Thursday, April 19, 2007

How we school

5 kiddos, all homeschooled. 13, 12, 9, 4 and 2

We are all about the Charlotte Mason method, but use a wide assortment of materials. AcceleratedChristianEducation is our foundation work, meaning they get worked on daily. We have piles of reading materials that are out and in which ever kids room at any given time. The homeschool group we are a part of meets up twice a week to give the kids time to hang out, but it really helps keep me sane and grounded to have the other parents when I start to feel flustered. Yes, I know, sanity is over rated, and how would I recognize it anyway?

Time sheets are a life saver when homeschooling multiple kids, I am learning. I'm new to making them, but this is how they work: I make each child their task sheet for the week based on what they learned and grasped the week before. If they are ready to move forward or keep working on understanding something clearly, its reflected in what they need to do the following week. The child checks off what they have done, and it teaches them time management and personal responsibility. This is what we have already been doing, just without the actual piece of paper for them (and me) to use for accountability. I think its rather brilliant and thank the homeschoolin queen of everything for tipping me off to the idea.

The individual sheets list each subject and chore they are responsible for, and its up to them to get everything done by 5PM.
My oldest has already learned to get all his school work done early in the morning so he has the rest of the day to do what he wants, which lately involves teaching himself art techniques. His chores he procrastinates a bit on :-P
12 year old is a huge procrastinator and day dreamer, so some days will take hours to do 20 minutes worth of work. This hurts no one but himself, and he is starting to learn better focus and time management. His chores he can do in record time, but man can he stretch out an English lesson like its a quantum physics master thesis hehehehehehe.
9 year old watched his brothers and gets his work done right after breakfast, but breaks his chores up into 15 minutes here and there. Everything gets done and he gets to live stress free. I swear he was born with that knack. <3
4 year old is a coloring fool, but is just not interested in times, schedules or anything remotely calm and quiet. For now that's just dandy. He is mostly polite, full of smiles and can be most accommodating when not demanding the world bend to his formidable will. Love it.
2 year old is my best student. She claims to know how to best detail sewing projects, and requests a tiara to wear while she plays in mud. She is a very good momma, keeping all her babies wrapped in blankies and dances to anything that carries a beat for more than 4 seconds.
Clearly my daughter.

Some concerns I have heard are how do I ensure each kid is getting what they need? Its really not that hard. Because our school day is spread out all day, no child is sitting around waiting for his turn with me. They just move on to the next thing on their list if I'm not available right that second. No big deal. When questions arise, I'm here....unless its math, then they gotta wait for dad LOL
Some families have the formal school time scheduled into their day, and I salute them! It's just not what works for our family, and one of the perks of homeschooling is doing what works for your individual, unique family, right? :-D

Thats it in a nut shell, any questions?

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