Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Divide and Conquer?

Homeschooling brings a lot of togetherness to the family.  And that's a good thing, most of the time.  Our school efficiency, however, has been steadily sliding since the beginning of the school year.  I felt pretty confident our kids could finish with their studies by 1 or 2 in the afternoon if they applied themselves diligently and lately we've had kids still working on school at 9 pm!  Granted, they've been doing lots of other things each day, too like practicing music, swim team, helping out with younger siblings, doing chores, etc.  But, still.  I knew we weren't giving them that great of a load and that the main problem was all the time spent daily in messing around.  On one level, I suppose that messing around could be construed as our kids enjoying their homeschool experience.  I'm not opposed to fun, after all.  But, it's been getting out of hand. 

My husband and I want to prepare our kids for real life and real life is tough for people who do things inefficiently. More importantly, we want our kids to do all to the glory of God and we hope that someday they'll be the kinds of adults who make time in their busy schedules for things like Bible study, prayer, serving in the church, and helping out a brother in need.  So, my husband suggested assigned seats.  Crazy, huh?  No more doing homework on the swing set, stretched out on beds, or giggling across from one another at the homeschool table?  Well, at least not for now.  You know what?  It worked. 

Measle at my her desk.  Lately, I've struggled to keep this girl on track.  Today she finished school before 11!  Divide and conquer seems to be working.

Mr. Monk has been banished to the upstairs for the majority of his work and Twinkle Toes has the homeschool table to herself.  Lest you picture our children languishing in separate cells of a cold, harsh school- prison , let me assure you they still have plenty of togetherness!  We still spend an hour all together each morning on Bible/character training/catechism and science, and Measle also listens in when I read aloud to her older siblings.  Then there's breakfast, lunch, and dinner, practicing music at Nana's, going to swim team together, and all that free time now that they're finishing school earlier.  You get the idea.  Together is great, but when it comes to school time, for now we're going with divide and conquer.

How do you keep your kids on track to finish at a reasonable time each day?

1 comment:

  1. With an iron fist. ;) I basically keep reminding them that if they all stay on task, we will have more free time. We do all but math and reading together though, so I am able to keep a good handle on them.



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I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.