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Evanthe

So, I'm trying the Loop Schedule....

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and I've tried this once before, but I just feel like I'm spinning my wheels or something??  I feel disorganized.  Do I just have too many subjects?  Am I accomplishing more than I think I am?  We started Morning Basket and it's been wonderful ? but I feel like we're not making much progress throughout the week.  Maybe my expectations are too high for how much we should be getting done during the week.  My kids are actually enjoying everything - a lot.

Does anyone do a Loop Schedule?  Do you have any tips?  

This is only our second week with our new stuff, so I feel disoriented anyway.  Also, one kid graduated high school and another started Kindergarten, so my brain is just really confused.  It's hard for my brain to switch from teaching 12th grade to teaching Kindergarten.

Does anyone want to see our schedule?

Kindergartener is doing Morning Basket + My Father's World.  But, he's not the problem.

Older kids are doing:

Daily: 

  • Morning Basket (read-aloud, composer study, artist study, geography, hymn study)
  • Math

 

Then, here's our Loop:

  • Bible
  • Literature
  • Writing
  • Grammar/Spelling
  • Science Biography
  • Chemistry
  • German and/or Latin
  • Art

 

Fridays we do PE and music.  

Why do I feel so disorganized and disjointed with the Loop Schedule??  Part of the problem may be Chemistry.  It takes us forever.....  I'm running two chemistry kits at once - the Intro to Chemistry kit (for the 12 year-old) and the MicroChem Kit (for the teens) from Home Science Tools.  The MicroChem labs take a lot of time.  We spent two hours just on the chromatography lab last week.  I think I stupidly expected to get through these chemistry labs in about 8 weeks and now I think it's unrealistic.  The Intro kit has 27 labs  and the MicroChem kit has 17 labs, so that's almost 50 labs that I'm running in 8 weeks.  Maybe I'm being unrealistic.

Thanks for any advice/tips on the Loop Schedule thing.  I don't understand why I'm never able to pull this off!

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When we tried to do a long loop like you have listed, it failed epically. Too much time passed between one lesson of a topic & the next lesson of that same topic. It was too unpredictable for me to feel well-prepared day to day. What we are trying now, which appears to be working beautifully (though we’re only a week in so time will tell) is a combination of a block schedule & looping. 

Our blocks are Language Arts, Mathematics, Reading, Game-Schooling, & Elective.

Within those blocks, there are loops. The Language Arts block rotates through spelling, cursive, & composition. Occasionally I will change what is in the loop (for example, swapping cursive for grammar) but at one time only a few things are going on & we always cover Language Arts in some form.

Mathematics may switch from our primary curriculum to our secondary curriculum if DS needs a break from the high challenge level, or to a special topic as the opportunity arises - but math is always a part of our day.

Reading & Game-Schooling are consistent.

Elective is our biggest loop, though it still only includes four subjects: science, history, studio arts, & practical arts. Right now our science is a survey course, our history is late ancient to early Middle Ages, our studio arts are history-linked, & our practical art is culinary. Like the Language Arts loop those subtopics may change later, but they would be swapped for other items rather than tacked onto the end of the list. 

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2 hours ago, Evanthe said:

Daily: 

  • Morning Basket (read-aloud, composer study, artist study, geography, hymn study)
  • Math

Then, here's our Loop:

  • Bible
  • Literature
  • Writing
  • Grammar/Spelling
  • Science Biography
  • Chemistry
  • German and/or Latin
  • Art

So if I were to take your subjects & Fit them into a mixed block/loop system it would look more like this: 

Morning Basket

Math

LA Loop (literature, writing, spelling / grammar)

Science Loop (biography, chemistry)

Elective Loop (Bible, German, Art, Latin)

Edited by Expat_Mama_Shelli
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2 hours ago, Evanthe said:

and I've tried this once before, but I just feel like I'm spinning my wheels or something??  I feel disorganized.  Do I just have too many subjects?  Am I accomplishing more than I think I am?  We started Morning Basket and it's been wonderful ? but I feel like we're not making much progress throughout the week.  Maybe my expectations are too high for how much we should be getting done during the week.  My kids are actually enjoying everything - a lot.

Does anyone do a Loop Schedule?  Do you have any tips?  

This is only our second week with our new stuff, so I feel disoriented anyway.  Also, one kid graduated high school and another started Kindergarten, so my brain is just really confused.  It's hard for my brain to switch from teaching 12th grade to teaching Kindergarten.

Does anyone want to see our schedule?

Kindergartener is doing Morning Basket + My Father's World.  But, he's not the problem.

Older kids are doing:

Daily: 

  • Morning Basket (read-aloud, composer study, artist study, geography, hymn study)
  • Math

 

Then, here's our Loop:

  • Bible
  • Literature
  • Writing
  • Grammar/Spelling
  • Science Biography
  • Chemistry
  • German and/or Latin
  • Art

 

Fridays we do PE and music.  

Why do I feel so disorganized and disjointed with the Loop Schedule??  Part of the problem may be Chemistry.  It takes us forever.....  I'm running two chemistry kits at once - the Intro to Chemistry kit (for the 12 year-old) and the MicroChem Kit (for the teens) from Home Science Tools.  The MicroChem labs take a lot of time.  We spent two hours just on the chromatography lab last week.  I think I stupidly expected to get through these chemistry labs in about 8 weeks and now I think it's unrealistic.  The Intro kit has 27 labs  and the MicroChem kit has 17 labs, so that's almost 50 labs that I'm running in 8 weeks.  Maybe I'm being unrealistic.

Thanks for any advice/tips on the Loop Schedule thing.  I don't understand why I'm never able to pull this off!

With that much chem, would it work to put it at the beginning of the loop or to block schedule it once a week and get it all done in one day and loop schedule the rest of the week?

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I agree with Mama Shelli, instead of one long loop I’d break your list into two or three smaller loops. 
 

For the chemistry I think I’d schedule one day for it per week, then maybe once a month have a “light” week in your other subjects and immerse yourself in the chemistry for the rest of the day. That way your kids are getting regular exposure but you also aren’t worrying about not getting it down. I think 50 labs in 8 weeks is a lot unless the labs really tie together and you can do several in a day. 
 

A friend who is a bit further in her homeschooling journey doesn’t do any science during her “normal” school year and then focuses on it during the summer. It works well for her family and she feels like they are able to go deeper that way. 

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1 hour ago, Rachel said:

I agree with Mama Shelli, instead of one long loop I’d break your list into two or three smaller loops. 
 

For the chemistry I think I’d schedule one day for it per week, then maybe once a month have a “light” week in your other subjects and immerse yourself in the chemistry for the rest of the day. That way your kids are getting regular exposure but you also aren’t worrying about not getting it down. I think 50 labs in 8 weeks is a lot unless the labs really tie together and you can do several in a day. 
 

A friend who is a bit further in her homeschooling journey doesn’t do any science during her “normal” school year and then focuses on it during the summer. It works well for her family and she feels like they are able to go deeper that way. 

I've done that. It was pretty nice to only worry about getting all of the lab stuff together. And we were all stuck inside because of the heat anyway. 

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On 1/12/2020 at 1:16 PM, Shoes+Ships+SealingWax said:

So if I were to take your subjects & Fit them into a mixed block/loop system it would look more like this: 

Morning Basket

Math

LA Loop (literature, writing, spelling / grammar)

Science Loop (biography, chemistry)

Elective Loop (Bible, German, Art, Latin)

 

Ok, I actually had to think about this for two days for me to figure out what this would look like.  Thank-you!!  I'm going to try something like this.

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So, for some reason....the MicroChem labs really wear me out.  I don't know what my problem is.  I don't think I could do more than one of these per day.  The Intro to Chemistry kit labs are much lighter and I'm able to do a couple in a day.  So, I'll probably have to keep chemistry in the loop somewhere.

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One option would be to put chemistry in the loop twice if you want to get to it more often than your loop otherwise allows.

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Listening in because this is exactly what I run into every time we try a loop schedule too.  Love the theory; can't make it work in reality.  It's possible I have too many items on my loop list.  Hope you can update with more info as you try more tweaking--

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Another option is to think of your loop schedule items on more of a "weekly checklist" level, if you want to hit them all at least once in the week. So every day, you say "I'm going to choose 2 or 3 of these to work on based on how I feel, and what else we've got going on," and as long as you hit them all at some point in the week, you can feel good. This works well for me. I'm spontaneous and I hated having to "do the next thing" when it didn't perfectly fit the day. Sometimes no one felt like doing Latin and wanted to do Bible, and I just got sick of trying to deal with the loop. So we did the weekly checklist instead. 

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10 hours ago, Emily ZL said:

Another option is to think of your loop schedule items on more of a "weekly checklist" level, if you want to hit them all at least once in the week. So every day, you say "I'm going to choose 2 or 3 of these to work on based on how I feel, and what else we've got going on," and as long as you hit them all at some point in the week, you can feel good. This works well for me. I'm spontaneous and I hated having to "do the next thing" when it didn't perfectly fit the day. Sometimes no one felt like doing Latin and wanted to do Bible, and I just got sick of trying to deal with the loop. So we did the weekly checklist instead. 

 

This is kinda what's been happening the last two weeks.  And we actually have made a lot of progress with what I've wanted to accomplish.  I think I'm so used to homeschooling with the daily checklist/independent work routine that my new schedule feels very inefficient and it's making me insecure.

I wonder if I just made a weekly checklist for myself and then just worked on things over the week as we felt like it -  if that would make me feel better.   

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On 1/14/2020 at 11:35 AM, vonbon said:

Listening in because this is exactly what I run into every time we try a loop schedule too.  Love the theory; can't make it work in reality.  It's possible I have too many items on my loop list.  Hope you can update with more info as you try more tweaking--

 

Somewhere on these forums from about 3-4 years ago....we used Ambleside Online and I was trying to use the Charlotte Mason method in our homeschool.  We loved everything about it, except I couldn't wrap my brain around how to schedule everything without schooling 6 days a week....and I couldn't wrap my brain around how to assign high school credits using the CM method.  I started some threads about it at the time as we were struggling.

*sigh*. I actually regret giving up on Ambleside and Charlotte Mason.  

Have you seen this blog?  https://ourhabitathome.com/try-something-new-in-your-homeschool-an-introduction-to-loop-scheduling/

I'm spending some time reading the posts.  There are multiple posts about the loop schedule on there.

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On 1/15/2020 at 7:56 PM, Evanthe said:

 

Somewhere on these forums from about 3-4 years ago....we used Ambleside Online and I was trying to use the Charlotte Mason method in our homeschool.  We loved everything about it, except I couldn't wrap my brain around how to schedule everything without schooling 6 days a week....and I couldn't wrap my brain around how to assign high school credits using the CM method.  I started some threads about it at the time as we were struggling.

*sigh*. I actually regret giving up on Ambleside and Charlotte Mason.  

Have you seen this blog?  https://ourhabitathome.com/try-something-new-in-your-homeschool-an-introduction-to-loop-scheduling/

I'm spending some time reading the posts.  There are multiple posts about the loop schedule on there.

I also feel that way about CM. She scheduled her schoolkids for mornings only -- but 6 days per week. We have an excellent drop off program we do on Fridays, so we school only 4 days. I just couldn't see us getting to all of those lessons. And with lots of kids, and babies, I don't have the ability to do what some people say ("It's easy, we just do these subjects from 9-12, then take a break for lunch and play, and these other subjects from 2-4, and we're done!" Yeah, I do not have 5 full hours of instruction time in me to give). I need to be done in 60-90 minutes max for my young kids K-2 and maybe 30-40 max for my older independent kid. I can't be reading out loud with toddlers and babies screaming at me and throwing themselves on my books, which they do.

We do a "daily checklist" of items with my young two in K and 1st: poetry and memory verse (both take 3 minutes or less), math, and handwriting. Then everything else gets done once per week on a checklist. I keep everything on a single sheet of paper with the pages and lessons we must cover.

For my older independent kid in 4th, he does do loops. I have changed them around a lot to fit what I wanted to cover better.  He does a language arts loop that started with copywork, grammar, and spelling. Now it's one week of 3 days Writing and Rhetoric and one day spelling, then an alternate week of 3 days grammar and one day spelling. Poetry, memory, math, and religion are daily (with religion on its own loop). He has a loop of typing and Latin, and a loop of history, science, and geography. So he may only do Latin twice weekly, but I'm happy with his progress. Sometimes we do history twice weekly with science and geography once, while other times we switch it to alternating weeks and just do one full week of geography or science, etc. I think loops are best used like that, per "subject" or per "slot." I know we can only have so many "slots" of subjects on my son's schedule before he really gets overwhelmed with school. Plus he reads so much outside of assignments that I don't think he needs 4 hours of official school work.

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