Welcome to Day 2 of a 5 Day Hopscotchfocused on Large Family Living
Yesterday we talked about 2 of the 5 keys to Homeschooling a Large Family in Part 1 which are obtaining guidance and our need for a plan to enable us to joyfully homeschool our children. Today I hope to make you think about what your doing and why, as we discuss curriculum, preschool and keeping it simple!
Use the SAME Curriculum for EVERYONE in our Large Family
Okay, start breathing….. but just so you know I am very serious about this. You are not a short order cook or a short order teacher. Just sayin’ 😉 Each time you use a different curriculum you create a lot of work for yourself (learning the new curriculum) and for your student. So I say unless a curriculum is a complete BUST do not switch. Don’t switch just because you hit a rough patch work through it instead of trying a new curriculum. Learn to stick with the one you’ve used for 5 years and know like the back of your hand.
Now does this mean NEVER EVER, EVER SWITCH…no, I have a child with autism and she uses different curriculum then the other kids. I also have a child that uses a different spelling program, but other then that we all use the same curriculum! Your goal is to stick with the same curriculum for as many children as possible (even when you get bored with it, yes I said even when YOU get bored with it) . Use it until you know it so well that when your kid asks you a question you know the answer to problem 5 on page 152 because its the 3rd, 5th or 10th kid who has asked that same question. 😉 Here is a post from Heidi at Starts at Eight that discusses “ What to do when a curriculum just isn’t working“.
My point is that common homeschool wisdom is that if a curriculum doesn’t work we should just switch, I disagree. I think we are too quick to switch from one curriculum to another. We want to use what our friends are using or there is that new homeschool curriculum and it is the latest and greatest so we MUST switch. Nope stick with your tried and true curriculum and your life will be so much easier!
Now could you have your husband paypal me a $20 gift card to Starbucks for all the money I just saved him. 😉
Okay I know I just rocked your world when I said have everyone do the same curriculum. Well here I go again meddlin’ in your business.
Large Families Should Make Preschool a Priority
Yep, I said it….make Preschool a priority.
Remember those High Schoolers you’ve been training to work independently well they should be “Self Propelled” Independent learners by now moving forward in their studies on their own. But Preschoolers and (pre-readers) all need loads of attention to get even the most basic tasks completed.
I should know, I skipped a preschooler once and that is a mistake I won’t make again. This particular preschooler was extremely bright and caught up. But the difficulties we had with reading and math could have been avoided if I had just completed a SIMPLE Preschool program. I strongly recommend Rod & Staff’s ABC Preschool Program. I can recommend it because I have used it with 4 children. It does not require planning, copies or printing hundreds of activities; I’ll never do anyways. Additionally, it only costs $20 to get all 7 books. You simply open the books and do the work . My preschoolers have really enjoyed coloring, writing, cutting and pasting. If you are able to work through these work books your little ones will be well prepared for elementary school and you will not get frazzled in the process.
Then make a list (because we need a plan…remember yesterday?) of all the cute stuff like finger painting and letter of the week that you want to do and do it as you have time. But work diligently through their little curriculum program.
Large Families Should Keep it Simple
First, you will want to find simple ways to work other subjects into your life, for example buy audio curriculum & books, and instead of reading it to the kids listen to the audio while you are doing chores, eating lunch, driving or whenever the kids are a captive audience. You can find lots of things on audio that will keep the kids learning during normally idle time.
- Mystery of History Audios
- Librivox GA Henty (Historical Novels)
- Apologia has their Elementary Books
- Word Up Vocabulary (an excellent and engaging Latin Course)
Think about the gifts you purchase for your children perhaps you have a science minded child get him Elenco Electronic Snap Circuits, Jr. Kit, or a child that loves History a set of GA Henty books and so on. Have your children take classes outside of your home in carefully picked co-ops and in classroom settings. Think creatively about music lessons have folks come to your home to teach classes, if you have 4 piano students a teacher may be willing to come to your house to teach for 1/2 a day. We had a piano teacher coming to our home for 3 years, for 3 students! Finally, here are some posts to help you Easily Add Classical Music & Art to your homeschool if you want to.
Finally here is the post How to Thrive while Teaching a Large family from my friend Sara at Classically Homeschooling because we should all thrive in our chosen vocation.
Don’t forget to give your self a break and remember that you are only 1 woman ! Homeschooling a large family should not be a burden, it can be one of the greatest blessings in your life. And it is definitely a sanctifying experience! By the way now it’s time to subscribe so you don’t miss any of my wonderful posts