I have kids the exact same ages as yours. I give all the credit, thankfulness, and praise to God, because our days have gone pretty smoothly so far.
I understand totally what you're saying on the other thread about your middle one getting just squeezed in here and there. That is what happened with mine last year. Granted, we were just doing informal preschool work last year, but my oldest dd and the baby always seemed to get the first fruits of my time. I didn't want that to happen this year. I want to give my 5yo dd a wonderful kindergarten experience just like I gave my oldest...not something where she's just squeezed in now and then. That is why I determined at the beginning of this school year to set aside time specifically for her. It just happens to work out well for us to do an hour at a time. There is enough variety so that she is not just sitting that whole time. We do some seat work and then go to the couch to read a story and then sing a song (I have some songs about letters, numbers, days of the week, etc. that I am adding) and then back to seat work. Actually, the hour goes pretty quickly. During that hour, I am available to help my 4th grader if she needs it, but for the most part, I have explained to her that that is my special time with her sister, and she should work independently as much as possible. Then, later, she receives one-on-one time with me. Whether it is in one solid block or several smaller blocks, it certainly is valuable to have time set aside for the younger student.
So, this is how it has worked for me. (We are doing ECC and MFW K this year with my 2 dds). We start the day with ECC Bible together. Then, my 4th grader works on independent work for about an hour while I work with my K'er. I've given my 4th grader a schedule with her independent work on it. The things I have her do varies each day, but some of the things I have her do independently are spelling (I use something independent), handwriting, math drill (using either Quarter Mile math, flashcards, wrap-ups, or something like that), silent reading (a chapter in the book she is reading at the time), vocabulary, and typing (we started Typing Instructor this year). She usually ends up doing 3 or 4 of those 5 things. They take her about an hour, and that is about how long it has been taking me to work with my K'er. During this first hour and a half of school, my 1yo plays for awhile in the schoolroom with some toys we have in there, then I put on either a Baby Faith or PraiseBaby video for him (they are his favorites) for about half an hour. By then, it is time for his nap.
While I put my 1yo down for his nap, my girls have a snack and do Book Basket. After that, we just roll through the rest of the subjects...geography, ILL, science, math, etc. My K'er joins us for some of it, such as geography or whatever she can join in on, and she just goes and plays for the rest. We don't get through everything before lunch, so we take a lunch break, and the baby wakes up sometime in there and has lunch, too. After lunch, I finish school with my 4th grader while my K'er plays with my 1yo.
For the most part, praise the Lord, the days have gone smoothly. I pray that you and your kids will find your "groove" and things will go more smoothly for you in the future! Give it to Jesus! He is faithful to work things out when we are at our wits end. I'll be praying for you!
Postby Poohbee » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:44 am
I had one other thing I forgot to mention, Melissa. You said your son is a wiggler. Granted, boys and girls are different, but my 5yo girl is a wiggler, too. She is my mover...always has to be moving. When she walks, she doesn't really walk...she jumps or hops. When I am doing read-alouds, she is standing on her head somewhere nearby or playing, and it doesn't seem like she's listening, but every now and then she pipes in with a thought or an answer to a question. She comprehends quite well, even when it doesn't seem like she is listening. During seat work, she is usually standing next to her desk rather than sitting. She says she works better when she stands. So, maybe she is somewhat like your son. I suppose you could try the 1-hour block and see how he does. It might end up working well. You might find you get more accomplished with him in a longer time block, and your 4th grader may accomplish more, too. Just a thought for you. Have a blessed day!
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy