Jump to content

Menu

Moms of high schoolers - how do you organize your time?


Recommended Posts

I seem to be getting worse at this as I go - and feel like I accomplish less and less. Even if I limit my board time, I'm not seeing huge increases in productivity (on my part)...corrections aren't always done, lesson planning falls by the wayside....

 

I used to do my best brainstorming at night, when the house was completely quiet. But then I wasn't always the most patient person. And now with early rising for driving, it's pretty impossible - besides wanting to have patience :-).

 

When more kids were at home I did the "Managers of their Homes" type approach - scheduling every 15 min for everyone around me...over time that wore off....

 

I feel like I'm losing self-control somehow, for doing the most unliked tasks (like correcting geometry proofs)...and just never getting to planning very far....

 

How do you organize correcting time? planning time? teaching time? studying the subject you need to teach time?

 

So how do you limit yourself - for online or email time? organizing activities for others? helping your neighbors? besides of course - cooking, cleaning, spending time with your spouse?

 

I realize this could probably apply to parents for other ages but I wanted to specifically focus on parenting high school organizational skills...

 

Thanks for any ideas!

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

At high school age, I do not "teach" anymore, and I do not "lesson plan" (actually, I NEVER "lesson planned"). My kids are working independently for the most part. They are in charge of their schedules.

I research and select curriculum, give them the materials, stipulate an amount of time that must be spent on school work. But I do not plan our daily lessons; we just do the "next thing". They decide which subject to work on for how long (one hour of math is mandatory for DS). My role is to provide appropriate materials, to answer questions, discuss concepts and literature, evaluate writing assignments, work on foreign language together if kid is not taking a class. But I do not micromanage. I also use no worksheets, fill-in-the-blanks, daily assignments.

They self check their math with the solution manual. DS is just beginning proofs, and I need to be more involved there; I look over his work when I get home in the afternoon/evening.

DD is now completely independent; with two university courses this semester, she takes care of her own schedule and assignments. We fill in neglected subjects over the summer.

DS needs some more guidance; I might remind him that he has not progressed with his programming course, or that he needs to watch an astronomy lecture and read the corresponding section in the text (I will align lectures and text for him.)

 

I work 25-30 hours per week, 20 of those outside the house. Housework gets done on the side; I have never found this to take a significant amount of time. I have time for a three mile walk with my DH almost every evening. My DD likes to cook, that helps. I also do not have the compulsion to cook every day; bread and sandwiches are just fine.

Maybe I am doing it all wrong, but I feel not lack of time. (As it is, I have too much time to waste on the computer). My kids have no desire for me to be more involved in their schooling than I already am.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am doing things almost exactly like you Joan....avoiding grading anything subjective. That's part of why I'm outsourcing some subjects next year! I don't have anyone in geometry, yet, but with your heads up about the proofs...yeah..those hung me up when I was in school...I certainly don't want to grade those! And my 2nd child will hit geometry about half-way through the school-year next year....I hadn't considered that!

 

We just started "Sabbath homeschooling" where you school for 6 weeks then take a week break....that's helping. We also went to schooling 4 days a week in formal studies, with the 5th day for catch up and independent study things (they still have "school" but my computer programmer can program all day if he's caught up...my animal lover has horse lesson/equine science that day, and my nature lover will hopefully help me garden. My oldest needs the extra time for schoolwork, but it will also allow him a day for "work experience" if we can find a good opportunity for that. The week off helps me catch up on all the grading I keep avoiding. We just started this about 12 weeks ago...so we're not real far into it, but I'm loving it so far. We all seem happier with the plan! And it means on Fridays, when I am not available much of the day taking one child to lessons...the other kids still have a plan (that usually does not necessitate me.) This has freed me to pursue some of my own interests, as well.

 

At the same time I started the above, I also had my kids start doing their own scheduling. I print out scheduling sheets for them each week...they go through each subject and "plan" what will need to be done each day. I look it over and approve it. I've already given them a "plan" for each subject, so they really are just looking through each subject and planning the next thing onto each day....even my 7yo does pretty good with this (though I do help some, because the amount of writing gets cumbersome for her.) If they don't get to something on one of the days, they must copy it to Friday (or another day)...so hopefully they are gaining some basic time management skills. Break week I will look through the subject plans and make any necessary adjustments, order library books, and grade. I do some grading other weeks (like math tests), but anything that can wait for break week does. And during break week my dd11 also helped me clean my desk (which I have a habit of letting get out of control.) If it gets some attention every 6-7 weeks, that will go a long way toward some organization to my life!

 

My hope is that the older kids doing their own scheduling will carry over to them being better equipped for outside classes this next year...and able to keep track of what needs to be done! (I didn't think they were capable of doing that a few weeks ago, but I'm much more confident about it now!)

 

Hope you feel less overwhelmed soon!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dd's only "mommy class" is math, which I grade when she has completed an assignment. (Unfortunately that is not a daily occurrance!) Otherwise we have outsourced all other classes, doing a combination of dual-enrollment and online classes.

 

Dd has her driver's license, so she drives herself around and is in charge of her own schedule -- when she practices, when she has classes and other outside obligations, and when she does her schoolwork. I do try to touch base with her once or twice a day to find out what she is working on and how she is doing, but she is defintely running her own life!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To my high school kids, I'm less of a teacher, and more of a facilitator. I don't plan lessons for them anymore, nor do I sit down and teach, and I certainly don't try to study everything they're learning. For the courses that aren't outsourced, I create a syllabus and it's their responsibility to get the work done. I have frequent discussions with them throughout the day, and I'll grade exams or papers, but that's about it unless they come to me for help with something. My younger kids need me far more than the older ones do. In fact, I find myself sitting around a lot now, waiting for someone to need me! My kids are all pretty good about pulling their weight around the house.

 

My teens manage their own schedules and routines, and post things to the Google calendar if they need me to know about it. By the time high school rolls around, I try to keep in mind that I'm raising my kids to be adults, not children, so sometimes I have to step back and adjust my expectations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have time for a three mile walk with my DH almost every evening.

 

snip

My kids have no desire for me to be more involved in their schooling than I already am.

 

I walk about that too :-)

 

But I think I have to be more involved. We do outsource some courses (about 2/yr).

 

Math follows a book but dd has to do Swiss math tests too which have some completely different vocabulary and concepts being tested because they do the mixed math approach so I have to get involved in planning and piecing together materials....

 

English - lit analysis and grammar are talking opportunities - so I don't want to not do that (though next year it will be outsourced)...

 

Chem - well we've used a mixture of materials (which ends up being maintenance) and I want her to focus on the work rather than correcting...

 

History - since we're not doing the textbook approach - it always needs tweeking, and interacting for discussing.

 

French - her tutor does part, but I did the AP syllabus and with a deadline - I did much better about producing a plan.

 

With the plan in hand, it seems like we cover a greater variety of language learning experiences/materials than the subjects where we just do the next thing.

 

Am Gov - the book is too much for just a half credit and I wanted her to use living books too, so she doesn't get a textbook numbed brain (somehow that is what it feels like with the gov text - not all textbooks)....

 

Health/Life Management takes interaction (mixture of materials)

 

So I think it is the courses where we use a mixture of materials where I don't have a real plan that feel like we're 'dillydallying' if you know what I mean? So we've done the year of 'doing the next thing' for some subjects but I don't think that we've covered as much as we would have if I'd had a better plan....

 

Then the idea of getting up to speed with a plan seems so formidable that I keep putting it off. And it's so much easier to check emails or organize a field trip or..or...or...or...

 

I am doing things almost exactly like you Joan....avoiding grading anything subjective. That's part of why I'm outsourcing some subjects next year!

 

 

We just started "Sabbath homeschooling" where you school for 6 weeks then take a week break....that's helping.

 

 

At the same time I started the above, I also had my kids start doing their own scheduling.

 

 

Break week I will look through the subject plans and make any necessary adjustments, order library books, and grade. I do some grading other weeks (like math tests), but anything that can wait for break week does. And during break week my dd11 also helped me clean my desk (which I have a habit of letting get out of control.) If it gets some attention every 6-7 weeks, that will go a long way toward some organization to my life!

 

I like your break week/Sabbath homeschooling, I mean I could use that time for planning....but with external courses/music and sports lessons, we end up having to pretty much follow the school system - which is tricky as it's partly the US system and partly the Swiss system (some holidays are the same but not all) due to US courses and Swiss music and sports lessons......then with the older ones having university vacations at other times it is already getting too complicated to try to overlay yet another system :-(

 

I'm a bit jealous - it sounds perfect...BTW - the French school system does a 6 week on, 2 week off routine now....One nice thing about the Swiss system is that we have Wed afternoon off...but that's quickly taken up with errands, etc.....

 

I "plan" around all outside stuff. I know that sounds a bit backwards, but things in town are not movable and things at home, are.

 

I think that makes sense if you have a lot of things outside the home...

 

My dd's only "mommy class" is math, which I grade when she has completed an assignment. (Unfortunately that is not a daily occurrance!) Otherwise we have outsourced all other classes, doing a combination of dual-enrollment and online classes.

 

Dd has her driver's license, so she drives herself around and is in charge of her own schedule -- when she practices, when she has classes and other outside obligations, and when she does her schoolwork. I do try to touch base with her once or twice a day to find out what she is working on and how she is doing, but she is defintely running her own life!

 

This does sound quite independent!

 

To my high school kids, I'm less of a teacher, and more of a facilitator. I don't plan lessons for them anymore, nor do I sit down and teach, and I certainly don't try to study everything they're learning. For the courses that aren't outsourced, I create a syllabus and it's their responsibility to get the work done. I have frequent discussions with them throughout the day, and I'll grade exams or papers, but that's about it unless they come to me for help with something. My younger kids need me far more than the older ones do. In fact, I find myself sitting around a lot now, waiting for someone to need me! My kids are all pretty good about pulling their weight around the house.

 

My teens manage their own schedules and routines, and post things to the Google calendar if they need me to know about it. By the time high school rolls around, I try to keep in mind that I'm raising my kids to be adults, not children, so sometimes I have to step back and adjust my expectations.

 

I quite agree about raising children to be adults....But I don't think we'll ever get there. With the overlapping Swiss and US curriculum - I can't just hand everything over.

 

Though now that this is the last year of "obligatory" schooling (yes, it ends at 15 yo), at least I won't have to answer to the authorities...The future testing is optional which somehow changes a lot, but it opens more doors than the US tests/diploma so we want to do it....

 

For their exams, there aren't books like the AP/SAT test prep books and only one textbook (for chemistry) that is geared for the test....Switzerland is so small and has so many languages and differences in the cantonal curriculums that they haven't managed to make textbooks that cover all the material in the Matu! I won't be free for several more years...the mixing and matching of materials is only going to get worse I think. :-( And I think that is subconsiously depressing me/stressing me and making me lose focus....

 

 

But I'm also interested in how people manage their free time (if you want to call reading high school boards to know what to teach next year ad how to teach this year truly 'free' time)??

 

Do you give yourself a set time online? or is it naturally occurring with outside the home responsibilities?

 

Thanks for the discussion ladies!

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the plan in hand, it seems like we cover a greater variety of language learning experiences/materials than the subjects where we just do the next thing.

 

Just want to clarify: when I said "we do the next thing", I am not referring to progressing linearly through a textbook./

For history and English, for example, we are using a completely eclectic mix of materials:

we have a textbook as a spine and DD takes notes. We have the original literature. We have Teaching company lectures, film adaptations, non fiction books, online podcasts. When I say "we do the next thing", it means: DD knows what materials are available to her. She chooses whether she wants to listen to a lecture, read some more in the work, do a chapter in the text, find some online resources to dig deeper into an aspect of the topic, look up Art of the period... So whatever is "next" is not clearly set out, but she has a reservoir of materials to choose "next" from.

 

So I think it is the courses where we use a mixture of materials where I don't have a real plan that feel like we're 'dillydallying' if you know what I mean? So we've done the year of 'doing the next thing' for some subjects but I don't think that we've covered as much as we would have if I'd had a better plan....

 

In 9th and 10th grade, I had her keep track of her hours, and I was listing all the resources. So, while the day-to-day progression seemed haphazard at times, at the end of the year I could look back on an impressive amount of original reading, 72 TC lectures (listened to and discussed), outlines for the respective portion of the book, several written papers, and 300+ hours spent.

 

 

But I'm also interested in how people manage their free time (if you want to call reading high school boards to know what to teach next year ad how to teach this year truly 'free' time)??

 

Do you give yourself a set time online? or is it naturally occurring with outside the home responsibilities?

 

I consider hanging out here and researching homeschooling materials fun and "free time". I really have no need for further materials and curriculum, I am all set; anything I learn here is bonus, plus I enjoy interacting with you all.

 

But realistically: I do not "plan" my free time- I simply use whatever time is not taken up for work, homeschooling, and children's activities to do what I choose. I know what needs to get done in the house, at work, for school. I need to be prepared for my class, need to write exams, grade papers, answer emails. If I am at the office and all this is done, I can spend some time at the computer as I do presently - my class is in half an hour, I am prepped and ready to go; my son is at home and knows what he has to work on until noon when I pick him up for homeschool playgroup; my DD is working in the computer lab between classes and will drive herself home after her last class.

Some days are chaotic, like yesterday, when I had two classes, a faculty meeting and three hours of help sessions, going home twice in between to eat lunch with the kids and to take a break in the afternoon.

But basically, I take care of everything that must get done, and the remainder of the time is mine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the details - regentrude and Margaret!

 

You do give me ideas...I didn't mean to imply that 'do the next thing' was textbooks....I meant we're figuring out which resources to use "on the fly" :-)

 

I think I have too many books :-(....which means that I try to get all the ones out related to a topic, but lack of planning means not always getting around to weeding out the junk...OK, dd has an analytical mind, but it can take time to spot....and sometimes later I find books I'd forgotten about and wished had been included in a topic (and sometimes backtrack just to include that book) - I think you get the meandering picture for history....

 

Just want to clarify: when I said "we do the next thing", I am not referring to progressing linearly through a textbook./

For history and English, for example, we are using a completely eclectic mix of materials:

we have a textbook as a spine and DD takes notes. We have the original literature. We have Teaching company lectures, film adaptations, non fiction books, online podcasts. When I say "we do the next thing", it means: DD knows what materials are available to her. She chooses whether she wants to listen to a lecture, read some more in the work, do a chapter in the text, find some online resources to dig deeper into an aspect of the topic, look up Art of the period... So whatever is "next" is not clearly set out, but she has a reservoir of materials to choose "next" from.

 

In 9th and 10th grade, I had her keep track of her hours, and I was listing all the resources. So, while the day-to-day progression seemed haphazard at times, at the end of the year I could look back on an impressive amount of original reading, 72 TC lectures (listened to and discussed), outlines for the respective portion of the book, several written papers, and 300+ hours spent.

 

But realistically: I do not "plan" my free time- I simply use whatever time is not taken up for work, homeschooling, and children's activities to do what I choose.

 

What your daughter is doing is impressive!

 

About time - I never get to that point where I think I've done everything and have time....I just take time - which now feels like I shouldn't be doing that either...

 

Our "do the next thing" is definitely not always wading through textbooks. With ds, I lay out what I think needs to happen for the year and he adds and subtracts and we tweak as we go along. This year's Brit history class started with Fraser's history book and it just so happned that there were 12 or so chapters. I suggested that he read each chapter, we'd find interesting other books to read or films to see, and then he'd write a paper. I have an old outline book of Brit history from a college class from years ago and it had some great ideas for paper topics. He flew through that in about 7.5 months, so now is just reading and discussing. He decided to read Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples which isn't strictly all British history, but he's enjoying them. Lately he's been on a tangent of MI6 and Ian Fleming, and last night started watching the old series of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. My sil wrote a book about Hsing Your Struggling Learner and it has a quote from me--that I never actually hsed my first several children, that I just threw books at them. That's been very successful with three of my children. Two have had to be directly taught but the others have had great latitude in how they covered material.

 

Your British History course sounds quite interesting :-)

 

Yes, I've thrown a lot of books at 'em...but I haven't always had the framework.....

 

Thanks!

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like your break week/Sabbath homeschooling, I mean I could use that time for planning....but with external courses/music and sports lessons, we end up having to pretty much follow the school system - which is tricky as it's partly the US system and partly the Swiss system (some holidays are the same but not all) due to US courses and Swiss music and sports lessons......then with the older ones having university vacations at other times it is already getting too complicated to try to overlay yet another system :-(

 

 

Yes, we still have many activities on break week...so its not like we could leave on vacation...but the kids are just glad to have less to accomplish those weeks. We haven't tried it with outside courses, yet, though! Next year, they'll have to follow the schedule of each course provider, each on a different schedule...and that will throw a kink in the plan...but I will do my best to hold onto it. I'm not sure how much I'll be able to work it in next year, but I like it well enough to try!! It may be my highschoolers are only taking 1-2 courses from me...those two courses would be on break on that week, and that's it....not as enticing for them! But should still help me.

 

IBTW - the French school system does a 6 week on, 2 week off routine now....

 

 

Interesting!!

 

I quite agree about raising children to be adults....But I don't think we'll ever get there. With the overlapping Swiss and US curriculum - I can't just hand everything over.

 

 

I don't hand over the publisher materials, but a "pace" I designed for the subject. Their "paces" are a 6-week plan for the subject. For instance, I pieced together my youngest's social studies with lessons off the web, books from the library, etc. For my older kiddos, their language arts are pieced together, as well. Their language arts pace lists everything that needs to be done each day for 6 weeks. Something like this might help you, as you are piecing together US/Swiss curriculum. It takes some time to put these plans together for each child for each subject, but I was able to do most of a semester over Christmas break. Then I go back through and tweak them before each new 6-week pace....sometimes.

 

 

But I'm also interested in how people manage their free time (if you want to call reading high school boards to know what to teach next year ad how to teach this year truly 'free' time)??

 

Do you give yourself a set time online? or is it naturally occurring with outside the home responsibilities?

 

 

Yeah, I'm not really managing my free time. :) I've thought about setting online limits...my kids have them, and its possible I need them, too. I try to tell people that all my "free time" on the computer isn't playing games but work/researching. They don't buy it....they feel I'm ALWAYS on the computer, and this is probably an area I could do much better in managing...I just haven't been motivated to change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think I have too many books :-(....which means that I try to get all the ones out related to a topic, but lack of planning means not always getting around to weeding out the junk...OK, dd has an analytical mind, but it can take time to spot....and sometimes later I find books I'd forgotten about and wished had been included in a topic (and sometimes backtrack just to include that book) - I think you get the meandering picture for history....

 

I hear you, Joan - I have found that TOO MANY resources and materials is the biggest obstacle to getting something done!

For example, I have to actively resist the temptation to include every documentary, online animation, non-fiction book, lecture into my son's astronomy course - so many cool things, all looking so promising! But if I try to incorporate everything, we won't ever get done.

Thus, I find it extremely important to limit myself to few, carefully selected resources: for his astro course, I have chosen one college textbook, the 96 TC lectures by Filippenko, and a few documentaries. That's it. He can mix and match, I help him line up lectrues with book; if he discovers online materials he wants to use, fine. But I know we will not read all the books about history of astronomy, non fiction books about the moon landing, biographies, books about the universe... that I have spotted and thought interesting. And it is not necessary. My high school course is meant to give him an introduction and a framework for systematic studies, not to provide a comprehensive knowledge of astrophysics. If he develops more of an interest, we can spend more time next semester.

 

I encountered the same problem with ancient history. I have stacks of wonderful books about ancient Greece, retellings of myths, documentaries. At some point, it turned out DD was doing well with the textbook, enjoying the TC lectures and original literature, but read only few of the suggested auxilliary books and was not really interested in watching any of the docus. I could have tried to fit those in and could have pushed a bit, but in the end what she did was solid, and there was really no need for more books. Now, another student might have preferred to read all the extra books in lieu of the textbook, and that might have been fine too.

 

I have since learned that less is more. If I provide, and, more importantly, require the use of, too many different things, it feels disjointed and unorganized, despite my best intentions to provide a comprehensive multifacetted course. Sometimes focus is more important - and my kids are pretty good at focusing and rejecting materials that detract from their focus. I'm OK with that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next year, they'll have to follow the schedule of each course provider, each on a different schedule...and that will throw a kink in the plan...but I will do my best to hold onto it.

...

I don't hand over the publisher materials, but a "pace" I designed for the subject. Their "paces" are a 6-week plan for the subject.

...

Yeah, I'm not really managing my free time. :) I've thought about setting online limits...my kids have them, and its possible I need them, too.

 

I hope you get to hold on to your plan :-) It sounds like it's working well for you....

 

Yes - I need to do the organization that you are describing...But besides finding/making the time to sit down and do it, I find it very hard to know how much time to allot. (I've complained about this before - and don't seem any closer to finding the answer- for us). And sometimes even prearranged units by a publisher don't all take the same amount of time...And when you get into mixing and matching materials - it's a night mare for me...

 

But about managing my time - I just read an article (from 2012) which says that when under stress, the prefrontal cortex basically gives up and you lose self-control because control goes to a more basic part of the brain....

 

Here's the blurb

Natural circuits responsible for conscious self-control are highly vulnerable to even mild stress. When these shut down, primal impulses go unchecked (think - eat a lot of chocolate ) and mental paralysis sets in.

 

(I think this describes me in relation to planning).

 

http://medicine.yale... April 2012.pdf

 

 

To give you an idea, here's part of what ds has read this year for Brit history:

 

You must have quite a library too!

 

Interesting - thanks for sharing!

 

 

I have since learned that less is more. If I provide, and, more importantly, require the use of, too many different things, it feels disjointed and unorganized, despite my best intentions to provide a comprehensive multifacetted course. Sometimes focus is more important - and my kids are pretty good at focusing and rejecting materials that detract from their focus. I'm OK with that.

 

Sounds right. I definitely need to be more selective for history....

 

But then at some level you are planning, regentrude. At least you are going through the materials systematically. And while it's not like planning for your physics courses at college, it does take time and thought...

 

I'm thinking part of my problem might be that since we're using the hour approach (for the umbrella school) I always have interruptions. I have to do all this time tracking, and as we go through subjects, I have to be there to answer questions, discuss (some things more than others), find materials (this Swiss math test prep right now is really bad - hunting the internet and math books for terms and concepts....I have an American book that has been translated into French for the Swiss - but they add things, and don't explain that part since it wasn't in the original book).

 

But I'm going to try to figure out more about the 'stress' and 'self-control' relationship for me...

 

I still am interested, though, in others' experiences of how they carve out planning/organizing time...manage online time....etc...

 

How do people deal with the stress of home educating high schoolers???

 

Thanks,

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it gets a little hairy. The house is a mess of stacks of stuff and boxes because we've been renovating, and I work, so there's only so many hours in the day as it is. In the summer I either cut back my hours or take off, so I deep clean the house and do the majority of my homeschool prep work then.

 

Mine take some local and online classes, so some of the accountability is off of me. I do check in with them frequently on those classes, and of course proof the papers. They do their own weekly assignment sheets. I check the younger one's for completeness. I check the tests only, they check homework. Each has an entire shelf of books for the entire year when we start in the fall so I'm not searching for books.

 

And I pick curriculum that works for me. Having detailed TM's are a must.

 

Frankly I find homeschooling teens to be less stressful than the early years. Dealing with the activity level and short attention span then was really hard for me, and I had one that was very hard-headed. I figured that if we made it through those years, we'd be fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm thinking part of my problem might be that since we're using the hour approach (for the umbrella school) I always have interruptions. I have to do all this time tracking

 

 

I log time (required by law plus easy way to keep track of credits). My students have an agenda where they are responsible for writing down how much time they spend per subject per day and on what. (As of this year, I no longer require this of DD with her major outside classes)

I am putting this into my excel spreadsheet which takes five minutes at the end of the week. The spreadsheet is programmed to add times per subject along the column and times per day along the rows, with hardly any effort for me. Maybe something like this would help?

 

I have to be there to answer questions,

 

 

My teens have questions, too - but I expect them to be able to ask me their questions at the end of the day and deal with them in the mean time. Not doable with a little one, but a high schooler should be able to cope.

 

How do people deal with the stress of home educating high schoolers???

 

 

 

Mantra. It will be fine. It will be fine. It will be fine.

I don't stress over the actual education. I stress over the college application process! I did not go to school in this country and have no first hand knowledge. We don't even have standardized tests at home.

I stress about missing a deadline, not knowing that there is another test necessary, forgetting to check the box that needs checking - basically messing up logistically and it being my fault. Big time. All that helps is telling myself It.will.be.fine when I am wide awake with panic in the middle of the night. The actual education - nah, that's the easy part, IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wasn't going to join in because I "cheat" and let Marie Hazell (MFW) do my lesson planning -- she doesn't really "write" anything, but just tries things out with lots of real kids, evaluates real time spent, chooses good stuff, tosses out things that sounded good but didn't connect with kids, etc., and voila I have a plan at my house (that I can tweak at will).

 

But... I do really know the feeling of spinning and not feeling like I'm going anywhere. I've blamed it on being a widow, but it's good to read through your descriptions, Joan, so I can realize there are many factors going on at my house, too.

 

I also can't do what many of the moms have described -- I have a son who doesn't really want to homeschool, and who is a way youngest, happy-go-lucky boy child at heart. He'd like to do well and is able to do well, but is okay with not doing anything, especially if it feels like doing well requires mom to be all military.

 

On my best days, this is what helps (I'm reminding myself here):

 

- have school hours and do all of *my* school tasks during those hours (teaching, discussing correcting, planning, record-keeping...)

 

- print a simple grid for the week and write in each of my son's accomplishments for the day (chemistry #39, gov. constitution part 1, book club, college apps...), and any unusual things for the next day that I might forget (correct science test, discuss an outside opportunity...), so I can keep track of what's going on and not make errors in judgment

 

- have a monthly family calendar for all "events" that everyone must work around in their school and jobs

 

- have a personal weekly calendar where I sketch out "goals" and check them off so I can see if I've actually done something (fill out X forms, clean out X, call X, research X, exercise, groceries...), and take a realistic approach to the next day

 

- use my daytime down time for "double duty" or triple duty, while making it all a little less boring or stressful (e.g. listen to an audio about something my son is learning about and preview the idea of using it, while I'm also cleaning out the mail or driving somewhere)

 

 

I can't help you with the online self-control. It seems like *everything* is online now -- my job, bills, paperwork, taxes, letters from family, gift-giving (just last night finished a photo book from my grandson to my dd for mother's day). My dh used to say, Hey, at least we're not sitting at the bar every evening or watching 8 hours of TV -- everyone wastes some time!

 

Julie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, it gets a little hairy. The house is a mess of stacks of stuff and boxes because we've been renovating, and I work, so there's only so many hours in the day as it is. In the summer I either cut back my hours or take off, so I deep clean the house and do the majority of my homeschool prep work then.

 

It seems like every summer I think that I'm going to have time to do this and things keep coming up! Maybe I should set aside two weeks or something and say it is just for preparing....thanks!

 

 

My teens have questions, too - but I expect them to be able to ask me their questions at the end of the day and deal with them in the mean time. Not doable with a little one, but a high schooler should be able to cope.

...

Mantra. It will be fine. It will be fine. It will be fine.

I don't stress over the actual education. I stress over the college application process! I did not go to school in this country and have no first hand knowledge. We don't even have standardized tests at home.

 

regentrude - thank you for trying to help! I do have a record keeping program and it served me really well in the past for ds3...it definitely takes more than 5 min/wk though...

 

I forgot to say that my husband's selling point to people who ask about homeschooling is all the one on one time the student gets! As it is, dd and I had a laugh last time, because it is not like she is at my side for 8 hours/day...but putting off the questions til the end would really go against his idea of how it should go...And I do cherish the interaction of the moment...

 

You and I are in reversed situations...it's the 'education process' for the Swiss matu that is foreign...The college application process is a breeze compared to the US....

 

I wasn't going to join in because I "cheat"

 

I'm glad you wrote - I've been thinking about your ideas all day...

 

But... I do really know the feeling of spinning and not feeling like I'm going anywhere. I've blamed it on being a widow, but it's good to read through your descriptions, Joan, so I can realize there are many factors going on at my house, too.

:grouphug:

 

- have school hours and do all of *my* school tasks during those hours (teaching, discussing correcting, planning, record-keeping...)

 

I've been thinking about this...So far, when dd did her online courses, I would use that time for other things...But now I'm thinking that since she is totally occupied, I could use those two hours for the kind of in depth planning that needs full concentration - during the school day...

 

- print a simple grid for the week and write in each of my son's accomplishments for the day (chemistry #39, gov. constitution part 1, book club, college apps...), and any unusual things for the next day that I might forget (correct science test, discuss an outside opportunity...), so I can keep track of what's going on and not make errors in judgment

 

I do have a record keeping program for her accomplishments...but I don't have a good system for the other type of "unusual things" you mention...or I should say - a system that works...So you just make a list of those things? (at this point I have piles of things to correct and record)

 

- have a monthly family calendar for all "events" that everyone must work around in their school and jobs

 

- have a personal weekly calendar where I sketch out "goals" and check them off so I can see if I've actually done something (fill out X forms, clean out X, call X, research X, exercise, groceries...), and take a realistic approach to the next day

 

I have one but haven't been using it recently...I think at some point there got to be so many things to do, that kept getting carried over to the next week, that I gave up :-( But I'm getting motivated with this thread, to try some new ideas....

 

- use my daytime down time for "double duty" or triple duty, while making it all a little less boring or stressful (e.g. listen to an audio about something my son is learning about and preview the idea of using it, while I'm also cleaning out the mail or driving somewhere)

 

I have done this for walking but more for things I like to listen to....I've been meaning to while cooking but haven't organized myself to do it...

 

I can't help you with the online self-control. It seems like *everything* is online now -- my job, bills, paperwork, taxes, letters from family, gift-giving (just last night finished a photo book from my grandson to my dd for mother's day). My dh used to say, Hey, at least we're not sitting at the bar every evening or watching 8 hours of TV -- everyone wastes some time!

 

I'm thinking of putting online time into my schedule. You're right about so many things being online...It makes it harder and harder to get offline...But if I'm working more ahead, then the online things I need for school could be prepared ahead of time instead of during 'class'....

 

Thanks for your ideas ladies....I'm getting a little bit hopeful (have been ill so difficult to think clearly and answer well)...

 

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to say that my husband's selling point to people who ask about homeschooling is all the one on one time the student gets! As it is, dd and I had a laugh last time, because it is not like she is at my side for 8 hours/day...but putting off the questions til the end would really go against his idea of how it should go...And I do cherish the interaction of the moment...

 

Let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to convince you to change anything, but wanted to offer this additional thought:

I do love the interaction with my kids, and I am not just postponing questions because I am not available, but also because of an issue I had as a college student:

I breezed through high school and never had to work at figuring out something that I did not understand, because there never was anything I did not understand. When I entered the university, I had absolutely no idea what to do if I came across a concept that made no sense to me, and I struggled for an entire semester before I learned how to figure things out.

 

So, to me it is extremely important that my children learn how to help themselves if they get stuck. I am the last resort - but only after they have tried other avenues of solving their problem. I frequently observe this with my college students: if I am available to be questioned, they take the lazy way and ask first before they put in the effort that would have enabled them to solve the problem without help (and really, they are so lazy that they even ask me which problems are assigned or which page in the book something is on before they look on the syllabus or in the book). So, during my help sessions, I will occasionally step out on purpose so that they have to make the effort - because it is very convenient to ask first instead of thinking.

When my son asks me about a math problem, the first thing I want to see is what all he has tried so far, even if it was not successful.

NOT being available at all times cultivates the independence that is my goal for their high school education. (And I found that it is beneficial for the peace at home if I am actually physically unavailable, rather than physically present but intentionally limiting my involvement by giving help in small portions only.)

Not sure if that makes any sense.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perfect sense Regentrude. Right now when my daughter has a problem she comes to me. Not a good thing when I'm trying to work through grammar with Harry or get the baby to sleep. We have lots of reference books and Google is always availible so lately I've been refusing to help until she's put some works into researching her problem.

 

I am a tad more hands on then you but we're transitioning. I started using Scholaric. My daughter and I schedule her work for the week on that, print out schedule/grade sheets and I have little to do with her work until Friday whem she hands me the sheets to review and enter on the website (I'm horrible with paper and have to start keeping records in practice for grade 10. Universities only look at gr. 10-12 here).

 

I don't know if this will work with my son. In many waya he's likey daughter but has definite focua issues. Thankfully I have a few years to work that out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I do have a record keeping program for her accomplishments...but I don't have a good system for the other type of "unusual things" you mention...or I should say - a system that works...So you just make a list of those things? (at this point I have piles of things to correct and record)

I just have a grid printed out for each week (usually 2 fit on a page, so like 18 pages for the year) -- simple square, 5 days across top, a row of boxes marked Science, a row of Math, etc.

 

Then I jot in extra things underneath, just for my own abilitiy to talk with my son and not accuse him of not accomplishing anything at all! :blush:

 

I have one but haven't been using it recently...I think at some point there got to be so many things to do, that kept getting carried over to the next week, that I gave up :-( But I'm getting motivated with this thread, to try some new ideas....

Ya, nothing's good if it takes a lot of maintenance. Fortunately, I'm fine with messy. (Funny thing I've noticed lately -- at my house, we are often fine with messy when it's something we like... and if it's not something we like, then it just looks messy. I like writing, so lots of messy notes just looks like I'm doing a bunch of stuff :) ) I just use a green highlighter on things I didn't finish, or write in a future week "X task 4/12, 4/23."

 

Mostly, I think it's good if you find a way to remind *yourself* what you've accomplished - that you've really done a lot of things. It helps me move forward, anyways.

 

Best wishes over there across the sea,

Julie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Want me to be poetic or honest?

 

So, there was this cute little saying on Facebook this morning:

 

I suffer from OCD and ADD - I want everything to be perfect and it lasts five minutes.

 

Wow, baby, does that sum up my homeschooling goals and achievements. :p

 

Really, truly, the one thing I have learned is to be honest with myself.

 

Truth: I can spend hours drawing up lesson plans, but I won't complete them.

Truth: There is a huge spread between what I can do, what I want to do, and what I will do.

Truth: What I can do is useless, what I want to do is also useless, and the only useful thing is what I will actually DO.

 

With those three truths in hand, I plan accordingly now.

 

I used to plan according to what I *wanted* to do - my ideal, perfect, high ideals.

I then used to plan according to what was DOABLE, though not necessarily to what I would actually carry through.

 

I am finding it more and more helpful to be honest with myself.

 

Have this conversation in your head:

 

"Wow, I really love X."

"Really self? Will you DO X?"

"I'd like to."

"But will you DO it?"

"Well, if I managed my time and the kids cooperated the way they do in my imagination, I would do it."

"But will you DO it?"

"Well, if money and time weren't factors...."

"But will you DO it?"

"Probably not."

"Move on."

 

:D

 

There are a few things I stick to... And there are a few things that I now buy boxed. Do I love boxed? No, but at least it gets done.

 

 

And, let's face it, the BEST in the world, undone, is useless. And something good, though lacking here and there, that actually gets done? Useful.

 

I let go of some of my high ideals so that I could hold onto my high ideals in other areas. There is only 24 hours in the day and I can list out enough to do and activities and caring for my children to fill up a good 32. I don't have 32. Plus, and this is just annoying, I need like eight WHOLE hours to sleep.

 

And when I quit lying to myself (that I could do it all and do it all well) then I could make realistic goals and actually acheive some of them without constantly feeling guilty for falling short.

 

And the other thing I learned? Toss a good portion of the responsibility on the teen where it belongs. If they want it, they need to own it too. There is the time when education moves from mom's responsibility with child's participation to child's responsibility with mom's accountability... High school is a good time for that. So, I hold them accountable, but that's different than holding their hand. And now that I'm a little older and wiser, I make my school work for upper elementary and middle school more independent, and I am actively training my middles to drive their education bit by bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to bring up "snacking" as a distraction!

 

This is another biggie for me...When I can't figure out what to do next and don't have that much time, well, there's always time for a snack. I think this is really distracting by the time I count up all the times off snacking...

 

I'm trying to think whether only eating in the kitchen would help...I've gone off and on coffee so many times....Somehow veggies for breakfast just don't fill me up, even when I eat a huge bowl...It turns out I'm expanding my stomach or something. Whereas before, a cup of coffee would hold me for quite a few hours - I just think it is so unhealthy and leads to other bad eating habits that I really want to change...So if anyone has any experience of changing this type of thing, I think it would help our high school too...

 

Back to your suggestions...

 

I wonder how old you are and how close you are to menopause. There is a very real thing called menopause brain fog.

 

I have had this and completely agree about bad effects :-)

 

It might have helped me start going astray in not getting much done a couple of years ago...Now that I'm on the path of low productivity and going in circles, it's hard to get off!

 

 

Want me to be poetic or honest?

 

I think honesty is the best policy :-)

 

I suffer from OCD and ADD - I want everything to be perfect and it lasts five minutes.

 

Wow, baby, does that sum up my homeschooling goals and achievements. :p

 

I think I have the same illness :-)

 

And, let's face it, the BEST in the world, undone, is useless. And something good, though lacking here and there, that actually gets done? Useful.

 

I let go of some of my high ideals so that I could hold onto my high ideals in other areas. There is only 24 hours in the day and I can list out enough to do and activities and caring for my children to fill up a good 32. I don't have 32. Plus, and this is just annoying, I need like eight WHOLE hours to sleep.

 

And when I quit lying to myself (that I could do it all and do it all well) then I could make realistic goals and actually achieve some of them without constantly feeling guilty for falling short.

 

You've made me laugh but I don't know what to cut out... :crying: Seriously, I should think more about this too...I used to spend hours and hours drawing up and redrawing up plans...though we did use part of them (weak smile), then I've gotten to the burnout point...Though I am actually using my AP French syllabus now...So maybe I'm more realistic if I finally get to planning at this age....I just need to see what to cut out of the big picture for the other subjects and make up a plan that will work :unsure:

 

If they want it, they need to own it too.

 

This part really hit home - even though I think other people have been saying similar things...It just suddenly dawned on my that it is my dd who wants to do this Swiss Matu....so she does need to own it in ways that perhaps I have been....

 

Thank you! This will be a good project for this summer - to divvy up the load....

 

Then I jot in extra things underneath, just for my own ability to talk with my son and not accuse him of not accomplishing anything at all! :blush:

 

Ya, nothing's good if it takes a lot of maintenance. Fortunately, I'm fine with messy. (Funny thing I've noticed lately -- at my house, we are often fine with messy when it's something we like... and if it's not something we like, then it just looks messy. I like writing, so lots of messy notes just looks like I'm doing a bunch of stuff :) ) I just use a green highlighter on things I didn't finish, or write in a future week "X task 4/12, 4/23."

 

Mostly, I think it's good if you find a way to remind *yourself* what you've accomplished - that you've really done a lot of things. It helps me move forward, anyways.

 

You are hilarious about 'messy notes looking like you are doing a bunch of stuff'!

 

And you're making me wonder if I should go back to paper (at least for the first draft of record-keeping)....I can't highlight in HST+...and writing little notes to myself doesn't work either....

 

The bolded part explains why dh finds school stuff messy - I hadn't thought of it that way before......

 

Waving to you too, Julie, across the sea and the seas of grain (that I imagine anyway).

 

So, to me it is extremely important that my children learn how to help themselves if they get stuck. I am the last resort - but only after they have tried other avenues of solving their problem. I frequently observe this with my college students: if I am available to be questioned, they take the lazy way and ask first before they put in the effort that would have enabled them to solve the problem without help (and really, they are so lazy that they even ask me which problems are assigned or which page in the book something is on before they look on the syllabus or in the book). So, during my help sessions, I will occasionally step out on purpose so that they have to make the effort - because it is very convenient to ask first instead of thinking.

When my son asks me about a math problem, the first thing I want to see is what all he has tried so far, even if it was not successful.

NOT being available at all times cultivates the independence that is my goal for their high school education. (And I found that it is beneficial for the peace at home if I am actually physically unavailable, rather than physically present but intentionally limiting my involvement by giving help in small portions only.)

 

This is a very good point, regentrude...

 

I generally try to take the Socratic approach...and ds3 certainly learned how to problem-solve on his own....But it is good to remember with dd as sometimes she "draws a blank" on material that she definitely knows...It's like she hasn't ever seen it, even when she's done lots of problems. This doesn't typically happen in homework but during a test...Do you have any experience with that kind of student? I don't tell her the answer but have her try to think it through - and then many times she sees it...But it was like during the exam, she lost neuronal connections or something...I'm quite interested in any observations you have about this...

 

 

I just want to encourage you all--you CAN do it! We've been digging out for four years, after Ed's death, but we ARE THERE! Ds realized on the way home that he only had one more test in Advanced Math to take, so he just buckled down and did it as we crossed the pass. Only one more kid to get through that book! He has a few books to finish for history and some German, but then, his year is DONE with finals at the college this next week. He even mentioned that perhaps he'd knock out a bit of next year's English this spring. There is hope, ladies!

 

Thank you Margaret because I know you have been through so much! I'm really glad that other things are working out for you...and that all the work is coming to fruition!

 

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.But it is good to remember with dd as sometimes she "draws a blank" on material that she definitely knows...It's like she hasn't ever seen it, even when she's done lots of problems. This doesn't typically happen in homework but during a test...Do you have any experience with that kind of student? I don't tell her the answer but have her try to think it through - and then many times she sees it...But it was like during the exam, she lost neuronal connections or something...I'm quite interested in any observations you have about this...

 

 

Not sure I can be of any help. What kind of test are you talking about, is it something that needs to be memorized, or a test for a skill, such as solving math and physics problems? I have no experience with tests where memory is tested, because that is not my field.

I occasionally have students who draw a blank on my physics tests which test conceptual understanding and problem solving skills, but require no memorization. A few have actual test anxiety, and those I send to counseling. Others perform much worse on tests than on homework, but do not report anxiety. I have found this to occur never in the students who demonstrate thorough mastery in class and on the homework, but rather in the students who manage the homework only with much effort. So, to some degree it may have to do with confidence. I also believe is that they have not processed the material sufficiently to fully understand what is going on, but instead are still relying on memorization to a certain degree.

I sometimes give a homework quiz the day after they completed their homework and have them work a problem identical to the one they prepared the night before: the same students who perform on tests far below their homework performance are the ones who can not reproduce the problem the following morning (and I am not talking about students who just copied the homework, for which this would be expected, but about students who worked the homework in front of me at the learning center.) Somehow, despite working the homework, the students have not understood the underlying concept and are not able to transfer their knowledge to a slightly altered situation. Simply more practice problems does not seem to help, since some of the students who put in a lot of time and are always present fall into this category. I find this extremely frustrating, as do the students, but I do not have a solution.

 

Not sure if any of this is helpful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joan, thank you so much. I really needed this thread right now and appreciate the effort everyone went to in writing out their thoughts.

 

I was starting to feel lonely here :-)

 

Only we are wading through the Rise and fall of the Roman Empire by Gibson. :)

 

The whole set? Wow, that seems like it would take a good year all by itself....

 

Not sure I can be of any help. What kind of test are you talking about, is it something that needs to be memorized, or a test for a skill, such as solving math and physics problems? I have no experience with tests where memory is tested, because that is not my field.

I occasionally have students who draw a blank on my physics tests which test conceptual understanding and problem solving skills, but require no memorization. A few have actual test anxiety, and those I send to counseling. Others perform much worse on tests than on homework, but do not report anxiety. I have found this to occur never in the students who demonstrate thorough mastery in class and on the homework, but rather in the students who manage the homework only with much effort. So, to some degree it may have to do with confidence. I also believe is that they have not processed the material sufficiently to fully understand what is going on, but instead are still relying on memorization to a certain degree.

I sometimes give a homework quiz the day after they completed their homework and have them work a problem identical to the one they prepared the night before: the same students who perform on tests far below their homework performance are the ones who can not reproduce the problem the following morning (and I am not talking about students who just copied the homework, for which this would be expected, but about students who worked the homework in front of me at the learning center.) Somehow, despite working the homework, the students have not understood the underlying concept and are not able to transfer their knowledge to a slightly altered situation. Simply more practice problems does not seem to help, since some of the students who put in a lot of time and are always present fall into this category. I find this extremely frustrating, as do the students, but I do not have a solution.

 

Not sure if any of this is helpful.

 

 

That's very helpful for analyzing any kind of poor test performance!

 

But a problem just happened today in a local end of the year math exam (with a class of kids her age. She already did well on the first math exam this year, even getting a 'felicitations' from the corrector) - such a simple thing....Dividing fractions (where there is a fraction in the numerator and denominator), she couldn't remember that she needed to multiply the reciprocal....Though she'd just done it on at least one practice exam last week, and is doing more complicated things that that....It's true that it's a trick..And one can understand what is being asked even thinking of a piece of pie being divided...But perhaps it's not intuitive to multiply by the reciprocal...so in that sense it is memorized....

 

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let me preface this by saying that I am not trying to convince you to change anything, but wanted to offer this additional thought:

I do love the interaction with my kids, and I am not just postponing questions because I am not available, but also because of an issue I had as a college student:

I breezed through high school and never had to work at figuring out something that I did not understand, because there never was anything I did not understand. When I entered the university, I had absolutely no idea what to do if I came across a concept that made no sense to me, and I struggled for an entire semester before I learned how to figure things out.

 

So, to me it is extremely important that my children learn how to help themselves if they get stuck. I am the last resort - but only after they have tried other avenues of solving their problem. I frequently observe this with my college students: if I am available to be questioned, they take the lazy way and ask first before they put in the effort that would have enabled them to solve the problem without help (and really, they are so lazy that they even ask me which problems are assigned or which page in the book something is on before they look on the syllabus or in the book). So, during my help sessions, I will occasionally step out on purpose so that they have to make the effort - because it is very convenient to ask first instead of thinking.

When my son asks me about a math problem, the first thing I want to see is what all he has tried so far, even if it was not successful.

NOT being available at all times cultivates the independence that is my goal for their high school education. (And I found that it is beneficial for the peace at home if I am actually physically unavailable, rather than physically present but intentionally limiting my involvement by giving help in small portions only.)

Not sure if that makes any sense.

 

 

 

This appears in our house as me telling dd "I am not the dictionary-if you don't understand a word look it up (in that book-the one next to you)." If she still doesn't get it I am happy to help but sometimes they need to learn to take responsibility for acquiring knowledge and using a dictionary is a great first step. We've just reached a point finally where the books exceed her vocabulary and context isn't always helpful. At the start of 9th she was given her own personal dictionary for just such occasions. I'd like to break that "ask mom first" habit before I'm getting 3 am phone calls from uni :001_rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

.Dividing fractions (where there is a fraction in the numerator and denominator), she couldn't remember that she needed to multiply the reciprocal....Though she'd just done it on at least one practice exam last week, and is doing more complicated things that that....It's true that it's a trick..And one can understand what is being asked even thinking of a piece of pie being divided...But perhaps it's not intuitive to multiply by the reciprocal...so in that sense it is memorized....

 

 

No, I would not really consider this something that has to be memorized but rather a basic skill that it needs to be trained to be absolutely automatic, without thinking. To stay with your example:

The thorough understanding why you need to multiply by the reciprocal is important initially, but the proficient student will not solve the problem by recalling the conceptual reasoning and deriving every time how division of fractions work (that would be impractical and time consuming). He will have done this so often that it comes completely naturally and he does not have to consciously recall the memorized rule. But because of the conceptual understanding, he would be able to notice a mistake.

It is similar to spelling and grammar: the beginner may have to memorize spelling and grammar rules, but you can not really be a fluent writer if you try to remember the rules for writing mechanics while you write - it has to become automatic so you can focus on what you want to say, and thus it needs to become a skill that goes beyond memorization.

Not the best example, but right now I can't think of something that illustrates the difference better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is that she has done lots of practice of that - starting in grade school....but now with geometry for example, she's hardly done any, as it's all been proofs and theorems, etc.....So she hasn't practiced much this year. The test wasn't based on the program she's doing normally but on what the Swiss kids are doing. So we did a review of things she'd already done, learned vocabulary in French for things she's learned in English, learned concepts that are presented differently in French, but I'd have thought the multiplying the reciprocal would have stuck with her from before as she had practiced it a lot... I don't really want to go back to Saxon with the continual spiral review.....but maybe that's what she needs...or something that also has lots of review built in...

 

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't really want to go back to Saxon with the continual spiral review.....but maybe that's what she needs...or something that also has lots of review built in...

Just speaking from my own experience as a learner, I don't "remember" very much. I really don't. Yet people who know me don't believe me when I say that. The reason: I have very good strategies for dealing with my weaknesses. I feel that, better than having her keep going over stuff, the ideal is to teach her strategies to deal with her own learning weaknesses.

 

For instance, when I have been faced with a math problem I haven't done in a while, I have no clue. This has happened a lot to me over the years -- came back to test for college after not having looked at math for like 5 years, started tutoring in a grammar-heavy program when I didn't know what an adverb was, started homeschooling with a high schooler... My particular method for dealing with these things is recognizing what I don't know and reasoning through.

 

So if I saw a fraction-over-fraction, I'd think along the lines of, okay, what does that mean -- how many of the bottom things are on the top? Or I change the math to very tiny numbers, like 1s and 2s. Or if I had a grammar issue, I'd even make up names for what I was seeing -- this is definitely a "main verb" and this is also a verb but it's a "secondary verb" (later to be found it's called a verbal).

 

For me, this particular dividing fractions issue is one of a handful of things that are not intuitive in my brain, not easy to reason out, but the process of thinking it thru doesn't have to go the whole way. If I just go from seeing the numbers to finding the method, then my brain is swimming in thousands of things it might be. But if I head down the road of reasoning it out, then I fairly quickly can veer off into the answer because I've been on that route before and I recognize it!

 

I agree with Regentrude that one can't be fluent by stopping and analyzing every little thing, so my method can be frustrating at first. But I find there is usually only one thing at a time that is getting me stuck. It'll be another thing next time, so being fluent in the one thing won't necessarily carry over. It's just helped me to develop a strategy that works for me in all situations. And I try to help my kids develop their own strategies for their own weaknesses, which are not the same as mine. In fact, I sometimes tell them that this is the best thing I can offer them -- time in our homeschool to learn what works best for them. They don't necessarily appreciate this - they just want me to give them the answers :)

 

Don't know if I'm making any sense. But one side benefit of this has been that I find I'm a good tutor for confused kids, because I really relate to the student's problems -- I've been there and recognize what particular parts are confusing, even if they think it must be all confusing. :)

 

So, in case your student is anything like me, I present my strange ways of thinking,

Julie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This appears in our house as me telling dd "I am not the dictionary-if you don't understand a word look it up (in that book-the one next to you)."

 

Thankfully we do have the 'look it up yourself' habit. I think it helps that the Websters is on a shelf within arm reach of her desk....Then I have given a good example because I have to look up so many words in French, that the kids are used to seeing the "I don't know it so I'll look it up" habit already...

 

Just speaking from my own experience as a learner, I don't "remember" very much. I really don't. Yet people who know me don't believe me when I say that. The reason: I have very good strategies for dealing with my weaknesses. I feel that, better than having her keep going over stuff, the ideal is to teach her strategies to deal with her own learning weaknesses.

 

For instance, when I have been faced with a math problem I haven't done in a while, I have no clue. This has happened a lot to me over the years -- came back to test for college after not having looked at math for like 5 years, started tutoring in a grammar-heavy program when I didn't know what an adverb was, started homeschooling with a high schooler... My particular method for dealing with these things is recognizing what I don't know and reasoning through.

 

So if I saw a fraction-over-fraction, I'd think along the lines of, okay, what does that mean -- how many of the bottom things are on the top? Or I change the math to very tiny numbers, like 1s and 2s. Or if I had a grammar issue, I'd even make up names for what I was seeing -- this is definitely a "main verb" and this is also a verb but it's a "secondary verb" (later to be found it's called a verbal).

 

For me, this particular dividing fractions issue is one of a handful of things that are not intuitive in my brain, not easy to reason out, but the process of thinking it thru doesn't have to go the whole way. If I just go from seeing the numbers to finding the method, then my brain is swimming in thousands of things it might be. But if I head down the road of reasoning it out, then I fairly quickly can veer off into the answer because I've been on that route before and I recognize it!

 

I agree with Regentrude that one can't be fluent by stopping and analyzing every little thing, so my method can be frustrating at first. But I find there is usually only one thing at a time that is getting me stuck. It'll be another thing next time, so being fluent in the one thing won't necessarily carry over. It's just helped me to develop a strategy that works for me in all situations. And I try to help my kids develop their own strategies for their own weaknesses, which are not the same as mine. In fact, I sometimes tell them that this is the best thing I can offer them -- time in our homeschool to learn what works best for them. They don't necessarily appreciate this - they just want me to give them the answers :)

 

Don't know if I'm making any sense. But one side benefit of this has been that I find I'm a good tutor for confused kids, because I really relate to the student's problems -- I've been there and recognize what particular parts are confusing, even if they think it must be all confusing. :)

 

So, in case your student is anything like me, I present my strange ways of thinking,

Julie

 

You know Julie, I think both my daughter and I are like you...And my first reflex was to ask her how she had tried to think about the problem if she couldn't figure it out....Here I will confess that I remember looking at the same type of fraction and not remembering what to do as well...(People might be really wondering how I ever got my ds3 through homeschool with Calculus - and I think it is with your approach Julie - having strategies to deal with my weaknesses - though they seem to be escaping me these days :-))

 

And my ds3 just told dd about an hour ago (after I'd told her that she needed to think through a problem), that the most important thing she could learn to do in homeschool was to 'think'....He said that he seems to be better at it than a bunch of the other kids in his class...So then I was trying to think what I did with him...and realized that he'd done the Critical Thinking and some logic books (which I think I've mostly left out with dd)..

 

I have to go to bed now but I'm feeling hopeful with all these ideas,

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How do you organize correcting time? planning time? teaching time? studying the subject you need to teach time?

 

So how do you limit yourself - for online or email time? organizing activities for others? helping your neighbors? besides of course - cooking, cleaning, spending time with your spouse?

 

Background: I have two high school students. Both study piano; they practice for 1 to 1.5 hours daily and take a weekly lesson of 2 to 3 hours. Both study a second instrument; they practice for 45 minutes daily and take a weekly lesson of 45 to 60 minutes. Both swim; they practice for 2 hours every weekday September through March and May through July. And then there are all of those meets, rec and USA swimming.

 

Just the above addresses your question about organzing my time. I organize it around their practices, lessons, performances, and meets, and I complete any "teacherly" work (reading, studying, reviewing papers, and planning (such as it is) while they are engaged in their music or swimming. (Aside: Similarly, when one is on the piano, the other is "free" for any one-on-one she may need, which has been quite wonderful for independent study projects.)

 

As far as limiting myself, I'm fairly disciplined about online activities, having ruthlessly trimmed my virtual itinerary some time ago.

 

Evening swim practices and stroke clinics mean a hour or two (depending on when he gets home) during which my husband and I can take walks, bike, and catch up with each other. During the summer, when practices are held in the morning, we often ride in the morning and practice archery in the evening with the girls. We have contracted with a lawn service and a handyman firm so that our free time together can be spent on the things we love -- trips downtown for theater, museums, CSO, opera, etc.; archery; biking; walks; family film nights; games; etc. (We do *not* love yard work, gardening, or honey-do lists. *wry grin*)

 

If by "organizing activities for others" you mean volunteer service hours, my husband fulfills those at the girls' meets, and I have given time to the team in the past organizing meets. For the most part, though, those days are behind me.

 

As for cleaning and cooking, the former just came easily to me and the latter... well, I've always been a big fan of catering, healthy takeout, and restaurants. *shrug* I've been that way for thirty years. It's even built into the retirement budget. *wry grin*

 

You know, I had thought that I'd tackle the idea that high school students somehow require less "teaching time" than younger students, the idea that if they're not learning independently, we've done something if not wrong, then certainly something less than ideal, but I'll refrain, limiting myself to the questions from the OP rather than the issues in the replies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as limiting myself, I'm fairly disciplined about online activities, having ruthlessly trimmed my virtual itinerary some time ago.

 

What helped you do that the most? I think I've been most focused on email and sometimes the board...otherwise it's researching for things needed for something or other...

 

Evening swim practices and stroke clinics mean a hour or two (depending on when he gets home) during which my husband and I can take walks, bike, and catch up with each other. During the summer, when practices are held in the morning, we often ride in the morning and practice archery in the evening with the girls. We have contracted with a lawn service and a handyman firm so that our free time together can be spent on the things we love -- trips downtown for theater, museums, CSO, opera, etc.; archery; biking; walks; family film nights; games; etc. (We do *not* love yard work, gardening, or honey-do lists. *wry grin*)

 

I see you have made priorities and then planned accordingly...You sound very organized....

 

If by "organizing activities for others" you mean volunteer service hours, my husband fulfills those at the girls' meets, and I have given time to the team in the past organizing meets. For the most part, though, those days are behind me.

 

Yes...organizing field trips, or a get together for the kids, or for my elderly neighbor, etc...I think I'll always be doing something of this nature...But just when I was being a bit firm with a friend who wanted to visit her husband in a home for the aged (making the visit shorter and not going in myself), several days later he passed away. I was so glad that I'd at least brought her, but wished that I would have gone in to see him myself....I need insight about when to say yes and no...

 

As for cleaning and cooking, the former just came easily to me and the latter... well, I've always been a big fan of catering, healthy takeout, and restaurants. *shrug* I've been that way for thirty years. It's even built into the retirement budget. *wry grin*

 

You know, I had thought that I'd tackle the idea that high school students somehow require less "teaching time" than younger students, the idea that if they're not learning independently, we've done something if not wrong, then certainly something less than ideal, but I'll refrain, limiting myself to the questions from the OP rather than the issues in the replies.

 

I am actually quite interested in your thoughts....if you don't want to post - please PM....I know all of have quite different lives, different responsibilities, different opportunities, etc. etc....And hardly any of us lay out all the variables to see if they match, so we have to see how the advice matches our real lives, our capacities, our children's needs and opportunities or lack there of, etc....I think it's important to hear all voices...

 

ETA - I see that a s/o thread was already started before I asked and here is her answer for those interested (since threads get separated so easily)

 

Thanks!

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I log time (required by law plus easy way to keep track of credits). My students have an agenda where they are responsible for writing down how much time they spend per subject per day and on what. (As of this year, I no longer require this of DD with her major outside classes)

I am putting this into my excel spreadsheet which takes five minutes at the end of the week. The spreadsheet is programmed to add times per subject along the column and times per day along the rows, with hardly any effort for me. Maybe something like this would help?

 

- print a simple grid for the week and write in each of my son's accomplishments for the day (chemistry #39, gov. constitution part 1, book club, college apps...), and any unusual things for the next day that I might forget (correct science test, discuss an outside opportunity...), so I can keep track of what's going on and not make errors in judgment

 

 

I'm so excited!

 

I think I've found at least part of my problem!

 

It was trying to go paperless just using the electronic program for planning and record-keeping...Then I would have to go into the program to document things and see what was supposed to be there and all that added up to distraction and this nebulous 'cloud' that wasn't always before my eyes...Yes, I could keep the window open, but to do other things it had to be hidden. I wasted so much time.

 

So I'm putting these two ideas together in a way....using a sheet with the days and subjects (still have to tweek it a bit) where I can jot notes of what to do and what's done, and then enter it all at the end of the week!

 

(I'm not saying the program is bad, just entering every little bit as you go, one by one, rather than doing it all at once will really change time and focus. Thinking back, it was when I started trying to have the program as central, that I started going off track - besides having several other circumstances that didn't help matters.)

 

Oh that sounds so simple doesn't it? But already I can see that having a paper sheet before me with the whole week is what I needed to help keep me focused and keep the option open of making notes to myself without going to the computer (sometimes having to turn it on even)....

 

I still need to work through other aspects of planning but this is making a huge difference already.

 

So thank you both so much!!!

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder how old you are and how close you are to menopause. There is a very real thing called menopause brain fog. http://www.urmc.roch...dex.cfm?id=3436

 

I'm in my early 50s and I can tell this is a problem, too. I have read that it will eventually clear off and diet and exercise will help, but still, it's a pain.

 

 

I know I have this in addition to fibro fog, which is a similar brain fog but caused by fibromyalgia. I hope the menopause based brain fog eases up; I had more than enough fibro fog already.

 

This appears in our house as me telling dd "I am not the dictionary-if you don't understand a word look it up (in that book-the one next to you)." If she still doesn't get it I am happy to help but sometimes they need to learn to take responsibility for acquiring knowledge and using a dictionary is a great first step. We've just reached a point finally where the books exceed her vocabulary and context isn't always helpful. At the start of 9th she was given her own personal dictionary for just such occasions. I'd like to break that "ask mom first" habit before I'm getting 3 am phone calls from uni :001_rolleyes:

 

 

My DS is 2e and finds dictionaries overwhelming. I finally bought him a small electronic one to ease him into the idea that asking me wasn't the first option. (This was even more important because my brain fog is almost overwhelming on rainy days. Also I remind him regularly that I'm not going to college with him.) Slowly I'm easing him into the several addtional resources we have: Oxford dictionary, etymology dictionary, thesaurus, and the American Heritage dictionary for historical definitions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My youngest enters 9th grade this fall, followed by sister in 8th. I plan to continue my old time management trick during the high school years: Monday is cleaning day. I'm not kidding. On Monday I am around the house (cleaning, etc.), but definitely not available. In fact, I have a hearing protection headphone with pleasant radio/music to cancel out the vacuum cleaner and other noise. It's a military campaign to restore order. The kids have their academic calendars filled out with independent work -- for the history, science, and lit subjects, this means reading, for the IEW, it means writing/outlining, for math, it means review/check your work. By the end of the day, I have a decent supply of fresh undies and clean grout to get through another week, and the kids have some time management practice and completed assignments. Oh, and they must clean their rooms and change sheets, too. My son handles all the yard work and my daughter has to do lighter gardening and housekeeping in the room which she messes up pretty badly with art projects. Don't visit me on Sunday - it's hopeless..... entropy is real. Another time management tool I picked up during law school: do as much work as you can from Monday to Friday so that you can eke out a dabbins of free time on the weekend. Sometimes it isn't possible, for example, during test week. However, I am constantly reminding the kids to view Monday to Friday as a work week so that assignments are not delayed to the weekend. Work while you work, play while you play.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know I have this in addition to fibro fog, which is a similar brain fog but caused by fibromyalgia. I hope the menopause based brain fog eases up; I had more than enough fibro fog already.

 

My DS is 2e and finds dictionaries overwhelming. I finally bought him a small electronic one to ease him into the idea that asking me wasn't the first option.

 

I truly hope it gets better for you too; it is so hard to think with brain fog...

 

The electronic dictionaries, etc. could be quite helpful for some people - good idea...

 

My youngest enters 9th grade this fall, followed by sister in 8th. I plan to continue my old time management trick during the high school years: Monday is cleaning day. I'm not kidding. On Monday I am around the house (cleaning, etc.), but definitely not available. In fact, I have a hearing protection headphone with pleasant radio/music to cancel out the vacuum cleaner and other noise. It's a military campaign to restore order. The kids have their academic calendars filled out with independent work --

 

I think this is a fantastic idea!!!

 

I'm going to use it - but for a planning, material prep, etc day or something like that. It would kill two birds with one stone - make a dedicated planning time and practice independence time.

 

Thank you!!

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our "do the next thing" is definitely not always wading through textbooks. With ds, I lay out what I think needs to happen for the year and he adds and subtracts and we tweak as we go along. This year's Brit history class started with Fraser's history book....

 

You've gotten me interested and I'm thinking of doing a half credit Brit Lit course next year...what is this history book by Fraser?

 

Thanks,

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm off to a photoshoot in a little bit, but here's what I've always done. The only "mommy intensive" stuff was math. Everything else was a brief discussion and then they had to critically look at the material. I am a major planner so I've got lesson plans (that I do over the summer, all at once). Things change but I've found it easier for me to write things in rather than erase what we did not accomplish.

 

She's a senior this year and we've got a lot planned. One thing that is going to help me get it all done is block scheduling. It lessens the time needed during the day, covers more material, and more importantly, covers all of the material.

 

One thing I have to remember is this: just because a course is a half credit, doesn't mean you should force yourself into only teaching that course in one semester. You can still give her the half credit or you can combine something like American Government with an Economics course all in one. Those are traditionally half credit/semester courses. But now you can give her a full credit each if you want because you've expanded upon each course and made it more like an honors course (more work) than a regular half semester course.

 

As for scheduling time, one thing I've learned not to do is housework during school. I know this may not be feasible for others, but I simply can not concentrate, they can't concentrate, etc... So housework is suspended during school work. We do take 15 minute breaks during the day though and at that time, while lunch is cooking, she'll do a quick clean up of whatever is immediate.

 

I've not read all the replies, so I don't know if anything I've said is even helpful. The only thing that comes to mind is "Stop trying to do it all, Mom". I gave up on that a long time ago. You are not superwoman nor should you be expected to be her.

 

If they time thing is what's bugging you, then do something traditional schools do. Block off 30mins-1 hour per subject. For math, 30mins. Then she comes to you, gets the proof book to correct, freeing you from doing that. Once she's self-corrected (I would tell her not to erase her wrong answers, but instead do the problem on a new piece of paper), you now have the leisure of grading it yourself when you can. For Literature, a non-writing assignment I would block off 30-45 mins. She has 30 mins to read and 15 to answer questions. Or however she wants to do this (if she's a fast reader, she won't need that long). Then, after she's done, you can look at her answers and have your discussion based on her answers. Chemistry can be done the same. 30mins-1 hour for the lab and writing that goes with it, while you cautiously supervise. When lab experiment is done, you go over her lab notes with her, planning any additional experiments as needed.

 

The whole point to this is that during those time frames, you are free to do as you need to. This means not only does she know she only has, say, 30 mins. but you know you have 30 mins. And this schedule works well in a block format too.

 

Anyway, don't know if I've helped, but that's what I do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm off to a photoshoot in a little bit, but here's what I've always done. The only "mommy intensive" stuff was math. Everything else was a brief discussion and then they had to critically look at the material.

 

I am a major planner so I've got lesson plans (that I do over the summer, all at once). Things change but I've found it easier for me to write things in rather than erase what we did not accomplish.

 

She's a senior this year and we've got a lot planned. One thing that is going to help me get it all done is block scheduling. It lessens the time needed during the day, covers more material, and more importantly, covers all of the material.

 

One thing I have to remember is this: just because a course is a half credit, doesn't mean you should force yourself into only teaching that course in one semester. You can still give her the half credit or you can combine something like American Government with an Economics course all in one. Those are traditionally half credit/semester courses. But now you can give her a full credit each if you want because you've expanded upon each course and made it more like an honors course (more work) than a regular half semester course.

 

As for scheduling time, one thing I've learned not to do is housework during school. I know this may not be feasible for others, but I simply can not concentrate, they can't concentrate, etc... So housework is suspended during school work. We do take 15 minute breaks during the day though and at that time, while lunch is cooking, she'll do a quick clean up of whatever is immediate.

 

I've not read all the replies, so I don't know if anything I've said is even helpful. The only thing that comes to mind is "Stop trying to do it all, Mom". I gave up on that a long time ago. You are not superwoman nor should you be expected to be her.

 

If the time thing is what's bugging you, then do something traditional schools do. Block off 30mins-1 hour per subject. For math, 30mins. Then she comes to you, gets the proof book to correct, freeing you from doing that. Once she's self-corrected (I would tell her not to erase her wrong answers, but instead do the problem on a new piece of paper), you now have the leisure of grading it yourself when you can. For Literature, a non-writing assignment I would block off 30-45 mins. She has 30 mins to read and 15 to answer questions. Or however she wants to do this (if she's a fast reader, she won't need that long). Then, after she's done, you can look at her answers and have your discussion based on her answers. Chemistry can be done the same. 30mins-1 hour for the lab and writing that goes with it, while you cautiously supervise. When lab experiment is done, you go over her lab notes with her, planning any additional experiments as needed.

 

The whole point to this is that during those time frames, you are free to do as you need to. This means not only does she know she only has, say, 30 mins. but you know you have 30 mins. And this schedule works well in a block format too.

 

Anyway, don't know if I've helped, but that's what I do.

 

Thank you! There are some very practical ideas in there that I plan to try.

 

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Joan, I really appreciate this thread. I feel I am spending my time a lot like you, and am not sure it's working.

 

This is just my rambling ...I do think, for me, some of my lack of "structure" with my time is menopause (super grateful for that link). I also think that as I become less "hands-on" with my kids I have more time. I am not used to this, so I fill it with rabbit trails that don't get me anywhere. In the past, when I had more demand on my time, I accomplished more. I figure my brain is in transition; I hope that time, and threads like these, will eventually get me back on course (whatever that may look like).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also think that as I become less "hands-on" with my kids I have more time. I am not used to this, so I fill it with rabbit trails that don't get me anywhere. In the past, when I had more demand on my time, I accomplished more.

 

I figure my brain is in transition; I hope that time, and threads like these, will eventually get me back on course (whatever that may look like).

 

Yes, I think before there were so many things to get done, that a lot got accomplished.

 

Perhaps it's partly because tasks are so much less concrete than, as you say, 'hands-on' activities....so then they are less measureable?

 

I have a feeling it is somehow related to deadlines as well....I saw how much I could focus even recently when I had the AP audit (suddenly it was even easier to read all the info - but then people were also leaving me alone + I ate a lot of chocolate - does that help focus?) and taxes deadline....But I don't have anyone giving me other deadlines for planning....(though I also think the brain fog has an effect as well)

 

I like your thought about 'brain in transition'....yes, I'm hoping that time and ideas will help too...

 

I wonder how old you are and how close you are to menopause. There is a very real thing called menopause brain fog. http://www.urmc.roch...dex.cfm?id=3436

 

I'm in my early 50s and I can tell this is a problem, too. I have read that it will eventually clear off and diet and exercise will help, but still, it's a pain.

 

Candid - I hadn't paid attention to what you wrote about diet and exercise helping....Could you give specifics?

 

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Candid - I hadn't paid attention to what you wrote about diet and exercise helping....Could you give specifics?

 

Joan

 

 

Not really, :D I noticed mentions of it when I searched to find a link to give you on the existence of brain fog, but I did not read closely. It makes sense to me, and I have no more to say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not really, :D I noticed mentions of it when I searched to find a link to give you on the existence of brain fog, but I did not read closely. It makes sense to me, and I have no more to say.

 

I thought I'd save search time by asking :-) So now have done a search of my own...

 

While thisis perhaps helpful related to 'diet'....

 

I also came upon this article which says

 

"With a brain already full of well-connected pathways, adult learners should “jiggle their synapses a bit†by confronting thoughts that are contrary to their own, says Dr. Taylor, who is 66."

 

That is just fascinating! Think - everytime we read threads where we politely disagree and have to consider each others' contrary opinions - this is healthy for our aging brains!!!

 

It's the perfect excuse for reading....I can hear it now..."You don't want your mom's brain to get worse do you? Let her spend some more time on the hive." :-) Though we probably get lots of contrary opinions when dealing with our children as well....

 

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's the perfect excuse for reading....I can hear it now..."You don't want your mom's brain to get worse do you? Let her spend some more time on the hive." :-) Though we probably get lots of contrary opinions when dealing with our children as well....

 

 

:lol: :lol: This made me laugh - I guess because I'd use it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This 7 minute workout is great!

 

It's been scientifically developed so that you are working different muscle groups each time which gives the others a rest, but you are constantly moving...

 

30 sec each for 12 exercises as fast as you can...10 sec or less, in between to change position basically ..

 

My pecs and other parts are hurting :-) and I thought I was in shape....

 

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Kimber2013

You know, I had thought that I'd tackle the idea that high school students somehow require less "teaching time" than younger students, the idea that if they're not learning independently, we've done something if not wrong, then certainly something less than ideal, but I'll refrain, limiting myself to the questions from the OP rather than the issues in the replies.

I actually would like to explore this thought. Right now I have a 6th and 8th grader so I try to do history and science together and Latin and Spanish together and I do it all with them. I feel that they get a lot more out of it if I participate because I have perspective to offer them just from my years of living. I don't feel that teens have enough background to really understand history without some help. We actually do History at Our House together and I like that sometimes the teacher spends quite a bit of time trying to put historical events or a culture into perspective for the students. I add my own two cents as we go. I like the idea of teens being more responsible for their own education, but it needs limits. I will explore letting my oldest have more control over in what order she does her work and how much of it to do at a time, but I don't think the best option for us is for me to give her most of the control. My thoughts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually would like to explore this thought. Right now I have a 6th and 8th grader so I try to do history and science together and Latin and Spanish together and I do it all with them.

 

I feel that they get a lot more out of it if I participate because I have perspective to offer them just from my years of living.

 

I don't feel that teens have enough background to really understand history without some help. We actually do History at Our House together and I like that sometimes the teacher spends quite a bit of time trying to put historical events or a culture into perspective for the students. I add my own two cents as we go.

 

I like the idea of teens being more responsible for their own education, but it needs limits. I will explore letting my oldest have more control over in what order she does her work and how much of it to do at a time, but I don't think the best option for us is for me to give her most of the control. My thoughts.

 

I certainly agree about needing to participate....(I think some of the moms are just discussing things at other times of the day - but I like to have a platform of a subject to stimulate discussions)...

 

And for history, I can't think of any single source/program that I agree with 100%, so they should get to hear my opinion too (not that I have time to go through everything with a toothbrush - I disagree when we happen to be going over something together and we come across something I disagree with), even if they choose to believe something different....and it's good to pick out or help identify misconceptions or possible misinterpretations (not that I'm an expert by any means, but I do believe it important to have a bit of respectful skepticism)

 

Also, for doing chemistry labs, it's a good idea to have adult supervision :-)

 

And for people who don't have the option of outside classes - coops, CC, or other subject type classes, I think it's important to have some interaction with a teacher who will ask the Socratic questions, give suggestions of rabbit trails that might match a student's interest, etc....

 

But I really like the idea of one day a week that is "an independent work day"

 

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually would like to explore this thought. Right now I have a 6th and 8th grader so I try to do history and science together and Latin and Spanish together and I do it all with them. I feel that they get a lot more out of it if I participate because I have perspective to offer them just from my years of living. I don't feel that teens have enough background to really understand history without some help. We actually do History at Our House together and I like that sometimes the teacher spends quite a bit of time trying to put historical events or a culture into perspective for the students. I add my own two cents as we go. I like the idea of teens being more responsible for their own education, but it needs limits. I will explore letting my oldest have more control over in what order she does her work and how much of it to do at a time, but I don't think the best option for us is for me to give her most of the control. My thoughts.

 

I replied elsewhere. (In short, it sounds as if we share some ideas.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

This year's Brit history class started with Fraser's history book and it just so happned that there were 12 or so chapters. I suggested that he read each chapter, we'd find interesting other books to read or films to see, and then he'd write a paper.

 

 

Margaret - I'm seriously thinking of dd doing British literature for half credit next year and I did find the name of Fraser's book in another post of yours :-)...

 

Would you mind sharing the topics of the papers your son wrote? Did he propose them or did you? I have trouble thinking of realistic topics for papers....

 

And how much time did you give him to write the papers? and how many pages were they?

 

Thanks!

Joan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...