Friday, May 02, 2008

Homeshcool Update (LONG!)

Feel free just to skim through or just post a question if you have one!
Just wanted to update you all on our homeschool this is a challenge with 4 children who are VERY close in age. Believe it or not, though, there are some definite advantages to having children close when it comes to homeschooling...and when I find them out, I'll let you know- JUST KIDDING;) They are all within 4.5 years so their interests are pretty close for alot of things. They all love to sit and color, be read to, do puzzles and help me bake and do housework. They are all eager little helpers...even Ayden.
I use the Abeka DVD program, so if you have any questions please post them in the comments. Keep in mind, Brianna is only in 1st grade and so I am a new homeschooler :)
This a rough overview of our schedule
----The girls have chores before breakfast and Bible class. They all sit for Bible..this was a real challenge to train Ayden (who turned 2 in March) to sit for the class but totally worth it. He does not sit perfectly and I allow him to have a small toy or two for his fidgety little hands, but he "sings" along and picks up things from listening to the girls. I know he is a boy, (and a busy one at that) but teaching him to "sit" at an early age has been a blessing. I think it is easier too that he is the youngest and has 3 older sisters...the younger ones just follow suit if you have a good routine-at least in my experience thus far ;) That's not saying a whole lot is it! I know I post alot of our *disasters* but they really are, by God's Grace and Mercy, coming along well :) Lily who is 3 sits well...her attention wanders, but the routine is what is important. The first grade class has lots of songs with motions and the story is done using pictures...this is where having them all close in age is really good.
-----After Bible, Brianna continues with her class time while Ayden and Lily play in the play room. Anjolie sits in for phonics with Brianna. She has memorized phonics charts just by watching along with Brianna. I love the Leap Frog Letter Factory and put that on in the play room while Lily and Ayden play...Lily has learned some letter sounds this way and some recognition as well. Ayden calls any letter he sees "B" and it always says "cu" lol... ;)
-----Snack time! A break for everyone-outside if it is nice!
Brianna watches Arithmetic, Writing and Combinations on DVD. I many times must *pause* and repeat if they are using flash cards or a chart-or I pause it on a new chart and run through it with just Brianna so she doesn't get "lost". Anjolie works on some cursive, colors...she starts K-5 this fall, so I really want her schedule to be fairly relaxed until then...she begs for schoolwork each day, and I want her to be motivated at the start of the year.
----Lunch Time!! I try to prepare lunch as Brianna is finishing up class, but many times I am playing with, caring for the others... We take a short play break, and then Lily and Ayden go down for a nap ( I am adamant about them taking naps!) Anjolie (whom I am weaning off naps) has some special time with me and then she takes a nap as well, she still rarely misses a nap...
-----While everyone else is napping, Brianna does her worksheets...I tried having her do them along with her classes, but it worked best to just have her watch her classes back to back and then do paperwork back to back. Since it is quiet, we have some one on one time to go over and reinforce new concepts, but the videos are VERY thorough as long as the student is participating-they will learn it. I have had to start classes over because I caught a very distracted Brianna not participating :)
-----Brianna finishes classes and paper work around 2:30 if she starts at 9am (we aim to start at 8:30, but most times it ends up being between 9 and 10 which is my fault) and works at a fairly reasonable pace. :) I have her read to me intermittently throughout the day. Meal prep is a really good time for her to pull up the step stool and read to me. She reads the Abeka material, but currently she is also reading The Wind In The Willows with very little help from me. I continue to read to her so she can hear the speed and expression I expect...

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