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Help--is this too much for my 7th grader?

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I'd really appreciate some feedback as to weather I am being unreasonable in my expectations of dd. Up until this year she's been so easy to homeschool...and I know we are dealing with typical adolescent hormonal moodiness etc, but am I expecting too much academically? I tend to not think so...but I don't want to be a tyrant and have her end up hating me before we emerge on the other side of it all. This year she is dawdling a lot and not doing some of her work.


So here's her workload, by subject and approximate hours per day--I think the total is never more than 7 hours per day, and closer to 6 or less per day.


Math: Chalkdust prealgebra, 1 hr per day


English: R&S Grammar 7, Figuratively Speaking, Vocab from Classical Roots (this will be the first to go if we drop something), Lost Tools of Writing, and reading, 2 hrs per day


Latin: Second Form Latin, 30-45 min. per day


Logic/Critical Thinking: MP Traditional Logic I and Critical Thinking in US History. She's 2/3 of the way thru logic, and I really think CTUSH is excellent. 1 hr per day.


History: WTM recommended resources, 30-45 min per day.


Also: co-op Spanish, art, geography and robotics...about 45 min per day combined. She doesn't work on all these every day.


So...let me have it. Be honest. She's bright and capable but it's completely possible I'm a perfectionist tyrant...


And if you do think it's a reasonable amount...how do I get her to understand that? Or is that even possible?

Edited by amyco71
needed a comma!
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I agree it seems heavy on language and light on science. Two hours/day on English and an hour/day on Logic seems like a lot. Plus it seems like a lot of what she's doing is pretty dry, kwim? Is robotics her only science?


Have you asked your DD what she would like to change? Is there any particular curriculum she just really dreads, which you might be able to tweak or even change up a bit?


I don't think 6 hrs/day is necessarily too long, but if it's packed tight with mostly books and seatwork, it might seem even longer than it is. We probably spend about the same amount of time, but it's likely to include a Teaching Co lecture or documentary, maybe a science lab or nature study or some online research, a geography game, or other things that aren't seatwork, plus DS's history is focused around his interests, using books and lectures and videos he chooses, so that's actually something he'd do in his free time anyway, even if it wasn't part of "school." I also like to make Fridays a "lighter" day, and we'll throw in some Madlibs to liven up grammar, or we'll do some Zome Geometry or math games instead of "regular" math, do an art project, etc.


Personally, I'd add some more science, cut back on English, give her a bit more choice, and just try to liven things up a bit so the day doesn't seem as long.



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I agree with you about the Critical Thinking in US History. It is fabulous. But we had to drop it. There are just not enough hours in the day (or energy in my 7th grade ds) to get all the "neato" stuff done. He spends about 20-30 minutes a day on logic.


Do you need the writing program AND R&S? Could you alternate days with these?


I think 6 hours a day is about perfect for this age. But like the other posters have said, you have to break up the "seatwork" with more interesting things like experiments and discussions and projects. My son tackles some of his seatwork first thing in the morning (Bible, Latin, vocab, grammar, etc.); then after breakfast, we have our meeting together which takes at least an hour and a half. This meeting includes logic discussion, algebra lesson, and science discussion/experiment. Then he works independently on history, science, algebra, lit...at his own pace. He takes breaks to eat (seems to be doing a lot of this lately) and shoot hoops or get some other type of exercise. So in a nutshell, he works from about 7 a.m. to about 2 p.m. With his breaks, his actual hours of schoolwork add up to about 6. On days that he "dawdles", it might take him longer. I do let him dawdle some. Seems that his body needs it.




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I have a dd in 7th grade also. My first thought on your schedule is that it looks very tedious, and that, while each part might be manageable, it looks like a tough slog overall. Is your dd able to articulate particular complaints? A few random suggestions:


*math - my dd doesn't like anything video-based; it takes too long and she prefers to figure it out on her own. does your dd like/need the video lessons? might math be shorter/more interesting without them? is she possibly bored b/c she's solid in pre-algebra and needs to move on? I know lots of people love CD, but we watched some of the pre-algebra lessons last year and were both about to jump off the nearest cliff. we didn't like the style, and it's not meant to skip around to just bits you have trouble with (it's rather pricey to use in that manner anyway!).


*Latin - MP is very solid and dd used it through LC II, when she was more than ready for a change. she switched to Ecce Romani, and really likes it. she loves the nitty-gritty of reading and translating.


Logic - she is doing some hard work here! MP again, so solid but very dry. can she work on just the MP and then move on to CT? with maybe a short break in between, lol. why both at once? fwiw, I would never have attempted MP logic with my 7th grader.


History - we use and love SOTW, but if you are doing it the WTM way, the constant outlining, etc can be, again, rather dry and tedious (particularly in combination w/other stuff on your list).


English - I don't think 2 hours is neccesarily a lot, as you've included reading. I'm not familiar with Lost Tools or some other things, but R&S is another tally in the tedious column, lol. And yes, it's overlapping to some extent with your writing program. I'd agree that a roots vocab might make sense to drop, as she's studying Latin, but I don't see it as saving much time or effort.


Extras: looks like all of her engagin stuff is via co-op; I'd try to avoid that situation if possible.


Again, there may be nothing wrong with each program taken on its own, but this combination does look like a tough slog for a 7th grader, imo. "Tedious" and "tough" do not have to go hand-in-hand, kwim? I definitely think you should consider shaking things up. Have some discussions with your dd: what would she change and why? what are your goals for latin/math/whatever, and are there different programs that might help meet those goals?

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Thank you everyone, you make good points. Robotics is her only science this year...and we are light on science, it's true. I have a lot to think about now. I agree that discussing it with her is the right thing to do...and I really need to get over *my* like for what she's doing and just do what's right for her, even if it includes dropping/tweaking stuff. It's taken me a long time to get here, though.


Thanks again, and all encouragement welcome. :D

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know your dd or you, so saying what's too much or too little is really challenging.


The LA stuff you're using is challenging. I would probably NOT do R&S, Lost Tool, vocab, and Figuratively Speaking at the same time. I'd probably drop either Figuratively Speaking or the vocab program or alternate them quarterly - 2-3 months with FS then 2-3 months working on vocab.


7th grade is such a difficult time. Pre-teens can be soooo hard-headed. :confused:

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I do not think thats to much. (I have been told I do to much though so who knows) I cut out abunch of what we were going to do at the beginning of the year and this is what is left that we are doing this year:



Bible- Apologia "Who is God?" When this is done, we will begin Proverbs People


Math- Chalkdust pre algebra and LoF Pre-Algebra 1 with biology (she is almost done with LoF1 and will soon begin LoF Pre-Algebra 2 with Economics


English- Applications of Grammer book 1, Jump In, Figuratively Speaking and Lightning Lit 7 (will be starting CW Poetry for Older Beginners soon in place of LL7)


History- MOH2 and a whole lot of supplemental reading and researching (outlining and such the WTM way)


Science- Apologia General Science, Anatomy and Physiology, and supplementing with the Wonders of God's Creation Geology and Fossil books.


Vocabulary- Vocabulary Cartoons, Vocabulary Vine


Logic- Fallacy Detective


Geography- Trail Guide to World Geography

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Stacy--that's fair enough. And thank you for your suggestion! I like the idea of alternating Fig speaking and Vocab. We will definitely start alternating logic and critical thinking.


Kid Wrangler--wow, that is a lot. I also have been told by friends that I try to do too much and expect too much (but, but, but...they have no idea how much I have already dropped or just not started!). That's why I wanted to run it by here.


I talked to dd this morning to get her honest feedback-we were both in a good mood! :lol: Turns out she really likes all her stuff, but does want to alternate logic/CT. Also, for the time being I am just going to have her read her history materials 2x per week, with no WTM writing assignments. With Lost Tools, it really is too much. But I will expect her to occasionally write a history-related essay for Lost Tools. And I am going to look into Teaching Co DVD's or lectures. She really has a thing for ancient history and we both enjoyed Vandiver's Homer lectures.

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It seems pretty reasonable to me -- bar the possibility that you could cut back on logic a bit and add more science. Two hours for language arts a day sounds like a lot, but if you're including her required reading in that total, it's actually not that much at all...


Really, it sounds quite reasonable to me. I do agree with having an ongoing dialogue with her about what's working and what isn't -- as long as she can carry on the conversation without resorting to whining. But just because you listen to her concerns doesn't necessarily mean that things will change... It might, but you can also listen and decide that your expectations are reasonable...

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It doesn't look like too much to me, but it's entirely possible that I'm a perfectionistic tyrant, too, LOL....


Is she having difficulty completing the work in that time frame? I'm looking at the 2 hour language arts time block and wondering about some things related to it.


What does she do for grammar each day? R&S 7 could be very time intensive if she's doing all the exercises in it.... And on days that involve more writing, it could take even longer.


How long does she read each day?


VfCR is taking about 15 minutes?


I'm not familiar with FS or LTW, so am not sure how long they take her each day, but I'm guessing that the first things I mentioned could take 2 full hours in themselves....


Is she doing more work alone than last year? Could it be that she might just need the reinforcment of someone going over some of the things aloud with her to break up the length of time she's working alone?


Are you doing the logic along with her (I'm assuming you are)?


Were her class blocks the same length last year for the most part? That is, she's not going from doing math for a half hour per day to an hour this year, right? I'm just thinking that maybe a major change in length of classes might be making her feel that her day is dragging out or that she doesn't have time to get her work done, etc....

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