Family - What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

jasntas
Posts: 471
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Family - What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by jasntas » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:13 pm

Mom2theteam wrote:I have a 5 year old who will be re-starting MFW K in August. We started last winter and decided he wasn't ready. At that time, I also had twins who had just turned 3. I was fine with them playing and such, but they wanted to be with us and doing what we were doing (not being occupied with something else). However, they just didn't have the attention span and were very distracting. I do want them "tagging along" so to speak, but maybe I'm expecting too much. They will be closer to 4 when we start again. (Dec. b-day) So, can someone describe for me what the pre-K'ers do when they "tag along?" What do they sit in for? Do they do all science/craft stuff? I wasn't planning to include them in the reading/math stuff much at all, but was hoping they could handle the Bible and science. Experiences?

And, sort of a related question...if they are able to handle the full load of the Bible/science and crafts, what do I do when they are supposed to start K? :~ (They are 2 years behind. So, it would be fall of '13 that they would start. In theory, my oldest would be in Adventures.)
Maybe while you are reading they could color, do puzzles, play with play dough, do easy dot to dot or maze books or some other quiet activity that they would only get to do during these times.

When my ds was in K my dd wanted her own work so I gave her Pre K worksheets to work on. She liked that.

David Hazel has a CD that might help called Occupying Preschoolers While Teaching Older Children. Maybe there would be some good ideas in it.

Just some random thoughts. HTH
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

Smoakhouse
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:47 pm

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by Smoakhouse » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:20 pm

Try to listen to David Hazell's workshop on Occupying Preschoolers. He has many ideas for both occupying and including.

You can order CDs directly from MFW at
http://www.mfwbooks.com/products/M50/105/0/0/1

I have loved the ones I have listened to. I have got some great tips and ideas as well as inspiration for our home school.

My favorite occupying tactic is Leap Frog video's. They are great for teaching the alphabet and their sounds.

I hope this helps,
Cheri in TN
Mom to girls 23 & 20 and boy 10
Homeschooling for 18 years and counting!!
MFW ECC (2016-17)
MFW Adventures (2013-14)
MFW 1st (2012-13)
MFW K (2011-12)
MFW Health (fall 2011)
Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/cdsmoak

schelean
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 11:06 pm

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by schelean » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:29 pm

Heather,
I don't have it all figured out either but I will tell you what I sometimes do here. I like to give ds4 coloring pages that goes along with our Bible for the day. I sometimes make a copy of the student sheet if it is appropriate for ds4. He comes and goes from the school room as we work. He usually joins us for any crafts, activities, science experiments, etc. Anything that is hands-on usually includes him in some way. I do some work with him while dd9 is doing independent work. During dd9 reading time (reading to self quietly) I try to read aloud to ds4. I do like ds4 to be in the room while we are working simply because I have seen how much he picks up as we work. As dd9 was learnng the Isaiah passage in CtG this year, ds4 also learned most of it. I certainly didn't ask him to - he just picked it up.

Spend some time with the littles first or begin with school work that can include everyone. The MFW preschool package has been helpful.

I look forward to other ideas you get here also. The past few years have been difficult but ds4 is getting older and it is getting slightly easier.
Schelean in Texas
MFW user since 2006
Exp-1850 w/dd 11& K w/ds 6

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

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by MelissaM » Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:21 am

I think I would only have them participate in the science/crafts that they can realistically help with, without causing you a lot of extra work. Many of them require more fine motor skills than my kids had at age 3/4 - lots of cutting, gluing, etc. However....if you're making applesauce, and they want a turn to stir the pot, sure, let them. If they want to help collect leaves to measure and compare - great. They can sit with you for story time on book day - but maybe they want to go off and do their own thing while you're doing the book day activities after you read the story. Or maybe they can do a simplified activity - a coloring page or something, while your K'er is doing the planned activity in the tm.

As far as repeating the crafts/activities - I wouldn't worry about it. With 2 sets of twins - 5 kids aged 5 and under, right? You're probably not going to get to all the activities anyway. When it's time for K again, you can do the ones you didn't get to this time. Maybe repeat a few of the favorites. I wouldn't worry about that yet - just focus on this year, and let God work out the rest. :) (Easier said than done - I know. Believe me, I do know. Just do your best. :) )

Hugs,
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

Erna
Posts: 65
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:48 pm

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by Erna » Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:08 am

We have work drawers for our children and I have had one for my 3 yo son also. I will have to be more diligent in filling his this year. He will be 4 in Dec. My son has "tagged along". With us for a while now. Here are some of the ways he has tagged along:

* This past year, he had a passport (we are in ECC) along with our girls.
* In his drawers there is a workbook that he can do whatever he wants with, although he really wanted a HWT workbook like his sister. :o). I couldn't justify the cost. He did join in on songs with everyone and loved Mat Man. So, this year, if he seems ready, I might get their pre-k book. I will be more diligent in setting up his drawers with some of the HWT materials we have this year (he seems ready for "more).
* We have a wipe-off board in his drawer.
* I have set out play doh for him.
* He loves to cut paper and at one point he had a cutting bin and cut paper using play doh scissors (no worries of cutting self while learning). When he mastered using those, he started using real scissors and would cut all kinds of boxes. One day he was thrilled to put all of his cut pieces into a water bottle (large) until it was full. Now, he adds a glue stick to his paper endeavors and makes "airplanes."
* He joined in on all crafts and science activities, without any expected result. He could do whatever he wanted with the materials.
* Lego was sometimes played with during homeschool.
* We pulled out the beginning magnets set we had from 1st or ADV for him and he loved it.
* Gave him flashlights to play with only during homeschooling times.
* Let him measure with measuring tapes.

This year, I hope to be more purposeful in:

* putting puzzles and simple matching games in his drawers
* making sensory bins to go with the K theme (my dd 5, soon to be 6, will be starting the program) ... I can see this garnering some interest for him and we'll use them again in the future. (My son is not a huge fan of toys to be honest. He'd be content outside ALL DAY long but SPINS when inside.)
* giving him his own workbook for play or real learning (I gauge this based on their interest)
* letting him join in on all crafts/activities/science of ECC and K (my dd5 screamed to be involved in everything my dd7 did while she was in K years ago when dd5 was 2 ... So, I have seen they just want to join in no matter their age. My ds10mos already wants to be with us and play with what the BIG kids interact with at the table.)
* using a small box for sand play or drawing in salt while at the table
* letting him have some of the colouring pages or books that my K daughter will make
* printing up fine motor sheets and cutting sheets (following wavy lines, etc.) for him
* he will join us for circle time (stories, songs, etc.) and I will include him by giving him a calendar sheet and a 100 day chart (making patterns/stamping/etc.) but being flexible about learning outcomes
* being more purposeful in using our pre-k materials (I want to order the new cards for this)
* doing dot art on letters
* lacing, although he will likely take off and play with the strings

I imagine there might be more to do but I will focus on filling his work drawers with materials to keep him busy but not expecting him to do it all. I will just let him be with us and enjoying doing what he desires. I want him to see homeschool time as a fun time to do different things. This will help him be less distracting. He wasn't ready for it before but I can see him doing more this fall. It is a loosely structured time for him and if he goes off to play on his own in our homeschool room some days ... Hoorray! However, as history shows, this won't be likely. :o)

Dusenkids
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:13 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by Dusenkids » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:33 am

What I am doing sound very much like the advice you already have. My oldest is in K. My 2y and 4y sit in on the "fun stuff" (And then there is a just 1y but that's a whole different story :~ ) They will both repeat K when they are old enough. However, when they get to K I will probably skip some of the K "fun stuff" and have them join in the older program's fun stuff. Basically do age level math and LA, some of age level science/bible/history and some of the older science/bible/history. Just how I'm handling things. HTH
Martie
Married to Nathan 15 years
Mom to 8 boys ages 12 to newborn
Have used Kindergarten to Modern

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:12 am

Marie Hazell gives some advice about how to make each year fresh & unique when repeating:
How to teach Pre-K and K together http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=642

And here are some other ideas:
Making it fresh for 2nd or 3rd sibling http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3737

MFW working with lots of littles in the family:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2971
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1011

Oh, and keeping those littles occupied:
Toddler & Preschool Archive http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewforum.php?f=2
Combining Adventures and Toddlers http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=7770

And this might be overkill, but I'm going to add it anyways ;)
These are all the threads I could find on how to combine K/1/2 with older programs - a popular topic!

Combining K & 1st - Experiences teaching them together http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewforum.php?f=8
Combining K & 1st - Both plus an OLDER program? http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1161
Combining - Grades 2 to 8 http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=3168
Combining - When are all my children in the same program? http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1910
Combining K alongside an OLDER program http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1312
Combining 1st and an OLDER program http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2713
Combining Adventures and K - Scheduling? http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3419
Combining Adventures and 1st http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=2307
Combining Adventures with K PLUS 1st http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=5052
Combining ECC and younger child learning to read http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=6727
Combining - EX1850 with K/1st child learning to read http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=5152
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

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:13 pm

Thanks everyone. I have the CD of David's "Occupying Toddlers..." I have listened to most of it. But, not all. I need to finish it up.

Your ideas sound great. I guess I'm struggling because my kids all want to do things together. My 5 year old will complain if I let the 3 year olds play with lacing or color or play with play doh or whatever while he is working. He thinks those things are fun also and thinks it is "unfair" that they get to do it and he does not. Life isn't fair. ;) But, the complaining is very distracting. Also, the 3 year olds constantly want "help." I can't help them cut or color constantly while trying to read to him. My 5 year old does workbook pages on his own some, but they don't do any on their own. (Plus, it takes my kids all of 2 minutes at most to do one page.) I guess I haven't taught them well enough to do things independently. :( I guess I need to work hard on that for the rest of the summer to get them where they need to be before we officially start. The 14 month old twins are not a problem, not right now anyway. ;)

Another problem I have is with the 5 year old's need for "quiet." He has a very difficult time focusing if there is any noise going on around him. I really don't know how to handle this. I mean, as someone above noticed, I have 5 children who are 5 and under. That means, with him being the 5 year old, I have 4 others who are 3 and 1. Ummm....our house is far from quiet except at 2 am. ;) Sometimes I'll have him do workbook pages during our quiet/nap time. He does great. But, if the other kids are around, he gets frustrated and can't focus, even if it is just a maze or tracing. At this point, I'm really not willing to completely give up my quiet time and do school at that time. (I really need it for my sanity.) I keep thinking he will learn to focus with other noises around, but so far, he isn't adapting. :~ Any ideas? Right now, I'm just planning to help him work on learning to tune it out. In a big family, that is a skill will be very useful. :-)
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

cbollin

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:24 pm

Heather,

I use to let my oldest start off with us during home time preschool time. That way she got her 10 minutes to lace or sing or something, then she was ready to do something else with just me.

-crystal

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

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by gratitude » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:34 pm

Mom2theteam wrote:Another problem I have is with the 5 year old's need for "quiet." He has a very difficult time focusing if there is any noise going on around him.
You probably won't like my answer, and I wouldn't have liked hearing it when my oldest was 5.

I tried to start when my oldest was 5 (for 1 month) with 4 children 5 & under. I gave up, and wisely waited until he was six. Now he was a summer Birthday, I was already considering making him older for his class rather than the youngest. So this situation may not apply. It was fairly easy in my situation of a summer Birthday to listen to the wisdom people had been giving me to wait (after my 1 mo. of having it not work of course), and only wishing I had listened to start with.

I read your post though, and I thought: Well of course he wants to play, he is 5. Of course it is difficult to focus, he is 5 and the oldest. Five year olds love to play. The only reason my second son could focus at 5 was because his older brother was 7 and doing his school work. My oldest could barely focus at 6; he wanted to play with the younger siblings! The good news is that it does get easier as they get older!

I am sure I have said too much. I may have to join Julie's better late than early camp; I think in the end it probably fits me more than I realize. :)

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:23 pm

Oh look! I figured out how to multi-quote. :-)
gratitude wrote:You probably won't like my answer, and I wouldn't have liked hearing it when my oldest was 5.

I tried to start when my oldest was 5 (for 1 month) with 4 children 5 & under. I gave up, and wisely waited until he was six.
Actually, that is great advice, but we have BTDT. :-) Where we are, he missed the cut off for public school K by 2.5wks last year. I figured because he was so close, he could probably go ahead and start. Silly Mom. ;) So, he will be almost 6. I feel like it really will be time to get him started. My state requires some type of testing/work eval at the end of each year. I have to do something or they won't like me. :~
cbollin wrote:I use to let my oldest start off with us during home time preschool time. That way she got her 10 minutes to lace or sing or something, then she was ready to do something else with just me.
Thanks, I tried this last year. It worked okay, but not great. He is just going to have to learn that life isn't fair. Hopefully, he will understand that they will be doing some things he won't be involved in, but he is going to be doing things they won't be able to also. That is the way life goes. It is a good lesson to learn early.
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

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

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by MelissaM » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:15 pm

I think in this case, I would use the rest of the summer to do some training in habits - attention, cheerful attitude, etc. Start telling them all now how things are going to be different routine-wise in the fall. Show them on a calendar. (I know the littles won't really get it, but include everybody.) Be cheerful and excited and get them cheerful and excited. I would, like Crystal, have everybody start together with something in the morning - something to get the wiggles out, we like to say. Music is always good around here - some singing and dancing, marching around the room, whatever. Knowing that, after music (or whatever), we're all going to sit and read the Bible story (or whatever you do 1st), and then you're going to work with Ker while the littles go do whatever they're assigned to do on their own.

Keep the lesson time SHORT - 10 minutes at a go is plenty! That should allow you to do calendar, hundred chart/coin cup(later in the year), and introduce the letter of the unit or the day's phonics worksheet. Then you can all do something together for another 10 minutes. Then you can play - ahem, work with - the littles while the Ker does his worksheet - in another room where it's quiet. Then they're on their own for another 10 minutes while you do the next lesson with the Ker. Then you all have a snack, a story, a short walk, whatever. (Can you assign each 3 yo to have 10 minutes of being "in charge" of a 1yo? Then the next time you need 10 minutes, you can switch the assignments...the babies probably won't be in any danger if it's for such a short time, right? ;) )

You have lots of little kids at your house - your days are just probably going to be messy for a while. That's okay! That's they way they're supposed to be - right now. It's a season, and the next one will have its own set of crazy challenges that there's just no point in even speculating on yet. ;)

I'm like Crystal - my littles just wander in and out while I'm teaching the oldest. And I don't know if this will be helpful, I should probably not say it. But. My 9yo still sometimes complains about "not fair" that the boys get to play or do whatever while she has to do school. (This year there was a lot of, "Why is his work so FUN and EASY? And mine is SO hard?! lol) But the good news is - she's old enough to understand the reasoning when I (calmly and pleasantly and patiently, of course) explain to her that she's the oldest and...well, them's the breaks.) In seriousness, I do tell all of my kids that God made them to be in the position in the family that they are - and He wouldn't have done it if they couldn't handle it.

HTH,
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

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

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by gratitude » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:29 pm

MelissaM wrote: Keep the lesson time SHORT - 10 minutes at a go is plenty! That should allow you to do calendar, hundred chart/coin cup(later in the year), and introduce the letter of the unit or the day's phonics worksheet.
I'm like Crystal - my littles just wander in and out while I'm teaching the oldest.
This is great advice! At age 5, almost 6, their attention span - in my experience is between 10 - 20 minutes in one sitting.
Like the other two, my children also wander in and out, or play, at this point when I am teaching my oldest. Or they are doing their own work, or coloring, at the table at the same time. When I first started though, and my children were the ages of your children that was not the case at all !! It took awhile for them to learn the routine. In the beginning it was difficult to get the oldest to focus and the younger ones to play without the oldest. They did learn how to do it. Be patient, and try to do very short sessions. We started a month after my ds turned 6 in the summer. I remember that fall having to do 3 or 4 15 minute sessions each day we did school. It was difficult for me to break it up like that, but necessary with the younger children. It was also necessary with his attention span. This past year for my second son Kindergarten year he would do one session at the table of 20 minutes for phonics & math. Then he would do Bible in the living room with all of us. Then the activity or reading was separate from those times. The most he can do at once, even now at just turned 6, is about 20 minutes or so.

Mom2theteam wrote: We tried to start in Jan when my son had turned 5 in Oct. Needless to say, we put it away. 8[] He has an Oct b-day. Where we are, he missed the cut off for public school K by 2.5wks last year.
With an October Birthday you don't even need to start until this coming September. I would say enjoy the summer, let him mature a little more, prepare him for September a week or two ahead of time, and then just keep the sessions very SHORT. Let your life be a lot like it is now with some 10 - 15 minutes of learning four times a day. Don't think of needing to do as much as they do in a classroom. You will be amazed by how far short tutoring sessions go at home. A little at home goes a long long ways. After a year the amount they know, at a fraction of the time spent in a K classroom, is stunning.

Enjoy!

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

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by gratitude » Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:44 pm

Hi again Heather,
I wrote out a list for a friend two or three weeks ago that is all about toddlers tagging along while home schooling. I just realized this morning that it is still on my email, and that it might be helpful for you if I added it to this thread. So I copied some parts out of the email for you. I pray for much home school success next year for you! I know you will do great. :-)

My tricks of home schooling with toddlers (It gets easier when they turn 2, much easier when they turn 3, and completely manageable when they turn 4):

1. A gated room, or a gated part of the house - completely safe, with toys, close enough you can hear them, baby proofed. This can easily allow for 1 hour of school. The room though does have to be completely safe & everything they can pull down they will.

2. Read toddler books first, then pull out the toys close to the table I am working at. This can easily result in a 1/2 hour of school work.

3. A basket, bucket, or cupboard of toys that only come out during school.

4. Once a child is old enough they can read to the younger siblings or babysit while the second oldest is being taught (this doesn't apply to you yet Heather). The babysitting/toddler time is teaching the older son 'life skills' they will need some day as a dad. This time can also be used to have the older child read to the toddler; thus they practice reading aloud and the toddler is occupied (Elliot does this a little - I should have him do it more).

5. Big legos, soft Lauri educational toys, puzzles, cars - anything to occupy for 20 minutes.

6. Take a break outside then come back in and try again.

7. Nap time.

8. High chair - teach while feeding the toddler. This actually works really well, unless the toddler starts screaming.

My life home schooling became much easier when I had one toddler in the house instead of two. It is possible to home school with a toddler or two toddlers or 2 toddlers and a baby! It does take more work though.

When they reach 3 they can participate in science experiments and any learning that is hands on. They can play while books are read. They can color. It gets a lot easier when they turn 4 and start begging for 'school too' please.

I hope this helps. I believe in home schooling, but I know it isn't always easy. We have some really difficult days over here with it. I love the days when it goes smoothly. It has had some rough spots with toddler distraction. What keeps me going though is I know this is what I want to be doing in 5 years (and feel called to be doing in 5 years), and I don't think it would be the same if they started school and then I pulled them out. The other thing that keeps me going is that I really do want to pass my Faith onto my children, and teach both of us how to do a better job of serving the Lord.

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:04 pm

Thanks everyone for the wonderful ideas! I know this can be done. I just need to do it and allow it to take time to fall properly into place.

I have realized over the last few months that I have higher expectations than what reality can be for our family. I have a lot of little kids. Things aren't going to run perfectly. I am working on lower my expectations. ;)

It has also become apparent that I have a confidence issue. I find it surprising that much of what you all have suggested is what I already do or already have in mind. (We already have a gated playroom that is totally safe for the babies. Twins and lots of littles makes that a necessity in my house.) I don't know why I don't seem to trust my own instincts and abilities to do this. Silly me. :~ Hopefully, by the end of our first year, I will feel much more confident. :-)

So, I really appreciate everyone taking the time to help encourage me and to give me some practical advice. Thank you!

Carin - Thanks for the list. Many of those are either already in practice or in the back of my mind. But, it is very helpful to me to have someone let me know I'm on the right track. ;) Oh and I wanted to mention...I'm thinking about this now, but we aren't planning to start till late Aug. or Sept when he is a month from being 6. :-)
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

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

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by gratitude » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:49 pm

Mom2theteam wrote:It has also become apparent that I have a confidence issue.
It took me, what felt like a very long time, to feel the confidence to home school. In reality about 1 1/2 years from the time we started curriculum. When my oldest started reading chapter books a few months ago, I finally calmed down and felt like this idea of mine (and many peoples) could be successful.

I would encourage you to do what I didn't do. Trust God. He will lead your home school, if you let Him. Then you won't need the 'proof' of success to have the confidence we all need to do this; at least I need to feel confident to do this. The more I place my Trust in Him for my home school efforts, the more peace I find, the more confidence I find, and the more energy I find to do this.

Keep up the Great Work! :-) Two sets of twins, Wow! I always wanted twins; but God had other things in mind. What a blessing for you, but I can imagine it is challenging at times.

TriciaMR
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sat Jun 04, 2011 10:42 pm

I just want to say that at the beginning of EVERY school year I think, "How am I ever going to do this? There aren't enough hours in the day to teach my 3 kids! I'm not organized enough! I don't have a good enough schedule! I'm not disciplined enough! Aack! And now this year I have to do the 2nd & 3rd supplement on TOP of the regular history!?!?" I've been homeschooling my since my oldest was in Kindergarten, and I still do this every year, even when I haven't had to formally teach all three.

Then, I start with some kind of routine or schedule, and the first 2 or 3 weeks we try it and tweak it around until we find a fit or a "groove," and we plow on. And somehow it just all falls together. And, of course, change is constant especially with kids, and we find part way through the year we have to tweak again.

Now, I do pray a lot over that first schedule or routine. I ask God for ideas like, "What should the boys be working on when I'm working with oldest on Spelling?" And He usually gives me some great ideas. I use the summer to work on training for chores and establishing good habits.

I need to learn to stop the panic thing and remember that God is faithful, and he always helps me figure out how to do it.

How does "tagging along" look like at our house? Well, this last year oldest was in RTR, boys were in 1st. I would start with Bible and History with oldest. Sometimes the boys sat in, sometimes not. Then we did Science. The boys almost always sat in for that. Then oldest had independent work, and I would work with my boys one-on-one for the first grade Reading/Phonics and Math. Usually it was lunch by then, so in the afternoon, my oldest and I finished up her math, English, Spelling, Writing, Art/Music, etc.

In CTG last year, we did K (a different company, as I already had materials on hand). Again, the boys mostly just joined us for science. Oh, and acting out the 10 plagues and celebrating the Jewish feasts. Anything fun.

In ECC, my twins were 4, and I got them sticker books and passports, and they joined in whenever we went to a new country (we would set up chairs and ride a bus, or sit on the steps and pretend it was a train, or even pretend to ride horses or a boat to the new country/continent). They colored or made flags, and listened in on the read alouds (they always listen to those, because I read them at lunch).

It will be interesting to see how things work for us this next fall when we go to Explorers to 1850 and have the 2nd/3rd grade supplement. I'm sure my oldest will want to listen to what I read to the 2nd graders (we didn't do Adventures, so I'm sure she'll want to hear those books). I probably won't have the 2nd graders hang out for History for my 6th grader unless they want to.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

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

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by MelissaM » Sun Jun 05, 2011 5:35 am

I have higher expectations than what reality can be for our family. I have a lot of little kids. Things aren't going to run perfectly. I am working on lower my expectations.

It has also become apparent that I have a confidence issue. I find it surprising that much of what you all have suggested is what I already do or already have in mind. (We already have a gated playroom that is totally safe for the babies. Twins and lots of littles makes that a necessity in my house.) I don't know why I don't seem to trust my own instincts and abilities to do this. Silly me. Hopefully, by the end of our first year, I will feel much more confident.
As far as having higher expectations than reality allows...just nodding my head. Yep. Been there, done that. Am there. Doing that. Hugs. I always have a vision in my head of "ideal homeschooling" - and then we have what really happens. I think striving for ideal is okay - as long as you don't forget or get frustrated by the fact that you live with real people. ;)

As far as the confidence and not trusting your own instincts...yes, I think that will mostly come with time. Having homeschooled for 5 years, I can say that I am much better at trusting my instincts in terms of what works for us, etc., than I was. You'll get there.

In the meantime, this is one of my favorite verses to remember:
  • "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
HUGS,
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

MommaK
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:53 pm
Contact:

Re: What does "tagging along" look like in practice?

Unread post by MommaK » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:09 am

Hello there!

I am new to homeschooling (will start in the fall), and will have a 2nd grader and a toddler! I, too, have wondered about the 'tagging along' activities! In searching online, I have come accross several blogs that have excellent ideas/printables (free) for those tagging along...both toddler and preschool/K4 ideas! They are http://www.confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com, http://www.homeschoolcreations.blogspot.com, and http://www.1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com! Hope this helps you come up with some ideas! These sights have helped me greatly in preparing activities for my little one! :)

~MommaK~
Mariah
1st year homeschooler
DD {7} loving Adv.
DS {2} tornado!
Looking forward to doing ECC in the fall!
http://www.journalofmommak.blogspot.com

cbollin

Changing from HOD to MFW??? Anybody???

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:29 pm

abrightmom wrote:Ladies & gents,
I have used and enjoyed both MFW (First Grade and ADV) and Heart of Dakota (HOD). This past year I became convinced that I should be teaching my children separately so I can meet their specific needs and tailor materials to their learning level. I do think the world of both though I am struggling with fleshing out "independent learning" versus "multi-teaching".

Have you changed to MFW and been able to settle in to meet the kids' learning needs while teaching from the same basic program? What does this look like day to day and how exactly is it done? Using Adventures didn't give us a feel for the multi-teaching aspect of MFW as it is designed for a narrow age range. For the record, we LOVED Adventures and it was a hit with all 3 of my students. As I look ahead to CTG I can't imagine enjoying Streams with my children for an entire school year! I understand Marie's reasoning behind it's choice as one of the history spines and I find it very interesting myself. However, as I consider using it as a teaching resource for my youngsters I am just not really grasping how it would work. I pulled out my Streams (yes, I do own it :-) ) and tried to imagine reading it, summarizing it and sharing it with my kids. I do think they prefer the narrative flow of an interesting book rather than regurgitated facts or bits of information. This is just an example of where I'm struggling to see how I could use the upper MFW guides to teach a range of ages/grades.

MFW will be at our convention here in Oregon in a couple of weeks. That always helps to see everything laid out in real life. I'd like to go with some specific ideas in mind so that I can peruse the guides and samples objectively! I have a rising 3rd grader, a rising 1st grader (repeating first grade), a just turned 5 year old (K'er), and a toddler. If we stay with MFW then ECC is next in line for us. Thanks!
Katrina,
Just some thoughts on Streams book.... You don't read the whole book in CTG. It's used in small portions. There are a few times where it might be several pages, but for the most part it's a few paragraphs here and there. It really isn't the main book in CTG.

-crystal

1974girl
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:09 am

Re: Changing from HOD to MFW??? Anybody???

Unread post by 1974girl » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:18 pm

I loved ECC more than even Adventures. It is so easy to tailor to each kid. For the geography game, just have the younger ones learn 5-10 countries per continent. Properties of Ecosystems was tough for my 2nd grader so we just basically stuck to the Usborne book that comes with it and I bought the optional Animals book. I would recommend that highly. She loved doing her animal sheets and it came in handy when the older one was taking longer. You already tailor reading, math, english, and writing to each level and really.....that is a lot. You tailor more than you know.
LeAnn-married to dh 17 yrs
Mama to Leah (14) and Annalise (11)
Used from Adventures on and finishing final year (1850-modern) this year
"When you teach your children...you teach your children's children."

abrightmom
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Changing from HOD to MFW??? Anybody???

Unread post by abrightmom » Thu Jun 09, 2011 6:23 pm

Thanks for the replies so far.....I actually feel pretty confident that my crew will love ECC. I have no worries about it based upon what I know about them and about me :-) . Thanks for the encouragements! :-)

Crystal, I took a peek at some other threads and got REALLY excited when I read that the Bible is THE main spine for CTG (reading through so much of the OT thrills me), the memory work that is done (books of OT, 10 commandments, other), the use of Victor, etc. It is how I'd like to study and comes with a lovely schedule to boot. I do appreciate Streams for myself and could see asking my older student (6th grade and up) to read it. The text is excellent.
-Katrina-

DS15, DS14, DD12, DS8

far above rubies
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:31 pm

Re: Changing from HOD to MFW??? Anybody???

Unread post by far above rubies » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:18 pm

I was a MFW user who switched and a year later, returned to MFW, where we have remained since. They are both great curricula but MFW works best for our family for right now. I do miss HOD from time to time--it's a very sweet program. :)

And as for working with them individually, I seem to get more of that in with MFW than I did with HOD, but I was trying to do 3 different manuals with HOD. :~
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]

RB
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 9:14 am

Re: Changing from HOD to MFW??? Anybody???

Unread post by RB » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:22 pm

We used MFW for 2 years, HOD for one, and came back to MFW this year and intend to stay. Like you, I have tremendous respect for both companies and felt like both lined up well with our educational goals and worldview. There are many differences, but for us the one that really helped us decide to return to MFW was the idea of the "family cycle" for grades 2-8. I thought I wanted to have each child at their own level, but it really didn't work well for us to do 2 1/2 not-completely-independent programs at once.

With children close in age it has been a tremendous blessing for us (with MFW) to have everyone together for Bible, History, Math, etc. It's not only that it makes life easier, but more importantly that it unites us and gives us shared memories and we grow together and we tell dad about it at dinnertime and we do read-alouds in the evening with dad and we choose field trips connected with our studies. It's not just school, but a life filled with learning. I'm so glad that we have 3 more years of "family cycle" before oldest will begin high school.

About Streams of Civilization...I was very skeptical about how it would work with 2nd, 4th and 5th graders. At the beginning of the year I loved it, 5th grader liked it, 4th grader disliked it because she thought it was hard to follow, and 2nd grader just gleaned what he wanted. By the end of the year my 4th grader said it was her favorite "core" book of the year (after the Bible)!!! Some of the readings were optional for 4th grade, but by midyear she always chose to listen and discuss. The entire CtG program was amazing.

I struggled a little with ECC (kids were K, 2nd, 3rd) because I didn't know how to make a multi-age program fit the needs of each child. I'm still glad we did it, and it is a great program, but I think the reason I left MFW for a year was that I didn't know how to effectively use a multi-age program. I had liked the narrower age range of Adventures.

Last summer, before beginning CtG, I wrote out simple goals for each child. That made all the difference. Once I knew what I hoped each child would get from CtG it seemed so easy to translate that into the day to day. It was OK to help my 2nd grader write words on maps, but my 4th and 5th graders needed to complete maps on their own. I expected my 5th grader to work independently on written summaries, but at the beginning I had my 4th grader narrate and then copy. It all worked so well, and I'm so glad that we shared such a special year.
Praying that the Lord will guide you and give you peace-
R.B.
dd 15 dd 14 ds 12 ds 1
Adventures and 1st ('07/08), ECC and K ('08/09), CtG ('10-'11), RtR ('11-12), Expl-1850 ('12-'13)

abrightmom
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Changing from HOD to MFW??? Anybody???

Unread post by abrightmom » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:20 pm

RB, Thank-you for sharing this. It is REALLY helpful for me to read the testimonies of those who have used both and settled somewhere. I want a one-room-schoolhouse :-) and that "togetherness" that separate guides doesn't facilitate. I think it boils down to a choice of teaching/schooling style!

Hearing your ECC experience is sobering. If you were to go back would you apply your CTG goal setting method to ECC? Any tips or recommendations for me as I am pondering this plan (ECC and K)? I don't have the materials in hand though I am free to order them at any time. I am just "gun shy" right now and feeling emotional. I too am a little overwhelmed with a multi-teaching program and wonder if I'll experience some "shock" after using and loving Adventures. I want to go in with my eyes wide open and armed with some realistic expectations. My oldest 3 kiddos will be 9 (3rd), 7 (1st/2nd), 5 (K). I also have a toddler who will be 2! :-)

Thanks again for responding and sharing your thoughts! Thanks for praying.... :-)
-Katrina-

DS15, DS14, DD12, DS8

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests