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How to schedule in afterschooling for 4th grader

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So in the past I homeschooled my two older DS and it was easy bc most of our work was done before 2pm. However DD is in 4th grade at a private school and she has moderate homework but we're trying to do a foreign language study afterschool. (she gets some exposure during school also) just working on reading after school. Her bus gets home 3:50 and I give her a snack and then start hw (reading 15 mins, and ws, little bit of math review) and her foreign language study. She has soccer practice M/W so we stop at 5 so she has time to grab a snack and put her gear on. I prefer not to do much after practice (besides dinner/snack). We have been working on the kitchen table. I'm wondering if you sit with your child in their bedroom desk or keep that at the kitchen table during hw.

She complains that she doesn't have time for anything fun (drawing, playing with friends) (we don't allow electronics on school nights. But honestly there isn't time especially on the M/W. I keep telling her she choose soccer and count that as fun time. The goal is to get her  in bed at 8pm. (it used to be 7:30).

Where do you find time? is it reasonable for a 4th grader to do hw for 45-60 mins and get it done in one shot.

 

 

 

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Can you try to cut it down to a half hour?   Maybe move the reading to some other time of the day such as in the car while driving to and from soccer, or just before bed, or on the bus?   Maybe move foreign language to every other day and do more math every other day.   What about Math in the morning before school?  Also, stick hard to time timing.  Talk to her and get a length of time that is fair, 15 minutes for math and 30 for language.  Then each day have her set a timer when she starts and make sure she is focusing on it.   Our kids stay at the kitchen table so that I can see that they are focusing.  

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My kids also seem to do written work better at the kitchen table, provided they do not distract each other too much.  Reading goes better when they are in some comfy spot.

What time does your daughter wake up?  My kids have never had an 8pm bedtime, even when they were babies.  Perhaps you could have your daughter do some reading from 8 to 8:30 as she settles down for bed?

I would keep the foreign language to a minimum on soccer days.  What about just reviewing some in the car on the way to soccer?  Have you looked into fun videos that teach the foreign language?  (I have used videos as an easy way to present info on a variety of topics.)

I agree with keeping set times - this is partly to discipline yourself not to ask her to do more and cut into her free time, which she does need.  Anything not finished can be caught up on the weekend, or perhaps you could adjust your expectations if needed.

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So we did foreign language reading this am before bus and got a solid 12 mins in with no rushing and did an extra five after math hw in pm. We shifted to hw upstairs back in her room and that worked better today. I stayed up there or popped in to check every few minutes. Today no soccer. We also shifted dinner back to 7pm so we can all sit together.

Lets see if we can continue daily.

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We work at the table.  My dd reads in the morning (she is a natural early riser), and we do math, writing + whatever homework in the afternoon.  If there's no time in the afternoon, then I think you are looking at morning or evening work.  If you are just after schooling a foreign language, I think it's fine to do that on T, R, and F.

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My 4th grader has a packed schedule this year and we are still figuring out her  afterschooling schedule. During the school week, there are three days when she comes home at 8pm. On the other two days, her activities finish at 530 pm. 

Piano practice has moved to the mornings before school, which saves time. A small portion of afterschooling and homework happens from 8-830 pm on the late days, but most of it happens on the two days she is home early and on the weekend. 

The weekend is still busy with activities, but I can always find an hour here or there. I also have a 1st grader who is also quite busy, but my goal for that age is to only afterschool 4 times a week, including weekends. 

I really enjoy and prioritize afterschooling, but it comes after sleeping and quality of life. Often, we choose to eschew afterschooling for an extra chapter of our read aloud or playing a board game, which helps it seem less rigid to my kids. It also helps that their school has a “less is more” homework philosophy, and assigns homework weekly so that we can pace it however we want.

I do find it extremely helpful to plan out their work ahead of time. I have bound most of their materials with proclick spines, so I can pull out sheets and make a packet for each session. Eliminating flipping through books, trying to keep the book flat and making it clear which problems are assigned, streamlines the process for all of us. On her late days, DD9 takes a packet with her and works on it during her downtime before her activities start. 

It is definitely more difficult to schedule afterschooling than last year, and it makes me wonder if we will have to throw the towel in at some point. I mean, at some point, I have to believe it will be just too time consuming. Not sure when this will happen!

ETA - Both kids sit at a desk in DD9’s bedroom. If they are there at the same time, I sit at a corner between them. 

Edited by underthebridge

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Is there time built in to just do nothing productive?  It seems awfully busy.

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We did not do any hw/afterschooling until after soccer practice.  It was then split, 20 min evening (hw/rdg), 20 min morning (any other hw /afterschooling).  My dc needed the afternoon to decompress from the chaos in the classroom, so the routine was get a snack and go outside.  Hw after dinner and evening outdoor play on nights with no e.c.

I stick to a time limit...10 min x grade level...if the hw/study does not fill that time, the afterschooling goes there. If it does, the afterschooling is not done that day..and that is fine, there are so many 4 day weeks here its easy to afterschool on the days off, or use those days for reading practice.  No one insisted that reading practice be done nightly, fine if the kid read several chapters on a weekend and counted it for the week.

An 8 pm bedtime wouldn't work here; 9 pm did.  

Edited by HeighHo

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On 9/23/2018 at 2:52 AM, kiwik said:

Is there time built in to just do nothing productive?  It seems awfully busy.

Was this directed at OP or at my post? I agree, the schedule is really busy, and is a step up since last year. Judging from the amount of legos, kapla blocks, and board game pieces strewn about from last night, they do still have time to play. 

My kids do enjoy all the activities, and since we live in a very dense urban area on the east coast, everyone lives in small spaces with no backyard or outdoor space. Having a place to swim or play soccer indoors is only possible if you schedule it because space is at such a premium. We wouldn't have chosen this schedule if our kids needed help at home to keep up in school. Afterschooling is for fun and enrichment. 

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I plan out all our afterschooling and prioritize and some subjects are looped. My son is in Gr.3 and used to afterschooling. Piano and flute practice every day: 15-45 minutes depends on the load on that day. Math is everyday15-30 min but mixed up with puzzles for logic (he loves them). Third language: reading and writing 15 min each and rotates, 3-4 times a week. I read during his breakfast in 3rd language stories, science, fun books.  He reads before bed 15-20 min in English (first language). He does his school homework (2nd language) right after school couple days a week, the load is minimal. He plays competitive soccer 3 days a week. The top priority is school homework, 2nd is piano, 3rd is math, and after the rest on the loop. He is home at 3:00 and free to play for an hour, we start at 4:00. Dinner at 5:30-6 and he has free time. We do the rest 7-8 pm or soccer. At 8 he goes to bed. Weekends are mostly free or catch up on what we didn't have time to do during the week, plus friends and family visits, museum, concerts or outdoors.

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On 9/26/2018 at 6:59 AM, underthebridge said:

Was this directed at OP or at my post? I agree, the schedule is really busy, and is a step up since last year. Judging from the amount of legos, kapla blocks, and board game pieces strewn about from last night, they do still have time to play. 

My kids do enjoy all the activities, and since we live in a very dense urban area on the east coast, everyone lives in small spaces with no backyard or outdoor space. Having a place to swim or play soccer indoors is only possible if you schedule it because space is at such a premium. We wouldn't have chosen this schedule if our kids needed help at home to keep up in school. Afterschooling is for fun and enrichment. 

It wasn't really aimed at anyone although if the OPs kid complains about not having time to draw/play with friends then maybe.  I find things fall apart if we have too many things on, and my youngest falls apart if he has more than two things on a week. 

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School works can bring great amount of pressure to grade schoolers so it's really hard to schedule afterschooling especially of the kids have spend most of their time at school daily. I think night time is a good time to share some learning to the child even for a short 30-minutes study,

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