Schedule - Do you follow MFW grid? How do you teach several?

Art, Foreign Language, Music, Nature Walks, as well as general ideas and encouragement

Schedule - Do you follow MFW grid? How do you teach several?

Unread post by cbollin »

Time - Do you follow MFW schedule? How do you teach more than one child?
blessedmom2 wrote:In the sample grid for Adventures, it starts off with Bible and going down lists spelling, english, history, etc. Is that the order you are supposed to do the subjects? Does it matter what order?

Can someone tell me what a typical day is like? Are you mostly on the couch, or at the table, or back and forth?

How do you do math with both children at once? I guess I am more worried about math and LA than anything else, because they both need teaching. I am not sure if I should set aside a time for "math" where they both do math at once and I try to go back and forth, or better to do one on one....

I know some moms do all teaching of one child at once, like they set aside one hour and teach their first grader math, reading, phonics, etc all at once and then the child goes and does the seat work needed. And some do it by subject. I am not sure yet what we will do. I have been teaching mine one at a time. Thanks!
You do not have to do it the order that is listed.

I typically go from Bible to history, and then go back to the individual subjects of math/language arts.

One child has always done her math/language arts before starting the other things. She's an early morning person.

We're back and forth between tables/sofas/floors.

There is a section in the Teacher's Manual called "Help! How do I fit everything in?" that gives a sample suggestion for moving through the morning.

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Unread post by kellybell »

We basically run things like Crystal does.

We do Bible first, with everyone, including those "too young" for whatever MFW "big" program. They listen in and catch what they can.

After Bible is history, then we move on to individual subjects of math, LA, book basket, "quiet time" and (for us) music practice. I float between the kids and find that I am busy the entire time. During this time, I teach little kid programs (ie. K) too. It's hectic but that's probably due to my lack of organization.

In our family, we have "kid of the day" so each of the four kids has a day to pick and prepare lunch and make any other choices or go first on anything. This year, I'm going to expand it. So, for example, I'll sit down with Mary on Monday and really go over her spelling, LA, math, and even violin music. That doesn't mean that other kids can't talk to me that day, or that Mary can't ask a question on Tuesday, but it does mean I get really on top of each child's independent work once a week.

ANyway, after this time of independent work, we have a short (20 min or so) recess. Either they go out back or they go in the basement and blow off some steam. The kid of the day has an even shorter recess and then comes and makes lunch (with my help) and plans next week's lunch for his or her day.

After lunch, we usually finish up with science and either art or music appreciation (ie. the music in MFW, not our individual practice) and chores which I assign daily.

Hope this helps.
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Teaching math and LA with MFW

Unread post by Amygirl »

Just my two cents here...I would recommend ALWAYS teaching math and LA separately to each child. We do that by having the others doing independent work while I'm doing the actual "teaching" part of the math with one child, and then while that one is starting the "practice" part I go on to the next child.

The book basket will coordinate with your history and science but doesn't have to be done at the same time. So if your children are both reading well, you might have one start on the book basket while you teach the other math, and then switch.
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Unread post by jwood »

My typical day:

Start the youger program, currently K while older clean from meal.

Everyone in for Bible, then I go down the list and do everything except the seperate stuff...Math, LA, Foreign Lang.

Often we save the projects for Daddy.

We school at the dinner table so all four of us are together. I have my older two on each side of me and when one does PLL the other does Math etc. My youngest comes and goes as the program interests him.

Book basket time and read aloud often times occur in the hour before bedtime after they are ready and in bed.

When one needs special help, I send the other off to do Rosetta Stone.

That is the typical day schooling three =)

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Unread post by kellybell »

I agree that LA and math demand individual attention but I don't know if I agree with the strong "always." Some of our best math and LA learning has happened (sometimes spontaneously and sometimes planned) when my two older have been combined on something.

I find it really refreshing to put aside the math textbooks once or twice a month and just have fun playing a math game together or learning about math-y things like Fibonnaci numbers. Or, maybe reading one of those Sir Cumference books from the library (and explaining the terms afterwards).

And for LA, sometimes we skip PLL and ILL and read a poem together or review spelling rules together. Other times, we discuss literary devices that we find in a book (similes, foreshadowing, etc.) or look for all the prepositions in a book together. That's a nice break too.

So, while I agree that each child needs lots of individual attention with math and LA, it's sometimes fun to explore these areas together.

In kindness,
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Unread post by southernshae »

Okay, please don't laugh ladies, but I actually do pretty much go "down the grid" teaching my 1st and 2nd grader with Adventures.

We do Bible either during or after breakfast. Then we do spelling, English, and math.

I usually reserve history for reading aloud at lunchtime. The children do any notebook pages after history, and I help get them started for a few minutes and then they are free to draw their illustration, color it, etc.

The Read-Aloud is done before they go to bed and I usually read parts of the book basket books, too (they LOVE the selections and beg for me to not stop). "Reading" time is done for about 30 minutes in their beds.

As suggested in the TM, I take dictation selections from what they are reading (they love this). My dd is reading the Felicity books from American Girl as we are studying the colonial time period. My 1st grade ds just picks books he's interested in (usually about frogs :) ). It's *way* too hot for much of a nature walk right now :(.

My 1st grader is using the Spelling by Sound and Structure that is recommended and last week, I had my older child give him the spelling test because my 3yo was sick and needed me *right then*. It worked out great and the older got a kick out of being the "teacher."

This is my second year with MFW (used 1st last year) and I've NEVER felt overwhelmed with this curriculum and look forward to teaching it every day. I also have an identified "gifted" older ds who is in ps and his area of interest is history (eats and sleeps with history books)... he has *thoroughly* enjoyed listening in and I provide him with the more challenging books from book basket as well as with the classic book recommendations from the back of the TM. It works for us!

Julie in MN
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Days off

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Kim wrote:I like the TM and how we have a weekly schedule, but I'm wondering how to manage if we take a day off.

For example, if we take off on a Monday because its a holiday in the neighborhood. Do I just swith Monday with Friday's nature walk day?

Looking for ideas of how you all have managed your scheduling in the past....I like looking at my TM's weekly planner, but if I skip Monday then my planner is going to be confusing to look at...does that make sense?

We always start school after labor day so we always have to juggle those first 2 weeks. But usually I can either:
- switch with the light Friday,
- or, often there are several light days at the beginning, and I just try to come out even by the end of the 2nd week.

There are also 2 free weeks during the year. You could gradually use those up when you have a free day here & there.

But I agree about it making more sense in my head if Monday is the first colum on the page LOL! Therefore, I usually save the free weeks for times when we have at *least* 3 days off of school, for whatever reason (field trips, illness, family visits, trips, etc.). If we do any school those weeks, I usually go back & find things I have marked with a sticky note to do "when time permits."

Last edited by Julie in MN on Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by Brenda in PA »

I ignore the day of the week and just use a 5-day cycle, beginning the first day of school. The days listed in the directory then, instead of "Monday, Tuesday" become Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5 - with Day 5 always being Nature Walk day no matter when it falls during the week.
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Unread post by Lucy »

Most of the time I am just able to rearrange the week so that we get everything done within the week. Once or twice in the year I will take 2 weeks to finish one week. Since we have those extra weeks like Julie mentioned it all works out. So just push everything over a day in your mind and finish up on Friday.


[editor's note: more on the topic of "Making up for interruptions, holidays, sickness" here:
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
Julie in MN
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Schedule - Do you follow the order on the weekly grid?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Poohbee wrote:We have completed MFWK and are going to use MFW 1st this coming school year, so I am not yet familiar with the grid system of lesson plans Adv and the 5-year cycle.

When looking at the weekly grid for lesson plans in Adv and the 5-year cycle, the subjects are in a certain order in the grid from top to bottom. Is that kind of a suggested or recommended order in which to teach the subjects by the Hazells? Do you teach the subjects in that order, or do you mix it up and teach them in an order that works well for you and your family? Is there a reason that they are listed in the grid in a certain order?

Just wondering about these things as I look at those weekly grids. Thanks for any input you can give me!
In Christ,
Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:37 am
I think the Hazells worked out an order that succeeded in their home, then took into account suggestions from pilot families, and finally offered us a pre-planned schedule that we may use if we wish.

Some years they decided math was better in the morning when students were fresh. Other years, they decided math was better after lunch when some fun stuff had been accomplished & so that different students (especially older students) could take different amounts of time.

To me, it feels like a natural plan, with natural changes each year, so I pretty much stick with it. But everyone using MFW has a different family circumstance & is able to flex the schedule to suit their needs.


Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 12:42 pm
Many times we don't even do it the same way from day to day. I try to stick to the order in the grid, but I shift it to make it work for me, not against me.

In my ideal world, we'd always start pleasantly around the breakfast table with Bible time and dad would cheerfully lead us.... In my real world, I have an oldest child who sometimes hates mornings. So she might start with science on those days or book basket and then have Bible time. And dad is just rolling out of bed at 7:59 to be at work at 8:00. Good thing his office is located in our house! Besides, God's word is central to us, not *just* something at the breakfast table.

Then there's the times that we are still doing school at lunch time. And we do read alouds in the evenings or when dad comes down for lunch. (no... we don't all eat at the same time. He's a computer geek and forgets sometimes.)

There are some days on the grid that I am really glad that we do go in order. But when that doesn't happen, it's still a good school day.

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Unread post by 4Truth »

Posted: Sat Jul 14, 2007 10:27 pm
I've done it both ways. Like the others said, it just depends on what phase a particular child might be in (growth spurt and hungry every 10 minutes, or just plain cantankerous and needing lots of discipline) or maybe I stayed up too late (who, me?) and didn't get going on time in the morning. And sometimes, depending on one or more children's academic needs at any given time, I may or may not be able to have them all doing language arts at the same time.

That said, I like having the schedule there for me. On my non-thinking days we just need to get school DONE, I can follow the grid and not try to remember what's next.

Either way, we've had several subjects/activities that actually get done simply because they're on the schedule. Love it. :o)

Working in spurts - will this hurt us?

Unread post by cbollin »

Mercy wrote:I have noticed that we tend to work in "spurts" more than on a daily basis. What I mean is, one day we will just keep working and do three days of math in one day or finish the week's history in one day, etc. Maybe it's a discipline issue that I can't stop in the middle to switch gears, but it just seems to flow so much better for me. I keep an eye out for how the unit seems to flow and usually do the things that "go together" together. For instance, when the bible and science interweave, I do those at the same time or when the read aloud and the history lesson work together, I make sure we do those together.

Do you think this way of doing school is going to hurt us as we go along in MFW? Am I doing a disservice to my children by presenting the material this way? Thanks in advance for any insight you can give.
Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 8:40 am
By year 5 it will become harder to do it that way. :) Year 5 is just a longer school day for those who are Jr. High years.

In 1850-MOD, there is a lot more to cover and a lot information to learn. We have more historical records, so we know more. Most days are packed full. I REALLY enjoy the ones that are lighter (such as Friday and some of the Tuesdays where you review the states/capitals with games.) do I sound like one of those people who looks back and thinks "I miss those days long ago when......"

The science information is a lot in those little pages. We’ve had some weeks where we’ve tried to play catch up in science and it ends up not working. It’s a lot of information. You’ll understand when you get there. There is a lot of science vocabulary and concepts and if you do too many of those pages in one day, it is too much. It's a different schedule. Not all weeks are like that, but many are.

History is a lot more than “just reading SOTW”. The older kids are doing more writing with it. So, I’ve drawn the conclusion that it is more important to have my daughter doing the built in language arts that is part of the history instead of just jamming full steam ahead to read another page or two. That’s what book basket is for and she can do that on her own. But the outlining and writing is important too and I see the value in having her write a little every day instead of over combining too much in history reading. And many times the amount of out loud reading in SOTW 4 is just more to do than it has been in other volumes. That's ok -- the kids are getting older and need more, right? In other words, the extra pages to read and keep going just a little more mom, are already part of the program.

The Bible lessons – yes, we liked sometimes reading an extra story in Tales of Persia, but decided not to so that we could read something every day. And same with Witnesses to the World.

We were still able at times to read ahead in read alouds. That didn’t change much :)
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 11:12 am
I think I would agree with Crystal in Year 4 as well.

Year 4 so far is not more work for us (tho I just have a 6th grader in week 5), but I guess I'd say there are more details to keep straight as history gets closer to the present.

If we did 2 days of history together, then I'm afraid my ds would mix up the Plymouth Colony and the Massachusetts Bay Colony, etc. Ds might be fine with summarizing them all together, and maybe if he were younger I'd be fine with that. But *I* know that some of those names & events are very well-known & I'd just as soon he got them straight, if possible. So teaching them one-by-one on different days works better for his comprehension, I think.

Note: Luckily I have MFW to help me with this in an organized fashion. Otherwise, I'd be scratching my head, myself :o)
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How do you plan your MFW day?

Unread post by RJ's Momma »

armywife03 wrote:I was wondering how everyone plans their MFW day. Do you do bible, history, science, art/musica all at the same time? Or do you break it up throughout the day? Do you typically do the three R's first... or MFW first? I am thinking of starting the day with bible, and then work on the kids' reading/writing/math. Then do history/science... and art/music later after a break.

How do you all plan your day?
We mostly follow the grid. The one difference is that we will start with Bible and then do the read aloud. After that we mostly follow down the grid. Sometimes it varies, like when we have an art/science project that has been anticipated, we might do that earlier in the day.

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Re: How do you plan your MFW day?

Unread post by TriciaMR »

We did ECC this year. We did Bible first, and then geography and science. Then my dd did "independent work" for a little while while I did preschool stuff with my little guys. Then English, Spelling, Language Arts, and Book Basket. After lunch, we did math and reading, and art and music (when scheduled) while the little guys had a quiet time. That worked well this year, and toward the end, the little guys started joining in on Bible, geography and science.

Next year, I think it will be different... Not sure exactly what, though.

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Re: How do you plan your MFW day?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

We mostly follow the grid, which seems like it was used in real life. Plus it has some variety from year to year. But I probably have some tweaking. Here's what our day looks like now:

1. Bible & singing (in younger years, I started with a "meeting time" and then Bible, because younger kids are up playing before school, so I didn't want to say, "Stop playing & do your Bible!"

2. Next some of his "language arts" -- basically do something un-fun and independent, while he is fresh in the morning, and to break it up over the day. Usually I go over a stack of such things & then say he must do one of them now (assign a chapter in independent reading, copywork, pages in his 7th grade grammar or book study, etc.). Can you tell my youngest doesn't like doing stuff all alone ;)

3. Now something together or something he thinks is more fun like read-aloud or history. When he was younger, we did read-alouds at bedtime, but now he doesn't want to do that any more :(

4. Back to a subject he has to focus on more, such as math or 7th grade science.

5. Music, art, & Spanish are at the end of the day & only get done if time.

Even more important than the order at our house are these 2 things:
a. School hours -- we're going to do something educational (or family/service-oriented) from 8 to 2:30.
b. Preparation -- all books are accessible and pages marked (I love those sticky tabs, but scraps of paper work too).
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Re: How do you plan your MFW day?

Unread post by SandKsmama »

Our first year, we followed the grid pretty much all the way down. But when I added a second and then a third student to our day - that didn't work well anymore. SO, the last 2 years, I've found it successful to start my "big" kids on whatever they could do independently while I worked with the younger one. Then, when I finished with her, I moved on to the next oldest on their "3 R" work until they all 3 were done. After that, we took a short break, and then moved on to the Bible/History/science/read aloud parts. It worked for us!

Now, this coming up year I think I may have to tweak again as my children are all getting older, and we've added a new baby to our family, so we'll see what happens then!
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Re: How do you plan your MFW day?

Unread post by Mommyto3boys »

We start with the Bible time and RA. Then my oldest does about 1 hour of independent work while I work for 30 minutes each with my 1st grader and preK (They get 30 minutes of educational computer time when I am not working with them). Now we break for snack. I read history and we do art/music and any history project during this time. My preK ds loves to join in on these fun activities. Then I work with my oldest on anything needed. My 1st grader has maybe 15 minutes of independent work to do and then he plays with his younger siblings. After lunch, we go outside for a break. Then my dd takes a nap. During this time, I finish up any school time that is needed for 1 on 1 and I do science and science experiments. Then my oldest finishes any work remaining on his own. I also read to my preK ds or we may all play games.


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Re: How do you plan your MFW day?

Unread post by kellybell »

Actually, Marie H. planned my days when she wrote the TMs. :-)

We eat breakfast and all, then get together for Bible and prayer and do all the "together" things together and then the older kids work separately on LA, math, violin and chores. I float around helping them, spending most time with my youngest.

Well, that's what we do in theory...
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Re: How do you plan your MFW day?

Unread post by 4Truth »

I will add that I've tried to schedule our days in different ways over the years, but I always come back to just following the grid in the TM because it *works*. Naturally, there will occasionally be interruptions or one child needs more attention than another, but generally speaking, we get the most accomplished by simply following the grid. You can tell that someone who's BTDT wrote the lesson plans. ;)
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Re: How do you plan your MFW day?

Unread post by cbollin »

tends to be
youngest gets some work in with me, oldest and middle doing something independently
Middle gets time to work with me on things like language arts and, oldest somewhat watching youngest
Middle and Oldest together and going down the grid the rest of the way
Middle done
Oldest finishes her stuff, some attention to the youngest
read alouds at night

then some weeks we're straight down the grid and everyone is on language arts and math at the same time - oldest is old enough to work on those on her own, middle needs my attention and youngest is somewhere. Then on those times, fun stuff like geography (history) science are there to help have more fun finish to the day.

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Re: How do you plan your MFW day?

Unread post by armywife03 »

Thank you all for sharing how you schedule your day. I think going straight down the grid makes a lot of sense to me ;).
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Re: How do you plan your MFW day?

Unread post by LA in Baltimore »

Chiming in a little late...
Oldest one (High School) works independently through the morning.
I work with three youngest...

First we do Bible and any History that is involved with Bible.
Then we do Language Arts as written in TM. I send them off with any seatwork that Bible/LA presented.
Then, I call each child for their math lesson with me. When they are done they go back to their LA seatwork as well as their math workbook. I just rotate around until everyone has had their math lesson. If they finish their work before I am done, they do book basket and/or music practice (in another room :-) )
If the morning doesn't look too full we do music appreciation as written in the TM.
By then, it is time for lunch prep, eating, and a short break.

After lunch we do Science/History and Read Aloud.
Then, I spend an hour with my High Schooler going over his day. It is often less than an hour, but this gives us our special time together each day! Sometimes we chat when we are done about whatever is going on in his life. (While we are doing this, the younger ones all have a rotating time of reading, typing on the computer, and Rosetta Stone in another room.)

I save Art Lessons for Fridays as well as any music lessons (Recorder, Piano, Trumpet) and Nature Study and Nature Notebook.
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Re: How do you plan your MFW day?

Unread post by tsinclair »

I have one going into 5th and one going into 3rd. Unfortunately neither of mine can (will?) work that much independently yet. :~

So, I start one child on math and english while the other one does typing and some reading. Then we come together and do bible, history and science. Then the first does typing and reading while the second does his math and english. We rotate the days (Mon 5th goes first - Tues 3rd goes first)

It might sound kind of crazy, but I have found it works for us. :)
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