Ladies, I’m just wondering how you all feel about this thought.
I have thought through all the doing subjects in different orders and that’s well and good. My children are not having any issue with that. What I am finding is that though I might have set times for things like math, spelling and spanish (to name a couple) which I do and intend that they spend a full set amount of time on. Then we have other’s like grammar, religion (for Catholics), health/personal development to name a few that some days take longer and other days don’t take much time at all.
They all move at different levels and speed. So does anyone just have a set order they are to do the subjects in, and then the set time for those we feel they must spend a certain amount of time on, let them do the others at there own speed as long as they get the approprate amount required done, and then say like at 10am no matter where you are at we stop for snack, literature and our daily study. I hope I’m making sense. So just put set family/break times?
Maybe I’m making more out of this than I should be, but sometimes my ability to organize takes me to far and I can’t see the simple solutions.
Thanks for any thoughts, advice or suggestions. I hope this made sense and you understand what I am even looking for. Not sleeping well now, baby moving, heartburn, thurnderstorms at night, etc. Misty
Don’t know if this helps…but I do not do well with being on schedule! Meaning at 11 we definately do so and so.I have set out a daily schedule with times. I somewhat go by. I go in order of when we finish a subject no matter how long it takes or short of time it takes. But, it helps me to know what is next! I do have a “set time” for Bible, Reading, and Math. These are definately first things!! Start out your day by Bible. Listening to a book, in my opinion, is a great way to start the day/waking up. And when I went for my el ed degree (did not finish!) I learned that Math needs to be taught in the A.M. If someone else does something different, of course that is ok!! I just learned that children learn math well in the A.M.
For everything else I go by what I have written down..but we may or may not get to it at a certain time. But we definately…or I should say almost always take our break around the same time. My kids need that break! But I do wait till the older one has completed his work. I think it is best to complete the task at hand or decide when a good stopping point should be ahead of time so he will know too! So usually our break is after Bible, Literature, Math (cause that takes a longer time). And then 2 more subjects and then lunch.
So if one of your children gets finished with their work, have him work one on one with you for 5-10 minutes then excuse him. If he is younger, let him have an extended break or extra break. If you want everyone to be on the same time schedule, then when someone is finished with one subject, encourage him to read alone, draw what you have read about that day, or go do a quick thinking game. Then all of you take a break/lunch.
Having the subjects in order of the day helps me. I started out this way last year, but ended up not doing it and I got frazzled! I know it sometimes helps switching things around. Usually I switch just 2 subjects around and that is after lunch!! Notice I said order of subjects not going by a specific time!! LOL!
After lunch we finish up with 2 more sometimes 3 more lessons. I have one who is just learning to read and does little writing..so when he is finished I sometimes have him take a break..because attention span is not as long. Or sometimes we work together for 5 minutes on learning something while older one is working on his copywork or finishing up his math. So the kids usually finish at the same time-within 5-10 min. of each other.
I hope this made sense, and I hope this helped!
I don’t set times for anything. I just go in order. It takes the time it takes. I don’t fuss unless it is taking too long, then we stop in good spot and move on.
I LOVE being on a schedule, but HATE feeling chained to a clock. Our days are very scheduled and predictable, but I do not follow the clock at all, except when it comes to meal times. Our family seems to naturally do things at around the same times each day, but not because we try to follow the clock. It sort of happens because we’ve had the same routine for so long. If one of my children needs a longer period of time to say, finish a math lesson or a chapter, I allow the other child to play or read quietly until we’re all back at the same place again.
This helps our days stay relaxed and keeps me from barking, “Ok, it’s 10:00! Time for reading!”
Hope that helps!
I follow a schedule/routine, but I don’t watch the clock. Some days we need to be out of the house at a certain time, and I’ll work my way backwards to make sure we get what we need done actually done in the morning, but otherwise, I don’t pay attention to time.
Having said that, it was different when I had a baby in the mix. I like regular naptimes for babies, so I paid more attention to our schedule because of that. I’m several years out of that stage, but I do remember it.
I do have a certain order for our days – what gets done first, etc. That really helps, imo, and kids like knowing there is some predictability in the day….and we have special days now and then when we don’t follow the regular schedule and it feels like a treat.
I am totally not scheduled, and use “workboxes” with my kids (although the ones doing school are 7 and 4, so need me for most subjects.)
My workboxes are filefolders in a filebox… There are 2 colours in a box. (My son has blue in his, my daughter has Red in hers… and they both have Yellow.) Yellow means I determine when they will be done to make things work. Eventually we will have a family box, but right now we don’t really do any family subjects yet.
So – we start when we start, and the kids go through the files (boxes) one at a time. Mostly I’m working with one, while the other watches the 2yo, but there are a couple of things that happen at the same time.
I’m sure at some time I’ll need a better method when I’m teaching 4 of them! That said, I imagine I’ll mainly have to worry about when we do family work, and when I do one-on-one work…..
Suzukimom – Sorry to go off on a tangent, but I’m curious about the workboxes. I’ve heard of these recently from other homeschooling moms. What exactly do you put in the file folder? A note with an assignment written on it, or an actual book? Do you set up the file folders every morning? I’m not picturing it and would love an explanation. Thanks.
My implementation of Workboxes has evolved a bit, but you might like to look at my blog entries on it. Note that most of them are from early last year when we had just started, and was using actual little boxes on shelves. For a few reasons (largely due to my pregnancy) we lost the use of our little homeschool room and needed something more compact. You can ignore the post on using workboxes with homeschool tracker, as I didn’t use homeschool tracker very long at all as I found it too much a pain.
I will answer your direct questions below the link here.
So – what do I put in the file folders? As much as possible, I put in everything that is needed for the assignment. At times, this just isn’t possible, but mostly it is.
So, in Delta’s box (7yo boy) he had today a file folder with “The Boxcar Children” book in it (to read to me), A folder with “Draw Write Now” and 2 pieces of paper in it, A page of copywork from his handwriting course, along with his paper guide. (He is learning cursive, with large lines…. a page gives him about 6 things to write….), Christian Liberty Nature Reader (for him to read to me), “Great Canadian Lives” for me to read to him, a file folder with a little card in it to do German (our one family topic at this point – it is done on computer, and is in a folder for me to say when it is done.), and a folder with a little card in it for “30 more famous stories) for me to read to him. (I have that book on the Kindle.) For each it is the actual book. I have hanging file folders, and some of the books just sit in between the hanging file folders and aren’t actually in a folder. There are hanging file folders that have more of a box type bottom that might be nice to have… Obviously the actual items in the box depend on the day. Occasionally there is a snack or something in it. I also have some cards that say “pick up from station 1″ (station 2, etc) for bigger things that don’t fit in the box….
Echo (4yo girl) had in her box today: A folder for drawing with 2 papers in it, a math one with her math page and my math teacher instructions. (Delta would have had instructions in his too, but now using the Kindle to read them!) [can you tell I’m loving the Kindle???], 33 multicultural tales to tell, her copywork page (working on single letters – mainly because she wanted too), “A House at Pooh Corner” for me to read to her, and “Our New Friends” for her to read to me.
Other things in their boxes – pencil case with pencils, erasers, pencil crayons, scissors. Delta has the box with the Math rods in it, although Echo is starting to use them too. Oh, they each have a “done” folder too.
I set the file folders up in the evening. I just go on the Organizer, click on show tomorrow’s plan, and load them up. I occasionally put in extra stuff – like shoes to practice tying laces etc. When I did boxes, and wasn’t trying to juggle so much, I could gather the stuff for the next day during moments while the kids were doing their work, and then they would fill their boxes at the end of the day – but I can’t juggle this much anymore! As I keep most of the supplies in one spot, I can fill each box in about 10 minutes, with a bit more time making sure that I know what is going to happen in math and make sure i don’t need something extra (like dominoes, or one of the “posters”).
Eventually I will have a way to designate folders that they work on alone and ones that they work on with me – maybe the colour of the folder, or a label on it or something….. but right now as mentioned they pretty much all are “work with mom”.
This was longer than I meant – but I have to say that it has worked well for our family. If something comes up and we have to go somewhere (like a doctor’s office, a car repair place, or a laundromat – all places I’ve homeschooled!), we just grab the boxes as we go and do what we can while we wait. My son was the type that would have asked “how much more do we have to do?” all the time, and I haven’t heard that as he can see it. I’m not tempted to cut out items, or add more in, based on how the day is going. Doing it with the actual boxes instead of the filebox has advantages – it is more visual for them and gives positive feedback as they see the work boxes get emptied etc. It also allows room for projects or a few “fun boxes” – like puzzles etc. And the “creator” of the idea for homeschooling says that there should be 12 boxes, and things should be done in specific ways etc…. but this is what we could do with our living space and budget, and it is working for us!
One liability – it can get to feeling like a task list of things to get through, instead of enjoying each thing….
Thank you, Suzukimom! The workbox method is getting a lot of buzz in my homeschooling circle and I was rather confused by how it worked. Your blog and photos really helped. I like how you can pick up the box and bring it with you…how handy is that?
My method is to keep a small bookcase that houses only the books we are currently using for school. That bookcase, along with my paper planner, get us through the schedule. It would be a super effective method if we remembered to put the books back after we read them each day. We’re working on it!
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