Independence - Assigning more work to do independently

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Julie - Staff
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Independence - Assigning more work to do independently

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

Independence - Younger kids

Threads that might include ideas for keeping younger kids busy:

Other subjects archive:
Unstructured afternoons:
Adapting work for wiggly kids:
Encouragement/help with attitudes:
Daily routines:
Siblings, attention to each one:

Preschool/Pre-K archive (includes combining ages and occupying littles):

Choosing archive:
Tagging along in real families:
Large families:

Independence - Assigning work to do independently

Unread post by cbollin »

KSMomys wrote:My dh and I have 7 children (12yo 6th grade boy, 10 yo 4th grade girl, 7 yo 1st grade girl, 5yo pre-K girl, 3yo twins b/g & 5 mo boy). I bought ECC to do with the older three last fall and we started mid-Sept. Well, guess what, we are only on week 3. I am trying to revamp my schedule and life right now to allow for more in their schooling, but with four little ones who do not do any schooling right now, I have a hard time focusing on our ECC lessons on a regular basis. We end up just doing math and language and I assign 30 minutes of reading.

Now, for my idea. What if I broke down what was scheduled for a week and assigned them to do it independently, like the reading and studying in the different books?

One complication we've had when doing it all together, is when they need to do copy work from one of the books, like Hero Tales, it takes a long time for everyone to do it with only one book. So then everything takes such a longer time then the TM suggests.

I really feel like I'm failing my oldest, especially. He could do things on his own, if I would just assign them. But ECC and MFW is written to be used as a family, so I then feel guilty about just assigning it to him and not doing it together.

I don't know if this even makes sense. Just looking for ideas to help.
This year my 11 y.o does some things independently (but we're in a different year).

Some of the things we've done this year to help get it done... maybe others who have other ideas will jump in with their real life juggling acts :)
*We realize that just because the family is working from the same teacher's manual doesn't mean Mom does all the work.
*My dh does the read alouds in the evening. I usually am not in the room, so I read the book later after the kids are asleep. In the story book life we'd all sit around hearing it at the same time (not our reality).
*We get some of the group things done at breakfast time.
*Sometimes oldest will read more of the history books that I probably should admit and then narrates a lot of it to me. Again, I'm doing some reading in the early hours of the morning before she is awake, so I know what she is reading from the book and am able to discuss it while we do other things. And I'll check her notebook summary to see if she is understanding it.
*Sometimes oldest will watch/deal with youngest so I can work with middle child.
*And.... my oldest loves science. She reads it and sets up the lesson for us. She certainly at this age can go through the grid and help out.
*We've had some weeks that are Tuesday - Saturday when dh can help more. (ok --- we've had some Sunday afternoons too. we don't like it that way, but....)

I don't know if any of my ways of doing it would work for you. But it might give you a springboard to work with. Looking forward to hearing other ideas as well.


Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Hi Kendra,

This isn't really specific to working with ECC, but maybe some ideas for tools that might help you reach your goals, whether they include independent learning or family learning.

I have a close friend who has 5 children, ages 1-9. I know she has struggled with many of these same issues - it's especially difficult when you've got one nursing, one into everything, etc...Anyway, one tool that she has found helpful is a scheduling book, Managers of Their Homes. The authors are a conservative homeschooling family, and Terri Maxwell has lots of good ideas for creating a system that works for your family. Our family also has a copy of this book, even having only 2 children, and though I don't use it exactly as it's intended, I've been able to glean very helpful tips. One word of caution - there is no such thing as a jell-o mold for families. :) It is a tool that can be a huge help, but it can also make you want to be like Terri. While being Terri isn't a bad thing, I'm pretty sure God wants you to be Kendra. ((hugs))

Also, David Hazell does a workshop about occupying preschoolers, and from what everyone has said, it's excellent. You might check into getting a copy of that.

Anyway, God bless you on your journey with Him & with homeschooling. He will not fail you. :)

Paige in NC

Unread post by cbollin »

Paige mentioned Occupying Toddlers while teaching olders (it's listed early in the link under the category For Preschool, K and 1st grade academics)

I'd also like to suggest one that is called Help! My Homeschool is Chaos I listened to that one and was sure MFW had a web cam in my house. (It's listed later under the General categor.)

Help! My Homeschool is Chaos --
Is your homeschool day made up of demanding toddlers and emotional teens, six subjects to prepare for each child, co-op demands, music, sports, falling behind, tears, chores, skipping chapters...and you wonder, "Where is God in all this?" Learn to work together as a family to achieve attainable goals with a fresh outlook and easy-to-implement organizational ideas. Bring sanity and success back to your home, and enjoy the process.

All the workshops...

hoping some of the hints in those might help.
Last edited by cbollin on Sun Apr 29, 2007 3:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

I agree that doing ECC as a family is the best choice. The best way to learn, the best way to teach, and the best way to build family unity.

However, sometimes we are in a season of our lives where the best is not possible. I have seen kids over the years adapt, and I truly believe that if they can see the reasons behind something, they will absorb the changes into their reality as if they were supposed to be there.

This year my dh has been in the hospital for weeks & months at a time. I feel badly since my ds is learning by himself so much -- yours at least have one another :o) However, we have managed. And I think we have stayed much closer than we did 15 years ago, when my husband first had cancer and our kids were in public schools. Surely we are learning more, as well, with this wonderful curriculum.

My ds responds best to a daily list of tasks, either on paper or on the marker board. Sometimes I must create a weekly list, because he cannot do Tuesday's history unless Monday's is done, but he seems to get more done if he has just one day's list & checks it off until he sees he is "done."

When I have time for him, I try to limit myself to doing only the "group" things that he could not do independently. For instance, read Hero Tales or the Bible together, but wait to copy the character trait or verse until later.

We also enjoy doing Bible and read-alouds in the evening, as a family, when dad can participate as he is able. That makes the school day that much shorter.

There are many things my ds has learned to do on his own as needed:
* vocabulary cards & sentences
* copy work
* cursive practice
* math workbook
* math drill
* often an ILL lesson can be done independently
* reading the pages in the science books
* piano practice
* Spanish lesson
* read a chapter
* book basket
* read the Usborne-type history assignment
* practice memory verse
* edits in writing or corrections in math that I have marked
* finish art project that we have read and discussed together
* notebook page

Probably more that I'm not thinking of. Your family will find a way. Remember that in group schools, much time slides by every day and many students are not paying attention anyways :o)

P.S. Also utilize any helpers you have around you. A friend is talking in Spanish with him every Tuesday. Occasionally my mother-in-law has taught a week of history. Other family members have enjoyed teaching a science lesson or going on a field trip or shopping venture for a project.

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Training 4-year-olds vs. making older siblings independent

Unread post by blessed2bamommy »

4Truth wrote:I listened to the CD on Independent Learners, but that was over a month ago and I've slept since then, so I guess I need to hear it again. Meanwhile, how do you actually make it happen? Kayla's (11) doing pretty well with math and LA on her own. I give her the assignments and she does them. I check her work later.

What about history and science? I'm in a place right now where I *need* her to be able to take the ball and run with it... as trying to keep everyone together isn't working very well. Definitely want to keep everyone together on Bible lessons and scheduled read-alouds. But I'm having great -- did I say GREAT -- difficulty doing our unit study stuff together with Leanna (4) in the mix.

Our days go much, much better when the older two take turns doing their work and everyone has a turn (more than just 15-20 minutes) "babysitting" or working with Leanna. As far as Leanna's being quiet and cooperative during unit study time, well, she won't play independently very well. And I've tried every scheduling option I can think of. The only one that "works" is when everyone is separated doing their own thing.

We have some the same ages. Mine are getting ready to be 11, 9, 8 and 4. My older three do everything independently except for bible, science and history. I don't have any suggestions on doing history independently as we are doing it together.

Can you have your 4yo do room time while you do history? Or have your 4yo do assigned toy/play time while you do history. Mark usually plays w/an assigned toy while I read the history to the children. This has worked great for us.

Just re-read your post. Why don't you take some time every day to do training time w/ the 4yo. If you invest time every day for a few weeks, you'll have her playing independently.
Praising Him,
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Unread post by tkbbrl6 »


Mine that are home are 11, 9 and 4. I understand your frustrations and I've been there. My 11 yo dd is pretty independent in most things - although there are days where she is just feeling unsure about things (mainly writing compositions) and wants me at her side to tell her she's doing fine - she's a perfectionist though. My 9 yo ds I have to instruct a great deal of the time bec he's ADHD but then after 5-10 mins of direct teaching he works independently with what I have laid out for him.

Schedules are important in our house too - I'm not extremely rigid but I do have a lesson plan for each dc on their desk for the day and they check off when something is completed and that way they always know what's coming next.

We do our science, history, Bible and read alouds together - the thing to remember with MFW at the earlier ages is that the books in the set are designed to be read by you to the children and discussed with them - while there are some things I would allow my 11 yo to read aloud to her younger brother I couldn't imagine giving her the material to do on her own.

As for your 4 yo - I had to take some time last year to work on training my 3 yo in what I expected from him during school time - he wants to do school too so he had to learn that the classroom was a privilege and to get to be in there there were certain rules/boundaries. I'm not going to say it was easy - he's a little spoiled by being the baby and having been very sick the first few years of his life plus strong-willed is an understatement - but after about a month he finally learned the ropes. And yes, I went through a period of time thinking that I should just go to a boxed curriculum where everyone did their own grade level independently because I thought I could never get anything done with the little one around!

Some ideas -
* I try to do as much early morning while he sleeps bec he's a late sleeper.
* I make him have quiet time where he goes to his room and plays until a timer goes off.
* I frequently do our read-alouds outside while my little guy plays on the play yard the older ones and I sit on the deck or porch and read and talk or even at night when my little one is in bed or daddy occupied - and I've been known when he was younger to take bath time opportunities where I read and did things while he was in the tub bec he could spend 20-30 mins playing in the water.
* My little guy loves to earn stickers, special toy time, working with puzzles, stringing beads, etc. I have a set up in the classroom where he comes in and selects his basket to work with and then takes it to the fam room off the classroom to use it. He loves Wonder Colors - setting him up outside on the picnic table with water colors and paper will entertain for at least 30 mins - books on tape - his own library basket - Kumon workbooks - music CD's on his own CD player w/ headphones of course - a mini-tramp - pre-school computer games - V-smile games - dress-up/make believe corner - and yes I admit certain TV program/videos are staples in our house.

Now you may be thinking, "she'll fly though everything and leave a mess all over" - again train her to put one thing away before getting something else out - my little guy actually lost all his stuffed animals one day for a week bec he refused to clean them up so I came in and calmly placed them all in plastic trash bags and placed them in the attic - it made an impression and now all I have to say is, "The rules are we pick up what we get out - if we don't they become mommy's toys and mommy doesn't need toys so they go in the attic."

I really don't think it's a matter of getting your older kids to work independently as much as it training the little one to do things independently for short periods of time without needing to be entertained.

Another thing I thought of - since my little guy gets up later than my olders, as soon as he gets up and finds me I stop what I'm doing and give him some mommy time. We clean up, make his bed, I give him breakfast and read him a book while he eats, we clean up his breakfast dishes and then he goes to do something on his own and I go back to the older ones.

While I'm taking little brother time the older ones either finish up what we were working on - do book basket - journals - or something on their list that is assigned for their independent work. Even if you all get up at the same time - you could still do this but send the older ones off to do something on their own and spend the first part of the morning doing "school" or play/snuggle time with the little one.

When we take a break I do more little brother time where he gets my undivided attention for another 15-30 mins. And when it's time for me to read to the big kids my little one can listen in or not but he knows when I'm finished with the big kids it's his turn to have a book read to him (often I find the big kids wanting and enjoying listening in on his books!).
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Unread post by 4Truth »

I just wanted to thank you ladies for your wonderful advice! I printed them off and shared them with hubby the other night. We decided that it might work better if I get up and "do school" with the 4yo first. Part of (her) frustrations are needing a routine and counting on whatever comes next. She also doesn't like to be alone... at ALL. Whether it's day or night, playtime or work time. One thing that's habit for her is to eat cereal *immediately* after she wakes up every morning, and she doesn't like to eat alone. But she's usually the first one up, so I'm going to start having my coffee with her at the table instead of on the couch watching news, and read to her while she eats. Then as the other two are rising, getting dressed, doing their room chores, and getting b'fast, I'll do a hands-on activity with Leanna. Then we (everyone) will promptly go do our MFW stuff together while Leanna's very happy and contented.

I've also noticed that Renee plays quite well with Leanna during the a.m. It's later in the day that she's starting to want her to "bug off". So, after we've finished our MFW lessons, I'll have Renee play with Leanna while I give assignments for Kayla to work on independently, and I can do computer while she's working on that. By the time she's done, Renee will be "done" with Leanna (literally and figuratively!), so I'll have them switch places. Then after Renee's finished, everyone's free to do what they want...

I have some new ideas to try now. I guess this is just a season.

I'm also going to implement the white board idea. I actually think everyone will like that! Especially if I "assign" each girl her own color...

Thanks again!
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
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Can I just assign the daily work?

Unread post by kellybell »

Gail wrote:Does anyone have their dc do the program somewhat independently? Can I just assign the daily work (reading, research, projects) if I can't be available for EVERYTHING? (which I can't be - that is why I am so far behind, and I NEED the dc to work on their own more) Does this make sense to any one? Anyone else gone through this?
Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:55 am
I see you have a lot of children over a wide range of ages. That will slow you down! Plus, if you've dealt with a period of illnesses, interruptions, etc., then you can't expect to finish things.

At the ages of your children, I would think that all but the 4 and 7 year old can work by themselves a lot.

I have less children ... and a less age spread among them and it's helped a lot to type up on the computer little check-off sheets for the kids (all but the youngest, she's 7) for the things they are to do independently such as math, language, quiet time (Bible reading), instrument practice, and book basket. And, it's helped that I've trained them to wait until I'm not with another child to ask for help. I really have to remind my 9 yods a lot to "do something on the list."

Regardless of whether you do ECC or something different, it's a great time to teach the older ones how to do more work independently. You can't just expect them to do it by themselves. You have to sort of model it and do a lot of hand-holding before they can do the research, work, reading alone. But, the effort to teach them to work independently is worth it to a mom with lots of kids!

We are "behind" too, but we're learning. I have an idea that no matter what program or curriculum we picked for this year, we'd be an equal number of weeks behind.

This time of year is tough on homeschoolers as we tend to evaluate how we've done and if we find ourselves behind, then we realize that there is no good way to catch up before that end date that we had envisioned so many months ago.

I'm adding you to my prayer list. And, you're in good company as many of us (and many of my local friends, etc.) are struggling with similar feelings and dilemmas.

Pray about what to do for next year; you've got time to be quiet and listen for God's answer. If you do ECC next year, I think you'll find it's easier to keep a schedule with since it's got a series of 2-week lessons. ECC is such a "don't miss" program IMO and nobody offers anything that compares to ECC. ECC is so complete in how it covers geography, culture, missions, etc. After a year of ECC, you and the children have such a great foundation to build that history on!

Also, in ECC you can have your teenagers help set up the cooking, craft projects, and music for the younger ones.

MJ in IL
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Unread post by MJ in IL »

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:41 am

I have 4 children and my husband is also a quasi-farmer so his work cycles and our chores at home add an interesting twist

When I have weeks like this, I tend to make up (probably next week) by doing 1 "day" of history in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. Could you rotate an older child to help do a history reading each day? Or read aloud chapter? Assign a project manager? I have used Sat mornings to catch up on a history lesson - the kids don't mind that with a good Sat breakfast!

I am currently reading the boys' science book to them, giving guidance on the science pages and they are doing the experiments indep. while I make dinner...I'm available if they need me, but they have been doing fairly well so far!

I have had to switch from Marie's schedule (in the guides) which worked well for us last year to having a 30-45 minute "meeting" with each child at the beginning of the day. They then complete their work and I gather the troops for Bible & Hx later in the day. This is working much better for us right now, especially since our group morning start is more difficult with more work to do outside.

We were doing Bible at night together as a family, but right now, that isn't possible because we are outside so late, and then eat so late...

Each child has a weekly list from me on what to finish -- some here use a white board for daily tasks which I would love to try...but I do our verse on it and need another board! The boys are not completely independent in using this, but dd14 is finally doing quite well!

Lastly, my favorite tip...My children wash my kitchen floor while I sit on the counter and read the read aloud. (I rotate them so the 4 year old doesn't get the same section every time.) I highly recommend this! Last time they asked for more so I got the Tupperware cupboard cleaned out too! They also occasionally pick up and dust rooms while I read. They forget it's work, stay focused on the job and I'm getting school done--who could ask for more!
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Unread post by Heidi »

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 8:54 am

I, too, got behind. Hmmm.., let's see - what helped me (this is good faith building for me too)

1) Yes, I do feel called by God to home school, confirmed by my husband's wishes
2) Oh yes, this is a home school - done at our pace, according to the needs of all my whole family - not according to public school academic schedules
3) Are my kids progressing in math, language arts and reading - the 3r's - even at their own pace? (I could answer yes)
4) Am I doing the best I can (working diligently at whatever current task has become our family's priority), or am I letting things slide (not working diligently at whatever current task has become our family's priority) all the time? ( I could answer doing the best I can).
* Here I would like to mention my opinion - Needing to move, illness, maternity needs, toddlers, special needs of kids or other family members, and other unavoidable interruptions - these are priorities that become life skills lessons - just as important as academic.
5) Remember - public schools repeat so much stuff each year that we do not need to do that we have more time than we realize.
6) The turtles win the race
7) It is o.k. to not be able to do it all - train your kids to help with chores, get a babysitter if you can afford it to help with little ones or to get away for yourself (I wish we could have afforded this! This is what many of my friends do), let your husband do one or more subjects in the evening, yell for help (like you did here), find support through local home school groups...
8) Remember - you are not alone - do not let the enemy let you feel like you are the only one not getting it all done in one year every year - I have needed 2 years for ECC/K (but, they are progressing on target for math, language arts and reading)

God bless I am praying for you
Laura D.
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Unread post by Laura D. »

Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 11:23 am

I like all of the suggestions (especially the one about having them clean the kitchen floor while reading!) and wanted to add one more.

I write in the grid in the TM all the math, English, and reading lessons I want the kids to accomplish during the week. I then copy a grid for each child. They use a highlighter to scratch off each assignment they finish. I can then check assignments at night after they go to bed. It is basically a checklist like another Mom mentioned but it is the grid for the week right out of the TM. I usually write in my assignments on Sunday night and they can get right to work on Monday morning. Sometimes it takes us more than one week to finish a weekly grid but we just keep working on it until we're finished and then go on to the next one.

I have also had the two oldest work together (11 and 9) and read some of the material out loud to one another and then give me an oral report as I'm working on something else. I haven't always read the material before hand but they don't know that and I can usually tell if they've read carefully or not by the details they give.

I really just wanted to encourage you to keep plodding along at whatever pace you can and do not become discouraged. There are many benefits to homeschooling that are not academic. Keep praying for support and I hope things begin to look up for you!
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Are you completely available the whole time?

Unread post by mgardenh »

mikesherry wrote:I'm wondering how much you expect from the ages of k and 1st to be able to do independent work. When do you start expecting a child to be able to do simple worksheets, reading or math on their own?

When you have school, are you completely available the whole time or do you get them started with something and do a chore here or there and they come to you when they are done? I think maybe I had this idea (probably from books I have read) that the mom teaches what they need to do for half an hour or so, then the child goes off and does their assigned work. I don't think this is going to be realistic, especially with my dd.
Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:32 pm
That depends on your dc. Some dc like to work some independently. I would say to expect to spend the whole time you school with your children and not doing anything else at first. You will need to be by their side helping them. Then as you go and they learn and gain confidence, your child will be able to do some seatwork independently but you will need to help them get there.

For math I would always teach the lesson but then dd does the math page on her own with some encouragement and a timer. I tell her she has 10 minutes to do one page. I set the time and then encourage her as I am cleaning the kitchen or playing with the 3 year old. My dd daughter now does her notebook writing on her own mostly but at first I was there every step of the way. I do the timer thing for her phonics workpage and her notebook as well.

I think K and 1st is too early to just expect them to do work independently without a lot of help and encouragement.

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:14 pm

When my son was in first, I would get him started on his math & then I could maybe change a load of laundry. Now that my daughter is in 1st, I may help her with a summary page in the Bible Notebook & leave her to draw/color the picture while I load the dishwasher.

So there are times when you've gotten them going on something that you may be able to step away for a moment or two, but I would say that you'll find that more with your 1st grader than with your Ker. MFWK uses very little 'seat' time, and the work is designed to be parent-led.

I have definitely tried to utilize all those small moments of the day that my kiddos are busily working on something to get a little done here & there, but I do make myself fully available. The years are coming that they won't need us like they do... *sniffsniff*

I hope you have a wonderful year & welcome to MFW! :)
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 11:06 pm

I also want to share in the encouragement to spend the time with your kids. Here are my humble thoughts about that:

* Kids in group school get a teacher and other kids. I don't want my child to get less than that, but instead more.

* Because your time with your kids is structured, you will find that you actually accomplish more in your day. Instead of giving "divided" attention to every task all day, you will get "undivided" attention to each task and accomplish more. Kids who have had several hours with mom are going to play on their own much longer and more productively than kids who have had to try to get your attention off-and-on all day.

* Your kids will want breaks during the day. Those happen different ways in different families -- a long lunch, a completely free afternoon, or short breaks every so often. You *will* get breaks. Just don't try to sneak them in and end up not giving full attention to anything :o)

* Children seem to really *see* what your priorities are. When you choose to spend time with them, they see that. When life happens and you need to change your attention to something important like a new baby or an illness, they see that. When you are distracted by any little thing such as a laundry buzzer or a phone, they are paying attention and modeling your behavior...
Cyndi (AZ)
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Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Julie in MN wrote:* Children seem to really *see* what your priorities are. When you choose to spend time with them, they see that. When life happens and you need to change your attention to something important like a new baby or an illness, they see that. When you are distracted by any little thing such as a laundry buzzer or a phone, they are paying attention and modeling your behavior...
Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:11 pm

BINGO! BINGO! BINGO! I learned that the hard way. Why didn't you tell me that before, Julie?!

The neat thing was that when I quit jumping at every phone call or washer beep, and dd would ask, "Aren't you going to get that?!" and I said, "No, you are more important," she really seemed to relax about life. School became the total focus while we were doing it, and then as the year went on, I could say, "I'm going to go put the clothes in the dryer while you're copying your verse," and she was fine with that. If she's not "fine with that" then it's a clue to me that I need to get more focused myself (and it's always true when that happens).
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Expecting #6 in September is MFW doable??

Unread post by tiffany »

momtoaaa wrote:I am expecting baby #6 in September. The ages of my children are 14, 13, 10, 5, 2 and #6 in Sept. I am thinking of doing MFW 1850- modern for my 13 and 10yo and starting my 14yo on the High School Ancients.

My biggest question is can my 13 and 10yo do the history reading and assignments independently? I thought about giving them each a copy of just the assignment sheets and have them work through it. Of course I would prefer to do this with them, but in reality it will not happen all the time. So, I thought the times that I can sit with them will be an extra special treat~smile~ I would still do the read alouds, but just don't know if I can pull all of it off...

Thanks for any advice, or encouragement!! We need a good year!!
We finished up RTR this year. Due to health reasons, on my part, I did have the children do a lot more work independently this time around. Not my preference, but a necessity. My children were 13, 11 and 9 that were working on RTR. I did buy SOTW on CD to break up their reading a bit. It wasn't a perfect year, we didn't keep up with science very well, for example.

Check out my signature and you'll see I can relate to your concerns. As far as I'm concerned, MFW is the only doable curriculum for my family. I didn't want to use computer school or workbook only. I wanted something richer and for the most part we have been able to pull it off to my satisfaction. It will help if you don't feel you have to check off every box. That might have bothered me in the past, but I don't need that level of completion any more to feel satisfied that they have learned something.

As far as baby goes, I think a new baby is almost easier than a toddler. More sleeping and laying around. I'd be worried about Fall of 2010. :-) Get your curriculum early, so you can do all your planning while you are still able.
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877

Re: Expecting #6 in September is MFW doable??

Unread post by cbollin »

Ok. 13 and 10 y.o have done ECC and RTR and are ready for 1850MOD. then with that in mind trying to get my brain going to help you see if the reading out loud is doable or how anyone else would have tweak ideas.....

things that get read aloud by parent:
Bible time - in the so-called ideal, that should be done together (can dad help in the evening before, or during breakfast?)
read Alouds: one chapter a day in most cases in 1850MOD.
History: is an audio version of SOTW vol. 4 an option to help time wise? You'll want some time to talk with them about it. the activity book includes questions.
Science for 10 y.o: can he try to read out loud to you, or something like that. would 13 y.o with a full plate already be able to read it to 10 y.o if needed? can science be done on weekends for fun? (just thinking out loud, not sure I have an answer...)

maybe the better way to ask it is: how much time do you know you can give for direct teaching? I'm not a good clock watcher in terms of we spent this many minutes a day on this subject. But I found 1850MOD to be doable even the few months where I couldn't talk out loud for longer than 15 minutes at a time due to a bizarre reaction to dental work. We'd get the stuff done that I needed to help with and they'd work on other stuff and then I'd have to just watch. then another 15 minutes of me..... My dh did a lot of the read alouds for us. Some of it was bedtime, some was weekend.

looking forward to more helpful answers as the year I did 1850MOD, I didn't have any toddlers or infants. My youngest was preschool and was in outside preschools for therapies. House wasn't clean that year :)

Julie in MN
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Re: Expecting #6 in September is MFW doable??

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I was just wondering how well your 10 & 13 yos work together?

The science in 1850MOD and Apologia General have a lot of parallels. How about them reading the 1850MOD book together, and doing the General experiments together (rather than the 1850MOD experiments), and the 13 yo just having the extra General reading part on his own?

As for vocabulary, we just used the science words for spelling/vocab in 7th grade. There are dozens & dozens of new terms to learn, and they actually are good words to know in general, so we doubled up that way.

Also on the read-alouds, some of those chapters in Across Five Aprils are lengthy, so what about your 10 & 13 reading those to one another? These books add SO much, and there's lots to share aloud with someone else and have a chance to discuss some of the deeper topics like slavery and war, but you wouldn't be doing it all. Your dh might even enjoy reading a couple of them to the kids, if he's into history like my dh.

I totally vote for the SOTW CDs. We use those and just hit "pause" when ds comes to a part in his outline. You will still want the book open to see the maps & any pictures, or to search back for things, but the CDs are a nice luxury here. You can also get some of the read-alouds on audio, such as Sergeant York. I don't know what your library might have, too.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Julie in MN
Posts: 2906
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

anyone have their kids read most of the books on their own?

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Keer wrote:I'm considering an experiment of sorts. My oldest (finishing up 6th grade - will start 7th in Sept.) prefers for me to just give him his list of things to do and then have him do them on his own. He seems to learn better this way also (though this is why it would be an experiment, regardless of what he prefers ;) ).

I'm considering having him read the bulk of it on his own. Has anyone ever done this sort of thing? Did you still read some aloud? He's not a super strong reader, but he does OK (he already does science on his own). Did you add in any sort of narration or notebook pages that isn't assigned in MFW, to make sure they were actually reading/comprehending? Did you just discuss? Etc.
Hi Kirsten,
I don't prefer to have my son read history or Bible on his own, but I do know a handful of families who do this successfully.

I think you would have the advantage of also reading the same material to your younger 2, so you'd easily know what topics you wanted to discuss with your older son -- in terms of your own values and faith issues. You could even jot them down as you're discussing with the youngers. Maybe you could schedule a "Friday conference" like the high schoolers do?

The notebooking in EX1850 is a little more scheduled in, so that will help with keeping track of his comprehension. For my 7th grader, I even added a notebook page or two along the way, but again that would be easy for you to figure out since you're reading the same materials as he is. (I also often mentioned ds's notebooking in the Ideas board, when it was fresh in my mind, so that's another resource for ya :) )

Hopefully he'd also participate with the family in the activities & games, which help with review, also.

The one problem might be sharing books?
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
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Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:21 pm

Re: anyone have their kids read most of the books on their own?

Unread post by Keer »

Knowing him, he'd most likely do his reading in the morning, whereas we do it in the afternoon, so sharing wouldn't be a problem. We already do that for science.

I's definitely not my preference at ALL. But hey if he can absorb more by reading it himself than by me reading aloud to him, I'm willing to do that for him.
teaching ds (10th), ds (8th), dd (7th), ds (4th), dd (3rd), and dd (K)
keeping ds (3yo) and dd (1yo) out of trouble
Julie in MN
Posts: 2906
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: anyone have their kids read most of the books on their o

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Keer wrote:But hey if he can absorb more by reading it himself than by me reading aloud to him, I'm willing to do that for him.
Well then if you've already explored other options, such as having his own book to read along or taking notes while you read aloud (that's what I do as a visual learner), then I think that homeschooling can work in many ways.

I think some kids just start needing some time by themselves for a while. It sounds like your family is bustling with activity, and my ds would LOVE that but I probably would want some time by myself once in a while ;)

I'd just make sure that both he and you have a firm plan in place for discussing things, because otherwise at my house it might dropped when time is tight. Because as you get closer to modern history, there's so much to discuss.

Bless you for caring for each of your children's individual needs.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:21 pm

Re: anyone have their kids read most of the books on their own?

Unread post by Keer »

He's just never been a read aloud type - distraction/time alone really isn't a factor.
teaching ds (10th), ds (8th), dd (7th), ds (4th), dd (3rd), and dd (K)
keeping ds (3yo) and dd (1yo) out of trouble
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Re: anyone have their kids read most of the books on their own?

Unread post by bunnytracks »

yes I have done that before. I let them read and then either write a short paragraph on what was read or tell me orally.
Proud wife 14 years to my Air Force man.
Homeschooling mom of 5 (4 boys and 1 girl)
I have used MFW ADV, ECC, and K
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Re: anyone have their kids read most of the books on their own?

Unread post by HSmommi2mine »

I have done this for periods of time. My son learns better when he reads to himself so it works well for us at times. I do generally expect some kind of output after the reading. I might have him simply outline (a la WTM) what he read, write a summary or respond to questions about the reading. This helps me to know that he has read and understood what he read, as well as giving him writing practice.

He is old enough that he gets his own copy of the Assignment grid and works from that.

Wife to my favorite guy
Mom to 3 great kids
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