Combining with older grades - Help

Using MFW Preschool & Pre-K Packages, as well as occupying babies and toddlers while teaching
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Combining with older grades - Help

Unread post by cbollin »

Time management with young children
rachel wrote:I was wondering- does anyone- especially those of you who have been there and done that (homeschooling with multiple very young children- Kellybell?)- have any ideas or advice for doing this? I have what I thought to be a good routine but it never actually happens- completely. I'm ok with not having a perfect day- but I think I am still expecting to much or something, I don't know.

Just needing additional perspective and ideas. I read these great posts about productive afternoons and I can't fathom having my afternoons free in the first place and that is just doing MFW1. Yes, we have a busy lifestyle- and maybe that is part of the problem. But still, I feel like I am missing something!

Any ideas or suggestions? THANKS!
MFW1 with daughter(6); son(4); twins (3)
Have you heard David Hazell's talk Occupying Preschoolers While Homeschooling?

good tips in there. In case you didn't know this part.... he was the stay at home dad, while Marie worked full time in a school. He was at home with 4 children. Ages 7 (or 8)and under -- including an nursing infant! That meant he had to load up the kids to get the baby to mom.

order info for that workshop.

Keep a good sense of humor --- they're only young for a few decades. :)
rachel wrote:THanks! Also, how about just basic routine of the day/week. I guess I was just wondering how the day went for any of you who have done this - what you have found to work and not work.... what you would have done differently.....

On a previous post someone wrote something that I hear a lot, "enjoy them while they are young because they don't stay young long". I hear this a lot and I really take it to heart. I am just wanting to know how to have more time to enjoy my babies (I know I've hit some kind of record with having 4 in 3 years, but still)- it seems like I hit the day running and don't stop until they are in bed at night. Maybe that's just the way it is!! Please keep posting if you have any thoughts....
Rachel.... sorry I was so brief. I meant to include something we do. But I looked over and the kids were playing with packing peanuts and decorating the tree. so I'm not sure I'm qualified to say what works. But I'm in a chatty mood. so why not jump back in.

On days when my preschooler is home here are things that have worked a bit (my youngest attends a developmental preschool). She really wants to be in the middle of what we do and recently really wants the oldest child to play with her.

As much as possible, I use the play time to my advantage. Oldest will snuggle and play peek a boo with youngest while I do read alouds or just work with the middle child with individual tasks.

When possible, the youngest has her set of markers to draw on the white board while older sisters are doing seat work.

We try to have youngest looking at books or at least doing something that is similar to older sisters when possible.

I keep lessons as short as possible and I'm not afraid to do some things after supper if needed.

As much as possible I give the youngest a good 10-15 minutes of my time before starting with the other girls. Then she just runs off to keep happy for a while.

I'm looking forward to Kelly's ideas too.

Posts: 473
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unread post by kellybell »

Well, I wish I could be of much help. Today has been one of those days where I feel like writing for help, except I'm too dog-tired to ask!

When we first started homeschooling, the ages were 9,7,nearly-5, and 2.5. I wasn't nursing and we were either done with diapers or awfully close (my youngest has been a challenge in nearly every way, but not in the toileting department -- I guess every kid has at least one endearing quality).

I found that sometimes it was best to just go with the youngest's schedule when it came to school. Work it into naps. It's easier to do housework with the littlest than to do school with her up...

The closer I stayed to the ECC TM, the smoother things went. There were times I deviated so that we could go somewhere, read a certain book, expand on a study, but sticking to the TM helped a lot.

Also, I planned our hardest school (the time when I knew I would be needed most) to coincide with video time for the two youngest. I would purposely choose a video that the two older thought was dumb and babyish so that they wouldn't want to watch it too. Yes, little kids need to limit their video time, but if you do video time at all for the toddlers, having it coincide with tough school work is a good use of time.

I really really lowered my expectations for a clean house. When the two older went to school, the house was basically picked up and the chores were kept up with. Once we started homeschooling and there were five of us home to dirty, clutter, and mess up the house 24/7, the house went downhill quickly. Sometimes I get jealous of my friends whose husbands work in the home, but then I realize that if my dh didn't work outside the house there would be SIX of us messing it up full-time!

I also abandoned many of those fancy recipes that I always wanted to try. Maybe when all the kids move away? We have now settled into a collection of halfway healthy, very easy to make, and not too messy recipes that we rely on. One-dish wonders. Perhaps we could start a thread of household hints and easy recipes. Our budget doesn't allow us to eat out that often (and when we do, it's courtesy of coupons -- last night all six of us ate at Chik-Fil-A for $5.50).

I try to do my "spring cleaning" in the summer when we are more relaxed. It doesn't take long for the cleaning to undo itself, but it feels good to get a nice start to the school year.

I am trying to train the kids to do chores. Sometimes I do have to go behind them (secretly!) and wipe down what they missed (usually the OUTSIDE of the toilet -- I never figured out how that gets so filthy). My 10 yo and 12 yo dd's do their own laundry and I think the 8 yo is ready to learn. Since we get cheap-o clothes at the thrift store, there's not too much they can ruin (and in the last two years, I cannot think of anything that they ruined in the wash). Having them pitch in at home is a big help.

Finally (saving the best for last), I simply pray for the strength to overlook the mess, keep the house moving along, keep my joy when the kids are acting like barbarians (we are studying barbarians right now, and they sure resemble the kiddos), etc. God wants us to just tell him how we feel and confess our shortcomings...

God is NOT surprised by your circumstances (of course, He authored them!). So, He wants you to more than survive.

Hope some of these ideas help.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).
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Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:50 pm

Unread post by rachel »

Thanks! I especially like the reminder that "God is not surprised by my circumstances; He authored them."- and I am praying that we learn to do more than just "survive"!

Thanks again,
MFW1 and "preschool" with daughter(6); son(4); and twin boys(3)
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:29 pm

Unread post by caod »

H Rachel,

I am now leaving the really small stages. My girls are 6 and 7. I think looking for organization was something that I longed for and never managed until now (not that I am grand about it now). I realized on this side of it that organization with preschoolers is not a true possibility but more of a pipe dream.

None the less, we must dream and a few things that I did learn was that if I could manage to get up, and get myself organized the day was much better. In other words, similar to what the fly lady proposed: Out of bed, make the bed, and dress before you walk out the door of the bedroom. Even great to have a chore at that very moment, like put in a load of clothes and swish the toilet. At that point you feel like you haven't wasted an entire day and it is only 15 minutes past wake up time.

If you can manage that then if your youngest is in first grade you grab her to to some school, 10 minutes, whatever can be done and by breakfast you have a hole in the day. None of this may work for you, depending on your wake up times and your kids personality. But I have learned that the mornings can be a ton of wasted time and if you grab it and use it before anyone has a chance to think you have gone a long way into something worthwhile with the day!

As others kept telling me, it does get easier. Yesterday I told my girls to make up their beds (after washing the sheets). They did it!!! Wow! What a dream! Train those kiddos now. Your hard work pays off.

Michelle in WA
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:30 pm

Unread post by Michelle in WA »

You know, I think it depends on the temperament of your kiddos. Mine are 5, 4, and 19 months. During MFWK time I have my 5 & 4 at the table, or on the couch. The 19 month old likes to sit in my lap or stand on a stool and draw on HER paper (or mine, whichever is closer :) ). I have a box full of math manipulatives, and she plays with whatever we are not using during math. Or she wanders away. If I really need to not be interupted, I'll put on a video for the two littles.
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 4:50 pm

Unread post by rachel »

OK, I know I have been stuck on this subject for a few days..... But, after much prayer and encouragement from you all, just thought that I would let you know that I will be trying a new thing! I am going to start the day making sure that I ask the Lord to guide me (I pray a lot but I need to be more intentional about that part).

Then, I am going to leave my instructors manual out (MFW1) and go about my business of whatever needs to be done/ meeting the needs of my family/church family/extended family/take a break (you get the picture)....

Then, when children begin to get restless, or there are opportunities (I'll be on the look-out for these) - I will just work my way through the day as laid out in the manual (maybe even take more than a day if needed or get more done if appropriate).

The way I had structured my day- it was I think great ideally and great some days- but way too micromanaged for "real life" - especially with young children..... (most likely a "pipe dream" as one of you noted). There are so many basic obvious needs at this stage that sometimes when I try to stick to my "routine"- I miss the forest for the trees.

So, not that I'm asking for chaos- there are some basic things that we do that work well that I will stick with (and I really like that "flylady system" for housework)....

But, in case there are any other mothers in the same scenario(or close to) as myself... I'll let you know how it goes!! (I was also adding some things/changes to the curriculum and I'm going to try to just stick to it for a while...)

Doing MFW1 with daughter(6); and my own "alphabet preschool"(may give that part a break) with 3 sons, (4) and twin boys(3)
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Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 6:18 pm

Schedule issue with 4 y/o, 2nd and 4th

Unread post by mrs_mike98 »

My third child is only 2 1/2 years old right now, but what we do is this - while I am working on LA or Math one-on-one with my oldest, my #2 plays with #3... while I am working on LA or Math with #2, my oldest plays with #3.

This all happens AFTER I've given #3 20 minutes of undivided attention, doing "school" (taking him off by himself and doing puzzles, singing songs, etc.). Before I started giving him that period of attention, he was a wild child, always interrupting, getting into trouble for attention, etc. Now that I've been devoting that time just to him alone, he's alot happier to go play with his brothers for a bit.

I bring them all back together for MFW, and even though #3 is only 2 1/2, I let him do everything the olders are doing - just scaled down... coloring, cutting, glueing, etc. When we read aloud, he can sit next to me as long as he likes, and if he wants to, he can get down on the floor to play quietly. If he can't play quietly, he gets to sit in his room by himself until reading aloud is done - he hates that, so it's good motivation.

Have you tried giving your #3 some undivided preschool-with-mom time? Also, make sure that you take the time to help her understand what you expect from her during school time - if she can play, but needs to be quiet, teach her this and be consistant about requiring it. If you want her to sit still for a few minutes, start small, a few minutes at a time, and gradually increase it, with lots of praise at the end, and consistancy. Recruit your older DC to help, too, by playing with her when you need one-on-one time with one of them.

HTH! :-)
Erin, blessed mama to 5 boys :-)

Re: Schedule issue with 4 y/o, 2nd and 4th

Unread post by cbollin »

I have a disabled child (autism) whom we *have* to send to preschool. Let me tell you something very honestly and very bluntly ---- sending them away to preschool does not necessarily mean it will make it easier.

It's a lot of work to get started with school, take the kids (all of them because they are not old enough to stay home by themselves), drop off the preschooler, make the older children stop playing with the preschool toys at the other school (!!!!), pick up that gallon of milk on the way home, and then get back home and start school up again, only to stop school and then get the kid from the other place and come home. Praise God -- we only live 10 minutes drive from the school. Praise God that this year my husband changed jobs and is working from our house and I can leave the older children at home because they are not alone.

But it is not easier. I've been doing that for 3 years now and I am so glad that we only have 1 more year to go. Yes, I still get MFW done with my other children. It is doable in my real world. I am not against outside schools. I'm just telling you --- it doesn't mean it is easier just because I drop the autistic kid off at an outside school.

This week my autistic kid is not in any of her schools (she attends two separate schools in addition to speech therapy). It's been fun watching her hang out with us in the school room. She heard her sisters doing something. She wanted to be in the middle of it. Praise God! Do you know that 1 year ago she wanted nothing to do with us? She wants to be in the middle of it all.

I give her markers and let her write all over that white board. She plays her little computer game over on my computer in the school room. She looks at book basket books and turns pages in her sister's notebooks. Why do you want to miss out on those moments?

I just totally agree with the others who said give her 10-15 minutes of her own school day. Invite her to join in on all of the fun activities in ECC --- don't you dare do those without her at least being invited to join in. Get her to pray with you for those people groups, ask her to play the geography game and do some crafts with her in Global Art.

Instead of spending who knows how many dollars each month in daycare/preschool tuition look at getting MFW PreK program. It's cheaper than tuition. I'll be happy to post about suggestions for how to use that program. It just might help you to pull her into your school day and learn to be a part of your family education instead of being pulled away. What about next year and the year after that?

You see, I've watched some homeschoolers at my dd's disabled school think, "If we just send the youngest to a real school then we can teach the older ones." One homeschooling family sent their 3rd child to my dd's class but he was a "peer model" -- in other words, he doesn't have delays. They stopped midway through because it was tearing apart their homeschool. I watched another family send the middle child, again as a peer model, to that same school so that mom could try to teach the oldest. Again, same story --- it didn't help their homeschool or their family. So --- if you and your husband decide that school away from home will somehow help your youngest child to be able to function inside your home, please know that you can change that decision if that goal isn't met.

I feel like I'm on a soapbox about it. If you and your husband decide it is best to let her go to preschool --- that's ok. I said I've been using outside schools for several years. There's nothing wrong with that. I have my goals in mind and those schools are answered prayer. I'm just thankful that I only have 10 more months of back and forth driving 5 days a week plus. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. And thank you to the many, many ladies on this board who have been and still are praying for my little girl. Thank you and pass me a tissue box please.

off my soapbox.

very warmly,
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Unread post by 4Truth »

The other gals gave some great suggestions... especially the part about individual "preschool" time with her before starting with the others. In the past, I've not been very consistent with this and paid the price with my 4yo "demanding" attention.... in a very negative way. However, I purposed to spend time with her FIRST each morning this year.

My schedule beginning next week includes several 15-20 minute time slots of *someone* having 1-on-1 time with Leanna each day. She'll start with me in the morning, and then at various times during the day, each sister will take turns playing with or reading to her.

In the meantime, I have a list of several different things she can do independently when I'm having to work with both the older girls. Because she is so demanding personality-wise and we have obedience issues to work on, I've chosen things that I know she loves to do for those times that I can't give her the attention she wants. The Leap Frog Letter Factory videos is one of them. Play-dough is another. Dollhouse dolls, playing in a sink with water, preschool matching games, and the preK "toys" from MFW are all things that she enjoys doing. She can't really do puzzles yet by herself, as those problem-solving skills just aren't there, but maybe your girl can. My oldest did puzzles like crazy at that age.

When we do our reading and history and science projects, she's right there with us. I give her things she *can* do at the table with us like coloring, stickers, cut-and-paste. She has her own 3-ring binder that she puts her "projects" in, too. This makes her really feel like she's doing school with her big sisters. Okay, reading time is a little difficult. She doesn't have to sit still (she can play quietly), but she does have to be quiet and that is SO hard for her! We're doing constant correction in this area. Like one of the other gals said, if she refuses to be quiet when necessary, she has to go to her room. She hates being isolated, so it's amazing how quiet she can suddenly become when threatened to send her to her room!

You just have to find what *works*. Sometimes it's not the best choice... or maybe not the choice we think is supposed to be the "best"... but you do what works. Within reason, of course.

I did entertain the public school idea briefly! But all the things Crystal mentioned about logistics, time involvement, and how it would affect the other girls running back and forth and *interrupting* their school work rather than *helping* it... it just wasn't a good option for us. Every time our schedule starts to get a little hectic with outside activities, I'm reminded of what doing that EVERY day for preschool would be like. Not to mention parent-teacher meetings and other school events. It just wouldn't be worth it to me. I think I'd end up feeling really tired and resentful. I know we sometimes feel that way having our "strong personality" children around us all day... but I honestly don't think taking them outside the home when you don't *have* to would be any better.

The Lord constantly reminds me of Leanna's middle name... "Joy". It was a joy when He brought her into our family... and that's exactly why the MFW curriculum is so perfect for us. It really is meant to include the whole family, and I pray and purpose every day for it to be a joy to include our Leanna. I am NOT saying you don't take joy in having your 4yo around... I'm just saying I know how sometimes it can maybe not feel so joyful....
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

When I began using MFW1 with my son 2 years ago, my daughter was 4. Very active & very much not wanting to be left out. A friend suggested a "school box" just for her.

I filled Halle's school box with coloring books, fresh crayons & pencils, small puzzles that she could work at the table with us with minimal help (I can brainlessly put all the edge pieces in one spot...), the LeapPad Math Desk, books on tape w/headphones, the wooden bears where you choose the tops/bottoms to go with the boy/girl heads, lacing cards, an alphabet practice wipe-off board, etc. I also had a couple of preschool workbooks in there that I got out when my son was working independently. She also enjoyed drawing on the chalkboard. :)

Many days, Halle was with us at the table for school the entire time. There were days though, when she was just done & I'd excuse her to go play in her room for a bit. Still, I believe God was totally faithful in helping us find our groove that year. When Hal started K this past year, she was totally ready for 'table time' because she'd done it. Even if it was in smaller doses.

That year, the school box idea really helped us. I realize that 1st grade doesn't require nearly the time ECC does, and that you will possibly need more to occupy your 4 year-old. But maybe this could help be part of your solution? I wish the MFW-PK had been available then...I would've loved having it in my box! ;)

I hope you have a wonderful year in MFW!

PS - I PRAYED a lot about Halle being at 'school' with us. Two weeks before school began, she fell in love with was like God's personal little blessing for me. Even if your child doesn't like to color, God will hear you when you call out to him. :) Be encouraged!
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Unread post by tkbbrl6 »

As the mom of 4 ranging from 4-19 i can empathize with you. But I wanted to say what some others already did ----that is if you and dh feel led to enroll your littlest in pre-school then that is what you should do ----but don't assume that it will make teaching your others any easier. Have you considered what your schedule will actually look like on the days of pre-K: if you school in the morning you are just getting into a routine and then have to stop and fix lunch and then load everyone to go drop off at pre-K then go back and get in the house and re-start the school mode and then stop again to go pick up. I've done something like that before and for my kids school was never as good on those days bec of the stopping, starting, and running - and quite frankly my mind was on getting the dc to school/therapy and not as in-synch with our homeschool.

My 4 yo was three when we did ECC this past year - and the terms people use to describe him are "wide open" "busy" "never still" "head-strong" "strong willed" - you get the picture.

Does your dd take a nap? Are their particular shows that she likes that are on during the day that you allow her to watch? What about children's videos? What about computer games? What about puzzles, manipulatives, beading, a project box, etc.?

Like others said, sometimes it works best to spend a little morning time doing Pre-K with the youngest and then give them independent things to do while you school with the olders.

Another option - my littlest slept the latest so we did school while he slept - then my olders did independent work while I had breakfast with my little one and some snuggle book time - then he'd watch Diego and Dora while I worked with my others.

Read aloud was for all during lunch - book basket time I read or worked with my little one while the big kids read.

He always had access to paper, pencils, the white board, bins with manipulatives, etc.

When I had kids that napped I did a lot during nap-time with the older ones.

One note - we did go through a period of a few weeks where I really had to work with ds on appropriate behavior to be allowed in the classroom - he was head strong but so was I and while it took intense "training" he finally gave in and came around to mom's way was the only way bec he wanted in the classroom! It won't always be easy - but for us it's easier to have all together than doing separate schools/programs.

As for including with ECC - my little guy loved talking about the maps with us, listening as I read about the various countries, listening to the songs (we also included the Geography Songs CD and I gave him his own workbook that he colored in and followed along singing the songs). I also added in some animal books that related to the various habitats we studied and he followed right along. The neat thing about MFW is learning as a family.
Wife to dh for 13 years
Mom to ds (19) Sophmore at USC; dd(11) Level 7 USAG gymnast; ds(9) Green belt in Karate; ds (4)Still waiting for a pet buffalo or lion
Using RTR

Unread post by cbollin »


You might also want to listen to a MFW workshop called something like Occupying preschoolers while teaching older children. You can follow this older thread for workshop information

• What Can I Do to Get My Preschool Child (Age 2-7) Ready to Read?
this combined workshop talks about Occupying Preschoolers as well as Teaching them to Read. Young children need structure and security. They need to feel they are part of the family. How can we design school for older children that does not isolate the younger ones? How does a special but short "school time" help young ones "get ready" for school? Hands-on teaching of many concepts can broaden their readiness without pushing young children.

Even if/when a child goes to a outside preschool class they aren't at that location all day. So the tips and hints in those workshops can help for all of the other times.

Jenn in NC
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 2:00 pm

Just want to add a short thought...

Unread post by Jenn in NC »

You have gotten so many great responses already, there isn't much to add. (Crystal I love your honesty in things like this.) But I did want to give you some book titles that have been helpful to me in this regard. Maybe they will help you too. My middle ds and my 4th child both have very demanding, people-oriented, high-action personalities and it is a constant stretch for me, so I understand!

Valerie Bendt's book, Making the Most of the Preschool Years, is WONDERFUL. It is chock full of practical helps -- and the intro section is more of a philosophy of the preschool years that I have found indispensable when I am burned out, out of ideas, and totally forgetting why I am doing this. I reread it a couple times a year or whenever I need fresh inspiration.

You have probably read Susan MaCaulay's books (For the Children's Sake, and For the Families Sake), but if not, they are very helpful.

June Oberlander's Slow and Steady, Get Me Ready -- lots of good ideas for this age range.

Also, Preschool Ideas in a Bag, (someone correct me if I am getting the name wrong) -- you can download this online, or they will send it to you. I just got this and my eldest is going to help me put the bags together. It looks really good.

We just finished doing ECC with olders and including a preK-er, although he was five, not four. He really enjoyed it for the most part, and had other things he could do when he got bored. But it is very doable. He has his own notebook of maps, etc., and he actually learned more than I thought he would.

HTH! And I am praying for you as you make this decision. It is a difficult one.

mommy to four boys & two girls... and another boy on the way :)
completed K, 1st, ADV, ECC, CTG and RTR
2009--2010 Enjoying Exploration to 1850
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Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Unread post by Lucy »

I just had to pipe in and say that I am so amazed that so many of the suggestions that you have received are very similar to what MFW suggests to do with pre-K-ers. I agree that the 4 year old will enjoy a lot of the ECC stuff, so even if you go with sending her to pre-school I would include her in that part.

I think listening to David Hazell's tape as Crystal suggested would also be a great help. MFW does sell a pre-K package that is as someone mentioned their school time. You may want to look into that as well.

wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.
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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:12 am

Unread post by madlib1210 »

This is my first year homeschooling. We are doing 1st grade with my dd 6. I also have a 2 1/2 yo dd that wants to be a part of everything.

One thing that has worked really well so far is to have my 6 yo "teach" the lesson to the 2 1/2 yo. We give the toddler a small lap size white board and the 1st grader will explains to her the letters, numbers, etc that we learned for the day. It is a great way for my older dd to get in some review and it makes the 2 1/2 yo feel like she has school time as well.

I have also found that my 2 1/2 yo loves when I use the Lauri toys that came with the preschool package as our math manipulative. Many of these are great for illustrating math concepts and younger dd thinks it's so exciting to see her toys used in school. For us it has worked best to include our toddler as much as possible.
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Unread post by LizCT »

I wanted to toss something out there that is tangentially related to dealing with young kids and your homeschool. My then 4 yo dd (now 5) was very difficult in the past year - very challenging. She had not been so difficult when she was younger - in fact she was generally sweet and compliant.

Now, I realize that some of this has to do with "being 4", but two months ago I read a book entitled "Is My Child Overtired?". As I read the book, light bulbs were flashing all around my head, as I realized that my dd was not getting enough sleep. A 5 year old child, as a rule, needs 11 hours of sleep each night. My dd was NOT getting that much sleep. We have pulled back bedtimes for her and for her older sister (7) and her behavior has improved dramatically. I can see the difference on nights when we are out late or stay up later than the new bedtime.

This discovery is causing us to very carefully evaluate our night-time activities planned for this coming school year.

Just thought I'd throw that out there into the mix. I hope it helps someone.

Liz in CT
Posts: 334
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 11:59 am

Unread post by 4Truth »

Wow, Liz! My dd will be 5 in October and doesn't get nearly 11 hours of sleep! She stopped taking naps about 10 months ago because she couldn't get to sleep at night if she napped during the day, so I figured she was one of those kids who just doesn't need as much sleep. And yet her behavior seems to say otherwise, so then we thought it was a food issue, but can't find a solution there, either.

I'll have to see if our library has that book.

The preK package that MFW sells has been mentioned... I wanted to note that it comes with an activity booklet [now Activity Cards] with ideas on how to use the toys, too.
Donna, with two MFW graduates and the "baby" in 11th grade! %| Using MFW since 2004.
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon May 14, 2007 1:59 pm

Unread post by steph3 »

I am thrilled with all of the feedback, so thank you all. I realize the whole preschool thing is kind of controversial in our circle. I know my child doesn't "need" it. She may even be a little bored at preschool and yes, it is a glorified day care. I am all for keeping them at home - my other 2 children went for one year each, more for my sanity than anything else. My second child had colic and didn't sleep for a year, post partum, etc. Looking back, I don't think preschool had either a profoundly negative or positive result. And I do remember the drop off/pick up hastle and missing field trips because siblings weren't allowed (ugh!).

I think I need to start admitting to myself that the cause of my child's behavior is the fault of no one but myself. I am not organized, not patient, and not creative. And I'm homeschooling, primarily being called by God so He can transform me and so I will draw close to Him. For any of you who have heard Norm Wakefield - DRAW NEAR, HOLD FAST is a wonderful message. Anyway, I am attempting to do scheduling this year, feeling led by God that it is a part of the solution to the problem. For a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of gal, MOTH is intimidating, but I feel it will help our homeschool succeed.

To touch on the advice for a preschool box, I tried that last year and it didn't work. Autumn was only 3 at the time though. I think if I do the schedule with one-on-one time with mom and alternate the other kids subjects with play time with her, it just might be a whole lot better. Again, schedule, schedule, schedule. Why is it so scary for me???????

Posts: 27
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 6:18 pm

Unread post by mrs_mike98 »

I wanted to chime in because about two months ago I started using a routine (MOTH). I had to tweak the routine a few times here and there. It took a month of just doing a morning routine, and now the morning is a breeze. Even my 2 year old knows exactly what comes next - he knows after breakfast he helps empty the dishwasher, and after Bible, he and I have preschool... he loves the predictability. Its really opened up so much more free time for us and all of our "to do" list gets done, most days. It is intimidating to start, and it does take a little tweaking, getting used to, being diligent and consistant, but the payoff is a huge blessing!
Erin, blessed mama to 5 boys :-)

Unread post by cbollin »

And there is a section in the ECC manual with some ideas for developing routines and all of that. It's called something like Help! How do I Fit it all in? I've found it helpful when trying to make those kinds of time blocks and such to help move our day along. But, our routine doesn't look exactly like the the suggested outline in MFW manuals.

One thing to keep in mind with ANY resource that helps with schedules and organizing --- you need to tweak it to fit your school, not you to fit it. If that difference makes sense. Let those things be tools, not your master.

MFW uses a lot of unit studies and hands on projects. So you don't want to look at the clock and cut it off in the middle of a fun experiment just because the clock says "oops! your 15 minutes are up". As you make your time blocks and all of that keep that in mind.

One of the things that I learned from listening to some of MFW workshops was to let older kids help with younger kids and to put that as a part of their school day. And trust me..... there's always something to do with my youngest (no --- don't crack the eggs on the floor. Use a bowl. Only 2 eggs! etc.)

hang in there Steph. {{{hug}}}


Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Just want to 'second' what Crystal said. God wants to give us tools that bless & work for our homes. I spent a year wondering why God hadn't made me more like Teri of MOTH...then I finally thanked Him for who we are as a family & asked Him to help me use schedules as a tool, not a yardstick. :)

It was a hard thing to accept that my scheduling needs might be very different from anyone else's. Still, we have benefited from having routine in our days. Pray for your groove ~ God will help you find it!
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:31 am

Scheduling 2yo & ECC

Unread post by lyntley »

Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:18 pm
We haven't technically started yet. And I've never done a timed daily schedule. But I wrote this out to get an idea of how I might juggle the kiddos. I have a 4th and 2nd grader doing ECC with a newly 2YO girl. We will have a break in between am/pm for a while. We'll see...

7:30-8:30 Rise and Shine-Breakfast/Chores
8:30-9:15 Hymn/Bible/Prayer
9:15-9:30 Handwriting/Scripture verse (play with toddler)
9:30-10:15 Math (working together, 4th helping 2nd when needed)
10:15-10:45 DD Spelling/DS-Phonics (get DS started and let go)(toddler gets playdo)
10:45-11:15 English-PLL/ILL(get PLL going then work ILL go back to PLL)
11:15-11:30 Math drill
11:30-11:45 Chore check
11:45-12:15 Lunch
12:15-1:00 Break/Recess (toddler time)
1:00-1:30 Foreign Language (RS)
Toddler down for nap
1:30-2:00 Geography/Book Basket
2:00-2:30 Science
2:30-3:00 Read Aloud (may be eve)
3:00-3:30 Music/Art
Toddler up
3:30-4:00 Reading
4:00 (or during lunch break) Nature Walk Wednesday
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:26 am

Down the road...Adventures and K or PreK

Unread post by Ariasarias »

inHisgrip wrote:We are in our first year of homeschooling using MFW K (LOVE IT!!) with our 5 year old son. We also have a 3 year old daughter (4 in August) who will not be left out :) , she "does" school with us and knows the character verses as well as her brother. She's picked up her letters names and sounds... oh, and we just absolutely LOVE all the science/experiments involved!!

When my 5 year old son does his writing, I keep my daughter busy with coloring or reading Bible stories to her. I'm really excited that we will have all next year without K, so that it will be fresh and fun for her again when she is five (even if she maybe ready for it next year, I don't want to rush her).

If we keep on track through the year we will be doing Adventures and Kindergarten the following year. Of course I will do the writing/reading part of K with her, but would I do the rest of K with her again (I'm sure she would love it again - so would my son), or do Adventures with her? I guess with catalogs coming and conventions to look forward to, I have the planning bug. I would still love any insight into what that year may look like. I love this board!!
- Amy
We did ADV last year and I had a 4yo and 2yo tagging along. I let the 4 yo color the state sheets and some days she wanted to make a notebook page too about whoever we were learning about. I was also very surprised that my 2yo learned a lot too. The books were great for the youngers to listen to and we watched lots of the NEST biographies that they got to join in on too.

This year I have one in K and we are doing ECC. We don't do every activity in K, but we've been able to do more than I thought we would. And we have been able to focus on the character qualities and Bible verses from K too. That part I really did not want to miss, even though she listened in three years ago and enjoyed it then too. I found being 5 has helped her soak it in more.
Keep enjoying it!!
Nicole :)
Nicole, wife to Claudio since 1996, and mom to dd (2000), dd (2003), dd (2005), and ds (2009).
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