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Is my DS15's schedule reasonable


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#1 Garga

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 05:30 PM

DS15 spends the following amounts of time on the following activities each week:

 

School:  40 hours

Church activities:  7 hours

Karate:  2 hours

Work:  7-10 hours

Volunteer activity of baking cookies/cupcakes at home:  3-4 hours

 

That's 63 hours on the above.

He spends 9.5 hours a night sleeping.

That leaves 38 waking hours for eating, bathing, doing a few chores (very minimal), and relaxing. 

 

Is this normal?  DS doesn't complain overly much, but he's feeling like all he does is work all day or jump from activity to activity.  He doesn't feel like he has enough down time to putter around and watch tv or play games. 

 

Looking at the numbers, I think he's pretty well-balanced.  He has gotta do's (school, work, eating, bathing) and wanna do's (church, karate, baking).  But it doesn't feel like that to him. I've gently told him that I'm pretty sure his schedule is pretty normal for a high schooler, but he's not quite convinced.  

 

Do you think his schedule is reasonable?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#2 regentrude

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 06:19 PM

I am not sure absolute times mean that much without knowing more details, how the time is distributed, how much agency he has. How do his weekends look like? Does he have large consecutive chunks of time at his own disposal, or is it all chopped up into little bits? Does he have one weekend day that is completely free of commitments? 38 hours of free unstructured time sounds good, but the question is how much of this time is available as quality time, i.e. consecutive, without the next commitment looming, at a time of day he  is not tired.

 

As for the activities: even if he does them voluntarily, does he have the freedom to opt out if he chooses to? I find that this makes a big difference to how commitments are perceived.

 

I personally find 40 hours of schoolwork at the high end and did not make my kids spend this much time at age 15. We found six hours in 10th grade quite sufficient to achieve our academic goals. I know I did not have to work 8 hours per day in my rather rigorous German high school.

40 hours of school can be OK if he has scheduling freedom, curriculum agency, can spread work over the weekend or choose to work a bit in the evening. 40 hours of school can also be horrible if it means school from 8am until 5pm daily with a one hour lunch break, and then work or scheduled activities.

 

 

 


Edited by regentrude, 01 October 2017 - 06:23 PM.

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#3 Lori D.

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 06:59 PM

I really think this is going to vary widely from student to student, and from family to family.   :)

 

Garga:

I know from past threads of yours that establishing good work habits and responsible character traits, and having the ability to go to college (both through meeting college admission requirements and through merit aid) is a high priority as well.

 

From things you have posted in the past, it sounds like you are doing an above-and-beyond good job on that. :)

 

 

That 40 hours a week of school + part-time work + activities is much more of a scheduled week than my DSs could have handled, but my DSs are very different than your DSs.

 

For us: esp. for DS#2 with mild LDs -- no way he could handle more than 5.5-6 hours of school a day. And DS#1 is an extreme introvert. So both DSs needed more daily free time/recovery time. Working part time during the school year is just not something either of our DSs could handle, and still balance doing school.

 

Also we didn't do dual enrollment until 12th grade (DSs were 18, or almost 18). Wasn't your DS doing DE LAST year, as well as this year?? And neither DS was at an Honors or AP level of work, and as I recall, your DS was already SAT Subject testing last year. Neither of DSs could have managed that, either the coursework load or the extra time for test prepping

 

My DSs were very average, not into academics, and NOT the self-motivated/driven students that I see in many of the other families who post on the high school board. Also, a big goal that was extremely important to *me* was to model a lifestyle of balance, and a second big goal was to encourage our DSs to explore -- to consider different activities as possibilities for personal interests/hobbies and as possible career fields. So we did enough academics to be solid for college admissions, but also left ourselves plenty of time to try a lot of new things.

 

Some of the ways I managed to compromise: we did not do homework or school on the weekends -- although several years we went into the summer to finish up Math. We also did "summer school" several summers in a row to accumulate 1 credit of an Elective. Plus, I elected to go with just 3 Science credits rather than 4, and we spread out those 3 Science credits over 4 years.

 

 

I do think that hours break-down you list for your DS is very typical of many highly-motivated homeschoolers, and of public school students who have long school days AND then homework nightly. For lots of people, that's great, and they thrive on the busy-ness. And that's great!

 

For others (like my family), that would fast become a grind and feel like no life and no ability to have enough recovery time to even think about enjoying a hobby or personal interest. For example: just a totally different way of seeing those hours:

 

40 hours of school = similar to what an adult does at a full time job, so 8 hours/Mon-Fri

7-10 hours of work = like working a 6th day of the week -- so 8 hours/Sat.

7 hours of church = like being booked for the 7th day of the week -- so almost 8 hours/Sun.

 

That's like working or being scheduled about 8 hours/day, 7 days a week. Plus another 5 hours during the week for karate and cupcake baking. By the time you add in eating, personal hygiene, chores, and sleeping, that leaves maybe 2-3 hours per evening to relax. For *me*, all I could manage at that point would be to fall in front of the TV and veg -- which does not feel like real "restoration" to me -- it's just what I do when I can't manage to the brain power or physical energy to do anything else.

 

 

No advice, because I don't know your family and your goals, abilities, needs, etc. Just wishing you all the BEST as you think through whether this is a season for learning to gut it out, or for learning how to be more efficient, or if it is a time for readjustment of goals/expectations. My very best wishes and warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

ETA

Love the way Regentrude phrased it about looking into *how* the free time of 38 hours/week is scheduled. Perhaps consider discussing with DS what that free time needs to look like to really BE restorative and refreshing to *him* -- it might need to be in a 4-6 hour block of time 3-4x/week. :)

 


Edited by Lori D., 01 October 2017 - 07:36 PM.

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#4 Corraleno

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 08:05 PM

That's a heavier schedule than either of my kids could have handled at that age. That's a heavier schedule than most working adults I know — as Lori said, it's the equivalent of working 7 days/wk. At 15, DS was probably spending ~35 hrs on school plus ~8-9 hours on fencing, and the rest of his time was his own (other than basic chores). As a senior he was probably spending closer to 40 hrs/wk on school, but he had 2 DE classes and he is dyslexic (so a very slow reader and super slow at math). By then he was spending probably 15-20 hours/wk on fencing, but that's what he would be doing with his free time anyway, so it doesn't really count as "work" for him. He could also skip a day or two any time he wanted, so although it was a lot of hours, they were totally his to schedule (or not).

In your son's schedule only 2 hours out of the 63 are physical activity, and the other 61 hours are commitments that he has to meet every week, so that really doesn't seem like much genuine free time to me. (And possibly not enough physical exercise for a 15 yr old boy.) The "38 hours of free time" includes waking up, eating three meals, bathing, getting dressed, getting ready for bed, and doing chores, none of which are really optional and all of which are spread out throughout the day, so as Regentrude mentioned it doesn't seem like he has many blocks of extended time just to do his own thing.
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#5 Pen

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 08:25 PM

IMO: Too little physical exercise. And probably too little downtime/free time/relaxation time--especially if the church and volunteer activities are actually required of him and not truly voluntary and refreshing and relaxing for him.


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#6 RootAnn

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 08:30 PM

My dd#1 couldn't handle that type of schedule. She's your ds's age. DD#2 is a freshman and would wither under that much scheduled time.

 

DD#1 doesn't have outside work yet, only spends ~ 3ish hours most weeks on Church stuff. (Once per month, she volunteers a couple of hours in a Church-related ministry. Sometimes, the youth group volunteers a couple of more hours in the community. These are not consist weekly obligations.)

 

DD#1's school takes her however many hours it takes her, but she makes her own downtime during the day. Her karate is on hiatus, but would be 2 hours max. She tries to get in at least a couple of hours with friends on Friday afternoons. Her free time is either on the computer or reading.

 

DD#2's schoolwork takes her 5 hours most days (25 hours/week). She has art lessons (2-3 hours/week) and ~2 hours of Church-related activities. She thrives on her free time - writing, drawing, and her exercise schedule.

 

I've tried to make sure they have time for their interests. DD#1 thwarts this a bit by dragging out her schoolwork by spending hours in the bathroom. (She locks the door & reads, I'm pretty sure. It is one of the only ways she can have alone time.) But, that's her decision.

 

My personality also thrives on unscheduled time. If I have multiple outside-the-house things on the calendar for a day, I feel over-scheduled. My SIL has four or five outside-the-house things every day, all year, and it is normal for her. I would be in the loony bin if I had her schedule. So, it definitely depends on the person!


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#7 OrganicJen

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 08:32 PM

Normal is different for everyone.  For my 15 year old that would be way too much going and not enough down time but that doesn't mean it's too much for yours.  


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#8 Pen

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 09:06 PM

PS:   Garga,  I notice that your ds seems to be getting the recommended amount of sleep per night for a teen.  

 

But I think it is recommended that teens get at least one hour per day of moderate to strenuous physical exercise and that seems to be missing.



#9 Lilaclady

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 09:41 PM

If my dd and I have done everything we both want to do for the year, she will have a schedule like your son's. I can't do it because ultimately, I am the one that will be monitoring to make sure things are done. She is an introvert and after being out, just needs time to veg and recover so I have to build in that time.
We had to cull a lot of good stuff off our list to have some sanity. Some of her classes take her 2 hrs a day. I am helping her learn to be more efficient and not waste a lot of time and reduce that to 1.5 hrs but that means she is not carrying a full load.
She exercises 3 days a week for about 2 hrs each doing dance and a sport and I think that is good enough.
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#10 Garga

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 10:07 PM

Oh dear. Well, this is a conundrum then. I don't like it when posters present a problem to the hive and then discount what the hive says, but I'm not sure what to do to free up his schedule. I hear so often about kids going to school at 7:30 in the morning, then playing a sport, then doing homework until 11 and then starting over the next day. Just today on a thread someone mentioned a kid coming home at 10:30 at night from sports. My guy is in bed by 9:30 every night.

Church stuff is Sunday School for an hour, then the service for 2 hours, Wednesday night youth group for 1.5 hours, and then some of the guys from church decided to get together to have their own bible study on Saturday for 2 hours. He loves all of that, except maybe the actual preaching on Sunday (because the pastor is a good man, but a bit of a dull speaker.). He comes home from youth and from the bible study full of energy. I do not require that he do those things. Those are things he takes initiative on his own to do. I would require Sunday morning, but the rest is all him.

Karate is something he still loves doing and has been doing for years. It's only 2 hours a week and we are a 4 minute drive from the studio, so the drive time is negligible.

He adores making his cookies and cupcakes and that's one thing I never, ever have to remind him to do.

The job...well, it's a job. It's the one thing he doesn't love, but just does. He was employee of the month this summer.

I wish soooo much that his school work didn't take him so long, but he's slow at it. I have done some of his assignments before I've given them to him, just to try to get a sense of how long it should take. Things that take me 15 minutes, take him 40. He has ADHD and takes meds for it which absolutely helps him focus, but I've been researching it a bit, and working slowly can be one of the many effects of ADHD. He retains what he learns and passes tests, etc. But he's sloooow at doing the actual work. I could get his work done in about 2/3 of the time it takes him. I started a thread a bit ago about ways to help him increase his reading speed, but I haven't implemented anything yet. Last year I piled on too much work, but this year I backed way off. He just takes a long time to get work done.

Blah.

We need to rethink the job. If we got rid of those 7-10 hours, that might be just the breathing room he needs. He loves the other things he does (except for school).

Edited by Garga, 01 October 2017 - 10:14 PM.

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#11 happypamama

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 10:15 PM

Can he cut the job back a bit? I know 7-10 isn’t much, but could he limit it to two shifts a week? Or even alternate and do more hours one week and fewer the next and maybe cut the volunteer baking down in frequency?

There’s no way I can get 8 hours of school a day out of DD. She jut can’t focus that long. It’s a bit frustrating, but that’s reality. 6-7 is really the most she could focus, and that’s if an hour is Spanish, which she loves.

#12 Garga

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 10:33 PM

(Weird, but it won't let me quote. I'm trying to reply to happypamama)

His school work is about 7 hours a day, not including a 30 minute lunch break and 4 10-minute breaks scattered throughout the day. You're right--at about the 6/7 hour mark, he loses focus. We do photography or other light work during the last hour of the day.

He has about 3 hours of homework on Saturday morning, but I try to make that non-output material that has just spilled over from the week: watching a Great Course lecture or catching up reading his novel in Literature. The 7 hours a day, plus the spillover on Sat morning gets us close to 40 hours/week.

For his job we make sure that he always has Saturday off. Always.

So, maybe as you said, instead of quitting entirely he could see about working only 5 hours or so a week. He usually works in 2.5 hour shifts, so it could be two evenings, or maybe one long Sunday afternoon. The longest they usually have him work on Sun is 4.5 hours. I'm wondering if maybe the job just needs to go entirely for now. I'm going to keep thinking all this over and have a heart-to-heart with him in a few days.
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#13 Arcadia

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 10:34 PM

How is his weekday and weekends structured?

For example, if my younger kid spend 8hrs on schoolwork and 9.5 hrs sleeping on weekdays, his daily routine would look like

7am - wake up, breakfast, wash his cup and whatever utensils he used, brush teeth and comb hair
8am - start schoolwork
1pm - lunch
2pm - continue schoolwork
5pm - dinner
6pm - downtime
9:30pm - sleep

So for my this kid, he would have a nice 3hr block of downtime after dinner assuming he spends 30mins bathing and brushing his teeth before bed.

However if he has a evening activity like Karate, then the 3hr block would have been chopped up by traveling to class, class time and coming home. That would feel like the day is gone and there was hardly any downtime.

Same feeling of little downtime goes if the volunteer baking and cooking was done on a weekday.

My oldest is like me and does not mind time spaghetti for downtime. So 30 mins of downtime here and there throughout the day is good enough for us.

My youngest is like my husband and likes blocks of time for downtime. Their idea of downtime is 3 to 4hrs of reading or other sedentary activity uninterrupted.

ETA:
Didn’t see your 8:07pm reply when I posted this.

Edited by Arcadia, 01 October 2017 - 11:07 PM.

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#14 Corraleno

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 10:38 PM

I think for kids with ADHD, the longer the school day the less productive it becomes. That is certainly true for DS — what might take him 30 minutes at 10:00 AM after the meds kick in would take more than twice as long at the end of the day when his brain is fried.

Is there any way you can shorten his school days? Are there any assignments you could cut out without impacting his learning and retention? Could he do fewer but deeper essays, or more discussion and less writing, or do unit tests instead of chapter tests if you're using a textbook?
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#15 GoodGrief

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 10:51 PM

I'd be looking at ways to cut back on the school time, perhaps changing curricula or requirements/evaluation methods. If reading is slow for him, is there another way for him to receive the information?

 

Would block scheduling help, doing one subject for a concentrated period of time, then being done with it?

 

Does school time include "lighter" subjects like PE or music/art?

 

Hard to know whether the job is a valuable use of time without more details.

 

All that said, I don't think the schedule is out of control unless he is feeling like it is too much. I have one daughter who was busy 12 hours a day, every day, easily, and thrived. My other daughters could not handle that level of constant activity.


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#16 Lori D.

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 10:54 PM

I definitely want to respect if this is a JAWM thread, so please disregard the following if you aren't looking to change things. :)

 

 

... I hear so often about kids going to school at 7:30 in the morning, then playing a sport, then doing homework until 11 and then starting over the next day. Just today on a thread someone mentioned a kid coming home at 10:30 at night from sports. My guy is in bed by 9:30 every night.

 

"Comparison is the thief of joy" -- and it really is pointless to compare your DS with any other student. I had to carefully assess what EACH of my DSs could and could not do, and put blinders on as far as what everyone else was doing. Remember: teach the child before you. (And don't compare to the mythological superstars that are other children. ;) )

 

 

...I'm not sure what to do to free up his schedule. I hear so often about kids going to school at 7:30 in the

 

...He comes home from youth and from the bible study full of energy...he takes initiative on his own to do...
...Karate is something he still loves doing...
...He adores making his cookies and cupcakes...

...The job... It's the one thing he doesn't love, but just does. He was employee of the month this summer.

...school work... He retains what he learns and passes tests, etc. But he's sloooow at doing the actual work...

 

- keep the activities, for sure! :)

 

re: slow at doing the school work

Well, that is just your DS's reality. I know, that's not what any of wants to hear, but we had our own variation on that. For us, the reality for DS#2 was that he was highly distractible, disliked academics, AND had LDs. I hunted till I found what materials worked for him, I scheduled school to fit in time that he could manage -- after 5.5 to 6 hours that was IT, he had no more gas in the brain tank. We went long into the summer for several years of high school, we did a LOT of the reading out loud together, I required limited output but made it count. It's what worked for HIM. Likewise, you will need to tailor your DS's high school for HIM. List what your absolute must goals are and make sure you hit those. Everything else is gravy.

 

Ideas for high school for a slower worker:

- quality not quantity as far as school work, so fewer assignments, books, etc., but make them count

- loop schedule: after you hit 5-6 hours for the day, stop; the next day, start up where you left off

- plan for a longer school year so you can have shorter days spread over larger number of school days

- for slow readers: do audio books or together aloud reading for some of it

- keep "mushy" subjects (like History, or English) tamed by time -- hit 4.5 to 5 hours of time and you're done for the week; move on in the material

- double dip -- count writing for History as part of the English credit

- spread 3 science credits over 4 years (unless he's headed for a STEM field)

- short n sweet -- make required subjects like Health, Econ or Gov't "light" credits using "just get 'er done" materials

 

One last thought:

Can the job be just a summer-only activity? Since DS was employee of the month, there's a very good chance they will understand it's getting to be too much during the school year, but they would likely love to have him back for summers.

 

 

Hugs, and best wishes as your family navigates the tricky waters of high school! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.


Edited by Lori D., 02 October 2017 - 11:41 AM.

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#17 happypamama

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 11:01 PM

Does he need a top-off dose of the adhd meds to get him through the last couple of hours to make them more efficient?

DD is not the fastest reader either, so I want to experiment with putting some of her books in audio form so she can take a mid-day walk and listen to her lit assignments. It would still be productive time but also get her some exercise to help with her sitting/focusing abilities. Also, we do GC lectures in audio form instead of video, and she sits and plays dumb games like solitaire while listening, so it feels like some down time to her. She’s my highly auditory learner though so ymmv, but maybe some multitasking could work for you.

#18 Arcadia

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 11:14 PM

Is day time his best time for schoolwork?
My house is hot from 4:30pm to 6:30pm usually so either we do schoolwork at the library or take our downtime during that time. My oldest is doing his chemistry lab now on a Sunday evening because evening time is his best academic time. So he would get it done better and faster now than tomorrow morning. My oldest does sleep in on most weekday mornings which allows him to sleep later most days.

ETA:
Our nearest library is a less than 10mins walk down the road.

Edited by Arcadia, 01 October 2017 - 11:47 PM.

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#19 katilac

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 10:04 AM

That's too much of some things and not enough of other things, imo. If it can be adjusted, I definitely would. 

 

Whether or not it's a normal schedule for a high schooler, I don't think it's a desirable one, and homeschoolers have the wonderful freedom of making adjustments more easily than schooled kids.  

 

Can karate be increased, do they have open practice times? If not, would he enjoy set practice times at home? 

 

I would absolutely lower the work hours if at all possible. For a kid spending 40 hours a week on school, I would consider dropping paid work if that's at all feasible. 

 

He enjoys the baking, but maybe it could be every other week rather than every week? That would be an improvement. 

 

His school load is quite heavy. He has 7 credits NOT counting home ec or PE, and his English looks like it might be worth more than one credit, or at least it's a very heavy credit. 

 

Why two histories? Pick one. Does he want to do photography? That can be dropped, done as a half-credit, or simply done for fun. 

 

My kids are actually pretty fast workers, and they would have lost their minds with that schedule. It's a lot, and it goes in a lot of different directions. I don't see a lot of time for friends or down time.  The enjoyable things on his list are structured or done alone. Youth group, which I'm guessing is fairly social, is only 1 1/2 hours per week. Bible study is structured. Karate is structured. Baking is done at home. 

 

I would absolutely make adjustments to his schedule. He's only 15. If my kids ever spent 40 hours per week on high school, it was a rarity, and they had good transcripts and good college choices. They are not slow workers, true, but your son has more credits than he needs, plus work and volunteer commitments. They did not work during high school (for a variety of reasons), so they didn't have that drain on their time.

 

Many students do have crazy schedules, but I don't homeschool so my kids can do what other students do, kwim? I homeschool so they can do something different. Also, some students thrive on a crazy schedule, others don't. I would not hesitate to devise a schedule that gives a 15-yr-old more time to putter around and play games. 


Edited by katilac, 02 October 2017 - 10:06 AM.

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#20 katilac

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 10:11 AM

 

<snip>  (And don't compare to the mythological superstars that are other children. ;)

 

<random snipping below>

 

 

 

 

Ideas for high school for a slower worker:

- quality not quantity as far as school work, so fewer assignments, books, etc., but make them count

- loop schedule: after you hit 5-6 hours for the day, stop; the next day, start up where you left off

- plan for a longer school year so you can take longer

- for slow readers: do audio books or together aloud reading for some of it

- keep "mushy" subjects (like History, or English) tamed by time -- hit 5 to 5.5 hours of time and you're done for the week; move on in the material

- double dip -- count writing for History as part of the English credit

- spread 3 science credits over 4 years (unless he's headed for a STEM field)

- short n sweet -- make required subjects like Health, Econ or Gov't "light" credits using "just get 'er done" materials

 

 

 

I personally don't like the double dip theory, each credit should stand on its own. But many great ideas on this list. 

 

Also, giggling at "the mythological superstars that are other children."  :lol:


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#21 Clear Creek

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 11:27 AM

It does look like a very packed schedule to me. Since he needs extra time to complete assignments, are you limiting his school work to only include necessary classes? For example, in your signature it lists two history classes. Can he just do one this year and one next year? And if he is baking for a few hours every week, is an actual for-credit home ec class necessary? Just a couple suggestions off the top of my head.

 

I believe in the long run it is wiser to do fewer subjects better, than lots of subjects at a pace that might burn out the student, even if they are in areas of interest. The week before school started this year I had to tell my 10th grader that one of the electives she had requested was getting put off until next year. It would have been a good subject to study, and it was definitely an area of interest, but it would have required another hour/day of school time. Six week into the school year she admitted that it would have been too much and she would have had less time to focus on her other subjects if she had tried to squeeze it in.


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#22 Lori D.

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 11:37 AM

His school work is about 7 hours a day, not including a 30 minute lunch break and 4 10-minute breaks scattered throughout the day. You're right--at about the 6/7 hour mark, he loses focus. We do photography or other light work during the last hour of the day.

He has about 3 hours of homework on Saturday morning, but I try to make that non-output material that has just spilled over from the week: watching a Great Course lecture or catching up reading his novel in Literature. The 7 hours a day, plus the spillover on Sat morning gets us close to 40 hours/week.

 

Quick fix #1: No homework. No school spilling over into Saturdays or evenings.

 

Just loop those 3 hours or whatever didn't get done to the next week. Or just drop material that didn't get done in the week and consider it to be a signal that there is a bit too much work scheduled for this particular student -- and then also look at the rest of the semester's scheduled work and streamline it to better fit the student's working speed. Or plan on a shorter summer, and spread the work out in short bites per day over a longer school year.

 

 

Quick fix #2: Drop school to roughly 6 hours a day.

 

That will likely mean adjusting the expected workload -- you're stuck with outsourced classes in meeting their expectations, but for home courses, you can adjust the volume and rigor of reading and output for History and English to better fit what works for DS. So, below is what I see you are doing from your signature. If not wanting to drop any subjects, consider reducing the expectation of how much credit to work for this year. Example:

 

1 credit = English: Writing + Literature

1 credit = Math: Algebra 2 (outsourced class)

1 credit = Science: Chemistry (outsourced class)

1 credit = Social Studies: US History

1 credit = Foreign Language: Spanish

0.5 credit = Social Studies: Ancient Egyptian History -- I'm guessing: a partial credit / elective extra History?

0.5 credit = Elective: Photography

0.50 credit = Elective: PE -- I'm guessing: not formal studies, but accruing hours done in summers, weekends, odd hours?

0.25 credit = Elective: Home Ec -- I'm guessing: not formal studies, but accruing hours done in summers, weekends, odd hours?

6.75 credits

 

How might that look in a weekly schedule? Here's one example:

 

Monday-Friday

1 hour = Math

1 hour = Chemistry

45 min = Spanish

 

Monday-Thursday

1 hour = English: Literature

45 min = English: Writing

 

Tuesday-Friday

1 hour = U.S. History

 

Mondays and Fridays only

1 hour = Photography

1 hour = Ancient Egyptian History

 

total daily hours:

Mondays = 6.5 hours total

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays = 5.5 hours total (which gives you 30 minutes "extra" time if needed to put towards the outsourced classes)

Fridays = 5.75 hours total

 

"informal" credits (accrued in summers, on weekends, or evenings, throughout high school):

PE

Home Economics

 

 

One last thought:

However, if your 3 outsourced classes (Algebra 2, Chemistry, and Spanish) are requiring a lot more time to keep up, then the only other option you have right now for taming the schedule is to drop down with the home classes, much as I hate to see students lose activities and classes of personal interest.

 

If you have to go that route, perhaps drop the Ancient Egyptian History just for this year, and plan on NOT doing anything for the Home Ec. elective until the summer, and for next year, plan on lightening the load of required credits just a bit to be able to have time for some personal interest credits. For example, if DS has completed 2 years of Spanish by the end of this year, many colleges don't require more than that for admissions, so DS could be done with Foreign Language. Or if DS is not going into a STEM field, if Chemistry this year completes his 2nd Science credit, then consider skipping Science in 11th grade and finishing the 3rd required credit of Science in 12th grade. Or, once DS finishes the required American History credit this year, then run with his areas of special interest for History in 11th grade.

 

Wishing you and DS the very BEST of a 10th grade year, Garga! Warmest regards, Lori D.


Edited by Lori D., 02 October 2017 - 12:31 PM.

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#23 happypamama

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 12:22 PM

He doesn’t NEED a PE credit, just as a note.
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#24 Garga

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 12:26 PM

Also we didn't do dual enrollment until 12th grade (DSs were 18, or almost 18). Wasn't your DS doing DE LAST year, as well as this year?? And neither DS was at an Honors or AP level of work, and as I recall, your DS was already SAT Subject testing last year. Neither of DSs could have managed that, either the coursework load or the extra time for test prepping







40 hours of school = similar to what an adult does at a full time job, so 8 hours/Mon-Fri
7-10 hours of work = like working a 6th day of the week -- so 8 hours/Sat.
7 hours of church = like being booked for the 7th day of the week -- so almost 8 hours/Sun.


My son did take an SAT subject test last year, but I found out that we had grossly miscalculated his readiness for it. He wasn't ready. Water under the bridge.

He hasn't taken any AP or honors level courses as I specifically avoid any classes with those in the description. He hasn't done DE. I've mentioned his online classes and I think that may have come across as if it was DE.

Algebra II is through MyHomeschoolMathClass.com. About 3/4 of the reviewers loved the class and 1/4 said it was too easy. "Too easy" were the magic words. I signed him up. Even so, he works through the problems slowly. However, his accuracy is pretty good. I can't figure out how to rush him through his exercise problems and don't think I want to. But it can mean that Alg is 1.5 hours a day.

Chemistry is Jay Wile's Discovering Design in Chemistry and the reviews said it was written to the student and easy to understand. (Magic words) I also found a teacher through currclick that will expound on the text to help kids understand it and will go over the questions in the textbook to be sure the kids did them right. If we didn't have the teacher portion, I could save us 2.5 hours a week, but I feel the teacher is vital for us as I know nothing about chemistry.

Chemistry takes about 2 hours a day. He reads slowly, but he comprehends it and has done well on the review questions/chapter tests. Chemistry also has labs that tend to take him about an hour a lab. Labwork is where he's particulary slow, because he wants to be sure he's not about to blow something up. :)

We're using Hakim's History of the US for American History this year because people said that while it's at a middle school level, the text is very thorough. Seven of the books (there are 10 in the series) have workbooks as well. He does the workbooks for the applicable books. I beef it up out of middle school level with the American history lectures from The Great Courses. There are 84 lectures (half hour each), and every 10 lectures I'll have him pick one of the thought questions from the previous lectures and write an essay/short answer to it. So, 8 essays a year.

Spanish is taught by a teacher who is a retired priest in his 70s and is at a point in his life where he doesn't believe in burdening students with lots of homework, so Spanish can't get much easier. DS15 comes home from that class (it's an in-person class) with about 30 minutes of homework a day. (What a relief.)

Photography: I know a lot about photography. We've been working on this in piecemeal. He did about 1/3 of the class over a year ago when he listened to lectures from The Great Courses. This year we're finishing it up the remaning 2/3 of it with a book I found that give suggestions of all different kinds of pictures to take. This is a no-brainer class. He gets outside a lot taking walks and taking pictures while he walks. The only output for this ciass is editing the pictures. No writing or testing.

And now English. This is the one place I can probably cut back. We were doing Lively Art of Writing and Windows to the World PLUS we are reading some novels.

I thought it would be ok, because LAW and WW are each half semester courses. I chose short stories, novellas, and short novels this year because I didn't want us bogged down with loooong novels (like last year.). For four of the novels, I got us some lit guides to work through. There are 12 works total to get through, but remember that 3 are short stories, 2 or 3 are novellas, and the rest are short.

He can get through his English class in about 1 hour and 15 minutes a day. It's just a smidge over an hour. If I wanted to cut anything this year, I could cut WW. I think I need to do so, because we haven't hit any books with the lit guides yet so I'm not sure how we'll fit those in. So far, we've read a couple of short stories and are in the middle of a book, and we just read and discuss. Sometimes I use sparknotes to give us a springboard of things to consider as we discuss. Once I add the lit guides, we'll be in trouble. We don't do WW and LAW on the same week. I was having us do each curric on alternating weeks.


So...I can save WW until next year. But I can't really picture where I can cut back more. He does manage to say focused through to the end of the school day, because I save reading the books and photography or watching his lectures for the end of the day.


Now that I'm writing all this, I'm thinking about how I recently had him move from the homeschool karate class in the middle of the school day, to the nightime karate class that has students more at his ability level. (The homeschool class is for ages 4-17, the night time is 13-17.). I wonder if the sudden stressing about his time is related to the move to the evening class. I'd moved him to the evening class so that he could get the school work done a little earlier on karate days. The daytime karate class is more like an hour and a half than just an hour, and was making his school day end at around 5 instead of 3:30.

Hmm...

You have all given me a lot to think about. Evening karate might be what's the problem. Instead of all his activities being done by 5 and the evening is free, now his school is done at 3:30, BUT his evening is cut into for karate (from 7:15-8:15). That interruption in the evening might be what's making him seem so stressed about his schedule all of a sudden. He might need that block of free time, as a lot of you have suggested.

Edited by Garga, 02 October 2017 - 12:37 PM.

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#25 Garga

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 12:28 PM

That's too much of some things and not enough of other things, imo. If it can be adjusted, I definitely would.

Whether or not it's a normal schedule for a high schooler, I don't think it's a desirable one, and homeschoolers have the wonderful freedom of making adjustments more easily than schooled kids.

Can karate be increased, do they have open practice times? If not, would he enjoy set practice times at home?

I would absolutely lower the work hours if at all possible. For a kid spending 40 hours a week on school, I would consider dropping paid work if that's at all feasible.

He enjoys the baking, but maybe it could be every other week rather than every week? That would be an improvement.

His school load is quite heavy. He has 7 credits NOT counting home ec or PE, and his English looks like it might be worth more than one credit, or at least it's a very heavy credit.

Why two histories? Pick one. Does he want to do photography? That can be dropped, done as a half-credit, or simply done for fun.

My kids are actually pretty fast workers, and they would have lost their minds with that schedule. It's a lot, and it goes in a lot of different directions. I don't see a lot of time for friends or down time. The enjoyable things on his list are structured or done alone. Youth group, which I'm guessing is fairly social, is only 1 1/2 hours per week. Bible study is structured. Karate is structured. Baking is done at home.

I would absolutely make adjustments to his schedule. He's only 15. If my kids ever spent 40 hours per week on high school, it was a rarity, and they had good transcripts and good college choices. They are not slow workers, true, but your son has more credits than he needs, plus work and volunteer commitments. They did not work during high school (for a variety of reasons), so they didn't have that drain on their time.

Many students do have crazy schedules, but I don't homeschool so my kids can do what other students do, kwim? I homeschool so they can do something different. Also, some students thrive on a crazy schedule, others don't. I would not hesitate to devise a schedule that gives a 15-yr-old more time to putter around and play games.


He takes only US history and is doing only 6 classes this year:

Chem
Alg II
Photography
English
US history
Spanish


Hang on! I just re-read my sig. The Egyptian History is a half semester class he'll start in January as an elective. He chose to do that. We'll watch the Great Courses lecture and do a few activities for output: like write our own obituaries, go to a museum. etc. For an elective I'll keep it fun and light. It'll replace Photography.

Edited by Garga, 02 October 2017 - 12:31 PM.


#26 Garga

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 12:32 PM

It does look like a very packed schedule to me. Since he needs extra time to complete assignments, are you limiting his school work to only include necessary classes? For example, in your signature it lists two history classes. Can he just do one this year and one next year? And if he is baking for a few hours every week, is an actual for-credit home ec class necessary? Just a couple suggestions off the top of my head.

I believe in the long run it is wiser to do fewer subjects better, than lots of subjects at a pace that might burn out the student, even if they are in areas of interest. The week before school started this year I had to tell my 10th grader that one of the electives she had requested was getting put off until next year. It would have been a good subject to study, and it was definitely an area of interest, but it would have required another hour/day of school time. Six week into the school year she admitted that it would have been too much and she would have had less time to focus on her other subjects if she had tried to squeeze it in.



My sig is misleading. The Egyptian history will start in January as a semester class and will replace photography. :)
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#27 Garga

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 12:33 PM

Home ec and PE are done in the summer. I think I need to clarify my signature! But I'm about to run out the door and can't fix it now.
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#28 Lori D.

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 12:42 PM

He hasn't taken any AP or honors level courses as I specifically avoid any classes with those in the description. He hasn't done DE. I've mentioned his online classes and I think that may have come across as if it was DE.

 

Oops! Apologies. My misunderstanding. :)

 

 

He takes only US history and is doing only 6 classes this year:

Chem
Alg II
Photography
English
US history
Spanish

Hang on! I just re-read my sig. The Egyptian History is a half semester class he'll start in January as an elective. He chose to do that. We'll watch the Great Courses lecture and do a few activities for output: like write our own obituaries, go to a museum. etc. For an elective I'll keep it fun and light. It'll replace Photography.

 

...Alg is 1.5 hours a day.
... Chemistry takes about 2 hours a day.

... We're using Hakim's History of the US for American History [and] the American history lectures from The Great Courses. There are 84 lectures (half hour each), and every 10 lectures I'll have him... write an essay/short answer to it. So, 8 essays a year.

... Spanish is ... about 30 minutes of homework a day
... Photography...  taking walks and taking pictures while he walks... No writing or testing.

... English... He can get through his English class in about 1 hour and 15 minutes a day...

 

Just saw these newer posts on your course load, so revising my suggestions above:

 

1 credit = English: Writing + Literature

1 credit = Math: Algebra 2 (outsourced class)

1 credit = Science: Chemistry (outsourced class)

1 credit = Social Studies: US History

1 credit = Foreign Language: Spanish

0.5 credit (spring) = Social Studies: Ancient Egyptian History

0.5 credit (fall) = Elective: Photography

6.00 credits

_______________

accruing hours in summers:

Elective: PE

Elective: Home Ec

 

 

How that might that look in a weekly schedule:

 

Monday-Friday

1.5 hour = Math

1.0-1.25 hour = Chemistry**

0.5 hour = Spanish

0.75 hour = English: Literature 

0.5 hour = English: Writing (time spread over LAofW, WttW, lit. writing, and History essays -- so budget yourself, which may mean doing some things orally in WttW, or reduce some history to short reader responses rather than full essays, and when doing longer essays in a week, don't also be trying to do other writing)

0.75 hour = U.S. History  (GC have 84 30-min. lectures; at 3 lectures a week, you finish in 28 weeks; however, if in 8 or your weeks you do an essay, then in those weeks just do 2 GC lectures, and you spread out to 36 weeks AND give yourself 30 more minutes time for writing an essay that week; finally, read Hakim to finish filling up to your 4-5 hour weekly total for History and you're good -- that would be about 2.5- hours of reading a week)

0.5-0.75 hour = Photography

5.75-6.0 hours total

 

** = hours for Chemistry

See if you can read aloud, or prep for tests orally with DS to speed this up each day; but my guess is that your best option for this is to just plan on shorter daily bites so that the entire credit is spread over more time -- so plan on finishing this as summer school, OR, do 2/3 of Chemistry this year and finish the rest next year and then start your 3rd science next year when finished with Chemistry, and finish the rest of that 3rd science in 12th grade.

 

I know you mentioned that Chemistry is an online class -- Is it a self-paced? If so, can you contact the teacher and explain your situation of needing to move at a slower pace, and see if you can pay to continue access to the teacher explanations into the summer? If not, can you drop the online and hire a local tutor to meet once a week with you and DS and walk you all through the concepts at a slower pace (so, tutoring through both semesters and into the summer)?

 

Quite honestly, more than 1.25 hours a day is sucking too much time away from everything else, and most colleges don't require more than 3 lab science credits for admissions -- some only require 2 credits, esp. if the student is going into a non-STEM field. Honestly, it will be okay to have 3 science credits instead of 4, if it means that during high school, your DS has a life, develops personal interests, and learns how to have balance in his life. :)

 

 

 

...English.... Lively Art of Writing and Windows to the World PLUS we are reading some novels... LAW and WW are each half semester courses. [For the American Lit.]  There are 12 works total to get through, but remember that 3 are short stories, 2 or 3 are novellas, and the rest are short.

 

Well, my math says:

   0.5 credit = WttW

+ 0.5 credit = LAofW

+ 1.0 credit = DIY of 12 works (6 novels, 3 novellas, 3 short stories) + lit. guides)

= 2.0 credits English

 

But what do I know. (teasing!) ;)

 

Big hugs, Garga, as you wrestle through everything. Lots of great ideas from everyone! Warmest wishes, Lori D.


Edited by Lori D., 02 October 2017 - 02:10 PM.

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#29 freesia

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 12:44 PM

Here's an idea if you want to keep WttW.  When we did it, we would do 2 weeks of WttW, then two weeks of other literature with one discussion.  My son found having to juggle a lot of bits and pieces more stressful than just working through them in blocks.  also, could you just cover the parts of Lively Art that you need to (such as thesis development) and hten have him use it as a resource to write his history papers?  You wouldn't be double dipping, because the novels and WttW would be a credit, you would just keep developing other types of writing through another subject.


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#30 Pen

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 12:53 PM

Could you cut his English to 30 min per day, or less, mostly to be reading?  And let the writing part be covered by his history writing?

 

Could you let him have karate during school time (unless he prefers it evenings) and not do photography on karate days?  Could photography have more emphasis on the nature and exercise element and be done in middle of school day for a break from seatwork rather than at end?

 

Could you drop the history workbooks, and just let him read through Hakim--unless he is a very slow reader that should not take all that long-- and have all output be the essays he writes?

 

What do his 7 hours of church consist of? Is he an acolyte or in choir?

 

Can his work hours be cut back at all?


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#31 Lori D.

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 12:59 PM

Here's an idea if you want to keep WttW.  When we did it, we would do 2 weeks of WttW, then two weeks of other literature with one discussion.  My son found having to juggle a lot of bits and pieces more stressful than just working through them in blocks.  also, could you just cover the parts of Lively Art that you need to (such as thesis development) and hten have him use it as a resource to write his history papers?  You wouldn't be double dipping, because the novels and WttW would be a credit, you would just keep developing other types of writing through another subject.

 

Yes, we did that with WttW, too. :)

 

A unit or two, and then our other lit. That spread out WttW over about 1.5 to 2 school years, and it worked fine. Another thing we did to speed things up with Wttw is to do most of the short exercises aloud together, rather than as written work, and then when we did the longer essay assignments in WttW we set aside whatever writing program we were working on and used that as the writing for the weeks it took to complete the essay for Wttw.


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#32 freesia

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 01:11 PM

Yes, we did that with WttW, too. :)

A unit or two, and then our other lit. That spread out WttW over about 1.5 to 2 school years, and it worked fine. Another thing we did to speed things up with Wttw is to do most of the short exercises aloud together, rather than as written work, and then when we did the longer essay assignments in WttW we set aside whatever writing program we were working on and used that as the writing for the weeks it took to complete the essay for Wttw.

I think I got the idea from you. LOL

#33 Corraleno

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 01:31 PM

We're using Hakim's History of the US for American History this year because people said that while it's at a middle school level, the text is very thorough. Seven of the books (there are 10 in the series) have workbooks as well. He does the workbooks for the applicable books. I beef it up out of middle school level with the American history lectures from The Great Courses. There are 84 lectures (half hour each), and every 10 lectures I'll have him pick one of the thought questions from the previous lectures and write an essay/short answer to it. So, 8 essays a year.


I would drop the workbooks. The GC course is really meaty and has a lot to process; that plus reading all 10 volumes of Hakim plus 8 essays is plenty for US History. Add another couple of essays if you feel you absolutely must have more, but making a 10th grader fill in middle school workbooks for seven volumes of Hakim seems like unnecessary busywork.

 

You have all given me a lot to think about. Evening karate might be what's the problem. Instead of all his activities being done by 5 and the evening is free, now his school is done at 3:30, BUT his evening is cut into for karate (from 7:15-8:15). That interruption in the evening might be what's making him seem so stressed about his schedule all of a sudden. He might need that block of free time, as a lot of you have suggested.


Karate is only 2 hours out of the 63 hours of scheduled commitments, though. It seems unlikely that those two hours would be the sole problem. Assuming this class meets twice per week, there are still 5 other nights per week when he would (or should) have free time. If the other 5 evenings are being taken up with other obligations (homework, a job, baking commitments, etc.), then I would look into cutting those out and keeping the karate.


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#34 Lori D.

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 01:41 PM

I think I got the idea from you. LOL

 

:laugh:


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#35 Pen

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 01:54 PM

I would drop the workbooks. The GC course is really meaty and has a lot to process; that plus reading all 10 volumes of Hakim plus 8 essays is plenty for US History. Add another couple of essays if you feel you absolutely must have more, but making a 10th grader fill in middle school workbooks for seven volumes of Hakim seems like unnecessary busywork.

 


Karate is only 2 hours out of the 63 hours of scheduled commitments, though. It seems unlikely that those two hours would be the sole problem. Assuming this class meets twice per week, there are still 5 other nights per week when he would (or should) have free time. If the other 5 evenings are being taken up with other obligations (homework, a job, baking commitments, etc.), then I would look into cutting those out and keeping the karate.

 

 

I agree totally on dropping Hakim workbooks! And on keeping karate, and cutting from those others.

 

My ds's BMS school seems to have one essay or research paper per 1/4 for each of history and English, so 8 total for both.

 

I'd actually be looking for where Garga's son could get some more daily physical exercise. Definitely not cutting the karate.  Unless he hated it, but then I'd be looking for a different physical exercise.  I think summers can be reasonably used for an intensive academic class--such as history or science-- to lessen burden in school year. But I don't think physical exercise can be done intensively in summers healthfully.  I don't mean the credit for PE, I mean the real thing for the body.

 

So if nothing else (baking, work, etc.) could be cut, I'd suggest leaving chemistry or history to do in summer, depending on what is available outsourced or what can't be dropped due to having already started  online and being past drop date.


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#36 Clear Creek

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 01:58 PM

My next question is does he need a chemistry course that takes two hours a day? Does he want to study it for that long every day? Is he going into a science field that needs that kind of foundation in chemistry? That looks like a huge time suck each day, and if it isn't important enough to dedicate that kind of time to it, then perhaps you can reassess what you are doing. I understand the desire to give him a solid foundation in chemistry, but there are easier ways to do it that will take less time if it is just getting done to check the box. Obviously, if he would spend six hours a day on chemistry because it is his passion and you are limiting him to two hours, then this does not apply :001_smile:

 

My personal limit for my 10th grader is one hour/day per subject. If anything routinely takes longer than that, I look for an area to cut back (answer workbook questions orally, cut down on the number of assigned problems, etc.). I feel very strongly that kids need time to develop all aspects of themselves during the teenage years, not just the academic part, so I really don't want my daughter spending more than 30 hours/week on academics.

 

You asked, so I will give you my honest answer...yes, I think 40 hours a week of school is a bit on the unreasonable side :blush:  I have known kids in my community that had schedules like the one you listed, and the ones that thrive on that kind of busyness do really well; but the ones that are overwhelmed by it tend to crash and burn rather spectacularly at some point. Their parents don't talk about it (who wants to admit that their honor-roll, earning-an-associates-by-graduation student has to finish out their classes at the alternative school in order to salvage a senior year that had literally more classes than the student could complete?), but it does happen. I would not make those students the standard by which my students are measured.

 

If your son doesn't want to change anything, then I would just keep going the way things are. Part of learning to be successful with ADHD is accepting that some things will take extra time and effort to do well, so that is a good lesson to learn now. And if he just doesn't want to do all the work (and you don't think it is an unreasonable amount), then I wouldn't change anything. But if he is unhappy and would like things to change, then I would listen to what wants.

 

 


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#37 happypamama

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 02:09 PM

We are using the Zumdahl chemistry book this year and it is set up so that it should take about an hour a day plus a little more for the labs. But even if the labs take longer than I thought it should still take no more than about 180 or 190 hours. And that also includes SAT book review.It seems to be a lot easier than biology was!

#38 katilac

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 02:15 PM

I would focus history on discussion if possible, with fewer written assignments. It seems easier in some ways, but when a homeschool student is in a discussion, they are in the entire discussion. There are no other students to talk, lol. Many history assignments, particularly in workbooks, are designed to gauge comprehension. Discussion does that just fine. 

 

 

 

Karate is only 2 hours out of the 63 hours of scheduled commitments, though. It seems unlikely that those two hours would be the sole problem. Assuming this class meets twice per week, there are still 5 other nights per week when he would (or should) have free time. If the other 5 evenings are being taken up with other obligations (homework, a job, baking commitments, etc.), then I would look into cutting those out and keeping the karate.

 

I agree. Also, the evening class seems like a more suitable peer group. 

 

Regarding chemistry, are you picking and choosing the labs? You don't have to do them all, and most texts don't intend that you do them all. When my kids took chemistry, we had lab days twice a month and knocked out multiple labs. This will save time in setting up, cleaning up, and so on. 


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#39 Garga

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 02:32 PM

You guys are so awesome. I really didn't think I could cut things, but when you guys start talking, I see where things can be cut.

I think the workbooks can go, too. The one part I liked and might keep, at least for every few chapters, is at the bottom of each chapter's worksheet they have a sentence that's a direct quote from a source. The student is told to re-write it in modern day language. I think I'd like to go over those with him. I used to work with people who'd recently finished 4-6 years of college on test prep for a certification test. Part of the test involved reading source historical materials or science materials and understanding what they meant. A lot of the students struggled with the archaic language. So, I'd like to expose my sons to teasing out the meanings in source materials. It's a good mental exercise.

I think moving Windows to the World to next year is a good idea. My son has always struggled with writing and we made some lovely headway last year, so I want to stick with Lively Art of Writing because it seems to be really cementing what he learned last year. WttW is something that can wait.

I'll think over Chemistry...I hate to lose the help of the teacher if we spread it out longer. It's an online class and it's live. If I can free up some history and English, then Chem isn't as big of a problem.

Edited by Garga, 02 October 2017 - 02:33 PM.

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#40 Arcadia

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 02:47 PM

He takes only US history and is doing only 6 classes this year:

Chem
Alg II
Photography
English
US history
Spanish

Out of the 6 subjects, if your son rank them by interest level which would be the higher ranking subjects?
My kids would unapologetically try to avoid history even though they enjoy history documentaries. Photography would be a downtime for DS11 who enjoyed photography but schoolwork for DS12 who is neutral about it.

How is his memorization skills/ability? My oldest would have a hard time with history (US/World/European) and chemistry (or biology) in the same year. His German and Chinese has been ongoing for years so the memory work has been spread out. Chemistry for him is memory heavy at the moment so he has to make the effort to memorize. So two memory heavy subjects in a year would be hard for him and worse for my youngest.

For Spanish how long does it take and since it is using a tutor, maybe go year round if your son feels like it takes too much time per day. As in spread two semesters worth of work over a year.

I do think the evening slot for Karate would be a better fit even though it means less downtime in the evening. The daytime slot has too wide a range of ages.

Edited by Arcadia, 02 October 2017 - 03:00 PM.

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#41 Lori D.

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 02:52 PM

You guys are so awesome. I really didn't think I could cut things, but when you guys start talking, I see where things can be cut.

 

I always love it when others help me see options or think out of the box, and the ladies here are super at it when a thread becomes a big brainstorming session. :) Glad this is helping you and not annoying you. ;)

 

 

 

I think the workbooks can go, too. The one part I liked and might keep, at least for every few chapters, is at the bottom of each chapter's worksheet they have a sentence that's a direct quote from a source. The student is told to re-write it in modern day language. I think I'd like to go over those with him. I used to work with people who'd recently finished 4-6 years of college on test prep for a certification test. Part of the test involved reading source historical materials or science materials and understanding what they meant. A lot of the students struggled with the archaic language. So, I'd like to expose my sons to teasing out the meanings in source materials. It's a good mental exercise.

I think moving Windows to the World to next year is a good idea. My son has always struggled with writing and we made some lovely headway last year, so I want to stick with Lively Art of Writing because it seems to be really cementing what he learned last year. WttW is something that can wait.

 

Sounds great! :)

 

 

I'll think over Chemistry...I hate to lose the help of the teacher if we spread it out longer. It's an online class and it's live. If I can free up some history and English, then Chem isn't as big of a problem.

 

Rats, that's a tough call. Good teachers are gold and worth hanging on to for dear life, lol. But hopefully, as you suggest, trimming the English and History will be all it takes to keep your online Chemistry, but if not, and you need to trim more elsewhere, you might consider spreading the Photography out over all of this year to get it finished up in much smaller bites per week and bumping the Ancient Egyptian History to next year.

 

BEST of luck in restructuring! Warmest regards, Lori D.


Edited by Lori D., 02 October 2017 - 02:53 PM.

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#42 4kookiekids

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 12:55 PM

I could get his work done in about 2/3 of the time it takes him. I started a thread a bit ago about ways to help him increase his reading speed, but I haven't implemented anything yet. Last year I piled on too much work, but this year I backed way off. He just takes a long time to get work done.
.


I'm curious if the material you're giving him is something you're very familiar with? Because I know that when I teach math, I usually expect my students to take 10 times as long as me on anything. So I know that, if they are to have a reasonable chance at finishing an exam in 50 minutes, I should be able to finish it in just over five. This has held true for me in over ten years of teaching. So, if you're very comfortable with the material, and it takes you 2/3 of his time to do it, then I'd say he's actually working very quickly. Now, if it's just as new to you as him, or there's some other mitigating factor slowing down your own work, then that's another story of course. :)

ETA: I use a factor of 10 with undergrad courses, but have taught other courses where I may only use a factor of 5, for instance. I could imagine some fields (like English, where you're writing an essay!) where it might be a much smaller factor! I just thought a factor of 1.5 seemed like it might be fairly challenging for a 15 yo! 


Edited by 4kookiekids, 03 October 2017 - 04:43 PM.

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#43 RootAnn

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 02:43 PM

I'm curious if the material you're giving him is something you're very familiar with? Because I know that when I teach math, I usually expect my students to take 10 times as long as me on anything. So I know that, if they are too have a reasonable chance at finishing an exam in 50 minutes, I should be able to finish it in just over five. This has held true for me in over ten years of teaching.

For dd #1, I take my time and double it for just reading. I triple it for everything else other than math. Except when she gets stuck, she's usually just as fast as I am in math. Each kid is different, and sometimes, it differs by activity!

#44 4kookiekids

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 04:39 PM

For dd #1, I take my time and double it for just reading. I triple it for everything else other than math. Except when she gets stuck, she's usually just as fast as I am in math. Each kid is different, and sometimes, it differs by activity!

 

I agree it varies by child and activity! I give college students a factor of 10, because I've always been very quick with math - even before I got my PhD in the silly subject - and because I'm asking them to be very rigorous most of the time. :) While other margins make sense for other student groups or in other fields, I just thought that maybe a margin of only 50% extra in every field sounded like it might be a bit much to expect of a 15 yo. Possibly not! But something it made sense to consider. :)


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#45 EKS

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 04:52 PM

40 hours per week of school is a lot (IMO) if you're homeschooling a typically developing teen (meaning no ADHD, LDs, etc) and you're paying attention to efficiency.  I'd shoot for 30 hours there.

 

If he enjoys the rest of it and wants to continue doing it, then I see no reason to stop.  But if he feels the need to scale back, I'd let him.

 

As for your being able to do his work faster, well, yes.  After making the mistake of assuming that my students could work as fast or almost as fast as I could, I finally realized that realistically it took them anywhere from twice up to about five times as long.  Once I factored that in, things went much better.

 

Also, if you don't have recent experience with public high school, at the (highly regarded) school my son attends, they hardly do anything compared to what we used to get done on a bad day in our homeschool.


Edited by EKS, 03 October 2017 - 04:53 PM.

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#46 Meriwether

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Posted 04 October 2017 - 05:30 PM

My daughter, 14, does approximately the following each week, including driving time:

Academics: about 40, 9 credit hours (but she works quickly so sometimes more like 35)
church: 2

TKD: 6-7, plus tournament Saturdays at least once per month
CAP: 3
Piano: 1, plus practice time
Volunteering, 4 (She hasn't been volunteering consistently this school year, but will hopefully be getting 4 full hours starting next week)
Choir: 2
Special outings and activities (field trips, occasional youth group meetings, etc.) 2+ hours/week

This keeps her busy. She loves being involved in things. She wants a job, but I am not willing to do that yet. I think that would tip her over from busy to too busy, even if we limit it to two shifts per week.

 



#47 katilac

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 12:27 PM

I'm curious if the material you're giving him is something you're very familiar with?  

 

Even when I'm not very familiar with it, I find I can do everything but math quicker than my teens can/could. You have more context for things, you have more practice in general, you don't second-guess yourself as much. 


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#48 ElizabethB

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Posted 06 October 2017 - 02:21 AM

It will take a bit of time in the short run, but I have ideas for improving his reading speed that should save him time in the long run, depending on his scores on the MWIA and oral reading of nonsense words and his silent reading rates.

 

Have him take the MWIA 3 short, give him a silent reading speed test, and have him read 25 nonsense words type 4 or the first 25 words from my extra version of the nonsense words, the extra version is all type 4.  

 

Tests at end, nonsense words in teacher folder, link #6 for words and #7 for tracking and figuring out WPM rate.

 

http://www.thephonic...lesspellsu.html

 

 



#49 Haiku

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:08 AM

Several things stand out to me.

 

1) My oldest daughter (now in her mid-20's) kept a schedule similar to the public schoolers' schedules that you mentioned. She did go to public school, and she did play sports. In some respects it was good for her, but in others it was Not Good, and the stress and burnout it produced have continued to negatively impact her through college and into her post-college life. (She also has some learning disabilities that make schoolwork take longer for her.)

 

2) Every person is an individual. Just because my daughter was able to cope (to some degree) with a crazy schedule doesn't mean my younger two could. I would not expect them to keep a schedule like that just because their sister or some other random schooled kids did. It would not work for either of them.

 

3) If your son is occupied by school for 8 hours a day (including lunch and 10-minute breaks because, let's face it, that is not free time for him, and if he were in school that time would be counted as the time he was at school), then you are bumping him up over 40 hours a week by requiring Saturday homework.

 

4) In my opinion, and based on my experience, kids who have learning issues shouldn't be expected to just "suck it up" and spend however much time is necessary. You reach a point of diminishing returns where the added time and work is just stressful and not educational. I have a 15 year old, too, and she does NOT spend 8 hours a day on schoolwork. She would not be able to handle that. She also had a summer job, but we required that she quit when we got back to school in September. She has other interests and responsibilities, and we didn't feel we could just keep piling things on.

 

So, in answer to your question, I don't think that your son's schedule is reasonable, and if your son is showing signs of stress or discontent, I urge you to take that seriously and find ways to cut back. Two of my kids have learning challenges, and piling stuff on and causing stress is not, in my opinion, healthy or productive. I think Lori had (as usual) some excellent ideas. I would suggest cutting school back to 6 hours a day and, as mentioned, accept that anything that didn't get done is evidence that too much was planned.



#50 Calming Tea

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 08:46 AM

I think it’s too much school.

It’s a little too much of work and volunteering too.

I’m just waking up and not sure about how there are 38 hours left in the week to relax. ...did you count eating and showering as relaxing? I count that as eating and grooming so I would subtract another 2 hours off each day. Have you counted the transportation to and from said activities? That could be another 1.5 hours per day. Those two things right there, if forgotten is 20 hours. Doing some quick math in my head I’m not getting 38 hours. I’m getting closer to 18 hours and there is probably something I’m forgetting.

Anyway, it just seems like a lot so I think you’re on the right track in realizing he needs to cut something out. If he is a hard working driven young man thank God, and congratulations. I have one too and I feel it’s much easier to help someone cut back then convince them to get off the couch!

But it’s still a life lesson he needs to learn for his emotional health. :)

Edited by Calming Tea, 07 October 2017 - 08:53 AM.