How to Use Loop Schedules in Your Homeschool Morning Routine: Part TWO

All right, good morning homeschoolers! I’m
back. it’s Kelly from The Every Day Homeschool and I’ve got the video that I
promised I would do last time I talked with you when we were discussing loops.
So last time I showed you my loop A and today I’m going to show you loop B and
how that works together with loop A to make our morning homeschool routine Rock!! I cannot believe that just a week ago we
were freezing our tails off with the polar vortex that came down our way. We
got down into like the teens which is pretty cold for where we are in North
Carolina, but today and the last few days it’s been absolutely gorgeous. It’s been
in the mid 70s. It’s been bright and sunny and beautiful. We’ve been doing our
school work outside. So fun! We’ve been flying kites. Are you
ready? Steady…run! Oh, darn. We’ve been playing down by the creek Good job Ivy. And we’ve been meeting our
friends at the park. Superfun. Anyway, let’s get on with the
loops. I wanted to start out by telling you again about this book that inspired
me to use loop schedules in the first place. It’s called Teaching From Rest and
it’s by Sarah Mackenzie. I feel like I was a little hard on this book in the
last video. I really didn’t mean to give you that impression if I did. This is a
good book. I totally recommend it. I learned a lot. I love the Christian
perspective. I love the concept of teaching from rest, and to me, what I got
out of this was that teaching from rest is actually resting in the knowledge
that if you do your best for your children that God gave you, then He will
make up what you can’t. You can’t do it all so you leave the rest of that to Him
and that is how you teach from rest. And I also take comfort knowing that nobody
is perfectly educated. Everyone has gaps in their education even those people who
are superbly educated. It’s – Nobody knows it all, no matter where you go to school:
home school, private school, public school- you are not going to be perfectly
educated. There will be gaps in your education. So homeschool moms, give
yourself a little credit.You don’t have to know it all you don’t have to do it
all. You can rest in the knowledge that if you do your part God will do his.
Aright so I’m gonna go back and show you the old schedule that I had put
together probably back in September or something like that at the beginning of
this school year. So we’ve been over Loop A. If you missed that video I’m gonna link
up to it here in the corner with an I card. You can catch all of that but now
I’m just gonna focus on loop B and what we do for that.
okay so loop B, as I mentioned before is more of a – it’s more heavy in the
academics. It’s more of our core classes that we do on a more regular routine so
this is actually a shorter loop because it’s stuff that I want to hit more often
with the kids in class. So first we start off with art, and that I’ve discussed in
detail. I have a whole video on what we’ve used for art so if you missed that
I’ll connect that up top too and you can check out that link to that video but
just to recap in one sentence right now we’re using Meet the Masters,
okay, and I love it. It’s a great program. Okay so today we actually did science
and this year for science we are just tapping into this huge
library that I’ve built for myself using the moving beyond the page program. so we
are actually using the chemical change unit right now for ages 10 to 12. I have
a third grader, a sixth grader, and an eighth grader that are actively using
this together in our morning routine. My preschooler also joins with us
in this unit so obviously she’s just getting out of it whatever she can. okay
moving on! The next thing on loop B is critical thinking and logic. Okay so this
is a fun one that my kids really enjoy and here’s what we’re using to move
through that loop, that part of a loop: I’m using this right here, Logic Safari.
This is book 2 for grades 3 through 4. Now I know it says 3 through 4. My
youngest- well okay so third again third graders sixth grade or eighth grade are
working on this loop together and I’d say that this is probably a good level
to start at. The other resource that I’m using for logic is a book called the
basics of critical thinking. And this isn’t so much puzzles and mindbender
kind of things as it is like the, the building blocks of logical thinking like
evaluating different sources of information for their credibility and
weeding out information that doesn’t support a case or, Let’s see another topic here
is identifying facts versus opinion you know, so those kinds of things that
are important when being logical in your thought. So this is I feel like a helpful
resource and we just do one or two pages of this along with a page in this book.
So that’s what we’ve been doing so far for logic. When we run out of this I’ll
look for something new. After critical thinking and logic we move into history.
I’ve tried several things for history over the years. Right now I’m trying
something new again this year. We actually started this last school
year and I wanted to finish it out before we moved on to something new-get
my money’s worth right? So we are using the Good and the Beautiful history year
one. I have good and bad things to say about this. On the whole I guess I like
it. I think that it could use a little more hands-on activity. It’s kind of a
lot of listening. It’s a lot of read aloud. There are some audios online that
go with this that are kind of cheesy and a little overdone if you ask me in my
kids. But the core message in each lesson is good and valuable. So I especially
like the fact that they stop and focus on different parts of history each year
and this year they focus mostly on American history. Like right now we’re
just on lesson 47 we’re gonna be doing the end of the Revolutionary War in a
couple days when we get to it on our loop. And I mentioned to you the history
game that goes with this curriculum and I showed that. I’ll- that’s in the loop A.
old schedule I had here we had language arts as the next piece of our loop and
then there were several subcategories for that piece of the loop. there was
Creative Writing, gumdrops and gum stands for grammar usage and mechanics, phonetic
zoo, which is a spelling program, rummy roots and then anything else I felt like
throwing in. I left myself an open door there with “other”. So what happened
was I felt like, well each time we got to language arts I would loop to a
different piece of it so this was like a loop within a loop, and I thought that’s
dumb. I think I should probably have a separate loop for language arts since it
is important to me and something I want to hit outside of their core language
arts program. I just want to be able to emphasize these things in our group time
so I went ahead and changed up our loop schedule and made this its own piece. So
now I’m going to show you the new loop schedule. Loop A is pretty much the same thing I showed you in the previous video.
Loop B has all of the same things: art, science, critical thinking and logic,
history. But I added study skills. I will talk to you about that in just a minute.
And then I did, I went ahead and made a third loop loop C which is just for
language arts and it has Creative Writing, gumdrops, I’ll show you that,
spelling, rummy roots, and vocab. For creative writing in loop C I kind of had
a hard time nailing down a resource for this one. I was at first he’s using this
little book here tailing Telling Tales Writing Captivating Short Stories
because I thought we would focus on writing short stories and then over the
course of the year everybody would write their own short story
using this book as a guide. It didn’t quite work out that way. This is a good
book. There’s nothing really wrong with it. It just wasn’t really helping us do
what I thought it would, so I kind of just set this aside looked for something
else a little more basic and I came across this writing program that’s kind
of new on the homeschool writing scene: Wright Shop. And I like write shop a lot. I
haven’t used their core curriculum yet as writing program but they have a lot
of sort of ancillary writing products to kind of help you implement writing at
home and they have a lot of PDF downloads that you can buy pretty
cheaply, so I went ahead and purchased I’m not sure where they are right now
either pack of PDF downloads that I’m now using
as inspiration for creative writing and they have a ton of writing prompts both
for elementary and middle and then some teen writing prompts. And so I’m using
those to help the kids get creative with their writing in the morning when we hit
it on our loop. Another fun thing that I really like to do for creative writing
is use this game right here it’s called Story Cubes if you’ve ever seen this.
This little box opens up and there are nine cubes inside. They each have a
picture on each face of the cube and all the pictures are different for every
cube. So there are different ways to play this game. For creative writing what we
do is we roll the dice, everybody picks a few, and then you have to start a story
with a picture based on the picture that comes up on your first cube. So each
person continues the story using the cubes that they rolled and we write the
story together as we go. For gum drops gum drops is-and I was drawn to it again
because it is literature based grammar practice- you can see the gum drops here.
Gum stands for grammar usage mechanics and it says 90 reproducible
worksheets based around editing passages from classical literature. There’s a
literature piece. I’m all about that. So this takes five minutes maybe for the
kids and this I’m using a grade seven book and even my third grader does just
fine with it so she may need a little extra
explaining and guidance but she does just fine with that.
Everybody does great with that. Okay for spelling um
we just go through lists orally together using the phonetic zoo which is a
product put out by IEW. I do have an affiliate link for their stuff so if you
don’t mind checking out the description below where I link to all of these
things you’ll see this in here. Alright so after we hit spelling on our loop the
next thing is rummy roots and that’s just a game rummy roots that we play.
We are working on set two right now and we just play it like old maid or no, yeah
like old maid if you don’t have the card that the person’s asking for to
make a match then you dig in the root pile and try to get a match. And so we
just match up the English with the Latin and make pairs. There’s many ways to play
this game. I make a little cheat sheet for everybody. The game comes with one
cheat sheet but I make a copy for everybody so that they can check their
own work and then once we’ve been working on a set and we feel like we
have it pretty mastered I give the kids a quiz so that I know if it’s time to
move on to the next set. There are three sets. We just finished our quiz on set
two today so I guess next time we’ll move on to set three. Okay and then
for vocabulary, again keeping it simple, keeping it painless, we just go over one
word each time we hit that on the loop from this book Vocabulary Cartoon of the
Day and we don’t do anything fancy with this we just look at the word, we discuss
it out loud, we use it in a sentence, we try to incorporate it into our daily
conversation, that kind of thing. So that is all of the pieces. Those are all the
pieces for loops A, B and C. Now you can see here that I added them even by hand
just recently study skills. I’m gonna have to make that a whole separate video.
I looked and looked and looked for an online study skills class that my middle
schoolers could take in preparation for high school and I found something really
great so I will share that. It’s too much to share right now but I will share that
in an upcoming video so stay tuned for that one it’s gonna be really good. Okay
it’s snack time so we’re down in the kitchen for snack with Ivy. If you’re
wondering how long it takes to get through those three loops each day it
takes about an hour to an hour and a half so we start school at nine o’clock.
I like to be done with loops by ten if I can sometimes it goes a little bit
longer. Sometimes I do make the executive decision to cut out one of the loops if
we’re really behind if if something came up and we need to alter our day. Of
course that’s always an option. So you may just decide today I only feel like
doing one loop and so what you would do is you would move your paperclip or
or close pin is what I use or anything anything else, on whatever loop you get to you
would just move that one down so that you could start on the next piece of the
loop tomorrow. But the loops that you didn’t get to for the day you would just
leave them as they are and move or just leave it where it is and then tomorrow
you would incorporate in those loops wherever you left off. So it’s really
adjustable and there’s never any pressure to get all the loops done on
the same day, which actually adds to variety in your day. If one of your loops
is moving along and the other is not that’s okay you get a different mix of
activities for the following days to come.
So never feel like you have to be pressured into doing all of your loops
or even that you have to have three loops to be crazy the way we do. It you can only
have one loop if that’s what you need. So any other questions about loops that I
need to answer? What do you think about our loop schedules Ruby? Do you like
using the loop schedules? Read aloud more often. Yes, I know. That’s a popular
request. Ivy: I like Peppa! mmm yeah we knew that okay
is there anything else you wish was different about our loops? Well, I really
liked playing those games like Valance. Yeah you really like game day. Yeah more
game day. Okay there you have it friends. I have just shared with you our morning
routine which includes loop schedules Loops A, B, and C and all of the resources
that go into making these loop schedules happen. It may feel like I’ve shared
maybe too much? A lot! I’ve shared a lot of resources with you
and it may feel overwhelming. It takes time to build up a homeschool
library. Your loops don’t have to be as long. They can be really short. They can
be very simple. They can be done with free resources, and they can be adapted
to whatever your family needs. And that is the beauty of home schooling and one
great quality of loops- they can be whatever you need them to be! This was
just inspiration hopefully, and one example of how they can be done. So I
really do encourage you still, again, to try a loop schedule in some form see if
it incorporates some variety, some interest, and keeps things fun and fresh
in your home school. Thanks for watching everybody. It’s always so good to share a
little bit about home schooling and get feedback. I love to learn from you also
so if you have any comments please share them. I’d love to know how loop schedules
work for you in your homeschool. Thanks again, we’ll see you next time and
until then just keep learning!

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One Comment

  • A Lin says:

    I love your rescourses. Thanks for sharing. I've wanted to try some new games and fun things into our school. Thank you

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