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Noreen Claire

Can you tell me a little about your 5th grader's daily routine?

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I would like to tweak DS10's daily schedule. I feel like he's doing too much, but I also feel like we're missing things that could be important. Could you tell me a bit about your 5th grader's daily routine?

For instance, what time do they get up? How much time do they spend on school work? How often do they get outside, and how much daily physical activity? Do they finish work at night/on the weekend? When do they do their assigned reading and/or free reading? When do they go to bed, and how much screen time do they get (outside of academic use)?

Things overall are going well so far this year, but I feel like we're missing a few things that we've done in past years OR have always wanted to include (art, poetry and Shakespeare read-alouds, music appreciation and musical instruction, more outside time, etc). I'm just looking for ideas on how we could change it up a bit, and also give him some idea of what other 5th graders are doing at home. We don't have many homeschoolers around us at all, and even fewer that are either past 1st grade or not unschoolers. Plus, we've got some pre-puberty hormone moodiness and brain-fog at work, and he grew two clothes sizes and four shoe sizes since last fall, so that's fun...

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It's been a long time since I had a 5th grader, but I did want to mention that over my dd's entire homeschooling career, she never had to finish work at night or on the weekend.  That is very specifically one of the perks of homeschooling, in my opinion.

30 minutes of reading to herself was always done at the end of the school day on the couch.  Her day, including the reading, never went past 3pm and usually ended closer to 1:30.  Again, all throughout her homeschooling.  

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1 hour ago, Noreen Claire said:

For instance, what time do they get up? How much time do they spend on school work? How often do they get outside, and how much daily physical activity? Do they finish work at night/on the weekend? When do they do their assigned reading and/or free reading? When do they go to bed, and how much screen time do they get (outside of academic use)?

Dd gets up at 7:30 (new alarm clock, by her choice) and dies some free reading while waiting for breakfast. She starts school at 8:45, works until about 12, break for lunch until 1, then finishes between 1 and 3.

She rarely chooses to go outside, but she does have ballet 4.5 his a week, plus 2 hours rehearsal.

Besides reading there is nothing that requires regular attention outside of school time. Sometimes, though, subjects stretch beyond their allotted schedule times in order to make sufficient progress. This is pretty easy because her siblings are at the table for a longer period, so she isn't the only one sitting there. Also, some of the subjects in her schedule consistently take less time than they are scheduled, so there is some flex time.

When she has assigned reading she does it daily (literature) or bi-weekly (history), generally whenever she feels like it during the day, often at the end. If I'm lucky in my book choice she gets to a point in the book where she likes it enough to sit and keep reading to the end. Free reading happens in the morning, at lunch, and some afternoons and evenings. We usually go to bed at 10 due to sibling extracurricular schedules. Screen time here can happen m/w/f between 3 and 8 and on the weekends after 12. School work has to be done, chores can't be neglected, outside activities and opportunities for human interaction take precedence.

She patiently and consistently lobbied for an end to piano instruction, so that stopped this year. She suggested she would prefer drawing instead, so she does that. Poetry tea happens every Thursday and everyone looks forward to the cookies and tea.

This is all similar to what my older two did. I used their old schedule to build hers. One difference is that 5th grade doesn't seem like as big a deal to me now as it did back then. 😀

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Last year my 5th grader got up at 7:30 and got ready, did chores, etc. We started morning meeting at 8:45, which included a hymn, poetry, and 1 other "extra", like art or music appreciation, philosophy, devotions, etc. Then we all did math.

She would then work on her "on her own" subjects until around 11 when I would do grammar/composition and spelling with her. 

I read aloud to them all while they ate, them we watched CNN10, then we took a break til 2. She usually played outside with her younger sister during break.

After break she usually had some on her own subjects left, and I did science with her. Usually she was completely done by 3:30 or 4. So 5 hours max of schoolwork, and that included reading for 45 min from a reading list I gave her.

The rest of the day was mostly free play with her younger sister, outside or upstairs. She also read for fun a lot.

After supper she did chores and practiced piano. Bedtime was 9.

The above was our schedule 4 days/week. The 5th weekday was math and art, then extracurriculars (speech and debate club, PE at the private school) and helping me grocery shop.

We almost never do schoolwork in the evenings or weekends until high school. And even then it's usually because their school day got used for different things, not because they had that many more hours of school work.

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Our timing sounds similar to Susan C's - I aim to start around 9, although the schedule shifts sometimes if older kid's ball schedule causes us to get home late.  We plan what we do each day of the week on the first day of school, so the kids can manage their subjects in whatever order they prefer.  I encourage them to do reading-based lessons while they eat sometimes - depending on the kid and the day, that could be lit, history, or science.  Both of my kids do Science Olympiad, so sometimes watching science videos for their events gets done over lunch.  We usually finish between 1 and 3 for 5th grade - some days it's earlier, and some days they lollygag until 5, but I aim for being done by 2.  Both of my kids are pretty good to do whatever is on the list, so if I wanted to do poetry or read-alouds, I'd just put it on a day.  But, there are definitely trade-offs.  Science Olympiad gets several hours each week, and at my house that probably comes at the expense of art and maybe literature.  We do some art and literature and they've taken art classes at co-op, but when they finish school, my kids will know more science and less about art...and that's OK.  I think there is probably a limit to how well versed you can be about everything and not be stressed. 

As for social and outside time - the 5th grader does karate 3-6 hrs/week so there is a good bit of activity, with social time before and after.  We also have a co-op day, which is social and also has a PE class (and choir for my musical kid).  This kid takes lessons for a musical instrument (by choice) while my non-musical kid did more music appreciation/history stuff at that age.  They both were also in a handbell choir at church from grades 3-5, so they have exposure to group music.  My older used to spend at least an hour wandering around outside most days and also time practicing sports at that age, and actually still does even though kiddo is older.  Younger doesn't want to play outside too much these days, but is often stuck at baseball games and runs around with other siblings.  Science Olympiad is done in pairs, so there is also a social aspect to those practices.  

We almost never do work at night or weekends at this age unless it was something different like a museum visit or concert.  My middle schooler, on the other hand, often does some work on Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon to take some of the pressure off the week.  

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It's been ages since DSs were 5th grade, but we were more relaxed. Also, DS#2 had LDs such that he could only handle so much concentrated school time -- about 4.5 hours at that age -- and then he was DONE. A lot of our subjects were still done together to help him with focus, and as read-alouds, to extend his working limit. Fortunately, because I enforced no interruptions from phone or visitors, we could stay pretty focused by 5th grade and work with just a few 5-minute breaks, each time we shifted to a new subject. I alternated writing and non-writing subjects to help him, since writing was such a hard task for him. Also, not all subjects were were done every day, so that gave me flexibility for alternating subjects. Our schedule roughly looked like:

8:30-9:00am = breakfast/clean-up, personal hygiene, a few light morning chores
9am -12:00pm = together time (Bible, Logic, miscellaneous), core (LA + Math) work, and usually Geography
12:00-1:00pm = lunch
1:00-2:30pm = non-core (History, Science), and last short bites of Writing and Math (like, math facts)

5x/week = bible, reading, math, spelling
4x/week = writing, science, history
3x/week = grammar, handwriting, logic
2x/week = vocabulary, geography
1x/week = homeschool support group outings, art/music, bigger projects or experiments, catch-up, educational games/etc.

re: after school activities
After school was done, there was a lot of outdoor free play with brother and with neighbor children, building with Legos, imaginative play, fiddling around with personal interest projects, free choice activities such as drawing cartoons, reading, etc. About 2x/week we went out for some sport activity/practice and the homeschool support group activities. We went to the library about once a week or every two weeks. Sometimes after school we would do family outings -- go for a hike, to a museum, etc. Starting about 5th grade, about once every 1-2 weeks DSs would have a friend over, or would go to a friend's house for the afternoon for play.

re: bedtime
I honestly can't recall (too long ago!), but I would guess it was about 8:45-9:00, with the option of lights on for another 30 minutes if he wanted to read in bed. DS#2 had a dreadful time with sleep all growing up, so he often was awake and tossing and turning for hours after lights out. 😞 He also was NOT a morning person, so that's one reason we started a bit later, to give him more of a chance to catch up on sleep. He would usually sleep until 8:00-8:15, and then need a good 30-60 minutes to fully "wake up" and be ready to think.

re: homework
Never. The only thing that happened outside of school hours that were 'school-ish' -- family read-alouds in the evenings, and some family outings to educational events/places. Since DS had LDs and was "behind" in Math and several LA areas (up into high school), we just picked up where we left off, and I didn't worry about it. If we had really needed to, we could have schooled into the summer to "catch up".

re: screen use
During the rare/occasional bad weather, I would have a documentary or educational video handy. Each DS was allowed 1 hour on each of Fri/Sat/Sun for video gaming -- although several times a week during school each DS would have 30 minutes for an educational computer game -- things like the Shepperd Software geography games, or logic or math games.

re: physical activity
The recreational sports DSs did during elementary years included: baseball through the YMCA/NYS, floor hockey and basketball through Parks & Rec, ice skating lessons, and fencing lessons -- all of those met only 1-2x/week. We also went to the pool a lot all summer as a family, and did a lot of camping and hiking and nature walks year-round.

re: not getting to everything
Neither DS played/practiced an instrument, or got heavily into art or drama, or heavily did a sport (stayed at recreational level). We did not do Latin or a Foreign Language. We were more bare bones than I would have wished, BUT... that's what I could manage with our extenuating life circumstances -- DS#2 had LDs, plus I had to be mindful of my own mental health needs, plus DH's work as a firefighter on 24-hour shifts meant that I was a single mom 1/3 of the time, and trying to keep things quiet or take DSs on outings for another 1/3 of the time to allow DH to rest/recover.

That last paragraph I just wrote is what has to be kept in mind in thinking you "could/should do more" -- you have your own unique circumstances and demands, and it may be that your 5th grade DS and YOU are working at maximum efficiency right now. Sometimes, we just have to let go of some of the things on our wish list because we have to deal with the reality before us. 😉 

re: tweaking
On the other hand, if you are doing all subjects every day, then I would encourage you to tweak by reducing how frequently some subjects are done so you can rotate in some other things you want to do 1-2x/week. Or, consider doing some things as units. Take 6 (or 9 or 12 weeks) to do a unit of science, while putting history aside. Then switch, and do a unit of history while setting aside science. The time that you previously used for that "set aside" subject could then be used to add in something you really want to get to. As I recall, you school year-round, so I think that tweaking in either of these ways would work fine for your family and you'd still be on-grade-level with no problems. 😉

BEST of luck! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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5 hours ago, Noreen Claire said:

I would like to tweak DS10's daily schedule. I feel like he's doing too much, but I also feel like we're missing things that could be important. Could you tell me a bit about your 5th grader's daily routine?

For instance, what time do they get up? How much time do they spend on school work? How often do they get outside, and how much daily physical activity? Do they finish work at night/on the weekend? When do they do their assigned reading and/or free reading? When do they go to bed, and how much screen time do they get (outside of academic use)?

Things overall are going well so far this year, but I feel like we're missing a few things that we've done in past years OR have always wanted to include (art, poetry and Shakespeare read-alouds, music appreciation and musical instruction, more outside time, etc). I'm just looking for ideas on how we could change it up a bit, and also give him some idea of what other 5th graders are doing at home. We don't have many homeschoolers around us at all, and even fewer that are either past 1st grade or not unschoolers. Plus, we've got some pre-puberty hormone moodiness and brain-fog at work, and he grew two clothes sizes and four shoe sizes since last fall, so that's fun...

 

Hi from another North of Bostoner!

My older kids (6th,5th,4th grades) are typically "done by one" --- at least, that's the goal.  We don't always meet it.  

Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Fri all follow a similar schedule.  

  • Everyone is up at 7, and they begin chores and the independent work on their list (it varies but usually includes piano practice, reading, spelling, all memory work practice, and math flashcards, and Bible homework). An aside: Ds12 begins right away with his PEW --Parent at Elbow-- subjects (Math, Dyslexia program, Latin, and Logic); he has learning challenges so we hit his hard subjects and get 'em done right away, which he likes..
  • Then breakfast happens whenever I'm showered and ready to serve it (usually about 9), and we listen to history while we eat it (doing oral narrations).
  • This is followed by Morning Gathering (for reviewing memory work together, including poetry, and a family devotional).
  • Then I continue to cycle through the remaining kids' PEW sessions (Math, and for my littles, Reading) and they continue to work on their independent stuff if they aren't with me,  playing only if independent work is done.
  •  Finally we hit Group Time at the white board for the big kids.  This includes Grammar, Spelling, and dictation/copywork.  Lunch is at 1 and we listen to audios for science while we eat.  
  • Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Friday afternoons are for any sports/organized activities or (more often) independent play.  We do have piano lessons one afternoon a week for everyone, but the teacher comes to our home so it's easy to accomplish. I try to really limit outside stuff because most of us are introverts who quickly burn out if we don't get enough down time. 🙂

Wednesday morning differs:

  • it is our Bible study day, which includes classes for all the kids and myself.
  • I try to schedule most appointments on Wednesday so we can do them as we travel back from Bible study.
  • Then Wednesday afternoons we aim to do Fine Arts (picture studies and what not).  

Also:

  • We don't do much with screens.  The kids watch shows while I cook dinner occasionally, or movies on weekends, but that's about it. The boredom has inspired them to spend more time outside or to learn handicrafts or to read for "fun" or to learn to cook (which I especially like). 
  • Everyone is in bed at 8pm, but they can use headlamps to read until 9, and when given the choice between reading or sleeping, reading usually wins. 😉
  • Sports for us right now is just Cross-Country track. It's easy and training is flexible (the kids just run with my DH). I'm not sure I could swing soccer or basketball in our schedule.  
  • We have pre-pubescent moodiness too, now. When the snow hits, I'm planning on joining the Y for the first time, just to get everyone more physical activity during the winter.  Hoping we can orchestrate meet-ups with a few other homeschooling friends at the Y.  
  • Weekends are hanging out with Dh.  No school.
  • We school year-round (though summer is definitely much more relaxed).

 

 

 

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DS is 9.5, but here's his routine.  We school 4 days a week at home, with a 5th optional field trip.  And, numbers are approximate but this is very close to how he likes it.

7am: wake, eat breakfast, do chores, relax until 8.
8am: violin, followed by French.  French is usually a worksheet or video, about 10 minutes tops.
8:30-9:20: math.  He does block play with Gattegno, followed by the written work, and then a chapter of LoFred Fractions.  That's 3 days a week.  The 4th is games.
9:30-10:30: Language arts: ELTL (literature, copywork, grammar, writing), memorization (poetry or a speech), handwriting, dictation, and reading a selection in an Elson reader.  He may not choose to do all of his reading this hour, so some might spill over into lunch or he'll read at night.
10:40-11:10ish: Latin For Children - flashcards, lesson, and activity book
Lunch
12:30-1:15: history
1:30-2:00: art (Paper Sloyd, Drawing With Children, Form Drawing, rotating between the 3) and a composer study one day a week with Classicsforkids.com I have our pace set with art so that we spend two weeks on each project.  Like, last week he learned how to make a picture frame in Paper Sloyd.  He used scrap paper and it turned out okay.  This week he did the same project with nicer scrapbooking paper and had more confidence in how it would end up. 
2:00-2:30: science

4:20-7pm: hockey 3 nights a week, with doing open skate at lunch time one weekday, because rinks are weird and they are open for public skating when only the old people can go. 1 night a month he has a book club, and he's in 4H.

During his off time ds plays on our street: he rollerblades, uses the slack lines we have hanging between trees, plays basketball, hits baseballs into a net..

DS doesn't get a lot of screen time during the school week.  On weekends we're more relaxed and he's allowed to play video games, but it's also family time and he has hockey games, usually one a nice drive from the house (I'm cheering because the next is in Taunton and I didn't have to look it up on a map. 😄 ).  He goes to bed at 8 with lights out by 9pm.

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Peter is an early to bed, early to rise kind of guy.  He wakes up around 5:30am and reads in his room for about an hour. 

At 6:30 he showers and then starts on his school work.  He starts with literature because the main floor is still quiet at that time so he can concentrate.

At 7:15 I have breakfast on the table.  All the kids eat while listening to poetry and watching a short vocabulary video, CNN10, and the free BrainPop videos in English and Spanish.

After breakfast, kitchen tidying, and tooth brushing, the kids start working on their school lists.  A typical day for Peter might include math, writing, piano, typing, spelling and Spanish.  Throughout the week he also covers: science (will be history next semester), grammar, logic, SAT/ACT practice, and a home-grown cultural geography course.  We school 7 days a week because 1) my kids do not handle unstructured time well, and 2) they all do better with shorter lessons every day rather than longer lessons less often.

Around 10am we start to get ready for our daily extracurricular.  Peter has speech therapy, chess club, rock climbing twice a week, three hours of Spanish immersion, parkour, comic drawing and art.  We end up doing quite a bit of driving, so we use that time for additional school.  They listen to their science textbook twice a week, learn about and listen to classical music, watch their Spanish lessons and listen to several hours of an audiobook.

We are done with school, extracurriculars, and lunch around 2pm (closer to 1pm on three days, closer to 3pm on two days).  The kids have "quiet time" until 3:30 and then free play until dinner at 5.  They spend that time outside a couple days a week - more when the weather is nice and less in the middle of the winter.  About once a week I will let them play on screens during that time...that and about 2 hours of TV over the weekend is pretty much the only non-school screen time they get each week.

After dinner, Peter gets ready for bed, and then can watch a Great Courses lecture if he wants.  Around 6:30pm he heads to his room to read and it is lights out at 7:30.

I put a lot of thought into our daily and weekly plans in order to maintain a healthy balance in my kids' lives...they struggle with a lot of neurodevelopmental and mental health challenges, so need a lot of help with regulation.  I know that in a typical week, of his ~100 waking hours, Peter spends about 14 hours free reading, about 20 hours on at-home school, about 5 hours on car school, about 8 hours on educational extracurriculars, about 3 hours on PE extracurriculars and about 4 hours on non-school screens.  That leaves him almost half of his time for non-screen free play, chores, meals, skyping with his grandparents, hygiene, playing outside, self-initiated projects, helping in the kitchen, playing with friends, going to the park and library, etc.

Wendy

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My 5th grader is an owl compared to your all’s  kids! 

She usually starts school around 10 and is done by 2ish with breaks. She also chooses to work ahead the night before on some independent assignments (maybe an hours’ worth?) so she doesn’t have to get up quite as early in the morning! She literally can’t fall asleep before 11-12 so this has been a good compromise for her this year.

Extra activities are martial arts (5 hrs a week) and spelling (7 hr a week - aiming for NSB).  She’s very active and social and can usually be found outside with friends during her free time. She has asked for voice lessons and I am trying to figure out how we can fit it in.  She loves screens and sometimes has a difficult time self regulating that so we have been working on that a bit recently. Oh, and we have homeschool enrichment one afternoon a week where she takes classes and hangs out with friends.

 

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She gets up between 8-9 and it's her job to make breakfast for herself and her brother (microwave/toaster), and then they can play until our brains are ready for school. 

M/W/F She'll do school from 11-2 and usually eats lunch while working. Then she gets ready for gym and goes to gym from 3:30-7:30. She gets screen time on whichever half of the carpool I drive. Come home and *maybe* I let her veg on a screen while I get dinner ready.

Tuesdays are heavy school days with 5-6 hours of work, then chores, then if everything is done she can have more than usual screen time that evening. 

Thursdays we usually have Girl Scouts from 1-4, so we usually get a subject or two done before and the rest after - totaling probably 4 hours. 

Then eats dinner, and in bed by 9 (non gym nights it's 8:30) with the loose goal of being done with everyone's read alouds by 9:30. 

We have so little wiggle room in the schedule that we almost always spend some time on school on Saturday or Sunday so she doesn't get behind. Doing school on the weekends is something we've always done, so it doesn't seem weird or harsh to her and lets her schedule be a little more even instead of being rushed all week. 

She does 15 hours of gymnastics a week, and tons of physical play - she begs for an extra ninja warrior class whenever I can afford it. Her Girl Scout troop is very active, and she's involved in robotics once a month through GS too. I'd say she gets 5-6 hours of screen time a week, but if we have a lazy Sunday after two weeks of hectic craziness, sometimes we all become screen zombies and lay around ALL day. Screens are heavily dependent on whether she did all her school and chores in a timely manner. 

I sometimes feel bad that we don't do more with the arts. She's very artistic and loves drawing, painting and sculpting (and sewing) and she does tons of it. We are a house packed to the gills with craft supplies. But whenever I suggest a class she clams up - I think she is afraid to take something she loves and make it work. I may push a little harder next year or sign her up for an art history Outschool class. I think she would like that.

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Thanks, everyone, for sharing your child's schedules with me. I can see that we are pretty typical, and that makes me a bit less worried.

DS10's routine basically the same each day. He's up between 7-7:30am, and finishes breakfast by 8. He gets ready for the day and starts his assigned literature reading (about 30 min). He does the rest of his work in whatever order he pleases. He has an hour of math, an hour of history (M/R) science (T/F) or logic (W), an hour of foreign language (Latin & Portuguese), and about an hour for grammar, spelling, cursive, and writing (which is, ironically, done orally).  We break for lunch around 11:30 or 12:00, and he's always finished his work for the day between 1:00-2:00. On Wednesdays, we drop the grammar, etc and go to the library instead. We have quiet time until 3 or 4 (depending on the kids' moods). He has soccer 3x/week, cross country 2x/week, and a 30 min group piano class at the YMCA 1x/week. If I remember, he does some foreign language review and logic on the weekends, but it's not consistent. He's into bed at 8:30, but can read until 9:30 if he likes. During any free time he reads, listens to audio books, plays outside, helps his dad, or torments his little brothers. He is also an alter server at Saturday mass, and goes to CCD every other Sunday morning.

I would love to get him private lessons for piano, but the money isn't there at the moment. I would really like to institute a 'morning time'-type hour, where we read poetry and Shakespeare and do memory work and whatnot, but I just can't figure out where to fit it in. The kids get 60-90 minutes of tv time after dinner most nights, and I *know* that I could do it then but I'm just too fried at that point. They are SO SO SO SO NOISY and, as I get older, I need more and more quiet time to decompress. 

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DD is up at either 7:30 or 8:30 depending on the day. (None of us are morning people, so this always requires an alarm.) She is an extrovert, and a lot of her schedule is worked around her need to be around others often.

Mondays, she does work for an online class for about an hour, then goes to a 5 hour naturalist/survivalist class. They hike during the class, so there is some exercise built in. After that class, she has a couple chores, then spends an hour at martial arts.

Tuesday and Thursdays are our usual at-home days. There is about 4-5 hours of school work done these days, including attending an online class. Some of her friends are neighbors attending traditional school, so she spends 2-3 hours with them on Tuesdays once they get home. On Thursdays, she has another martial arts class.

Wednesday is a completely out of the house day, with her taking several classes at a homeschool enrichment center. We get home at 5:30, and she has about an hour to spend with friends before dinner.

Friday, she does an hour or two of school work, then we use the afternoon as a regular field trip time. We usually get back around when her friends get home from school or a little later, so she spends a couple hours with them.

Saturdays, she has two hours of Destination Imagination meeting. About half the Sundays, she has 1.5 hours of a Math Circle. She fits in another hour or two of work for her online class sometime over the weekend.

Her “bedtime” is 8:00, but lights out isn’t until 9:30. She reads whatever she likes during that time. We also have a family read aloud (actually, usually listening to audiobooks, because I greatly prefer that to reading aloud) for about a half hour before bedtime.

I would like her to get in more exercise, but she would have to give up something from a pretty packed schedule to do it. There is nothing in the schedule that we’re in agreement on dropping, and it’s not worth the argument of making her give up something she doesn’t want to drop. This may need to change in the future, as I think her ADHD is better regulated when she is getting exercise more consistently.

Edited by Jackie
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3 hours ago, Noreen Claire said:

... I would really like to institute a 'morning time'-type hour, where we read poetry and Shakespeare and do memory work and whatnot, but I just can't figure out where to fit it in. The kids get 60-90 minutes of tv time after dinner most nights, and I *know* that I could do it then but I'm just too fried at that point. They are SO SO SO SO NOISY and, as I get older, I need more and more quiet time to decompress...


You might try for a 15 or 20-minute family time after lunch/quiet time as a gentle way to ease back in to finishing afternoon schooling. If you keep it short, it shouldn't trip up your other work, and you could either rotate through the week with the different extras you want to do (like, Monday is art appreciation, Tuesday is poetry, Thursday and Friday are Shakespeare). Or plan as 4 or 6 week units -- so for 6 weeks, 3x/week for 20 minutes (or 4x/week for 15 min.) right before starting back into afternoon work, do poetry. Next unit: art. Next unit: Shakespeare. Repeat the cycle. That gives you 1 hour a week (from three 20-minute or four 15-minute after-lunch "special focus" segments). That comes out to 4-6 hours per "unit". Which comes out to 12 hours per school year for EACH special focus unit. Eat that elephant one bite at a time. 😉 

Edited by Lori D.
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15 hours ago, Noreen Claire said:

 

 I have 4 kids between 10-12.

They are woken up at 8:15 for a pretty strict 8:30 prayer and breakfast (before work for dad).  1 is always up before that by a good hour, 1 is never awake by then, and the other two fluctate.

We start morning reading somewhere around 9, and then I cycle through the kids for individual or small group lessons.   Whoever's not working with me is theoretically working by themselves from their checklist.  As long as they stayed on task, we take a break to eat at 11/12, and are finished by 1.  So that's 4 hours of school.  Sometimes they aren't done by 1, because they didn't stay on task but as long as they are done by dinner I don't sweat it.  One of my boys in particular likes to take many breaks 🤷

Outside time fluctuates.  My sporty boy is outside every day, at least 2-3 hours, including 2x weekly soccer.  My other two boys are outside most nice days, even if it's just playing in the street.  My girl gets out on Tuesday, family hiking day, and that's about it.

Screen time is pretty monitored.  They get 5 hrs a week to spend how they wish and when they wish (tv, movie, video game, internet ect) as long as it's AFTER school work is accomplished.  I don't count the monthly or so family movie, that's bonus.

"Assigned" reading is 10 minutes per grade, until they hit an hour a day.  It's part of their independant work so is done during school time while I'm working with sibs.  I rarely assign books, though.  Mostly I let them free range from good book lists I create for them, and from their own chosen and approved books.

Free reading is done whenever.  Quiet time is 8 and they can stay up until 9 reading quietly, so that's a popular time.  2 always stay up, 1 never, and 1 it depends on how tired he is.

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Ours is kind of crazy but I will try.

Most days I wake her around 9.  Eats breakfast etc.  

Mon & Thursday she has orchestra and is gone from about 9:45-11:15.

Wed & Friday she has play practice from 2-3:30.

Friday she has LEGO Robotics, Archery, and science from 10-1:45

We do writing and history all together Mon, Tues & Thursdays during the babies nap 11:30-1:00.

she does the rest of her work math, reading, viola practice  and chores whenever It fits.  No screens or anything until her work is done.

Than Tues, Wed, & Thur she has gymnastics practice from 4-8pm 

She gets home about 8:30 eats if she is hungry, watches a show, showers and goes to bed around 9:30.

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On 10/21/2019 at 11:08 PM, Lori D. said:


You might try for a 15 or 20-minute family time after lunch/quiet time as a gentle way to ease back in to finishing afternoon schooling. If you keep it short, it shouldn't trip up your other work, and you could either rotate through the week with the different extras you want to do (like, Monday is art appreciation, Tuesday is poetry, Thursday and Friday are Shakespeare). Or plan as 4 or 6 week units -- so for 6 weeks, 3x/week for 20 minutes (or 4x/week for 15 min.) right before starting back into afternoon work, do poetry. Next unit: art. Next unit: Shakespeare. Repeat the cycle. That gives you 1 hour a week (from three 20-minute or four 15-minute after-lunch "special focus" segments). That comes out to 4-6 hours per "unit". Which comes out to 12 hours per school year for EACH special focus unit. Eat that elephant one bite at a time. 😉 

Yes! No need to carve out an hour everyday - we do 15 minutes-ish of morning meeting and in the past few years we have covered almost all of the Poetry for Young People series, The Story of the Orchestra, Children's Book of Art, Cool Philosophy, and various devotionals. You can cover quite a lot of ground in just a little bit of consistent time every day.

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Just as a contrast.  I work from 6 to 9 am while the kids sleep/read/watch screens.  Then I eat while they do music and hygiene stuff.  They do maths and writing with me there (fairly hands on for ds10 whose main ASD issue is low frustration threshold and bad handling of it).  Then we do science or history and go for a walk (15 to 30 mins). Tues we have early lunch and a music lesson instead.  Mon and Thurs I go to work and the kids do more watching screens - I would like to insist on documentaries but it doesn't work unless I am watching so I say some have to be loosely educational. We we get another hour after lunch then work and ballet.  Mon we have tap and judo from 5.30 to 7.30. Fri we sometimes have a homeschool thing late afternoon. Kids go to bed at 8.30 so I can have a break before working from 9.30 to 11.30.  Often I just fall asleep on the couch and end up working at 3 am.  It is not what I want but school doesn't work for ds10.  Ds12 is just having a break and will start high school next year a couple of blocks away.

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