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I don’t know about everyone else but keeping up with 6 kids and their school work can be stressful at times. They are on different levels ranging from Pre-K to High School and sometimes I just get confused as to who is where and what needs to be finished. I wanted to keep up with our school work and grades for my own records and I needed a system. The scholarship that my 14 year old has also required a portfolio to be kept and I had no idea where to start.
I had notebooks and binders set up with our schedules and records. I was handwriting a lot of stuff. Then I tried to just print out a generic checklist. It worked but it was still a lot of work on my end. Luckily for me I found the Homeschool Manager app and it has changed the way I keep records and schedules.
My highschooler likes to have a printed schedule and sometimes I like to print out a schedule for myself. Most of the time I just keep track of it online. This is an example of how I set up a week for my 14 year old. He has special needs and a lot of his activities are combined with the 3 & 5 year olds. (Note this is an old schedule as I started this post a week or so ago.)
We do a short Bible lesson everyday. Currently we are using Our Daily Bread for Kids for our daily lesson. The lessons are short and have a fun fact listed with each one. Everyone has some kind of ‘Life Skill’ activity everyday with laundry being one day a week. The younger ones have videos that they watch on the Discovery K12 site or I will find them something to watch or work on with me.
Their Language Arts varies from day to day and with the level they are working on. The little guys use a combination of work from the Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool and the Discovery K12 sites. They are currently using the Getting Ready 1 and the McGuffey Primer on the Easy Peasy site, and the Pre-K and Kindergarten levels on the Discovery K12.
My 14 year old is the only one using the McGuffey Primer but sometimes the little boys like to follow along with the words. He normally stays on each lesson for a week or two until he is comfortable with the words and can read his lesson fairly easily. This is our second time going through the McGuffey Primer with him as the first time I feel I may have rushed him and he just didn’t retain much of it.
There are various activities, videos, and crafts that go along with the lessons in Getting Ready 1. All of the boys do these together. For my 14 year old this is a lot of repetition but he still has a lot of areas that he needs practice on.
The 5 year old and the 14 year old are both on the Kindergarten level of Discovery K12 but they enjoy going over the Preschool Level with the 3 year old. The 3 year old also enjoys doing the activities that the older boys are doing so it all works out for everyone.
Their math is done together as well. The 3 year old’s lessons are mainly learning to count to 10 for now but the others enjoy the review. Then the older boys are learning to compare numbers and quantities which the youngest enjoys doing too. Next year I may need to look into a different Kindergarten curriculum to keep it from being so repetitive but for now everyone is doing well.
Then the boys all work on the Kindergarten level of Discovery K12 for their Social Studies and Science. They are learning about the United States and maps. If the lesson includes a lot of reading I will usually find some YouTube videos for them to watch. This will often lead to them finding more videos that interest them.
In Science they are learning about animals. We actually did Zoology last year with Easy Peasy but they aren’t complaining. I got behind in our group lessons earlier in the school year and just decided to use the Discovery K12 lessons as a guideline for this year.
Art and Music are also included with both sites so I just kind of pick and choose what we will be doing for the week. They normally have at least one activity a day whether it be a coloring sheet, a craft, or a song to sing along with. The boys love the songs that require them to get up and jump around.
Then for PE, which we do as a group, we sometimes have a health lesson or video or we will watch an exercise video that the kids can follow along with. I try to go back and fill those in after we have completed them. They also go outside and play when the weather is nice. We play different games like flag football and tag. We also have some indoor activities that they can do like bowling and ring toss. All of these games and activities help them to develop in different areas.
Whatever school looks like in your house it may help to have a schedule of some sort. For us, right now, this is what works and helps to keep me on track. I use the sites as a guideline and without keeping a schedule I wouldn’t be able to remember what I had planned to do. There are many days where I replace a lesson or something with a video or other activity that I have found along the way. When I use the app I can also see if I have any ‘holes’ or if I am missing any activities for certain subjects and/or areas. I can find activities to fill these gaps, if needed.
I can sit with my laptop and open up different tabs for my Cozi calendar, the Homeschool Manager app, the Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool, and the Discovery K12 sites. If we have a special event, holiday, or something of that sort I will also open up my Pinterest or blog to search for activities to go along with the week’s lessons.
Today I sat down to work on what I should have finished yesterday. I did the basic schedules following the lessons that were on the sites. Then I checked my Cozi calendar to see what upcoming events and special days we have for the week. Good thing I looked because we have three days; National Freedom Day, Groundhog Day, and Feed the Birds Day. I also promised the kids I would get some rock painting supplies so they could work on a few rocks when their Daddy comes to visit on Thursday. (That counts as Art in my book.)
So after reviewing my Pinterest Board and selecting a few activities I printed out the materials I needed and then went back to the app. I selected one child’s schedule and entered in the activities under the appropriate subject. I also entered in the website info so I could easily reference it later. I then added all ‘students’ to the task and saved it. I only had to do it on one child’s schedule to save it to everyone’s schedule. So simple!
Then I put all of the information and worksheets that I had printed out into my organizer. I have a color coded tab for each child and then I have a colored coded tab for the days of the week where I put the group activities. Voila! I am finished and ready to go for the next week. I was able to get everyone’s schedule entered plus get everything printed and organized in under an hour. Not every scheduling day goes as easy as this one did but hopefully they will get easier as time goes by.
I hope this post, even though it was a bit long, may help someone in some way. Happy homeschooling!
You can also check out my Instagram to see some examples of what we do on a daily basis.