This first (almost) month of school has been a whirlwind! While homeschooling three has turned out to be quite a feat (for me, at least), I think I can finally say that we have found our groove. We tried several different schedules before I felt we fell into a workable one.
First, we tried a "little ones first" schedule, which equated to me spending about 90 minutes with my daughter for kindergarten followed by 30-45 minutes with my third grader. This left my oldest waiting until after lunch for any focused time with me, which was just not working out for us.
Then we tried a modified "little ones first" schedule, which meant I still met with TS 3 first, but for a shorter time. Then I met with TS 2 for about 45 minutes for Language Arts, and tried to squeeze in a little time in with TS 1 before lunch. This schedule just left all of us feeling rushed all day long.
Our current schedule, which seems to be flowing more smoothly, looks something like this:
8:30-9:30 Meet with TS 3
9:30-10 Meet with TS 2
10:00-10:30 Meet with TS 1
10:30-11 Snack/Read Aloud
11-11:30 Meet with TS 3 while TS 1 & 2 take a short break
11:30-12 Meet with TS 2 while TS 3 takes her break
12-12:30 Meet with TS 1
1-1:30 Meet with TS 3 while TS 1 & 2 have recess
1:30-2 Meet as needed (Recess for TS 3)
2-3 Meet as needed
While I am still bouncing from one test subject to the other all day, there is less waiting time for any one child for my help. I was reluctant to separate the kids for their breaks, but I was noticing that TS 3 was choosing to do her own thing anyway during break time while the boys played baseball outside. If she starts to feel lonely and wants to play with them during breaks, I will have to rethink this. For now, though, we are all enjoying our homeschool groove :)
Everyone seems to be far enough into their studies at this point to know what to expect in a typical day in each subject. This is probably also helping us to feel like we are in a groove with school.
In other news, we had a great first week at co-op last Friday! My first experience teaching at co-op went really well. I am teaching two U.S. Government and Election classes to two age groups, 1-3 grade and 4-6 grade. I am so glad I did most of the planning and preparation over the summer! I cannot imagine if I had to plan and prepare two group lessons every week. Since most of the work is done already, I simply have to review my lessons beforehand and perhaps prepare a chart or two for visuals.
The weather was so beautiful after co-op on Friday that we wound up staying afterwards for almost three hours! The kids had a blast playing outside together and the moms had the chance to catch up from the long summer break.
We went apple and pumpkin picking last Saturday.
TS 3 and I have been reading lots of great picture books about apples these past few weeks, so it was a fun experience to tie into our reading. She and I have been baking with apples all week. We made apple muffins on Sunday.
On Wednesday afternoon, we made an apple crisp to share with our home Bible study group. We are thinking about making applesauce over the weekend.
We have our homeschool group's kick off meeting this Saturday, which should make for a fun afternoon. If we have another "groovy" week here at the lab, perhaps I'll have some time to share about what each test subject is working on in their various subjects :)
Have a wonderful weekend, friends!