Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Some Days We Homeschool By the Book

Some days we play hard and have lots of fun. We take field trips, participate in homeschool group activities, or even visit friends. No worries about our socialization in this house. 

Other days we do LOTS of book work.

I know I have a tendency to post only the "fun" things that we do, so this is my chance to share all the hard work my kids do each week.

My kids are really hard workers!

When I get phone calls from grandparents or friends during the day I always feel bad when I say that we only finished "some" of our work, but after looking at all I require my children to do, I don't feel so quite so bad if we don't get it all done every single day.

 K-man's stack of "self work"

These are the subjects that he can do mostly by himself every day. He comes to me if he has questions, but he is really good at working his way through his pile by himself.


 K-girl's pile of "self work"

For a first grader she works really hard and does a lot of work each day. She does need the motivation of me sitting close to keep her on task or moving on to the next subject. I listen to her read aloud a LOT during the course of the day.


 Besides their self work each kid usually does 3-4 other things with me. These are all the extra curriculum books that I use to work with the kids. We don't do these things everyday, but I usually read or teach out of 3-4 of these books most days of the week. I read a lot of information about science (this year we are doing ecosystems) and history (countries and cultures).
Last year we had a detailed schedule that I loved and it worked really well for us. K-baby was still taking naps so having a schedule around her awake and sleep times kept us on task.

This year I'm trying a different approach since K-baby no longer naps everyday and is with us trying to "do school" along with K-sis. I made a checklist using Excel for each subject I know the kids can work through "mostly" on their own. These are for most of the basic things that I really need them to be working on.

K-man's weekly checklist.

When we get started for the day they usually look at their checklist and start working on whatever subject they want. This gives them some freedom to choose what they want to do and in what order. Having a list allows them to start downstairs without me if I'm still coming hair, cleaning the kitchen or serving breakfast to the little girls. During the day the check list gives them an idea of direction if I'm not available to help them at the exact moment.

The checklist also allows me to work with the little kids and keep them out of trouble and I know the big kids are still working without me directing them 100% of the time. I also file these lists at the end of the week  to create a record of all the work they've completed throughout the year. (That is a huge bonus in my book, because I haven't been very consistent on record keeping in the past) I still have to push for a few subjects to be completed at the end of the day that they tend to leave for last or try to skip.


 K-girl's checklist.
Notice she doesn't have every subject filled out every day.


Across the top of the chart are the days of the week. Down the side of the chart are the subjects that they need to complete. Sometimes they just use check marks, but I try to have them write in page numbers so I can see how much they are accomplishing. An additional perk that I have found is that my perfectionist child (can you guess which one???) loves to have all the spots in his checklist filled out. The other one doesn't care and would love to leave many of them blank. :)

Each of my older two kids have 11 different subjects to fill in. I think they like that each subject is broken up into small bits so they can work for a while and then have the satisfaction of crossing something off.

K-man's checklist includes:
Devotions
Bible
AWANA
Reading
Spelling
Writing
Handwriting
Math
LA
Rosetta Stone Spanish
Art

K-girl's checklist includes:
Devotions/AWANA
Bible
Reading Aloud
Spelling
Math
Handwriting
Explode the Code
Hooked on Phonics
Art
Writing
Brain Fun


Whew!!! And don't get me wrong, remember at the top when I said that we don't usually do ALL of this everyday. We are not the perfect family and some days I bribe the kids to do 2-3 things and then they play for a while before we do a few more. We also take days off to do Swim and Gym, Gymnastics, Co-op, play dates, 4-H, Prairie Wetland field trips and of course lots of trips to the library. I'm not super mom, but having my kids keep a checklist has helped us stay on task this year.

1 comment:

  1. WOW!! THAT IS A LOT OF SUBJECTS, AND SO MANY OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS!! IMPRESSIVE- GOOD JOB ON THE CHECKLIST....I CAN SEE HOW THAT WOULD REALLY HELP! BET THEY CAN'T WAIT FOR NANA & PAPA COOK TO GET THERE TOMORROW :)

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