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Anyone else implementing SWB's Independence MP3?


Capt_Uhura
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I've listened to SWB's MP3 on moving DC towards independence. I have a 5th grader this year and I think now is the time. This is my 3rd year HSing him and my 2nd year HSing my 7yr old. Up until now, I could just put everything on a stack on the table and we'd work through it. Now we are just not getting it all done w/ HSing two very active boys as well as a 3.5yr old DD. I'm going to implement some of SWB's ideas for 5th graders. I bought DS a planner. I'm going to start helping him to fill it out. We will start having regular start and end times to the day. If things are completed, they become homework or weekend work. I need to cut down on dawdle time. I need to cut down on during the 5 min transition when I'm getting something out, they run up stairs and it takes 10min to get every one back on task. I think my 5th grader needs clear expectations for the day. This is the amt of work we need to complete today. Time starts now. :lol:

 

I also need to be better about planning. I think it was 8Fillstheheart that said once her kids got into logic stage, she found that she needed to plan. I'm finding that as well. Plus, I'm using CPO Life Science this year and I need to write that out to make sure it gets done.

 

Anyone else moving move into a planning stage for yourself as well as for DC?

 

Capt_Uhura

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This is my second year of writing out ds's assignments and having him do them (he's in 4th grade now). I started him with the independent work only because we adopted dd last year and I knew it would be crazy (it was). Sometimes I put a "see mom" on the assignment sheet which means he needs me to teach him something. It's been very successful. In a few weeks, I am going to transition him to starting to schedule out his assignments and letting him sink or swim. We're starting with his scheduling history readings and then going from there. He'll figure out how much he can handle in a day. He's also starting to argue about how much reading I give him in a given day so it will be good for him to be the king of his schedule.

 

Beth

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Actually my dd10 was more independent the last two yrs, in 3rd and 4th, than she is this yr in 5th. She's very responsible and motivated, and did a lot on her own.

 

This year I'm needing to reel her in more in some ways because in logic stage, I WANT that discussion time over lit, history, Bible, etc. And even in writing, I go over a lot more with her before she starts it, teaching her writing skills and tips, and we discuss a lot in the editing, etc. She does some of her math on her own, but we spend time discussing conceptual approaches to math problems, etc.

 

I feel weird about this, since everyone says this is when they get independent. But the quality of our discussions, etc., is what is taking her learning to another level with her thinking skills, our relationship, etc., so I'm sure we're on the right track. But again, I know she CAN work independently at any time so it's not like she needs to be taught.

 

And while I work with ds7 for a couple hours or more, she does have a checklist that I give her of things to do on her own (Awana, typing, doing the actual writing part of assignments, outlining, study spelling words, R+S English exercises after I have taught the lesson, etc.-it's a pretty long list), so she tackles that during that time.

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I'm very hands on w/ both of my kids. I was thinking more along the lines of what SWB said in her lecture, giving them ownership over their learning. For example, DS10 knows he has a daily edit to do each day, a daily math review, and also a diagram and soon, will also have a Practice Town sentence. I'd like for him, for example, if Math takes longer w/ his brother and he's waiting for me to do math w/ him, he will take the opportunity to start is independent work. Instead, he gets into a book or sneaks on the computer or starts building w/ LEGOs and it's difficult to get him back to do his work.

 

I guess what I feel they need is clear expectations for the day. They have a best friend who comes over about 3pm several times per week for several hours. And I want them to have a visual record that if XYZ is not finished, they don't get to play.

 

One positive has been RS Geometric Approach. Dr. Cotter wrote it to the kid. He is supposed to get it out, get all his supplies, read the lesson 2x, complete it and only ask questions after he's read it 2-3x. So far, it's gone very well. I sometimes have to remind him to put it away. One time he even asked "Should I do my geometry now?" since I was working w/ his brother still. At some point during the lesson, I check in to make sure she's on tract and on task.

 

I would also like to schedule about 15-30min each day for each of them to do a puzzle with their sister or read to her. I just feel like she gets the short end of the stick most days.

 

I also need to write up a reading list for them. I'd like my oldest to move towards deciding how much should be read each day in order to complete the book in X days. I don't want to have to hand them the book each day and say go read the next chapter.

 

So perhaps it's more about planning/expectations rather than independence. Up until this year, we've just been able to fly by the seat of our pants. Oh let's do this next. Oh today how about we start with this. Do the next thing. That doesn't seem to be working this year. OH and did I mention that we just moved into a new house 6weeks ago so I'm still daily dealing w/ house issues. Last night we developed a leak in the ceiling and i'm waiting for the contractor to call.....very distracting.

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I started doing this about two years ago (before hearing the MP3), but have recently stopped. I just haven't gotten around to it with our new baby and all the Dr. visits we have had this school year. Silly really, I know it would save me time. I just havn't sat down to really make their schedules. I know, gasp! I will get to it today... mmmmm or maybe this week end.:D

 

Danielle

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I just listened to that mp3 last weekend. It made me feel better about how independent my 4th grader is getting.

 

Workboxes are what set me free last year. I found that I would go crazy having 3 children (and a baby) who were totally dependent on me to tell them what to do. We also spent a lot of time hunting for books, and workboxes have cut down on that, too. Having a pseudo-workbox system in place forces me to plan the night before b/c now my children won't do anything that's not in their boxes. It also allows me to arrange their day so that I can work with one child while the others are either working independently or playing outside.

 

After I listened to SWB's talk, I sat down with my dd and ds#1 and asked them what order they want their work to be in, and I fill the boxes accordingly. I made some modifications to ds's preferences, and I told them that they have to do independent work before the the stuff that requires my attention. I think next year, I will just hand dd the schedule and let her fill her own boxes. Eventually I will probably want that set of boxes for my younger dd, so I imagine I will phase out their use as dc approach high school.

 

The other point I really liked was to have dc grade their own work. I think I'm going to start pulling out the IG for dd's math book and let her grade/correct her own work once she's done with math. I think she would learn more if she could see her mistakes immediately and correct them, rather than waiting for me to get around to it.

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