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If you have a daily schedule, how do you order your subjects and why?


Literary Mom
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Also, if you have children in different grade levels, are they (for the most part) studying the same subjects at the same time or not and why?

 

This is our 4th year homeschooling, but with bringing my youngest into our academics (albeit gently as he is a young first grader), I've been struggling with juggling three rather than just two children, since this year school year began 2 months ago. I've edited the spreadsheet umpteen times (EDIT: added latest incarnation below) hoping to achieve the best flow for the kids and for me - I'm even thinking of googling how to get optimal brain performance in case there's any research out there that help me get us into our groove :lol: We are WTM'ers so part of the issue is that my oldest entered the logic stage, but I'm still trying to have us do the same subjects at he same time (mostly) because that just feels more cohesive to me, even when the kids are working individually.

 

8136261997_9b2c2c99ba.jpg

2012-13 Homeschool Daily Schedule by literarymom, on Flickr

Edited by Elle M.
added schedule spreadsheet
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We try to get reading/phonics, spelling, latin, math and piano done before lunch. Grammar, writing, history, science and anything else are after lunch

 

Kids (6 and 8 yrs) have a planner they check off as they go. I fill it out on Sunday night with school, outside activities and chores. They take turns coming to me for their non-independent work in the morning. Afternoon work is generally all done together

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I asked mine in what order they prefer to do their subjects. They all asked to do math first, then English as those are they subjects they like the least and need to concentrate most on. After that we do foreign language followed by the more hands-on subjects such as science and history/geography or their favorite subjects (programming, Art of Argument...). Art, music and sports are afternoon activities done in outside classes or in a more relaxed manner.

This plan works well for me as I find it easier to answer questions while focused on one subject albeit at different levels (i.e. in math I am dealing with Algebra 1, Pre-Algebra and 4th grade). The less structured activities in the afternoon give me time to do other things (start on dinner, laundry...), work one on one without interruption (because one or two of them might be out of the house) or do nothing at all while waiting for them to get out of class :-)

 

Diane

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We do all the "essentials" first, in this order:

 

1) Math (because it's independent and they can do it while I'm still getting ready)

2) Reading (again because it's independent - I use this time to shower, clean up breakfast, etc)

3) Handwriting

4) Spelling

5) LA

6) Geography

 

After that we ideally do a project or a content subject (science, art, history pockets, etc) and this usually takes more time than any other individual subject and is more involved. These are also things that I don't consider essential right now (especially because they watch a lot of documentaries & read "science" books outside of "school"), so if we don't get this last part done it's not a big deal.

 

On a very short day when we have an appointment to get to or whatever, our super-mega-essentials that we still try to get done is Math & Reading, so we keep moving forward with those unless there's a good reason.

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I do things in whatever order allows me to juggle everyone's need for my attention. (We do content subjects as a group and skill subjects individually.) During the time set aside for skill subjects Ds10 and Dd start with independent work while I spend 30-45 minutes with Ds5. Then I move to Dd and by the time we get 30 minutes in she is ready to work independently for 5-10 minutes at a time while I work with Ds10. I sit at the table and go back and forth between the two of them until they are both done. I am close by for all of the time that the kids are working independently as none of them are ready to be truly independent yet.

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I have a first, third, and fifth-grader. I try to schedule teacher-intensive subjects on alternate days. For example, I can't get to FLL with every child every day. So I will do two lessons of FLL with one child one one day, then two with the other the next day. On the days that a child doesn't have as many "Mommy" subjects, s/he will have more independent ones, like instrument practice. Also, my oldest takes an outside science, so I have some Mommy things scheduled with the younger two during that time.

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Using workboxes. Generally I alternate a skill/writing subject with a reading subject. DS10 I put SWR first, since that's our highest priority. Then I follow with his independent work, then his with me work. DS8 is independent first, then the with mom work. DS6 is mostly all with me or next to me.

 

I start DS10, then do all DS6's work with him, then work with DS10 and DS8 (alternating between them based on their energy levels & whatever else is going on).

 

I've tried a lot of methods (including all on the same subject at the same time, and combining) and this works best.

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our schedule changes depending on the day and what needs to be done. Monday there are some subjects I need to introduce/go over and then the rest of the week is on their own. So Monday is more an 'order'. After that we move through grammar/spelling/math. Those must be done before we move on to science/history/spanish. So a Tuesday is flexible on the extra stuff(geography/mindbenders/Bible) and basics(grammar/spelling/math). Once those are done(any order of their choice) then we move on to science, then history, then spanish. So Monday is really the only day I need their attention at the same time for those extra subject intros.

 

It's funny b/c if I chose math my son wants to do anything else. If I chose any other subject for him he wants math. I just let him chose his own order of the basics. I am available for both kids to ask any questions.

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Below is generally how our days go:

 

6:30 I get up. The kids wake anywhere from 7-8:00 these days.

8:00 chores (all four of us)

8:30 breakfast and morning meeting, directly after which our group subjects begin

-----conversational Spanish

-----LoF or other living math; frequently do Kitchen Table Math or games

-----FLoop (loop of fun extras we would never get to if not on the schedule)

-----Language/Writing Workshop (incorporates IEW, MCTLA, supplements)

-----history/geography

-----science and/or nature study

-----art (I will get them started on an art activity, then put on a music selection and they do music appreciation--aka listen LOL--while I make lunch)

12:00 lunch & lit (I read while they eat. I eat fast and they eat slowly, so this works well for us.)

12:30 one-on-one with DS8

1:30 one-on-one with DD

2:30 one-on-one with DS5

3:30 tea and poetry

4:00 play time (They also get play time during the two hours of one-on-one time that they are not working with me.)

5:30 quick clean up

6:00 dinner

 

Last year I changed our schedule so that we are doing group/content subjects in the morning and individual subjects in the afternoon. I realized that I need physical energy for the fun stuff and to handle them (patiently!) as a group, but I primarily need mental energy for the skill subjects, making them perfect for the afternoon, when I just want to sit still and rest. I want quiet at that point, and I'm out of physical energy. Sitting and doing work one-on-one with each child is actually quite serene.

 

By treating content subjects as group work, I can teach broadly, as skill level does not matter as much for these subjects. Everyone takes what they can and produces according to their own age and ability. This is the fun, happy, exciting stuff. No one wants a break from science experiments, history activities, art projects, etc. Then, because each child gets my full attention during their individual time in the afternoon, there is no lull in the pace of their work, no fidgeting while waiting after being told to hold on while I explain something to another child. In my limited experience, that is when you lose them. Simultaneously teaching the same subject to multiple kids on different levels is a breeding ground for distraction here. You can actually watch it snowball into complete mutiny. :lol: When I am sitting right there with them, one-on-one, they are much less distracted. My constant presence keeps them on task, although I do not necessarily have to be interacting the entire time. I will teach a bit and then they work on something. But I stay there, sipping tea and reading or cruising the boards or making a grocery list. The important thing is that I am there and at the ready.

 

This switch has also cut down on interruptions of one-on-one work. By the afternoon, all three have generally had their fill of my attention/involvement. Because they have been learning all morning and now have freedom to play, they are happy for a break and wander off, not needing me. Seems like before, if I tried to do one-on-one in the mornings, they wanted me, needed me, were bored or whiny.

 

This is our second year with this schedule and I love it!

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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I to have added in my youngest this year and it is more tricky with 3.

 

All of my boys get a weekly assignment sheet, with daily assignments. They are allowed to chose the order of subjects as long as everything is started in the morning. They also set timers for each subject to keep things moving along. They all have things that need to be done with me each day and can come to me on the couch at anytime as long as I am not working with one of their brothers. This seems to work as most days my oldest wants to do grammar while my middle wants to do his math or Greek and my youngest is usually finishing up breakfast or starts his Explode the Code. At the end of the morning or right after lunch we are all together for History or Science.

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AVA- It is the opposite here- I have way more energy in the am!

 

I let ds pick his order of subjects. He generally always picks Math first. Our current schedule(subject to change). Is -

 

Catechism/Saint/Bible Story over B-Fast

Ds- Math- Dd1 &2 Play- some starfall or pbs sometimes as well

dd1- Phonics/Writing time- Ds gets some computer play time and a bit of free time depending on how long dd takes

Ds- comes in on end of Phonics lesson to do the handwriting part- then we tackle LA- Spelling, WWE, Websters- Dd1 and 2 play in the house or outside during this time.

 

After and during lunch we are doing some sort of Science or History documentary. Then we have quiet time and mommy crashes. Ds does silent reading during part of quiet time, he has to read for at least 30 min from various books I pick- although he generally reads much more and throughout the day on several different books.

 

After quiet time we might just play or dig deeper into some science or history that we are interested in studying. I recruit dh often to help carry an idea further in Science and History, he has so much knowledge in these areas he can often give all of us a lesson to extend what we learn from documentaries and books from the libraries. We do read aloud time at bedtime from super short picture books to longer chapter books.

 

This is working very well for us this year. We are making great progress on our skill areas and digging in on content as well as we want. Best of all it is pretty sustainable for me even though my energy isn't always the best and only shrinking!!!!

Edited by soror
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I have a DD (K) and DS (1st)

 

We begin with our subjects we do together:

Bible

History (4 days per week)

Science (4 days per week)

Art (one day per week)

 

 

Then, after we finish, they move on to their workboxes and more independent work which includes (varies each day):

 

Math

Reading

Grammer

Writing

Phonics

Etc/

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I order them skills subjects before lunch as much as possible. I order each particular child's subjects based on how independently they can do it. So I have one child doing penmanship/copywork while I do math with the other. The one doesn't need me much for copywork, and that gives me a bit to go over the math lesson with the other. Then I switch kids and subjects.

 

Afternoons are for more hands on and content rich subjects.

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AVA- It is the opposite here- I have way more energy in the am!

 

For me, it's a matter of different kinds of energy. In the morning, I have lots of physical energy so that's the best time for history projects, science project stuff, games, just general liveliness. In the afternoon, I am completely out of physical energy but I have enough mental energy left to sit next to a working kid and teach/motivate. ETA: And when I was pregnant, I had no energy ever. I can't even imagine homeschooling while pregnant or with infants/toddlers. I've never been that brave. :lol:

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For me, it's a matter of different kinds of energy. In the morning, I have lots of physical energy so that's the best time for history projects, science project stuff, games, just general liveliness. In the afternoon, I am completely out of physical energy but I have enough mental energy left to sit next to a working kid and teach/motivate. ETA: And when I was pregnant, I had no energy ever. I can't even imagine homeschooling while pregnant or with infants/toddlers. I've never been that brave. :lol:

 

LOL, yep, I don't have any energy in the afternoon, mental or otherwise! However, we can get our things done in the am for the most part- assuming we start early enough- otherwise lunch just gets pushed back- because after lunch I'm done. Ds is about 2hrs of one-on-one time and dd is about 1 hr or so. I generally get energy back after 3 or 4 or so, thus why we look at doing any type of projects or in depth study then.

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I am in a somewhat similar situation with adding a third child. Getting into a groove has been difficult. I order my day by the order I work with my kids. I've done everyone on one subject together too and it has worked fine.

 

I wrote last night about our current set-up and it is working well for us right now. Basically I work with my kids from youngest to oldest.

 

We usually do Bible first and I tackle subjects like math, language arts, and foreign language before other subjects.

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Also, if you have children in different grade levels, are they (for the most part) studying the same subjects at the same time or not and why?

 

To respond directly to your OP, yes they are studying the same content subjects at the same time because it lets me streamline and makes my life easier. While I do fold lots of skill work into the content work, they complete their curricula specific to their skill subjects separately, during that 1-on-1 time with me. Trying to teach three kids math at the same time, on different levels made me seriously :willy_nilly::blink: and many times :angry: :crying:, if I'm being completely honest. :tongue_smilie: When one kid needs you while you're teaching another something new... When two kids need you and get distracted because they "can't" go on without guidance... When all three kids need you at the same time... AAAAAAAAHH! No. (I know there are those out there who will just say they taught their kid to sit quietly or review previous work or whatever but it was so not gonna happen here. :p)

 

We are WTM'ers so part of the issue is that my oldest entered the logic stage, but I'm still trying to have us do the same subjects at he same time (mostly) because that just feels more cohesive to me, even when the kids are working individually.

 

See, now this is where it gets easy if you separate the skill work from the content work. My kids all work at different skill levels but when we're doing group work in history, science, memory work/poetry, etc., it doesn't matter. We do group read-alouds, which always include something for everyone from picture books to chapter books. But then they also read on the subject separately at their own level, on their own time. We cover the same material for history, but DS9 makes a super-informational timeline entry, DD makes a super artsy timeline entry, and DS6 makes a super stick-figurey, minimalist timeline entry. :tongue_smilie: We do science activities all together but output will all be done at different levels, in sometimes vastly different formats. They each keep a science notebook but they own them and they are very different. DD does lots of lovely Waldorfy drawing, notebookish things as output, DS9 does lots of graphy, charty, bullety, listy things, and DS6 mostly draws, copies, and dictates to me while the other two are doing their work. But the substance is the same and we "do and discuss" everything together. I don't know how to properly explain this but the skill work that we fold into content work here (in history and science) comes with a reasonable hustle-bustle and a low hum but that doesn't bother me like sitting doing a Voyages in English section with DS9 and DD needing me to help her with hers. It's like night and day for me--communal work on the same content vs individual work on different content.

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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We do have an order of subjects and a "science" behind it. But we alter some for the little ones. How we change the squeezing in will vary year by year based on the number of lessons I need to teach or if they become independent, etc. but this is our basic idea. Each block is about an hour but they often finish before the hour is up. Most of the younger kids (K and preschool) take a half hour or less right now. Phonics is sometimes squeezed in here and there for my younger two, but ideally I would get in at least my preschooler before lunch so she can take a nap). If they finish early they either go off and play in a nearby room or read an extra book while they wait.

 

The general order of the day is Skills, followed by Knowledge and Understanding, followed by Wisdom. So in the morning we work on our skill subjects. After lunch we input knowledge through memory work and have discussions about it to promote understanding according to their developmental abilities. And in the evenings we focus on gaining wisdom through the Word of God and classics.

 

Here is our order:

 

Mornings:

 

Math (when their brains are fresh)

 

Logic/Latin/Greek (independent work while I continue math with youngers...in other grades we would add modern languages, for preschoolers this can be modern language immersion through cds and videos)

 

-Also, Logic is the bridge between math and language. Latin and Greek precede English historically and I also do it this way to put the most mentally challenging subjects first. In the younger years by logic I mean Building Thinking Skills workbooks).

 

English (phonics/spelling and grammar....the building blocks of our language....how sounds make words, how words make sentences)

 

Writing (using words and sentences to communicate ideas...includes handwriting followed by copywork followed by composition)

 

Lunch/Break

 

Afternoons:

 

Reading (including oral reading and literature books and guides....this is because we are ready to lay around and read after all that mental work and eating and sometimes the guides have fun things in them to do like coloring...this is also a quiet time with naps for littles and except for reading a short lesson to me this is independent work)

 

Science and History or Fine Arts (this is when we have great discussions over our timeline and science cards and history sentences, etc. and relate what we're learning to the Bible and the world in general....then they spend about an hour notebooking all these things in their own words and illustrating their narrations, which also brings in art....I should have them listen to classical music too...lol)

 

Memory Work (by now little kids are up and we can work on part of this together, the rest they do independently and the length of time it takes varies by age/grade level)

 

Evenings: Family devotions and Bible reading and read aloud (because by this time we just want to sit and enjoy each other's company and have great discussions over classic literature and the Bible)

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We always do the essentials first. We start them right when the baby goes down for his morning nap. If there is a catastrophe (or a screaming baby) then the extras can be pushed off to the afternoon or the next day. We always work in this order:

 

1.Math

2.Language Arts

3.Writing

4.French

5.Read Alouds

6.History/Science (on alternating days)

7.Mapping & Timeling or Science Experiments (on alternating days)

 

ETA: Yes, they all study the same subject at the same time. It just seems to work better that way for us. Generally, I get dd8 started on math first. Then she works on her assignment while I teach ds7 his math lesson and get him started on his math assignment. Then they are both still finishing their math assignments, while I work one-on-one with dd4. I'm usually done with her by the time the first of the big kids needs me to check their math. As dd8 and ds7 finish their math assignments, I get them started on language arts, then writing, then French. Whoever finishes first, I go ahead and work with them first to get them started on the next thing. If they finish at precisely the same moment, then they just have to wait patiently while I help the other one. We do read-alouds, history, and science together.

Edited by MinivanMom
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We usually do the following in the morning:

spelling (takes about 10-15 minutes)

Math (teaching textbooks -- I run around doing cleaning)

Grammar, handwriting, or copywork (workbooks -- they do it on their own)

Russian and typing (both on the computer, they each do one then switch -- I'm cleaning during this time)

Grammar, handwriting, or copywork (whatever they didn't do before Russian/typing)

Literature/silent reading

 

The afternoons vary given the day, but we do history or science (some days we do both), home ec, logic, or art (some days more than one), and Artist's/Writer's Workshop

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Last year I changed our schedule so that we are doing group/content subjects in the morning and individual subjects in the afternoon. I realized that I need physical energy for the fun stuff and to handle them (patiently!) as a group, but I primarily need mental energy for the skill subjects, making them perfect for the afternoon, when I just want to sit still and rest. I want quiet at that point, and I'm out of physical energy. Sitting and doing work one-on-one with each child is actually quite serene.

 

 

I love this idea!!! Not sure if I'm brave enough to push off math and grammar to the afternoon, but I might have to give it a try! But your description of everyone needing my attention at the same time is spot on. :glare:

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I love this idea!!! Not sure if I'm brave enough to push off math and grammar to the afternoon, but I might have to give it a try! But your description of everyone needing my attention at the same time is spot on. :glare:

 

Oh, see the beauty of pushing the skill work to the afternoon is that I know I can't "just not get around to" those subjects (although, again, I do not have any littles!). The fundamentals must be done, so there's not a lot of risk involved, especially compared to the reverse risk. I've had many HS friends who start each day with skill work and end up rarely getting to content, many times the fun stuff. It doesn't feel imperative so it doesn't get done much of the time. Engaging content work and "big picture" learning are the main reasons I homeschool at all, so maybe putting it first is a form of philosophical self-protection for me. Hmmm. Deep thoughts. :lol:

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Thank you all for sharing your schedules and ideas - I will definitely return to this thread as I continue to try to come up with the best system. Alte Veste's and Stm4Him's approaches resonated with me the most, so perhaps if I share a little more detail, they (and others) could address my issues.

 

I, too, have more energy (physical and mental) in the morning, so it's better for me to work on content/group subjects at that time, but I find that back to back history and science is too much reading and discussing at once. I can't alternate days because we have a 3 day schedule - crazy I know, but as you can see below on the spreadsheet, we have co-op one day so that eats up what would be our 4th day (though I use part of it for skill subjects - it's not a good time for content because I'm packing lunches and getting stuff ready). I've tried doing school on Saturday when my husband works, but it doesn't allow us to prepare for our sabbath, and that's something we're learning is super important to our well being. I've also tried doing school Monday morning, which is part of our weekend, and that just feels like we don't get enough of a break as a family, plus it means having to prep on our sabbath.

 

Prior to this year, we've pretty successfully done the 3 day week, but now it's more intense...still, I'm not giving up on it unless we can't make it work by the end of this semester, at which point we might (very reluctantly) decide to take the spring semester off of co-op. UPDATE: kids have vetoed that, so our only alternative would be to reinstitute Saturday School.

 

So my main issues is that our history (SOTW) and science (Apologia) involve me doing a lot of reading aloud, which is something we all enjoy, so I'm not willing to stop that, but it does take a lot of time to get through it, as well as do the narrations and notebook stuff, while assisting my oldest in doing her independent research for history (she likes being part of our SOTW reading, so after I finish that, I have to get her set up, then come back to the younger two to do questions and narration).

 

For the skill subjects... they all love math (CLE), and my older two work very independently on that, but it's my weakest area, so I can't put it too late into the schedule or I get frustrated too easily when they need help. Despite all of us being very language oriented (and me being a writer, or maybe because of it), the subjects that require writing tend to be the most energy consuming - so WWE/WWS and history (narrations, research). I can't handle them back to back but if either one is too late in the schedule, we're too fried to patiently work through it. Sometimes it's this way with the Apologia notebook as well. Grammar for the younger two require more from me since we use FLL. My oldest is pretty independently doing R&S. Spelling and handwriting aren't problems but they also aren't very crucial, especially for my older two who are advanced (they are way beyond grade level in Spelling Workout). Latin is a mixed bag - I have to teach them each their lesson (one is in LC1 and the other in First Form Latin) but then they tend to work independently on the other days. Logic is barely happening, but when it does, my oldest tends to breeze through but very begrudgingly. My trouble with that, though, is that it didn't come with an answer key so I have no idea how she's doing! I thought I tracked down an answer key online but it turned out to be an older year :tongue_smilie:

 

Here is the latest revision of our schedule which I will be testing this week:

 

8136261997_9b2c2c99ba.jpg

2012-13 Homeschool Daily Schedule by literarymom, on Flickr

 

Oh, and the rest time is non-negotiable. It's what keeps this introvert sane! (also, it's part of the Well Trained Mind way)

Edited by Elle M.
typos
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Elle M - I don't know how you'll be able to do it smoothly with only three days, especially as the oldest gets older. It was really tough for us last year when I had Mon-Wed-Fri to school w/Thursdays half-gone for homeschool PE (after which, for some reason, we can never get back on track) and Tuesdays out of town spending time with my father (who died this fall, so I'm very glad we spent that time with him). What I found out was that we couldn't do it all & it stressed us out to try.

 

I have a young 6th grader, a 4th grader (who is doing quite a bit of 3rd grade work), and a promote-in-January 1st grader along with a 5 yr old pre-Ker & a 3 yr old non-verbal cutie who still needs to potty train.

 

Most years, I put those (skill) subjects which we wouldn't get to first in order to get them done. If they are in the afternoon - even right after lunch, they'll end up getting pushed aside most days. I just don't have the energy to deal with them.

 

This year, however, my complicated spreadsheet revolves around who needs to work with Mom & what can the others be doing in the meantime? I've tried to block-schedule so I'm not going back and forth between kids & I HAVE to group my kids to some extent. My dd#2 & dd#3 are grouped for several (mostly content) subjects this year whereas dd#1 & 2 had always been grouped previously. Dd#2 just can't keep up & I don't want to hold back #1. She is benefiting from going back to the beginning on some things (spelling, for instance). It isn't ideal, but I'm no superwoman.

 

Now, for your specific juggling act. Had you thought about doing all-history one week & all-science the next? Or, doing a semester of each instead of trying to cram it all in? (Or would that help?)

 

Sometimes, you have to change curriculum to something that is less teacher-intensive (so says someone who is guilty of having all sorts of teacher-intensive stuff planned :001_huh:). Keep that in mind for future years!

 

Some ideas:

- A half-day on either Monday or Saturday makes sense if you keep co-op.

- If you want to keep up with doing everything you have planned with all three kids, you might have to consider dropping co-op.

- Do you already go year-round? Although it won't directly help with your day-to-day grind, you could make some subjects twice per week & rotate those every-other-week. (So, this week spelling is twice per week & grammar only once. Next week, grammar is twice per week & spelling is only done once.

- Combine subjects (which might require more work/prep on your part and/or switching curriculum) - handwriting is included as part of WWE for the youngers, for example.

- The rest time might need to be shortened and/or staggered.

 

Good luck! :grouphug:

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Wow, Elle. Three days a week. That is a big challenge. Honestly, I think part of the reason my schedule works is that I can ebb and flow. Hit history a bit harder one day with more reading and less output, hit science a bit lighter that day with less reading and more letting the kids tinker. Or spend lots of time on history and science but then make writing workshop a bit shorter, just do editing, etc. Same thing in the afternoons with skill work. Maybe hit math hard one day with DD and lighter with DS9, giving one kid 1.5 hours and letting one kid go after 30 minutes. It all evens out over 5 days. But doing everything in fewer days would be near impossible here. We used to reserve all day Friday for nature study but we don't do that anymore, because the loss of an entire day would make the rest of our week feel too hectic.

 

That said, is it possible to move some of your history reading to evenings or bedtime? We've moved to doing family history. We do spine reading, a read-aloud, and watch documentaries at night. Lots of science documentaries in the evenings too, as we all enjoy these. Then you could just do the timeline/mapwork, and projects during the day. When you say you're taking narrations as part of Apologia and SOTW, is that because you are not using the WWE workbooks? I do pull my copywork/narration/dictation from content work but I've got time on my side to do that. If you don't want to sacrifice co-op, consider using the workbooks (if you're not already and I misunderstood).

 

Sometimes, you have to change curriculum to something that is less teacher-intensive (so says someone who is guilty of having all sorts of teacher-intensive stuff planned :001_huh:). Keep that in mind for future years!

 

Some ideas:

- A half-day on either Monday or Saturday makes sense if you keep co-op.

- If you want to keep up with doing everything you have planned with all three kids, you might have to consider dropping co-op.

- Do you already go year-round? Although it won't directly help with your day-to-day grind, you could make some subjects twice per week & rotate those every-other-week. (So, this week spelling is twice per week & grammar only once. Next week, grammar is twice per week & spelling is only done once.

- Combine subjects (which might require more work/prep on your part and/or switching curriculum) - handwriting is included as part of WWE for the youngers, for example.

- The rest time might need to be shortened and/or staggered.

 

Good luck! :grouphug:

 

:iagree:

 

You might need to look at the curriculum choices you are making and see where it might be possible to switch to less teacher-intensive programs. Something has to give. If not curriculum, you are going to have to ask yourself what matters more, using specific curricula or schooling for only three days a week.

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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I order them from longest to shortest.. so math, language arts (reading, english, grammar) then lunch break, then spelling health and handwriting, writing (which isn't every day so they get a freebie pass some days), history, art/music/piano

 

we do science over the summer...

 

there is a 1/2 hour break in the morning between math and LA.. IF they finish their math.. and 1 1/2 hours for lunch, recess at noon.. We start at 9 and end around 3:30

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Generally we do the hardest things which require the most work/mental effort earlier in the day. Easier things and content subjects later.

 

 

Bible, Math, phonics, spelling, writing (composition), grammar, piano, memory work - all earlier

 

Penmanship, Latin, History, Science, Art, Composer/Artist studies, nature study, independent reading - all later

 

RA at lunch. They eat, I talk.

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Thanks for brainstorming with me - RootAnn & Alte, you've brought up some good points and helpful suggestions. I'm going to give the schedule I posted a whirl and see how it works (so far the kids haven't been complaining about the work - it's just me that's tiring out) over the next month. After Thanksgiving, the co-op transitions to just an hour since we end our classes and just have practice sessions for a Christmas program we perform at an elderly residential facility.

 

I am open to bringing back Saturday morning or using it as a make-up day if we don't get it all done during the three-day marathon, but right now our house is in chaos and I have a lot of paperwork to complete (attempting to refinance), so I'm toying with the idea of just taking the next week off to catch up and then schooling Mon-Wed of Thanksgiving week (since the co-op doesn't meet). However, I don't totally trust myself to use the time wisely (thinking about turning our bedroom closet upstairs into a computer room so it's not so easy to access!), so I'm not sure whether to take the risk. I'm also the coordinator for our homeschool group which involves a lot of online communicating. I'm not complaining about any of this (I love it all...except the detail work), but I really need to get a grip on time management, or as I'm calling it these days, the liturgy of life (blog post written in my journal, but alas haven't had time to transcribe it yet - how ironic is that!).

 

Oh, and the idea to alternate science and history is brilliant, but we don't school year round (kids have vetoed that and I'm kind of with them for the time being), so we wouldn't be able to finish ancients and life science if we did it that way. We just completed our first four year rotation of everything (though we did skip physics and only did a semester of chemistry, in order to be somewhat interest led - i.e. more with nature, animals), so we're on track to do it again and I have no intention of straying from that.

Edited by Elle M.
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We have never had luck with a planned out schedule. I now do 2-3 school sessions throughout the day (they may take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours). One of these is 3Rs, another is our family subjects (history, Bible, literature, science, art, etc.), and the third is either a "catch-up" hour or a project hour (science experiments, cooking, art projects).

 

In between these sessions, we work on things like laundry, chores, and meal prep. They also usually have a bit of free time. I've found I'm more consistent with school because it's only an hour at a time (instead of all morning and/or all afternoon). If something comes up, we do our unfinished session(s) the next day. We can generally do our entire 2nd session (family subjects) in the car, so I keep that in mind if we need to run errands. If there is a related history or science project, I add it to our next project session.

 

I would love to be the type of person that follows a schedule with planned-out times, but it's just not going to happen here! My schedule lists the daily subjects (day 1-5...not Monday-Friday)...Day 1 can be completed on any day of the week, not just Monday. Each day's schedule has 7 family subjects and 4 3Rs subjects for my old two and 1-2 for the K'er. Some subjects are covered each day, some 2-3 times a week, and some once a week.

 

After struggling to get in school for years, this is the only schedule we've managed to be consistent with in the long run.

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I have a DD (K) and DS (1st)

 

We begin with our subjects we do together:

Bible

History (4 days per week)

Science (4 days per week)

Art (one day per week)

 

Then, after we finish, they move on to their workboxes and more independent work...

This is genius!

 

For me, it's a matter of different kinds of energy. In the morning, I have lots of physical energy so that's the best time for history projects, science project stuff, games, just general liveliness. In the afternoon, I am completely out of physical energy but I have enough mental energy left to sit next to a working kid and teach/motivate....
And this! Makes sense completely to me!

 

I love this idea!!! Not sure if I'm brave enough to push off math and grammar to the afternoon, but I might have to give it a try!...
:iagree:
Oh, see the beauty of pushing the skill work to the afternoon is that I know I can't "just not get around to" those subjects (although, again, I do not have any littles!). The fundamentals must be done, so there's not a lot of risk involved, especially compared to the reverse risk.
:hurray:

 

I have always thought I must do (math, reading, phonics), first thing while they kiddos are "fresh." But I am totally rethinking this. I love the idea of doing our "together" things first and then --in the afternoon when the kiddos are pursuing their own interests-- working with them 1-on-1.

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We school Monday-Thursday and do co-op Friday mornings. We struggle to get anything done Friday afternoons after co-op, especially mom. LOL

 

I have a 7th, 3rd, and a K. Having a 7th has really intensified our work load. He had more last year too, but there is certainly more depth in some of his stuff and it takes more time. So, that has been a challenge in keeping us all on the same subject.

 

We start with Math in the morning for the two oldest who can do theirs with minimal help. The K and I start on phonics together. We do this first as their is less interuptions first thing in the morning. From there, we will move to math. Sometimes by this point the 3rd grader is done, and he might offer to help with his sister. He likes this role. I allow it and then try to do some organizing and getting all the things out we need the rest of the morning.

 

THen we move to combined Geography/History for the boys. This includes a read aloud. During soccer season, we include bible too. Now that we are in non-soccer season, hubby likes to do the bible portion as a family at night. We all enjoy that and it took one thing off of me so I said YES! :lol:

 

Then we move to Science and Writing. I get one started on their thing and then move to the others. Again, oldest son's takes the most time so the little two finish and play together while oldest (who also needs more quiet) finishes up.

 

Depending how early we start (I let them sleep in as long as needed), we are ready for lunch. Or, we have to finish up Science and writing after lunch. Then we start Spanish for oldest and cursive for middle. Little one does "crafts" at this time.

 

The older two also have individual reading time they can fit in wherever they choose. But it has to be during daytime. They read before bed too, but that is book of their choosing.

 

Little one and I have book reading time together too.

 

I really love the schedule of time, etc. but have found that really stresses me out when we are off as it always happens. SIGh So, I moved to a checklist and that works MUCH better for us. We see what we are getting done and then the boys can work ahead if I am working with someone. I like this as it promotes some independence too.

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We do all the "essentials" first, in this order:

 

1) Math (because it's independent and they can do it while I'm still getting ready)

2) Reading (again because it's independent - I use this time to shower, clean up breakfast, etc)

 

How do you make sure they are actually doing what they are supposed to during this time? My DD8 requires a lot of my attention. I'm still trying to figure out how to get more of my things done while she gets started with school. Thanks.

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We have morning work and together work. When we first start, both girls do math and then reading. Rebecca can do her reading almost completely independently whereas Sylvia sometimes needs a little help. Depending on how long it takes each girl to complete her work, I dole out the rest of the subjects accordingly. They each have a stack of independent work that they work on while I'm working one on one with the other girl. Usually I work with Sylvia first and then finish up with Rebecca's grammar right before lunch. After lunch, it's ECC stuff - Bible, science, geography, etc. Then Sylvia does xtramath and Rebecca does her Latin.

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My 3rd and 1st grader both start with a couple of independent subjects so I can do preschool with my four year old. For my 3rd grader that would be Bible study and math, and then, depending on my availability, she usually moves on to handwriting and Latin. For my 1st grader it's bible study and handwriting. When I done with preschool, I work with my 1st grader on spelling, grammar, and writing, all subjects that are teacher intensive. My 1st grader finishes his morning with math, since he can do it independently. I take his math time to work with my 3rd grader on the teacher intensive subjects. In the afternoons we do independent reading, as well as "together subjects", such as science, history, art & music.

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I only have 2 children, but I don't do the same subject at the same time. I tried that a time or two, but I find that my kids generally need help on the same things, and I need one to do something independent while I work with the other. So, I would consider whether there are "high need" times when you need one or two of your children to do something independent that won't require your help while you work with the third.

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I can't alternate days because we have a 3 day schedule - crazy I know, but as you can see below on the spreadsheet, we have co-op one day so that eats up what would be our 4th day (though I use part of it for skill subjects - it's not a good time for content because I'm packing lunches and getting stuff ready). I've tried doing school on Saturday when my husband works, but it doesn't allow us to prepare for our sabbath, and that's something we're learning is super important to our well being. I've also tried doing school Monday morning, which is part of our weekend, and that just feels like we don't get enough of a break as a family, plus it means having to prep on our sabbath.

 

 

 

I feel your pain--this is the life we used to have when my husband worked Saturdays and had Mondays off and we did a co-op on Tuesdays. But the schedule you have looks great! Just stick to it! (isn't that always the problem? :001_smile: )

 

and I'm with you--rest time is non-negotiable! Good luck!

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This is actually my very biggest issue this year. Everything we are doing is great, the curricula/materials are great, but I am really :banghead: on trying to figure out an order that works.

 

The basics are easy: we do the hardest subjects, that need the most focus, first in the day. That is Math & Writing. We save the least mentally challenging subjects for late in the day - so read alouds, lit discussion, history. But fitting each item into the slots of space available is challenging . . .

 

So we do it this way:

 

Math

Writing

LA

Latin

Lit/RA

Lunch

History or Science

(long break where I pick up dd6 and run errands, snacks, etc.)

then Science or History

 

but we run out of gas big-time in the late afternoon, so whatever we do in that slot, I feel that we do less well, KWIM? So I try to alternate that among topics, or if we have a really high-interest RA, do it last so they are still with me. So I am still with me?

 

The content subjects are a lot easier. Partly b/c I don't require a lot of output -these are our discussion-and-reading-based subjects. So I guess for us the heavy-output subjects must come first, or they get shortchanged.

 

This seems like a lame contribution to this conversation, given that this is the topic I think about *all the time* this year!!!

Edited by rroberts707
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I feel your pain--this is the life we used to have when my husband worked Saturdays and had Mondays off and we did a co-op on Tuesdays. But the schedule you have looks great! Just stick to it! (isn't that always the problem? :001_smile: )

 

and I'm with you--rest time is non-negotiable! Good luck!

 

Thank you - it's nice to know someone understands!

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We do our "together" subjects first; it just gets us all in the school mood. Those subjects are: history, science, poetry, vocab, art, music. I take turns starting with one child and do any work that they need supervision for. Once this happens, they are on their own for the day. Then I work with the other child. For any subjects we're doing one on one, they choose the order.

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