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View Full Version : Consistency issues as we move toward high school?



Tricia O
12-02-2012, 08:45 AM
FYI Updated in post 15 below...

This year my oldest daughter is in 7th grade. We are nearly 3/4 of the way through our school year since we started at the end of May (technically we are 70% through our school year currently). However, she is not 3/4 of the way through much of her curriculum. How do we teach/encourage diligence & consistency (in her and in ourselves as teachers) as we become closer to the high school years? (Many of you know, but in case you don't, my DH is the primary teacher in our home as he is a SAHD.) And how do you encourage this when you are teaching 3 different children in three different places academically?

I know we need to work on consistency/diligence in ourselves as parents/teachers to be a good model, but how do we do this? I do try to help DH on my days off (currently 3 weekday mornings a week), but I also try to take the kids at least once a week to Matt's mom's house & do school with them there so he gets a break from the kids and a chance to work on cleaning & other things around the house that are hard to do with kids around.

Here are the subjects we do as a family & how we do them.


Who is God & Can I Really Know Him? (Dad reads to kids, no other activities)
Nutrition 101: Choose life (Dad reads to kids, no other activities except an occasional recipe)
Mystery of History (listen to the readings in car as we go places, do pretests & post-lesson quizzes/exercises, make cards for each lesson & do timeline figures using History Through the Ages figures & book, no other activities) (We have listened through about week 16 but are only through week 13 with the quizzes, etc.)


Here are Elizabeth's individual subjects:

Teaching Textbooks 7 She is 67% of the way through this book, so mostly on target.
Studying God's Word E (I am happy with where she is on this subject.)
Spelling Power (She is on level E group 35. I have no idea what is "grade level" on this subject, but I know we could be more consistent here too.)
Winston Grammar We started this in 6th grade. There are 30 weeks & we are up to Week 23 on the regular workbook, although we have also gone through Week 15 in the supplemental workbook as a review when we took a few months break over the summer. We should finish the regular workbook this year, so I think I am happy with our progress here, albeit slow.)
Lightning Literature 7th grade (skipping most writing parts since we were supposed to be starting IEW SWI-B with her & Katie this year, only we never got started with it; I think we were too intimidated even though we have the TWSS too) (She loves to read, so I knew she could read more/faster through the reading weeks & therefore that has made this subject way too easy to skip, but I had no idea how far behind she was until just now. She is only on week 14 even though we are on beginning week 26 in our school year. :eek: )
Apologia General Science She is working on Module 6 out of 16. :eek: :eek:
Typing Instructor Would like to have her work more on this but she has hardly done anything.


How can we encourage/motivate her to become more independent & take more ownership of her own work/schedule? How did you do this in your children as they approached the high school years? If I left her to her own devices, she would wander around the house all day listening to her ipod or sit at the kitchen table drawing all day long. :perplex:

Thank you so much for any advice, support, etc.

Cindy in CA
12-02-2012, 11:49 AM
I know we need to work on consistency/diligence in ourselves as parents/teachers to be a good model, but how do we do this?


How can we encourage/motivate her to become more independent & take more ownership of her own work/schedule? How did you do this in your children as they approached the high school years? If I left her to her own devices, she would wander around the house all day listening to her ipod or sit at the kitchen table drawing all day long. :perplex:



Tricia, here is your main question and your answer... I think you answered your own question. Take away the IPOD and the her drawing supplies. She can have those back after her assignments for the day are completed and checked to see if they are completed to your standards by you or Matt. Give her a daily list of what needs to be done. Make it very realistic ( perhaps a little on the easy side) at first and as she gets more responsible add more daily work, but always keep it realistic for her.

In my house there are no activities of choice ( for my 9th grader it is getting on the computer) until all his work and jobs around the house are completed for the day. His job ( I don't call them chores) are on the daily check off list too. I write this daily. There are times that I cut him slack if I see he has really worked hard trying to get done and just hasn't due to other stuff such as being out of the house to much, too many distraction that aren't his doing, or an assignment that took much time away from the others. I am flexible, but firm. We are almost 1/2 way though our school year, started in Sept. and we are right on track with all his subjects. He has to do what he needs to do before he can do what he wants to do. That is just life.
I really hope this helps!

:)

Amy Joy
12-02-2012, 05:43 PM
One thing I did with my son this year is make a folder with velcro spots for every day. Then he picks what subjects he will do when. He velcros his little subjects on to the daily strips on Monday morning and is allowed to rearrange as he goes, but we encourage him not too push everything off til Friday as there is nothing "fun" done til school and chores are done. So far he has done quite well.

Christi in VA
12-02-2012, 06:07 PM
Tricia,
My 7th grader is only on module 2 of this same science course. She is around the same spot in Spelling Power. Not nearly that far in Winston Grammar (prob somewhere around lesson 6). We don't read MOH or the like, just trying to complete one volume of Beyond FIAR this year. I didn't schedule more than one level of Beyond for those two children, as life usually happens to us.
She is doing Saxon Alg 1/2 this year and is on lesson 34.

We're up and down, too. I think it will all get done by the time high school comes around. I'm trying not to worry about it b/c I know that it WILL happen. Eventually.
As you know, keeping up with this child is my constant reminder of how quickly the time is flying by us. So I'm working to keep the stress and pressure at bay. I want to enjoy it and keep my goal in mind: Discipleship.

All that rambling to just say that we're not evened out in all areas, either, but I think it will be OK.

CINDY LB OH
12-02-2012, 10:11 PM
My first daughter was a tough one to motivate. What I finally figured out for her was that she needed to see the big picture, and then have it broken down.

So for the TT for example, figure out how much of the course to be completed is acceptable. If she is at 67% done now, is getting 95% done your goal, or maybe only 90%. The next level will have review, so completing the entire course is an absolute necessity. Then figure out how many lessons that would be, now many days of school are left, and make a daily schedule for the rest of the year. I would put something like:
Week #12. 12/3- 12/7
Lesson 50
Lesson 51
Lesson 52
Lesson 53

Week #13. etc.

Then she could see the big picture of where she needed to end, but then it was broken down into managable bits for her. She needed to know the end. She's a big picture person who needs to see the whole first.

You can then do this with every subject. I made her a binder with all these checklists in them. It kept her accountable, and it also helped me to know if she was staying on track.

It's kind of like in college where the prof gives you a syllabus for the entire course. You know what's due when for the whole thing right up front.

I also learned not to push independence too quickly. We do Lightning Lit too, and I always did it with them. We read the books aloud together, and then the worksheets were done independently. I am doing LL7 with my third student and we are currently on Tom Sawyer. I will probably skip the Helen Keller book with him though, and read a different biography of more interest to him. I don't worry too much if we don't cover every bit of something, but I try. Do what makes sense for you, and get it all written out for both student and teacher. I know it helps me to see the big picture too.

ETA: And for Apologia General Science, we also did that as a read aloud. Then I had them fill in the study guide for whatever was covered in that reading. So part together, part independent. It really depends on your student. Some move faster towards independence than others.

CJ
12-02-2012, 11:57 PM
In my house there are no activities of choice ( for my 9th grader it is getting on the computer) until all his work and jobs around the house are completed for the day. There are times that I cut him slack if I see he has really worked hard trying to get done and just hasn't due to other stuff such as being out of the house to much, too many distraction that aren't his doing, or an assignment that took much time away from the others. I am flexible, but firm.


:yes:

This is us, too. There are no other activities until their school work is done. I remove gadgets or other items if they get lost and find them in their hands.

We also don't do school in the summer and if they aren't done, then they just chose Summer School. Which starts an hour and a half earlier than regular school during our school year. And goes 2 hours longer than our regular school schedule.

I am full of love and compassion and assistance, but getting an education is their JOB and there is no way around that. Apply yourself and get busy, I tell them. I am here to help, but it's YOUR education, not mine. I already did mine. :D

However, I am with my children for the entire time during school regardless of their age. We are all in the same place. They don't really need my daily assistance less until around 9th grade. At least that's how it's been in our house.

I have also found that the parent's diligence and consistency really pays off if you keep it up with the oldest. It sets the precedent for the following students (within reason, of course) and I giggle when I hear my kids talking to each other, "Well, I know I have to do this because you had to and it's required for me to graduate."

Joy in Alabama
12-03-2012, 09:45 AM
Tricia,
Do you keep a planbook or have daily plans? Those are what keep me consistent. I plan out the work for the week, keeping in mind the planned bits of life and knowing we will have interruptions and changes. But the kids or I highlight the things which we've accomplished. Then I look back over it and make adjustments for the upcoming week(s). Sometimes I over plan and when I look back over the week's work, I realize I've tried to squeeze in too much schoolwork. Sometimes Carrie skips things she's not crazy about and we have to have a talk about it. Sometimes I see that we're doing too many things outside of school and I have to try harder, but for the most part, we get everything on the planbook done.

Also, Carrie "owns" her education, so she knows that to graduate, she has to do the work, even if that means summer school (which it usually does for my high schoolers). She's a very motivated girl because she really wants to get out of school!

Thomas, who is in 7th grade, is not terribly motivated, but is obedient and does what he's told and will become more independent with time and maturity, I know.

Cari
12-03-2012, 11:31 AM
It's hard. DD15 still struggles with this ~ she sets out on a path that looks so well-organized and thought out, that she even develops herself ~ then somehow we end up nearly halfway through the school year and she's on week 2 of algebra :eek:! So I feel your pain.

Your DD is young enough to still need a lot of guidance and firm consequences. If she's demonstrated that she's not keeping up to your standards, then she needs DAILY monitoring of her work until she IS keeping up. Period. That's where the parental diligence and consistency come in. And believe me, sometimes I fail miserably in this area (hence the week 2 on algebra thing).

And yes, if the ipod and drawing are her things, then withholding those things until the work is done to your satisfaction is key, even if it makes things ugly for a time.

:group:

Cari
12-03-2012, 11:43 AM
Just to add...

DD18 was NOT particularly good at keeping up with her work throughout high school. She STILL waits way too long to do her work. But she's on the Dean's list at the community college she attends, and she gets it done when she has to get it done. Some kids don't readily own their education until they really WANT what it will gain them and/or are paying for it! And some kids just thrive on an the adrenaline rush of a last minute deadline. So there's always hope :)!

Rachael
12-31-2012, 12:37 AM
IMO, the hardest part of homeschooling is discipline (not punishment, discipline). And the hardest part of discipline is consistency.

My 9th and 11th graders have checklists for their benefit. If we don't keep their work checked regularly, they will take a day off. :( My 3rd grader has a folder with the week's work in it, with days written on the top of every page. Other assignments that don't fit in that folder have an index card stapled to the front of the pocket with a small checklist- like Five in a Row, then the days Mon- Fri for him to check off that he's come to me and we've done it.

We also don't have any privileges or screen time until school is done. For my 11th grader, that means she is forced to sit at the kitchen table until her work is done. For my 3rd grader, that means the door to his room gets shut and he can't be in there until his work is done. While kids need to become responsible for themselves, it's a rare kid that will do it on their own without parents following up on them, IMO.

Kendra AU
01-01-2013, 04:12 AM
Tricia, does she have a daily schedule? Not one that's based on time, but order of jobs to complete. Ie: Get up, Get dressed, Make your breakfast, feed your pets, do your school, etc. Entering in when she can do as she pleases. I noticed that when my children have an order in which to get things done it makes for a lot less nagging on my behalf. I can simply say, "Check your list." If I see them doing something that seems out of place for the time I can ask to see their list, which they check off as they go.

Tricia O
01-07-2013, 12:15 AM
We made little checklists for each school day for them to mark off what is done. These have to be done before screen time is earned. If we don't feel like a subject needs to be done that day, we just cross it off. We only had time to do this for a week or two before our Christmas break, but we definitely saw more productivity from the kids when we did. So I think this will help once we get back in the swing of things.

Heather (WI)
01-07-2013, 01:50 AM
we made little checklists for each school day for them to mark off what is done. These have to be done before screen time is earned. If we don't feel like a subject needs to be done that day, we just cross it off. We only had time to do this for a week or two before our christmas break, but we definitely saw more productivity from the kids when we did. So i think this will help once we get back in the swing of things.

yay!

LeanneNZ
01-17-2013, 12:40 PM
When out ds hit 13/14 a struggle began with him not wanting to do his school work... The reading I did to help solve the issues pushed me WAY out of MY comfort zone. I unschooled him - gulp. I explained that it was HIS education and offered him option of unschooling. WITH guidelines - ie chores needed to be done but he could sleep in if he needed to. His body must of needed to as he would sleep in some days until 10 (shocking for me who is up at 4am) Computer/tv was limited as our family does any way. It was the best thing we did unschooling him - he played his guitar and looked into things that interested HIM re guitar (this year he has build his own from steel). He said yes to growing his own garden and has a huge garden - we said yes to letting him grow tobacco - but with conditions he had to search health facts, law about growing it and selling it etc. He did. Plus it led him on a search of many things PLUS a love of gardening (even saving his own seeds) Oh we let him grow hops too..
It took a huge leap of faith to unschool and just let him grow tobacco, hops and play guitar. But it really paid off he has nuckled down and done school this last year because HE wanted to and has sat exams in NZ passing really high making us very proud.

Love Leanne

Tricia O
02-16-2013, 11:32 PM
Here are Elizabeth's individual subjects:

Teaching Textbooks 7 She is 67% of the way through this book, so mostly on target. UPDATE - She will definitely finish this book by the end of our school year. :)
Winston Grammar We started this in 6th grade. There are 30 weeks & we are up to Week 23 on the regular workbook, although we have also gone through Week 15 in the supplemental workbook as a review when we took a few months break over the summer. We should finish the regular workbook this year, so I think I am happy with our progress here, albeit slow.) UPDATE - She just finished this finally and did well. She will be moving on to Winston Word Works next year.
Lightning Literature 7th grade (skipping most writing parts since we were supposed to be starting IEW SWI-B with her & Katie this year, only we never got started with it; I think we were too intimidated even though we have the TWSS too) (She loves to read, so I knew she could read more/faster through the reading weeks & therefore that has made this subject way too easy to skip, but I had no idea how far behind she was until just now. She is only on week 14 even though we are on beginning week 26 in our school year. :eek: ) - UPDATE - We have four weeks of school left & she has 12 weeks left, but I feel pretty good about her progress as she's moving along at a pace a bit faster than the book now, and she is allotted 8 weeks to read All Creatures Great and Small, which I am sure she will really enjoy & be able to finish off in a week or so.
Apologia General Science She is working on Module 6 out of 16. :eek: :eek: UPDATE - She is finishing Module 9 now. She will likely be finishing this as "summer school" but we are fine with this as she has been much more consistent about this over the past 8 weeks, and I do not want her doubling up or moving faster on this subject as we don't want her rushing through this very important subject.
Typing Instructor Would like to have her work more on this but she has hardly done anything. UPDATE - Not much to update here, but will try to encourage her to work on this more, but other subjects have had higher priority lately.



Updates above...
I just wanted to share that we have been using the little checklists that I mentioned in a previous post, and things are progressing much nicer, with more consistency. They still aren't 100% where they need to be, but I can definitely see continuing improvement, and she will be ready for 8th grade at the start of our next year, thankfully! :lol: