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A Family Plan

There can be some great benefits to schooling a range of learners.  Everyone can be learning the same topic, but on different levels.  In this way the size of your library can be more moderate, children can learn with and from each other, children can be more intrinsically motivated by each other, and field trips can be fun family outings.

1.  If a 2nd grader can read a book (aloud), a Kindergartener or even a preschooler can understand it.  The reader gets practice reading as well as learning. 

2.  Younger children learn more than they can read for themselves.  There's a good variety of books on science and history nowdays, for example, for readers from K-2. 

3.  Even older children may learn from a K-2 level book, as well as develop their reading fluency and style.  

4.  Older students can practice their presentation skills by giving oral and visual book and research reports to younger children, keeping in mind audience and purpose.

5.  Quiz shows and fieldtrips can be done as teams.  For instance, team a reader with a non-reader (or lower level reader).  At the zoo or historical landmark the non-reader can look for the numbers, while the reader can find other information from the text to answer questions for a reward such as stamps/stickers/prizes.  You can make it a Treasure Hunt, a Passport type game, or a Bingo game.

6.  Older students can listen to younger students read, help them with math, quiz them on spelling, and in other ways reinforce their own skills.  This is one way to be able to divide your attention among the different learners.

7.  An idea suggested to me:  math Bingo/color by number/dice or card games--the whole family plays at once: while younger kids work with learning numbers, older kids have to find an equation that equals that number.

8.  Nature videos on the internet, for example, can be suitable for a wide range of viewers.

9.  While you work with one student, you can choose an appropriate level video on science, history, literature (many children's books are read aloud on the internet), music, exercise/movement/dance, and maybe even art for others to watch.

A possible daily schedule could be (adjust as needed--in general: more brain power in the morning, alternate cerebral with active and rest activities; 15 minute lessons/activities for little kids is enough):

1.  Start the day with Family Devotional (develops the Literacy skills of listening, presenting, reading; Social skills of manners and moral principles; and can include Music).

2.  Breakfast as a family activity (develops teamwork, manners, listening and speaking, kitchen science means to notice how things change, kitchen math is to count/measure/learn about fractions, etc.)

3.  Math--all appropriate to level of learning:  numbers, addition, subration, multiplication, division, patterns, rules & strategies, geometry/shapes/symmetry, statistics/charts & graphs, estimation, time & money.

4. Literacy--exercises appropriate to abilities:  reading, writing, listening, presenting.

5.  Music--learn together about the fundamentals of music (such as melody, rhythm, etc.), practice skills (even if just learning songs to sing together), listen to a variety of music and music of different eras.

6. Everyone has Daily Chores to help around the house and yard, as they learn life skills and teamwork.

7. Lunch--kitchen science and math, listening/speaking, manners, teamwork.

8.  Social Science--such as history, geography, social skills, learn about different cultures, holidays, families, societies/governments.

9.  Art--learn about the funadamentals, practice skills, try different media, look at art from the ages and different cultures, prepare for presenting.  Involve crafts and decorations.

10.  Movement/PE/exercise--practice skills, sports/dance, performance.  You can even count while doing calisthenics or dance.

11  Science--skills, earth/space science, life science (plants & animals).

12.  Free play--unstructured time is vital as well.

13.  Health--should not only be a part of science instruction, it must be intrinsic to life . . . meal time, bath time, brushing teeth, getting the sleep and exercise you need . . .

14.  Story time/reading/quiet time--can be choice time (which is important), or another opportunity to reinforce the day's topics.  It's a bonding time, a time of reflection, building self-esteem, taking care of children's emotional needs.

An Idea for Topics

September:

Numbers, number line, comparing numbers, measuring . . .

Alphabet, phonics, work with words

Music: melody, rhythm, pitch, tempo, Native music

US Geography and Native Americans

Art: lines of all kinds, and Native art/architecture

Exercise:  calisthenic counts, Native dance & games

Science skills:  notice, be curious, question, look for answers

            kitchen science/preserving food/nutrition

October:

Addition as appropriate for the learners

Sententces

Music:  harmony, tempo, loudness, music of 1500s & Halloween

Continents & oceans, explorers, feelings (my own & others')

Art: shapes, pumpkin faces, art of the 1500s

Exercise:  dance/sports of the 1500s, "The Monster Mash" etc.

Earth as a planet & space science, modes of travel

November:

Subtraction as appropriate for the learners

Organizing sentences into paragraphs

Music: verses/poetry, music of the 1600s, Thanksgiving songs

Colonies that became the US, governance/voting, Thanksgiving

Art:  colors, Art of 1600s, Thanksgiving arts/crafts/decorations

Sports & Dance skills, sports/dance of the 1600s

Science:  rocks, soil, fossils, dinosaurs, leaves, decomposers

December:

Multiplication/grouping as appropriate for the learners

Persuasive writing and speaking, audience, purpose, ads

Holiday music, music of the 1700s

Immigrants to the US and holiday traditions

Holiday crafts/decor, texture, contrast, art of the 1700s

Winter sports, sports and dance of the 1700s

Earth and animals in winter, seasons

January:

Division and patterns

Debate/analyzing arguments, propaganda, spelling patterns

Musical patterns, African American music

African American history, Civil Rights, Justice/Liberty

Art patterns, snowflakes

More winter sports, indoor sports (such as yoga)

Plan a garden, seeds, habitats/weather/climate

February:

Geometry/shapes/symmetry, story problems

Biography, autobiography, family history & timelines

Musical instruments--listen & try

Presidents (the first 5 were Founding Fathers)

Portraits/faces, composition in art, hearts/Valentines

Cardiovascular exercise

Amphibians & reptiles

March:

Statistics, charts, graphs

Giving/Following instructions:  verbal & written

Music of the 1800s through the Civil War, Irish music, contrasts

Leadership skills, US 1800 through the Civil War

Irish art, shamrocks, art of the early 1800s

Sports/dance of the early 1800s, Simon Says, Follow the Leader

Start a garden, inside & out, wind/water power

April:

Estimation

Book reviews, reports, plant/animal reports

Music of the later 1800s, RR songs, sailor songs

US of late 1800s, inventions, industrialization

Art of the late 1800s, decorating eggs, art compostion

Sport/dance of the later 1800s, team sports

Science:  trees, birds, machines, electricity

May:

Time & money

Edit & revise, voice, word choice, creating interest

Music of 1st half 1900s, musicals, Mom's favorites

History:  1900-1960

Art: of the 1st half 1900s, flowers, film/stage/performing arts

Dance of the first half of the 1900s

Science: mamals, senses, light & sound,

                   matter & energy

June:

Math review & practice

Publishing/presenting, computer literacy, making videos

Music of 1960 to present, Dad's favorite music

History:  1960 to present

Art of 1960 to present, poster art, collages

Dance of the 1960s to present

Science:  arthropods, fish, computers

(Less formal options for summer)

July:

Math reviews

Write/perform program/parade

Patriotic & pioneers songs

Talk/read about Founding Fathers/Documents, pioneers

Patriotic art, symbols of the US

Exercise:  marches/marching, military drills, pioneer games

sea life, aquatic species

August:

Vacation mileage, budget, expenses, figure tips

Read about places you go, keep a trip journal

Car and camp songs

Getting along together in every cirucumstance, problem solving

Illustrate trip journal or make a scrapbook

Get physical every day in some way

Review/practice science skills/attitudes (notice, be curious, etc)

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