I’ve been having a very frustrating time since September trying to get my homeschooling schedule to work. There are so many distractions and interruptions with all these little kids running around! My goal was to start Bible Time with the whole group at 9 a.m. and then move onto math (Math-U-See) or science (Exploring Creation With Astronomy) with the older boys. But I had so much difficulty getting there! So after talking to my husband we decided that we need to give the older boys some independent work. I had previously tried to do almost everything with them, but that’s not practical anymore, and there has been too much down time.
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I looked at Sue Patrick’s Workbox System and got some ideas. Kendra at Preschoolers and Peace does it like this. Here is another idea, with some very helpful pictures. However, one thing I noticed is that the system seems to lend itself to working well with lots of workbooks and worksheets. I’m not a workbook/worksheet person! And, I don’t want to fill my kids’ day with busy work, just so they are doing something, rather than just playing!
But I figured out a way to get my boys to do some independent work that isn’t busy work and fits my Charlotte Mason/ Teaching the Trivium style. I still want our focus to be on "Ten Things to do Before Age 10"!
So, here is my idea. I printed out a sheet which lists their daily independent activities for one week at a time. There are some for the morning and some for the afternoon. They will get to choose what order to do them in and then circle the letter of the day of the week when they have completed it. Whatever papers they need will be included in the binder, too, such as copywork, copy of the picture for Picture Study, a notebooking page for Picture Study, and the poem they are to memorize that week. All the morning work will need to be completed before they eat lunch. That should be a good motivator! Then, when I’m ready to work with them on Bible, math, or science, they can take a break from whatever they are doing and then get back to it when we’re finished.
Morning Independent Work
Bible Study Fellowship–daily lesson and practice verse (before breakfast)
Morning Hygiene (brush teeth, vitamin)
Morning Chores (dishwasher)
Violin practice (20 minutes)
Spanish (listen to lesson 2, tracks 3 and 4)
Classical music–listen to "Mercury" by Holst
Read one chapter daily of Mathematicians are People, Too, vol. 1
Narration–find Mom and narrate what you just read
Read a book to one or more of your siblings
Recess–15 minutes of free play in basement or room
PE– 2 Tapp Core exercises or run 10 laps in backyard
Memorize poem– work on it for 5 minutes daily
Math fact practice (9 addition tables)
Picture Study (look at artwork for a couple of minutes, write or draw about it)
Copywork (10 minutes)
Afternoon Independent Work
Read novel of choice for 30 minutes
Play a game with brother for 30 minutes
I’ll let you know next week how it goes!