Productive activities - Unstructured Afternoons

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement
Pylegang
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:45 pm
Location: Virginia
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Re: Does anyone use any "extras?"

Unread post by Pylegang » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:41 am

We do devote about 15 minutes per day to memory work. Our Latin program has a really cool activity book that has lots of critical thinking-type activities. My boys both enjoy doing that.

We do Math drill work, but I don't consider Math Drills an extra. I count that as part of our math time. :-)
--Angela
Homeschooling classically since 2000--DS grade 6 and DS grade 4.


NJCheryl
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:08 pm

Re: Does anyone use any "extras?"

Unread post by NJCheryl » Mon Mar 07, 2011 6:33 am

I have never added it in., but I keep thinking I should get some type of keyboarding program. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them

Cheryl

TrustingHim
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:04 pm

Re: Does anyone use any "extras?"

Unread post by TrustingHim » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:10 pm

We add on Map Skills. We always have. I just buy Teacher Created Resources book for the appropriate grade.

More recently, we've added in Critical Thinking Skills and Test Prep skills (we'll be doing standardized testing with our oldest this year).

However, like Julie said, we "SUB" things out. We're doing science at co-op this year.

If you're adding something in that MFW is already providing, than I'd pray about whether or not you NEED to do both.

Blessings!
Dorinda
Wife to an exceptional DH for 17 years
Mother to 2 Girls; 14 and 11
Used: EX-1850 & 1850-MOD both with the 2nd/3rd grade go-alongs and ECC with 7th/8th grade go alongs
2014/15: Ex-1850 & AHL
Psalm 118:24

beaglemamma2008
Posts: 60
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:37 am
Location: Southeast Texas
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Re: Does anyone use any "extras?"

Unread post by beaglemamma2008 » Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:50 pm

Jamie wrote:I forgot about our math drills. We use Calculadders......We laminate them, then the kids can use the dry erase markers.
I absolutely LOVE this idea! I've owned Calculadders for over a year but haven't ever started it because I don't want to print a ton of pages and waste my ink and paper, but this will definitely solve the problem. Thanks for the idea! :-)
NJCheryl wrote:I have never added it in., but I keep thinking I should get some type of keyboarding program. If anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them
I don't know about too many keyboarding programs that are out there, but I blindly purchased Typing Instructor for Kids Platinum through a Scholastic book order and have been very pleased. FWIW, I used to teach high school technology classes (including keyboarding), and from what I can tell, this software presents the keys in a very logical order. It even starts with a lesson on correct posture (giggle giggle ... typing that as I sit with feet propped up and wrists flat down on the keyboard tray!) and the basic structure of the keyboard (diagonal line down the center that divides it in half).

Dd has only completed the lessons that cover home row so far, but after a total of about 1 1/2 hours (we do 15 minutes per day), she knows them without looking. Now, her speed is another issue ... 4 wpm ... but she's only 7, so there you go. ;) And her accuracy is 100%, which is where I would focus with an elementary aged kid anyway. The speed will come with time! :) Anyway, dd thinks it's loads of FUN as they have all kinds of games to complete along the way that help them improve their accuracy and speed.

I have also heard good things about Dance Mat Typing, which I believe is free online, but I haven't used it personally.

HTH! :)
Jennifer, mom to:
Hannah, 8. Finished and loved K, 1st, & Adventures. Currently loving ECC.
Millie, 5. Finished Pre-K and K "lite." Currently playing her way through K "for real."

http://www.trainingthemup.blogspot.com

my3sons
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:52 pm

Re: Does anyone use any "extras?"

Unread post by my3sons » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:50 pm

In answer to the OP, we have added the World View curriculum from Apologia and Calculadders. I have a couple of other things that I bought (etiquette study, Bible/character studies), but honestly, I have had trouble finding time for them.

MFW is wonderfully written and I just get stressed if I try to add too much. Maybe over the summer I can do those other things! :-)
Jamie wrote:I forgot about our math drills. We use Calculadders......We laminate them, then the kids can use the dry erase markers.
I like this idea as well. One question- is it hard for the child to write legibly in those smaller spaces with a dry erase marker?
Mom to all boys, ages 15, 13, 11, 5 and 1


2014-2015 - ECC
Previously completed K - 1850 to Modern Times

RachelT
Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: Does anyone use any "extras?"

Unread post by RachelT » Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:17 pm

Hi! Yes, we have added in some things. We have used Visual Perceptual Skills and Mindbenders books from Critical Thinking Co. We do math games and drills and have a variety of those. We have also found success with using Handwriting Without Tears for handwriting instruction and practice. We also have Typing Instructor for Kids Deluxe and it is great! My son has used it for almost two years and can type well. My daughter is now using it to learn the keys. We use the critical thinking, copywork, and math drills in our workboxes in the morning so that I can take turns working with each child on their math and I have them do their typing or Spanish while I am working individually with the other on reading/spelling/English later in our day. All of these don't take a lot of "extra" time. They just give more variety to the kids and help me to have something for them to do when I need to tutor the other child.

My children also take lessons on musical instruments and one is in ballet classes and the other is in a children's choir.
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/

Jamie
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:04 am
Location: Montana

Re: Does anyone use any "extras?"

Unread post by Jamie » Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:33 am

my3sons wrote:I like this idea as well. One question- is it hard for the child to write legibly in those smaller spaces with a dry erase marker?
We use those small dry erase markers. We have found that the black ones are the color that works the best, and can wipe off more easily than the other colors. We just use an old sock to wipe them off. The laminated sheets do need a good, extra cleaning every once in a while (with water, glass cleaner, or whatever works). :)
Jamie
Married to my sweetie for 16.5 years
14 ds, 12 dd, 10 dd, 7 ds, 4 ds, 1.5 dd
MFW K, ECC, CtG, RtR, Ex to 1850, & 14 yo currently in 1850 to Modern

Jami
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2008 1:43 pm

Re: Does anyone use any "extras?"

Unread post by Jami » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:34 pm

Not much.

I've added a Bible commentary to our Bible reading so we can all get a better understanding of it. We use Jon Courson's Application Commentary. I still use the Victor Journey through the Bible as well though. They also do Awana though our church.

We've used BBC Dance Mat Typing before, although not very consistently.

And math flashcards.

Other than the everyday learning lessons that they find, that's it. I love MFW and think it's amazing how they seem to have chosen everything with my kids in mind. ;)
Jami - AF Wife

8th, 5th, 3rd, 1st, Pre-K

2014/15 ECC
2013/14 1850MT & 1st
2012/13 EX1850 & K
2011/12 RTR & 1st
2010/11 CTG & K
2009/10 ECC & 1st
2008/09 ADV & K

ilovemy4kids
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:08 pm

13dd finished 13.1mile 1/2 marathon!

Unread post by ilovemy4kids » Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:14 pm

I'll tell you, if it wasn't for the ease of use with MFW (which my 10th grade son is using), we wouldn't have time to do all of the things we do...

DS15
Eagle Scout (YEA! got it in June)
National Homeschool Honor Society
Varsity Football - defensive lineman
Track and Field - shotput, discus, and javelin
NASA INSPIRE

DD 13
American Heritage Girls
Junior High Volleyball
Track and Field - just about everything
Cross country nationals coming up on Saturday
in addition, my dd13 just finished a 13.1 mile 1/2 marathon in 2:12:09! I'm so proud of her! She came in 7th out of 20 in 17 and under females and she was the fastest of all the 13 year olds!

Thanks everyone, and thank you MFW!

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Need ideas for activities during school when curr. is done

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:59 pm

BHelf wrote:I tried searching but I obviously don't do searches well. :) Julie, I've seen several times where you posted about setting school hours for your son. You have also given list of things that are okay to choose to do during school hours in the actual curriculum is finished. Could you find some threads on that for me to read over? Also what are your school hours?

And if anyone else has any ideas for school time activities, I'd be grateful. My kids are 9, 5, 4, and 15 months. School is torture in our house...mainly for the 9 year old that I constantly have attitude issues with. (having to bring out my MFW1 TM and go over Proverbs verses with her all over again. Helping a little...)

Thanks!
Brooke
Hi Brooke,
I think this link is the best one to start with. Further down on that page, I gave a whole list, back in the day when I had a 3rd grader :)
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 1829#p9770

I can hunt around a bit more after I pick up my grandson. Meanwhile, let us know if you have more specifics after reading that big ol' thread :)

Julie

Adding more:
Computer skills, Typing http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=9272
Health, Safety, Phy ed http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3300
Holidays, Elections, Olympics http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3439
Cooking? http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=5948
And of course there's Rosetta Stone http://www.mfwbooks.com/products/M50/100/0/0/1
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Need ideas for activities during school when curr. is done

Unread post by BHelf » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:00 pm

Thanks so much! Reading through that has been extremely helpful! Even though I don't want to, I think I am going to have to implement school hours. I am finding that my children mainly argue about doing school work because it interferes with "their" time. And the ones who begrudgingly comply, are only getting through it so they can go back to free time. I want them to enjoy learning and not try to get through it as fast as they can. I also don't want to take away their play time and fill it up with school as it is extremely beneficial to them as well. So I think I need certain hours that they are expected to be doing school things and other approved activities and then when that time is up, they are free. I like the white board concept that Julie wrote about...need to hang our white board up. :-)

Okay, so now I have some thinking, planning and nailing holes in the wall that I need to do tonight. Hopefully, I can kick this cold so I will feel like even having structure to our day, which we really need! Oh, and hubby goes to Latvia in a week, so my enforcer won't be here to back me up. Yikes!

Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com

hsmomof2
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:25 pm

Re: Need ideas for activities during school when curr. is do

Unread post by hsmomof2 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:09 pm

I recently watched some of David Hazell's conferences on Youtube, and I highly recommend the "Help, my homeschool is in chaos!" seminar for helpful advice on how to get your homeschool and children under control. He had many suggestions that I plan to implement in our homeschool when we start late summer. I don't know how to link a website, otherwise I would do so, but if you search the title in youtube it will bring it up (its in several different parts). I would recommend watching it after the kids go to bed.

BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: Need ideas for activities during school when curr. is do

Unread post by BHelf » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:10 pm

Thank you! I appreciate all the information. Lots to think about. :)

Tomorrow will be our first day with school hours and my list of things for them to choose when curriculum is done. Here's to hoping there aren't too many power struggles. ;)

Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Need ideas for activities during school when curr. is do

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:47 pm

For me, it was a power struggle the first time, so don't be surprised on that. But if you stick to it, then there won't be new battles to fight each day.

Also if possible, model the behavior by doing the same thing yourself -- do only school during school time. If you're pulled away into this task or that, then they will be watching. Of course you have a baby with needs, and kids understand necessities, so those things will happen. But I recommend trying to do stick to school during school hours, at least at first. And looking at it from the other end, try to do all your correcting and prep and clean-up and everything else related to school during those school hours, so you can look forward to the break at the end of school hours, too :)

Oh, and note that I never assigned anything independently, even reading a new book, unless we had already done some of it together.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: Need ideas for activities during school when curr. is do

Unread post by BHelf » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:57 pm

Well, today went pretty terribly, to be honest. Not the schedule's fault. Just lots of bad moods all around. I gave my oldest a list of things she could choose to do independently while I worked with my other two and my son had such a bad attitude that school took until lunch time with him. (he is only K and we were only doing half of one day's lesson...it was a mess but I made him keep it up because he was just having a bad attitude.) Plus, the baby was crying just about the whole morning unless I was nursing her (I'm her pacifier, too, since she refuses to take one) which makes it hard to anyone to get anything done. then after lunch I was so exhausted from the morning that I just made them read books and work on some things from the white board. I couldn't even bring myself to teach my DD.

Baby crying again...

We'll see how tomorrow goes.

:)

Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Need ideas for activities during school when curr. is do

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:44 pm

BHelf wrote:Well, today went pretty terribly, to be honest.
(((hugs))) for having one of those days. I've had too many of them to count. I think you did the best that you could and you will start again tomorrow. Blessings on being so honest.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Need ideas for activities during school when curr. is do

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:44 pm

Brooke,

{Hugs}

Must be something going around today. Three whiny kids (but no nursing baby), so right there with you. I had one cry every subject change today. Sigh...

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

disneymommy
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:10 pm

Afternoon free time options?

Unread post by disneymommy » Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:53 am

I am trying to put together a list of options for my kids in the afternoons. My plan is to school in the morning, lunch and then a short rest time (book basket during rest maybe?) and then until 3 or 4, they'd have free time with a list of allowed activities. Basically, I want to avoid TV and the "I'm bored" whine. Not sure if there is a list somewhere here in the archives that I'm not seeing. Here are the ideas I've come up with so far:

-Play outside
-Rosetta Stone Spanish
-Practice piano
-Use any of the coloring/sticker/workbooks on our shelf
-Woodworking
-Sewing (or knitting, crochet, needlepoint, etc.)
-Cooking
-Play with baby brother
-Read
-Play a game

I'm thinking that if we skip some of the activities in the teacher's Guide, I will set some of those up as optional things.

Other ideas? Thanks!!

MelissaB
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Afternoon free time options?

Unread post by MelissaB » Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:57 pm

Might add a craft & painting day? :)

Noticing that you have exactly 10 ideas... You could have a two-week chart (5-day M-F) where each activity is assigned on a certain day. It would take the decision-making process out each day ... Making life a little simpler. :-)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

disneymommy
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 3:10 pm

Re: Afternoon free time options?

Unread post by disneymommy » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:10 pm

I like the idea of a rotating schedule, especially with messier things or projects that need help/supervision. Hmmm. I will have to think about that. Maybe a list of every day options and then a "special" activity certain days.

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