It turns out we (I) just needed to slow down and tweak my planning: we are still doing AO year 1 with the Engineer. I made a form for myself that has space for two readings a day, and four schoolwork days a week. Most of the weeks for AO Year 1 had seven readings, so we actually have time to get them all done with a spare ‘block’. I also planned out what order to teach what, maximum time to spent on each subject, and what kids should be present.
This ensures that:
- The kids all get breaks AND they all get attention. For example, I added a story time for the Explorer (my youngest) right in the middle, so he gets to spend time with me while the older two get a break. I spaced the breaks the Engineer gets as evenly as I could.
- Most subjects are ten minutes – that is plenty of time. Math is 20 minutes, twice a week. German is 15 minutes, but i am still planning that subject.
- The whole day maximizes at two hours and thirty minutes. That includes a ten minute break with the Explorer and two ten minute sessions one-on-one with the artist.
- Combining subjects. Everyone is present for Bible reading, safety, German and Crossfit Kids (exercise – I will start it next week). The oldest two both do (with VERY loose standards for the Artist, he usually sits in) copy work and poetry. So phonics, math and the AO selections are done separately.
- An in-your-face reminder list: empty boxes. I am planning to start drawing soon as well, but haven’t outlined that yet. It will be the last subject I add on this sheet. Hymn study, folksong study, artist study and composer study I hope to start next week, with the older two while allowing the youngest to participate on his level.
- I have tried to alternate sitting with movement, listening with interacting, etc.
- I left space on the bottom for a fifth day of school (or an afternoon) to do our nature study. I am planning to do the nature hour challenge, hopefully that will cover all of AO’s nature topics. (For example, the nature hour challenge is doing trees, AO 1 recomments animals. As long as all are covered its fine, or we will do two walks – I like being outdoors.)
So far it seems to help, at least I don’t feel as lost. Still to implement (in order):
- Crossfit Kids– We do Taekwondo twice a week but we can do this daily. Everything is laid out I just need to gather the equipment and get moving.
- Composer study – My Bach CD is missing, I need to order a new one or try to find a store here that carries classical music. Until then I may try last.fm.
- Artist study – since my color printer is now working.
- Folk song and Hymn study – To confess I’m not sure here, I thought I knew a lot of hymns but I don’t know these. The folk songs I want to play on my guitar while we sing.
- Drawing – last because I need to work on my own drawing skill first, then figure out my goals, etc. for teaching the kids.