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Our plans for 8th are very reading and writing intensive across several subjects. DD is a wicked fast reader and input processor and slow output producer--very much 2e.

 

When I see people listing how many hours of school, I just don't know how they get all the reading and writing done within that amount of time. Do you count reading time towards school hours or is that just "homework" and not included in the total?

 

For example, if I was looking to high school credits, that's about 1 hr per day of a subject. So, if I spend 30 minutes of that time discussing or teaching, does that really just leave me with 30 minutes for her to do independent work? 

 

Or, do you just say -- you have to complete this book by this date. Figure out how to make it work? I feel like I really need that dedicated time to her writing/output rather than reading but I just don't understand how others do it.

 

I'm trying to transition things to her owning her planning on a weekly basis rather than being dependent so much on me for daily schedule.

 

 

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I don't get too hung up on hours.  I keep track of how many days we school, and I try to do around the same number as the PS, but in terms of exact hours, no I don't count.  I'm more about quality rather than quantity.  And I wouldn't punish my kid with busy work just because they happen to be a quick learner.  Time not spent doing seat work is often time spent pursuing interests and learning as well.  That's a big part of why I homeschool in the first place.

 

 

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In a homeschool, I see no distinction between "school work" and "home work". I count all time on task as "school".

 

I did not give reading deadlines. I let them work, and counted any time they spent on school work as school. They chose their own writing assignments and projects. I had a book list with way too many books on it; we gotthrough whatever we got through.

 

If you have a student who is a very slow writer, schedule specific time for him to write. Also, think about the purpose of each output assignment and make sure to assign only writing assigments that have a clear educational purpose and cut out all busy work.

 

Edited by regentrude
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I don't think I've explained myself at all. I abhor busy work; it's the antithesis of how we approach homeschool. I also make no distinction between "homework" and "school work" except in the sense of trying to figure out how people actually count things I am trying to find a way for my very 2e kid to be successful. She's a highly gifted learner with significant processing output challenges.

 

She is successful when she knows she has to do X for Y hours; it is one of the scaffolding methods that works extremely well for her and is her preferred approach.

 

She needs significantly more time for writing--far more than I would classify as typical. She LOVES reading--does not find it to be a burden or a chore. Wants to read all the books we have on everything. I am trying to find a way to BALANCE her love of reading with her need to do more writing without overwhelming her.

 

 

Edited by deerforest
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In a homeschool, I see no distinction between "school work" and "home work". I count all time on task as "school".

 

I did not give reading deadlines. I let them work, and counted any time they spent on school work as school. They chose their own writing assignments and projects. I had a book list with way too many books on it; we gotthrough whatever we got through.

 

If you have a student who is a very slow writer, schedule specific time for him to write. Also, think about the purpose of each output assignment and make sure to assign only writing assigments that have a clear educational purpose and cut out all busy work.

 

Yes, I am doing all of these things already, but we need to beef up her writing output significantly this year. My daughter needs more scaffolding than yours did.

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I don't include reading when I list hrs spent on school, because I find it impossible to plan out when and how reading will take place for my older kids. It's just not something I can plan out in detail. Instead I have a general sense of "This book should take about 2 weeks to read and another week to write a literary essay," so I mentally set aside about 3 weeks to cover it. With history and science reading, I will often say, "I'd like you to get through this book in about a month, so you should be reading approximately 3 chapters per week," and then I follow up each Sunday when we go over their planner to be sure they are on track.

 

And sometimes things take longer than I thought they would, and I just make adjustments to account for that. I tend to over plan.

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Yes, I am doing all of these things already, but we need to beef up her writing output significantly this year. My daughter needs more scaffolding than yours did.

 

I still don't fully understand. Let's say she has to write an essay. It will take her however much time it takes. That is part of her school time, and you then require her to spend less time on something else while she writes the essay, so that the total school time does not get excessive. Overall, she may need to spend a bit more time on school than a student who is a fast writer, but you know how much school time works for her, and how much would be too much.

Edited by regentrude
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She needs significantly more time for writing--far more than I would classify as typical. She LOVES reading--does not find it to be a burden or a chore. Wants to read all the books we have on everything. I am trying to find a way to BALANCE her love of reading with her need to do more writing without overwhelming her.

For my older who is also going to be in 8th and a fast reader, what happened in past years was

 

Literature (outsourced)

- synchronized online class was 1.5hrs/week and homework would take about 1 hr (reading and annotating)

- asynchronous online class took about 2 to 3hrs reading lecture notes, the novels and typing the writing homework

 

German (outsourced)

- class is 2.5 hrs a week while homework would take an hour. This is for the non-test prep class. The high school test prep class for AP and DSH has lots more reading and writing homework. They hand write but can type and print instead.

 

Chinese (tutor)

- homework is a mix of handwritten and typed. AP Chinese exam is on computer so typing practice is needed.

 

I let my boys type anything that needs to be proofread and edited, especially for humanities. They mostly hand write for math and science so not too worried about writing speed in written exams.

 

The thing is I can sync their written work in progress to my phone and they can proofread and edit anywhere even in the car. Harder to do that with written homework even though I had brought a slim binder with work in progress written homework before for waiting times.

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I'm curious to see some more answers about this too. One of my kids is sort of the opposite - average output time, but such a slow reader. In my conversations with people about high school approaching (we're 8th grade next year, so I've got time, but I have wanted to think about practicing, so to speak) - many, many people talked to me about how they assign credits based on hours spent and that anything less and you simply couldn't assign credits unless you finished a whole program - like, say, all of a geometry textbook.

 

This is so different from how we've schooled and how I conceptualize what makes a high school course (and I used to be a high school teacher!) that I'm trying to figure out how to figure out how to implement it in a way that makes any kind of sense. And in my thinking, I have a similar issue to you, Deerforest - if I go by time, it will take much longer than the formula to accomplish the amount of content that I think is needed for a "credit" in some things and less in others. So I'm chafing a lot in my head about tracking those "hours".

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I'm curious to see some more answers about this too. One of my kids is sort of the opposite - average output time, but such a slow reader. In my conversations with people about high school approaching (we're 8th grade next year, so I've got time, but I have wanted to think about practicing, so to speak) - many, many people talked to me about how they assign credits based on hours spent and that anything less and you simply couldn't assign credits unless you finished a whole program - like, say, all of a geometry textbook.

 

There are two different approaches.

1. For courses with a somewhat standardized canon, like math, credit is usually awarded upon completion of the canon. Strong students will work through a more rigorous text or go above and beyond, weak students will use an easier text - but the "canon" is typically covered. 

2. For courses where there is no such standardized canon of content, counting hours is a typical way to estimate the work needed for a credit. Hours vary from 120 for a light to 180 for a rigorous credit. Strong students can either do lots of hours or work on hard material; weak students could do fewer hours or easier material.

 

This always raises the question what to do with very fast or very slow students. I see two basic approaches: Some people decide the content for their credit first and then award credit whenever the student is done (essentially creating an apporach of type 1 above); a fast students will need fewer hours, a slow student will take longer.

Other people decide that a fast student can use  this privilege to learn more in the same time as opposed to being done faster with average content, which is the approach I have chosen in my homeschool. Conversely, they may decide that it makes more sense to have a slow student cover less content to keep school time manageable, as opposed to making that student spend an extraordinary amount of time on school to cover the same content.

 

In the end, there are pros and cons for each, and each parent has to choose what works best for their students.

There are no transcript police. You need to be able to justify for yourself and your student how you have assigned credits. Ultimately the goal is to prepare them for college or whatever they do after graduation, however you accomplish that.

Edited by regentrude
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In designing high school courses, I combined the idea that a certain body of work was required *and* that my student needed to spend a certain amount of time on it (except for math, where just completing the body of work was necessary).  The amount of time was more to *limit* what I assigned (as in, I had to ask myself the question "Can I fit all of this into 180 hours?" rather than "Will this fill up 180 hours?").

 

If you aren't familiar with what is typically done in b&m high schools, learning about it is extremely instructive. It is *far* less than most of us on these boards might imagine.  For example, in my son's *honors* 9th grade English class at the local (well regarded) high school this past year, they read something like six longer works--three of which were plays read aloud in class--a few poems, and maybe one or two short stories.  They wrote maybe four essays.  There was other work too, but I think most of us here expect far, far more of our high school students.

Edited by EKS
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I'm not sure if you're asking about literature related writing or composition that follows a formal writing program, but I schedule the two separately.  My daughter has a one hour "Reading Block" daily and a one hour "Writing Block" daily. The reading block does not include reading she does for history or science. That is scheduled separately. The reading block is for whatever middle school literature list I select for my student. We use the "Formal Reading List" recommended in TWTM. So our Blocks look like this:

 

Reading Block (Literature Study)

* She'll spend an hour reading daily (because she is in the 8th grade--when she was in the 5th grade it was 30 to 40 min. daily. I increase her time each semester with the goal of 1 hour daily by the 8th grade).  

*After each daily reading, she writes a 3-5 sentence narration of what she read.

*After she finishes a book, we discuss it using the questions in TWTM. They are on p. 345 of the 3rd edition. I have her answer (orally) 1 or 2 questions, requiring that she support her answers with examples from the book.

*Once she constructs the "literary essay or response" orally, she writes it down.

* Her literary essay includes 1) First paragraph (3-5 sentences) which is a narrative summary of the book, 2) Second paragraph, answers one questions and provides support for her answers, 3) Third paragraph, answers another question and provides support for her answer, 4) Final paragraph is an evaluation of the book.  She tells whether or not she liked the book but again, must support her answer using examples from the book.

 

A couple of things to note: I don't have her do this for every book.  I do have her read every book on the list but, I select a few books at the beginning of the year for her to write about. I highly, highly recommend Susan Wise Bauer's audio lecture on middle school writing or "Writing in the Middle Grades". It's only $3.99 and it really helped clear things up for me.

 

Writing/Composition Block

I'm going to try something different this year but this is what we've done in the past.

*Lesson (or sometimes just a "step" in Writing With Skill daily, Mon. -Fri.

*1 outline  and one summary for history or science weekly.  We alternated. This was done during the history and science blocks.

 

What I'm going to try this coming school year is more of a loop schedule (I learned about loop schedules from Pam Barnhill of edsnapshots.com)

Day 1: WWS

Day 2: Three-Level Outline (on science or history, depending on which we are doing that day. She does history 3 days a week and Science 2 days a week)

Day 3: WWS

Day 4: Re-writes the selection , using the three-level outline she wrote for history or science, and compare it to the original. This is the first year we will be doing this.  For grades 5th -7th she would write a summary instead of re-writing from an outline.

Day 5: WWS

Day 6: The Creative Writer

 

Then the loops starts again.  We're going to try the loop schedule for writing because there were days an outline for history, a WWS lesson, and a literary essay would all fall on the same day and it just wasn't working for us.  I'm not sure if it's recommended that she re-write the selection the same day she writes the outline.  I'll have re-read the section and make any necessary changes.  Also, if her creative writing lessons seem disjointed, I may have her complete a full lesson,  1-3 days if necessary, before continuing on with the next thing on the loop.

 

I apologize for making this response so long.  I hope it makes a little sense and I hope I answered your question. 

 

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In designing high school courses, I combined the idea that a certain body of work was required *and* that my student needed to spend a certain amount of time on it (except for math, where just completing the body of work was necessary).  The amount of time was more to *limit* what I assigned (as in, I had to ask myself the question "Can I fit all of this into 180 hours?" rather than "Will this fill up 180 hours?").

 

If you aren't familiar with what is typically done in b&m high schools, it is extremely instructive to do so.  It is *far* less than most of us on these boards might imagine.  For example, in my son's *honors* 9th grade English class at the local (well regarded) high school this past year, they read something like six longer works--three of which were plays read aloud in class--a few poems, and maybe one or two short stories.  They wrote maybe four essays.  There was other work too, but I think most of us here expect far, far more of our high school students.

 

It's similar at our (upper-class, highly ranked) high school. All English courses read 4 books/plays and then write 4 literary essays. There are a few short stories and some poetry thrown in between the novels for the purpose of teaching about plot and literary techniques. Honor classes always teach 4 "classics", while Academic (regular-track) classes teach just the 2 required classics along with 2 teen novels. The 2 required classics for 9th grade are Romeo & Juliet and To Kill a Mockingbird. That sort of gives you a baseline to figure out what's typical. Most people on this board are doing much more than that.

 

And you have to imagine that there is a wide range in the amount of time students put in, even within the same classes. A bright kid in Honors English might whip through the required reading and essays in no time at all, while another kid might put in many, many hours outside of class to get through the reading assignments. And then you have the kid who never bothers to read any of the books, but fakes his way through the essays well enough to pull off a passing grade at the end of the day. 

Edited by MinivanMom
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So, my oldest loves to read & hates to write. I have ended up outsourcing writing (as a full or partial English credit) so that I know it gets done.

 

In 9th, though, our outsourced class went bust early. So, I had to beef up the literature portion of her credit to compensate. She had a list of literature with very specific writing assignments. Not all books/poem selections/short stories had a writing assignment with them -- some were discussion or had different output requirements. She knew she had to spend an hour a day on her English credit, so she would read during that hour until she finished the selection. Then, she would use that hour to work on her writing assignments (or discussion or whatever) until she'd met all the requirements ('good enough' for me). Then, she would move onto the next item on the list.

 

When she was done with the whole list, she was done with the credit. In her case, it took a few weeks into the summer to finish.

 

DD#2 is a slower reader but a much faster writer. She might bog down on the reading and make up a little of the time in less revising to meet my requirements. She'd probably finish a month early, if I had to guess. She'll be a freshman in the fall & her English credit will be separated so she'll have a list of books to read for 30 minutes a day & she'll work with me on writing 2-3 times per week separate from her literature selections. If she doesn't get through the whole list, I'm fine with that. The list was built for her faster-reading-sister. If she reads half of them, it'll be ok. I simply have to separate the two parts because of the way my kids are. 

 

I always struggle in balancing workload for high school *in general*. Something to keep in mind is that, in general, a credit of English usually takes much longer than the recommended number of hours for a credit. It is not unusual to see people on here give one credit for 1 1/2 times the max number of hours as listed for a credit in English.

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This is a very timely discussion.  As 8th grade is preparation for high school workloads, I have found your responses helpful. 

 

I do have a question, though:  do your 8th-10th graders really have "homework"?  We have avoided it up to now by just ensuring that dd gets her daily workload done on that day (whether she finishes at noon or at 5...the former means she gets to read or draw for the rest of the day).  Now, though, she plans on taking two high-school-credit-worthy classes this year (8th) and I have a feeling her daywork might creep into the evening and beyond.  This will be life changing for her (hah!)

 

Like the OP, our daughter is slow-ish with output, but can be fast to read/comprehend if she's into the topic, and drags it out if it's unappealing.  Considering lots of high school and college work might fall into the "unappealing" camp I think this year she will really need to up her speed.

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I do have a question, though: do your 8th-10th graders really have "homework"?

My going to be 8th grader DS12 has homework because his classes are outsourced so there are semi-rigid deadlines to meet. Semi-rigid because extensions can be asked for but we have not use that option. His two high-school-credit-worthy classes for 2016/17 had weekly homework deadlines.

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I do have a question, though:  do your 8th-10th graders really have "homework"?  

 

I do not understand this question in a homeschool setting. Any work my student is doing is homework.

Or are you talking about outsourced classes? There they definitely have homework.

 

In grades 8-10, I still insisted that they work on school from 8 to 3 with a break for lunch. As they added DE courses and their schedules became more fragmented, they would sometimes work on the evenings and weekends to complete their work for the DE class. At that point, I stopped regulating school time.

Edited by regentrude
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I do not understand this question in a homeschool setting. Any work my student is doing is homework.

Or are you talking about outsourced classes? There they definitely have homework.

I have not set up our homeschool that dd has to do the following things that *I* had to do in a similar age:  in Civics, say, I had to read tonight what would be covered in tomorrow's lesson, or in case the guy gave us a pop quiz on the reading, or enter 1-3 definitions in my Civics notebook.  Then I had math, reading, other homework that was more canonical (i.e., following a textbook script). I am merely wondering really if the way we "do school" necessarily needs to change, as in, pre-reading, gathering things for her science labs before the day of the science lab, etc.; that she really needs to be conscious of the work ahead...she's remained blissfully ignorant up til now. :)  So that is what I consider "homework."  It doesn't really mean the work she does (at home) to complete the school work...the reading/writing/figuring/lab stuff that defines her current school days.  Plus, I think she'd die if I gave her a pop quiz (rubs hands togther greedily)

 

And indeed, outsourced classes and/or DE would have those as expectations.

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I have not set up our homeschool that dd has to do the following things that *I* had to do in a similar age:  in Civics, say, I had to read tonight what would be covered in tomorrow's lesson, or in case the guy gave us a pop quiz on the reading, or enter 1-3 definitions in my Civics notebook.  Then I had math, reading, other homework that was more canonical (i.e., following a textbook script). I am merely wondering really if the way we "do school" necessarily needs to change, as in, pre-reading, gathering things for her science labs before the day of the science lab, etc.; that she really needs to be conscious of the work ahead...she's remained blissfully ignorant up til now. :)  So that is what I consider "homework." 

 

If it works for you, I see no need to change anything. We counted all tasks as "school". Getting ready to do a science lab was school, reading in a book was school, entering definitions was school. It was not broken into parts that were "school" and parts that were "school work outside of school"

We didn't do "prereading" - there is just reading. No pop quizzes.

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In designing high school courses, I combined the idea that a certain body of work was required *and* that my student needed to spend a certain amount of time on it (except for math, where just completing the body of work was necessary).  The amount of time was more to *limit* what I assigned (as in, I had to ask myself the question "Can I fit all of this into 180 hours?" rather than "Will this fill up 180 hours?").

 

If you aren't familiar with what is typically done in b&m high schools, it is extremely instructive to do so.  It is *far* less than most of us on these boards might imagine.  For example, in my son's *honors* 9th grade English class at the local (well regarded) high school this past year, they read something like six longer works--three of which were plays read aloud in class--a few poems, and maybe one or two short stories.  They wrote maybe four essays.  There was other work too, but I think most of us here expect far, far more of our high school students.

 

I could have written this post! I counted hours for 9th grade, and it helped a lot - both for high-interest classes where I risk assigning too much, and for low-interest classes where we're just trying to meet a minimum/get 'er done. 

 

My dd is a very fast reader and writer, so she did more for English and her English-y electives than is "typical" content-wise - both in terms of number of works covered and number of essays written. I used a combo of the number of hours spent, and the number of works covered, to decide we were done. Had I not counted hours, I probably would have packed too much into these credits. On the other end of the spectrum, we're still plugging away at science, and will end up with a minimum number of hours/a light credit. Had I not been tracking time, we would have risked having a credit that was "too light."  By my standards, as regentrude says there are no transcript police.  With math, she'll be done when she completes the program. It will be the smallest number of hours spent, but all the canonical material will be covered. Math is get 'er done for dd.

 

And yes, I do count reading time in the hours.  Most, but not all of it. All of it for history and science, and for reading we do together. But not all of the English reading, some of that is done in off times and it would be a pain to try and count it all. Counting hours is a tool, it's not the point, KWIM? It has been a very useful tool.  For a high interest/high skill area, the risk seems to be trying to do too much. For a low interest area, the risk can be doing too little. Counting hours has helped us achieve balance in both cases.

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It's our high interest areas that are my concern for sure--that's where the balance is coming in between wanting to read as much as she'd like but making sure she has time for output. English, science, and history have a lot going on next year, and she's excited about all the readings. I think I will be comfortable not always counting the reading time because she enjoys it and will be happy to read more. I think I feel more comfortable making sure she has those structured times for the things that really cause her struggles.

 

Math is easy for me to track. Even with her slower output there, we are quite comfortable knowing how much she can spend daily without it being onerous. I also purposely am doing Algebra 1 a second time around this year to really solidify things and to have math be a bit easier while we're ramping up other things. (Easier might be a misnomer as we are going to attempt to use some of AoPS after having completed Foester's last year.)

 

Spanish is easy. We have a program we love and know exactly how much time she needs to spend to continue developing her skills. She excels in it, which I think is a little funny because she hates memorization but just really gets things like verb tenses, etc. She was originally a native Spanish speaker so maybe that helps! (home at 6 months :-) ).

 

We do have a tendency to do a lot--especially on the input side of things because she is such a fast reader and loves the deep discussions. But, it's important that I balance that with giving her enough time to succeed with her writing output. I feel like 8th is my practice year for trying this out. We're still very much using high interest topics and materials, and none of these puzzling areas matter for credit yet. (As opposed to algebra 1 and Spanish 1 which she'll get as "credit" by starting 9th grade with geometry and Spanish 2.)

 

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Edited by deerforest
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This is a very timely discussion.  As 8th grade is preparation for high school workloads, I have found your responses helpful. 

 

I do have a question, though:  do your 8th-10th graders really have "homework"?  We have avoided it up to now by just ensuring that dd gets her daily workload done on that day (whether she finishes at noon or at 5...the former means she gets to read or draw for the rest of the day).  Now, though, she plans on taking two high-school-credit-worthy classes this year (8th) and I have a feeling her daywork might creep into the evening and beyond.  This will be life changing for her (hah!)

 

Like the OP, our daughter is slow-ish with output, but can be fast to read/comprehend if she's into the topic, and drags it out if it's unappealing.  Considering lots of high school and college work might fall into the "unappealing" camp I think this year she will really need to up her speed.

 

Things are different with my older kid than when he was younger.  When younger I sat with him while he did most school work.  Now I don't.  It's still all "homework".  Or schoolwork...LOL...We joke that he only has homework and not schoolwork. (Although he has schoolwork too because he does take some outside classes.)

 

I guess you are asking, do I sit with my kid at X time during "school time" and then give him something to do at a later time?  I do some of that.  We do touch base I guess I'd call it, but most work is done independently now.

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Yea, at our house we colloquially refer to "homework" as things she is doing on her own. I work full time from home and she gets my dedicated time from 7am-10am daily. Then she's on her own and can check in with me throughout the day. She used to have me from 6am-10am, and next year I am thinking we might bring it down to 2 hours with me and the rest on her own. Still working through it. She has no interest in being a fully independent learner. She's an introverted yet social 1:1 learner--she just lives for our discussions!

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It's our high interest areas that are my concern for sure--that's where the balance is coming in between wanting to read as much as she'd like but making sure she has time for output. English, science, and history have a lot going on next year, and she's excited about all the readings. I think I will be comfortable not always counting the reading time because she enjoys it and will be happy to read more. I think I feel more comfortable making sure she has those structured times for the things that really cause her struggles.

 

You could solve the problem by assigning her only some of the works to read, saving enough school time for the writing, but providing additional reading for her that she may choose to read in her free time if she loves the topic.

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For a "lit and composition" type of English credit, I always required 30 minutes reading time and 30 minutes writing time. The vast majority of time, I did not count our literature discussions (usually 10-15 minutes each, about twice a week), instruction for writing (we used Essentials in Writing and those videos only take about 5 minutes), or the time I spent talking about writing (generally 5-15 minutes after each draft of a paper). If there was a significantly longer discussion, instruction time, or correction time, then I might sub that time for that day's reading or writing time. Otherwise though, I felt it really wasn't worth trying to track those other bits and pieces of time. I also didn't keep track of whether my kids really read 25 minutes or 45 minutes (to finish a good chapter)--we just went for approximations here. I can tell by how much reading was marked and our discussions whether they are keeping up and tracking etc...

 

When I list hours, I do generally aim for an hour per credit hour, plus 30-45 minutes of one-on-one tutoring time (which may be for math or science, or to go over history, writing, or literature, or for a more in-depth Bible or current event or ethical issue, etc...) We tended to rotate which subjects needed more of that time each day. Again, if a subject had a significantly longer than normal discussion/teaching time, then I might amend that day's work for that subject, or even drop it and say "move on to ____." But that was the exception more than the rule. 

 

Sometimes there were short discussions throughout the day on topics of interest, or discussions during meals or chores etc... I didn't try to track that time either.

 

I found in high school that I did have an increase in the amount of time it took for me to correct work and/or prep for discussions (reading their material etc... as I went over their work.)

 

HTH some as you seek to plan your time (and we had some asynchronous issues here too).

Edited by MerryAtHope
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Some people decide the content for their credit first and then award credit whenever the student is done [...]

 

This is essentially what I've been hearing people say you're not "allowed" to do. And I'm not sure what to make of that. Like, even two people who are unschoolers told me that and I went, what? Who says I'm not allowed? Why am I not allowed to decide what constitutes a credit? How would anyone even know? I've been a little... surprised... hearing from the parents of the 9th and 10th graders in our peer group on this subject. I definitely feel like I have a sense of what makes a yearlong course in social studies and English, both of which I taught back in the day. It just suits our schooling method to treat English a bit like I've treated algebra - this is what it is and we do it until it's done - the "method 1" from your post, Regentrude.

 

It's good to hear from Rose and EKS and others about using hours backwards - by thinking about what fits into 180 hours - and counting them to get a sense of where you are. That's really good food for thought.

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This is essentially what I've been hearing people say you're not "allowed" to do. And I'm not sure what to make of that. Like, even two people who are unschoolers told me that and I went, what? Who says I'm not allowed? Why am I not allowed to decide what constitutes a credit? How would anyone even know? I've been a little... surprised... hearing from the parents of the 9th and 10th graders in our peer group on this subject. I definitely feel like I have a sense of what makes a yearlong course in social studies and English, both of which I taught back in the day. It just suits our schooling method to treat English a bit like I've treated algebra - this is what it is and we do it until it's done - the "method 1" from your post, Regentrude.

 

Nonsense on the bolded. How else would you homeschool? You decide what your educational goal is, and give credit when it is achieved.

It is your responsibility to make sure that it is somewhat  justifiable, compared to what typically constitutes a credit - which you can do either by comparing content or by counting hours.

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Nonsense on the bolded. How else would you homeschool? You decide what your educational goal is, and give credit when it is achieved.

It is your responsibility to make sure that it is somewhat  justifiable, compared to what typically constitutes a credit - which you can do either by comparing content or by counting hours.

 

Well, that's certainly my feeling. I've now had a couple of conversations with moms whose kids are a bit older than mine and heard these sorts of things - and they're usually people I respect - but I was like, but why... if I say reading that set of books and writing that many essays is worth a credit, why can't that be a credit just because the kid did it in "too few" hours? It makes no sense to me. I was like, I'm not tracking our algebra hours and they were like, oh, but if you finish the book, then you can count that. And I was like, but... if you finish a preset amount of work for English or history or whatever, that should count too.

 

Basically, it's good to hear that other people do actually do it that way (and, like I said before, why it's also good to think about hours and count them) because I certainly couldn't think of a reason I was wrong that it would be a perfectly okay way to approach things.

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This is a very helpful conversation as we head into high school next year. I have not been planning to count hours (except for a creative writing elective, where counting hours will be the only way to know how much credit to give), but I've been feeling guilty about it. I have laid out English and history plans that are thorough and rigorous. They fit my dd's interests and goals. I am not sure about the hours, though, because she is a very fast worker. This hours thing has been stressing me out, but I'm feeling much better about it right now.

 

 

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This is essentially what I've been hearing people say you're not "allowed" to do. And I'm not sure what to make of that. Like, even two people who are unschoolers told me that and I went, what? Who says I'm not allowed? Why am I not allowed to decide what constitutes a credit? How would anyone even know? I've been a little... surprised... hearing from the parents of the 9th and 10th graders in our peer group on this subject. I definitely feel like I have a sense of what makes a yearlong course in social studies and English, both of which I taught back in the day. It just suits our schooling method to treat English a bit like I've treated algebra - this is what it is and we do it until it's done - the "method 1" from your post, Regentrude.

 

It's good to hear from Rose and EKS and others about using hours backwards - by thinking about what fits into 180 hours - and counting them to get a sense of where you are. That's really good food for thought.

If you think about how an English class in a B&M high school works, "not allowing" that doesn't make any sense. In a B&M school the teacher, coordinator, state, someone decides what constitutes a year of English. They decide what it will take them about a year to accomplish. This is the required work for the course.

 

Then Suzy (aka me in high school) signs up for the class. She is a fast reader and writer. She comes to class every day. She finishes all of her work and homework in class. She has 10-15 minutes or more left at the end of at least half of the class periods which she spends working on her Chemistry homework and flash cards. There are weeks where she only works for 2 class periods out of 5 because she finished her project/book already and is waiting for the next thing. Suzy did all the work for the class for the year in way less than 180 hours.

 

Next to Suzy in class is Macy (aka my best friend). She is a slow reader and writer. She uses all of the available class time + several hours a week at home to complete her work. She spends many more than the 180 hours.

 

Both of these students get credit for the same course. The schools plan for what should take x number of hours or class periods. They know some students work faster or slower. As long as you plan a reasonable amount of work (many local private schools may have online syllabi or check a related online course), I wouldn't worry about counting hours.

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Well, that's certainly my feeling. I've now had a couple of conversations with moms whose kids are a bit older than mine and heard these sorts of things - and they're usually people I respect - but I was like, but why... if I say reading that set of books and writing that many essays is worth a credit, why can't that be a credit just because the kid did it in "too few" hours? It makes no sense to me.

These below quoted are copied from my local public high schools for English 1. My slower reader could choose "easier" books from the school's recommended book list so that reading does not take forever. My faster reader can choose a "harder" book and spend the same time, or choose an "easier" book and use the time for a weaker subject. When my kids were using K12 language arts as part of a public charter, my oldest spent less than half the estimated time and got full credit for work completed.

 

"Students read and analyze a minimum of four historically or culturally significant works of literature.

... Students produce multiple pieces of writing, building to full essays; during the year they write a minimum of six original multiple-paragraph essays.

... This course satisfies graduation requirements for East Side Union High School District. This course fulfills one year of the English requirement for University of California and California State University." https://schs.schoolloop.com/departments/english

 

"Students will read novels, epic poetry, assorted poems, and a Shakespearean drama. Students are expected to write five paragraph expository, narrative, and persuasive essays throughout the year. " http://prospect.cuhsd.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=443449&type=d&pREC_ID=956278

 

ETA:

My slower reader would be able to cope with choosing novels from this local public school list if he start reading in summer before 9th grade. https://www.fremont.k12.ca.us/cms/lib/CA01000848/Centricity/Domain/2505/9th_10th_EngDept_Booklist.pdf

Edited by Arcadia
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I read the book Readicide a while back and it talked about the importance of reading as class time (in a traditional public school classroom) quite a bit. I found it interesting and thought those particular points dealing with NOT close reading everything and just taking time in the secondary school day for reading were really valuable.

 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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