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How do you make time for fun?


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#1 lovinmyboys

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 02:16 PM

Or do you? Especially with schooling multiple children? This is kind of a spin off of my unschooling thread. One of the reasons I started homeschooling was so we would have more time for family things and for free time. We have had a great time going on field trips, on hikes, to museums. We have played games, done arts and crafts, baked, and read lots of books. We have traveled with Dh for his job. We have done lots of park days with friends.

Next year I will have 4 school age kids (5, 7, 9, 11). There is just no way we can get all our work done and regularly do the fun stuff. By the time everyone has done school, meals have been made and cleaned up, and laundry is done there just won't be any time. I am not ready to give the fun stuff up. I'm trying to think of a way to work it in, while not neglecting math 😀. Have we moved out of the "fun" stage. Is that what weekends are for now?

#2 HomeAgain

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:11 PM

A lot of us do a four day schedule, leaving the fifth for field trips and park days. Our relaxed day is Tuesday, so we school Mon, take the next day to do p.e./park and listen to audio books in the car, and then get back to business weds-fri.
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#3 Lori D.

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:25 PM

I only had 2 DSs close in age, BUT... if I DID have multiple kids over an age range, I'd probably just plan on a 40- or 42-week school year to build in time for a weekly "fun day". So, regular school 4x/week, and then 1x/week with the fun extras -- field trips, park day, history/art projects and hands-on, science experiments -- or even to make it a 3-day weekend for a family trip. All the fun, none of the stress of trying to jam it all into a 36-week school year. ;)

 

You might try scheduling things differently to see if it makes your day go more efficiently:

- every once in a while drop a few assignments or a book from the curriculum and do a "fun" things you'd like instead

- not all subjects have to be done every day to still absorb the info: Spelling can drop to 4x/week; Grammar can drop to 3x/week; Geography can drop to 2x/week

- try "block" scheduling, to see if you cover material more efficiently (example: 2 days/week of a longer block of time to knock out all the Science, and another 2 days/week of blocks for History, and then the 5th day for any "catch up")

 

Other quiet, quick ways to sneak in educational fun throughout the week:

- schedule a weekly family game night -- some of the games can be more educational ;)

- schedule a family read-aloud book several evenings a week, or as an audio book during lunches/in the car

 

And just to make things run more smoothly, so all the work isn't on you so you feel too tired to have fun, make sure you have everyone pitching in with chores -- folding laundry, cleaning, doing dishes, helping with meal prep.

 

You really do have to PLAN for family fun time -- because if you keep putting it at the end of the line after everything else is done, it will never happen. ;) BEST of luck! Enjoy your journey, Warmest regards, Lori D.


Edited by Lori D., 19 April 2017 - 03:34 PM.

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#4 knitgrl

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:29 PM

Similar to HomeAgain, we do a four day week of full-on school, and on Fridays we have a lighter day with longer math games, spelling games, and other projects.


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#5 Arcadia

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:29 PM

We have had a great time going on field trips, on hikes, to museums. We have played games, done arts and crafts, baked, and read lots of books. We have traveled with Dh for his job. We have done lots of park days with friends.

We didn't do arts and crafts and we didn't bake. We "hibernate" a lot at libraries and at Barnes and Noble so the reading lots of books kind of take care of itself. We are at the library almost every weekday from 1-4pm to read and relax.

When traveling, we do "school" in the car, at the airport, on the plane, in the hotels and even college food courts (my husband's business trips). We have workbooks, PDFs on iPads and also good wifi at the hotels and airports.

We school every day year round to spread the load. However as my kids do have outsourced classes, we do have to plan field trips on days where they don't have classes. Park days are easier because our park days tend to be late afternoon when their outsourced classes are already over.
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#6 Alice

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:39 PM

For us, it has varied over the years. I have gotten a lot more relaxed as the kids have gotten older, probably because I started out too uptight. :) About the time my oldest started middle school I realized that we had only a few years before the big dreaded HIGH SCHOOL years hit us and I realized that I wanted to make sure we continued to make time for fun things. I kept hearing from people with high schoolers that it only gets harder so I wanted middle school to be a time of more freedom.

 

 I also frequently remind myself that part of homeschooling is being able to take the time to do the extras. I feel like I can't recreate public school (and don't want to) so I need to play to the strengths of homeschooling...which means taking field trips and enjoying spring days and going off on tangents together and getting lost in a read aloud. 

 

It helped to realize that not everything has to be done every day. We school four days a week and have Thursdays as a co-op day. M-W the kids do traditional subjects (Grammar, Spelling, Writing, Math, Latin as the core.) I've gone to doing History and Science as mostly interest led and read alouds. We roughly leave Fridays as a fun day. Everyone does Math. For the younger two this is more "fun Math" which might mean Beast Academy or even more challenging word problems but we do them together. We finish up any work that didn't get done earlier in the week. We do Art, Science Projects, extra read-alouds, poetry teatimes, etc. If we take a field trip on a different day of the week we do normal work on Fridays. 

 

We read aloud at lunches and at night most nights. We always listen to an audiobook in the car. We have regular family game nights. 


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#7 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 03:51 PM

Or do you? Especially with schooling multiple children? This is kind of a spin off of my unschooling thread. One of the reasons I started homeschooling was so we would have more time for family things and for free time. We have had a great time going on field trips, on hikes, to museums. We have played games, done arts and crafts, baked, and read lots of books. We have traveled with Dh for his job. We have done lots of park days with friends.

Next year I will have 4 school age kids (5, 7, 9, 11). There is just no way we can get all our work done and regularly do the fun stuff. By the time everyone has done school, meals have been made and cleaned up, and laundry is done there just won't be any time. I am not ready to give the fun stuff up. I'm trying to think of a way to work it in, while not neglecting math 😀. Have we moved out of the "fun" stage. Is that what weekends are for now?

Do math lessons first thing in the morning.  Plan on doing math 4 days a week, and go through the summer but take a couple of weeks off here and there.  If you were to do a program like CLE you could cut out the quizzes and have Fridays free.  If you work shorter days but don't take several months off in the summer you should still have time for fun stuff.

 

For the older two you could do Fix-It Grammar 4 days a week, :15 a day.  It is actually set up that way.  Fridays free.  (Or whatever day works best).

 

IEW is scheduled that way, too.

 

Or you could do something like Trail Guides to Learning where the material is geared so there are fun things to do on the 5th day but they aren't absolutely necessary.  All subjects except math are covered and much of it in a hands on fun way.  Grades 2-6 could use it.  If you did the prep work ahead of time (say every Saturday and Sunday commit to an hour or two of reviewing the material and making sure you have all the materials needed) and were willing to commit to starting every morning with math by about 8am then flow into TG you could theoretically be done with everything by noon.  That leaves the rest of the day to do whatever...

 

https://home-school-...-of-exploration


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#8 tentwelve

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 12:09 PM

nm 

 


Edited by _ -_-, 07 May 2017 - 06:24 PM.

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#9 Evanthe

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 01:13 PM

Like the other posters mentioned:

 

Year-round schooling

Take time off when we want for field trips, projects, etc

When the weather is nice in the spring, we do less school - so there is more time to go outdoors

Take a day off schoolwork here and there to play games

When it's hot out, we buckle down and do a lot of schoolwork (summer in TX is horrible)

Spread out the schoolwork throughout the day (read-alouds at bedtime, math during baby's nap, etc)

When there's downtime at dr's offices/activities, the kids bring a backpack with schoolwork in it

We have a general rule - when dh goes to work that day, we do school (no matter what day it is)


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#10 CPSTAnne

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 01:35 PM

Mine are still young and I only have 2, but I still want to make sure I don't get caught up in all work and no fun things. She's gotten so burnt out this year in PS, I want to make sure we get to the stuff she's missing this year. 

 

We will have co-op on Monday. The co-op runs 6 blocks of classes. I'm kind of hoping to only get 4th grader in 5 of the 6 blocks then we can sit in the hall somewhere to do math and writing. If that doesn't work, I may have her do some math in the car or before/after. I just want to get math in somehow. 

 

Tue-Thur we will have home days and do the core subjects and lots of reading. 

 

Friday will be a fun day. I'd like to do a field trip about once a month. Non-field trip days will vary but will be some combination of cooking/baking sessions, sewing lessons, art, and hiking/exploring outdoors.  Ideally we would get to each of those things at least once a month. 

 

We also school year-round, though very flexibly through the summer. I don't say no to play days with friends, but we do light school days we're home. 


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#11 katilac

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 02:21 PM

The biggest help for us was always having a longer school year, with the fun stuff mixed in. 

 

 

No, I don't think you've moved out of the "fun" stage at those ages.  Seems like you could still work it in.

 

I will tell you that once they get up around the high school years, your dc might end up spending much more time on their schoolwork.  I know some people come into hs'ing thinking that once the kids are working independently they will have 'arrived' (or something like that).  But, personally, I found that the older kids took up plenty of my time - just in a different way than the younger kids did.  ds.  

 

I agree on both counts.

 

You should definitely still be able to fit fun stuff in - although it does to some extent depend on what you mean by 'regularly.' By 11 or so, we definitely weren't taking off a day every single week, but certainly we were still doing plenty of field trips, projects, and so on. Some people do manage that in middle school and beyond, but we couldn't quite pull it off. One thing is that my kids always liked short days, so they would prefer 5 shorter days to 4 longer days most of the time. 

 

And, yes, my days got much busier as my kids got older! I have one who liked to work on her own a lot and one who doesn't, but either way certain things take up more time. History and literature take a certain amount of discussion. Grading is often more complicated (geometry proofs almost killed me). They have drop off classes and activities, they get a social life . . . my kids don't get their full license in high school, so I drive a lot. Like, really, a lot. 

 

If you tell us how you usually work your days, we might have more specific advice.

 

In general, I'd say that careful cooking can give you more time one or two days a week. You can cook double one day, eat sandwiches or something else simple another day. 

 

Math or another subject can be done every day, even if you have a field trip or projects planned. I think I can count on one hand, maybe two, the field trips that truly started so early that we couldn't get one subject done first. It always cracked me up that so many people in my homeschool group routinely took the whole day off whenever there was a field trip or event of any kind, even if it didn't start until after lunch! Which is perfectly fine to do, but then don't be puzzled as to why you are falling behind, lol. 

 

We did very little at 5 (no required work in kinder at my house), and at 7 were still doing very little seat work. Consistency was key here, a little bit every day but rarely any long lessons. You will want them occupied while the others work, but this can be done with hands on stuff like building blocks, art materials, puzzles, and so on. We did lots of reading out loud and I combined mine for lit and history, but I only had 2, 2 years apart. I know some with bigger families do combine, maybe they will chime in. 


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#12 RoundAbout

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 09:49 AM

I struggle with the same thing sometimes, but schooling year round helps quite a bit. Also we do school most weekends and prefer to take a day off during the week when the museums, bike trail, and other field trips places are less crowded. I don't schedule days off way in advance but instead just take advantage of fun opportunities as they arise. If its a sunny day and we're feeling cooped up we plan on a bike ride, or if a friend calls us for a playdate or event we go. We do boardgames most evenings and he reads for a solid hour every night. DS is technically only a fourth grader and accelerated in the basics so I try not stress too much if we don't get to everything else. I figure middle school is the time to learn to be more on a schedule.


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#13 Targhee

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 10:51 AM

We just take days as the opportunity arises - guests from out of town, special event, dad having days off in a row so we travel... They weren't planned very far ahead usually (couple weeks).

We school from mid August to mid June, which allows us that wiggle room. Also, I try not to be a slave to a curriculum divided into 36 weeks of five days of lessons - yeesh! I divide the curriculum up into chuncks (basically a daily lesson) and only put them on the schedule in Sunday for the upcoming week.
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#14 Targhee

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 11:07 AM

Dp

Edited by Targhee, 21 April 2017 - 11:07 AM.


#15 MerryAtHope

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Posted 21 April 2017 - 12:42 PM

We had what we called "Friday Friend Day" here. Friday mornings we just did Math and Reading, and maybe one other subject if there was time, and then spent the afternoons at a friend's house or at the park etc...

 

Also, we still did things like field trips and nature walks in upper elementary. Maybe not as often, but I would count those as school for the day (or for half a day, depending on the event). My kids were usually willing to at least do math before or after, and then some reading before bedtime. 

 

For content subjects like history and science, I either used curriculum that didn't schedule 180 days, spread things out over more than a year, or cut items at will to make it work with our routine. I did stretch out our year (we take 6-7 weeks off in the summer, about 2 weeks at Christmas, and then whatever days to a week off needed for Thanksgiving and either a spring or Easter break.) That gave us more flexibility to school 4-4.5 days per week instead of 5, but still get in the days we needed for the year.


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