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School organization

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    School organization

    Hello all you smart moms! We are hopefully continuing our school days through Friday, then off until January 3rd. My boys are both in week 13 of SC2. It's been great, and they're learning and growing. However, how I run our school day needs to change. The boys are now 9 and 10, but with FAE, they are developmentally 4-5. I also have three older bio girls homeschooling, as well as a few afternoons with activities, so I'm not able to do school with my little guys in the afternoon. When they're older and the girls have mostly graduated, we can have a longer day with breaks, but not now. We generally do our schoolwork from about 9:30-12:00 or so with some movement breaks and a snack. We do read alouds and calendar time together, as well as some written work.

    Basically they do a math sheet at the table they can do on their own (both in Math 1, but not the same lesson), then we have prayer, recitations and calendar time, Bible story and one other reading, then work together at the table, then finish read alouds on the sofa. After that, one boy listens to stories on headphones turned down low while doing a puzzle, playing with a building toy, or playing with Math manipulatives, etc., while the other reads the reader with me and then we do his math lesson together. Then first boy completes any written math and plays on the quilt with the same items while the second one reads to me and then we do his math lesson. I hope that makes sense. I know we need more structure in our morning. I'm planning to work together with my husband next week to rearrange our schoolroom to minimize distractions. (That's hard because we have a pretty open house). I'm also considering using a modified Workboxes system, which I have but haven't used yet.

    Has anyone used Workboxes? My ten year old, Skinny Man, could use extra Phonics/reading practice and my nine year old, Chuckles, needs extra practice of his math facts, so I thought about putting items in the boxes to work on those things, as well as some fine motor development items.

    Or have you done another system that works pretty well? I can make a good schedule, but between interruptions and tired boys, not too many days flow smoothly (although today went very well!). What schedule or strategies have worked well for you? Tips and suggestions?

    Thank you, Lillian

    #2
    Re: School organization

    Originally posted by LillianinAl View Post
    The boys are now 9 and 10, but with FAE, they are developmentally 4-5. I also have three older bio girls homeschooling, as well as a few afternoons with activities, so I'm not able to do school with my little guys in the afternoon. ... We generally do our schoolwork from about 9:30-12:00 or so with some movement breaks and a snack. We do read alouds and calendar time together, as well as some written work.

    Basically they do a math sheet at the table they can do on their own (both in Math 1, but not the same lesson), then we have prayer, recitations and calendar time, Bible story and one other reading, then work together at the table, then finish read alouds on the sofa. After that, one boy listens to stories on headphones turned down low while doing a puzzle, playing with a building toy, or playing with Math manipulatives, etc., while the other reads the reader with me and then we do his math lesson together. Then first boy completes any written math and plays on the quilt with the same items while the second one reads to me and then we do his math lesson.
    This sounds good! You're doing really well, Lillian.

    For a few years my two both loved tackling jobs around the house, so I made each a Chore Jar. Colorful letter stickers labeled the jar. This, combined with drawing a mysterious chore, suddenly made it "exciting." Inside the jars I stuffed folded pieces of paper with different tasks written on them. (For some reason, my daughter loved scrubbing the base boards, so I placed several of those in her jar.) "Sweep the driveway." "Pick up 1 barrel full of sticks in the backyard." "Test all of the fine-tip markers." I chose only those tasks that would take time but did not need my extensive supervision. If yours are not fond of chores, you could rotate special building kits or other favorite items.

    Your question made me think of this long-ago post from your fellow FAS/FAE mom. Something there might spark an idea.

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      #3
      Re: School organization

      Adding ...

      Yes, we used extra OT-type work too! My daughter had a box of letter beads and laces for spelling any missed spelling words. My son had a CD with multiplication facts and rotating construction kits.

      Bonus: All of this builds the much-desired habit of using leisure time constructively.

      For this part of the day, I would not worry about a strict "schedule" with set times to follow; rather, a "routine" can be just as effective and feel less constrictive.

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