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LAmom

Struggling to get bare minimum done.

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Does anyone else struggle to just get the basics in? I get math, english and spelling done within 2 hours. We generally have time to get our MFW Adv done, the history part. Science, health, cursive, art--that all gets neglected. I try to read aloud as much as I can, usually from the book basket or required reading from MFW.

 

My dc are only 2nd and K (he only does HWT and PP), but what do others do to fit it ALL in? Rotate schedule, have a messy house? I have 2 other little ones, 3 and 1, and they take time, too.

 

Believe me when I say that I have not tried to be an overachiever. The education here is pretty basic, not an overkill.

 

I am wanting to do TOG next year, but I can't even imagine adding the planning time in for a new program. :glare:

 

What am I doing wrong? Bad time management skills? Need to start earlier? Go longer? Clean less? :001_smile:

 

Not stressing it too much, just wondering how others in my situation get it done.

 

Thanks!!

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It sounds like you are doing a consistent job, ensuring that math, English and spelling get done each day. Kudos! At those ages, we rotated the extras. Our schedule was basics in the morning, rotate through the extras in the afternoon, read-aloud at bedtime. IIRC, we did history Mon & Wed, science Tues & Thurs, and art on Fri. We start cursive in third grade, but it probably only takes a few minutes a day? Can't remember doing much in a formal way for health.

 

And yes, the housekeeping standards around here have certainly declined, but it's not too bad. I hope.

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I am learning to be happy with getting the basics done consistently. :001_smile:

 

Reading, Writing, Math. Everything else is read aloud time.

 

I am heavily influenced by Charlotte Mason. We read and narrate. The kids take the stories with them as they play. They are learning everyday. Ditching any form of schedule for reading these books was a good decision for me. I keep a shelf of books that we are currently reading and we pick them up at will and read a chapter, narrate...and that's it. SOTW and Apologia Elementary Science are on the shelf along with Grimm's fairy tales, Nature Stories, Farmer Boy, and a few others...No schedule. You could call it delight led b/c often my dc pick what we read at that lesson, though I do schedule in the storytime and pick the books for our shelf in the beginning.

 

This may not be how I do things forever, but at 7yo, 5yo, and 4yo it works very well for my dc. Plus, there is zero quilt on my part if we read history on Wednesday instead of Monday...I try to hit everything atleast once a week.

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Does anyone else struggle to just get the basics in? I get math, english and spelling done within 2 hours. We generally have time to get our MFW Adv done, the history part. Science, health, cursive, art--that all gets neglected. I try to read aloud as much as I can, usually from the book basket or required reading from MFW.

 

My dc are only 2nd and K (he only does HWT and PP), but what do others do to fit it ALL in? Rotate schedule, have a messy house? I have 2 other little ones, 3 and 1, and they take time, too.

 

Believe me when I say that I have not tried to be an overachiever. The education here is pretty basic, not an overkill.

 

I am wanting to do TOG next year, but I can't even imagine adding the planning time in for a new program. :glare:

 

What am I doing wrong? Bad time management skills? Need to start earlier? Go longer? Clean less? :001_smile:

 

Not stressing it too much, just wondering how others in my situation get it done.

 

Thanks!!

 

What math are you using?

"I" would drop the spelling, cursive, and english at this young of an age. Concentrate more on the fun stuff like science.

Also, I would RUN from TOG with kids as young as yours. lol I tried using it with my 5 youngest (prek-5th) and there was waaaay too much planning, reading, writing, etc. I'm saving it for high school for them. Plus, i wasn't crazy about teaching them so much about the greeks and false gods and that crap. I wanted a stronger foundation in Christ first. i am NOT saying TOG doesn't have that because it does, especially Year 1 but it was just TOO much.

 

I recently started MFW ECC with these 5 youngest and I find it as perfect as any curric will ever get. lol I like it so much i'm going to start MFW K with my younger 2 or 3.

 

Some people have found that setting a certain time for things works. Like 20 minutes for math, 20 minutes for history, etc.

Or you could try starting at the top of the MFW schedule, when the day is done you stop wherever you are and pick there the next day.

How much reading do you do with them? Can your oldest read?

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I am learning to be happy with getting the basics done consistently. :001_smile:

 

Reading, Writing, Math. Everything else is read aloud time.

 

I am heavily influenced by Charlotte Mason. We read and narrate. The kids take the stories with them as they play. They are learning everyday. Ditching any form of schedule for reading these books was a good decision for me. I keep a shelf of books that we are currently reading and we pick them up at will and read a chapter, narrate...and that's it. SOTW and Apologia Elementary Science are on the shelf along with Grimm's fairy tales, Nature Stories, Farmer Boy, and a few others...No schedule. You could call it delight led b/c often my dc pick what we read at that lesson, though I do schedule in the storytime and pick the books for our shelf in the beginning.

 

This may not be how I do things forever, but at 7yo, 5yo, and 4yo it works very well for my dc. Plus, there is zero quilt on my part if we read history on Wednesday instead of Monday...I try to hit everything atleast once a week.

 

:iagree: Lessons are 20 minutes or less for us at those ages. So for K and 1st, math = 20 min, phonics/reading = 20 min, handwriting = 5-10 min. K and 1st take about 45 min. 2nd grade looks very similar. I spend all this time working one-on-one. I don't bounce between dc or group them together.

 

History, science, and religion happen through read alouds, discussion, and discovery. The whole family participates, and it isn't a part of our school time. This is more in the relm of natural learning or unschooling, but I do direct some of the topics such as reading about the vikings, columbus, gravity, life cycles, etc. Religion happens the same way with the addition of living the liturgical year - celebrating saint feast days, advent wreaths, etc.

 

Lastly we have a set routine to keep the house under control. When it's working, I do the bulk of the cleaning and such after lunch. The dc do most of their chores around 4:30 so the house is put together before dh comes home. The key is for me to have breakfast made and be ready to start my day (showered and morning chores done) before dh leaves for work. That has been tough with an infant in the house.

 

ETA: This season of my life is a lot of work. Most days I have to purposefully slow down and find joy....somewhere....anywhere. It's there if I just look for it.

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I found that schooling started to become so much easier last year when my youngest was 4. We were consistent with math and phonics from the start, but everything else I always felt like I was falling behind on or dropped. I didn't realize the impact of having kids under the age of 4, because I'd always schooled with babies/toddlers/preschoolers around. Of course, now I always feel like I'm falling behind on things, but that's because there are just so many of them :lol:.

 

It sounds to me like you're doing a fine job. I wouldn't worry about science, health, cursive or art. Science, health, and art can all be "unschooled"--just leave books (and art supplies, if possible) out, and let your kids explore and talk to them. They will learn a lot that way.

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You're doing more than bare minimum. :) I say that as someone who dropped Adventures in October.

 

We do math, reading, writing, spelling, violin, and read-alouds. I dropped all formal science and history. We get lots of library books, have several museum memberships, & are out-sourcing a drawing class that starts in January. Dd's crochet and do lots of art. Older dd is getting a very nice sewing machine from grandma for Christmas. We bake a lot.

 

I definitely don't unschool, because we do the 3 r's pretty intensively. But everything else is pretty relaxed.

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:iagree:

For someone whose kids are only 6 and younger, I think there might be some overachieving going on ;)

 

I speak from experience when I say you can do 10 -20 minutes of math, writing, and reading each day (that would be 30 - 60 min total a day) at that age increaseing a little each year and still have kids ready to jump into full blown WTM logic stage by 10 or 11.

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You're doing more than bare minimum. :) I say that as someone who dropped Adventures in October.

 

We do math, reading, writing, spelling, violin, and read-alouds. I dropped all formal science and history. We get lots of library books, have several museum memberships, & are out-sourcing a drawing class that starts in January. Dd's crochet and do lots of art. Older dd is getting a very nice sewing machine from grandma for Christmas. We bake a lot.

 

I definitely don't unschool, because we do the 3 r's pretty intensively. But everything else is pretty relaxed.

 

:iagree:

 

This is the way to do it. Hit the 3R's with consistency but everything else can be fun. Whether "everything else" is history, science, handicrafts, music, art, museum trips, religion, field trips, it doesn't really matter.

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And in the interest of full disclosure, the above schedule was our target. If we needed to get to the library, run errands, have friends over... the afternoon was when we did that and the extras got done another time. I can remember leaving the house with younger children often felt like planning a full-scale military operation.

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Is your oldest 6, or is your sig old?? If so, she's 1st grade age, right? Every state has different cut-offs. In any case, the usual recommend is grade plus 1. Even if she's advanced, use the amount of time that fits her age grade to keep it developmentally appropriate. In other words, you're already doing a full amount of school with her. As the others said, I suspect the problem is the little ones, lol. It's just how it is at this stage.

 

I suggest you take three of your things you're not getting done consistently and put them to summer. So do your main stuff in the fall and winter (1st and 2nd semester), and then have a summer semester where you do light amounts of other stuff. Art, science, these are ideally suited to summer! They'll have fun, and you won't feel so stressed. We've always done that, breaking our year into terms. So we school 1st semester (fall), 2nd semester (winter/spring), May Term (one month on a totally different topic we've been neglecting, sometimes a unit study), and then Summer Term where we get a headstart on fall by knocking out a few easy subjects and doing a bit of LA and math. That way you have less you're trying to accomplish at any one time and don't feel so guilty. :)

 

Your kids are young. Just enjoy it. :)

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I found that schooling started to become so much easier last year when my youngest was 4. We were consistent with math and phonics from the start, but everything else I always felt like I was falling behind on or dropped. I didn't realize the impact of having kids under the age of 4, because I'd always schooled with babies/toddlers/preschoolers around.

 

Thanks for this post. On this board it's easy to feel like I'm not good enough when I read how intense a lot of people school. Reality is that we prefer a CM/Beechick style, and a lot of the intense schoolers don't have a crew like mine. I realized today that I need to leave the WTM expectations behind. They are too much for us right now. It's more important that I read like crazy to the kids and make consistent progress in the 3Rs than worry about clocking in at 3 hours of schoolwork with my 3rd grader.

 

I thought life was great with everyone over 2yo for a few months, but now I'm really going to look forward to getting everyone over 4yo!

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I would put Adventures on the shelf until next year. You are supposed to be working on the three R's at this age. (At least that is my opinion.) I was a typical overachiever when my oldest was 6. A total waste of time, I don't think she retained any of the "extra" stuff I taught her. Health is basically having your child brush their teeth, wash their hands, take a bath, comb their hair etc. You are doing that every day! Science is observing nature, and reading books about animals. You are probably already doing that. Handwriting you can do right along with English and spelling. Make them erase anything sloppy and re-write it, easy.

 

Don't put too much pressure on yourself, you have a BABY! Enjoy that baby and your children! They are learning WAY more by observing that baby than you could ever imagine!

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Does anyone else struggle to just get the basics in? I get math, english and spelling done within 2 hours. We generally have time to get our MFW Adv done, the history part. Science, health, cursive, art--that all gets neglected. I try to read aloud as much as I can, usually from the book basket or required reading from MFW.

 

My dc are only 2nd and K (he only does HWT and PP), but what do others do to fit it ALL in? Rotate schedule, have a messy house? I have 2 other little ones, 3 and 1, and they take time, too.

 

Thanks!!

 

Unless you have state requirements, I would drop any formal health and just talk about "health" issues while going about your day. As for art, your kiddos are young, I would mark art down as any craft projects that you do - all the kids can work on those except maybe the 1 yo.

 

Not sure what you use for spelling and English but if you are using a formal spelling program, could you drop it and use words that you are learning in history or science instead? That way you are getting in some of those subjects as well.

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I too struggle with this daily! Everyday I feel like I am behind or not doing enough. This may be because not everyday we do something structured. I have a lot of days where we dont do any type formal instruction and this is usually where I find most of my anxiety. I have to constantly "unschool" myself.

 

Colleen

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Does anyone else struggle to just get the basics in? I get math, english and spelling done within 2 hours.

 

What am I doing wrong? Bad time management skills? Need to start earlier? Go longer? Clean less? :001_smile:

 

 

My kiddo was WIGGly at that age. We are much more efficient now he can concentrate more. I do more hours per day than I did in K or 1, but they feel much more productive.

 

In order to feel I "doing enough", I took a mathematical approach. I added up the minutes/day x number of school days (180) for that grade in WTM. I divided that by 12 (I year round), and made sure I did that each month. For K and 1 it is less than 2 hours a day.

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Unless you have state requirements, I would drop any formal health and just talk about "health" issues while going about your day. As for art, your kiddos are young, I would mark art down as any craft projects that you do - all the kids can work on those except maybe the 1 yo.

 

Not sure what you use for spelling and English but if you are using a formal spelling program, could you drop it and use words that you are learning in history or science instead? That way you are getting in some of those subjects as well.

 

 

California requires Health. I have an Abeka (boooring) book for it. Only have read a page or two. Really they learn "health" in other ways but this is for the records.

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Thanks everyone for the help/advice! Yes, my sig is wrong. My dd is 7 and in 2nd grade and reading very well. She is the one that I primarily do school with. The 5yo does PP and HWT. Don't have time for his math....though looks like I have some work to do if I want to start him in MM1 next year.

 

OK, will try not to stress it. I just see everyone listing what they are doing for the year and they have LOTS of subjects, etc. I just didn't get how they get the basics in and ALL that other stuff.

 

:001_smile:

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Sounds like things are going well. I also use MFW and have lots of littles. I actually have 9, their ages are 13, 11, 9, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2, and 3 weeks. One way that I've learned to manage littles' time is through rotating activities. I do a combination of blanket time, workboxes, and tot trays. Here's an example http://1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com/2009/02/behind-scenes-tot-trays.html If I am having a particularly rough day I will put all of my youngers on a blanket or at the table with one restaurant style tray each. I give them each an activity like playdough or Lauri puzzles. Then I set the timer for 10 to 15 minutes. They must play with that activity until the timer goes off. I then switch their activities and reset the timer. This gives me time to work with the olders and keeps them occupied for a period of time.

 

To answer specific questions. Yes, rotate. Although I've never done Adventures, I have done MFW. Last year we did a week's worth of science one day, history the next, etc. I agree with the pp who said get in the three R's. The rest is just gravy. You certainly do need to fulfull your state's requirements, but some of those things, like health, should be pretty easy to fulfill. I can't imagine you would need a full on text book for that in second grade. If you do or if you already have one, then do it. If I had a requirement like that I probably would do an extra term like previously mentioned or in a unit study.

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I am learning to be happy with getting the basics done consistently. :001_smile:

 

Reading, Writing, Math. Everything else is read aloud time.

 

This may not be how I do things forever, but at 7yo, 5yo, and 4yo it works very well for my dc. Plus, there is zero guilt on my part if we read history on Wednesday instead of Monday...I try to hit everything atleast once a week.

 

:iagree:These two things seem to be the keys for my sanity and their progress. (1) We aim to do the basics (3Rs) consistently, rather than perfectly. (2) We do the content subjects weekly, and it doesn't matter when. So, Geography, Bible, Science, and Music do get done, but only once a "week"... and I define "week" rather loosely. ;) Could you plan/outline 36 lessons in Science (or whatever), and sort of roll through them in the span of a year?

 

They are little. Geography could be reading about Ghana, dancing to African drum music, and looking Ghana up on the map. That's the lesson for Geography for that week. Science could be as simple as reading a book about our skeletons, learning the names of our bones, and coloring and labeling a page on the skeleton (or not). That's Science for the week.

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