Spacing

Brain Trust,

Dear Brain Trust,

I have kids far apart, how do I teach them all?

Love,
Confused in Cleveland


 

Bull:
Dear Confused,

Three things instantly come to mind: develop an efficient schedule, treat it like the Holy Grail, and give those kids jobs. As for your schedule, put the most important subjects at the top of the list. What are the most important subjects? Heck, I don’t know – that’s your call! If you want me to start bossing you around, which is something I usually reserve for my closest pals, I’m going to have to charge something. So, let’s get back to the free stuff. When you’ve developed a schedule that works for you, stick to it. You don’t have time to waste, so don’t waste any! Stay off the phone, the computer, the TV, and allow your wisely-devised schedule to work for you. Then, give your kids a job. Your olders can certainly lend a hand with grunt work. Have them check the youngers’ math facts, administer spelling tests, listen to read-alouds. The thought of passing the buck on read-alouds make me g-g-g-g-giddy! ;)

Bull

Snow:

Dear Confused in Cleveland,

Take Bull’s advice! Schedule, jobs, pass the buck… Sounds like a plan!
Spacing Day 2

My girls are 5 grades apart but we do more together than you would think. Anything that is on audio, we listen to together, mostly because we do that in the car, and they are trapped like mice! I have them read to each other, too. I have a schedule where I get one started with something and send them on their way. Then, I get the next one started on a subject. I juggle having them work on the things they can do independently while the other is doing the subject they need me to teach. I alternate back and forth. If I had more than 2 kids, I imagine it would work similarly. The older they get, the more I see them being independent for longer amounts of time. This all helps with my one goal in life: an uninterrupted shower!.

Grace & Peace,
Snow

Hyacinth:

Dear Confused,

Fear not! I suspect you are picturing yourself as if you are a classroom teacher, so the task seems physically, mentally, and hormonally impossible. Remember, homeschooling is a different animal – you aren’t delivering lectures all day. Ideally, homeschool students become independent learners; you’ll get your student started, but you should expect him to complete his work with minimal intervention (over time).

One of my friends with six children spends a good deal of time helping her kids to become early readers, then when they are in the older elementary years, they can soar independently. They are immersed in great books, and probably because of this, they are all wonderfully creative and accomplished. Many people find that their oldest child has a way of snagging all of mom’s time, but my friend makes sure she pours the most time into those early readers so they can work independently later.

Peace be with you,
Hyacinth

Spacing – Snow

Brain Trust,

Dear Brain Trust,

I have kids far apart, how do I teach them all?

Love,
Confused in Cleveland


 

Snow:

Dear Confused in Cleveland,

Take Bull’s advice! Schedule, jobs, pass the buck… Sounds like a plan!
Spacing Day 2

My girls are 5 grades apart but we do more together than you would think. Anything that is on audio, we listen to together, mostly because we do that in the car, and they are trapped like mice! I have them read to each other, too. I have a schedule where I get one started with something and send them on their way. Then, I get the next one started on a subject. I juggle having them work on the things they can do independently while the other is doing the subject they need me to teach. I alternate back and forth. If I had more than 2 kids, I imagine it would work similarly. The older they get, the more I see them being independent for longer amounts of time. This all helps with my one goal in life: an uninterrupted shower!.

Grace & Peace,
Snow

Read what Bull had to say about spacing yesterday here

Hyacinth shares tomorrow, May 17th! Be sure to check back!

What’s the fuss about learning styles? – Day 2

What’s the fuss about learning styles? – Day 2

Brain Trust,

Dear BT,

My kids are so different; do I need to find different ways to teach them?

Love,
Learning Styles in Lincoln


 

Snow:

Dear Learning Styles in Lincoln,

I always wonder what the one room school houses did about different learning styles. When thinking about home educating, you have to think of it more like a one room school house vs. our modern, age-based educational system. My girls learn very differently, but they learn together. My 1st grader benefits from hearing her sister say her times tables. My 6th grader benefits from hearing her sister review simple spelling rules. I don’t bend over backwards to teach differently. I think your best bet is to teach them how to learn, and to love learning. Their learning style needs will naturally be met when those things are in place.

Grace and peace,
Snow

Click here to read what Bull had to say yesterday!

Hyacinth weighs in tomorrow, May 9th…

Doodle wraps it up on Thursday, May 10th…

I’m too crabby to homeschool! – Day 3

Brain Trust,

I don’t think I have enough patience to homeschool….my kids drive me crazy, is this a problem?

Love,
Impatient Patty


 

Snow:

Dear Patty,

Raising children is the most sanctifying experience any of us will ever have. When I brought my oldest daughter home to educate, my biggest fear was that one of us wouldn’t survive the experiment. I was surprised to find that the more time we spent together, the more character development happened, for both of us! I was empowered by the ability to be more consistent in my correction. The impact of consistency was undeniable in our home. Now, after 5 years of home educating, it’s hard to remember that overwhelming sense of dread I had over the whole thing. My daughter has grown and matured, and so have I! Now, I still get annoyed from time to time, but I have learned to gather myself and be thankful for this grand experiment we call homeschooling.

Grace and Peace,
Snow

Click here to read Hyacinth’s encouraging words from Monday!

Find Bull’s post from yesterday here

Doodle wraps it up tomorrow, May 3rd…

Hubby’s Role – Day 2

Brain Trust,

What is the role of your husband in your homeschool?

Love,
The Mrs.


 

Snow:

Daddy drying hair

Dear Mrs.,

Bull makes me laugh… Some of my friends have husbands who are very involved in the curriculum choices, the daily schedule, the extra curricular choices…..the whole thing. That’s not my life. My sweet man has said time and time again that he trusts me to make the decisions about all of those things since I’m the one who is immersed in the homeschool world. Sometimes, I go to him when I am weighing options, but for the most part, we just tell him what all is going on. Like Bull, he is our “Principal.” This is an honorary title more than a functioning role. My girls threaten one another with “telling the Principal” more than I ever have. For that reason, it seems effective! If I had to sum up his role in one word, it is “CHEERLEADER,” and his vote of confidence keeps me going some days.

Grace and peace,
Snow

Click here to read Bull’s thoughts from yesterday!

Hear from Doodle tomorrow, April 25th…

Hyacinth weighs in on Thursday, April 26th…

How do you people do it all? – Day 3

How do you people do it all? – Day 3

Brain Trust,

I need to know how veteran homeschool mamas do it all: schooling, groceries, house chores, keep order, and still have energy past 3pm? Help!

Needing a nap,
Tired


 

Snow:
Dear Tired,
This is one of the most common questions I have heard discussed among all my fellow homeschooling parents. We are all trying to continually improve our juggling act, and often, when we have hit a good stride, something happens to change it! Children enter a new stage of development, the dance schedule for the year is completely different than last year, the day your trash comes changes… you name it, it can change!The best thing I can suggest is to put some systems in place that help you manage and maintain a routine. You are now hearing a common theme from all of us… Your standard or ideal will need to be flexible depending on what you have going on academically, and in your “outside the house” schedule. Flexibility is probably the best advice any of us could give!I use some outside resources to help me stay on top of chores. My favorite is called “Motivated Moms.” You can pay for and download a daily schedule for chores. I love it because it rotates through every imaginable house maintenance chore from daily things, to things you never think about. I like that it’s laid out for me, that it is a “no brainer” thing for me. You can find that at www.motivatedmoms.com

The second thing I do is to include my kids in the effort. It is not only important training for their future, but it reinforces the truth that our little family community is in this together. It’s never a one against all thing! Every morning, we write out on our giant white board each of our tasks for the day. This includes morning chores, academic subjects, afternoon chores, & scheduled events. I actually put my list up there along with my girls’ lists. It always helps them to see what the rest of their “community” has going on.
I trained my girls in chores as soon as they could walk. There is something psychologically satisfying to them being a part of the larger effort, even if it is a small thing!

Grace and Peace,
Snow

Click here to read Hyacinth’s answer from Monday!

Here are Doodle’s thoughts from Yesterday!

Be sure to catch Bull tomorrow, Thursday, March 15th…