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Curious - do your kids do their work independently?

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1 hour ago, knitgrl said:

I was starting to feel guilty because I am not at dd's side every minute of the day. We work through the day's math lesson together. We do state history together. I present new material for grammar and Latin with her. I work with her on narrations and writing them down. For all the worksheets that go along with these things, I give her an assignment book to check them off. If I can't check her work that day, I go over any mistakes with her the next day before she starts a new lesson or sheet in that subject. This child is motivated and likes worksheets. This system is working for her, though I am not naive enough to believe it will be how things shake down with her brother.

I believe in encouraging independence after one tutors and this sounds like exactly what you are doing...keep up the great work mom.  It is also good to understand that each child reaches independence at different ages, but encouraging it is healthy for both the them and the parent longterm especially for larger families.

 

You are doing great!

Brenda

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On 11/8/2018 at 6:46 PM, Jean in Newcastle said:

I think the crux of the matter comes down to what individual kids need to be successful in their learning.  Some need more help than others.  And it isn't some kind of failure for them to need that!  And it isn't a bragging point if they don't.  It just "is", you know?

Also - and I realize that not everyone will agree with me, but I do think that there is a difference between what kids can manage to get by on and what is truly optimal.  I think for most us, me included, we can't always hit the optimal.  It might be due to all sorts of reasons including whether the child themselves is willing to be taught.  But I do think that I have done the best when I have done my best to reach for the optimal.  It means that I hit a lot higher in my goals and standards than when I am just going through the motions. 

Preaching a great truth ladies?.  I feel that in different seasons we go between checklist of basics with a family Bible time and readaloud...us right now as we are expecting a new baby in May next year?.  Once out of the first trimester aka next week adding a science study as a family using Considering God's Creation will be added as will more time in our individualized periods so I can evaluate not just their answers, but test each child in ability within each program they are doing and find what the actual focuses should be vs. just doing the next lesson...kwim.  I can also quit falling asleep after the second child is tutored...lol.  For example do we really need to do the entire unit on verbs or would the time be better spent on writing units.  I personally like using programs and finding their weaknesses and using them for that, but when I am pregnant I need to do just the next lesson for a few months...kwim.  It isn't my ideal, but it is my reality.

 

Thanks for your great advice to the hive,

Brenda

 

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This is interesting and helpful to read as my kids are small enough no one expects them to be independent. My mom, who has a weird prejudice against preschool, was recently talking about how crazy it was that a mutual acquaintance put one child in preschool so she could concentrate on homeschooling the older three, all of whom are elementary age. Mom made some comment about how the older children should be working more independently so the youngest wouldn't have to go to preschool. Mom never homeschooled, by the way. It'll be interesting to see how her opinions change as my kids get older. In a few years, I will have kids in much the same position as our mutual acquaintance, and it's not my goal to have third graders working all on their own. (I did defend the other mom, for the record, and changed the subject.)

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I find myself nodding at most of these posts.

I would find that knowledge based learning is different than skill based learning. Can a child learn lots of historical facts from a textbook. Sure. Most kids can. Can they discern bias? Can they separate fact from opinion? Can they write coherently about what they have read and actually have ideas not just regurgitate what they read? 

I find it is good to let my children rest in the skill level they are at with things at times while I work with them moving forward in a different subject. We can't sprint or be stretched constantly.  That, they can do independently but it usually takes a lot of effort on my part to move them to the next level. Since a number of them have learning quirks and some actually disabilities it takes a LOT of work. But any child could use help moving them to the next skill level of learning.

 

Edited by frogger
I probably shouldn't be teaching them spelling. ;)
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19 hours ago, homemommy83 said:

Preaching a great truth ladies?.  I feel that in different seasons we go between checklist of basics with a family Bible time and readaloud...us right now as we are expecting a new baby in May next year?.  Once out of the first trimester aka next week adding a science study as a family using Considering God's Creation will be added as will more time in our individualized periods so I can evaluate not just their answers, but test each child in ability within each program they are doing and find what the actual focuses should be vs. just doing the next lesson...kwim.  I can also quit falling asleep after the second child is tutored...lol.  For example do we really need to do the entire unit on verbs or would the time be better spent on writing units.  I personally like using programs and finding their weaknesses and using them for that, but when I am pregnant I need to do just the next lesson for a few months...kwim.  It isn't my ideal, but it is my reality.

 

Thanks for your great advice to the hive,

Brenda

 

Congrats on the newest little one! 

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Some days yes, and some days no. And I have to be checking in even when it is a yes day. I teach some subjects once a week. So I do Latin once a week with a co-op group. My dd gets the majority of her teaching that day and is able to independently do her work throughout the week on it. I check in daily to see how much was done. I know on the days she has translation that I might need to check on her first few to make sure she is doing ok. (9th grader,)

The same kind of goes with her math. I introduce new concepts. But the next day, after checking her work, she can usually do the next few lesson on her own as our curriculum is pretty incremental and builds on the past lessons a bit at a time. So I check in with her about how many she missed, does she have any questions, or can she figure out what she did wrong and correct them before moving on. Day to day she is doing her latin, her math, reading and narrating to me, piano practice, and science homework for a co-op class that I don't teach, so she does her daily work and checks in with that teacher once a week and goes to outside things like dance classes, art class, projects from scouts and such. I work closely with her on most scout projects. We do some art together. When we work on a grammar curriculum she needs me. But we don't do that daily. Daily she reads literature and has ongoing writing projects for English. I check in with her and we do work before each new book and after each one. But there will be several days in a row that I am just verbally checking in with her about what got done.

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Independence, as it is generally defined, has not been my goal. I want to teach them and work together, that is one of the perks of hs'ing. 

I make my children grade 3rd and up checklists but that is for the purpose of counting hours(required by my state) and keeping us on track, my brain just can't keep track of that all every day.

Now, my current third grader is a strong reader so she does some reading on her own and review work, otherwise we work together. My son and older daughter at that age did virtually everything with me at that age. 

Even last year with ds 13 in 7th he had quite a bit he did with me. My son needed guidance due to EF issues and thrived with lots of discussions. My 6th grader is more independent and has better EF skills but is a perfectionist that tends to get stressed easily- so she likes to work with me until she is exceedingly confident she can handle it on her own. 

 

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2 of my 4 girls could do mostly independent work around 4-5th grade (although I always explicitly taught new material first). My oldest took longer to develop this ability, but is now top of her college nursing class as a junior, so she turned out alright despite needing more handholding and support. 

My 4th DD is a 9-year old 4th grader and is nowhere near being able to work independently. Which is perfectly fine since she’s my last child at home. We work side-by-side about 2-4 hours per day, depending on what we’re learning. We’re both fine with this arrangement and I know she’ll achieve independence at some point.

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My DD9 becomes more independent recently: she adds more actionable items to her daily planning, is more conscious of what she wants to accomplish,  is able to focus on work and has a basic sense of time management. What helped her is her private school environment: it promotes self planning, self guided learning (though sometimes I wish there were more teaching from teacher) through an online framework. Within this framework, students are aware of what their yearly, monthly and weekly planned goals are, so they can make their own daily goals. They use Khan as the math curriculum and a few other websites for grammar and spelling. So kids can go at their own pace.

To have an independent learning kid requires more freedom, space and time for the child to plan his/her own learning.  At my home, this applies to all the school work since it is relatively easy. We make it clear that the school work is her own responsibility. For more challenging home work, I may remind her that an assignment might be due soon, it will up to her to decide when and how to finish it. We still check the assignment and let her review and discuss in more details to expand the knowledge. I believe kids benefit greatly from those discussion.

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My DS can follow a checklist that looks something like:

-Finish math review problems 15-25

-Practice Piano

-Complete history essay

-20 minutes of typing practice

Etc.

At his age (almost 12) more than 4-5 things would be overwhelming and it's more like homework than anything else. I would expect the majority of actual learning to be collaborative even up to high school age. 

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My 6th and 3rd grader do, but in honesty, they are still sitting in the schoolroom doing their work.  I'm keeping an eye on them as well as there are a few subjects that require one one one with me.  It started with my child working on something that they didn't help while I worked with a sibling.  They also like to choose what order they complete their work.

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For my kids, independence seemed to come in seasons and not uniformly. Once upon a time, I bought into the unicorn of the perfectly self-teaching kids.)  But, I soon realized that this was more rare than I was led to believe.  I found that I could never just give my kids a weekly list and do nothing more.  EVER.  Not even my high school aged kids taking college classes.  Their professors didn't just give them a list of stuff and then have them take an exam.  There was teaching going on (and that I was paying for, so I expected teaching to be happening.)  

There were times when my kids were able to do a lot of things independently, but I did need to check in frequently to keep them on task, to make sure they weren't spinning their wheels.  But, being there, talking about what they were doing, asking questions ... all helped the knowledge gel, much better than working in a vacuum.  Sometimes it depended on the subject as well.  My older kids could be relied upon to get their math work done independently because that was easier for them.  But, I had to be right next to them when they were writing, because that was something they didn't like, didn't feel confident in, and often sat there paralyzed.  Many times, I would just sit next to them doing my thing (whether it was a grocery list or folding laundry) when they needed more supervision and encouragement.  Obviously, when you have more than one child, it can be a balancing act.  When my kids were younger, I did what I called "mommy pinball".  I would bounce between kids doing their work and adding in "toddler time" with my littlest.  For a while, I did have to have more of a schedule so that I could have some one-on-one time with each kid.  I'd schedule some shorter independent work and/or time supervising the toddler so that I could give some uninterrupted face time.  

As my oldest kids were in their later high school years, taking mostly online AP classes and in person college classes, we sat down together each week and looked over their workload and planned when and how it should be done.  I had switched from teaching their actual material to teaching them how to plan and manage the project of "school."  We would discuss how to tackle longer term projects, breaking them up into smaller pieces and creating intermediate due dates.  This helped them succeed in college classes as high schoolers as well as some distance learning.  (Now, I wish I had someone to sit down with ME and coach me like that on a regular basis.)

 

 

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My 12 year old works independently on reading, outlining resources, poetry memorization, and mapping.  

But I'll echo Ellen in saying he needs a variety of supports across writing (in-depth essays), math, and latin.  It isn't always the same type of support in a given subject.  Somedays he needs me for focus.  Somedays he needs me to assign a lighter load.  Somedays he needs me to work with him so that mistakes don't pile up in defeat.  Somedays he needs me to bring in a sliced apple with peanut butter at 2:00, when he's tired and almost fed up.   

But it all amounts to living with him and seeing him as a whole person, as opposed to allowing the schoolwork to make demands that take nothing of him into account.     

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I have an update. Dd15 and I were talking about her math (Pre-Calc) a week ago. She told me that she wasn't understanding everything. So this week, we backed up and I went through it with her (this required me to watch the video lessons, sometimes 3 times, LOL). I have mostly been there to puzzle through a question with her and give her immediate feedback on multi-part questions. This is getting her back on track. I don't know if she will want to go back to working on her own again soon or not. We'll see. The goal is always that the kids learn math well. I'm fine with her doing it independently and fine with her doing it with me. My days are long, but I will always make time for what the kids need. 

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