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Schedule input needed, please

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Goodness, I feel like I'm posting a lot lately! Sorry! :)


Today my focus was scheduling: traditional vs. block. Thank you all for posting on the many threads I read through! Looking at the traditional schedule makes my head hurt! I like the look of block scheduling on paper but would like input/ideas if you all don't mind. I'm not trying to complete a subject in one semester, rather I'd like to cut down on the # of classes/subjects done in one day plus give my dc more time to focus on certain subjects (which is what they prefer).


Now before anyone says I should just let my dc choose what they want to work on and throw out the schedule let me assure you that we tried that. It was a dismal failure. All of them appreciate having a bit of a guideline/structure.


Here's what I came up with:


M/T Chemistry 8-9:45; Economics 10-11:45

W Economics (meet all together) 8-9; English 9-10

Th/F History 8-9:45; English 10-11:45


Afternoons would look the same all week: Math, Spanish, Bible (about an hour for each subject).


One thing I really like about this is being able to focus on fewer subjects for homework. By Wednesday evening all Chemistry and Economics should be done, leaving English and History as the focus for Th/F and the weekend.


We will be using Economics in a Box so for those who have gone through that program, do you think a block schedule would work well? We'll be adding TTC DVDs after completing EB.

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My youngest dd's public school schedule has 2 block days in the week and she really likes it. She feels they have time to really get into the subject rather than trying to rush through one period. I would think all you could do is give it a trial period and see how things go. On paper, I think it sounds good. I wish my homeschooled son would work on a block schedule but the thought of doing more than one hour in one subject each day is very unappealing to him. I told him we should do it for at least some of his classes during senior year because college semesters usually schedule classes only two days a week. I can't remember how long the classes are though. I have the worst memory.

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I have no real input since I do not schedule, but one question: does afternoon math work well for your kids? It does not for mine; if there is one subject that I require to be done in the morning, it is math.
The dc have said that math in the morning is a killer for them. Right after lunch having had both food and a break works well for math for them. What they really dislike is having math as the last subject (which I remember feeling in high school as well).
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We ended up trying a block schedule last year and it really helped us. We are in a co-op that meets on Fridays, all day. So all the work needed to be done before Friday.... For the co-op we had TOG history, TOG literature, R&S Eng grammar with CC or CW for writing, one ds also had Lingua Latina class. Each class estimated 4 hours of homework. One ds did math with me and the other had 2 maths via an online classes. In the 1st semester both also had a programming class with Dad. So we ended up doing 4 hour time slots, trying to get a subject/class done in a morning and another one or 1 hr of math done in the afternoon. I found the the math with me was the hardest because I tend to do teach it daily not weekly so that threw that subject off a bit. Otherwise it worked pretty well. My guys are spacey and easily distracted so we still had some late Thursday nights as they scrambled to get it all done...but that's why I like a co-op, they push more for it then for just me.


Next year I'm thinking of doing something similar. I may actually plan which days/times get which classes. I might also split some of the work into 2 hr chunks and spread it out. This will be for the 8th grader. My 3rd grader will probably still do a regular schedule. Keep in mind that we will have a soon to be 3 year old to deal with also.


My 12th grader will be dual enrolling in the local Community College, so his schedule will be different. He will focus his 3-4 hours on the class or classes just finished. Get all the work done right away. Then pre-read for next class and work on longer term projects.


I will also have a 1st year college student who will be continuing classes at our Community College. Her schedule is up to her but we push for doing all the work for the class just attended, then pre-reading w/notetaking, and long term projects.

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We've done blockish schedules for a couple of years. Next year I'm trying rotating A and B block days. Basically, you'll hit each class 5 times over 2 weeks. The only issue we've had with block schedule is helping ds realize he must do more in one sitting BECAUSE you're meeting fewer times per week. Since we do a lot of custom-type courses, I've had to make sure we schedule the daily work appropriately so we're not behind by December. I'm working on the scheduling of next year, not quite sure how it will all work yet.

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We did a block schedule last year. I modeled it after a nearby school district that does semester blocks. We did 2 hours of class each day for 1 semester. We kept math and foreign language as full year classes and worked on them 1 hour/day (or as much as needed math is slow around here). For ds it looked something like:


First semester:

Geometry 6-7:30

Chemistry 8-10:00

Japanese was one hour per day and Language Arts 2 hours per day independently.

Band 2:45-3:45 (M/W at private school)


Second Semester:

Algebra 2: 6-8:00

Personal Finance: 8:30-9:30

History 10:30-12:30

Japanese & Computer programming were done one hour each day independently.

Band 2:45-3:45 (M/W at private school)


We all liked it. My kids much preferred having 4-5 classes at a time. The things I teach or interact with are scheduled. Then they have a to do list to guide them through the other classes. My kids need more structure than "Here is the work you need to get done, do it as you please." Maybe that is a lack of maturity, but I don't do well without structure either, so I don't blame them.


ETA: We will be doing something similar again this year.

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