Saturday, December 20, 2014

Postpartum Homeschool

My kids were lucky-- they got two weeks off school for Thanksgiving because of the twins being born.  However, to make up for that they aren't going to get much of a Christmas break. 

After two weeks I knew we needed to get back into homeschool, but I haven't been up to carrying the full load, or even anywhere near it.  So I decided we would start very small and then add things as we could. 

The first week all I asked them to do was math, scriptures, and reading.  Reading wasn't a big deal because they all read all the time anyway.  For scriptures, we are using the Discover the Scriptures curricula and although I like to be involved, they can do it completely independently.  And same with math: there is very little I need to do with math. 

Bean and Fish have been using Teaching Textbooks levels 7 and 5 respectively.  I love Teaching Textbooks.  It is done on the computer, but they also have a paper workbook to be able to write in.  The computer teaches them the lessons and then they enter their answers and it does all the grading.  All I have to do is log in and check their grades... I require at least 80% on every assignment, so if they got less than that I can reassign problems and easily change their grade when they correct them.  Both the boys understand math really well, and the computer lessons have been sufficient for them to understand the concepts.  Fish almost never needs to bring his scores up.  Bean understands the concepts but because details do not come easy to him he tends to make little mistakes with the numbers.  But he has improved drastically in his ability to focus and follow through on the corrections so we can usually get his scores where I want them with minimal fuss.  (Well do I remember the days when requiring correction of a math problem brought on a screaming fit that sometimes lasted for hours...we've come so far!)  All in all there is minimum effort required for me with the boys' math.  

Roo is doing Horizons math.  I did not buy the full curriculum, just the workbook.  Roo is very good at math, though, in addition to being a diligent and independent worker, so this has not been a problem.  Horizons is known for being rigorous and somewhat advanced, but at the same time the workbooks are colorful and interesting.  Each assignment has problems of many different types (a spiral approach, in homeschool lingo) which review and gradually build on past concepts learned.  So most of it Roo can do on her own, but if there's something new she can bring it to me and I will teach her how to do it.  It suits Roo perfectly.  I used to check all her assignments, but she does so well that now I just grade her tests. 

I was also going to do Horizons with the Rabbit, but I decided to try the Critical Thinking Company's Mathematical Reasoning workbook instead.  It is similar in that it is colorful and interesting, with a spiral approach.  It's been a good choice for the Rabbit.  She needs more instruction than the others though, because she is just learning basic concepts, so I have to pretty much sit with her while she does her math.  So if I am having a bad day, math with the Rabbit doesn't happen.  But she is only six years old and I don't think there is any need to be on a strict educational schedule at that age.  When we do math we enjoy it and she is learning a lot. 

Math, scriptures, and reading was perfect at first since it covered the basics yet they could work almost completely independently.  Now I have added in their language/grammar workbooks.  This requires a little bit more from me but I am starting to get some sleep so it hasn't been overwhelming.  We will probably leave it at that until after Christmas.

Maybe it sounds kind of insane to be homeschooling with newborn twins, but right now I am so grateful I don't have to be dealing with a school schedule.  I don't have to worry about making sure the kids are properly dressed and out the door on time every morning with all the right papers in their backpack.  I don't have to worry about homework or reading logs or special projects.  All that would be far more difficult for me to handle right now than homeschooling. 

3 comments:

Melanie said...

Said like a veteran homeschooler:) Glad it is working out for you.

Aflyonmyhomeschoolwall said...

You wrote:

"Maybe it sounds kind of insane to be homeschooling with newborn twins, but right now I am so grateful I don't have to be dealing with a school schedule. I don't have to worry about making sure the kids are properly dressed and out the door on time every morning with all the right papers in their backpack. I don't have to worry about homework or reading logs or special projects. All that would be far more difficult for me to handle right now than homeschooling."

And I say, Amen!!!

Fabiola Jamieson said...

Wow, thank you for writing about this! I am pregnant and started to see how I can homeschool during the postpartum period. I appreciate your story and now feel hopeful:)