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Follow Up Post. Help Me Plan for 5, 6, and 8 year old


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I was doing Mason's Alveary, but due to an almost 3 year old that needs a lot of attention, my husband has suggested I switch to more independent curricula.  I will do Right Start Math with my 6 year old, she needs the help.  I was thinking Strayer Upton with my 8 year old.  Then I just need a get it done Language Arts.  I was thinking Cottage Press.. But maybe there is something more independent.  Apart from that I will require Hoffman Academy, 30 minutes of silent reading, a morning time with narration, and my husband reads aloud to them at night.  I like the idea of doing a 5 day loop for "subjects" Geography, History, Nature Study, Fine Arts ect... We cover Bible as a family over breakfast.  

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Oops! Posted this on your other thread, so just copy-pasting that response here.

   4 hours ago,  alexandramarie said: 

My husband gave me the Ok to switch things up and not feel like I wasted money.  SO how about the Cottage Press Language Arts Primers.  Continuing Right Start with my daughter, having my son do Strayer Upton Math independently. And then doing 1 hr of "Morning Time". And Hoffman Academy?  

Good for your DH! That is very supportive to have his encouragement to switch to less time-intensive materials, so that you can make the most of your little windows of opportunity. (:D I'm not familiar with any of those materials to know if they will be more independent for your children or a good fit for their learning styles, so I can't help there. But let's see if we can help you squeeze out a little bit more time in your schedule -- It looks like this is what you currently have going:

(morning routine)
9:30-11:00 = Math & English (includes Phonics for 5yo)
12:30-1:00 = Piano
1:00-2:30 = 1/2 = Latin, Grammar, Copywork, and 1/2 = loop schedule for History/Geography/Fine Arts
(independent reading)

Although it may not feel like it, that's really quite a lot of time -- 3.5 hours! 

Can DH provide 30 minutes in the evening after dinner? Even if it's just 3x/week. Perhaps he can read aloud the History/Lit/Geography to the older 3 while you wrangle the little ones, and that frees up a bit more time during your afternoon block to work with the 5yo for a longer, more regular block of time. 

Can you provide a basket of handicrafts for the older 2 to choose from and do as independent work after the afternoon block of time? Or perhaps have as the go-to during the morning block if a child gets stuck and needs to wait on you while you are working with another child?

For your morning block, can you set up the almost 3yo with high chair time activities, or a tub of bubbles and plastic dishes to "wash" on the kitchen floor, or standing on a chair at the kitchen sink, and have the 8yo, 6yo and 5yo all at the kitchen table doing Math and English. And you just keep circling the table providing the needed explanation to get one started, they start working, move to the next, etc. And once they are working, you are there to answer questions and grade work in the moment.

I'm sure weekends are full, but could DH commit to watch 4 children for 30-40 minutes on Saturdays, so that you could have a time slot for school catch up or focused time on one subject with one child each week. You could rotate through the 3 children, and then take the 4th Saturday off. OR, save the Art and some of the Charlotte Mason things and do them in the summer when you are NOT doing regular core academics. That keeps those subjects enjoyable, and doesn't stress the schedule of trying to get in everything every day.

Finally, just an encouragement that this is a very hectic/hard stage right now, and if ALL you covered daily was the core subjects of Math and Language Arts, and then getting in the occasional content subject (everything else), you would be giving your children a solid educational foundation.  Hopefully "moms of many little ones" will jump in here and lend a hand with ideas of what works for them! BEST of luck, warmly, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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Have you considered throwing together something theme based?  I mean, I know what it's like to work with a house of kids and one needing more attention, but themes were pretty nice at keeping my sanity and the day's flow going.  Each month I did a different theme and we worked everything around that.
Farming: children's books, copywork, how do plants grow, nursery rhymes for memorization, the book How To Make An Apple Pie And See The World for geography, making apple prints (and apple scented playdoh), animals...
Or we did one all about ancient Egypt and worked everything into it.

My goal was getting enough connected learning so that the information stuck, even on days where we were a lot busier than normal.  If you can do that, and then work in something for language arts like the old Writing Strands for the 8yo, you'd be golden.

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