Close in Age – Doodle

Close in Age – Doodle

Brain Trust,

Dear Brain Trust,

My kids are close in age and I have a million of them. Am I setting myself up for failure to try and homeschool?

Love,
Dubious in Denver


 

Close in Age – Snow

Close in Age – Hyacinth

Doodle:

Dearest Dubious,

I think the most overwhelming aspect of homeschooling is looking at the range the educational needs in your own home and wondering how you, the parent, can possibly serve each of your child’s specific needs. Part of the problem for me is that I am looking at modern education and using that as my model. While there are some great advancements made in education, parents have been educating their children since the beginning of time and the modern segregation by grades is a fairly new idea. Actually, it was birthed from the desire to bring education to the masses. Think: small “mom and pops” business to “corporation.” While more and more people grew in their desire to have their children educated, the sheer population of those needing education grew, which created the problem of “how to educate the masses.” Even though this was good problem to face, it does not mean that the old “style” of home education or the “one room school house” was a broken one. It just was not serving the masses, thus the breakdown of education by age.

I have five kids, but I have friends who homeschool with their 10 or 12 kids. Teaching a range of kids takes some creativity and patience. But, I actually feel that home education is more of an organic and natural approach to education. Our little “homeschool” gives my older children a chance to be reviewed on subject matter that may appear “beneath” them, but it offers them reinforcement on core elements that have become familiar, yet are essentials. My younger children overhear discussions on subjects that have not yet been introduced, but it provides them a beginning vocabulary that will eventually give way to understanding. My younger children are often reviewed by my older and sometimes my younger children review my older with vocabulary flashcards. So there is this natural flow of introduction, repetition and review.

I like to think of it this way: I can run my family through McDonalds or I can spend a little extra time, energy and focus to make them a home-cooked meal. While there is a valid need for a McDonalds style education in our fast paced world, I have chosen a home-catered education that is full of life-giving substance that gives way to a long-satisfying healthy education.

Love,
Dood

Bull wraps is all up tomorrow, May 31st! Stay tuned…

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 – Hyacinth

Brain Trust,

Dear Brain Trust,

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

Love,
Confused in Cleveland


 

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

Click here to read Bull’s thoughts from Tuesday!

Find Snow’s post from yesterday here

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!

Spacing – Bull

Spacing – Bull

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

Read Snow’s thoughts tomorrow, May 16th…

Hyacinth shares her perspective on Thursday, May 17th…

What’s the fuss about learning styles? – Day 4

Brain Trust,

Dear BT,

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

Love,
Learning Styles in Lincoln


 

Doodle:

Dear Learning from Lincoln,

I have five kids and am continually amazed at their differences. They each have their specific quirks, twitches and cowlicks. Yep, they are unique and weird, and I love (or at least appreciate) most all of it. So, even though I don’t doubt that there are a Heinz 57 of learning styles, I frankly don’t have time to cater to them. So, I try to expend my energy on passion. As I look back to some of the learning experiences that most shaped me, I realize those teachers didn’t know my “learning style,” yet their passion and joy over the subject matter is what ignited and changed me. Of course, every lesson will not be a passionate one, but hopefully our “joy to learn” as we teach our children is transferred to them. My goal is to pass on a true sense of wonder and discovery about this world we live in, which, I believe, can reach every learning style.

Love Dood

Click here to read Bull’s thoughts from Monday!

Find Snow’s post from Tuesday here

Read Hyacinth’s words of encouragment from yesterday here

What’s the fuss about learning styles? – Day 3

Brain Trust,

Dear BT,

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

Love,
Learning Styles in Lincoln


 

Hyacinth:
Dear Learning Styles in Lincoln,

One of the beautiful things about homeschooling is that we can zero in on what seems to work well with each child; it’s remarkably efficient in that way! However, I’m a little wary about always making things easy for my kids. That’s not the way “real life” works, and I want them to be able to function when they emerge from our homeschooling cocoon.

I think we underestimate the brain’s ability to adapt, and if we always make things easy to learn, then we shortchange the brain’s capacity to tackle difficult challenges. Honestly, I don’t worry about catering to a child’s learning style unless they just can’t grasp something. In that instance, I then start trying out some alternative methods/tricks that might involve the other learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic).

Peace be with you,
Hyacinth

Click here to read Bull’s thoughts from Monday!

Find Snow’s post from yesterday here

Doodle ties a nice bow on it for us tomorrow, May 10th…

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…

What’s the fuss about learning styles? – Day 1

What’s the fuss about learning styles? – Day 1

Brain Trust,

Dear BT,

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

Love,
Learning Styles in Lincoln


 

Bull:

Dear Learning Styles in Lincoln,

Sure, if you have the time and desire, why not? But I wouldn’t say you need to unless your child is incapable of learning otherwise. I use a variety of methods when teaching my children — not playing to their preferences so much as trying to strengthen what is taught by involving different parts of the brain. I see a lot of value in fulfilling our children’s needs, but not so much in catering to their desires.

Bull

Reda Snow’s thoughts tomorrow, May 8th…

Hyacinth shares her perspective on Wednesday, May 9th…

Doodle wraps it up on Thursday, May 10th…

I’m too crabby to homeschool! – Day 4

Brain Trust,

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

Love,
Impatient Patty


 

Doodle:
Dear Patty,

Wow! The Brain Trust is knocking it out of the park. Bottom line: we live in a microwave, drive-thru, texting society (unless, of course, you live in a place like Southern Sudan…but, even there, cell towers are popping everywhere), and we don’t like to wait.

We want things, and we want them now. In the day of internet, information is ours within seconds. Downloaded music blares through your speakers instantly. Before your microwave popcorn is finished popping, you are underneath your snugglie watching your instantly-streamed movie.

How about children? We want them to obey instantly. We want them to be educated today. We want them to assimilate all of our instruction the first time through. We expect their character to be formed and tested yesterday. MBA and NFL scholarships tomorrow. We forget that things of substance take time. I find that I am the most impatient when my expectations are unrealistic or have somehow been disappointed. The work of training, educating, and loving our children is not completed in five minutes; it takes a lifetime. As you are building patience, you are building a legacy that will last and endure (long past your microwave popcorn).

Love,
Doodle

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

Find Bull’s post from Tuesday here

Read what Snow said yesterday here