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How do you teach multiple grades?

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    How do you teach multiple grades?

    Hello, I'm new here. I am trying to determine if MP will work for my family. While I really like everything I've learned about it, I do have some concerns. If we start with this in the Fall, I will have each of the following Accelerated 3rd, Moderate 3rd, 1st Grade, and PreK. My two oldest have been doing History, Science, and Art together; and I still find it difficult to get everything finished. How many hours a day are you actively teaching? How long are your children doing schoolwork? Do you take many breaks? Do you teach any subjects together across multiple grades?

    I have found for mine and their sanity we need a quick 10 mins of activity after a lot of sitting and reading. And with the rich literature, I'm worried that we will be breaking a lot and not getting enough done! But the Literature is just one thing I like about this curriculum. I also really like that I won't be planning anything ever again, it's all done for me. That is great!

    Thanks for your insight.
    Courtney
    Joyfully, Courtney
    DS14, DS12, DS11, DD9

    #2
    Courtney,
    Hello, and welcome to the forum, and to MP! I hope you will find good help from all of us as you are making your choices for your family.

    Trying a new path takes adjusting, that is true, but MP has made such a difference in our homeschool, that I hope you give it a try. While it can take some time to get your sea legs, after a few weeks, usually a nice rhythm develops, and you find you have more time than you realized. I have seven children (so far), and next year six of them will be schooling, from prek up through 9th. We still have to schedule, get lazy, readjust, deal with sickness, readjust, deal with unexpected trips/visits, readjust, etc. MP has made that so much better in that whether we are plugging along, in the midst of something, or recovering from something, we know right where we are and what we are doing.

    First, yes, when you can combine, it does help. Many people combine for either complete cores, or for a portion of them, or for doing certain things, like the Enrichment. In your case, I would ask why you are considering doing both the 3A and the 3 standard cores. The only diffrrence between them is pacing, and I think if you have two children close enough to do the same grade, it would be much more beneficial for your first year to do them together. Your circumstances may offer an explanation, but my instinct would be to have them both do 3 standard together. This way your time spent on them will help all of you adjust to MP together. Once they complete the standard 4th grade curriculum, then the curriculum between accelerated and standard is exactly the same, just with the adjustments for what year it is labeled, and the subjects like math that would be off a year. Your children would have the same education in the end, and keeping them together is simpler for you.

    As for time management with your four in school, my experience is that you would want to give your older students things that they can work on independently for a bit of time in the morning while you work on First grade and PreK. The preK will not take a great deal of time, and the first grader would probably enjoy what you will do for it. Then work with the first grader on the most concentrated work, like reading and math. Then take a break from them, let them go play, and work directly with the older two until lunch. After lunch you can finish up anything the first grader still has, and then finish with the older two.

    Young children naturally need breaks to what they are doing, but their attention span for school work does develop rapidly when a consistent routine is in place. Setting a schedule at the beginning of the year can be a great beginning to establishing routines that your children come to expect. When mine get squirrely and it is not a natural break like lunchtime, I have them run our stairs, do jumping jacks while they recite, change laundry for me, etc.....something that gives them a mental or physical break, but does not devolve into playing or time wasting, and does not need to involve everyone. Then they come right back and get back to it. Anything more than that, and our whole day can fall to pieces, mom included!

    These are just a few thoughts off the top of my head this morning, but I am sure you will get lots more great tips from more forum folks too!
    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


      #3
      I would group the two third grades together, and just separate on math and literature if needed. There is plenty of great material for the more advanced child to enjoy, and you can expect a little more mastery of the material. Being that close together, I might even group them in literature because then you have a built in book club! I would also consider doing the first grade enrichment and encourage everyone, including the preK to listen in as much as possible to the read aloud and art/music. My older kids love having the excuse of a younger sibling to listen to the picture books and music selections.
      Michelle
      Michelle

      2017-2018
      9th grade MPOA diploma program
      7th grade MP materials (mostly 7A/8 track, a mix because we have grouped subjects with sibs in the past)
      4th grade MP core (thinking about grading up to 4A this summer)
      2nd grade MP core
      3 year old who reminds us to play and snuggle
      Veritas et Fides

      Comment


        #4
        Furthur explanation and question

        I am teaching the third grade separately bc my oldest will be 10 and I think he could handle the accelerated pace without issue. I would like to try to get him on track with his grade level and the MP Core Curriculum. Because we will be just starting with MP, I'll be subbing several things. The moderated third will be for my actual third grader. We will still have to sub some, but not much. And some things I'll be able to teach to the first and moderated third grader that my oldest won't need. For example, cursive and spelling.

        I am a little confused on the difference in the accelerated and moderate paces. It looks like the accelerated does not cover all the things the moderate does. The animal science is not included, but astronomy is. We actually studied astronomy for a year with Apologia, but have never done animals. Is that something that could be changed?

        What is the first Grade enrichment? I'm not familiar with that. I've been engrossed in the core curriculum trying to determine where to begin.

        I really appreciate the replies.
        Courtney
        Last edited by RunnerJoy; 05-04-2015, 12:29 PM.
        Joyfully, Courtney
        DS14, DS12, DS11, DD9

        Comment


          #5
          Courtney,
          Aha, so yes...seperate cores would make sense in your case, and it sounds like you are finding good options.

          It might help you understand the two tracks to know a bit of background. The progression of the curriculum from K to 2nd, through the Accelerated track, is the scope of the curriculum at Highlands Latin School, where it was developed and is in use. As more and more homeschoolers began coming to MP, a frequent challenge for children appeared beginning in third grade, where it seemed as though the jump in skills from second to third was too great.

          The solution MP developed is to adjust their standard curriculum track to insert a year by dividing third grade into two. These two years are now third grade and fourth grade, where many core subjects are completed over two years instead of one. Some additional subjects had to be added: another science, another set of literature books, and such. That is why the standard track has some elements that are not in the accelerated track. But it is only at this one location in the curriculum. After the fourth grade year, the remainder of the curriculum is the same, just offset by a year. So 4A is the same as 5S; 5A is the same as 6S; 6A is the same as 7S; etc. Does this help?

          Yes, if you want to substitute a science topic as you mentioned, that is easy to do!

          The Enrichment is the last entry along the lesson plan of the primary grades, and includes science, history, art, music and poetry. Information for completing these portions of the curriculum are included in the Enrichment Guide for each primary grade. They are not as "heavy" as if you had individual "subjects" because of the young ages of the children, and provide fun, "enriching" exposure to age-appropriate topics.

          Hths!
          AMDG,
          Sarah
          Last edited by KF2000; 05-04-2015, 02:09 PM.
          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


            #6
            Sarah,
            Thank you! The info about the different tracks is really helpful. Thanks for answering the enrichment question too.

            I'm wondering now if We should get a head start this summer on "catching up" a subject or two. For example, spelling. that's a subject that's we have been putting off. While I hate to give up our summer break, it's kinda been compromised anyways. My second grader just broke his arm Saturday..... so no swimming, bike riding, roller coasters, etc. We may as well make good use of our time.

            I've never used Spelling Workout before. Is it a book that we can work through apart from the rest of MP? Would we be able to complete it this summer without stressing ourselves out?

            Thanks Again,
            Courtney
            Last edited by RunnerJoy; 05-04-2015, 09:06 PM.
            Joyfully, Courtney
            DS14, DS12, DS11, DD9

            Comment


              #7
              Courtney,
              I really would not stress over it. Everyone appreciates a break, and spelling is not heavy duty anyway. The Spelling Workout series is cumulative and repetitive, so each year is set up the same as the previous ones. If your child will not be ready for the one included in the core, just go down a level. You can still follow the directions of the lesson plan...the procedure will be the same.

              I am so sorry to hear of the broken bone...ugh. Especially for summer...our third child broke her leg when she was nearly five...in July! (Smelly!) Actually, it was broken for her by a 7year old boy on a bike crashing into her. Since we only have one boy, we had to keep him.

              Hope he feels better soon!
              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

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