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ninishop

How many hours a day do you homeschool? 6-7th grade Time Management?

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I am interested in seeing how many hours a day other families homeschool.  We have our own PSA so no charter and we do all the homeschooling in home. We are using the Charlotte Mason and Thomas Jefferson methods of teaching.  We typically start at 9am and finish around 2pm.  Is that the average? 

 

Sometimes I feel like I need more time.  My son is the one that has been taking the longest lately.  It takes him FOREVER to finish his work.  Not because he does not know what to do but because he is easily detracted and daydreams A LOT.  He is not suffering from ANY disabilities what so ever.  If I am not siting next to him starring at him he will completely float away to another planet.  I have to constantly repeat to him "finish your work", "focus on what you are doing".  Something that should take 10-15 min to complete will take an average of an hour for him.  Wondering how other parents deal with this?  I have been "trying" to incorporate more independent work but with my son it is not working.

 

Are there some suggestions on time management that I can incorporate in my day with him? 

 

This has been driving me crazy lately!

 

Thanks before hand to all those that comment.

Edited by Nini

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That sounds about the same as my 6th grader. We have had some gentle & encouraging conversations about his need to build independence by practicing self-control to focus on work and get it done in a reasonable time frame; honestly, it seems pretty normal for that age group, though. I also consider it my job to sit by him and help him stay on track . . . SWB has a good talk about gradually moving away from the kid in stages, and those stage have rung true with my kids. At this stage, my 6th grade DS needs me to sit right next to him for some things, be in the same room (but not at the table) for others, and can do some things independently. I expect that we'll keep up with this for a couple more years, and he'll continue to gain independence and control over his focus as he matures - it's a journey. 

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Here it’s the same as Lucy describes. I’ll second the SWB talk. I often talk with the mom of one of ds’s friends whose a year you ger than dsand she reports the same thing. I either gently come along side and help him stay on task, offer a break and a snack, and depending on the day will adjust ds’s work load.

 

There’sastage in Bravewriter that Julie calls “faltering ownership†which is basically the idea (for writing) that your kid can excel at something at one point and then struggle at another point and that’s why she calls it faltering ownership. ime, that applies for both the 6th and 7th grade. A good sense of humor helps, too.

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SWB is Susan Wise Bauer, co-author of The Well-Trained Mind, the book from which this message board & community take their name. At welltrainedmind.com, she has some audio lectures available for sale - the "SWB talk" we both referenced above is called "Teaching Students to Work Independently" and can be found at this link. :) 

 

I used to teach in a high school classroom, and one of the big things that stood out to me when I met home schooled teens was the startling independence of those teens (contrasted with my private school pupils). Having academic independence as a clearly stated, desirable goal (which may even have rewards attached to it) has been a huge time-saver and (surprisingly) a relationship-builder with my now-teenagers; I am praying and working very hard for the same thing with my 6th grade DS. 

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Interested in reading replies, too. I have a 6th grader who is currently taking forever with the school day. I know a BIG part of this is age. This student *does* work independently, but has trouble staying focused on the work and getting things done in a reasonable timeframe.

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Well, sort of tongue-in-cheek, we bought my 6th grade dd a horse. She is a horse fanatic and had been taking lessons. The point of me telling you this is to say that now SHE has a reason to get her work done. Chores + school finished = more time outside with her horse. She can get all independent subjects completed in about two hours. Group stuff takes about an hour. She is MOTIVATED!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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On good days we can be done by 2, others by 4. My middle can be easily distracted. He's a talker and will start to talk about random things in the middle of working on math. Lately what has motivated him is to finish before his sister. They seem to have a competition going and have started getting up earlier and earlier trying to beat the other one in who gets more done first. I have had to set a start time for school. I give them some independent work that they can do in the mornings or before bed if they want, but working with me starts at a specific time. I need my early morning alone time! 

 

When he does get distracted and I'm tired of having to stare at him in order to get work done, I give him a set amount of time that he could reasonably finish if he focused. When the time is up, he finishes it after he finishes his other subjects.  Ikea has an awesome desktop clock for $5. It's a clock, a timer, an alarm and a thermometer. It's super handy for him to be able to set the timer or see time passing. Something else I'll do is give him a 10 minute break. He has to set the timer otherwise he would hide out until I call for him. That break time to get some physical exercise, have a snack, or just get all of those random thoughts out of his head really helps get the brain going. 

 

I agree with listening to the SWB audio lecture, it's great. 

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Yes to the horse! Anything motivating can help. He's at a good age to be learning a serious skill that he does with real tools. I taught my dd to sew and she got into costuming. Now she works in the costume shop in college. 

 

My dd needed a lot of structure. She also sort of lost her brain for a while there with puberty, so you can have that going on too. The 360Thinking stuff is really good. They have a lot of practical strategies, like how to estimate the amt of time the task will take, how to create checkpoints, etc. It's stuff they're training people to use in schools. My ds has an IEP, so I'm all over learning the power tools, like getting strategies that are the strategies and tools that WORK. 

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Are you counting lunch and breaks?

 

As far as actual school time my kids in 7th grade took about 4 hours per day, the largest chunk of that being for math.

 

Usually they’d start around 9 and finish around 1, but that includes a lunch break and several short breaks to regroup etc.

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I just have to ask for those of you getting school done in about 4 hours of work time....what subjects are you covering daily? Do you alternate days for history and science? (Our science and history programs require us to do daily assignments, so we can't alternate those, unfortunately.) Do you do language arts using a combined curriculum? Anything special you do that keeps it to this timeframe at this lovely age group?

 

OP, please forgive me for the slight hijack....;)

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On an average day ... recently with my 7th grader (skimming his planner for the last few days) :

Lit 30 min

Writing 30 min -45 min

Math 1 hour - 1 hour 15 minutes

History 45 min - 1 hour

Science 45 min - 1 hour

Japanese 30 min

Band 30 min

 

4.5 hours to 5.5 hours of work. He also does misc educational things of his own (great courses lectures or crash course videos or coding projector extra band things but I don't always count those) he does 4-6 hours a week of karate and we hike ~2 mornings a week so I tend to count an hour or two of PE per week but that's definitely not "butts in chairs" time.

 

On Tuesdays we do about 45 minutes of regular work then he has a 2 hour band class and a 1 hour writing class at our co-op.

 

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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9-3 with short breaks (10-15 min.) between subjects on M/W/F. Lunch is half an hour.

She attends a homeschool enrichment program from 8:30-2 T/TH.
She goes to professional math tutoring M/T/TH for 1 hour after homsechool and enrichment school. (I don't teach her any math outside of our money management curriculum,;the tutors teach all the regular math.)

Edited by Homeschool Mom in AZ

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I just have to ask for those of you getting school done in about 4 hours of work time....what subjects are you covering daily? Do you alternate days for history and science? (Our science and history programs require us to do daily assignments, so we can't alternate those, unfortunately.) Do you do language arts using a combined curriculum? Anything special you do that keeps it to this timeframe at this lovely age group?

 

OP, please forgive me for the slight hijack.... ;)

From my experience, those getting school done in 4 hours per day either have the child do a lot of work that isn't considered "school" or have their child teaching themselves a lot on the side. (Two other options would be an incredibly efficient child - I'm interested to see what my now-9-year-old is like as a middle schooler - or low standards.)

 

So, for us, we could have a shorter school day if we considered assigned personal reading, drawing, nature journal time, piano practice, math fair preparation, self-taught computer programming, Duolingo, etc as not school. I do consider them as part of our school, but I make the rest of the day efficient so that there will be time for those. These aren't out of text books and I'm not very involved, but I consider them part of our well-rounded school day.

 

Emily

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8:30-4:30 with shortish breaks between classes (supposed to be 10 minutes but my kids have been taking a LONG time in the bathroom recently  :lol:) and an hour-long lunch break.

 

DS7th blasts through his work but I sometimes have to make him redo it because he fails to read directions and winds up doing the whole thing wrong. I'd prefer to be a bit more hands-on with him, but he doesn't want it. He doesn't tell me when he's moving from subject to subject, so he generally completes his list while I'm working with his sister. If I didn't demand to see his work, I'd never see it, because he forgets that he's supposed to show it to me.

 

DD5th is easily distracted like your son, and sincerely feels she needs me in the room to do a lot of her work. She also feels crushed when she does a whole problem set (like in Math for example) and then has to go back and correct the ones she got wrong. She wants me there looking over her shoulder and letting her know when she makes a mistake so she can correct it right away. I'm working on detaching, but it's taking a while for us to get there.

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My kids have spent about 5-6 hrs on schoolwork in 6th-7th grades. Subjects broke down as:

Math: 1 hr (daily)

Latin : 1 hr (daily)

English: 45 min (M-Th)

History: 45 min (M-Th)

Science: 45 min (M-Th)

French: 45 min (M-Th)

Then on Fridays they worked on electives like Art, Logic, etc. I don't count assigned reading, because they read in the evening when they had time. With reading, it may have been closer to 6+ hrs per day.

 

I have always tried to be in the same room as my middle schoolers while they worked. It helps so much with focus. It really wasn't until midway through 7th grade that I could wander off and they would stay on task without me.

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Welcome! I see by your post count you are new. :) Every family will have different needs, abilities and goals, so sharing what worked for us may not be of help at all for you. But in case something is of help, here you go: 

 

DS#2 here had mild LDs and was extremely distractible, so I had to be right there and do a lot of redirecting to keep him on task up into high school. One of his struggle areas was writing, so we had to break that into several shorter "bursts of focus" throughout the day. Also, he had only so much "brain battery energy" for focused school work before he was just *done* for the day. We worked about 3 hours in the morning, took an hour for lunch, then worked another 2 hours in the afternoon -- so, about 9am-3pm.

 

We did that approx. 5 hours/day for 4x/week, and used the 5th day of the week for the occasional Art/Music appreciation and for catching up/finishing (about 1-2 hours), but especially for homeschool support group activities.

 

We did not do every subject every day:

- Reading, Writing, Spelling, Math = 4-5x/week

- History & Science alternated = 2 days/week (and then any finish-up for either/both on that 5th day a week)

- Grammar = 3x/week

- Geography = 2x/week

 

In answer to previous poster's question about what was used for History and Science in order to alternate days -- we went DIY (Do It Yourself) and created our own History and Science all the way up through 8th grade -- no formal textbook until high school, and even then, we used the spine texts with other materials, and I scheduled it how it worked for us. My teaching style does not work well with other people's lesson plans and schedules, plus having a student with LDs, I was always having to adapt anyways, and that allowed us to follow bunny trails of interest, and to keep alive the enjoyment of discovery and of learning.

 

 

Our schedule looked roughly something like this:

 

morning

40-50 min. = Bible and together time (critical thinking/logic brain warm-ups; miscellaneous reading; etc.)

40 min. = Math

20-30 min. = Writing

40-50 min. = Reading, beginning lit. discussion

20 min. = Spelling

20 min. = Grammar or Geography

 

45-60 min = lunch

 

afternoon

15 min. = second together time (or finish up Spelling, Grammar, or Geography from the morning)

15 min. = second Writing time

75-90 min. = History or Science

 

DSs tinkered with their personal interests in the afternoons/evenings/weekends, and they did have youth group 1 night a week. Sometimes DSs were doing a recreational sport (baseball, basketball, floor hockey, after school bowling league, etc.), but we always went with something that was low-key that only met 1-2x/week and did not require huge hours of practices beyond the weekly meetings. We did still have some family read-alouds several nights a week, but it was not a formal "school-ish" read aloud -- just exposure to great literature and for our personal enjoyment.

 

BEST of luck in finding what works best for your family! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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