Homeschooling Moms

NoraDun
School Breaks?
by NoraDun
February 12, 2013 at 6:57 PM

We just found out we are expecting our 4th in Oct. This will be our first pregnancy since beginning to homeschool. I am a little concerned about adjusting to life with a NB while also homeschooling two. So I started thinking instead of taking a Summer break and getting behind if we need time off once the baby arrives, we will start early. I am planning on getting my son tested in April or May. Having June off and then starting my oldest in 3rd grade, and my second in K5, around July. Then we can work July to Sept, and take Sept and October off. Does anyone else take breaks in the middle of the school year. Should I be concerned with taking a break so long?

Also does anyone have any advice on homeschooling two? And I read another post about a lady being worried if her child is on grade level? Can I assume if my child is keeping up easily with his work then he is on grade level? I fear what if we decide to send them back to public school and they are behind? (FYI The only way I would send them back is if I really felt like I wasn't teaching them well enough)

Any suggestions, or advice, is welcomed. Thanks

Also....I just purchased our books for next year ($600 later) but this last school year a friend gave us her 2nd grade curriculum. She only did about half of it, and she said that it always seems to work out they only get half done. We are keeping up, I believe although we have taken time off here and there. I am curious if you ladies find that you don't finish all the books either? Should I not fret if I don't finish? And for the ones whos state requires a standardize test at the end of the year, how do you know when your child is ready to take it? This is my first year and I am scared CRAPLESS. Thanks again and sorry for the 101 questions!

Replies

  • almondpigeon
    February 12, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    i had baby number 5 on thanksgiving day. we took 2 weeks off.  it's actually pretty easy to work around an infant.  if he cries, i just nurse him while we're doing school.  the toddler is the major disruption in my house.

  • NoraDun
    by NoraDun
    February 12, 2013 at 7:05 PM

    Well and that kinda concerns me too. Right now I mostly just work with my oldest. I just work occasionally with my second and third. But once the new baby arrives, I figured I will be wearing him or her, while homeschooling the two. I am worried she will feel left out. She will be 3 by the time this one arrives. But it can become disruptive when I try to work with all three because they all start yelling for Mommy's help all at one time. Congrats on your newest addition by the way :)

    Quoting almondpigeon:

    i had baby number 5 on thanksgiving day. we took 2 weeks off.  it's actually pretty easy to work around an infant.  if he cries, i just nurse him while we're doing school.  the toddler is the major disruption in my house.


  • kirbymom
    February 12, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    Well, Hi Nora.  :)   Congratulations on your 4th baby.   :) 

    I have 7 kids and have homeschooled through every single one of them. With your children being so young, you really have nothing to worry about.  You take as many breaks as is needed and work as many days as is needed.   Whatever fits your family best.  Something you might want to consider, is teaching not just to grade level but teaching according to their gifts and talents.  So if you have a 3 yr old that can do math at a second grade level, then give them some math at that level. Let your children learn as fast as they want to learn. Or if they need to slow down, then let them set the pace until they are comfortable with their learning skills and then you can move them forward.  

    You also don't have to school in the day time. you can school at night time if need be and on the weekends if you need to.  There are  a few families on here that do something similar already and are doing fine.  

    You can do this. You've already taught them so much!  :) 

  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    February 13, 2013 at 11:03 AM

     hi nora,

    congratulations on baby!!!

    you'll do fine, just adding another child, it will all work out,

    as for taking a summer break ive taken one for 29 years and its never hurt any of the kids, we just do a bit of review and go on when we start up in sept.

    homeschooling two- are there any subjects you can teach them both in? bible? history, science?

    what i usually did with mine was put them all at a table, with all the books and such that we need, and help them as need be, i had the older kids help the youngers when needed, and if they had to wait for me(cuz i was tending another child or baby) they would pull out there copybook and practice handwriting till i could get to them, or read.  it worked fine for us!  this is a good way to teach our children to be patient and wait! 

    as far as grade level, just do the work from your books, and you'll be fine, (what are you useing for the kids?) when your child takes the test you'll know what they need help in, isnt it every other year testing starting in 3rd grade?

    no i dont finish all my books and theres no worry!  I just start up the next year where I left off! well we do finish our english and math books each year but the others nope!hahaha

    as far as the standardized tests, i dont do it, i already know where my child is,  and if the testing is required you'll just have to have child take it even if he/shes not ready!

  • NoraDun
    by NoraDun
    February 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    For our state we have to start testing in the 2nd grade. So this will be the first year of testing here!! And we are using Abeka curriculum. Thank you so much, I am nervous, but excited at the same time :)

    Quoting oredeb:

     hi nora,

    congratulations on baby!!!

    you'll do fine, just adding another child, it will all work out,

    as for taking a summer break ive taken one for 29 years and its never hurt any of the kids, we just do a bit of review and go on when we start up in sept.

    homeschooling two- are there any subjects you can teach them both in? bible? history, science?

    what i usually did with mine was put them all at a table, with all the books and such that we need, and help them as need be, i had the older kids help the youngers when needed, and if they had to wait for me(cuz i was tending another child or baby) they would pull out there copybook and practice handwriting till i could get to them, or read.  it worked fine for us!  this is a good way to teach our children to be patient and wait! 

    as far as grade level, just do the work from your books, and you'll be fine, (what are you useing for the kids?) when your child takes the test you'll know what they need help in, isnt it every other year testing starting in 3rd grade?

    no i dont finish all my books and theres no worry!  I just start up the next year where I left off! well we do finish our english and math books each year but the others nope!hahaha

    as far as the standardized tests, i dont do it, i already know where my child is,  and if the testing is required you'll just have to have child take it even if he/shes not ready!


  • oredeb
    by oredeb
    February 13, 2013 at 1:51 PM

     what state are you in nora? i forgot!

  • NoraDun
    by NoraDun
    February 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    VA

    Quoting oredeb:

     what state are you in nora? i forgot!


  • KrissyKC
    February 13, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    Re:  Not finishing books... my thoughts...

    The schools don't always finish books either.   Although, I try to use what I pay for... we finish most of it, or I skim the last couple chapters and decide what they know well enough to skip.   Especially since most curriculum build on themselves and re-teach stuff the following year.


    Re:  Taking breaks...  

    We take breaks whenever we want or need to.   I had a baby in June and didn't get started until September (a bit late for us)... then I was exhausted around Nov and pretty much did light stuff for a while.   We still got some required "hours" in (our state asks for 1000 each year) and kept up with our extra curricular stuff, but didn't follow our usual routines or anything.  I even fell off keeping logs and had to go back and catch up.   LOL!    We only just in February got back on track.

     

    Re:  Grade levels...

    We do not have to do any testing, so we don't unless it's something in the curriculum we are using. its not a requirement in our state.   We don't stress over "grade level" that much, but do keep an eye that we don't fall behind in important areas, but we don't teach the same as the school district, so...

    RE:  Advice on homeschooling two...

    Best advice is to combine your subjects where you can.   Don't feel it has to "stick" to grade level, but mostly gear it toward your older one and "help" the younger one enjoy it to.   Except math and english, we combine everything for our older two (11 and 8)  and the preschooler is involved some even.

    Example, I feel I haven't taught my kids american history well enough, and so we are going to use Rod & Staff's 5th grade about it next year.   But my daughter will be a 6th grader and my son will be a 4th grader.   We will be doing extra reading about it by getting books from the library and doing reports on it... I think they will enjoy it and learn a lot.


    ALL that being said, it sounds like I'm sloppy and lazy and don't pay much attention to things... you'd think that my kids would be behind... but no...  except for their poor handwriting skills, they are far from behind.   My 5th grader is going to start pre-algebra and they are both using a textbook a grade ahead in English.   Their work crosses the board.   We also have some books that are considered high school level that we study.   One in particular is called, "Streams of Civilization."   We took bites out of this book with some easier stuff to learn about early civilizations.



  • motheroffour186
    February 14, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Our break was around the twins so i nursed both of them while the older two eat breakfast. Then we did math and Language Arts. Nursed gave older two snack or drink. Then did Science and Social Studies . Then read to all four of them.I feed while the other two answer questions and open writing. Then we will watch one Leapfrog movie. Then school was over.

    Grades we 1st grade and 3rd grade

  • bluerooffarm
    February 14, 2013 at 2:42 PM

     I agree with KrissyKC about combining as much as possible.  While I was cyber-schooling my middle boy (5) and my yougest (4) worked through the history lessons together learning the cardinal directions, oceans, continents, etc.  But my oldest was in mideival times, so it was hard on us.  Now that we are out of the cyberschool, my oldest is having a bit of review with the younger two and next year we will just pick up in Mideival Europe and the Rise of Islam.  We can always go back later and cover the classical stuff when the younger 2 are a little older.  Remember that the PS usually covers classical history in early elementary then again in middle school and then again in High school.  Same with American History and State history.  They just go deeper each time.

    Science is the same way.  Elementary Schools around here like to do weather/ seasons/ butterfly life cycles/ physiology in the fall, then states of matter/ chemistry type experiments in the winter, and then plant lives/ frog life cycles/ the Water cycle/ and Physics type experiments (push and pull, levers, etc) in the spring.  They get a little more indepth and follow the Scientific method a bit more closely each year.

    Think about or research one room school houses.  That's kind of how we run our home.  Everyone does math (at different levels) at the same time, so I'm not going crazy trying to change gears every time someone has a question.  Also the older kids can help the younger kids.  The PS does that too, but they don't like people to know it really.  Much of the time when a teacher breaks the class into groups it is so the more advanced kids can teach the concepts to the less advanced kids.  A great thing about that is that the older kid often gets a better grasp on the concept while trying to explain it to a younger child.

    Also take advantage of "snuggle" time.  When I or the boys are sick, we snuggle in my bed and I'll read some and then pass it to my oldest.  He'll read for a while and passes it back to me.  We get a little done that way and we can practice skip counting or look at art books to get a bit more done.  There is more that you can do while resting than you can think of right now.

Homeschooling Moms