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ds14 (15 on Nov 5), grade 9 is a bright boy who understands all of his work. We have a problem with speed. He can do everything he has, with no problem, he is just perpetually behind schedule. As he finishes, he always masters, always explains understanding well, makes good grades, he's just forever falling behind our daily schedule and I just don't know what to do about. Unless I am riding his butt...being a nag and a meanie...he'll decide he's had enough and stop working. I'm tired of lighting a fire under him and I don't know what else to do. I don't think making the work easier is the answer, as I am certain he gets it, I'm just tired of the stress in dealing with timeliness. Not to compare, but his brother has the same workload (with lighter math) and gets the work done every day (brother is a faster reader, but otherwise, no difference) I don't want to take away Boy Scouts (where he thrives and has no issues on time :glare:)

 

Help, please...I'm getting very discouraged. Here's his schedule:

o Bible and Hymns – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 30 min.

 

History – 2-TOG weeks in 3 calendar weeks (includes 6 weekend days, too for a complete 21 day cycle)

o History core (occasional in-depth)

o Reads gov't and answers ??

o Constitution Workbook

Geography as assigned in TOG

Core notes (2 pages from book); summary of those notes; famous people about 1-paragraph; memorization of important document

Completing Dialectic literature until we finish year 3 (Jan or Feb)

 

o Write Shop - Daily as follows

□ 1: Pre-Writing/Practice Paragraph □ 2: Skill Builders 1 & 2

3: Brainstorming; Skill Builder 3; Copy work □ 4: Sloppy Copy

□ 5: Dictation □ 6: First Revision □ 7: Mom edits; Copy work

□ 8: Final Draft □ 9: Mom grades; Dictation □10: 2nd Final

 

Language Arts - The Latin Road to English Grammar entering Level 2 next week

o Latin – Daily

o Logic: 3 pages/ Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday (Art of Argument, then Introductory Logic in Spring)

o Vocabulary Daily (20 min. of mom-made program) words come from L. roots and mystical stories, etc.

 

Algebra – until complete (TAKING FOREVER)

o 20 problems

 

Biology– until complete

o Apologia Daily; Discussions Wednesday; as per Donna Young schedule (reading, vocab, study guides, tests...not a heavy workload)

o Living books Daily w. summaries every 2 chapters

o Nature journal – Wednesdays only

 

Computer work – 10 minutes each

o Purpose Games Daily

o Quizlet: History vocabulary

o Quizlet: Biology vocabulary

o Quizlet: Vocabulary

o Quizlet: Latin

o Speed Reading – 2 days weekly

 

Memory work 5 minutes, two times a day

o Poetry □ Presidents □ Math □ History □ Bible

o Poetry □ Presidents □ Math □ History □ Bible

 

o H.O.P.E – 1 lesson daily (you may do more and finish the year early)

Online class w/ FL Virtual School for Health and Physical Ed. about 30 min./day

o Piano/Guitar – 30 minutes M, T, Th, F

 

 

o Boy Scouts 2 nights weekly; camping 1-weekend per month, usually some activity 2x monthly on weekends.

Church Wed pm (sometimes), Sundays (always)

 

 

Thoughts? Anything? I'm about to lose it...his room is CONSTANTLY a disaster, he is disorganized unless I'm all over him...which tells me he can do it, he's just choosing not to. I don't know what else to cut and I'm starting to get really weary.

 

 

Thanks.

Edited by johnandtinagilbert
too frustrated to spell well...
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Hi Tina,

This is just a thought and may be totally off base. Is he easily distracted? Is so, he may have ADD, without the hyperactivity part. On the other hand, since you mentioned his room always being a disaster, he may not have an internal organizational system. I don't know if that is consistent with ADD or not. Or, he may just have his own internal timetable. Is there any incentive for him to go faster while still maintaining mastery? My older son (the Nat Merit Finalist) was a perfectionist dawdler. He adjusted on his own as the workload got heavier, but something that really helped him was using a timer. With no other students to push him to finish earlier, he too could drag out an assignment forever. Setting a timer for half an hour, all day every day really helped him see how long he was taking to finish something. It also helped him see where he could easily speed up and where he really needed the extra time for understanding. Hope this helps a bit!

Blessings,

April

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Tina,

It looks like a lot to me. Lots of little stuff that you can probably do very occasionally (or maybe even never). I know with either of my kids, they would have really bogged down with your schedule, in fact, at times they bogged down with way less than that. I am as guilty as any enthusiastic homeschool mom in trying to add this and that because it looks so wonderful...

 

I'll just go for it, and others can feel free to change it :)

 

TOG: I don't know much about it, but I do see constitution, geography, and history. If its integrated into doable daily chunks, that would be fine, but I also saw six weekend days written there. Teens need to have down time. I am constantly redoing our schedules to make sure they get it. Especially boys. They really need to get outside and MOVE (actually girls do as well, dd is not great unless she does her exercise routine). My ds is living at home doing college locally (he was homeschooled K-12). He says he isn't a wonderful person if he doesn't do rigorous activity to burn off all of that sitting and reading.

 

Bible/Hymns: We are Christian as well, but when high school came, for us, I let dc do Bible on their own, not apart of their school day. It is a personal decision for each family, I'm just sharing what we did. 30 min. here, 10 min. there, etc. and you've lost an hour or two in your day.

 

I'm seeing Latin, Logic, Write Shop, daily vocabulary, and I'm assuming literature is in TOG. Taking Latin out, I'm having the same problem scaling language arts back with dd in 11th grade. I am thinking about either rotating grammar and vocabulary, or doing grammar 2-3 times a month. I am wondering if you need to rotate Write Shop in and out, if it is an online class, take another language arts item out until its finished, then don't do the next Write Shop class, and do another language arts class.

 

Algebra: The bane of my existence until I found an easier program. For us, it meant going from Chalkdust to BJU. Math for us was a monster to be tamed and put into a cage :)

 

Biology: Is there any reason why you can't just do the text and leave the other two items out?

 

Computer work/memory work: Looks like a repetition of things you are already doing. Can they go?

 

H.O.P.E.: is that the health and PE? I couldn't tell. Health/PE would be a valid class of course.

 

Piano/Guitar/Boy Scouts: a must keep IMHO, he likes these! I would not take the Boy Scouts away, it would discourage him. I would really try lightening his load first.

 

I hope I helped, if not, feel free to disregard!

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I would agree with both April and Susan. Some kids are just slower than others, for whatever reason. It isn't necessarily an indication of ADD or other learning issue, it is just there. Checklists and timers both help. And, looking at your schedule, it does seem like you could really streamline things. So what if his brother can finish the same work in one day -- ideally homeschool should fit the kid, right? (Easy for me to say now that I'm down to only one at home ;))

 

Does Write Shop have to be each and every day with each and every step? Wouldn't writing summaries and essays of what he is reading in both science and TOG be sufficient writing and ultimately the kind of writing he will need in college? An essay a week, grammar and vocabulary on alternate days -- that alone should ease up the time crunch but have the same results as you are getting. If you like Write Shop couldn't it only be once or twice a week?

 

You clearly are a busy with homeschooling multiple kids. I still tip my hat to you for getting everyone together for morning Bible time!! Why not talk over all the work with your ds, and think about what it is you want him to be getting out of the work. Do you care more about the work for work's sake or about him learning both the content and skills for college? He won't have busy work in college -- it is reading, exams and papers. My vote is for making high school more like college -- giving less daily busy work and expecting more reading, thinking and studying.

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First, I want to say that six years ago my 9th grader's schedule looked much like this one. She didn't handle it well either.

 

I think I understand the mindset that created this schedule, because it is so much like the early high school schedules I created. You've got a houseful of kids, you're excited about learning, and you want to make sure he gets everything. Probably, as the eldest, he's been short-changed a little here and there and you want to make sure you fill in any gaps. Here is a hard cold truth: there will always be gaps.

 

IMHO, this schedule contains too many components....especially for a 14yo boy going through puberty. He's hungry, he's tired, and he's having to learn new Rhetoric level skills. Having to incorporate many small tasks in his day may be draining him mentally and causing him to lose his momentum.

 

What am I talking about?

Write Shop - this schedule seems to be a mixture of skills and levels. If he still needs copywork and dictation, then concentrate on those for a few weeks. Then move on to the paragraph. This writing schedule seems to hold so many components that it will impede concentration.

 

Biology - why does he need to do a nature journal when he's doing Apologia biology? If he's writing up his labs, he's doing a nature journal. Does he really need to do extra reading in science? Apologia can be accomplished in 32 weeks. Do the extra science reading from living books after Biology is over (wks 33-36)

 

Computer Work and Memory while these may be "good", are they truly necessary? If he's taking Latin and Biology, just let him study for his tests, don't make him do computer drill as well.

 

Piano and Guitar - is he passionate about both of these? Is it time to let him pick one? I have one dd who did retain 2 instruments in 9th grade, the other two had to drop one due to time constraints. Even my other dd had to drop her 2nd instrument by 11th grade. There's only so much time in a day.

 

Looking back, I think I overwhelmed my eldest because I was not ready for her to give up anything. I added many things to her schedule because they were good. I wanted her to have excellent retention, and I wanted to make sure she didn't pay the price for the years I'd been overwhelmed with a houseful of babies and toddlers. As we worked together to bring her schedule to a more basic load, she relaxed and excelled academically.

 

I just pulled up her 9th grade schedule (the year she calls "the year of tears"). She was taking Spanish, but since I didn't want her to lose her Latin, I had her doing computer drills. She was taking Physical Science, AND I had her reading an entire series from AIG. She was doing a history program, AND I had her listening to a series of history lectures I had on CD. I had her doing a Bible study, a memory verse program, and reading a young woman's Christian book every week. My intentions were golden; our results were disappointing. I think she floundered because she never felt like she was finished. There was always something that had fallen through the cracks. When she completed a subject, she wasn't really finished because there was something else waiting. In earlier grades, if she was successful in completing her work, I'd get so excited I'd probably try to add something else.

 

Maybe you don't identify with what I've said, but here's my advice. Shave some of the extras off of his schedule. Also, make it very clear what his household responsibilities are. IF he can accomplish a simpler schedule and his chores in a reasonable amount of time, let him have his free time. Don't try to add anything else. If he's thriving in scouts, this is a boy who needs to move, to do, to create. He doesn't need more time drilling skills or reading extra books. If he then chooses to spend his free time in undesirable ways, THEN you can add back the extras. :)

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It does look like a lot of little components. I know my ds, who is slow, has a hard time shifting gears quickly. Not high school level but in 4th grade I distinctly remember telling him to hurry up so we could move on. Poor kid just got focused on one thing and I was hurrying him up to switch gears.

 

We just switched to a block schedule to help ds. He can spend more time in one subject daily and have to change gears less.

 

Oh and math. :glare: A bad hour of math can derail a whole day. We do our math only four days of the week, that fifth day is always more peaceful.

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Oh man, I totally get what you are saying. I hate nagging my slowpokes too.

 

One thing that helped was to quit nagging and let them suffer the consequences... finish on the weekend, no screen time, assign extra work, etc. etc. (Throw in more painful consequences if necessary.) Usually only takes a couple times for them to start nagging themselves. I have even had to resort to "stay up until it's done even if it's 1am" which probably shouldn't be done regularly, but lets them know that you are serious about this. That sent a really strong message every time it was used. (only a couple times!)

 

Perhaps you check in with him 3 times a day, and if he's not on track, you dole out the consequences.

 

My 11yog has taken to filling out a daily schedule each day, even though it's roughly the same every day. The act of looking at the time and how long everything will take helps her to sometimes realize the urgency of the situation. However she's a girl and my boys would never use a daily schedule and still don't.

 

One of my sons successfully used a repeating timer on his watch. It would beep once a minute, or every 3 minutes, or whatever. For ex., he would give himself 3 min. per math problem, so when it beeped he would know he should be on to the next one, and if he was behind, he should make up for lost time. This was a huge help for him to learn to pace himself.

 

And... I'd save working on the bedroom for after his daily work is better. :-)

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It could be the schedule, but it could also be a learning disability. I have a ds with an extremely high IQ that has some learning disabilities. One happens to be a slow processing speed. The only way to know for sure is to have an educational psychologist do an evaluation. Yes they are costly, however, if you child does have something that needs to be addressed the help is priceless. Once diagnosed they can receive accommodations on college entrance exams and at college. For some kids this makes all the difference in the world.

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When I look at your son's schedule, the writing instruction jumps out at me. While there is nothing wrong with writing instruction at the high school level (we will be doing that in our house as well), it means your son is still working on foundational skills. Math, reading (even for strong readers) and writing take a lot of brain work. Can you pare his academic schedule to 5 subjects; i.e math, history, writing instruction with WriteShop, Latin, and Biology? Boys, especially those who are linear thinkers, often need streamlined schedules with time to dig deep. They can't focus and get into anything in 30 minutes, and bits and pieces don't work for them, but it doesn't mean they have a learning disability. They just don't see a clear path for their day, week..year. Allowing one hour for each subject and keeping the academic subjects to 5 might work better. Also, I don't know what your son is working on with music, but he probably needs more than 15 minutes of practice time to enjoy the work and be successful. If he is serious about his music, that can be an additional credit.

 

I know there is pressure to earn credits and build a transcript in high school, but it also helps to think in terms of skills and purpose. What skills does your student need to be successful for the remainder of high school and in college? Why do I have this subject/task in the schedule? Since writing is critical, you might want to focus on writing plus the essentials this year. Get through WriteShop I this first semester (use WS writing across the curriculum ideas if there is time) and then complete WriteShop II or whatever else you plan to use for essays by 10th grade.

Edited by 1Togo
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First, thank you all. Your encouragement is priceless to me and has me in tears. I am so thankful to come to a place where people UNDERSTAND. It means the world. I don't have anyone IRL who quite gets where we are.

but something that really helped him was using a timer. With no other students to push him to finish earlier, he too could drag out an assignment forever. Setting a timer for half an hour, all day every day really helped him see how long he was taking to finish something. It also helped him see where he could easily speed up and where he really needed the extra time for understanding. Hope this helps a bit!

Blessings,

April

We have instituted a timer and "periods" for each topic area. It has helped a bunch. We're still getting in the hang of the setting and I need to pay a bit more attention, so I guess I would say this is a work in progress.

 

First, I want to say that six years ago my 9th grader's schedule looked much like this one. She didn't handle it well either.

 

I think I understand the mindset that created this schedule, because it is so much like the early high school schedules I created. You've got a houseful of kids, you're excited about learning, and you want to make sure he gets everything. Probably, as the eldest, he's been short-changed a little here and there and you want to make sure you fill in any gaps. Here is a hard cold truth: there will always be gaps. This is EXACTLY right. Poor kid got the worst of home schooling and now I'm cramming the best down his throat. He's gotten a Ton of "catch up" over the past 2 years and I need to relax on this one so we can actually enjoy life together in high school.

 

IMHO, this schedule contains too many components....especially for a 14yo boy going through puberty. He's hungry, he's tired, and he's having to learn new Rhetoric level skills. Having to incorporate many small tasks in his day may be draining him mentally and causing him to lose his momentum. I've pieced together my corrections below. I'm looking forward to what everyone says.

 

 

 

Looking back, I think I overwhelmed my eldest because I was not ready for her to give up anything. I added many things to her schedule because they were good. I wanted her to have excellent retention, and I wanted to make sure she didn't pay the price for the years I'd been overwhelmed with a houseful of babies and toddlers. As we worked together to bring her schedule to a more basic load, she relaxed and excelled academically. Fingers crossed...your post really hit the nail on the head for me.

 

 

Maybe you don't identify with what I've said, but here's my advice. Shave some of the extras off of his schedule. Also, make it very clear what his household responsibilities are. IF he can accomplish a simpler schedule and his chores in a reasonable amount of time, let him have his free time. Don't try to add anything else. If he's thriving in scouts, this is a boy who needs to move, to do, to create. He doesn't need more time drilling skills or reading extra books. If he then chooses to spend his free time in undesirable ways, THEN you can add back the extras. :)

Thank you so much.

 

Oh man, I totally get what you are saying. I hate nagging my slowpokes too.

 

One thing that helped was to quit nagging and let them suffer the consequences... finish on the weekend, no screen time, assign extra work, etc. etc. (Throw in more painful consequences if necessary.) Usually only takes a couple times for them to start nagging themselves. I have even had to resort to "stay up until it's done even if it's 1am" which probably shouldn't be done regularly, but lets them know that you are serious about this. That sent a really strong message every time it was used. (only a couple times!)

 

Perhaps you check in with him 3 times a day, and if he's not on track, you dole out the consequences.

 

My 11yog has taken to filling out a daily schedule each day, even though it's roughly the same every day. The act of looking at the time and how long everything will take helps her to sometimes realize the urgency of the situation. However she's a girl and my boys would never use a daily schedule and still don't.

 

One of my sons successfully used a repeating timer on his watch. It would beep once a minute, or every 3 minutes, or whatever. For ex., he would give himself 3 min. per math problem, so when it beeped he would know he should be on to the next one, and if he was behind, he should make up for lost time. This was a huge help for him to learn to pace himself.

 

And... I'd save working on the bedroom for after his daily work is better. :-)

I like the watch idea. We are trying to get him in the habit of using his planner. There is a bit of lazy at work there. In my devotional time this morning, the Lord showed me I am not letting my children fail..at all...I keep picking up the pieces for them. It's time to let them fail, and honestly, I don't know how to do that. I'm going to make this my next post.

 

Can you dangle a carrot? Think of something that would be a real treat for him and offer it if he finishes all his schoolwork each day for a week. You'll know then if it's a matter of motivation' date=' or something else. You'll have to do the same for your other son too - to be fair. :)[/quote'] I'm gonna have to get with dh and try and find the right carrot :)

 

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Tina,

 

What credits is he earning for 9th grade?

 

Janice

I've been rolling this around in my head since yesterday and I think that is part of the problem --- I've been panicking b/c I plan on having him enrolled in cc for one class next year (probably geometry as math is a strong point for him) and yet, I was trying to have him totally prepared for college this year. His credits for 9th are:

1 Composition Honors (will complete WS 1&2 by end of summer)

1-American History Honors (works on World Hist too as its incorporated in TOG, so eventually, he'll have 1 credit World history, too)

1/2 government (includes US + FL gov't as state reqd) 1/4 credit per semester

1/2 PE (online FL Virtual School)

1/2 Health (online FLVS)

 

1- Biology Honors

1-Algebra Honors

1-Latin

1/2 Literature (picks up next semester)

1/2 typing (completed online)

1/2 Dr. Ed (already completed this online)

I was planning on 1-Logic, but I'm dropping that and picking it up next year.

 

Here are my revisions in green. What do you think?

o Bible and Hymns – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 30 min.

 

 

History – 2-TOG weeks in 3 calendar weeks (includes 6 weekend days, too for a complete 21 day cycle)

 

o History core (occasional in-depth)

 

o Reads gov't and answers ??

 

o Constitution Workbook in our next 3 week cycle, I will skip the literature with him and give him the 3 weeks to complete this workbook -- he's nearly finished. This will eliminate about 20 min a day for him, but more importantly, shorten his list of things to do!

Geography as assigned in TOG

Core notes (2 pages from book); summary of those notes; famous people about 1-paragraph; memorization of important document

Completing Dialectic literature until we finish year 3 (Jan or Feb)

 

o Write Shop - Daily as follows

□ 1: Pre-Writing/Practice Paragraph □ 2: Skill Builders 1 & 2

3: Brainstorming; Skill Builder 3; Copy work □ 4: Sloppy Copy

□ 5: Dictation □ 6: First Revision □ 7: Mom edits; Copy work

□ 8: Final Draft □ 9: Mom grades; Dictation □10: 2nd Final --- we will drop the copywork and dictation when we finish with WS1, which should be complete by early December. Again, this will knock out a few "little things".

 

Language Arts - The Latin Road to English Grammar entering Level 2 next week

o Latin – Daily

o Logic: 3 pages/ Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday (Art of Argument, then Introductory Logic in Spring) I'm moving Intro. Logic to next years schedule, where he will no longer have WriteShop. I will have him finish Art of Argument at the current pace, which will have him complete it by Dec. also. There is no credit for this class, as it is intended for middle school, this is one of those catch up places mentioned above.

 

o Vocabulary Daily (20 min. of mom-made program) words come from L. roots and mystical stories, etc. I'm dropping this. I think our Latin program will take care of this, as well as Write Shop, which is HUGE into the thesaurus. Again, I was trying to fill gaps that really aren't there anymore. I'll just be sure to apply these roots during our literary discussions.

 

 

Algebra – until complete (TAKING FOREVER)

 

o 20 problems

 

Biology– until complete

o Apologia Daily; Discussions Wednesday; as per Donna Young schedule (reading, vocab, study guides, tests...not a heavy workload)

 

o Living books Daily w. summaries every 2 chapters

 

o Nature journal – Wednesdays only ----- the nature journals will be finished for the semester. I really consider this his "drawing," which we need to have sight for, as he may very well be an engineering major. I am adding a drafting workbook and am not sure if I should have him do it before geometry or after. Any suggestions there?

 

 

Computer work – 10 minutes each -- I know this seems redundant, but it really helps him with memorization and he actually enjoys the process and the "game" time.

 

o Purpose Games Daily

o Quizlet: History vocabulary

o Quizlet: Biology vocabulary

o Quizlet: Vocabulary -- removed from schedule

o Quizlet: Latin

o Speed Reading – 2 days weekly

 

Memory work 5 minutes, two times a day -- he's almost finished w/ the presidents, we're using the "math" to define terminology, and the history and poetry have morphed into one topic area. The Bible stays, but I got the great idea to approach this a little differently. Starting in Jan, we'll be memorizing a book of the bible, instead of a theme of verses. This may allow us to simply work through this a little differently. He memorizes well, regardless, which gives me the confidence to drop dictation (another area of catch up).

o Poetry □ Presidents □ Math □ History □ Bible

o Poetry □ Presidents □ Math □ History □ Bible

 

o H.O.P.E – 1 lesson daily (you may do more and finish the year early)

Online class w/ FL Virtual School for Health and Physical Ed. about 30 min./day

 

 

o Piano/Guitar – 30 minutes M, T, Th, F ----- sticking to just guitar and insisting on piano through summers :)

 

 

o Boy Scouts 2 nights weekly; camping 1-weekend per month, usually some activity 2x monthly on weekends.

 

Church Wed pm (sometimes), Sundays (always)

 

Again, I thank you all. Thoughts on our revisions?

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My oldest daughter is just like this--and always has been. Late, but perfect work.

 

Guess where she got it from?

 

Her father.

 

He is slow as the day is long, and if your hair was on fire he would have to wait five minutes to think about the correct course of action before moving.

 

BUT, he's brilliant. I mean, brilliant. The government hounded him for years to be a nuclear physicist (lol, NO. brilliant and a bad boy ;))

 

She is just as smart. *shrug* I let her be. Some people do things fast, process fast, see it and get it done. Some people do things slow, do them well and get less work done--but it all gets done. My husband gets all of his work done-he's learned to make the time for himself, you know? He knows how he is. Daughter is learning. So perhaps you need to teach your son how to accommodate his work speed to a schedule?

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My oldest daughter is just like this--and always has been. Late, but perfect work.

 

Guess where she got it from?

 

Her father.

 

He is slow as the day is long, and if your hair was on fire he would have to wait five minutes to think about the correct course of action before moving.

 

BUT, he's brilliant. I mean, brilliant. The government hounded him for years to be a nuclear physicist (lol, NO. brilliant and a bad boy ;))

 

She is just as smart. *shrug* I let her be. Some people do things fast, process fast, see it and get it done. Some people do things slow, do them well and get less work done--but it all gets done. My husband gets all of his work done-he's learned to make the time for himself, you know? He knows how he is. Daughter is learning. So perhaps you need to teach your son how to accommodate his work speed to a schedule?

O, do, please, elaborate :)
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O, do, please, elaborate :)

 

Well, when they both read, they remember everything they read and at times, word for word, so it's not the WORKING sometimes that is the time vacuum, it's the reading-and let's face it, classical homeschoolers read a LOT. Cut it down, and the harder (the concept) the reading the less you assign. Yes, this means incredible books will have to be left out, but they have a lifetime and if they need to go back, they can. Just pick the best of the best of the best. These kids think, and I mean THINK. They process slowly and you need to give them time to do that.

 

So, pare literature down, write only what they NEED to write and keep up with the sciences (if yours bend that way). Give them time. Write a paper a week instead of two, one book every six weeks and if it's hard, much longer. Assign only the most needed meat, and then, if they have time, let them read what they want-whatever they want-for pleasure because when they read what they like, it speeds up their reading and they learn to process faster. They will get less done, but they will KNOW, in those steel trap minds of theirs-what they've read and worked on. So it all washes out, you know? Some people go through everything fast because they process fast but they remember less. These kids process slow, and remember everything. What's hard is when you're a fast processing parent with a slow processing kid and you're thinking they're lazy. That's a bad place to be. Make longer assignments-I mean in time. This week write one page on the (something about the) Visigoths and use that for grammar, spelling, and such. Keep reminding him that he only has a week and needs to make the time to get his reading for it done. Plan it out on Monday, give him till th enext Monday.

 

Math is math is math. We just go. If they get it faster then we go along, but I don't rush, and I stay as long as I have to on the stuff they need to focus on because if the foundation isn't laid, you know as well as I do the next level will be a mess. You also know your own kid and when they're futzing and not ..say...memorizing multiplication tables and you know they need to buckle down and git r done. Concepts can take time, though.

 

That fear you have of not getting it all done? I had/have it too. Wrangle it. It needs to be wrangled over and over and over (I know, BTDT) but it's baseless and the adrenaline and panic do nothing to help us work faster, it just gets me more angry while we spin wheels. (going back up to read) Leanna had it right.

Edited by justamouse
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Tina,

 

It sounds like you are really getting some good insight.

 

I think you get it, but I do want to encourage you to teach him where he is at. Regrets don't make an education. I know that you know that. :001_smile: Your son needs to be challenged in order to succeed, but he needs to succeed when he tries. I'm not talking about some fake bar that he can easily jump over. You BOTH will know only shallowness. But I am talking about being realistic. It really does make things healthier.

 

Please know that I speak from experience when I say that trying to do a TON of stuff can be just as bad as doing hardly anything at all. It too definitely has the power to place you behind. Seems weird, I know. But too much puts you behind too. You end up never really getting anywhere that way too. And the kid truly ends up thinking that it's not worth trying - there's just too much; it's too confusing; there's no discernible progress. Very discouraging.

 

AND the whole thing can end up just being a platform for Mom's angst. Kids see that too; they end up wondering if something is wrong with them - even though we moms secretly accept the blame for them being "behind." It all ends up being a TON of wasted emotion. STRESS with little to no payout. Just set the bars according to where he is - not according to where you think he should be. (SORRY if this means that some of your great plans are going to get tossed. BTDT TOO! But chin up. It really is better in the long run.)

 

Take a look at the credits he is earning; make sure that he can coordinate his efforts toward goals. If he is doing a ton of stuff that doesn't meet an objective, it gets discouraging. Try to establish a rhythm to each of his days. It really does seem easier to fit things in when you think in terms of say 10 blocks for five days - AH! 50 slots to fill! BUT it does get confusing for kids. They just see their world in smaller chunks. And it helps for them to eventually feel a rhythm; it will encourage them to approach new things with confidence. (When we try something new, we feel very UNEASY because we can't feel the rhythm of this new thing. BUT eventually things come together. AND it makes it easier to try the next new thing because deep down inside, we know that we're going to master this "new" thing and tame it too. We are confident that chaos will subside; eventually we will feel the rhythm of this new thing. It's important to build a history with that process; it helps kids persist with the next new thing.)

 

And one other thing - we found that our kids could easily gage how well they were handling their responsibilities by how messy their rooms were. We found that if they were blowing off the stuff they COULD see, chances are they were probably blowing off the stuff they couldn't see. After discussing it this way, they agreed. The boys are doing better; my daughter's room is still a heap of clothing. Oh well. ;)

 

I hope the rest of your week is peaceful!

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

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Something I just thought of that's made my life a lot easier--

 

what's the attention span on your guy? My two that are like this can focus ALL DAY on one thing and actually hate to be torn from it before they're done--can you let him do that (that they get from both dh and I)? One day for each subject if he's inclined?

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Well, when they both read, they remember everything they read and at times, word for word, so it's not the WORKING sometimes that is the time vacuum, it's the reading-and let's face it, classical homeschoolers read a LOT. Cut it down, and the harder (the concept) the reading the less you assign. Yes, this means incredible books will have to be left out, but they have a lifetime and if they need to go back, they can. Just pick the best of the best of the best. These kids think, and I mean THINK. They process slowly and you need to give them time to do that.

 

So, pare literature down, write only what they NEED to write and keep up with the sciences (if yours bend that way). Give them time. Write a paper a week instead of two, one book every six weeks and if it's hard, much longer. Assign only the most needed meat, and then, if they have time, let them read what they want-whatever they want-for pleasure because when they read what they like, it speeds up their reading and they learn to process faster. They will get less done, but they will KNOW, in those steel trap minds of theirs-what they've read and worked on. So it all washes out, you know? Some people go through everything fast because they process fast but they remember less. These kids process slow, and remember everything. What's hard is when you're a fast processing parent with a slow processing kid and you're thinking they're lazy. That's a bad place to be. Make longer assignments-I mean in time. This week write one page on the (something about the) Visigoths and use that for grammar, spelling, and such. Keep reminding him that he only has a week and needs to make the time to get his reading for it done. Plan it out on Monday, give him till th enext Monday.

 

I know I'm cutting in here, but this has really hit home for me. My 8th grade ds is just like this. I agree completely with what you have said. My only concern is college. He will be required to step it up a bit then. Am I doing him a disservice by not training him toward that now? ( could not figure out how to quote.)

Edited by Wendy in ME
trouble quoting
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Well, when they both read, they remember everything they read and at times, word for word, so it's not the WORKING sometimes that is the time vacuum, it's the reading-and let's face it, classical homeschoolers read a LOT. Cut it down, and the harder (the concept) the reading the less you assign. Yes, this means incredible books will have to be left out, but they have a lifetime and if they need to go back, they can. Just pick the best of the best of the best. These kids think, and I mean THINK. They process slowly and you need to give them time to do that.

 

So, pare literature down, write only what they NEED to write and keep up with the sciences (if yours bend that way). Give them time. Write a paper a week instead of two, one book every six weeks and if it's hard, much longer. Assign only the most needed meat, and then, if they have time, let them read what they want-whatever they want-for pleasure because when they read what they like, it speeds up their reading and they learn to process faster. They will get less done, but they will KNOW, in those steel trap minds of theirs-what they've read and worked on. So it all washes out, you know? Some people go through everything fast because they process fast but they remember less. These kids process slow, and remember everything. What's hard is when you're a fast processing parent with a slow processing kid and you're thinking they're lazy. That's a bad place to be. Make longer assignments-I mean in time. This week write one page on the (something about the) Visigoths and use that for grammar, spelling, and such. Keep reminding him that he only has a week and needs to make the time to get his reading for it done. Plan it out on Monday, give him till th enext Monday.

 

I know I'm cutting in here, but this has really hit home for me. My 8th grade ds is just like this. I agree completely with what you have said. My only concern is college. He will be required to step it up a bit then. Am I doing him a disservice by not training him toward that now? ( could not figure out how to quote.)

I'll say this as I made this mistake in jr. high and am keeping myself from making it now: preparing for college IS NOT college. Take the small steps to get there, but don't jump in :) Each time I cross the line of jumping in versus stepping towards...well, I'm posting here to relive the angst :)

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Well, when they both read, they remember everything they read and at times, word for word, so it's not the WORKING sometimes that is the time vacuum, it's the reading-and let's face it, classical homeschoolers read a LOT. Cut it down, and the harder (the concept) the reading the less you assign. Yes, this means incredible books will have to be left out, but they have a lifetime and if they need to go back, they can. Just pick the best of the best of the best. These kids think, and I mean THINK. They process slowly and you need to give them time to do that.

 

So, pare literature down, write only what they NEED to write and keep up with the sciences (if yours bend that way). Give them time. Write a paper a week instead of two, one book every six weeks and if it's hard, much longer. Assign only the most needed meat, and then, if they have time, let them read what they want-whatever they want-for pleasure because when they read what they like, it speeds up their reading and they learn to process faster. They will get less done, but they will KNOW, in those steel trap minds of theirs-what they've read and worked on. So it all washes out, you know? Some people go through everything fast because they process fast but they remember less. These kids process slow, and remember everything. What's hard is when you're a fast processing parent with a slow processing kid and you're thinking they're lazy. That's a bad place to be. Make longer assignments-I mean in time. This week write one page on the (something about the) Visigoths and use that for grammar, spelling, and such. Keep reminding him that he only has a week and needs to make the time to get his reading for it done. Plan it out on Monday, give him till th enext Monday.

 

Math is math is math. We just go. If they get it faster then we go along, but I don't rush, and I stay as long as I have to on the stuff they need to focus on because if the foundation isn't laid, you know as well as I do the next level will be a mess. You also know your own kid and when they're futzing and not ..say...memorizing multiplication tables and you know they need to buckle down and git r done. Concepts can take time, though.

 

That fear you have of not getting it all done? I had/have it too. Wrangle it. It needs to be wrangled over and over and over (I know, BTDT) but it's baseless and the adrenaline and panic do nothing to help us work faster, it just gets me more angry while we spin wheels. (going back up to read) Leanna had it right.

Sounds very much like my son. I have already decided to do literature light with TOG and perhaps even pare that down when the time comes. We'll see in Dec. when I sit down to plan it all out. Thank you so much for your wisdom.

Tina,

 

It sounds like you are really getting some good insight.

 

I think you get it, but I do want to encourage you to teach him where he is at. Regrets don't make an education. I know that you know that. :001_smile: Your son needs to be challenged in order to succeed, but he needs to succeed when he tries. I'm not talking about some fake bar that he can easily jump over. You BOTH will know only shallowness. But I am talking about being realistic. It really does make things healthier.

 

Please know that I speak from experience when I say that trying to do a TON of stuff can be just as bad as doing hardly anything at all. It too definitely has the power to place you behind. Seems weird, I know. But too much puts you behind too. You end up never really getting anywhere that way too. And the kid truly ends up thinking that it's not worth trying - there's just too much; it's too confusing; there's no discernible progress. Very discouraging.

 

AND the whole thing can end up just being a platform for Mom's angst. Kids see that too; they end up wondering if something is wrong with them - even though we moms secretly accept the blame for them being "behind." It all ends up being a TON of wasted emotion. STRESS with little to no payout. Just set the bars according to where he is - not according to where you think he should be. (SORRY if this means that some of your great plans are going to get tossed. BTDT TOO! But chin up. It really is better in the long run.)

 

Take a look at the credits he is earning; make sure that he can coordinate his efforts toward goals. If he is doing a ton of stuff that doesn't meet an objective, it gets discouraging. Try to establish a rhythm to each of his days. It really does seem easier to fit things in when you think in terms of say 10 blocks for five days - AH! 50 slots to fill! BUT it does get confusing for kids. They just see their world in smaller chunks. And it helps for them to eventually feel a rhythm; it will encourage them to approach new things with confidence. (When we try something new, we feel very UNEASY because we can't feel the rhythm of this new thing. BUT eventually things come together. AND it makes it easier to try the next new thing because deep down inside, we know that we're going to master this "new" thing and tame it too. We are confident that chaos will subside; eventually we will feel the rhythm of this new thing. It's important to build a history with that process; it helps kids persist with the next new thing.)

 

And one other thing - we found that our kids could easily gage how well they were handling their responsibilities by how messy their rooms were. We found that if they were blowing off the stuff they COULD see, chances are they were probably blowing off the stuff they couldn't see. After discussing it this way, they agreed. The boys are doing better; my daughter's room is still a heap of clothing. Oh well. ;)

 

I hope the rest of your week is peaceful!

Janice

 

Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey

Janice, your post is deep confirmation to me. These things have been rolling around in my mind. In short, fear has led me for this boy's education too often and faith has fallen aside. I'm so afraid of him not getting free education (dual enrollment in cc) that I'm not meeting him where he is. I have been slowly getting this, but I think I'm finally ready to let it go and just be where he is, instead of where I want him to be. That is SO HARD, particularly b/c of all my dc, this boy is me reincarnate. I see all my failings in him and I pray with all my might he won't make the same mistakes I made. I need to rest in the Lord and realize that he won't make them b/c he has a foundation I never had. WHEW. That felt amazing to "say" Thank you so much for your wisdom also.

 

Something I just thought of that's made my life a lot easier--

 

what's the attention span on your guy? My two that are like this can focus ALL DAY on one thing and actually hate to be torn from it before they're done--can you let him do that (that they get from both dh and I)? One day for each subject if he's inclined?

I'm not sure if he'd like that, but I will put it on the table for him. We're gonna have a nice little meeting this afternoon so we can discuss his changes and I'll give him that opportunity. He may like the idea, at least in some subject areas.

 

Thank you all....I am in such appreciation.

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Hi Tina,

This is just a thought and may be totally off base. Is he easily distracted? Is so, he may have ADD, without the hyperactivity part. On the other hand, since you mentioned his room always being a disaster, he may not have an internal organizational system.

 

:iagree: To the OP: Much of what you shared could be anything from ADHD, processing speed difficulty (input/output), executive functioning, or working memory issues. No need to panic. All of us have our weaknesses. This may be the kryptonite to your son's super powers, kwim? :D

 

I'd have a formal assessment done by your pediatrician to rule out ADHD or medical issues for being unorganized and having to be supervised. He could also be immature. Or he does well with structure and routine. But you do need to begin the transition to adulthood by giving him the tools for success without you having to be at his side supervising. Hang in there.

 

-----------

ETA: If the paring down of the lessons do help -- along with a "break" for your ds to process what has been learned in between lessons -- then he may be having too much on his plate from a working memory POV? Which does not help the brain. No need to overwhelm him. Get a formal assessment done.

Edited by tex-mex
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It could be the schedule, but it could also be a learning disability. I have a ds with an extremely high IQ that has some learning disabilities. One happens to be a slow processing speed. The only way to know for sure is to have an educational psychologist do an evaluation. Yes they are costly, however, if you child does have something that needs to be addressed the help is priceless. Once diagnosed they can receive accommodations on college entrance exams and at college. For some kids this makes all the difference in the world.

:iagree: We just had our son evaluated by a Neuropsychologist for his LD -- and his IQ came back quite high but processing speeds were low. The discrepancy between the 2 shows there is a mild learning disability. We're using the test for more time on the ACT next year. But documented now, the colleges accept recent testing and they will work with you to make the transition to college successful.

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I hate the years that have a million samll things in them instead of several big things. The years when you have to work hard at building academic skills seem to be like that. Those years, I found it helpful to catagorize all the things we are doing into basic catagories - extra, foreign language, music, math, social studies, language arts, and science. Then I made a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish and chose a catagory for them, and I organized each catagory in order of importance. I divided the day up into seven slots (not necessarily of equal time), and we tackled the first item in each catagory during the appropriate slot. When that item was done, we did the next item. This kept us from chopping the day up into such small chunks that nothing got accomplished (learned this the hard way) or getting discouraged by not actually finishing anything. Perhaps an approach like this would help your son?

-Nan

 

Adding to clarify: So, during the language arts slot, you would do vocabulary and just vocabulary day after day until the vocabulary book is finished, then you would work on finishing the writing book, or whatever. This approach only can be taken but so far with some things. Things that need to mull for awhile, like writing, might need their own slot. The idea is not to have too many things at once so you can actually finish some of those books, or at least do enough of them so that you can declare them done. I took (and still take) the inevitable small things and lump them together into their own slot. Currently, we have a slot in which we do sight singing, read Latin, and do dictation. Each takes about 10 minutes with me (rather than independently - remember, I have a 16yo). I have all the books in one bag. When we've run through them, my son moves on to the next thing. This year, we have arranged the slots more by skill than by subject because that better allows my son to be done with something, and we moved some subjects from slots to a weekly list, so he has a paper to write every week, some outlining to do every week, a science lab to do every week, etc. Some things still work by slot, but we negotiate on the daily order, saying things like, "I need to take a shower so if you want to look at my math, you need to do it now" or "The baby is showing up this afternoon, so we need to do any together things this morning." As you can imagine, this both-of-us-steering situation is less than ideal, but transitions are like that.

-Nan

Edited by Nan in Mass
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I know I'm cutting in here, but this has really hit home for me. My 8th grade ds is just like this. I agree completely with what you have said. My only concern is college. He will be required to step it up a bit then. Am I doing him a disservice by not training him toward that now? ( could not figure out how to quote.)

 

 

grrr, I had a response and lost it.

 

Don't 'worry' about college now. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. You're rolling a ball uphill and you don't want them to be exhausted by the time they get to the big push (college) you want them to be prepared for it.

 

In middle school the biggest tools are diagramming and outlining. I can't stress outlining enough--it helps with organization, it helps take notes, it helps write papers. If they don't already know how to, they need to learn.

 

Pick books for them to read that you have read or are willing to read. Being able to discuss the books and open the ideas of the author up for them helps them retain what they've learned and process more deeply. Even if you do five books-heavy- books in the year, and spend a few weeks discussing them (I discussed books with my kids all the time, not just a sit down her and let's talk about it) in the car, whenever. When something would come up that day that shadowed a conflict in the book, we would talk about it.

 

Then write a paper on it and help them walk through that process about figuring out WHAT to write about. Do that with them seven or 8 times and they'll learn how to do it themselves. It's not HOW many times you do the thing, it's how well you do the thing and how well they learn it.

 

Relax. I know its hard, but one bite at a time and it will get done.

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This still has me thinking and I'm going to think outloud.

 

I loved Carl Honore's book, IN PRAISE OF SLOWNESS, and really took the lesson in the book to heart. We rush, rush, rush, more, more, more information, you need to have more, know more, know everything.

 

We don't. We can be excellent in a few things. Education can be the same way--especially now that the PS schools are failing and everyone is scrambling for the answer and the zeitgiest seems to be MORE is the answer. We need to teach them more, they need to stay in school longer, they need more tests and more homework.

 

I'm going to buck the system and say we need to slow down. We need to focus on the excellent and that is different for each and every homeschooling family. Sometimes the burden of being a homeschooling parent isn't teaching, it's finding what to focus attention on.

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"what to focus attention on"... Yup...

I have a very slow worker. Had. He's in college now. The approach I worked out (the one I describe in the "marriage of classical and traditional" thread) was born out of a desperate attempt to deal with the relentless more-more-more. Well, more wasn't possible for us. Really really not possible for us. No matter how much I pushed, no matter how willing my child was to break his heart trying, we weren't going to be able to accomplish what even a normal, un-more-more-more approach would. We didn't choose to be out-of-the-box. We were shut out. You can't stuff a cloud child in a box. There is nothing solid to grasp. And you know what? It turned out in the end that it wasn't the end of the world. Quite the contrary, it was the beginning of getting to see the world GRIN. My current struggles (as of the last few years) have been how to adapt that approach to my youngest, who could probably, with good teaching (not me sigh), if he were willing, if we were willing to put him in the public school that served his older brother so very badly, do more-more-more. He isn't willing, though, especially after watching his brother flow through of any sort of container.

 

Where were you guys a few years ago when I needed you?

-Nan

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I hate the years that have a million samll things in them instead of several big things. The years when you have to work hard at building academic skills seem to be like that. Those years, I found it helpful to catagorize all the things we are doing into basic catagories - extra, foreign language, music, math, social studies, language arts, and science. Then I made a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish and chose a catagory for them, and I organized each catagory in order of importance. I divided the day up into seven slots (not necessarily of equal time), and we tackled the first item in each catagory during the appropriate slot. When that item was done, we did the next item. This kept us from chopping the day up into such small chunks that nothing got accomplished (learned this the hard way) or getting discouraged by not actually finishing anything. Perhaps an approach like this would help your son?

-Nan

 

:iagree:

 

 

The years when you have to work hard at building academic skills seem to be like that

 

That is 6-8, and it's rough work that won't bear fruit for years yet.

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Thank you all for these responses. I have been so nervous about my oldest ds as we race toward high school. He is a brilliant boy and a VERY hard worker, but he cannot be pushed. Nan, you said it so well with, "he broke his heart trying." Boy did that hit home. I guess my only fear is that the rest of the world won't be able to meet him where he is at. Maybe that doesn't matter. He has so much to offer just the way he is. It is just so hard to have faith while walking on this path to God knows where. I am thankful for the support of these boards because I don not have any real life people with btdt experience.

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