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What Would You Do in My Situation?


What Would You Do in My Situation?  

81 members have voted

  1. 1. I would...

    • Take summer off
      6
    • Keep going and finish 3rd grade
      59
    • Do fun learning and skip the books during summer
      11
    • Other (leave comment)
      5


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I took off homeschooling during my pregnancy due to difficulties and then we took off 3 months when the baby was born.  We still have a long ways to go to finish 3rd grade, but if we keep schooling 4 days a week through summer, we will finish the basics by October.  If we take summer off, we will not finish until Christmas most likely.  I'm wondering how will we ever get caught up?  Originally, we decided on a school year that started in January and ended by Thanksgiving - so if we follow that, we are ok.  However, I keep finding myself pulled back to the Sept. start and May finish because other homeschooling friends are doing the same and they want to hang out and do things in the summer.

 

My dd9 really wants to have a summer off like all the other kids and it is a struggle to get her to do school.  Whenever we go somewhere and come back and try to do school - neither one of us wants to. 

 

Should I.....keep going OR stop and enjoy summer? Or something else? 

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I think you deserve to stop & enjoy your summer! No one wants to be schooling too intensively during summer :thumbdown:

To me, the difference between finishing in October & around Christmas is minimal. It's a bit public school standard to start in the Fall, but I think that's a good plan. After the hype of summer it's easier to get excited about school and fall (at least for me & my daughter).

 

You seem to be set on taking the summer off-- go with that instinct! Best of luck, you'll make the right decision & pull it all off :thumbup:

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Make a weekly plan with your homeschool friends for a week day afternoon after school is done. That way they can see their friends but you still get school done.

 

Our situation as far as time is a bit different than most.  We start homeschool at 11am because we have late nights with church functions.  I wake at 9 with the baby and then my daughter wakes then or by 10.  By the time we get home, get settled, the bedtime is usually 12, sometimes 11 for her, I'm lucky if I'm asleep by 1.  So, by the time we finish school it is almost dinnertime.

 

Here is how we schedule our day, the baby's feedings, diaper changes, etc. are what delay us and why school takes so long.  I try and have my daughter do her independent work when I'm taking care of the baby and then when he naps is when I teach.

 

9-11 Wake up, breakfast, chores

11-130 pm - Homeschool

130 pm - Lunch break

2-5 pm - Homeschool

 

Then dinner and evening activities, which include a lot of late nights. 

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Make plans with your friends, just not every day.  On the days you're home, try to get some work done,even if it's not everything you would accomplish on a perfect day.  Most of all, don't stress about it--you've got time to catch up.  Just keep plugging along  :001_smile:.  

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Our situation as far as time is a bit different than most.  We start homeschool at 11am because we have late nights with church functions.  I wake at 9 with the baby and then my daughter wakes then or by 10.  By the time we get home, get settled, the bedtime is usually 12, sometimes 11 for her, I'm lucky if I'm asleep by 1.  So, by the time we finish school it is almost dinnertime.

 

Here is how we schedule our day, the baby's feedings, diaper changes, etc. are what delay us and why school takes so long.  I try and have my daughter do her independent work when I'm taking care of the baby and then when he naps is when I teach.

 

9-11 Wake up, breakfast, chores

11-130 pm - Homeschool

130 pm - Lunch break

2-5 pm - Homeschool

 

Then dinner and evening activities, which include a lot of late nights.

I think that you should keep schooling and remind your daughter that she had her break. However, I would just do the basics: math, spelling (unless she is a natural speller but given you use AAS, I'm guessing she is not), any phonics instruction she needs (if she is a good reader I would just have her do at least half an hour of free reading) and some type of writing (I can't remember if you use a curriculum). I would pick up Science and History in the fall. You could have a book basket for her to read from during free reading that is full of science/history topics. That should easily take 1 1/2-2 hours. She can do her free reading (and possibly writing)while you are busy with the baby, leaving math and spelling (and possibly writing) for your 11:00 slot. You'll be done by 1 easily, leaving the afternoon free to hang out.

 

ETA: grammar and latin can be dropped until the fall, too, without any perceivable loss.

 

You seem to be schooling a lot of hours for third grade.

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My vote is to continue with the math. I'm not certain where her reading is, but you could have her read to you, do some phonics (if still needed). Or possibly have her read a book and narrate it out loud to you. I always asked my daughter to have one fiction and one non-fiction going when she was that age. Alternate the fiction between science and history. 

 

Some school is getting done and some fun.

 

Linda

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I'd push through to finish the 3rs as quickly as possible, taking a little(week or less) break every six weeks or so. After finishing this years material I would take a few weeks off and start with all the new material, including all subjects, making a schedule to finish it on time or as close as we could reasonably manage. I'd include working some through next summer if needed. If you are just doing the 3rs for now it should leave plenty of time for playing.

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If it were me and I hadn't met my 180 days I had to do I would keep going till I hit that but I would probably lighten the load and just do the essentials like Math, reading and some writing. If I had finished my required days I would just pick up in the Fall. A lot of the programs you are using can be done in 3rd or 4th so I wouldn't worry about that. Usually the beginning of math is review so you might be fine dropping math a little early too and starting the next level in 4th grade.

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I think that you should keep schooling and remind your daughter that she had her break. However, I would just do the basics: math, spelling (unless she is a natural speller but given you use AAS, I'm guessing she is not), any phonics instruction she needs (if she is a good reader I would just have her do at least half an hour of free reading) and some type of writing (I can't remember if you use a curriculum). I would pick up Science and History in the fall. You could have a book basket for her to read from during free reading that is full of science/history topics. That should easily take 1 1/2-2 hours. She can do her free reading (and possibly writing)while you are busy with the baby, leaving math and spelling (and possibly writing) for your 11:00 slot. You'll be done by 1 easily, leaving the afternoon free to hang out.

 

ETA: grammar and latin can be dropped until the fall, too, without any perceivable loss.

 

You seem to be schooling a lot of hours for third grade.

 

:iagree:   I would keep going with just the basics, primarily math because it keeps building on itself and can be hard to catch up to where you want to be later if you get behind. Grade levels for other material are pretty arbitrary.

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I'd get cracking with a 5, 6, or maybe 7 day schedule that had some flexibility built in to the schedule for fun play opportunities to be enjoyed (but with those hours made up somewhere). Whatever it takes to be on schedule by September.

 

The party is over!

 

Bill (very mean :D)

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In my state, we are required to teach 11 subjects: occupational education, science, math, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, art and music.  I don't know if these are required for everyday but we are also required to school 180 days OR 1,000 hours a year.  We don't have to school from Sept. till May like the PS schedule, it is very flexible. 

 

I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to start our new school year in January?  I had originally had this plan and we would be scheduled to start 4th grade in January and we would be right on time (even taking summer off) for this schedule.  I know there are many that follow this and wondering if this is a solution to our problem.

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In my state, we are required to teach 11 subjects: occupational education, science, math, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, art and music. I don't know if these are required for everyday but we are also required to school 180 days OR 1,000 hours a year. We don't have to school from Sept. till May like the PS schedule, it is very flexible.

 

I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to start our new school year in January? I had originally had this plan and we would be scheduled to start 4th grade in January and we would be right on time (even taking summer off) for this schedule. I know there are many that follow this and wondering if this is a solution to our problem.

Sounds like "kicking the can down the road" to me.

 

If you do January to Thanksgiving you'll have the same problem next summer that you don't seem to want to face now. Sorry, but it sounds like a recipe to get further and further behind.

 

Take the hit now. You've had the time off, get working.

 

One man's opinion.

 

Bill

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I might be completely misinterpreting what you wrote (and if so, I apologize) but you stopped homeschooling while you were pregnant and then for an additional three months after the baby was born? So it's been 5 or 6 months since Dd did schoolwork on a regular basis? And then you would be adding another 2 months onto that break if you took the summer off?

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I might be completely misinterpreting what you wrote (and if so, I apologize) but you stopped homeschooling while you were pregnant and then for an additional three months after the baby was born? So it's been 5 or 6 months since Dd did schoolwork on a regular basis? And then you would be adding another 2 months onto that break if you took the summer off?

 

No, we took off time here and there during my pregnancy last year, which delayed the end of 2nd grade.  I was in the hospital a lot, but that is another story.  My baby was born at the end of November and we took off through late January (though she still kept reading).  We can either finish by October or December depending on if we take summer off (July and August).

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I think you will have to show DD that school is a priority and isn't optional.  When you do that is up to you.  We also have lots of issues that cause our schedule to fall off, and I school year round as a result.  Decide what your minimum educational requirements are- personally and legally, and then work out a plan to get them done.  If other activities have to take a hit, then that's too bad.  You decide the priorities in your life. 

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No, we took off time here and there during my pregnancy last year, which delayed the end of 2nd grade. I was in the hospital a lot, but that is another story. My baby was born at the end of November and we took off through late January (though she still kept reading). We can either finish by October or December depending on if we take summer off (July and August).

Ok, makes more sense now. I agree with Spy Car then; school through the summer or this is just going to snowball.

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Stopping and starting can be worse.

 

We never ever stop (6 days a week year round), and the oldest barely argues, even though all her friends are off.

 

Two hours a day six days a week will get more done than longer periods more rarely.

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Stopping and starting can be worse.

 

We never ever stop (6 days a week year round), and the oldest barely argues, even though all her friends are off.

 

Two hours a day six days a week will get more done than longer periods more rarely.

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Looking at your signature, I'd probably put most of my emphasis on finishing math, writing, and spelling. I didn't include grammar, because you could start in 4th grade with FLL4 without finishing FLL3. It repeats it all again, just like 3 repeated 2 and 2 repeated 1. History, science, and religion are content subjects, so I would be ok with them going into the next school year. Latin can also move around a bit between the years.

 

If you want to have a normal start/stop time, then go ahead and school now, finish up what I mention above, and once you have your state required days or hours, call 3rd grade "done". Then begin 4th grade immediately, planning to give your DD a summer next year. She just had several months off, so it is time to buckle down and do some work. At the same time, it's 3rd grade, and there isn't THAT much that must be taught in 3rd grade. In my state, I'd be ok with calling it a bump in the road and moving on to 4th at the appropriate time, but I don't have days/hours requirements like that. I would not want math or writing to get behind though, as those are the main biggies for that age, along with reading (I assume she's reading well, since you said she was still reading during breaks).

 

Tell her she had a long break already, so she has to work through this summer, but you'll try to get next summer off, or at least part of the summer off. I might take a couple years to get on a good schedule.

 

Also, your schedule has 5.5 hours for 3rd grade?!?!? My son just finished 3rd grade. It usually took us 2.5-3 hours to do math, grammar, writing, handwriting, spelling, history, science, Latin. If it's taking you 5.5 hours, you might want to look at how you might streamline your work to fit your schedule better (and your late nights make ME tired :lol:).

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I think it's fine to not abide by the traditional school schedule and mark your year whenever. We take off in the early fall and again in the spring. And we go all summer. Swim against the tide. I say push on through now then start your year in January as you planned.

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Continue with readin', writin', and 'rithmeic. Drop everything else for summer. I mean come on. You can't be behind in content subjects at 9yo. lol

 

Mandy

 

 

 

9-11 Wake up, breakfast, chores

11-130 pm - Homeschool

130 pm - Lunch break

2-5 pm - Homeschool

 

Then dinner and evening activities, which include a lot of late nights. 

 

I think the real problem is needing 5 1/2 hours a day to do 3rd grade work, mercy.  I was in your situation btw, with my ds being born while my dd was in 4th.  We lost an entire year, well because I don't bounce back very well, lol.  We did kits and oddball stuff and listened to audiobooks, but it was nothing stellar.  It didn't matter a FLIP.  Mandy is totally right on this one.

 

So you get sane.  It's summer, and no matter what, she shouldn't have to do more than 2 hours of work a day.  So you prune that list till it can get done in 2 hours a day.  If that means you put SOTW on as an audio while you drive places, so be it.  THE WORLD WILL NOT END.  YOU'RE GOING TO SEE ALL THIS STUFF AGAIN.  

 

Yes do math and a dab of LA every day for a total of no more than 2 hours.  Everything else just chill on.  Audio, kits, or see it again in the fall.  My kid is going into high school, and I can assure you it does NOT MATTER what science we did in 4th grade or even whether we did any.  It just doesn't.

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Just keep swimming!

 

Focus on the skills subjects 2-3* hours/day 6 days a week, (which will allow you to take days off here and there for summer fun with a clear conscience), you will be amazed what a little chugging away daily will get you.

 

Let the content subjects be your cool edutainment distraction when you need a breather. (Oh, look kids, you get to watch 2 Magic School Bus shows while I cook supper!) You can hit the science, history, etc. with a better plan of attack when you start the new school year. (Maybe by then you will even be getting to sleep though the night. :) )

 

*I would try to keep it to 2, but I know that I have a child that needs that extra time built in to keep anxiety down. I believe you do what you gotta do to make it work for you,YKWIM?

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If this was my situation, I would:

 

- Set-up a schedule in which I didn't school during the summer.  This is based on all the distractions mentioned in the first post (other homeschoolers' schedules, friends and activities, etc.).  Obviously this will not change next year.  There will still be other homeschoolers and their schedules as well as friends who want to play.

 

Or 

 

Do year-round and take six weeks off in the summer.  However, I would need to be firm with starting back up after those six weeks.  Personally I would rather take less than that in the summer and more in the December and springtime as that works for me.

 

- I would make a list of my core subjects - the must-dos.  From there I would prepare a summer schedule, starting this Monday.  The child(ren)'s schedule would start early, before 9am, if possible.  Once the child is finished then the rest of the day would be free for activities and friends.  Once the core subjects are completed, I would begin the new school year.

 

- New babies make homeschooling a challenge at times.  I've been there, several times.  To make my life easier, I would sit down and pre-plan the next school year.  I would browse a planning system that would work for my current lifestyle.  Perhaps I would try workboxes.  If using workboxes, I would pre-print a lot of the work and file them in a filing cabinet.  Each day I would easily put the assignments into the workboxes - along with stickers and treats.

 

-  Most of all I would be consistent.  I know that for me, if I am consistent, life is good.  I'm not stressed.  I don't feel guilty.  It's a huge difference.

 

-  Finally when next summer rolls around, I would let my daughter enjoy it. I would do activities with other homeschoolers and feel at ease because the year is finished.

 

As I mentioned this is what I would do.  It may not suit you or your family.  

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I'd keep going. She had a summer off. It just happened to be at a different time of year.

Where I live, all the kids spend the summer in camp. They have structure all day long. They play outside at night. A homeschooled kid can do the same.

 

FWIW, we spend about 1 hour per day doing school in the summer, concentrating on the basics.

 

Emily

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I schedule 5.5 hours of "school" but that isn't actual school-work as I have a highly distractable dd.  She also reads for almost 1 1/2 hours of that time.  Here is how it usually works out:

 

Bible - 20-30 minutes

Reading - 30 minutes morning; 40 minutes evening

Math - 40 minutes

Grammar - 15-20 minutes

Spelling - 30-40 minutes (she has difficulty with spelling, but since doing AAS, she is improving, she just needs more practice)

Writing - 15-20 minutes

Latin - 20-30 minutes (includes flashcard review)

 

Science - 1-2 hours 2 days a week

History - 1-2 hours 2 days a week

 

Art and Music - rarely ever done; but she is artsy and does crafts, coloring, etc. in her spare time and plays the piano

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If she actually has attention issues, she may turn out to be VSL.  You might try visualization techniques for the spelling to see if they help.  Freed describes them in Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World.  Might give you other ideas as well.

 

WWE and FLL weren't out when my dd was that age.  In some ways I think it was better, because we didn't get caught up in completing a bunch of curricula.  We just knew our target skills (from looking at WTM) and integrated them into whatever content subjects we were doing (history, science, whatever).  If she has the SKILLS, then completing the CURRICULA doesn't matter a fig.  WWE uses working memory very heavily, which can be an issue or drag down some kids with attention and EF issues.  FLL is too tedious.  For us Shurley was golden because it was short, sweet, and to the point.  We're talking 5-10 min. of grammar.  

 

I can't imagine if I had felt compelled to complete a list of curricula to say my kid was doing ok, rather than being able to look at the list in WTM and know we were fine *in spite* of a non-standard year.  You might find it freeing to back up and see if that can be the case for you.  Maybe get some of SWB's convention talks from PHP ($4 or 5 to download, right?) and see if you can get some peace there.  

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If she actually has attention issues, she may turn out to be VSL.  You might try visualization techniques for the spelling to see if they help.  Freed describes them in Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World.  Might give you other ideas as well.

 

WWE and FLL weren't out when my dd was that age.  In some ways I think it was better, because we didn't get caught up in completing a bunch of curricula.  We just knew our target skills (from looking at WTM) and integrated them into whatever content subjects we were doing (history, science, whatever).  If she has the SKILLS, then completing the CURRICULA doesn't matter a fig.  WWE uses working memory very heavily, which can be an issue or drag down some kids with attention and EF issues.  FLL is too tedious.  For us Shurley was golden because it was short, sweet, and to the point.  We're talking 5-10 min. of grammar.  

 

I can't imagine if I had felt compelled to complete a list of curricula to say my kid was doing ok, rather than being able to look at the list in WTM and know we were fine *in spite* of a non-standard year.  You might find it freeing to back up and see if that can be the case for you.  Maybe get some of SWB's convention talks from PHP ($4 or 5 to download, right?) and see if you can get some peace there.  

 

What is VSL and EF?  She is a kinesthetic learner and likes to do her math while riding on the exercise bike and she walks around while she reads.  Her strong subjects are math, reading and science.  Her weaknesses are spelling and writing.  We had to go back to WWE 2 because she was crying every time we did WWE 3 and couldn't get the dictation.  She still struggles with the dictation in WWE 2 and the narration, so we are trying to get that mastered.  She "invents" things all the time and is very math/science oriented, so not sure what side brain that is but I bet it is opposite of writing/spelling right?

 

I had a thought today of using the timer.  She uses it to do her math fact sheet, reading and cleaning her room and she seems to do really well with a timer.  I wonder if I start using the timer for all subjects if it would help her focus?  The baby distracts her a lot but we live in a trailer and it is hard to get away from the noise of the baby.

 

Thank you for all your help, I'm still reading and re-reading the responses and praying and thinking.....

 

BTW......I have ALL of SWB lectures and have listened to them all more than once but maybe it is time to bring them out again to refresh things.

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Should I.....keep going OR stop and enjoy summer? Or something else? 

 

I'd do something in between.  I'd continue working on the basics each morning: math, reading, writing/spelling, four days a week.  That would be the first thing to be done, period. It would take 1-1/2 hours each morning. If you stick to this for a week, it will easily become your routine. If something is scheduled that is too early, I'd discuss with my dc the need to do that work **ahead** of time if we wanted to be able to attend.   I'd also commit to reading aloud to my child at least five days a week, choosing a time that works with the baby's schedule. It might be during the afternoon nap, your dd's bedtime, etc.  I'd make it something worthwhile to read, a "living" history book or a children's classic.

 

I would have my playdates and hang out.  On your down days at home, you can take walks to the playground, turn on classical music in your house, have your dd help you cook or clean or entertain the baby. I would make a concentrated effort to make any other time at home an opportunity for my child to pursue her interests.  I would extremely limit all screen time unless it's something specifically educational--a PBS show, a learning computer game.  By sharing activities and encouraging her creativity, you can create a learning environment but not take up a lot of your direct attention. 

 

At the middle of August, I would call third grade over.  (Does it really matter where you are in your curriculum?)  I'd wait two or three weeks and begin fourth grade.

 

When we first began hsing, we didn't really take a summer break.  My kids didn't know any better.  Haha!  By mid-elementary though, we would take that break, also for the friend reason.  But we'd just find a convenient stopping place in our curriculum when I decided school would end and then pick it back up in the fall. While some of the curriculum we used had levels, they were not necessarily grade levels.  Some things we would finish early, and then we would begin the next book.  We never correlated our curriculum to the school year.  High school was a different story, but you're a long way out from that!

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I am not an expert on state laws and I'm not even sure which state you're in, but... I doubt it's intended that you teach all 11 subjects every day.

 

Here's what I would do: make a list of what's essential to finish, and why. Such as, we want to finish year 3 of math to keep her on track; we're doing a science coop next year so I would like to get through the last couple chapters of this science book... That sort of thing. Alternately, what's not important... Example, she'll review all this grammar next year and she has a good handle on it. (Not saying these will be the areas you choose, just examples.) Then take your first time slot, start at 11:00 every day, then school until 1:00 or 1:30. Make a plan as to what will be covered each day, ideally math, some sort of language arts, and one other subject. Make a requirement for her to read 30 minutes or more each day outside of that time.

 

This lets you whittle down the giant workload and focus on the major items. It also lets you keep going and get back on track, while still giving her a few hours each day to have fun.

 

Finally, whenever you plan to start 4th grade in the fall, take a full week off before you dive in, so you both can regroup a bit.

 

Good luck!!

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VSL=visual spatial learner.  Google it to learn more.

EF=executive function.  There are usually EF deficits (behind about 30%) in adhd.

 

Guffanti (speaks at homeschool conventions, has a book) says kinesthetic learners will usually get diagnosed adhd.  He thinks it's a bias against kinesthetic learners and toward the more conventional learning styles. (Not saying I agree or disagree, just thought his take was interesting.)  Nevertheless, the terms are helpful when they start cluing you into things that are going on.  For instance along with that EF deficit there will usually be working memory issues.  Working memory is something you can remediate.  It's getting used heavily in WWE, which is why she's crying.  Frankly, well I can't even speak calmly about WWE because it makes me so upset the way it confounds medical issues with academic ones.  If someone has EF issues, you don't remediate the working memory problems by tying it to spelling and handwriting.  That's fine for a NT (neurotypical) child who just naturally improves with a bit of stretch.  Other kids will hit a wall, and you see parents coming on the board talking about tears, needing to use it multiple labeled levels behind, etc.  Working memory is a medical issue.  If you want to work on it, work on it, but don't make her spelling and writing success depend on it.  

 

Over on the LC/SN board, we've had some threads talking about a hack version of Interactive Metronome at home using a metronome app.  With a few minutes of effort each day you can improve her working memory, bilateral brain function, and stimulate EF development in the brain.  And it costs you NOTHING to download a metronome app!  Definitely recommend.   :)

 

 

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I agree with dropping grammar. You will cover it again in fourth. Perhaps switch to rod and staff that has,a lot of review and practice for 4th grade to really cement it with her.

 

Definitely continue with math. I'd do 20min a day on spelling. Id keep up with wwe to keep her growing in writing. I'd probably just get science books and then find a way to finish SOTW (audio in the car on errands for instance). For fourth I would start her as soon in the fall as others because I find it easier to follow the schedule our friends have. Also, by mid to high school it will make more sense to start in fall, end in summer.

 

Obviously keep her reading daily (sounds like she loves it). I'd pick up latin in the fall.

 

Don't forget the baby will be a distractor in a year so really push diligence with the subjects she completes. Best wishes!

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The "learning styles" business still has no evidence behind it: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/answer-sheet/daniel-willingham/the-big-idea-behind-learning.html . Teaching well will teach every student, no special kinesthetics required.

 

Wow, you know I usually only slam someone when I've been in their shoes.  ;)

 

But whatever, experts are wrong quite regularly and things are taken out of context, not to mention people may use terms imprecisely...

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This is an entirely different issue than whether or not you should continue or what subjects you should continue through the summer. As far as that goes, I stand behind what I said earlier. (readin', writin', and 'rithmetic for summer)

 

Whether or not a person believes that students have a leaning toward learning through a particular sense, there is no doubt that working memory and executive function plays a roll in whether a child can use a particular program as effectively as another child regardless of how well that program is taught. Children are not all the same. Teachers have limitations. Some programs just click with some kids (and some teachers) more so than others.

 

OP, if the program you are using is not working for you or your child, there are plenty of others out there. :)

Mandy

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Is it possible to not attend church functions each evening or to leave earlier than you do now? If you could, that would free up more time for you to sleep and to get an earlier start. Otherwise, I'd just focus on the basics for a couple of hours a day as others have suggested.

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IMHO, you don't have to "finish [insert grade level here]" before going on to the next one.

 

In the fall, your dd would be in fourth grade, regardless of whether or not she finished all of her third grade materials. Does she *need* to finish everything before starting fourth grade materials? Often, there is enough review at the beginning of something to make up for not finishing the previous one, or the next thing doesn't depend on the previous thing. I say do some light stuff over the summer, and move on in the fall whether you finished or not.

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