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Embarking on HSing PG 6 year old


KTPie
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For those of you who have been there done that, what did your day/week look like?  He learns so quickly.  I don't want to go overboard but I also do not want to do nothing, if that makes sense.  I know that kids learn all day but how much of your day is spent schooling?  I'm just trying to visualize what it might look like.

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At age 9, my DD spends about 20 hours a week on structured assignments, some of which end up being done in the car, while driving to other activities, while waiting, at night in her bedroom (she'll often do math problem sets before bed, and she does almost all of her class reading assignments at night or while waiting). She spends about 10 hours a week on structured outside activities, including piano lessons, Cheer team/tumbling, mythology/Latin clubs, and a fun co-op. Pretty much all the rest of her time is spent on things that she sets on her own. Right now, that's a TON of science, writing fan fiction, poetry, and various articles that she submits to various online sites, trying to get in, other math topics, legos, and computer programming. She usually has at least one science project that she's doing for someone else, but she considers that fun.

 

 

At age 6, it really wasn't all that different, because while she didn't have as much academic work and it didn't take as long, she also needed/wanted more guidance and input, and we'd do things like read a book for history together. From DD's point of view, she's still usually done with "School" by noon-but that's because she really doesn't consider things like going to the lab to run water samples or reading her current literature book while in the car on the way to the lab part of school.

 

 

 

In both cases, I've found having a few hours that are blocked off daily as "School" and trying to keep those fixed helps a lot.

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At six, what we call "school" really just includes handwriting (should be less than 10 min. if he will just do it), LA from MCT (currently just ten minutes finishing practice Island book, but if we are also reading the other texts then maybe 20-30 min), and a structered sitting of math which can run anywhere from 20 min to an hour tops, depending on the curriculum of choice at the moment. He reads alot but mostly at night before bed. I suggest which books he might like and sometimes have to strongly encourage which ones to try, but it really isn't assigned reading. If he doesn't want to I'm not going to force a book he hates. But if he wants to play computer before he has read some then I will enforce the reading first rule. Piano comes whenever and for however long he feels like. He enjoys it so I'm not going to push it at all. That's about all we really do right now. Our Schedule is very open and flexible and we do school sometimes early, sometimes late in the evening.

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At six we had structured handwriting, grammar, and math. Science is interest led at that age, and history is pretty interest led as well. I require music study and practice by then. I really want them to explore at that age, but not as much as a year or two before that. The structure with a few subjects helps them slowly learn how to focus. My youngest two are very unfocused in most scenarios, but starting at six we try and push that self discipline a little. Even in their structured subjects, they do have a say though. If they absolutely hate a program, I will let them try a different one. I discuss things a lot with my kids. Even if it's something that they HAVE to do, I want them to know the why behind as much as possible. It's a lot easier to push yourself if you understand why. My oldest two are very self disciplined for their ages now, and very good at structuring their time (they are 10 and 9). My youngest is the wiggliest, least focused one of all, and he's just not quite there yet, and that's just fine. He'll get there when he can, and until then, we just keep working on it.

 

The 6yo usually does 3 hours schooling plus piano practice. The 9yo and 10yo do about 5 hours although some of that is spent on things that they chose to add to their schedule.

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At 6, I had one 1st grader (girl) and one doing a "transition" year between K and 1st (boy). My DS didn't have the attention (he was subsequently diagnosed with ADHD) nor the fine motor skills for me to feel comfortable promoting him to 1st. I expect a 1st grader to be able to do seatwork for 20-30 minutes at a stretch and to be able to write a complete sentence (he only knew about half of the letters in the alphabet). I would say that DD did about 2-2.5 hours total of "seatwork" in 1st and DS did about 75-90 minutes total in "transition".

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When Ds was six, he was still very much needing a schedule. For quite an extent while he was younger I felt like I was homeschooling Alex P. Keaton. I started very loose, which is my style. Definitely did not work for my son. Our compromise was not having much curriculum, but scheduled time for discussions. Most of the initial concepts for math were done with cooking or using various toys as manipulatives. No textbooks or curriculum. Similarly, with English it was just reading, reading, and more reading.

 

The only curriculum we used was with foreign languages. By six, Ds was already doing Spanish and beginning Latin (both his choice. Spanish began at four, Latin at six.) Languages are his thing. It is where his PG really comes out. He was running into grammar issues so we started a very low key grammar program and he went slightly obsessive, crazy. It was my first clue we were not in Kansas anymore.

 

But that was it. English read aloud and independent reading time, math discussion time, Spanish, Latin, and grammar.

 

Each year we would discover a curriculum that worked for a subject or two. Second grade (age 6) we found Latin and grammar. Third grade was science and social studies. This year was Spanish, math, and history.

 

Now, at 9, we have a bit of a looser day but much more curriculum. Ds loves curriculum. He starts school between nine and ten works till two or three, and then goes out to play. I help with spelling, chemistry (no blowing up things and acids bother me), and discuss his literature/history audio courses with him. Other than that I'm just around if he has an issue.

 

The years between six and nine have really been supplying him with the tools to effectively work independently. Since he is a humanities kid, I am more prevalent there because he is really pushing that learning boundary. He is not PG in math, so that one he just moves ahead in a bit faster than other kids but no real need for me. The earlier years, he seemed PG in everything because I hadn't found the level of his understanding yet. Once that was identified and challenging curriculum added, he is only now knocking me over in his humanities. There is no math or science race. Now, our day has more breathing room...as long as I don't think about high school.

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My DD is 6 now, but we have a very loose schedule and I am also schooling a very insistent 3 year old who says: "Is it my turn to do school now," every time I finish any activity with the older child.

 

I don't think I ever have my child sitting longer than 15-20 min at a time - perhaps because if I did she would jump up by herself anyway. However, a Math session could last longer than that and be split up - reading LOF on the couch (usually with her standing on her head) before writing the answers for example and then a break before doing Singapore. I still read aloud a lot to my child so she can learn and still bounce off the walls (she's very kinaesthetic). Reading itself is usually split into two sessions a day of 15min each and she reads a lot for her age in that time. Spelling, grammar, writing, comprehension - all subjects that require seatwork - we do a maximum of two of these per day and they also last 15min max. So maybe 1.5 - 2 hours of actual school, but it can take us a full morning to get that done with snacks, trips to the toilet, gymnastics and bike riding and sneaking off to play on the tablet as well as fitting in the 3 year old who is learning to read and also wants to do Math and needs her own read alouds.

 

Science and history may or may not be part of morning school - sometimes we do do experiments in the afternoon of read SOTW or related literature in the afternoon, but then it is very relaxed. If I want anything slightly more formal or with seatwork then it will replace one of the activities above and count possibly as writing or even spelling on occassion.

 

Geography is still just read alouds and my husband does what he calls "Map Monday" with her where she has to find places that have been in the news (and hear the related news) on our world map. It takes less than 5 mins on Mondays and my 3 year old now joins in too.

 

I think everything just takes less time with a gifted child and they need less repetitions. There is very little formal teaching time in my house - if I have actually used my whiteboard twice this year then it is a lot - I read it to her and she gets it. Writing can still slow her down and I think it is a very important skill so we spend a fair amount of time working on that - in many ways it has probably slowed her progression in Math as I have insisted she write her answers and write them neatly and legibly.

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