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    Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

    So, I've been looking more closely at the individual grade level cores because many of you suggested that I do so, rather than piece mealing things together. But, I just can't seem to get this organized or logical in my head so I'm asking for advice.

    Next year I'll have a Kindergartener, 1st grader, and 2nd grader. There seem to be *so* many moving parts for each core and I have no idea how on earth I would do all 3. Enrichment? Storybook treasures? Latin? Arts and Crafts? How would I possibly do it all?

    Or would I NEED to do all 3? I always thought a huge benefit of homeschooling these 3 would be that they are so close in age and that I could combine them in just about everything except the 3 R's. But I don't know how to combine using MP. Plus, does that mean they would be doing 3 different history and science curriculums going forward? I know I can't do that.

    I'm asking-Why would it be ideal to buy 3 separate cores? And if that's not idea, what should I do? Thank you!

    #2
    Re: Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

    Originally posted by Meadowlark View Post
    So, I've been looking more closely at the individual grade level cores because many of you suggested that I do so, rather than piece mealing things together. But, I just can't seem to get this organized or logical in my head so I'm asking for advice.

    Next year I'll have a Kindergartener, 1st grader, and 2nd grader. There seem to be *so* many moving parts for each core and I have no idea how on earth I would do all 3. Enrichment? Storybook treasures? Latin? Arts and Crafts? How would I possibly do it all? Each core comes with its own curriculum manual and all the components needed, so all you have to do is build a schedule that would work in your home to follow the plans as laid out with each child...*if* that approach appeals to you. And *if* money is not an issue. Now I know that implementing three cores would not be easy with three close together, and for sure you can count on a large/longish learning curve in figuring out how it would all work. How do I know? Because it took me 6 months plus, to figure out how to implement only two separate cores in my own home. So yes, three would be harder. It would almost certainly take time to adjust and housework would probably suffer. There would be days when you want to throw in the towel. Benefits would be that the part of your life that is school would be clear-cut and lovely- and trustworthy. But it would be hard to juggle it all at first and the first year would be particularly challenging until your kids get in the groove of Memoria, learn how the curriculum manuals work and you train them to be able to direct themselves while you help another one.

    Or would I NEED to do all 3? I always thought a huge benefit of homeschooling these 3 would be that they are so close in age and that I could combine them in just about everything except the 3 R's. But I don't know how to combine using MP. Plus, does that mean they would be doing 3 different history and science curriculums going forward? I know I can't do that. You could certainly combine some subjects. The downside to that is that you lose the simplicity of knowing every day, and then, long-term, from year-to-year, what each child has laid out to do, and you end up having to do rearrange and try to fit pieces together creatively. So you lose some of the benefit of having everything all planned out for you, although you could utilize individual lesson plans for those subjects you are considering combining. You also lose the benefit of the way things nicely segue from year-to-year, meaning that you wouldn't necessarily be able to follow the plans-as-planned for the full core, in a future year, if you combine one year. Someone else will have to help you with figuring out what elements of those cores could potentially be combined, because I didn't start with mine until later than you are considering doing.

    I'm asking-Why would it be ideal to buy 3 separate cores? And if that's not idea, what should I do? Thank you! With small ones, it might be very different, but the reason this has worked for us even though my kids are close in age (1 core apart) is because they each have their own set of work to do and can take ownership of it. It has fostered independence (over time- at first I had to sit by my younger all during school- now he won't let me) And I personally find it much simpler than trying to figure out what to combine and what not to. There is a nice continuity from year to year, where dd learns something and then ds comes up behind and learns it- so what they are learning they share and talk about, and dd is able to help ds with his Latin and some of the other subjects, when she has time/inclination
    I know I don't have multiple kids, but I'll hazard an answer anyways...I answered above in blue, but I'm sure you will get some better responses from the moms with more kids who have learned how to juggle more than two cores. I know my answers are only partial ones to the dilemma you face. If you look around in the forum you will find lots of old posts that converse about this dilemma and weigh the pros and cons. But the truth is that it is a challenge, but one with benefits- and only you can figure out if you want to take the plunge and try it or not. It really becomes a matter of trusting the model, the
    scope of the curriculum long-term, or not- and that is a very personal decision.

    Look over the samples for the cores you are considering carefully. Take notes. Try to figure out about how long it would take each child to do their work, and then create a schedule of when you would be able to work with each child. Ask lots of questions on here. Call the company and discuss with them. Oh, and don't forget to pray about it. Most of us I suspect have had to puzzle and pray long and hard before we made the jump to use individual full cores, rather than pieces of cores or combined cores- because it really is a rather complicated decision, with many angles that just make it a hard jump to make. If after all that you decide it is not for you- well you haven't wasted time. It's all part and parcel of trying to find the education that works best for our kids, and it is all learning.

    Take care!

    Maria
    Last edited by Girlnumber20; 03-24-2018, 03:29 PM.
    DD 12, using 6M core with 7th Grade COTR
    DS 10, using 5M core

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

      Back in the day, I had four homeschooling at once, and the only things I ever combined were enrichment type activities. It may seem like more work to have multiple cores going, but for us, it was easier than combining.

      I used to have a chart that I made up for school days marked by 15-minute increments, and all the kids were scheduled to do something at every second of the school day even if it were labeled legos. I figured out which subjects each child could do by themselves and rotated myself around through the group. One child was scheduled to entertain the baby which the kids loved because it provided a break from their school work. It used to take us all day Mon-Fri with about a 30-minute lunch break to get all of them through school.

      For example 9am would say:
      Connor-math
      Garrett-spelling
      Reilly-play with baby
      Mary- latin with mom

      During those years we used a lot of paper plates, and I used the crockpot extensively.

      It sounds like a lot of work, because it is and it was worth it.
      Homeschooling since the dark ages of 2001

      14 yo son- MP 8th grade
      Four graduates (20,23,25,27)

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

        Originally posted by makinmemories
        Hello and welcome!!

        For the ages that you will have (K,1st,2nd), you will only choose to do one enrichment for the year and use it with all three children. We have been through each of these cores and they are basically the 3 R's + enrichment, then add Latin in 2nd. With these ages you will be right next to them. They will have just enough to do together, yet also enough to have ownership of while you are right there guiding their work.

        Having individual cores will allow you to streamline and organize your day and give you a clear line of vision as to how/what each child is doing (strengths/weaknesses, etc.). Others here with 4 and 5+ kids have great tips on scheduling! Have you checked out this post? https://forum.memoriapress.com/showt...multiple-cores

        Out of curiosity, what are you describing as, "moving parts?"
        Thanks for the welcome :-) I think I may need to write out my thoughts, and maybe some very kind MP user can help me think through this. Here's what I know about each subject.

        Literature-we have SO many of these books (both in Storytime Treasures and lit packages for K-2), I'm undecided about 2nd grade literature...necessary? Storytime treasures necessary? Or just stick with the enrichment books for lit?
        Phonics/Reading-We happily use AAR (and have all 4 levels prepped-not going to switch)
        Spelling-Have AAS but am open to TS. Just not sure because it's only until 2nd grade and I don't want to switch at that point.
        Math-No interest in using Rod and Staff
        Penmanship-open and need something. Is this writing too at this age? Copywork?
        Latin-should I start with my 2nd grader, or wait until the following year when I can combine the 2nd and 3rd grader?
        Science-planning on informal science through enrichment
        American/Modern-Again, informal through enrichment-no plans for formal study yet
        Enrichment-hoping to use...K maybe?

        So, that's my thought process. I really doubt I'm a good candidate for separate cores, right? Somebody help! ;-)
        One more thing-I forgot to mention that I will have a 1 year old cute distraction (and a few older boys to get out the door to public school)...if that matters.

        ETA: By "moving parts", I just mean each child eventually doing different things in science/history and I think that would drive me batty. Shouldn't I combine with 3 kids in 3 years?
        Last edited by Meadowlark; 03-24-2018, 08:10 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

          Meadowlark,

          You do have great questions. And in your situation, you are right - have three kids very close in age but trying to do separate things might be more of a hassle. Or it might not. But here are some thoughts to add to the mix:

          First of all, these primary grades of MP are focused primarily on the 3R's anyway. Yes, there is enrichment, and there are a lot of supplemental books that add science, social studies, etc. But all of that is really and truly "supplemental." It's all included in the same strip on the Curriculum Guide as poetry, music, and art. Because that is all the "icing on the cake" for children of this age, and as such, it can definitely be done together. Pick one grade level of this "row" for you all to do. But the bulk of a child's day in all three grades is going to be spent learning to read, print, write cursive, spell, figure (math), and think about what they have read.

          So when you look at the sample Curriculum Guide for each grade, look at each of the rows. Cross out which rows you would not use because of what you already have or what you already want to use. If you have crossed out more than half of the rows, than it probably doesn't make sense to get the full core. Just get the subjects of the rows that you will use (calling the office is a great way to make sure you get all the books you need for each "row"). But if you are only crossing out one or two rows, then it might be better to go ahead with the full core, and just leave out the one or two things you are not going to use (again, a phone call to the office will help you leave out the books from the core that you don't need).

          This is why combining in the early years can actually be pretty difficult. Children of these ages vary widely in their abilities - both in how they learn, and how quickly they learn. They really need to be placed at their skill level in all the subjects that make up each primary grade. I would suggest taking this same approach with Latin, too. I would stick with putting them into Latin one at a time, at the grades in which it is scheduled so that you work your way up gradually, and so that each child gets his or her own "place" in Latin. Some children take to it really easily and will go quickly, while others have to work harder at it. My kids compete A LOT, and I try to minimize that as much as possible by keeping them in their own levels - especially in core subjects like math and Latin.

          And Memoria Press has an excellent approach to literature - the best I have found from years of trial and error. They learn so much more than simply reading the book. The guides may not look like much when you see sample pages, but they are so good at what they do. Please don't leave them out, even in second grade.

          Now, when you do get past the primary years, there are more pieces of the curriculum where combining can become possible. For instance, when your oldest is in 3rd grade, you would then have a 2nd and a 1st grader. Both those younger kids would have a separate Bible reading scheduled for Christian Studies. But your third grader would be in Christian Studies I, which also has Bible readings. You could simplify by reading the assignment for the 3rd grader together, talk about it, and then have just the third grader fill in the guide as it is scheduled in the Curriculum Guide.

          Similarly, when your children begin doing Classical studies, you can group them together and do one Classical studies altogether. Choose the one the oldest child is doing for "school," and then tailor what you expect from the younger ones according to their abilities. Maybe you ask everyone the questions from the guide together so that the younger ones answer some of the questions orally. Maybe you all do the drill work together. But the oldest is the only one who fills in the guide. The following year, you would have both the older ones have guides they write in to complete the work. And by the third year, all three have their own student guides.

          As a general guideline (there are some exceptions) the courses that fall within Christian Studies, Classical Studies, Modern Studies, and Nature Studies (science) from third through sixth graders are very flexible, and can be used by a variety of ages. These courses are great areas to combine students. In which case, I would recommend still getting each student the Curriculum Guide for the grade level he is in so he still knows what to do for Latin, Math, Spelling, Literature, etc. And then you know what to do for the subjects you are combining too.

          I don't think combining is out of the question for you. I just think you will need to wait a little bit to be able to do it. Right now, your kids are at the ages where they really need their own skill-level work. Combine for enrichment and call it a day. And then starting in third grade, there would be lots of areas in which you guys could be working together.

          HTHs!
          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


            #6
            Re: Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

            Originally posted by Meadowlark View Post
            Thanks for the welcome :-) I think I may need to write out my thoughts, and maybe some very kind MP user can help me think through this. Here's what I know about each subject.

            Literature-we have SO many of these books (both in Storytime Treasures and lit packages for K-2), I'm undecided about 2nd grade literature...necessary? Storytime treasures necessary? Or just stick with the enrichment books for lit?
            Phonics/Reading-We happily use AAR (and have all 4 levels prepped-not going to switch)
            Spelling-Have AAS but am open to TS. Just not sure because it's only until 2nd grade and I don't want to switch at that point.
            Math-No interest in using Rod and Staff
            Penmanship-open and need something. Is this writing too at this age? Copywork?
            Latin-should I start with my 2nd grader, or wait until the following year when I can combine the 2nd and 3rd grader?
            Science-planning on informal science through enrichment
            American/Modern-Again, informal through enrichment-no plans for formal study yet
            Enrichment-hoping to use...K maybe?

            So, that's my thought process. I really doubt I'm a good candidate for separate cores, right? Somebody help! ;-)
            One more thing-I forgot to mention that I will have a 1 year old cute distraction (and a few older boys to get out the door to public school)...if that matters.

            ETA: By "moving parts", I just mean each child eventually doing different things in science/history and I think that would drive me batty. Shouldn't I combine with 3 kids in 3 years?
            Waving --- I meant to chime in the other day, but got distracted.

            We are in our 7th year of MP, currently running 6A, twins in MP2, a K student in HLS using MPK, and a preschooler at home.

            We don't combine, as much as we streamline. Once you get rolling with MP, you figure out what can be done independently.

            Ex: I can get my 2nd grade guys started with cursive, or spelling words, while I instruct my K student on what she needs to do.

            Like Sarah mentioned, there are certain classes that lend themselves well to a group setting in a homeschool, but honestly, they haven't worked that well for me. My 6th grader balks at doing anything with the younger crew.

            Taking a look at each of your subjects and throwing in my two cents:
            Literature: I think STT and the 2nd grade literature are a must. The fact that your children are familiar with these selections makes it all the better. They're moving from phonics into a literature/grammar/composition study. In other words, not only are they reading the books, they're learning how to craft sentences, learning simple grammar, and discovering the parts of a story (setting, characters, etc)
            Phonics: if you're happy with AAR, then keep on truckin'
            Spelling: I'm a dork when it comes to teaching spelling, so I have no words of wisdom here. My K student will be doing TS in the fall, and I might have more input then.
            Math -- just curious what you're using currently? R&S isn't flashy, but it's very scripted and easy for non-math moms to teach, in my opinion
            Penmanship - in K, the students work through penmanship with First Start Reading and their copywork. First grade starts cursive (New American Cursive), and 'perfects' it in the 2nd grade.
            Latin: If you're looking to streamline your days --- this may be an area you can punt until next year. It sounds like you've got a lot going on, and based on my own experience, Prima Latina got punted quickly when my current middle schooler was in 2nd grade.
            Science/Am Studies/Enrichment -- Think of enrichment as a 3 year cycle of sorts. Pick 1 year (K, 1 or 2) and take everyone through it.

            You didn't mention Bible/Christian Studies, but you could take the same approach with it as well -- choosing one level (K, 1, 2), and taking everyone through it.
            Plans for 2019-20

            DD1 - 24 - College Grad and rocking her own bakery business
            DD2 - 13 - 8A Louisville HLS Cottage School and MPOA
            DS3 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
            DS4 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
            DD5 - 7 - MP2, Louisville HLS Cottage School
            DS6 - 5 - MP K

            [url]www.thekennedyadventures.com/all-about-our-memoria-press-homeschool[/url]

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

              My two oldest kids are 16 months apart. I always thought that combining them saved time. (And for some subjects, it does.) However, I recently separated them (for the first time ever!) into their own complete separate cores, and I can't believe how much faster it is to teach one child vs two! My children are older now, and BEFORE, we weren't finishing up school until 5 o'clock some days! I separated them, placing each of them at their 'lowest R' in the cores, and even though we are doing more work, we are finishing earlier. It seems counterintuitive but that is my experience.

              I also know how many moving parts you have when teaching three kids. There are probably a million different ways to structure your day with those three cores, but in case it is helpful, here is how I would do it.
              This is NOT the only right way, or the best way. Every family is SO different. This is just how I would do it. Some mamas are able to multi-task. They can get one child started while they work with another. This has never worked well for my family, and I find myself getting grumpy when I feel pulled in so many directions are once. So, I prefer to just rotate through each child one-on-one.

              Breakfast & Bible:
              Call everyone to the table and start your day by reading aloud to them from the story bible while they eat. I like to do this with little kids because often times they wake up early and start playing before school. It can be hard for them to transition to school work and stop their play. However, they can usually be enticed with a yummy breakfast. Plus eating together at the table helps create those wonderful family memories. You might want to start with the bible plans in the K guide because that starts at the beginning. Or you could even just read a story every day from a story bible and then keep repeating each year. (Or use a different bible every year.) I did this when my kids were younger, and it is amazing how this type of repetition really helps lay a strong foundation! After the meal, everyone helps tidy up. (Clear the table, wipe things down, etc.)

              Kindergarten Child's Special Time with Mama:
              Meet with the kindergarten child at the table and do...
              1) Recitation,
              2) Phonics
              3) Math,
              4) Copywork
              (This will go a lot quicker than it looks on paper from my experience. The first weeks will take the longest as you are both learning the materials.) Habits are the key here at this age! Encourage the child to get in the habit of working carefully and without distraction. Discourage complaining for the sake of complaining. Lots of gentle reminders and training over the years, but making those habits a priority will REALLY pay off later.

              While they are doing this, assign the older two to either free play (if they are able to transition back to school work easily!)---or give them a list of things they can do independently***. Your goal is to teach them that they don't interrupt their siblings special time with you unless it is REALLY, REALLY important. Let them know if they need something to eat or drink, you will help them when you are finished. They shouldn't interupt. If my kids interrupt for things like fighting or other negative behavior, I usually make them both go and clean something away from each other. This quickly solves the problem.

              Quick Transition Activity Again, if the kids are hungry, you can transition everyone back together by giving them a quick snack or yummy drink (smoothie, etc.) at the table. Perhaps read to everyone from a picture book if you are up to it. Or put on an audibook (The Little House books are really well done!)

              If the kids aren't hungry again yet, transition by calling everyone up for a group sing along (go through some children's folk tales or the like or a hymn or whatever your family is into), or a stretching/workout (jumping jacks, head shoulders, knees and toes) or a dance party, or running around the house, etc. The point is to QUICKLY pull everyone back together so you can quickly give them their new assignments and remind them of their expectations. ("David, you are going to start your special time with mommy. Peggy and Sam, you two get to play (or work through your list). You are not to interrupt unless it is REALLY important. Do you need anything before we start?")


              First Grader's Special Time with mama:
              Do...
              1) Spelling,
              2) Phonics,
              3) Math,
              4) Copybook
              (The two other sibling either free play or do their list)

              Quick Transition Activity:
              QUICK transition with food or activity. Just something to regroup everyone and give you a chance to explain assignments and remind them of expectations.

              Second Grader's Special Time with Mama:
              1) Spelling,
              2) Latin/Grammar,
              3) Reading
              4) Math
              5) Copybook
              (Next year, in 3rd grade, you will also add in the 3rd grade Classical and Christian Study. I would keep these things separate.)

              Keep in mind that eventually be able to move to an "assign" and "check" model with some of these things. For example, in 3rd grade, they might have more school work on their independent work list. (Copywork, flashcards, etc.) Then you can just check those things with them when you meet with them as opposed to overseeing the work.

              Lunch:
              Depending on how early your house wakes up, you may be able to get all of these things done by lunch. Or you might use lunch as one of your transition activities if they sleep later. My kids are early risers so they can have their afternoons free.

              Recess or Outdoor Time:
              Free play or recess for everyone. Go on a walk together or send the kids out in the backyard to play while you do the dishes...or better yet, put your feet up for a second. hahaha


              Rest Time:

              Everyone goes to their room with an activity (puzzles, clean craft, stickers, etc.) and listens to an audiobook. (Or reads if they are able.) This time might be short (15 minutes) or longer (up to an hour!).

              Afternoon Enrichment:
              In my house, everyone is STARVING at this time. So I lure everyone to the table for some tea and a "little spot of something to eat". To make this easier, I usually double the recipe when baking. Then I freeze half the muffins, or the cookie dough balls, that way I have something quick and easy to pull out. If you are healthier, you can pull out a veggie tray or something more savory. If I don't have anything to serve, I cancel enrichment and our enrichment becomes baking something. hahaha
              While we are eating, we go through the enrichment guide as a family. I would pick one enrichment package and do it with everyone. Cycle through until you have done them all.


              More Free Play or Family Fitness/Walk or Musical Instrument Practice:

              Family Clean Up before Dinner:

              --------------------------------

              *****Example Independent Things that kids this age might be able to do with a little help:

              Ideally, it is great if the kids could just have free play while you are working with their sibling. However, some kids have a very hard time going from play to school work. Either they get grumpy and cry. Or they have to finish "one more thing" and stretches into an hour that derails your day! In those cases, I have noticed that teaching them to work through a list of things to do helps them transition better to their time working with mama on school.
              Basic Self Care things:
              1) Brush hair and teeth
              2) Make bed and tidy room
              3) Wipe bathroom counter and sink
              4) Clear floor of bathroom
              5) Kids exercise video

              Or, you could do something more educational:
              1) Go in the backyard (or look out the window) and sketch something from nature in a special sketch pad you have set aside. Teach them to write the date.
              2) Gratitude journal entry (can be a drawing)
              3) Audiobooks (We have little cheap CD players for the kids) You can have them listen to SOTW while they build with legos, or a science audiobook, or a biography, or just a fun book!
              4) Handicraft activity that is special for them. (Stringing beads, clay, etc.)
              5) Mark Kister's Draw 3D art lessons (minimarshmallow level)
              6) Board games, logic games, math manipulative
              7) Review math facts using xtra math app
              (Eventually, you want to start adding school work to their independent lists.)

              (I laminated a sheet with little visuals of things and trained the kids to check things off as they completed them.)
              Last edited by TheAttachedMama; 03-25-2018, 10:29 AM.
              Cathy aka The Attached Mama
              2019-2020
              DS 12, 7th Grade
              DD 11, 6th Grade
              DS 5, K

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

                Cathy this is so helpful! Thank you for taking the time to put this on paper. Next year I'll have 2nd, K and Jr. K, but I'm especially worried about the following year when it's 3rd, 1st and K. These are some things I need to start working on now, as I've been spoiled to only have one child so far who "has" to do school. The others have been fit in when convenient, but next year that won't fly!

                Thanks,
                Laura
                2019-2020
                DD8, MP3/SC5-6
                DD6, MP1
                DD5, MPK

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

                  Meadowlark -- welcome to the forum!

                  I think we chatted a bit on FB too...you mentioned there that another concern you had was that MP used workbooks. I wonder if that is part of your doubts about literature for 2nd and 1st grade?

                  I was concerned about this as well (and even asked about it on the forum back in 2016!) but here's what convinced me: the student guides introduce your children to a Prepare, Read, Reflect, Write approach to the study of literature. I stress study because they only select a few books for this deeper consideration; books are meant to be enjoyed but some deserve a deeper look. So the guides are just that: they guide the child back through what they've read so they can understand it at a deeper level. It's not a pop-quiz "let's see what you remember" thing at all. At the 1st and 2nd grade level, the guides necessarily have more fact-based questions because this is the age when children are soaking up facts. In subsequent years they are gradually introduced to literary devices, begin to be shown how the ideas in the book relate to other studies, etc. It's a beautiful thing and part of the reason literature is one of the most famous parts of the curriculum.

                  Another thing they do in the 1st and 2nd grade levels is use the literature readings to teach basic grammar, sequencing, etc. They also learn how to express their thoughts in writing. At HLS (Memoria's flagship school), the children discuss and refine the answer with their teacher, then the teacher writes it on the board with correct spelling and punctuation for the children to copy. They only do this with a few of the questions. The rest are done orally. Once the child is in 4th grade, the writing of answers has been well-modeled for two years and they are (usually) ready to craft/write complete sentences independently.

                  That's one of the things my husband and I love about MP -- everything is done for a purpose. They don't have you study something in 3rd grade just because "that's what pe 3rd grade. Each item is there to prepare the child for what is to follow in later years. The questions in each subject's guides are to encourage appreciation, understanding and deeper thinking while the way it is taught prepares the child for independence and the ability to write/speak well about what they study and their own ideas.

                  I was always concerned that my children would lose their love of learning and I yearned for the "cozy on the couch, everyone in wonder" ideal that everyone talked about. I based my curriculum decisions on that for years as we went through CM, Unschooling, Traditional and Montessori trying to reach this beautiful vision.

                  Imagine my surprise when we discovered MP, knew it was what we were being called to, and then found that our children were actually enjoying school. Are they head over heels about sitting down to it each day? Of course not -- but they bring it into every aspect of their lives ON THEIR OWN! They decided to use the Glory Be in Latin as a password for their room so their little sister would stop invading their space -- she promptly quoted the majority of it to them! They learned about Hobbit runes in 7th grade lit and my 14 year old was recently "translating" passages of Matthew's Gospel into runes. My husband was reading something that reminded my 7yo about one of her art cards and she excitedly jumped off the couch to show it to him. I went to put their guides into the recycling bin at the end of last year and my 11 year old started pulling the vocabulary lists out of his Latin book, asked if he could keep his Astronomy book for reference and confiscated the Hobbit Student Guide from his older brother.

                  My kids love what they're learning and our homeschool is finally beautiful.
                  Jennifer
                  Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                  DS16
                  MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
                  MPOA: High School Comp. II
                  HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

                  DS15
                  MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
                  MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
                  HSC: Modern European History

                  DS12
                  7M with:
                  Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

                  DS11
                  SC Level 4

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

                  DD7/8
                  Still in SC Level 2

                  DD 4/5
                  SC Level C

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

                    Originally posted by TheAttachedMama View Post
                    My two oldest kids are 16 months apart. I always thought that combining them saved time. (And for some subjects, it does.) However, I recently separated them (for the first time ever!) into their own complete separate cores, and I can't believe how much faster it is to teach one child vs two! My children are older now, and BEFORE, we weren't finishing up school until 5 o'clock some days! I separated them, placing each of them at their 'lowest R' in the cores, and even though we are doing more work, we are finishing earlier. It seems counterintuitive but that is my experience.

                    I also know how many moving parts you have when teaching three kids. There are probably a million different ways to structure your day with those three cores, but in case it is helpful, here is how I would do it.
                    This is NOT the only right way, or the best way. Every family is SO different. This is just how I would do it. Some mamas are able to multi-task. They can get one child started while they work with another. This has never worked well for my family, and I find myself getting grumpy when I feel pulled in so many directions are once. So, I prefer to just rotate through each child one-on-one.

                    Breakfast & Bible:
                    Call everyone to the table and start your day by reading aloud to them from the story bible while they eat. I like to do this with little kids because often times they wake up early and start playing before school. It can be hard for them to transition to school work and stop their play. However, they can usually be enticed with a yummy breakfast. Plus eating together at the table helps create those wonderful family memories. You might want to start with the bible plans in the K guide because that starts at the beginning. Or you could even just read a story every day from a story bible and then keep repeating each year. (Or use a different bible every year.) I did this when my kids were younger, and it is amazing how this type of repetition really helps lay a strong foundation! After the meal, everyone helps tidy up. (Clear the table, wipe things down, etc.)

                    Kindergarten Child's Special Time with Mama:
                    Meet with the kindergarten child at the table and do...
                    1) Recitation,
                    2) Phonics
                    3) Math,
                    4) Copywork
                    (This will go a lot quicker than it looks on paper from my experience. The first weeks will take the longest as you are both learning the materials.) Habits are the key here at this age! Encourage the child to get in the habit of working carefully and without distraction. Discourage complaining for the sake of complaining. Lots of gentle reminders and training over the years, but making those habits a priority will REALLY pay off later.

                    While they are doing this, assign the older two to either free play (if they are able to transition back to school work easily!)---or give them a list of things they can do independently***. Your goal is to teach them that they don't interrupt their siblings special time with you unless it is REALLY, REALLY important. Let them know if they need something to eat or drink, you will help them when you are finished. They shouldn't interupt. If my kids interrupt for things like fighting or other negative behavior, I usually make them both go and clean something away from each other. This quickly solves the problem.

                    Quick Transition Activity Again, if the kids are hungry, you can transition everyone back together by giving them a quick snack or yummy drink (smoothie, etc.) at the table. Perhaps read to everyone from a picture book if you are up to it. Or put on an audibook (The Little House books are really well done!)

                    If the kids aren't hungry again yet, transition by calling everyone up for a group sing along (go through some children's folk tales or the like or a hymn or whatever your family is into), or a stretching/workout (jumping jacks, head shoulders, knees and toes) or a dance party, or running around the house, etc. The point is to QUICKLY pull everyone back together so you can quickly give them their new assignments and remind them of their expectations. ("David, you are going to start your special time with mommy. Peggy and Sam, you two get to play (or work through your list). You are not to interrupt unless it is REALLY important. Do you need anything before we start?")


                    First Grader's Special Time with mama:
                    Do...
                    1) Spelling,
                    2) Phonics,
                    3) Math,
                    4) Copybook
                    (The two other sibling either free play or do their list)

                    Quick Transition Activity:
                    QUICK transition with food or activity. Just something to regroup everyone and give you a chance to explain assignments and remind them of expectations.

                    Second Grader's Special Time with Mama:
                    1) Spelling,
                    2) Latin/Grammar,
                    3) Reading
                    4) Math
                    5) Copybook
                    (Next year, in 3rd grade, you will also add in the 3rd grade Classical and Christian Study. I would keep these things separate.)

                    Keep in mind that eventually be able to move to an "assign" and "check" model with some of these things. For example, in 3rd grade, they might have more school work on their independent work list. (Copywork, flashcards, etc.) Then you can just check those things with them when you meet with them as opposed to overseeing the work.

                    Lunch:
                    Depending on how early your house wakes up, you may be able to get all of these things done by lunch. Or you might use lunch as one of your transition activities if they sleep later. My kids are early risers so they can have their afternoons free.

                    Recess or Outdoor Time:
                    Free play or recess for everyone. Go on a walk together or send the kids out in the backyard to play while you do the dishes...or better yet, put your feet up for a second. hahaha


                    Rest Time:

                    Everyone goes to their room with an activity (puzzles, clean craft, stickers, etc.) and listens to an audiobook. (Or reads if they are able.) This time might be short (15 minutes) or longer (up to an hour!).

                    Afternoon Enrichment:
                    In my house, everyone is STARVING at this time. So I lure everyone to the table for some tea and a "little spot of something to eat". To make this easier, I usually double the recipe when baking. Then I freeze half the muffins, or the cookie dough balls, that way I have something quick and easy to pull out. If you are healthier, you can pull out a veggie tray or something more savory. If I don't have anything to serve, I cancel enrichment and our enrichment becomes baking something. hahaha
                    While we are eating, we go through the enrichment guide as a family. I would pick one enrichment package and do it with everyone. Cycle through until you have done them all.


                    More Free Play or Family Fitness/Walk or Musical Instrument Practice:

                    Family Clean Up before Dinner:

                    --------------------------------

                    *****Example Independent Things that kids this age might be able to do with a little help:

                    Ideally, it is great if the kids could just have free play while you are working with their sibling. However, some kids have a very hard time going from play to school work. Either they get grumpy and cry. Or they have to finish "one more thing" and stretches into an hour that derails your day! In those cases, I have noticed that teaching them to work through a list of things to do helps them transition better to their time working with mama on school.
                    Basic Self Care things:
                    1) Brush hair and teeth
                    2) Make bed and tidy room
                    3) Wipe bathroom counter and sink
                    4) Clear floor of bathroom
                    5) Kids exercise video

                    Or, you could do something more educational:
                    1) Go in the backyard (or look out the window) and sketch something from nature in a special sketch pad you have set aside. Teach them to write the date.
                    2) Gratitude journal entry (can be a drawing)
                    3) Audiobooks (We have little cheap CD players for the kids) You can have them listen to SOTW while they build with legos, or a science audiobook, or a biography, or just a fun book!
                    4) Handicraft activity that is special for them. (Stringing beads, clay, etc.)
                    5) Mark Kister's Draw 3D art lessons (minimarshmallow level)
                    6) Board games, logic games, math manipulative
                    7) Review math facts using xtra math app
                    (Eventually, you want to start adding school work to their independent lists.)

                    (I laminated a sheet with little visuals of things and trained the kids to check things off as they completed them.)
                    I asked this question, almost exactly, except I asked what things could do independently and this was the answer I was looking for! Thank you!

                    We will do K, 1 and SC4 next year. I was having similar thoughts, like, wow, this is too much. Thank you, so helpful!
                    Christine

                    (2019/2020)
                    DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                    DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                    DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                    Previous Years
                    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

                      Just wanted to say that I'm digesting all of these fabulous posts (thank you!) and will be back to thoughtfully respond as soon as possible, probably when 6 kiddos are in bed. :-)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

                        Originally posted by TheAttachedMama View Post
                        My two oldest kids are 16 months apart. So, my future 2nd and 1st are only 12 months apart-I thought one good thing about that was that someday I could combine them, ha ha!I always thought that combining them saved time. (And for some subjects, it does.) However, I recently separated them (for the first time ever!) into their own complete separate cores, and I can't believe how much faster it is to teach one child vs two! My children are older now, and BEFORE, we weren't finishing up school until 5 o'clock some days! I separated them, placing each of them at their 'lowest R' in the cores, and even though we are doing more work, we are finishing earlier. It seems counterintuitive but that is my experience. Would you advise combining from the get go, or waiting until they are older?

                        I also know how many moving parts you have when teaching three kids. There are probably a million different ways to structure your day with those three cores, but in case it is helpful, here is how I would do it.
                        This is NOT the only right way, or the best way. Every family is SO different. This is just how I would do it. Some mamas are able to multi-task. They can get one child started while they work with another. This has never worked well for my family, and I find myself getting grumpy when I feel pulled in so many directions are once. So, I prefer to just rotate through each child one-on-one.

                        Breakfast & Bible:
                        Call everyone to the table and start your day by reading aloud to them from the story bible while they eat. This might be tricky because I have 2 to get off to school who will also be at the table... I like to do this with little kids because often times they wake up early and start playing before school. It can be hard for them to transition to school work and stop their play. However, they can usually be enticed with a yummy breakfast. Plus eating together at the table helps create those wonderful family memories. You might want to start with the bible plans in the K guide because that starts at the beginning. Or you could even just read a story every day from a story bible and then keep repeating each year. (Or use a different bible every year.) I did this when my kids were younger, and it is amazing how this type of repetition really helps lay a strong foundation! After the meal, everyone helps tidy up. (Clear the table, wipe things down, etc.)

                        Kindergarten Child's Special Time with Mama:
                        Meet with the kindergarten child at the table and do...
                        1) Recitation,
                        2) Phonics Is the phonics in the First Start Reading?
                        3) Math,
                        4) Copywork
                        (This will go a lot quicker than it looks on paper from my experience. The first weeks will take the longest as you are both learning the materials.) Habits are the key here at this age! Encourage the child to get in the habit of working carefully and without distraction. Discourage complaining for the sake of complaining. Lots of gentle reminders and training over the years, but making those habits a priority will REALLY pay off later.

                        While they are doing this, assign the older two to either free play (if they are able to transition back to school work easily!)---or give them a list of things they can do independently***. Your goal is to teach them that they don't interrupt their siblings special time with you unless it is REALLY, REALLY important. Let them know if they need something to eat or drink, you will help them when you are finished. They shouldn't interupt. If my kids interrupt for things like fighting or other negative behavior, I usually make them both go and clean something away from each other. This quickly solves the problem.

                        Quick Transition Activity Again, if the kids are hungry, you can transition everyone back together by giving them a quick snack or yummy drink (smoothie, etc.) at the table. Perhaps read to everyone from a picture book if you are up to it. Or put on an audibook (The Little House books are really well done!)

                        If the kids aren't hungry again yet, transition by calling everyone up for a group sing along (go through some children's folk tales or the like or a hymn or whatever your family is into), or a stretching/workout (jumping jacks, head shoulders, knees and toes) or a dance party, or running around the house, etc. The point is to QUICKLY pull everyone back together so you can quickly give them their new assignments and remind them of their expectations. ("David, you are going to start your special time with mommy. Peggy and Sam, you two get to play (or work through your list). You are not to interrupt unless it is REALLY important. Do you need anything before we start?")


                        First Grader's Special Time with mama:
                        Do...
                        1) Spelling,
                        2) Phonics, Where is the phonics instruction? Is this STT?
                        3) Math,
                        4) Copybook
                        (The two other sibling either free play or do their list)

                        Quick Transition Activity:
                        QUICK transition with food or activity. Just something to regroup everyone and give you a chance to explain assignments and remind them of expectations.

                        Second Grader's Special Time with Mama:
                        1) Spelling,
                        2) Latin/Grammar,
                        3) Reading Again, lit guides, correct?
                        4) Math
                        5) Copybook
                        (Next year, in 3rd grade, you will also add in the 3rd grade Classical and Christian Study. I would keep these things separate.)

                        Keep in mind that eventually be able to move to an "assign" and "check" model with some of these things. For example, in 3rd grade, they might have more school work on their independent work list. (Copywork, flashcards, etc.) Then you can just check those things with them when you meet with them as opposed to overseeing the work.

                        Lunch:
                        Depending on how early your house wakes up, you may be able to get all of these things done by lunch. Or you might use lunch as one of your transition activities if they sleep later. My kids are early risers so they can have their afternoons free.

                        Recess or Outdoor Time:
                        Free play or recess for everyone. Go on a walk together or send the kids out in the backyard to play while you do the dishes...or better yet, put your feet up for a second. hahaha


                        Rest Time:

                        Everyone goes to their room with an activity (puzzles, clean craft, stickers, etc.) and listens to an audiobook. (Or reads if they are able.) This time might be short (15 minutes) or longer (up to an hour!).

                        Afternoon Enrichment:
                        In my house, everyone is STARVING at this time. So I lure everyone to the table for some tea and a "little spot of something to eat". To make this easier, I usually double the recipe when baking. Then I freeze half the muffins, or the cookie dough balls, that way I have something quick and easy to pull out. If you are healthier, you can pull out a veggie tray or something more savory. If I don't have anything to serve, I cancel enrichment and our enrichment becomes baking something. hahaha
                        While we are eating, we go through the enrichment guide as a family. I would pick one enrichment package and do it with everyone. Cycle through until you have done them all.


                        More Free Play or Family Fitness/Walk or Musical Instrument Practice:

                        Family Clean Up before Dinner:

                        --------------------------------

                        *****Example Independent Things that kids this age might be able to do with a little help:

                        Ideally, it is great if the kids could just have free play while you are working with their sibling. However, some kids have a very hard time going from play to school work. Either they get grumpy and cry. Or they have to finish "one more thing" and stretches into an hour that derails your day! In those cases, I have noticed that teaching them to work through a list of things to do helps them transition better to their time working with mama on school.
                        Basic Self Care things:
                        1) Brush hair and teeth
                        2) Make bed and tidy room
                        3) Wipe bathroom counter and sink
                        4) Clear floor of bathroom
                        5) Kids exercise video

                        Or, you could do something more educational:
                        1) Go in the backyard (or look out the window) and sketch something from nature in a special sketch pad you have set aside. Teach them to write the date.
                        2) Gratitude journal entry (can be a drawing)
                        3) Audiobooks (We have little cheap CD players for the kids) You can have them listen to SOTW while they build with legos, or a science audiobook, or a biography, or just a fun book!
                        4) Handicraft activity that is special for them. (Stringing beads, clay, etc.)
                        5) Mark Kister's Draw 3D art lessons (minimarshmallow level)
                        6) Board games, logic games, math manipulative
                        7) Review math facts using xtra math app
                        (Eventually, you want to start adding school work to their independent lists.)

                        (I laminated a sheet with little visuals of things and trained the kids to check things off as they completed them.)
                        Oh, this was such a great post! I can't thank you enough for walking through this with me! I may be a slow learner, but I think I'm starting to figure this out with all of your help!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Questions for you experienced MP users (with multiple kids)

                          I'm terrible at quoting within quotes! So, I will go for a color system instead to answer your questions.

                          Meadowlark=red
                          AttachedMama=blue

                          Concerning Kids Close in Age:
                          Meadowlark: So, my future 2nd and 1st are only 12 months apart-I thought one good thing about that was that someday I could combine them, ha ha!
                          TheAttachedMamaWell, i bet they will be best of friends growing up. That is how my two older kids are...although they will not admit it. It made for CHAOTIC days when they were babies and toddlers, but looking back, I can see that God really blessed me with their spacing.




                          Concerning "Breakfast and Bible"
                          Meadowlark: This might be tricky because I have 2 to get off to school who will also be at the table...

                          TheAttachedMama: Oh yea, you can read a bible story anytime it works well for you. Like I said, this is just how I might structure my day given my family and my particular life circumstances. I only shared it as an example of what it might look like at home just so that you can start to picture how you might adapt things to fit you. It isn't the only way or the best way. I can't stress that enough. A lot of people do things A LOT differently than me. For example, my friend is a night owl and they don't even start school until 5PM when her husband is home. That works well for her, but that would never work for my kids. (Their brain seems to turn down the later it gets. hahaha)

                          I would just find some activity that you do most days and "peg" this subject to it. For example, you could read them a bible story at lunch together. (Full mouths = quieter kids and babies strapped into high chairs!) You could read them this at bedtime or snack or before rest or at the start of enrichment....whenever you think it might work best for you. You could also read it to the whole family in the morning!

                          I started the tradition of "Bible and Breakfast" when my kids were little just because of the alliteration I think. But the best time to do it is when it will get done!


                          Concerning "Concerning Individual Lessons for each child...aka... "Special Time with Mama":"

                          TheAttachedMama:
                          Meet with the kindergarten child at the table and do...
                          1) Recitation,
                          2) Phonics
                          3) Math,
                          4) Copywork


                          Meadowlark: Is the phonics in the First Start Reading?

                          TheAttachedMama: To answer your question, I took those subject headings directly from the curriculum guide samples. Does that make more sense?
                          So for the kindergartner, you would do everything listed for "Phonics" on that day. You might be reviewing phonics flashcards, doing a "First Start Reading Page", doing some other workbook page, reading a book about manatees, etc. etc. It is all laid out for you how to pull all of those books and resources together.

                          Same thing with the other grades you asked questions about. I pulled those subject headings from the curriculum guides. (And actually, I can see that I forgot to include recitation for the other grades! Sorry! I like to do recitation separately with each kid just to give them each a chance to show what they know. But you could do recitation as a group before you do enrichment if you wanted or to start your day. Again, there is a LOT of freedom in how you schedule the day. And if you are anything like me, you will probably have to tweak it as your year goes on. The only change you would make with recitation is to review the art cards from the SINGLE enrichment package you decide to do.


                          Meadowlark: Oh, this was such a great post! I can't thank you enough for walking through this with me! I may be a slow learner, but I think I'm starting to figure this out with all of your help!
                          TheAttachedMama: You are not a slow learner at all! I think you are doing great: asking all of the right questions and doing your research! It helps to have all of your ducks in a line before you start. The only thing I wished I would have stressed more is that my "plan" was just an example. (How I might pencil everything in.) Remember to make the plan fit your life. You are the boss and you know what it is going to work best for your family. I typically start the year with a plan on how I want to structure our day. (Pegging things to meals, rest times, etc. as opposed to times on the clock.) Then, I watch how everything rolls out in "real life" and make tweaks (or sometimes BIG changes!) to my plan if needed.
                          Cathy aka The Attached Mama
                          2019-2020
                          DS 12, 7th Grade
                          DD 11, 6th Grade
                          DS 5, K

                          Comment

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