Multiple Kids/Daily Schedule

Discussion in 'Homeschooling' started by rutamattatt, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. rutamattatt

    rutamattatt New Member

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    I am a first time home schooling mom (that still makes me giggle to say!). I have a 1st grade son, 4th grade son, and a 13 year old daughter who is newly adopted from overseas and is doing all sorts of levels in a few different subject areas.

    There are several subjects that more than one child work on at the same level. For example, my 1st grader and daughter are both doing the same phonics work. 1st grade DS is doing the same history curriculum as 4th grade son (doesn't have to, but enjoys it so I figure, why not?).

    I haven't found my "groove" as far as organizing our day, and I was just thinking today about maybe just doing all of one child's school one on one (while the other two play), then doing all the next child's school work one on one, and then finally the third child's work all at once. I know this would mean repeating some lessons, but I am wondering if my kids would do better with larger chunks of time with one on one attention. Right now, I feel like when I work with two of the kids together, I am constantly interrupted by the unoccupied child.

    Has anyone taught multiple kids this way? Just thinking it might be a smoother way to get through the day with less frustration and confusion, and more focused time with each child. With all of the transitions our family has been through in the last few months, I wonder if the one on one time would be relationally beneficial...
     
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  3. Meghan

    Meghan New Member

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    I only have two, but yes I do each child individually.

    There are some interruptions from the one who isn't working with me, but those are FAR better than the attention-wars and foot-wars they used to engage in when I tried to do both together.

    I also feel that, even though I'm repeating some lessons (like you, my youngest is technically doing work over her head in science), it gives the second child a chance to answer questions and come up with their own connections, instead of just listening to the older sib and agreeing.

    And for some subjects that each really struggles with, being solo gives me a chance to guage how their emotional health is and adjusting teaching/expectations. That's pretty important here (my kids won't say, I don't understand this please explain it again. No- instead they'll start sobbing and making excuses that seem unrelated. It can take a bit of detective work and I try to catch them before the tears start).

    My day is longer but much more relaxed.
     
  4. dalynnrmc

    dalynnrmc New Member

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    Hello there! Nice to meet you! Not sure if I've seen you post yet - I just pop in now and then, staying busy. :)

    I have three differently levelled students (plus two babies).

    In the past, when I have tried to do each student's schooling individually, I generally ended up giving whichever kid was last the short stick. I was just too tired by the end of the day, and found that trying to do it this way just took a lot longer for ME. You could probably even that out by switching up the order, but you'd still be tired probably, not to mention having time to do things like cook dinner or get laundry done, etc. ;)


    What we're doing now is this:
    My two middle kids are close in age, 2nd and 3rd grade. They do about half of their work together, and those things we do orally. So that's how we start our day. I read their Bible story, then history, and then we do their grammar lesson out loud.

    After grammar, my 7yo sits down to his copywork (which is assigned in the grammar book) followed by some phonics workbook pages, and my 8yo does his spelling. Then they each move to math, which about once a week includes needed instruction on my part. Usually it's a quick session and then they can get to work.


    While they are working with me, my oldest student (he's 12) is doing his own individual work. So he gets his Bible, math, and handwriting done. Then they switch and it's my oldest son's turn with me while his little brothers are working on their own. We do history and the oral part of his English work. If we still have time then we may begin reading, but if not then that waits until after lunch.

    We eat, and then the babies nap. While they are napping is the ONLY time I can get the dishwasher loaded so they don't pull stuff out! ACK! So that is chore time. When that is done the littles usually go play outside, and my oldest and I finish up anything he still needs to do. Usually that involves reading, including the assigned chapters in the book plus whatever study guides we need to do. After that he goes and does his individual work on his English and anything else he needs to finish up.


    I'll also say that we switch routines 2 or 3 times a year. We get bored with what we're doing, or with the change in season comes different priorities and different out-of-home activities, and we just have to change things up some. Keeps it interesting. ;)


    Anyway, hope that helps some! Getting started is the hardest part - the first year is definitely a learning curve and it's uphill from there! Welcome to homeschooling!!
     
  5. Sea

    Sea Member

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    I am a newbie too and also have been trying to figure out a schedule, and we're in week 6 I think! I am trying something new again this week, after seeing what was working and not over the past weeks. But they do some subjects together- history, science, music, art (oh and I only have 2), and then I gave them independent work. I work with one on reading and math and then switch- and each child finishes their work we started or has reading, writing, etc to do. And we talked about if they finish what they can do while I am working with the other (solo educational games, drawing, etc.). In a folder I also gave extra things to do- some were fun- mazes, puzzles, etc and some more worksheet type and they got to choose what they did out of that and they seemed to like it.

    Just what I'm trying out though- good luck though!
     
  6. motheroftwo

    motheroftwo New Member

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    I have been homeschooling for several years, and I have two, and our day usually starts with my youngest one starting on an online phonics program, (which he can do independently), while I work with my oldest on his work. Usually by the time I am done working one on one with my oldest, my youngest is ready for one on one with mom, while my oldest works independently. We go back and forth like this for most of the morning, and we are usually done by noon. I also take the time to schedule the week (on Sunday) using a lesson planner, and check off the items as we go. It helps so that I am not stressing over what needs to be done. Sometimes they finish up their work for the week, before we get to Friday, so Friday just becomes a review day. Friday is also the day we do music, health, and science experiments. It took us a while to find a schedule that works for us, so give it time. Hope this helps!
     
  7. Meghan

    Meghan New Member

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    I also have Friday as our 'light' day. That way, if someone feels like holding off on something, they are allowed to put it in the folder to finish it then.

    And it gives us a day to play catch-up if someone wasn't feeling well during the week.

    On perfect weeks, Friday is sci experiments and art day :)
     
  8. tiffharmon2001

    tiffharmon2001 New Member

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    I don't think I could do them all one on one because it would make our day stretch out forever. But if you think it will work for your family, give it a try. You can always change again if it doesn't work out.
    Here's a rough idea of what we do.

    We start together and do prayer, some warm-up type exercises, pledge, talk about our schedule for the day, and Bible. Then I send the older two off to work independently (memory verse work, penmanship, journal, math drill, spelling practice, vocab, piano, grammar, silent reading, and tae kwon do practice) while I do math with the younger two.
    Once I finish with the younger two, I get them going on their independent work (memory verse work, penmanship, journal, spelling practice, silent reading, piano, taw kwon do) then work on math with my middle. Next, I go over my oldest dd's math (she's doing LOF so I don't have to do much with her) and help her correct anything she missed.
    By then, I'm ready for reading-youngest, then dd7, then dd10. About once a week, I have my dd13 read aloud to me for a few minutes as well.
    After that, it's lunch time. Usually about an hour. If the older two aren't finished with their work, they go back to it as soon as they finish eating.
    Once lunch is cleaned up, we do science or social studies together.Sometimes we have an art project or a local field trip also. If we finish everything in time, we have some free time/chore time and then we leave for our evening activities (church, tae kwon do, 4-H club).

    Wow, typing that up made me tired already! It sounds like a lot more than it actually is. Hope that helped. :)
     
  9. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    OK, I'll be the dissenting voice! I prefer to do as much together as possible. My girls are two years apart, and my son is 2.5 years younger. When they were younger, we did history and science together a lot with all three. I would also do other things, such as grammar perhaps, or vocabulary. My younger two are right now doing vocab together. Or perhaps a literature study together. My children are older now (17, 15, and 11), so that makes a difference because of high school classes. Nature studies and geography also work well together.

    The most important thing is to do what works best FOR YOU. If you try it one way and find it's not working, feel free to change. You will eventually discover what is best for you. I personally wouldn't go with working all day with just one while the others played. I'd be afraid the one would be distracted and difficult hearing the others playing. Also, part of the goal for me was to have independent learners. I want to be able to give them their assignments and let them do it on their own. BUT THAT'S JUST ME. As I said, if you want to try it, there's no reason why you shouldn't. It may work out wonderfully for you; if not, you can change it.
     
  10. TeacherMom

    TeacherMom New Member

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    For us the close classes we did together and someone always took the younger one away when they needed time alone with teaching.
    Welcome too home schooling!
     
  11. kbabe1968

    kbabe1968 New Member

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    I write out a schedule for each one - they all know what they have to do in any given day for a whole unit. (my oldest likes this b/c it means she can work ahead!).

    Anyway, I don't do any housework or anything that takes a lot of my attention while they are "schooling", that way whatever I'm doing can be dropped at a moment's notice to help them.

    I help my youngest the most. And sometimes it means a child has to move onto something they can do without me while I'm working with another.

    There is no way in the world I could work one on one with each child AND finish school before 10 at night! LOL :)

    Now, they're all studying the same TYPE of thing - or doing the same read aloud - but sometimes my oldest does everything on her own - even the read aloud. :)
     
  12. CarolLynn

    CarolLynn New Member

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    This is very much like what I did when my older two were little. I made up a form that listed everything they had to do for "seat work" for the day. I wrote on that page anything that they could do independently. It was nice because they could go on and do something while they waited for me to finish with the other child. We did do science and history together. Actually, the younger child tagged along with the older one. This worked very well, and was much better than carrying a separate curriculum for each subject.

    The older two work pretty much independently all day long now. I just correct their work. I miss those days.

    I do understand the need for one on one time, particularly with the newly adopted child. That can happend during the other subjects that can't be combined, as well as during non school activities. Congratulations!
     
  13. dbaeimers

    dbaeimers New Member

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    What I do is we start out together with the pledge and bible together. Then one sits at her desk and works on her papers while the other one is up at my desk working one on one with me. When I am done working with her she goes and sits down and works on papers while the other one comes up to my desk and works one on one with me. This works very well for us.
     
  14. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    I do something similar. We have a grid for the week. When I give them their assignment for the day, they fill it in and then check it off when done. That way, when they ask, "WHAT DO I DO NEXT?" I can reply, "Look at your list. What on there needs done?" I will include stuff like piano practice and Bible reading. So the end of the week they turn it into me, and I can see which subjects kind of got neglected. I can "push" those the next week.
     
  15. aggie01

    aggie01 New Member

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    I have 3 kids and tried to teach each one by themselves, and I just don't have enough in me to do school that much each day.
    I have made a chart in excel that helps the kids work on things independently while I work one on one on subjects that they are not working together on.
    Part of the problems sounds to me about getting a groove on about how to do together work. I have younger kids so I find lots of coloring pages for them to color while I read. I have also had them fold laundry while I read things like history, science or do review work over anything. The kids listen better while they have an easy task at hand. If they are not sitting still and listening maybe changing where you do school might help the problem. We do most of our school on the floor spread out, only handwriting is done at the table.
     
  16. babydux

    babydux New Member

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    We do most of our work together. I have one that is behind in math so I work with him while the other two work on different subjects. They pretty much work on their own unless they have a question. The other two are in the same math book so while one is doing science or history I will work with the other one on math visa versa. It works out well for us they each get one on one time and learn how to work independently too.
     
  17. scottiegazelle

    scottiegazelle New Member

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    The best guess is to see if when "together" time works best for your family. Do your kids work better at the start of the school day, at the end, in the middle? After you've sent them outside to burn off some energy? My guess would be figuring that out would be key to making things run smoothly.
     
  18. happyfamily

    happyfamily New Member

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    Hi! This is also our first year of homeschooling - I have a 1st grader, 3rd grader, and of course the 12-month old who gives me a run for my money! My short answer is that we do most things separate based upon their needs, then come together for science and social studies (and art).

    My long answer: I have a small dry-erase board where I write out each subject for each kiddo, then have their own stack o'books out with a sticky tab to mark where they are to begin on the current day. My 3rd grader is able to begin independently on several subjects while I assist the 1st grader. Once baby goes down for a nap, I complete math with each kiddo separately. We work in recess in the AM with our neighbors (or try to, at least!), then later we have lunch. After they have completed their core subjects, we come together for social studies/science/art (whichever is scheduled for that day).

    Best of luck to you!
     

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