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Need advice on a large family (8 children) using MP

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    Need advice on a large family (8 children) using MP

    Hi,

    We currently attend a hybrid school that uses Memoria Press. We are considering homeschool for our children next year. We have been at the hybrid for 2.5 years. Prior to this we homeschooled, but not with Memoria Press. Prior to this we basically had 3 kids "actively schooling" and we now have 7. eek.

    Question #1: Has anyone pulled their children out of school after the age of 12? I have big concerns about the ramifications of doing such a thing during a critcial period in formation. If so, did this transition go smoothly? Was there resentment or lasting problems with the choice?

    Question #2: My knowledge of Latin is very sparse. My oldest children are in Latin III. Suggestions?

    Question #3: How independent are 7th & up? Do your children do the full curriculum on their own? Do you use the videos from Memoria Press (or streaming?) How long is a typical school day for these children?

    Question #4: My children will be in 9th, 7th, 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd and K. (We have 1 toddler also.) Do I have to be super organized to do this???

    Questoin #5: How do you do transcripts for your highschool student? Is there a resource that you use to guide you in this endeavor?

    Question #6: Last Question. I remember there being a lull in the afternoon (when school was over.) It was typically between 2-5. What do your children do in that time? Ideally I'd like my children to be outside expoloring, but in the winter months things get very BORING. (Well boring for them...)

    Thank you so much in advance!!! This is a huge and difficult decision for our family. (I'm going to place this in K-8 and 9-12 boards.)
    Jenny

    #2
    Hi Jenny,

    I can't speak to your situation as I didn't ever start my kids in regular school. I was new to MP this year and I've picked up a lot from people on this forum. I have 4 kiddos from 8-2 and I'm currently doing K, 1st, and 2nd.

    Question 1: I'll defer to others with experience with this
    Question 2: MP Latin...The DVDs are an invaluable tool. For your younger ones, you can alternate Prima Latina and Latina Christiana over breakfast several times a week. I don't know why but my kids seem to pay closer attention to this while shoving eggs in their mouths. We watch each video more than once (usually 3 times), but putting the videos in during breakfast doesn't use up other school time and gives you a bit of a break. Add to that, if you hear the same video 2-3 times while you are shoving dishes around, your own Latin is going to be coming along nicely too. For your older kids, again you still have the DVDs and it isn't the worse idea to plug them into a laptop to watch these with a set of headphones a couple of times a week.

    Question 3: Actually, I'm finding that kids can begin working pretty independently around the end of 1st and onward for several subjects. There should be several subjects that you really aren't an integral part of - kind of more of a facilitator and you may not even need to look at it each day. Copybook, Spelling, most of Phonics, Penmanship (other than an initial demonstration) and Math. Believe it or not for the early years - R&S is excellent for K,1,2 so far although I did start my K guy on R&S 1 and my 1st grader on R&S2. If your rising 2nd grader doesn't have basic addition and subtraction memorized all the way up to 18, it's not the worst idea to have them do the regular R&S 2 just like the curriculum says. I threw out my old math curriculum which seemed to teach them only how to master a number line and not memorize basic arithmetic. I've got my 1st and 2nd grader both doing R&S 2 and it's actually perfect. Another thing that can help a great deal is Audible for the literature. MP stresses reading literature chapters and read aloud books more than once - usually 3 times at least. You don't have that kind of time. Most of the literature books from mid-way through 2nd and onward have a book reading on Audible.

    Question 4: You are amazing. Let me start there. Yes it can get complicated. However, I am using a digital planner (Homeschool Planet). This has some complication on the planning end (just read it takes a little time to input), but once in, it is amazing. Imagine that once you do this for these grades/classes, you never have to input those grades again into a planner! You just re-load all of the work you did for one kid, and copy it over for the stair-stepped kiddo right behind them. It's done by class, so if you have some kids combined, it's easy to just put more than one kid in the same class. It will print a daily assignment list for each kid complete with handy check boxes. I went a step further and added myself as a student for the classes where I absolutely must be actively leading. That way, I get my own "schedule" for the day. All other subjects "not" on my own schedule theoretically should be done independently. That way I know if I did everything on my own schedule, they have to push on and finish their own independent work. They day may look like there are 14-16 classes happening, but I only have to lead 5 of them. I have had to do this because when I combined some classes, and chose to do 1st grade enrichment for K, 1st, and 2nd (as MP recommends) combined, and put my kids together in math, I have deviated too far from the printed curriculum guides. it was too hectic for me to go between the guides when my kids weren't following them perfectly. Not to mention, what happens when you have a sick kid, or spontaneous trip to the zoo/museum/doc's office or a vacation or your mother in law is coming to visit for a week? It just blows up a static printed schedule. "No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy". I need a dynamic calendar that if I have to re-arrange something, move something from one day to the next or we just don't finish something one day, I can do it with 1-2 buttons and all life moves along smoothly. Also, I schedule every other Friday off because Dad is off. That means that the 5-day printed curriculum will always be wonky because after the first couple of weeks, we aren't starting on a "Monday". It has sub section that allows you to create a sign in for your kids and they can check stuff off to and that could help for the older ones. The company lets you try it out for 30 days for free and it's the full scale program. So it's free to take a glance at. If you like it, they just let you keep going with whatever you put in.

    Question 5: Homeschool Planet stores/calculates grades and creates transcripts. if you live in a state that requires you to track "hours" or school days, it does that too and will generate a report.

    Question 6: I hide from my kids during this period so.....
    Melissa

    DS (MP2) - 8
    DS (MP1) - 7
    DS (K) - 5
    DD (Adorable distraction) 2

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