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Why skim over info just to get done "by lunch"? (PIOG)

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....That's how I feel about folks who miraculously get done "by lunch".

I'm sure I just offended someone, but let me explain.  

((My kids are 7 & 5.  My 5yo has been reading since he was 4 and participates in the science and Language arts with his sister.  He does his own math when she does hers, but usually sits out on History b/c he doesn't have the attention yet.))

Someone said that we must be taking too long on the subjects and that they manage 7 to 8 subjects in a day and are still done by early afternoon, if not lunch, when they started at 7 or 8.   That, to me, seems like skimming the information... "Here, honey, read that paragraph on amphibians, answer those four questions and you're done with science for the day."    <-- That's where my mind goes when someone tells me they can get through that many subjects in such a short period of time.  

I am quite certain that I'm spending too much time on subjects, but how can I not?  What I mean is that if I'm teaching my child at home, something that oftentimes gets a lot of criticism, I feel obligated to make sure my kid is actually learning this stuff and not just skimming by.

************************************

Here's our schedule, odd by most standards, but I would never be able to fit it all in otherwise:

EVERY DAY starts the same (M-F) Math, Language Arts (nouns, parts of a sentence, etc), and reading a chapter from a novel out loud.  Then each day has a "big" subject (which just means it take a while)

Monday: 
History: We're working our way through American History.  We're on westward expansion and are currently reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder books (this is the chapter read outloud every day).  We've recently finished a book on the Erie Canal and two books on the Pony Express.  We have another on steamboats and railroads waiting... to make way for the transcontinental railroad, after the Civil war... a couple of books at a time and events added to the timeline.  (President study each time we hit a new one.  We're at Andrew Jackson.)

Tuesday:
Science: right now, we are adding peices of their body to their life-size outline on the wall (paper taped to the wall).  We only have the brain and the ears (internal, too).  Tomorrow we're doing the eyes, from the cornea to the brain.  Leaving this to last the rest of 2013, I'd suspect.  (Respiratory system, digestive system, muscles, bones, reproductive, etc.)  We also throw in a scientist or two, and add them to the timeline book.  

Wednesday:
Geography: Each month, we split studies between one country and one state and make a scrapbook-type page with all the flips and fold-outs of the interesting facts.  That goes in her "world book".  She loves it and retains all the info that way.

Thursday has the same start-up, but the rest is filled with library, errands, and catch-up for anything we didn't finish the day(s) before.

Fridays:  same start-up as the rest Then, Creative writing.  This is story, plot, characters, etc.  Journal entries and rough drafts, poetry, whatever.   **(This is our end-early day)**

Saturdays and Sundays are ONLY music and art in the mornings after breakfast, b/c their dad likes to do those with them.  

*********************************

Many folks may tell me I'm going too in-depth for such a young kid.  But my 7yo is a sponge.  She wants to know more and why and how....  


I am SOOOOOO open for tips and advice.  I am willing (and eager) to do things differently.  

Funny enough, it's the science "projects" the geography "projects" and the numerous History books and stories that take up all our time...  And I truly can't imagine Not being that in-depth, ya know?

ok.  your turn:  Your schedules.  Your advice.  Ready?  Go!


by on Sep. 14, 2013 at 1:55 AM
Replies (31-38):
paganbaby
by Silver Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 2:07 PM

We have to be done by lunch. My 8yo has a very short attention span and if we're not done by 1, I'll lose him,lol.

Our day starts off at 9am with Science. We watch either Magic School bus or Wild Kratts. During the show he dictates at least 5 Bubba fun facts.

Next is History. I read him a story from our Book of Greek Myths. We pause often to discuss. When we get to a good stopping point in the book, we'll make a collage about what we learned so far. That's usually once a week or so.

Grammar is Adventure Time Mad Libs.

Reading, a book of his choice.

Writing, notes to his little sister. *Every Friday he writes a post card to Grampa*

Math, one work sheet. Or allowance game.

Geography, we find places on the map as it pertains to the lessons.

If we're not done by 1, I'll stop and pick up where we left off the next day.

Home Ec, he helps with dinner or lunch.

P.E. is playing at the park after I pick up dd.

coala
by Silver Member on Sep. 15, 2013 at 9:59 PM

We use a boxed curriculum.  My K student was done in 2 hours, and my 1st grader was 2 1/2 hours.  She covered her daily subjects as well as an extra like social studeis ( 1day), science (1 day), art ( 1 day), music (2 days).  This is worked well for her.  My oldest we are going to allow to attempt block scheduling when we start back in January and see how it goes.  She will do her bible lesson every day as well as reading, then block for phonics, language arts, arithmetic and allow her to the the "fun stuff" daily as well.  We may have to tweak this schedule, but it seems like it will work for her.  I say if what you are doing is working then there should be no problem.  Currently we are doing a bit of guided unschooling, but they are enjoying themselve.

Jlee4249
by Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 2:53 AM


Quoting paganbaby:

We have to be done by lunch. My 8yo has a very short attention span and if we're not done by 1, I'll lose him,lol.

Our day starts off at 9am with Science. We watch either Magic School bus or Wild Kratts. During the show he dictates at least 5 Bubba fun facts.

Next is History. I read him a story from our Book of Greek Myths. We pause often to discuss. When we get to a good stopping point in the book, we'll make a collage about what we learned so far. That's usually once a week or so.

Grammar is Adventure Time Mad Libs.

Reading, a book of his choice.

Writing, notes to his little sister. *Every Friday he writes a post card to Grampa*

Math, one work sheet. Or allowance game.

Geography, we find places on the map as it pertains to the lessons.

If we're not done by 1, I'll stop and pick up where we left off the next day.

Home Ec, he helps with dinner or lunch.

P.E. is playing at the park after I pick up dd.

what are Bubba Fun Facts?  
I LOVE Magic Schoolbus and Wild Kratts... I WISH Wild Kratts would make a coloring book or one of those "fun books" with fill-in-the-blanks and puzzles to correspond with this episodes, ya know?  
My 7yo has an Animal Book and each time we watch Wild Kratts, she draws a pic of the "creature" and 5 animal facts, b/c they definitely give more than 5 interesting facts.

 

Jlee4249
by Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 2:56 AM


Quoting coala:

We use a boxed curriculum.  My K student was done in 2 hours, and my 1st grader was 2 1/2 hours.  She covered her daily subjects as well as an extra like social studeis ( 1day), science (1 day), art ( 1 day), music (2 days).  This is worked well for her.  My oldest we are going to allow to attempt block scheduling when we start back in January and see how it goes.  She will do her bible lesson every day as well as reading, then block for phonics, language arts, arithmetic and allow her to the the "fun stuff" daily as well.  We may have to tweak this schedule, but it seems like it will work for her.  I say if what you are doing is working then there should be no problem.  Currently we are doing a bit of guided unschooling, but they are enjoying themselve.

Does your boxed curriculum come with science and social studies?  If you do one day each, is that scheduled like that from the curriculum or is that your choice?  If it's your choice, do you have things you didn't get done by the end of the year?  
I haven't purchased curriculum yet, but I'm wondering how it would work with a day-to-day schedule or if it works with a block schedule.  Because of our long days, I'm really, really wanting to start next year with a purchased curriculum.  

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 7:40 AM
1 mom liked this

 First off, I don't compare myself to others (or I try desperately not to anyway).  I hate schedules, I won't do them.  I've given our "schedule" before but it is a rough estimate of what that particular day looked like.  I am fairly child-led in that I make sure they have Math and Language Arts daily, then I start science or history or geography.  If we get stuck talking about science for an hour or more, I'll just skip history and hit it the next day.  That said I spend most of the day with my kids, and I answer their questions.  I take those opportunities to cover things that I wasn't even planning on covering that whole year.  My kids are 4, 6, and 8, and I am usually done with the sit down and learn stuff by lunch.  We do experiments or build a viking ship in the living room in the afternoon.  Or we go for hikes and find leaves.  Or we bake bread and play with yeast (we caught some of our own and we nurture it, they call it their pet yeast.)  Or we do a safety scavenger hunt.  Or we.....

They are learning all day, but I really count "school time" as before lunch.

coala
by Silver Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 11:07 AM

Our curriculum is laid out that way.  There is NOTHING that isn't done by the end of the year except art projects.  There are always a few art projects that don't get completed.  We get everything from them....including teacher manuals.  I love our program and it works for my girls.  The block schedule we are still trying to get a mental picture of so that we have a better idea how it is going to work when we implement it.  We are usually very good at getting things in place and working out the kinks ahead of time.  My SO and I think ahead and try to think like the kids so that any issues that can and will come up are stopped before they happen. 


Quoting Jlee4249:


Quoting coala:

We use a boxed curriculum.  My K student was done in 2 hours, and my 1st grader was 2 1/2 hours.  She covered her daily subjects as well as an extra like social studeis ( 1day), science (1 day), art ( 1 day), music (2 days).  This is worked well for her.  My oldest we are going to allow to attempt block scheduling when we start back in January and see how it goes.  She will do her bible lesson every day as well as reading, then block for phonics, language arts, arithmetic and allow her to the the "fun stuff" daily as well.  We may have to tweak this schedule, but it seems like it will work for her.  I say if what you are doing is working then there should be no problem.  Currently we are doing a bit of guided unschooling, but they are enjoying themselve.

Does your boxed curriculum come with science and social studies?  If you do one day each, is that scheduled like that from the curriculum or is that your choice?  If it's your choice, do you have things you didn't get done by the end of the year?  
I haven't purchased curriculum yet, but I'm wondering how it would work with a day-to-day schedule or if it works with a block schedule.  Because of our long days, I'm really, really wanting to start next year with a purchased curriculum.  



KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Sep. 16, 2013 at 9:10 PM

If that's working and she's learning, then you are doing terrific! 

Some kids, though, only learn 10-20 minutes at a time and need to move onto something different.   Still others wouldn't remember what you talked about a WEEK ago if you only do science on say Tuesdays like you do.       

Also, my older two are at an age where subjects are a little more complex.   It takes working on it 2-3 times a week for it to be retainable.   For example, they have vocabulary words for geography that really can't be learned only once a week.   Even if you work on them for hours that day, it still needs a few minutes other days to review and have it retained.


Truluv4ever
by Member on Sep. 18, 2013 at 2:41 PM
This is some great information!!


Quoting vintage-misha:

Our History curriculum is set up into 10 units and each unit takes 4 weeks to teach. They have the lesson and information printed along with a list of living books that we read, activities to complete and timeline. Our History also does notebooking, memory work, and copywork. Therefore I don't have to set extra time aside for handwriting, because he does it through out the lesson. Although my son is only in 1st grade and we are beginning cursive next month, that may change. We just use a ton of living books to give him excellent knowledge.



Have you looked at Ambleside? They provide a list of what subjects to teach each term/year. 2013/2014 is Summer/Fall: Trees/shrubs/vines. Winter: Stars/Sky. Spring: Amphibians. That's the general topic and we choose how in depth we go. Again we use living whole books and really delve into the subjects.



We are also doing a study on composers.






http://www.amazon.com/Charlotte-Mason-Companion-Personal-Reflections/dp/1889209023/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379143110&sr=8-1&keywords=charlotte+mason+method+companion
This is an excellent introduction and helpmate to CM Method.






This is an amazing book to help you find whole living books of superb quality.
http://www.amazon.com/Read-Heart-Whole-WholeHearted-Families/dp/1932012974/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379143161&sr=8-1&keywords=reading+for+the+heart





As far as time spent, we do very in depth. Our longest subject time is reading because my son does not enjoy it. We start at 8 or 9, depending on the morning. Math takes us maybe 45 minutes. History is about an hour or an hour and a half. Science depends, we do most of our science in the 'real world' and my son is taking environmental science with our co-op and I am teaching DInosaurs at the co-op and he is also taking that class. So he's getting 2 hours of science in one day at co-op. Handwriting, memory work, narration, and such are covered under History.




We wrap up school at 12:30 and spent 2 hours outside after lunch, walking the dog and talking about nature. This leads to trips to the library for living books on what we have discovered while outside. Since we are heavily CM we don't watch t.v. much so more often than not we are nose deep in a book and learning.


I hope this was helpful!!





Quoting Jlee4249:

Quoting vintage-misha:

We follow the Charlotte Mason Method however, with History we follow the classical schedule. I can teach everything in detail and with a project and be finished by lunch. Charlotte Mason recommends that children spend the time after lunch outside in nature and exploring it. We do that. We don't ever 'skim' through a subject and our curriculum is fantastically detailed. We can do all subjects and not only finish by lunch but we also only have a 4 day school week since we are year rounders. 





tell me how does CM handle history & science. Is it novels/story books pertaining to something like a curriculum or is it anything goes? do you follow a timeline? I so LOVE the idea of Charlotte Mason method, I just don't know enough about it to even attempt it. From the little I've read or heard, it sounds perfect, but I wouldn't even know where to begin. Do you make your own curriculum with Charlotte Mason? "Living books" are a part of CM, aren't they? I believe that is where I got the idea of using all the historical books we do...

But in order to hit every topic each day and get done by lunch, how in-depth do you go, or do you just span it over a week's time?

We schoolyear around, too, taking one month and then random days off throughout.

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