Monday, July 1, 2013

The 5 R's and Homeschooling

At our house lately we have incorporated the 5Rs. It's a take off of the traditional 3 R's from the 1800s. The following are our "5Rs "
This is what it looks like for us. Right now we have 8 , 6 and 4 year olds.  

Breakfast- while the kids eat we do Religion:
Religion: Scripture memory, Songs and Article of Faith memorization. 
Directly after handing the plates to the sink/dishwasher we do a Zoom   Get ready to write and do handwriting.
wRiting: A hand writing page I make with  StartWrite I pick the same topic/sentence for all the kids, but have each page be age appropriate.
This is what we did today. 
Left, 4 year old. Middle 6 year old (before she colored). Right 8 year old.
Seeing their handwriting skills again, this is what I would have done (and will do tomorrow with a different topic):

The changes: 4 yr old- less words (she's a perfectionist), All Capitals for the 6 year old and a choice of cursive or print for the 8 year old.  I leave the top blank so they can color the top. They love to do handwriting if they get to draw and color after. :)

We either do a Living math book, Mental Math with Mama (I give them math story problems and they answer them. We have also tried (worked for about 2 weeks) and currently using a trial from  They enjoy that one quite a bit and I sit with them, so it's instruction and one on one time, not just a child spending computer time.

For reading we cover phonics and reading books. We have a read aloud or audio book we listen to/read daily.
Then for phonics and individual reading this is what we do:
Oldest (age)  has a chapter book she's working on- one assigned and one free pick. Right now she's working her way through the Anne of Green Gables Series and Her assigned books are From a series of Landmark Biographies that we have collected from used book sales.

She will also do a green series Montessori work about every third day.

The 6 year old with do a phonic work from the advanced Pink or Blue Language Montessori and read a reader to me. We have many we have found over the years. We  use the Bob series as well as Sing read and right and many other readers.

Each of the older two read the youngest a book while I work with the other on something (usually Math)

The 4 year old works on the Letter sounds with the sand paper letters and Pink Montessori series.

 These fall into two categories- daily responsibilities and a family chore.
Daily responsibilities are the things they have learned to do and can do on their own (most of the time)- making the bed, getting dressed, clothes in laundry.
 Then there are the family chores that I am teaching them. So right now we are working on emptying the dishwasher and picking up regularly. I don't do well with chore charts- after a week or two I forget. However this way everyone is learning the same chore and getting good at it. My oldest can empty the dishwasher herself, but dislikes it strongly, but when we are all doing it together, she sees how fast it goes. So far the Responsibilities we've worked on for my 8 year old that she now has the ability to do and will do willing is: empty garbage and take it to our garbage can, switch laundry, fold towels and wash clothes, make scrambled eggs, pancakes and pasta/noodles, vacuum and clean a bathroom floor. My 6 year old will vacuum, take clothes out of the dryer, empty smaller garbage's into kitchen garbage sweep and wash sinks and windows/cabinets/appliance. My 4 year old pretty much does what her 6 yr old sister does, but also loves to vacuum and scrub the bathroom floor. All the kids will wash the kitchen floor Cinderella style (hands and knees)
I focus on one chore a week to teach all three of them and we do it as a group. Then I take kids aside one on one and shoe them how to do something and then that is their job for a while with mommy teaching. I don't have a set schedule. It's sort of on the fly really. But since I incorporated the 5th R of responsibility, I am remembering to teach the job and do it with them much more than before. 


This has made such a difference if my ability to feel like I can get school done and not have it be overwhelming or a burden on me. It may seem like a lot all written out, but when I have everything ready and grab and go, it's an hour with cooperative children and sometimes 2-3 if we spend more time on something because we are enjoying it. But generally, we get our hour in and then "play"   and learn the rest of the day. We work in nature study and science and language as well. But this way if we don't get the others in, I know we have our basics done!


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this, it was very informative and gives me an idea of what I can do with my children. How do you print up the lined paper with your own sample sentence? Is it a software?

  2. Thanks Lavina, We use to make our own lined handwriting paper. The initial investment was $40, but it will be used for a long time! I find it more efficient than searching to find what I want for free. I had a hard time finding it- so now I can just make it!