I need guidance for my situation

Discuss the pros and cons of various curriculums, or get help on which to choose!

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I need guidance for my situation

Postby ginam » Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:13 am

help, I am overwhelmed. I have four boys,ages 9,7,5, and 3.The five and seven year old are very active with a short attention spans and are quickly frustrated when they do not understand a concept.The nine year old is the typical,take charge older brother, who many times attempts to assume the role of parent to his brothers. He was in public school through third grade. In answer to prayer, my husband gave his permission for me to teach our children at home. I was and am thrilled but now as I attempt to actually teach a 4th,2nd, k,and prek, I have hit a wall after 1 month. I bought Konos in a box-Orderliness unit,of which I loved the concept but had difficulty actually implementing it. I am doing Five In A Row with the younger ones and I enjoy it. I feel like I might like to try an ocean or animal unit study and buy workbooks for language arts for the 9 and 7 year old. I am very content with saxon math for the boys. I really like Charolette Mason's approach to learning but while I am so new at this, I feel the need to be in some sort of planned curriculum for language arts. Time is also hard for me to manage at this point as I am having a hard time teaching the older boys while at the same time not at wanting to revert to cartoons or videos to keep the younger ones from curiously dismantling the rest of the house. I am feeling lots of guilt,lots of failure and confusion about the right curriculum choices. I've read lots and lots of books and articles on different teaching styles and methods but a great deal of them seem to be written for or about people with older children or less than three children. I have four very "active" boys at younger ages and I feel right now like I could really use some advice from seasoned homeschoolers who could relate to my situation. THANK YOU!!!

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Re: I need guidance for my situation

Postby Ramona » Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:18 pm

Wow! Sounds like you have a busy household and the homeschooling you're trying to do would work well for an only child who needs activities and stimulation due to a lack of little brothers. :)

I think I would focus on not trying to introduce any new concepts to the 7- and 5-y-o just now if there's any chance it might frustrate them or be tricky to understand. I'd put those two on a strict plan of simple, basic studies till the family has settled into a routine.

I'd also think very seriously about the advice I've read to give the 9-y-o a break from any kind of studying for a bit to let him debrief from having been in PS thru 3rd grade. Just chores, new library books every 3 weeks, and an opportunity to do anything useful that he's interested in for about 3 months.

I'd spend one-on-one time with the 3-y-o first thing after breakfast every morning for as long as he wants, doing whatever he wants to do. Then when he's ready to play on his own, I'd do a very short lesson with each of the middle ones. Those lessons would never take place sitting in a hard chair at a desk or table. After the lessons, while they play I'd just chat with the 9-y-o and get to know him and let him get to know me. (I think we'd toss a ball back and forth during these chats.)

In the meantime (because this is my personality--LOL!) I'd be spending my evenings making calendars and schedules and written routines and lesson plans so that as time goes on I can fit everything in and keep each lesson short enough so the middle ones don't get frustrated and the little one doesn't destroy the house or get left to watch the Tube.

With a group of active children I would put in 2 or 4 "recesses" and a PE lesson every day and those would all be playing outdoors as actively as possible. And that doesn't even count before-school and after-school play! :wink:

If I were interested in Charlotte Mason, I'd start doing daily nature walks with everybody.

If the 9-y-o were getting tired of being the babysitter, I'd start having the 7-y-o take the 3-y-o for 15 minutes every day.

BTW--I heard at a convention years ago a suggestion to only do academics 3 days a week. It has worked *great* for us for many years. On Mondays we do whatever makes Mommy's life the easiest, and on Fridays we get out of the house. We go wherever and do whatever and call it a "field trip." I try to have the kids play at a different playground every Friday so they have interesting new physical challenges. Sometimes we used to go to the beach when we lived on the coast.

Mom to 6: DS 16, DD 15, DD 12, DD 6, DD 3, DS 1
Homeschooling for 12+ years

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Postby LisaMKH » Tue Oct 17, 2006 3:56 pm

When I had 4 children and the oldest ones were 8 and 9...I resorted to a lot of magic school bus books and magic school bus games. Saxon is an extremely time consuming math program and math just does not have to be that teaching intensive or require so much of you. I would highly recommend parring down your curriculum. Do a history program that everyone can do together, like Story of the World or Mystery of History. Do a science program that all can do together, like just the Magic School bus things, or I really have loved Considering God's Creation and my children retained everything they learned in it. They retained so much that their public school same aged cousins have no clue about. Then again, maybe they retained it from all the Magic School Bus videos and games and books. For English, I would recommend going over to something very simple. Something that gets to the point, gets the job done, that they can do independently or otherwise. My 5 yr old plays phonics computer games, but we also do explode the code. I will sometimes assign my 10 yr old to teach him explode the code. I could not believe it when my 5 yr old actually sat still for his bossy big sister. You can start each day with calendar and time and weather and such for all the kids, and a prayer and/or a bible reading if you want. Then let the children go off separetly in their other things. I would highly recommend having the older children eac h take assigned times to read books to the younger children. Not only will this greatly help with their own reading schools, but it will keep the little children happy and read to.

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