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Thread: Planning for next year - multiple levels

  1. #1

    Default Planning for next year - multiple levels

    Hi Everyone!

    It's been a long time, and I've never posted much, but I always find you ladies so helpful! I'm doing my planning for next year so that I'm ready for the local convention in a couple of weeks. My FAVORITE part of it is the AMAZING used book sale. I've scarfed up some of my special FIAR titles there.

    My question is in planning (again). I'm dealing with my youngest 5 boys right now and they range from 8th grade down to a 3yr. old. I guess you would call me a relaxed homeschooler with a unit study and Charlotte Mason flare. One reason I'm not a Charlotte Mason purist is because when I tried that my brain couldn't deal with the many short lessons out of oodles of books each day. I need simple. I'm a big picture thinker who can get bogged down with too many details. When I try to break my kids up into groups and have time with each group each day, it never works. I can never stick with that every day - just being honest. So I'm thinking about scheduling 2 Rows a month and alternating with weeks focused on Truthquest History and science for the 6th and 8th grader. They can join in with our FIAR weeks as well as do independent history reading and Supercharged science videos on there own. Just wondering how that sounds? My other thought was to alternate days instead of weeks but I'm afraid that would feel too scattered for me.

    Thanks for listening to my ramblings.

  2. #2

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    I don't have an answer for you but I wanted to say that I am the exact same way. I recently started a FIAR youtube channel and am currently editing a video that discusses this exact topic! I love many of her philosophies and if I apply them 'big picture' for the year I do great. Meaning, I make sure in a year we are learning poetry, habits, composers, artists etc. However, trying to get that stuff in every day or even every week is overwhelming!

    So glad there is another person whose brain works like mine!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Alabama
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    Hey Aimee One thing I've learned over the years is to know my strengths and to know my weaknesses If I plan TOO much, I wind up getting next to nothing accomplished because it becomes overwhelming when life gets in the way. Just being honest and real.
    I think that your plan sounds like a good thing for YOU! I would definitely add some extras for the older kids, AND I would do more chapter book read alouds (and would require the olders to have some extra readers going on, too -- have you thought about BY for them and having them be more "in charge" of their own learning with that?). I've done a lot of chapter book go-alongs for FIAR books over the years, and it just reinforces learning AND teaches at the same time.

    Good luck!
    Wife to Jim and Mama to Katie (1/01), Mattie (9/02), Cale (4/05), and Ben (8/08)

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the affirmation, Ladies!

    Brooke, I'd love to know how to find your YouTube channel! Glad to hear there's someone else who thinks like me. I've finally found a way to make all the wonderful parts of the Charlotte Mason life happen. I bought the morning time plans from A Gentle Feast and it's only 19.00 for a year of Bible, poetry, Bible memory, composer and artist studies based on a historical time period! It takes less than 30 minutes a day and all the music and artwork have internet links. I can do this with everyone at once!

    Paige I'm definitely going to give my olders more to do. I was just talking about things I need to do with them at their level. I have planned out one read aloud per month, using the brave writer language arts guides for the older three. Some read alouds will go with our history topics, some with science topics and some just for fun. Same with FIAR titles. If there's one that matches our history or science I picked it but threw some in just for fun. Of course everyone has math and reading at their own level and the independent readers will be assigned some great history titles to read on their own. I hope this works!

  5. #5

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    Aimee: The name is Simplicity! The particular video I just filled won't be up for a couple weeks though. I fill multiple videos at a time so I can chunk my time together!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Alabama
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aimee in PA View Post
    Thanks for the affirmation, Ladies!

    Brooke, I'd love to know how to find your YouTube channel! Glad to hear there's someone else who thinks like me. I've finally found a way to make all the wonderful parts of the Charlotte Mason life happen. I bought the morning time plans from A Gentle Feast and it's only 19.00 for a year of Bible, poetry, Bible memory, composer and artist studies based on a historical time period! It takes less than 30 minutes a day and all the music and artwork have internet links. I can do this with everyone at once!

    Paige I'm definitely going to give my olders more to do. I was just talking about things I need to do with them at their level. I have planned out one read aloud per month, using the brave writer language arts guides for the older three. Some read alouds will go with our history topics, some with science topics and some just for fun. Same with FIAR titles. If there's one that matches our history or science I picked it but threw some in just for fun. Of course everyone has math and reading at their own level and the independent readers will be assigned some great history titles to read on their own. I hope this works!

    Aimee, that sounds perfect It sounds very similar to what I do. Yes, I use some "different" basics from you (not Truthquest, not bravewriter), but all the other is similar I do start Apologia Science in 7th, but the ONLY reason I do that is because it's offered as a lab class at our coop in a group setting, and they enjoy that It sounds like you are right on track -- at least MY track Especially for elementary, I do lots and lots and lots of reading and exploring through reading (and FIAR, of course, and math and LA and some writing that I come up with). I add in bits and pieces extra probably starting in 5th or 6th and get a bit more and more and more, but it's typically following things they're interested in. My oldest son (7th this past year) did A LOT of history, but he loves history and devours everything I put in front of him. I've done Cover Story with 7th or 8th and OYAN in 8th with my girls (my son isn't interested), but they LOVE that, so it's right up their alley. Kwim? I try to tailor things to THEM and their strengths. It's typically not your "traditional" approach at all, but they're learning LOADS! Love it!!
    Wife to Jim and Mama to Katie (1/01), Mattie (9/02), Cale (4/05), and Ben (8/08)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    North Carolina
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    Aimee - I think your plan sounds great. We are pretty relaxed schoolers here too. I don't add in a lot of extras until mine are middle to high school. I do think you might enjoy looking at Beyond at some point with your olders. Lots of fun titles there to explore.

    Thanks for sharing about the morning time plans. Question for you - what ages do you feel this plan is best for? I'm not good at having morning time as my boys (all teens) don't move much in the mornings. I've not been super successful at incorporating some of this, but would like to.
    Leslie Nelsen, Family Room Moderator
    Wife to Roger, Mom to Christopher (24) married to Emily, Rebecca (22), Joshua (18), Isaiah (16), Daniel (13), and Eliana Joy (11).

  8. #8

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    Hi Leslie! Those morning time plans are made for all ages. There's actually have poetry listed for all the different age groups and fables to read for all different ages. The Bible, poet,composer and artist studies are the same for everyone. Not babyish at all. You just click the link and listen too the music or look at and read about the painting or poet. It's so easy and there's even hymns included. I have to admit that even though this has made it easy to do with my elementary and middle schoolers I have a hard time including my high schoolers because they seem to run on there own time. Doing it with the whole family would be easy. Getting them all there at the same time wouldn't!

    Not sure why,but I'm a little scared of Beyond. I have it in my head that it would be a lot of planning and I'd have to do everything with them. I probably just need to buy one of the volumes and look more closely at it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Hi Aimee! I don't really have anything to add other than thanks for posting your questions. I feel the same way about keeping things simple. I have been so overwhelmed trying to imagine having all 5 of my kids school age! My oldest 2 will be 6th and 7th and my plans are very similar to yours. We're even using Bravewriter, but looking for something for History (I may use SOTW??) and Science still, so I may check out what you're using. I've always come up with my own Morning Time things, but recently bought Morning Time plans from Pam Barnhill's website thinking that might make life a bit easier.

    I like the titles in Beyond as well, but we had a difficult time "taking off" when we tried it. I think that I need to give my girls more free reign.... I am not sure how to do that. If anyone has ideas, I'm all ears.
    Mindy - wife to Colin since '03, mommy to FIVE fabulous kids dd12, d10.5, ds8.5, dd6.5, dd4.5

  10. #10
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    Aimee - yes, its the high schoolers that are a hard sell. I have several of those and trying to get them to join in is hard. *sigh*

    Minday and Aimee - We have used and loved Beyond. It is a different rhythm than FIAR. I sometimes plan it by looking at our week and what things we can tackle on which days. I'm using it now with my 13yo and we do a lot of it conversationally. I think asking them to go off and do things on their own is a great idea. One thing I have done in the past, that I learned here, was to have them find 5 interesting facts about a topic and then share it with the family. That could be a lot of fun with 2 working on the same lessons. We did a Beyond co-op for 3 years and loved it. LOTS of hands on activities with the lessons. I think I've blogged on it if either of you want me to look.
    Leslie Nelsen, Family Room Moderator
    Wife to Roger, Mom to Christopher (24) married to Emily, Rebecca (22), Joshua (18), Isaiah (16), Daniel (13), and Eliana Joy (11).

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