Sunday, April 01, 2007

More thoughts for today

Just have some more thoughts in my head before I get to work here on my plans for the day.

About the 12yo's schedule: I organized it the way it is for a few reasons:

*CM recommends short lessons. For the really early grades, 10 minutes, even. Well, the 12yo is capable of more than that, but usually not sustained attention for more than 15-20 minutes right now. This is actually something that has improved the past year, now that I think of it, even if he hasn't work a whole lot. Hm. Anyhow, I scheduled the slots for 20 minutes each--easy to track plus gives him 20 minutes of time to finish work. There are times where the work he needs to do will only be 15 minutes long. That'll give him 5 minutes to leave the table, roll on the ground, be upside down in the stairs (okay, I probably should get him to STOP doing that), whatever he wants.

*CM also recommends alternating subjects. I can't remember the specific words she used, but it was basically alternate between work that requires thinking and work that requires less thinking. So, the kind of daily drill/practice stuff would be the latter. I started each day off with the phonics (that's already one of our habits--figured I might as well keep going with it!) and then put something a little more thinking after it. Except Thursday, I now realize--the CALM. In any case, she also had a recommendation of having something the child will find interesting after something mundane or that required a lot of thought.

*CM also recommends that the schedule not be identical every day. I've seen a number of people make identical CM schedules for the whole week--or almost identical--including a company selling daily CM lesson plans! CM felt it should not be identical as it would lead to 'dullness'.

I tried to organize the schedule along those lines. I have to admit to being a little nervous about something so structured, but I'm determined to give it a fair shot. The 12yo did well when we had a schedule according to times, but it was still fairly loose: 8am Language Arts, 9am math... I think it gave too much open time for him. When you've got a looming deadline, it can often be easier to get your butt in gear.

Which reminds me that I had thought about that this weekend and am wondering if the 16yo shouldn't set up her schedule on half-hour blocks. It might get her moving more! It just seems as though when she sets up an hour-long block, she's slow to get started in part because she knows she has an hour. I'll have to suggest it to her tomorrow. The thing with it, though, is that it'd mean doing the same subjects twice in a day. Not sure how that'll work or how motivating THAT will be. I don't think I'd want to do it that way. However, when I think about it, maybe it would work. She hasn't been getting started until 9am lately and we break for lunch at 11. So:

9:00 science
9:30 LA
10:00 math
10:30 French

Then in the afternoon she could schedule according to what she didn't get done in the morning. Okay, I will suggest it to her tomorrow.

I have to say that since having broken down the 16yo's work into what would need to be done each day to be done by June 1st (in preparation for her exams), it's been going better. Less focus on what she sees as me telling her to do and more of a realization on her part of what she is or isn't doing. She's realizing more and more about her own choices and living with the consequences of them. Of course, that means she's now more than a week behind in science and a day or two behind in math, but it's a good learning experience for her. High school homeschooling definitely requires the student to develop some good motivation and time management skills!

Other plans:

I'm going to set up my own calendar-schedule with specifics of things I want to present/do with my kids. Remember the globe work I had done and said I needed to make sure I followed-up on it? Never followed up on it. While I started beating myself up about it, I realized that it's just a matter of realizing that what I was doing wasn't helping me accomplish what I wanted to accomplish and needing to make a specific plan on how to get it done. After having created the work breakdown for the 16yo (it's on calendar pages), I realized that it's the kind of thing that would be helpful for me, too. I want to plot in two days of Teens Board with ds and two days geography with dd and ds (globe work again; tied in with maps). A nice gentle start.

Well, I really ought to get moving! It's almost 10 and I haven't started my work yet!

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