Some days I feel like we don't really do enough - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 10-05-2010, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm having one of those days. We did start earlier than normal, but we're pretty much DONE, and it's just lunchtime. We even did chores. I do want to go for a walk and look for biotic and abiotic objects, and I want to sit down and read some books to him, but otherwise.....

And this is one of those days when we don't have much to do outside of the house, so I HAVE more time to do "school".

We accomplished:
history: reading about Gilgamesh and drawing a picture of Enkidu
reading: learning about the digraph -tch and the blend -nch, and reading a phonics reader with those sounds
handwriting: making m & n with Bendaroos and then doing the workbook pages for them
math: practicing more about adding 2 one-digit numbers by first making a group of 10 including doing some workbook pages, and then practicing some math facts like for 1 minute
science: reading about biotic & abiotic, and doing some worksheets to review the topic
Spanish: he worked on Rosetta stone for a few minutes while I made lunch.

Mind, this is more worksheets than I normally do in a WEEK let alone one day, but no one lesson took more than 15-20 minutes, and most probably less [lots of interruptions from the toddler].


How do you decide how much to do in one day?

DS is 6, and like I said, I usually do NOT do that many worksheets, and even today we largely did them together as a review.
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#2 of 12 Old 10-05-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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Could you maybe just pick how much time you'd ideally like to spend on each subject? Like, say you're ideal is 20 mins per day on him writing & 30 mins on math for example. Then you just jump into your writing lesson until those 20 mins are up. Same with math. And if he finishes his math worksheet in under 30 mins, then pick up some manipulatives to count, or a picture book about numbers, or start writing some math problems with chalk together, etc. Whatever you can think of to fill in that 30 min block of math you want to reach. You could brainstorm a list of ideas of activities for each subject & keep it in a notebook as reference. Then when you're having a day where you feel like you need to do more math (or whatever), you can glance at your list to get ideas on what else to do to fill your 30 minute block.

Right now I only have a preschooler (5 in Nov), and a 7th grader schooling. My own ideal for my 7th grader is a 3-4 hour day minimum, and I do 1 hour of one on one with my 4 yr old.

North Idaho rural living  mama to: 23 yo DD, 16 yo DS, 8 yo DS, 6 yo DS, 4 yr old DS, 2 yo DD, and 1 yo DS. And someone new coming this Christmas!
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#3 of 12 Old 10-05-2010, 03:05 PM
 
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I do basically what they can sit and enjoy. Once DS starts acting nuts, clicking his pencil, trying to fart on me and speaking like Darth Vador, I know it's over for the day. We do science 4 days a week, 2 is reading/getting ready for the next 2 days of experiments. We have a few different reading comprehension type things which include some history/geography, writing practice which is usually on the white board these days.

I save the arts and crafts, and their Explode the code online for times I need to do something, or for when one of them are just not in the sitting down and paying attention mood. Then there is also DS 6 who just LOVES to teach DD4.5 She is learning to read and doing simple addition/math.

Some days it seems we are inside basically on and off with the learning all day, sometimes it's literally 20 minutes of sit down, the rest is just "part of the day" type stuff. 2 days a week we hang out at my mom's who is studying for her masters, so the kids LOVE doing homework with her. DS often gets more math done on a wed/fri night than some would do in a couple weeks!

That's the thing I love about homeschool. It's just not necessary to NEED to operate on an 8-5 schedule. DH always remembers being miserable and never being able to make it well in early school years. In college he chose late classes and was up all night. He is a successful architect and STILL operates on weird hours. I like to be up early along with DD, but DS and DH are night owls it drives me nuts!
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#4 of 12 Old 10-05-2010, 04:51 PM
 
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I think you're doing more than enough . The point isn't to spend any particular amount of time doing school, really, but just to gradually learn all about the world and gain access to all the tools you need to be able to do whatever you want in life. It isn't necessary for a 6 yr. old to be putting in a lot of time in order for that to come about quite easily and successfully as he grows. My grown son is an impressively knowledgeable, able, and self motivated learner, and he wasn't doing any studies at that age - it was all play and extensive use of the imagination. For that matter, a child who's in school all day long wouldn't be accomplishing any more than yours does in no time - so much of the time in school is spent in organizational and turn taking matters. As long as you're accomplishing so much, I think a good investment of time would be just exploring whatever the two of you happen to find fun and/or interesting. - Lillian
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#5 of 12 Old 10-05-2010, 05:32 PM
 
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Having looked at your list, I think that's a good day's work.

Maybe if you feel like you're not doing enough, you could spend a little more time on a subject or two. Or better yet, you could put time into learning about something that you want to learn about.

Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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#6 of 12 Old 10-05-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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If you're wanting to add more "stuff" to the day, I might recommend the book, "I Love Dirt." It has some great activities and discussions for all 4 seasons focusing on nature/science and is great for his age group. (You can get it at Amazon.)

Personally, I always encourage independent reading, or read aloud time (me to them, them to me, them to each other, whatever!).

And about the worksheets - some kids really enjoy them, and others don't. (I have one of each. ) If he enjoys that format, and you're happy, there's nothing wrong with using worksheets. You're also balancing them with other formats, like reading, discussion, tactile activities, computer based, etc.

Jennifer
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#7 of 12 Old 10-05-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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sounds like school to me. remember if you got everything on your list done then you're done. be happy enjoy it. go to the park or pull out the crafts supplies! or even better go do something that you normally wouldn't be able to if you were in PS.

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#8 of 12 Old 10-05-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 425lisamarie View Post
I do basically what they can sit and enjoy. Once DS starts acting nuts, clicking his pencil, trying to fart on me and speaking like Darth Vador, I know it's over for the day.
Yup !

I keep my expectations for how much we can do in a day, or a week, small...then I am pleasantly surprised to have an occasional extra-productive day.

When I look over the progress he makes in a two-month period, I am always impressed. I think it doesn't matter so much how much work he gets done, but that I have him spend 10 minutes on basic skills (reading, writing, math) whenever I can fit it in. Many days a lot more than that happens. Other days I need to be happy with just touching on the basics...but it still works.

DS1 March 2003DS2 Sept 2005,
and 3 , in our happy secular
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#9 of 12 Old 10-06-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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We train to task not to time. Sometimes our planned activity is over in a few minutes.. sometimes it starts a rabbit hole that has us lost for the rest of the day. Either way we are ok with that - that's what homeschooling is all about for us.

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#10 of 12 Old 10-06-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 425lisamarie View Post
I do basically what they can sit and enjoy. Once DS starts acting nuts, clicking his pencil, trying to fart on me and speaking like Darth Vador, I know it's over for the day. We do science 4 days a week, 2 is reading/getting ready for the next 2 days of experiments. We have a few different reading comprehension type things which include some history/geography, writing practice which is usually on the white board these days.
Wow I know that feeling lol

OP, it sounds like you're doing plenty. One of the perks of homeschooling is being able to take as much (or as little) time as you *need* instead of a prescribed amount of time. Had things not gone easily, maybe you would have spent more time on one of the activities that you described above, and its good that you had the time to spend. But since all went well, you had extra time for play. Enjoy it

fwiw, if we can finish before lunch, I throw a mini party

Homeschooling mom of 2 rambunctious, loving, spectacular boys, wife to an incredible man who has been my best friend on this journey <3

 

 

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#11 of 12 Old 10-06-2010, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! I guess I was just worrying that I was short-changing stuff since it doesn't seem to take very long at all. Maybe I should have spent more time on that math lesson? But he seemed to get it just fine. Maybe I should have made him read more? But he was already getting frustrated. So, meh.

And today, we've gotten "nothing" done. We took a walk this morning, had swim lessons, went to Goodwill to check out books and get a "spy hat" for his Halloween costume, and now we're on our way to his speech therapy session. Maybe we'll do some math and reading when we get back!
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#12 of 12 Old 10-06-2010, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Rana View Post
Maybe I should have spent more time on that math lesson? But he seemed to get it just fine. Maybe I should have made him read more? But he was already getting frustrated. So, meh.
And spending more time than necessary on math "lessons" is one of the surest ways to make a child hate math - they begin to think of it as a tedious and endless series of needless repetitions. Same with reading - they can start to think of reading as "reading," a task rather than a pleasure or means to information. So you're just going through the kind of experiments and adjustments everyone is faced with all along the way. Lillian
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