Homeschool officially started on Monday 15th of January 2018 in the Williams household.
Week 1 is behind us and we made it! It started off a bit shaky, but I am excited and glad that we have the amazing honour to teach our children.
Nick (9) and Leah (7) completed Grade 3 and Grade 1 in 2017 with flying colours at a local private school. As soon as we decided to travel and homeschool, I did placements tests with them to see where we should start them off in 2018.
I used these online homeschool placement tests:
- Calvert Primary
- Good and Beautiful Course Level Assessment
- Maths U See Readiness Assessments
- Saxon Primary Placement
South African children start pre-prep (Gr.0) in the year they turn 6, but this is very much still play-school. “Big” School start when they turn 7 (Gr.1). This was a major reason why we left the UK the year Nick had to start formal school. He had just turned 4 in July and had to start school that year in September 2012. With school hours from 9 am to 3 pm, our little boy was completely exhausted by Thursday morning. That October we decided to go back to South Africa and by December we moved to George. Nick got to learn through play again with the aim to develop gross motor skills.
Therefore South African children are about 2 years behind the rest of the world in primary school, but I understand that they catch up somewhere along the line. For now, we are reviewing Gr 1 and 3 again before starting Gr 2 and 4. Here’s the plan…
CHOOSING A CURRICULUM
Choosing a curriculum alone is enough to scare most people away from homeschooling. I was overwhelmed and still am. There are so many options out there, but again the advice and guidance available online from other homeschoolers around the world are amazing. You will find a homeschool group for your region on Facebook. Join them. We all need support. I just joined a Woldschoolers group on Facebook and already feel like we belong.
My initial choice for a homeschool curriculum, if we were not going to travel, was Cambridge International Primary. There is an online version of The Cambridgeacademy.org. We want to prepare them for the British A-level exams so that the children can go to university in the UK if they want to.
After much research, a fellow homeschool friend put me in touch with someone who was selling a used set of Gr 1 and 3 Abeka books. The sets are not complete, but I can buy what I need online. THE PLAN is to revise Gr 1 and 3 with the Abeka books that we now have just to make sure we are on par with the rest of the world. We will ditch the books when leaving SA and go mostly online while travelling.
We are going to start out by following the advice of other nomadic families like WorldTravelFamily.com and yTravelblog. They’ve been doing it for a while so there is no reason why we should not try it too. Their posts about their roadschooling journeys are encouraging and inspiring.
We will look at online programs like Reading Eggs, Kahn Academy and Minecraft Homeschool and try Carol Vorderman workbooks in the UK.