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MamaRED6

WTM vs every other method

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So yesterday I was talking to some other homeschoolers and it was implied that I was doing "too much". I was wondering if anyone else has encountered this issue before. I can't say I follow all the suggestions of the WTM method but I do really try to. 

My oldest two are only in 3rd grade so I feel like I am still getting a handling of how to teach them, not to mention their younger siblings. Just sort of feeling alone in a Type A mama in a Type B homeschool world. FYI: I assess each child individually and try to challenge them daily at their level. Sure we have days all the extras don't get done but over all they are doing amazing.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Can you do "too much"?

Bonus question: I struggle with this goal I've heard, to only give each topic/subject 20 minutes. Anyone else have success with this?

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Yes, you can do too much. 🙂

But I think that's not really what you're asking, is it?  Usually if I have those doubts, I stop to think about the quality of education my kid is receiving. If I'm sacrificing quality for doing something more, it's time for me to pull back.
For a comparison example: ds(3rd) studies Latin.  So does the Classical Conversations community here.  Their curriculum focuses on memorization of pieces/vocab, ds's focuses on learning grammar and vocab together and we work for about 20-30 minutes.  I would have a hard time with the CC curriculum because I feel it's disengaged and doesn't provide the depth I'm looking for.
On the other side, my edition of the WTM has this for 3rd: Latin - memorize vocab for 45 minutes a day.  Not only does that not fit the quality I'm looking for, but it's not sustainable.  And I know why the times are in there and what SWB was doing when she wrote them.  It doesn't matter.  What matters is my own thoughts on it and how I want to shape our school.

If you and your kids are happy, then it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.  If you have doubts, it's time to sit and think about your overall vision and where you want to go, even if that means not following a book completely. 

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 Hello,

Are the kids complaining that it's too much? You know your kids best. If you and the kids are fine with it. Who cares?

I just started HS this year and my only is in Kindergarten.  I'm electic in HS style but I lean classical. 

I don't worry about the time frame. I just want the lesson done. 

Yes you can do too much and you can do too little. Just don't compare yourself with others or it will drive you crazy.

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If what you are doing isn't stressful and overwhelming to your family, if it is meeting the needs of your children and isn't burning you out, then I wouldn't worry about too much.

if you are struggling to get to stuff you want to, one option is to put some stuff into a loop schedule. For example, you could choose a couple of core things you want to do every day (in my house, this is usually math, music practice, and foreign language) and everything else becomes part of the loop--science, history, art, nature study, literature, grammar--whatever subjects you choose to include in your homeschooling. The loop is just a list of subjects; you start at the top, if you get through two of them on Monday then you move on to the third subject on the list on Tuesday. If you've gotten through all of them by Thursday you start right back at the top.

WTM provides one option for a solid education, I would personally caution against feeling too tied to this one program. As long as it is working for your family that is great; just remember that any curriculum should be your servant not your master and the greatest advantage of homeschooling is the ability to tailor an education to the child in front of you.

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Kids are different and I personally used to feel like parents did too much.  I was going off of my oldest, who would have been totally overwhelmed.

Now my daughter is doing things and I can see how it is appropriate to fit things to a child.

I could not see it when I only had my oldest, though.  

It’s such a cliche but I think girls are often ready for more at younger ages, and it fits them well, while it is hard for a parent of a boy to believe because it would be very inappropriate for their child at home.  

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By the way, if you haven't yet read Susan Wise Bauer's most recent book, Rethinking School, I highly recommend it. She makes a good case for flexibility in education.

https://www.amazon.com/Rethinking-School-Charge-Childs-Education/dp/0393285960/ref=sr_1_5?hvadid=3485813077&hvbmt=be&hvdev=t&hvqmt=e&keywords=susan+wise+bauer+books&qid=1551791819&s=books&sr=1-5&tag=mh0b-20

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On the 20 minute thing-Personally,  I do use that rule for most subjects for my youngest two kids. I’ll do 3, 10-15 minute chunks instead. That works for MY kids when it comes to say, reading and phonics. It might not work for your kids. Mine are only 6&7. But for them touching on something, then going to something else, then coming back, seems to help them marinate.

 That being said- they can sit and be read aloud to for an hour + and I think with that it’s fair to expect that type of attention from them. Again, other kids could be different. I couldn’t have said that 2 years ago. Again- we started with 20 min and built up. I think it all comes down to your kid.

 

 

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Thank you everyone for the encouragement. Reading Rethinking School was amazing! I won't lie I know it's work to teach with a classical mindset and hit most of the marks. However like I said I feel like I'm being judged by others who are much more relaxed and don't share the same priorities. 

As for the 20 minute subjects, it seems to stress my kids out when I give them less than 30 minutes on any subject. I know it's just 10 minutes but it seems like such a high goal, maybe it's not for us. Lots to think about.

 

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13 minutes ago, MamaRED6 said:

Thank you everyone for the encouragement. Reading Rethinking School was amazing! I won't lie I know it's work to teach with a classical mindset and hit most of the marks. However like I said I feel like I'm being judged by others who are much more relaxed and don't share the same priorities. 

As for the 20 minute subjects, it seems to stress my kids out when I give them less than 30 minutes on any subject. I know it's just 10 minutes but it seems like such a high goal, maybe it's not for us. Lots to think about.

 

Why is 20 minutes a goal for you? If it is stressful to your kids I would drop the idea.

Find what works for you and your kids, other people's experiences and recommendations are great as a source of new ideas but there is no way you can follow every idea that has worked for some other person and no need to try. If an idea seems like it could make things go more smoothly in your home give it a try and see, but if the shoe doesn't fit--discard it.

Edited by maize
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You can feel very free to adjust to your kids and not a clock.  

A clock helps people who see they tend to run on too long and they see it’s counterproductive for their kids.  

It is counterproductive for a lot of kids and a good strategy for a lot of parents.

But that doesn’t sound like your situation.  

What works best with your kids is the best for your situation.  Or — something that works well with your kids, it doesn’t have to be “the best.”  

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The parenting advice "Watch the baby, not the clock" works pretty well for teaching them, too.

People sometimes look at my spreadsheet (in sig) and freak out, but I have to write down everything I want us to do (even if it's only for 5 minutes) or I just plain forget, plus I have a kid with limited stamina for sticking with one thing for a long time.

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21 minutes ago, whitehawk said:

The parenting advice "Watch the baby, not the clock" works pretty well for teaching them, too.

 People sometimes look at my spreadsheet (in sig) and freak out, but I have to write down everything I want us to do (even if it's only for 5 minutes) or I just plain forget, plus I have a kid with limited stamina for sticking with one thing for a long time.

Yes! This is so me! I have 5 kids I'm trying to teach it's like a circus without a schedule that includes everything.

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When I read/post on this forum, I'm a total slacker.  We're like Relaxed Homeschoolers.  When I reply to something on Facebook or try to give advice IRL, I'm like the most strict, draconian homeschooler that ever lived.  I give up!  *shrug*. As long as you and the kids are happy with what you're doing, I wouldn't worry.  

And when homeschooling, always do what you and your family feel is best - not what other people think! 

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2 hours ago, MamaRED6 said:

I was talking to some other homeschoolers and it was implied that I was doing "too much".

Whack me on the head, but are they not fulfilling the law and teaching their kids??? Ok, some states don't have laws. Ours does, and ours has the same amount of hours required no matter what your schooling method is. So even if they're unschooling (which doesn't have to be so far from classical, but that's another conversation) or using straight curriculum or Sonlight or whatever, YOU SHOULD ALL BE SPENDING ABOUT THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME. 

Now that could vary as you get more high performing kids, Tiger moms, kids who have special interests who spend a lot of time on them, etc. But just in general, you're probably teaching as fits their development (which is often grade minus 1 for total time per day including read alouds) and it's just varying what you're doing.

So the real question is why you're telling what you're doing to people who are slamming you? I had to learn that it wasn't really helpful to me to talk with people who destabilized me. I had this friend (mother of my dd's friend) when my dd was in high school and this mom was always like such and such method is great, it's better, it's more christian, your child is going to go burn in a lake of fire because you aren't teaching her with this better curriculum, blah blah. Meanwhile, my kid was reading books about the history of flowers, researching tutus, and just having a great time doing things our own way.

It didn't make me feel more stable or help me homeschool her better to be looking at other people and wishing my kid was like someone else's. And it works both ways. If you tell what you're doing and their kids aren't, did that help make them more confident to do what they think is right? Nope. 

So yes, if you're doing a wide variety of things that they aren't, things that maybe intimidate them, then yes you're gonna seem like an alien from another planet. Find the other things you have in common and discuss the more technical nuances places like here, on the boards. You're not always going to be like other people, even if you want to hang with them. You still have to confidently do what you think is best for your kids, just like they're doing.

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57 minutes ago, MamaRED6 said:

Thank you everyone for the encouragement. Reading Rethinking School was amazing!...

As for the 20 minute subjects, it seems to stress my kids out when I give them less than 30 minutes on any subject. I know it's just 10 minutes but it seems like such a high goal, maybe it's not for us. Lots to think about.

  

Ok, I'll fess up and say I haven't read RRS. Just got busy and haven't. Are you saying she put in their 20 minutes (which to me sounds more like encouragement to be SANE, not a dictum) and you're actually CUTTING YOUR KIDS OFF FROM SOMETHING THEY'RE ENGAGED IN AND FINDING ENJOYABLE because the book said 20 minutes?

I wish I could send you on a cruise. Like really, seriously. Put the book aside and look at your kids. If she put times, SWB only put them in to say not to imitate the school system. Like my ds has an IEP and significant disabilities. I look at schools and they spend 2-3 hours on LA a day for people with his level of disabilities. For real, that is the norm and APPROPRIATE IN THAT SETTING to spend 2-3 hours a day. But is that all intense, 1:1? Absolutely not. You have to TRANSLATE what the schools are doing into something that fits what it looks like to work 1:1. 

So does your 1:1 look like SWB's? Maybe not. Mine sure doesn't. My ds works a little, breaks, works a little, breaks. We might work for 5-10 minutes and break. So hang it all, I'm a horrible homeschooler because I'm not following the 20 minute rule, lol. 

It probably just meant to do what fits your kids and not take it UP to fit some must do, must do list. If your kids are engaged, let them have their fun! That's really amazing that they want 30 minutes, not 20. Obviously you should be FLEXIBLE and DO THIS. 

One of the best things you're teaching them, as homeschoolers, is to drive their education, to be responsible, to work a plan, to self-advocate. Collaborate with them, talk with them, work together, grow together. The book was just to inspire you, not to drive you. If you've lost sight of that, give it away. 

When I lose sight of myself and stop hearing the quiet voice on how to do what is right, it means I need to get away. Take a day off, go walk in a park, take a long shower, take a cruise, however long it takes till you get back to listening to the quiet voice, not all the voices around you.

Edited by PeterPan
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25 minutes ago, Evanthe said:

When I read/post on this forum, I'm a total slacker.  We're like Relaxed Homeschoolers.  When I reply to something on Facebook or try to give advice IRL, I'm like the most strict, draconian homeschooler that ever lived.  I give up!  *shrug*. As long as you and the kids are happy with what you're doing, I wouldn't worry.  

And when homeschooling, always do what you and your family feel is best - not what other people think! 

 

Yup, this is me.  The homeschoolers I know IRL are slightly intimidated by me.  Even the local non-homeschoolers are like, “Whoa. Garga, you’re like Super Homeschool Mom.”

I don’t even know why they think all this.  ?  I pretty much never talk about homeschooling with them.  Like, almost completely never. But somewhere I got this reputation for being this intimidating homeschooling parent, even though I pretty much never talk about homeschooling to anyone IRL.  I think it’s because one year we went on 23 field trips and I did post pictures of those on FB.  (Really, it was 23 trips.  It was an amazing year when the kids were in elementary school.)  I guess that made an impression on people.  I dunno.

But, I’d rather be known as super homeschool mom rather than slacker homeschool mom.  

Look carefully at the kids you have.  Think over your own goals.  And then just nod benignly and gaze off in the distance when people tell you their opinions on what you’re doing.  It’s ok to hear what they’re saying and consider whether or not it’s valid...but if it’s not valid, then move on.

Edited by Garga
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3 hours ago, MamaRED6 said:

So yesterday I was talking to some other homeschoolers and it was implied that I was doing "too much". I was wondering if anyone else has encountered this issue before. I can't say I follow all the suggestions of the WTM method but I do really try to. 

Bonus question: I struggle with this goal I've heard, to only give each topic/subject 20 minutes. Anyone else have success with this?

 

1 hour ago, MamaRED6 said:

Thank you everyone for the encouragement. Reading Rethinking School was amazing! I won't lie I know it's work to teach with a classical mindset and hit most of the marks. However like I said I feel like I'm being judged by others who are much more relaxed and don't share the same priorities. 

As for the 20 minute subjects, it seems to stress my kids out when I give them less than 30 minutes on any subject. I know it's just 10 minutes but it seems like such a high goal, maybe it's not for us. Lots to think about.

 

 

Some communities are like this. I've lived all over, and they're all different. The rarest thing in the world, though, is an irl homeschooler with a nice personality who doesn't shrink from thinking of homeschooling as work. edit: as work for the parent.

The problem is them, not you. One time, a woman asked to see the schedules and plans I'd studiously created for my kids. I happily shared them with her. She proceeded to tell everyone who would listen that I was a veritable slave driver. Which is CRAZY to me, because my kids are usually done with all their sit-down work well before noon (we are early risers but still). Our days *feel* so so so relaxed. She truly took umbrage that I "made" them do anything at all.  A mutual friend thinks that I made her feel inadequate because of her own anxiety, but... I mean, that's not on me. 

It's really unfortunate because with people like this, we have more in common than not. And I am keenly aware of what is lost when we have to go at everything alone without any community at all. So in social gatherings in that particular place, the other women in the homeschool community "got" to sit around talking about how free their kids minds are (?) because they get to learn exclusively through minecraft most days, but God forbid I mention something either the kids or I was reading. 

But then they'd also do weird-to-me things, seemingly with a grip of anxiety, like have middle school aged kids sit in the woods and color a picture of a tree. It was as if they felt the need to do SOMETHING officially academic, but actually academic pursuits made them feel so nervous. :shrug: 

So anyway, some people are that way. Do your thing. Do it well. Take breaks as necessary. Smile and nod at park days. 

 

Edited by OKBud
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You are asking multiple different questions that have a wide range of answers.

Simply, can you do too much? Yes. Both adults and children can experience burn-out. Parental over exuberance can kill budding joy in the learning process. Equally, you can do too little. Homeschooling, regardless of the approach, really is learning how to determine what is a good for each individual child.

Over the yrs in conversing with new/newer homeschoolers, unfortunately, it has occasionally been predictable that certain families wouldn't last homeschooling for the long haul.  These are families who were not able to step back and view this as a long journey that requires appropriate pacing and boundaries. Everything does not nor should be mastered today. They wanted to do everything and learn everything and forgot in the process that these are little people who need to be nurtured body, mind, and soul, not books to be filled in and checked off.

The 20 min thing typically comes from CM homeschoolers.  It is not a methodology that I have found particularly helpful, but setting boundaries as to just how much I am willing for school to consume any given day is. 

Fwiw, I don't know what your sharing with other homeschoolers (or why.......if you share what you are doing with others, you are opening up yourself to feedback) but to be honest, if I met someone whose oldest was in 3rd grade and they shared that they were doing school from 8-3 or whatever, I would tell them they were doing too much. 😱 (But, personally, I have found talking about our daily homeschooling details to other homeschoolers IRL is rarely productive. 😉) My rule of thumb is generally 1 hr (or slightly more) of focused academics per grade level until middle school. (So, an hr for K, 1-1.5 for 1st, 2-2.5 for 2nd, etc)  Middle school is 6-8 hrs per day and high school 7-9 hrs per day. 

My youngest is in 3rd grade this yr; she is my 8th 3rd grader. She spends about 45 mins reading lit, about 45 mins on math,  45 mins on English (spelling, grammar, writing), about 15 mins each on science and history (unless we watch a documentary, field trip, etc), 10 mins on religion, 30-45 mins practicing violin.  I know for my family that that is plenty for 3rd grade. 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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I have three friends following WTM methods to a 't.' They and their kids are perfectly happy and competent. Same with the people I know who just place a yearly order with Sonlight, MP, BJU, or OakMeadow. Same with the people who very conscientiously create unit studies for their kids. Same with the people who happily mix and match materials and, for a lack of a better word, ideologies, and just get on with it. 

IRL literally the only people I know who seem to struggle with homeschool are the ones who can't decide who they are or what they are about. They have no goal outside of avoiding public school for whatever reason.

20 minutes is a good time for some kids at some ages/stages. You might find when puberty starts coming on, for example, that rather than inducing fretfulness about having "enough" time to finish as it does now, telling them they only have to sit down and work on any given thing for twenty minutes will be a relief. 

You already know what your kids need, OP. You're ALREADY DOING IT. You don't need unsolicited opinions about your homeschool! If you were doing too much (absolutely possible, of course), kids can let you know quite handily. 

Edited by OKBud
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Do you know where your friends are getting the 20 minute thing from? Are they under the impression that it's CM'y or something? Just curious. I found it naturally with a wiggle little boy. Not from anything else. My oldest on the other hand would've have come unseated had I cut lessons at 20 minutes. She's just settling in at the 20 minute mark. We do more of a block schedule with her or else nothing gets done. 

I agree with all PP- teach to the child. Not to a system. 

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Honestly, I've always considered the 20 minute thing to be more of a guideline than a rule. If you are having to drag your child along through a lesson, 20 minutes is plenty. If your child is enjoying the lesson and wants more, keep going. I like Charlotte Mason's ideas for the most part but I find the idea of leaving a child wanting more by artificially cutting off a lesson at 20 minutes to be a bit silly to be honest. I have yet to meet a child that didn't want more the next lesson just because I let our lesson end when their attention span had reached its limit (which for my kids always seemed to be around 30 - 40 minutes once they were school age) or when their interest in something naturally waned on its own. There is no need to force a lesson to go on longer than 20 minutes but there is equally no reason to stop it there artificially either.

I honestly believe those who provide unsolicited negative opinions about the homeschool choices of others are really just insecure in their own choices. That's been my experience anyways. When they have the responsibility of educating my children, then they can have an opinion on how best to educate them. Until that time,  I take anything they say with a grain of salt.

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34 minutes ago, sweet2ndchance said:

I honestly believe those who provide unsolicited negative opinions about the homeschool choices of others are really just insecure in their own choices. That's been my experience anyways. When they have the responsibility of educating my children, then they can have an opinion on how best to educate them. Until that time,  I take anything they say with a grain of salt.

I don't know that the OP actually provided enough info to determine that the opinions were actually unsolicited. She stated she was talking to a group of homeschoolers about homeschooling and that she still feels like she is trying to get a handle on what she is doing. That reads to me like she might have sounded like she was asking for advice/feedback.

ETA: She is definitely asking questions here that suggest wanting constructive feedback, not just affirmation.

Quote

Thoughts? Suggestions? Can you do "too much"?

Bonus question: I struggle with this goal I've heard, to only give each topic/subject 20 minutes. Anyone else have success with this?

 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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2 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I don't know that the OP actually provided enough info to determine that the opinions were actually unsolicited. She stated she was talking to a group of homeschoolers about homeschooling and that she still feels like she is trying to get a handle on what she is doing. That reads to me like she might have sounded like she was asking for advice/feedback.

 

True. I did think about the fact that she didn't state whether she was asking for opinions for the group of homeschoolers or not when I posted that. 

I just put my opinion out there figuring if she did ask for their opinions, whether she actually meant to ask for their opinions or not, she could figure out that she doesn't need their opinions to homeschool her own children the way they learn best or if she didn't ask for their opinions that she could realize the hang up was on their end, not hers.

I can see now that didn't come across clearly in my post, still waking up and putting coherent thoughts together doesn't always work out the way you would hope it would. lol

I know in my younger days I would sometimes share, what I felt, was just a common woe about educating my own children with irl homeschool friends only to be baffled when, instead of commiserating with me as I was expecting, they suddenly started telling me how I was expecting too much and I just needed to relax and it wouldn't be an issue. I wasn't asking for their opinion really but apparently the fact that I shared about how sometimes my kids don't want to do what is expected of them and it drives me bananas was asking their opinion from their point of view. It took me a while to understand that some people just don't have the same standards and ideals as I do and I don't need to worry about their opinion. That may be obvious to some people but it wasn't to me when my now-grown children were little and I'm sure there are others who struggle the same way I did.

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You guys are AMAZING! Really, I don’t know why I don’t spend more time here.  🙂 It was 9am and I had to step away to teach but I can respond now.

I should have been more specific about who gave me this response. I am currently attempting to make myself more accountable using an online consistency “bootcamp”. Of course they are going to tell me like it is and I knew the organization leans CM. (This is a great organization and I don’t want to speak bad of them.) Long and short response to me was the idea “enough”, to count was 1 hour a day, for all the subjects. To me this just messed up my paradigm. So to me I’ve spent hours trying to make WTM guidelines “fit” into that 60 minute slot. This idea wasn’t to be seen as a normal but as something I still felt “counted”. Honestly, I don’t feel that less than 1/2 a day counts. I really I haven’t confused more people by trying to clarify this context.  

I still feel so new at this I have no idea how to quote everyone, sorry.

Maize: The 20 minute goal is something I’ve heard from CM people specifically Scholé Sisters. I more in awe that there are kids out there who study like this but this obviously is not for my kids now I realize.

PeterPan: Thank you.  I appreciate you sharing your insight as a mom of a child with extra needs. My son is on the spectrum and I have a daughter who I wonder if she has ADD so I’m always trying keep balance for them of review, challenge, and consistency.

OKbud: Just seeing those words in bold, “the problem is them, not you” almost made me cry. You definitely “get” it.

8FillTheHeart: I haven’t ever thought of teaching hours in relation to their grade level. That is very interesting. I do apply that idea to preschool age and kindergarten but I always felt that’s a time of more relaxed learning.

Sweet2ndchance: I think I’m realizing now what you said about standards is true. One likes to believe that a group of similar people hold certain priorities but the truth is very different sometimes.

Thank you everyone for the encouragement. I know what I'm doing is right because the kid's are learning and like the learn. I just have to work on being confident with my decisions that are best for my family.

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I only know one person who does more than I do, but her kids are much older.  Everyone else I've talked to doesn't come close.  I'm type A about many things.  However, I do not use a schedule or preplan lessons.  I think I've grown A LOT this year in that I don't force every subject every day.  If we don't get to science, and I feel I'm tired of school or need to start dinner, I save it for the next day.  I have never limited lesson times though I now see that the hour long Rightstart and LOE lessons were too much for my daughter in K, but she is thriving now in 4th grade.  The only things I can think of that can be done in 20 min are spelling, handwriting, Spanish, and Latin, but I don't time things.  We do not do any video classes and I can't relate at all to people who do full time video classes.  A lot of people seem to do this.  Or they are very relaxed, just basics and no extra school subjects, like they only do 4 classes and that's it and no extra curricular.  I know a few who do classical conversations but I think it's pretty weak, not rigorous enough and doesn't compare with what we are doing.

I wonder sometimes if we do too much and if it will be the jack of all trades master of none (which one music teacher said since we were doing sports and music), but I think my kids are doing well with what we do.

So on top of doing more academically that all our local peers, we seem to do more extracurricular activities too.  We are doing ok, but I'm happy to have this next month as a break from hockey before spring league starts:)  My kids don't do well when not kept busy.  They fight and are a general nuisance and I don't get nearly as much done... not sure how that works.  But days off from school, I don't get the schedule of doing dishes, laundry, intermittent cleaning etc.  And the house is always messier.  Or maybe when they don't sit and do school work, they make more messes.  Anyway, our family needs to be busy.  I only wish we had more free evenings to have people over etc.  

We are switching to year round school, which is a stress reliever for me.  I feel free to miss a subject and loop the schedule knowing I have 3 months more than most to make it up.  Also, vacations are easier because we will have plenty of school days.  Getting back from vacation is so hard though.  Today is our first day back at school after a long weekend out of town.  It is hard to get the kids back into school mode.

I always ask people what they do and what they are using because I'm always hoping for curriculum reviews but I'm never too impressed by what others locally are using. I don't volunteer information on what we do because I know they will just think I'm overbearing and need to do less. 

Edited by parent
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Not only is your family unique in it's homeschooling needs, goals, and desires, but each of your children will have his or her own path. And even that will change as they grow up. 

So while your philosophy of education will likely not make huge shifts (though it may!), exactly how it manifests year to year can vary widely. Know who you are and don't worry about what others think of your choices.,

 

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5 hours ago, sweet2ndchance said:

I honestly believe those who provide unsolicited negative opinions about the homeschool choices of others are really just insecure in their own choices.

You may be onto something. That person who left me feeling so insecure then upped and put ALL THE KIDS INTO SCHOOL the next year, lol. Me, I'm still plodding along these years later.

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2 hours ago, MamaRED6 said:

Long and short response to me was the idea “enough”, to count was 1 hour a day

Uh, I hate to mention it, but that violates THE LAW in our state. Now you can do that by redefining and saying you mean only table work, sure. So nature study for science is not school, reading is not school, art projects are not school, life skills are not school, etc. But good night, what do they do with themselves? And what are they teaching if they literally mean they make no expectations of their kids except one hour a day? They must have some fine print there. Most people want their kids to learn a sense of INDUSTRIOUSNESS at least. Like even an unschooler is like hello, have a plan, work the plan. We shouldn't be encouraging slothfulness.

2 hours ago, MamaRED6 said:

I am currently attempting to make myself more accountable using an online consistency “bootcamp”.

Wouldn't it be easier just to start a thread on gen or chat or K-8 or something each week that says KICK ME IN THE BUTT? :biggrin: I mean seriously, we've all had to talk to ourselves and btdt. I get there a lot more often with ds, sigh, because he's just sorta mystifying. Burnout happens, February happens. If you want some balanced accountability, just start a thread! It will be free and people will get why you need it.

For me, talking about getting my butt in gear helps. Sometimes I need a little herd effect to rebuild my enthusiasm and keep me going. And if you're needing an unusual amount, have you had your vitamin D checked? It's that time of year when people have issues, sigh. 

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2 hours ago, MamaRED6 said:

I haven’t ever thought of teaching hours in relation to their grade level. That is very interesting. I do apply that idea to preschool age and kindergarten but I always felt that’s a time of more relaxed learning.

Absolutely! And think about your goals. You may not really care about academics sometimes, but I'll bet you care about their attitudes, their habits, their industriousness. When you bring ASD to the picture, it gets even trickier. If that kid has a habit of waking up and doing his own thing, it's so like water on the deck, running everywhere, and you're like no get back in the bucket so I can help you get somewhere!!!

I've been thinking lately about how I could change that, how I could get him to realize he wants to wake up and be industrious on a plan that isn't Zelda or whatever. When my dd would wake up on her own plan, it was reading and no big deal. But when it's something that isn't so academic-y, we have a real issue. And it might be that the fact that it's harder for you to herd the cats and make this happen is a spectrum thing, meaning you'd have more ways to work on it. We can work smarter, but sometimes just working harder doesn't get us there. One person described it as standing on a chair to reach up higher than we had been before. 

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2 hours ago, MamaRED6 said:

I should have been more specific about who gave me this response. I am currently attempting to make myself more accountable using an online consistency “bootcamp”. Of course they are going to tell me like it is and I knew the organization leans CM. (This is a great organization and I don’t want to speak bad of them.) Long and short response to me was the idea “enough”, to count was 1 hour a day, for all the subjects. To me this just messed up my paradigm. So to me I’ve spent hours trying to make WTM guidelines “fit” into that 60 minute slot. This idea wasn’t to be seen as a normal but as something I still felt “counted”. Honestly, I don’t feel that less than 1/2 a day counts.

8FillTheHeart: I haven’t ever thought of teaching hours in relation to their grade level. That is very interesting. I do apply that idea to preschool age and kindergarten but I always felt that’s a time of more relaxed learning.

Well, I'll ask the elephant in the room......if everything is going the way you want it to go, why are you using an online consistency bootcamp to keep you accountable?  I guess I'm wondering what you shared that made them think you were doing too much and that you needed to cut back.   

Fwiw, other than unschoolers, it is hard for me to fathom many homeschoolers advocating 1 hr per day of academics for a 3rd grader. It sounds like you connected with the wrong sounding board. 

In terms of your response to me, philosophical differences. I see children playing, self-entertaining, and using their imaginations as developing more important critical thinking skills and long-term habits than what they gain from seatwork. But, hey, I don't even teach my kids preschool. I focus on basic 3R skill in the primary grades, and then self-regulation/self-entertainment/imaginative and exploratory play is my ultimate goal for them.

We are "pretty relaxed" in learning until graduation if the definition of not relaxed is replicating a school classroom. My focus with my kids is on thinking and encouraging them to be lifelong learners and is not focused at all on knowing what goes on i their grade level classrooms or what others are doing. (I don't homeschool to do what anyone else is doing. I homeschool to provide my kids with the skills and academic backgrounds that meet them individually where they are as determined by me.)

Ulitmately, it has resulted in my kids developing long-term interests that they have pursued in their free time (we don't allow gaming and limit tv), and they have accelerated themselves due to their pursuits.

Is that right for other families? It doesn't have to be. We all have to find our own feet and take the path that fits our family's needs. But, if someone were to suggest to me that my kids are not receiving a rigorous and appropriate education, I would share that more seawork when they are young does not necessarily equate to long-term more advanced outcomes.

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7 hours ago, Evanthe said:

When I read/post on this forum, I'm a total slacker.  We're like Relaxed Homeschoolers.  When I reply to something on Facebook or try to give advice IRL, I'm like the most strict, draconian homeschooler that ever lived.  I give up!  *shrug*. As long as you and the kids are happy with what you're doing, I wouldn't worry.  

And when homeschooling, always do what you and your family feel is best - not what other people think! 

Many of the IRL people I know are pretty even keeled and while they don't do the same stuff we do, I would consider it very close to the same level. But I shudder when I see some of the questions and advice given on my state hs'ing group's FB page and how low some of the standards are there. And then I come here and feel like a slacker because none of us will ever read a Greek play and my DH is dead set against teaching Latin because it's a dead language lol

So, you know, it's all about balance 🙂

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15 hours ago, MamaRED6 said:

So yesterday I was talking to some other homeschoolers and it was implied that I was doing "too much". I was wondering if anyone else has encountered this issue before. I can't say I follow all the suggestions of the WTM method but I do really try to. 

My oldest two are only in 3rd grade so I feel like I am still getting a handling of how to teach them, not to mention their younger siblings. Just sort of feeling alone in a Type A mama in a Type B homeschool world. FYI: I assess each child individually and try to challenge them daily at their level. Sure we have days all the extras don't get done but over all they are doing amazing.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Can you do "too much"?

Bonus question: I struggle with this goal I've heard, to only give each topic/subject 20 minutes. Anyone else have success with this?

You've been given some great advice and feedback!

 Sometimes I feel like other moms wear it a badge of honor that they don't teach their young kids.  I know it can be part of some people's homeschooling philosophy to wait and I can respect that, but I would definitely feel judged by them for doing otherwise!  I'm glad my son is almost in 2nd grade now and the majority of homeschool moms will teach 2nd graders.  And sometimes I'm not sure if its even true....Sometimes I think there is a bit of competition involved.  Like when someone tells you are getting too thin and need to gain weight even though you look great.  Sometimes people might tell you that you are doing too much school...to make themselves feel better.  Not sure if that makes sense!   

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Sometimes people might tell you that you are doing too much school to make themselves feel better.  

Since this comment has been made numerous times in this thread, it begs noting that the underlying assumption being made by this comment is that the people sharing that they aren't doing full days with young children must be feeling some sort of guilt or neglect for making non-mainstream decisions and equally implies that the assumption that more academics younger is the correct one. (Why else need to feel better? About what and why?)

Telling someone they need to do something different in their homeschool simply bc they are taking a different approach is crossing a line. The beauty of homeschooling is that no 2 homeschools ever need to look alike.  (Thank goodness!!)

But, learning to pass the bean dip is a homeschooling life skill. 😉  When you start talking about homeschooling, methodology, and general approaches with other homeschoolers iRL,  you definitely open the door to conversations to multiple perspectives that may be at odds with your own.  One big issue that can arise can be the different expectations of the participants in the conversation. If a mom shares she is struggling with getting everything done, her perception might be that she is only asking for scheduling help, but if that wasn't how she phrased it, the person she is asking might think she is asking for their perspective on her daily homeschool plan, etc. Clarifying comments can go a long way in preventing miscommunication......"I am happy with my curriculum choices and my daily lesson plans, but I am struggling with how to keep the 2 yr old entertained during our mornings".......will lead to a much different conversation than...."I am so exhausted that I can't think straight. We aren't getting all our schoolwork done, and I'm worried that the kids are getting behind. How do you get through everything with all of your kids everyday?"

FWIW, I try not to discuss homeschooling with other homeschoolers IRL bc I rarely have any overlap in actual academic goals with the homeschoolers I know. But, if I do get into a conversation and the other moms are discussing academic rigor, high expectations, and long-term goals for their kids with the underlying message that lists of preschool and primary grade subjects are the only path there, I will interject that that is a path but not the only one that leads to equally high-achieving outcomes. Definitely no guilt or need to feel better on my part. The underlying assumption that only more is better or the only approach leading to high-levels of achievement is flawed. I will point that out. It is not a judgment on what they are doing. It is simply a fact. 

ETA: I wanted to add that I am very much a type A personality, not type B.  I am pretty sure my kids would die laughing if anyone suggested to them that they have a type B personality for a mom! Don't conflate long schools days with academic rigor. Short school days are not synonymous with not being academically oriented. 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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I find it odd that people would have such a strict idea about 20 min.  30 min to me is pretty close to 20!  IN any cases, I do CM and 20 min is clearly to me a guideline.  The real idea is that you want your kids to be able to focus on the lesson without becoming tired/distracted.  Even many adults can only focus for 40 min or so on one thing and then they need to take a break.  The goal here was not to undermine developing a good habit of attention - kids that get used to being distracted during a lesson are getting used to a bad habit.  The underlying idea is that in these early grades, developing good habits, including good academic habits, is as or more important than other skills and than any content you learn.  It's good habits that give the freedom to be a learner throughout life.

If your kids focus well for 30 min than you aren't creating that kind of problem.  If they can oly focus for 10, than 20 is too long. (My ds9, in grade 2, can really only focus for about 10 min for some subjects.  And he will often need to leave his seat-work and come back to it during the day.  In summer he often goes out for a run, it's trickier this time of year.)

Different kinds of lessons factor into it as well.  A phonics lesson requires a kind of focus that is more difficult for young people to sustain.  Listening to a story, or doing nature study, is a different thing altogether.

Lessons that are consistently too short for the child are developing other bad habits.

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1 hour ago, Bluegoat said:

If your kids focus well for 30 min

I know, I'm just laughing because I so haven't had that child. LOL  But yeah, if the kid can do it and is engaged and having fun, go for it. It's a scenario some moms DREAM of! :biggrin:

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If the context of the 20 min was a Consistency Bootcamp - maybe it's being suggested as a productivity technique.  Just like the Pomodoro Technique asks you to set a timer and work for 25 minutes before you get a short break.  The promise of a break & a timer signaling a firm end to lessons can be motivating to some kiddos.  Or on the flip side, if you are having a hard time as a teacher getting to subject XYZ, you can aim for "just" 20 min/day rather than some longer, ideal time period.  Once the habit is established, then it might be easier to lengthen the lesson time.

Just trying to think outside of the box here .....

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Yes, you can do too much following WTM. But that doesn't mean following WTM is doing too much. It will depend on each child and family. The reccomendations are really good, and accurate for those that want an academic homeschool for the younger years. 

I have found that many times people will idolize no formal or little formal work in the young years. But many times people who follow classical or traditional homeschooling still have lots of down time during the day. There isn't a right way. Each child is different and each family has different needs. 

I have found it is better for me and my home to think through and write out my goals, philosophy, and methods. Then my ideas are thought out, and I am less bothered by what others say or do, and less pulled by new curriculum out there. 

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If there are daily tears, yelling, and struggle, you are doing too much and too difficult. 

If work is being done so quick and easy that there is no little amounts of struggle, it is too easy and not enough. 

The balance is in finding the work load that provides a small amount of struggle and provides practice of known material to gain mastery. That balance is the right amount of work. 

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