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Is my DS15's schedule reasonable


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#51 Donna

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Posted 07 October 2017 - 11:19 AM

My dd keeps a very busy schedule...some of it school (she is taking a couple DE classes this year so workload is a bit more than it was last year), a lot of it music, and much of it self-imposed (hours of practice daily, writing into the night, self-study on areas of interest, preparing meals for the family--her choice as she has been eating a vegan diet since spring and likes to cook for the rest of us). Most of her weekends are very full as well.

 

She seems to like to be busy. With that said, I think it depends on the person how much is "too busy" for them. I think you have to listen to them and read their cues. I wouldn't want my dd to feel overly stressed and am very attuned to her cues and what she tells me. There is a lot of travel time to things so we spend a lot of time talking about life and things. When she is feeling stressed, we work to find a way to take some of the stress from her...where she might make a change so things feel more manageable to her. 


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#52 Carrie12345

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 07:44 AM

My 15yo doesn't spend that much time on her school work, but I do think she should be spending more than she does.  The rest of the time commitments sound similar to hers when you account for our driving time. (And she can't read in the car.)

 

I can't pretend that she isn't at all overwhelmed; she is.  That's what happens when we add in the things she WANTS to do!  If she were in our local school, she'd be gone more than 8 hours a day, M-F. Close to 9 hours when accounting for the bus drive AND the drives to and from the bus stop.  And she wouldn't have the time to do many of the other things she does.  Some of them could be done on campus, but then she'd still have to come home around 11 hours later and do homework, study, etc.

 

I can say that she used to beg to go to public school, but she's done a 180 since her public school friends have been in high school.  She's heard enough to know that she wouldn't trade her schedule for theirs.



#53 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 09:26 AM

How is everyone determining time spent on schoolwork? I'm never sure how much time is spent actually working vs daydreaming, going down bunny trails when schoolwork sparks curiosity about something, taking a few minutes to skype/text a friend, etc.

 

Do your teens sit down and diligently work on schoolwork until time for scheduled break or end time?


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#54 Lori D.

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 10:02 AM

How is everyone determining time spent on schoolwork? I'm never sure how much time is spent actually working vs daydreaming, going down bunny trails when schoolwork sparks curiosity about something, taking a few minutes to skype/text a friend, etc.

 

Do your teens sit down and diligently work on schoolwork until time for scheduled break or end time?

 

Yes, it was pretty much straight through with only a lunch break or short bathroom/water breaks and then the the few minutes here and there throughout the day of daydreaming or bunny trail conversations.

 

DSs did not have cell phones or their own computers for getting distracted with. Both DSs preferred doing school all together in the living room on the couch, and I had to be right there for most of school even through the high school years because DS#2 had mild LDs that had to be addressed. So I was very aware of how much concentrated work was getting done each day. 5.5 to 6 hours of concentrated time, with an additional 1 hour lunch break was all *any* of us could manage successfully -- me included ;) .


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#55 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 10:55 AM

Ah, that would make a difference. My teen is taking online classes, so she needs to be on the computer for at least part of her schoolwork. It definitely ups the potential for distractions, though!


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#56 Lori D.

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 11:01 AM

Ah, that would make a difference. My teen is taking online classes, so she needs to be on the computer for at least part of her schoolwork. It definitely ups the potential for distractions, though!

 

Perhaps she could use a computer in a common room, where you are also working, or are very frequently passing through, so you could gently redirect as needed...?


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#57 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 11:11 AM

We had a set-up that allowed us closer monitoring when she was younger, but at this point it's not usually a problem. When it is, the consequences happen and she's left to deal with them. (We do help brainstorm solutions, support, etc.) The main reason I was asking is I was trying to compare her days to the days of other teens, and I realized it is hard to pin down the number of hours spent on school. Part of the problem is that her days are broken up with classes, activities, etc., so she doesn't do her schoolwork in one big chunk. 

 

Anyway, thanks for the suggestion. It's an excellent one and one we made good use of at the start of high school and online classes.


Edited by Woodland Mist Academy, 08 October 2017 - 11:12 AM.

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#58 Lori D.

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 11:18 AM

We had a set-up that allowed us closer monitoring when she was younger, but at this point it's not usually a problem. When it is, the consequences happen and she's left to deal with them. (We do help brainstorm solutions, support, etc.)

 

:thumbup1:

 

 

...The main reason I was asking is I was trying to compare her days to the days of other teens, and I realized it is hard to pin down the number of hours spent on school. Part of the problem is that her days are broken up with classes, activities, etc., so she doesn't do her schoolwork in one big chunk. 

 

I think you nailed it here on two counts. Students are each doing such different things and using such a variety of materials and outsourcing options (not to mention they each have their own unique working speed) that it's very difficult to compare from one family to another. And a broken up day really does make it difficult to have concentrated focus for the student, and to track hours/work for the parent.

 

Outsourcing and activity options can be a blessing... and a curse... lol  :laugh:


Edited by Lori D., 08 October 2017 - 11:19 AM.

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#59 Woodland Mist Academy

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 11:26 AM

 

Outsourcing and activity options can be a blessing... and a curse... lol  :laugh:

 

So very true!!



#60 Penelope

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 01:19 PM

Ah, that would make a difference. My teen is taking online classes, so she needs to be on the computer for at least part of her schoolwork. It definitely ups the potential for distractions, though!


I think another thing that makes it hard to compare time when you outsource a lot of classes is that class time is not the same kind of time as focused working on your own or with a parent/tutor. I have been mostly very pleased with the online classes my kids have tried, but class time can add on more hours than they may have needed to spend on a subject if they had done self-study with more focused intermittent help from me.

And listening to the teacher and participating is just not the same kind of time as sitting down for a couple of hours to write a paper or solve problems in math or science. I do think most teens, shoot, most adults, are going to have a limit to how much of their day can be that second level of focused. That is why kids can manage going to school all day and then doing a couple of hours of homework. Only part of that class time requires the same sort of attention.
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#61 Garga

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 01:53 PM

I think another thing that makes it hard to compare time when you outsource a lot of classes is that class time is not the same kind of time as focused working on your own or with a parent/tutor. I have been mostly very pleased with the online classes my kids have tried, but class time can add on more hours than they may have needed to spend on a subject if they had done self-study with more focused intermittent help from me

 

I'm the OP here.

 

The above is where I'm a tiny bit stuck still.  He has 2 outsourced classes that take him more than 5 hours a week (over one hour a day.)  Part of it is the in-classroom time that just sort of sucks up his time.  Yet, I'm not knowledgeable on the subject myself for him to study it on his own without the support of a teacher.  Rock and hard place.

 

I've taken a lot of things everyone said to heart.  Here are a couple off the top of my head:

 

There are a bunch of options of when he can take his 2 karate classes:  during the day, in the evening, one during the day and the other during the evening.  Whatever he wants.  I'm letting him choose when to take them so he has ownership of that time.  There are pros and cons to both ways of taking classes.  If he takes a daytime class, then his school work is pushed further into the evening.  If he takes an evening class, his school work is done early, but his evening is interrupted.  It'll be his choice, so he can feel (be)  more in control of his own time.

 

 

English: We are stopping Windows to the World until next year.  This means he won't have to work on literature at the same time as he works on WttW or his Lively Art of Writing.  This frees up a good half hour a day for him, and maybe more.  

 

History:  I've cut the workbooks entirely and I've made my peace with us not getting through all of the textbook.  My son watches a Great Course on American history.  Last year, I had him give a very short answer to the questions at the end of each Great Course lecture he watched.  This year, I've decided that every 10 lectures, he can pick ONE question to answer in a short essay--2-3 pages double spaced.  Before this thread, I'd have had him reading the text for part of the day and working on the essay the other part, to make sure he was getting to the end of the text by the end of the year.  Now, he'll just work on the essay.  So, history this week will be watching a half hour lecture, and then writing a 2 page (double spaced) essay, and that's all.  By changing up my expectations of history (we simply won't finish the entire text), this will gain us another half hour a day.

 

Spanish and Photography are already bare bones.

 

This leaves us with Chemistry and Algebra.  These are the toughies.  I 100% do not feel capable of teaching him these subjects so we need the outsourced teachers.  As I wrote earlier, I found the most straight-forward materials I could find and online classes that are not Honors or AP.  These two subjects are a constant juggling act as I try to make sure he has enough time to learn the material, but not take too long on these subjects.

 

I am happy to report that I was overestimating part of his Chemistry work, so I was counting about 1.5 extra hours a week as Chemistry, but really it's not.  Even though I schedule an hour for part of his Chemistry work (a set of review questions that I was giving him an hour a day to do), I realized he always gets those review questions done in under 40 minutes and then just takes a break for the rest of the hour.  After the review questions, he'd do something like a lab or would watch the teacher's video, which would make Chemistry be 2 hours.

 

All said: this means that with the 5 hours I can save a week in English and History, plus my miscalculation for Chemistry, he's down to under 35 hours a week for school.  Solidly under.  I'm anticipating he's closer to 30 than 35, but we'll see how it plays out and I'll go from there.  If there are still problems, he'll probably need to cut hours at work.  They were trying to have him work 20 hours a week at the end of the last school year (!!!!!!), so we've already told them absolutely NO more than 10 a week.  They recently tried to schedule him for 12 hours one week, plus on a Saturday, and he had to tell them that he can't do that.  

 

This coming week is a bit of a mess with us having 2 appointments this week that cut into the schedule.  I've decided that instead of having him do his chemistry experiments himself (which takes a Very Long Time), that for this week, I'm going to do the experiments while he watches--a demonstration.  I prefer to have him do the experiments himself, but this week is too crazy.  Until this thread, I'd have had him working on the experiments for a good 2-3 hours on Saturday to make up the time, but now that I've read the thread, I'm going to lead the experiments and we'll get them done in about 45 minutes.  I may continue with this process--the book has 2-3 experiments every chapter.  I might have him do only one experiment on his own, and I will lead the remaining experiment(s).  That way, he gets the fun part of Chemistry (because he loves the experiments), but we don't have to spend an hour per experiment, which is about how long they take him.  Usually, he leads the experiment and I'm the assistant, but we could flip-flop that for some of them and save time. We'll see if he's ok with that.

 

There's really nothing I can do about Algebra.  I do not feel that the teacher gives out too much work.  He's just slow.  But as long as he's accurate, then I'm just going to be ok with it.  He's learning and retaining.  He just took a test and got a 94%.  I was a low B, upper C student in high school math because I rushed through it and didn't actually learn anything--I managed to do well on tests during the year and always bombed the finals, because none of it sunk in.  We'll just deal with him taking longer to do the work, because it's sinking in this way.

 

 

And I don't feel like I'm sacrificing his education to make these changes. 

 

(Long winded--sorry!)

 


Edited by Garga, 08 October 2017 - 04:01 PM.

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#62 RootAnn

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 02:48 PM

:hurray:  Thank you for updating us, Garga. What awesome learnings you've shared!

 

[On the topic of out-sourced classes, I've found that when the teacher/class is a great fit for us, the time in class is so much more valuable than my kid studying on her own. If the class is only a good fit or if it is a miss, then I sometimes feel the classtime would be better spent in 'real work.' We've had a couple of duds (online-class-wise) and a handful of winners. There is, of course, some time before & after online classes that is sometimes wasted in transition (checking emails or websites for a few minutes). That would happen with my dd#1 anyway because she has always had a need for downtime in between subjects. She just used to torture her siblings in those times.  :mellow: ]


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#63 Lori D.

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Posted 08 October 2017 - 06:30 PM

:thumbup1:  Super solid re-organization Garga! Best of luck for smooth sailing from here on out! Warmest regards, Lori D.


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#64 Garga

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 02:35 PM

Today, we started at 8:15 and just ended.  He had a 30 minute lunch break plus 50 minutes of breaks between subjects.  It's 3:30 now and we're entirely done.  Instead of me feeling like I had to keep egging him on to do his work because there was so much of it, I could allow him more time/space to work at his own pace, being that I've removed some of my expectations for him.

 

When I told him he was done, he looked happily shocked.  It was such an easy day compared to the past 6 weeks!  He gave a big grin and said, "I have almost 4 hours until karate.  I don't even know what I'm going to do!  All this free time!"  (That's how I feel whenever I get 4 hours of free time--what will I do with it??!)

 

He's probably going to waste his free time playing on his phone, and I'm completely ok with that. :)  I'm so glad we worked this out now, rather than having him burn out by December.


Edited by Garga, 09 October 2017 - 02:36 PM.

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#65 happypamama

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 02:47 PM

That’s probably one of my favorite things about their karate place, that they’re so flexible about time so the kids can pick what’s best depending on the week.

You guys are awesome for reworking all of that!
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#66 Lori D.

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:09 PM

Today, we started at 8:15 and just ended.  He had a 30 minute lunch break plus 50 minutes of breaks between subjects.  It's 3:30 now and we're entirely done.  Instead of me feeling like I had to keep egging him on to do his work because there was so much of it, I could allow him more time/space to work at his own pace, being that I've removed some of my expectations for him.

 

When I told him he was done, he looked happily shocked.  It was such an easy day compared to the past 6 weeks!  He gave a big grin and said, "I have almost 4 hours until karate.  I don't even know what I'm going to do!  All this free time!"  (That's how I feel whenever I get 4 hours of free time--what will I do with it??!)

 

He's probably going to waste his free time playing on his phone, and I'm completely ok with that. :)  I'm so glad we worked this out now, rather than having him burn out by December.

 

:hurray:  :hurray:  :hurray:



#67 Ausmumof3

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:29 PM

A standard adult working week where I live is 40hours. 40 hours school plus 10 hours work is like 50 hours so effectively 10 hours overtime per week. Many adults working those kind of hours find it unsustainable unless they have someone handling most of the daily life stuff for them.

I agree though it depends a lot whether some of those school hours are enjoyable and things he would choose anyway.

A typical grade 10 kid here has a six hour school day plus maybe two hours homework but that school day includes PE and lunch breaks and possible free periods that can be used for some homework.

#68 Calming Tea

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 05:35 PM

Today, we started at 8:15 and just ended.  He had a 30 minute lunch break plus 50 minutes of breaks between subjects.  It's 3:30 now and we're entirely done.  Instead of me feeling like I had to keep egging him on to do his work because there was so much of it, I could allow him more time/space to work at his own pace, being that I've removed some of my expectations for him.

 

When I told him he was done, he looked happily shocked.  It was such an easy day compared to the past 6 weeks!  He gave a big grin and said, "I have almost 4 hours until karate.  I don't even know what I'm going to do!  All this free time!"  (That's how I feel whenever I get 4 hours of free time--what will I do with it??!)

 

He's probably going to waste his free time playing on his phone, and I'm completely ok with that. :)  I'm so glad we worked this out now, rather than having him burn out by December.

Wow I am SO SO happy for you!



#69 Donna

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:59 AM

How is everyone determining time spent on schoolwork? I'm never sure how much time is spent actually working vs daydreaming, going down bunny trails when schoolwork sparks curiosity about something, taking a few minutes to skype/text a friend, etc.

 

Do your teens sit down and diligently work on schoolwork until time for scheduled break or end time?

 

I do not add up hours of schoolwork. She works until she has everything completed and it varies so much day by day...depending on whether she is reading, writing a paper, writing a response on the online board, or has a project to complete in each course.

 

She also does not do schoolwork starting at a certain time and going until she's finished for the day. She alternates schoolwork with violin practice throughout the day. She usually begins around 8:30-9am and is busy until 4pm or so with that time is split between school and practice with a break for lunch. She is working on a novel and writes from after supper until late into the night. Sometimes she does schoolwork in the evenings as well either to finish what she didn't get done or to get a head start on the next day if it's going to be busy.

 

We are traveling at the moment and she is getting schoolwork done for the day then shortening her practices some days and other days she is practicing all day with her trio and getting a bit of school in by logging onto her online DE classes on her iPhone while riding in the car. (All her DE is online so she is able to continue traveling for her music.)


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#70 katilac

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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:53 PM

How is everyone determining time spent on schoolwork? I'm never sure how much time is spent actually working vs daydreaming, going down bunny trails when schoolwork sparks curiosity about something, taking a few minutes to skype/text a friend, etc.

 

Do your teens sit down and diligently work on schoolwork until time for scheduled break or end time?

 

I just kind of guesstimate it. If I had a student who was prone to dawdling or distraction, and considered that as adding to their school day, lol, I would then track things more closely and probably physically stay closer while they were working, even if we weren't working together. 

 

My kid does dawdle and daydream and get distracted, but she's very good about saying, oh, I'm going to have to work late today, I spent the morning drawing. 

 

When we/she go on intellectual bunny trails, that IS part of schoolwork to me. She learned a ton of chemistry and geology this way, and, while it may have been off-text, it increased her knowledge and understanding of the subject. If I had said, wow, that hour of learning was interesting, but now we still have 30 minutes of chemistry to go, she would have never expressed a curious thought again  :lol:


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