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The logistics of doing two cores?


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#1 BarefootLady

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 07:03 AM

So I am new to sonlight and new to homeschooling and trying to get ready for our first year of both. I have 2 girls, 22 months (and 2 school years) apart. I have read through alot of the choosing forum posts and lots of the rest of the website and I really think that we need to be using 2 seperate cores. I have a couple friends who use sonlight for multiple kids with one core, but I do not think that is the right fit for our family (lots of reasons I will not go into in this post). We may merge into one core later if the kids are ready/able to do that. As someone with no homeschool experience, I am trying to make a solid, realistic gameplan as a spring board into the world of homeschooling (knowing that we will be flexible as the year progresses)

So my questions are:

1) For families doing 2 cores, how do you arrange your day to fit it all in? What do your days look like? What kind of time commitment is it with 2 cores? (And yes, I realize it is different for every family, but I am trying to get some basic ideas for a starting point!)

2) For younger kids, how do you know when they are ready to start as opposed to just listening in? Age? Skills? Attention span?

3) We are considering having another, so what do you do with the babies/toddlers who are pre-homeschooling (especially once they get mobile) during your school time?

4) Does anyone have both parents "teach" or basically just one parent all the time? My husband would like to be part of the process, but we are not sure if that would just complicate/confuse things to have him "sub in" some times.

Thanks for your feedback!!

Katherine (5 years) ~ Picture Book Preschool, SL LA K, Pathway Grade 1 readers, A Reason for Handwriting A/ETC 2 workbooks, Singapore Earlybird B, and LOTS of imagination and play :)
Madison (3 years) ~ Picture Book Preschool, dry erase numbers/School Zone workbook, Mommy Teach Me+Bob Books, counting, shapes, puzzles, scissors, and coloring, fine motor activities. - Wants to catch up to big sis!

 

 

 

 

Materials we have enjoyed in the past: 

     Core P 3/4, Before Five in a Row

     Singapore Earlybird A

     100EZ lessons, Bob Books

     ETC 1, DEL workbooks, Kumen workbooks

 


#2 Just Little Ol' Me

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 07:37 AM

1) For families doing 2 cores, how do you arrange your day to fit it all in? What do your days look like? What kind of time commitment is it with 2 cores? (And yes, I realize it is different for every family, but I am trying to get some basic ideas for a starting point!)

I did our "together" stuff first thing - and that definition varied depending on the year. Sometimes it was Bible, sometimes it was Latin roots, and other years it was just a pep talk and "let's get going!". Then I got one child started on something while the other worked with me, and then I switched up to work with the first one, and so on.

Time commitment? That will depend on the cores you're doing. The younger levels don't require much, and the uppermost cores have you mostly supervising and checking. The middle ones take the most time, in my view - you're doing a lot of reading aloud. The catalog lists estimates for each core, and those who track such things say the estimates are pretty accurate.

4) Does anyone have both parents "teach" or basically just one parent all the time? My husband would like to be part of the process, but we are not sure if that would just complicate/confuse things to have him "sub in" some times.

Thanks for your feedback!!


My hubby wasn't available all day long like I was, so I was the main teacher. But he did take on a few things over the years - mostly "science", because that is his basic specialty area. Some families have Dad read the read-aloud books at bedtime. Others have Dad do the math, or the Bible, or something specific like that...either to give Mom a break or because Mom isn't comfortable with that subject.

Mine also handled Driver's Ed!
Laurie
When I speak of doing a core, I mean the 5-day plan in its entirety. I mean the child reading the reader, and the parent reading the rest, until cores 100+, where the child does it all, unless I specifically say otherwise. The views in this post are strictly mine (unless otherwise noted), and are colored by my experiences with my children. They may not apply to your situation at all, so take what seems to fit and use it, and disregard the rest.
My other "badges": Apologia General Science, Apologia Physical Science, Body by Design, Signs and Seasons; Math Singapore 2B-6B with IP and CWP, Saxon 54, 65, 76, 87, VideoText Algebra, Life of Fred Fractions - Geometry, Keys to Algebra.

#3 Debbie in Bailey

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 08:43 AM

1) For families doing 2 cores, how do you arrange your day to fit it all in? What do your days look like? What kind of time commitment is it with 2 cores? (And yes, I realize it is different for every family, but I am trying to get some basic ideas for a starting point!)

Hmmmm, that depends on the age of your kids and the Cores you are using. A basic idea really, really depends. I'd take the time estimates for both Cores and add them together. If you are combining anything or not doing all the subjects with each student, the time will be less. But I find the time estimates to be pretty accurate.

2) For younger kids, how do you know when they are ready to start as opposed to just listening in? Age? Skills? Attention span?

I don't know. When you are with your kids, learning is something that happens all the time and you know when they are ready. Often, it's simply a matter of trying something. If it goes well, you try again. Typically you can't "make" a kid learn to read. She has to be ready. You can try and try, but until she's ready, it won't really happen. Kids ask questions, beg to "do it too," and otherwise show an interest. Sometimes it's just your mama's "gut" telling you it's time to move forward. Yup, age, their skill level, their attention span. . . all those things add together. Remember, if you start and it isn't going well, it might be because they aren't ready for what you are doing. It could be other things, though.


3) We are considering having another, so what do you do with the babies/toddlers who are pre-homeschooling (especially once they get mobile) during your school time?

You do your best. Sometimes your other students entertain the baby while you school someone else. You encourage independent play time for baby. You "teach" baby to play quietly in the room while you school others. You just do it - like you do anything else as a parent. You find ways to manage what you have. Since every baby is different, it's hard to say, exactly. You handle what comes up. Baby's learn what is expected of them. For example, my youngest was born after we were already homeschooling. She grew up with us reading aloud or working at the table. It was part of her world. If we were on the couch reading, she was nursing. If we were at the table, she might be on my lap or in the high chair, but my attention wasn't always on her. We just managed.


4) Does anyone have both parents "teach" or basically just one parent all the time? My husband would like to be part of the process, but we are not sure if that would just complicate/confuse things to have him "sub in" some times.

At my house, it's pretty much just me. But, it's not a big deal if dh decides to read a book tonight or go over math with the kids. Right now, I have the kids hand all their writing assignments to dh since it just works better that way. I guess it's not like Dh is "subbing." Homeschooling is our lifestyle. Learning happens at all times. It's just very natural.

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#4 Hunny

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 11:38 AM

Fortunately my Dad lived with us when my youngest was little and he took him to his room to play or watch tv, or took him for a walk around the block or to the park. My Dad was a BIG help! We moved to another state 7 months ago and left my Dad behind. Now my youngest is very good about playing alone, quietly in the same room, or joining us for school at the table where he just listens in and draws/colors pictures. If we are doing a holiday craft I help him make one too. He is doing P3/4 and I read his books to him at bedtime.

My hubby is supposed to be teaching the boys latin, and going over the Body Book for Boys with our ds10. He has yet to start them. Occasionally he will read a book at bedtime to the two older boys while I read with the younger one.

Mostly we just take one day at a time.

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#5 MamaJo

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Posted 23 November 2011 - 12:18 PM

I do three cores. The trick is to help your children be as independent as possible. My oldest (14yo) does almost everything on his own. My two younger children still need me for things so I help my youngest (6yo) in the morning while my 11yo does her independent work. Then I do the things my 11yo needs me for in the afternoon.
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#6 BarefootLady

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 06:35 AM

Thanks for your feedback ladies!!! My friends who use sonlight told me they would never do multiple cores because it was just to much, so it is nice to see that others find it managable!! I feel like I could actually do this and I am looking forward to diving head first into homeschool and learning how to make it fit our family :)

Katherine (5 years) ~ Picture Book Preschool, SL LA K, Pathway Grade 1 readers, A Reason for Handwriting A/ETC 2 workbooks, Singapore Earlybird B, and LOTS of imagination and play :)
Madison (3 years) ~ Picture Book Preschool, dry erase numbers/School Zone workbook, Mommy Teach Me+Bob Books, counting, shapes, puzzles, scissors, and coloring, fine motor activities. - Wants to catch up to big sis!

 

 

 

 

Materials we have enjoyed in the past: 

     Core P 3/4, Before Five in a Row

     Singapore Earlybird A

     100EZ lessons, Bob Books

     ETC 1, DEL workbooks, Kumen workbooks

 


#7 Just Little Ol' Me

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 11:10 AM

Thanks for your feedback ladies!!! My friends who use sonlight told me they would never do multiple cores because it was just to much, so it is nice to see that others find it managable!! I feel like I could actually do this and I am looking forward to diving head first into homeschool and learning how to make it fit our family :)


What your friends meant to say was that THEY couldn't do it that way - not that YOU can't. But I think they probably could, if they wanted to, or needed to.

Many of us who do multiple cores actually tried doing one core for multiple children, and find that it is much easier to do one core per child (or at least a few cores for several groups of children) than it is to do one core for the entire family.

It isn't that difficult, really. Just get one child doing something independently (math assignment, studying spelling words, reading the reader, even doing household chores - whatever!) and work with a different child for awhile...then get THAT one doing something independently and switch off. It is probably hardest in the young elementary years when the students aren't really reading well enough to be told to "go do your LA assignment" or whatever, because the words in the instructions are too hard for them. Those years are more mom-intensive for ANY curriculum! But play around with your methods and timing, and see what works best for you.

Once I tried doing "Child one with Mom from 9am to 10am" and then "Child two with Mom from 10am to 11am" and "Child three with Mom from 11am to noon" and it didn't work very well. So I tried other plans until we came up with something that wasn't too strained or formal or inconvenient for us. But it was rare that my first attempt at anything was perfect. Sometimes it was a total flop, but mostly it was "fine" but needed tweaking to be "good".

Relax and keep your sense of purpose, and you'll find a good balance for schoolwork and the rest of the daily activities in your life.
Laurie
When I speak of doing a core, I mean the 5-day plan in its entirety. I mean the child reading the reader, and the parent reading the rest, until cores 100+, where the child does it all, unless I specifically say otherwise. The views in this post are strictly mine (unless otherwise noted), and are colored by my experiences with my children. They may not apply to your situation at all, so take what seems to fit and use it, and disregard the rest.
My other "badges": Apologia General Science, Apologia Physical Science, Body by Design, Signs and Seasons; Math Singapore 2B-6B with IP and CWP, Saxon 54, 65, 76, 87, VideoText Algebra, Life of Fred Fractions - Geometry, Keys to Algebra.




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