Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Amber in SJ

Need quick elementary recommendations for homeschooling sister in crisis X-Post

Recommended Posts

Here is the situation:

My youngest sister has 5 kids ranging from 11yo to 2 months (11, 8, 6, 3 and 2 months.) They live in another state. She is a strict CM homeschooler (No twaddle!)  The kids are not allowed to watch TV or non-educational movies, no video games, or other screens are allowed (the opposite of me!)  She homeschools in a very mom-intensive way.  Unfortunately, her oldest is struggling with a major health issue and will be hospitalized for several months.  Her dh is taking time off of work but he can only take so  much.  My dad who is a semi retired 73 year old is headed there to help take care of the three kids in the middle.  His only experience with homeschooling is that all three of his adult daughters do it 🙂  I am trying to look at some resources that are pretty "open and go" for my dad to help finish off the school year.  My final two homeschoolers are in high school so it has been a little while since I did pre-school or elementary.  I am sure she is going to have to loosen up on her rules some for the kids to spend a major amount of time with my dad because he is a big "TV is the grandkid babysitter" guy.  

So gimme all you got, oh hive mind.....

If you had to let a clueless but loving grandpa be in charge of your kids during an extended family crisis what would you give him to do?

Thanks,

Amber in SJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would grab some Kumon books and some Evan-Moor (such as daily math, LA and geography), and have the oldest (and 6yo if far enough along in reading) practice reading both silently and aloud from either books they already have or Pathway readers.

Give grandpa a checklist-- every day, 8yo needs to do the next 2 pages in each of these books, read a chapter to an adult and read 2 chapters alone; 6yo needs to do the next page in each of these books; 3yo needs to do a maze, color, play with play-dough, trace--whatever.

That should keep them in a routine at least, and not require any kind of deep planning.

ETA: Some art supplies might be worth having, too. Grandpa can cover the table with newspaper and have them all work on collage, suncatcher kits, any kind of craft that they will get into. And maybe some jigsaw puzzles.

Edited by whitehawk
  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What are her state requirements like?

With young kids it wouldn't hurt to not focus on academics for awhile, grandpa could read books to them and let them play. I'd consider that plus maybe math for the oldest adequate.

Now, if more structure makes it easier for grandpa to take care of them that's fine as well.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh no!

For those ages, I would do:

Liberty Kids videos for social studies.

My dd has loved Jonathan Bird's Blue World on youtube for years.  Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about science or social studies for those ages.  They can take a couple of months off.

For the 6 year old, it would depend on if s/he was reading.  i would do audio books for sure.  I would do copywork/penmanship (Pentime?)  If reading, I would require 30 minutes of reading a day.  If not reading, I think I would put reading instruction on hold. 

I am assuming math is a workbook?  I would just continue with a lesson a day.  Same with the eight year old.

Eight year old: penmanship (Pentime), read a louds, 30 minutes of reading, math. 

I honestly don't think much skill work will be lost by losing a couple of months at that age.  My long term plan for 3rd up (or if it were anything other than the end of the year) would probably be CLE light units for language arts (includes penmanship and spelling, grammar and writing), Daily 6-trait writing, required free reading, continue with math and some type of textbook for social studies/science.  But these kids are very young and at the end of the year, so I would take a much lighter touch, particularly as they are going through the trauma of the sibling's hospitalization, mother being away, grampa moving in, etc.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would make book baskets for each child.  Ask grandpa to read aloud one selection from each basket daily.  Older children read aloud to grandpa and/or 3-year old plus 30 minutes silent reading or audiobooks daily.    

Do the older two children have copywork books?  If not, pick up some in the style your sister teaches.  One page per day for each of the older two children.

For math, if the current program is not one your dad can easily teach, I'd consider Critical Thinking Company's Mathematical Reasoning.  It is as open and go as you can get.

Does grandpa have a hobby or passion he can share with the children?  Fishing, woodworking, needlework, bird watching?  I would get whatever gear is needed for him to share this with the children.  Consider it an intensive.

Otherwise, get some simple science or craft kits, puzzles, dvds (I know your sister doesn't like them, but this is an emergency), or toys for grandpa to pull out as needed.   If grandpa is comfortable taking the children on outings, a grandparent membership at a local zoo or museum would give them a place to go.  

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Math, reading, documentaries or audiobooks, spend lots of time outside. That is all I would do until fall.

That will allow time for grieving (little kids do process stress and their big sibling being sick is going to be hard. 😞 ) and creating a new normal. If the oldest is still hospitalized in Sept, then I would think about adding in spelling and copywork.

 

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Critical Thinking Company workbooks might be fun - my younger likes Science Detective, and both of mine liked Inference Jones.  Language Mechanic might be good for the oldest.  Mindbenders, Balance Benders, and their analogy books are definitely educational, but have a more fun, puzzle-like feel for a change of pace.  In the situation that you describe, I would think it's fine to just do math, reading, and read or watch some history or science but it depends on the family - some will want to do the minimum and others will find comfort in the routine of 'doing school' from 9-12 and might enjoy something low stress that they can puzzle through together.  They might also enjoy reading history/biographies from things that grandpa would remember and talking about them with him.  My dad loves reading true military stories and often talks about them with my older kiddo.  I often joke that the reason that I wound up in science was that, when I was a kid, the only way to get to stay up late was to watch science documentaries with Dad - even if he's not doing regular school with them, getting to learn stuff with grandpa is likely to make an impression.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we had to have family step in to help with homeschooling (dd/cancer, another dd/NICU for an extended period), we had to keep things very simple and very minimal to actually get it done.

Math: do the next lesson in the book. CLE math is very easy for a non-teacher to grade, Singapore math bar models caused my mom’s brain to melt, iykwim. 

Phonics: we went to workbooks—do the next lesson.

Art: Artistic Pursuits kits with the accompanying supplies were a huge hit.

Sonlight science kits (with supplies) were a huge hit for my elementary aged kids at the time.

Basically, very clear assignments with all supplies included were the only things that got done.

In terms of filling the time, SOTW audio history, Kumon books, and a basket of books helped. I would reserve them online and dh would do a library pickup weekly. My older children read a lot to the youngest because they had more tolerance for it.

Also, be sure your sister can set up video chatting. Not only will it help maintain family bonds, but being available daily (at some point) to answer questions, ask accountability stuff (show me what you did in math today!) and to offer moral support was really helpful. We used FaceTime, but Skype is also great.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless your sister has serious state regulations I think finding Grandpa an easy do two pages a day math curriculum and having something on level to maintain the reading skills is the important part.  They are all young.  Maybe they could keep a journal of what they did with Grandpa........honestly Grandpa would probably treasure a notebook filled with what he did with the kids.   I think the other school activities depends on your dad’s interests........let him enjoy sharing in his grandkids learning.   My Dad would had done awesome nature walks and building skills.....your sisters yard would have been filled with bird feeders!   My father in law would have loved the Critical Thinking books mentioned above and science experiment books.  The legos would have gotten quite a workout with him in charge!

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does grandpa have any skills or interests that he could include the kids in?  I'm think something like short intensives or unit study type things where the kids would do a page or two of math and some english and then just learn about what grandpa knows...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the flip side, for the kid who is going to be hospitalized, school will provide a sense of normalcy when she is well enough to do something. Have her be prepared to be asked how she will  continue to educate dd because at some point, child life is likely to ask...

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I *have* had grandparents schooling my kiddos during a crisis, and they did math and read a lot of different books.  Copywork for the ones who already had copywork books.

 

Audiobooks are great.  I'd consider educational things like Liberty's Kids, SquareOne, that sort of thing as well.

 

I'm sorry your family is dealing with this.  (Especially with the youngest being so little -- that has to be hard.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So sorry your family is going through this! I hope all goes well with your sister's 11 year old. 

We went through something similar when my dad was dying and I had to leave my kids with DMIL or DH for extended periods of time.  Although all of the kids would be fine through a short term crisis with simply pausing on school work and playing all day the thing that we discovered was that it was simply overwhelming for a person in her seventies to manage several children all day long, day in and day out (and we only had three at the time).  It really helped her that I had insisted that the children all followed the same loose routine we followed at home: school after breakfast, quiet time after lunch, chores in the afternoon, etc.

Here's a possible school routine:

Workbooks for math for the 8 year old (maybe even a year behind so that grandpa doesn't need to help) and exploratory play with Cuisinaire rods for the 6 year old (maybe a Miquon Orange workbook or Kumon number cards/workbooks - that is actually what my then 6 year old did and it worked fine); playing with manipulatives (Lauri puzzles are great, linking tens cubes, HWOT letter sticks - my two year old loves these) or duplos for the two year old in a high chair.  Baby takes morning nap.

Required reading time (audiobooks for the younger ones). Maybe grandpa can read out loud.  8 year old might be able to help 6 year old with phonics but that did not work in our family, I dropped reading instruction for a while.

Copywork (MP sells some nice copywork workbooks, there are probably free ones online in the penmanship style that 8 year old knows.  I think the lady who wrote ELTL/RLTL has a free one from the Elson Readers) or tracing workbooks for 8 & 6 year old/ Drawing/coloring/play dough for the 2 year old

Outside till lunch

Lunch

Quiet Time

Chores (clean up quiet time activities, put away own laundry, whatever they might be used to doing anyway)

Outside or educational movie till one of the parents comes home.

Did every day go perfectly? No, of course not.  And our focus was not really on the school work per se so much as on keeping grandma and kids sane through the process.  That part worked mostly well.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If she's willing to loosen up to allow screens, Kahn academy for the oldest for math.   I wouldn't use it for a full time curriculum, but for a couple months it would be great, and the parents can sign up to be able to view progress.   (It could be done completely independently so long as a child can read).

Edited by goldenecho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...