July 13, 2017

Summer Learning

We are on our Summer break and will be until September 5th. Our Summer usually involves a lot of swimming, more electronic usage then usual, and lots of playing with friends. This year it includes all of those but we are also reviewing materials learned this previous year. 

We started our Summer by taking a break from the normal learning aspect and just really enjoyed our pool and time away from the homeschool room. As July hit though I realized we needed to implement a little review in to our days as I didn't want them forgetting important aspects from the last school year.

My youngest son is focusing on memorizing all of his multiplication facts. He is also working on his handwriting as it was a struggle we faced this past year and I really wanted him to work on controlling his pencil. I knew if I told him he was in control of how it looked he would do better and so far I have noticed a huge difference in his handwriting. He is also working on Summer reading. I don't give specific books to read but I do ask that he reads 30 minutes a day. 

My oldest son is mainly just focusing on Summer reading. He knows his math facts and I really just wanted to see him curled up with a book. I did assign him 3 books to read this Summer as he is entering 6th grade and I want to start some assigned reading this year. The books he is reading are Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Where the Red Fern Grows, and Dork Diaries book 11. 

I feel it is important for them to have free time to enjoy being kids and exploring. I also want them to have plenty of time with their friends, but I  want to see them learning and remembering what they learned the years before. I think that without some sit down time I would find myself having to remind them of what they know and be in a struggle when it came to certain aspects of homeschooling the next year.

What are your Summer learning plans? Are you still doing school or are you taking a break?

July 11, 2017

Homeschooling Different Grades

This was a huge worry of mine when we decided to homeschool both of our boys. I knew I was going to have a 3rd and 5th grader at that time and that they would be on different levels with certain subjects. I sat down and researched to see how and if it was something I could do. 

My first realization was that I could teach them both at the same time and that I didn't have to stress, that it would all work out how it was supposed to. I knew I would have to be flexible at times but that it was definitely possible to do.

I decided I wanted to teach them as a group at some times with certain subjects and that I also wanted to be independent with them on other subjects. Last year our group subjects were History, Literature, Geography, Science, and Art. They then had independent time with me for Math, Language Arts, Handwriting, Writing, Spelling, and Reading.

This year my plan is to have our group subjects be History, Geography, Reading, Writing, and Art.
When shopping for curriculum that can be shared I either look for what the publishers say the ages or grade levels their curriculum can be used for. This helps to know that my oldest will learn and my youngest will learn something new from it. This also goes back to other posts where I said being hands on with the curriculum is very helpful as you can really see how it will benefit each of your children.

Independent time will be much more independent this year compared to last year where I sat with them the whole time. This year they will have a planner with what they need to do for that day and complete it. I will go back and forth as they need me to help. Some days I will sit with them to be sure they are understanding what they are doing. Our independent subjects are Language Arts, Science, Handwriting and Spelling.

Math for my youngest will be taught by me, just like last year, and my oldest will be using a curriculum on the computer that teaches him. I will be close by for my oldest though if he needs me.

It may sound complicated but I am really looking forward to how everything is planned out for this year. It is possible to teach more than one grade level you just have to be prepared and figure out what can be taught at the same time and what can be given as independent studies.

What have you found that might be helpful to someone questioning if they can teach more than one grade level?