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Asking in here, do your young kids do independent work?


a27mom
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I wrote a spin-off question in the prek and K subforum I probably shouldn't have asked. I was rather surprised that almost all posters on one thread said that they directly supervise/sit with their children with all schoolwork, some even every time they are using a pencil until about 3rd grade. They were most adamant about the importance of this.

 

So I asked if people don't allow schoolwork at other times, and if they somehow keep them from writing etc... the rest of the day. Didn't go over well... I really wasn't meaning to be funny, just to understand the tactic/thought process.

 

So I will ask over here, do your early elementary dks do independent work? Meaning you make sure they know the instructions/purpose and then you let them write or do math problems while you go in the next room to do the dishes etc...? My daughter always shoos me away once she gets the idea. And do your littles ever do school type work spontaneously? (I would really have to lay down the law or forbid all writing utensils to keep my girls from writing without me hmmmm.... )

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some kids need more supervision than others and some are naturally more independent than others. my youngest, who i started schooling in 1st, wouldnt do anything independently except T4L. His language skills were WAY behind, so he really didnt have the ability for the most part, unless it was computer based. even now, he does computer based math independently, and he reads his science independently, and does freewrite. today he was doing some scratch programming from a book, and he worked on it with no help (except asking to spell a few words) for over an hour, and that was pretty unusual.

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Btw I do understand that lots of young kids can't and/or won't work independently. I just got the impression that the view by many was that they shouldn't work independently. I kind of felt like I was missing something lol

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no, i've heard that a lot too - that your kids really need to interact with you to get the most out of material (thats older tho). I've seen posts where someone said their 3rd grader wanted to take the books up to his room and work alone, and some ppl said that you should never let them work alone, they can get in bad habits by doing things wrong and you have to supervise them all the time. IMO, as soon as they are ready and willing to work independently, they should. obviously check in with them a lot, show interest, discuss things that are interesting, and some subjects and some curricula require more teacher interaction than others, but . . .idk. some people have strong opinions

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All kids are different. If your kid is learning, and they're getting plenty of quality time with you otherwise, don't listen to what people say. My kids have always been extremely independent. We do Latin translations together and we do Bible discussions together, but most other stuff is done independently and has been pretty much from the start. (My younger requires more time with me than my older, but really it's just personality-based, not need-based.)

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I have my kids work independently on anything that they are able to do on their own as early as kindergarten. I am usually in the same room, but working with someone else or maybe correcting papers. I am available to help as needed and answer questions.

 

Obviously, with a pre-reader/early reader, this may be just a couple of things on their own. But I want them to learn early on that they don't need me by their side in order to be able to work.

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As soon as my dd could read she started working independently. That was age 4 or so. This also meant she could and did read quick directions for ds if he needed help. Each day we had our SL time. I was fully there and totally engaged each and every day for that. Both dc's liked workbooks. They also enjoyed variety. We had at least 3 or 4 math programs always going. Several language arts workbooks. You get the picture.

 

Each day I made "stack of stuff" for each dc. What I wanted done most went on top. I opened the workbook to the proper page and circled thd page numbers to be done. Each book was meant to take 10 to 15 minutes. Puzzles, coloring, art all mixed in. They loved really big piles.

 

I was always availiable. But generally not hands on unless a project was going to get messy. I definately directed their days. Manipulatives were ready if needed etc. It worked well. We rarely did the whole pile. We did get sidetracked. I generally had a stop time planned for outdoor activities or indoor play.

 

Honestly my ds hitting puberty and losing his ability to concentrate has made me more hands on then I remember being then!

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I *WISH* my kids would work independently in the primary grades, but they only do reading and "fun" workbooks (logic puzzles, analogies, etc.) on their own at that age. It isn't until about 3rd grade that I can actually give an assignment and not have to be sitting right there to keep them focused.

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My son does some stuff on his own like his AAS Homophones book, Singapore workbook and CWP, he does his fact sheet , copy work and handwriting. He reads aloud, requires very little assistance with some place and people names. He does his Latin memory work in LL, and translations in GSWG. He also does his memory work for FFL, and geography songs on his own. I love it, as it gives me time to work with his sister, and I just correct the work later.

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I *WISH* my kids would work independently in the primary grades, but they only do reading and "fun" workbooks (logic puzzles, analogies, etc.) on their own at that age. It isn't until about 3rd grade that I can actually give an assignment and not have to be sitting right there to keep them focused.

 

Logic was the first subject dd would do on her own, too! Now she'll do more on her own but we go over it together afterwards and I am close by, either in the room or (when she gets in nobody-distract-me-in-any-way mode) in the next room.

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I was rather surprised that almost all posters on one thread said that they directly supervise/sit with their children with all schoolwork, some even every time they are using a pencil until about 3rd grade. They were most adamant about the importance of this.

 

So I asked if people don't allow schoolwork at other times, and if they somehow keep them from writing etc... the rest of the day. Didn't go over well... I really wasn't meaning to be funny, just to understand the tactic/thought process.

 

I went and looked at the original post, and everyone who answered seemed to me like they were answering in regards to school work only. My 4yo loves to practice writing, and I let her write to her heart's content without me if she's doing it in her free time. If she is writing for schoolwork, though, she writes by me so I can correct her letter formation. NOTE to others reading: My 4yo doesn't have any schoolwork, but if she is voluntarily participating with my Ker's lesson, then she has the same rules as my Ker.

 

So I will ask over here, do your early elementary dks do independent work? Meaning you make sure they know the instructions/purpose and then you let them write or do math problems while you go in the next room to do the dishes etc...? My daughter always shoos me away once she gets the idea. And do your littles ever do school type work spontaneously? (I would really have to lay down the law or forbid all writing utensils to keep my girls from writing without me hmmmm.... )

 

I let my kids have as much independence as they can handle. My 5th grader can't handle much independence, and she works better at my elbow. So she is at elbow most of her day still. My 3rd grader works well by himself, so a lot of his schoolwork is independent. My Ker is at elbow since he would completely forget that he was supposed to be doing independent work if left to his own devices. He has the focus and memory of a gnat. None of my kids would do seat work spontaneously b/c seat work at our house is hard. If it's easy and fun, it's not school work. KWIM?

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My kids do independent work as I cannot sit with the 3 of hem at the same time unless they are doing the same things which they are not. I do not keep them from writing when they want to outside of school time. They write and draw and do math puzzles all the time.

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a little rant: i really don't like how we automatically "cover" for ourselves and our children when they are young. If they want to, and are able, they should be allowed to "do school" at any pace/level they want and are able to at any age! my son when he was 2-3, LOVED doing "school" (they were just those kumon tracing books, pre-writing stuff, and shape/color flashcards, etc), but still. he would beg for school time, and i obliged, because there was no harm, he loved it, and it was another way for us to bond (2-3 yo activities get real repetitive, real fast lol)

 

I find myself, and i read all the time on these forums, people justifying what they are doing with their children with regards to homeschooling. it drives me crazy! parent's know their kids, and if a kid wants to work independently at 5/6, then why not? or if all he/she wants to do is math for HOURS everyday, and ends up advanced because you cater to the want, people will typically assume that you are "pushing" them too hard, and that they have no childhood or happiness in their life.

 

UGH! sorry i just hate that this is the way it is these days in our world. my rant is over. apologies to anyone who took any of this the wrong way. i dont mean anything by it, i swear :)

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My ds7 does this independently:

 

Life of Fred

Reads a chapter in the bible.

Reads from a fictional book on his own.

Science workbook sheets.

Grammar worksheets.

 

But, I also do with him, usually sitting side by side:

Math-u-see

I read a chapter of proverbs and we all discuss ds10, too

We read the science text together and discuss.

We read the grammar lesson together and discuss.

Plus many other subjects that don't have any independent work available, such as etiquette or our Latin or spelling program.

 

If you read carefully, you'll see that I most of his homework is supplemental to what I'm actively teaching. I don't give him the science text to read alone and the science worksheet to do alone. I would not trust him to be letting it all sink in without some input from me. His independent work builds on what we we do together--we read and discuss until I'm satisfied he has understanding, and then he does his worksheet alone.

 

Basically, if he doesn't actually do the independent work, it will not hinder his education. It's just for reinforcement, and I suppose I could ditch it all, but I like it that he's doing all that stuff independently.

 

Now, if he's being a stinker and not doing his work for whatever reason, then I'll sit next to him to make him get it done.

 

As long as I am actively teaching, independent work is fine. But I would not hand off the curriculum to my kid and tell him to "take it away" and check at the end of the month if he'd done all his science by himself.

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My DS is a really hard worker even if I say so myself. And we are a completely TV free family. So, it takes a lot to keep him stimulated and engaged. Therefore, there are a lot of times that I let my DS work by himself - after instructing him on what needs to be done, circling the pages of work he needs to do and making sure he had all the writing implements ready etc. I do not walk away. I am available if he needs me - I do work related stuff on my computer in the same room most of the time or make a meal in the kitchen where he can see me through the open doorway. He knows to shout "I need help" as soon as he comes across things beyond his ability :)

And we encourage working alone because it makes him an independent thinker and it is also in the same style as his PS where one poor teacher works with 24 kids. But, we drop everything we are doing to answer questions, bounce ideas around with him to help him find an answer if he hits a bump. And discuss his answers with him when reviewing the completed work and go over items that he could have done better and make him correct anything that was not done to our satisfaction.

Two things that I would never, ever let him do by himself is handwriting practice and artwork. He has the most horrible handwriting in a 5 year old that I have seen, has poor letter formation, letter reversals and colors all over the page no matter where the picture outline he is coloring is. For these I sit by his elbow with eraser and an eagle eye.

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I'm not sure how we'd function if they didn't work independently. Or how I'd get anything else done, for that matter. For two of my kids, I review the concept of that days math lesson, make sure they understand the instructions of the assignment and then let them loose. They can take it anywhere in the house they'd like to do it. They just bring it back when they're done, I check it and they re-work their mistakes. One of my kids does need me to sit with her through the entire process, but math is her weakest subject right now. I do the same sort of thing for various other subjects and my eldest does some work on the computer, which she does independently. History, art & science we do all together. But yeah, I totally turn mine loose whenever possible while I get dishes, laundry, mopping, or a free-lance writing project or my own distance learning assignments done too.

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I had two who worked well independently in early elementary. In math, would give them the lesson or let them read through then go over anything they needed to go over, leave them with the problems, then sit with them to go over them. They would study spelling words, write stories, do art projects, etc... on their own. My other ds needed someone to sit next to him to get his work done.

 

I think it depends on the child but I tend allow mine to be independent in things as soon as they are able. Like others have said, it allowed me to get things cleaned up around the house. I was always nearby if help is needed and we also did plenty of one-on-one work, too.

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I wrote a spin-off question in the prek and K subforum I probably shouldn't have asked. I was rather surprised that almost all posters on one thread said that they directly supervise/sit with their children with all schoolwork, some even every time they are using a pencil until about 3rd grade. They were most adamant about the importance of this.

 

You're reading more into that thread than I was... Maybe because you haven't experienced the typical "at elbow" stage which is the norm with young kids. Your kids are probably just more independent than most kids. That's fine. Nothing wrong with it. The original question was from a mom whose child still needed her "at elbow", and the mom was afraid that she was developing a bad habit. The answers were in response to that question. NO, it is not developing a bad habit to be "at elbow" with a PreK/K aged child. If you listen to SWB's lecture on independence, she talks about this stage being normal for young kids, and how most kids will start to get more independent around 4th or 5th grade. Obviously, some kids will be outside the norm. But people were responding to the OP's question. Most little kids need their parents "at elbow" in those early years.

 

The comments from people not letting their kids hold a pencil for *school work* without mom watching were from moms whose kids were still learning proper pencil grip and letter formation. You may not have dealt with this issue, but I have. When I pulled my son out of school, where someone hadn't watched him closely while he was learning those things, he had a thumb wrap (which I haven't been able to correct) and he had really funky letter formation that actually made it harder for him to write. I had to sit with him and watch every single stroke of his pencil to help him learn new formation and remind him to start at the top or to go a certain direction. It took about 3-4 weeks of that watching him like a hawk, and then his letter formation was corrected and I could relax a bit. So the moms watching letter formation and pencil grip are trying to avoid bad writing habits, because many kids won't correct themselves.

 

So I asked if people don't allow schoolwork at other times, and if they somehow keep them from writing etc... the rest of the day. Didn't go over well... I really wasn't meaning to be funny, just to understand the tactic/thought process.

 

 

I think people were wondering if you were serious because no one had mentioned not letting their children write or do schoolwork at other times. That wasn't even implied by anyone. Not sure where you got that idea.

 

So I will ask over here, do your early elementary dks do independent work? Meaning you make sure they know the instructions/purpose and then you let them write or do math problems while you go in the next room to do the dishes etc...? My daughter always shoos me away once she gets the idea. And do your littles ever do school type work spontaneously? (I would really have to lay down the law or forbid all writing utensils to keep my girls from writing without me hmmmm.... )

 

 

So far, both of my older two kids have needed me "at elbow" in the younger years during work that was actual school work. I challenge them enough that yes, they really do need me there. My youngest likes to work independently right now, but he's doing little workbooks that are easy and fun. When he gets to actual school work that is challenging, I don't know that he'll be wanting to do it himself.

 

It is developmentally normal for PreK/K aged children to need mom to be "at elbow". That is what people were trying to convey in those threads. They weren't saying that you are doing something wrong if your children are able to work independently. They're just saying they don't *expect* a child that age to work independently. Just like I don't expect a 3 year old child to be ready to blend/read. That doesn't mean that some 3 year old children don't blend and read, kwim? There are children that are outside what is developmentally normal. The original seat work question was basically asking what was developmentally normal. If a child at age 5 or 6 needs mom "at elbow" to do school work, I don't even blink in eye. That is developmentally normal. The mom should not worry at that point that her child will never work independently. You are forming foundations at that stage, and too much independent work could result in a child that has taught himself bad habits or missed some major concept. So yes, I watch my K'er like a hawk when he's doing handwriting, because he is learning the basics right now. I probably won't have to worry as much with my youngest - he is forming many of his letters correctly already. My job will probably be easier in that department (<insert happy dance here>). I will still be close by though, because that is an age where bad habits can develop quickly. In other subjects, like math, I want mistakes to be corrected right away. It's not that meaningful to hand a paper back to a 5 year old and say they missed 3 quesitons - correct them. Those problems are already out of their mind, and they may even have imprinted the wrong answer - like 2+3=4. I don't want that to happen. I want work to be corrected right then and there at that age, so they aren't seeing incorrect things for long periods of time. As they get older, they can handle more time between work and correction. My 3rd grader will do ok if I hand his work back later that day. Now if I handed it back 5 days later, he'd probably not remember the original work and be looking at me like this: :blink:

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The thing I've found that makes it useful to supervise is insisting on quality, particularly with handwriting. If they get in the habit of forming letters incorrectly then you have more work to undo the damage. I do most work orally or supervising my 7yr old, but I definitely leave the room too. And he's most independent one! I love how if I am with another child he will actually figure out what he can do next - yea! The older two would just run off and play....still. It's a personality thing. He will also grab a math book to work in for fun, and I don't interfere with that :)

Brownie

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My 6 year old reads some things independently and does most worksheets independently. My dyslexic 11 year old is only able to be independent of me for reading science and history assignments because I record myself reading them and he follows along in the book. He never did school independently until this school year when I started doing that. My 13 year old has been doing thing independetly since she was 5 just like her younger brother.

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I think people were wondering if you were serious because no one had mentioned not letting their children write or do schoolwork at other times. That wasn't even implied by anyone. Not sure where you got that idea.

 

 

 

I did reread the thread and I did notice what may have been a source of my confusion. We don't really have a official school time, we school throughout the day. I think I am a bit more "relaxed" ( homeschooling philosophy speaking) and it didn't occur to me that others did a very structured school time for K. We "do school" off and on all day. We do some writing, reading, and math everyday, there are certain skills we are working on, but I don't have specific assignments to complete. Most actual intentional planned ahead school stuff we do is mom involved activities. Seat work is more extra stuff that my daughter enjoys.

 

It did really seem that a few of the posters were saying that you shouldn't let them do any work alone.

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I challenge them enough that yes, they really do need me there.

 

Boscopup's entire post was similar to my experience, but I thought this part was especially important.

 

I as "at elbow" with my dd in those early years partly because of thumb wrap/letter formation issues. I was also "at elbow" because our schooling has never consisted of mainly workbook type activities. Even if there had been no writing issues, there still would have been reading beyond her level and ideas that were new and wonderful (or terrible!) that needed to be shared, processed, torn apart and put back together. That's a mighty tall order for anyone to do alone for long periods of time--especially a five or six-year-old. It's also not something they are always getting from their friends. I think it's vital these types of mind stretching discussions happen early and often. (Or at least it's vital in some situations. ;) )

 

Something else Boscopup mentioned was time between work and correction. In the early years this time should be as short as possible. Mistakes quickly become ingrained habits. My 11yo dd now benefits from some time in-between her writing and the correction process. On Friday I handed back the paper she had done the previous day. I hadn't read it, so I had made no corrections. Within a few minutes she had covered the paper with red marks. Not long ago, I would have been "at elbow" correcting as she wrote.

 

As a side note, this is also why we continue reading aloud. The vocab should always be increasing in difficulty and pronunciation should be corrected early on. If we're not frequently looking up words to make sure we're pronouncing them correctly, then I need to re-evaluate our book selections. (Our readings are now at a level that there should be words I don't know either.)

 

So, for writing I was "at elbow". For the rest of the day we were often reading side-by-side or discussing face-to-face. There wasn't much "work" for her to do independently.

 

I think caution is advised when linking independence with being more advanced or mature. Level of work, expectations, educational philosophies, personality, number of children, and other factors matter just as much--if not more.

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My six year old needs me "at elbow" for most things. Paradoxically, hand writing is one of the few things I will let her do unsupervised. She has an excellent pencil grip etc, she really is just working on building her stamina (and being able to stay on task without mama ;) ).

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I did reread the thread and I did notice what may have been a source of my confusion. We don't really have a official school time, we school throughout the day. I think I am a bit more "relaxed" ( homeschooling philosophy speaking) and it didn't occur to me that others did a very structured school time for K. We "do school" off and on all day. We do some writing, reading, and math everyday, there are certain skills we are working on, but I don't have specific assignments to complete. Most actual intentional planned ahead school stuff we do is mom involved activities. Seat work is more extra stuff that my daughter enjoys.

 

 

At K age, my kids just don't even have enough "school stuff" to take very long. My K'er right now has about 10 minutes of phonics/reading practice (must be done with me), 10-15 minutes of math (I teach and stay at elbow to correct any mistakes immediately), and about 5 minutes of handwriting (I stay at elbow to make sure letter formation is correct, give tips on how to make a letter neater, etc.)... then we have about 20ish minutes of reading aloud - just me and him, plus Life of Fred elementary series. That's it for his school. I can't think of anything he could do independently that is school related. He writes stories and draws pictures and such outside of school time, but he really has very little to do that is school related. Most of my school day is spent with my 3rd grader who has considerably more work to do. ;) I can't do the on and off school day anymore like I could when my oldest was in 1st. We ramped things up this year, and we'll ramp up more next year in 4th. My middle son will still have only about 1-1.5 hours of school next year in 1st, so his day will be easy going still.

 

I think maybe you have a different definition of seat work than most folks here, and that may be the source of the confusion. I consider seat work to be their math assignment (ie, we teach a lesson in math and then have a workbook page to do for practice) or some handwriting practice (a workbook or copywork or something). For an older child, writing things from a textbook or filling in a worksheet would be seat work. I don't include non-assigned things in "seat work". If my oldest pulls out a Grid Perplexors book and works through that for fun, I don't consider it seat work. I didn't assign it. I don't require logic at his age. That's just a fun workbook he can do whenever he wants, just like he can read a book of his choosing any time he wants.

 

In the original seat work thread, the OP was asking about her child doing assigned school work, like a math worksheet. That was the seat work she was talking about, not her child going off to write a story on her own outside of assigned school work. :)

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At K age, my kids just don't even have enough "school stuff" to take very long. ...... (I teach and stay at elbow to correct any mistakes immediately).......

 

I think maybe you have a different definition of seat work than most folks here, and that may be the source of the confusion.. :)

 

 

This is my approach as well. I stay beside them when they are really young for assigned school work to ensure proper letter formation, catch mistakes so that misunderstanding isn't carried through an entire assignment (and thus reinforced in their minds). When they are older, it depends on the child and their personality and how easily they stay on task independently.

 

Anything they do that is not directly assigned by me, they do however they want. ;)

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My DD mostly worked with me due to scribing needs at age 5-6, although she quickly corrected me of any thought in my head that I'd get to read SOTW or SL read-alouds out loud while she colored the activity pages-she wanted to read them herself, and history became almost 100% independent (she'd read, she'd decide she wanted to build the Nile river in the backyard, I'd suggest the sandbox instead....) from the start, but had nothing written down, either. Science is much the same-she reads on her own, decides what she wants to do, and I provide materials/restraint. However, I also have sent her to an outsourced lab science class. Really, what it came down to at that age was that we "played school" for awhile each day, and she liked having me as her playmate in an ongoing game, with "School" looking more like trying to act out the Magic Schoolbus or Magic Treehouse books, plus Singapore Math and languages.

 

At age 7, about the time she really started moving into middle school content in most areas, she started being more capable of independent work and wanting to do it herself, so I am more the coach and the guide. I do supervise handwriting (and require it-because otherwise she wouldn't do it), and I cling with my fingernails to MCT. For whatever reason, DD enjoys reading LoF out loud to me-I think it's because Fred is so silly she wants to share him, even though she does the math independently. That also coincided with her discovering competitions beyond a once a year Spelling bee, and really moving heavily into those, which has pushed me more into a coach role and less a teacher role, and I'm guessing that's where we might just stay for awhile.

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My kids are completely different. The one who is significantly advanced is also very independent. She turned 6 in January but she's in 1st grade, and since the beginning of the school year, she has done everything at home on her own. She also works on her own timetable at school, so I'm told. She has been reading voraciously on her own since she was 4 and would write things etc. I can't imagine that this is a problem. If it's schoolwork as opposed to fun work, I will go over it afterward and point out mistakes. For example, she has to write a sentence for each spelling word. She does this on her own. She might forget some mechanics which I will ask her to fix. If she has a test in social studies, science, or health, she reads the chapter on her own and usually aces the test without my having anything to do with it. However, I mentioned this to another parent of a 1st grader and she seemed shocked. ;)

 

My other kid (also 6 and in 1st) is slightly accelerated and has some struggles. She needs to sit with me a lot. But she can sit and do, say, two pages of math facts on her own. At school they also require her to do some papers completely on her own. She may not do them perfectly, but she generally completes them. She struggles with knowing what she's being asked to do, so she can only do the more straight-forward stuff on her own.

 

When the girls were in KG (both started at age 4), they had daily homework and they always did this without help. This would be copying stuff, cutting and pasting, coloring, that type of thing. In fact, there was a stint where their 3yo preschool teacher gave them homework (mostly tracing) and they would do this on their own while I cooked dinner. So I don't see the problem, as long as they are understanding what they are supposed to be doing, and learning the material.

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At K age, my kids just don't even have enough "school stuff" to take very long. My K'er right now has about 10 minutes of phonics/reading practice (must be done with me), 10-15 minutes of math (I teach and stay at elbow to correct any mistakes immediately), and about 5 minutes of handwriting (I stay at elbow to make sure letter formation is correct, give tips on how to make a letter neater, etc.)... then we have about 20ish minutes of reading aloud - just me and him, plus Life of Fred elementary series. That's it for his school. I can't think of anything he could do independently that is school related. He writes stories and draws pictures and such outside of school time, but he really has very little to do that is school related. Most of my school day is spent with my 3rd grader who has considerably more work to do. ;) I can't do the on and off school day anymore like I could when my oldest was in 1st. We ramped things up this year, and we'll ramp up more next year in 4th. My middle son will still have only about 1-1.5 hours of school next year in 1st, so his day will be easy going still.

 

I think maybe you have a different definition of seat work than most folks here, and that may be the source of the confusion. I consider seat work to be their math assignment (ie, we teach a lesson in math and then have a workbook page to do for practice) or some handwriting practice (a workbook or copywork or something). For an older child, writing things from a textbook or filling in a worksheet would be seat work. I don't include non-assigned things in "seat work". If my oldest pulls out a Grid Perplexors book and works through that for fun, I don't consider it seat work. I didn't assign it. I don't require logic at his age. That's just a fun workbook he can do whenever he wants, just like he can read a book of his choosing any time he wants.

 

In the original seat work thread, the OP was asking about her child doing assigned school work, like a math worksheet. That was the seat work she was talking about, not her child going off to write a story on her own outside of assigned school work. :)

 

Ok I reread the OP :)

 

I wasn't totally confused. The OP was asking about the need to stay with a child who was using proper letter formation when she practiced letters for the purpose of increasing automaticity. I would not stay with my child for this, she would shoo me away. (in the OP's case the child was asking her to stay so it is a bit different) So when people responded that they shouldn't start independent work untill 3rd or 4th grade I was a bit shocked.

 

I do have a different definition of seat work, since I don't really give "assignments" to my Ker. (Though I may tell her to practice a letter if she is struggling with it) But my Ker likes to sit in a seat at her desk and "work", and she does learn/practice skills while working. I consider this school, just like walking outside and talking about how the weather affects the snow melt is "school" for us. Any educational activity could be defined as school in my home (unless that activity is way too easy or way too difficult for the students level). I guess it is a different way of looking at it.

 

I hope I didn't offend anyone in my confusion.

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I think it's about expectations- I've read posts by homeschooling parents who are frustrated that their child isn't getting their lessons, or complains about them, or takes hours to complete a math lesson, and then it turns out the 1st grader is expected to do all of these things independently. Similar to a parent frustrated that their child can't make their bed in the morning and get dressed, when it turns out the child isn't ready to do those things independently, and really shouldn't be expected to them on his own yet.

 

BUT, for an advanced child who has no problem staying on task and working independently, of course they should be able to do so! That's the goal, as I see it, to eventually help them become more and more independent in their work and learning. It's just that for many, many kids, this doesn't happen until around grade 3 or so. And the younger child really shouldn't be expected to do a lot of their lessons independently.

 

And I certainly would not withhold tools that would enable my child to continue learning/working outside of lesson time either (unless they go against my personal child development philosophy, so for us that means I would withhold tools related to the computer/screen).

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The OP was asking about the need to stay with a child who was using proper letter formation when she practiced letters for the purpose of increasing automaticity. I would not stay with my child for this, she would shoo me away.

 

 

The Drama was like this. Once she formed a letter ONCE she "knew how to do it myself!!!!!" and would not take ANY instruction on it whatsoever. I'm starting over with actual instruction in cursive with both girls--I lost them on printing ages ago.

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Ds6 does about 1/3 of his school work independently. The rest is designed for mom to be involved (WWE, FLL, science, etc). He'd probably be weirded out if I sat next to him and stared at him while he did his spelling workbook, but maybe that's just us. :)

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