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Joy in Alabama
04-23-2015, 01:02 PM
I'm an organized person by nature. And have always been organized with my household, my schedule, my school subjects. But I've never made detailed plans for school. When I had younger children, we had school very consistently, so detailed plans were never needed. But now that my children are getting older and I have grown children with various needs (grandbabies) and I'm an only child with elderly parents with health needs, plus I just want to be with them sometimes, and a mil who is a recent widow, school still happens, but without me here absolutely every day. Since I do a lot with "real" books and do some discussions and avoid textbooks and workbooks when possible, there are several things on Abby's schedule, in particular, that she cannot do if I'm not here, so I resort to "busy work" for her more than I'd like. Thomas can work independently, but I have a hard time knowing if we're keeping up and then I get upset when I see we're not going to be finished with a subject by the end of the year. In terms of school schedule, we're about 3 weeks behind where we should be at this point. And Thomas is lagging behind in a couple of subjects because I don't have a clear idea of deadlines for him along the way. I've always had children who would do.the.work. without someone standing over them and if I said be finished by the end of the year, they would be finished no matter what. But Thomas needs, shall we say, guidance. :lol: So here's my question (finally! :hop:). How do you figure out detailed plans and deadlines for your kids and what happens when life gets in the way or there's a school problem, etc.? What is your thinking process for this? I'm not sure if I'm making myself clear - I'm not always good at explaining what I mean.

Thanks for listening. :kiss:

Rachel Jane
04-23-2015, 01:17 PM
When mine were around his age ( basically when my mother got sick and I was taking care of her), I made a weeks worth of a checklist of what need to be done by Friday, but the kids could do it any time they wanted. Sometimes they did all of their work on Monday and Tuesday so they could have the rest of the week off. Sometimes they were cramming to have it done before we evaluated on Saturday morning. Since you said he needs watched over, perhaps you would need to check on his progress each day for a while to help him budget his time. Personalities are different, but I liked to work on the hardest stuff first, get it done and then relax and do the rest.

You could have him do one subject a day if you think that would work better. 3 science lessons in one day, 5 math lessons the next, writing a report the following day...

Paige P
04-23-2015, 01:24 PM
I really am most likely NOT the best help you'll get -- and heaven help you if I am :lol: ;) I am nowhere near as far along as you are in educating all of mine and am just starting high school.

But, I will tell you something that might help .... The ONLY child I have "experimented" with this thus far is Katie, as she took some high school credit classes this year. I am definitely more "textbooky" for high school that I have been up to this point. She knows that she plods along with Math -- one lesson per day, and 1x a week, she does a lesson and a test because we go to coop on Friday and don't get much else done that day (btw, we're using Saxon with the Saxon Teacher CD for middle and high school math). We're also using Apologia Sciences for high school (and middle) because they do their labs through coop :hop: (what I desperately need). There's a "calendar" in the front of the Apologia book, and they follow that calendar (with some modifications based on what the coop teacher wants to do). Those two subjects are easy :thumb:

For Language/English this year, we did OYAN -- again, the "schedule" is somewhat laid out for them. However, I also had her read the 14 adventure novels that are recommended by OYAN. She typically had assignments related to those books. For that, I took a "Year at a Glance" calendar (week-by-week -- I can email it to you if you want to see it). I plugged in dates, figured out the number of pages per book and when I wanted them read (based on when they were discussed on OYAN), and filled out the calendar. Some books she had 2 weeks to read it, some she had 3 weeks. I left some "blank" weeks in there for "life" to happen (we could then adjust the weeks if need be), did two short ones (The Gift of the Magi, a short story, and A Christmas Carol) around Christmas. Everything was "finished" by the end of April, which gave us time in May if something needed to be pushed. So, it was a "outline" of what comes next, what was to be read when, etc.

With that kind of plan, you could "outline" the year (assuming you know what you want done over the course of the year). You could fill in the weeks with the books you want read over that course of time, leaving some "blanks" along the way to allow for the adjustment of life. IF they don't need that "blank" then, then move on along. If you get behind, you have a "blank" coming up that will help you catch up.

You could then detail plans as you go. For example, in the month of September, he may be reading Tom Sawyer and other Mark Twain short stories. I don't know what kind of activities you might usually have him do with a book like that, but you could detail all of his assignments: vocab words (if there are any), an essay on the maturing of Tom over the course of the novel or the adventures he has, a personal response as to what you like/dislike about the book or one or two of the characters, a "map" of the town/Mississippi River, a report about Life along the Mississippi during the era, etc.

I know I intend to do this type of thing for Katie next year with her history/Literature. I'm pulling from all types of sources to create a history for her for next year. I'm going to use the calendar to outline what comes when and what needs to be done when. It's time consuming to sit down and plug it all in, but once it's there, it's there :)

I don't know if that makes any sense at all. If you need more clarification, just let me know. And it might not be what you're looking for at all....

Rachel Jane
04-23-2015, 01:30 PM
Also, be very clear about your expectations. You will get a lot of resistance if you try to add things ( new parameters) later than if you are very clear up front and then want to deviate from the new norm for real life stuff later.

Joy in Alabama
04-23-2015, 01:38 PM
I really am most likely NOT the best help you'll get -- and heaven help you if I am :lol: ;) I am nowhere near as far along as you are in educating all of mine and am just starting high school.

But, I will tell you something that might help .... The ONLY child I have "experimented" with this thus far is Katie, as she took some high school credit classes this year. I am definitely more "textbooky" for high school that I have been up to this point. She knows that she plods along with Math -- one lesson per day, and 1x a week, she does a lesson and a test because we go to coop on Friday and don't get much else done that day (btw, we're using Saxon with the Saxon Teacher CD for middle and high school math). We're also using Apologia Sciences for high school (and middle) because they do their labs through coop :hop: (what I desperately need). There's a "calendar" in the front of the Apologia book, and they follow that calendar (with some modifications based on what the coop teacher wants to do). Those two subjects are easy :thumb:

For Language/English this year, we did OYAN -- again, the "schedule" is somewhat laid out for them. However, I also had her read the 14 adventure novels that are recommended by OYAN. She typically had assignments related to those books. For that, I took a "Year at a Glance" calendar (week-by-week -- I can email it to you if you want to see it). I plugged in dates, figured out the number of pages per book and when I wanted them read (based on when they were discussed on OYAN), and filled out the calendar. Some books she had 2 weeks to read it, some she had 3 weeks. I left some "blank" weeks in there for "life" to happen (we could then adjust the weeks if need be), did two short ones (The Gift of the Magi, a short story, and A Christmas Carol) around Christmas. Everything was "finished" by the end of April, which gave us time in May if something needed to be pushed. So, it was a "outline" of what comes next, what was to be read when, etc.

With that kind of plan, you could "outline" the year (assuming you know what you want done over the course of the year). You could fill in the weeks with the books you want read over that course of time, leaving some "blanks" along the way to allow for the adjustment of life. IF they don't need that "blank" then, then move on along. If you get behind, you have a "blank" coming up that will help you catch up.

You could then detail plans as you go. For example, in the month of September, he may be reading Tom Sawyer and other Mark Twain short stories. I don't know what kind of activities you might usually have him do with a book like that, but you could detail all of his assignments: vocab words (if there are any), an essay on the maturing of Tom over the course of the novel or the adventures he has, a personal response as to what you like/dislike about the book or one or two of the characters, a "map" of the town/Mississippi River, a report about Life along the Mississippi during the era, etc.

I know I intend to do this type of thing for Katie next year with her history/Literature. I'm pulling from all types of sources to create a history for her for next year. I'm going to use the calendar to outline what comes when and what needs to be done when. It's time consuming to sit down and plug it all in, but once it's there, it's there :)

I don't know if that makes any sense at all. If you need more clarification, just let me know. And it might not be what you're looking for at all....

I think this calls for a few days at the beach :D, alone with my books and computer! ;)

Paige P
04-23-2015, 06:49 PM
Sounds like a plan, Joy ;) :D

CINDY LB OH
04-24-2015, 08:48 PM
I think this calls for a few days at the beach :D, alone with my books and computer! ;)
:yes: All good suggestions so far. I do a combination of all of those.

Since it's the end of the year, figure the number of lessons/books/modules left, and what can realistically be accomplished per week. For my girls I made a weekly list of what needed to be done each week. That worked well for dd20, but not for dd23. Dd23 needed more supervision and more daily assistance to keep on top of things. But at the same time, she didn't like "my help", so in the end she ended up taking 5 years to complete her high school.

Sit down with your son and work out together what needs to be accomplished and how he can get that done. It helps to just know there are X number of lessons and we have X number of weeks, so that's approx. X number of pages per week. If he has it detailed out for him with check boxes, then he can clearly see what needs to be done, even if it takes longer than you plan. ;)

In regards to what RJ said, I just did that with ds16. We focused on a lot science the last few weeks, just to get it done, and because it was his least favorite subject (biology). So we spent many days just doing science. He worked hard to get it done just so he wouldn't have to do it anymore. :lol: Now he can focus more on the other things he likes for the rest of the year.