We have been working on minimising the chaos that can occur here. This week we have implemented my ideas (No.3) regarding no interruptions, ironing out the rules and strategies. I thought I’d share, as talking to my homeschooling friends this week I realise we are not alone.
The interruptions that occur are all related to missing material and uncertainty regards what is required. To combat this, after prayers we spend time making sure everyone has their material at hand and that all are clear in regards to the entries on their expectations sheets. To help this we make certain that books are put back into the same spot daily. Having a formal time set aside ensures that we give priority to this time before we start work.
I am now having an individual half an hour with with my 7yr old and 9yr old respectively. At the end of both of these times I come back and touch base with all for five minutes to answer any questions or problems. Then the last half an hour before morning tea I divide between my 11, 13 and 15 yr olds where needed. Truly it is amazing how much less time is wasted when they are separated and productive. Work is taking one third of the time! In fact most of the work is being done before morning tea! I’m going to have to look at this, but that’s another post;)
So what are my 4 and 2 yr olds doing? One of the biggest factors of this success is my new Fun Time for my littlies. My middle children are their ‘teachers.’ Both the ‘teacher’ and the ‘students’ are loving it!
We are working on half hour blocks, Einstein is teaching maths and colours, Jelly Bean and Jack Jack love it and they are learning so much already. Einstein is so proud of what he has taught them and always gets me to listen to a review of his lessons. Smoothness is ensured as maths materials are gathered into a basket and included are printed/laminated activities.
Then it is Princess’ time to host a craft lesson. She just makes us laugh, she arrives all ceremoniously and says Miss M_____ has arrived. If Jelly Bean calls her ‘Teacher’ she is corrected pompously with Miss M_____ please. (Even I have been corrected)Lol. (Little House on the Prairie’s influence;) The secret to this lesson is having all printed and cut out if needed. Extra craft materials and paper are also gathered into a basket in case more is needed for the time period. Teacher and students love this time.
Michelangelo takes them outside for ‘physical education.’ The first day he arrived in Dad’s boots and bellowed “The Commando has arrived, outside now!” (courtesy of The Biggest Loser) they quickly ‘fell in’ outside. It was uproariously funny. He likes to have a different routinue every day and prepares well for his time. He has had them doing ball skills, catching, throwing, dribbling, cross country runs, nature treasure hunts and navigating obstacle courses. He works them hard and they love it!