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sunshineslp

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

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It gets easier. There were a few very rough years for me when my kids were young. Now, I'm really only teaching the younger two and spend most of my time sitting around waiting for someone to need me!

 

Schedules never worked for me. For a while, I worked with them one at a time through the day. Oldest was in the morning, then #3, then #2 who seemed to do her best work in the early evening. #4 pretty much lived in the sling during those years! When they got old enough, I would get one started with some instruction, then send them to finish the rest of the math worksheet or whatever on their own, which would buy me a few minutes.

 

 

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I switched my 2nd grader to CLE math this year and it has been fantastic. He loves it, and I can sit and work with him while concurrently working with someone else. He can do 95% of it independently. It has been a huge help. It's also super cheap, you could always order 1 light unit for about $2.00, if you wanted to try it.

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I have six children that I am homeschooling this year.  My "teacher's desk" is actually the middle of my bed.  I can help two children at once by having one child on each side of me.  (This would also work at a table, but I don't like sitting at tables.)

 

 

Ds15 -- works independently except for Spanish; Spanish (about 20 min/day); comes for discussion in literature/Bible/writing (about 10 min/week)

Dd13 -- works independently except for Spanish; comes for help in math (about an hour/week)

Dd11 -- works independently; comes for help in math/language (less than an hour/week)

Dd9 -- sits with me on the bed for all subjects (about 1 hr/day) 4-5 days/week, about 40 weeks/year

Dd7 -- sits with me on the bed for all subjects (about 1 hr/day) 4-5 days/week, about 40 weeks/year

Dd5 -- only doing math at the moment, but doing lots of it.  I just help her in between the others.

 

We start homeschool at about 9 a.m.  Most of the dc are finished long before lunch.  Ds15 and dd13 do more work, as they are in high school.  Almost everything they do is independent.  Most of my dc were at least 75 percent independent by age 10.

 

This time does not include independent reading (I don't schedule this).  They also sometimes watch videos such as Magic School Bus and Liberty Kids.

 

We work on some kind of flashcards (state capitals, presidents, etc.) during lunch about 3 days a week.

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Someone want to look over my day and tell me what I'm doing wrong? Lol. Today went like this...

 

7:30 got dressed and woke up the two big kids. They did their math and English workbooks while I exercised for 30 mi Utes and made breakfast.

 

9 breakfast

9:30 scripture memory, bible study, singing, literature book

10:30 history

11:30 math lesson (new teaching) and spelling with oldest

12 made and ate lunch

1 cleaned up toddler and put him down for a nap. I rested too. Big kids did their typing and played.

 

Now it's 2:30 and I still need to do AAR and math with my daughter and I haven't done anything with my 5yo. Nor has anyone done their chores or practiced their music.

 

Eta: from 2:30-3:30 I did math and AAR with my daughter then checked their workbooks and made them fix their errors. My eldest read some to himself, but only a short time before we finished and left to go for a walk.

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My kids are more independent than I'd ideally like, but they like it.

Simplify and multitask. For example I do a math block - everyone works on their math and I'm there to help, staggering the teaching times.

Let some things go. I can't fit in science. So every 6th week or so, we do a science week!

Eta, I use the spiral notebook idea and it really works well for my kids!

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Vaqutita, sounds exactly like a regular day here!

I'm more relaxed during the day but we're often finishing up after 4pm.

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Well I'm certainly not an expert and many of our days are total chaos but I did post a "day in the life" type of post today. It goes over what our schedule looks like in practice. We find that getting up and getting school done is the only way that keeps us accountable. I'm SO not a morning person but I can't tell you how accomplished I feel when we've had a productive morning. It makes getting up so early worth it for me. And everyone in my house looks forward to some free time in the afternoon. 

Link is in my siggie if you want to see the latest blog post. I wrote it a few weeks ago and it went live this morning. 

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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...

 

My kids go to bed early and are now used to getting up early. I rotate who wakes up first during the week so the same child isn't getting up first every morning. They have alarms in their rooms to wake them. They get up at 5:55 AM and I greet them in the homeschool room with chocolate milk in the warmer months or hot tea in the colder months. They do school in their robes and slippers while we sip on tea and work together. It's kind of nice to have some quiet time with each of them in the early morning hours. I also have the diffuser going with a scent like citrus and some classical music playing. It helps wake us up. 

 

My kids don't love MM because the pages are messy. However, it's a supplement and I use it for extra practice after our RS lessons. So, since we don't spend a ton of time on it and RS with all the manips is our main math, they are ok with the pages. I got MM in a big discount sale once so I had it on hand and wanted to use it. Plus it teaches in a similar manner to RS on many concepts so it makes it nice for reinforcement. 

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My kids are more independent than I'd ideally like, but they like it.

Simplify and multitask. For example I do a math block - everyone works on their math and I'm there to help, staggering the teaching times.

Let some things go. I can't fit in science. So every 6th week or so, we do a science week!

Eta, I use the spiral notebook idea and it really works well for my kids!

This is essentially what happens for math at our house.  They all start at 10:00 with math, and I am on retainer while they work mostly independently.  I use the time to prep anything that needs to be done, and then at 10:30 I start pulling them out for one-on-one (mostly Language Arts, with touching base on other things).

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I can NOT morning....lol.  I just can't.  

 

My husband has 4 10 hour shifts from April until October, and he's up at 5 and out by 6.  I get up with him.  But it doesn't matter that I'm up and awake at 5AM, I cannot function until 9-10.  

 

It doesn't really matter what time I get up, 9-10 is like the magic hour for me, where I get my butt moving.  

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I'm beginning to think I really need to tweak my curriculum. I have a majority of mom intensive stuff. Nothing really that they can do on their own while I work with another child except handwriting (which they sometimes need my help for) and maybe online apps for math/LA. sigh. I wanted to try R&S or FLL but thinking something like CLE may be better. I can teach the lesson and then give them something to do while I work with someone else. But I feel like CLE would make la take so long, since I'll use a different handwriting, spelling and writing. I only want it for grammar. So what would be a good grammar that's workbook? I've heard easy grammar is way too easy (even though I know it has a cult following). What is Hake?

 

Then spelling. LoE or spelling by sound and structure. I like LoE better but it's another intensive one.

 

I think I'm going to use Singapore and then supp with drill and games. If that bombs, I'll probably look at Saxon it CLE or revisit math mammoth.

 

I also think I might switch from mfw to SOTW. Thoughts here?

 

 

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I'm beginning to think I really need to tweak my curriculum. I have a majority of mom intensive stuff. Nothing really that they can do on their own while I work with another child except handwriting (which they sometimes need my help for) and maybe online apps for math/LA. sigh. I wanted to try R&S or FLL but thinking something like CLE may be better. I can teach the lesson and then give them something to do while I work with someone else. But I feel like CLE would make la take so long, since I'll use a different handwriting, spelling and writing. I only want it for grammar. So what would be a good grammar that's workbook? I've heard easy grammar is way too easy (even though I know it has a cult following). What is Hake?

 

Then spelling. LoE or spelling by sound and structure. I like LoE better but it's another intensive one.

 

I think I'm going to use Singapore and then supp with drill and games. If that bombs, I'll probably look at Saxon it CLE or revisit math mammoth.

 

I also think I might switch from mfw to SOTW. Thoughts here?

 

 

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I don't do grammar in the early stages. I think the first few years should focus on reading. I personally wouldn't bother with much grammar until 3rd. Can you just do LOE plus math with the Ker and 2nd grader? Then have big sis do some grammar too? Or you could start the year with The Sentence Family and Grammar Land for everyone together so the younger kids get some exposure. Then, you could start formal grammar with your third grader. Hake is a spiral grammar curriculum. It's thorough, but def. a do only every other problem curriculum if you're going to be doing formal grammar every. single. year. The lowest level they have is grade 4 though. I just let my children write in the very thick book.  Man that thing's huge! http://www.hakepublishing.com/sample-lessons.html

 

ETA:I wouldn't do CLE if you just want the grammar.  

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Ok, here is my ideal day. We start at 10:00 (I am not a morning person). One student is doing computer subjects, other 2 are doing independent non-computer stuff, and I do reading, math, memory and handwriting with 5yo.

 

11:00 we rotate. I do math, spelling, memory with 7yo, 5yo plays, others do computer work or other work.

 

12:00 we rotate. 5yo plays, 7yo does computer stuff then plays with 5yo, I work with 9yo. 12yo does some work, then makes lunch

 

1:00 is lunch

 

1:30 9yo cleans up lunch, finishes anything left, then plays with 7 and 5yo while I work with 12yo until about 3:00

 

Reality is often different... we start late so I have to decide who to work with. I don't watch time well enough and 12yo ends up not being done or not done until 4. I realize that a student didn't do their least favourite subject for 4 days... and I'm spending time calling out "name... what are you working on?"... followed by "you have looked at your list for 5 minutes... you are supposed to do the next thing on it!"

 

Or last week we had errands and not feeling well days and hardly got anything done.... and I wake today to find that dh took all the kids so I could have a quiet day, which is nice and enjoyable.... but nothing got done again today... sigh

 

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I'm beginning to think I really need to tweak my curriculum. I have a majority of mom intensive stuff. Nothing really that they can do on their own while I work with another child except handwriting (which they sometimes need my help for) and maybe online apps for math/LA. sigh. I wanted to try R&S or FLL but thinking something like CLE may be better. I can teach the lesson and then give them something to do while I work with someone else. But I feel like CLE would make la take so long, since I'll use a different handwriting, spelling and writing. I only want it for grammar. So what would be a good grammar that's workbook? I've heard easy grammar is way too easy (even though I know it has a cult following). What is Hake?

I'm using Growing With Grammar Level 2 with my 2nd grader and like it. It gets the concepts down with simple exercises and it seems to be sticking. It takes MAX 10 minutes. I think it's a good prep for starting Latin next year.

 

I might wait until 3rd for grammar with my next child, though. She has a late birthday and I'm not stuck on having to do official grammar in the early grades. 

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This is my ideal. Never ever happens, but I can aim for it.

 

6:45 I get up for Bible, prayer, and a few minutes of calm (and to write out DS1's schoolwork list and set out little activities or things for my small guys to do). DH has already left for work.

7:00 I wake kids, at least the big two or three, and the little guys may or may not be awake then. They get dressed and do morning chores (collecting dirty laundry and bringing it to the laundry room, feeding pets, restocking TP, taking out trash and recycling, emptying dishwasher) while I make breakfast and start laundry. We eat.

8:00 I clean up kitchen, feed and dress small people, make my bed, switch laundry and start next load/hang it outside, shower, maybe do a quick cleaning chore like wiping bathroom surfaces or washing pots that have been soaking, maybe make any quick phone calls. Meanwhile, the kids clear their breakfast dishes, brush their teeth, and head into the schoolroom or playroom. Big kids start independent work from their list, and little guys find something to do, either toys or something I've set out, their choice. (Side note: I'm always making printable cutting sheets and such. I made one activity that is little laminated sheets with sequences made of different leaves. Each has Velcro, and there are laminated squares with the matching leaves, with Velcro on the backs. They have spent a ton of time this fall, making and unmaking the patterns.)

9:00 I head into the schoolroom. I spend about an hour with DD, going over math, Latin, writing, discussion, logic, etc. DS1 works on his list; little guys play. (DS1 will be mostly done with independent work by 10, if we are really working on this schedule.)

10:00 DD works independently while I work with DS1 on the same stuff. Somewhere in there, they have a snack.

11:00 (maybe a little earlier) We gather together for group work.

11:30 Older two work on anything they still need to do while I work with the first grader and preKer, more or less together. Could be an hour, could just be half a hour, and if they're really into things, could be an hour and a half if we are reading a lot of stories.

(I rotate who works with me first, but in order that I only gather the little guys once, group work is right before I work with them, so it might be first.)

1:30 Break for lunch. If group work didn't happen earlier, it happens after lunch.

2:30 clean up kitchen, big kids finish anything they need to (DS1 can be done before this but DD really can't be), little people do what little people do. Toddler doesn't nap if we are home. Kids take breaks as needed to practice martial arts for ten minutes here or there, or to go outside if it's nice. I do whatever I need to, whether that's cleaning, tidying, answering questions, answering emails, dinner prep, exercising, checking schoolwork, knitting. . .

4:30 (or a bit earlier) Each child other than the toddler gets an area to tidy and sweep or vacuum each day, and it rotates too. They do those areas and their evening chores (including finding their uniforms if they're going to MA class the next day) while I make dinner, sort/fold clean laundry (I don't fold theirs; I sort it into a pile for each of them and they do it if they want to), dress the toddler again, whatever.

5:15 DH gets home, and we eat around 5:30 or 6.

6:00 clean up kitchen, baths, lay out school stuff for the next day, readalouds

Small guys in bed by 8:30, big two by 9:30, adults by 10:30

 

Sounds lovely. I keep aiming for it!

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My kids are 12, 9, 6, and 13 months.  Here is how I've learned to survive:

 

1) I switched to Memoria Press for most subjects.  The continuity helps them become more independent.

2) I use DVDs and onlilne classes when I can.  Your kids may be too young for that.

3) I start the first week of August and we may go into mid June.

4) When we don't have sports season, we sometimes do school on Saturday.

5) I utilize quizlet for studying for tests.

6) I have days of the week where I focus on one child.  Usually Monday is the 9 year old.  I get him started with the new material for the week.  Tuesday I sit with the 6 year old. Wednesday is the 9 year old again.  Thursday is test day for the 6 and 9 year old.  Those two have Friday off.  Friday is one on one with the 12 year old and test day for him as well.  It isn't set in stone.  Today I needed to catch up with the 12 year old.  

7)  I have all my kids constantly reading novels while listening to audio books.

8) We all take turns hanging out with the toddler his room while he plays or chasing him down.

 

Best wishes

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When all my kids were little I didn't do time and mom intensive everything. It was impossible. I picked what was most important to me (at the time that was 1 level of Sonlight), and the rest I tried to choose simple, less involved curriculums. After a few years, I dumped Sonlight in favor of rotating a semester of science and a semester of history which worked so much better for us.

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Mamakelly: thank you[emoji5] this is exactly what I need and can't figure out yet, is what to do that isn't mom intensive. I would need to change a lot and I just haven't figured out what yet.

 

 

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so... what about Abeka for grammar?  too much?  i know it is a heavy program, so maybe skip every other year.  just curious thoughts...

 

i think CLE for ONLY grammar is silly.  so that is out.  I just don't care for it's spelling.  hmmm...

 

Hake looks like Saxons version for grammar?  i actually like it :) haha!  it looks intense though. 

 

Easy grammar... too easy?

 

Sentence diagramming... necessary???

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so... what about Abeka for grammar?  too much?  i know it is a heavy program, so maybe skip every other year.  just curious thoughts...

 

i think CLE for ONLY grammar is silly.  so that is out.  I just don't care for it's spelling.  hmmm...

 

Hake looks like Saxons version for grammar?  i actually like it :) haha!  it looks intense though. 

 

Easy grammar... too easy?

 

Sentence diagramming... necessary???

 

We use Abeka for elementary grammar and math.

 

I choose the number of questions/exercises each of my dc do according to what they need to learn.  We only do some of the review work.

 

Some people think that sentence diagramming is important, but I don't require it.  I taught Abeka in a school before I had children and I don't really remember diagramming helping any of my students (although it may have helped some).

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Edited because I realized I sounded snarky and TOTALLY didn't mean to!  

 

EIW for Grammar and writing.  It's a video lesson so...bonus.  The video is short.  The worksheets are independent.  

 

Particularly in regards to the writing aspect of EIW, you'll need to do some guidance, but most of the grammar?  Done.  (I seek online worksheets to spiral review the grammar concepts, just to help it stick...eventually, I'll add in some kind of workbooky-type grammar review like Spectrum or something).

 

Anyways, they do two videos a week and that gives us enough lessons to last the entire school year.  

 

SOTW has been a big help here for history.  We tried ToG and wow...loved the concept but it was WAY too much for young elementary.  I may consider switching back to ToG when they are middle and high school.  Too bad its so $$$$.  

 

What I do with SOTW:  

 

The older three read the chapter assignment independently.  Then, I read the chapter assignment outloud, mostly for the little guy's benefit.  We talk about it a bit and do the mapwork from the teacher guide.  

 

I have a ream of continuous feed printer paper.  I used it to create a timeline stretching from Ancients to 15 years in the future.  Each section of history is a certain color (purple for Ancient, green for middle ages, etc).  I bought History Through the Ages Timeline Figures.  Over the summer, I go through the book and make a list of all of the historical people, events, places, etc.  Then, I either find a figure from HTTA, or I find one online.  I make a document with ALL of the timeline figures I'll need for the entire book...and then I print it out on full-sheet label paper.  Essentially making the figures into stickers.

 

I color the stickers and we add them to our timeline as we go through SOTW.  

 

Done.  

 

You can also purchase color timeline figures that are mailed to you, or print out colored ones (I have a black and white Brother laser, so color printing isn't an option here).  

 

 

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so... what about Abeka for grammar?  too much?  i know it is a heavy program, so maybe skip every other year.  just curious thoughts...

 

i think CLE for ONLY grammar is silly.  so that is out.  I just don't care for it's spelling.  hmmm...

 

Hake looks like Saxons version for grammar?  i actually like it :) haha!  it looks intense though. 

 

Easy grammar... too easy?

 

Sentence diagramming... necessary???

My oldest is using Hake for Grammar, because I wanted something he could pretty much do without me and had diagramming.  He is used to Saxon and likes familiarity.  Since we jumped into MP while he was older I picked that and it works for both of us.  He started book 5 in March and is 2/3 through it.  Over all we are pleased and he is learning a lot.  I will probably stick with the MP for the others, because I'm trying to get them on the grade level planners where we can just check the box for sanity purposes.

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Following to read up on everyone's experiences. We have four and will only have two in school when we start HSing, but I'll have a 4yo and 2yo home, too. The 4yo will be at preschool three mornings a week, because it is right down the road, play based, and I figured it'd help free up some quiet time for me to do math and writing and such with his brothers. My kids are up at 7, but we still manage to run late and rush most mornings! Gah. I hadn't even considered starting schooling before breakfast, but that totally makes sense! 

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this is exactly what I need and can't figure out yet, is what to do that isn't mom intensive. I would need to change a lot and I just haven't figured out what yet.

I've been working on this same thing. When we started everything we did was mom intensive. Right start math, MEP, AAS, AO, etc. Then along came baby number four, and totally did me in. Lol. So I've been slowly transitioning to less mom intense things. We use Singapore math, its not totally independent, but its way more doable than RS or MEP. I switched from AO to SOTW, still mom dependent but less time consuming. I am still using AAR because I have a kid who needs it. I'm still working on a replacement for AAS.

 

For grammar, how about climbing to good English? We are using it behind grade level because I wanted them to get used to working independently and am not in any rush about grammar.

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You sound just like me, such similar curriculum!:) I looked at CTGE, and it looks good. Wasn't in love. Do you think it's better than CLE? How is it different? I'm considering Hake for 4th grade and maybe a gentle grammar for 3rd, like using 2nd grade R&S or easy grammar. Have you looked at hake?

 

I'm worried about Singapore [emoji30] I love the style, after doing RS I don't think I could go to a purely traditional approach. I'm worried sm will take too much time too. But like you said, it's better than RS. I want to love math mammoth but the layout stresses my kids out and I kind of like more activities and teaching for the lesson.

 

 

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I can't say I'm in love with CTGE. I guess I settled for good enough, something that will get done. As far as how it compares to CLE... CLE language arts includes penmanship and spelling too. I use something else for penmanship and at the time I switched I wasn't looking for spelling. Though I think CTGE 2 does have spelling in it, just taught from a grammar stand point. Price was a factor. The TMs are about the same price but the CTGE workbooks cost $4 compared to CLE at $34. I think a big draw though was the fact it's just one page a day. Lol. I know its the opposite of what we needed for math. CLE is lots of white space, so five pages a day. CTGE is more per page, and only one page per day. In the beginning I had them do just a half page per day. Books 4-8 are just three days a week.

 

Eta: typos

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I'm by no means an expert or a veteran since my oldest just started high school, but I do understand what it is like to be in the trenches with lots of littles & still need to get school done. That's where I'm coming from when I say, gently, that perhaps you should just go ahead and keep your mom-intensive stuff for the 3Rs and switch over to just doing read alouds & interest-led for everything else. 

 

You should be able to cover all your math and LA in the morning. Then, in the afternoon, cover your other topics (one per day) with a read aloud or an activity. 

 

I will also echo someone else's idea of doing gentle grammar with something like the Sentence Family or Grammar Land. Then, if you want to add non-mom-intensive grammar in 3rd grade or later, Growing With Grammar or Hake (4th & up) would probably fit your bill. 

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I know what you mean about not being able to go back to traditional math. I got spunky math 2nd grade to use for review, but its SO different. Lol. And I can't imagine making my kids do three packed pages every day. Sometimes there are 150+ problems.

 

I'm using miquon with my 5yo and I'm finding it a good blend of hands on , but not too mom intense

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I thought about trying miquon but I don't want to learn another system [emoji23] I figure RS is good enough, although I want to do some education unboxed stuff.

 

 

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RS is good enough. But I wasn't using it at all anymore, just Singapore. I was using c rods and ideas from education u boxed with it. This year is the first time I've tried miquon. I wanted something to use with my 5yo and considered using RS A again, but just couldn't. Lol. He blew through Singapore essentials A and half of B, but got tired of just doing pages of addition problems. So I switched him to miquon Orange and he likes that, lots of blocks, not too much writing. I'm also using Singapore 1a with him, just the textbook. Just to sort of stretch things out.

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That sounds great! I know how you feel about RS. I tried to get a different program going for my upcoming kinder girl. But I think it's so good. Is Singapore essentials good? Is it easy to teach? Do you need a teachers manual? I've thought about doing it instead but I might just do RS. I do A and B then switch. Why am I so worried about teaching sm??!! Is it too much to do with four kids eventually? Is it difficult to understand how to teach? Even in RS there's been times where I was totally lost. But luckily they are pretty good at explaining. Is sm that way?

 

I might need to consider ctge again. Otherwise I think we will do R&S and then switch to hake in fourth.

 

 

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Singapore essentials is not anything special. It's a workbook. Though the teaching suggestions at the bottom of each page do help with hands on ideas. I used it as busy work for a kid who wanted his own school work. There is no separate TM. As for whether singapore will be too much with four kids, i don't know yet. My fingers are crossed that it won't be. Lol. I don't find it hard to teach. If you're used to RS, I don't think it will be for you. But if you run into trouble, the HIG totally spells out how to teach the concepts. I pull it out when my explanations don't seem to be working. I only used RS A 1st edition, and I found it hard to teach just cause I never knew why I was doing what I was doing. I like how the HIG clearly lays out what I'm teaching, how it build on the previous level, and where it's going.

 

Eta: I've never looked at hake

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Someone want to look over my day and tell me what I'm doing wrong? Lol. Today went like this...

 

7:30 got dressed and woke up the two big kids. They did their math and English workbooks while I exercised for 30 mi Utes and made breakfast.

 

9 breakfast

9:30 scripture memory, bible study, singing, literature book

10:30 history

11:30 math lesson (new teaching) and spelling with oldest

12 made and ate lunch

1 cleaned up toddler and put him down for a nap. I rested too. Big kids did their typing and played.

 

Now it's 2:30 and I still need to do AAR and math with my daughter and I haven't done anything with my 5yo. Nor has anyone done their chores or practiced their music.

 

Eta: from 2:30-3:30 I did math and AAR with my daughter then checked their workbooks and made them fix their errors. My eldest read some to himself, but only a short time before we finished and left to go for a walk.

 

You're not doing anything 'wrong'. What you have is different priorities to those of us who finish up before lunch. You have spent a full hour on bible/memory/read aloud/singing. We would spend maybe a half hour total, or we would include these things in different parts of the day rather then as 'school' (we sing in the car, or while I'm getting the children dressed, or various other times, we do bible time after school and prefer to do one long session a couple of times a week then daily bits, the memory verse is done before bed with daddy every night, etc, so there's an entire hour of things we don't have as part of 'school' but include elsewhere)

You also spend an hour on history. I don't do (formal) history at all until they're old enough to do it independently with discussion/imput at a time which suits me. And even if I did it would be 20 mins a day, or an hour once or twice a week, not an hour daily. I just don't put as much priority on history. So there's another hour you're spending on one of your priorities which I just don't. 

 

Also, I personally would have delayed lunch until 12:30 in order to do math and AAR with the younger one before lunch, and then would have checked workbooks while eating lunch or late in the afternoon before making dinner, so that once the toddler went down at 1:30 (in the modified, lunch was late schedule)  I was done.

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I hope I make sense. All the kids are bouncing around right now. :)

 

I have six kids, ages 15 months to 10yo.  We can't have a regular routine because my husband's hours are extremely unpredictable, and often involve travel.  We frequently travel with him, so the kids aren't separated from him more than they have to be.  I've had to learn to move forward without relying on a schedule, and that has been so freeing!  

 

I try to think in terms of end goals.  What am I trying to accomplish, what is the next thing, instead of being curriculum driven.  I frequently read through a whole curriculum to get the meat of what is taught throughout the whole course.  Then I am able to keep my eye on where we are headed, and can confidently adjust as necessary.  Also, it might not be your thing, but I've found that knowing the point of the lesson allows me to change it entirely and make it fit within the context of reality.  For example, if I know my pre-schooler's math pages are about counting, I'm going to ask her to collect a certain number of acorns while we are at the park.  I can easily count them with her, and know that I am moving through what she needs to do, but not have to formally sit down with her.  When I do pull out the math book, she can do the page with only a minute or two of direction from me.  I try to keep all my kids working orally significantly ahead of their seat work requirements.  The result has been that I need to do very little formally with them AND they feel confident because most things are "easy."  

 

I do a lot of things while we are eating.  Why not make the family discussion about history?  Or, we often practice our memory work just before (or after) we eat.  I also do memory work a lot in the car.  That's also a great time for a one on one with a child.  I think ds (8) has learned everything he knows about grammar in the car, chatting with me.  

 

Surrounding them with interesting things that make learning the basics natural and fun are very worthwhile also.  Studying the ancients?  Put maps all over the walls, pictures of artifacts, and stock the shelves with interesting books.  Make a magnet matching game of vocab words on your fridge, and write memory work on your bathroom mirrors.  These sorts of things can be done when the kids go to bed, and then they can work through what you've prepped during the day.  You have more free time to work with one child on a math concept, or just have discussions on educational topics.  

 

In a nutshell, I'm advocating a sort of unschooling approach, but much more structured.  I figure out what we are supposed to know, and then work to integrate that information into our daily life.  I figure the reason we educate our children is so they can use the information anyway. 

 

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Personally,

 

I do not find Singapore to be too teacher-intensive.  Not any more so than any other typical math curriculum.  Let's face it...during most of our kiddo's math years, SOMEbody is going to have to do the teaching.  Whether it's us, the parents...or a program that includes the teaching within the program itself (like MUS, or Teaching Textbooks).  

 

Most of my Singapore math lessons require about 15-30 minutes of teaching from me...and then support when needed.  They do their worksheets on their own.  The support comes in when they need help.  

 

 

FWIW, as much as I like Singapore...I'm not a huge fan of their Kindergarten...lol.  I'm glad I'm out of Kers.  ;-)  

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You're not doing anything 'wrong'. What you have is different priorities to those of us who finish up before lunch. You have spent a full hour on bible/memory/read aloud/singing. We would spend maybe a half hour total, or we would include these things in different parts of the day rather then as 'school' (we sing in the car, or while I'm getting the children dressed, or various other times, we do bible time after school and prefer to do one long session a couple of times a week then daily bits, the memory verse is done before bed with daddy every night, etc, so there's an entire hour of things we don't have as part of 'school' but include elsewhere)

You also spend an hour on history. I don't do (formal) history at all until they're old enough to do it independently with discussion/imput at a time which suits me. And even if I did it would be 20 mins a day, or an hour once or twice a week, not an hour daily. I just don't put as much priority on history. So there's another hour you're spending on one of your priorities which I just don't.

 

Also, I personally would have delayed lunch until 12:30 in order to do math and AAR with the younger one before lunch, and then would have checked workbooks while eating lunch or late in the afternoon before making dinner, so that once the toddler went down at 1:30 (in the modified, lunch was late schedule) I was done.

History doesn't usually take us an hour, but we did a history pocket. Those things take forever! I may drop those. That day I thought we were meeting friends for nature study, so I had to make lunch early. It ended up not happening.

 

Moving all our bible bits to the another part of the day is a good idea. Then we could be done with 'school' by lunch, even if we have other stuff still to do. And as much as it simplifies things inside my head to group workbooks together and family work together and with mom work together, I'm not sure it works all that well in practice. The kids get burned out on all one thing. Doing one on ones during the toddlers nap is great, except my kids are ready to be DONE with school by then and so not very cooperative.

 

I'm thinking...

CTGE

Breakfast

I chapter in lit book

Math time, rotating lessons and independent work. Utilizing educational app or tv for toddler

History or science

Reading/spelling lessons, other kids do typing or play with toddler

Lunch

Quiet reading time while I put toddler down for nap

Bible

Piano/violin practice

 

Though two afternoons a week we are not home (nature study or PE and Art). I guess I can have them read in the car, do a shortened bible time at lunch, and music practice when we get home. Tuesday's are also different, history/science and reading/spelling are replaced with driving around to music lessons.

 

Eta: I'm not sure where to fit 'extras' in here. They are just not happening this year.

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I don't know if you saw my post in another thread, but many moms, myself included, begin with mom intensive curr. such as RS Math and AAS.  Then as more children get to school age we've moved to less mom intensive curr. but we have the knowledge of those awesome methodologies to pass on.  I'm constantly throwing out wisdom from RS Math and AAS even when they are using other programs.  Also, my middle two use dreambox math online and they've learned a lot of good math ideas that seem RSish.  (such as learning how to multiply giant numbers by 5 in seconds by multiplying by 10 and dividing by 2.)  So rest assured that you can pass those skills on even when you switch a curriculum.

 

 

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I don't know if you saw my post in another thread, but many moms, myself included, begin with mom intensive curr. such as RS Math and AAS. Then as more children get to school age we've moved to less mom intensive curr. but we have the knowledge of those awesome methodologies to pass on. I'm constantly throwing out wisdom from RS Math and AAS even when they are using other programs. Also, my middle two use dreambox math online and they've learned a lot of good math ideas that seem RSish. (such as learning how to multiply giant numbers by 5 in seconds by multiplying by 10 and dividing by 2.) So rest assured that you can pass those skills on even when you switch a curriculum.

That's an awesome trick! I can't recall if you told me, what math and LA do you use now? I do find myself using RS to teach concepts just in every day math. I want to continue that so I hope Singapore lends itself better to mom-time-management...

 

 

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History doesn't usually take us an hour, but we did a history pocket. Those things take forever! I may drop those. That day I thought we were meeting friends for nature study, so I had to make lunch early. It ended up not happening.

 

Moving all our bible bits to the another part of the day is a good idea. Then we could be done with 'school' by lunch, even if we have other stuff still to do. And as much as it simplifies things inside my head to group workbooks together and family work together and with mom work together, I'm not sure it works all that well in practice. The kids get burned out on all one thing. Doing one on ones during the toddlers nap is great, except my kids are ready to be DONE with school by then and so not very cooperative.

 

I'm thinking...

CTGE

Breakfast

I chapter in lit book

Math time, rotating lessons and independent work. Utilizing educational app or tv for toddler

History or science

Reading/spelling lessons, other kids do typing or play with toddler

Lunch

Quiet reading time while I put toddler down for nap

Bible

Piano/violin practice

 

Though two afternoons a week we are not home (nature study or PE and Art). I guess I can have them read in the car, do a shortened bible time at lunch, and music practice when we get home. Tuesday's are also different, history/science and reading/spelling are replaced with driving around to music lessons.

 

Eta: I'm not sure where to fit 'extras' in here. They are just not happening this year.

I love this plan you wrote up. I might steal it from you;) my trouble comes in with juggling math for 2 kids. Instruction is difficult to differentiate for me. My boys need my full attention.

 

 

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That's an awesome trick! I can't recall if you told me, what math and LA do you use now? I do find myself using RS to teach concepts just in every day math. I want to continue that so I hope Singapore lends itself better to mom-time-management...

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

6th grader uses Hake Grammar and Memoria Press Classical Comp; Saxon Math

3rd grader is just finishing Abeka 3 Math and will move into Saxon 5/4 after Christmas; He uses Memoria Press grammar and writing

1st is just finishing Abeka 1 math and will move into Abeka 2; she uses Memoria Press L.A.

 

I also throw in Writing With Ease for the younger two when I have time.  

 

All three are using Spelling Workout for the first time.  The younger two still get AAS with me, but SW keeps us on a weekly routine which we sorely need.  I fit AAS in when I have time.

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I don't know if you saw my post in another thread, but many moms, myself included, begin with mom intensive curr. such as RS Math and AAS.  Then as more children get to school age we've moved to less mom intensive curr. but we have the knowledge of those awesome methodologies to pass on.  I'm constantly throwing out wisdom from RS Math and AAS even when they are using other programs.  Also, my middle two use dreambox math online and they've learned a lot of good math ideas that seem RSish.  (such as learning how to multiply giant numbers by 5 in seconds by multiplying by 10 and dividing by 2.)  So rest assured that you can pass those skills on even when you switch a curriculum.

 

So true. What a fabulous post! 

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FWIW, I do agree with less labor intensive BUT,

 

I would not ever abandon Singapore. Never.

 

Combining the closer in age ones for grammar , I like FLL and WWE.

They are sweet family time to do together IMO.

 

Phonics cannot be don't without you. They need the solid foundation .

 

Alternate history read aouds at nite and they can color the pics , dover coloring books, and jus do fun science experiments. Start a seed and let them document IRS progress.

 

Baby gets playdoh lol.

 

Enjoy this time. It's such a sweet time and once it's gone...its gone. My big 3 have left the nest. Still 2 at home.

 

Have fun !! :)

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Next year, we will have a 6th grader, a 2nd grade, Kindergartener, toddler, and a baby. If it helps, this is what we are planning....

 

6th grader:

Math: Life of Fred with Prodigy Math

Lang. Arts: Rod and Staff spelling, Jr. Analytical Grammar (we don't do elementary grammar), Jump In writing (we don't focus on formal writing until 5 th grade)

Science: Apologia (outsourced on Fridays, but if not it would be 2 days/week and I would use the audio books for the littles)

History: Story of the World with independent readers from Wayfarers/Simply Charlotte Mason (2 days/week)

We will also try to fit in Fun Spanish, Perplexors, and Artistic Pursuits

 

On Fridays, they will take karate and do the science co-op only

 

2nd grade:

Math: Singapore Math 2 (not adding the additional practice books)

Lang. Arts: Rod and Staff phonics 2 and spelling (he will have completed all or part of AAR 2 first), A Reason for Handwriting, independent readers

Science: Apologia (outsourced)

History: Story of the World (listening and coloring pages only) readers

 

Kindergarten:

Math: Singapore Essentials (mostly busy work for her)

Lang. Arts: All About Reading pre-reading, Handwriting Without Tears

Listening along with the big kids

 

That's it, and it may not be everything that I want to do, but it is what we can handle and they will still be learning!

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