Thursday, 13 September 2012

How I Homeschool 4 Children at the same time, Part 1

We have come back to our school this week and are trying out our new-and-improved schedule based on Ambleside Online.

My eldest is tackling Year 7.

My younger ones are doing versions of Year 2, with my 9-year-old boy wanting to have the Year 5 reading list.

I say "whatever".  AO is a tool and not a prescription, so I've always juggled things to make it work for me (being ever-so-grateful that the Advisory has offered this foundation from which I can build).

First, I'm looking in this post about my basic building-block, the three segments to our morning school time.

You will notice I have only a 4-day schedule.  We meet every-other week with a group families for a history co-op, and we have morning swimming one day a week, so Mondays and Fridays have to blend into each other to form a single day.  Having a 4-day schedule also lets me do things like skip a whole day for an amazing homeschoolers' discount at Legoland, or go on amazing field trips to places like Stonehenge or St Albans cathedral.

Basically, I build in margin because I know I need it!

You will see from the schedule below that Blocks 1 and 2 are pretty much the same for all of them.  Block 3, the individual work varies to allow me to work with children in turn.

Here is the the basic schedule with Block 3 showing what my Yr 7 does:

General schedule for all four kids, plus Block 3 work for Year 7

Compare the Block 3 above with my 9-year-old's Block 3 in this one:

Block 3 work for Yr 4-ish
Just for comparison's sake, here is the morning 3 blocks for "Busy Timmy", my 5-year-old. Note that his Block 2 also includes piano practice, since his math should take a shorter time.  Also, he is finished with his school day once the foreign language is finished in Block 3 for the morning (I will blog later about what he does in the afternoon).

Blocks 2 and 3 for Kindergarten
In my next post, I will show you what I do for the afternoons.

Do I follow my own schedules exactly?  Well, I try to.  They work really nicely when everything goes to plan, but there will be times where we have to miss, alter, ignore, or other such things. Or, times when one of the kids gets so excited about one of their books that they stay up all night to finish it on the first day, and then I have to come up with a new title for that slot.

(I love it when that happens, by the way!)

Charlotte Mason famously wrote that education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life.  I think by grouping the kids together sometimes, having them do individual work at others, and having a schedule to keep us all on track (and start fostering independence), this is one way that our family manages to live out this learning credo.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Whatcha thinkin'? Don't be shy if you've got something to say!