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Does anyone use a loop schedule with middle- or high-school-aged kids?

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I am considering a modified loop schedule for next year (daily math, literature, and music practice, with writing, history, science, foreign language, logic, and grammar on a loop). I think my middle-school-aged kids would love the chance to follow an assignment to its completion if they're really “into†it, rather than needing to move on to the next thing due to daily schedule time constraints. But nearly all the discussion about loop scheduling seems to be among families with elementary-aged kids, where I think I can see fewer pitfalls to it. I was wondering if anyone out there has successfully or unsuccessfully used a loop kind of schedule with older kids. I'd love to hear about any experiences with it at these ages. And specifically, I'd be interested if anyone had answers to these two questions:


1. Do the kids do each subsequent item in the loop until they feel “done†with it and ready for the next thing, or do they complete a particular assignment in that subject and then move to the next item in the loop? I like the idea of the former because it seems like it could help the kid follow natural enthusiasms and learning jags, but the latter would help me weight each item appropriately. (For instance, I want to weight science a lot more than grammar, and I could do this by assigning more for one repetition of science than of grammar.)


2. This would depend a lot on each kid, but has anyone found any problems with accountability using loop scheduling? If the kid is working for a set amount of time each day and not trying to complete a certain amount each day, does this encourage poor time management?  Or even if not poor time management, I could see my kid following a fascinating bunny trail in, say, science, going far afield with it and learning a lot, but by the end of the year a lot of these could mean that we have only covered half of the physics we had hoped to cover. And a part of me says, “Relax, at least he had a great time and learned a lot following bunny trails,†and a part of me sputters, “But....but....but....†Or I could see him just kind of not going at the assignment with the same gusto as he would if an unfinished assignment that morning meant “homework†after dinner, even though he's basically a hard and cheerful worker.


I really want to make this work because I think it could make our days a lot more pleasant, but I am concerned about the possible hazards now that my kids are older and we need to be a bit more consistent academically. Any wisdom out there for me?

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My oldest hs'er is just now a 5th grader, so I probably have no idea what I'm talking about. :tongue_smilie: Like you, I like the idea of the loop schedule, but I don't think it will work for my dawdler.  I just see her trying to stay on one subject for days in a row and not getting anything accomplished. :cursing:   But, if I had a child who was a willling/hard worker, I would require 2-3 subjects get done each day (or whatever you feel is appropriate to still stay on track overall).  If there isn't a particular "love" for a subject, then do that first.  For us that would be cranking out necessary grammar and writing to be able to spend the rest of the day pouring over whatever history project she's into.  If you feel that there isn't enough material getting covered, you could always add a "special project" to the loop so the child could still move on in content, but work on the rabbit trail too.

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