As a relaxed homeschooling family, our family’s combined learning time is crucial to our everyday routine. When you’ve got multiple children learning- all at separate levels- consolidating your homeschool regimen as much as possible is an absolute must.
I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have mentioned KONOS Character Curriculum on my blog. This unit study resource is not only just about my favorite tool in our homeschool, but it’s also a symbol.
The other day I wrote about a specific day in our homeschool with the littles. Today I’m going to focus on a recent day of learning with my 9, 10, and 12 year olds.
As with my younger children, I do not consider only our structured homeschool time as our learning time because each day brings so many opportunities for natural learning experiences that I’d be remiss to not mention them.
Of all the topics I write about, the one that generates the most interest is how to homeschool multiple children. I totally get it. If you apply the methods used by traditional schools to a home learning atmosphere, this could undoubtedly prove to be a stressful and hectic situation.
Fortunately, we homeschoolers are not bound by the routines held by compulsory schools. We have the freedom to tailor what we do to fit the indiviual needs of our own families.
Isn’t that awesome?
Today I would love for you to join me over at Busy Boys Brigade for the 20 Days of Homeschooling Encouragement Blog Party, where I’ll be tackling this very issue. While you’re there, take some time to read some of the other amazing posts in htis series. You’ll be sure to feel refreshed and energized to start your new homeschool year!
Does the prospect of homeschooling several children have you feeling a little nervous for the coming year? After seven years of homeschooling my extra-large family, I’ve finally found a plan that works for our family that keeps the kids happy and learning, and Mom calm and confident.
Today I’ll be over at my friend Jen’s blog, Practical by Default, where I’ll be discussing the 3 most important ways we’ve kept sanity in our homeschool. Additionally, I’ve given examples of what our daily homeschool routine actually looks like.
If you’re looking for advice on homeschooling your growing family, this is where to find it.
Happy Monday, everyone! This is just a quick post to let you know that I am officially a guest contributor on They Call Me Blessed! I’m so excited to be working with so many talented bloggers on the 30 Ways We Homeschool Blog Party. Today I’m inviting you to stop on over and read about our family’s homeschool routine, including how we do it, where, when, and what we’ve chosen for the upcoming year’s curriculum. While you’re there, think about looking back through the other posts in this series. It’s always so amazing to see the many faces of homeschool!
Today when I was looking over the search terms that bring people to my blog, I realized something profound- I write about homeschooling a large family but have never actually written about how we break down our day.
I mean, really. How did that get past me? Anyway…
Today I will write about just that. First things first. Our homeschool day gets broken down into three groups:
The Littles- our 7, 6, and almost 5-yr.-olds. (and sometimes our almost 3-yr.-old because occasionally she wants to “do school,” too)
The Big Kids- our 11, 10, and 8-yr.-olds
The Teens- our 14, 16, and almost 17-yr.-olds
It’s important to note that my 14 and 16-yr.-old do take turns each week watching the younger kids until it is their time for school. This is such a huge blessing for me. We actually just started doing this in November, and I wish I would have thought of it long ago because it would have prevented so many stressful days! They do get a very small stipend for doing this, but it is so worth it.
To make things as simple as possible, I’m going to break down our day by using these three groups because that is exactly how things get broken down at home, too.
Before getting started, I do want to clarify that we are fairly relaxed homeschoolers. I do not believe lessons need to take six hours a day because there are so many other things to learn about in everyday life. I try to ground my children in the basics, inspire them with a few activities, and allow them the rest of the day to explore as they choose. With that being said, here we go!
10 am- Bible time-I usually read just a verse or two, and we have a very short discussion afterwards. Sometimes this may include a Bible story or even an episode of Veggie Tales.
– Table Time- I sit down with each child individually and work on math and either phonics or reading, unless one of those subjects will be covered that day in the unit study.
– Five in a Row– (This is done every other day, and we take two weeks to complete a book instead of one.) I read aloud a selected title, and we do two activities related to the story. This week we are reading Lentil.
– Table Time- As with the Littles, I work with each child individually on math and either spelling or grammar, unless one of those subjects will be covered in the unit study that day. As the children wait for their turn with me, they do their silent reading.
– Konos Volume 2– (This is done every other day.) Each unit focuses on a character trait. Currently for us this is inquisitiveness, and we are studying it through a section entitled “Research and Reference.” We typically do two activities per day and will sometimes read a separate read-aloud to go with the unit.
12 pm- Lunch/Chores/ Free Time- While this is not technically part of our homeschooling day, I am including it to show when we get these things done. How is a story for another day. 🙂
2 pm- We finish up whatever was not completed before lunch, after which I try to read aloud to the teens. Here’s where it gets interesting…
That is the only schoolish thing we do before dinner and evening chores. The homeschool day of my teens does not normally begin until at least 8pm. Please don’t be dismayed. They are night owls, and it works for us in this season of life.
8pm- One-on-One-Time- While my teenagers do the vast majority of their work themselves, this is the time I’ve specifically set aside to help them with anything they need me to, usually some branch of math. Sigh.
Each child is so different that I’m finding it necessary to write about them separately, so here goes:
–The 14-yr.-old– She loves to read, so we’ve taken advantage of that by using a literature-based math curriculum, Life of Fred: Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology. She and my younger children have actually been working their way through this entireseries. What I like the most about this book is that it includes enough biology to count towards her science credit, so, although she always has library books checked out on everything from the universe to chinchillas, if she ever runs out of things to read, her science is covered. For history we use living books. Right now she is reading The Book Thief, which is based in WWII era. Since she does so much reading, and she loves to voluntarily write reports, the only language arts she does is vocabulary, and that is because she asked for it.
–The 16-yr.-old– If you’ve ever had a child who needs to be prodded along, this is mine. Don’t get me wrong. He is brilliant with computers and can probably identify every single spider and frog on the planet, but he does not like to be bogged down with school work. After much tweaking and trial and error, we’ve found a routine that works for him. He uses a math curriculum, but I usually only assign him every other problem because he has no patience for drilling. Like his sister, at his request, he does do a vocabulary curriculum. He uses library books and documentaries for astronomy, and he uses living books, movies, and documentaries for military history. He is also working through D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths and the accompanying Student Guide.
–The almost-17-yr.-old– This is my overachiever, but she would deny it if you asked her. 😛 She also uses a math curriculum for geometry. She’s in her 3rd year of psychology, her 2nd year of Japanese with Rosetta Stone and she is learning both sets of Japanese characters through a workbook from a friend who is from Japan. While we had no plans on doing geography this year, she became interested in US geography and devised her own intricate method of studying this subject involving mapping, demographics, and interesting facts about each state. She uses A Beka for biology and has already finished her grammar workbook.
….And that’s about it. I hope I didn’t make this too confusing for those of you looking for guidance on how to handle homeschooling lots of kiddos! If anyone has any questions or would like me to clarify anything, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I always look forward to hearing from you!