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Help! I think I focused on the wrong subjects xpost

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Okay so I need some advice on where I am going wrong. My oldest daughter is having trouble getting through her work. She is rather studious and loves independent learning. However, I think I loaded her up with too much independent work this year and it has kind of backfired. Something to keep in mind as you read my long post, she is linguistically minded and loves reading, writing, learning foreign languages. At this stage, she would like a career writing books and being a journalist.


We begin our new school year in January, so we are just over half way through grade 6.


To help you understand what I am talking about, it might be easier if I list what the day looks like for her.


When she gets up, she begins her morning chores then waits for everyone else to be ready for our group activities 'Morning Basket'. She actually does not really enjoy this time together, I think she feels like it is a waste of her time :/ Morning basket can take up to 90mins if we have started early enough. (otherwise, we move onto maths and the rest of our day).


Then I spend half an hour teaching her the maths lesson for the day, also covering some review of some sort. Then she finishes off her maths, including drills. So she spends an hour on maths each day.


Time for a half hour break.


She then has 2 hours to work on her independent work, (which is impossible to fit in here) but this includes:


Visual Latin 1 30mins

Writing With Skill 1

French - First Start from MP, Duolingo, Paul Nobles CD's 30mins


Piano practice

Speech and Drama practice

Readings: poetry; science; literature; biography


Then I have an hour with her right before lunch. This is when we work on grammar, spelling, and I check her work on her other subjects.


Up until a few weeks ago, I wasn't actually checking all of her work (that was a bad mistake on my part). So during our hour together, we were spending 30 minutes on Visual Latin. I was also having her do FSF on her own, but it was too difficult for her. So I decided to have her do VL on her own, and now I check it daily plus I now teach her FSF. I have just realised this week that I actually need to do WWS1 with her, that can not really be an independent subject for her at this stage.


Handwriting - A Reason For Handwriting - she doesn't really need this, but she loves it and asked me to order the next book for her. This only takes 10 minutes a day.


She has formal weekly lessons in Piano and Speech & Drama. She participates in eisteddfods for speech, so she practices about half an hour each day. The last eisteddfods for the year are in August, so she will have a little more time from September on.


At times, she reads from any books I have assigned her, poetry, literature, science, biographies, historical fiction. But it has been really challenging finding the time to help her write up a narrative or report or notebook on any of these. I know she really needs to be writing, but it is really difficult to fit it in. Ideally, I would like her to write a report once a week on each of science and history, maybe even literature or biography.


When I look at her list, I realise that Latin, French, Piano and Speech are all possibly electives. They are not core subjects. I feel like we are making these our priorities, but we are leaving out writing, science and history (we only started WWS in April, and are on week 6). It is her choice to study French. She has been interested in learning to speak French for a few years now, and this year is the first that we really are giving it a good go (during our morning basket time we are working through GSWF altogether).


She loves to read and would read all day if I let her. At the moment though, I haven't assigned any readings or any time for reading. I was giving everyone a booklist and half an hour of quiet reading time in the afternoons, but at the moment, we only have 2 afternoons free of extracurricla things so I would rather they have free time.


I would ideally like to follow Ruth's ideas for science - I read her threads and posts last weekend. I had decided that we would cover meteorology this term and geology next term. Doing this altogether! They can watch docos, read on their level. But I can't see when to fit that it.


During morning basket time, we are reading through SOTW1. We are half way through and should finish it this year, moving onto SOTW2 next year. So I have all these great books from the library here to go with our reading from SOTW, but we have no time for everyone to do their own independent reading, or notetaking either. 


I have been looking at our priorities and trying to see where our subjects aren't balanced. I think that French, Latin, Piano, Speech are all electives, so perhaps they should come after Maths, LA, Science, History. Am I on the right track?


Our school day begins just after 7am and finishes at 1pm for lunch. My DD11 working most of this time except for a half hour break, is plenty. I don't think its fair to ask her to do more after that. But realistically, we are just not getting it done.


Oh and another thing, I was reading on the unlikelyhomeschooler about delight led independent learning. I would love to be able to have her work on a project of her choice. She would love that too! But when, oh when?


ETA: We school 4 days a week, the fifth day is piano and sports lessons, we usually do fit art in on this day though.

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I've heard this exact same story countless times over the years.


She is bogged down mama. Take 1/3 of it out. And let her have some Down time. Those if us following the "plan"to a T , can (temporarily ) snatch the joy of learning and classical education from our kids and ourselves.


I've been there, I've done it myself. You'll be ok. Cut back, despite the best books out there, and their plans, that's WAY tok much. I did it too.


Scale back, allow her to pursue things she loves,have more free time etc.


My oldest is an accelerated learner and the " book plan" was too much for her. Hindered what we set out to do.


It'll b OK. Take 1/3 out, she and you can pick what to take out together.

Definitely 2 languages AR this age is too much.

Hugs. Good question. A common one I've heard over the last 10 ish years or so.


Your a good mama and only want what's best for her :)


Have some fun :)

Edited by Kat w
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What is in your morning basket time? Is it essential? If she doesn't enjoy it and it isn't essential, it could free up 90 minutes where she could do independent work. Maybe she could do morning basket once per week and have three days where that is independent work time or writing time.

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Can she scale back to one language? Can she sit in on the 1st part of morning basket time and the 2nd half go off to do independent work while you focus on things geared to the younger two? You can still do assigned readings, but maybe less of them. I am thinking poetry one day, science another, then lit, then biography. Do your assigned readings overlap with things you are covering in morning basket time? If so, save those things in morning basket for the 2nd half when she is on her own.


I know there are so many great things to cover and so little time.

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I understand. It's hard. My dd was in sixth last year, and she also studies two languages. It can be difficult to fit everything in.


Here's what I would do in your shoes:


Don't worry much about extra writing. Your dd has grammar, spelling, and WWS1 for language arts. All bases are covered. Once her spelling and grammar programs are completed and she has a year of WWS under her belt, she will have more tools to use when writing about history, science etc., and more time to do it.


Keep the two languages, but only if she is interested in eventually pursuing both to a high level of competency.


Cut back on her participation in morning time. She can sit in for the part that will give her the most benefit, and then break off to do her own reading/assignments.


Are you trying to do literature and poetry simultaneously? If so, I would choose one work at a time, maybe have her read/discuss a novel and then switch to poetry for a week or two, then another novel. Something like that.


Being done by 1:00 is a great goal, but you could also leave something enjoyable -like literature reading or piano- as an afternoon or before bed assignment. You may also need to treat speech and drama as extracurriculars or "after school" subjects that don't need to fit into her 7-1 school hours.

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