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My favourite thing this year

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The Bermuda Homeschool Network is a diverse and inclusive network of families who have chosen to educate their children at home.

The members use a wide selection of homeschooling methods, have a variety of philisophical and religious beliefs, and also represent different lifestyles.

The group celebrates and nurtures the richness of their diversity by encouraging and supporting each other on the homeschool journey.

Here are articles a few of the children have shared on the favourite things they did in homeschool this year.

Dissecting a fetal shark

By Maia Steele, 16

Marine biology

This year was my second year of high school, and my third year of homeschooling.

I normally wouldn't have described school as exciting, or something I looked forward to, but this year it was. I've made many more friends in home-

schooling than I ever thought I would have, considering that was a fear of mine when debating what I was going to do for education in Bermuda. The friends I have made use different curriculums, which is nice because we can talk about all the different things we learnt about, compare teachers, and even share some school activities — which I was lucky enough to do this year.

A fellow homeschooler in my year had a marine biology lab to dissect a fetal shark. She got the shark a month too late to complete it with the rest of her class, but was still getting credit to complete the lab.

So she called me, along with three other homeschoolers, to come and participate. When I left public school in California, it was during the month that I would have done dissections, so I missed out. The fetal shark lab was a chance for me to have some educational hands-on time with friends, basically what any other student in a brick-and-mortar school would be doing. I think that is what made this my favourite experience in home-

schooling this year. I realised that I wasn't missing out, or being deprived of anything by doing online schooling. I was learning about the same things, with the same materials, and the same social environment as other students in physical schools, just with more freedom to sleep in.

The best science project ever

By Isaac Moniz

This year, I'm studying chemistry and one of my science projects was to make a periodic table of elements out of sugar cookies.

Obviously, we made 112 cookies, since there are 112 elements. Well, actually there may be closer to 118 now but most of that is still unknown.

It took three bags of sugar cookie mix to make the 112 cookies. I used two tubs of vanilla icing and mixed it with food colouring to make several different colours.

We iced the cookies in different colours to show different types of elements. Noble gasses were purple, transition metals were yellow, and so on.

Finally, I used a gel frosting in a tube to put the symbols of the elements on the cookies.

They tasted great, and we made some fun jokes while eating them. My brother said he was out of breath so he took the oxygen cookie. And when I asked for the potassium cookie my brother gave me a banana.

When my uncle ate the arsenic cookie, everyone gasped. But, don't worry, he was fine because it really is just a cookie! Everyone in my family learned some chemistry that day.

Growing my first vegetable garden

“Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.”

— Douglas William Jerrold

By Unaysah Khan, 11

This was my first year homeschooling. I always wanted to grow a vegetable garden. Growing a garden was always number one on my list and this year I had the opportunity to do it.

I started researching about different vegetables such as, how long it would take specific plants to grow and the different nutrients they have. I chose different greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and some herbs such as mint and oregano. I wanted to avoid having weeds in my garden so I lined my garden with bricks and put stone slabs underneath. This was successful as, even after a few months, not a single weed was to be found. This is just the beginning. My next research includes how to keep the bugs and birds away naturally from plants and impact of various organic fertilisers. As it is said, “There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.” This is something which will keep me going!

Creative writing classes were tiring but left me jubilant

By Lorena Godwin, 15

Novel project

My favourite thing that I did in home-school this year was my creative writing class. This was one of the only classes that I was jubilant to go to and do homework for.

I'm not saying that my other classes weren't great, but this was the class that I simply enjoyed the most. In this course I think I grew more as a writer through journal assignments, blogging and a “Novel Project” which required me to write a novel composed of ten chapters.

After writing my novel, I now admire my favourite authors even more because I found it very tiring to create and edit something that's projected so vibrantly in my mind but sometimes just doesn't flow as I want it to from my brain to my keyboard.

Besides my novel project, one of my favourite things to write for this class was a very interesting assignment where I wasn't allowed to use the letter “e”.

I found this task enjoyably arduous, and it taught me one thing: there are way too many words with e's in them. Putting that aside, with my enthusiastic teacher, challenging assignments and helpful classmates, I feel as if I have advanced as a writer and that my mind can now easily create vivid worlds that can only come alive on paper.

Learning Arabic and Quran is a dream

“There is nothing impossible to him who will try.”

— Alexander the Great

By Numair Khan, 9

I started homeschooling in December, 2015 and am seriously loving it.

My first year of homeschooling has been jam-packed with lots of fun things.

I always had a passion for learning and understanding the Koran.

As Muslims, we believe the Koran is the final scripture from God.

The original text is in Arabic language which always attracted me but at the same time I couldn't understand it.

My parents always say, “Don't follow a religion just because your parents are doing it, do it with you heart and your sincerity”.

Before I had wanted to invest time in it but couldn't. I did start studying the book during my previous school years but now I was able to do it in a more personalised and intensive way.

Now I'm learning the Arabic language and also memorising the original Arabic text

of the Koran and have memorised more than one third of the book.

I think this year, home-schooling has been a fantastic opportunity and the fact that I was able to do what I have always desired to do is amazing.

I love having fun with friends at Sports Day

By Naphisa Smith

For me, Sports Day is the most anticipated and exciting day of the year. Sports Day is when all homeschoolers from across the island get together and compete in various events, including: egg and spoon, beanbag toss, cricket ball throw, long jump, high jump, 400 metre, 200 metre, 100 metre and three-legged race.

All of the homeschoolers are divided into age groups and then we all have fun competing for ribbons. And yes, everyone gets a ribbon, whether first, third, fifth, or eighth. My favourite event is high jump. I also enjoy the running races. When it is not our turn to compete, my friends and I either chat together or we help hand out popsicle sticks for the other races.

The sticks have coloured dots and a number on them and as people cross the finish line, we give them out according to which place they come. The colours are for the colour ribbon that they will receive and the numbers are for the order in which they place.

There is more than one reason why Sports Day is my favourite thing that I did in homeschool this year. I like to compete, I enjoy hanging out with friends, and I really love having fun. So where is a better place to have all three other than Sports Day?

Coming together: students from the Bermuda Home-school Network get ready to hit the track for Sports Day. (Photograph supplied)
Sweet knowledge: homemade cookies representing the periodic table

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Published June 23, 2016 at 6:50 pm (Updated June 23, 2016 at 6:57 pm)

My favourite thing this year

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