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Our family has returned to Homeschooling after a one year hiatus. Based on our initial experience, we are doing things much differently - much more outsourcing, much less mom-designed work. For the most part, things are going well and this is a setup that allows us to continue homeschooling within the limitations and realities of our family dynamic ;-) DD 13 is very independent and autonomous - always has been. She is doing very well and requires little to no input from me - although I do covert monitoring daily to make sure everything stays on track. DH 10 is another story altogether. He is very bright, but has always been reluctant (to put it mildly) to do schoolwork. He has done a brilliant job of applying himself so far this year, but has some extra ground to cover and is lacking in the skills that will eventually make it possible for him to work more efficiently and quickly. Specifically: 1) he has great verbal ability, but is an extremely hesitant and slow writer. 2) he is still learning to manage his time and apply himself to tasks in a self-organized manner, and sometimes seems to struggle to understand what is being asked of him in an assignment. I should add that, while he is in 5th Grade, he is enrolled in MS content courses for Humanities and Science - he is more than capable of handling the content, but due the writing delays (and lack of formal experience with this level of studies) sometimes struggles with the output side of things. At the moment, I am spending a LOT of time working 'with' him, helping him to plan his work, decipher the assignments, complete his work and 'coach' him through the writing required. I haven't kept track of exactly how much time, but I'll jot it down over the next week to see....but it's a heavy percentage of the time - definitely more than 50% of the time he's doing active work. I have to say that he has come a long way in a short time and is honestly giving it his best effort. This is the first year that he 'wants' to do well and is taking more pride in his work. I would add that he remains a curious and lively child - loves to read and enjoys learning. But I do need to prod him along often ;-) We are both working with the understanding that the goal is for him to transition to more independence as the school year unfolds, and he is accepting and embracing that. I am very grateful as well that we enrolled him in a Leadership Course that focuses on time managements and personal responsibility. It is a huge gift for any child IMHO. There is a question in all of this.....I'm curious to know from others who have BTDT if this is typical of the age and of boys in general? He doesn't seem to be chaffing at the demands too much, but does find the workload challenging.... BTW, I am ok with this for the time being - it is where he is and I am grateful to have this opportunity to be sure he has a strong foundation before the higher grades hit. I'm pretty sure he would be at risk of seriously lagging in traditional class room setting. Just wondering if this falls within the range of normal....ish....
This is my second time around with a 5th grader, but the first time, I was only homeschooling the one. This time, I've got the 5th grader plus my 9th grader, plus part time work. I'm feeling like the 5th grader needs to ramp it up a little bit, in terms of output and content, but in order to make that work she'll need to do more independent work than she has in the past. Even though I dedicate several hours a day to working directly with her, I can't really add more hours to my plate - so the ramp-up will need to come from her having some independent work to do without me right at her elbow, or directly teaching. I'm trying to figure out what's reasonable to expect from this age & stage. I'm going to re-listen to SWB's talk on the topic, but I'm also curious to hear from experienced folks: how much independent work does your 5th grader do? What does s/he do independently? In what topics? Is s/he able to do a list of things independently, or do you have to check in frequently? I know every kid is different. But I have a tendency to expect less of the 2nd child than the first, for a variety of reasons, and I'm curious to hear what others experience. Hearing about a range of experience will be helpful to me.