YEAR TWO CURRICULUM
We had a great time in the first year working around the GP curriculum and exploring the whole raft of supporting home education materials we found online (you can see our list of great online materials here). During the course of our studies we saw more and more materials out there and were quite impressed by the range on offer from Schofield & Sims and so decided to go with them for the second year. We again went for a pretty full curriculum with only the intention of supplementing Art and Music ourselves.
The curriculum available is deeply impressive with materials banded into Key Stages that split down the subjects into topics like mental arithmetic, comprehension, grammar. So for example instead of one large maths book there are several slimmer books – Adding and Subtracting, Decimals and Percentages, Fractions, Graphs Charts and Data, Maths Practice, Multiplying and Dividing, Number Patterns and Early Algebra, Problem Solving, Shape Space and Measures.
The cost was approximately the same as the Galore Park curriculum had been the year previously, running at around £200-£250 (at RRP) per child for a good set of materials for the year, if you also buy the teachers editions. The teachers books are the more expensive ones in the set but justifiably so as they are so useful. The books are extremely well presented and we think they represents great value for money. Our costs increased this year as we now need material for two children.
The cost of a curriculum may seem daunting at first, but think of all the money you save by your child not attending a state school; we didn’t have to buy 2 sets of school uniforms, 2 sets of school shoes (usually by the term), pay for school dinners, PE kits, bags, school trips to museums that are free to enter and endless donations to various school funds. When all of this is taken into consideration it easily justifies spending money on a good curriculum or set of core books (if this is the path you’re choosing, if not it doesn’t hurt to have that money in your pocket to support your child’s learning in whatever way they need).
The design and layout of the books is simple and elegant from the classic garamond of the headers to the clear, fun illustrations. The books are very approachable yet comprehensive and have a handy colour-coding system for ease of reference. There are textbooks with heavyweight glossy covers and much cheaper work books with paper covers for your home students to work in directly.
The KS1 (Key Stage One) level books which we will be using for our youngest child’s first year of ‘official’ home education are excellent. The learner can work in the workbooks which are designed to be very engaging and visually stimulating and we have procured a range of them which will take him right through to next year.
The range of books for our older child are as mentioned earlier, expertly broken down into topics within subjects and this will allow us to focus on his weaker areas much more easily. This modular approach makes them immediately more accessible and the learning framework easier to plan.
The website is very good, easy to navigate and has clear guidance for teachers, tutors and parents allowing them to select the subjects they need and get directed to the relevant titles with very little fuss. There also appears to be very good support contact options, it’s not very common nowadays to find a phone number contact for support, but there’s one here and it’s not a premium number either. On the face of things the curriculum looks absolutely amazing and we’re very excited about getting into it. We will update this review as we get more experience with the material.
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