Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How We Go About Using Our Homeschool Materials

My first and main goal with my kids when they are little is to get them to read. Reading opens up a whole new world for them and for me. Once they can read and start comprehending what they read they can move into what I classify as "self-learners". As a mom, this is huge when trying to teach multiple kids at different levels. For my kids, I want them to grow up being able to learn without always needing instruction. With a little brain power and research I want them to be able to figure it out for themselves. And guess what? Most of the time they can! Every once and awhile they'll come across a completely foreign concept and will need help walking through it, but for the most part they can figure it out. Now again, this is for my confident readers only.
So this is what I do. At the beginning of each week, I take all of the kids what I call "independent work" and put it in folders that are in each child's own notebook. There is a folder in there personal notebook for each day, Monday through Friday. This works for us very well. I can tell the kids to go do their school work and they grab their notebook and go to town. This leaves time for me to do chores such as laundry, dishes, emails, etc. I stay within close range in case they have questions of course, but for the most part they work quietly. Aahhh...peace and quiet! The subjects most often in the folders are math, any sort of writing assignment, geography worksheets, etc. 
Then there are the things that don't go in the notebook folders. History, lap books, science, and reading. History we will do every couple of weeks. We sit down all together and read a couple chapters and discuss what we've read. I really enjoy this time together. The kids LOVE the stories. Lapbooks often times are done during Piglets naptime because they are usually more involved. We don't do lapbooks everyday. I would say on average 2 days per week. Science is hit and miss with us. Hey! I'm being honest here. We all have our weaknesses and mine is definitely science, but I try and am getting better. As for reading, the girls take quiet time to read each day and while they are doing that I sit down with Porkchop and do one on one reading time with him. Again, for him right now, the goal is to get him to be a confident reader. That in a nutshell sums up what we do with our school work, but before I go I thought I would address 2 questions I get asked frequently.
Question 1: How long does it take you to homeschool each day? This varies. If the kids are super motivated they can get the work done in under 2 hours not including extras, like lap booking, history, or science. When doing the extra stuff I would say probably closer to 3 or 4.
Question 2: Do you follow a schedule each day? That is a big fat NO!!!! I tried that and it DOES NOT WORK FOR ME. When I tried it, if something didn't get done or we fell behind on our time schedule I would feel like a total failure for the day and it was totally frustrating and not worth it for me. Plus, each and everyday is different for us. I work out everyday, and those workouts are at different times each day. Sometimes we need to go grocery shopping, somedays we have deep cleaning days, somedays we have a sick baby . . . HEY! Sometimes life just happens. And so we work our school around that. And we LOVE that about homeschool. We make it work for us! And my kids are still learning and growing and more importantly I'm not going crazy!

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