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Just summarizing the last few threads GRIN... I've been reading these boards for awhile, and I've listened to several of my children's friends complain about their teachers' threats and complaints at the beginning of 8th grade, and I've concluded that it is perfectly normal to spend the entire 8th grade year struggling to begin to learn how to: -Write a short well-organized expository paper -Produce work that has a heading and date, is legible, has full sentences that actually answer the questions, and isn't half question marks -Use an assignment book to keep track of one's assignments -Make and use some sort of study guides -Show one's work in math (math becomes complicated enough that one needs to show the work now) -Type And it is normal to spend the rest of high school learning how to: -Use more adult reference material -Skim so one can sift through a greater quantity of material -Write a longer expository paper -Read at an adult level -To do research Eighth graders don't have to arrive at high school able to do the second list. It is ok to spend high school learning to do those things. High school is long - four whole years. Yes, it is nice to arrive knowing them, and lots of students do, but lots of other students' academic skills are slower to mature. They still will arrive there by college, when students do, indeed, need to have those skills in place. Lots of people say their children made huge leaps after the age of 16. So... if your 13yo isn't behaving like a 17yo, IT IS OK. DO NOT DESPAIR. They keep growing after 13 or 14. In fact, they grow tons, just like they grow tons between the ages of 2 and 6. Part of that growth is a new awareness of themselves and language and the world around them and their own reasoning powers. This awareness, unfortunately, also leads to some of the less attractive 13-15yo behavior. They are two sides of the same coin. If my own children and their friends are anything to go by, they themselves are horrified by some of their own changes and tendencies, and just as glad when they ease off later on. Growth isn't always easy, fun, and pleasant. Remember the terrible twos (or threes)? They were learning to be children then. Now they are having to start all over again and learn to be adults. Please, please give them lots of sympathy and tolerance along with bolstering their still immature self-discipline and judgement. And talk to them, lots. And listen to them, really listen, to the new person they are becoming, not just the old one they were. And mourn the child that is disappearing, because they are, too. And help them to look forward to the nice adult things, like being able to drive and being able to get together with friends more easily. And remember that they are still young. Hugs to everyone who is going through this. I'm going through it for the third time GRIN. HTH -Nan (I've left off various science goals, like learning to make observations, to draw, to design an experiment, to keep up with current discoveries in a field, and to use lab equipment because I haven't heard them discussed enough to be able to tell where the 8th grade/high school line normally lands.)
I've been looking at some areas that we need to "shore up" before I have an official high schooler. Working with her today on some math things, I realized that she KNOWS mnemonics but just won't write them on her paper to help her. Why? I have no idea. She says she didn't think she was allowed to... that maybe that was cheating. Clearly, it's NOT if you write it when you are given a test. Clearly, it's not if you write it at the top of your homework paper which BY THE WAY is straight out of the book. I guess it never dawned on her that she could refer back to the lesson. It's mindboggling to me. But then I realized that she is a very different student than I am. I naturally do things that are taught to you in a Study Skills type program. She doesn't. (Look at titles, subtiles, bolded words, graphics, flip through to see how long the lesson is, etc.) So how do YOU teach this to your students? And then I realized that she knows how to write a keyword outline, but NEVER takes notes as she reads unless it is a specific outline task. And then she only knows IEW keyword outline process. So maybe I should put "Read and OUTLINE" on her assignment list. She also struggles with time management. I know a certain amount is normal. I was a procrastinator in public school too. But I would like to get her to a point that I can say "This week xyz needs done" and not spoon feed her the daily breakdown. I also need to figure out a reasonable consequence when expectations aren't met. For various reasons, our homeschooling as been a little more relaxed than I'm comfortable with and we nee to get back on track. Soooooooooo... what does this process look like in your homeschool?
I'm considering doing a co-op class for middle schoolers, on study skills. I'm looking for suggestions from others who have done a class like this before, or who have taken a class that has been particularly helpful. My son actually took a study skills class last year, but I think we're of the mindset that it may take more than one round for the skills to actually "root." :)