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CuriousMomof3

How much work should a 7th grader be doing?

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I am trying to figure out a new homeschool schedule, our old one kind of fell apart, and I've already gotten lots of help with my youngest. This is about my oldest, who is 12 and in 7th grade, and possibly the sweetest kid on the planet.  He is generally a very hard working, compliant, eager to please kind of kid, and has always been like that, but his worry about what's going on with his brother is bringing out those qualities even more. He's not an academically talented kid.  He's approximately on grade level, but he puts in a great deal of effort to be there, because it doesn't come easily to him.  So, while I'm not particularly concerned about my youngest falling behind, I do worry about it for him, especially because high school is coming up soon.  

Anyway, because he's so compliant and willing to work independently, I feel like I could ask him to do 12 hours of work a day, and he'd do it.  Not that I plan to do that, but it means that I have more flexibility than I do with his brothers.  So, I'm curious how much people do think is enough?  Both per subject, and overall?  

Also, if you could tell me what you're counting as "school" that would be helpful.  For example, my husband has been taking DS12 and DS9 out for an hour to two hours a day of exercise, something he thinks (and I agree) is key to their mental health right now.  DS12 also spends about an hour a day on music, and takes a couple music lessons a week.  So, whether or not you include P.E. and music as "school" vs. extracurriculars would be helpful.   

I should note, that my guess is that we'll end up on the "light" end.  

 

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Since this is only temporary, I wouldn't worry about getting behind. Your family has a lot going on and I agree with your dh that other priorities exist for their mental health.

I would have him do 1 math lesson/day.  Read 45 mins for literature. Read/notes combined for 45 mins each of history and science. (any note-taking strategy he is used to or Cornell style if he has never taken notes from reading).  Maybe 1 additional writing assignment spread across a couple of weeks (1 week researching/taking notes and 1 week writing.)  That would be more than "light," so you could even cut back on that much.

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6 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Since this is only temporary, I wouldn't worry about getting behind. Your family has a lot going on and I agree with your dh that other priorities exist for their mental health.

I agree 100% with my husband too.  I'm really glad he's doing that with them.  I'm just not entirely clear on whether I consider that "school".  So, if you asked me how much "school" my 9 year old did today, I could say 4 hours (and I did count these things as school to report to the state), but what that really meant is that he played street hockey with Dad for 2 hours, listened to some read alouds at lunch and before bed, and made the pizza for dinner.  All great things, but different from 4 hours of Latin, math and handwriting, which is what I sometimes see here.  

6 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I would have him do 1 math lesson/day.  Read 45 mins for literature. Read/notes combined for 45 mins each of history and science. (any note-taking strategy he is used to or Cornell style if he has never taken notes from reading).  Maybe 1 additional writing assignment spread across a couple of weeks (1 week researching/taking notes and 1 week writing.)  That would be more than "light," so you could even cut back on that much.

 

That's really helpful.  To be honest, we haven't done anything involving taking notes.   To give you a sense of what he's been doing:  Totals are weekly, just because there tends to be days when nothing happens, and days when a lot happens. 

Math (5 hours): He's been working with a math tutor 3 times a week, and my guess is that they're doing about the equivalent of 2 lessons a day.  They've been following the sequence of the book, but not doing the actual activities.  So, the math tutor reads the lesson and then comes up with a more fun or better way to do it.  I hear lots of laughing, and so I'm kind of staying out of the way. In theory, he's supposed to be getting about 90 minutes a session.  In reality, it depends on his brother's energy level (e.g. if DS10's session goes long or gets cut short).  Also, our tutor has a tendency to overstay.  Tonight he was supposed to be done at 9, and at 10:15 they finally stopped.  I think they were both having too much fun to stop, and I didn't see a reason to make them.

Science (3 hours): DS10 is really into chemistry right now, and DS12 is wanting time with his brother, so he's ended up reading a fair amount of it with his brother.  At this point, they're almost done with Life of Fred Chemistry (with me reading aloud and DS10 doing the work), and Ellen McHenry (with DS12 reading to DS10, and then DS12 doing the work).  We'll see what they do next.  We haven't done any note taking.

History (4 hours): We've just done read alouds at this point, with all three kids together.  No output from any of them.  

Literature (4 hours) : We've been reading books from Memoria Press, usually taking turns reading chapters to each other, and then he answers the questions on his own, and then we talk about it, sometimes with DS10 who usually chooses to read the same book.  He also reads a little for pleasure, mostly sports related stuff.  Not a huge amount.  

Writing:  (2 hours): He has the Voyages in English book that they were doing at school when he left.  It's 1/2 grammar, 1/2 writing in different genres.  It's kind of dull to be honest.  

So, maybe an average of 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, although it's not as neat as that.  

And then he's been doing the following, which I don't know if I consider school.  

Music: (10 hours)  He's been doing a lot of music of his own initiative recently, probably an average of 60 - 90 minutes every day, which is way more than I'd assign if I was going to assign.  Part of it is that this is something he can share with his brother, but he also does it when DS10 isn't there.  He also will have, starting this week, two lessons a week.  A 1:1 online trombone lesson, and then DS10 Make A Wish wish was computerized music lessons with his brother, so starting Wednesday we'll have a music therapist and OT coming once a week to co-treat the two fo them together.  

Religion: (3 hours) We do a little Bible reading and hymn singing at bedtime each night, and then he and DS10 have been meeting with his Grandfather a couple times a week to prepare for Confirmation.  

P.E.: (lots of hours) 1 - 2 hours a day with Dad, and then usually if the weather is nice, he's outside a couple hours a day after school running around with his neighborhood friends.  

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This is what my 12 year old's days/weeks look like. We are on the lighter side than many here. Also, if given the opportunity, this child will do the least amount of work possible, so some of the requirements I have for him are simply to have him do *something*. PE or music count as school in my house.

Math- 1 lesson a day (we use the curriculum our local middle schools use in case he ends up going to PS at some point). Also 20 minutes a day on a computer program called ALEKX. Total time for math approximately 1 hour. 

Reading- about 30 minutes daily from a book I assign

Spelling- about 10-15 minutes 3 days/week

Writing- 1 IEW lesson/week - about 30 minutes/day, 3 days

Grammar- about 15 minutes a day/ 3 days

History- listen to audio book as we drive- 1.5 hours/week. Discuss.

Science- read one section (about 2 pages)/week. Summarize with a paragraph. About 45 min/week. Ideally experiments 1 hour/week, but that gets skipped a lot. 

PE- outside play 30+ minutes a day +1 hour parkour lesson/week

Outside classes- robotics and geography 3 hours/week

So we are around 20 hours per week, I would say most days are around 4 hours, though that can vary. 

If I was dealing with difficult family circumstances, I would have no problem dropping spelling, grammar, and the robotics and geography classes  (DS doesn't like them). 

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1 minute ago, amiesmom said:

This is what my 12 year old's days/weeks look like. We are on the lighter side than many here. Also, if given the opportunity, this child will do the least amount of work possible, so some of the requirements I have for him are simply to have him do *something*. PE or music count as school in my house.

Math- 1 lesson a day (we use the curriculum our local middle schools use in case he ends up going to PS at some point). Also 20 minutes a day on a computer program called ALEKX. Total time for math approximately 1 hour. 

Reading- about 30 minutes daily from a book I assign

Spelling- about 10-15 minutes 3 days/week

Writing- 1 IEW lesson/week - about 30 minutes/day, 3 days

Grammar- about 15 minutes a day/ 3 days

History- listen to audio book as we drive- 1.5 hours/week. Discuss.

Science- read one section (about 2 pages)/week. Summarize with a paragraph. About 45 min/week. Ideally experiments 1 hour/week, but that gets skipped a lot. 

PE- outside play 30+ minutes a day +1 hour parkour lesson/week

Outside classes- robotics and geography 3 hours/week

So we are around 20 hours per week, I would say most days are around 4 hours, though that can vary. 

If I was dealing with difficult family circumstances, I would have no problem dropping spelling, grammar, and the robotics and geography classes  (DS doesn't like them). 

 

Thank you, It's reassuring to read a list that isn't like :Latin, Russian, PreCalculus, and 20 other things.  It sounds like we're pretty similar if you substitute PE with Dad, for the outside classes.

I bet my kids would love Parkour.  At some point I should look into that.  

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12 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

Thank you, It's reassuring to read a list that isn't like :Latin, Russian, PreCalculus, and 20 other things.  It sounds like we're pretty similar if you substitute PE with Dad, for the outside classes.

The weekly hours you posted look perfect to me, but again,  I'm not extremely rigorous. 

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7 minutes ago, amiesmom said:

 

The weekly hours you posted look perfect to me, but again,  I'm not extremely rigorous. 


Thank you, that's very reassuring.

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I don't think it matters whether or not you count those things as school or not except for reporting to the state.  For that circumstance, why not?  But in terms of what you want to see him doing so that transitioning back to school isn't just another stressful hurdle, does that sort of detail really matter?

I guess what really matters is whether or not you are comfortable with the amt of work that he is completing.  If you are, I would leave well enough alone.  If you aren't, ask yourself why.

If you want him to be able to have things to do independently when health issues take over with his brother, maybe have "alternative day" plans.  I don't use science or history textbooks with my kids in 7th grade.  They read and take notes.  For example, my current 8th grader is reading Edmund Campion: A Life (we are studying Elizabethan England).  I can't remember the exact title of the science book she is reading (I'm in bed and too lazy to look), but it is an ecology book along the lines of this one: The Secret Wisdom of Nature (actually glad I googled to see if I could remember the title of the one she is reading b/c this one looks interesting. 😉 )  As she reads, she makes notes of key words/ideas and defines them/explains them and then summarizes the day's reading in a few sentences.  (Basically like her version of simplified Cornell notes: simple Cornell notes ) You could have a list of documentaries he could choose from (they can create notes for videos as well).  

If he takes notes and writes a brief summary of his reading, you could just drop VIE.  He'd probably get more writing practice in from his summaries.  🙂  (I used to own the entire 3rd-8th grade VIE series, so I am familiar with the format/content.) 

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1 minute ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I don't think it matters whether or not you count those things as school or not except for reporting to the state.  For that circumstance, why not?  But in terms of what you want to see him doing so that transitioning back to school isn't just another stressful hurdle, does that sort of detail really matter?

I guess what I'm saying is that if someone else is describing what they're doing in terms of hours, I want to know whether they're including that.  Because otherwise, I can't compare meaningfully. Does that make sense? 

So, if someone says "We homeschool 6 hours a day", and they're including 2 hours of street hockey, and some music practice, and some bedtime read alouds, then OK, that's not that dissimilar to us.  But if someone doesn't consider any of those things school, and they say they do 6 hours, then that's way more intense than what my kid is experiencing.  Which might be fine, their kid might be different from mine, but I just want to know.

For example, I've read where you've said your fourth grader does 4 hours a day of school, and also where you say she reads for hours, and spends time outside looking at nature.  I am not clear whether those things are things are part of the 4 hours or if you're considering that part of her free time.  I'm just trying to get a picture of how other people spend their days.  

1 minute ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I guess what really matters is whether or not you are comfortable with the amt of work that he is completing.  If you are, I would leave well enough alone.  If you aren't, ask yourself why.

I have no way to know whether I'm worried about this, because it's something to worry about, or if I'm worried about this because it's displacing worry from other things.  We've had a few really hard weeks.  Almost no school has gotten done.  But the reasons why nothing got done are much more concerning than the fact that nothing got done, if that makes any sense.  So, am I worrying about this, because it's too scary to worry about that?  Yes, possibly.  

But in addition, despite having a great deal of experience with education, have almost no experience with kids like this.  All my experience is with kids at the extreme, both professionally, and from homeschooling his brother.  This kid, and my youngest, have always been super easy educationally.  I get them up, I feed them a good breakfast, I send them off to school, and then after school, I set up a nice quiet place to do their homework and answer a few questions.  So, this is all new.  

1 minute ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

If you want him to be able to have things to do independently when health issues take over with his brother, maybe have "alternative day" plans. 

I don't think it's realistic for him to work when there's something actually wrong taking things over.  He needs space to worry and grieve and distract himself however works.  I guess my question is whether on the day when we're away for planned, not worrisome things, I should be leaving work for him to do independently.  My gut is no.  That it's fine if he spends that time shooting hoops, or fooling around on the trombone, or watching sports on TV with his great-grandfather, but I'm not sure.  I think that if I left something, it wouldn't be Cornell notes, it would be the easiest of the stuff that he's doing now, and then I'd move note taking to the time he's with me.

1 minute ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I don't use science or history textbooks with my kids in 7th grade.  They read and take notes.  For example, my current 8th grader is reading Edmund Campion: A Life (we are studying Elizabethan England).  I can't remember the exact title of the science book she is reading (I'm in bed and too lazy to look), but it is an ecology book along the lines of this one: The Secret Wisdom of Nature (actually glad I googled to see if I could remember the title of the one she is reading b/c this one looks interesting. 😉 )  As she reads, she makes notes of key words/ideas and defines them/explains them and then summarizes the day's reading in a few sentences.  (Basically like her version of simplified Cornell notes: simple Cornell notes ) You could have a list of documentaries he could choose from (they can create notes for videos as well).  

If he takes notes and writes a brief summary of his reading, you could just drop VIE.  He'd probably get more writing practice in from his summaries.  🙂  (I used to own the entire 3rd-8th grade VIE series, so I am familiar with the format/content.) 


Yeah, VIE isn't for me either, but I also don't have a huge amount of brain power, and he's used to it, and it's only a semester. Time, I have because I'm either sitting up with DS10 or like now when I actually could be sleeping I can't.  But brain power, I'm lacking.  If I homeschooled him long term, which financially probably isn't going to happen, then I would probably try and be more creative.  

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I understand.  No, I do not include music or exercising or playtime in their hrs of school.  When I share how many hrs my kids are spending on school, it is purely straight academic work. My 4th grader's day looks something like this:

1 hr math 

45 mins of lit 

30 mins science

30 mins history

60 mins English (spelling, grammar, Editor's in Chief, writing)

15 mins religion

My 8th grader's day looks more like an hr each of math, lit, science, history, English, 45 mins of French, and 20 mins religion. (She gets up and starts school at 5 am is normally done by 11 or 12.)

 

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10 hours ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

 

Thank you, It's reassuring to read a list that isn't like :Latin, Russian, PreCalculus, and 20 other things.  It sounds like we're pretty similar if you substitute PE with Dad, for the outside classes.

So I do not have the long term BTDT experience that others on the board do so take all this for what it is worth.

One of the best ways to drive yourself crazy, especially when you  are already under a lot of stress, is to start looking at what others are doing. And what people chose to share on the internet is not always a full picture and you, of course, know it because you are obviously an incredibly thoughtful person. But, I get it: when lacking sleep and having a plate full of worries it is so easy to add one more thing to worry about it.

What my homeschool looks like may seem impressive neatly typed out esp with the multiple languages. What is not there is that this past fall when I had a sick baby and the year before that when I was pregnant the goal for eldest was to get Latin, math and music practice done daily and the reality is that it got done on average three times a week. Some weeks it was only Latin.  I couldn’t even manage 15 minutes of daily phonics with my son during that time. What is not there is that when my father was dying we practically did nothing for a year.

Here is what DD age 11 is currently doing now that things are stable and I have the emotional and physical strength to deal with something other than minimum academics:

1 hr math (she is weak in math and a little behind)

45-60 min Latin

1 hr group that includes art, Bible history, catechism, science read aloud, English grammar and a literature read aloud

20 min music practice

20 min memory work
20 min independent reading in our minority home language

This is four times a week. 

She is currently studying the Catholic history of our state and is part of a Shakespeare production at co-op once a week but there is no homework except memorizing her lines and sewing a costume.

I do not do composition right now because writing is a hobby for her and she will often ask me to edit her work and I find that is sufficient for now.

Next year, she will still do only four hours of school work thanks to a loop type schedule despite having more subjects.

Honestly, in your son’s case, I think a semester will not make a difference long term. If he is making steady progress in math that is sufficient. Voyages if I recall is spiral, he will review it all when he goes back to school even if he doesn’t keep up with his class now. High school classes rarely assume any sort of background knowledge in anything other than math. I missed two months of school due to illness in 8th grade and my mother did not make me do school work during that time. I was fine when I came back and for starting at a rigorous high school the following year.

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My 12yo/7th grader has what I feel is a normal schedule. I won't share what she does because I don't want to compare in detail, but I feel that compared to what many say they do here, she's a slacker. Compared to what people I know in real life are doing with their homeschooled middle schoolers, however, I am draconian and she's doing much more. 

Sometimes I wonder how people on these boards are fitting so much in with their kids. They have school work, volunteer hours, intense extracurriculars where the student is a high achieving star, and they have meaningful family time all week long! Maybe they have 1-2 kids? 

My DD's schedule includes math, English (literature/writing), history, science, Latin, and programming. I want to cover some subjects every day and others 2-3 times a week. I don't always hit that but we school year round and I think it will even up. I don't count her dance and martial arts as subjects, but I could. I would in high school if I needed the credit. I used to count my older DD's guitar lessons as music when she was in middle school and I think that was fair.

I don't count daily life (cooking, playing with dad, life skills, etc) as school but I'm not an unschooler. I don't have any problem with people who do, but I know I don't have the organization to be a good unschooler so I'm not going to try to keep up with that. 

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We have dealt with mental health issues here in the past and I'm sure it will come up again. I applaud you and your husband's effort to address that and take it seriously as so many times people just brush that stuff off as being all in your head, etc etc.

My daughter is in sixth grade, so not exactly what you asked, but I do not foresee things changing much for the seventh grade. 

Daily Monday through Friday:

30 minutes: Independent Reading from assigned literature (usually aligned with something from history or science)

45-60 minutes math 

1 to 1.5 hours Writing, Spelling (dyslexia ugh)

Weekly:

2-3 hours Science

2-3 hours History

Also Daily: 

30 minutes piano

1 hour of Taekwondo or Dance

Weekly:

2 hours Choir

I don't have to count hours, but if I did, I probably wouldn't count piano, choir, Taekwondo or dance. I'm not sure why I wouldn't. I think they are really valuable. Maybe because we would still be doing them even if she were enrolled in public school?

 

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11 hours ago, mms said:

So I do not have the long term BTDT experience that others on the board do so take all this for what it is worth.

One of the best ways to drive yourself crazy, especially when you  are already under a lot of stress, is to start looking at what others are doing. And what people chose to share on the internet is not always a full picture and you, of course, know it because you are obviously an incredibly thoughtful person. But, I get it: when lacking sleep and having a plate full of worries it is so easy to add one more thing to worry about it.

What my homeschool looks like may seem impressive neatly typed out esp with the multiple languages. What is not there is that this past fall when I had a sick baby and the year before that when I was pregnant the goal for eldest was to get Latin, math and music practice done daily and the reality is that it got done on average three times a week. Some weeks it was only Latin.  I couldn’t even manage 15 minutes of daily phonics with my son during that time. What is not there is that when my father was dying we practically did nothing for a year.

 

I feel as though, if I had a sense of what I want our homeschool to look like, then I can build towards it.  Yes, things are going to come up.  Yesterday, something threw a minor wrench in the plan, today something threw a major wrench in the plan.  But having a picture in mind, can be helpful.  

With DS10, when I was figuring out what homeschool might look like for him, it was helpful to know what parents of kids who were in some ways similar were doing.  What we ended up doing wasn't at all the same as anyone else, because I have my own opinions, and because DS10 is pretty unique, but just having a sense of what homeschool might look like for other gifted kids, or other kids with some of his challenges, was actually really helpful.  

11 hours ago, mms said:

Here is what DD age 11 is currently doing now that things are stable and I have the emotional and physical strength to deal with something other than minimum academics:

1 hr math (she is weak in math and a little behind)

45-60 min Latin

1 hr group that includes art, Bible history, catechism, science read aloud, English grammar and a literature read aloud

20 min music practice

20 min memory work
20 min independent reading in our minority home language

This is four times a week. 

She is currently studying the Catholic history of our state and is part of a Shakespeare production at co-op once a week but there is no homework except memorizing her lines and sewing a costume.

I do not do composition right now because writing is a hobby for her and she will often ask me to edit her work and I find that is sufficient for now.

Next year, she will still do only four hours of school work thanks to a loop type schedule despite having more subjects.

Honestly, in your son’s case, I think a semester will not make a difference long term. If he is making steady progress in math that is sufficient. Voyages if I recall is spiral, he will review it all when he goes back to school even if he doesn’t keep up with his class now. High school classes rarely assume any sort of background knowledge in anything other than math. I missed two months of school due to illness in 8th grade and my mother did not make me do school work during that time. I was fine when I came back and for starting at a rigorous high school the following year.

 

 

This is really helpful.  Thank you!

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21 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

 

I feel as though, if I had a sense of what I want our homeschool to look like, then I can build towards it.  Yes, things are going to come up.  Yesterday, something threw a minor wrench in the plan, today something threw a major wrench in the plan.  But having a picture in mind, can be helpful.  

Oh, absolutely! Another thing that having a clear vision into what normal looks like helps with is the ability to just pick up from where we left off after a crisis. Having a routine to come back to (even if it did not involve lessons per se) was always essential for the mental health of all family members.

Also, I would not discount having some sort of plan to keep the other two boys occupied on busy days. My situation was different from yours because mine are younger and I usually ended up taking the children with me to appointments and ER trips. Sometimes I could leave them with another relative but many times I just had to get up and go without a minute available to even drop them off with a neighbor. Whatever the case, I always had a plan to give them something to do so that they were not listless in the midst of whatever was happening. If they were being dropped off or staying with DH, I expected them to follow a similar routine to our usual one but with modified activities: audiobooks, art supplies, games, as well as easy independent assignments like copywork. Basically, I tried to be proactive in preventing brooding by giving them something to work towards but that something did not require brain cells or interaction with others if they needed space to process or grieve.

If we were headed out together I had activities packed that could be easily done in a hospital waiting room: magnetic tangrams and c-rods, MP3 players with music and books, new books that I had gotten just for those days. And whatever the situation was I tried to review our memory work (poetry, Catechism, Latin prayers, etc), even if it was simply following along on cd while driving. You’d be amazed how comforting reciting something from memory can be.  Recitation was our anchor to normalcy.

Definitely, try to work out a plan for normal. But, your normal has to be *yours* and it most definitely should not be a burden and yet another thing to stress over. Just keep it simple.

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There is some variation in the days for our house, sometimes based on lesson length. This is my DS12's schedule

Math: 1 lesson a day 4x/week about 45 minutes-1 hour. If it pushes past an hour, we finish the next day.

Science--four days a week, about 0.5 hr each plus one day at co-op (50 minutes)

History--four days a week, maybe 0.5 hours each

Latin--anywhere from 0.5 hr to 1 hr five days a week

Writing--class for 1.5 hours plus about another 1.5-2 hours a week max; we do writing four days/week

Reading--30 minutes approximately per day of assigned reading

Grammar--about 15 minutes four days a week

Vocabulary--15 minutes four days a week

Logic--about 1-1.5 hour a week total

Maps--about 15 minutes a week

Bible--15 minutes a day, four days a week

Poetry--about 15 minutes a week total

Piano--about 15 minutes a day, 5 days a week

Typing--10 minutes a day

Gym (at co-op) 50 minutes/week +other co-op class

Drawing 1 hour a week

Daily walks

 

Edited by cintinative
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17 minutes ago, mms said:

Oh, absolutely! Another thing that having a clear vision into what normal looks like helps with is the ability to just pick up from where we left off after a crisis. Having a routine to come back to (even if it did not involve lessons per se) was always essential for the mental health of all family members.

Also, I would not discount having some sort of plan to keep the other two boys occupied on busy days. My situation was different from yours because mine are younger and I usually ended up taking the children with me to appointments and ER trips. Sometimes I could leave them with another relative but many times I just had to get up and go without a minute available to even drop them off with a neighbor. Whatever the case, I always had a plan to give them something to do so that they were not listless in the midst of whatever was happening. If they were being dropped off or staying with DH, I expected them to follow a similar routine to our usual one but with modified activities: audiobooks, art supplies, games, as well as easy independent assignments like copywork. Basically, I tried to be proactive in preventing brooding by giving them something to work towards but that something did not require brain cells or interaction with others if they needed space to process or grieve.

If we were headed out together I had activities packed that could be easily done in a hospital waiting room: magnetic tangrams and c-rods, MP3 players with music and books, new books that I had gotten just for those days. And whatever the situation was I tried to review our memory work (poetry, Catechism, Latin prayers, etc), even if it was simply following along on cd while driving. You’d be amazed how comforting reciting something from memory can be.  Recitation was our anchor to normalcy.

Definitely, try to work out a plan for normal. But, your normal has to be *yours* and it most definitely should not be a burden and yet another thing to stress over. Just keep it simple.


We are really lucky in that my husband's grandfather comes to our house every day, so that we have back up if we need to leave.  So, the kids are home with their regular stuff when we aren't there.  But great-grandpa is wonderful at loving my kids, and getting them involved in things around the house (DS9 and my gfil spend a lot of time cooking), but schoolwork is not his strength.  I could easily leave work for DS12, but my gut feeling is that it's better to just have that be a break time for him.  

I think that my 12 year old would really like to go with us on hospital days, and I know DS10 would love the distraction of having his brother there, but unfortunately (well fortunately from a germ perspective) the hospital we use has a policy of no kids under 14, other than the patient.  

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5 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:


We are really lucky in that my husband's grandfather comes to our house every day, so that we have back up if we need to leave.  So, the kids are home with their regular stuff when we aren't there.  But great-grandpa is wonderful at loving my kids, and getting them involved in things around the house (DS9 and my gfil spend a lot of time cooking), but schoolwork is not his strength.  I could easily leave work for DS12, but my gut feeling is that it's better to just have that be a break time for him.  

I think that my 12 year old would really like to go with us on hospital days, and I know DS10 would love the distraction of having his brother there, but unfortunately (well fortunately from a germ perspective) the hospital we use has a policy of no kids under 14, other than the patient.  

That sounds amazing! You have a much better support network than I did! My mil watched mine when her health allowed (and she wasn’t the one we’d have to rush out for to take to the hospital) but she couldn’t do academics either so I get that.

And I definitely did not mean leave him work. I guess I didn’t communicate that very well. What you describe sounds perfect: busy but with space to process.

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Just now, mms said:

That sounds amazing! You have a much better support network than I did! My mil watched mine when her health allowed (and she wasn’t the one we’d have to rush out for to take to the hospital) but she couldn’t do academics either so I get that.

And I definitely did not mean leave him work. I guess I didn’t communicate that very well. What you describe sounds perfect: busy but with space to process.

 

We have an incredible support network, all DH's family, mine is useless.  Throughout this journey, my other two kids have had somewhere there for them every step of the way when we can't be there, which unfortunately has been a lot.  

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14 minutes ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

 

We have an incredible support network, all DH's family, mine is useless.  Throughout this journey, my other two kids have had somewhere there for them every step of the way when we can't be there, which unfortunately has been a lot.  

On the other hand they are also learning some beautiful lessons about life and love.
 

My brother was in and out of hospitals and like your ds10, he was adopted. When I was thirteen, I and my other brother became latchkey kids for the whole summer while the rest of the family  practically lived in the picu or worked. Neither one of us has a single negative recollection of that time and no regrets or grudges. His suffering gave me a long view at an early age and was instrumental in my return to the Church.

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6 minutes ago, mms said:

On the other hand they are also learning some beautiful lessons about life and love.

I know, they've changed so much from having their brother in their lives, and a lot of it is good.  I just worry that it's a lot for them to carry.  

6 minutes ago, mms said:

 

My brother was in and out of hospitals and like your ds10, he was adopted. When I was thirteen, I and my other brother became latchkey kids for the whole summer while the rest of the family  practically lived in the picu or worked. Neither one of us has a single negative recollection of that time and no regrets or grudges. His suffering gave me a long view at an early age and was instrumental in my return to the Church.

 

It's good to know that other kids have come out the other side.  Can I ask the outcome for your brother?  

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1 minute ago, CuriousMomof3 said:

I know, they've changed so much from having their brother in their lives, and a lot of it is good.  I just worry that it's a lot for them to carry.  

 

It's good to know that other kids have come out the other side.  Can I ask the outcome for your brother?  

He still lives at home.  He is the most amazing uncle and the nephews and nieces adore him. He has been a rock for my mother since my father passed away. I could go on and on but that would be tmi to post on the internet. But, if you ever feel doubts just pm me.

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Just now, mms said:

He still lives at home.  He is the most amazing uncle and the nephews and nieces adore him. He has been a rock for my mother since my father passed away. I could go on and on but that would be tmi to post on the internet. But, if you ever feel doubts just pm me.


That's wonderful to hear.  

 

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4 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

I counted music , PE and cooking , Schools count them all 

I don't have to record time

 

How much time would you say you spent at this age?
 

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We did basketball and swimming for PE. The swimming was mostly at the beach. About 5 hours a week

cooking about 3 hours a week

music. We dropped music at around grade 7, before that we did 30 minutes practice a day

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9 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

We did basketball and swimming for PE. The swimming was mostly at the beach. About 5 hours a week

cooking about 3 hours a week

music. We dropped music at around grade 7, before that we did 30 minutes practice a day


How much did you spend on the stuff you did count, or would count if you were in a place that made you count?  Like reading, math etc . . .?

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Ok so this is my 7th graders basic schedule she is gifted in math but struggles in LA.  

She does 3 topics a day in Aleks math which ends up being 3 hours a week.

We do history read alouds with outlining.  It's about 3hrs a week.

She reads a novel a week. Not classics like hunger games.  

Cover story writing and grammar is probably 3 hrs a week.

STEM is a lot probably 10+  hrs a week 6hrs in class and 4hrs homework.

I count her time swimming and weight training at the gym as PE but not her horseback riding or archery.  Probably 3hrs

Guitar I don't monitor it she is supposed to practice 2hrs a week.  Sometimes it's more sometimes less.

Edited by rebcoola
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1 hour ago, rebcoola said:

Ok so this is my 7th graders basic schedule she is gifted in math but struggles in LA.  

She does 3 topics a day in Aleks math which ends up being 3 hours a week.

We do history read alouds with outlining.  It's about 3hrs a week.

She reads a novel a week. Not classics like hunger games.  

Cover story writing and grammar is probably 3 hrs a week.

STEM is a lot probably 10+  hrs a week 6hrs in class and 4hrs homework.

I count her time swimming and weight training at the gym as PE but not her horseback riding or archery.  Probably 3hrs

Guitar I don't monitor it she is supposed to practice 2hrs a week.  Sometimes it's more sometimes less.

 

Thank you, this is really helpful.

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10 hours ago, CuriousMomof3 said:


How much did you spend on the stuff you did count, or would count if you were in a place that made you count?  Like reading, math etc . . .?

it has been a while since I have had a grade 7.

 we didn't do time , but amount of schoolwork. they had to do a lesson  per day of math, spelling, grammar, writing, read for 30 minutes or a chapter. A section of science, 15 minutes of logic, a chapter of history once a week. We also did Rosetta Stone German  for approx 20 minutes a day.

I read aloud for approx 1 hour a day a novel. mostly I read right at tea time. I eat fast and got very bored sitting there while every one else eats slowly. it fitted in nicely.

 it took them anywhere from 3 to 5 hours a day, depending if they wanted to sit there doodling or get on with their work. mostly they were done their main subjects in 3 hours and spent another hour in the afternoon doing either science or history. they could do their reading in the evening if they wanted to .

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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This is my 18 year old step daughter's weekly schedule (I am adapting it for the twins). 

1 hour of ELA

1 hour of math

1 hour Bible Study lesson

1 hour art/geography/history

1/2 hours spent doing exercise either at the gym or in the fresh air. 

2 hours in a practical life skills class (this focuses on things like money skills, first aid, teamwork etc). 

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My 13 year old is in 7th.

We start our day with read alouds most mornings. That is 1 - 1.5 hours most mornings, but the kids also eat breakfast while I eat and sometimes do some straightening up or laundry.

Depending on the public school schedule he has 0, 1, or 2 band classes on a given day.

He does more than 5 hours of math per week, but not necessarily more than an hour each day. He racks up more time on heavy story problem days.

He does less than an hour of science most days, but does spend more time on study guide days.

Language arts are a struggle for him. We still do spelling. Spelling, writing, and English probably take 3 hours per week. We should be spending more time on writing, but it is very frustrating for him.

Latin: We are slowly working through Henle. Maybe 2-3 hours per week.

History: About 2-3 hours per week.

Logic: About 1 hour per week.

Literature: 5+ hours per week. We read a lot.

Bible: About 3 hours per week.

It adds up to 5 or 6 hours per day, not including band.  We don't stick to schedule all of the time, though. We had a chance to have his friends over yesterday afternoon, and we took it. Not all of his school work got done. We'll try to finish for the year, but some things won't be don't as completely as they would if we didn't take time off.
 

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