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Reefgazer

UPDATE (POST 1).......OMG! Please Tell Me This Is Typical And It Gets Better

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This is a stupid question, but how do I block schedule?

 

You know how NOT a stupid question this is? After reading about it here, and remembering my college experience, and then googling to see how high schools have started doing it, I realized that block scheduling is apparently a generic term for organizing time however best serves a school's needs. :lol: Seriously, some (most?) schools do the A/B schedule where kids go every other day to half their classes, but some schools have bizarre and confusing schedules that I think would be seriously hard to keep up with. Those gave me a headache when I looked at them.

 

How we have been doing it...

 

English and Math: 1 hour each day

 

History, Environmental Science, Computer Science Principles: 1 hour, 20 minutes M/W/F

 

Current Events/Geography, and Writing/Logic: 2 hours each T/Th 

 

Math and literature (reading, LOL) are the only two subjects I regularly assign homework in. Math and English work out at 180 hours each assuming that many days of school. The rest of the subjects work out to 144 hours, but I figure if I assign 6 hours of homework per class per year, they will end up at a very respectable 150. So far so good!

 

He has swim team practice 4x a week, for 2 hours each. Meets are generally once a month, more in the summer. Swim is a huge social outlet for my kids, so I don't see this as taking away from his free time, if that makes sense, because it is how he chooses to spend a great deal of his time with friends. I was that way as a child too. Extracurriculars were for ME. I enjoyed them. They served as "me time." I don't make him do swim, although he does know that he would have to find another way to exercise regularly if he didn't choose it. LOL Maybe reframing chosen hobbies like that can help some people feel better about kids' free time? 

 

Guitar has become a hobby instead of an official part of the schedule. He has sufficient free time for hobbies (programming, woodworking, NERF videos on YouTube...LOL).

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*ETA: I have not encountered any college that had more stringent requirements than four years each of math, science, social science, English, and foreign language. Other than maybe an additional art credit... easily worked in over the course of four years.

 

Would you mind clarifying?  Are you saying you've never encountered a college that doesn't readily accept students with 21 credits? 20 core plus 1 art? 

 

That seems like a really low number of credits. Is it not? Are you saying that even relatively selective schools would happily accept a student with that few credits... that 21 credits is competitive? That seems hard to believe.

 

Or are you saying that most non-selective schools would accept  students with 21 high school credits?

Edited by Woodland Mist Academy
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We routinely work weekends and late into the night because we have so many other things going during the day.  I don't mind late night work and some weekend work, but it just all seems like too much.  A sample day, without schoolwork or time for random stuff like doctor appointments looks like this for us:

 

 

Monday:  Barn work from 1:00 - 4:00 pm

                 Swim team practice from 6:00 - 8:00 pm 

 

Tuesday  Co-op from 12:15 - 2:45 pm

                 Swim team practice from 5:45-8:00 pm

 

Wednesday:  Riding lessons from 7:45 - 10:00 am

                      French tutor from 1:00 - 2:00 pm (She sees the French tutor on Saturday, as well)

                      Swim team practice from 5:45-8:00 pm

 

Thursday:  Co-op from 9:15 am - 2:45 pm

               

Friday:  Co-op from 10:00 am - 1:30 pm

             Swim team practice from 6:00 - 8:00 pm 

 

 Saturday or Sunday:  Barn for about 4 hours (Forgot to add this to my original post)

 

I know full well she's too busy and out of the house too much, and some of the extras need to go by the wayside.  But on the other hand, when we started homeschooling I wanted it to free her up and allow her the time to pursue her interests and be her, rather than just be a little study-bot.  I don't think she should be this pressured and work this much; she should husband that kind of focus and intensity for college and grad school and I am afraid she will be burned out by that time.

 

Next semester, I want to ditch the Friday co-op and spend a bit less time at the Thursday co-op.  But I don't want to blow off co-op entirely because it is DS's social outlet and he is finally making friends there (he takes a long time to come out of his shell and make friends).  I also offered to split the Algebra II text into 2 years because math is taking a long time.  I think that will put her at a disadvantage for a top college, but she has no real interest in math or pursuing a math field of study, so *shrug*.  But she doesn't want to exercise that option right now, and wants to see if the time she spends on math improves over the next few months.  So we have agreed to re-visit that idea.  Neither of my kids want to work in the summer, and I don't either; we reserve that time to vacation and travel or (sigh) more sports.  This kid is always tired and exhausted, but she can't sleep until late, so being up late and having to get up to do her activities and work with me on school in the early am has been tough.

 

So with the tight schedule as it is, there is no time for *anything* to go wrong or awry.  Today (which is usually our easy day) was awful because DD and I spent 4 full hours at a cardiology appointment (didn't expect that long of an appointment and had to bag French), and she will be camping with the Girl Scouts this weekend, so there is no time to "catch up" this weekend.  All we are getting done with any regularity at all is math, Latin, and French. *

 

* After I typed this, I realized what a weird combination that is for priorities, LOL.

 

So my answer to your question of how do you block schedule is probably not very helpful upon considering all this. We do not do co-op and we are generally not out of the house on school days until after school is over. So sorry. That's what happens when I start thinking about threads in too general of terms. :(

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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I was going to give an account of how we schedule or rather how DS schedules (he does it mostly on his own although I try to suggest alternatives) but it wouldn't work for OP given how much outside stuff OP has. The only reason it works for DS is because he is not an outdoorsy kid at all. He is completely a home-body. He willingly studies because that's what he naturally gravitates towards. He won't do gym unless I force it. He won't even play in our backyard or make use of the bicycles we so hopefully bought a few years ago.

 

If it helps, we don't do every subject daily. That is a recipe for disaster. We haven't done every subject daily in a long long time. If DS gets 3 subjects done a day, we call it a happy day. For him, it just doesn't work to switch every hour to something new. Once he gets into something, he will spend 1.5-something like up to 4.5 hours on it because he wants to get it done while he is in that specific frame of mind. He works most efficiently that way. Some of it is definitely some dawdling and daydreaming but which kid doesn't? I don't fight it anymore. Instead, I let him daydream for 10-20 minutes or he does something else for a while and then he goes back to the same coursework to finish as much as he can.

 

Some of the problems we face I think might be solved by finding the right kind of study strategies for each child. Some of it might be solved by letting some of our hang ups go. Some of it by putting our foot down and some more by letting them figure it out for themselves. Which is which will depend on the kid.

 

For us, the blocks of time vs hourly change by subject really works well. Then realizing we can't get much done if we are also out all the time is one more strategy. But then we are also balancing that with some long hours outside at least 1-2x a week (because I have a homebody...if he wasn't it would be at least 3-4x a week) gives him the rest/ variety he needs. The other day, we just dropped everything to drive an hour one way to go watch a live improv show. We laughed so hard. It was such good release for him after a very long week.

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I'm going to be realistic. Every parent I've spoken to who has willingly shared what their kids have done and also have the same college aspirations as my kid each very clearly showed that their kids did more than the standard 4x4 or 4x5. We are in California. CA kids are assessed based on what other kids in CA are doing. I don't think 21-24 credits from a CA kid without something else that's really outstanding will give the kid as much chance at a selective uni. I really don't think so.

 

How do we ensure our kid doesn't work himself to craziness like many other CA kids? We step in and we say No. And that he can be successful even if he doesn't get into his top choices. That we know he will be successful. If the college doesn't want him, it's their loss. I know it sounds boastful or whatever. But in the end, I will have my kid and he will be happy and well rested. He will be disappointed for a while if he doesn't get in and that's what I am there for and his friends are there for and our dogs are there for. To offer comfort and the idea that there's so much in life that does not depend on where you go to but on what you do there. (Inspired by Bruni :laugh: ).

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Re: block scheduling. DD has the option of doing that if she wants. She has assignments that must be completed within the week. If she chooses to do several hours of history in one day and none on other days, that's totally fine with me, as long as everything gets done in the week. The only thing I really encourage her to do daily is biology, because it's a ton of new vocabulary, and I want her reviewing it pretty much daily. She generally doesn't choose to binge on one subject because she can only tolerate so much difficult literature in one day, but sometimes she will choose to listen to several Great Courses lectures and do map work and work on notes/outlines/summaries for history in one day.

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Would you mind clarifying?  Are you saying you've never encountered a college that doesn't readily accept students with 21 credits? 20 core plus 1 art? 

 

That seems like a really low number of credits. Is it not? Are you saying that even relatively selective schools would happily accept a student with that few credits... that 21 credits is competitive? That seems hard to believe.

 

Or are you saying that most non-selective schools would accept  students with 21 high school credits?

 

No. That is not what I am saying. I am saying that when I look at the list of requirements, the explicitly required courses have never exceeded 4 credits in each of the five core areas. 

Just to take one example, Harvard (the other schools are similar) :

  • The study of English for four years: close and extensive reading of the classics of the world’s literature
  • Four years of a single foreign language
  • The study of history for at least two, and preferably three years: American history, European history, and one additional advanced history course
  • The study of mathematics for four years, including the particular topics described
  • The study of science for four years: physics, chemistry, and biology, and preferably one of these at an advanced level
  • Frequent practice in the writing of expository prose

 

Of course the student will have additional credits - all the extra time is spent on something

But to satisfy what is absolutely mandatory requires 20 credits. The rest can be filled pretty freely. Without pressuring the student into academics at the expense of his other interests (which typically spawn additional credits as well.)

 

ETA: We are also talking about 9th grade, right? I guess we were total slackers then. In 9th grade, I required 6 hours of academic work per day; that included core subjects and electives. My DD spent 20+ hours per week at the barn. And sang in choir. Shrug. It seems to have sufficed.

I see a difference to an older high school student who may choose to take 3 college courses per semester in 11th or 12th grade.

Edited by regentrude
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No, you should not push him harder.

DD attends a college that has an ominous reputation for the academic rigor and the insane work load, and the entire school culture is such that only non-stop work gets you street cred. She has friends who attended prestigious prep high schools with similar work loads; some hated it, some liked it. She has repeatedly expressed that it would have destroyed her having to handle such a bone breaking schedule as a high schooler - but she is able to handle it as a college student.

We always had a somewhat relaxed schedule time wise - despite strong rigorous course work. It is wrong to set rigor and time commitment equal. We never schooled more than 6 hours per day, and she had plenty of free time for her extracurricular and leisure time pursuits, Nevertheless, she graduated with 32 college credits and a rigorous transcript. But 6 hours per day translate into at least 6 credits, and if you use summers somewhat and are efficient, it is easy to have more.

Time spent is NOT a measure of rigor. And I do not think kids need to be put through such an awful schedule to be ready for college, even for demanding elite schools.

 

Thanks, Regentrude.  I definitely need to hear this from an old timer.  My ds hears about kids working every night til 10pm on homework, and some kids do all nighters at times.  They all work weekends.  And he is just like :eek:  :blink: and definitely  :confused1:.  It just makes him feel lazy, seriously lazy, and I have to keep telling him NO NO NO.  You must find balance.  You do not need to do those kind of hours.  You do not need to compare yourself to all the other kids. But then that little voice in the back of my head thinks, well you could be doing more if I just was more encouraging/demanding. :blushing: But NO.  I will NOT get sucked into the ever escalating competition.  Burnout is a real thing and hard to recover from, ask me how I know!

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As a more general response to this thread--I think part of what this whole thread is dancing around is the idea of margin (which relates to self-care). It's not realistic to think that every moment of every day can be scheduled out to the nines and include every last thing we might like to do. The brain needs a break to just be and just rest sometimes-

The best thing I ever did was require no screen time after 9pm.  My ds goes to be at midnight (up at 8:30), so that is 3 hours to read, think, play the piano, etc.  He has come to really believe in it, so I no longer have to 'require' it as he implements it himself. 

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AoPS takes up to 2 hours a day, but since math is what a kid likes, it's OK.

... No matter how I slice it, I can't see it happening in five hours, not unless rigor is out and we get math that doesn't ask the student to spend 30 minutes per problem (often enough) and significantly curtail reading lists.

Regentrude and Kathy in Richmond streamlined the AoPS books and dropped a few sections. We choose to do math year round to complete the aops books including the challenge problems. My oldest is now at the calculus book

 

AoPS math takes 2hrs per weekday x 25 weeks of our budgeted time = 250hrs so more than the 180hrs We go by 180 school days a year so that leaves 11 weeks of no budgeted math time as buffer. This academic year we are out on Tuesday so negligible math gets done that day. So we are doing 8hrs per week instead but would do more English on Tuesday and would take more than 25 weeks to complete the book.

 

My oldest is a bookworm and reading list aren't an issue with this kid. I am going to be extra picky with my youngest required reading list because he doesn't read as fast but he reads 365 days a year for at least an hour a day. Also hubby discuss English literature and sometimes world history with our kids in the car. So little bits of time adds up.

 

Our expectation of rigor is likely to be different though due to our different education experience. My hubby and I have different ideas on rigor.

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I didn't take it as harsh; I know that I need to chill out.  :)

 

I also know you are right about the bolded.  I was talking to DD's friends from grade school recently because they all took high school biology in 7th grade (DD is taking it with me at the co-op now in 9th) and I was curious about their program.  They did barely any lab work.  So I am secure in knowing that DD has gotten her hands very dirty with lots on hands-on lab work and is comfortable with lab procedures, equipment, and the scientific method.  I am also peeved that the school district can pass this off as "1 high school credit in biology, with lab", while I have to prove that my class is up to par.  But that's another story..... 

 

Anyway, I realize now that I can drop some lab exercises with DD this year and cut back on the number of lab reports I ask of her and still be miles ahead of our district's "(not) 1 credit of high school biology with lab". 

I did not mean that to sound harsh, and I'm sorry.  Believe me, I am with you on the "wound tight" thing. I am constantly fighting myself.  What helps me is to step back and compare where we are to the average student at our local high school.  Really, there IS no comparison; DD is miles and miles ahead and that knowledge helps to contain my stress.  On these boards it is far too easy to lose track of where the bar of college-ready REALLY is.  No, it is not typical for a child to have completed calculus by the time he walks. AND all those wonderful credit-hour standards that we read about are theoretical.  The truth is, in a brick-and-mortar school, no one is keeping track of how much time the individual students are putting into classes; they're just making rough guesstimates for the class (and probably padding the numbers - heavily- too).  Also, the teacher will constantly make adjustments to the syllabus and add and drop things, if necessary. Hence, my personal mantra, "CHILL."  And if I remember to say it about 9 million times a day it even helps!

 

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The bolded is something that I had not thought of before; this "time confetti" is a real problem.  We are not in the house, on task, doing large chunks of work at a time, and we are not outside doing large chunks of extra-curriculars at a time; we are pieces of everything here and there.  This is definitely one of our most pressing problems now that I think about it.  When we return from a short stint at co-op (like Tuesdays), it takes another 45 minutes to get on task after DD pets the cat, has a snack, uses the bathroom, "takes a break", etc...) ; 45 minutes of wasted time.  I am going to need to re-arrange French and a few other things to handle this a bit better and get us more time chunks.

 

As for co-op:  Co-op started out strictly as a social thing for both kids; they choose their courses based on interests.  But this year it has taken on a more academic quality because DD takes biology with me there, Girl Scouts, as well as a class on Shakespeare where they are reading, discussing, and producing Hamlet.  The rest of the time at co-op is social, but I am OK with that as it's not a lot of social down time.  Friday co-op is going to have to go next semester.

 

As for electives coming out of her interests:  That's what the Equine Science course is.  We bought a college level textbook on the subject and paired it with the already-extensive barn work for a one credit elective.  The Friday co-op gives her part of an art credit, so not a total social thing, but we're going to have to bag that Friday co-op anyway.  

But that was exactly what I was writing about: rigorous academics can be done in 5 hours per day, i.e. 25 hours per week. That leaves plenty of hours in the week to do 30 hours or more outside the house. Minus sleep and food, there are 14 hours in the day. Only 5 of those are needed for school, and only on school days, to satisfy the strictest requirements, if you can get some electives out of the extracurriculars/"other". Leaves 8 hours per day for "other" stuff.

 

And I assume the coop serves an academic purpose, right? So those hours count as school. I really don't see this as so bad. I see it more as a problem of logistics and "time confetti": she does not have long consecutive blocks fro school at home. But then, the coop hours are a lot and should count. If the coop does not actually contribute to learning, I would reevaluate - for purely social purposes, that is too much daytime.

 

Edited by reefgazer
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I was talking to DD's friends from grade school recently because they all took high school biology in 7th grade (DD is taking it with me at the co-op now in 9th) and I was curious about their program. They did barely any lab work. So I am secure in knowing that DD has gotten her hands very dirty with lots on hands-on lab work and is comfortable with lab procedures, equipment, and the scientific method.

One of my neighbor is a private high school teacher. Their biology labs were mainly virtual until the parents won't happy about it so the school brought back the microscopes and hands on labs. We did a weekday tour of a high school last year and get to sit in for any of the labs by standing at the back of the rooms. It was a good experience.

I think my public high school neighbor would think I am weird if I question her about labs. Her parents doesn't know what labs were done so they can't tell me.

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Yeah, I was thinking of this when I read your previous post  - our days are not very "regular".  But I am going to have to try and compress most things into something more regular, and then I think I'll be ble to tackle block scheduling.

So my answer to your question of how do you block schedule is probably not very helpful upon considering all this. We do not do co-op and we are generally not out of the house on school days until after school is over. So sorry. That's what happens when I start thinking about threads in too general of terms. :(

 

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Regentrude and Kathy in Richmond streamlined the AoPS books and dropped a few sections. We choose to do math year round to complete the aops books including the challenge problems. My oldest is now at the calculus book

 

AoPS math takes 2hrs per weekday x 25 weeks of our budgeted time = 250hrs so more than the 180hrs We go by 180 school days a year so that leaves 11 weeks of no budgeted math time as buffer. 

 

I am confused about the bolded. If you do math year round, which would be close to 50 weeks (assuming you take Christmas off), why 25 weeks? And what does "11 weeks of no budgeted math time" mean?

 

Btw, math is the only subject we do year round as well.

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The bolded is something that I had not thought of before; this "time confetti" is a real problem.  We are not in the house, on task, doing large chunks of work at a time, and we are not outside doing large chunks of extra-curriculars at a time; we are pieces of everything here and there.  This is definitely one of our most pressing problems now that I think about it.  When we return from a short stint at co-op (like Tuesdays), it takes another 45 minutes to get on task after DD pets the cat, has a snack, uses the bathroom, "takes a break", etc...) ; 45 minutes of wasted time.  I am going to need to re-arrange French and a few other things to handle this a bit better and get us more time chunks.

 

 

We found this to be very important, especially with fragmented schedules.

My DS works two afternoons per week from 2-5 pm. He trains six days per week; twice a week, he leaves at 4pm to drive to the city and does not return until after 11:30pm. 

We found that this can only work if time is used very efficiently. No 45 minute breaks to mess with the cat. 

Travel time is used for GC lectures. Books are taken for any wait time. School begins promptly at 8:00am, except for the days when he does not get home until 11:30.

 

This semester he has two DE courses. I am very glad his class starts at 8am, so that it begins the day.

Good luck finding a way to use the time confetti efficiently. That is a crucial college prep skill.

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The bolded is something that I had not thought of before; this "time confetti" is a real problem.  We are not in the house, on task, doing large chunks of work at a time, and we are not outside doing large chunks of extra-curriculars at a time; we are pieces of everything here and there.  This is definitely one of our most pressing problems now that I think about it.  When we return from a short stint at co-op (like Tuesdays), it takes another 45 minutes to get on task after DD pets the cat, has a snack, uses the bathroom, "takes a break", etc...) ; 45 minutes of wasted time.  I am going to need to re-arrange French and a few other things to handle this a bit better and get us more time chunks.

 

 

Your schedule does look really, really challenging because of the lack of available long blocks of time.  May I quibble with the bolded just a bit, though?  I really wouldn't characterize that as "wasted time."  With all of the moving around, I would expect that your DD needs some transition time; she is using that time (possibly) to change mental gears.  Just something to consider.

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I am confused about the bolded. If you do math year round, which would be close to 50 weeks (assuming you take Christmas off), why 25 weeks? And what does "11 weeks of no budgeted math time" mean?

My kids did the AoPS online classes so we budget in 25 weeks of work in academic year planning. We take school year as 36 weeks (180 school days) so we have 11 weeks buffer basically per academic year for each book.

For summer my kids do whatever challenge problems in the books that are not completed and also math enrichment of their own choosing. So basically non credit work in summer.

 

ETA:

My oldest is a planner. He wants start date, stop date and buffer for almost every task.

Edited by Arcadia
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The bolded is something that I had not thought of before; this "time confetti" is a real problem

We did a lot of discussions in the car. Those times spent in peak morning traffic and sometimes the peak evening traffic adds up for us. Also I try to get PDF and/or iBook/kindle versions of books so that my kids can read in the waiting area while one sibling has an activity and also read on public transport. We are going for a short vacation and our kids would be reading on the plane and at the airport, BTDT for a previous vacation. My kids are used to taking their iPad and kindle in their backpacks for trips. We had done online classes in hotel room/lobby. We are used to using google docs offline and syncing when we get to a place with wifi.

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Yeah, I was thinking of this when I read your previous post  - our days are not very "regular".  But I am going to have to try and compress most things into something more regular, and then I think I'll be ble to tackle block scheduling.

 

Our days aren't regular either. It's not unusual for us to be out of the house 6-7 days a week for varying lengths of time. The only way it is possible is because my daughter does school work 7 days a week. It now feels normal and is not a hardship or something she dreads. (Well, no more than the usual dread when it's time for school work...  :zombiechase: )   

 

She finds it helpful to front-load her week on the weekends. She knows the more she gets done on the weekend, the less stressful her week will be and the more readily she can embrace unexpected opportunities. 

 

Looking at a time map, her life is balanced. She has a place for everything and everything is in its place...more accurately... in its time slot.   ;)

 

It took time and maturity to get here, though. 9th grade was rough. 10th has been much better. (Says the foolish woman only a month into the school year!   :ph34r:  )

 

Good luck thinking through everything and implementing changes. It may take trying a few different approaches, but hopefully everything will eventually settle into a healthy rhythm.

Edited by Woodland Mist Academy
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Regentrude and Kathy in Richmond streamlined the AoPS books and dropped a few sections. We choose to do math year round to complete the aops books including the challenge problems. My oldest is now at the calculus book

 

I wrote that abbreviated AoPS schedule to help another WTM poster a few years ago. My own kids took lots of online AoPS courses back in the days before they had textbooks. The only texts they'd published at that point in time were the two classic problem solving volumes. My kids did work through those two volumes in their entirety. And when I tutor AoPS, I insist on covering the whole textbook. They are that good (& the sections usually skipped are the ones I consider to be the most fun.) :)

 

We found here that how long a kid takes to complete a day's work in high school was dependent on personality, the number of outsourced classes, and the amount of outside extracurricular activity. I had both ends of the spectrum. Mr Efficient, who started each day early and transitioned between subjects seamlessly, finished his schoolwork before dinner (I can count on one hand the # of times he did evening work). He had minimal outside commitments: Scouting and church activities and piano lessons. Only a few online classes in total over four years. He is also my extreme introvert.

 

My dd, Ms. ADD, on the other hand (& she gets that trait courtesy of Mom, so sorry!) worked in spurts throughout the day, often finishing up late at night. She was just much happier that way, taking breaks as needed. She was also involved in umpteen activities and had more online classes & is an extreme extrovert. She was always in a whirlwind of activity.

 

They are all so different. Ninth grade is still a testing-it-out stage. Lots will change with your kid between 13 and 18. Good luck finding what works for you!

Edited by Kathy in Richmond
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Oh, she is definitely using that time to change mental gears.  I am hoping to re-arrange things to avoid so many gear changes, though, so that we can use our time more efficiently.  45 Minutes per transition, when there are so many transitions, seems to be costing us dearly.  I do see the need for re-grouping and settling in again, but 45 per is too costly.

Your schedule does look really, really challenging because of the lack of available long blocks of time.  May I quibble with the bolded just a bit, though?  I really wouldn't characterize that as "wasted time."  With all of the moving around, I would expect that your DD needs some transition time; she is using that time (possibly) to change mental gears.  Just something to consider.

 

Edited by reefgazer
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Right, sure - creative writing could be part of English.  But the point is that she wants to spend a lot of time both studying and doing creative writing, and I want her to do academic writing too, and we both want to do a ton of lit.  So, right there, she will spend 300-400 hours a year on this.  She will. The goal isn't to limit the time in this area, it's her passion. The goal is to give her academic credit for the time she is spending on this stuff.  So by breaking it up into an English credit and a Creative Writing credit, she gets "credit" for the fact that she is spending multiple hours per day/week reading, writing, and studying literature.  The point is to have her credits give her credit for the time she spends in this area - her specialty area - and to create time in her schedule, via an official elective, for her to do creative writing.  Ditto with theater - she does acting as an elective, but she also wants to read and analyze plays and films and attend plays. So we have a Theater Arts credit - academic work in the area - as well as having the act of acting - drama - as an elective. 

 

Point being, I want to let her spend time on things that she is passionate about, give her academic credit for all the credit-worthy stuff she is doing, and make sure she has the time to pursue her passions, rather than filling her schedule with subjects she's less interested in.  So the point of having 3 English-y credits (English/Lit, Creative Writing, and Theater Arts) is that she actually spends 15+ hours a week on this stuff.  And then another 10+ hours a week on the drama elective when a play is in production.  She doesn't want to reduce this.  What we want to do is to reduce the other stuff - the check boxes, the must-dos, and also the things that are valuable to do for being a generally well-rounded and well-educated citizen.  Those things aren't unimportant, but they can't be allowed to crowd out the time and energy for the things that she really cares about.

 

Does this make sense?

 

ETA: I also understand from reading on this board that it isn't necessarily a good idea to turn everything into a credit, because you want some legitimate extracurriculars. So my logic is that by having both a Theater Arts credit, and Drama as an extracurricular, this is a demonstration of the passion/interest in the subject and that significant time is being spent on the extracurricular.  Truly, at this point she has spent as many hours on drama - her extracurricular - as she has on any of her for-credit subjects.

not in high school yet, but we are "unschooling" history here. I have a (short) pile of books, I assign reading (totally easy and on level) and I read out loud from another one. Discuss. Add a field trip to wherever, done. No output. This has displaced fun read alouds, but it's 7th grade so we will get over it.

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When I was young, I could have done 6 classes in 6 hours. I was always the fastest student in the classes at school and spent a good deal of each class reading novels while waiting for the other students to catch up. Imagine my shock at the fact that my son just can't.

 

He tries, but he just doesn't know how to go fast yet. If I try to make him go fast, he doesn't process the information. He may simply not be capable of what I was capable of. Looking back, only one other student (who became my best friend) ever came close to being as fast as I was, so I'm thinking my son is pretty normal and I'm the outlier.

 

We do 6 classes a day. Two of them take up to 2 hours each. They just do.

 

If the other 4 are only one hour each, that's still 8 hours of work. If any of the other 4 take longer than an hour, then he's working more than 8 hours a day.

 

I have done pretty well with keeping our weekends as clear as I can so he can have a childhood. (Because he is still a child.)

 

He has only one extracurric: karate. He gets to bed by 9:30 every night and is up at 7. He'd tried a 10:30 bedtime, but he recognized that he was too tired every day, so he changed his bedtime to 9:30.

 

He will be getting a job soon at McDonalds or our local diner, if/when they are hiring, but if it affects his sleep, then no job. Being that they only let the 14 year old's work very few hours, I don't think it will be a problem. He will lose more of his free time, but I think the benefits will outweigh that. I have thought long and hard about the job and think it will be a very good thing for him. (Boss other than "mom", experiencing a "job well done", pride in earning his own money, finding out he wants more out of life than working at fast food, etc.)

 

I wish he could get done his academics in 6 hours, but it's just not possible for him. For me? Sure. But not for the student I have.

Edited by Garga
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We always had a somewhat relaxed schedule time wise - despite strong rigorous course work. It is wrong to set rigor and time commitment equal. We never schooled more than 6 hours per day, [...]

 

There are days when my DS is in class of some sort for 6 hours/day (counting the short drive to one of them). Just class time. No HW.

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Yes, I am in the same boat and beginning to think I am an outlier, as well.  It makes it tough for me to schedule work because I see things taking way different amounts of time than DD sees.  Hopefully, my tweaking here and there, and adjusting my expectations, will get us through.

When I was young, I could have done 6 classes in 6 hours. I was always the fastest student in the classes at school and spent a good deal of each class reading novels while waiting for the other students to catch up. Imagine my shock at the fact that my son just can't.

He tries, but he just doesn't know how to go fast yet. If I try to make him go fast, he doesn't processes the information. He may simply not be capable of what I was capable of. Looking back, only one other student (who became my best friend) ever came close to being as fast as I was, so I'm thinking my son is pretty normal and I'm the outlier.

We do 6 classes a day. Two of them take up to 2 hours each. They just do.

If the other 4 are only one hour each, that's still 8 hours of work. If any of the other 4 take longer than an hour, then he's working more than 8 hours a day.

I have done pretty well with keeping our weekends as clear as I can so he can have a childhood. (Because he is still a child.)

He has only one extracurric: karate. He gets to bed by 9:30 every night and is up at 7. He'd tried a 10:30 bedtime, but he recognized that he was too tired every day, so he changed his bedtime to 9:30.

He will be getting a job soon at McDonalds or our local diner, if/when they are hiring, but if it affects his sleep, then no job. Being that they only let the 14 year old's work very few hours, I don't think it will be a problem. He will lose more of his free time, but I think the benefits will outweigh that. I have thought long and hard about the job and think it will be a very good thing for him. (Boss other than "mom", experiencing a "job well done", pride in earning his own money, finding out he wants more out of life than working at fast food, etc.)

I wish he could get done his academics in 6 hours, but it's just not possible for him. For me? Sure. But not for the student I have.

 

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Oh, she is definitely using that time to change mental gears.  I am hoping to re-arrange things to avoid so many gear changes, though, so that we can use our time more efficiently.  45 Minutes per transition, when there are so many transitions, seems to be costing us dearly.  I do see the need for re-grouping and settling in again, but 45 per is too costly.

 

My younger ds has a lot of trouble with transitions.  So we set a buzzer.  He does 2 subjects back to back with a 5 minute buzzer in between.  During those 5 minutes he AND *I* must: go to the bathroom and get a drink, etc.  In addition, he has to put away his previous subject and get out the new one.  We scurry around and make it back before the buzzer goes off.  It is fun because we are both doing it.  Then after 2 subjects he has 30 minutes, but once again all the above things must be done before the buzzer goes off so he usually sets it for 25 minutes and then 5 minutes.  I think that some kids need to be trained.  We have been doing this for a year now, and if the buzzer is not set, then we are back to the typical sluggish transition.  So he has not internalized it yet, but that doesn't seem to matter.  Have buzzer will travel.

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When I was young, I could have done 6 classes in 6 hours. I was always the fastest student in the classes at school and spent a good deal of each class reading novels while waiting for the other students to catch up. Imagine my shock at the fact that my son just can't.

 

He tries, but he just doesn't know how to go fast yet. If I try to make him go fast, he doesn't processes the information. He may simply not be capable of what I was capable of. Looking back, only one other student (who became my best friend) ever came close to being as fast as I was, so I'm thinking my son is pretty normal and I'm the outlier.

 

I have noticed this as well, that I got my work done much faster when I was in school than my kids do. It does help that I am a very fast reader, and my children are not especially so, but I think there are other factors too. I think my work was generally easy for me and not much of a challenge, but I put my kids in work just a tiny bit above their current level so they learn more than I ever did in school and are forced to work a bit more for their grades. Plus, for subjective stuff, like writing, they'll keep revising until I'm satisfied, because I want them to do their best and not just aim for the "good enough" that I was allowed to get away with in school.

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I have noticed this as well, that I got my work done much faster when I was in school than my kids do. It does help that I am a very fast reader, and my children are not especially so, but I think there are other factors too. I think my work was generally easy for me and not much of a challenge, but I put my kids in work just a tiny bit above their current level so they learn more than I ever did in school and are forced to work a bit more for their grades. Plus, for subjective stuff, like writing, they'll keep revising until I'm satisfied, because I want them to do their best and not just aim for the "good enough" that I was allowed to get away with in school.

You make a very good point. No one ever expected much of me as a student. I do expect more from mine, though I honestly try not to be crazy-teacher-mommy about it.

 

So you're right. If my son was doing the work at the level I was, he could probably go as fast as I did. But he's stuck with a teacher who won't let him get away with rushing through his work. I'm always trying to find that balance for him between rushing and dawdling.

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Yes, I am in the same boat and beginning to think I am an outlier, as well. It makes it tough for me to schedule work because I see things taking way different amounts of time than DD sees. Hopefully, my tweaking here and there, and adjusting my expectations, will get us through.

I am using ML Bio with one kid and looking at other high school teachers schedules help in estimating how much time to allocate. Also I budget 3hrs for each science lab. We started on Aug 15 but we are at full load from two weeks ago. So now we are kind of use to the schedule.

 

Every year we have a month of transition from summer end to full ramp up in efficiency. It does get better. It is the first term of the first year of high school for your daughter. Even the kids in public high school are adjusting.

:grouphug:

Edited by Arcadia
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My younger ds has a lot of trouble with transitions. So we set a buzzer. He does 2 subjects back to back with a 5 minute buzzer in between. During those 5 minutes he AND *I* must: go to the bathroom and get a drink, etc. In addition, he has to put away his previous subject and get out the new one. We scurry around and make it back before the buzzer goes off. It is fun because we are both doing it. Then after 2 subjects he has 30 minutes, but once again all the above things must be done before the buzzer goes off so he usually sets it for 25 minutes and then 5 minutes. I think that some kids need to be trained. We have been doing this for a year now, and if the buzzer is not set, then we are back to the typical sluggish transition. So he has not internalized it yet, but that doesn't seem to matter. Have buzzer will travel.

We use a buzzer (timer), too. I also use it during his lessons to be sure he's not dawdling too much. When he can see, "Oh no! Only 20 more minutes!" he'll speed up. Without the timer, a 20 minute job could turn into a 40 minute job.

 

Same for breaks. We use the timer, as you do, or they drag on too long. When he wants a longer break I remind him that I can't stop time and that the sun will keep moving across the sky and the work will still be waiting and will go further into the evening, but it's up to him to decide if he's willing to work now or later (within reason.).

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I have noticed this as well, that I got my work done much faster when I was in school than my kids do. It does help that I am a very fast reader, and my children are not especially so, but I think there are other factors too. I think my work was generally easy for me and not much of a challenge, but I put my kids in work just a tiny bit above their current level so they learn more than I ever did in school and are forced to work a bit more for their grades. Plus, for subjective stuff, like writing, they'll keep revising until I'm satisfied, because I want them to do their best and not just aim for the "good enough" that I was allowed to get away with in school.

 

 

Yes, I think this mentality is part of why homeschooling takes longer for bright kids than a PS would in many cases (except for the wasted time in PS classes). A teacher is generally just assessing for competency at tests and completion of homework; how that competency is acquired is up to the student, so students who figure out tricks to study faster spend less time at subjects of little interest.  Homeschooling moms are not so lax :)

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I have noticed this as well, that I got my work done much faster when I was in school than my kids do. It does help that I am a very fast reader, and my children are not especially so, but I think there are other factors too. I think my work was generally easy for me and not much of a challenge, but I put my kids in work just a tiny bit above their current level so they learn more than I ever did in school and are forced to work a bit more for their grades. Plus, for subjective stuff, like writing, they'll keep revising until I'm satisfied, because I want them to do their best and not just aim for the "good enough" that I was allowed to get away with in school.

 

On the bolded- I guess perhaps I come at this from an opposite view point. Isn't "good enough" enough for some subjects? I mean, high school is about finding out where your interests are as much as anything else, so if your kid is meeting the standard, whatever that is, for the college or career of their choice, and a subject is clearly not in their future career path, I don't see anything wrong necessarily with "good enough". That leaves them time to soak in the areas where it really would be of the most benefit to them. At least that's my take.

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I've limited DS to 2 significant extracurriculars per ______   (season, trimester, however things are being arranged).  

 

 

I just realized that this year for the first time, in addition to starting back to brick and mortar school he is probably about to have 3 of them.   And like the combo of swimming, barn, co-op, for OPs dd, that is likely to prove to be too much.  

 

I think the 2 extracurriculars per time period has been a helpful rule of thumb.

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On the bolded- I guess perhaps I come at this from an opposite view point. Isn't "good enough" enough for some subjects? I mean, high school is about finding out where your interests are as much as anything else, so if your kid is meeting the standard, whatever that is, for the college or career of their choice, and a subject is clearly not in their future career path, I don't see anything wrong necessarily with "good enough". That leaves them time to soak in the areas where it really would be of the most benefit to them. At least that's my take.

Yes, but good enough classes still take time. In order to meet the credit hours, those hours do have to be actually used up.

 

Intro to Astronomy and Spanish are our "good enough" subjects here. Astronomy is still 4 hours a week and Spanish is 5 hours a week. Nine hours of the week are already used up, and we do the minimum for both of those subjects. (Spanish is an outsourced class that moves at a slightly slower pace than normal. Will take 3 years to get through 2 books.)

 

For Biology and World History, ds will be taking the SAT 2 subjects tests, so we have to spend time on those subjects and make sure they're learned thoroughly. They take about 1.5-2 hours a day, each.

 

Math is non-negotiable. It has to be done: 1 hour a day, sometimes more. Since math builds on itself, we can't slack off without having 3 more years of repurcussion from that. But still, I didn't chose a rigorous program. I chose a nice, steady, online class.

 

English is also non-negotiable. My student must learn to write well. He's not there yet, so we can't slack off with writing. For literature, I am completely tailoring the class for him. Only 9 books will be read this year (I'd hoped for 20, but not gonna happen), and I am picking the easiest translations I can find for them (World Authors.). Our Gilgamesh, Odyseey, and Don Quixote are the simplest translations out there. No fancy words or beautiful imagery, but we're doing it "good enough." His writing for this year is all based on the books he reads, so there is no redundancy. 9 books, 9 essays, done. Other than that, we just discuss what we've read, which has been very gentle and lovely.

 

Even with good enough, we're still at about 8 hours a day.

 

I'm not as upset over it after reading this thread. I figure that he's getting a great education, he has time for karate, and will have time for a couple of hours a week working his job and that's ok for now. If he schools on the weekends, it's only for 3 or so hours total, and many weekends there is no work.

Edited by Garga
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On the bolded- I guess perhaps I come at this from an opposite view point. Isn't "good enough" enough for some subjects? I mean, high school is about finding out where your interests are as much as anything else, so if your kid is meeting the standard, whatever that is, for the college or career of their choice, and a subject is clearly not in their future career path, I don't see anything wrong necessarily with "good enough". That leaves them time to soak in the areas where it really would be of the most benefit to them. At least that's my take.

Yes, this is true. And sometimes deciding what can be "good enough" vs. "best" is an important skill because you can't give everything your all all the time. But I felt like because I was a "good enough" writer, I never got any instruction in how I, specifically, could improve. I was "good enough" at remembering historical facts and whatnot, and certainly consistently one of the top scores in the class, so I never got instruction in how to go deeper into analysis. When you get consistently 95% on a test or paper, even in areas where you are interested and/or talented, teachers don't really have time or availability to help you get that other 5%. There are students who need more help.

 

Certainly I am never going to get my kids to 100% in all areas, but I can try. I can look at DD's "good enough" paper, and I can offer her tips on how it could be even better. I guess I feel like I can help my children grow beyond their immediate abilities more than the school did for me.Instead of having them get through the curricula easily because that's what all kids in their grade use, whether it's too easy or too hard, I can put them in materials that will stretch them a bit in some way (either with new skills or with new information). Or at least I can try. I can also try to find ways to make less interesting subjects have at least a little excitement for them.

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No. That is not what I am saying. I am saying that when I look at the list of requirements, the explicitly required courses have never exceeded 4 credits in each of the five core areas. 

Just to take one example, Harvard (the other schools are similar) :

 

Of course the student will have additional credits - all the extra time is spent on something

But to satisfy what is absolutely mandatory requires 20 credits. The rest can be filled pretty freely. Without pressuring the student into academics at the expense of his other interests (which typically spawn additional credits as well.)

 

ETA: We are also talking about 9th grade, right? I guess we were total slackers then. In 9th grade, I required 6 hours of academic work per day; that included core subjects and electives. My DD spent 20+ hours per week at the barn. And sang in choir. Shrug. It seems to have sufficed.

I see a difference to an older high school student who may choose to take 3 college courses per semester in 11th or 12th grade.

 

 

The quoted requirements for Harvard sound like 19 credits for core subjects plus electives. But have things changed such that Cornell has become as hard to get into as Harvard? What are the Cornell requirements?

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Yes, but good enough classes still take time. In order to meet the credit hours, those hours do have to be actually used up.

I have a fast worker and a slow worker. My kids take online coursework and if my fast worker takes less than the time allocated, I'm still going to give him full credit for a non-honors class.

 

I meet my credit hours easily as a public school kid sleeping through most lectures. If I want to count time, my fast worker can either do slower or doodle or nap at his seat. I don't want to penalize him for being fast nor make it a harder course if he is not interested. I don't want self sabotage from my kids because their good enough is considered as underperforming and they decide to put in even less effort and be more underperforming.

 

When my kids were with public charter, as long as they finished the work, the school did not care that my kids finished the work in half the time. So my kids did the volume required at the standard required but at less than the time budgeted by the curriculum specialist.

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Part of the problem I think may arise from not wanting to allow any doors at all to shut: so trying at same time to meet the academic requirements for the most elite of all schools, plus trying to keep open a professional career in horse management and maybe also swimming--plus also many hours per week social time not met apparently via the horse and swimming activities (hence co-op, camping etc.), and perhaps for a child where academics are slow or at least somewhat slow and time consuming, not  super-fast, such that 5 hours per day would not be enough to meet Harvard-level requirements.

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My ds works 45 weeks a year. That helps reduce the work load on a daily basis.  

 

I also have created core courses out of things he like to do anyway.  He likes to read the Economist, Scientific American, and National Geographic at night during his 'quiet time,' and he likes to start his day with a coursera/edx lecture.  Four years of this plus discussion and couple of papers each year will give him the hours for 3 humanities courses: current events, economics, and philosophy. This is his get-it-done subject, but it is so interwoven with his life and interests that it doesn't seem like work, and he would never count it in his hours if you asked him. 

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 But have things changed such that Cornell has become as hard to get into as Harvard?

 

Cornell has a 14% admissions rate vs Harvard's 5%, so almost three times as much - but with 86% of applicants rejected, it is still a long shot.

 

Requirements are here:

http://admissions.cornell.edu/sites/admissions.cornell.edu/files/2017%20Freshman%20Requirements.pdf

Edited by regentrude
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I'm not even considering elite schools.  My kids would be miserable at an elite school.  They do their work then play on their ipads the rest of the day with an occasional movie thrown in.  My oldest son's one claim to a self-directed activity is that he likes to make cookies for the homeless people at my church's outreach.  But he's content to make the same three kinds of cookies over and over.  He makes cupcakes once a month for them, too.  He's not out there inventing new recipes or anything.  He just enjoys the alone time in the kitchen and likes to lick the spoon when he's done.  

 

Elite schools would be an awful fit for someone like him.  He wants a quiet life spent mostly at home.  We're just looking for a nice college where he can get the degree so he can get a good enough job that he's not starving when he grows up and can afford a new ipad so he can play on it after work in the evenings.  The only reason we're doing the outsourced classes and the SAT 2 tests is for merit aid.  Because even the easiest of colleges to get into costs an arm and a leg, so if he can manage to learn enough to look good on those tests, then maybe he'll get money for college.  Because if he doesn't get money for college, then I honestly don't know how he'd make a living in this world.  So, I only teach as much as I do so he can converse intelligently and get some merit aid if at all possible.  

 

Elite colleges...no way.  No interest.  Not even going to bother with them.  

 

But it still takes him 8 hours a day to do school, sometimes 9, if I want him to do well on the tests so he can go to college and get a normal, indoors, middle-class job.  Indoors because he hates physical work or being outside, so most blue collar is out, so he must go to college.

Edited by Garga
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The quoted requirements for Harvard sound like 19 credits for core subjects plus electives. But have things changed such that Cornell has become as hard to get into as Harvard? What are the Cornell requirements?

 

 

Cornell?  Wait...I thought that was an elite college.  

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I have a fast worker and a slow worker. My kids take online coursework and if my fast worker takes less than the time allocated, I'm still going to give him full credit for a non-honors class.

 

I meet my credit hours easily as a public school kid sleeping through most lectures. If I want to count time, my fast worker can either do slower or doodle or nap at his seat. I don't want to penalize him for being fast nor make it a harder course if he is not interested. I don't want self sabotage from my kids because their good enough is considered as underperforming and they decide to put in even less effort and be more underperforming.

 

When my kids were with public charter, as long as they finished the work, the school did not care that my kids finished the work in half the time. So my kids did the volume required at the standard required but at less than the time budgeted by the curriculum specialist.

 

 

Yes, there are some kids who are very fast at their work.  I was referring to people who aren't lightning fast. 

 

For example, my son watches a 30 minute Astronomy course from The Great Courses.  Then, he has to answer the 3 or 4 questions for the lecture.  If it took him 10 minutes to answer the questions, I would count his 40 minutes of time as an "hour" of Astronomy.  It would take me only about 10 minutes.  

 

But it often takes him 20-30 minutes to answer those questions.  Sometimes he's goofing off.  Sometimes he's trying to figure it out. Sometimes he asks his dad and they have long discussions.  So, something that I think should take him 40-45 minutes takes him 60-75.  

 

But what can I do?  Split it so he only watches half of the lecture a day?  And then only get through 1/2 of the course?  

This is where it can take a student a long time to do something, even if it's simple.  I mean, watch a video and answer the questions.  It's really simple.  I don't expect essays or anything for this class.  This is his "fun" get-it-done class.  But it still takes a solid hour 4 days a week.

 

Well...everyone is different.  Everyone's goals are different.  Some kids are fast, some are slow.  Some are self-starters and some need to be encouraged every step of the way.  These kinds of discussions are difficult because we put our student in each scenario and write from that starting point, but our reader is coming at it from a different starting point and our conversation gets jumbled somewhere in the middle.  (And yes, I saw that you have a slow worker, too, so you know where I'm coming from.  I'm mostly just musing aloud to everyone here about this.)

 

 

As I said before, I'm actually feeling ok with the 8 hours a day it takes to do school.  After reading some of the schedules of other kids, we're good here.  He takes a long time to do his work, but now I'm pretty confident that it's not because I'm piling on too much.  He actually has lots of free time compared to others, plus his 9.5 hours of sleep each night.

Edited by Garga
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The only reason we're doing the outsourced classes and the SAT 2 tests is for merit aid. Because even the easiest of colleges to get into costs an arm and a leg, so if he can manage to learn enough to look good on those tests, then maybe he'll get money for college.

Spending time on test prep pays good dividends even for my fast worker and is a necessary evil for my slow poke. Listening to history lectures as "lullabies" have been helpful for world history facts retention for my kids. :grouphug:

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Spending time on test prep pays good dividends even for my fast worker and is a necessary evil for my slow poke. Listening to history lectures as "lullabies" have been helpful for world history facts retention for my kids. :grouphug:

 

 

Yes, we're going to start test prep in January, but thanks for the encouragement that it's helpful to do so, because, as we've been discussing, it'll make his school day even longer.   :)  We'll probably do test prep on the weekends and take it slowly.  Unless you know of a better way of doing it.  I'm all ears for tips on test prep!  

 

He'll be taking the PSAT in a couple of weeks for the sole purpose of simply being in a classroom with a bunch of strangers.  I don't care if he gets every single question wrong (he's only in 9th).  The only reason he's there is to get used to testing in a scary setting.  

 

We are using the PSAT booklet of tips and a practice test so he knows what to expect.  But really, the whole point of him going to the school and taking the test is just so he can get used the idea of walking into a high school all alone with his yellow no.2 pencils in sweaty hand, and sitting at a desk surrounded by strangers who stare at him and are all taller than him (he's small.)

Edited by Garga
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This is where we are on all of the bolded.

Yes, but good enough classes still take time. In order to meet the credit hours, those hours do have to be actually used up.

Intro to Astronomy and Spanish are our "good enough" subjects here. Astronomy is still 4 hours a week and Spanish is 5 hours a week. Nine hours of the week are already used up, and we do the minimum for both of those subjects. (Spanish is an outsourced class that moves at a slightly slower pace than normal. Will take 3 years to get through 2 books.)

For Biology and World History, ds will be taking the SAT 2 subjects tests, so we have to spend time on those subjects and make sure they're learned thoroughly. They take about 1.5-2 hours a day, each.

, I Math is non-negotiable. It has to be done: 1 hour a day, sometimes more. Since math builds on itself, we can't slack off without having 3 more years of repurcussion from that. But stilldidn't chose a rigorous program. I chose a nice, steady, online class.

English is also non-negotiable. My student must learn to write well. He's not there yet, so we can't slack off with writing. For literature, I am completely tailoring the class for him. Only 9 books will be read this year (I'd hoped for 20, but not gonna happen), and I am picking the easiest translations I can find for them (World Authors.). Our Gilgamesh, Odyseey, and Don Quixote are the simplest translations out there. No fancy words or beautiful imagery, but we're doing it "good enough." His writing for this year is all based on the books he reads, so there is no redundancy. 9 books, 9 essays, done. Other than that, we just discuss what we've read, which has been very gentle and lovely.

Even with good enough, we're still at about 8 hours a day.

I'm not as upset over it after reading this thread. I figure that he's getting a great education, he has time for karate, and will have time for a couple of hours a week working his job and that's ok for now. If he schools on the weekends, it's only for 3 or so hours total, and many weekends there is no work.

 

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Yes, that's it - I don't want to close doors for DD at this young an age.  5 Hours per day is not enough for DD to meet her requirements in what I deem a satisfactory manner - if only for the reason that she has 7 full credits this year (so 7 hours going strictly by the recommended ours for a credit).  Honestly, I don't see camping and co-op (with the exception of my biology class and Shakespeare) as "activities"; I see them as social down time, which all kids need.

 

At any rate, I re-arranged DD's schedule today to eliminate several transition times, discussed with her and "practiced" wiser use of small time increments, and instituted a rule that there is no work after 10:00 pm except reading, drawing, or some such light and ready-for-sleep work.  I am hopeful this will help.

 

Part of the problem I think may arise from not wanting to allow any doors at all to shut: so trying at same time to meet the academic requirements for the most elite of all schools, plus trying to keep open a professional career in horse management and maybe also swimming--plus also many hours per week social time not met apparently via the horse and swimming activities (hence co-op, camping etc.), and perhaps for a child where academics are slow or at least somewhat slow and time consuming, not  super-fast, such that 5 hours per day would not be enough to meet Harvard-level requirements.

 

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Question:  If DD takes the PSAT in 9th, does that mean it doesn't count and I don't report the scores to anyone?  I don't feel she is ready yet for real, but for practice, it's something I would consider.

Yes, we're going to start test prep in January, but thanks for the encouragement that it's helpful to do so, because, as we've been discussing, it'll make his school day even longer.   :)  We'll probably do test prep on the weekends and take it slowly.  Unless you know of a better way of doing it.  I'm all ears for tips on test prep!  

 

He'll be taking the PSAT in a couple of weeks for the sole purpose of simply being in a classroom with a bunch of strangers.  I don't care if he gets every single question wrong (he's only in 9th).  The only reason he's there is to get used to testing in a scary setting.  

 

We are using the PSAT booklet of tips and a practice test so he knows what to expect.  But really, the whole point of him going to the school and taking the test is just so he can get used the idea of walking into a high school all alone with his yellow no.2 pencils in sweaty hand, and sitting at a desk surrounded by strangers who stare at him and are all taller than him (he's small.)

 

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Question: If DD takes the PSAT in 9th, does that mean it doesn't count and I don't report the scores to anyone?

 

PSAT doesn't matter for 9th. SAT does count as some colleges want all scores to superscore. PSAT and SAT have different emphasis on the math section.

 

We'll probably do test prep on the weekends and take it slowly. Unless you know of a better way of doing it. I'm all ears for tips on test prep!

 

He'll be taking the PSAT in a couple of weeks for the sole purpose of simply being in a classroom with a bunch of strangers.

None of mine has taken the PSAT. For SAT and ACT, doing an entire paper test including coloring those bubbles with a toilet break after two sections as rehearsal two days before helped a lot. My "slowpoke" had a good score for ACT and is aiming for a good score for November's SAT. He picked the test date.

 

I wasn't sure whether my oldest was ready for SAT math 2 and SAT physics so I had him do the one hour test from a Barrons test prep book at the library. It gave me a good benchmark/baseline to work with and only "wasted" an hour per subject.

 

My 4'8" kid had a fun time with ACT in a room of strangers. My older is 5'4" tall. Just make sure he has 2 hb pencils, an eraser that erase clean, his photo ID, an approved calculator and snacks/drink. Make sure your son brings his favourite calculator.

 

Good luck on the PSAT. A good score boost esteem even when not critical.

 

ETA:

Comparison of PSAT and SAT math topics emphasis

https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/about/alignment/math/psat-nmsqt-sat

Edited by Arcadia
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