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sunshineslp

how do you school 4 kids and not have to start at 6am??

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I have four kids, ages 7,6,4,and 3.  I school my 7 and 6 yr old now (1st and 2nd grade) but next year I will have my K'er and then also my 2nd and 3rd graders (as well as my preK girl running amok).  I sat down to preemptively set a schedule, you know the "what would my day look like" type thing.  well, I do not know how I will get it all in and have time for my K'er.  my boys are still young and so LA and math are not independent yet.  I am working on it, but it will for sure require my attention at least for parts of it.  If i could combine the boys it would be nice but I cannot. 

 

I am switching math and am heavily considering singapore... will this be a terrible decision for a math program for a mom on a time crunch?  do you consider it an independent program (after the teaching from the HIG and textbook)?  I have looked at MUS but i just don't care for the scope and sequence.  I WANT to like it though.  I am freaked about its more "easy approach" and the reviews i've read that it is easier and not as challenging and doesn't prepare kids for college as well.  i don't know if it's true but it sways me against it.  Teaching textbooks is out too.  Math mammoth is visually unappealing.  Saxon is to workbook'y.  As you can see i've thought of alot of options. 

 

so how do you bigger families do it? and what do you use for math?  would you recommend singapore? 

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I have 4th, 2nd, and 1st. This year. And PreK too.

I do start at 6 AM with the older ones. We use RS for math.

I have a hard time fitting things in. But we are done a little after 2 and my kids have some play time while I exercise and get some of my things done. It just works best if we do school first thing and stay focused for the morning to get it completed. Let me get on my computer and link to my schedule.

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Ok I'm on my computer so can answer a little better now. I use RS and it is mom-intensive. But it's working for all my kids so it's worth it. My oldest is also starting to do some things independently so I'm seeing how my life might get a little bit easier in the next few years. So, what I'm saying is that I think Singapore is doable. If I can get 3 kids through RS all at the same time while also using AAR and AAS and FLL.........then I think it can be done. I have chosen to use what works for my kids right now even though it does take up more of my time. And I just haven't found that my kids can do much independently at their ages. It ends up being faster and easier if I do it with them rather than be frustrated at their lack of independence. (Maybe other kids are more independent than mine at these early ages. But mine need me to work with them or we get nothing accomplished) 

 

So here's a link to my schedule on my blog (Not trying to self-promote my blog, just don't want to type out the entire thing here).

 

I also wrote about why having a set start time was so important in our homeschool. We start school at 6 AM. We start before my kids get engrossed in other activities or start playing. It's so much harder for me to refocus them once they've begun playing. So we get up early and get going. School gets done first thing as it is the priority. Then we all enjoy a couple of hours of our own time in the afternoon. 

I also can't begin to tell you how productive we are before the 4 and 3 year olds are awake and bothering us. We get so much done between 6 and 8 AM. It's worth it for us. I know it doesn't work for others. Here's the link where I wrote about it

 

Next year I'll have 5th, 3rd, 2nd, and K as well as preschool and a new baby. It's going to be rough! I plan to keep my early start time though!

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LEXI!  you are my hero!!  how in the world... you wake up your kids at what time?  that just sounds so painful.  i am a morning person but i am not sure that I can do that.  I do think, however, that I need to start earlier than I do.  which is 9am.  my kids are slow risers and take awhile to wake up and get going.  I also plan to use FLL and WWE.  I use Logic of English for reading and RS A and B, then I suppose we will move to singapore.  I see you use MM... do you kids just not mind the cluttered layout and overstimulation?  I wish it was layed out better...

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Multitasking and time management are key I think.

 

The 7 and 6 year old can't do math independently, but can they do it semi-independently enough that you can have them both at the table doing math beside you at the same time, and you can switch your attention from one to the other? Can you get to the point by the end of this year that you can get them both started on their math lessons, introducting the topic, and then do math with the Ker on your lap while they do the problems, stopping to check on them intermittently?

 

Or, when one child is doing a mum-intensive subject, have the other doing something independent like handwriting. Don't have them do handwriting at the same time, that's a waste of your attention (unless you need to still supervise their letter formations of course) Make sure you plan some things they can do by themselves like simple handwriting and math facts practice, and bounce between one with you and one independent.

 

Start as early as is reasonable for your family. We don't quite start at 6, but our routine is breakfast, morning chores, get dressed, then school. If the kids get distracted on other things it drags the morning down, and they're much more productive at 8am than at 10. 

 

Consider block scheduling, which can help with time management with little ones who you have to set up with each subject. Setting them up to do a big chunk of grammar on monday, and then a big chunk of writing on tuesday, is less time for you than getting them started on both every day. At this stage, when you're having to introduce and teach each subject, less subjects-per-day reduces your time required. 

 

By next year the older two will be able to do silent reading or some sort of independent reading. Use that time to do phonics and language arts with your Ker. 

 

Personally, for large families, I think the content subjects like science and history are best off being left until they can be done independently, middle school. Better to cover math, reading and writing WELL at this stage, than to neglect the basics trying to 'fit it all in' with lots of little students. That doesn't mean ignore history/science completely, but, put on a documentary over lunch, go on a field trip, incorporate non-fiction into your kids independent reading, talk about observations in life, discuss historical events, buy science kits for Christmas. At this age, all these things are enough, and not doing a formal science/history frees up a lot of time for the things which are most important. It's a shame, because I see some merit in the 4 year cycle and there are some great elementary science programs out there, but, large families can't always do what smaller ones can and this is one of those areas my family has chosen to make compromises. 

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It's easy! We don't finish until 8pm!  :lol:

 

I've found with 4 kids that I need to either accept an extremely long day for myself or the kids do a lot of subjects mostly independently or together. There's no other way to do it for us. Actually, most of the time the kids are doing a lot of things independently or as a group and I still have long days...

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abb12- how extremely helpful of you!  thanks so much for that info!!  i agree on all points.  and you brought up a few ideas i hadn't thought of.  are you referring to MFW type four year cycles?  that is what we use and i have often though that it is just TOO MUCH to fit in.  i just hate dropping it though.  I have considered doing something else, like SOTW for history, that can be adapted to CD use and easy to use for multiple kids (instead of MFW).  i don't know.  but you raise all good points.  and Paige, I had to giggle at your honesty :) !  i am glad i'm not alone here.  i just can't do math together and they aren't independent, so i HAVE to do that together.  and LA too.  those are our two intensive subjects. 

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I am also doing 4 kids (oldest has dyslexia etc, 2nd has.... something....) They ar 12, 9, 7, 5. I have a 1 hour period scheduled for each 1 on 1 where we do math (Rightstart), AAS or reading instruction, memory work (and handwriting for the 5yo)) The rest of the time (except the 5yo) they work on their own doing AO readings (with audiobooks), handwriting, typing, science experiments (12yo). I have another 30-60 minutes for readings they can't do on their own.

 

And I spend a lot of time feeling behind. Sigh.

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

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Fwiw, I do not think Singapore is very independent.  Otoh, it doesn't take very long and can easily be condensed by doing smaller portions or stretched by doing multiple portions, as you have time.  The HIG has a basic breakdown; I go by that when deciding what is an appropriate amount to do with my student, but we might do more if it's a really simple concept, or we might just do a little if it's harder or we have a busy day.

 

I typically glance at the HIG to see if there's anything major in there that I need to know.  My student isn't big into manipulatives and grasps math concepts easily, so that is a big plus.  We go over a lesson in the textbook, doing as many practice problems as we need to, so that he can show me that he understands the material.  Then we either do some of the Mental Math exercises in the HIG, or I assign him a page or so of the Intensive Practice or a review section from the Textbook.  Mental Math can take a while, and this student is often low on stamina, so if he does MM one day, he does not do IP.  Sometimes he will need help to set up the word problems in the IP, so he will come back to me later.  But I consider Singapore to be pretty mom-intensive.

 

Saxon, otoh, is much more independent.  I do generally go over it with my student who uses Saxon, just to make sure she's not missing anything, but at this point (8th grade, algebra), she can look at the lesson and figure it out for herself a lot of the time.  The incremental-ness of it means that new concepts are often just a tiny change from a previous concept.

 

I have 2 3/4 students this year, plus a 2yo.  I have 2 fulltime students, 8th and 5th; one halftime student, 1st; one 1/4 time student, preK4; and a 2yo, who is a fulltime occupation on his own.  (Thankfully, he entertains himself well, and thankfully, he and the other little boys have each other.)  I work in blocks; when I'm working with one child, the others do not interrupt to ask questions or get help.  They know to save the questions for later.

 

It does take a certain amount of time, though; there's no way about it.  I have to discuss books with the big ones, I have to listen to the little guys sounding out words, and I have to be hands on to correct spelling, verb declensions, handwriting formation.  My morning is busy!

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You let your kids do some work on a screen. I don't play math games or even give math drill work sheets anymore - they use an online program. It gives immediate feedback, too. They practice spelling lists on computer. I let him follow along in books while listening to a book on Audible instead of insisting that I read aloud every book they can't tackle alone.

 

You choose as-independent-as-reasonable curricula. My oldest would probably spell a little bit better with Writing Road to Reading or some other parent intensive program, but using Phonetic Zoo doesn't require me and allows him to be independent. He's learning a lot, just maybe not as much as he'd learn directly with me.

 

My 9-year-old daughter needs me every minute for math. That is life. But she can do Singapore Intensive Practice without me. Maybe she'd be using it as a stretch program if I could help her with it, but I can't, so she uses it as review.

The kids have scheduled play time as well as scheduled "read then tell me about it" time. The older two are writing a daily narration. My 7-year-old doesn't write a narration, but she writes a sentence or two in the journal and illustrates.

 

My 7-year-old really only spends 2 hours per day doing school - and she does RightStart, Apples and Pears Spelling, handwriting, copywork, three oral narrations of passages/books that I read to her in fiction, science, and history, poetry memorization, Bible memorization, spelling bee lists, math speed drill, and German. None of these take all that long. It is my 5th grader who is working long hours, but by then the kid is much more independent (we generally discuss math for 10 minutes per day and then he works on his own).

 

I think you can cross this bridge when you come to it. A lot will change in your family dynamics before your 3-year-old needs to be doing much school daily and you'll have four full-time students.

 

Emily 

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Four kids here, ages 9, 8, 7, 6 with the 8 and 9 yr olds turning 9 and 10 in the next month.

 

This school year was our first year with everybody schooling full time and I'll admit, last summer I was in the exact place you are wondering how to get everything done.

 

Our first week was HARD. But we've adjusted.

 

1) Combine where you can. Even if it means holding one back just a bit. I know that runs counter to what many folks say but not only does it make things doable around here, the kids really do appreciate having a school buddy that is learning many of the same lessons they are.

 

My oldest two cannot be combined for math, as one of them has significant math LDs. But they combine for all Language Arts.

 

I held my 7 yr old back a year to combine him with my youngest and it was a good move for him. They combine for everything and DS' school anxiety is quite a bit less with his brother being his learning buddy.

 

2) Consider rotating science and history. We do six months of one and then six months of the other. I could never do both concurrently.

 

3) Schedule well.

 

4) Consider a 4 day week and schooling during the summer. We just switched to a 4 day schedule and it was the best decision I have made. We have always schooled year round (to prevent regression with my DD) but this coming summer we're going to switch to two weeks on, one week off beginning the first week of June and ending mid-Sept. Last summer, I felt like *I* never got any downtime because even though we were on our lighter summer schedule and they were getting done early, my workload wasn't any lighter.

 

Anyways, the 4 day week gives me an extra day to catch up. And if everything went according to plan that week, the Friday off was my day to file the week's schoolwork, prep for the next week, and accomplish house tasks. Things that are nearly impossible to do when my husband is home, lol.

 

Seriously, I can't recommend it enough. It has really been a sanity saver and has even allowed me to have some unstructured free time with the kids.

 

 

 

So here's how my dah well go tomorrow.

 

8:00 Everybody up, morning chores, barn chores (chickens...our milk calves went home last week).

 

Also, breakfast prep, AWANA memory verses and Bible reading. They all know what they should be doing and we all kind of work independently until breakfast is ready and all chores are done.

 

9:00-9:45 Breakfast is supposed to be done by this point and we'll all come together for history. Usually, it's closer to 10 when we start history, lol.

 

After history, everybody gets out handwriting and we work on that for about 15 minutes.

 

Then, the little boys will get their independent work folders and sit at their desks. The Bigs will watch their EIW lesson and then we'll do dictation.

 

The Bigs will then get their independent work folders and head to their desks.

 

I call eldest son for his math lesson.

 

Next I call the Littles for their math lesson.

 

Next I call G for her math lesson.

 

Usually by this time, the Littles are starting to finish independent work. Sometimes eldest DS might be getting done with his independent work. Whoever gets done first gets to use one of the tablets for Prodigy Math (which is totally awesome and I absolutely recommend it).

 

After DDs math lesson, I serve lunch followed by a half hour of quiet reading. While they are reading, I go over their completed work folders. After quiet reading, I review the mistakes with each kiddo and they go back to their seats to make corrections.

 

I call my youngest boy for his reading lesson.

 

Then I call the Littles for spelling.

 

Then I call the Bigs for spelling and reading.

 

Usually by this time we're pushing 2:30-3:00. My husband gets home by 3:45. School needs to be mostly done by then because he's a huge distraction.

 

We'll go over folders, I'll help whoever needs help with difficult pages, and we'll call it a day.

 

Monday is our hardest day.

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Math...we are everywhere with math. My primary program is Singapore. DD is using MUS. DS is using Beast Academy in addition to Singapore.

 

I use mus with DD because it is VERY incremental. It covers the basics and not much else. MUS through high school will give an adequate math education but not much depth. Some kids (like my oldest) need that. But I wouldn't recommend it for most kids.

 

And I forgot to mention...I schedule our lessons in 15 week semesters, ahead of time (where possible). I pull ALL pages they will need for that semester and arrange them by kid, by week and then by day. Ahead of time. Right now, I'm working on our spring semester which will begin in February and run through May. When I am done, my planning binders will be full of almost everything we need so at any given day, I can grab each kid's folder, put things in dry erase pockets, and hand them out. (I usually do this the night before).

 

I also keep, for me, a daily schedule and a weekly schedule, in addition to my planbooks. I can tell at a glance what I should be doing and with whom. This Alsop keeps me from forgetting lessons, or other appointments. For me, it was necessary.

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I start the oldest two at 7 am with math and piano, then let them do their independent work while I wake the others and put on breakfast, and do language arts and the read aloud after that. It was just dragging too late in the day otherwise and we needed some focus time before the younger kids and noisier students got up.

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And for math we use RightStart and supplement in with Big Brainz and multiplication flashcards. It's very teacher intensive but it works well enough that I don't ditch it despite hating the work. We will be transitioning to Saxon in the next year or two for the higher grades.

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so you carve out one hour for each child and do all the intensive subjects during that time. makes sense:) what is AO?

AO is Ambleside Online. My older 2 do their readings with Audiobboks, and my 7yo is a great reader and reads most of hers independently. I do take narrations when I can (between subjects).

 

Sent from my SM-T530NU using Tapatalk

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I have 9 kids ages 1-18. My oldest used MUS all the ways to half way through algebra 2 and then went to the CC for more math as a junior and did just fine. The only reason he didn't get further in math at home was because we moved too slow in the early grades(my mistake and one I'm not repeating ;) ). You have to look at what your goals are. My goals in home education were to free up their time for play when younger and individual pursuits as they got older. I wanted a gentle introduction in the younger years and was not looking for highly rigorous during the formative years when play is their most important work. I also did not want to get so overwhelmed with life that I was miserable. Sending them to school was not an option so we had to just use what worked. MUS is a difficult program to come in and out of but if used consistently all the ways through is fine. I do have another son heading to a stem degree and I do sometimes panic that it's not enough but he's working a year+ ahead and I will move him to CC by junior or senior year anyways.

 

Math is mostly independent as I watched the videos with my oldest and now I just allow the rest to watch them on their own. I go over the lessons briefly on a new lesson day and I check every page every day and always know if they are getting it. They also do xtramath for fact practice.

 

We start the day with scriptures and memory work about 8. Sometimes I do our read aloud then especially if the afternoon is busy or off schedule. I alternate history and science every other day with the 4 middle ones (well the oldest of those 4 doesn't do our science but his own every day). They outline and write about our history lessons. Then it takes about 45-1 hr to do Latin and grammar with 3 of the middle ones (2 are doing analytical grammar and one is doing junior). Then it's back to table time which only takes about 1.5 hrs with the ages you are talking about. So I have a K,2nd (probably dyslexic) and 5th that sit and do their work right with me. I start AAR with one of the younger 2 while the other does handwriting (pentime) and math (putting it aside for the reading problems and if there is any questions) and then if time goes to xtramath. Once the first is done with AAR the second brings me their math to finish and check. Then we do

AAR while the other one does handwriting and math and xtramath. Then when done I finish and check the math of the other one and the 5th grader. The 5th grader is there the whole time and is doing math handwriting xtramath and R&S spelling as well as finishing grammar if needed.

We can often be done by 11-11:30 if we start on time at 8 and then we gather for reading aloud with oral narrations at 1:00 and then rest/reading time. The 5th and 8th graders have assigned readings similar to AO daily during this time.(and I then move to going over work with the HIgh schoolers who have been working mostly independently all day)

 

I don't know if that helps at all but mostly you have to decide what is most important. My kids have done really well not doing grammar or formal writing untill 5th-6th grade. We focus on the 3Rs daily and do the rest as a family until high school. I needed to choose curriculums that would actually be able to be done and done well. And it was highly important to me that my kids had plenty of free time. 7-8 hrs of school daily just was never going to fly here. I chose to hit the basics well but in as much of a streamlined fashion as possible and then sit back and let them fly ;)

 

We may have not accomplished the highest level of classical education but my oldest 2 have both started college early and done well. (And they weren't burned out and sick of school which I do believe is a risk if too much is started too soon) My second wrote and published a book at age 15. My next has dyslexia and has struggled some but is a highly talented musician (writes music as well as performs) who has been hired at a music store to apprentice in their repair shop even though he is only 15 because he had learned skills not directly related to book learning although he has an adequate education as well. I am proud of who my older kids have become and I do believe that homeschooling has allowed the most healthy spiritual and emotional development. Maybe we could or should have done more but I still feel I was successful in meeting the most important goals I had.

 

You may want to live the life of a very rigorous classical educator and your school would look different than mine but just remember that not everything can be done. What is it you want to choose?

 

Just know that many many of us are homeschooling that many kids and doing it well enough. Be encouraged ;)

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I am teaching 3rd, 2nd, 2nd, and PreK this year with a small baby in the mix. I agree, combine as much as you can. I tend to aim it at the student who is at a higher level and will tweak it to work with the younger ones.

 

We start with the individual work where they just can't be combined. I'll have them all doing their level of math at the same time at the table while I'm working on the floor with my PreK kiddo between answering questions for the 3rd grader and two 2nd graders. Math is our biggest drama when it comes to school so we try to get it out of the way first. Then they go down the list of a page in their geography workbook, their 15 minutes of piano or violin practice, a page in Handwriting Without Tears, and their reading lesson. Each takes maybe 10-15 minutes minus math which can take an hour on a good day or HOURS if they drag it out.  

 

Then comes the Mommy Must Be There work which is most of the language arts. My 3rd grader is on her own level and I usually get hers done while the 2nd graders are whining that they don't really want to finish their math. :p At this point, I sent up the PreK kid with Reading Eggs or Starfall. Not what I'd ideally be doing but it keeps him entertained and still learning. Once my 3rd grader finishes, she's free until I do LA with the 2nd graders. Typically takes 30 minutes each to get through WWE, FLL, and AAS.

 

After that, we all get together for Bible, science, SOTW, and Latin. It usually takes us an hour to do this. We're typically done in 3.5 hours. Short lessons are my friend. They allow us to get in what we need to get in, the kids don't get bored (well, when it's not math), and we still have the afternoon for classes outside of the home, errands, appointments, cleaning, etc. Both SOTW and Prima Latina are on cd too so if I don't have time to do it at home, I can pop it in while we're in the van and we can at least discuss it. 

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you all have been such blessings to me tonite.  I am overwhelmed right now and trying to take a deep breath.  I feel i have chosen many "intensive" programs because I love them so much, but it may be that I am overworking myself (and maybe my kids).  I plan on doing:

 

kinder:  RSA, handwriting without tears, Logic of English Foundations, MFW K

2nd:  RSB, cursive, Logic of English Foundations, MFW ECC, FLL, WWE, readers

3rd:  SM, cursive, Logic of English Essentials, MFW ECC, FLL, WWE, readers

 

MFW covers all social studies/science.  I have considered dropping this in lieu of something more "doable".  maybe SOTW and apologia?  alternating, as you suggested.  I am most concerned with stressing myself out so much that my days are not joyous:(  I feel like I am choosing SM because I love the feel of it but i might also be choosing it because i want my kids to be very well prepared and i have just heard it does the job well.  i am not sure if my kids are ready for the abstract part of SM.  i mean, coming from RS they are at least somewhat ready for it.  I would LOVE to just go with Saxon at 3rd (intermediate book) but I just think they'd hate the workbook heavyness of it and I worry it isn't building the concepts as well as SM/RS/Beast.  MUS is what "I" want to do simply because i don't stress thinking about it.  it seems so easy to teach.  but i am not sold that it is what i think is best for my kids. 

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I have three in school and a preK'er that wants to do school but usually gets short shrift because of limited time. But the way I have managed is 1) "teach" one-on-one only the essentials, 2) to shift responsibility onto my kids and onto curriculum/classes.  In the mornings we do the essentials - our morning basket (aka what Mom wants to share in the way of fine arts, literature, read aloud, and character building), language arts, math (and Latin for the older two). I have a set block of time (about 45 min) for each of the three school kids in which to cover all this.

 

In the afternoon they have personal study time.  This includes work for outside classes, work we planned together for them to do during the week, and, if there is time left over, "browsing" the many wonderful things in the world to study. Examples of this personal study time through the years include snap-circuits building, programming with Scratch, sewing project, educational games on the iPad, listening to SOTW audiobook while coloring, science kits, math games, NaNoWriMo, TypingPal, library books about a chosen topic, LEGO Mindstorms building/programming, etc.

 

I had typed up the details of how we do the one-on-one essentials for each kid then decided to erase it because it is relevant to my kids only.  The key here is that we trained up to independent work even in some of their essentials (Math, language arts/writing/reading/lit).  While we were training up to independent work we let a lot of things (science, history, spelling) slide.  At a minimum the kids had to read, do math, write (handwriting for one, copywork for one, writing curriculum for the third).  We selected things they could work on independently in short bursts (like copywork, ETC, 20 min of reading, 5 math problems, etc), and then I would check in.  We built up to longer sessions of independent work.  The three kids rotated between working with mom, independent work, and playing with the youngest.  Now they have greater stamina, and know how to learn from the materials without me holding their hand the entire way.  The three oldest all have ADHD, so they do lose focus after a time, so I check in with them frequently.  

 

I don't think I communicated that as clearly as I would like - sorry! My point is that you can't teach every subject directly to every child without stretching yourself really thin.  But that is OK. For next year I would give them each about 1.5-2 hours 1:1 time - the K'er won't be doing as many things, but will need more of your time and hand holding to get the language and math concepts down.  The 3rd grader can start to take on some things independently - spelling, handwriting/typing, reading, etc.  

 

You will have to find the balance of your time constraints, your kids needs, and your "ideals" - you can't do it all, but what you do do well.  Best wishes!

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I have to say that I think Singapore is a very solid math program but, and this is a big but...I am seeing that some of the mental math concepts expected of first graders is a bit too much. My eldest boy had no problems with mentally manipulating numbers/quantities, but he is very math oriented.

 

Forget it with my daughter. That isn't Singapore, that's her.

 

Middle DS was absolutely not ready for the mental manipulation of 1A and B. Last year, I swapped him to MUS (since I have it on hand anyways), focused on number sense and he is doing much better this year after returning to Singapore 1A. I put youngest DS in MUS last summer for a bit, as I think it is an excellent introduction and I think it lays a great foundation for number sense and mental math.

 

He started Singapore 1A and is doing reasonably well, but even still, I can tell that the mental reasoning Singapore requires is a bit of a stretch for him right now. I can see his growth, though, and I think it will be fine in the long run.

 

My point is that I'm not entirely convinced that Singapore 1A and B is necessarily the "best" choice for 1st grade. Not without first spending considerable time focusing on number sense.

 

And/or...

 

Don't expect your first grader to easily grasp the mental math concepts taught in Singapore first grade. Plan to review and revisit and review again. That doesn't mean you have to park on a certain unit. You can certainly move on. Just be prepared to frequently review sticky spots.

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We do MUS (Beta for the 2nd graders, Gamma for the 3rd) and Noeo Science. They're doing Chemistry 1 this year, they did Biology 1 last year. A big reason why I chose MUS was that it was easy to explain. I'm not a math-y person but my kids are picking it up quickly. It also came highly recommended by an aunt of mine who is an accountant. She successfully used it for her children and one is in a math intensive major in college now. 

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I added my 5th this year for K. We start at 9 except for one dedicated kid who does one subject (writing) somewhat independently before breakfast to get it done. As the kids get older and more independent, it gets better. Until then, combine content subjects (like science, art, history, music, etc.) where you can, I have two kids really close in ability, so they get combined for a LOT (as you can see from my signature below). They even do their math at the same time. I will teach one while the other is working on their own stuff, but they are both in the same room so I can bounce back and forth when they have questions.

 

I do the younger two first thing in the morning & first thing after lunch (or first thing after our memory time, depending on the day). The two who combine the most get a half day on Friday and that's when I hit delight-driven science with the youngest two and get in some fun K stuff like 'cooking class' with the youngest. The hardest one to fit into my day is actually my oldest - who just grabs me when she needs something.

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I want to share one more thing. I have a close family member who was quite gifted in math. He was advanced as quickly as possible in public school and had to move to the CC by I think his sophomore year as there was just nothing else at the HS for him. He may have even been a freshman. He went to the HS for math all through middle school.

 

He went on to major in math in college for 2-3 semesters (not sure) and then just quit. Said no more math. He's still in school but I'm not sure of his major. His parents were quite upset/disappointed when he quit his math major as they felt that is his gift in life etc. I get that too but it does make me wonder if all the rigor and acceleration during his younger years actually harmed him in the long run. Just because you *can* teach advanced math concepts to young children stop and think if you *should*. Maybe this young man would have been better off at grade level or one ahead and then when he got to college he would not have been burned out. It's just another thing I keep in the back of my mind. Let them be children while they are children. College level work will come soon enough and young people who have adequate preparation even if it's not the *best* most rigorous program still have many years ahead of them to learn and florish at what they are good at.

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you all have been such blessings to me tonite.  I am overwhelmed right now and trying to take a deep breath.  I feel i have chosen many "intensive" programs because I love them so much, but it may be that I am overworking myself (and maybe my kids).  I plan on doing:

 

kinder:  RSA, handwriting without tears, Logic of English Foundations, MFW K

2nd:  RSB, cursive, Logic of English Foundations, MFW ECC, FLL, WWE, readers

3rd:  SM, cursive, Logic of English Essentials, MFW ECC, FLL, WWE, readers

 

MFW covers all social studies/science.  I have considered dropping this in lieu of something more "doable".  maybe SOTW and apologia?  alternating, as you suggested.  I am most concerned with stressing myself out so much that my days are not joyous:(  I feel like I am choosing SM because I love the feel of it but i might also be choosing it because i want my kids to be very well prepared and i have just heard it does the job well.  i am not sure if my kids are ready for the abstract part of SM.  i mean, coming from RS they are at least somewhat ready for it.  I would LOVE to just go with Saxon at 3rd (intermediate book) but I just think they'd hate the workbook heavyness of it and I worry it isn't building the concepts as well as SM/RS/Beast.  MUS is what "I" want to do simply because i don't stress thinking about it.  it seems so easy to teach.  but i am not sold that it is what i think is best for my kids. 

Yes, RS and LOE are very mom-intensive!  They are both great foundational work, too.  I would definitely keep RS B - it's the golden level, love it!  I would skip RS A for your K'er, if you are strapped for time.  You could use SM Earlybird workbooks, Miquon Orange, or another less intensive course. Then use RS B for 1st with that student.  RS B covers RS A material, and covers it better and usually when the kids are more ready to have it sink in.  For 3rd grade SM 3 is great, but you might consider Beast Academy or Math Mammoth (which can be semi-independent).  

 

LOE is a strong foundation, whether you use Foundations or Essentials.  But I favor using Essentials starting at about 6 or 7 years old, and finishing by 8 or 9.  Then you are off and running.  Prior to that you can learn to read with something simple like Phonics Pathways.  If you want to use LOE for all three kids I would only do LOE and Math one-on-one.  I would save grammar (beyond what is in LOE) for a more intensive study somewhere in the middle grades (5th-9th).  I am not a FLL fan because I think it uses a lot of valuable time in the early years to teach something over 4 years that could easily be covered in one year or less by older students.  As far as WWE, I am also not a fan for the same reason (takes too long/too much time to cover something that could be learned more quickly at a later age). I think you are covered using LOE! When your 3rd grader finishes Essentials then start a writing program.

 

I haven't used MFW, but I am all for using SOTW for history.  Put the audio on, give them the color sheet, and you spend 10 minutes folding laundry. Spend another 5-10 minutes doing narrations and/or review questions and map work.  Skip (or do very select) additional readings and projects.  For science don't even bother with a curriculum.  This is from a former science teacher.  Get outside and play and observe, ask questions, look up answers together, field trips, or just a sink full of bubbles. Watch Magic School Bus, read Read-and-Find-Out books that catch your fancy, but definitely don't sweat science.

 

So, LOE and Math one-on-one (that will take you about 4-4.5 hours for 3 kids).  SOTW audio twice a week, exploring the world you live in for science and maybe doing some field trips.  Add copious amounts of snuggly read aloud time and your are totally set.!  Have the two who aren't working with you play with each other - read their stuffed animals a book, play a LOE game, watch their 15 minutes of magic school bus, or get some wiggles out so they can focus later.  And build up independent work habits and skills.

 

 

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I guess I should also add, my state has an hour requirement, which also adds to my stress.  i have to get 1000 hours a year, which i calculate to be about 4 hours a day.  PER KID.  so doing 4 hours a day spread out across each kid for independent work, that means each kid got about an hour school time from me, so after four hours is done, i still need to get 3 more in with all kids.  phew.  not impossible at all, just overwhelming.  i will get this squared away though.  public is not an option, this is my passion, and i am dedicated to this journey.  i appreciate all your input:)

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You may want to live the life of a very rigorous classical educator and your school would look different than mine but just remember that not everything can be done. What is it you want to choose?

 

Thanks for reminding us of this point! I'm in the middle of planning for next year (we school jan-dec) and I need to keep this in mind.

 

When I first started homeschooling I wrote a document outlining MY goals, MY ideas and MY philosophy, and it helped me to ignore the pretty shiny stuff and figure out what we actually want to achieve our goals. We cannot do everything, even less so in a large family dynamic. It helped me clear my mind and focus on what we wanted, for example I loved the look and idea of unit studies and lapbooks, but it simply does not fit my goals, as cool as they seem at a glance. It also helped me to be ok with dropping history for now. 

 

In our family, I need to be done by lunchtime. That's all there is to it, there's medical and practical reasons, but my involvement in school needs to end when I begin making lunch. (now, sometimes lunchtime is 1:30pm.... but still). So that means our curriculum will look different to someone going for a classical education with all the trimmings. My goal in homeschooling, like busymama, is to give them time, but also rigour in the most important subjects, so we work to be as efficient as possible, there's no busywork here. 

 

 

I don't think I communicated that as clearly as I would like - sorry! My point is that you can't teach every subject directly to every child without stretching yourself really thin.  But that is OK. For next year I would give them each about 1.5-2 hours 1:1 time - the K'er won't be doing as many things, but will need more of your time and hand holding to get the language and math concepts down.  The 3rd grader can start to take on some things independently - spelling, handwriting/typing, reading, etc.  

 

There has been intense debate in the past about how independent we should want our kids to be, and the range goes from buddy-math in high school right through to Kers being left to do math independently once a topic is introduced. 

 

In your situation though, independence is something you'll have little choice but to foster and use. You simply will not be able to buddy-math 4 students every day. Work them up to it, but they're definitely capable of it. My Ker does math pages almost independently, with my frequent glances over, once i tell her what to do. She's working on doing explode the code alone. She does math facts independently, she does handwriting independently once i check her first letter/word is formed right. We've been slowly working all year to get to this point, from me hand-holding, to me watching but not giving imput, to me moving away from the table to get a drink/give baby a toy then coming back, and now I can set her up and let her go in 5-10 minute increments. Maybe not every child is able to take on that responsibility but I think kids in larger families tend to manage independence earlier than most, our of necessity. Don't be afraid of letting them work and checking at the end, but also don't expect them to just be able to do it, you need to teach the skills slowly. 

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I have 5 kids. 3 are grown and out of the house.

When all 5 were he and I was schooling in some fashion all of them ( my 2 youngest have learning challenges)

I did what someone else recommended .

 

Start the 2 older ones first. Put in educational but fun video for younger ones or...just let them keep sleeping ( that's what I did)

The older ones will almost always be more labor intensive until middle or high school. So ....

 

Get the ' bigs' started and do math with one while the other free reads then switch. Other does math with you and other free reads. Then they take a break ( mom too) . kids break is longer with some creative free writing...draw a picture about what they read in free reading , while you work with the younger ones.

 

You can always and what I did with my 3 rd child is...wait til the big stuff is done with the older ones THEN do your kind with the lil one.

Everyone gets their individual ATTN and instruction. Without mom completely exhausted. Win win :)

 

Also for now.....I would totally and I did this...combine the 2 der ones for LA . it's grammar. Grammar is grammar. I've always done together even with the spec needs ones.

 

History and science we have always done before or after dinner all together. Kids LOVE that.

 

I've homeschooled 18 years and graduated the older ones ( son spent sr h.s. yr in PS to do ROTC) .

This has always worked for me.

 

As far as when to get up? Get up when you and DC are rested . if your tired...doesn't help anyone.

 

It may seem like all day but when you have you afternoon and evening 'free' ( ha-ha. Yea right w 4 kids ) but you can do audiobooks.....sports or music or....just relax some days.

 

Big thing to remember....SCHEDULE time for mom to relax and veg. Very important . kids can go play soccer in backyard or have quiet time or both! ;) while mom relaxes.

I'm a huge fan of ' quiet time' :)

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I guess I should also add, my state has an hour requirement, which also adds to my stress.  i have to get 1000 hours a year, which i calculate to be about 4 hours a day.  PER KID.  so doing 4 hours a day spread out across each kid for independent work, that means each kid got about an hour school time from me, so after four hours is done, i still need to get 3 more in with all kids.  phew.  not impossible at all, just overwhelming.  i will get this squared away though.  public is not an option, this is my passion, and i am dedicated to this journey.  i appreciate all your input:)

 

Ack! BE CREATIVE! 

 

The kids played with play-doh? That's Art

The kids kicked a ball around outside? That's PE

The kids read independently for a half hour before bed? That's LA

The kids watched a science documentary while eating lunch? That's Science

The kids talked to Grandma about what things were like when she was young? That's History

The kids played with snap circuits? That's Electronics

The kids helped with dinner? That's Home Ec

The kids played shop? That's Math

 

There is SO MUCH we do as homeschoolers which counts as academic activity. If you tell the kids that the time between lunch and daddy coming home is screen free, and must be spent on something worthwhile, I'm sure you'll find plenty of things to put on that list of hours. 

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PS. Big fan of letting the der ones prepare lunch while you school your kindy lil one ;)

2 birds? ....one stone :)

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Abba12 is right. Crayons markers and paper, playdoh, blocks, legos ( even if he's throwing them :) ) all of these things are essential developmentally. Count them as school. It IS school :)

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I have four kids, ages 7,6,4,and 3.  I school my 7 and 6 yr old now (1st and 2nd grade) but next year I will have my K'er and then also my 2nd and 3rd graders (as well as my preK girl running amok).  I sat down to preemptively set a schedule, you know the "what would my day look like" type thing.  well, I do not know how I will get it all in and have time for my K'er.  my boys are still young and so LA and math are not independent yet.  I am working on it, but it will for sure require my attention at least for parts of it.  If i could combine the boys it would be nice but I cannot. 

 

I am switching math and am heavily considering singapore... will this be a terrible decision for a math program for a mom on a time crunch?  do you consider it an independent program (after the teaching from the HIG and textbook)?  I have looked at MUS but i just don't care for the scope and sequence.  I WANT to like it though.  I am freaked about its more "easy approach" and the reviews i've read that it is easier and not as challenging and doesn't prepare kids for college as well.  i don't know if it's true but it sways me against it.  Teaching textbooks is out too.  Math mammoth is visually unappealing.  Saxon is to workbook'y.  As you can see i've thought of alot of options. 

 

so how do you bigger families do it? and what do you use for math?  would you recommend singapore? 

 

With children so young, I cannot imagine spending that much time doing Official School Stuff. :blink:

 

There would be mostly English skills and arithmetic; history/science/whatever would be done as a group, but very gently.

 

Both older dc could do R&S English; a few minutes of face time with the older, then assign the seatwork. While that was happening, there could be some face time with the 7yo, who would then do his seatwork. The littles could color or do some ReadyWriter activities.

 

My first choice for arithmetic would be Rod and Staff. That would be about 15 minutes of teaching from the scripted lessons, then the dc would do his seatwork independently while I worked with the next child. And that would be just second and third grade, as R&S doesn't do kindergarten. The littles would get to play with stuff like Cuisenaire rods, or Calculadders, or board games that use dice.

 

The older two could play with the youngest while you do some phonics instruction with the 5yo.

 

And then lunch. And then something like the Prairie Primer, or KONOS, for everything else, an hour or so. Finished by 1.

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How specific are they about the hours? Like, can you just check a day off on a calendar and call it good, or do you have to have specifics (40 minutes on math, 1 hour reading, etc.)? I would double check what other people in your state do and go with that.

 

For the oldest, three hours a day is probably about right. For that age, I would spend about an hour with the child, one-on-one (to do math, spelling, writing, cursive instruction) plus half an hour or so of group subjects (poetry, Bible, memory work, art study, other cultural literacy stuff), up to an hour or so of group work if I was reading history aloud to them, and a bit more if the child still needed phonics instruction. They'd have independent reading for literature and possibly history to do on their own, mapwork, plus possibly copy work or cursive, maybe a drill game on a computer for math or geography. Science might vary. This year my fifth and eighth graders have some days where they design their own projects or read science books of their choosing and write about them, and they have days where I direct a discussion/instruction or project.

 

For the younger ones, paint, play dough, bike riding, the occasional educational video, pretend play, audio books, running around the backyard, helping in the kitchen, climbing things. . . All that stuff is school.

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I guess I should also add, my state has an hour requirement, which also adds to my stress.  i have to get 1000 hours a year, which i calculate to be about 4 hours a day.  PER KID.  so doing 4 hours a day spread out across each kid for independent work, that means each kid got about an hour school time from me, so after four hours is done, i still need to get 3 more in with all kids.  phew.  not impossible at all, just overwhelming.  i will get this squared away though.  public is not an option, this is my passion, and i am dedicated to this journey.  i appreciate all your input:)

 

 

I used to live in a state where we had to get 1000hrs/year.  That doesn't have to mean SEATwork, just SCHOOLwork.  That documentary on the butterfly migration counts.  The hour playing Go to the Dump counts.  Art, music, museums, the zoo, etc...it all counts.

 

 

Think about combining as much as possible.  Just fold the Kindergartener in with the big kids, listening in and giving oral narrations.  Combine history, science, read alouds, music, art.  I've even combined FLL several times with children a year or two apart.  Grammar is not much different from 2nd to 3rd grade. They will be OK leveling up or down (probably down) for the sake of maternal sanity.

 

Do math and writing separate.

 

Use the computer.  www.talkingfingers.com has a great progra called Read, Write, Type that would fit several of your children's age/stage. It would reinforce phonics and teach typing while you are working with other kids.  prodigy math is another resource to check out.

 

 

Sit between 2 kids at a time.  While one is working on a math problem, you can be teaching the other.  Tag-team.  Then send that pair off to play while you work with the other 2.

 

Require that every child who can read takes a turn reading to the youngest.  They need practice reading.  Youngest needs to be read to.  2 birds, 1 stone.

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Reading with interest. I feel like I'm constantly tweaking my schedule trying to get everything done. Which means it never becomes routine, I always have to stop and look at the schedule to see what we should do next. It's exhausting. Next year I'll have three students and a toddler, and I have no idea how I'll fit it all in.

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Reading with interest. I'm constantly tweaking too. Pretty sure both my nine year old and eight year old have dyslexia, so there's not a lot of independence here. And that nearly three year old already knows her letters and demands to "do math"! Not saying I'm planning on doing anything formal with her but I'm already cringing when I think about doing this with four kids. Used to convince oldest of to do math at six, but he's balked in the past year. . . Too bad.

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you all have been such blessings to me tonite.  I am overwhelmed right now and trying to take a deep breath.  I feel i have chosen many "intensive" programs because I love them so much, but it may be that I am overworking myself (and maybe my kids).  I plan on doing:

 

kinder:  RSA, handwriting without tears, Logic of English Foundations, MFW K

2nd:  RSB, cursive, Logic of English Foundations, MFW ECC, FLL, WWE, readers

3rd:  SM, cursive, Logic of English Essentials, MFW ECC, FLL, WWE, readers

 

MFW covers all social studies/science.  I have considered dropping this in lieu of something more "doable".  maybe SOTW and apologia?  alternating, as you suggested.  I am most concerned with stressing myself out so much that my days are not joyous:(  I feel like I am choosing SM because I love the feel of it but i might also be choosing it because i want my kids to be very well prepared and i have just heard it does the job well.  i am not sure if my kids are ready for the abstract part of SM.  i mean, coming from RS they are at least somewhat ready for it.  I would LOVE to just go with Saxon at 3rd (intermediate book) but I just think they'd hate the workbook heavyness of it and I worry it isn't building the concepts as well as SM/RS/Beast.  MUS is what "I" want to do simply because i don't stress thinking about it.  it seems so easy to teach.  but i am not sold that it is what i think is best for my kids. 

 

I've done MFW and multiple levels at a time. I would recommend dropping MFWK! Doing two levels at once is too much IME.

 

You have a lot of teacher intensive curricula going on. Do you plan on moving to more independent curricula in the next year or two? We shifted from almost all mom dependent stuff to adding more independent work when I added my third homeschooler to the mix. 

 

I would give yourself permission with so many young ones who need more mom-time to just focus on the three Rs or skill subjects for another year or so or at least use less time and teacher intensive curricula for the content (history, science, geography) subjects. :)

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Yeah, the hours? Seriously don't sweat it. We are in a homeschool "nanny state" (New York), and the hour requirement is the least of my concern. Especially because we school year round.

 

Most anything can count as schooltime.

 

It all seems overwhelming right now, but I promise, everything DOES fall into place.

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I agree with other posters on official hours (something required in my state as well).  I figure that as long as my kids are doing relatively well in their subjects, noone's really gonna care (and if push came to shove, I could count lots and lots of things as hours - nature walks and cooking as science, teeth brushing and personal grooming as health, etc.

 

I have more littles than you, so take my advice for what it's worth: I do reading/writing (with Spalding) and math (with Singapore) more days than not. Otherwise, we get different animal books (fiction and non fiction) from the library every few weeks, and have a big map poster on our wall that we refer to for various things. That's the extent of our formal school right now. We do lots of other things I *could* count as school, but don't. We just live life and enjoy it, and I remind myself that there will be lots of time later to do formal learning, once my baby is not a baby anymore. Now that my oldest is starting to read well, he is beginning to read educational/non-fiction books on his own anyway, just because they're interesting. My main goal at this age is to get them interested in learning - if they *want* to learn, it'll make my job so much easier down the road! :)

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Thank you girls, for your reply:) yes, I agree it's a topic I know many struggle with and that does actually make me feel better[emoji23] so, lavendargirl, I love your advice on moving to a more independent curriculum for some of our subjects... What would that be? I'm not set in stone on any of it. The logic of English has been very nice. But I've considered something more independent, ETC? Not sure. Math, is Singapore fitting with independent? At least they can do the worksheets on their own, I hope. I may move from mfw and go with SOTW. I love mfw and it's supposed to be very open and go, but it's a lot of money for bible and SS only.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thank you girls, for your reply:) yes, I agree it's a topic I know many struggle with and that does actually make me feel better[emoji23] so, lavendargirl, I love your advice on moving to a more independent curriculum for some of our subjects... What would that be? I'm not set in stone on any of it. The logic of English has been very nice. But I've considered something more independent, ETC? Not sure. Math, is Singapore fitting with independent? At least they can do the worksheets on their own, I hope. I may move from mfw and go with SOTW. I love mfw and it's supposed to be very open and go, but it's a lot of money for bible and SS only.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

Children shouldn't work independently on phonics. :-) 

 

Independence is why I recommended R&S's English and arithmetic.

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Ellie, thank you:) I do like R&S English. I'm considering that for 2nd grade. What's the difference between that and cle? I know that R&S is mastery and cle is spiral, but do you feel one is stronger or better for larger families? I want a more conceptual math so R&S doesn't fit the bill there. I did like the look of it though and considered it as an extra for review.

 

 

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Children shouldn't work independently on phonics. :-) 

 

Independence is why I recommended R&S's English and arithmetic.

 

 

The talkingfingers program is high quality, will mesh with LOE teaching, and is very independent and fun for children ages 4-9.  This mom has 4 kids in close age range.  Perfection is the enemy of the good for her. (Ask me how I know.  Ha!)

 

FLL is easy to combine the 2nd/3rd graders, and she's familiar with it.  Not everyone finds R&S English independent anyway.

 

R&S arithmetic is not going to mesh with her pedagogy if she's loving Singapore and Rightstart.  She can utilize Khan academy videos to supplement teaching with Singapore. My children have been fairly young when they have learned to pull up Khan and find a video.

 

 

I think it's better to find a way to make HER ideals work for her.

 

 

 

Oh, and Happy Phonics is a set of games that will aid in teaching phonics/spelling.  This is not independent at first, but if you spend some time teaching the kids the games, they can play 2 at a time at a game while you work with the other 2. If you are not "married" to LOE, Happy Phonics & ETC & talkingfingers.com (all 3 combined) would be a well-rounded phonics/spelling for K-3rd.  Unless you have learning disabilities to work with, that could work well.

 

OP - you've gotten a lot of info in this thread.  I'd recommend jotting down YOUR day. How much time do you really have to teach every day.  (Plug in the potty trips and park trips.)  Prioritize according to what YOUR kids need most.  Spend the mom-intensive time where the kids need you most. (If they are already reading and you just want to cover your bases, ETC is fine.  If they are struggling to read, spend some serious time with them learning to read.)

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Another quick suggestion to fulfill you 4 hrs a day.....

 

Put in a classical music CD or anything you want. Give them recorders and tamborines...boom . that's music.

 

Have them act out a read aloud or audiobook or what they're reading. Boom. Literature , theater/ drama.

 

Sooooo many ways and all beneficial to the kids and free up mom time.

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So it's unclear to me at this point if you're looking to modify what you're doing to make it more manageable -- but still keep all the content -- or if you're looking to simplify. My suggestions were based on the idea of simplifying. But if it's hours that you're more concerned about, I would try to utilize audiobooks more while you do other stuff. My oldest loves to listen to them in the car or while building legos and he picks up a surprising amount. Don't be afraid to use educational TV like documentaries on occasion -- even my 2 yo will sit through short nature segments about animals that she likes. Try to take advantage of other learning opportunities that the kids express interest in, because then they'll be more motivated to pursue it on their own and take some initiative for their own learning. Things like that.

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Yes, the Singapore math workbooks were designed to be done independently.

 

Looking ahead for you, my 4th grader does the following mostly independently:

 

R&S spelling workbook and practicing spelling words on the iPad

Singapore math workbook and extra practice workbook

Reading Detective

Literature reading

SOTW reading and written summaries/illustrations

R&S English written exercises after we have gone over the lesson together

Daily Geography exercises

Prima Latina workbook

Memoria Press Greek Myths guide

Veritas Press comprehension guides for literature

 

Together we do:

 

Singapore math lesson

Greek Myths reading

McGuffy reading

Latin lessons and drilling vocabulary

R&S English lesson

Geography lesson

Science

Writing with Ease

Anything she needs help on, and we also correct all her work together and discuss her literature and history reading.

 

I only have two kids to school, but we have a very busy schedule and not a ton of time at home, so I have to be very efficient. I schedule blocks where I am working with one child and the other has a good stack of independent work to do. If you are working independently and get stuck, go to the next thing rather than come interrupt my teaching time with your sister. If you finish early, read. This has saved my sanity!

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Talking fingers and happy phonics... I hadn't heard of them! Thank you for the suggestion[emoji5] happy phonics... Is that a workbook like ETC? I love LoE, but I definitely have cut down on how I use it. For instance, I don't do the handwriting (I use HWT) and the grammar is often skipped (I feel it's rather random and I personally focus on the phonograms/reading/spelling portion of the program). I actually haven't used FLL yet, I'm searching for a LA for my rising 3rd grader. I've looked at CLE, R&S, and then programs like FLL and Language Lessons for Today. I'm not completely sold on any one program yet. LoE essentials will be used for spelling only, for him. Any suggestions on a quality LA program for a 3rd grader?

 

 

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Yes, both really. Ideas to simplify AND looking to change curriculum to make life easier. I don't want or expect my kids to not need me. I just see that in order to survive I'm going to need some more independent work out of my kids.

 

 

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