going pretty well, now working in high school level, English is still boring.  We've started him on a chunky uni level Physics book which he's really getting into.  Need to do a bit more looking at art at least and doing more scientific diagrams and illustrations as he's otherwise not really "into" producing much art.

9yo (Year 4)

Continuing English books from last year, added Year 4 Targeting Maths books and app.

Weekly activities

  • 2x 2hr gymnastics
  • 1x visiting great grandmother
  • 1x kung fu if it fits
  • 1x 30min swimming lesson

Everything is pretty much on track.  Could probably push her in English a bit more as she's pretty good at it.  Currently trying to expand what she reads beyond fairy books.

7yo (Year 2)

Continuing English books from last year, added Lower Primary Targeting English, Excel Science and Technology for Year 1-2 (not sure why I was unable to get one last year), and Year 3 Targeting Maths books and app.

Weekly activities

  • 1x 1.5hr gymnastics
  • 1x visiting great grandmother
  • 1x kung fu if it fits
  • 1x 30min swimming lesson

Pushing the maths a little bit.  Everything else seems to be on track. 


I wrote the big excursion program but am not organising excursions this year.  Also made sure that the person who volunteered to do the organising did actually get the contact details of everyone who wanted to be involved this time as that was what the problem was last year!

In addition to those I have booked my three into SciTech classes for first term and will keep an eye out for ones in the other terms.  Where the weather is not too inclement the core group is also planning weekly mini excursions/hangouts around places that have easy parking or are transport hubs.

No comments yet

Kevin Sunday, 24 April 2016 @ 7:51pm [Permalink]
I don't understand exactly what you explain here.. you can send me an email?
bek Sunday, 24 April 2016 @ 9:38pm [Permalink]

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.