By Sarah Janisse Brown
I recommended this plan to a mom with two boys 9 & 10.5 who have been unmotivated in their homeschooling – even with a Homeschool Journal.
This is a plan that is mostly “Do-It-Yourself”:
(This plan is similar to my plan for two of my girls)
Language Arts: I think that Dyslexia Games Series B will help them develop their concentration skills, and will help with handwriting, spelling, and improve their motivation and effort. The games make it very self evident to the child if they are doing sloppy work. Even kids with severe ADHD will often naturally do beautiful work on their Dyslexia Games – thus creating good habits. The Dyslexia Games can be a temporary alternative to Language Arts, Spelling, Reading & Writing. Tell them they are only allowed to do this book three times per week, but can do as many pages as they want on each day. (You will use a Spelling Journal on the other two days).
Money Time: Business, Economics & Social Studies (yes, even for 9 year – 11 year olds!) I think they will really get a lot out of How to Make Money. Have them focus on one occupation per day (2 pages), or rotate with Math Genius.
Daily Topics with the 10 Subject Portfolio: Instead of the Homeschool Journal being the core, have them focus on one main subject each day, and work on just one page in the Portflio before chores. For example: Have a Space Day (science), a “Current Events & News” or “Interesting People” (social studies), an Animal Day (zoology), a Money Day (math), and an Inventions Day (history). there is no need to require more than an hour of study and research at their age on this type of Unit Study. On each day they can draw pictures or color things about the Subject, watch videos, look at books on the main subject (DK and Usborne Books are great for keeping unmotivated kids focused, they are often at the library).
Dad Time: I would use the book “Dad Time” 3 times a week. Is your husband able to spend 15 minutes with them three times a week to do two pages with both of them at the same time? If not just use the 10 Subject Portfolio.
Math Time: Can they use a calculator? Do they understand how to add, subtract, multiply and divide with a calculator? If so, I will send you “Are You a Math Genius” The inventor’s Book of Calculation Games – This is for older kids, but they can handle one or two pages per day with a calculator. I may have them use this book twice a week, and How to Make Money 3 times per week. (This book is for teens, but I am going to have them use it and just add a calculator, and a little help from big sister.)
Listening Time: When they are working on a coloring page – even a coloring page in the How to Make Money Handbook – give them a fresh pack of gel pens or sharp colored pencils, have them sharpen the pencils first, turn on their favorite music or Story of the World, or Jim Weiss or another Audio book that they would enjoy.
Spelling Time: I think that the 100 Words that focuses on Animals will be the best place to start this is a pocket sized book, and it is not intimidating at all. I would use it only twice- a week, but let them do as many pages as they want. But tell them they are NOT allowed to do this more than twice a week… and then they will automatically want to do it every day, and think it is cool that you are limiting their schoolwork. (I may use the Fun-Schooling Spelling Journal instead, since it will take a month for me to get 100 words shipped here.)
Quiet Time: I am going to start using the Coffee Time & Quiet Time Handbook soon, I am also going to have these two daughters use the same, and we are going to each put together a “Quiet Time Basket” Like it teaches in this book. (This will be a mom & daughter bonding thing).
Family Photo Album: I am going to have lots of photos printed and give them each a photo album or scrapbook or smash-book to work on this year. I think I will also make sure they have a camera they can use to take pictures for their portfolio. I will have them keep the photos and photo album in their Quiet Time Baskets.
They will also WORK with their Legos. If possible see if they can do stop-motion animation with their Legos. Have them watch Youtube videos about how to do this, and let them use a digital camera.
Helping Time: My girls will help with our three year old and I will relax with the baby. I will teach them how to make lunch and serve the family. They will each have a Kitchen Cleaning Day. We will take pictures of their projects for their portfolios.
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