Help!! Multiple grades

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Help!! Multiple grades

Unread post by abreakfield »

This fall I will have children in the following grades: K4, 1st, 6th, 9th, and 11th. If I continue using MFW I will have to do 5 different curriculums!!! We have always used the rotation (my oldest begin MFW high school curriculum 2 years ago). I am a single mom that works part-time. I don't think I will have time unless I continue to combine at least a couple of children in a rotation together. Also, I have my doubts about my upcoming 9th grader being able to work independently enough to complete the 9th grade curriculum. Any advice on how to school everyone would be helpful!
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:41 pm

Re: Help!! Multiple grades

Unread post by allgrace »

What are the ages of your children?
I am wondering if you can wait to start your youngest? Or maybe your 6th grader can do the prek program with them. I am doing it now and going at a slow pace ( I have 10-15 min. Of one on one time with my 4 year old. ) Or get a simple workbook( if they like workbooks) like Rod and Staff or Christian Liberty Press( if they love coloring) or just use the educational toys. I also start my kids in kinder when they are 6. I pushed my oldest and have found it is much easier for child and parent to wait. Plus it takes some of the load off when you have many to teach.

MFW recommends teaching the first grade math and language arts and then having the first grader join the older sibling in the family cycle in order to make it a little easier. Your 4 year old could also join in the family cycle.

Maybe also looking at your schedule and tweaking it would help? Maybe schooling year round, so many weeks on or off, certain days, etc. Would help. Especially if there is someone available to help you on certain days. Or there are times of the year when your work load is lighter.

I can't comment on high school, but hopefully others will. I will pray for you. God will give you all the grace you need as you trust and depend on Him.
"Sanctify them by the Truth, your word is Truth" John 17:17
Dd6: MFW 1st
Ds 4: preschool workbooks
Ds. 2: preschool
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Re: Help!! Multiple grades

Unread post by abreakfield »

Thank you so much, Grace! Those are wonderful tips! And thank you especially for the prayers. Im a recent single mom of five- 4 years, 6 years, 11 years, 14 years, and 16 years old. I know the Lord has called me to homeschool and will definitely help see me through!!!
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Re: Help!! Multiple grades

Unread post by ruthamelia »

Hi there- I always find it encouraging when I find another working single mom who is homeschooling- makes me feel a little less alone! I must admit I have some fantastic help, though, and I hope you do too. I also had some anxiety last year when we were basically looking at 5 levels like you! Planning became my friend. I created a basic schedule so that I knew the teacher was only needed in one place at a time, that 2 kids weren't needing the computer at the same time, etc. That also meant if I was working with the little kids, the older kids still knew what they should be doing without needing much direction. We are FAR from a strict time-bound schedule, but having a framework kept everyone moving, with plenty of room for flexibility.

Grace had some great ideas, I may repeat some of them here!

For the 4 year old: agreed that simple workbooks can be great for helping them feel included, building focus and attention span, etc. Having read The Read Aloud Handbook and Honey for a Child's Heart, I am still quite convinced that reading to kids at this age is one of the best things for them. If you are considering starting MFW K soon... I have always started it mid-year, not at the same time all the other kids start a new year. That helps somehow. I also find it helps to have the older kids spend some time with the younger kids. Builds skills for both of them in so many ways!

If you do start MFW K sometime this year, I just spent a year with one in K and one in first, and with some creativity was able to do both of them at the same time and get done in about 1.5 hrs or sometimes less. One thing that helped was doing 'number of the day' activities together, even though they are slightly different in the K and first grade materials. For example, rather than doing straws with the child in K and bean sticks with the child in first, we just did bean sticks together. When we do first again next year we'll probably go back to straws, just to change it up. While we did K/1 first thing after breakfast, the older kids in the cycle worked on independent subjects, so the time was still productive for them. This can be a good time for reading, book basket, etc.

I think Grace also pointed out that the younger kids can join the older kids for some things. We don't do the 1st grade science, so that child can join the older kids for science instead.

As far as high school... it sounds like your 16 year old is doing ok primarily independently in the high school materials? What year are you on in the cycle for middle kids? With the 14 year old this year, and kind of similar issues to yours, instead of starting AHL I did some work to beef up the cycle year we were on (I know someone might be frowning at me- but it worked for us!), and kept him moving into high school subjects in things like math and science. He did algebra and biology, some beefed up writing and literature, and joined in on Bible and history with the others in 1850-mod. Worked very well for him! That's one of the reasons I like to pay attention to age and learning needs more than grades. There are pros and cons to doing it this way, obviously, but it is important to find what works for your kids and your family, not select something just because of the grade level marked on it. Maybe you could show your 14 year old the manual for AHL and get his/her opinion? Or let him continue in the cycle for a few months until you decide he/she is ready for the independence required and start AHL then, even if it is an odd time like January or February.

Other random organizational things for keeping up in multiple manuals: I keep a sticky note in each manual at the week we're on. Saves a lot of page flipping. I also photocopy the weekly grid for each child. That way either the child or I can cross things off as they are finished and I don't have to remember much in my head! Do you have other people to help you? For example, if you decide to do AHL with the 14 year old, is there a mentor at church who would do the OT Challenge with the child, removing one item from your list to keep up with? Or is there a friend or relative who will spend 1-2 hours each Saturday doing all the science experiments for you?

I hope you can take what is helpful from my ramblings and discard the rest! It sounds like you have assurance that homeschooling is right for your family, and I pray that you will have the same assurance that the Lord will provide a way for you to do what he has called you to do!

Kids in school: 17, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 6
We have used: K, First, all Investigate years
2020-21 First, RTR, AHL
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Re: Help!! Multiple grades

Unread post by abreakfield »

Oh my goodness! This has helped so very much!! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!
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Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Help!! Multiple grades

Unread post by MelissaB »

May I make one more recommendation? Older children make wonderful( !! ) teachers to little ones.

If 11th grade and 9th grade can each spend 30 minutes a day with 4 yr. old, that's one hour of preschool - Done!

In MFW1st there are several activities that are done on certain days (M,T,W,H,F). Those repeated activities that require little or no preparation, you might schedule 11th and 9th grades to rotate days doing these activities with MFW 1st.

While it may seem like a "burden" on the older children ~ it is really quite the opposite! As little one grows and learns, those older siblings will get so excited! You'll love seeing their faces as they share with you what 4 yr. old learned to do!

It doesn't matter if your olders are male or girls; it doesn't matter. Everyone feels rewarded when they can teach!
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
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