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Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

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    Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

    Alright--let me have it. I'd love to hear your most succinct tips for multiple cores. I'm pulling together a booth talk for the Teach Them Diligently convention next week in Nashville and would love to know your favorite "managing multiple cores in my homeschool" tips. Brevity is the soul of wit (the Bard); keep it short!

    Here's a start:
    -rolling start, start older kids first and let them find their feet before adding littles
    -give yourself 10 days (or more) to finish the first five days of work
    -placement: students need to be placed in cores to their weakest R, not their most advanced (reading, writing, arithmetic)
    -you can sub up/down for individual studies like math, individual lesson plans available
    -give students in about second and up the lesson planner to use to give/mark off daily work
    -assign tasks within subject (or subjects in their entirety) to older children to do while you work one on one with littles, highlight items in the planner
    -do K-2 one-on-ones early in the day, release to play when done
    -farm out what you need to, guilt-free: cottage schools, MPOA, etc.
    -storage: bins, flashcards, etc. keep it tidy so you don't lose your mind (um...your stuff)
    -only do one K-2 lit/enrichment program per year, cycle through until you hit them all, repeat if necessary or desired
    -fearless inventory of your weekly activities: you can't do everything
    -audiobook resources for "reading aloud/listening" on the go
    -only combine when academically beneficial to the students/it's OK to have multiple cores going, everyone gets their "turn" through material
    -you need not assign every single answer in every single study--pick the most important studies and lean in there
    -delegate some things to spouse when possible (i.e. read alouds, or Christian studies as as family read-aloud/discussion on weekend, etc.)
    -MP in a complete curriculum, avoid adding too much extra from other places (add in only when you truly have free time)


    What else do you have? Variations/tweaks on any of these themes?

    Thank you in advance!
    Festina lentē,
    Jessica P

    SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
    @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
    S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
    D · 8th
    D · 5th
    S · 2nd

    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

    #2
    Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

    Hey Jess!

    Couple more to add:

    Don't forget you can adjust the timing of their subjects during the week...we regularly move a subject from Monday to Tuesday for one child, and from Wednesday to Friday for another - because it balances the workload better for them.

    Along with that idea, you can also "bunch" subjects that are spread out so you don't have to do them every day (CC especially).

    But also for older kids, just because they work everyday does not mean you need to work with them every day. I regularly have to do several literature assignments at a time with my kids. They have done the work as scheduled in their planner, but then we don't go over it until Thursday or Friday (not on purpose, but that's just how it ends up! - and it still works!)

    Keep a "rolling day" mentality. When you get behind, just "do the next day" regardless of what is listed on the planner. BUT the flipside of that is to be okay with doing a necessary catch-up now and then - which means you might *gasp* skip a few things, and that is OKAY!

    *Sometimes your kids need fresh air and sunshine more than they need to finish school.*
    AND FINALLY,
    *Sometimes YOU need your kids to have fresh air and sunshine more than you need them to finish school*

    Just throwing that in there on one of the last days of February which always feels like the longest month in the whole year....ironic?

    AMDG,
    Sarah
    2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
    DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
    DS, 16
    DD, 14
    DD, 12
    DD, 10
    DD, 7.5
    DD, 5.5
    +DS+
    DS, 18 months

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

      Make sure that all the tests and extra sheets (spelling sheets, Latin sheets etc.) are photocopied before the school year begins. Have an extra binder for each child, with tabs for each subject. Shelve it with the teacher manuals - on hand and ready.
      Catherine

      Dd - 13 - 8A
      Dd - 11 - 6A

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

        Before the school year starts, gather all materials for K-2 crafts - each week in a gallon size ziploc labeled by week #.

        Let a bigger kid work with the munchkin on the crafts, preferably outside where a paper/glue mess won't matter.
        Amanda
        Mama to three crazy boys - 6A, 5A, 1

        "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

          Brilliant! Keep this magic coming!
          Festina lentē,
          Jessica P

          SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
          @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
          S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
          D · 8th
          D · 5th
          S · 2nd

          Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

            This thread is gold!

            I'll add my two cents: harness sibling power. Two challenges that I face in still being pretty new to MP are having every subject separate for every child (this can be a scary shift for many hs families who used different curricula or approaches that allowed for more multi-age group work), and that there is just so much content to work through. (And all of the content is awesome, so I want to be by each kid's side for all of it...)

            I have been making a concerted effort to coordinate more sibling-sibling help. Examples:

            -Any child who can read can help their sibling go through their recitation, flashcards, etc.
            --My 6 yo loves to help my 11 yo with his recitation. He feels soo smart, knowing all of the answers
            --Older siblings, of course, are even better suited to this, and the review reinforces content they have covered in years past, or gives at least an overview of content they missed for whatever reason.

            -Primary-age kids can read their assigned books to younger siblings. I love to hear my little guy read aloud, but it's a win-win for me when he reads about Ping or Blaze to his little sister. He's developing reading fluency, and she's loving story time--and also not making any messes! (For 10 min or so...)

            -Laminate any drill items you can, and grab them for on-the-go review in the backseat. Flashcards on binder rings are great in the car (thank you, Mary!)--and not just Latin or Classical Studies cards. Bring the art cards, flag cards, memory verse cards. Your kids are a captive audience, might as well put the time to good use. (Especially if the ride isn't long enough for an audiobook chapter.)

            -Laminate, and keep a copy of each grade level's recitation in the car too. You've already committed to being weird, might as well be shouting out the 12 gods and gods who sat on thrones at Mount Olympus or the 15 brightest stars at every red light!

            Above all, trust that God has called you to this, and that he has inclined your heart to greatness, that we do this for His glory. He will give us the strength we need to do His work, raising these precious children in light and truth. Keep a positive attitude focused on what you can and are doing, and not on how you feel you're falling short. You won't remember the unchecked boxes years from now, you'll remember the great conversations, the shared discoveries, the joy and wonder in drinking in so much truth and beauty every single day.
            Mom to DS1 (11, 6th), DS2 (9, 4th), DS3 (6, 2nd), and DD (3, JrK).

            Highlands Latin Phoenix Cottage School

            www.highlandslatinphoenix.org

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

              I'm doing 4 cores this year.

              It's often a good choice to combine children, but sometimes it's not. Do what's best for your family that year.

              Start someone before others. In this case, I started with my twins who are in different cores. We're starting with math and reading. I'll add the rest in once we move. I'll start my 4NU and and SC-C after we move.
              togg_mama // Deut 6:5-6

              April 2018: finishing our sixth year of homeschooling, starting first year using MP cores
              DD: SC C // DS MP 4NU // DD MP 1 // DD MP K

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

                Some of this may be redundant, I didn’t read all tips yet.

                Homeschooling is only one thing we do, don’t allow it to take over. Rest easy in the curriculum guide and rejoice that you no longer have to create all the lesson plans.

                If your children are not accustomed to many quizzes, tests, writing, etc.- allow them to ease into it and do some things orally. Christian Studies tests have a ton of writing because of all the memory verses, that’s a great place to allow some oral reciting. We often do the verses that way, I’ll mark oral on the verse and then they finish the remaining test. You could even allow an open book test in literature while learning how to take a test.

                Start Cursive Yesterday!

                Farm out school subjects when necessary. Household things can be farmed out too - Online grocery orders, meal delivery services, cleaning help, carpooling for extra curricular activities.....

                Meal plan. Give your children chores.

                Protect your school time. You do not have to attend every homeschool function available. You do not have to say yes to every favor asked of you. You do not even have to answer the phone every time it rings.
                Joyfully, Courtney
                DS13 7th, DS11 6th, DS9 4th, DD7 2nd

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

                  Love this pooling of ideas. I am tucking away so many of them. It seems my additions could apply to the non-multiple-core family as well. So they may not fit. But here's my brain dump:


                  1. Have a special treat stashed away for bribery to finish quicker on the days when they just. can't. seem. to. finish. (Y'all. February is no joke.)

                  2. Errands suck the life from school days, so try to schedule all outings/errands on ONLY one day of the week.

                  3. Try having a family tea time (with poetry?) mid-morning to give the rest of your school day a shot in the arm.

                  4. Keep all core manuals in one place so you can quickly find everyone's place.

                  5. Get the older child going on a subject he can do independantly so that you have a space of time for teaching a non-independent worker.

                  6. Combine elective subjects (like science, history, art), NOT core subjects (like math, Latin).

                  7. The earlier you start the earlier you finish.

                  8. Just keep juggling. You will get better at it. And the kids will learn the routine too.

                  9. Do not compare your teaching, your number of kids, your curriculum, your uncleaned-house, etc. to anyone else's.

                  10. It will take the first 6 wks of school for everyone to catch the groove. Don't fret.

                  11. Leave your phone/computer out of reach, so that you can be more efficient with your juggling. Ha!

                  12. Enjoy what your children are learning! Time flies when you're having fun.
                  ~Crystal, and 6 beside

                  2018-2019 school year:
                  Anna 10 - 5A w/FFL Core
                  David 8 - 4th Grade Core
                  Ellie 7- 2nd Grade Core
                  Simeon 5 - K
                  Micah 5 - K
                  John almost 2 - Smiling at everyone

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

                    Originally posted by CrystalEv View Post

                    11. Leave your phone/computer out of reach, so that you can be more efficient with your juggling. Ha!
                    Truth!

                    Thank you all for the excellent contributions!
                    Festina lentē,
                    Jessica P

                    SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
                    @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
                    S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
                    D · 8th
                    D · 5th
                    S · 2nd

                    Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

                      Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
                      Truth!

                      Thank you all for the excellent contributions!
                      Most importantly: keep a large bottle of wine at hand, and refer to it frequently when in doubt about what to do next!

                      (kidding. I hope, obviously! )
                      DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
                      DS 10, using 5M core

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

                        I do refer to my coffee pot frequently!
                        Festina lentē,
                        Jessica P

                        SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
                        @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
                        S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
                        D · 8th
                        D · 5th
                        S · 2nd

                        Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

                          I make sure my kids always know what they can do independently if they need to move on when I'm busy with another child, changing a diaper, haven't had coffee yet (DS is an early riser), whatever. The night before I look at their guides and just highlight anything they can do without me. Usually things like math review (I highlight what they can do in their book), cursive, vocabulary, copybook can be done alone, along with laying out the books that are needed. (I think I got this idea from you Jessica)

                          Days that I don't make it clear what they can do on their own I suddenly find that in the 5 minutes I went to change a diaper or finish a lesson with DD I look over and DS has finished whatever I told him to do and is back outside up a tree because he didn't know what to do next, and thought school was done. It's also nice because when DS is up early he can get started and get his work done early, he's pretty useless after lunchtime so I like to get him done early.
                          ~Michelle

                          DD 10 (MP 5)
                          DS 8 (MP 4)
                          DS 2 - board books and causing chaos
                          DD Born 6/27/18

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

                            Click image for larger version

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                            For kids who are all over the place in a curriculum guide, a chart like this can be very helpful to see their progress. It takes 10 minutes to create, but has been immensely motivating to get to color in another box!
                            Amanda
                            Mama to three crazy boys - 6A, 5A, 1

                            "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

                              Amanda,
                              I love this chart! It must be so fulfilling to get to the end of those lines.
                              Festina lentē,
                              Jessica P

                              SY2019-2020 · 8th MP Year
                              @ Home, HLN, & MPOA
                              S · 10th, MPOA Henle 3
                              D · 8th
                              D · 5th
                              S · 2nd

                              Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                              Comment

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