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    Need help planning for K, 3rd, & 5th grade

    I posted a few weeks ago and introduced myself and told a little about our children. We are looking hard at Memoria Press for our homeschool curriculum for this coming school year, but I need some help. I don't believe either my soon to be 3rd grade DD or soon to be 5th grade son will be able to just jump into the curriculum/lesson plans for those grade levels without some tweaking.

    We have jumped around between different Catholic curriculum providers for the last few years and therefore have missed a few things. I had some health issues the last few years and anything but the basics was passed by. We haven't done much in the way of History, Science, or art.

    We have never studied latin.

    The soon to be 5th grader is a strong reader but doesn't enjoy writing. The soon to be 3rd grader struggles with reading, writing, and spelling. Anything beyond the level 3 readers (Little Bear, Henry and Mudge, etc) causes tears and much frustration on her part. I am not sure the 3rd grade reading list will work for her. Maybe if she is only reading a few pages at a time it will be less overwhelming for her? Or should I used the 2nd grade literature selections for her? What about writing/grammar for them?

    Could I combine them both for Latin, Science, and History? What should I use?

    Can i get the lesson plans I need even with all the switching out I might need to do?

    I think starting the twins (girls) with the K level curriculum from the start is going to help a lot.

    I am concerned with jumping from 2 in school to 4, and having 3 little ones running amok. Not sure my house will ever get cleaned!! Or how I will be able to help them all.

    Thank you so much for reading and for any help you can give me. I feel like I need a lot of hand holding to make this switch but really think this is what we need.
    Last edited by klday; 07-05-2013, 04:56 PM.
    Lindsey
    Mom to DS (9), DD (7), twin DDs (5), DD (4), DS (2), DS (1)

    #2
    Managing the chaos -- long one

    I am going to let Tanya handle the academic part of this question. Have you considered working with your twins only after lunch? Think of it as an afternoon kindergarten. Kindergarten requires so much supervision to make sure they aren't developing bad habits. I have my dd 16, ds 10, and ds 8 in one room, and then work with my dd 6, and special needs ds 13 in a separate room. I found that all of the read aloud work had to be done in the afternoons when the baby was down for her nap. (She is a very LOUD baby, and generally by then the 4 year old had burned off enough energy to sit and listen as well.)
    No matter where you place the four that are homeschooling this year, you are going to have to be an organizational machine. You may have a wonderful system in place, but in case anyone else is curious, I will post this.
    Here are a couple of books that have helped me a great deal. The first is "Ginny's Gems: Home Management Essentials," by Ginny Seuffert. If you have ever heard her speak at a homeschool conference, the you know how funny she is. Some of her talks are available at Seton's website. I think some of the best advice she gives is that you have to get up at least an hour before your children.
    Now for the actual running of the house, I thought the methods in "Large Family Logistics" did the most to save my house from collapse. (If anyone else here has ever tried to use FlyLady, then you know that it is not workable for large families.) The first half of the book is mainly motivational, and unfortunately you have to come up with your own lists. There are not templates. Basically you set up a household binder with all of your routines, checklists, calendar, meal plans, etc... (See donnayoung.org) But what really set it apart was the idea of returning to the weekly routines that many generations followed. As an example, some laundry gets done every day (in my house each person is assigned a specific day of the week, with younger ones doubling up), but you have Monday as your "Laundry Day," where you do household laundry, any mending, and straighten the laundry room up. You can put the days in whatever order suits you. This eliminates that overwhelming feeling of looking around and not knowing what to tackle first. You know that each thing will get done in-depth on its assigned day.
    Here are my days:
    Monday: Laundry Day
    Tuesday: Kitchen Day
    Wednesday: Office Day (pay bills, make appointments, balance checkbook, meal plan, correspondence, etc...)
    Thursday: Errand Day (grocery, dentist or doctor appointments)
    Friday: Cleaning Day (all daily cleaning plus deeper cleaning on one area of the house)
    Saturday: Yard and Garage Day
    Sunday: Church and Rest
    I also came up with a list that I call my "Daily Dozen." These are the things that absolutely have to be done every day. I can scan over my list each day and make sure I didn't forget. I also have a checklist for my morning routine and my evening routine.
    I'm really happy with the system. Several friends have borrowed the book and gotten a lot out of it.
    Blessings,
    Jude

    dd 16, ds 13, ds 10, ds 8, dd 6, ds 4, dd 14 mos.
    DD24
    DS21
    DS18
    DS16
    DD14
    DS11
    DD9

    Comment


      #3
      Hi there!

      I am so glad that you are considering MP...as their program has really helped my family streamline our day, make our efforts more concentrated, and give me the freedom to stop worrying about "doing more." I hope that you and your family will be pleased as well!

      First, I have to echo Jude's comments to you about getting your days on track. It is really true that the only way things get done in our house PEACEFULLY (most of the time!) is when we have routines in place, and we follow those routines as carefully as possible. It is hard when big interruptions happen, and believe me, we have all had some share in that, even just with all the unexpected events of welcoming a new family member, or taking care of a sick family member! But as each of those times winds down, it's really important to buckle down again and get back to the routines. For me, I even get in ruts, where I see us just relaxing too much on things, and we have to refocus and get back in the groove. As Jude mentioned, either having mom get up earlier than kids, or for us, having an anchor of going to morning Mass keeps us on track with getting up on time, getting going on time, and then coming home and going right into the school day. Even though it's a struggle to keep it up, any time that we take breaks from that routine, it is always harder to get everyone going (I personally am not a morning person, so I have never had success with sticking to getting up before the kids...especially while pregnant or nursing, which has been a constant for the last 12 years!) I take advantage of nighttime, when all is quiet, to get a lot of my stuff done, as I tend to concentrate at that time of day better than any other.

      We do something very similar to Jude's plan...everyday there is some area of housework we focus on as a larger task, and then we have set things that get done every day. So as Jude mentioned, come up with your priorities of what you can stand to let slide, and what you have to have done every day. For us, clutter is a major headache and concentration buster for several people in our family...so making sure that we have set times during the day to straighten up, especially before bedtimes, is a must! Otherwise, people come downstairs in the morning and want to get right to playing, or reading, whatever was left out the night before!

      Another reminder I would give, is to keep in mind that this year will need to have an adjustment period for everyone (which can be stressful, but does calm down once people get used to everything)...we need one every year, with or without making a major curriculum change! For us, I have found staggering the beginning points for everyone is very helpful for that. For example, we were late this year to finish, with everyone wrapping up their math and spelling at different times. Since we are going to start schooling year-round, I told them that whenever they finish, they will have two weeks off, and then I will start with them again. Well, my new second grader was done first, so she got her two weeks off, and we started in on her new plans. This way, I can really focus time on getting her used to the new routines of her subjects while I am not yet into a full day with everyone. My next two will be starting up next week, and I will have just them to get acclimated. Then I will have two more to start a week or so after them. It really cuts down on how many questions I am answering from five different people while still managing a toddler running around and begging for attention too!

      As for academics, as Jude mentioned, Tanya and the MP folks here are really good at placing people, and will help you tailor your choices to your situation. They do offer lessons plans by subject too, so you can really individualize what you need to get started, combining in some places, and not in others. I hope that you will be happy with your choices and that you are having a great holiday weekend!

      AMDG,
      Sarah
      dd (7th), ds (5th), dd (3rd), dd (2nd), dd (K), dd (19 mo), ??? expected Oct/2013
      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
        Sarah!!!!

        CONGRATULATIONS SARAH! i just read your signature line on your reply. Lucky number 7! I am so excited for you.
        I love the part of your message about twelve years of babies and nursing. Ditto I figured out that I have now spent over ten years of my life breastfeeding. I don't think Hallmark makes a card for that. My husband and I joke that that part of all pharmaceutical commercials that says, "May not be suitable for women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant" has been me for the last 17 years.
        Such wonderful news. A new little blessing. Keep us posted.
        Blessings,
        Jude

        dd 16, ds 13, ds 10, ds 8, ds 6, ds 4, dd 14 mos.
        DD24
        DS21
        DS18
        DS16
        DD14
        DS11
        DD9

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you both so much! It is awesome to see other large families using MP and making it work!

          Yes, we definitely need to buckle down on routines/chores around here. I guess now is the perfect time to get back into our groove. Everything fell by the wayside the last 8 months! For example, I used to have the kids help with kitchen clean up after meals, but when I was down and out after 3 miscarriages this past year, it fell by the wayside and now I am on my own. Things like that need remedied; DH just commented on that today after lunch.

          I have (and love) the Large Family Logistics book. I know when I first read it, it was a breath of fresh air! I need to pull it back out and implement her ideas.

          Congratulations, Sarah! I agree that when pregnant or nursing it is hard to get up before the kids. I have been doing pretty well at that the last few weeks, but a few of mine are up at 6 A.M.!!
          Lindsey
          Mom to DS (9), DD (7), twin DDs (5), DD (4), DS (2), DS (1)

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks guys!

            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


              #7
              Still need some help on choosing curriculum!

              I still need some help on where to place the two oldest, as described in my first post.
              Lindsey
              Mom to DS (9), DD (7), twin DDs (5), DD (4), DS (2), DS (1)

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by klday View Post
                I still need some help on where to place the two oldest, as described in my first post.
                As you may already know, the first grade reading program begins with Little Bear, so perhaps you could use the summer to go over the other first grade reading books and be ready to start 2nd grade reading in the fall? Second grade reading is fairly challenging compared to Little Bear. I have not done anything above 2nd grade, so I can't be of much help there, but I know the composition series is sequential, so your fifth-grader would be starting with composition one (fable). Latin would probably start with first form at that age. The third-grader could start Prima Latina or Latina Christiana. I suppose you could even combine Latina Christiana for 3rd and 5th grade, but I'm not sure if that would be best. (Others would have more knowledge about that). I think you'll really appreciate the simplicity and ease of learning in the kindergarten program with your twins. Best wishes.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Humble opinion

                  I would probably do the straight K, 2nd, and 4th packages and spend the rest of this summer reading through D'Aulaire's Greek Myths with your oldest. The reading level is not the only factor. Memoria Press requires a good deal of writing, although you can modify it. You could sub out the math levels. If you school around the year you can do two years of school in a year and a half and still take breaks as needed. For Latin I would put them both in Latina Christiana.
                  Blessings,
                  Jude

                  Dd 16, Ds 13, Ds 10, Ds 8, Dd 6, Ds 4, Dd 14 mos.
                  DD24
                  DS21
                  DS18
                  DS16
                  DD14
                  DS11
                  DD9

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Spot on, Jude!

                    I have to concur with Jude's recommendation...it sounds like you will need a bit of time to make sure that some strong foundations are laid before requiring too much. By going to the second and fourth grade levels, you get time to really make sure they are ready for older levels. We just finished both second and fourth, and it's still a very rigorous year...with enough interesting things to keep even slightly older ones learning new material.

                    HTH'S!

                    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


                      #11
                      Agree with Jude

                      I also concur with Jude as far as your third grader (I have two in 3rd right now). 3rd grade is much more writing than second grade and very time intensive (5-6 hr per day for us right now). Spelling in 3rd is R&S grade 4, so advanced as well and comes with worksheets that can take us an hour to complete. In second grade, the SRA Phonics and spelling list may be more appropriate for her reading level. Also, in second grade she would be in Prima Latina with is a much easier level and requires a lot less writing than LCI. I don't think it would be too overwhelming to have your 5th grader in FFL and your 3rd in Prima Latina.

                      It is possible to combine Thursday and Friday lesson into 1 day for 2nd grade if you wanted her to "catch up", although that is not necessary since MP is advanced in their curriculum in my opinion. And like Jude said, you can get through 1 1/2 grade level per year homeschooling year round.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Hi, Lindsey.

                        I apologize for my delayed response to your curriculum questions. I have been out of the office with school meetings and trying to get our late summer catalog uploaded, so my Inbox has been neglected! You have gotten good recommendations from Jude and Sarah on curriculum choices. I would definitely start with both older students in Latina Christiana I, which is an introductory course that will be challenging enough but not overwhelming. And I also think you should definitely start with the 2nd grade reading for your 3rd grader. But you can use portions of 2nd grade and portions of 3rd grade, and we will make sure you have the lesson plans you need. Third grade has D'Aulaires' Greek Myths in it, and both of your older students could do that course together. It also has Astronomy for science and States & Capitals for geography. There are some subjects both students can do together that would simplify things for you. If you want to look at our 2nd - 5th grade packages and choose your courses from among them, we'll be glad to help you make that work with the lesson plans you need. Our goal is to help your students to get the best education possible while helping you to keep your sanity!

                        Regards,

                        Tanya

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Jude's homemaking suggestions

                          I am curious how you follow your home management schedule, especially errands on Thursday, clean on Friday and still manage to get the school work done. My biggest struggle with homeschooling is getting everything done. I did just order Ginny's Gems. I hope it helps. I have two special needs kids who need me one on one for all schooling, plus two younger ones who need me to be right there as well. Susan

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Susan,

                            It does seem hard to imagine how everything gets done when you see it all written down on paper. I always have the odd feeling when my dh comes home and he sees things pretty much the same as when he left in the morning that he really must wonder if we did anything during the day! But, surprisingly, it does get done.

                            For us, it is really just constant motion....going from one thing to the next. Having the lesson plans in place is so helpful to give us routine, so that everyone gets used to their days....and I get used to what each one is doing. Then it is just a matter of, "I finished checking this person's stuff, so they have the job of switching laundry right now....this person is acting up so they can take a break and take the garbage out....everyone grab something to take with to finish on the way to XYZ...." We seriously just try to take advantage of every spare moment to be doing something from my mental list of what needs to be done every day. I will say I have had to concede my "errand day" to school, my dh heads to the big box store for us on saturdays, and most everything else we need I try to get delivered from Amazon. It works!

                            I hope you figure out a routine that works for you!
                            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


                              #15
                              Chores, Lists, Routines

                              I think Sarah and I probably have the same kind of days. It is just moving from task to task, checking things off and having that overall plan going. Having my written lists means that I am less likely to forget something. The house is never going to be as clean as I would like, but I have found a level that is comfortable. I used to wonder how my grandmother did it all. She had twelve children in 15 years, and I have only had seven. Finally, one day my mother told me that grandma had to realize that it was never all going to get done. That made me feel better.
                              I know that my house is pretty well organized. I am a real "a place for every thing, and every thing in its place" kind of person. I love my label maker. Even the insides of the kitchen cupboards and refrigerator are labeled, so things don't get misplaced. My kids have written chore lists and are old enough now to do real cleaning. I have a written list of every step that needs to be done to clean a bathroom, so there are no excuses. My 16 year old can be flexible with her time, so if I have an unexpected errand or can't take everyone with me, she can keep an eye on things here.
                              For me, whether it is lesson plans or household duties, if I want it to get done, I need to put it in writing. Both books "Large Family Logistics" and "Ginny's Gems" both emphasize putting in time on the front end training your children to help with the household and learn the manners necessary to be able to take them anywhere. Apparently many families stop homeschooling not because of academics, but because of discipline problems or feeling that the household is falling apart.
                              Blessings,
                              Jude

                              dd 16, ds 13, ds 10, ds 8, dd 6, ds 4, dd 14 mos.
                              DD24
                              DS21
                              DS18
                              DS16
                              DD14
                              DS11
                              DD9

                              Comment

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