Our 2017/2018 Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Grade

I’ll be homeschooling nine kids this year. That may sound like a lot, but it’s actually one less than last year since my oldest daughter became my first homeschool graduate.

Sniff.

As stressful as people think that may sound, it truly isn’t as chaotic as people think. Busy? Sure. I’d be worried about any homeschool that wasn’t busy. But believe it or not, homeschooling is actually pleasurable for me.  Continue reading “Our 2017/2018 Relaxed Homeschool Curriculum for 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Grade”

Advertisements

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Back to “School”!

We’ve reached the end of our first week of our new homeschool year, and we have had so much fun! The kids and I were all so excited to begin, and that has lasted throughout the entire week, so things are looking great so far!

Unfortunately, we almost got off to a rocky start because I got a phone call early Monday morning from a family member asking me to drive them somewhere (they live 1/2 hr. away). After I explained that it was our first day of homeschool, they were very understanding. Unfortunately, though, when I mentioned it to another family member I was lectured about sometimes “having to make sacrifices.” I got more than a little angry at that, because I have sacrificed many a homeschool day to help people out. The problem is that once I started doing that, people have constantly been expecting me to do it over and over again.  Continue reading “A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers- Back to “School”!”

A Tale of Ten Homeschoolers

Curious as to how a super-size family manages their homeschool? Join me in an overview of our days!

(This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy.)

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.

ID-10044038
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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!

The Littles

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.

The Big Kids

11(ish)am- Bible Time- I read aloud from The Children’s Adventure Bible, and we have a   question and answer time.

Read-Aloud Time- Last week we started Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

– 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…

The Teens

2:30(ish)pm- I read aloud from Jesus Is: Find a New Way to Be Human.

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 entire series. 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!

 

Linking up with:

Hip Homeschool Hop

Tuesday Talk

Wonderful Wednesdays Blog Hop

Sitting Among Friends Blog Hop

Homeschool Mother’s Journal

Oh My Heartsie Girls

Wise Woman Linkup

Homemaking Linkup

Thriving on Thursdays

This Is How We Roll Link Party

Hearts for Home Blog Hop

Think Tank Thursday

Family Fun Friday

Friday Frivolity

Family, Friendship, and Faith Linkup

Making Your Home Sing Monday

Mommy Moments