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