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Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

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    #31
    Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

    I love this, thank you so much!
    ~ Carrie
    Catholic mom to four - ages 9, 7, 5, and 2
    6th year homeschooling, 1st year MP!
    Using 4th for New Users

    Comment


      #32
      Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

      Thanks so much for this!! Trying to tuck these away in my memory now before we dive in!
      Blessings,
      ~Sarah Marie

      ~DS, nearly 9: MP3M Full Core with Astronomy & Intro to Comp.
      ~DS, 7: Mash-up of MPK, MP1, and non-MP
      ~DD, 4: Some MP Preschool & Jr. K readalouds, enrichment with brothers.

      Comment


        #33
        Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

        Hey folks!

        One more tip that I don’t think has been brought up and a friend thought should be thrown in too...

        Mom’s Reward.
        Most of us, with or without multiple cores, give nearly all of our waking hours to caring for our families. Homeschooling makes this more intense; homeschooling with multiple cores makes this border on insanity! A great motivator for mom can be that one small thing that she does to reward herself at the end of her days, or at the end of her week - not for being perfect, but for simply surviving. My friend looks forward to a glass of wine while she makes dinner on friday; dark chocolate after dinner is my “carrot on a string.” Even stepping outside for a breath of cool air on a calm night will often do the trick. Build it in and make it as much of a routine as everything else!

        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


          #34
          Re: Hit me with your best shot: tips for multiple cores

          Not necessarily a "multiple core" tip, but we've been printing the Unit Test maps for Geography III as 11 x 17 pages, and it makes things so much easier. I usually print four for each unit to insure plenty of practice.
          Last edited by bean; 04-24-2018, 06:07 PM.
          Bean

          DD- 9M with subs

          Comment


            #35
            I though it was a good time to bump this up as I have another one to add.

            The last two school years have been two of our hardest. I constantly felt like I was playing catch-up or simply moving from one desperate child to the next without much purposefulness. At the time, there was so much going on that I chalked it up to 1) moving right before the school year started both years; 2) being pregnant/having an infant and therefore having an unpredictable schedule; 3) being in a new place and again having an unpredictable schedule as we tried to find new things or meet new people. Reaching the end of this year, all of us expressed the very strong sense that next year we need a tighter ship. We need to make a more concentrated effort to keep outside things to outside school hours, but also to have a more clearly defined schedule as our foundation. As I got started working on this a couple of weeks ago, I realized looking back through my folders that sure enough - there were all my old schedule folders, with a very noticeable gap of two years! Lightbulb moment!

            I just finished the schedules for next year, which required a bit of guessing as to exactly when piano lessons will be or whether work schedules will be the same as this past year, but at least the main work is done. Since the process is thus so fresh in my mind, I though I would walk you through it for anyone else who is new to the whole "multiple core planning." If I simply attached my schedules (as I have done in the past) y'all might freak out because all you will see is the end result, not the steps that it took to get there. That is what I want to share below.

            1. Start with your oldest child. Write down each subject area in a list. Then write how long each subject should take. Then break that amount of time up between the time you need to be present vs. the time he or she can be working independently. For example, if your oldest is in 7th grade, he will need to allot an hour for math, but he might only need you to actively teach him for 30 minutes. Or he might also need an hour for Latin, but he watches the DVD on Mondays, and then just needs you to start him off with drill work and refresher for 20 minutes before he does his work. Or he might be in the Online Academy and works well on his own so you don't need to be involved much at all. Similarly, if your oldest child is in 2nd grade or 3rd grade, you have to realize that those subject blocks are much shorter, he will need your direct help for most of it, but that you also can have 10 minutes here and there to encourage independent work. Be thinking of how each subject can be broken up, but for now, try to concentrate on 1/2 hour increments of whether you are needed or not needed.

            2. Begin a workbook in Excel called "Master Schedules 2019-2020." Use a daily schedule template because they work perfectly and that goes faster. Name a page for your oldest child. Start making a timed list in 1/2 hour increments. Start with the morning routine and the beginning of school. Subjects like Math and Latin should preferably be done when a child is freshest - so early in the day, or right after lunch/physical activity. Also, alternate tasks that are mentally taxing with those that allow for a break or a change of pace. My favorite pattern is to have them do Latin or Math, then piano practice or a walk, and then either Latin or Math. Gets the bulk of the hardest work out of the way first thing. Then I have them do something that has some reading for about a half an hour to an hour before lunch break, such as science, history, or Christian studies. They don't have to do the whole subject, but it's one more thing they can squeeze in before a longer break. Try not to have them go much more than 2 hours without some sort of change of pace - switching to music practice, physical activity, chores, etc. Make sure to check their Curriculum Guide to see which day of the week the rotating subjects are scheduled. Also include any practices that you know of, online class times, family meal and prayer times, work schedules, lights out, etc. Be as specific as possible to begin with. You can always adjust/loosen up later, but it is harder to tighten up once the year has started.

            If you have young children, you will have to keep in mind that you will be needed by them as early in the day as possible because they tire so easily. But their work sessions need to be shorter anyway. Keep them in mind by not totally blocking yourself into a morning with your bigs, but your bigs have a lot more work to get scheduled. For my littles, I try to have a solid work time of 90 minutes in the morning, and then another 60 minutes in the afternoon right before rest time. But that 90 minutes in the morning does not have to be first thing. I can start a couple of my bigs while the littles are doing handwriting, phonics worksheets, math worksheets, flash cards, poetry practice, or playing with/feeding the baby).

            3. Once the oldest child is sketched in, then repeat steps 1 and 2 for the next child, and the next, and the next, until you have all of your kids sketched in with a M-F worksheet of his/her own. Adjust as necessary so that two people aren't trying to use the computer at the same time and such.

            4. Print out these schedules. Double check each one that you have each of their subjects listed. Highlight each square where you are supposed to "be." Make sure you didn't overlap anyone. Then from those highlighted boxes, make up a worksheet of your own, with your schedule. Print this out and put it where you can refer to it easily.

            5. Then here's the magic moment where it all comes together. Start five new worksheets in the same workbook, named for each day of the week. Use the same template, but instead of the days of the week across the top, but each child's name. Then go back to Child A's worksheet, copy the entire column of Monday. Return to the "Monday" worksheet and paste it under Child A's name. Then go into Child B's worksheet. Copy the entire "Monday" column and paste it into the Monday worksheet under Child B's name. Do the same for each child. Then do the same for each day of the week. Now you have a full schedule of what each person is doing every single day of the week.

            The child's Monday - Friday schedule gets printed out and posted near their school shelf in the study.

            My Monday-Friday schedule gets taped to the side of the fridge for reference.

            The Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday schedules get printed out, put into page protectors, and put in my "corner" of the kitchen counter. I pull out the day's schedule and keep it with me all day. I can instantly know what each person is "supposed" to be doing.

            Why this works for me is because of what happened these last two years without it. Even though I would keep on track with my little ones, everyone else would "choose" when they wanted to do each subject. Which means if they had a question, I was at the mercy of the immediate moment they were asking - regardless of what I was already in the middle of doing. Constant interruptions. Or they would ask for help and I was unable to give it - but then we would both forget, the help would never be given, and the subject would just get delayed and delayed and delayed. As I plan, I figure out which things regularly need my help - and I plan for them to do those things when it is a time I could drop what I am doing and help. Or I prevent the need for help by scheduling them to do the subject with me to begin with.

            I have often been asked how I make my schedules up, but the process has always seemed fuzzy because it's not fresh. This was fresh, so I hope it is helpful. And feel free to share any suggestions for how if you have found an even better system than I. It's no easy task, but the return on the effort is significant!

            AMDG,
            Sarah
            Last edited by KF2000; 06-13-2019, 08:33 AM. Reason: My computer likes to change my words!
            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


              #36
              Thank you so much, Sarah! I just finished watching the Multiple Cores videos from Soldalitas 2017 and 2018 and born referred to schedules like yours workout much detail. Your description is excellent, thanks again.
              ~ Carrie
              Catholic mom to four - ages 9, 7, 5, and 2
              6th year homeschooling, 1st year MP!
              Using 4th for New Users

              Comment


                #37
                Originally posted by KF2000 View Post
                I though it was a good time to bump this up as I have another one to add.

                The last two school years have been two of our hardest. I constantly felt like I was playing catch-up or simply moving from one desperate child to the next without much purposefulness. At the time, there was so much going on that I chalked it up to 1) moving right before the school year started both years; 2) being pregnant/having an infant and therefore having an unpredictable schedule; 3) being in a new place and again having an unpredictable schedule as we tried to find new things or meet new people. Reaching the end of this year, all of us expressed the very strong sense that next year we need a tighter ship. We need to make a more concentrated effort to keep outside things to outside school hours, but also to have a more clearly defined schedule as our foundation. As I got started working on this a couple of weeks ago, I realized looking back through my folders that sure enough - there were all my old schedule folders, with a very noticeable gap of two years! Lightbulb moment!

                I just finished the schedules for next year, which required a bit of guessing as to exactly when piano lessons will be or whether work schedules will be the same as this past year, but at least the main work is done. Since the process is thus so fresh in my mind, I though I would walk you through it for anyone else who is new to the whole "multiple core planning." If I simply attached my schedules (as I have done in the past) y'all might freak out because all you will see is the end result, not the steps that it took to get there. That is what I want to share below.

                1. Start with your oldest child. Write down each subject area in a list. Then write how long each subject should take. Then break that amount of time up between the time you need to be present vs. the time he or she can be working independently. For example, if your oldest is in 7th grade, he will need to allot an hour for math, but he might only need you to actively teach him for 30 minutes. Or he might also need an hour for Latin, but he watches the DVD on Mondays, and then just needs you to start him off with drill work and refresher for 20 minutes before he does his work. Or he might be in the Online Academy and works well on his own so you don't need to be involved much at all. Similarly, if your oldest child is in 2nd grade or 3rd grade, you have to realize that those subject blocks are much shorter, he will need your direct help for most of it, but that you also can have 10 minutes here and there to encourage independent work. Be thinking of how each subject can be broken up, but for now, try to concentrate on 1/2 hour increments of whether you are needed or not needed.

                2. Begin a workbook in Excel called "Master Schedules 2019-2020." Use a daily schedule template because they work perfectly and that goes faster. Name a page for your oldest child. Start making a timed list in 1/2 hour increments. Start with the morning routine and the beginning of school. Subjects like Math and Latin should preferably be done when a child is freshest - so early in the day, or right after lunch/physical activity. Also, alternate tasks that are mentally taxing with those that allow for a break or a change of pace. My favorite pattern is to have them do Latin or Math, then piano practice or a walk, and then either Latin or Math. Gets the bulk of the hardest work out of the way first thing. Then I have them do something that has some reading for about a half an hour to an hour before lunch break, such as science, history, or Christian studies. They don't have to do the whole subject, but it's one more thing they can squeeze in before a longer break. Try not to have them go much more than 2 hours without some sort of change of pace - switching to music practice, physical activity, chores, etc. Make sure to check their Curriculum Guide to see which day of the week the rotating subjects are scheduled. Also include any practices that you know of, online class times, family meal and prayer times, work schedules, lights out, etc. Be as specific as possible to begin with. You can always adjust/loosen up later, but it is harder to tighten up once the year has started.

                If you have young children, you will have to keep in mind that you will be needed by them as early in the day as possible because they tire so easily. But their work sessions need to be shorter anyway. Keep them in mind by not totally blocking yourself into a morning with your bigs, but your bigs have a lot more work to get scheduled. For my littles, I try to have a solid work time of 90 minutes in the morning, and then another 60 minutes in the afternoon right before rest time. But that 90 minutes in the morning does not have to be first thing. I can start a couple of my bigs while the littles are doing handwriting, phonics worksheets, math worksheets, flash cards, poetry practice, or playing with/feeding the baby).

                3. Once the oldest child is sketched in, then repeat steps 1 and 2 for the next child, and the next, and the next, until you have all of your kids sketched in with a M-F worksheet of his/her own. Adjust as necessary so that two people aren't trying to use the computer at the same time and such.

                4. Print out these schedules. Double check each one that you have each of their subjects listed. Highlight each square where you are supposed to "be." Make sure you didn't overlap anyone. Then from those highlighted boxes, make up a worksheet of your own, with your schedule. Print this out and put it where you can refer to it easily.

                5. Then here's the magic moment where it all comes together. Start five new worksheets in the same workbook, named for each day of the week. Use the same template, but instead of the days of the week across the top, but each child's name. Then go back to Child A's worksheet, copy the entire column of Monday. Return to the "Monday" worksheet and paste it under Child A's name. Then go into Child B's worksheet. Copy the entire "Monday" column and paste it into the Monday worksheet under Child B's name. Do the same for each child. Then do the same for each day of the week. Now you have a full schedule of what each person is doing every single day of the week.

                The child's Monday - Friday schedule gets printed out and posted near their school shelf in the study.

                My Monday-Friday schedule gets taped to the side of the fridge for reference.

                The Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday schedules get printed out, put into page protectors, and put in my "corner" of the kitchen counter. I pull out the day's schedule and keep it with me all day. I can instantly know what each person is "supposed" to be doing.

                Why this works for me is because of what happened these last two years without it. Even though I would keep on track with my little ones, everyone else would "choose" when they wanted to do each subject. Which means if they had a question, I was at the mercy of the immediate moment they were asking - regardless of what I was already in the middle of doing. Constant interruptions. Or they would ask for help and I was unable to give it - but then we would both forget, the help would never be given, and the subject would just get delayed and delayed and delayed. As I plan, I figure out which things regularly need my help - and I plan for them to do those things when it is a time I could drop what I am doing and help. Or I prevent the need for help by scheduling them to do the subject with me to begin with.

                I have often been asked how I make my schedules up, but the process has always seemed fuzzy because it's not fresh. This was fresh, so I hope it is helpful. And feel free to share any suggestions for how if you have found an even better system than I. It's no easy task, but the return on the effort is significant!

                AMDG,
                Sarah
                Thank you for sharing, Sarah!

                The type-A scheduler in me LOVES this. The realist mom of eight who has homeschooled from the beginning? She's got questions!

                How do your teens handle having a schedule made for them?

                Do any of your kids have MPOA classes? What about out-of-home co-op/tutor classes?

                What do your older kids do when they get done early or take longer than scheduled? What about your younger?

                Do you have many music lessons or extracurriculars out of the home? (For example, we have five in piano lessons next year!)

                Do you have any kids who would freak out if the schedule didn't go according to plan that day?

                Again, thanks for sharing. I've been in this circus long enough to know that what works for one family doesn't work for another. But I sure do love to learn from other moms of many. I'm not in a season where a more rigid schedule would work - I still have a special needs baby, toddler, and preschooler (in addition to my five in formal school). But I dream of the day I can hand everyone a schedule!
                serina
                wife to J, mama to eight

                DD 16 - 10th
                DD 14 - 8th
                DS 11 - 5th
                DS 9 - 3rd
                DS 7 - 1st
                DD 4 - preK
                DS 2 - toddler
                DS baby - rocks his extra chromosome, teaches us every day

                Comment


                  #38
                  Here's my best shot at your questions.

                  Originally posted by serinat View Post

                  Thank you for sharing, Sarah!

                  The type-A scheduler in me LOVES this. The realist mom of eight who has homeschooled from the beginning? She's got questions!

                  How do your teens handle having a schedule made for them?

                  Oldest teen did not need the help. She seemed to have the knack for self-management instinctively. So I did not have to make them for her in high school. Next one down is a boy, and has a different personality. These two years of not having mom provide him with a schedule were not the greatest. Left to his own devices, he was not ready to manage his own time and therefore school has been more of a drag than it needs to be. It was always hanging over his head, and he did not know when it would all get done. That is a huge motivation-killer. This spring he started working, which we thought would be a good impetus to tighten up his schedule, but he realized he was not capable of doing that for himself yet. So he was definitely on board with my making it and simply giving it to him.

                  Do any of your kids have MPOA classes? What about out-of-home co-op/tutor classes?

                  They have in the past, when I only had one child who needed upper school-level help. Now I have four for whom it is age-appropriate....and we simply cannot afford MPOA, as fantastic as it is. Instead, we use a service by which we can enroll in as many recorded classes as we want for one set fee. They still get the instruction, but we can completely adjust it to our schedule, which is really nice. The only outside classes they have are piano lessons. We do not do any sort of co-op because with so many children, it takes a lot more time than I have found we can give during the week and still get to the basics for everyone. We also have our teens start working as early as possible to save money for college. Farms let them work as early as 14, which our oldest did for several years before we moved. Our next one down got a work permit this spring so he could start working too. They work daytime hours, so we set it up to either have four days of school with a couple days of work, or they work middle of the day, doing school before and after work. They are not in sports, so they have the time.

                  What do your older kids do when they get done early or take longer than scheduled? What about your younger?

                  Because of what I described above, the older kids' schedules are pretty tight. Their free time is usually later in the evenings and on weekends. They read, draw, play games with their siblings, exercise, go to youth group at church, etc. Pretty simple stuff. The younger ones are kind of the same. They learn to occupy themselves really well. We always have bins of paper, colored pencils, markers, etc. so they are always drawing. They do games and puzzles, and we have a big library so they read a lot. We also have a park out our backyard so we try to get there for an hour if we can most days.

                  Do you have many music lessons or extracurriculars out of the home? (For example, we have five in piano lessons next year!)

                  We do, but its at the same time once a week, and our teacher lets us rotate...so they don't all have to go each week. One goes one week, then the next, the two others go. It cuts down on the length of time each week, and the cost, too!

                  Do you have any kids who would freak out if the schedule didn't go according to plan that day?

                  I do have kids who freak out when the schedule gets messed up. They take after their mother that way. But the choice is to either constantly feel like a hot mess for not having a schedule at all, or, to put up with the anxiety of having a schedule and not having it go perfectly. It's one or the other. Either way is anxiety-inducing.

                  Putting the schedule in place is only step one. Making sure we all strive to stick to it is the real hard work of daily life. It is where we develop virtue, including the virtue of patience when things do not go according to plan. If something happens regularly to mess up the plan, I will make the necessary adjustments to reflect it. But not if it is simply due to character-flaws. I have always said the "subject" we spend the most time on is character-development. For some, this is harder than others because of their reactions to stress/uncertainty/messing up the plan. But that's not solved by not having a plan. That is solved by learning to deal with it, little by little. For those kids, the anxiety of having the plan messed up is not solved by removing the plan. That anxiety is simply replaced by a slothfulness born from indecisiveness. They trade one character problem for another. It is a challenge no matter which way you slice it. My job is to prepare them to function in real life as best they can, which means teaching them to manage their time, fulfill their responsibilities in a timely manner, and handle unexpected problems with patience and courage.

                  Again, thanks for sharing. I've been in this circus long enough to know that what works for one family doesn't work for another. But I sure do love to learn from other moms of many. I'm not in a season where a more rigid schedule would work - I still have a special needs baby, toddler, and preschooler (in addition to my five in formal school). But I dream of the day I can hand everyone a schedule!
                  I am glad to share, and I completely agree with you that each family has to find the rhythm and routine that works for them. I do not personally like feeling tied down by a schedule, and what usually happens is that we stick to it like glue for about five weeks, and then gradually realize we are not really doing the "schedule" so much as we are following our "routine." But we don't develop the right routine for us until we begin with the super-tight schedule first.

                  My mother, aunt, grandmother, and sister were all teachers, and the one thing I remember the most from their teaching days was, "Don't let your students see you smile before Thanksgiving." The point of that was that you need to start out firm and strict so that everyone knows you mean business, and then you are free to loosen up later. But if you start out easy and light, you will never get the full level of commitment and respect you need to get the job done. That is how I look at our schedule. It is the master-and-commander we all need to "get down to business" for the school year, and then we can ease up once we realize how our school year is working. I am not sure if that will be the case this year too or not. We might all find that we really need the schedule to stay on track. Who knows.

                  But I would encourage you to at least start thinking about what help your kids do need as far as planning their days. I still wrote my schedules out during pregnancies and infancies - I just made the times longer because I realized that there would be a lot of delays. And it was always good to help the older ones know what is reasonable. Often I would not realize that someone was spending way too long on Latin or Math or that they were reading their entire literature book instead of the one chapter until I started timing things. Suddenly they were in better spirits and had more free time because I was keeping them to their allotted times - even if the work needed to be finished after dinner. It also helped them learn to move faster because they realized they didn't like having work carry over to the evening!

                  Anyway, great questions, and I hope anything I have shared may spark some good ideas for your family as well!
                  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


                    #39
                    Originally posted by KF2000
                    Oldest teen did not need the help. She seemed to have the knack for self-management instinctively. So I did not have to make them for her in high school. Next one down is a boy, and has a different personality. These two years of not having mom provide him with a schedule were not the greatest. Left to his own devices, he was not ready to manage his own time and therefore school has been more of a drag than it needs to be. It was always hanging over his head, and he did not know when it would all get done. That is a huge motivation-killer. This spring he started working, which we thought would be a good impetus to tighten up his schedule, but he realized he was not capable of doing that for himself yet. So he was definitely on board with my making it and simply giving it to him.
                    Yes, this is very familiar to me. My eldest two (16/14, also happen to be girls...) are very self-motivated and would honestly be offended if I made them a schedule. They manage their own time beautifully. My boys, however (mostly the 11/9/7) need more structure and routine. Otherwise, they would gladly read/play with Legos/shoot each other with Nerf guns all day.


                    Originally posted by KF2000
                    They have in the past, when I only had one child who needed upper school-level help. Now I have four for whom it is age-appropriate....and we simply cannot afford MPOA, as fantastic as it is. Instead, we use a service by which we can enroll in as many recorded classes as we want for one set fee. They still get the instruction, but we can completely adjust it to our schedule, which is really nice. The only outside classes they have are piano lessons. We do not do any sort of co-op because with so many children, it takes a lot more time than I have found we can give during the week and still get to the basics for everyone. We also have our teens start working as early as possible to save money for college. Farms let them work as early as 14, which our oldest did for several years before we moved. Our next one down got a work permit this spring so he could start working too. They work daytime hours, so we set it up to either have four days of school with a couple days of work, or they work middle of the day, doing school before and after work. They are not in sports, so they have the time.
                    We are also going to run into the budget issue. Our eldest two are both in MPOA Latin courses, and they've done beautifully. My oldest, specifically, is very gifted and interested in Latin, so we are actually going to run out of Latin classes for her to take at MPOA before her senior year. Can you tell me more about your class service that you use?

                    Originally posted by KF2000
                    Because of what I described above, the older kids' schedules are pretty tight. Their free time is usually later in the evenings and on weekends. They read, draw, play games with their siblings, exercise, go to youth group at church, etc. Pretty simple stuff. The younger ones are kind of the same. They learn to occupy themselves really well. We always have bins of paper, colored pencils, markers, etc. so they are always drawing. They do games and puzzles, and we have a big library so they read a lot. We also have a park out our backyard so we try to get there for an hour if we can most days.

                    This sounds familiar. To clarify: what if a child finished, say the 10 - 10:30 Latin assignment at 10:15? Does he get to occupy himself until 10:30, or do you have him move on to the next subject?

                    Originally posted by KF2000
                    We do, but its at the same time once a week, and our teacher lets us rotate...so they don't all have to go each week. One goes one week, then the next, the two others go. It cuts down on the length of time each week, and the cost, too!

                    This is so nice. Ours are so invested in piano that their teacher wants MORE time with them and would balk at bi-weekly lessons. I love piano lessons and the discipline, structure, beauty, math, etc. it helps with, but five in piano next year is going to absolutely kill my schedule.

                    Originally posted by KF2000
                    I do have kids who freak out when the schedule gets messed up. They take after their mother that way. But the choice is to either constantly feel like a hot mess for not having a schedule at all, or, to put up with the anxiety of having a schedule and not having it go perfectly. It's one or the other. Either way is anxiety-inducing.

                    I have one kid on the spectrum. I have given him a daily checklist, and our day follows a very predictable routine. But I can't give him a schedule because he would not do well if he were to finish that above-mentioned Latin segment at 10:15, but the schedule doesn't say "math" until 10:30. He would not like breaking from the schedule at any point. He also would not do well with being able to play when Latin's done until math begins - he'd probably completely forget to come back and do math, and then be totally upset for the rest of the day.

                    Originally posted by KF2000
                    Putting the schedule in place is only step one. Making sure we all strive to stick to it is the real hard work of daily life. It is where we develop virtue, including the virtue of patience when things do not go according to plan. If something happens regularly to mess up the plan, I will make the necessary adjustments to reflect it. But not if it is simply due to character-flaws. I have always said the "subject" we spend the most time on is character-development. For some, this is harder than others because of their reactions to stress/uncertainty/messing up the plan. But that's not solved by not having a plan. That is solved by learning to deal with it, little by little. For those kids, the anxiety of having the plan messed up is not solved by removing the plan. That anxiety is simply replaced by a slothfulness born from indecisiveness. They trade one character problem for another. It is a challenge no matter which way you slice it. My job is to prepare them to function in real life as best they can, which means teaching them to manage their time, fulfill their responsibilities in a timely manner, and handle unexpected problems with patience and courage.



                    ^^^That's wisdom right there.

                    As for us: we do fairly well with the loose, flexible routine I implement with checklists. I would love to have more time-oriented planning, but I don't know if we would be well-suited to that right now. Our youngest has multiple weekly therapies, doctor's appointments, and upcoming surgeries, so I'm reminding myself that this is the time in life in which homeschooling flexibility shines. We put one foot in front of the other and do the next thing. My older, self-motivated teens keep themselves going, and my youngers are fairly well taken care of and do lots of free play, but those middles? I don't want them to get lost. That's what's on my mind as I seek to tighten this ship for next year.

                    For others reading this thread who may benefit from hearing about how we juggle multiple cores:

                    -The teens basically plan and execute their own work. I check in with them and review a few things 1-2x/week. They have a planner to help them (a blank one that I make them fill in each week as they plan). I don't usually tell them how to fill in their planner; I simply require that they fill it in at the beginning of the week and check off what actually got done at the end of the week.
                    -The middles (grammar school, gr. 1 - 5 this year) have weekly checklist grids. Each day of the week has a column, and each subject has a row. They check it off when they're done. I'm available to consult if someone is unsure about what needs to be done next. I try my best to keep up with correcting math in the evenings, but if I'm being honest, I'm pretty much failing at that right now. I try to do one-on-one literature with each boy 1-2x/week and writing daily. Their days are necessarily punctuated by assigned play, exercises, laps, playing with a younger sibling, etc.
                    - The littles play. A lot. We also read aloud, watch Signing Time videos, draw, and do pre-K work with the 4yo. It's highly variable.

                    As a special needs family, our days will look different than some others. I'm still getting the hang of it. I so appreciate threads like these to give me ideas and motivation, as well as remind me of what I'm already doing well.
                    Last edited by serinat; 06-14-2019, 09:50 AM.
                    serina
                    wife to J, mama to eight

                    DD 16 - 10th
                    DD 14 - 8th
                    DS 11 - 5th
                    DS 9 - 3rd
                    DS 7 - 1st
                    DD 4 - preK
                    DS 2 - toddler
                    DS baby - rocks his extra chromosome, teaches us every day

                    Comment


                      #40
                      Originally posted by serinat View Post
                      We are also going to run into the budget issue. Our eldest two are both in MPOA Latin courses, and they've done beautifully. My oldest, specifically, is very gifted and interested in Latin, so we are actually going to run out of Latin classes for her to take at MPOA before her senior year. Can you tell me more about your class service that you use?

                      It's called Homeschool Connections.


                      This sounds familiar. To clarify: what if a child finished, say the 10 - 10:30 Latin assignment at 10:15? Does he get to occupy himself until 10:30, or do you have him move on to the next subject?

                      It depends. I usually don't get that nit-picky because some kids will be fine to just move on and be ahead of schedule, knowing that that will mean a pay-off at the end of the day, or it will mean that if they run over in something else it will balance out. Some kids just "get that." But some kids are like how you described - it flips them out because they don't know what to do with that variation. That is where I step in and direct things because they cannot handle it themselves. Usually I will say that they should continue with Latin until the time is up by doing more flashcards or something. They are given that time for that subject because that is how long they should spend - so spend it. But I try to judge by the moment, the situation, and the child.


                      This is so nice. Ours are so invested in piano that their teacher wants MORE time with them and would balk at bi-weekly lessons. I love piano lessons and the discipline, structure, beauty, math, etc. it helps with, but five in piano next year is going to absolutely kill my schedule.

                      Yes, and that is where you have to discern for the toll it will take versus the benefit. What are the goals for each of your children in piano? If it's to be in competitions, and the commitment that that requires, because there is a future in music for them, that is a different decision than you want your children to be "good." My kids take piano with a professor at a local college whose conservatory of music is very highly ranked. She could totally push them to be ready for college auditions if we wanted. But even my son, who probably has the ability, does not have the drive to make music his sole focus. No one can push that on a person. It has to come from within. So we don't push - we just respond to what they desire and are capable of. But the additional reality is that these kids are not in a 2 kid family. They are in a huge family. There are sacrifices to be made all over the place. Sometimes that means everyone sacrifices to help someone pursue their dreams, but other times it means a couple people sacrifice for the sake of the fact that you are a homeschooling family. They HAVE to have an education. They don't HAVE to be excellent musicians. Not to denigrate your decisions at all - it's your time for you to use for what best suits your family. I just know the frustration of feeling like you are drowning and I hope others do not have to experience that!


                      I have one kid on the spectrum. I have given him a daily checklist, and our day follows a very predictable routine. But I can't give him a schedule because he would not do well if he were to finish that above-mentioned Latin segment at 10:15, but the schedule doesn't say "math" until 10:30. He would not like breaking from the schedule at any point. He also would not do well with being able to play when Latin's done until math begins - he'd probably completely forget to come back and do math, and then be totally upset for the rest of the day.

                      Yes, checklists are another great way to achieve the same accountability as a schedule. Again, it's figuring out what works for your family and then sticking to it with fortitude!



                      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


                        #41
                        Originally posted by serinat View Post


                        I have one kid on the spectrum. I have given him a daily checklist, and our day follows a very predictable routine. But I can't give him a schedule because he would not do well if he were to finish that above-mentioned Latin segment at 10:15, but the schedule doesn't say "math" until 10:30. He would not like breaking from the schedule at any point. He also would not do well with being able to play when Latin's done until math begins - he'd probably completely forget to come back and do math, and then be totally upset for the rest of the day.

                        As a special needs family, our days will look different than some others. I'm still getting the hang of it. I so appreciate threads like these to give me ideas and motivation, as well as remind me of what I'm already doing well.
                        We have "mild" special needs here and I can completely relate to this. What's worked for us (for years now!) is the idea of "blocks". The blocks stay the same whether we're doing school or not so that also eases school/summer transitions.

                        Morning block: getting ready for the day, breakfast, etc.
                        Constructive Activity Block: this is school during the school year, projects and quiet play on non-school days
                        Lunch
                        Project/Play Block: their own projects, outside play, more loudness in the house, etc
                        Evening Block: clean up, dinner, chores, getting ready for bed

                        The blocks allow me to vary the specific tasks from season to season while keeping the "feel" the same.
                        Jennifer
                        Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                        2019-2020 Plans:

                        DS16
                        MP10 Lit, MP-Holt Biology, Light to the Nations II, Spanish
                        MPOA: Algebra I, High School Comp II

                        DS15
                        As above, plus:
                        MP Greek Tragedies; no Spanish
                        MPOA: Fourth Form Latin

                        DS12: 7M subbing Sea to Shining Sea for American history

                        DS11: Simply Classical Level 4

                        DD9: 3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                        DD7/8: Simply Classical Level 3

                        DD 4/5: Simply Classical Level C (NT using SC for two-year PreK due to January birthday)

                        Comment


                          #42
                          Originally posted by jen1134 View Post

                          We have "mild" special needs here and I can completely relate to this. What's worked for us (for years now!) is the idea of "blocks". The blocks stay the same whether we're doing school or not so that also eases school/summer transitions.

                          Morning block: getting ready for the day, breakfast, etc.
                          Constructive Activity Block: this is school during the school year, projects and quiet play on non-school days
                          Lunch
                          Project/Play Block: their own projects, outside play, more loudness in the house, etc
                          Evening Block: clean up, dinner, chores, getting ready for bed

                          The blocks allow me to vary the specific tasks from season to season while keeping the "feel" the same.
                          Also, to the extent that I'm able, I try to schedule OT and any other appointments in that "out and about" block. Since the kids' OT was on every other Tuesday afternoon, I started trying to make all appointments on the "off" Tuesday. That way, if anyone had an appointment for something, it didn't seem to jar my sensitive kiddo as much; it was just "a Tuesday afternoon".
                          Jennifer
                          Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                          2019-2020 Plans:

                          DS16
                          MP10 Lit, MP-Holt Biology, Light to the Nations II, Spanish
                          MPOA: Algebra I, High School Comp II

                          DS15
                          As above, plus:
                          MP Greek Tragedies; no Spanish
                          MPOA: Fourth Form Latin

                          DS12: 7M subbing Sea to Shining Sea for American history

                          DS11: Simply Classical Level 4

                          DD9: 3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                          DD7/8: Simply Classical Level 3

                          DD 4/5: Simply Classical Level C (NT using SC for two-year PreK due to January birthday)

                          Comment

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