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Schedule for jr k , 1st, 2nd

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  • KF2000
    replied
    Re: Schedule for jr k , 1st, 2nd

    Good morning!
    You have gotten great advice from very experienced moms already - yay!

    I was reading through this thread this morning and it was bringing back memories of when we started this sort of "middle stage." The early stage was having all really little ones and not really doing school yet. Those days had a certain pace and tenor that was unique and wonderful, but highly challenging. I found it to be a challenge to not have any mental stimulation during the day - just lots of walks, play, diapers, food, and cleaning up after them! (with no big helpers yet) It became wonderful to finally reach school ages! Someday I will hit the later stage, where we have all older kids who are independent workers and I will have lots of time to discuss, discuss, discuss - probably to the point of driving them crazy because I will not have little ones around to keep busy!

    But you are starting this middle stage...where you have real school starting up. We have been here for a while now, and it is great. I am very much like you described - I like order A LOT, and I like plans A LOT. For many years I made a VERY detailed plan of how I would hit every child during the course of our day and week - I even posted it here a couple of times! But each time I made it, the super-precise schedule only lasted for about two or three weeks. As Jude mentioned, it was unrealistic to try to stick to specific times for everything to get done. Life is just too unpredictable with so many unpredictable little people. They don't learn on a schedule very well, and they don't live on a schedule very well. Sometimes you need to cut something short, other times you really need to keep going even though the clock says to stop because you are on a roll. This is why routines have always worked better for us than schedules.

    I say, try your schedule for the first couple of weeks as a baseline of how you think things might go. Print it out for yourself and keep it near you so you can keep to it. Make notes on it, make changes to it, and use it for as long as you need to. What it will do will be to get you through those initial weeks where you are figuring out everyone's pattern for the year. Your mom-sense will kick in and you will realize the pattern your days naturally take. If you already have an internal need for order, then you will pretty easily develop a routine that will take the place of your schedule, and that will work a lot better for the rest of the year. Each year will have its own routine. Each school-year-starting schedule will get you through until you figure out what the routine needs to be.

    I am so excited for you and the new baby. Hitting four and then five kids for us was really that transition from "young couple with a couple of kids" to "Wow, we are a (rather large) family!" Take your time - you will figure it out!

    God bless,
    AMDG,
    Sarah

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  • VAmom
    replied
    Re: Schedule for jr k , 1st, 2nd

    Originally posted by AlexandraMarie View Post
    Thank you everyone for your replies. I need to change my mind set. I did Mason's Alveary Pilot this year, because I always thought I wanted a strict Charlotte Mason education. This curriculum was very big on sticking to a schedule and making sure everything was done before lunch. We switched to memoria Press Phonics, Spelling, Lit and Math mid year and loved it and had great success! I will need to change my mindset from following a strict schedule to more getting the days work done. Also it probably wouldn't work to get my older kids early, because we do family breakfast and worship at 7:30; all the kids are dressed and their morning chore is done by then. I usually clean up and do dishes after breakfast, maybe I could get my older two started on independent work then, although they have been used to having some playtime after breakfast. Thank you for letting me know that the recitations may take longer. Also I am considering possibly doing a four day week ( not fitting everything into 4 days, but rather just moving to the next day). I could then have a fifth day for chores. My husband is a pastor and Sunday is like a work day for him. Monday is our family day, which is like his Sabbath, but I always try to get a lot done, which I think drives him a little crazy. Sorry for the rambling. We do not have any large homeschooling families with toddlers in our church, so I am still trying to figure this whole scheduling thing out. I love schedules, order and neatness. I also love my 20 minutes afternoon nap, which I may have to let go. I guess I will take any advice from anyone who has been in my shoes. I feel beyond blessed that come October, Lord willing, I will have five children! I know God has called me to this, so I need to trust his grace will be sufficient for each day.
    First of all, I should be asking you for tips on getting everyone dressed and a morning chore done by 7:30. That is an impressive routine! And never worry about rambling on here. Figuring out how to make homeschooling work is hard, especially when adding a new baby and new curriculum into the mix.

    I think at these younger grades, it is totally doable to make things 4 days. We have done that the last 2 years. I am assuming that it will be harder to do that as the kids get older.

    I also need my 20 minute, or sometimes more rest/nap time. Here's how our schedule has looked this year.

    8:30- Start first grader with cursive and copybook. I introduce how to write the letter and then she practices independently. I work with the JrK. If the 1st grader finishes first, then she goes and plays with the toddler. When the JrK is done, we move on to reading. Anything not done becomes "homework," work to completed after school time because that child was dawdling.

    Reading (about 9:30): We all sit on the couch. I do a read aloud book and my 1st grade reads aloud her assignment. The younger two children will sit with us for part of it and play around us for part of it. It gives my toddler a chance for some snuggles. After reading aloud, my first grader answers the questions. A 15-20 min break and snack comes next (between 10-10:30).

    After break, the younger two play and the 1st grader does recitation, math, spelling and phonics and we end with enrichment. Recitation after break or first thing in the morning for the JrK helps them to be able to focus. For my 1st grader, math and spelling are quick subjects. We finish at 12:30 for lunch. Whatever isnt finished becomes homework but I've introduced all the material.

    My plan for next year is to add Latin to the AM and start at 8am. We will be working on our habits as Ms. Mason calls them.

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  • jen1134
    replied
    Re: Schedule for jr k , 1st, 2nd

    Originally posted by AlexandraMarie View Post
    I operate best when I have a schedule. Here is my idea for jr k, 1st, and 2nd. Do you think this will work? 8:30-9 math lesson for second and first/ 9-9:30 finish math independently while I do Jr k with 4 year old (I plan to spread it over five days)/ 9:30-10 check math and recitations/ 10:00- 10:30 Latin/ 10:30-11 phonics and spelling with first grader. 11-12 lunch and recess ( play with baby and toddler) 12-12:30 phonics and spelling 2nd/ 12:30-1 reading and storytime treasures 1st/ 1-1:30 literature 2nd/ 1:30-2:00 memory and handwriting both ( they are both doing 1st) / 2-3 all enrichment and snack time . I also will have a toddler and a baby due the beginning of October. The toddler will take at least a two hour nap in the afternoon, I plan to have siblings rotate playing with him in the morning, I am not too worried about the baby (usually nursing them will do the trick)

    It's good to have a definite start and end time but everything inside of that needs to be a "flow" rather than a timetable. I'm a planner by nature but I've learned the hard way that plans can look wonderful on paper and end up being absolutely useless in real life when they don't have margin built in. Without margin, you will find yourself (and your kids) burning out.

    For example, while the plan says that you will do phonics and spelling from 10:30 - 11, that doesn't give margin for the time it will take to get materials out, remind everyone else what they need to be doing during the next half hour, change a sudden stinky diaper or respond to "I'm hungry now." It also doesn't give margin for the days when a particular child hits a wall with a new concept, has multiple math corrections to make, or just feels like dragging their feet.

    Some days will go faster than you plan, some will go slower, some will be very broken up by teething, getting into the pantry, moodiness, illness, etc. -- and not all of that will be the kids

    I've found the most peaceful way to go about schooling multiple younger grades is to work with each one, one at a time. Due to reading difficulties, my 8 and 6 year olds are in the same grade so we work on their assignments/lessons first and finish those before I work with their sister. We then do all of her work for the day. The only thing I plan to change with this is to work with her first as she is younger.
    Last edited by jen1134; 05-31-2017, 03:21 PM.

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  • AlexandraMarie
    replied
    Re: Schedule for jr k , 1st, 2nd

    Thank you everyone for your replies. I need to change my mind set. I did Mason's Alveary Pilot this year, because I always thought I wanted a strict Charlotte Mason education. This curriculum was very big on sticking to a schedule and making sure everything was done before lunch. We switched to memoria Press Phonics, Spelling, Lit and Math mid year and loved it and had great success! I will need to change my mindset from following a strict schedule to more getting the days work done. Also it probably wouldn't work to get my older kids early, because we do family breakfast and worship at 7:30; all the kids are dressed and their morning chore is done by then. I usually clean up and do dishes after breakfast, maybe I could get my older two started on independent work then, although they have been used to having some playtime after breakfast. Thank you for letting me know that the recitations may take longer. Also I am considering possibly doing a four day week ( not fitting everything into 4 days, but rather just moving to the next day). I could then have a fifth day for chores. My husband is a pastor and Sunday is like a work day for him. Monday is our family day, which is like his Sabbath, but I always try to get a lot done, which I think drives him a little crazy. Sorry for the rambling. We do not have any large homeschooling families with toddlers in our church, so I am still trying to figure this whole scheduling thing out. I love schedules, order and neatness. I also love my 20 minutes afternoon nap, which I may have to let go. I guess I will take any advice from anyone who has been in my shoes. I feel beyond blessed that come October, Lord willing, I will have five children! I know God has called me to this, so I need to trust his grace will be sufficient for each day.

    Leave a comment:


  • VAmom
    replied
    Re: Schedule for jr k , 1st, 2nd

    I think Jude had some great suggestions for you. I have friends with no toddlers or babies who are able to stick with a more strict agenda but it hasn't worked with us. We have a start time and an agenda. Some days we finish very quickly and some days it takes longer. I agree with Jude about having the older 2 start with more independent work like cursive and copybook while you work with the JrK.

    An another thought I had as we are finishing up JrK and 1st grade is the recitation will likely take longer than 30 mins for 3 kids as the year progresses, especially if you're trying to review math work as well. Or we just might be pokey people!

    Also, have you thought about combining enrichment for the 1st and 2nd grader? My kids really enjoy crafts, art and messy projects and get a lot of them in various activities so I didn't worry about the JrK crafts. We did the read aloud, songs and poetry and the 1st grade enrichment. Sometimes my younger kids would join in and other times they'd be off playing.

    Good luck!
    Heidi

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  • Colomama
    replied
    Re: Schedule for jr k , 1st, 2nd

    Man to man coverage versus zone defense. Laughing out loud right now because this is so true!

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  • SaintJude7
    replied
    Re: Schedule for jr k , 1st, 2nd

    I don't know that I would try to stick to specific times. I did years of homeschooling older kids with babies and toddlers along for the ride. I found that I really had to do the majority of the one-on-one teaching for things like math, Latin, and reading when the little ones were sleeping. And that was even with having older siblings taking turns playing with the baby and toddler. (Toddlers are pretty good at foiling that plan. Suddenly your immediate, undivided attention becomes crucial to their happiness. Or the sibling is tired of entertaining the toddler.)
    Have you considered waking your first and second grader earlier than the others, doing the instruction, then letting them do any independent work while you are feeding and dressing the other two? Read-alouds, recitation, Jr K, and memory work can be done when the baby and toddler are up, and then you have a sort of recess before lunch. After lunch, when they have their nap, you finish up the school work for the day. Unless you are going to be teaching in a separate schoolhouse location, real life is going to interfere in your time slots. Don't set yourself up for burnout. Have a loose plan of what needs to be done in a week, and be willing to abandon that plan and not feel bad about it. Junior K may turn into "Let's read a book, here's a page to color, now listen in on the stuff I'm doing with the big kids." And they'll still be ready for kindergarten on time.
    Overall, I think just like the third baby is the hardest (switching from man-on-man to zone defense when the two you aren't holding go separate directions), making that jump from two to three homeschooling students is the hardest. You need to really focus on getting your second grader to the point where he/she can do more work independently, even it if means sacrificing some of the enrichment. And then you move on to the next child. And the next. And the next....
    Blessings,
    Jude

    DD 20, DS 17, DS 14, DS 12, DD 10, DS 7, DD 5

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  • AlexandraMarie
    started a topic Schedule for jr k , 1st, 2nd

    Schedule for jr k , 1st, 2nd

    I operate best when I have a schedule. Here is my idea for jr k, 1st, and 2nd. Do you think this will work? 8:30-9 math lesson for second and first/ 9-9:30 finish math independently while I do Jr k with 4 year old (I plan to spread it over five days)/ 9:30-10 check math and recitations/ 10:00- 10:30 Latin/ 10:30-11 phonics and spelling with first grader. 11-12 lunch and recess ( play with baby and toddler) 12-12:30 phonics and spelling 2nd/ 12:30-1 reading and storytime treasures 1st/ 1-1:30 literature 2nd/ 1:30-2:00 memory and handwriting both ( they are both doing 1st) / 2-3 all enrichment and snack time . I also will have a toddler and a baby due the beginning of October. The toddler will take at least a two hour nap in the afternoon, I plan to have siblings rotate playing with him in the morning, I am not too worried about the baby (usually nursing them will do the trick)
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