Before we start, I get out our math crate and our language arts crate. I keep all of our math supplies in one crate and all of our language arts supplies in another crate. No more I couldn't find my spelling book, so I couldn't do it! I tell you, it is amazing how often those spelling books got misplaced last year.
So I get out the crates and take everything out of them that I hope to do that day and pile it up on the table.
Then, I just work through the pile with whoever isn't doing math. Our language arts block includes handwriting, grammar, spelling, and our writing program. Some things they do independently, some they do semi-independently, and some are more teacher-intensive.
Independently they do:
- Handwriting (James & Rose only, Christopher doesn't do handwriting anymore)
- Spelling (for Christopher & James)
- Spelling (for Rose, who needs help with some of the reading involved)
- Grammar (for Christopher & James... I usually need to go over the assignment with them, then be available to help with questions)
- Writing Strands (for Christopher & James.... I go over the assignment with them, need to be available for questions, and then check in with them when they are done)
- Writing with Ease (James & Rose)
- Writing Strands (Rose needs help for the whole assignment)
- Grammar (I do First Language Lessons with Rose)
So my general routine is to send James to do math, make sure Christopher is working on some language arts that he can do independently or semi-independently, and then do something more teacher-intensive with Rose. Then, I just rotate around through kids and books for the rest of our language arts time. I have been getting better at juggling things, but things do not always run as smoothly as I would like. I get very frazzled when I am interrupted a lot, so it was important to me to set aside this time for us all to do language arts and math together. It just feels easier to spend a couple of hours first thing on our most intensive subjects, the things the kids are most likely to need help with. It cuts down on interruptions during our independent work/read-aloud blocks which follow.
When we finish with a book for the day, it gets put back in the crate. It is very motivating to see the pile on the table shrinking and the crate getting filled up again. When all the books are back in, the crate goes back on the shelf until the next day.
My next block post will be about the block of time I spend with Rose right after we finish our language arts work. I'm also working on a post about our row of Night of the Moonjellies, which we are almost finished with.
Till next time!