January 9, 2008

Homeschooling routines

Well this weeks Works for me Wednesday is backwards again. So this means that I can ask you all a question instead of searching my soul for a great tip to give.
Anyway, my question this week is for all of the homeschool moms out there! This year we have added our third student to the mix, so I have a 4th grader, 2nd grader, and a Kindergartner that need to be taught. I also have a 2 year old running around. I'm having a problem organizing their schedule so they don't need me constantly at the same time, (OK, I can hear the chuckles now and the "sweetie, that IS homeschooling!") but in all seriousness do you have an interruption rule at your house?
If say you are working on reading with your Kindergartner and your second grader MUST have the answer to the 3rd problem on the second row of his math book or the world may just stop, what do you do?
My answer was to have all 3 students sit down for math at the same time, but going from long division to basic subtraction to number sense to basic 2 year old needs was leaving me with the onset of a migraine - EVERY DAY.
I love homeschooling, it is just the perfect way of life for my family but please let me know how you handle the interruptions? Also let me know some of your favorite things to entertain the toddlers during the school hour - what do you keep on hand? Inquiring minds NEED to know! Thanks so much!
PS - Do you answer the phone during school time?
Thanks and after you save my brain go and spread your goodwill to all those deserving folks back at Rocks in my Dryer!


Amy said...

Thanks so much for the advice. I am not good at relaxing--this is for sure--I'll have to wrok on this.

The idea about a curriculum is awesome--I didn't know that there was such a thing! Thanks!

Edi said...

I have 2 kids and also just added the 5 yr old - so we've dealt with the reading issue.

I've just told my older dd she will need to wait and not interrupt during the reading lesson. You could give instructions ahead of time like "if you get stuck on a math problem while we're reading - then work on this worksheet or draw a picture or write a poem or whatever."

The key overall is to be flexible. Our phone rarely rings, so you bet I'll answer it :) Don't try to overdue things and copy the system a public school uses. Do whatever works for you.

Milehimama said...

I have a 2, 1, and K; a 3 yo, 2 yo and nursling.

Teach your children to move onto something else when Mom is having one on one time. For example, my kids are *supposed* to do copywork/handwriting if they are stuck on a math question and Mom is busy with phonics and the Kindergartner.

I have plastic shoeboxes with stuff for the littles to do - peg board, counting bears, puzzles, lacing cards. That is their 'school'. Or they can play in the playroom (a safe child proof place). Chalk and chalkboard is popular - as is plain water and a paintbrush and a chalkboard. A cookie sheet and magnets is fun too.

I DO answer the phone during school - because we hardly EVER get calls so it is probably an emergency if someone is calling me at 10 am. I don't hesitate to ask people to call back in an hour or whatever though if I'm busy.

Milehimama said...

I should add that for our family, I had to separate myself a little from their workspace. So I am in the living room next to the dining room, and the "one on one" child sits at a desk (okay. A TV tray and kitchen chair) while they have their individual lesson. The others are supposed to do their independent work at the table by themselves.

For my children, if Mom is with them suddenly they can't do anything on their own! Do what works for you.

My area is within earshot of the school room/dining room however, and I can see into it if I'm in the kitchen, so I always know what is going on.

Valerie said...

I added child #2 to our homeschooling this year and have experienced a little of what you have. My best strategy is scheduling so that one child is working on something I *know* they can do by themselves while I'm "teaching" the other. We use the full A Beka curriculum and one of my curriculum guides has a daily schedule for your exact grades. It's set up so that everyone gets their teaching in while the others are doing independent work. Of course, there's always the A Beka DVD program we did last year and I'm sorely tempted to go back to next year. I also like the suggestion of a separate teaching area where you're less available to the others while you're teaching one.

And I do answer the phone if I'm simply supervising their work, but not if I'm in the middle of an explanation or test.


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