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Block scheduling: different kids, different days.


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I have to re-think my schedule. I was thinking about alternating days of one-on-one teaching my 2nd and 3rd grader. While I'm teaching one for the day, the other can do their independent work such as reading. I would do it on Saturday too and maybe Sundays. I'm pretty spent by the time I finish with one & I'm kinda crabby by the time I get to the 2nd child on the same day....and in the back of my mind I know I have a ton of office work waiting for me (I work full-time from my home). Anybody ever done something like this? Care to share? Thanks!

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I have not tried that (probably wouldn't work with mine for certain subjects as they need daily instruction, especially with math), but what I do try to do is have independent work that is meaningful for each child and then teach them separately - but, I only teach one subject at a time. So, during our "math" block, I will give ds11 a lesson, for instance, while ds9 and ds6 are working independently or with dd. That may mean they are doing penmanship, typing lesson on the computer, reading a book with dd, or something else. Sometimes ds9 will have a review exercise in his math, which means he can start his work right away too. Then I move on to ds9 and do the same while ds6 is doing another piece of independent work or reading/playing with dd or doing a math app on the iPad. In all, our math block takes about one hour, but I'm teaching the older two kids for about 15-20 minutes each. Ds6, at this level, can do most of his work while I'm there to field any questions as he's finishing Singapore 1B.


Later, after we've done some work together and taken a break, I'll do a different subject. This is where I would be able to potentially block schedule it - during content area. Next year we are going to use CHC's lesson plans for history and science, so I'll have to have some one-on-one time with each of them, but for my sanity, I'll probably alternate days with subjects and students instead of having them do both history and science every day as CHC plans it. I'm not 100% sure how it'll look, but given that they give one week of history for the text (at 5th and 7th grade) and one week for other history activities, for instance, the plan is to stretch the chapters over 2 weeks, giving me time to spend a couple days each week with each older boy while the other has "independent" work that day (reading the chapter, answering questions at the end). Ds6 will have to be fitted in there somewhere, but his "Tour the Continents" looks like a 1 day a week thing together.


So, a very long, and somewhat convoluted answer is this: for core subjects like math, I have to see each kid each day unless they have a review lesson. I make sure they have independent work while I'm teaching someone else. For content areas (history and math, for instance), the goal next year is to schedule ds11 M & W, for instance, for a "meeting," ds9 on T & Th, and then do ds6's social studies on Fridays. That's all theory though. ;) Up until now, we've tried to do content areas together, but the boys are getting more spread out as they get older and I feel better separating a bit.


By the way, I have my older two combined for writing, spelling, and Latin. Ds9 has always been a bit advanced and ds11 struggled in the beginning, which helps. Do you combine your 2nd and 3rd graders in any subjects, skill or content? Can they do any of the Seton or CHC materials independently? Can you block schedule the content areas but teach subjects like math daily, alleviating part of the problem while still making sure skill subjects are being taught/reinforced daily?

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