I had ordered all of our curriculum and I sat down to start planning our 2013/14 school year and then panic set in! How was I going to homeschool a 9th grader, 7th grader, 5th grader, 3rd grader, Kindergartner and keep up with 2 very busy little boys, the garden, cooking, laundry, homemaking, etc….? I was feeling very spread thin! I started searching the internet for ideas on homeschooling with a large family; looking at schedules, curriculum, other mom’s plans. Nothing was clicking.
And then…(I don’t even know how I got there) I landed on All in One Homeschool! I just know that God directed my fingers as I was searching that day. This mom painstakingly planned out all of her own children’s lesson plans using links to all kinds of wonderful (and free) sites all over the internet. She organized it and then shared them with anyone who wants to use them! It is set up in such a way that reader’s can do their school work independently. It covers English, reading, writing, spelling, typing, history, science, Bible, art, music, PE, math, foreign language, computers and more. The kids love it! There are games and all those fun things you can find on educational sites online. They can work at their pace and begin whenever they are ready instead of having to wait for everyone else.
I went through and made notebooks for every child in Evernote (one of my new favorite online tools). Then I made a note for each day’s assignments. I added things I wanted them to do and then added in the assignments from Easy Peasy into the day in checklist form. That way they wouldn’t have to click all over the place to get their assignments. Its just in one list. And we have online documentation of what they have gotten done (that I can check from which ever device I have in front of me).
For math we are continuing to use Teaching Textbooks except for my 9th grader who is using Jacob’s Algebra in a co-op. She is also taking Biology with the co-op using Apologia.
Here is what a “normal” school day looks like:
8:30 am School Begins – we have 4 different computers (various states of usability) and 1 tablet that can be used. The first one to start gets the best machine. The big kids just work through their checklists asking for help when they need it.
9 am I sit down with the Kindergartner to do reading lessons (We are still using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons) and work on her penmanship
Preschooler uses tablet for learning games
Baby is usually taking a nap
9:30 am Kindergartner uses tablet to do math, Starfall and other learning apps
10 am Kindergartner and Preschooler do workboxes
10:30 am Recess/Physical Activity — step away from the computers!
11 am Circle Time: Memory Work, Art, Music
11:30 am Back to Lessons if not finished
Noon Lunch Break
1 pm Finish Up Lessons, Work on 4H, etc
2 pm Read for an Hour for Quiet Time (Littles can look at books or play quietly)
3 pm Freetime (Unless lessons aren’t done)
7 pm Family Worship and Our Read Aloud Time
I am so pleased with this way of doing school. It has made it easier to be a mom and not just a teacher. I have been able to get the canning done, keep up with the laundry and keep track of the boys better while lessons are still being accomplished. I believe the kids are getting lots more work done. My 3rd grader does have some trouble doing some of the history and science lessons on her own but I think the more she does it the more confident she will become in her reading abilities.
I also have to watch that I am keeping them accountable to getting their work done. A couple of them have slipped through the cracks only completely part of their work for the day. So I need to be extra diligent in checking in with them before they are released for the day.