Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Homeschool in the Waiting Room: Independent Work

One of the things that has helped saved my sanity over our years of homeschooling in the waiting rooms is knowing that my children have had at least one subject that they can do independently.

Sometimes I've needed Addison and Brennan to work independently so that I could take Lauren to appointments. Sometimes lately I've needed Lauren to work independently so that I could have enough time to deal with scheduling appointments, ordering supplies, and checking on insurance issues. In either case, it's been a lifesaver to know that my kids can continue working even if I'm tied up doing something else.

At different times and for different students, the type and amount independent work has varied.

When Lauren was itty-bitty and going to lots of appointments, Addison and Brennan were still in early elementary school. Addison was a strong reader, so I could usually count on her to do a reading assignment on her own. In fact, during times when we were exceptionally busy, I had her read both the Sonlight Reader and the Read-Aloud assignments. Brennan's independent work was most often a math workbook page. He had to watch the Math-U-See video at home, but we could take the workbook with us. I'm sure I brought along other workbook type materials for him as well.

As Addison and Brennan have gotten older, more of their homeschool materials are able to be done independently. I check in with them frequently, but they are able to continue on if I'm gone for the day (or even when I'm with Lauren at the hospital for a week or more).

When Lauren was younger, I usually had an early learning workbook or two that I could carry with us for appointments. I often had puzzles or hands-on activities for her to do when I needed her to work independently at home. These days I try to find materials for at least a few subjects that Lauren can work on independently. Often, but not always, these subjects have computer based instruction. When we're at home, she can do her history program (also Veritas Press) without any help from me. I also have a few workbook type materials for reading comprehension or thinking skills that she can do independently. Lately, she's been working on a stopmotion film project when I have busy days at home.

Having educational materials readily available so that my children can work independently is a necessity when we're in the midst of a busy season for medical appointments.

I'd love to hear more suggestions for independent work! I'd love it if you would leave a comment with something that works well for your kids -- maybe I can use it for mine, too.

5 Days of Tips for Homeschool ParentsToday I'm sharing a different list of Schoolhouse Crew friends who are sharing Homeschool Tips this week.

Dawn @ Double O Farms
Dawn @ Guiding Light Homeschool
Debbie @ Debbie's Homeschool Corner
Desiree @ Our Homeschool Notebook
Diana @ Busy Homeschool Days
Diana @ Homeschool Review
Elyse @ Oiralinde: Eternal Song
Emilee @ Pea of Sweetness
Erin @ For Him and My Family
Jen @ Chestnut Grove Academy

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1 comment:

  1. I totally agree that an independent subject or two is a real helper. I've also tried to coordinate "scheduled" lessons around appointments. For example, we have a pretty much standing "Friday at 1" appointment with Physical Therapy and rotate whose turn. Of late I've been trying either to schedule Spanish lessons for the big kid left behind while I'm gone (doing that while I'm gone frees up an hour when I'm home), or we'll plan to meet online in a Google hangout/within a Google Doc at about ten past 1. By then I have a good 45 minutes to engage in a discussion or help him with writing an essay/paper. Sometimes when we have "regular" appointments, I will try to work in fits and spurts - I'll text Luke to say "NOW" and he just circles back to whatever we were doing when I had to drop off to speak to a doc.



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