the boys working on their notebook pages

For four weeks in October I had three young boys to homeschool for three mornings a week (9yo, 7yo, 5yo).  Their mum had been through cancer treatment and though doing well needed a bit extra time to recover and get things sorted before she took on homeschooling again.  It was a pleasure to help my friend this way – and yet there was a degree of playing it forward as I couldn’t help but remember, with thanks, my friend who looked after Josh and Jess while we went through months of treatment with Naomi when she was a baby.

The goal of having the boys was more about giving mum space than anything else but I wanted to make our time together worthwhile and enjoyable.  This is what I planned:

  • Character First lesson.   They use Character First in their family as well so I just continued on with the next trait.
  • Five in a Row.  I will take any opportunity to use this resource – I love using it and I love seeing the kids interact with the stories and lessons.
  • Living Math.  We didn’t use their regular Math U See workbooks but instead touched on different math concepts using stories.  Tallies, Roman Numerals, Perimeter, Regrouping.  Some of these concepts were refreshers for the older ones, and new for the younger, and some were new for all.
  • Drama.  Once a week Naomi took the boys for about 45minutes for drama.  They seemed to have a lot of fun.  They played charades – working on using their bodies and facial expressions to communicate an idea
  • Science and Art.  I started off with an extra science and art lessons but it became too much prep and to be honest they were just as happy and occupied playing outside!!  So I let that idea go.  Then I remembered this is why I love FIAR – it keeps the variety without the big amount of prep so we kept up with art and science from FIAR and that was all.
  • Games.  They loved “Make and Break” but after a few weeks of that we played Sequence, Rush Hour, Othello, and Connect Four.  They also enjoyed catching butterflies, riding scooters, bouncing on the trampoline and being in the cubby.

Having the boys around (as well as having Jess do much the same kind of thing with another family) made me remember a few things that help homeschooling this age group.

  • If you get delayed or distracted have them read a book.  This is the default setting for whenever they have nothing to do.  This means they keep close and you don’t have to pull them back in from having left the learning area.
  • Be prepared and if you aren’t prepared have them read a book, or play outside and get prepared.  Don’t try and wing it!
  • Bouncing on a trampoline helps a fidgety boy gain self-control and focus
  • Having regular exercise/active breaks breaking up focus time helps everyone and gives me time to get the final details ready for the next lesson, or make a phone call, or hang out the washing.
  • Short lessons work for everyone, though sometimes the older ones need a bit more time to finish their output (artwork, notebook page, worksheet)
  • Having water bottles at their tables reduces a lot of wasted time
  • When teaching multiple ages, know what the objective is for each child – depending on ages, it may well differ.  The objective can be skills based or knowledge based.
  • When asking for verbal feedback (narrations or answering questions) start with the youngest and go up to the oldest, expecting each person to add something more.
  • When you teach a child how to use art materials then you reduce your mess factor.  You can also teach them and expect them to be responsible for packing activities away themselves.

One of the things that caught me unawares and that was my tired levels.  After they went home I needed a nap.  I remember taking naps when my kids were this age.  After lunch everyone would go to their bedrooms and have either a nap themselves, or they would have quiet room time.  This would give me at least 1 hour where I could revive and refresh myself.  Now I didn’t have the boys in the afternoon but mums do and if we are going to be intentional and directive in the afternoon (even if the kids do have free productive time) then we need to have the energy to be on top of our game.  We may well need a nap!!

I enjoyed having the boys – they were keen to learn and do whatever I had planned and they were respectful and responsive.  One of the things though that I considered before I offered to help was that Nomi and Daniel were able to stay on course with their studies.  They have been working on independent projects and were not needing lessons taught by me at that stage so having the extra boys here worked in with our family as well.  It was a privilege to be able to help.

Be Intentional

 Every week I'll email an encouragement to stay intentional and relational in all your family life.  But for now, download your set of reminder posters - posters which I've used over the years to remind me to keep my eyes and heart on what is important.

Thank you for joining me. You have successfully subscribed and will receive an email from me shortly. (You never know which folder emails will land in so keep an eye out for my "Thank you" email.) Stay in touch... Belinda - Live life with your Kids!

Download your worksheet and start working on your family vision statement.

Get the Family Vision Worksheet

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Individual Education Planning Worksheets - brainstorming every area of your child's life.

Get your Planning Worksheets

I will email you the download link so you can start looking at all the different spheres of your child's life before you make any curriculum choices. 

The download link is on it's way.

Get a copy of the Jelly Bean Story

I will email you a download link.  You can print and share this story with your kids and their friends.

The download link is on it's way.

This parent guide helps parents plan family bible study and use discussion techniques to teach the important lessons.

Bible study Guide for Parents

Guide includes tips, planning worksheet, and discussion prompts. I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Obedience looks a bit different as our kids grow older. Download this parent/teen discussion guide to understand this issue of obedience in teen years.

Download your Free Discussion Guide

Don't assume your kids are rebelling - instead talk to them about what Obedience looks like now they are older.  I will email you a download link.  

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download yourCharacter Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download your Character Certificates

Though true character is driven by internal motivation, our children will appreciate when we see that they are growing in character.

The download link is on it's way.

Over 20 different verbal expressions divided into heart or self control to help parents discern these behaviours.

Download your Cheat Sheet

I will send you the link to download this cheat sheet that will help you discern between a heart attitude and a lack of skill.

Thanks for being here! The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Grow in Character Worksheets

You will receive an email shortly with the details. Watch your inbox.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

The download link is on it's way.

Download Parenting Poster

Download Parenting Poster

 

Learn to respond to your child in a way that changes their heart.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Our children hear different words when we react to when we respond. Do your children hear blah blah blah when you correct them? Includes a parenting poster.

Download Parenting Poster

 

When we Respond instead of React we find a way to deal with the heart not just behaviour.

 

I will email you the download link.

Thank you for being here - your download link will arrive shortly.

Pin It on Pinterest