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I've been looking at some areas that we need to "shore up" before I have an official high schooler.  

 

Working with her today on some math things, I realized that she KNOWS mnemonics but just won't write them on her paper to help her.  Why? I have no idea.  She says she didn't think she was allowed to... that maybe that was cheating. 

 

Clearly, it's NOT if you write it when you are given a test.  Clearly, it's not if you write it at the top of your homework paper which BY THE WAY is straight out of the book.  I guess it never dawned on her that she could refer back to the lesson.  

 

It's mindboggling to me.  But then I realized that she is a very different student than I am.  I naturally do things that are taught to you in a Study Skills type program.  She doesn't.  (Look at titles, subtiles, bolded words, graphics, flip through to see how long the lesson is, etc.) 

 

So how do YOU teach this to your students?  

 

And then I realized that she knows how to write a keyword outline, but NEVER takes notes as she reads unless it is a specific outline task. And then she only knows IEW keyword outline process. So maybe I should put "Read and OUTLINE" on her assignment list.  

 

She also struggles with time management.  I know a certain amount is normal. I was a procrastinator in public school too.  But I would like to get her to a point that I can say "This week xyz needs done" and not spoon feed her the daily breakdown.  

 

I also need to figure out a reasonable consequence when expectations aren't met.  For various reasons, our homeschooling as been a little more relaxed than I'm comfortable with and we nee to get back on track.  

 

 

Soooooooooo... what does this process look like in your homeschool?  

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Have you looked at the Great Courses course "How to Be a Super Star Student?"

 

Also, maybe more EF related books to help with organization in general, such as Smart But Scattered?

 

FWIW, for time management in my house I had to learn to put alarms on my phone for nearly everything, and ALSO needed to create checklists for pretty much anything that needed to get done.  I have been training DD to do the same.  She has no sense of the passage of time so it is hard for her to know when to do what.  Maybe you could help your DD brainstorm ways she could stay more organized herself?  Things she could put in place as external supports to help her remember to do things without relying on you?  She may always need external support systems in place but if she learns how to create those things herself she can still function more independently.  

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Have you looked at the Great Courses course "How to Be a Super Star Student?"

 

Also, maybe more EF related books to help with organization in general, such as Smart But Scattered?

 

FWIW, for time management in my house I had to learn to put alarms on my phone for nearly everything, and ALSO needed to create checklists for pretty much anything that needed to get done.  I have been training DD to do the same.  She has no sense of the passage of time so it is hard for her to know when to do what.  Maybe you could help your DD brainstorm ways she could stay more organized herself?  Things she could put in place as external supports to help her remember to do things without relying on you?  She may always need external support systems in place but if she learns how to create those things herself she can still function more independently.  

 

Oooo I will check out these resources.  She has ADD and so yes, I need help teaching her to create supports for herself.  This is my oldest and so she unfortunately gets the guinea pig place in our home.  LOL  

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I never wrote mnemonics on my paper or took outlines unless assigned in school, so I guess it never occurred to me to teach my kids those things. I was the annoying straight A student that rarely studied though. :ph34r:

 

When a kid is obviously needing something extra to handle a subject well I'll step in and offer ideas at that point. DD/10th's science book was giving her a healthy challenge this year, and she was disappointed that her test grades weren't higher. I'm convinced she's appropriately placed in the book, so I just offered suggestions for effective methods that go beyond completing the study guide. One day she decided she'd load it into Quizlet (flashcard app) and acted like it was all her own idea. LOL (Nod and smile, "That's great!")

 

DS/7th doesn't get graded like that, so its mostly a non-issue in his life. I'll make sure he has some tools in his toolbox for starting his first high school science course next year in 8th. The current plan is to have him try out a few different methods at the beginning to see what suits him best.

 

My teens weren't really ready to be handed weekly expectations across the board until high school, and then only if I had done my part to make expectations very clear. I spent last summer working on weekly syllabi for each individual subject DD/10th has. For some subjects that may just be "Week 23, complete chapter 12, take quiz 12." For others it's a list more like, "lectures 34-36, chapter 8 in ThisParticularBook, read 1/3 of the Literature Tie-in, watch This DVD in the evenings." She has her own planner, which is actually a teacher lesson planbook. On Monday she'll write out her schedule for the week, checking syllabi as needed. I can easily peek to see how she's doing and leave notes. She didn't wake up in 9th grade ready for this though. I coached her through the process and, when I felt she was ready, let her loose to make bad or good decisions with it as she pleased. Now in 10th she's a pro. DS/11th needed his hand held longer than she did, and didn't really get set loose with it until 10th. 

 

DS/7th has his first weekly syllabus this year that isn't broken down into days. At the beginning of each week he marks days beside each assignment and asks me what I think. Next year I'll stretch this a little bit in that first high school science course. His history will all be scheduled for him (Build Your Library), and everything else is just open and do what's next.

Edited by SilverMoon
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I never wrote mnemonics on my paper or took outlines unless assigned in school, so I guess it never occurred to me to teach my kids those things. I was the annoying straight A student that rarely studied though. :ph34r:

 

When a kid is obviously needing something extra to handle a subject well I'll step in and offer ideas at that point. DD/10th's science book was giving her a healthy challenge this year, and she was disappointed that her test grades weren't higher. I'm convinced she's appropriately placed in the book, so I just offered suggestions for effective methods that go beyond completing the study guide. One day she decided she'd load it into Quizlet (flashcard app) and acted like it was all her own idea. LOL (Nod and smile, "That's great!")

 

DS/7th doesn't get graded like that, so its mostly a non-issue in his life. I'll make sure he has some tools in his toolbox for starting his first high school science course next year in 8th. The current plan is to have him try out a few different methods at the beginning to see what suits him best.

 

My teens weren't really ready to be handed weekly expectations across the board until high school, and then only if I had done my part to make expectations very clear. I spent last summer working on weekly syllabi for each individual subject DD/10th has. For some subjects that may just be "Week 23, complete chapter 12, take quiz 12." For others it's a list more like, "lectures 34-36, chapter 8 in ThisParticularBook, read 1/3 of the Literature Tie-in, watch This DVD in the evenings." She has her own planner, which is actually a teacher lesson planbook. On Monday she'll write out her schedule for the week, checking syllabi as needed. I can easily peek to see how she's doing and leave notes. She didn't wake up in 9th grade ready for this though. I coached her through the process and, when I felt she was ready, let her loose to make bad or good decisions with it as she pleased. Now in 10th she's a pro. DS/11th needed his hand held longer than she did, and didn't really get set loose with it until 10th. 

 

DS/7th has his first weekly syllabus this year that isn't broken down into days. At the beginning of each week he marks days beside each assignment and asks me what I think. Next year I'll stretch this a little bit in that first high school science course. His history will all be scheduled for him (Build Your Library), and everything else is just open and do what's next.

 

Yes, this is EXACTLY what I'm looking for.  I certainly don't expect her to figure this all out on her own, so I'm curious what this looks like in a homeschool setting.  I had to figure it out in public school and we had "teams" so our teachers were careful not to overwhelm us and make it a more gradual type thing.  (For example: we didn't have all our tests on Fridays because that would leave us with 4-5 tests that day.)  

 

I only ever needed to write a mnemonic for a few things... But DD was shocked that I told her to write PEMDAS on her paper in math.  It just struck me as an odd thing for her to be shocked about so I asked if she had ever written a reminder for herself and she said, "NO, that is a cheating, isn't it?"  I told DH and he was like, "What!?"  We are both baffled.   

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Oooo I will check out these resources.  She has ADD and so yes, I need help teaching her to create supports for herself.  This is my oldest and so she unfortunately gets the guinea pig place in our home.  LOL  

Oh, then the book ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life may also be of help.

 

Another thing that has helped here is using Homeschool Planet.  DD, DS and I have everything we do, academics, chores, appointments, extra curriculars, etc. in Homeschool Planet.  DD loves that she can print out a color coded checklist of everything for that day, or that week or the entire month whenever she needs one.  We can move assignments around, attach additional resource lists, etc.  Soooo helpful for keeping us all on track.  It also tracks hours and grades if you need that.  

 

ETA:  Also, we have a really rugged, metal library book cart.  She keeps her materials for the week on that cart, using magazine holders for the floppy stuff.  This includes textbooks, workbooks, different kinds of paper, writing instruments, rulers, protractors, etc.  I helped her set everything up and worked with her daily to remember to keep up with where to put everything (it helps so much for everything to go in the same place at the end of each day).  The cart can be rolled wherever she needs to go to work on her stuff.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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I have been working with my oldest for three years now on the EF/soft skills in an attempt to put the kind of support into place that will help her even when I am not around.  It is a long process.  She also has ADD, and has a quiet pride about her unconventional approach to life.

 

Two important goals I had for her were 1) keep track of weekly school work, and 2) plan your days to accomplish goal 1

 

Each week we meet in a mentor meeting in order to assess the previous week and plan for the next. When we started doing this we began with a list of weekly tasks from one online class, which went on a check list.  We also scheduled the online class time and dedicated study times during the week for this specific class and put them on a digital calendar.  The digital calendar was just google, but it made it so that I could easily see her calendared items if I needed.  It also meant that we could program alarms to help remind her of what she was supposed to be doing.  At first it was me asking her questions like - what do you have to do this week? 

- ok, so where can you find out what you have to do this week?

- do you think this should go on your checklist?

- block off your class time on the calendar and make sure you have the alarm set

- how much time do you think you will need to do task a? b? c?

- OK, that''s a starting estimate but I think that task b will take longer than that.  Should we schedule in some cushion time?

- so how much total time this week do you need to spend outside of class?

- where on your calendar can you block of some chunks of time?

- etc.

 

Now, she does all her calendaring (aside from the family calendar), for all her school and outside commitments, and we discuss her checklist but it's more like she is telling me what she's putting down.  We still have our mentor meetings, but she's much more proactive, and I ask different questions to help her refine time management and sequential thinking.

 

I know this is only one of the EF things you are asking about, but I think this one has gone well (as opposed to some other things we have tried).

Edited by Targhee
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I have been working with my oldest for three years now on the EF/soft skills in an attempt to put the kind of support into place that will help her even when I am not around.  It is a long process.  She also has ADD, and has a quiet pride about her unconventional approach to life.

 

Two important goals I had for her were 1) keep track of weekly school work, and 2) plan your days to accomplish goal 1

 

Each week we meet in a mentor meeting in order to assess the previous week and plan for the next. When we started doing this we began with a list of weekly tasks from one online class, which went on a check list.  We also scheduled the online class time and dedicated study times during the week for this specific class and put them on a digital calendar.  The digital calendar was just google, but it made it so that I could easily see her calendared items if I needed.  It also meant that we could program alarms to help remind her of what she was supposed to be doing.  At first it was me asking her questions like - what do you have to do this week? 

- ok, so where can you find out what you have to do this week?

- do you think this should go on your checklist?

- block off your class time on the calendar and make sure you have the alarm set

- how much time do you think you will need to do task a? b? c?

- OK, that''s a starting estimate but I think that task b will take longer than that.  Should we schedule in some cushion time?

- so how much total time this week do you need to spend outside of class?

- where on your calendar can you block of some chunks of time?

- etc.

 

Now, she does all her calendaring (aside from the family calendar), for all her school and outside commitments, and we discuss her checklist but it's more like she is telling me what she's putting down.  We still have our mentor meetings, but she's much more proactive, and I ask different questions to help her refine time management and sequential thinking.

 

I know this is only one of the EF things you are asking about, but I think this one has gone well (as opposed to some other things we have tried).

 

Thank you!  I love reading how it goes in other houses so I can make our own system/flow. 

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One fail (at least to this point) has been note taking. In 5th we did note taking from easy texts (outline form, simple 1 sentence per paragraph and all bonded vocab). She did it, but it did not match her way of thinking at all, and so she never took notes elsewhere or used the notes I had required her to write.

 

We tried index card notes for a research project. She kept losing the notecards.

 

We tried digital stickie notes - she used these and couldn't physically lose them, but they were difficult to organize and refer back to

 

We tried Cornell notes. We watched several YouTube videos on why and how, practiced together on K12 HO2 text, but this was also a flop. She struggled to get it "right" (she thought there must be a "right") and then found the notes of little value (even after doing the bottom question section). Some of that might have been because history doesn't interest her.

 

I thought about mind-mapping, and perhaps we will try it, but it seems like you have to be *quick* to take notes that way (she has slow fine motor skills).

 

I think with her note-taking will be valuable (to her) and therefor in the realm of "now/important" when

- it's on a subject she's interested in

- it is complex enough that she can't just remember everything

- she has need to study (we haven't done much testing outside of math)

- it is a system that works complimentary to (instead of counter to) the way she thinks

 

But I have no idea what that system would be, and she's not very good at self analysis so she can't really tell me how she thinks or what would be good. We keep plugging away, hoping to find a match before I run out of ideas.

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I do break down small assignments like this for dd and help her put them in her planner: read and take notes, enter definitions in quizlet, study quizlet, read over notes, make flashcards, study flashcards with mom, etc. She is gradually starting to see how important all of these steps are and to treat them like a normal part of the process.

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We use The Reader's Handbook to learn some of the note-taking and study skills. There are several grade ranges available in the series.

 

I am chicken and tackling this in middle school co-op. Not too chicken as I am the teacher for the co-op class, but I found that doing this with a group makes it more palatable. It also lets me see a range of abilities in a similar age group (sanity-saver). One thing we are doing right now is making note cards for studying. I give a reading, and they take notes. I give a quiz, and they use their notes freely on the quiz. The idea is that they can see an improvement over time in their note-taking skills. I don't know if it's working, but it's been something they will do and will reflect on, which is a good step.

 

NONE of the kids in this class know how to break a project into pieces. It's just totally beyond their comprehension. I have to assign things in pieces and support, support. support. We are doing projects where each student gives a presentation on a novel they read. We did it as a group project in the fall using a novel we studied together. They are now doing individual presentations. It's like slogging through mud! I allowed them to choose a previously read novel and I didn't stipulate that it had to be a stretch for them--it should be a book that was a pleasure read (except, of course, for those who don't read for pleasure, but can't help that). It's still difficult for them.

 

My son does take some responsibility for his own planning and such, but it's on pretty cut and dry stuff. He kind of freaks out about less concrete assignments. We use a funnel system for getting things into daily lists--he looks at what I expect him to accomplish in a week's time (most of which has it's own start and stop point), and then he plugs x numbers of assignments into his daily schedule from that list. It's pretty much the same each week, but he had a big choice in where those assignments were to go at the start--days when we'll be home have a heavier load; days where we have outside commitments or tutoring have a lighter load. He has some texts that are broken into five day per week assignments, but we do co-op one day per week--he has to fit in that extra day of work each week. Once he can see the big picture though, he can do this. As we ease into assignments with "hidden" components, we're going to have to tweak this method. He thinks of it as betrayal--the better he does, and the more he accomplishes, I throw more at him. I have a hard time getting him to see that this is just how school works.

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This helped my non motivated middle schooler tremendously.  http://www.amazon.com/Study-Smarts-Skills-Grades-5-8/dp/B000RTBCX8/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1458131677&sr=8-4&keywords=study+skills+dvd

 

It deals with a lot of the things you are concerned with.

Edited by Pink and Green Mom

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