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How much are your 10- to 12-year-olds doing independently?


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I was reading a great thread that shanvan posted on the General board, about systems and routines that make schooling easier. It made me wonder how much your 10- to 12-year-olds do independently.

 

I'm finding that I'm still teaching for every subject. Math: I teach, and then she is assigned independent work to do on her own. MCT: I read aloud, we discuss and do an exercise together or I assign something for her to do on her own. Science: I teach the lesson, then we discuss/do the project together. SOTW: I read aloud and we discuss, and both girls do the map. I may assign additional reading. I don't really see this pattern changing anytime soon.

 

Are others having their kids do subjects entirely independently? Can you tell me how that works for you? Do you feel they learn as well? What resources are you using?

 

Thanks!

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Too much :(

 

I enjoy teaching, but I also understand the independence and responsibility of doing some work on her own is important.

 

We do Bible together every morning. She does math (Saxon), spelling, writing, and reading on her own unless she needs help. Grammar (Rod and Staff), science and history we do together about 2 days a week.

 

She's 12 going into 7th grade.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Happy Homeschooling!!

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At this point in the year, math is mostly independent. It is still mostly review. She glances at it, and tells me it is easy, she doesn't need any help. She got a 100 on her first chapter test yesterday, so she is doing fine.

 

She does Spanish mostly independently. I grade her work. We do latin together.

 

She does spelling and reading/literature completely independently. I give dictation once a week or so.

 

For her English grammar, I do spend a few minutes going over it with her most days. But it is only like 5 minutes.

 

She does science mostly independently right now. I spent the first week back to school getting her started on the new program.

 

And we haven't gotten started on logic stage history yet. Once I spend the time to teach her the new system, I expect that to be mostly independent as well.

 

FWIW, this child has always been very focused and likes working independently. I had to make her work with me when she was younger LOL I am just happy that she is old enough now (10) for it to be appropriate for her to work more on her own.

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My 9 and 11 year olds do math, science (except labs), Spanish, geography, typing, music and reading on their own. I discuss reading with them but I don't read to them. Language arts (we use LLATL) is done with me and part independent and history we do together with the exception of age appropriate historical fiction and encyclopedias, etc. We do Bible and family education individually.

 

Here is what we use:

 

4th grade:

INDEPENDENT

Spanish (Rosetta Stone on computer)

Geography (Globalmania on computer...I just linked their resources as bookmarks)

Typing (Typing Tutor Platinum)

Math (Teaching Textbooks 5)

Science (Science Fusion 4 - all online except for labs)

Music (a dvd series for teaching piano on his keyboard which he does himself)

 

6th grade:

Spanish (Rosetta Stone on computer)

Geography (Globalmania on computer...I just linked their resources as bookmarks)

Typing (Typing Tutor Platinum)

Math (Life of Fred)

Science (Science Fusion Module A - all online except for labs)

Music (a dvd series for teaching guitar which she does by herself)

 

TOGETHER WITH BOTH

History (SOTW 1 - listen and read chapter on mon, wed do review questions, mapping and test, thurs is independent reading and fri is a video)

 

INDIVIDUALLY WITH ME

Family Education

Bible

Learning Language Arts Through Literature (Yellow for 4th and Tan for 6th)

Discussion of independent history readings (4th grader is using Usborne and 6th grader is using K12's Human Odyssey)

Science Labs (usually done with their daddy on saturdays)

 

Our school day lasts about 2 1/2 to 3 hours at most.

 

HTH,

Jen

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My 9yo and 11yo do all of their school independently. We use CLE Math and Language Arts. We use Sonlight for science, and we are using Sonlight's Readers for grade 3 and 4/5.

 

Over the years we have used different curricula, but I have always had my children working as independently as possible. It is the only way I can manage homeschooling along with taking care of pre-schoolers and the house and all the other stuff I have to do.

 

I think my kids have learned better this way.

 

Susan in TX

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My 11-year-old son does the following independently (I answer questions, of course!):

 

Math

Grammar

Spelling (unless there's a pretest or a final test, which I administer)

Science (unless there's an activity that clearly needs an adult's help)

Reading (he reads, does a page in a literature guide, then I grade and we discuss)

Logic exercises

 

The subjects that require more participation on my part:

 

History (I read the SOTW with them, then he's off to do his narration by himself)

 

Art

 

He'll be starting an online Latin class next week, not sure how much I'll have to do with him yet.

 

Looking at this breakdown, I think it's safe to say he does a lot independently with me right there to help him if need be.

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I'm still teaching my ds, 12. He thrives through interaction and learns quickly through direct instruction. I teach math, grammar, writing, science, Bible, geography, spelling, and history. He also has independent assignments and readings in those subjects.

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My just 10 year old 5th grader does some work pretty independently.

 

History: reading is independent, unless I decide to read aloud so younger can hear. Narrations are independent.

Math: Math Mammoth is independent, but we just starting using AoPS and I read the chapter with him, and he does the problems (mostly) on his own after.

Latin: again, he does this independently unless it's a particularly tough section. I drill him every day to make sure he's not forgetting things or neglecting sections.

Science: he reads and does section reviews independently. Labs are done together.

Spanish: I teach, then he does exercises or watches videos.

Spelling and grammar is independent.

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My 10yo 5th grader is mostly independent. She is using CLE math, Climbing to Good English, R&S Spelling, and CLE Reading. She comes to me with questions, plus sometimes in math she is supposed to read numbers to me (she just learned about trillions, so she is reading large numbers). Once a week I give her a spelling test. The materials we use are written to the student, so I spend very little time actually teaching her. This is a good thing, because she loves to work independently and get it done, and she has 5 younger siblings, 4 of whom I am also teaching. My 9yo 4th grader is semi-independent; he is also using materials that are written to the student, but he just has more questions than the 10yo does. My 2nd grader, Kindergartener, and preKindergartener all need a lot of my time, so I purposely chose materials that my oldest two could use mostly on their own.

 

We do the content subjects all together (Bible, science, and history), so of course I'm involved in that. We do that after lunch once the 3R's are mostly finished.

 

ETA: Even though my oldest two do much of their work independently, I'm still quite involved. I check their work almost immediately after they finish it and return it to them so they can fix any mistakes.

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My 9- and 11-yo work independently on nearly everything except for a question here and there. We do religious studies together as a family. I discuss Literature with them as in Teaching the Classics. I've even set up our AAS lessons to be done mostly independently. My 11yo would hate to have to wait on me to teach her everything. Also, with 6 kids, it is just not physically possible for me to teach all of my kids one-on-one. While I sometimes wish i had more one-on-one time with my older kids, I do believe it is good for them to work independently. My husband is a college prof and nearly all his students are incapable of reading their textbooks and getting anything out of them. They all expect to be spoon-fed everything.

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I listened to SWB's audio on independent learners, and it was very comforting. She recommended that 5th grade is the time to start transitioning them to independence, and she recommended starting with one subject. My dd has a daily assignment sheet which she uses to mark off what has been completed. As we work through her subjects, she writes in what she needs to do for independent work. I work one-on-one with her for two hours in the morning.

 

Our mornings look like this:

*I teach the math lesson and assign any worksheets for independent work.

*I teach Logic of English. (no independent work here)

*We work through 2 CWP together. (no independent work here)

*We discuss her daily writing assignment or watch an IEW SWI-A video. She writes down her independent IEW assignments.

 

After lunch she works on her independent work which is:

*Math worksheets assigned from the morning.

*Writing assignment assigned from the morning.

*Typing

*Read literature.

*Read religion and write short summary

*Read history or science. (Science starts next week, so it's just history for now.)

If she leave the table to complete this work, she takes a timer with her so she checks in every 15 min or so. I thought this was a great suggestion by SWB.

 

We regroup in the afternoon to review her independent work which looks like:

*Check the math worksheet.

*Review/discuss her IEW writing assignment

*Listen to literature narration.

*Review religion summary.

*Listen to history narration. Work through history summary or outline ala WTM. (The summaries and outlines will be independent work later this year.)

 

I really recommend SWB's audio lecture. I thought we were "behind" in independence, but after listening to the lecture, we are right on track. SWB gave me some great suggestions and tools to help move my dd into the next stage.

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We are switching to more independent work this year for the 6th grader, and the 3rd grader wants to be included in the design of the "big kid" day. So we have a lot of independent reading this year, and more in terms of "assignments." It's only been two weeks, though, so I can't comment on how it's going yet. Other than to say there is a great deal of complaining. More from me than from them, but a lot of complaining, nonetheless.

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My almost 12 year old is doing almost everything independently. I give her the assignments, answer questions and we go over her work and discuss it. I'd still read aloud to her but she hates it.. We start transitioning to independent work in about 4th grade, though my ds8 needs more interaction. I think it depends on the kids though my 6yo loves doing independent work.

Edited by Momma_Bear
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I may be in the minority, but I don't want my DD doing a whole lot independently. Maybe it's because she's been in ps until this year and we are just starting out, but I want to be teaching her myself. And I think she retains the information better this way. We just started Monday, and of course there are a few small things that she has been doing on her own, but for the most part I see myself teaching her, reading to her, and discussing everything with her. I don't have any other children, so I guess I have that luxury.

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it was at about that age when I really started feeling the pressure and constraint of teaching e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g and it was at about that time that my daughter began to feel the same pressures and constraints.

 

I was getting tired of always wearing my teacher hat and never really feeling as if I had time to put on my mom hat. I wanted to bake cookies and have them ready for after school so we could enjoy each other's company over cookies and milk instead of me harping at her to get her math done or her paper written.

 

I really don't know if this is what you're going through or not but it is what I was going through at that time.

 

Besides making sure our faith life was the most important, 5 things helped. I needed to stop harping; she needed more indy work; I needed to ask for help from my husband; we needed a shift in perspective reguarding my role; I needed to view the more mommy things as just as critical and worthy of doing as teacher things.

 

Harping . . . well, I used to be so fun. I was such a nice, easy-going, fun-loving mom but gradually, as my daughter grew older, I grew harpier. I had to take a look at that and figure out why. There was some mommy/daughter soul searching and, incidentally, it helped with the buy-in later. I won't say I never get harpy but we're all in it together and work together to not dawdle and when I see dawdling, I try to be encouraging instead of harping. I'm sure this is just a no-brainer for so many of you but I had begun to have a problem, I guess.

 

I began to look at my goals for her education and our curriculum to find ways that we could include more indy work. Some things are possible for us and some aren't. I w.a.n.t to teach writing and do not want that to be independent work. I don't think that I could like math being independent for us. On the other hand, vocabulary building and grammar (especially since I teach writing) were really the only things I felt comfortable letting go of completely. That really wasn't much.

 

So, then I asked for help. My husband teaches Math, now. That is H.U.G.E!!! Math was my worst subject b/c it is the most challenging for me while my daughter is quite mathy. I always felt . . . like the shackle to her maths future. I know that seems like only one subject but being relieved of that one, single subject is greater help than being relieved of several others.

I know that this isn't possible for many and I'm truly sorry about that because in addition to seeing an enormous load lifted from my shoulders, I also felt that my husband's appreciation of what I do increased and my daughter and husband, while they have always had a wonderful relationship, have only grown closer.

 

I also needed to change my perspective regarding my role in some of her subjects. In many ways my daughter doesn't necessarily need a teacher as much any more. She needs a mentor and ally much more than she needs a teacher for some things. Also, my daughter is homeschooled. That is something I never was and as a result, she is better educated than I ever was. We have started looking at our learning relationship as more of a mentor/protogee for some things (and sometimes I'm not the mentor) and more of allies for others. For example, we take Greek together. We're students together and we help each other along as fellow students. Yes, it's still ultimately my responsibility to provide this course and make sure that she has what she needs, et c but truly, we take the class together and **she tutors me!* This is a wonderful arrangement b/c she helps me understand better and in the act of tutoring me, she practices, increases and solidifies her own understanding. We have an outside teacher for this class and, again, that helps, too. We approach Science in this way as well but do not have an outside teacher. We use Apologia and the text is written directly to her. To study and increase her own understanding, she gives me an overview (sort of a tutorial, I guess) and marks the important information for me to read. We do the experiments together. As long as she tests well, we'll keep this arrangement. We're literature allies. We team up on the literature the world has to offer and tackle it. We read it together, talk about it, and learn about events, authors, history, whatever.

 

Somehow it was easy not to bake a batch of cookies or just settle down for a cozy snuggle b/c we were always so busy. We're really rather academically focused and it just seemed that we were always so busy with that that the cozier things had to take a back seat. Well, no, I think they are important and if they're important they need focus, too. I find that I really need to make sure that I do several things, just loving mommy things, every week even though my daughter is now a teen . . . especially now that she's a teen.

 

Sorry to get so rambly . . . my daughter isn't well and is sleeping so I have too much time on the internet.

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My 12yo does science, literature, math, Bible, typing, vocabulary, writing, logic, independently.

 

I teach her grammar about once a week (the rest of the time she does the exercises independently.

 

I read history aloud to her and her 14yo brother, and I do spelling with her (All About Spelling).

 

My 10yo is a struggling reader, so he only does math and vocabulary independently. He does Mad Libs with my 7yo for grammar. Everything else he does with me, but almost all of it is combined with the 7yo (she is in 3rd and he's in 4th, and she reads better than he does).

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my daughter is almost 11. she is fairly independent. we do science & history combined, so she is with me and her brother for those subjects. i also always have a read aloud going with her, usually a fiction book of her choice (she also reads independently, but she really enjoys my reading to her still). otherwise she works mainly on her own. of course i am available for her to answer questions and there are days that she needs me more & that's just fine. most of the things we use don't require a whole lot from me though.

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My 11 year old does Bible, math, science, history, literature, vocabulary, logic, writing, and Latin on his own. If he needs help, he comes to me. A couple of subjects get checked each day (writing and history when he needs to write something). Otherwise, we sit down together at the end of the week to look through things. We do some Bible, grammar and some logic together each day. Spelling we do once a week.

 

My 9 year old does Bible, math, science, and Latin on her own. We do history together with her younger brothers. Some Bible, grammar, and, writing we do together each day. Spelling we do once a week.

 

My 6 and 5 year old boys do everything with me. (That is why the olders do so much on their own.:))

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My mum had me doing assignments independently very early, starting with sending me off to do a worksheet alone once I could read fairly well, so grade 2? She marked it afterwards and I had the freedom to come to her if I got stuck, she also still did all my science and history with me etc, but it got me used to the idea. By around grade 6 she didn't really teach me anymore so much as supervise me teaching myself. She would explain some things if I got stuck, but much of the responsibility for my education transferred to me, along with the freedom to structure my own day, and select my assignments (to a point). A lot of this will depend on the maturity of your child of course, and you can't expect it overnight, but in my case, the responsibility and freedom it gave me made me more self-motivated and helped me to become a responsible teenager.

 

The curriculum here is important too. Some curriculum talk to the teacher while others talk to the student. My mother always chose curriculum that was written to be completed independently, if a book had a 'teacher guide' it probably wasn't going to be independent enough for self-teaching. But there is plenty out there from ages 8 or 9 up which are written for students to do alone.

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I was reading a great thread that shanvan posted on the General board, about systems and routines that make schooling easier. It made me wonder how much your 10- to 12-year-olds do independently. I'm finding that I'm still teaching for every subject. Math: I teach, and then she is assigned independent work to do on her own. MCT: I read aloud, we discuss and do an exercise together or I assign something for her to do on her own. Science: I teach the lesson, then we discuss/do the project together. SOTW: I read aloud and we discuss, and both girls do the map. I may assign additional reading. I don't really see this pattern changing anytime soon. Are others having their kids do subjects entirely independently? Can you tell me how that works for you? Do you feel they learn as well? What resources are you using? Thanks!

 

I haven't read all the other responses so I may be redundant here but anyway...

 

I have both and 12 and a 10yo. My 12yo works almost totally independently.

 

This is what she does alone:

 

- Saxon Math 7/6. She reads the lesson, does the practice problems, and self-checks her answers. If she gets any wrong then she comes to see me but this doesn't happen very often. Then she goes ahead and does the whole problem set. I mark it later.

 

- Spelling: she works through a unit a week from Successful Spelling looking up the words, using them in sentences, and doing the exercises. I test her on Friday.

 

- LA: she is using an English workbook that is designed for independent work. It covers grammar and usage, reading comp, and writing skills. She does this 3x a week. She also does free-writing twice a week in her school time and a copywork/dictation from Bravewriter's The Arrow (obviously she needs me for the dictation ;) ) She rewrites the passage from memory on Friday.

 

- Social Studies: Working through a workbook but stopping to do project pages in a big project book after each section.

 

- Science: She is reading through The Story of Inventions and answering the questions in her science journal after each chapter.

 

- Art: Artistic Pursuits

 

- Music: piano and violin practice.

 

Together we do...

 

- Mystery of History 3x a week with older sister. I read-aloud then she goes to do written narration and lapbooking.

 

- Apologia Astronomy reading 2x a week with younger siblings. She could read it herself but it is fun doing a few things together. She then does own lapbooking/journal work.

 

- We still have read-aloud with everyone after lunch but that is just something that we love to do.

 

That's about it!! Dd12 has not been a natural independent worker. It has taken time to build her up to this stage but she is doing well with it now. Having a written schedule helps a lot. I give her a planning sheet each week so she knows what to do each day. She also has written out what to have done for the term so that she knows where she is headed.

 

My 10yo can be a bit of a drifter so she works under my nose at the dining room table to keep her on task. ;). She is, however, doing a certain amount independently as in I am not actually teaching her the lessons. She does her math, spelling, phonics revsion, English, and most Social Studies independently. She also freewrites 2x a week. This gives her plenty to do independently. She then joins her brother for SOTW, and two siblings for Astronomy as above. I find this a really good balance. She too has a weekly planning sheet so that she can see what to do and cross it off as complete. On the back of her sheet is her goal in each subject area for the week. Each day then is part of working towards the weekly goal. Hope that helps.

Edited by LindaOz
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A lot!

 

My son does math, grammar, programming, typing, geography, and most of his Greek independently. I go over Math mistakes and do mental math with him, and a friend tutors him in Greek.

 

But- you need to know that my son is focused and diligent. I would not expect this of all kids.

 

With my son, I do Spelling and CWP. We also do Science and history together as a family. We work tOgether through the Writing Process, too.

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My just turned 10 year old needs me to teach all his lessons for each subject.

 

He has to do his independent reading.

 

He also has ETC workbook and some independent worksheets a couple times a week. But, I had to scale back on his independent work because he has a hard time focusing as it is.

 

So, I am doing more work with him, which he needs. We are doing more oral and dry erase board stuff and less workbook stuff. He needed less multiple steps that a workbook requires.

 

He also craves interaction.

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For me independent means on their own. I do not teach my dd spelling. She does the lesson 4 days a week. She knows to do section A on Mon, Section B on Tues and so forth. When she has trouble with a vocabulary word we look it up together and talk about it, etc. But she is perfectly capable of picking up the book at 10:30 (her spelling time according to our schedule) and doing it on her own. Then on Friday I give a test and dictation.

 

A lot goes into our schedule and curric. I have to teach her how to work each new program and how I want the skills subjects. But once I have explained that she can do that herself. I spend time training her what I want her to do. Then she does it. She has a calender and a watch to help her manage her time. Of course I am there to watch over if I notice she has gone over time on something. And I can decide if the lesson needs to be homework that night or if she can just continue it the next day, depending on the lesson.

 

Right now, the first week of science we all worked together. I read aloud, asked discussion questions out loud, showed her how I wanted her to answer the questions in full sentences, and how to find the birds in her color in field guide and read it and color them in. The next week I checked her questions after she did them on her own. We discussed how to improve and she corrected, and now she can read the book, answer the questions, and fill in her bird guide on her own. So yes, independent.

 

Some subjects I teach for a few minutes and she goes to do the work on her own (latin and English) That is not independent.

 

But she can pick up her spanish book, listen to her C.D, practice the vocab, come talk to me in Spanish for a few minutes, then go do her workbook on her own. I consider that independent.

 

Does that help?

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My just turned 10 year old needs me to teach all his lessons for each subject.

 

He has to do his independent reading.

He also has ETC workbook and some independent worksheets a couple times a week. But, I had to scale back on his independent work because he has a hard time focusing as it is.

 

So, I am doing more work with him, which he needs. We are doing more oral and dry erase board stuff and less workbook stuff. He needed less multiple steps that a workbook requires.

 

He also craves interaction.

 

:iagree:

This is where we are. DS10 needs the interaction. He does some work 'on his own' but it is with me still in the room with him. I am there if he needs me. We have 2 desks facing each other and he works at his while I am doing something (bills, bible study, checking the forum :D, or reading) at mine.

I teach almost every subject, but he is able to do his math page independently.

I am enjoying this time with him. Before too long he will be working a lot of it on his own, so I am trying to cherish it before it is gone. :001_smile:

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Working independently isn't a focus at our house.

I think kids learn best through discussions, especially literature, history and science.

Plus, I have an only child that needs interaction. I have selected curriculum that fits his learning style, which is probably more teacher intensive. Ex: MCT vocab, grammar and lit; AAS; SOTW. We might sit and talk about vocabulary for an hour, as DS relates different words to real-life experiences. I can't imagine missing out on that.

 

He can be very independent, though. He does math and geography on his own. And he is a great 'un-schooler,' in that he is always reading or studying on his own. He also takes a physics class outside the home and he does all of his homelwork for that class without assistance.

 

We are learning some subjects together, like Latin, Greek and history, so I don't want him to be independent with our core studies. He does read and study those topics on his own.

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We are switching to more independent work this year for the 6th grader [...] Other than to say there is a great deal of complaining.

 

This is us this year. I've been increasing the amount of "independent" work for my oldest over the last few years. This year, I expect her to be independent (know what the next assignment is, do it, move onto the next subject) for her science & history. I am making myself available for 15 minutes either at the beginning or end of her history/science time for questions, discussion, or to go over what she's going to do or already did. We've only started science for this so far & results are mixed.

 

Overall, I use a lot of teacher-intensive resources, so it is hard to have her independent for much. I'm trying to turn me-teaching into us-discussing for as many subjects as possible.

 

My 9 yr old isn't independent at all. She's regressed into a 4 year old most days. I'm grouping her with my 6 yr old. My 6 yr old's personality is geared more for independent work, BTW. I can set her to work on figuring out a math concept (Miquon-style) and sit nearby working with one of the other kids & she can complete her work quickly & well this way. Totally different than the first two kids...

 

Harping . . . well, I used to be so fun. I was such a nice, easy-going, fun-loving mom but gradually, as my daughter grew older, I grew harpier. I had to take a look at that and figure out why. There was some mommy/daughter soul searching and, incidentally, it helped with the buy-in later. I won't say I never get harpy but we're all in it together and work together to not dawdle and when I see dawdling, I try to be encouraging instead of harping. I'm sure this is just a no-brainer for so many of you but I had begun to have a problem, I guess.

 

I need to meditate on this one. Some days, I'm a harpy!

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I like doing most stuff with my almost 12 y/o. Math she does pretty independently most of the time though I help as needed. Spelling/grammar/vocab type stuff she does independently. Some of her reading is independent.

 

Social Studies (Oak Meadow), Science, Story of the World, Art, we usually do together, and we still do a lot of reading together for fun.

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Working independently isn't a focus at our house.

I think kids learn best through discussions, especially literature, history and science.

 

:iagree: I've noticed that my kids learn so much more when we work through something together. They do their reading on their own, but that's about it.

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My 12yo completes most of his schoolwork independently.

 

Math is Teaching Textbooks Algebra I, so he watches the lecture and completes the problems in each lesson on his own in his math notebook. I just grade it afterwards.

 

We're using IEW for writing so he watches the lesson (if appropriate) and completes the writing assignments as dictated by the curriculum and I grade them.

 

He's finishing up Spelling Power (Levels J & K this year) so I do give him his spelling test every week.

 

He's using Winston Advanced for Grammar and he completes this on his own.

 

He's using Rainbow Science Year 2 for science and he reads the text, answers the questions at the end of the page and writes down any definitions in his science notebook. He has a lab every week, which is my husband's area of instruction. So they do this on Saturday mornings at the kitchen table together.

 

We're using Sonlight Core 100 for history (which uses Joy Hakim's The History of US) & literature and he completes all of his reading assignments on his own.

 

He's using Dubosque's I Can Draw Books for art and he does his drawings independently.

 

We work together on Getting Started with Latin as in I review vocabulary with him and then he completes the translations on his own and writes them in his Latin notebook.

 

He then practices piano on his own so he's ready for his weekly lesson on Monday with the piano teacher.

 

I think that's it!

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I probably should do a spin off question, but what does one mean with independent? Meaning they teach themselves? They crack the book and just do the next thing? You show them something, assign something, then walk away?

 

I'm pretty surprised 10 year olds are completely on their own (or mostly on their own).

 

Just curious.

 

Granted, my son is older than 10, but it means that I give him a list of the days assignments: TT Lesson 12 or Sonlight Week 2 Day 3, etc. and he knows to get out the books and turn to that lesson and do the work.

 

He's able to come to me, of course, if he has any questions or if he doesn't understand something.

 

It's also something that I've had to do, in our homeschool, out of necessity.

 

My 10yo has special needs and I need to work with her, one-on-one, for every subject, every day.

 

Because my 12yo is able to work without me, I'm able to accomplish a full-day of school with both children.

 

(It's also easier because my 12yo is advanced for his age -- he started Kindergarten at 3 and has steadily progressed from there. My older two children were not "gifted" and I doubt they would've been able to handle this level of independent work when they were 12.)

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Last year I had a 10- and 12-year-old. The 12-year-old was mostly independent, the 10-year-old about half independent. I actually sought different things to do with the 12-year-old because I thought he was getting a little TOO independent, finishing certain subjects before I had a chance to engage in any boring monologues!

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I wouldn't say that we focus on working independently but it has just fallen into a pattern where all of mine do about 60% of their work independently. More on some days and less on others. :)

 

My 12yo (7th grade) does math, spelling, literature, geography, and vocabulary on his own. We are doing Analytical Grammar this year so I go over the lesson with him and the previous day's work then he does the new assignment on his own. He's taking a science class this year so I'm not as involved in that. And we do Sonlight for history so I am heavily involved in the reading.

 

I'm always nearby to help with questions from all the kids. I don't think it's that important to focus on working alone but I think it gradually begins to happen that way. Also, teaching 3 is impossible if I have to do actual lessons with all of them daily. And I've found that gradually getting them a bit more indpendent made the shift to high school work easier.

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Most subjects they are independent.

What we do together is

some hands on projects

discussions on what we are reading/writing

games for review

field trips

Just realized I get to do only the stuff I considered "fun" in school.

As my kids hit high school age (two in college) they pretty much did all their work on their own. Occasionally they would need help and we would do a few min of tutoring.

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Thank you, everyone. I really appreciate the time you took detailing your family's activities/goals for me. I'll admit that I was very surprised by how much kids do independently as well, but it got me started thinking about what I could bump over to my DD10's domain. There are a few things I'd be comfortable handing over to her, and that would really (REALLY!) take the edge of my days!

 

I discussed the issue with her, and she really wants me teaching her still. Plus, I enjoy teaching her, because I enjoy learning/re-learning with her! But that doesn't mean I can't start the process with a few of the less complicated subjects we'll have this year.

 

I'm glad I asked this now, as I work through planning our school year!

 

Thanks again, all :D

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I have always worked towards making my children capable, independent people, from changing the sheets on their beds to making their own meals, and that includes school. Obviously I am available to answer questions and explain anything they don't understand, but both kids work independently on pretty much everything. I print out a weekly schedule for them so they know what to do every day of the week. As they complete their work, they turn it in to me and check it off in their planner. I check their work (usually within an hour or two) and give it back to them for corrections. We'll also discuss any problems they may have had or things they didn't seem to understand. Once the corrections are made to my satisfaction, I check it off in their planner.

 

I started this system a year or two ago and I am really glad for it now. As a newly divorced single mom having to work for the first time in 12 years, I am pretty well and truly overwhelmed. I wouldn't be able to keep homeschooling if they couldn't handle most of it on their own.

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