This week I'm going to be doing a lot of work to get organized for school. The neat thing is that I've done this for so long that a lot of the work has been done already. The bulk of my time will be spent organizing my daughter's high school classes which I'll talk about another day.
For the elementary grades I use Rod and Staff textbooks and workbooks almost exclusively. These books are very thorough and well laid out. I do admit that I no longer buy the spelling workbooks. I just use the lists from the teacher's manuals. From those lists we do various exercises to help them remember how to spell the words. I just personally found that the exercises were a lot of work without a noticeable difference in my children's spelling abilities so we've gone to something simpler.
As I said Rod and Staff books are very thorough. I do not feel obligated especially in math and grammar to do every problem/exercise for every lesson. I usually assign somewhere between one-third and one-half of the exercises depending on how much I think my child needs to do to master the lesson. Then if they get 85% or higher they are finished. Anything lower and they have to do corrections. If they are still struggling - and this usually happens most often with math - we go over the lesson again and there are fresh exercises for them to try since we didn't do them all in the beginning.
There is also a ton of worksheets you can get on any subject from the internet. I particularly like the Enchanted Learning website. There is a $20 annual fee that I think is well worth it. I designed a world geography course for Junior High using worksheets from this site. I also use a lot of worksheets from them for my Grade 2 Canadian Geography. This is a hybrid course that I put together from a similar course my mom did.
Teaching lots of grades can be challenging but several years ago I stumbled on a plan that makes it easier. Someone gave me three boxes of homework books. These are spiral bound books that when you open up to a two-page spread have a place for every subject for the week. Once my children reach Grade 3 (at which point their reading is very well established) they get one of these books. At the beginning of the week I fill in each child's assignments for every subject for the week. Now they can work their way through each day handing in assignments as they finish them. I don't mind if they want to get up early and do all their work before breakfast. This has never happened, but sometimes they will get one or two of the "easier" subjects out of the way. If they don't understand something then they come to me for help. Otherwise, I can give my time to those who are still learning to read or to helping a toddler clean up a mess he just made or to changing a diaper. A homeschool mom is never bored or wondering what she should do next. ☺
I hope this has been a help to you. If you have any questions please contact me healthypreservation (at) hotmail (dot) com.
|first day of school 2011 - everything is neat and tidy and fresh|