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2021 advice on teaching x5?

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    2021 advice on teaching x5?

    I know we have threads on teaching with littles (I have a 14m and 3yr). I know there are threads on mamas with many (5, baby to 11). I know there are threads of teaching your special, “spirited,” or sensitive, 2e et al (I have at last two of those). I’m sure there must be threads on teaching the occasional emotional preteen. What is your advice for teaching in 2021 with all that? Keep on keeping on? Make it a classics Monday, geography Tuesday, Christian studies Wednesday, science Thursday, and on no matter the grade coverage? What is the best way to just keep calm and teach on?
    Margaret of Georgia, in west TN – Enginerd’s wife and Mama

    2019-2020/-2021 · Homeschooling since 2011.
    Trekking along at a student self-pace...
    DD Summer 2009 · 5th/6th + BS3&4
    DD Summer 2011 · SC4/SC5*6 + BS3&4
    DS Summer 2014 · K/SC2 + SL P + K
    DD Summer 2017 · Pre + SL T
    DS Autumn 2019 • Baby

    Memoria Scholé Academy
    Blog: Creative Madness Mama
    @ CherryBlossomMJ

    #2
    I'm looking forward to seeing others' advice on this because I am in a similar situation and some days are HARD!
    My challenge is maintaining quiet for older kids to work productively, while keeping baby happy and 3 year old peacefully occupied...and maintaining patience on my part :-)

    I do find a schedule to be absolutely necessary. Every weekend I type out the assignments for the week for each of the oldest 3 kids and place that on their desks, so they are always able to do independent assignments when I'm unavailable, and also they know what has to be completed each day. They are supposed to work from top to bottom as much as possible. I have a master copy on my own desk so I dont have to shuffle curriculum guides for 4 levels and can cross things off as we go. I do what you mentioned with rotating classes. All older kids do classical on Monday and Tuesday, geography/history on Wednesday, science on Thursday, and Christian studies on Friday. I combined 2 of my kids for mammals study this year to slightly simplify that day.

    Also I try to get breakfast on the table by 8 a.m. so that everyone can have a full stomach and get started on school work before 9. That seems to help our academic studies from dragging on too long.

    Besides that, I guess it's just turning the results over to God and trying not to worry too much when things get a bit derailed or I don't accomplish everything I planned.
    Amy

    DS 12 MP7
    DD 10 MP5
    DS 8 MP3
    DD 5 MPK
    DS 3
    DS 3 months

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Margaret!

      Oh, what a good, yet perennial, question: How do I actually do this on a daily basis???? That thought began to plague me yet again as soon as our Christmas festivities were winding down. I got myself all psyched up only to have enough kids come down with a cold to completely derail my plans for another full week. Therefore we have had exactly ONE day of school in 2021, and are making our best effort to have two in a row. But along with trying to do that, I also have to get our last car over to our gatehouse for an entry sticker, pick up a prescription, and head to get a few last minute items for Big Boy's third birthday tomorrow. (insert shocked and anguished face here).

      Thus, what I can share with you from what I have learned is summarized in three parts:
      1) Expect change.
      2) Accept brokenness.
      3) Be present.

      These are not new things, and they probably require little explanation, but here's a little bit anyway.
      1. Expect change. As much as I LOVE order, plans, schedules, and routine, the length of time we have been at this and the number of people we have in our house has forced me to realize that I simply cannot actually plan our days in any really beneficial way, and the stress of dealing with that perpetual disappointment is not good for me. What IS most beneficial is taking stock at the beginning and end of each day of three things: 1) what NEEDS to be done today; 2) what COULD be done today; and 3) what CAN be shelved until another time. I look at the day before, I look at the day ahead, and I look at a couple more days ahead, but that is really it. More changes come even as the day unfolds. If I expect that and embrace that, then I can be calm in the face of them. If I constantly worry about that SHOULD HAVE BEEN, then I am stressed and constantly disappointed. We have patterns we stick to, but that is about it.

      2. Accept brokenness. Early on, when I had just a few children, I had a perpetual thought about homeschooling: things will get easier when I get this child (or these children) through this ONE difficult stage. But what actually happened, was that another difficult stage followed right on top of that first one. Then another child entered that same difficult stage that I was waiting for the older one to get out of. Then another and another. Sometimes EVERYONE was in a difficult stage. Then I began to have difficult stages myself...times when I had to learn that taking care of myself is a time-consuming process too. I cannot deny that or help it, so it's no use to feel guilty about that. All of this is what I think of as "brokenness." None of us live up to the potential we have all the time. We face limitations we did not choose. We have to constantly make concessions. And feeling as though there is something wrong with that is not helpful nor productive. So do I spend more time on character development than on actual school lessons? Yep. Always have, and I have accepted that I always will, as long as we are homeschooling. Because in my mind, that is my actual main responsibility in raising these kids. If they are able to ALSO become somewhat well-educated, that is icing on the cake!

      3. Be present. If you do a good job with #1 and #2, it makes #3 that much easier. When I accept that there will be many things about each day that I cannot plan or control, and I accept that our days will be filled with people being people, flawed and imperfect, then I am much more able to be present in each moment as it comes along. There is so much to enjoy about having a houseful of small people who are funny, and engaging, and curious, and stubborn, and ridiculous, and all the amazing things that you see developing in them. I don't want to miss any of that by being consumed with doubt, regret, guilt, insecurity, or frustration. Time is precious. And fleeting. So I try to make each day be as good as I can. And by God's grace, each day does end up having a lot of good in it. And also by His grace, I get the chance to try again tomorrow. We keep making progress, however slow it may be.

      Margaret, I know you have struggled over the years to find that consistency that others seem to have. And I can so relate to wanting to have more order. Pray over that, and follow the inspirations that come from that time of prayer. But also trust that you ARE in fact sticking with this. You ARE trying, every single day. Be the mom your kids need and trust that that is enough. Of course keep striving to be better, to do the very best you can, but then also realize that it is enough.

      All the best,
      AMDG,
      Sarah
      2020-2021
      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+
      DS, 2

      Comment


        #4
        This thread has not really gotten buried yet, but going to bump it anyway in the hope of helping Margaret get some more perspectives and suggestions.

        AMDG,
        Sarah
        2020-2021
        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+
        DS, 2

        Comment


          #5
          Emotional pre-teens still need structure and boundaries. It is comforting to know what happens and when, rather than it being in a constant state of flux. You might consider developing a schedule that works well for your family, knowing that there will still be tweaks that must be made for insidentals that will arrise. Give yourself a couple of weeks to solidify how everything works best. Once you have it decided, endeavor to keep the schedule. An emotional teen will soon come to know that work should be completed within designated work times for days to run smoothly. Consider too, having positive rewards (extra one-on-one time with mom or reading time before bed) when things are completed on schedule.

          My pre-teens came to understand that melt-downs and procrastinating were detrimental to their free-time. They did not like seeing those school buses drive by the house and them still at a desk completing a project. They preferred to be playing in the yard and waving! I also did not allow their procrastination to affect MY schedule. I HAD to be done at a certain point in the day for lunch prep, dinnner prep, and laundry. Do we ever have enough time for laundry? Also because there was more than one child, as well as a toddler, my time had to be divided. I did not allow one child to take the time from another. I will say it was not easy and I was not perfect, but the schedule really helped. Once I stuck to it regularly I had fewer problems.

          Comment


            #6
            I don’t have a baby anymore, but like a lot of other moms I have a chronic health issue — some days I think babies were more predictable! We also have sensitive/spirited/ADHD/moody going with multiple people and they fall apart without a fairly predictable routine. Here’s what we’re doing:

            First, I cut back to essentials. This may or may not be necessary for you, but my 12yo (SC) does Latin, math, spelling, literature. The 10yo does Latin, math, and literature. Almost 9yo (SC) does phonics, math, literature, spelling. Youngest is just doing the Alphabet and Numbers books from SC-C (she’s neurotypical but January birthday so the SC B-C progression was a good fit for her). High schoolers use MPOA, Homeschool Connections, VideoText, and MP streaming. Middle schooler has comp and science with MPOA and Latin, math and literature are home.

            Then, I gave us a down day and use a block schedule for lessons:

            Daily
            9yo: phonics, literature, spelling
            6yo: phonics, numbers
            12yo: spelling
            10, 12, and 14yo: independent work (assignments written or highlighted when we meet for lessons -- see below)
            All: online math; I love RS and want to get back to it, but this is where we are right now

            Lessons
            Monday: Latin - form, vocabulary, and grammar drills with Mom; write or highlight independent work for the week
            Tuesday: Literature - review previous work, prep next chapters; use the free dictionaries people have made/posted to make vocabulary independent; assign next two days of lit
            Wednesday: independent work for 10, 12, and 14yo; online math for all; no Mom lessons -- gives me time to rest/recharge.
            Thursday: Read/discuss Mammals (10 and 12yo), Famous Men of Greece (14yo)
            Firday: Literature - review previous work, prep next chapters; as above

            I work with each of the kids one-on-one. It usually takes 30-45 minutes each for the 9 and 12 year olds since they need more support, and 20 minutes each for the 10 and 14 year olds since they're mostly independent. We usually start between 9 and 10 and finish around 1 or 2, depending on how everyone is doing that day. My high schoolers come to me with questions as needed and I'm hoping to make Wednesday my day to spend 30 minutes grading quizzes/tests for them.

            HTH!
            Last edited by jen1134; 01-13-2021, 10:59 AM.
            Jennifer
            Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

            DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC, Breaking the Barrier French
            DS15: MP, MPOA, HSC
            DS12: Mash-up of 6/7M
            DS11: SC 4
            DD9: 3A with First Form Latin (long story!)
            DD8: Mash-up of SC 1/2
            DD5: January birthday, using SC B and C as a two-year JrK

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