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“Minimal” core while Working/homeschooling

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    “Minimal” core while Working/homeschooling

    This is a long post, just looking for some practical advice/feedback as a working/homeschooling mom. I have a bright but young 4th grader, a diligent but not speedy 2nd grader, and a precocious preschooler, as well as a juggernaut of a toddler. I’ve started back to work this month and the kids have a 3 day school schedule with me as well as what independent work they can reliably do while with babysitter the other days. Weekend school is not really viable as we are all pitching in on housework and meal prep, attending church, plus I’m on call and will work at least one weekend a month.
    I’ve enjoyed my maternity leave but got spoiled with having the whole week for school. We need to trim back before we burn out and I wonder what you’d consider an adequate core (out of the core).
    Math yes
    Cursive/copywork yes
    Grammar and spelling yes
    Latin: yes but why if we are strapped for time
    Christian studies: we are very active church members with the kids in Sunday school and midweek bible study plus our home devotions. I am apt to say we might drop the academic unit.
    History and geography: we’ve gotten a routine down for listening to our history readers as Audible in the car and quiet time. My son is a big reader and this is his favorite so I want to keep that going. Geography is an easy independent subject for the older 2.
    Classical: I’m not sure I’ll have the time to teach/review/drill the Greek myths and famous men content. We like the subject but..
    Literature units or classical composition: struggling here as I love them but if I had to choose between the literature guides or classical composition, which would you do? There have been writing prompts in the 4th grade lit guides, can I emphasize these as composition instruction?
    Science: one afternoon a week we do some nature walks or a home garden experiment. My kids much prefer a kinesthetic science approach. I try to keep some related library books on the shelf . The MP elementary science wasn’t a favorite. I also need the outdoor time so trying to keep this element in the week
    Poetry, music, and crafts enrichment is happening as the fun stuff they do with the babysitter. But really she has her hands full as it is!
    My husband can’t really pitch in with homeschooling. That diligent but not speedy personality that my daughter inherited from him means he’s doing well enough keeping up with his own responsibilities . Mama’s the flex point here. And boy I’m flexing to my max at the moment. ? Also, I’m not worried over state requirements, I know we’re covering all the bases quite well in an integrated fashion and I know how to make the portfolio reflect such.

    Mostly agree with Enigma.

    We do Greek Myths in 20 minutes a week. Really. I review the comp questions from the week before, I read the facts to know out loud, I read the story, I re-read the facts to know, we orally answer the comp questions. Done. Each child has their own reading book in order to follow along and look at the pictures. This class is done sitting in the car waiting for a child to finish an extra curricular activity. 20 minutes. Period. I'm absolutely shocked at how much they retain. I just bought the audiobook to listen to on car rides for 'fun' they love it!

    Geography. My goal is for my kids to know States and capitals. We work through flashcards five at a time. Master those five and you get to put the sticker on the state map. We add 5 more cards. Master those new five and retain the previous and you get to add stickers. I've added in labeling a US map. It's not connected at all to the flashcard drill. We're working region by region in a similar fashion, label three states to mastery. Add 3 more states while still being able to accurately label the previous ones. Done. Do I really care what the main industry of Vermont is? No, not really. If my kids are interested, they can look it up for fun. I don't spend school time on identifying state birds, researching rivers, or coloring state flags

    ​​​​​.I would say your kids need to do a math page or atleast flashcards, write their spelling words, and read something everyday with the babysitter. If she read the enrichment picture book and the go-along science book before quiet time in the afternoon I would say SCORE!
    DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
    DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
    DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

    We've completed:
    Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
    Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6


      You have gotten good suggestions already. I want to add that I would not make literature guides optional as far as the writing goes. These are the ages where you are setting a foundation for later work, which includes the ability to write longer and more complex compositions. If you skip the writing portions now, it continues to be something they will need to learn “someday.” Sadly, pushing it off longer and longer only makes it harder to get going. Start now, and keep it as a priority. In my experience, it’s just as valuable as math, Latin, and English.

      And I love your “can do” attitude about finding a solution rather than throwing in the towel. That is what we have had to learn too, especially these last two years when our lives have become busier with older kids needing out of the house activities and classes. My two primary kids also do three days a week right now, and even though it’s a struggle, I know every day that it is worth it.

      God bless,
      16th Year HSing; 10th Year with MP
      DD, 19, Homeschool grad; college sophomore
      DS, 17
      DD, 15
      DD, 13
      DD, 11
      DD, 9
      DD, 7
      DS, 2