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One thing I can't seem to understand is why so many parents (esp. of K/1st) say that their kids need so many breaks during school - that they can't sit and complete work for a long period of time. -- Now before I get completely flamed - please realize that I struggle with this with my 4yo, and I know that there are disabilities and such - I am not referring to those. I am talking about your average kid who would be in regular outschool. I am also not referring to people who simply prefer to have the breaks (for numerous reasons) or that need them b/c they are teaching other kids/dealing with other kids/etc.

 

I am simply thinking about the fact that I used to teach PS and my 1st graders would sit through school from 8-3 with recess and lunch breaks only. They could transition from one subject to another and while there were a few kids (usu. w/ disabiblities) who got distracted, I could keep them all on task with minimal supervision. Why is it that when homeschooling, the general consensus is that kids can't focus for longer than a minimal amount of time? Is it b/c the kids are taking advantage of us being their "mommies"? Is it b/c they simply haven't been trained? You'd think a 1/1 ratio would increase attention, not decrease it, right? Thoughts?

 

I know I am going to get flamed for this. I am not trying to be a brat. I am really trying to figure out how PS kids can sit all day, and yet many HS kids can't.

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Maybe they're like those poor, orphaned babies in some third world countries who do nothing but lay in their cribs, day in and day out. They don't cry. They don't fight it. They don't smile, either. They've given up.

 

;)

 

(Don't flame me, either! ... This message has been brought to you partially tongue-in-cheek.) ;)

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I am simply thinking about the fact that I used to teach PS and my 1st graders would sit through school from 8-3 with recess and lunch breaks only.

 

And then possibly fall apart when they get home from school. Or I've just known wimpy children.

 

BTW, there is a big difference between 4 years old and 6 years old.

 

I won't say anything else.

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We don't walk in lines either. ;)

 

I think part of the problem is that we have school in a house. We have pets, chores, toys, and other distractions. My job isn't just teacher, it involves being the janitor and cafeteria lady, and laundress. So while I am busy trying to multitask my kidssss wander. ;)

 

And I wish I had just a classroom but I don't...Still tweaking it.

 

Jenn

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I am simply thinking about the fact that I used to teach PS and my 1st graders would sit through school from 8-3 with recess and lunch breaks only. They could transition from one subject to another and while there were a few kids (usu. w/ disabiblities) who got distracted, I could keep them all on task with minimal supervision. Why is it that when homeschooling, the general consensus is that kids can't focus for longer than a minimal amount of time? Is it b/c the kids are taking advantage of us being their "mommies"? Is it b/c they simply haven't been trained? You'd think a 1/1 ratio would increase attention, not decrease it, right? Thoughts?

 

I know I am going to get flamed for this. I am not trying to be a brat. I am really trying to figure out how PS kids can sit all day, and yet many HS kids can't.

Well, just because they "can" or are forced to do it in ps, does not mean it is age-appropriate.

The 1:1 ratio also means that school can be accomplished pretty quickly with a K or 1st grader.

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My husband teaches first grade. He moves his kids into a new position (chair, floor, desk, table) about every 15 minutes. He readily admits that while most of them will sit still, the amount of learning wanes significantly as the day progresses. The child may be physically seated in a chair but they are not learning all that much. A homeschool parent realizes (and actually so do ps teachers but they can't do anything about it) it is better to let them take a break, run around, and get some activity and come back refreshed and ready to learn again. You don't have the luxury of this in a public school classroom when every word out of the teacher's mouth has to correspond with a standard written on the white board.

 

Why cram learning into a 8-3 day when you can spread it out and have the child actually retain more?

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You'd think a 1/1 ratio would increase attention, not decrease it, right? Thoughts?

 

I would estimate that fewer than 10% of us have a 1/1 ratio.

 

I struggle with this with my 4yo.

 

Don't be surprised if you are having the same problems next year when he's 5. And then the following year when he's 6. And possibly when he's 7 too. Homeschooling one is nothing like schooling a group. You know how kids are more cooperative with the babysitter? Or Grandma? It works that way for school too.

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My kids were all able to sit through an entire Bible, math lesson, reading lesson, etc. without a break during K which was 5yo for one and 4yo for the other two. It is more work for me to give breaks and bring them back than to just get it done. Ds5 will do the bulk of his work in one sitting now (at most 2 hours) and then pop back around when the older ones are doing something fun. Two hours, though, is different than a full school day.

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I am simply thinking about the fact that I used to teach PS and my 1st graders would sit through school from 8-3 with recess and lunch breaks only. They could transition from one subject to another and while there were a few kids (usu. w/ disabiblities) who got distracted, I could keep them all on task with minimal supervision. Why is it that when homeschooling, the general consensus is that kids can't focus for longer than a minimal amount of time? Is it b/c the kids are taking advantage of us being their "mommies"? Is it b/c they simply haven't been trained? You'd think a 1/1 ratio would increase attention, not decrease it, right? Thoughts?

 

I know I am going to get flamed for this. I am not trying to be a brat. I am really trying to figure out how PS kids can sit all day, and yet many HS kids can't.

 

What is minimal amount of time to you? Ds is not in that age group, so I'm not paying attention to threads of first graders.

 

I know my ds would come home and completely crash after a full day in school. He was in private school for prek and K. You would ask what he learned and he couldn't remember. I'm sure he was zoning out half the day and got in trouble for talking a lot. He coped by not paying attention.

 

 

I do think home life can be distracting in and of itself. Pets, phone calls, mom getting up to do things, can all inhibit momentum. At that age we would take one break and still be done by lunch. Homeschooling a first grader should not take from 8-3, so there is time to allow for more breaks.

 

I personally would have no interest in training a 6-7 year old to sit still and focus for up to 7 hours a day. I think it's unnatural. Just my .02.

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I had one who I would have said "needed" those breaks. Maybe it was more of a "want" then a "need" but if he wanted it and it helped him perform better, why not? I don't homeschool so that I can fit my children into a certain standard schedule that "other kids" can handle based on other people's experience. I wanted them to love school and love learning, and I wanted it to be as low stress at that age as possible.

 

In 8th grade, it's different. But in kindergarten? I was all about them learning with maximum joy and minimum pain. If it worked for us, it worked - no need to explain why, though I am sure that others have different experiences.

Edited by Danestress
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Both of my children went to ps for elementary. While they only had recess and lunch "breaks" they did have a lot of transitioning activities that broke up the day. They went to PE, wallked to the music room, walked to the art room, walked to the library, and walked to the computer room. Even within the classroom the day was broken up by sitting in circle for book time, moving to the calendar for announcements, moving to desks for seat work. DS had an especially active first grade teacher, and I would go crazy in her room because the students never seemed to be on one task more than a few minutes. So, while the breaks may look different at home, I am not sure that the total break time is different.

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I am simply thinking about the fact that I used to teach PS and my 1st graders would sit through school from 8-3 with recess and lunch breaks only. They could transition from one subject to another and while there were a few kids (usu. w/ disabiblities) who got distracted, I could keep them all on task with minimal supervision. .

 

I think children in ps in the US are trained to do this - but it does not make it age appropriate.

In other countries, the view is that an 8-3 school day is too long for elementary school. In my home country, 1st graders get out of school at 11am, have breaks every 45 minutes and daily outside recess.

 

Just because you can MAKE a child sit still for several hours does not mean it is desirable. It also does not mean that a young child is still concentrated and focused at 2:30pm - I highly doubt that is the case. FWIW, my kids fell asleep with exhaustion during their afternoon snack when they had returned from ps in K. No way they can have been alert and working at their best in the afternoon.

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I know I am going to get flamed for this. I am not trying to be a brat. I am really trying to figure out how PS kids can sit all day, and yet many HS kids can't.

 

I sat. I fought tears, I wiggled, I was sent to the principal's office, and I didn't learn. I expect my kid to be ACTIVELY listening or working. In ps, I looked out the window, counted the tiles, swallowed air and burped, ate paste, dreamed of my kitty at home, pretending I was riding in the Kentucky Derby, etc. What a huge waste of time.

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I used Charlotte Mason style shorter classes with my sons not because I thought that they couldn't focus for longer but because I thought shorter lessons were better for absorbing and remembering. With longer lessons for many things, they would lose interest and while they might complete it in an okay fashion, they might retain little of the material at a later time. Now, they always attended well to reading for longer periods and so we always did that, but we kept most other classes to about 20 minutes for the elementary grades. For things like math, I simply split up the work into about 3 sessions at different times.

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*shrug* Because I want my kids to have the *best* "school" experience they can and since we have the freedom to periodically get up and move without needing a pass, we do. I hate sitting for long periods even though I can make myself do it. :) Our kids also haven't been institutionalized, so I think that we "train" them on a different--and better, IMO--schedule for that. I'm not sure that it matters at such a young age when most of us won't be sending our kids off to work in an office without the ability to concentrate or sit for long periods. Does it matter if they learn that by age 7 or little by little until age 17?

 

This also has me wondering about general physical activity, and the lack thereof, among public schooled kids vs. homeschooled kids. Interesting! Most kids love to sit in front of a screen...maybe the corollary of being able to sit for long periods at school is the ability (and desire? or apathy?) to sit in front of a screen at home. Of course, the important thing that can't be measured here is parenting. :)

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Maybe group consensus, and peer pressure is at work in school.

I don't think the issue is they can't (have the ability to) sit still or should they sit still but we all adjust based on our surroundings.

 

Sitting still, walking in lines, raising your hand, being quiet is the expectation in public school and is reinforced by the other 20 kids around you so you just fall in line. It become ingrained from the repetition of the routine day in and day out, year after year. If kids have never gone to school they don't "learn" this behavior.

 

My kids have always gone to school. Last year was my first year homeschooling my youngers and they know what to do but without the group consensus at work they wander. I have to crack the whip to keep them on track, often threatening to send them back to school if they keep whining about how much work they have to do:tongue_smilie:.

 

They love the idea of reading on the couch, doing math in their room, and not having to wait for other kids to finish before moving on. They don't want to give that freedom up for anything.

 

I bet if I had homeschooled from the beginning they wouldn't have been that disciplined.

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Didn't read the other replies, but:

 

It's not age-appropriate for young children to be expected to sit and focus on paperwork for long periods of time. If you were a school teacher, you should have had a Child Development course somewhere. Maybe you kept your textbook and could review it? IMO, much of the ADD/ADHD labeling of school-age kids comes from expecting inappropriate things from normal children.

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Not flaming...BUT being *able* to sit from 8 to 3, and the developmental appropriateness of young children being asked to sit from 8 to 3...two completely different things.

 

My kids *need* breaks to be at their best. They focus more easily, lessons are finished more quickly. In fact, I'd venture to guess that the breaks are part of the reason the lessons don't last from 8 until 3 (and they get to skip the sitting for more homework at the end of the day).

 

Cat

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First, it simply isn't necessary at home. I can get my kid much further than a teacher can and I can do it in a quarter of the time (though I may choose to do longer than 1-2 hours in order to go faster, deeper, broader, etc as necessary/reasonable for my kid). So why fight the "issues" of homeschooling (chores, phone calls, beautiful mid-mornings in fall and spring, etc)? I don't *need* to fight it because I don't have 17 (or 29!) kids at various levels. The most I've had other than a homeschool co-op was 2. I will likely have more at a time with my second set assuming I end up homeschooling them all in time. 1:2 or 1:7 even is much easier than 1:20. Additionally, I know my kids very well.

 

Second, all teachers use a variety of things that often seem more like play even if they have some educational value. One second grade classroom I worked in, for example, had the children in centers. Four kids, two computers. Four kids playing a science game. Another four kids doing a science experiment. Another four kids writing up their findings of the experiment. A group doing word finds of science words. So yes, they were all working to some degree or another and there was educational value; but not all was necessary other than to keep them busy and have enough centers. Additionally, many of those things take more time just because there are four kids to a center. 15 minutes of computer time *is* 30 minutes. Four kids playing a game takes more time than two. Each person having a turn sinking the ship takes more time when it's four kids, not one.

 

Third, I know a LOT of kids and by the end of the day, many most certainly are getting a bit antsy. They often have attitudes, need a lot of run time, etc after school. This isn't to say that is bad, just so. A homeschooled kid can have a more natural ebb and flow of the day so doesn't have to melt down (whether big or little), run wild, etc because they had the opportunities to work out those energies throughout the day.

 

I did 8a-2p with my friend's son. He did schoolwork all of that time (WTM, by the book, just about plus supplementation). Each thing had educational value, but some was more intense and necessary than other parts. Some was naturally more active. We definitely included P.E. (activities which would help him do well for the presidential fitness test). There wasn't "recess" but we had a daily walk (sometimes two). We treated them as nature walks in many ways. We caught creatures, watched them in their environment, collected flowers, named clouds, etc. Anyway, so it wasn't so much breaks as it was doing other work. For example, while I fixed lunch, he did Explode the Code online. That wasn't our main phonics program, but it was a nice supplement that kept him working. Seemed to make more sense for him to do that or QuarterMile Math or Earobics rather than NickJr or MapleStory. I figured him bouncing on the exercise ball or doing the macarena to learn months of the year and grammar and poetry made sense. There is no reason (nor is it developmentally appropriate) for kids to sit quietly all day. They can learn (and learn better, imo) with plenty of activity, movement, shorter spurts of attention, etc.

 

Anyway, I'm rambling. Hope something made sense.

Edited by 2J5M9K
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Well, kids in school don't sit at desks for 8 hours straight. The day is broken up into recess, "specials" (gym, art, music... usually in a different classroom), and lunch. Teachers have kids get up and move every once and a while.

 

When I taught in a PS, I'd see eyes glaze over and I'd make everyone stand up and play a game where they had to move: Simon Says or Mother May I, or I'd just bark some random orders: "3 jumping jacks! Now touch your nose with your left hand! Now with your right! Now touch your right hand with your left nose and hop on one foot in a circle!" That would make everyone laugh, but it also woke everyone up and got the blood flowing and immediately after something active and silly like that I could fit in 15 minutes what it would have taken me an hour to do.

 

Even FlyLady has you clean in 15 minute bursts, and then you have to take a 15 minute break.

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Developmentally Inappropriate!:iagree:

 

You can make a child sit, but you can't make a child think.

 

 

I have learned to stop a lesson before it begins the downhill trend. That isn't about disciplining the child. It's about meeting their needs...though it can turn into a discipline problem b/c if you push push push them beyond their ability too much, they will resist. And even that isn't as much about discipline as it is about a child's faulty communications. ("Mother, my brain turned off 3 additions ago. May I go regain my mental center with legos now?" is not likey to be said...or taken seriously by mom.)

 

I spent a ton of time daydreaming in ps.

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The fact that something can be done doesn't necessarily mean it should be done. But yeah, I definitely think there's some element of training involved. Part of school is learning curriculum, part of it is learning general social stuff, and part is learning 'how to do school'. You probably can train your kid at home to do everything kids at school do, if that's important to you. But most of us are keeping our kids home at least partly because we don't want them to have a 'school-identical' experience.

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I have no idea if any of my girls could sit through school from 8-3 at age 5 or 6. What's the point? It's not necessary, so I never tried. My current, and last (sniff sniff) kindergartener does about 30 minutes at a time (a few times a day) because there are three of them and one of me, and I can't sit with her for hours even if I wanted to. There are many more important things than sitting down for schoolwork at that age.

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Focus in a 1:1 situation is much more intense and demands more mentally than focus in a group situation. Also the kids who are sitting in class will zone in and out as they need to. It's much more difficult to zone out when your teacher only has you and is right there in your face. I give my kids breaks when their attention is getting spotty because they need them. If they were sitting in class, they would just zone out and miss things and it would not be noticed most of the time.

 

I sat. I fought tears, I wiggled, I was sent to the principal's office, and I didn't learn. I expect my kid to be ACTIVELY listening or working. In ps, I looked out the window, counted the tiles, swallowed air and burped, ate paste, dreamed of my kitty at home, pretending I was riding in the Kentucky Derby, etc. What a huge waste of time.

 

Exactly.

Edited by laundrycrisis
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There's also a lot of walking, a lot of coloring, a lot of storytime (in these grades), a lot of waiting & goofing off while waiting for others to finish, and a lot less learning going on in PS (IME). At home it's much more focused & intense learning, and their brains need breaks from that.

 

It also depends on personality. The Drama could (and has in the past) sit down and run through pretty much everything for the entire day all at once. As it's K level, it only took maybe 40 minutes. Her big sister NEEDS the breaks, though. After 20 minutes her brain is elsewhere, and it is pure misery to try and get her to focus on anything then. Good LUCK. :lol: So, we start with a walk, and then do the harder subjects. On a good morning, I'll do the three hard subjects in a row and then we have snack. On rougher mornings, we do one, try to do the second, get frustrated, have a snack, then do the rest. Then we do another, and then have more playtime/cleaning time for me, and lunch. Then we finish up after lunch, and we are STILL done way, way before PS is, and no one is thrown off if we shuffle the schedule for playgroups, appointments, or activities, as we are used to taking breaks as needed.

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I am simply thinking about the fact that I used to teach PS and my 1st graders would sit through school from 8-3 with recess and lunch breaks only. They could transition from one subject to another and while there were a few kids (usu. w/ disabiblities) who got distracted, I could keep them all on task with minimal supervision. Why is it that when homeschooling, the general consensus is that kids can't focus for longer than a minimal amount of time? Is it b/c the kids are taking advantage of us being their "mommies"? Is it b/c they simply haven't been trained? You'd think a 1/1 ratio would increase attention, not decrease it, right? Thoughts?

 

 

The simple answer is that the kids don't sit still and do their work. They get up to blow their nose, to get hand sanitizer, to turn in their papers, to goto the bathroom every 5 minutes, to sit on their desks, climb under their desks, talk to their neighbor, have sword fights with their pencils, walk around the room for no reason, etc. And that was all observed in one 2 hour time period of my volunteering in my DD's 1st grade all girls classroom. Have you visited a PS classroom lately? They aren't sitting still with their hands folded nicely on the desk listening intently to their teachers.

 

I have volunteered in 4 different classrooms so far (Young 5s, 2 different kindergartens and now 1st grade). I have never seen all the kids sit still and pay attention. Those kids are wiggle bugs. Someone is always getting in trouble.

 

This is the first year I've had kids in full day school and by the end of the day, my kids are either bouncing off the walls with pent up energy or are in melt down mode. It's just unnatural to force kids to sit still for 7 hours a day (1 hour being for lunch and their special of the day).

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As a homeschooling mom who bought into the 'children should sit and focus for several consecutive hours', I can tell you that it simply doesn't work. Like someone else said, they retain a quarter of what they're being taught. What's the point in all that wasted time?

 

Since heeding the advice from several here (give my boys periodic breaks involving physical activity), it has been like night and day in our school now. They are eager to tackle the lesson, and they now have a more realistic goal (do an hour of school work, get 15 minutes to run around) to reach.

 

I want individuals, not robots.

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I don't need my son to sit from 8-3. We finish in about 1.5 hours generally. We might have a potty break, drink break, and some learning time on the floor. He sits for math....everything else, he learns while rolling around. His retention when I allow this is significantly better than when I make him sit the whole time.

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What they said. Completely developmentally inappropriate and not my goal besides. If that was someone's goal, why wouldn't they just send the kid to school?

 

We never did more than 1 hour of work without some sort of break, even just for a few minutes to eat a snack, when my kids were in K and 1st. Now we sometimes go a little more.

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:confused:

 

I've owned daycares, I've homeschooled, and I've worked *in* elementary schools. I've not seen ONE situation in which children age 4 - 10 are expected to sit for hours at a time.

 

The lowest class I currently teach is a 4/5 math class. It lasts for an hour. Several of my students are very wiggly. So, I teach the concept, they practice it with 1-2 problems (and have homework for the rest), and when they are done with the classroom problems, I have them:

 

1. Do 20 jumping jacks.

2. Write a nice note on the whiteboard.

3. Touch their toes 15 times.

4. Jog in place.

 

What *value* is in teaching young children to sit for lengths of time, routinely? Their bodies are made to move. They will mature into being able to sit longer, but if short lessons interspersed with activity works AND is developmentally on target, why would you do something else?

 

Also, what could possibly take HOURS on end for a tight teacher/student ratio for elementary kids?

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Y'know, the ability to sit still and concentrate really does naturally grow along with the child. Even if you don't tie him to the desk when he's 5, he'll still be able to sit and study like a person when he's 15. I promise.

 

I've seen it in 100% of my children: They roll around, climb, giggle, fidget and play their way through the early grammar stage. They sit still a little longer during the upper grammar stage and save most of their shenanigans for playtime. By midway through the logic stage they are doing serious desk time followed by serious basketball in the driveway. In the rhetoric stage they work like men at their books all day and then work like men at jobs, sports, or other activities.

 

I homeschool so my sons can follow that natural progression. If I ever have to send any of my kids to ps, it will be the teens and not the little ones, because I believe healthy boys deserve freedom of movement when they are little. I think it makes them happier, healthier, and more successful in academics and relationships. Four out of four sons have proved that theory in my family.

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My oldest spent 1st to 4th grade in ps and they took lots more breaks during the day than we ever do home schooling. They had computer stations, reading time on the floor, art projects, pe, recess, library breaks, snack time, read aloud time, music and lunch, and all that was between 8:30 and 2:00, not 8:00 to 3:00.

 

My cousin who teaches at one of the best elementary schools in Oregon says that it is a very rare day when her class gets 3 hours of seat work in. She shoots for 2 and 1/2 hours every day but she says you could count those days on your fingers and toes for the whole year.

 

When I am giving one on one attention to my kids they work up to an hour and a half at a stretch when we need to. That is huge though, because that is requiring a lot of them. It is very different to sit one on one with a child that for amount of time than for them to be lost in their own thoughts or visiting with other kids next to them when the teacher is not looking.

 

Just because a child may stay in their seat and not require continual correction does not mean they are learning anything. If it did the state of our country would be radically different. In public school second grade my oldest child was given a calculator to do her math with so that she wouldn't need any help. She stayed in her seat and did her math quietly with the calculator, but it was murder to teach her math facts later because her teacher had told her not to worry about learning them by heart. A home school student who has to do three digit additon without the calculator is going to need a break sooner than a child who is not expending as much concentration.

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Honestly, I think that *I* need breaks more than my 7 year old does. She is difficult to school and if I don't give her breaks, I think I'd lose my mind. :001_huh:

 

Isn't that the truth! :svengo:

 

Sometimes getting *me* to come back after a break is harder than getting *them* to do it!

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I didn't read all the replies so I may be repeating what someone else said. I do agree that what PS does is not always age appropriate which may be the reason there are so many kids on medications for ADD and ADHD (but that's another topic).

 

The other thing I wanted to say is that in PS, the kids are not being taught one-on-one. One-on-one teaching is more intense by nature. There isn't the downtime like there is when kids are learning in a group...waiting for other kids to finish work, waiting for kids to raise hands and answer questions, listening to the teacher repeat information, lining up to go to certain classes, etc.. As a teacher, you might feel that the kids you taught were little robots sitting at their desk taking in information for the whole school day but realistically, there really is a lot of down time in a classroom setting.

 

Some kids might require a break now and then. Maybe there would be more kids learning more if they gave more breaks in PS as well. Some kids, especially boys, tend to learn better if moving and isn't that the point of school...to learn?

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I am simply thinking about the fact that I used to teach PS and my 1st graders would sit through school from 8-3 with recess and lunch breaks only. They could transition from one subject to another and while there were a few kids (usu. w/ disabiblities) who got distracted, I could keep them all on task with minimal supervision. Why is it that when homeschooling, the general consensus is that kids can't focus for longer than a minimal amount of time? Is it b/c the kids are taking advantage of us being their "mommies"? Is it b/c they simply haven't been trained? You'd think a 1/1 ratio would increase attention, not decrease it, right? Thoughts?

 

I know I am going to get flamed for this. I am not trying to be a brat. I am really trying to figure out how PS kids can sit all day, and yet many HS kids can't.

 

For us, it was my middle son who needed a lot of breaks. My assertion would be this - the kids "may" sit still through school because they have been told they HAVE to, but those public school teachers didn't get to see them when they got home. In many cases, those kids who can sit still all day at school have complete meltdowns and major behaviorial problems at home. For my son, when he was at school, he could hold it together most of the time through school, but he was a terror at home, becuase his system was so completely overloaded and he held it in so long that he let it all out at home.

 

Just because schools MAKE kids sit still from 8-3 doesn't mean its right. I think maybe another reason that we give our kids breaks is because we know that kids NEED them for their overall wellbeing. It isn't my experience that the schools care about raising the entire kids - just shoving facts into their brain to pass a test. We are trying to raise the kids and doing what we know kids need - which in many cases, is many breaks

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My kids were all able to sit through an entire Bible, math lesson, reading lesson, etc. without a break during K which was 5yo for one and 4yo for the other two. It is more work for me to give breaks and bring them back than to just get it done. Ds5 will do the bulk of his work in one sitting now (at most 2 hours) and then pop back around when the older ones are doing something fun. Two hours, though, is different than a full school day.

 

If both my kids get a break together they get into a game and would complain and mope that restarting school is interrupting the game, and this might be the only time they are INTO this sort of game.

 

We try to do school in one burst. BUT sometimes something happens and my boys have a minute or two together alone. Then all bets are off.

 

Mind you my two boys can happily play together pretty much all day happily, every day.

Edited by Julie Smith
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Just because the children are forced to do something and most of them learn to readily comply does not mean that the behavior is developmentally appropriate. Additionally, kindy and 1st graders are (one would hope) transitioning frequently from one activity to the next rather than sitting at a desk for extended periods of time.

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A few thoughts:

 

I used to be able to do school in one sitting. DS and I would sit down for 45-90 minutes--depending on what we were doing that day--and just get it done. Then the other kids came along. We were still okay when DD was an infant, but once she was a bit older, and especially once DS2 came along, that was right out the window. And, sometimes it drives me crazy. I like efficiency. I want to sit down, do what needs to be done, and check it off my list. But, while that is sometimes possible when you have a 1:1 ratio, most homeschoolers don't have that. There are other little people demanding my attention, which means that now, more often than not, rather than zooming through all our subject, maybe taking one break in the middle, we do a subject at a time, and then break because I need to tend to somebody else.

 

Homeschooling is not like traditional schooling. The parent is the teacher. That means things are different in a lot of ways. I used to get really concerned about the fact that lessons would sometimes result in tears. Oh my goodness, I'd think, what if he was in school? He couldn't cry like that! The thing is, he wouldn't. He's crying like that because he's not at school, he's at home, and I'm not just his teacher but his mom, too. That changes things. I can remember, as a kid, crying over homework, whereas I never cried in school over my work, no matter how much there was or how hard it was. And, while I could sit for hours and work at school, that wouldn't happen at homework time. When you're home, things are different.

 

And, just because it's possible for somebody to do something, doesn't mean it's necessary or even desirable. I think that, when homeschoolers say, "My 6yo can't sit still," they don't mean, "It would be completely and totally impossible under any circumstances for my child to sit still for long periods" but mean "My child is not naturally inclined to sit still for long periods and that's okay."

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That's just one of the many reasons we decided to homeschool. My son came home from first grade so stressed that he had a meltdown every day. My now teenaged son came home from first grade so exhausted that I didn't know if he could make it from the bus stop to the house some days. I hear many parents say that their children don't do well after being in school all day.

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