I am a fan of Montessori methodology. I love enabling the kids to do for themselves! So that is really what I aim for. This is an overview of my system for this year. I’ll update with what I’m using for what subject in a future post.
This year, I have a 2nd grader (ds7) and a kindergartner (ds4.5, he’s not quite 5 yet, but really wants to do K work, so we’ll see).
Here is my system: each child receives a card with a list of their weekly assignments on it. They have a box with their own work in it (re-used cardboard box, which they will decorate as a project later). They also get a M-F worksheet, and for the first few weeks, we’ll budget their time together. They can do a little from each book each day, or do all of one book each day, depending on their choices. They have a few things that they need to get me involved in a lesson, which are marked, and they have a book of maps/geography that they will complete together. They need to schedule in time for each of these lessons that works for everyone, too. I am available before lunch to help with any questions and teach anything else they have trouble with for sure.
Each weekday, they are also responsible for davening (praying), doing their chores, and completing their daily four (from the book “Daily Five”, ) which includes 15 minutes each of reading to self, reading with someone, writing, and listening to reading. Each item needs to be checked off each school day. They also each get to “teach” something to someone younger. This helps the older student learn the material better and helps introduce the younger student to the material. Plus it fosters a sense of family and community that I LOVE.
Once they’ve done something, they bring it to me and we check it out together. I sign off on their cards and we keep track of the whole thing. If they do everything by their deadlines and get their daily chores done, we get a slushy at the end of the week together.
In general, I try to plan about 30-45 minutes of work a day for my kindergartner (not including art or other fun projects) and 1.5 hours or so for my 2nd grader. Again, they break it up and plan it themselves, so it could work out differently. I have a lot of this as independent work, and it is meant so each child is “in charge” of their learning. I don’t like coercion, and it isn’t good for anyone to fight or bribe through schoolwork! So I give it to the child to get their work done. There are consequences if/when needed, but so far, this has worked very well for us.
Yay for (home)school!