Jump to content

Menu

Increasing rigor and expectations.


Recommended Posts

We have not been as rigorous as I would have liked over the past years. The recent post about low standards hit me again about what we need to change. I want to make sure that we improve the things that we have fallen behind on and raise the expectations of my dc.

 

I do realize that now is not the best time to make sweeping changes, but I think moving to a new state is a good time to make changes. Until then, I plan to work on our routines and consistency in school schedule. I also want to work on attitudes about things that are hard - right now anything perceived as hard results in much gnashing of teeth, whining, yelling, and crying.

 

In FL I believe we are going to register with the county because I want to be able to utilize ps resources. This is very different than what I have to do here in NC - I am actually going to have to SHOW someone what we have accomplished!

 

What are some ways you have increased expectations? How do you teach things like notetaking, meeting deadlines, etc.? Do you make your children re-do work until it is acceptable? What are the priorities in your homeschool?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will be taking notes on this. This was our first year homeschooling and I kept it to the basics because I did not want to bite off more then I could chew. The kids now we will be stepping it up for next year but I have not figured out how.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stay on top of whatever the kids are working on at the time. We work on it until they have it right 100%. That means we rework every math problem that is missed, all grammar work, all Latin work, etc.

 

We also never drop or shorten school days unless it is a REAL emergency. We haven't had one this year. I decide what needs to be accomplished in a week before the week starts. If it isn't done by Friday, they have weekend work. That way we never, ever get behind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stay on top of whatever the kids are working on at the time. We work on it until they have it right 100%. That means we rework every math problem that is missed, all grammar work, all Latin work, etc.

 

We do this also. Most of their written work is completed by lunch. Over lunch, I check everything and leave anything that needs to be corrected by their place on the table. After lunch, I check the corrections and make sure everything is right. If there is something that someone needs help with, we work on it together then.

 

Karen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you tried a pre-made curriculum? One with the schedules all made out for you? (Obviously, I don't know your family and beliefs, but we use Sonlight, for example.) I know they can be quite expensive, but it may be worth the cost to get you pointed in a new direction.

 

I find it so helpful to have the planning done for me. Of course I adjust it, but that starting place has made all the difference for me as a teacher.

 

The question of 'rigor' has been on my mind lately, too, so I'll be watching this thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since "The Ria Post" from a while back that was referenced in the recent thread (LOL), I have been trying to ruthlessly clear out any obligations that keep me from being a full-time homeschooler. I am constantly reminding myself that I AM A TEACHER and have the obligations of one! Out of necessity this past fall, we had to give up being youth leaders at our church and it has been a blessing for our family, quite honestly. I *must* take this job seriously before I can expect anyone else to, not only our children but friends and family who think that they can call, drop by, ask for us to volunteer during school hours, etc.

 

That doesn't mean that we don't listen to God's leading about what things He might want us to do. But I think that for a while I was in the habit of thinking that doing MORE for God was automatically better and what He wanted. I think He wants me to raise and educate these children He's given me FIRST and all else *right now* is gravy. There will be a time-- years and years of time, actually--to give more of myself to other things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll be following this thread with great interest, as ds9 is giving me more and more trouble about "doing school," and I can completely relate to the "gnashing of teeth, whining, yelling, and crying," particularly if you add in a little something about constant complaining and negotiating, and endless, "I hate school," comments.

 

I'm hoping someone will have some suggestions on how to ease back into a stricter schedule... and maybe how to handle the meltdowns while we do it!

 

Cat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies!

 

So, to start a summary:

 

1. Re-doing work until it is done correctly 100%.

2. Plan a week's worth of work and get it all done (even if it means Saturday work.)

3. Do not shorten or drop school days unless an absolute emergency so you don't get behind.

4. Treat homeschooling as your job.

 

I am using somewhat pre-done curriculum, but there isn't a "box" out there that I can order and open and go. I would like to move towards as close to WTM reccomendations that I can taking into account their LDs and other issues.

 

Keep the ideas coming!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll be following this thread with great interest, as ds9 is giving me more and more trouble about "doing school," and I can completely relate to the "gnashing of teeth, whining, yelling, and crying," particularly if you add in a little something about constant complaining and negotiating, and endless, "I hate school," comments.

 

I'm hoping someone will have some suggestions on how to ease back into a stricter schedule... and maybe how to handle the meltdowns while we do it!

 

Cat

 

I knoe EXACTLY what you mean!:tongue_smilie:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As I mentioned in the other thread, we're some what new to homeschooling, in that we're still figuring out our fit, having gone from doing school at home for the first year and a half, to going to the complete opposite of 'Natural Learning' aka unschooling for the first 2/3 of this year...now I'm tossing that aside and basically catching up to where I think we should be...stuff that I hadn't been insisting on despite the 'Natural Learning' attempt.

 

Ok, that aside, I always insist that Diva redo until 100% correct. What I find works is that a lot of her things get hung on the wall. For example, her cellular biology diagram is a poster size, and in the kitchen, as is her other microscope work. A heck of a lot of her stuff gets turned into some sort of art work to go on display, which encourages her to ensure its 100% correct and neat...this works for LA, science, history, etc.

 

Diva also has wknd work if things are incomplete. And evenings. Sometimes things are just planned that way, so her Daddy can help with different things, or art projects are scheduled that way so that the Littles don't get into her supplies.

 

I'm looking forward to next year tremendously. We're starting Classical Education, and I truly believe its where we should have been from the get go. I feel like this year has been such a waste in so many ways it makes me nuts, but I've done a skills assessment and she's still above ps standards...but I know trying Natural Learning put her behind where she could be.

 

Thank Heavens there's next year...and this summer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing we've done to work through the meltdowns is set up the rule that if work isn't completed, ds's father will finish the day when he gets home. That doesn't go very well and provides some motivation.

 

Also, if work isn't done by the time his father is home, he doesn't get any electronics for the day. If the work still isn't done that day, he doesn't get any electronics until the day's work is completed, but it has to get pushed back based on our schedule, so he doesn't get electronics until the weekend - after the work is completed.

 

That's helped us some.

 

I'm also recognizing where I am causing problems. When we're doing school, I turn the computer and internet off. Otherwise a quick email check takes me out of commission for about an hour pretty quickly.

 

We're still figuring out the routine and consequences that work.

 

I do plan the week out over the weekend and put the day's work on the white board.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, setting weekly goals for the kids and rewarding them for meeting them has worked better than anything. I have really struggled with keeping my son (1st grade) on track until about 2 months ago. Now he and my daughter (2nd grade) both have a list of requirements and they can earn a movie night if they finish all of it by Thursday afternoon. I think it keeps me on track more than it does them.

 

Also, we raise the bar a bit every fall. Having a couple months off gives me a chance to reevaluate priorities, rework schedules, tack on a subject area or two.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am thinking along these same lines. It is difficult to increase rigor when you have a child with LD's. How much can they actually accomplish? (Not being sarcastic... I honestly don't understand my child's limits as he grows.) Then how do I hold everyone else to a certain standard while so much time is spent on the LD child? It's very confusing.

 

Moving to a LCC schedule has been my first step. I can't possibly teach 53 subjects to standard when you throw in the LD's. But 4 a day? It may be possible!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am thinking along these same lines. It is difficult to increase rigor when you have a child with LD's. How much can they actually accomplish? (Not being sarcastic... I honestly don't understand my child's limits as he grows.) Then how do I hold everyone else to a certain standard while so much time is spent on the LD child? It's very confusing.

 

Moving to a LCC schedule has been my first step. I can't possibly teach 53 subjects to standard when you throw in the LD's. But 4 a day? It may be possible!

 

Exactly! My DD12 could not write last year at all. Over the summer she was diagnosed with moderate to severe dyslexia and dysgraphia. She has been receiving tutoring and can now write very slowly in a beautiful cursive. But she still has trouble writing the words. Last week I gave her a dictation sentence to see if she could do it. "March is a windy month." She could write everything except month. Well, that's leaps and bounds better than last year, but she will be 13 next month. She will need much more help in high school than my oldest did, and she's nowhere near being able to write a paragraph or anything!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What are some ways you have increased expectations? How do you teach things like notetaking, meeting deadlines, etc.? Do you make your children re-do work until it is acceptable? What are the priorities in your homeschool?

 

I differentiate between learning-something-new mistakes and should-already-know-that mistakes. If Hobbes makes mistakes whilst learning something new, then I'll work through the problems with him. If it's something he should know well but is being careless about (forgetting full stops, or not putting units in the answers of maths problems) then he needs to redo the whole exercise, or do an extra exercise in his own time.

 

I taught Calvin note taking myself. I also hold him to deadlines: if things are not done by the end of the week, then he has homework at the weekend.

 

Good luck

 

Laura

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am thinking along these same lines. It is difficult to increase rigor when you have a child with LD's. How much can they actually accomplish? (Not being sarcastic... I honestly don't understand my child's limits as he grows.) Then how do I hold everyone else to a certain standard while so much time is spent on the LD child? It's very confusing.

 

Moving to a LCC schedule has been my first step. I can't possibly teach 53 subjects to standard when you throw in the LD's. But 4 a day? It may be possible!

 

This is a good point - each child is going to have their own definition of rigor. I can't expect my 11yo to write essays yet, but it isn't doing him any good not to expect daily writing in complete sentences. Once he masters that we can move on to paragraphs, etc. His LD means that ne needs to work on writing more so that it gets easier.

 

This morning he had to read three pages and then answer 3 questions in complete sentences. It took him almost 2 hours because he cried and screamed and carrried on. He would write a sentence and I would show him how to correct it and he would fix it. I did that with all of them. The reason it took so long was his attitude about it, not his actual LD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies!

 

So, to start a summary:

 

1. Re-doing work until it is done correctly 100%.

2. Plan a week's worth of work and get it all done (even if it means Saturday work.)

3. Do not shorten or drop school days unless an absolute emergency so you don't get behind.

4. Treat homeschooling as your job.

 

I am using somewhat pre-done curriculum, but there isn't a "box" out there that I can order and open and go. I would like to move towards as close to WTM reccomendations that I can taking into account their LDs and other issues.

 

Keep the ideas coming!

 

That sounds good.

 

Talking to your children about the change seems important, too. Children can be very understanding when adults admit their mistakes and say it's time to change. Emphasize to them that this time, childhood, is their time to learn, and the more they learn the easier and better their adult lives are likely to be.

 

Encourage them not to cheat themselves by taking the easy way out. I remember doing a demo for my young dc with building blocks -- building a tower and then asking what would happen if I took one of the lower blocks out. (The tower would crash.) Missing chunks of an education is like that, too. If you never learn the foundational concepts, you crash your whole learning tower. For example, if you can't do multiplication, then algebra will be impossible. A great thing about homeschooling is that, when you realize that you're missing a block, you can go back and put it in so that you can keep building.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reason it took so long was his attitude about it, not his actual LD.

 

I experience this as well. I have been assuming the attitude was *part* of the LD, but if I do this, I might not push him enough. Does that make sense? You can tell I am still sorting this out as well!

 

I think getting him out of his PJ's everyday takes so much energy that I am too tired to expect more. I need to figure this out.

(I don't mean to sound so negative... it is one of those days around here.:tongue_smilie:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I experience this as well. I have been assuming the attitude was *part* of the LD, but if I do this, I might not push him enough. Does that make sense? You can tell I am still sorting this out as well!

 

I think getting him out of his PJ's everyday takes so much energy that I am too tired to expect more. I need to figure this out.

(I don't mean to sound so negative... it is one of those days around here.:tongue_smilie:)

 

In my ds's case, I don't think the attitude is part of the LD but it *is* caused by the LD and ME! In the past (and I have said this here before) I let him slide on things that were "too hard" based on his LDs. I've gotten better, but now I am starting to see that he isn't going to catch up (or even improve) if I don't challenge him to a higher level.

 

He doesn't like to read because reading is hard for him. I let him listen to audiobooks because he LOVES literature (he just can't read it well.) However, I can't let him listen to everything - he needs to read quite a bit as well. So, I am increasing his reading load, even though it is hard for him.

 

I am trying to find a balance and fix those things that are not related to his LDs (or his 8yo brother's.) I may have to "allow accomodations" to borrow some educationalese, but I still have to expect a level of work that is appropriate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just had an interesting conversation about this very topic with a retired ps teacher friend. She was inquiring as to 10yo dd's progress and grade level. We chatted and I mentioned how starting a bit early had actually complicated things for us because dd's handwriting skills were age-appropriate, not grade level-appropriate and that had caused us to be slower than I wanted with getting into composition. I mentioned writing short reports and she casually responded that one report a month was not too much to ask. One a month??? I grinned and told her that although they are short (3 - 4 paragraphs each), I required two a week! (I'm sure many of you require even more.) She explained to me that when she was teaching that she thought it only fair to assign the amount of work that she could truly review and grade, and that due to the numbers of students, one a month was all she could manage along with all the rest of the subjects. I had never thought of it that way.

 

In many ways, I feel that I am not stringent enough and that is something I intend to remedy in the coming year or two. I am reading this thread with interest for ideas on how to go about bringing that to pass.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, the biggest thing is to plan things a week in advance. I use a form from donnayoung.org. Each child has their own page of lesson plans for the week. I check it off as we go. If it's not done, we finish on the weekend. That's only happened once, due to a dentist appt. that we weren't expecting. Without this plan, I can't function. If I overplan, then it's not fresh in my mind and it is guaranteed to change (usually because we've gotten ahead, but sometimes because we've not covered the material I anticipated).

 

Also, I *stay* at the table. I don't assign things and wander away. From 8:30-11:30, I stay at the table. Then we have lunch. At 1:00 we'll start again and go until 3-3:30. Sometimes, I bring my laptop and browse, but usually there is no time for that, because I try to work with Adrian when I'm not needed by the oldest two.

 

Diligence is the key, I think. Making sure that you plan and make progress. So easy for a day to slip by, and you move stuff up, and then another day slips by... You look at your plan and realize you only covered 2 days that week! It happens! Been there, done that!

 

Also, my kids are learning to do so much more for themselves. Oldest DS does his own lunch. They pretty much all do their own breakfast, but I'm there to help. They keep their rooms and bathroom clean. I don't do that stuff. :) It gives me quite a bit more time to plan or *gasp* play!

 

HTH. I'm still trying to work the youngest in on a more consistent basis. It gets done, just a bit more randomly than I'd like. Sometimes it's late evening, and he just doesn't care about it then...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to add that planning ahead is important. During the summer, I get everything completely ready for the next school year. Copies made, assignments broken down by week and day, etc. All this goes into their personal planners, so there is no guesswork about what they are required to do. There are weekly folders for all 36 weeks of the school year with everything needed to complete that week's work. Even supplies for activities and science experiments are bought and put in supply bins. That way we never get to something assigned and realize we do not have what is required to complete it. It is a lot of work in the summer for me, but is well worth it as it saves my sanity and keeps us on track during the school year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just wanted to add that planning ahead is important. During the summer, I get everything completely ready for the next school year. Copies made, assignments broken down by week and day, etc. All this goes into their personal planners, so there is no guesswork about what they are required to do. There are weekly folders for all 36 weeks of the school year with everything needed to complete that week's work. Even supplies for activities and science experiments are bought and put in supply bins. That way we never get to something assigned and realize we do not have what is required to complete it. It is a lot of work in the summer for me, but is well worth it as it saves my sanity and keeps us on track during the school year.

 

WOW! I'd be happy to have everything together for the next week!:lol: I am going to add making copies, getting supplies, etc. on the weekend before to my list....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing that has helped us stay on track has been sketching out a 32-34 week, 4-days-per week plan. I divide up the work as though we will only be in school for those weeks but we usually get in 36-38 weeks. This way I know that I have a few weeks for catching up. A bad cold or the flu, an unexpected vacation or visitor, some unexpectedly beautiful weather - these are times that I want to be able to take a day (or even a week) off without fear.

 

I make a plan for each week on Sunday night - the older girls get an assignment sheet each week (Word table). I recently started giving one to my 10yo as well and it is working really well! And the planning is often pretty easy, as I use a lot of things that are just *next lesson*, if you kwim!

 

Another thing that has helped is getting a little ahead in the summer. There are many days when we have nothing to do or it is just too hot to go out, so we get a few subjects in. We can get several *days* done before September but we still all feel like we have had a nice long break.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a few rules for myself.

 

~No phone calls. I don't answer the phone unless it is an emergency, and I make no calls until the school day is over.

 

~No personal computer use until lunch break or after school is over.

 

~I am out of bed, exercised, fed, and fully dressed prior to my kids getting up.

 

All these things get me pointed in the right direction. I once heard a speaker say, "the mother sets the tone." I think that is so true, and a huge responsibility. I can't imagine what the tone would be if I were in my pjs and socializing throughout the school day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have not been as rigorous as I would have liked over the past years. The recent post about low standards hit me again about what we need to change. I want to make sure that we improve the things that we have fallen behind on and raise the expectations of my dc.

 

I do realize that now is not the best time to make sweeping changes, but I think moving to a new state is a good time to make changes. Until then, I plan to work on our routines and consistency in school schedule. I also want to work on attitudes about things that are hard - right now anything perceived as hard results in much gnashing of teeth, whining, yelling, and crying.

 

In FL I believe we are going to register with the county because I want to be able to utilize ps resources. This is very different than what I have to do here in NC - I am actually going to have to SHOW someone what we have accomplished!

 

What are some ways you have increased expectations? How do you teach things like notetaking, meeting deadlines, etc.? Do you make your children re-do work until it is acceptable? What are the priorities in your homeschool?

 

I had to chuckle when I read the post on the lower standards as it was something that I had been feeling about myself and I had just given my two children a talk about just because it makes your brain work a little doesn't mean it is to hard.:tongue_smilie:

I have let some things not be on a high priority and the changing over has been a bit difficult but as I told them, not to hard. We have changed a couple of curr. I have gone to R&S for English and Phonic/Reading. It is more scheduled and seems to me to be clearer in explanations. Next year we will be using their Math also but the math we have been using is good. With something that is writen, I correct while they are working on something else and if they have something incorrect they have to set there and do it. I will many times sit with them and talk them through it if it is more than one thing like in math as I figure they are not understanding something. Non the less it is all corrected and complete before we call our day finished.

I schedule out for a week at a time and we have just recently gone back to 5 days a week. We school year around but I will be taking a week off every 5-6 weeks throughout the year and we take off 3 wks in the summer, late July-first full week of August.

I know we will get things up to where they need to be as ps isn't a choice for our famly and private school is way out there $ wise. I don't see my ds especially doing well in either of these situations and I am not sure our dd would either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me it depends on the age/grade of the child.

 

K - 3rd grade was easy for me and the children to keep up with. Hours were shorter and read-a-louds took care of much of the content areas. There were no tests other than spelling. We did the reviews in math.

 

In third grade, in our state, we are required to do an achievement test so there was that. We did some practice tests to get ready for it.

 

In fourth grade I started to require much more reading from the actual child (vs. read-a-louds in content areas) because my child's reading level could handle it. I'd rather keep the content vigorous and read to them if they are having difficulty with reading, than to dumb down the content to match a lower reading level. I also started to require more written narrations or answers to questions.

 

For us, 5th grade was the start of our "middle school" program. It fit well for us because it was the start of a new 4 year history rotation. I started to require the child to be more independent in following his school schedule. I started to give tests in science. I started to require short reports in history (which is my way of "testing" in history).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This DVD from The Teaching Company - 'How to Become a Superstar Student' - has been a fabulous resource for my middle schoolers, and I intend to have them re-watch it each year through high school (or until the habits that are taught are consistently part of their study skills). It covers topics such as notetaking, academic reading, etc. in a very manageable way, and it is great to have an independent person 'telling' my kids how to tackle their reading, notetaking, etc. I highly recommend this resource!

 

http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/coursedesclong2.aspx?cid=140

 

Shelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This DVD from The Teaching Company - 'How to Become a Superstar Student' - has been a fabulous resource for my middle schoolers, and I intend to have them re-watch it each year through high school (or until the habits that are taught are consistently part of their study skills). It covers topics such as notetaking, academic reading, etc. in a very manageable way, and it is great to have an independent person 'telling' my kids how to tackle their reading, notetaking, etc. I highly recommend this resource!

 

http://www.teach12.com/ttcx/coursedesclong2.aspx?cid=140

 

Shelly

 

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If my 11yo gets to take classes through the virtual school next year, that will help me to see what is expected from other 6th graders. I sat down last night and figured out what we needed to do to finish out this year. We can get it all done, but it will mean schooling daily from here until the end of June.

 

I know what materials we are going ot use next year, so I will make sure to plan more so that we can keep on track.

 

Everyone has given me great ideas and has been very helpful!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I stay on top of whatever the kids are working on at the time. We work on it until they have it right 100%. That means we rework every math problem that is missed, all grammar work, all Latin work, etc.

 

We also never drop or shorten school days unless it is a REAL emergency. We haven't had one this year. I decide what needs to be accomplished in a week before the week starts. If it isn't done by Friday, they have weekend work. That way we never, ever get behind.

 

This is exactly how we work. I think the consistency has made it so my kids know what to expect and expect no less. They work hard and like Tammy, if not completed they have weekend work. I limit myself to the computer and I schedule out our goals and semesters over the summer. I give myself benchmarks of where we should be as well as a school calendar planned out during the summer.

 

 

I just wanted to add that planning ahead is important. During the summer, I get everything completely ready for the next school year. Copies made, assignments broken down by week and day, etc. All this goes into their personal planners, so there is no guesswork about what they are required to do. There are weekly folders for all 36 weeks of the school year with everything needed to complete that week's work. Even supplies for activities and science experiments are bought and put in supply bins. That way we never get to something assigned and realize we do not have what is required to complete it. It is a lot of work in the summer for me, but is well worth it as it saves my sanity and keeps us on track during the school year.

 

Ditto!

__________________

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My oldest ds tells me I had him do too much math at home (R&S). He's in private high school now, and he does a tremendous amt. of work but it's less in some areas and more in others than what he did at home.

 

At high school he does less reading of literature, grammar and math problems; more vocabulary, writing across the curriculum, science, projects, research and quizzes/tests.

 

I've noticed over the years that balance tends to be difficult for us, homeschoolers. We do too much history or LA or something else because .... well, for whatever our reasons are. Balance is the key to a well rounded education. I too find it difficult to balance it all!

 

Rigor and high standards are fine but they are ever changing due to the age/grade and abilities of our dc which makes homeschooling a challenge. Unlike public/private school teachers we don't know what's normal, behind, ahead for that particular grade/age because we don't see that age/grade year after year with hundreds of students. Public school teachers get that experience. We, at home, also have to deal with the whinning of our dc because they are our dc! They wouldn't behave that way for others - they would suck it up! There is positive and negative peer pressure at public school. Positive peer pressure can cause some dc to go above and beyond what they would'n't normally do.

 

Your question is a good one and one I'm sure we all struggle with or we wouldn't be hanging out on TWTM!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I experience this as well. I have been assuming the attitude was *part* of the LD, but if I do this, I might not push him enough. Does that make sense? You can tell I am still sorting this out as well!

 

I think getting him out of his PJ's everyday takes so much energy that I am too tired to expect more. I need to figure this out.

(I don't mean to sound so negative... it is one of those days around here.:tongue_smilie:)

 

This is something I face too. WHen it takes HOURS of the day just to get ds (and dd to a lesser extent), dressed, fed, meds etc filled with meltdowns the whole time I am completely drained of energy by 10 am. We still do school but not to the extent I would like, even that drags on unnecessarily with all the argueing, tantrums etc about how mean I am making them work. I want to increase the rigor but am at a loss of how with my particular children. The attitude IS part of their SN so that comes into play. When dd was in school she literally did nothing, her teacher would send home all her work for the full day because dd would just refuse to do it. She puts up the same fight here but loses everytime and has to complete her work, but when just math and LA take 4-6 hours I don't know how to add everything else in.

 

DS has processing speed issues along with everything thing else on his list of Dx, so even basic concepts take him a while to grasp. Once he "get it" he is golden but that takes time and his anxiety disorder holds him back from trying new things out of a fear of failure. SO he fights me on learning a new concept, struggles with it, then learns it and we start over with the next. The 2 of them wear me right out. While battling them I am trying to teach ds5 and keep the baby busy and happy.

 

How on earth do you increase the rigor and expectations, when they are fighting it so hard against you?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting about the LD kids. Mine has been fighting me for 6 years now- according to him I always give him too much writing and too much work. I lost my temper with him yesterday when I wanted to expain his assignment to him and he wanted to argue about it. Normally I handle it well but he is getting stronger, more powerful, and after several days of him resisting I really wonder if its time he went to school so he could realise its not too much work! I told him either he stops fighting me or its time to go to school- I have never done that before but I meant it. It would break my heart though.

 

We have a good routine. I get up early and get quiet time and exercise before school. School starts at 8.30 strictly, fiinshes around 3. But we are only just starting the 2nd quarter of our school year and I felt during last break that it's time to increase the workload (we used to finish around 2).

We dont do anything during the school days except on Fridays, when Dd14 does debating at 11am, and both have a science class in the afternoon. We still get in 2.5 hours work in the morning that day, and full days most other days.

We have never done homework, although I threaten it.

I am feeling I am still too soft, even though we are getting through more work, but I am not handling them being older...they are so strong now. I can be bigger than them, but it seems to take so much energy out of me and I already have chronic fatigue.

 

We have schedules and we do keep to them. At the moment, a timed schedule is working for ds13, and a loose schedule is working for dd14. She prefers to finish what she is doing before moving on.

 

I am struggling with the constant melt downs by ds13. I honestly dont think he would do well in school, but I cant do battle with him any more.

And dd14 is refusing to get any exercise, and it is causing her to get heavier, although she is not overweight. She exercises at gymnastics once weekly, and at Scouts, but she wont walk or bike ride or move her body the rest of the week. She just sits.

I think its probably time to pull them both back from the amount of online socialising they are doing and get them outside in the fresh air more.

I am wondering if I am trying to do too much bookwork, and it might be time to go out and do some more "real life" homeschooling. Not sure yet what that means, but I feel we are all spending too much time indoors with our head in books or on the computer. It seems to me that especially teenagers, need lots of interaction with the world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1. Re-doing work until it is done correctly 100%.

2. Plan a week's worth of work and get it all done (even if it means Saturday work.)

3. Do not shorten or drop school days unless an absolute emergency so you don't get behind.

4. Treat homeschooling as your job.

 

 

 

Thanks for starting this thread, and thanks to all who have contributed. This really helps!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, more synopsis:

 

1. Re-doing work until it is done correctly 100%.

2. Plan a week's worth of work and get it all done (even if it means Saturday work.)

3. Do not shorten or drop school days unless an absolute emergency so you don't get behind.

4. Treat homeschooling as your job.

5. Prepare all materials, copies, etc. ahead of time.

6. Keep the computer off until schooling is over.

7. Set goals and benchmarks for the year and evaluate regularly to see if you are meeting them.

8. Sit at the table/desk with your dc to keep them on task.

 

Any others?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, more synopsis:

 

1. Re-doing work until it is done correctly 100%.

2. Plan a week's worth of work and get it all done (even if it means Saturday work.)

3. Do not shorten or drop school days unless an absolute emergency so you don't get behind.

4. Treat homeschooling as your job.

5. Prepare all materials, copies, etc. ahead of time.

6. Keep the computer off until schooling is over.

7. Set goals and benchmarks for the year and evaluate regularly to see if you are meeting them.

8. Sit at the table/desk with your dc to keep them on task.

 

Any others?

 

This is great :001_smile:!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My boys know that absolutely no screen time happens until they complete everything, to my satisfaction. I think "work before play" is a basic rule of life and enforce it with schoolwork. But having something fun to look forward to is nice for them. On Fridays, they are very diligent because their friends are free and available to play after school Friday. They want to be free to play!

 

I agree with everything you've heard so far.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What a great thread!

 

I took a Bible study about 10 years ago that spoke about being an "intentional" wife and homemaker. The author suggested that each of us should approach our role as a job for which we are trying hard to get a promotion.

 

That analogy has stayed with me, and I have tried to keep that in mind as a homeschool teacher. Our most successful years of homeschooling were when my oldest two were in 4th-8th grades and my little ones had not yet been born. :)

 

I think what made those years so successful was the fact that I treated my role as a professional and acted accordingly. With the perspective of time, I can look back now and tell you what worked for us:

 

~I did all my planning on weekends and at night, and produced detailed weekly/daily schedules so that we were all on track.

 

~We were all dressed, breakfasted, and at the table by 8:15 am. (Your schedule may vary, obviously.)

 

~Except for bathroom breaks and a lunch break, I stayed at the table with my kids. That way I was able to teach them, monitor them, and grade their work almost instantly. Oh, I might get up to switch out the laundry or get something out of the freezer to defrost . . . but in general, I was right there with my students. All heavy cooking/housework was left until after school.

 

~We kept our interruptions and distractions to a minimum. Yes, life does "happen", but interruptions need to be the exception, not the rule. There is something wrong if one is doing only 2-3 days of school every single week on a consistent basis because of distractions. (Barring an extreme situation such as a severe illness, etc.)

 

~We saved all out outside activities for one day a week. For us, it was Fridays; we did piano lessons, homeschool orchestra, and a trip to the library. Even on Fridays, though, we did the "three R's". Science and history, however, were scheduled on other days.

 

I have enjoyed this discussion (and the related long post) quite a bit, and respect all those of us who are trying to put our best effort into educating our children.

 

Yes, I know that will look different in different families (as it should), but I think many of us know the difference in our heart between dilligently teaching/educating our students and just letting too much fall by the wayside, too often.

 

Thanks for the dialogue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so glad this thread is going. This has been our first full year of home schooling and we are far enough behind that will barely finish by the end of June. Granted, we've had some emergencies and such, but I can see now where we have gone wrong. We definitely over planned activities. That won't happen again. :) And I have been a little too lenient and allowed a bit too much whining.

 

Last week, I had had enough. They started complaining before they even sat down to their books. I stood up and said, "Ok, let's go."

 

"Where are we going?"

 

"We're going to register the two of you in school."

 

Insert crying and begging here, but it did help. I hate doing that, but I felt like I had to get it through their heads that school was going to happen no matter what. One way or the other, they're going to learn. So far, the complaints have been few since then.

 

I am keeping a list of the tips and suggestions. I hope they keep coming.

 

Jeannie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These have been outstanding posts. I have not truly begun to homeschool since my eldest is only 4. I need to make home preschool more consistent and more structured. She is learning quite a bit the way it is now, but I think she could be learning so much more (and I would feel better about my teaching) if we were more organized.

 

Keeping the computer off until schooling is over needs to occur for MY sake. As a ps teacher my only opportunity to be on the computer was during my prep period, which happened to be the end of the day anyway. I need to revert to this schedule.

 

I love reading all these suggestions. As a newbie I want to absorb everyone's wisdom! What a super thread!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All of this is fine as long as rigormortis doesn't set in! :lol:

 

Too funny! I haven't been able to get that word out of my head for the last day. Good to know I'm not the only macabre one. ;)

 

This has been a great thread! I'm revisiting my schedule and making (copying) the list of dos and don'ts ASAP.

 

I think another idea is not to spend *too* much time planning. I tend to do that. I get a perfectly good curriculum that is all planned out and practically rewrite the whole thing. I bet years from now my kids won't have any idea how much I "perfected" Sonlight, but they might remember seeing too much the back of my head while I was at the computer making those schedules over again. :tongue_smilie:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think another idea is not to spend *too* much time planning. I tend to do that. I get a perfectly good curriculum that is all planned out and practically rewrite the whole thing. I bet years from now my kids won't have any idea how much I "perfected" Sonlight, but they might remember seeing too much the back of my head while I was at the computer making those schedules over again. :tongue_smilie:

 

This has been an issue for me too. It's the perfect case of "perfect being the enemy of good". Planning is a good thing; it's pretty hard to get to a specific destination without carefully planning how to get there.

 

But for those of us who tend to overplan and tweak relentlessly, sometimes it's also important to just DO. And in my case, I think at least some of that extra tweaking time could have been better spent in direct contact with my kids.

 

Of course, now I'm starting preschool with my 3.5 year old and I am tweaking and supplementing like mad. :lol: However, at least I've got everything in place now and will just use all the things I've accumulated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Keeping the computer off until schooling is over needs to occur for MY sake.

 

I have been struggling with my kids, and school. I read this thread and the one thing that stuck in my head was keeping the the computer off till after school. Its only been two days that I have done that, but wow, what a difference! And wow, my house has undergone a metamorphosis as well because there's not much I can help them with while they are doing their reading or maths, so I have been cleaning.

Who'd a thought, such a simple thing. Dont turn the computer on till after school.

I intend to keep it up!

At the same time, I really needed them to spend less time on the computer, so it has been good for them to see me on it less while I restrict their access too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm also recognizing where I am causing problems. When we're doing school, I turn the computer and internet off. Otherwise a quick email check takes me out of commission for about an hour pretty quickly.

 

Yeah, that could easily be me :o

 

Taking notes..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
I know it's not this way for everyone, but homeschooling is my job. I do basic pick up of the house during the day but even that is very lacking by my neat-freak dh's standards. Other than those couple of pick up times I do school. period.

 

Also, we don't do much. Some people have co-op days and park days and extra classes and bible study and field trips and basically are running around constantly.

I just really liked this post!

 

I think getting him out of his PJ's everyday takes so much energy that I am too tired to expect more. I need to figure this out.

(I don't mean to sound so negative... it is one of those days around here.:tongue_smilie:)

I am not alone!!! Clothing is a major issue for us, causing us to miss out on a lot. When I want to throw in the towel for homeschooling, I think about how much effort it was to get her to school (she went to K for a short time.) The fighting involved, and the lack of understanding from school officials when we arrive teary eyed and late, stopping at the office for a therapy session before going to class. I do not want to go through that again!!

 

Also, my kids are learning to do so much more for themselves. Oldest DS does his own lunch. They pretty much all do their own breakfast, but I'm there to help. They keep their rooms and bathroom clean. I don't do that stuff. :) It gives me quite a bit more time to plan or *gasp* play!

What does your six year old do and how did you first implement it?

 

I started to require the child to be more independent in following his school schedule.
How does that work?

 

This is something I face too. WHen it takes HOURS of the day just to get ds (and dd to a lesser extent), dressed, fed, meds etc filled with meltdowns the whole time I am completely drained of energy by 10 am. We still do school but not to the extent I would like, even that drags on unnecessarily with all the argueing, tantrums etc about how mean I am making them work. , but when just math and LA take 4-6 hours I don't know how to add everything else in.

 

How on earth do you increase the rigor and expectations, when they are fighting it so hard against you?

:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: I completely understand. Only too well.

 

Our most successful years of homeschooling were when my oldest two were in 4th-8th grades and my little ones had not yet been born. :)

 

I think what made those years so successful was the fact that I treated my role as a professional and acted accordingly.

I think what made those years successful was the absence of little ones. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Carmen - you asked how it worked to get my child to be more independent following his school schedule.

 

I print out a schedule for the week from Outlook. (One page for each day). It will have stuff like: 6th Grade Math: Sing. 6A Ex. 5 or 6th History: Read ch. 11 of "The Story of Liberty" Answer questions 1 - 3.

 

At first it was a lot of coaching. "What does your schedule say to do next?" kind of stuff. Now he just follows the schedule.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...