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1st week of full high school load . . . stressy stress stress


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(we are homeschooling, btw)

I have already redone my schedule for two subjects in less than a week.  My youngest is grumpy and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the moving pieces. And I have PMS.

What helped you the first time your student hit a full high school load?

It will all be okay, right? 

Chocolate is not the answer, or is it? 

 

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Oh I was thinking chocolate as soon as you said PMS! My kiddos went to public school for high school and I think their classes were easier than what we were doing in homeschool, so I'm no help.

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Sounds like chocolate AND cinnamon rolls. Trader Joes has some in cans, or Rhodes has good ones in the frozen section. Let them thaw in the frig in the greased pan overnight and bake in the morning. Yum. 

Ooo, mine just dinged. Cinnamon rolls for me.

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25 minutes ago, cintinative said:

Chocolate is not the answer, or is it? 

Chocolate is always the answer!

Best wishes with this new stage of homeschooling.

Regards,

Kareni

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I'm with you. DS looked at me across the table on Tuesday (first day of full load) and said, "Mom, I'm feeling totally overwhelmed." Poor dear! It slowly improved over the course of the week. In another two weeks, when we have developed an intuitive feel for the schedule we can look at making adjustments if needed.

 

Hang in there! Have chocolate! Don't forget the sandwich/shower/nap trifecta!

Edited by SusanC
My keyboard refuses to buy in to my forum abbreviations and generally my way of approaching written communication.
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We ramped up but honestly, with my first, being able to admit when something wasn't working was key. Dd#1 dropped an online class where the teacher was not used to a student like mine, did not give timely feedback, and the class itself's goals ended up being very different than what they were stated to be. I had to scramble to redesign an at home class, but it wasn't the disaster it could have been.

I underscheduled dd#2 and then added stuff as she got comfy with the workload. Dd#3 will be the same this year. Ramp up to a full load (meaning she might not get to her electives until next semester).

I kept this up this year for my senior. She started one in person, one asynchronous, and one synchronous DE class. She will have two weeks to get used to those (spending more or less time on the asynchronous class as necessary as it doesn't have due dates) before I add in her at-home class.

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1 minute ago, SusanC said:

I'm with you. D's looked at me as the table on Tuesday (first day of full load) and said, "Mom, I'm feeling totally overwhelmed." Poor dear! It slowly improved over the course of the week. In another two weeks, when we have developed an intuitive feel for the schedule we can look at making adjustments if needed.

 

Hang in there! Have chocolate! Don't forget the sandwich/shower/nap trifecta!

You also!

I also made the mistake of scheduling two doctor's appointments this week (one for DS14 and the other for both). MISTAKE.  I think they were reschedules due to COVID, maybe . . . but . . what on earth was I thinking?? 

 

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6 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

I underscheduled dd#2 and then added stuff as she got comfy with the workload. Dd#3 will be the same this year. Ramp up to a full load (meaning she might not get to her electives until next semester).

 

I might need to readjust our history for this reason. It was too light last week and so I am consolidating stuff to adjust for his reading speed being faster than I expected, but maybe that is the wrong approach on a week we are adding two more classes.  

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Hugs! It will be okay. What helped me with the overwhelm of 9th grade -

Reading Teaching from Rest and rebooting 9th with a ruthlessly trimmed workload (I love to design courses that have 50 hours reading a week - blush!), deliberately scheduling margin into every day.

Recognizing that 9th grade is meant to be a step up from 8th, not a ginormous leap into college level work. Reading the wise words of forum folks whose students aren't radically accelerated. I love that we have a population here whose students are doing amazing things! But I do need to step back sometimes and remind myself that most 9th graders are doing geometry or algebra, not calculus.

Spending a half an hour to an hour or so every day just hanging out with each teen. One likes walking or playing together. One likes drinking tea or cooking together.

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I use a rolling start for my homeschooled kiddo. We start one class then add on and build up to a full load. It’s less overwhelming and I can better tweak as I go if something is taking too long.

Edited by Sneezyone
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We often use rolling start and will this year too with the high schooler.  But when we need to go full force with a big change in time management, I just grit my teeth for 2 weeks and have some good stress relief managements.  90% of the time we adjust.  If it's not working at 2 weeks, then I adjust.  I  usually don't make adjustments sooner unless there are huge issues.  

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My vote is for less work.  I'm a believer in life over 'full highschool load." Homeschooling allows for a lot of flexibility, so I would look to create courses out of stuff my child does for fun, and limit the number of formal classes in the load.  My kids never did more than 4 formal classes at a time with 2-3 additional classes as unschooled courses.  Mental health, especially during these times, is paramount. 

Edited by lewelma
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1 hour ago, lewelma said:

My vote is for less work.  I'm a believer in life over 'full highschool load." Homeschooling allows for a lot of flexibility, so I would look to create courses out of stuff my child does for fun, and limit the number of formal classes in the load.  My kids never did more than 4 formal classes at a time with 2-3 additional classes as unschooled courses.  Mental health, especially during these times, is paramount. 

Oh good that’s my plan. I hope to be starting in 2 weeks maybe one subject a little earlier. 

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1 hour ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

Oh gosh, today ended worse than it began. SO MANY TEARS in the last hour 😑

What happened??  I'm not looking to fix it or give advice, just curious because I'm kind of wondering about our own schedule.

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1 hour ago, lewelma said:

My vote is for less work.  I'm a believer in life over 'full highschool load." Homeschooling allows for a lot of flexibility, so I would look to create courses out of stuff my child does for fun, and limit the number of formal classes in the load.  My kids never did more than 4 formal classes at a time with 2-3 additional classes as unschooled courses.  Mental health, especially during these times, is paramount. 

I agree with this.   There's no reason certain non-core subjects and electives can't be unschooly or at least relaxed.

We go year round but lighter in the summer, then we slowly add things back in.   I will say, this year seems like it's going to be way worse than normal, just judging by the last couple weeks where I've been trying to work on sleep schedules and exercise.    I have one sophomore and one 8th grader and both are cranky as heck lately.

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43 minutes ago, Plum said:

Oh good that’s my plan. I hope to be starting in 2 weeks maybe one subject a little earlier. 

My younger son does 4 subjects intensively each term - 3 academic and 1 fine arts:  English, calculus, chemistry, and violin. (He alternates geography for 6 months with English). He unschools history with his dad through read alouds and discussions. He does Maori and drama casually which are 1/4 courses (so 1 course each over 4 years). Multum non multa. 

Edited by lewelma
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27 minutes ago, lewelma said:

My younger son does 4 subjects intensively each term - 3 academic and 1 fine arts:  English, calculus, chemistry, and violin. (He alternates geography for 6 months with English). He unschools history with his dad through read alouds and discussions. He does Maori and drama casually which are 1/4 courses (so 1 course over 4 years). Multum non multa. 

8th and 9th 

combining medieval history and lit with LOTR. 
science
math 

the lit will have some mythology in it for 1/4 credit...or not we’ll see if they are still interested by senior year.  
 

unschooling archery, 3D art modeling, baking, self-defense martial arts

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

Oh gosh, today ended worse than it began. SO MANY TEARS in the last hour 😑

 

I'm so sorry!! That's the worst. It so hard on momma to see the kids struggle.

My oldest did fine.

I had anxiety issues (thanks PMS!) and the only thing that helped was exercise (chocolate did not help!).

My youngest was not weepy but really struggling with focus.  

 

Edited by cintinative
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17 minutes ago, cintinative said:

 

I'm so sorry!! That's the worst. It so hard on momma to see the kids struggle.

My oldest did fine.

I had anxiety issues (thanks PMS!) and the only thing that helped was exercise (chocolate did not help!).

My youngest was not weepy but really struggling with focus.  

 

Congratulations on making it through!  Good for you for choosing exercise.  That's the only thing that helps me with bad PMS, too.  And sleep.  Sugar always makes mine worse. 

I'll cast another vote for the rolling start whenever possible and delaying the non-outsourced classes.

The first weeks of any school year for us (this year it's grades 7, 9, 11) are for gauging workload, tweaking, evaluating, ramping down, ramping up, whatever.

Multum non multa is actually our school name.  

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DD-almost-14 had two really hard weeks at the beginning, during which she couldn't finish her work during the week and was finishing up until after dinner on Saturday. During the third week things clicked, and now she's humming along quite well, self-managing both time and work load. We are on week 7 now.

I actually was a tired after prereading her books for the week and was making a comment about maybe we'd want to cut something and she was against it.

I am lad we pressed on and I'm seeing her blossom under the difficult work load. I personally always did better when challenged, and my daughter is just like me. 🙂 But it is definitely a step up!

Emily

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I am a big believer in less is more!  We do the 4 core classes, and electives are things they enjoy or kinda unschool.  My current 10th grader us only doing 6 credits instead of 7.  She needs her personal time 😉 I also try to work on an elective in the summer,  so that we spread those out.  This is just a tiny step up, there are 4 years of high school to build college level skills.  Some kids will polish those skills quickly,  others will take the full 4 years.  This is a time of big growth, not just in academics,  but also in life skills.  

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I found homeschooling high school a real kick in the teeth.  It really impacted our lifestyle to have school actually take up a full school day.  My youngest just graduated high school and I'm still a little miffed that it just wasn't as fun as the first 9 years of homeschooling.  I'm glad we did it for that particular child, and he didn't put in the hours that his sister do going to public high school because he didn't have hours of homework AFTER his full school day.  It took us a good couple of months for the shock to wear off and for us to accept our fate.  Once we got used to it it wasn't so bad.

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On 8/25/2020 at 11:20 AM, PeterPan said:

Cinnamon rolls  :biggrin:

We usually ramped up, a couple subjects a week. But if you went all the way, yeah just feed and get through it. 

 

Just saw this on my FB feed.  LOL!

 

Image may contain: text that says 'I WANT BUNS OF STEEL BUT ALSO BUNS OF CINNAMON'

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sleep (for my teens and me, sleep deficit is really bad for mood swings)

outdoors 

doing at least one high school course in summer to spread load. 

Knowing when to drop something that isn’t working.

exercise (for me, being in motion is just so stress relieving)

dark chocolate (like the bitterness and supposedly better nutrition than milk chocolate)

 

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2 hours ago, Arcadia said:

 

exercise (for me, being in motion is just so stress relieving)

dark chocolate (like the bitterness and supposedly better nutrition than milk chocolate)

 

This was my approach yesterday. Exercise really helped!

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This thread is gold! My oldest is easing into 9th grade as well. He declared his history class too difficult because he got an 80% on a quiz about the syllabus 🤦🏻‍♀️🙄🙃. He then went on to do an actual lesson and quiz and got a 100% and realized that taking the whole summer off does make you a bit rusty. Spanish we just added in this week and he told me he had no idea what his homework says. (He’s in HS level 3 so that was definitely an exaggeration.) he’s not yet 14 and still in the throws of puberty so I’m blaming his brain fog on that. 
 

I will mention that SOMEONE told him he might be better off spacing things over the summer and continuing Spanish at least one day a week like he’s always done but he didn’t want to hear it. Now he’s singing a different tune!

I’m trying to figure out how we will add in his other two classes, English and OM environmental science. His history class is over in March and his linguistics class is over in December, so I’m considering just making them semester classes and doubling up. Either that or spreading the English out over the summer. I think he can do OM in a semester.  
 

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In our experience, even rigorous homeschooled highschool courses are less stress than outsourced ones.  You can learn what you want, how you want to. You are not bound by tests to learn in a certain way or on a certain time frame.  So if some of your kids are feeling overwhelmed, I would recommend less outsourcing.  Obviously, some kids work better under someone besides a parent, but if it is just too much, they can still learn a equal amount but in a less structured way and with content related to their own interests. Mental health in these times is very important to consider.  I am a private teacher for 10 kids going to 5 different high schools. And even here in NZ where Covid has had less impact, the kids are really stressed, way more stressed than in previous years.  I would be cautious with workload. 

 

Edited by lewelma
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What worked for us was 

  • staggered rollout (we did all of our classes at home for a variety of reasons)
  • college scheduling - some classes were MWF, some T Th - it helped
  • breaks when nerves are fraying
  • exercise - a walk to start or end the day was helpful
  • food - my son always worked better if he could eat during school
    • our lunch breaks were mostly done apart because we both needed the break from each other
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On 8/25/2020 at 11:01 AM, cintinative said:

I might need to readjust our history for this reason. It was too light last week and so I am consolidating stuff to adjust for his reading speed being faster than I expected, but maybe that is the wrong approach on a week we are adding two more classes.  

If you plan or choose a good course, then it is still a good course even if it takes less time than anticipated. So don't start adjusting it based on one week seeming too light. 

A good and rigorous high school education does not require that each course take X amount of time, and it does not require the student to be firing on all cylinders all day, every day. 

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I found it helpful to have my student have a say in the scheduling. I showed what needed to get done and he got to choose what subjects he wanted to approach first. Also, I stepped back from doing time management for him (this may backfire initially but I felt it was a lesson that needed to be taught) and let him "budget" the workload so he would get practice in estimating how long something might take.  Be prepared for errors in judgement. :) But now is the time to learn it, I think.

I also emphasized that it is a collaborative effort and he has a voice. When things got too crazy, we adjusted some expectations or looked where we could make up some lessons (Saturday morning, etc.)

And yes, I kept a stash of M & Ms on hand. Absolutely. Today, it would be Theo's Dark Sea Salt Chocolate!

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