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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Homeschoolers--What Works For You?
AmyLeigh 04:28 PM 01-27-2012
I'm having difficulty figuring out when would be the best time to work with my children on their school work. Dd is 3rd grade, and can do much on her own, with the exception of a couple of subjects. But recently, her self-discipline seems to be lacking and she is getting behind in her work. So, now I have to figure out how to spend time sitting with her to do her work, sit with ds (K) to do his, and manage 4 & 5 yo dcbs, 2 yo dcg, 7 yo after school (I help with his homework), and my own 3 yo. It seems as if as soon as I pay attention to one child, all of them are clamoring for my attention, literally all climbing in my lap. They throw off my focus as well as my children's focus. Naptime is not nearly long enough to do it all.

Can I get an idea of other homeschooler's schedules? Maybe a lightbulb will go off in my head.
Michael 04:41 PM 01-27-2012
We've homeschooled our 2 children for some time. Although we did not have the confusion of others interrupting we pretty much tried to establish the best times to do it and make it a routine. You may just want to deal with the children as a group for daycare and give your child an hour after work or dinner when you have time to relax. It may extend your workday to some degree but it might be less stressful and more productively successful.

Here are some other threads on Homeschooling.
Country Kids 09:22 PM 01-27-2012
We homeschooled one of our children from K-6th grade. It was so easy when she was little then about third grade it became harder, each year after that was harder then the last. For 2 years I did preschool only (3rd-5th grade) and it was still hard.

The reason we enrolled them this year into public school I had to go back to doing child care full time (50 hour weeks). I knew there was no way that I would be able to homeschool and do childcare fulltime anymore.

When we did homeschool, our child would work as much as possible on their own in the morning and I would try to run back and forth to help when they needed it but either I was needed to sit for awhile which disrupted the preschool part or I was in the middle of something with them and our child had to wait. We would try to get as much done as we could in the two hours after kids left but it was hard as we were both tired and it just went to quick it seemed to get things done. This was the only time we were actually able to work with it being quiet.

You may need to wait and do things when everyone is napping. I was never good at homeschooling and trying to do childcare. Something must have been working though because we just got the report card for the semester and this child made honor roll with a 3.85!!!! Missed a 4.00 by getting one B. I must have been doing more than I thought-. I am very happy to say I taught her everything they knew for for the first 6 years of school.
BigMama 10:49 PM 01-27-2012
I started homeschooling my youngest last year when he was in 8th grade. Though he is older than your daughter some aspects of our schedule may work for you. He likes to sleep in so our compromise is that he has to be up, dressed, breakfasted, and ready to work by 9:30am. From 9:30-12:30, while I work with the daycare children, he works on assignments he can do independently (reading, journal writing, reading the newspaper for current events, grammar exercises, math practice and review, art (his interest and passion-we do art related projects every day), etc. I plan these assignments ahead of time and leave them in a folder. He gets the folder and works independently in the morning. If he hits a snag he will either ask me or wait until nap.
During nap I go over his morning assignments and he makes any corrections or modifications necessary. He thrives off of this quick feedback. He then has the rest of the afternoon to pursue his interests: more art projects, sewing, reading for pleasure, skateboarding, etc. We also have several educational computer games, map puzzles, etc. that he can practice on during this time.
After daycare is closed for the night, we have dinner and then we tackle things that he needs instruction for: new math material, science labs, our video sign language course (we are doing this together), discussions about his reading, games, etc. This way he gets one on one instruction without me having to tend to the little ones.
Last year, we did a lot more during nap time but decided this year that we both wanted that time to do other things. It is a learning curve to figure out what works best for you and your child(ren). Good luck!
Countrygal 06:24 AM 01-28-2012
I homeschooled my own three children for a total of 18 years. I tried so many different things that it would be impossible to say what might work in your situation.

I CAN say that it is hard with a toddler or two - let alone the number under 5yo that you have!!!

A few quick thoughts came to mind:

-UNIT STUDIES!!! They were my lifesaver, and when actively schooling all three (or two with a toddler) I used them exclusively except for teaching reading and math. Even the little ones can get into a science experiment, for example..... they watch, help out when able, and the older children perform the experiment and do research on why it worked or what made it do what it did or why it didn't work. Fun for everyone and really the most educational way I found to teach! Combine them with a few lapbooks - the children do almost all of the work on these by themselves - and you've got a great curriculum!

- be sure you don't get sucked into the "school at home" trap. Homeschooling isn't a 9-5 job, but a 24hr a day commitment. School doesn't stop when the books are closed! Develop the mindset of observing everything they do that is a learning experience - Sunday school, watching educational videos or tv programs, making lunch or supper, etc, etc. You'll be surprised how much "school" is happening just by living!!

- Like some of the posters have said, I presently do what I need to with dgs while the kids are napping and then he works on what he can (a few worksheets, handwriting, cutting exercises, etc) while I go wash dishes or vacuum or whatever. Sometimes (like this weekend) we carry some unfinished work into the weekend. If it is one thing I learned over 20 years of homeschooling it's to NOT freak out if the work isn't done (schoolwork OR hoursework ) Very soon we will beginning some Science and History with the rest of the dck. History, when they are young, I like to mostly stick with just reading books and doing "hands on" activities. Ex - making mullein leaf lamps, eating with wooden spoons and "trenchers", visiting historical sites in the area - you get the idea. Science is all hands on. I was lucky enough to pick up a complete kit of the Institute for Creation Research's "Good Science" for K-3. It's my own personal favorite program, but I don't think it is any longer in print, unfortunately. They have a 4-6 program as well, for the older child. It is all fun science like building ramps and using matchbox cars and experimenting with different results, potato batteries, things like that. Things even the dcks would get involved in watching! Be sure you require quiet time of dcks even if they don't sleep. They need it, your kids need it and so do you.

- one more thought - co-op schools. Any in your area? Some work around working parents. It might be worth looking into for the older one just for a subject or two. I've done several over the years - once we got together twice a week for science/history - another time we completely schooled with another family - another time we got together once a week for science and history for kids from high school through K. We broke them into two age groups and worked each group separately. One group would have science in the am the other history and after lunch we'd switch. Maybe something like this on a Sat. would work for you. It was definitely enough to be a complete curriculum and at the end of the year we gave a big stage presentation on the Civil War including displays and a play with music that the kids wrote and directed themselves and performed it at a local private school. Was definitely one of those "winner" hs ideas!

It's easy to say to do school before or after the dcks, but not so easy to do. You're tired and don't have the patience after, and before, well....who wants to get up at 3am to do math???? I had a hs friend who actually did teach school in the evenings. It worked for them for several years. I could never pulll it off. My own personal suggestion is to work it into your life. On one thread I mentioned that dc is my lifestyle - I think that's what I'm getting at. What would you do with those children if they were all yours? Do it the same.

My thoughts, hope you can glean a little out of them, and good luck and God Bless your school!

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