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Just read the thread about mom hitting her limit by 3pm and it has me wondering what I can do for my 11 yo (6th grade). I have been doing very well so far with my attitude. :D I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that dd 11yo is independent. I actually created a history program from four different programs and to my surprise, the younger two love it and it hasn't been too much! YAY!

 

But my oldest is, I think, over-loaded. Here's her schedule...what would you cut out, or should I cut anything out at all? Note: she is all independent at this point unless she needs help with a new concept.

 

Monday we're gone all day for co-op, Science Olympiad, and soccer. At co-op dd takes a grammar and writing course as well as a high school biology course. She's doing very well, no issues. Biology takes a lot of time though. In addition, she is on the top Science Olympiad team which also requires *at least* an hour of study per day and frankly, she's just not getting that done yet. Part of that is me. I coach two of her three events and one event is new to me so I haven't assigned much yet. The other part is that she's tired. Her body is changing quickly so she's going through a lot physically and emotionally.

 

Tuesday through Friday we're home with the exception of soccer practice on Wed. Dd is assigned the following:

 

-Analytical Grammar, first season, 20 min. max/day (should I cut this out? Her teacher says she's ahead of her 6-9th grade peers)

-Grammar/Writing assignments from Co-op, 1 hr/day

-Biology 45 min.-1 hr/day

-Jensen's Vocab. (15 words per day, to finish in two years) 30 min/day

-All American History (may slow this down to 1 1/2 yrs to finish???) 1 hr/day

-LoF 1 hr/day (finishing fractions this week, moving on to decimals and percents, hoping to get into pre-Algebra by Christmas)

-Piano 30 min. minimum, she continues to practice at other times throughout the day though

-Science Olympiad events, 1 hr/day at least

-Memory Work (bible verse of the week, science vocab.) 20 min/day

-Fall Soccer 6 hrs/week

 

:bigear:

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Carli,

 

Here is what I noticed. Your daughter is doing a fairly advanced curriculum AND doing it fast. Now, I have a bright kid and often set such goals myself. However, if such goals are an issue, not necessarily because of level or that the child can't finish so quickly, then it may be better to back down a bit. We weren't tied to any of our goals and many times didn't meet them because something else was more important.

 

If it were MY child? The goals would change somewhat:

 

***Though Dec would be nice as a finish for math, we can slow down a little. In fact, that may be a good thing because she can "sleep on" any new way of presenting information she knew or any new concepts/ideas. An extra 1-3 months may not be necessary, but it would pare down her workload and there may be a few good benefits otherwise.

 

***She doesn't have to learn the biology perfectly this time around. She needs to have a good idea to keep up with the class, but how can we change the goals and how we're doing it so that she can get a reasonable amount out of it (and not be a burden to the class); but understanding, that she doesn't have to perform as a top high schooler and she can add more biology later (possibly using adv. materials or going faster, but...).

 

***I'm not sure about the Jensen's. Is that 15 NEW words per day? The descriptions say that this book is THREE books in one covering 1000 words. Though I don't think 500 words per year is unweildy, I don't think it's NECESSARY either. Why not take an extra year or two to get through it?

 

I want it known that I see good reason to have challenging courses and to do them in a timely fashion. Generally, I don't think that dragging out classes is a good idea when you're speaking of an average student doing an average class. The 15yo needs to work hard to get a year long class done within a year. It's part of it being a high school level class. Anyone can do it in three!

 

But there are also often drawbacks to going through curriculum early and/or fast. Those of us with bright kids have to temper things carefully. It is FINE to accelerate (I hope I don't come across as anti-acceleration--fwiw, my dd turned 18 last week and is a jr in college with a couple degree-related certifications). But sometimes we can get ahead of ourselves. We have to adjust somewhat. Maybe they don't need the next level quite yet or maybe it's okay to do it over a little more time than we expected.

 

We dealt with similar issues. We had to decide whether to formally do a class or less formally do it. We decided we didn't want our daughter tied down with the class expectations of a certain Algebra program due to the expectations versus her age so we did it more informally with a book instead. My ds enjoyed the high school biology co-op, but with his own goals for it, not as THE science program he was to master that year (though he did better than many of the teens there). I'd plan for a text to take X time and then see that that just wasn't what was best for us so decided it would be fine if it took twice as long as school was not the only consideration in life (honestly, 7 hours of school on a regular basis would not be done in our home).

 

I'm hoping I'm making some sense here. I wouldn't cut *out* what you're doing, but consider if the goals can be altered somewhat. She'll still be advanced, but she'll be able to deal with puberty and enjoy *other* freedoms (I do consider the ability to work on their own level and to accelerate nice freedoms) of homeschooling also :)

 

ETA: The suggestions above were 1) not all inclusive, but simply examples, and 2) not suggested to all be done at once though they could be. Pick and choose based on what is important to y'all. Math was very important to us so we made certain choices in regard to it. We may have been more formal with X while less formal with Y. We skipped this part of a subject for a year in order to focus on that. Those sorts of things. Just look at each choice you're making and see 1) if it could stand to or needs to be altered and 2) how best to alter the things you decide would be fine to change.

 

ETA2: One other thing is that kids often learn in spurts. Additionally, they grow and change in spurts that sometimes inhibit learning. Just because you make a choice now doesn't mean it will necessarily change your long term goals significantly, if at all. In fact, we even learned that slowing down something now meant going MUCH faster down the road and actually finishing certain goals well before we thought would happen. We were very surprised how it all worked out! Being flexible doesn't mean lowering long term goals.

 

One example of this was our math. I believe STRONGLY in more than one math program. And there were a few times where our original goal dates had to be changed along the way. The two things may seem like they would slow linear progress significantly; but our experience was actually just the opposite, especially with my daughter. She thinks multiple upper math programs was torture, but she also graduated high school having gone through Calc II and Stats (btw, with an awesome professor!) and being quite confident with math.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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Well, I think you could cut AG, or Vocab, or both. BUT, I don't see any Lit going on anywhere. If your dd is reading a lot, she'll pick up quite a bit of vocab on the fly. Not sure if you just forgot to put that in.

 

:iagree:

 

I'm sure you've thought this through, what are your long term plans for science? I would continue working on math 1 hour/day if science is her thing and she plans continue in high school level courses. However, if you don't plan to move into courses than have a math prerequisite, I'd slow down on the math as well. Is she doing multiple lesson/day? Maybe cut back to one lesson, which shouldn't take an hour at the decimals/percents level.

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Haven't read the other responses--

 

What is she reading?

 

If she's got a good lit thing going on (and I don't mean for you to add a lit program, necessarily), I'd cut AG and vocab. She's only 11. She can pick up a lot of vocab thru lit, and thru the addition of a foreign language in a couple of years.

 

Math seems to be taking a while--are you doing several lessons? I would not rush to get into pre-algebra at this point. Just one lesson a day, to give her brain time to process and mature. Taking algebra in 7th grade is really accelerated--I would make sure she has plenty of time to let the concepts sink in. I love it when a child can mentally manipulate numbers, find alternate solutions, verbalize the math processes, etc. If we rush too much, some of that almost overfamiliarity that makes upper level math easier, is lost.

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-Analytical Grammar, first season, 20 min. max/day (should I cut this out? Her teacher says she's ahead of her 6-9th grade peers)

-Grammar/Writing assignments from Co-op, 1 hr/day

-Biology 45 min.-1 hr/day

-Jensen's Vocab. (15 words per day, to finish in two years) 30 min/day

-All American History (may slow this down to 1 1/2 yrs to finish???) 1 hr/day

-LoF 1 hr/day (finishing fractions this week, moving on to decimals and percents, hoping to get into pre-Algebra by Christmas)

-Piano 30 min. minimum, she continues to practice at other times throughout the day though

-Science Olympiad events, 1 hr/day at least

-Memory Work (bible verse of the week, science vocab.) 20 min/day

-Fall Soccer 6 hrs/week

 

I would drop Analytical Grammar. She already has grammar through the co-op and it isn't a subject she apparently needs extra work in.

 

I would rather see 30 minutes daily for reading than 30 minutes daily for vocabulary study unless your dd has specific issues relating to vocabulary or has a passion for it.

 

I would probably cut math down to 45 minutes/day. I actually use timers for math for my girls. After a certain point, spending more time on it stops being helpful. My 12yo starts to hit a wall after 20 minutes of math, so she has two math sessions each day. My 15yo does 45 minutes of math daily.

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Being gone all day Monday would be a killer for me. That would be the first to go. I'm thinking that the work your dd does at home all week for co-op and everything is a killer for your dd, too, even if she doesn't complain. That would give her (and you) at least two extra hours a day, plus the hours you'd gain back from being home on Monday.

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Not sure what I'd cut out, but maybe creating a list of the subjects and then ask yourself why are you doing each thing and write out your reasons:

 

What is the purpose of doing it

What are you hoping she accomplishes by doing this

Is she doing this for you or for herself

Can she do this when she is older and have it be more beneficial

 

Thinking about each thing and writing it all out might help you see things more clearly.

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What stood out to me, was science and history everyday? My brain is truly sapped by each of these subject in the planning and just the amount of time we really get into it. So we do History two times a week, and Science two times (we only school 4 days a week) and after lunch, the subjects they do are very independent, so I can regroup (20 min power nap) and prepare for dinner and maintain our home.

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I think Pamela H in Texas nailed it. With bright kids, if you picked one subject you could get to the college level by the end of middle school! Instead, pace yourself. You've got all the elements of a great program - sports, music, time with other kids (co-op), academic competition, etc. But *because* you've got a well-rounded child, who is interested & active in many things, you've got some juggling to do. So you can slow down some things - and that's OK. If your child does pre-algebra in 7th, algebra in 8th, geometry in 9th, etc., she'll be on the same schedule as many kids who are bright in math - which has the benefit of letting her slot into a math class with peers somewhere along the way. She'll have time for AP Calc or AP Stats if she wants, when the time comes. No need to accelerate more than that. Yes, she could do it, but it would take time away from something else, and the other stuff is important too. Same with her sciences, history, and so on. No need to master things at the high school level the first time through. Most of these subjects will be revisited as regular, "honors", or even AP classes in high school. In middle school, you are laying foundations that you will build on later - no need to build the whole house. So stretch some things out, pace yourself. This is not a race. By having a sane, happy child at the end, you will have gained much more than it seems like now while you're in the thick of it!

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Thanks for the responses everyone! I have to say I'm surprised by how much several of you mentioned to cut out or pare down.

 

I can definitely re-think the math and history time and take out AG but the science class, we just won't pare down. She's doing fine keeping up with the biology class, absolutely no issues there, and with Science Olympiad, she has made a commitment that I'm holding her to. We had a long discussion about moving up to the top team and I made sure she understood that even if she wanted to quit for the year I would've been okay with that but after committing she has to stick with it. Other kids wanted her spot...it wouldn't be right to quit part of the way through.

 

She's not in a CC co-op so we don't have IEW vocab to lean on.

 

Vocabulary...not 15 new words per day, just different angles on the words throughout the week. Latin roots/greek roots. With as much as she reads I am definitely okay with taking that down a notch.

 

Can't quit the co-op yet. I'm teaching two classes so there's a commitment there that I need to see through.

 

All of your responses were very helpful. Thanks! :)

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