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I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to manage homeschooling a first, fourth, and sixth grader with newborn twins. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag"> We did sign the three-year-old up for our church nursery school, so that's 3 mornings a week. But as for the rest <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug"><br><br>
I have Christopherus 1 and 4. I'm looking at it and I just can't do it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> We are finished with our 180 days for this year and my plan was to just start right away, but I am sick all the time and absolutely exhausted. More than exhausted-- lethargic. It's a 45 minute battle to decide if it's actually worth my while to get up and pee. I cannot put in the time and energy these curricula involve.<br><br>
I did sign the older two up for Time4Learning, which I'm feeling rather meh about. I'm thinking about ditching the Christopherus and getting Learn at Home for the 1st and 4th grader. The 6th grader is on the second book of Life of Fred. He's completed the highest level of spelling in the series we use, and I was going to maybe make Story of the World the backbone of his stuff this year. He's in Book 4 and there's some pretty great literature recommendations.<br><br>
I don't want to put them in school, but I don't want to fail them educationally either. The first thing I read in the Christopherus first grade book says "Homeschooling is about family," but it then goes on to list all these dos and don'ts.<br><br>
And I can't just unschool. Can't, can't, can't.<br><br>
I know I just had a whiny panicked thread a week ago. Thanks for bearing with me and helping me figure this all out. I have a little bit of a grace period right now, but I really need to have a plan of attack soon or DH is going to push for the kids to be put in school.
 

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Ok, I don't know anything about Christopherus or Time For Learning. But, I don't really like lists of dos and don'ts.<br><br>
I would plan like this: While your 3 yr old is at nursery, use most of that time for one on one with the first grader. I am doing first grade this year, and I actually think 3 days is plenty, but if you want all five days, then have activities for him that can be done independently. I would keep those days/activities shorter though because my bet is that the 3 yr old would want to play with him.<br><br>
The fourth and sixth grader are probably more independent, so I would set apart a time to go over things with them. This might also be when the 3 yr old is at 'school'. The 4th and 6th grader would probably be capable of assisting the 1st grader if needed. So, if the 6th grader was really needing a good amount of explanation, I would work with him and set the 4th grader up with the 1st grader (each working on their own stuff, but the 4th grader would be there for quick questions).<br><br>
For me, the bigger problem is the 3 yr old <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I would take a month off when the new babies were born and learn. If you don't want the schedule to be broken, then have a bit of review for the kids that month. Or engage them in something bigger and group oriented. (Make a lot of salt dough and have the kids build a futuristic city out of it. When dry, paint it. Now, they can play with it. Or whatever!) But, give yourself time to be with the new babies, and everything. Learn to wear twins. Be flexible! 6th graders can hold a baby and have a discussion about world history at the same time. They can lounge on a couch reading and have a baby tucked in with them.<br><br>
I am not trying to say it will be a piece of cake. OR that you should make the older kids do your jobs. But, they are older and they can help.<br><br><br>
For right now. You mentioned being really tired and didn't really want to keep plowing through material. How about having a month of "home ec" and teach your children cooking skills while making freezer meals to use when the babies are here. They would learn a lot, but it wouldn't be book work. If they are technically done for the year, they may just need a change of pace too.<br><br>
Oh, and when are the babies due?<br><br>
Amy
 

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What are your homeschooling "must-do's" ?<br><br>
Our biggest must-dos are math and language arts (spelling for our 5th grader and phonics for the 3rd and first grader)<br><br>
Every morning after breakfast I say "please get your math books and do 2 pages (sometimes only 1 if it is a heavy page) Then they get up and do it. They are responsible for getting their books and pencils. If they need help, they bring me their book and I help them. Sometimes I sit at the table with them, most of the time I am busy with chores or the little kids. Often times my older one will volunteer to check the younger ones papers. Extra practice for him, and less work for me.<br><br>
After that our oldest does his spelling independently. The younger 2 sit with me (one at a time) and do their phonics (we are doing progressive phonics, its free and the kids like it) Easy peasy pudding and pie. If the younger two are interrupting the bigger kids work, i'll get out the crayons and paper. My 3 year old loves doing Kumon workbooks, especially the mazes. Keeps him pretty occupied.<br><br>
We recently got a subscription to BrainPop. I've been gently encouraging them to do one or two videos a day (and either the quiz or the activity at the end so I have something to print out and put in their files)<br><br>
Our oldest knows how to use Librovox.org to pull up free audio's of a lot of his books (we loosely follow the amblesideonline.com schedule. Very loosely)<br><br>
We read....a lot. Lots of non-fiction and fiction books. I 'count' all living books towards their curriculum<br><br>
My kids help out with everything around the house...home ec. Especially cooking meals, but only one child at a time, more than that and I go buggy tripping over little people.<br><br>
We watch a fair amount of 'educational' programming. Sid the science kid has conjured up many a discussion (even with the older kids) Dinosaur Train, The magic school bus, are among some of our favorites<br><br>
And think about all the learning that will go on by having twins <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> lots of life skills that can't be taught in school. When I was pregnant with #5 I was very very exhausted. I have SPD so walking becomes very painful in the last couple months. I depended a lot on the help of my older two kids. It wasn't forever so I didn't feel bad adding a bit of extra responsibility to them. Frankly, having them at home with me was a whole lot easier than when they were in school (we just finished up our 1st full year of hsing, before that, they were in ps)<br><br>
You can do this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">For right now. You mentioned being really tired and didn't really want to keep plowing through material. How about having a month of "home ec" and teach your children cooking skills while making freezer meals to use when the babies are here. They would learn a lot, but it wouldn't be book work. If they are technically done for the year, they may just need a change of pace too.</td>
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this and this<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Often times my older one will volunteer to check the younger ones papers. Extra practice for him, and less work for me.</td>
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and <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"> this<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Or engage them in something bigger and group oriented. (Make a lot of salt dough and have the kids build a futuristic city out of it. When dry, paint it. Now, they can play with it. Or whatever!)</td>
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<br>
I think using SOTW as a spine for Michael is a great idea. Also what about having him work on a research project for a semester.
 

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Can you just build in a three month break for the first three months after the twins are born? Not unschooling, but just a break. If you normally take 2 or 3 weeks for Christmas that would cover part of it, and then since you've already finished your 180 days for this year, perhaps next year you'll school until mid-July or so instead of finished by the beginning of May.<br><br>
As long as you have the same amount of days it should be fine, yes? And maybe you'll actually be able to start back sooner than three months, or you could start back like half-time after two months or something...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I did build in a 6-8 week break, so that's good.<br><br>
I'm sorry for being panicky. The twins thing is really knocking me on my butt. I have never felt this sick, tired, anxious, and lethargic in my life. I just puked up the only thing I was able to eat today and I really am probably feeling like things are a billion times worse than they are. Maybe I should just step back for a month and pray things are better once I'm out of the first trimester.
 

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Are you christian? Have you looked at things like CLE, life pacs, PACE, or Switched on school house? Teaching texts books for math???<br><br>
***I have no experience with any of these, just throwing ideas out for you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I first want to say I feel for you. I've had a very difficult pregnancy where I spent most of the time lying on the floor, hoping my heart wouldn't give out.<br><br>
I have 5 homeschooled kids, and they've all (so far) survived Mama having severe asthma, a heart problem, and migraines.<br><br>
Second: Ask yourself what you really need to provide for your kids' education...I'm not an unschooler at ALL, either. Can't do it. But once they can READ, I'm almost fanatic about independent learning. I always joke that I "Just chuck books at them," but that's almost true. I do just provide them with the materials, and let them have at it. Right now my advanced 3rd grader is VERY into the WorldBook Online student stuff.<br><br>
Other things, when my asthma or heart are acting up, they just bring homework to me. If I'm lying in bed because I can't stand up without fainting, they bring me the math that's troubling them, and we do it while I lay there like a lump. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
I'm not a Waldorfy parent at all, although there are things about Waldorf I've tried. I have a few Christopherus units, and they always seem far too ... fancy for what I want. If Waldorf isn't your family's style this year, that's not going to ruin your kids for life. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I love SoTW. We're not Christian, so we emphasize and de-emphasize different things. The projects are very do-able, and the library emphasis is much more fun than just following a strict curriculum.<br><br>
Easy cheesy but excellent math: DK Math. We LOVE it. It's our spine book, even though we're also using "Right Start math" now as well. DK is so much fun, and with just one workbook, the kids feel like they're getting SO much done!<br><br><br>
Literature: We just print out the SonLight book list for that year, and they read them all and do reports on the ones they like. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> As non-Christians, we do leave out some of the books on the lists, and we do improvise, and our SoTW lists give us a lot to read as well. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Honestly, I'd play it by ear and let them bring things TO you. Reading aloud to the youngest, doing math with the older ones, whatever. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> My kids even do their homework in my bed when my asthma, or heart, or migraines are too much.<br><br>
Good luck, congratulations, and remember they can teach themselves. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
love, p
 

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Oh! And I'd make the most of free (or nominal fee) sites like Enchanted Learning. My Kindy guy (who reads at about a 7th grade level) still loves the simple projects and work from EL, and so does my 4yo. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> They do have some wonderful older-kid projects and worksheets...even if you only printed stuff for the holidays they have listed, your kids would still have a TON of fun work to do. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
love, penelope
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> a really low maintenance Math program is Math U See. The kids put the DVD in and the guy teaches it. K-12 has some good online classes like history, science and languages. (We've used all of these and they are low maintenance unless unless the child can't read. Then K-12 is not worth doing because you have to do the reading).<br><br>
I hope you feel better soon and the exhaustion eases.
 
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