Family - Will MFW work for large families? Tips, schedules

Toni@homezcool4us
Posts: 122
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:28 pm

Re: Scheduling ideas needed...

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:35 am

Hi Teresa,
We've used MFW for 6 years, this coming year being our 7th. Like you, we're using 1850-modern times. I'm getting a very late start (our books just arrived today) so my schedule is not hashed out yet. I'll begin working on it tomorrow. It looks to me like you may be able to combine some things, especially for your two youngest. I have a 3rd and 4th grader and have been able to combine just about everything except math and one-on-one reading time (where they read aloud to me).

I basically use the MOTH method to create our schedule. You can see basic example here;
http://tiny.cc/fr38g

Notice the Mom's column is color coded to match which child she will be assisting one-one-one throughout the school day. I do use color coding to set up my schedule, but the final copy is a simple black/white printout of the Word document/table I set up (after playing with the colored tabs and time slots until I arrange a workable schedule which I then type out). I include my 4yo on the schedule too, so I know how his time will be occupied. Does our schedule work well? Well,...it works. "Works well" depends on the day, our moods, how much sleep we got, etc. (insert real life). But at least it's a plan and a guide for our time. HTH.
BLessings,
Toni
Blessings!
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
~Toni~
I invite you to join me THE WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE

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

Re: Scheduling ideas needed...

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:26 am

These threads might not be from the exact year you are using, but they are from parents who are teaching many, as you are:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=7970
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1011
Also several threads here starting with "schedule":
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewforum.php?f=13

Posted Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:06 am by Julie in MN
I have different issues most of the time, with the isolated single child ;) but I did teach my two very different kids for a year or so and I know your pain :~ But know that you are doing a good thing in teaching them to get along in a community! I do think next year with ECC, there will be even more fun things to develop family togetherness in there.

So, I'm just bumping you up in case some of those amazing moms of many have some good advice. Meanwhile, here are some threads with managing many, in case there's a helpful nugget in there:
K & older kids: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1312
1st & older kids: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2713
Teaching large families: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1011
Tagging along: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11069
Big & little kid science: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1261
Large age range: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=3168

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

Resa
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:16 pm

Re: Scheduling ideas needed...

Unread post by Resa » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:30 pm

Thank you Toni! That was very helpful. Thanks for the illustration! I had considering the Titus 2 program but I have not gone one way of the other with it. I know what you mean about "works well".... I have learned from the past not to let the schedule rule me but that I rule the schedule.

Thank you so much Julie! I found a blog that was very helpful, "Mish Mash Maggie" she explained how she uses the white board. Very helpful! Lainie's blog is just super!!! She explained the way she uses it very well and i totally understood it.

Crystal, You have really put me at ease and i think i can do it now! hahaha.... i am sure i was just over thinking it all because it is all new to me. I have not work out of a teacher manual in 2 years so i guess returning to it (my first thoughts were great and really excited) caused some nervousness. Now, I am excited and cannot wait to go shopping this weekend to get supplies. I really want to get that wet/dry erase pen!!! hahaha! I am also really looking forward to the cooking from the US History cookbook.

mlhom4him
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:41 am
Location: Pacific Northwest
Contact:

Re: Scheduling ideas needed...

Unread post by mlhom4him » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:26 pm

A great video to watch is posted over on Lainie's blog at mishmashmaggie. Here is the link:

http://www.mishmashmaggie.com/2010/09/p ... sents.html

This will probably give you some ideas!

Mary Lou

fdjoyce
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:47 pm

Big Families using MFW?

Unread post by fdjoyce » Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:16 pm

BusyMom2Many wrote:I'm new here and curious about big families using MFW. I'll have 5 students in the 2nd-8th grade range and a couple younger ones. I was thinking of using ECC. We use textbooks right now and I feel like there is just too much going on with all the different books for multiple subjects. Will it help to combine a few subjects? Does using the recommended LA and math program fit better with MFW? Any advice on choosing this when you have a big family? Or tell me how it works better for your family. Thanks!
We have 5 children & enjoy using MFW. We have used K, 1st, ECC (absolutely LOVED it, ) & are currently in RtR. We do use some of the LA suggestions - Primary & Secondary Language Lessons (really like those) & Writing Strands (1st year using that.). We also use some materials we used before we came to MFW & had all the stuff & liked it ok so why change. I have had no trouble substituting my own Math & Spellng programs- those parts are pretty much separate anyway. We are also using English From the Roots Up & enjoying that. Overall, I find MFW very large family friendly in that so mAny of the materials are used multiple years & are non consumable. Hope that helps some

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Big Families using MFW?

Unread post by gratitude » Tue Sep 27, 2011 12:24 am

My best friend in grade school was the 2nd of 9; I will never think of my family as big at 4; but I do hear it a lot. 8[] The comments of, "my, you have your hands full" started when my second was born. Now with 4 children the comments are more head shaking and, "my, you have a big family." There was an article in the paper once that declared a family of 4 was the new 'Large' (very large) family. Sometimes I feel like it is our mission field.. promoting the value of family through our very presence of 6.

Oh, yes my neighbors across the street have 9 children and home school and only have one married and gone so far.

MFW users... yes there are some on here with at least 9 children, and I can think of many siggy lines with 5 or more.

My children are so young though that I haven't had the pleasure yet of combing them for home school. I am sure the 5 year cycle of MFW helps with that fact. We do use their math recommendations, and I am trying their LA recommendations for the first time when I re-start school (sometime) this fall. Since mine are 2nd grade and younger you may have to rely on the other big families for more details of how MFW has helped them.

Blessings,

Mexmarr
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 2:26 pm
Contact:

Re: Big Families using MFW?

Unread post by Mexmarr » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:58 am

5 students in 2nd -8th grade? That sounds PERFECT for doing ECC. You have to only use 1 program for all of them. I am expecting my 6th, but they are still on the young side, so I am not quite where you are at. I have calculated that I will always have to do at least 2 programs every single year. Sometimes more.

I am about to start ECC. My oldest is 2nd/3rd grade (started 3rd in some areas, still working on 2nd in others. I plan to take 1 1/2 years for ECC, and when we finish, she will be finishing 3rd.) My 2nd dd is still doing the phonics portion of K, but followed along completely in Adventures last year and will do the same for ECC this year - everything except the writing. So basically I have 2 in ECC and 1 in K, plus 3 youngers and one on the way.

Next year I will have a new baby, toddler, prescholer, one in K, one in 1st, 2 in CtG. And I will likely get pregnant before the year is done, hehe. Whew! Makes me tired thinking about it, lol. I still think that MFW IS the way to go!
Misty, Wife to a wonderful man! Mother to:
Rosy age 8 - 3rd grade, ECC
Gracie age 7- K and ECC orally (legally blind, Aspergers)
Lizzie age 4 1/2 - waiting to start K!
Andy age 3
Rebekah age 2
Ruthie born March 31st

Completed 1st and Adventures

momofsix
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:28 pm

Re: Big Families using MFW?

Unread post by momofsix » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:50 am

Hi,
I have 7 children (see ages in my signature line), 5 of which are between 1st & 8th grade.
I started w/ ECC when my oldest was in 2nd or 3rd grade (how could I forget that? ;) )
Well, here's maybe more info than what you were asking for ...

We are doing 1850 to Modern this year. It took a little juggling trying to get my schedule figured out to make our day work, but I've got it tweaked enough to make things happen. We do Bible the evening before for family devotion with Dad (or if we have evening plans we do it early in the morning the day its scheduled), then I have my schedule made into 15 minute increments. Some subjects get 2 or 3 increments (30-45 min) like math and science. I have slots where one of my children is playing with the little girls downstairs when I need one on one time with my 1st grader or to teach All About spelling to my 3rd & 4th grader, etc. I found that it is essential to set the timer for every 15 minutes to know when to move on the the next scheduled subject.

We start at 8:45 and most of us are done by 11:45 with everything except History. It gets too frustrating with the distractions of the little ones when I'm trying to read this aloud, etc. So this year we have a break after lunch for free time, playing/PE and do History from 2-2:45 or till 3 if needed. It is working so much better this way! I should mention we use this Schedule M-Th and Friday is much less structured. We do Art With a Purpose, Math test, cooking, health, and use this day to catch up if needed or do a project/experiment we didn't have time for the other days. We like our "light" Fridays. Usually MFW doesn't schedule much on Fridays. Also, we are not going to do Music on Tuesdays, but are moving this to Friday.
At times I have thought about switching to a textbook approach, seems like maybe it would be easier with more independent work for the older ones, but then I would not know what everyone is learning (unless I read it all myself too, and that wouldn't happen!), I would have more work to correct (yikes! I have enough math and LA to correct already!), I would still have to help the younger kids, and it would most likely be dry & boring that way anyway.

MFW lays everything out easily with page #s & all, so it's verydoable. I love MFW!

For Math & Lang. Arts I do not use the recommendations.

HTH!
Elissa in MN (really mom of 8 ) 3 boys: 16, 10, 7 & 5 girls: 13, 11, 5, 4, 1
Using: God's Creation from A to Z, Exploring Countries & Cultures, World History & Lit, Math-U-See, Sequential Spelling, Rod & Staff English...and more

BusyMom2Many
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:20 pm

Re: Big Families using MFW? *New Questions*

Unread post by BusyMom2Many » Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:05 pm

Ladies, thank you so much! It sounds like MFW would be a nice fit for our large family.

I have one more question. If I have a K and 1st grader what do I do for them? Would you try to use another MFW program or something different? Also, I see I need student pages for them. Will the 2nd grader need student pages too or will they be over her head for ECC? Thank you so much.
Mom to Many-Using ECC & K for the 1st time

MelissaM
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Re: Big Families using MFW?

Unread post by MelissaM » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:02 pm

I don't have much to add except that you might want to get EVERYONE the ECC student sheets. And passports and flag sticker books. (I remember hearing David Hazell say - "Everyone who's old enough to not eat the [sticker] book should get one!" Lol) I have a 1st grader and a 9-almost-10yo who is doing 4th/5th level work. We started ECC last Jan when they were K and 4th. I didn't order my K'er the student sheets at first. I was going to just make copies from A Trip Around the World, etc., for him of flags and maps, whatever. Every time we got to a new country he would ask for a John 3:16 sheet like his sister. I tried to give him something else to do. Finally, one week he just broke down and cried tears over not having the right coloring sheet !! and I got online and ordered him a set of student sheets. Worth every penny. He does the flag sheets, the John 3:16 sheets, the maps, he made the MAF plane when big sis didn't want to - I don't know. It was worth it for us.

I hope you enjoy your year in My Father's World!
:)
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

Joyhomeschool
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

Re: Big Families using MFW?

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:26 pm

HI! I have 6 children but only 3 in school atm. We've done K, 1st, ADV, ECC and are working on CTG (yay!!). I really like the program for multi-level teaching. I also like PLL. It took me a year or so to get the hang of Spelling power and the language lessons but once I did I could really see why they chose them! And I think that they are a money saver with all the reusing in a large family.

I dont have nor would I have had a K and 1st at the same time. BUT K and 1st are great programs and the phonics portion takes about 30 min to an hour daily. I think if I were you and I wasnt pleased with my k and 1st I was already using I would do MFW-K, the phonics portion only, and the phonics, bible and math of 1st. They both have similar things they are doing so I'd combine a lot. OR if my 5 yo could wait a year I'd do first this year with my 1st grader then K the next year with my K. Or another option would be to start both on K together and work them up to first. Because even if the 1st can read you can easily keep him/her reading daily and include some activities from ECC and give him/her their own math program.
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

fdjoyce
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:47 pm

Re: Big Families using MFW?

Unread post by fdjoyce » Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:14 pm

Me again. We have used MFWK last year & MFW1st this year seperately as my older children were doing the yearly cycle. Both of these programs are easy to do & not too long (I actually think 1st takes me less time than K did) & I like having something special for my 1st grader although if he were the youngest I think it would be fine to include him in the 5 year cycle with LA & Math supplements. As it is he has 2 younger siblings & they are more likely to participate in what he does than the bigger boy's stuff. But at our house it winds up being everyone doing everything- the 12 year old comes to listen to the 1st grade read alouds & the 3 year old wants to color anything anyone else has. It makes for crazy (& sometimes long) days but it is how I love it- everyone learning & having fun together. My 2 oldest have their own schedules so they know what they are responsible for getting done each day regardless of how much extra they do from 1st grade, preschool, etc. I will say that my 1st grader is the one that I feel gets the short end of the stick the most (poor middle child.) We will almost always get the 5 year cycle (currently RtR) done, & you have to give the 3 year old attention or he'll tear down the house, & of coarse there's the baby. When a day gets cut short it seems to end up being 1st but of coarse he is learning on those days too & we are all together having fun. Hope this makes sense & helps some.

I also do the - child #1 work with #3, #2 feed #5 a snack, etc & that helps immensely!

Busymom
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:19 am

Re: Big Families using MFW?

Unread post by Busymom » Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:37 am

Hi! I've got a big family (8 and 1 on the way), and this past year we used ECC and K (now we're still doing ECC and 1st and will add K later...just kinda how our year went). Anyway, I used to use textbooks, too, but it just got old (read the pages, answer the questions, take the test, etc.). Plus, I was looking forward to reading the history books, but I found that there was no way I had time to do that. All I could do was grade and answer questions. So, I decided to give MFW a try with my older kids (I was already using K). Overall, I have enjoyed combining the grades (2nd, 4th, 5th, and 7th, when we originally began ECC; now it's 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 8th). I will say it's a bit of an adjustment from everyone being so individualized. Now it's like I have a mini-class at the table, which can get interesting, especially when one's a jokester. :) Or it can be hard, like when the kids are just annoying each other...and me. But I like having everyone on the same page, and there's not too much scheduled for each day. In fact, I've found it easy to combine days in order to finish up before the baby comes in November, and then we'll start CtG in mid-January (I hope).

I also went with MFW's language, math, and writing suggestions. Again, I am surprised how quickly we get through them; it's so nice! I do use a different spelling program, but that doesn't affect how well ECC works for a large family. Currently, when all goes as planned (which is like once a week, lol), I start in the morning with my 1st grader, and get her all done. My K-er might work on workbooks during that time with me or another sibling. (I haven't started the K program with her yet.) Then, I work individually with my 8th grader (going over tests, etc, making sure he's keeping up). Then I do individual time with my 3rd, 5th, and 6th graders; I go over their Lang. and math pages, make sure they understand the writing assignment, and do spelling. I think it's about 30-40 min. per child, give or take, depending on if they're "getting it" that day. All that happens before lunch. Then, I end up doing the ECC portion during nap time (I have a 22 month old and a 3 yr old). And, to be honest, we only do some of the art, and I'm having a hard time fitting in the read alouds (I think my plan is to do that during our new baby/holiday break from school). It's not down to an exact science yet, and I don't know if it ever really will be...but we're movin' and groovin' along. And I've liked it enough to NOT feel that I need to try something different when we finish ECC, and that's HUGE for me. :)

I hope this makes sense; I tend to ramble. Oh, and keep using the msg board. Sooo much helpful info on here from all these helpful people!
Tiffany, Mom to 9 (ages 16 mo. to 14 yrs; 5 girls and 4 boys)

BusyMom2Many
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:20 pm

Re: Big Families using MFW?

Unread post by BusyMom2Many » Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:30 pm

Thank you for all your insight. It's been so helpful to hear about the details of making it work.

I'm getting excited about ordering. :-)
Mom to Many-Using ECC & K for the 1st time

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

Combining MFW 1st grade and ECC schedule help

Unread post by MelissaB » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:33 pm

Dyan wrote:I am new to MFW, and will be combining MFW 1st and ECC this year. I will have a 5th grader, and two 3rd graders in ECC, and a 1st grader, as well as a 4 year old (learning to read), an ACTIVE 2 year old, and a new baby due in January! I called MFW, and the gentlemen I spoke to suggested that I do only the phonics/math/reading portion of MFW 1st with my daughter, and let her tag along with ECC if she wanted for the rest. He said it should take 60-90 minutes each day to do the 1st grade part, and that I could do it while my olders are doing independent work like math, language, and book basket. I have looked at the times given for each subject for ECC, and those seem to be the best blocks of time where I could work with my 1st grader, providing my younger two cooperate ;). The only problem I have is that the math I am using is not totally independent, and requires about 10 to 15 minutes of teaching/helping time for me for each grade.

We are using MFW suggested resources for everything except for language and math (unless MFW 1st grade math is better - opinions please?). Also using Spelling Power for 3 older kids for the first time. We are not doing a foreign language this year. My husband thought it would be too ambitious along with learning a new curriculum, etc.

For all of you who have done MFW 1st and ECC, does this sound like it will work? My main goal is not to have school drag on all day long, while we accomplish everything that we need to do. I want to be done by lunch because by the afternoon we are all tired. Am I being overly ambitious? Is is possible to combine the two programs and still be done by noon if we start at 8? I know that having my toddler and pre-schooler (and later a newborn) in the mix, and dealing with dawdling from all will slow us down, but I really want to make and try to stick to a realistic schedule. I would also like to incorporate my older kids rotating playing with the younger ones, but I can't seem to find a time to do that and have us all end school at the same time (since there are so many shared subjects).

If anyone has a sample schedule they'd like to share or any suggestions at all, I love to hear them!

Thanks so much!
Dyan
Hi, Dyan -
It's really wise not doing any extras (foreign lang., etc.). A realistic schedule makes for a more successful year (I've had to learn that the hard way :) ).

Hmm... Do you think your day (teaching time only) will look s/thing like this? :

1 1/2 hours - (ECC) Bible/History/Science
1 1/2 hours - (K) Reading/Phonics/Math
45 min. to 1 hr. - Math w/ 3 older children (15 + 15 + 15 min.)
45 min. - Language (not sure how much time to allot each child... maybe 15 each?)
15 min. - Spelling Power w/3 older at the same time
(You'll love S.P., btw. Very effective in teaching spelling and very easy on Mom.)

As far as scheduling your day, it looks like you'll spend about 5 hours/day teaching. Is that right? If so, I'm not sure you can be done at noon if you start at 8 a.m....(thinking... ) So we need some ways to reduce the amount of time you spend teaching...

I don't know your children, but I have a hunch they're pretty responsible. Could any of these ideas work? :

1. Can your 9 yr. old teach your Kindergartner math? If so, that reduces your actual teaching time by 30 min. You can spend the first few weeks training your 9 yr. old how to do the math activities with your Kindergartner. She could be a great teacher, and you could continue to watch and monitor the two girls while caring for the baby after January.

2. Can your 9 yr. old read Windows on the World and Bible to the younger children? If so, that frees up another 30 min. Maybe they could sit at the table doing Bible class while you listen in and prepare breakfast. ?

3. Schedule all of your oldest girls to each spend one 30-min. segment of their school day doing a reading/play time/hands-on activity rotation with your 3 yr. old or toddler while you teach (one-on-one time, older w/ younger). That will give them preschooling and entertainment - and provide one less distraction for you.

4. Can your older daughters read to your kindergartner on days you need to care for another child? If so, I would schedule Book Basket time and her Reading in the same time-slot.

5. I haven't seen the Queen Language curriculum, so I don't know how much time you'll need to teach it. But I wonder if MFW's Primary Lang. Lessons would take less time to teach(?)

I hope some of those ideas may be helpful. :) If you can just reduce your teaching time by one hour, that gets you closer to the 8-to-noon school schedule goal.

Just a side note: I have a book by Teri Maxwell called Managers of Their Schools that has several sample schedules in the appendix by Moms who school several children, many with toddlers and infants. I utilize that book and read it each year before school starts as I put our family's schedule together. Teri Maxwell home schooled 8 children.

The Lord has blessed you with a wonderful family. Enjoy your sweet blessings!
Much Love in Christ,
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

Dyan
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:49 pm

Re: Combining MFW 1st grade and ECC schedule help

Unread post by Dyan » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:20 am

Melissa,
Thank you so much for all of your ideas! Thanks for helping me see how much time each thing will take me! I think I was getting stuck in terms of thinking how long it will take them, and forgetting about me. I am hoping the 1st grade does not take me more than 1 hour, but I have to give some extra padding on time so I am not running behind, so here goes:

1 1/2 hours ECC
1 1/2 hours 1st grade
45 min to 1 hour math (but I am hoping it really won't take me that long. I think I can combine my twins teaching time, and knock this back to 1/2 hour).
Language should not take me more than 15 minutes tops for all. They can pretty much work independently or answer much orally with the Queens stuff.
15 min (yay!) Spelling Power

Total teaching time: 4 to 4 1/2 hours

I like your idea of having my oldest do math with my 1st grader. It might be fun for her to do that, and it does help to lighten the load for when the baby comes. I also think she could read the Bible and Window on the World out loud. She is getting to be very fluent, and the more she practices the better she'll get.

I would love to schedule the older girls to play with the younger ones, but am having a hard time figuring out when. Maybe during math time? My 1st grader is also pretty good about playing for short periods with the boys. If I get her schooling done first thing after Bible, she could play with them one at a time while I rotate alone play time in their rooms while I do math with the older girls. On second thought, we homeschool in the basement, and their rooms are upstairs, so maybe that won't work. My toddler can be a terror at school time; getting on the school table, coloring on anything but his own paper, eating crayons, taking his brother's toys so that his brother screams, etc. etc. His attention span is very short, and he won't sit still for very long. I am not sure what to do with him!

I have read and re-read Managers of Their Homes. I have made many schedules and never followed them I think because they are too rigid. I really like the Maxwells, and have many of their books. I am just not a good schedule follower because I get distracted so easily (and I have an army of kids who like to play while I am distracted)! I am realizing though, that if I do not have a plan (and stick to the plan) it is discouraging for all of us. Thank you so much for your help and encouragement! Now I just need to put it all together....
Dyan, wife to Steve (2001) step-mom of dd (18) graduated public hs, homeschooling dd (10) 5th grade, dd (8) and dd (8) 3rd grade, dd (6) 1st grade, ds (4) with Asperger's, chasing ds (2), and one more little one due January 2013. ECC/MFW 1st 2012-2013.

rebeccal2002
Posts: 59
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:00 pm

Homeschooling with several children - need encouragement

Unread post by rebeccal2002 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:15 pm

dstj wrote:This is our 3rd year to use MFW - I really love it. We haven't been able to take advantage yet though of the family cycle:) We did K last year with 5 year old and oldest was in 8th grade. Now oldest is in 9th grade and next oldest is 1st grade, then have 4 year old, 18 mon old, and new baby expected in January.

I feel like if I do well with 1 then I'm neglecting the others. I started off doing my best with 9th grader - spent time keeping up with her work, going over her English writing assignments etc, science experiments, and algebra I corrections. While I was doing this the younger ones were left on their own and my 1st grader was just hit & miss - we would skip several days and then get another day done.

After Thanksgiving I've been focusing more on her and we have been much more consistent. I still feel like I don't do enough with my little ones and my 9th grader is completely on her own. I haven't checked any of her work.
I know it is supposed to be more independent. But I feel like I'm not doing enough. So I begin to doubt and think maybe she is better off in school. Then I hope that at least whatever she is getting on her own is better than nothing.

Part of me wants to just focus on my kids and getting ready for baby but then feel like I also need to keep working on our school.
Hi, I know firsthand (most of us do) how it is to be pregnant and still try to do school. Hugs, they will grow up and it will get easier. But not for a while. :)

My most practical suggestion I can make is to set up a schedule and stick to it as best as you can. If you haven't got a schedule method that you like, please check out Titus2.com. There is a Managers of Their Homes (MOTH) book that really helped me "do it all." Basically you spend quite a bit of time thinking about what is necessary to get done, then you schedule your day accordingly and amazingly you get more done and aren't so ridden with guilt! ) This would include time to spend with ALL of your children, as needed. Even nurse the baby. :)

I pray for peace for you as you work it all out.

Rebecca
HS'ing since 2006, MFW since 01/2011 :)
2015/16: ECC (2nd time around w/ 3rd, 6th and 8.5 grader), WHL (10th). Also 2nd half of K and 1st for 6 year old.

Finished K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp-1850, 1850-MOD, AHL

and 4 year old helping!

Joyhomeschool
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

Re: Homeschooling with several children - need encouragement

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:36 am

Postby Joyhomeschool » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:20 pm
Hi Mama,
I have the same struggles all the time! My husband keeps reminding me that I just have to take it one day at a time. So focus tomorrow more on what I didnt get accomplished today. Also it seems I have moments where one subject needs more attention than another. Recently my oldest DD started to show some issues with her math. So we spent a week of the scheduled math course to do some heavy tutoring. My oldest son had an issue with LA this year and we took a week off regularly scheduled LA to work on his LA. Just find a goal for the week or month an area that needs help or that your not getting to spend a lot of time with, and work on it. sometimes that means you need to focus on getting ready for baby, sometimes it might be toddler discipline issues or maybe its a school subject. Then just do the minimum to keep everything else moving forward and focus on that one thing. You can do it! ;)
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

Missy OH
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:36 pm

large family homeschool how to's ?

Unread post by Missy OH » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:40 am

momma2sevenblessings wrote:I could really use some encouragement-would love to hear some stories of "how" you do school in your home/family when you have lots of children! I have seven children. My children are 12, 10, 8, 6, 3 1/2, 2 & 6mo. We have always homeschooled and love homeschooling. We have used MFW for a long time and love it (we share how much we love it and have had friends try it out and love it too!!!:)

My 12 y.o. is seeming to need more to do on his own(he has more "free time" than anyone else as he can get through all of his responsibilities faster than everyone else......he is wanting to do some of our "together school" on his own in the morning, but I am not sure how to go about this...). Do any of you have your middle schoolers do school more independently-is this even possible with MFW? I love having my school-aged kiddos all together/learning the same things, but my time to give my undivided attention is very limited(my 3 1/2 & 2 y.o. boys are soooo busy and their naptime has recently changed from 4 to 2 hrs, if that!!! And that is my only time to do school.......)

I am also struggling with finding the time to do reading lessons with my 1st grader as that can't be done with the little boys up and 2 hrs just isn't enough to get school for 4 kids done!

So, how do you all do it!?!? I really would love to hear stories, I know every family is different, but perhaps hearing how your families get it all done will get my wheels turning with new ideas.......thank you!
Hello! I have seven dc, too. Mine are more spread out in age from 17 down to 1.

As far as doing reading with your first grader: I make it top priority in my house. If I work with someone else first, I guarantee I will not make it back to her. She comes first. One of my older dc take time out from their school schedule to watch the little one so I can work with her. I move quickly, I don't waste any time with it. Since your 12 yo is able to finish his school work so quickly then this would work well for him. My dc don't usually mind doing this.

If your 12 yo is a good oral reader then he could do the read aloud with the other dc while you are taking care of the younger ones. Is your 8yo doing spelling? 12yo could also help with this. Yes, basically I use my older dc to help with school.

I would hesitate to let him do the family time studies independently since he is finishing school fast. He would just finish it faster. I might have missed what year you are doing but I use to write on a marker board books and pages they could read on their own (like the usborne books).

Are you doing Progeny Press, yet? This would add more time to his day, too, if he is ready for it.

Just a couple of ideas. Things are always changing here. It never seems we can school the same way from year to year or sometimes even month to month.

Btw what a blessing your dc take such long naps. I'm lucky if my one year old sleeps for an hour during the day on her own. She usually gets in another hour in the early evening if I hold her. :) She is a great night sleeper, though.

sewgirlie
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:31 pm

Re: large family homeschool how to's ?

Unread post by sewgirlie » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:51 pm

Shhh... don't tell anyone, but my 12 y.o. does most of her work independantly ;) . I meet with her each day for about a 30 min. - an hour and go over the things she needs an adult for (spelling, tests, etc.). I make sure to discuss bible with her too. She wanted to move ahead and I couldn't see holding her back because I didn't have time to do more. She's also reading the Robinson Curriculum reading list (for free on her e-reader).

At our house we've always had a youngest to oldest rule. We only have 4 children though, so I can't say how it would work with more. Maybe I'll get to find out :-) ... I start with 10-15 min with the toddler, move on to 1-2 hours with the 1st grader, and then give my middle schooler her time. Of course, baby gets first priority whenever he needs attention.

Hope that helps. Wish I had more experience for you!

Carrie

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

Re: large family homeschool how to's ?

Unread post by MelissaB » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:22 pm

O.K., I've already recommended this book a few times... :~

At titus2.com, Terri Maxwell has two books: Managers of Their Homes and Managers of Their Schools. The Maxwells homeschooled 8 children. The books are packed full of practical advice to help moms, with any number of children, manage their homes and schools more efficiently.

Hope that's helpful! :-)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

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

Re: large family homeschool how to's ?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:59 pm

momma2sevenblessings wrote:I could really use some encouragement-would love to hear some stories of "how" you do school in your home/family when you have lots of children!
I can only add some links!
Large families (3 pages) http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1011
Preschool & older grades http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3671
momma2sevenblessings wrote:Do any of you have your middle schoolers do school more independantly-is this even possible with MFW?
There is a lot of MFW that a 12yo does pretty independently - most of language arts and math, foreign language and any "middle school electives," as well as science. And, as Missy said, the 12yo may be able to help or even "teach" the littles - they say the best way to learn something is to teach it (must be true, because I learned everything I know by being a homeschool parent!).

I agree with Missy that I'd hesitate to give up family Bible and History -- both because of the reason she mentioned, in that your 12yo seems to have plenty of time to do it together, as well as because I just think homeschooling means teaching your children some of your worldview and values in those lessons.
momma2sevenblessings wrote:I am also struggling with finding the time to do reading lessons with my 1st grader as that can't be done with the little boys up and 2 hrs just isn't enough to get school for 4 kids done!
Another link, in case you find a helpful tidbit in there?
1st plus older grades (2 pages) http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2713

And if your 6yo is your 1st grader, I'll just add that I didn't start my kids in kindergarten until age 6 or almost 6, and it hasn't harmed them. So I wouldn't fret if a 6yo goes a little more slowly than you had hoped.

Also, while I agree with Carrie on spending mom time youngest-to-oldest, I'm not sure that educational needs go in that order. Probably the opposite in terms of amount of time needed to help a 12yo get ready for high school? Although, of course, some adjustments are just necessary in a large family.

My greatest admiration for you moms teaching many,
Julie
P.S. This thread has the white board schedule that the Hazells have used (6 kids),
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 300#p46300
And you might call the office, too, for some experienced parents of large families there, too
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

momma2sevenblessings
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:11 pm

Re: large family homeschool how to's ?

Unread post by momma2sevenblessings » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:11 pm

Thank you for the replies!

My 12 y.o.'s struggles are in math and writing so those are things that though I would like very much to hand them off to him-he really needs me right there......

I am the queen of not pushing young children and love taking it slow, no worries-they WILL learn to read! I love late in the year birthdays(my oldest two are October and December), however, my current 6 y.o.(boy!),who has a July b-day, wants to read soooooo bad!!! He was super excited when I finally started the "K" "reading lessons" with him-he said, "I've been wanting to learn to read my whole life"!!! This is the kid that was born the year we "started school"(my oldest "K" year), we like to say he's been in school all his life/"born and raised in a boarding school":)(doesn't know anything but school!)He went through MFW K 2-3 times before it was even his turn! He is super smart and loves school, just needs me to have the time and give him the attention to continue to teach him to read:)

I'm sure this is just another one of those times that there's a needed change(which I should be used to by now as everything is always changing......) The combonation of the three littles with my oldest, well, getting older.....is just stretching me more than I feel I can stretch! :) I love my kids, love homeschooling, love MFW, and I happen to have those Maxwell books here in my house(and have read them in the past-it's just alot of work, which I don't have time for, to figure EVERYTHING out when I know that as soon as I do it will all just change again!!!!;)

I really do appreciate all the ideas, and I hope to go read the info from the links(but my husband is ready to wrap Christmas presents and all the kiddos are asleep so I had better go for now:)

I have been praying alot about this and feel super consumed by trying to figure out what I need to do and how to do it, but today I felt like I can see a light at the end of the tunnel so I'll keep moving forward.....

Blessings,
Debbie

P.S. I've been on this messaage board a long time as momma2kact, but I had trouble signing in and decided to rename myself as I have more than just "kact" now;)

K=12
A=10
Ch=8
T=6
E(boy)=3 1/2
M=2
E(girl)=6mo

Joyhomeschool
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:11 am

Re: large family homeschool how to's ?

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:53 pm

Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed I have to take a step back and reevaluate too! My dd is 11 and i hear you. 7 kids is HARD! Somethings that have worked for short periods of time for us...

Do it all together. So if its chore time, everyone has a chore, even the littles ones and by chore i mean "Chore".. and if its math every one has a "Math" book or thing to do.. And move through the day like that. This one works best when you have cooperative toddlers. ;)

Baby sitting breaks.. After chore time allow one OLDER child at time baby sit the younger crew and keep them out of trouble. I gave my 2nd grader first shift with the 2yo and 3yo. He watched them while they watched a movie. Then i Worked on math with the older two, Kindie witht he Ker and the baby in a sling. i set a timer and when it beeped, the 6th grader who needs constant movement would go upstairs with a pile of books and some activites and work with the 2yo and 3yo and the ker, the baby would nap and i would work with the 2nd and 4th grader. Then after that timer the 4th grader took the whole crew outside and the 2nd grader, and 6th grader got help from me and some peace nd quiet. By then I could make lunch as well. I ate while makeing thier lunch then I read while they were eating. The 3 little ones and sometimes baby would go to bed and hten I could finish the school day. This method works, but was better in the warmer months.. IT also took MUCH longer!! We never finished before 3. But it works great during uncooperative toddler stages.

Another idea is to break the little ones up into rooms. One in the school room with us, one in the living room watching a movie and one in a bedroom. Rotating them out every 45 min, starting with Ker in the schoolroom. Then you can be available to the older ones while they work independently on LA, Math and any assignments you write on the board (like copywork, spelling word study, notebook page from the day before, awana verses, ect)... Then when its time to prepare lunch send everyone off for a break, go over work, call back anyone who needs a rework, make lunch.. do MFW after littles are napping... This one has been working best for us right now.


I find it best to just change it up.. IF I have too many bad days then I know its time for a different way. Because littles grow and change and their needs are different.. So the way we do things just has to adapt. :)
Vicki
Homeschooling my 7,
2018/2019 1st, EXP, AHL, US 2

momma2sevenblessings
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:11 pm

Re: large family homeschool how to's ?

Unread post by momma2sevenblessings » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:55 pm

Thank you Vicki!:) It is very encouraging to know there is someone out there similar to me:) my husband and I have also been married for 13 years!

My two littlest boys are quite the handful! Not "bad", but super busy/crazy/all boy!!! And my 6 y.o. is similar esp when in the mix with the 3 1/2 y.o. When I can, splitting them up is best-it's hard to do though with the layout of our house......I keep trying to figure that out too(how to split them up!)

Debbie,

Momma to my seven blessings:
K=12
A=10
Ch=8
T=6
E=3 1/2
M=2
Baby E=6mo

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