I got tired of so many teacher’s manuals and I spent some time (a day or two or three – it’s all a blur now) a couple of weeks ago and I merged everything into one binder.
I made a simple, blank, ten week chart (to get us to the end of the term). I used a fresh chart for each subject and filled in weekly goals. My homeschool binder tabs (which have yet to be labeled) are blank paper, Bible (group work), Language Arts (all three kids behind one tab), Math (all three kids behind one tab), Social Studies (group work), Science (group work), Art (group work), and Read Alouds (group work).
We read our Bible and related texts (Sonlight K and 1) during breakfast time. Then we start in on the Language Arts and Math sections and work on them throughout the day. I am still toying with the idea of rotating days – Language Arts one day/Math the next. Most of the day is spent alternating between teaching kids, nursing babes, and doing life. At lunch time we do our Social Studies and Science readings. In the afternoons we continue alternating between kids and their Language Arts and Math. At dinner or shortly after, we conclude our day by reading our Read Alouds.
I put everything needed for the week in that one binder (right behind the subject schedules) and then I have two baskets. The first basket has everything that we use when we are doing group work. In the second basket I put all of the items needed for individual work. This system is working out really well so far. When the boys come to work with me, they grab the basket and my binder and off we go. My oldest has even taken out the binder and his books and started working on his own (I love this) ticking off work as he goes.
Having a set of specific goals to work through for each week in each subject allows us to be flexible in our everyday (which is exactly what we needed). We just work around life and fit in school because most of life is school anyways… Like the other day when I made pancakes from scratch, Moses and Malachi helped and learned that oil and water don’t mix. They also learned that oil helps to brown the pancakes.
I have to say that after 4 years of homeschooling, I finally found something that makes sense for our family. I discovered that I have really missed sitting with the boys while they do their lessons. I am more clearly able to know what areas need to be worked on and what areas they are surprisingly strong in. The boys work better without freaking out when I am sitting beside them interacting with them (independence will come eventually).
Where do workboxes fit? I have been asking myself that question. I know they do fit. I plan on weaving them back in sometime soon. I will post about that bridge when we choose to cross it.
I don’t know if that all was clear as mud (hopefully clearer). If you have any questions, I will try and clarify. I will try and post pictures too if anyone is interested.