Monday, April 23, 2012

AO1 is done, year 3 - here we come!

I've had to explain our 'years' and how we work our school years to many a friend in real life, so I thought I'd explain it to you all here as well.
You see, Rebekah began a year of Kindergarten when she was 5 (2009) for which I used Living Books Curriculum's Foundation Year for this.

The following year we began their Year 1 when she was 6.
But halfway through that, I found myself tweaking their curriculum so much, that I found I was pretty much doing most of it on my own and not following the teachers manul much nor using all of the suggested books.

I then decided I would use the Ambleside Online curriculum that I had been eyeing for many years but just didn't feel confident enough to take on. You see, it's a free online curriculum and there is no teachers manual to tell you what to do each day or give you lots of extra tips and such. Also it seemed quite rigorous to me.
However, as mentioned earlier, due to me changing what we were doing so much anyway in year 1 and gaining a bit more confidence in my home school endeavours, I set out to do AO with Rebekah when she turned 7. I blogged about that here.

This curriculum being quite advanced I started Rebekah in their Year 1. Now, you might say she repeated year 1, which would be technically true except that they are quite different curriculums and the recommended age to begin year 1 (from a lot of mums who've done it) was age 7. (It truly is an advanced curriculum, just a quick look at the book lists will prove that!). So, this is what we did but we called it our Year 2. Clear as mud?:) For all extra curricular activities, Rebekah needs to be in a 'grade' and I didn't want her doing ballet etc with much younger kids, so I decided to call it our Year 2!

Well, we've just finished AO1 (our year 2) and all I can say is that we love it so much we are continuing with it this year. 'This' year for Rebekah is 'Year 3' which we started today. More confusing I know! Not only do we not keep our years simple but to confuse everyone even more, our school year doesn't start till April! Hey, that's the beauty of homeschooling though isn't it! It's quite flexible.

So, often Rebekah is doing school when her friends are on holidays and vice versa. This time however, her holidays coincided with the schools, so she had even more fun with plenty of play dates and a sleep over!

I try to keep things simple but often they get a bit complicated, much to my amazement! I seem to have a talent for this:) It was the same when we decided to call her Rebekah and not spell it the traditional way - Rebecca. I sincerely apologise to everyone out there for the confusion related to this. I just didn't anticipate that it would throw people so much that her name would end up getting spelled as Rebekkah, Rebekka, Rebekha, Rebekahh and so on:) Sorry!

Anyway, back to our homeschooling: I feel such a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction at having completed a whole year of AO. It might seem trivial but I know for me, I was apprehensive about using this curriculum as I knew it would be challenging for Rebekah me:) But I am happy to report that yes, it was challenging but only to the point of stretching her us and not to the point of frustration. I can now say I truly love AO after doing it for a year, though I probably only did 70 to 80 % of it as laid out. We omitted a couple of things and changed a couple to make it our Australian AO1. I've got to say though, I absolutely love the books. The online discussion group is very lively and supportive and best of all it's a curriculum that's doable on a tight budget as most of their resources are free online. You've got to love that!

Here's Rebekah on her first day of Year 3 (AO2) with a few of the books we'll be covering this year, (more on that to come in another post):


Jeanne said...

That is a beautiful photo of your daughter...however you spell her name! Hee hee. All the best with year 3 and AO2!

Beloved's Bride said...

Sounds so normal to me. Homeschooling has you in all sorts of levels and years. ;) We just say they are in grade of what every other people would find that age group in. LIttle lady is 8 so 2nd or 3rd grade would be considered normal but she is in 5th grade reading, 3rd grade math, etc. It is funny. No kiddo fits into a box. I hope you enjoy your year 3!!!

Clara said...

That is a lovely picture of Rebekah - she looks like she is becoming quite the beautiful young lady! I have a niece whose name is spelled the same way, so I have no problem with that! :)

I find it hard to categorise which grade my children are in too - Dolly is 7 but in grade 3-4 with her curriculum, and Danny is 6 but in grades 1-2 with his curriculum! That's the beauty of homeschooling - we fit education around the children rather than fitting the child into the education! :)

Enjoy the new school year! :)

Sarah said...

You have done such a wonderful job Rosemary and is very encouraging to hear your positive feedback and how happy you and Rebekah are. Gorgeous photo of your princess. xxx

Butterfly said...

I'm always delighted to read about your way of doing things, and enjoyed your explanation of Rebekah's grade.

Rebekah is holding one of my favourite books (the Australia Book) and we also delight in Magic School Bus. I'd love to know how you find the Children's History of the World, when you get into it.

Ruby said...

Congrats to you both! The great thing about home schooling, or one of the great things, is the flexibility. We used to flex holidays in the early days and I found as the children got older they liked to fit around the schools and their sporting activities. Rebekah is gorgeous. I have a very simple name which people constantly spell wrong so never mind. Does she get called Bek or Becky at all?

Eve said...

Hooray for finishing the year!! It's fun to see how you carry out CM homeschooling.

Anonymous said...

It's fantastic that you are achieving so much and have the freedom to work it out how you think it's best. And Rebekah is obviously flourishing. I admire your dedication to it. She looks beautiful in that photo!

Beloved's Bride said...

Rosemary, give me a few days and I will post pictures of how I use Apologia in a nature notebook that they create. I use AO books to toss at them with in the subjects that we are studying as well. said...

Thanks Ladies for your lovely comments (though I'm quite late in responding, sorry!)
Ruby, we've always called her Rebekah....I'm not one for shortening names as I think the original is just fine:) I do the same with friends too. However of late she's been saying she likes "Bek" and "Bekkie", so, we'll see ;)
Vanessa, as we're following AO we'll only be reading selected chapters of CHOW not the whole book for school though we might do that in our free time. But, I'll let you know anyway. And we're loving the Australia book, it sure is lovely.

Penney Douglas said...

I agree with everything everybody else said. How do you get so many people to comment? I only have one or two people who comment on my blog, and you're one of them!

I'm glad you like AO. I've never really tried to use it, but I may check it out since you love it so much.

Sarah said...

Hey Rosemary, thanks for your lovely message over at my blog. I was just on a website and found these -

They are beautiful! xxx

joyfulmum said...

Thanks Sarah! that looks great! someone else also recently recommended that one to me, will take a serious look at it:)

Deborah said...

Year 3 - the years just go so quickly. Looking forward to your continued journey this year too~!! :o)

Melanie said...

I found your blog as I am trying to decide between AO and LBC. I'd like to ask you a few specific questions. If you have time, would you email me at
Thank you!