T4W Test 1 - AIO
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  1. #1
    Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2

    Default Hi from VA, sorry so long!

    Hello all! So glad to have found this site as I'm feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed! I'm a stay at home mom to three kids, 4 year old boy/girl twins, and a 17 month old girl. The two 4 year olds are currently enrolled at a play-based co-op preschool, which they love and we are very pleased with. I'm just lost as what to do for kindergarten. The public school they are supposed to go to is the worst in the county, and every one of my local friends has pulled their kids out of the public school in favor of private religious schools. This just isn't an option for us, for many reasons. But I'm so nervous about committing to homeschooling! I am mostly nervous because I'm afraid I won't be able to meet the needs of both of them since they could not be more different! My daughter actually loves things like workbooks and will grab one for herself and just start working. My son is easily distracted, but is very eager to please. I know that I personally would have to have some sort of loose schedule or curriculum of sorts to follow along with, or else I'd feel constantly stressed. I can be flexible, but do need to have some basics scheduled. I've been looking at Timberdoodle to build my own kit, so I could just make sure I have the basics covered. Does anyone have any advice for homeschooling twins (without completely ignoring the 17 month old), and how to plan without going crazy? Thanks, sorry this is so long and rambling!!!

    Jen

  2. BEH Jan
  3. #2

    Default

    Welcome!
    Avoid timberdoodle and other all-in-one packages, which dont take any of your kids needs into account.
    Instead of thinking of “schedules”, try thinking of “routines”. Get up, have breakfast, do reading time (you read aloud library book on topic of the day / week), let them play while you tend the baby, do a bookwork lesson while baby naps and you can focus... have lunch, play, do another bookwork lesson when the baby sleeps. Figure out how to fit in cooking dinner and take basic care of your house....

    Its also easy to piecemeal your products together - this is all that timberdoodle does, as well - while charging you a premium for it.
    Choose a product that looks reasonable for math, given your kids proclivities in that direction. Pick up a Handwriting Without Tears workbook, put the pages in sleeve protectors and let the kids use dry erase markers....
    Play pre-reading rhyming games together, dabble with inexpensive workbooks before buying expensive miracle products....

    Homeschooling kindergarten is pretty fun.

    Ask for help finding products if you like.
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  4. #3

    Default

    My older girls are 15 months apart, so it is almost like dealing with twins, and they are too as different as different can be , and I also have a younger one.

    When they were 5,4, and 2, the schooling part of life was easy (compared to the rest of life with 3 little ones) - read tons of books to all of them together on whatever topics they want to hear plus sneak in whatever I want them to learn, play-play-play, go outside, color/cut/glue/paste - make messes, read more, play more. I used to find some quiet one-on-one time with each of the older ones and do some more targeted math and writing, and that is it.

    It is totally doable and you all can have fun doing it!

    My two 'cents' of advice would be:
    - think 'learning lifestyle' rather than curricula
    - think of developing routines and relationships rather than structure and lessons
    mom to 3 girls: DD9, DD8, DD5

  5. #4

    Default

    My second oldest son and my oldest daughter are 13 months apart so like Oksana, they might as well have been twins.

    Kindergarten can and I honestly believe should be one of the most relaxed and easy years. Based on your description of your twins, one loving workbooks and the other being eager to please, that will make your job even easier.

    Like Alexsmom said, think 'routine' rather than 'schedule'. Routine will allow you to deal with life with lots of littles without constantly feeling stressed and behind. In kindergarten, you should never feel behind or the need to 'catch up'. A schedule, no matter how loose, will contribute to a feeling of being behind for most people. A routine will feel much more flexible and allow homeschooling to just become part of your day and your family culture rather than being slave to schedule.

    My kindergartener's day looks something like this...

    Get up
    Get dressed, eat, morning chores
    15 - 20 minutes of either phonics or math
    Some kind of activity with movement or a kinesthetic element(playdoh, dancing, playing outside etc)
    Picture book read aloud of the week with an activity to go with it (could be just discussing something about the book or an art project or a worksheet that ties in... just depends on the day)
    More chores and get ready for lunch
    After lunch we take quiet time, it used to be called nap time but he's getting old enough that he doesn't always sleep so it's just quiet time now.
    If we have some where we need to go that day, we go after nap time. Friday afternoons he has speech therapy. No where to go and it's not Friday, he can play outside until dinner.
    After dinner and clean up, we do another 15 - 20 minutes of either math or phonics.
    We usually do some more read alouds of his choosing before bed.

    My kindergartener is my only homeschooler right now, my older kids are either graduated or in public school but when I did have them all at home, our days were still very similar at the kindergarten age. Kindergarten should not take more than 60 - 90 minutes a day tops and even that 60 - 90 minutes should be broken up into short lessons throughout the day. Just because you have two kindergarteners doesn't mean it should take twice as long. Despite their differences, they can do some things together like listening to a read aloud, doing science experiments or art projects and nature study type activities can be done together.

    Even your toddler can participate in some of the activities. I'm sure the toddler would love to do finger plays, listen to stories or be allowed to 'do art' with everyone else as long as you provide a substitute medium for the toddler when your k'ers are using inedible art mediums lol! I never required a child younger than 5 or 6 to participate in our school activities but they were always welcome to join in as long as they were not disruptive. Sometimes they joined us the whole time, sometimes they would wander off and go play and that's fine. You would be surprised how much their little brains absorb even when they do not participate fully in every lesson.

  6. #5

    Default

    I remember when I started homeschooling, and I was so worried that I wouldnt cover everything.... that my boy wouldnt be learning as much as if he went to our neighborhood school - that I had to justify the legitimacy of my homeschooling by getting everything done, every day, lots and lots of workbooks. “Look Im doing such and such curriculum, thats my outside justification!”
    People advised that I relax about it, but it was really hard to do.
    Six years later, my baby is “doing” kindergarten now, and it is so much more relaxed and casual, so much better. And pretty close to what MapleHill says. Our choices are math, phonics, or writing, and I dont care which we work on together. We are using BYL’s Kindergarten around the world program, so after reading a story set in a location, we sometimes color in a page about that country.... not so much for facts, but to build up his hand stamina... Im satisfied after he has worked on it for a while.

    My point, though, is that it may be too difficult as a new homeschooler to let go of the paradigm that schooling is rigid, structured, and has a certain output each day. You and your kids will be happier when you do, though!

    Let us hekp walk you through the seeming insanity!
    Homeschooling DS11, DS5.

    Atheist.

    My spelling and typing are fine, its my keyboard that doesnt cooperate.

  7. #6
    Junior Member Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Thank you guys so much for the responses! I know once we get started I'll probably chill out a little bit, its just the anxiety of the unknown lol! I'm actually looking forward to spending the time with them, they really are so eager to learn! I like the idea of a routine, I definitely thrive with a routine, and my kids definitely take after me in that respect! I'm sure I'll have lots of questions though, I'm so happy to have found this site!

  8. #7

    Default

    Hi Jen. We just started homeschooling in the last year. Our daughter (13) spent her grade school years at a small private school. Overall, it was a great experience though I've always been open to homeschooling. Last year, we initially tried moving her into a public middle school. Obviously, that didn't work out. Now that we've been at this for a while, I think we're starting to find our groove. While I don't regret her grade school experiences, I do sometimes wish we'd started homeschooling earlier. It's taken a bit to figure out what works for us and for me to gain some confidence. Your situation is pretty different from mine but I thought it might help you to know, before you start, that the anxiety seems to come and go. I keep reading that the first year can be the hardest. If that happens for you, keep breathing. I'm really glad we've stuck with it this far. Best wishes!

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Hi from VA, sorry so long!