Monday, August 11, 2008

Multi-Tasking

The hardest thing about learning how to homeschool, for me, has been teaching two kids at once. Oh, don't get me wrong...I've taught whole groups of children at once. But the age difference in my kiddos is large enough that they very rarely are doing the same thing at the same time.

Sweetheart (3rd grade) needs to do her school work in the mornings. I've done afternoon work with her and it's like pulling teeth. Her head hurts, she cries, she falls apart--it's not pretty. However, catch her in the morning and she's a totally different child.

Little Bit (Pre-K) demands attention. I would like to heed the advice of veteran homeschoolers and give the little one my attention first so her "love tank will be full" or whatever, but she is never satisfied. I can spend tons of one-on-one time with her and she loves it. I can accomplish everything on my to-do list for her school that day and she wants more. She won't just go play already and let me teach her big sister.

So I find myself at the table with a Pre-K student on my left and a 3rd grader on my right. Today the 3rd grader is writing a Proverb from dictation and illustrating it, amidst disscusion to make sure she understood the meaning, while the Pre-K kid has grabbed the pointer and is guiding herself through calendar. OK, I guess we are doing calendar now! Sweetheart is busy so I engage Little Bit in some questions about calendar. She doesn't know the months of the year so I ask Sweetheart to teach her the cute little song she learned in Kindergarten. This requires them to get up so they can do the proper hand motions. OK, back to the chairs. Now Little Bit is working on her Chicka Chicka Boom Boom lapbook. I'm discussing coconuts with her while Sweetheart is doing a 4 digit by 4 digit addition paper. I notice she has started in the thousands place to add. A bit rusty from the summer, dear? I correct her and get her back on track while I answer Little Bit's question about the hump at the bottom of the coconut tree. It's like a little island dear. Just color it red like the rest of the tree or you can leave it white. It's up to you. No, you can't carry the one that far. It has to go to the next door neighbor. See? Carry it to the tens place. Now, what does that equal? Good. No, you don't have to color them all today Little Bit, just finish this page and then we'll do your math.

Fast Forward

See? This is Black Sea that's on your map. You will need to color all the water blue. No, I don't believe the sea is actually black. I don't know why it's named that. We will have to look that up. Yes, Little Bit...glue the coconut on the tree. No, not the trunk. See the book? The coconuts kind of grow up here in the green part. Yes, that's fine. It doesn't matter if they are named the Red Sea or the Black Sea honey, all water is represented by the color blue on a map.

Are you tired yet?

In case you are wondering....it's worth it!

16 comments:

  1. We went to the Black Sea in June... it is absolutely gorgious, and very BLUE! :)

    Thanks for writing out a detailed view of homeschooling multiple levels-- I need to prepare myself for this in a few years.
    ~Jess

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  2. Yes, I'm tired, and I have no doubt that it's worth it, LOL! It DOES sound like a lot of work.

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  3. LOVE the new look! Wow, you have been busy!

    And, this post cracked me up! Sure, of course it's worth it. But that doesn't mean you won't go crazy from time to time!

    And, I must say you are very talented to go back and forth like this. I would probably end up telling Little Bit to carry the coconut to the tenths place!

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  4. Oh goodness, the TENS place! I am pretty sure you are not into decimals yet! See, I would be way confused!

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  5. Yeah, my three do the same to me. But it doesn't stop with school time. Driving, shopping, reading, eating...there are always a MILLION questions that apparently only mom knows the answer to, because they never ask Dad!! :0)

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  6. You dance the dance well Brenda, I have had this exact school day. So it is one of the reasons I initiated quiet time. For two hours a day we each go to seperate reasons and honestly I believe it is allowing me to keep my sanity and truly be a better mother and teacher!

    You sound like your getting a lot accomplished also!

    I like all the blog "revisions" looks good.

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  7. new digs again, girl? You're too cute. Check this out: www.thecutestblogontheblock.com

    I like your description of how your day is running so far. It's such a blessing that your kids are actually willing and anxious to learn!!

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  8. OK I've had two offers this morning for blog design help. Am I driving you guys crazy yet?? :)

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  9. I love it! I at least get afternoons with the tot in bed :)

    I don't know how I would manage if he were under foot all day. Right now he's riding his scooter around us as Pax does his math :) Thankfully his math is easy for him so I can easily direct scooter traffic (and comment on a blog at the same time-wow)!!!
    :) Carisa

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  10. I hear you! I recently bought a bell for my desk. When someone is done his or her independent work, he or she can ring the bell to let me know. Then he or she can work on something quiet until I come to check the work. I hope it keeps them from wandering and interrupting.

    And, yes, it's worth it.

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  11. http://estesfamilynews.blogspot.com/
    hey this link takes you to a blog I read called Finding Our Way, anyway it has a pic of one of the cones I talked about for school supplies. just thought I would pass in on.

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  12. Carrie, I just saw one in a catalog too! I had never heard of those things before.

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  13. This is our first year with K in pre-k. We started this week. Your house sounds like ours. During school time J asked me where I was going and told the crazy, want to come. We all laughed and went about our day.

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  14. Sounds like us only not so big of an age gap and you're missing the aspect of a toddler.

    Mine looks very similar to yours except for : Where did Gid go? Gideon get out of the water! Gid do you have another dirty diaper? No don't get up from your work I just have to go help Gideon. LOL

    One thing I do with my boys when they are working on Math or Reading is that I MAKE the other one not speak to me. They may NOT aks me anything or interrupt. (Unless it's important!) Each child gets 1/2 hour of my undivided attention (minus the toddler time I need) for each of those subjects. Judah's is first in Math and Thomas will play quietly next to us or spend some time on Starfall.com. Then they will switch. NExt is reading...same thing. :)
    They know they have to obey and they know they will soon have all the attention they desire. :)

    For those subjects it just made me NUTS to sit in btwn and answer 20 questions x2. :)

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  15. Oh my! I don't know how you do it. I pray every day that I am blessed with patience as my kids get older. I have so much respect for you!

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I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)