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Level B daily pacing

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    Level B daily pacing

    We are just getting our feet wet with Level B ... I figured this week I'll introduce Kate to the books and next week we will (try) to begin in earnest. That said, I'm wondering how others break up/pace the daily activities. Level A could really be done in one session while my older boys were working independently. But, there is a lot more going on in level B. Kate is ready for the longer stories (though she takes a while to warm up to new ones; we've been looking through some of them for a while now), but she needs a lot of work fine motor wise.

    She can hold a pencil/crayon/pen quite well and has been able to for a while, plus she has the hand strength to write, but she is still scribbling/drawing ovals on paper. She's 4 1/2 with Down syndrome. We've been really working on strengthening her audio learning ability through headphones/iPod with audio books, the Ted Jacob's CD, and some Jack Hartman/Raffi songs I have from when I taught Kindergarten. She loves listening and is starting to try to "sing" along. She is not completely non-verbal, but is on a the long road to oral language. (She "talks" all the time and has conversations with us ... she "gets" how language works, but the darned Ds and language acquisition is frustrating.)

    Though she has a good attention span, with so many things being new throughout the day with Level B, I know I need to split it up into sessions (plus I can't usually squeeze more than 15 minutes before someone else needs me or needs redirection). Has anyone done this? How did you do it? Did you just go in order of the lesson plans, doing a couple things, and then pick back up where you left off? Or did you group things differently/do things out of order? I'm up for all ideas and suggestions.
    Brit

    Catholic mom to five
    2019-2020:
    Ds '01 - College freshman: Thomas Aquinas College
    Ds '03 - 10th grade: MPOA Algebra 2, and a bunch of other stuff
    Ds '06 - 8th: MP Tiner science (chemistry, physics, and astronomy), 8M lit, 8M Exploring Planet Earth, ancient history, OLVS 8 Catechism
    Dd '10 (Down syndrome) - JrK with little brother and BOB books
    Ds '15 - JrK with big sister

    #2
    "MyLittleWonders" -

    Even though Level B includes more than Level A, the activities cover needed skills very efficiently for our special-needs children. Given your daughter's age, you might want to group the categories differently to optimize this.

    You could cluster Level B instruction into two smaller sessions. Consider separating the sessions with assigned activities to include the more independent components.

    See if this helps:


    Morning - Session 1
    Prayer, Calendar, Recitation, Bible Literacy (story only), Alphabet Lesson/Ear Training, Literature/Language

    Independent Activities, set timer for 15-30 each (Work up to this, if only 5-10 minutes now.)
    1. Bible Literacy (coloring only) - Bible Pictures to Color
    You or an older student could pre-outline one or two key areas with a colored marker. Even more helpful: Have someone color alongside your daughter. Then she will receive a model of coloring in an enjoyable context. When the timer rings, "grade" the coloring by placing a star by her best work. (Find something each day. "You used a rich, deep brown for 'Baby Moses in the Basket.'") Take a moment to have her retell the story or simply name the key person in the story. Then dismiss her for #2:

    2. Play with puzzles, playdough, or dolls while listening to A Child's Garden of Songs CD for 30 minutes. Then dismiss for #3:

    3. Play freely. (She is only 4-1/2, after all!)


    Morning or Afternoon - Session 2
    Number Lesson/Fine-Motor Skills, Poetry/Music, Manners/Games, My Very First Scissors Book, Closing Prayer

    Play freely!



    One more suggestion:
    Feel free to omit Adventures with Books for your daughter. We included this primarily for older children who need more fine-motor remediation. Given your daughter's age, she might not need to work through this resource right now. You could save it for the 8-week review, if this would lighten your schedule.

    Thanks-
    Cheryl


    Simply Classical - the book

    Simply Classical - the curriculum

    Just in time for spring - My Nature Journal

    For older students - My Thankfulness Journals

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you so much Cheryl! I'm going to print out your post and use it to make notes in the curriculum guide. Kate and I hope to meet you in Ontario in June.
      Brit

      Catholic mom to five
      2019-2020:
      Ds '01 - College freshman: Thomas Aquinas College
      Ds '03 - 10th grade: MPOA Algebra 2, and a bunch of other stuff
      Ds '06 - 8th: MP Tiner science (chemistry, physics, and astronomy), 8M lit, 8M Exploring Planet Earth, ancient history, OLVS 8 Catechism
      Dd '10 (Down syndrome) - JrK with little brother and BOB books
      Ds '15 - JrK with big sister

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Level B daily pacing

        Bumping this for anyone who has been thinking about revising daily schedules, grouping lessons more effectively, or providing a stronger "Opening Time" to your child's day.


        Thanks-
        Cheryl


        Simply Classical Curriculum

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Level B daily pacing

          Thank you

          I am actually wondering how we are going to get everything done in one school day as well. As of Monday I have three little students -- my youngest (son), continuing Level A; my middle (daughter), just starting Level B; my oldest (son), almost done with Level C. The plan right now is to get as much accomplished as we can (sanely) each day, even if it means going more slowly at first. I am really enjoying Level B so far. It is my favorite of the "pre-K" curricula.

          The beauty of teaching 3 children at three continuous levels (by that I mean Levels A, B and C vs Level A, Level 1 and Level 4, for example) is that the younger students will be exposed to challenging concepts they will be taught later on, while the older ones will get great remediation and/or review. The older kids can also help the younger by modeling how to stand for recitation, or by answering a question the younger student might not know; they get to "help" and to feel a sense of accomplishment that they already know the answer to the question I am asking. (It's really cute to watch.)

          I love that Level B is so tactile, with a craft for every letter of the alphabet (remind me I said that in another month) and that there are so many prayers, Bible stories, fine motor activities and so much emphasis on good manners. I also love that there is MUSIC! You could set the periodic table to music and my kids would learn it in an afternoon!

          I would love, however, to have all the Lesson Plans on PDF so I can streamline my notes. Right now I am looking at three different pages to see what comes next in our school day. Is there a way to make that happen (that is, ahem, free?)?
          Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
          Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
          Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
          The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

          “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
          ~Pope St John Paul II

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Level B daily pacing

            Currently MP does not offer free pdf's of curriculum guides, simply because it becomes impossible to protect them.

            As you note, at least your three children learn from three consecutive levels, so you can combine instruction. Here are a few ideas that might spark your own thoughts, so you can streamline even further:


            Do you already keep the planners open to the next day? If not, keeping them open (side-by-side) might help, so you can read across more easily. While teaching 5 children simultaneously at 5 different levels, a local homeschooling friend kept each planner open to the week she needed. At the end of the day, she stacked the opened, ready-to-go planner on top of each child's books for that week. She removed it to teach and replaced it, opened to the next page, at the end of the work day. Maybe her "tower" approach would help.


            With my two, we used post-it notes. Each day I marked the next day's lesson by moving the post-it note. This saved time not only in my own planners and teacher's guides, but also in their actual workbooks. ("Turn to page 35" requires much response time when children struggle with fine-motor and processing difficulties!)


            If you have time, you might read these similar threads from the K-8 Forum for other suggestions:

            -Homeschool organizers

            -Lesson plans



            Thanks-
            Cheryl


            Simply Classical Curriculum

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Level B daily pacing

              Of course! Protecting content would be my primary concern were I at MP! Just didnt know if it was an option.

              I have three stacks of books on the dining room table, one stack for each child. We do school at the kitchen table, so I move all the stacks to the island in the kitchen and grab what each child needs as they need it. Lesson plans are opened and put side-by-side-by-side as I teach so I can check off items and see what is coming next. Then I alternate exercises from each Level as the children's attention and work load demands. When we are done, everything goes back into the dining room.

              It's going pretty well. But we are not covering everything in the enrichment activities. There is simply no time. I, like you, use post-it notes (actually, post-it-flags) for where we are supposed to be in each book, and all our crayons, pencils, pens, hole-punches and markers are in one drawer in the kitchen. So I'm organized But I married a Quality-Process Engineer (Air Force Academy Alumni, Six Sigma Master Black Belt, LEAN Master, big geeky brain) so I am pre-conditioned to think, "How can I make this process more efficient?" LOL! I'm sure that will come with time and experience.
              Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
              Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
              Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
              The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

              “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
              ~Pope St John Paul II

              Comment

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