Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

How flexible is your day?

Posted by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 8:31 AM
  • 8 Replies
Do you have a set school time or do your break it up throughout the day?

I'm starting this coming year after being a public school teacher and I would like to be flexible and break up the learning time in chunks throughout the day with lots of playtime, art, and excercise sprinkled throughout the day. While the LO is napping I plan to teach my older one. My boys will be 3 and 6. For example is it okay to take a break in the morning to take them swimming or to the park?
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 8:31 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-8):
hipmomto3
by Bronze Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 9:34 AM
Only you can know what is 'ok' :).

For our family, we need to be done with 'school' before we do anything else. That doesn't mean our afternoon activities aren't educational - I just know from experience I can't expect them to come back from some activity & be able to sit down & open their books. So I'm pretty rigid about not scheduling anything before lunch (exception: dr and dentist appts that can't be changed).
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
rsrangel
by Bronze Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 9:46 AM
We are very flexible here. Some days we stay on task, some days we say forget it and go to the beach lol. I probably should be less flexible and start getting them in a routine, but for now we are enjoying every day to the fullest. Mine are all really good about sitting down and doingseat work when i ask though, and all are at the educational level they should be.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
oredeb
by debbie on Mar. 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM

 oh yea, you can homeschool anyway you want, any time you want and do it any place you want!! as you go along you'll notice when the best time is to start and end for you and the kids!

mem82
by Platinum Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 1:00 PM

We do our best work after lunch. Errands and classes are usually in the morning. Be as flexible as you and your kids want. Some kids really crave routine.

coala
by Silver Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 1:13 PM

We work best in the morning.  Things start to get off track just after lunch.  The best part odf this playing around with your schedule and finding what works best.  We are 2/3 of the way through the year and are having to shake things up.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Mar. 16, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Your homeschool day is what you make it to be. And as long as your children are learning and loving to learn, then you are on the right track.  You will find that your children will learn much quicker and will not need the same amount of "schooling" as the public schools.  

maggiemom2000
by Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 3:18 PM

I taught public school for 10 yrs before I ended up homeschooling. It took me awhile to learn what homeschooling should look like for us, and that homeschooling can be much different than "school at home".

I have learned to be very flexible! I set up workboxes for my kids and they are allowed to work through them at their own pace, and do them in the order that they choose. I will pull them aside for one on one or other work with me when the LO is asleep or otherwise occupied. Some workboxes will have a "mom" tag that shows they are to do it with me. Sometimes I'll just tell them, "Now's a good time for me, I'm available to do "mom" boxes".

Some morning the kids want to get right to work and go through and get everything done early. Other dya they do one box, then play awile, do another, go walk the dog, come back... etc.

If we have somewhere to go I let them know so that they can plan to get their work finished before we need to leave. Sometimes we skip the workboxes and academic work altogether to go skiing, hiking, take some kind of trip.

Taking a break in the morning to go swimming or go to the park is a great idea! 

Here's my blog about using workboxes if you are not familiar with that method. There are lots of links to more info on how to use them, set them up etc. My littlest is now 3yrs and loves it if I set up boxes for her!

How Workboxes Work in our House

We are a couple of weeks into our second year of homeschool at our house. One thing that we have found works well for us is the Workboxes system. I must admit I never read "the book", Sue Patrick's Workbox System. I read a lot of blogs, looked at a lot of photos and came up with our own version of the system.
For the first time this year the boys are enrolled in the California Virtual Academy (CAVA) which uses the K12 curriculum. I find it is easy to use the Workboxes with this curriculum. (EDIT: We left CAVA/K12 after 6 weeks)
I have one child who is easy to homeschool. He is organized, and will sit quietly and do "seatwork". If I were just working with him I wouldn't need any kind of "system".
My other child is not that way. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and OCD. I know some people don't like labels for their kids. For me, it helps to remind me that I didn't do, or not do anything to cause the way he goes through life. I can't change him, but I can help to try and give him tools to make it easier to get through life. With this child, I needed a "system'!
While I try and make the kids assignments not to "schooly" and avoid worksheets and generally boring busy work, there still needs to be a way to get through the curriculum. The Workboxes help with this. I find that it does several things that are particularly helpful for a child with ADHD:
  • It helps with organization.
  • It is visual and tactile. He can see how much work (how many boxes) need to get done. He physically moves the tag off the box and onto the chart when he is finished with it.
  • It is self rewarding in that he can see the number of tags increase on his chart and feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • It is not so overwhelming to have one task in a box. It doles things out in small enough chunks for him.
  • It takes away me being the one telling him to do each assignment. Instead he just takes a box off the shelf. I find this leads to fewer power struggles.
  • It gives him a sense of control. I allow him to choose which box to do next, he doesn't need to do them in any specific order.
  • It helps me to insert more fun stuff and games. When I put the game in the box the night before I'm not overwhelmed and ready to quit for the day! Before, by the time I got through math, writing, science, etc. I was too tired to say "Let's play Scrabble!" But when it is on one of the boxes it is different.
  • It promotes independence. He chooses a box and starts working on it on his own (unless it is a "MOM" box, then he brings it to me for us to do together).
With my first child, I just had to tell him how the system works, once. With my second child it took a bit more work. The first week with the workboxes there were boxes and tags and supplies EVERYWHERE! It took some time, and lots of one on one to teach him to take down one box, finish it, move the tag, put it away, then take the next box. I think just learning a routine like that is valuable in itself.


This is what it looks like:
I was able to use some shelves that we already had for the workboxes. Each child has 12 boxes, and I usually "fill" 9-12 boxes each day. At first I thought, how will I ever fill 12 boxes, that is WAY too much! When I started doing it I quickly realized that it wasn't too much, because many of the boxes have short activities. Plus, I needed lots of boxes so that I could add lots of "fun" stuff. My kids love the Active Activity Cards. I downloaded those and made more of my own.

I was amazed at first to find that if I put it into a Workbox, they just did it. It was that easy.

When they finish a box, they pull off the tag and and place it on their chart.

I have one child who always carefully places each tag on his chart in numerical order. My other child is a bit less orderly with how he gets his number tags onto his chart. I'll leave you to figure out who does it which way.


This system also keeps ME organized and on track. 
I'm much less likely to get too tired at some point and just put something off until the next day (and the next). I keep things on hand to add to the boxes to keep things interesting and "hand on". In addition to my shelves full of supplies I have this little cart with little games, math manipulatives, hands on science equipment and other supplies. I find that if it is within reach I'm much more likely to take advantage of it.

It is a lot of organization up front, but not too difficult to maintain!

Added January, 2013

More resources:
Workbox Tags
More Workbox Tags
Workboxables

More on using workboxes with a child with ADHD/Aspergers, or similar challenges:
Get Creative!
Fun Workboxes
Workboxes and Power Struggles
Bluecalm
by Bronze Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 4:50 PM

 


Quoting maggiemom2000:

I taught public school for 10 yrs before I ended up homeschooling. It took me awhile to learn what homeschooling should look like for us, and that homeschooling can be much different than "school at home".

I have learned to be very flexible! I set up workboxes for my kids and they are allowed to work through them at their own pace, and do them in the order that they choose. I will pull them aside for one on one or other work with me when the LO is asleep or otherwise occupied. Some workboxes will have a "mom" tag that shows they are to do it with me. Sometimes I'll just tell them, "Now's a good time for me, I'm available to do "mom" boxes".

Some morning the kids want to get right to work and go through and get everything done early. Other dya they do one box, then play awile, do another, go walk the dog, come back... etc.

If we have somewhere to go I let them know so that they can plan to get their work finished before we need to leave. Sometimes we skip the workboxes and academic work altogether to go skiing, hiking, take some kind of trip.

Taking a break in the morning to go swimming or go to the park is a great idea! 

Here's my blog about using workboxes if you are not familiar with that method. There are lots of links to more info on how to use them, set them up etc. My littlest is now 3yrs and loves it if I set up boxes for her!

How Workboxes Work in our House

We are a couple of weeks into our second year of homeschool at our house. One thing that we have found works well for us is the Workboxes system. I must admit I never read "the book", Sue Patrick's Workbox System. I read a lot of blogs, looked at a lot of photos and came up with our own version of the system.
For the first time this year the boys are enrolled in the California Virtual Academy (CAVA) which uses the K12 curriculum. I find it is easy to use the Workboxes with this curriculum. (EDIT: We left CAVA/K12 after 6 weeks)
I have one child who is easy to homeschool. He is organized, and will sit quietly and do "seatwork". If I were just working with him I wouldn't need any kind of "system".
My other child is not that way. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and OCD. I know some people don't like labels for their kids. For me, it helps to remind me that I didn't do, or not do anything to cause the way he goes through life. I can't change him, but I can help to try and give him tools to make it easier to get through life. With this child, I needed a "system'!
While I try and make the kids assignments not to "schooly" and avoid worksheets and generally boring busy work, there still needs to be a way to get through the curriculum. The Workboxes help with this. I find that it does several things that are particularly helpful for a child with ADHD:
  • It helps with organization.
  • It is visual and tactile. He can see how much work (how many boxes) need to get done. He physically moves the tag off the box and onto the chart when he is finished with it.
  • It is self rewarding in that he can see the number of tags increase on his chart and feel a sense of accomplishment.
  • It is not so overwhelming to have one task in a box. It doles things out in small enough chunks for him.
  • It takes away me being the one telling him to do each assignment. Instead he just takes a box off the shelf. I find this leads to fewer power struggles.
  • It gives him a sense of control. I allow him to choose which box to do next, he doesn't need to do them in any specific order.
  • It helps me to insert more fun stuff and games. When I put the game in the box the night before I'm not overwhelmed and ready to quit for the day! Before, by the time I got through math, writing, science, etc. I was too tired to say "Let's play Scrabble!" But when it is on one of the boxes it is different.
  • It promotes independence. He chooses a box and starts working on it on his own (unless it is a "MOM" box, then he brings it to me for us to do together).
With my first child, I just had to tell him how the system works, once. With my second child it took a bit more work. The first week with the workboxes there were boxes and tags and supplies EVERYWHERE! It took some time, and lots of one on one to teach him to take down one box, finish it, move the tag, put it away, then take the next box. I think just learning a routine like that is valuable in itself.


This is what it looks like:
I was able to use some shelves that we already had for the workboxes. Each child has 12 boxes, and I usually "fill" 9-12 boxes each day. At first I thought, how will I ever fill 12 boxes, that is WAY too much! When I started doing it I quickly realized that it wasn't too much, because many of the boxes have short activities. Plus, I needed lots of boxes so that I could add lots of "fun" stuff. My kids love the Active Activity Cards. I downloaded those and made more of my own.

I was amazed at first to find that if I put it into a Workbox, they just did it. It was that easy.

When they finish a box, they pull off the tag and and place it on their chart.

I have one child who always carefully places each tag on his chart in numerical order. My other child is a bit less orderly with how he gets his number tags onto his chart. I'll leave you to figure out who does it which way.


This system also keeps ME organized and on track. 
I'm much less likely to get too tired at some point and just put something off until the next day (and the next). I keep things on hand to add to the boxes to keep things interesting and "hand on". In addition to my shelves full of supplies I have this little cart with little games, math manipulatives, hands on science equipment and other supplies. I find that if it is within reach I'm much more likely to take advantage of it.

It is a lot of organization up front, but not too difficult to maintain!

Added January, 2013

More resources:
Workbox Tags
More Workbox Tags
Workboxables

More on using workboxes with a child with ADHD/Aspergers, or similar challenges:
Get Creative!
Fun Workboxes
Workboxes and Power Struggles

These look great! Thanks for the information.

Not the same of course, but my church has activity bags to keep the kiddos occupied which my son loves so it  would be an easy transition to a workbox or bag since he already has the concept.

 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)