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How much personal accountability for an almost 11 year old?

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My 10 (almost 11) yo has occasional glimmers of great accountability. For example, yesterday DH and I both worked so his 20 yo brother was here watching the kids and DS10 completed almost all of his work without so much as a nudge from anyone. Other days he needs his hand held and constant prodding to get through a single math lesson, let alone the rest of his work.


In my ideal world, DS10 would work his way through his list every day, pulling me in for discussions, questions, and advice but not needing me to sit right there with him every step of the way. I know he's only a 5th grader but I feel like much of what he has for curriculum was chosen in part so he could be somewhat independent with his work. For example, CLE Math, LLATL, Pentime, and Harcourt Reading Skills should all be relatively hands off for me.


Am I expecting too much? What do you expect from your 5th grader/10-11 year old?

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Am I expecting too much?

Only you can answer that for yourself.


What do you expect from your 5th grader/10-11 year old?

I am extremely realistic about what independent work I expect from my kids. I work with the criteria that I must be at least as good a teacher in PS would be. If a teacher gave my kids a pile of books and walked off - I would have them fired. So, I won't do that to my kids. Yes, I am training them to handle more things themselves - but for me (and this is me!) I think expecting a 10-14 year old to manage their own learning is unfair. I am a homeschool mom - so I must teach, encourage, train, and guide. Not dump and run. I am NOT saying you (or others) do that - but for me I have to FIGHT that urge some days and MAKE myself sit still and be there to teach. It's hard for me some days - especially after those wonderful days you mention! I want them to sit quietly and work through a list and absorb everything - but that's not my life!! LOL!!


I print a weekly list for my kids of everything that needs to be done. We work through it daily. I work out every morning and the kids get started on chores and some schoolwork while I'm exercising. We do Veritas Press online self paced history - so that's a simple one for them to start on their own. Often they'll do that while eating breakfast. We also do BJU Science online, so again, that's pretty easy to get done without more than, "Hey guys, do science now". I still grade and check everything and I'm around when they do the video (though some days I go shower, or whatever). Math, LA, bible, writing - we do together. With my DD in Saxon Algebra 1/2 we both work all the problems together. I have a notebook where I do my work and she has her own. We can then easily go over anything she struggles with and I have a tight handle on which problems are annoying/challenging/etc. It makes it more enjoyable for me to be doing the work with her. I try hard to stay up on grading and review anything they missed so nothing piles up. Some weeks I fail.


I am all for working toward autonomy, but I think it's unfair to put too great a burden on kids when it's really our job to help and mentor them. To actually 'teach' them. To be there to help them learn and guide them. It's a struggle for me some days, but hopefully I am finding a balance to it.

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I don't think kids that age usually work well without consistant encouragement.


I also don't believe 'If he can do it one day, he can do it every day.' All kids have growing skills, and the 'growing edge' of those skills are always fluctuating. Some days you can see 100% performance: a well rested child, motivated, happy, interested -- everything ideal, so you see something great. That doesn't need to raise the bar for every day. Stick with his 'average' performance for setting expectations (but take note of what exactly might have contributed to his stellar day).

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