Jump to content


Planning & Scheduling

Recommended Posts

I definitely need help... DS (15) is doing a combination of catch-up and high school level work. At a glance...


Basic Math (Teaching Company High School Course)

Language Arts/English/writing (5th grade spelling, grammar, & writing; 6th grade vocabulary; penmanship/copywork)

Literature (High school level but we're probably going to switch to a different program)

Science (High School)

American Government (High School)

Introduction to Computers (using the textbook that our local community college uses)


The main problem I'm having is in getting DS to do the work. None of it is too hard for him and when he puts his mind to it, he breezes through pretty much everything. For the most part, though, he simply refuses to do the work unless I schedule out everything. He wants me to write out assignments for every subject for every day...

Math: Watch Lesson 3: Long Division; Do even numbered problems on page xx of the workbook.

Grammar: Lessons 41 & 42

Spelling: Lesson 17

Vocabulary: Lesson 7

Penmanship: Pages 24-27 in Practice Book

Literature: Continue to work on Annotating <name of story>



It seems to me that, by this point in his school career, I should be able to just say "here's your grammar book... Have the book done by January 15th... If you don't understand something, come and ask me." And then check up on his progress. But when I've tried to do that, the work doesn't get done... at all... ever.


Do others have to schedule every subject, every day? And, finally, what kind of plan books do y'all use for scheduling high schoolers? I'm in desperate need of some organization/planning help.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think your expectations are extremely unrealistic unless your son is unusually driven and self-directed. I mean about handing the book to him and saying I"ll see ya in January! Kids in high school get feedback two or three times a week from their teachers at least. Plus with all the bodily/emotional etc changes teens go through, I just don't see anyone being that independent. I know I certainly wasn't like that when I that age. Heck, I still am not!


I would sit down with your son and figure out when he wants to do things; I'd brainstorm and try to be as realistic as possible. What I do with my kids is come up with a schedule at the beginning of the year for each subject. Some are more detailed, some are just complete so many chapter/pages etc per week. This gets tweaked quite a bit during the year but it gives them an idea of the pace they are expected to go. I'd type up a schedule of when he's supposed to do what subject and stick it on the fridge or some place where you can refer to it often (and I'd get his input on this too). I would verbally check on him every day and then meet with him a couple times a week to see how he's doing, check his math, see how well he comprehends what he's reading, check on any writing assignments etc.


By 12th grade so far my kids have been pretty self-sufficient with just some occasional organizational/reminder type stuff from me. But not at 15.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There has been an ebb and flow to scheduling at our house throughout high school. I don't think any one system ever worked for my older ds (now a freshman in college) for a whole year. We had to make interim adjustments from time to time. It wasn't until 12th grade that I could really step out of the scheduling-help picture.


We started out this year with my 10th grade ds scheduling his own week, breaking it down, day by day. It soon became evident that, while he was making an earnest effort, he was consistently underestimating how much time it would take to complete individual tasks/assignments. So by Friday, he would have massive amounts of work still left, even though he had been working steadily all week.


We have currently moved to a system that is working pretty well. My ds and I talk first thing Monday morning and he figures out everything he has assigned in each of his classes. I enter that into Edu-Track and print out a weekly schedule for him that is broken down by day and within each day by task. Ds chooses how to organize his work during the week -- I just help him get it on paper and make sure it looks realistic.


As I write this, it sounds like a lot of work, but it really doesn't take that much time. I think this is necessary right now for my ds to learn how to work efficiently. When he was making his own schedule, it was too general, so by Wednesday of each week, he and I were totally stressed out, as we could see the tsunami of work that was going to crash down on our weekend.


So. That's what we are doing. Today that is.:001_smile:


p.s. I have also found that unless I keep up with checking math homework daily (or at least every other day), it is reeeeally easy to fall behind in math.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems to me that, by this point in his school career, I should be able to just say "here's your grammar book... Have the book done by January 15th... If you don't understand something, come and ask me." And then check up on his progress. But when I've tried to do that, the work doesn't get done... at all... ever.


I can't imagine my son doing this... maybe ever! I give him some room to plan his own schedule, but he also needs some structure. For example, I write out which math lesson is due which day. But now for history and lit I just give him the week's assignment and he decides when to do it. I do have to check with him almost daily to see what he has finished. If I don't check, he gets really lazy and it is too much to reject an entire week's worth of history or science notes because they are sloppy/incomplete, etc... I'd rather do that a day at a time - and it DOES happen.


The other thing that has helped him is that we do speech/debate. So some weeks we leave town on Thursday afternoon for tournaments. He still has to get his school work finished. Hopefully, it is done before we go. If not, it isn't a fun Sunday afternoon for him. It has just forced him to be a little more responsible. But I have to tell you we still struggle with his personal responsibility. I just know I can't expect too much. Or, as the old saying goes, "expect what you inspect."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My twins in 9th grade need me to tell them exactly what they are to do or they don't get it done. They are still learning to self schedule their time. They loose track of the time and tend to spend 3 hours on one course by not realizing the time and then by the end of the day (or week) they only have half of their subjects done. Every day I check with them in the morning for where they are at in completing the assigned work, and if I see that they are off balance then I tell them what they are to do first for that day. If I noticed Thursday morning that they didn't get any of their vocabulary done so far... I will tell them that is the first thing they need to do that day.


I tell them they need to spend no more than 90 minutes at a time on one subject. So after 90 minutes they need to wrap up whatever they are doing (get to a stopping point quickly) and switch to another subject. Then after they have done some in all subjects, they can go back to any that they still need to finish that day's worth of work. Most of the time not all courses requires 90 minutes to complete and so they just go on to the next subject. But this is something we are sill working on. Unless I or my Dh are home to tell them to switch sujects... the twins tend to just keep going on one subject. It is like they don't know to change gears. Often on Monday they start on the next world history chapter and they could easily spend the whole day on it instead of breaking it up into smaller portions (I noticed that they don't comprehend as much after an hour of working on it... but they don't seem to notice when to stop). Ds will spend hours on algebra and get nothing else done.


I write on the dry erase board what they are to accomplish that week... for example:


World History: chapter 6 anwer HW questions, quiz, essay due Friday.

Algebra 2: Chapter 4.1-1.3; quiz Friday

Grammar: Unit 11.1-11.3

Vocabulary: Lesson 12

Composition: Unit 3 sections 5-6, essay rough draft due Friday

World Literature: read book..... book report due January 4th

Health: Chapter 8... unit activity due Friday.


In a binder I have complete syllabus's for each course. It gives them details of what is required for that course. Usually each chapter or unit is covered in a two week period so I may list the sections they are to cover for the current week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would get a plan book (or make one) and then supervise its use. So, if you want the grammar book done by a certain time and you know if he does one lesson per day it will get done by that time, lead him to figuring this out and then writing it in his plan book. Have a goal of showing him how to do this for each subject by a certain date (maybe the end of the year). Just consider this direct instruction part of his education.


I think it is unrealistic to expect a high school student to plan every aspect of his schedule and, in fact, I would probably stress learning to plan papers and projects over things like grammar, which tend to be more linear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess I'll just keep plugging along as we have been. Around here most of our homeschooling friends, homeschool by running their kids around to classes. DS's friend (also 15yo) has Chemistry class 4 days a week, Russian Literature 1 day/week, Algebra (or maybe Geometry) a couple days a week, etc. That's fairly typical for the other families of high school age kids in our homeschool group.


The other group of people we know are those who use prepackaged curriculum and they hand their kids the work and say "do it" (and the kids do!)... The 3 or 4 people I'm thinking of are all using Lifepacs. Maybe that curriculum just lends itself to that style of instruction? Though I do also know a couple of people who throw high school textbooks at their kids and have them do a chapter a week and every Friday give the kid a test and check over their work.


Anyway... Guess I'll start a new thread and see what ideas I can get for planners since I need to get to work mapping out a new schedule.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

up until this year he was given an assignment sheet each week that listed out exactly what I expected completed each day in each subject (similar to the SL IG pages). This year I've gradually moved to giving ds#1 a page that lists assignments by the week for the whole term. He has daily requirements (i.e. 4 Maths assignments, 6 English assignments, 4 other subject assignments, etc.) This has worked good for him at this point & gives him a bit of choice, with still enough structure to get through the work. Some days he'll choose to do 4 LoF chapters, but no MUS for his maths; other days he'll choose to complete 1 assignment from each of his maths books or even work ahead ;). He chooses what order to do his work, but I do let him know that I want to work at a certain time to do our together work (Sequential Spelling, Analogies, go over any areas where he's having problems.) He posts this sheet on the wall in front of his desk & highlights assignments as they are completed. This way at a glance we both can see if he's up-to-date & on schedule to finish by the end of term. If he doesn't complete his week's work by friday, it's homework on the weekend. If for some reason the term's work isn't finished by the end of week 10, he has no holidays until it is completed, marked, & corrected. (I do mark maths at least every other day & other subjects at the end of each chapter/unit/etc.)


Ds#2 has a weekly assignment sheet divided up into daily assignments. He'll keep to this style for 2010, but in 2011 when he is highschool-age I'll move him onto a term assignment sheet, broken up into weekly assignments like ds#1 has now. If I get enough time over our summer holidays I'll make him a term sheet to highlight his completed assignments, but he'll refer to his weekly page to see what he has to do each day.


This works for us. I've found that if we have no written assignment sheets, we accomplish very little work. It's a case of "fail to plan-plan to fail" for us. I am the teacher / facilitator & it's my responsibility IMHO to assign the work we need to accomplish to meet our goals. Even in Uni students are given a syllabus that sets out when things need to be completed. With curriculums such as ACE or LifePacs, the work is already broken up into reasonable work chunks (i.e. you must complete 1 LifePac each month to finish on time.)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the older 2 (juniors), I give them an assignment sheet for the week. They break everything down into daily assignments and put it into their planners. They say they like the weekly format, because they do have some wiggle room if they don't get to something. They still learn time management by breaking things up through the week. We go over their work on Friday.

For the 13yo (9th gr.), I put her work in workboxes daily. I know this seems rather babyish for someone her age, but she is so very unfocused. We tried the weekly assignment page thing, but she would spend an hour on Mon. mornings just getting everything into her planner. :glare: With the workboxes, she puts everything in her planner at the end of each day. We hope to move her to weekly assignments next year...sigh...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...