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Issue #30 - How to Save Time While Schooling
From Laura's Desk
Last week I mentioned about how you can save time while you're homeschooling and I thought I'd share some ways that I did that.
At the height of my homeschooling experience, that one year when all seven kids were school aged, I knew our survival depended on me trying to cover as much ground with as many kids at one time as I could.
A little before that time I had discovered unit studies and let me tell you, they saved our schooling. Unit studies are a great way to combine a bunch of kids and a bunch of subjects into one time slot; that time slot can even be your whole school day if you want it to be.
Unit studies do not have to be formal, difficult and stuffed full of every aspect of your topic. They can be pretty basic, actually. Some of our best unit studies were made up as we went along. They included:
The Civil War - where we read books, watched movies and went to Gettysbug (this was truly the best schooling we've ever
The Rosary - we read a book about St. Dominic, read the encyclical from Pope John Paul II and did crafts.
Sea Life - we read books, did reports (both oral and written) and watched my dad filet a fish and point out all of the organs.
a page on my website
that talks more about unit studies and, if you're interested in month long unit studies, I have written ones on St. John Paul II, St. Ignatius and St. Kateri that are available for sale.
Before the unit study phase, I used to have all kinds of workbooks for the kids (this was before I realized that workbooks weren't the best way for some of my kids to learn!). One day I realized that I had a grammar workbook, a handwriting workbook, a spelling workbook and a vocabulary workbook for each child. YIKES! Do you know how long that was taking us to do? We were running out of time and the kids were feeling rushed and not really learning much. It dawned on me that, really, by spending time every day with a few words and sentences, we could cover all of those. Take one good sentence and you can diagram it for grammar, copy it for handwriting, study it for spelling and used the dictionary on it for vocabulary. If you picked it right, it could even cover a history or
science topic. That was a game changer!
This next tip might not work for everyone but I was blessed to have this be the case with multiple children. My kids were all about two years apart and it jut so happened that I could easily pair them up for certain subjects. I was lucky enough that two kids would match up on math ability so I could teach them both at the same time. I also did this with reading and spelling/vocab/handwriting whenever I could. The more you can group kids, the more you can cover in less time.
As a busy homeschooler, you always need to be on the look out for ways you can condense things without compromising quality! I hope you found something here that can work for your family. Feel free to share something that's worked for you and I'll pass it on to other homeschoolers on my facebook page.
If you'd like to keep up with all the latest info, you can always follow me on facebook!
Here's a Great Gift Idea!
If you're looking for something different to give your kids or other people you know as a gift, check out the Catholic T Shirt Club. You can sign up to receive a monthly box that has a custom designed t-shirt as well as other items.
Each month has a theme and you can choose from an adult box or a child box. I received a sample of both and I was very impressed with everything that was enclosed. What a great surprise for someone to receive every month and what a great way to evangelize with so many different Catholic t-shirts!
There are three different price levels to choose from, too.
Overall, I was very impressed with the quality of items that were sent to me and the t-shirts were great! My children have claimed both of them and can't wait to wear them.
You can check out all of the options on their website at:
The Catholic T-shirt Club.
Comments, Feedback, Questions?
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If you would like to see something in an upcoming issue, please feel free to let me know.
Until next time, may God Bless you abundantly!