Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The One Room School House Approach

In the very beginning of our homeschooling journey, I had one incredibly bright little boy who loved to read.  We breezed through his lessons covering every subject, every day.  The next year, I had two sweet children to teach.  Our days still progressed easily as I 'ping-ponged' between the two.  Fast forward a few years, and, now, this year, there are four. 

Ranging in age from a preschooler to a seventh grader, I knew I needed a more structured routine for our days.  We had tried adapting other homeschoolers schedules to our days, but it never worked as well for us. 

Last summer, I decided to look outside of the typical homeschooling mainstream ideas.  I began to ask just who else has been successful at teaching children with large age and academic differences. 

That's when inspiration was found.  Well, technically I saw and bought the book in a gift shop at an amusement park.  It was a book that documented one room school houses.

Reading through the experiences of the teachers and students, I found a plethora of information on how the classes were taught.  There was even a few sample schedules to view. 

It was a gold mine!

After each chapter, I wrote down a few notes on what I could use or alter to fit our family situation and homeschooling style.  By the end of the book, I had devised a lose plan of action for our days.

Our Plan:
start the day as a group with Bible reading and prayer
work on the harder subjects first (for us: math, reading, grammar)
start individual instruction with the youngest first while the others do independent work
proceed through the ages, instructing the oldest last
have a mid-morning break (outdoor play, snack away from the school work)
begin the next section of classes as a group (we do history and aesthetics together)
work on the other subjects (for us: Bible, spelling, logic, Latin)
again, use the youngest to oldest approach
break for lunch
afternoon session of classes for nature walks, science observations, extra projects, co-op homework, etc

That first morning in August, as we began a new school year, we started using our new routine.  Though I have tweaked it over the ensuing months, it has served us well, and we will continue using it for as long as it works for us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dorie!

I'm starting my 5th year of homeschooling with a 10th, 7th, 4th, 2nd, and K-er (and 2 toddlers and 1 infant). Anyhoo ... "one room schoolhouse" method is just a must. We do a lot as a family, but when it comes to things like Lang Arts/Math/Greek ... I just have to move through the ages. I'm curious as to the title of the book you refer to in this post, and would LOVE to get my hands on it. I've googled and oogled to no avail. I'm left with re-reading "Understood Betsy" and "The Year if Miss Agnes" as my only help/inspiration! :)

Thanks so much,

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