We do Math from 10:15 to 11:30 every day. How much independence should you give your child in Math? How do you teach Math at multiple levels? I begin my Math period with a 5 minute Math drill for all grades. Some are working on addition and some are working on multiplication. We see how many problems out of 100 they can complete in that 5 minute timed drill. Tink does these drills with us.
Even the first grader is in on this. She doesn't have 100 problems nor is she really being timed but to include her as if she was part of it is good practice for later. Everybody puts their name on top of the paper including the first grader with her page of apples filled with little addition sums. At the mark they all begin the drill. This gives me a blessed 5 minutes to regroup and make sure I have everything ready to go at the end of the 5 minutes.
After the timed drill Tink and the two boys do oral multiplication drills with me. We use flash cards or just do recite them by rote, whichever the kids want to do that day.
After the multiplication practice Tink takes her books and heads for the computer to do Teaching Textbooks. She is working independently on her Math. Other days she moves on in her Math book in Bob Jones. I have already checked everything over and have written down exactly what she is suppose to do that day. If she hits a snag she checks to see what Lesson in Teaching Textbooks I have written down to correspond with that part of Bob Jones. To see more on how I use the Teaching Textbooks in conjunction with Bob Jones you can read this post; Teaching Textbooks and How They Measure Up.
You can see here that it is important that I have done my homework and lesson plans. If I wouldn't have plotted all this out for Tink the evening before or the weekend before I would now have to stop and try to figure things out while I have three others waiting. By writing this all out I have made it so that Tink is in charge of her own destination in Math. So now she is working independently and I turn my attention to the two boys who are both in 3rd grade Math.
The first grader is still working on her sheet of apples while I'm getting the boys started. I explain each section of Math that is due that day. I work out a few of the problems on the board and we solve them together. Then the boys on their own. I spend the rest of the time until 11:30 working with the first grader. We do her Math lesson in just a short period of time. She doesn't need that entire time for the Math she has. I use the rest of that period to do Reading with her. If you look at yesterdays post you will see that she doesn't do her Reading during the reading time slot with the other kids. I fit her Reading in here in the Math space.
After lunch I read a story to the kids. We are reading Snow Treasures. This is one of two times that we all come together every day. The first one is at eight in the morning when we all meet in the living room and sing our morning prayer, Father We Thank Thee, and then do our Bible Memory. These two activities keep us all together as a group and keep even the most independent student involved with everyone else.
Story time is finished at 12:30 pm. The next period is from 12:30 to 1:45. This is the time that we do phonics and grammar, language arts and spelling. Again all the children are involved for the first five minutes. We do drills on the parts of speech or the different kinds of sentences; interjection, question, statement, command. Then everyone is off to their own books. I have laid the worksheets to be completed on their desks during the lunch break so they know exactly what to do. I then go to each child and explain each section of their lesson. They then begin work.
At this point the first grader who has done her phonics in the early morning reading time will go to the living room and listen to her Hooked On Phonics Tape. This gives me time to drill with Peter who still needs phonics help even though he is in the third grade. We go over charts of beginning and ending digraphs and consonant blends. He does timed word drills that focus on whatever digraph we are working on.
Peter is a fast worker. While the other third grader does his Language Arts Peter not only completes the drills with me but he does his Language Arts in CLE and his phonics pages in Horizons and A Reason for Spelling. Twice a week he works in Science and Bible. These subjects are just fitted into the time slots when he finishes early.
For example if he finishes his reading before reading period is over he begins reading in his Science. In Math if he finishes early he will again pull out the Science and start from where he left off before. In this manner these two subjects get done. Any experiments are done after the other students leave in the evening.
I give all spelling tests on Thursday. I call out the words to each grade so everyone is taking the test at the same time. I call out their names and the word that is for them. It goes like this: K- run, P & P - struggle, Tink - appreciation and so on down the list. Spelling is over in ten minutes and every one has had their test.
In the afternoons Tink is working independently on her History and Language Arts and Vocabulary. She does the spelling with us. Once again that keeps Tink, the independent learner, involved with the rest of us.
Once a week we take 15 minutes at the end of the day to do Story of The World. All four of the students are included in that class.
Hopefully this gives you all some idea how to include independence with one on one learning in your homeschool. Independent learning should begin at the first grade. Even when your child has mastered independent learning he should never be left on his own at the grade school level. Include that child in all drills, and memorization and any class that covers multiple grade levels, such as; Story of The World.
Remember there is nothing set in stone about all this. Do what works but keep the end goal in mind. The end goal is an independent child that can pursue his future with confidence because his mother gave him the skills at a young age to do so.
Does this all make sense to you guys?