I can’t believe it took me until mid-February to figure out a way to make my homeschool day more efficient and keep myself more sane. I am a slow learner!
We usually always start our day with bible, memory recitation, and then we read God’s World News and sometimes a little poetry. After that, if Meredith hasn’t already started it (she is a very early riser), we do math. Then we try to conquer language arts. Then we move on from there if we can!
Up until last month I had been starting her off in math and letting her finish her math worksheets on her own, while I cleaned up the kitchen and took care of the other kids and tried to work with Clara. Then, I would start her off on reading comprehension and copy work worksheets, and then let her finish that while I did other things. Then, we would spend about 15-20 minutes doing English Grammar, and she completed those worksheets on her own after that.
So, our pattern has been: I work with her, she works on her own, I work with her, she works on her own, etc. We would completely finish a subject before we started another one.
To be honest, there have been days where I am ready to go crazy. They are the days when she is distracted easily (two hours to do three math problems) and we are interrupted constantly (yes, I have a toddler), and it might be 2:00 and we still are not even done with BASIC school. Forget about all the other stuff I had hoped to do with them.
It is not realistic to expect that there will be no distractions or no interruptions when you homeschool. It’s a package deal. I realized I had to be smarter and figure something else out that would work better for us.
Now, I do it differently.
After bible, I sit down with Meredith and I do all the teaching I need to do with her for the whole day at one time. I introduce her math concept and make sure she understands it. Then I take her math worksheets and put them in a “to do” pile. Then I introduce the new English Grammar. Then I take those worksheets and put them in the pile. If I get interrupted by the younger two kids during this time, I grab something out of Meredith’s “to do” pile and have her work on it while I take care of her sisters. So, Meredith always has something to do and there is not any wasted time. Then, when I am done with the interruption, I have her stop where she is at, put her unfinished work back in the pile, and I keep teaching her where I left off. Usually I can be done with ALL of my teaching responsibilities by 10:30 or 11:00 except for the reading aloud that I do with the kids. After that point in time, Meredith can do everything on her own (although I still monitor her closely) and I am free to either work with Clara or do other things.
I cannot even tell you how freeing this new approach has been for me.
I am much less frazzled. More of my time has been freed up. I have more time to stop and read aloud to the kids, which is what we all love! And, if it takes Meredith until 4:00 to finish her school, it won't be the end of the world. She will still be done with school before the neighbor kids are done with homework.
Does anyone else have any tips or ideas? I know there are a lot of ways to homeschool and there is no one Right Way. I love hearing what other people are doing.