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    Helping kids learn time management

    Can I revive this topic? I've been reading this thread:
    https://forum.memoriapress.com/forum...-projects-help

    I KNOW I am the worst about trying to do things too early (Oh the irony). I'm reading all of your comments, and guys, you are all VETERANS of homeschool so if you guys are hitting issues with one or more of your older kids with time management, I don't like my odds of avoiding it either as I have 4.

    I am wondering if it would be better to start earlier - a LOT earlier. So much of this curriculum is about staging, but time management isn't exactly curriculum so much as it is a skill set. A few skill sets come naturally to each of us, but there are always a few skills that every person must put in a great deal of effort to master. When I pulled out my old school records, teachers left quite a few comments for my parents ("Melissa needs to learn to use her time wisely", "Please encourage her to finish her work", "Melissa has trouble meeting deadlines".......and so on) starting in 1st grade and not stopping until 10th.

    The real problem here is that, other than getting in trouble with my parents, I wasn't given any tool or guidance to learn better skills. Worse, in order to quit getting into trouble, I picked up bad habits along the way to compensate for my lack of skill development.

    I learned to never miss a deadline by doing fast (but poorly done) work. I didn't sweat the details. I literally "planned" to be lazy for most of the time, leaving myself only the smallest window before a deadline. I quit missing deadlines. I didn't plan out study time, choosing to visually cram just before a quiz or an exam (usually in the class period before, getting in trouble with that teacher for not paying attention). You have to understand that no one discouraged me, because my grades didn't reflect a sub-par student, even though sub-par is probably much more accurate. Every time a teacher gave me an "out", I learned how to take full advantage of it. My HS Calculus teacher had a rule - you could retake any quiz or test. It took all of one retaken test to learn that the retake test was identical to the original test, with only a 1 changed to a 2 or something like that in each problem. I never worried about a test again - eventually turning in a blank paper with my name on it. Then when I got the "0" back, I had the perfect study guide for the retake test. I didn't have to master the material. I just had to wait for her to go over the test, make notes, and then visually memorize the answers. Some teachers allowed you to "make up" homework. I worked with a few other girls in the class. Each of us would do about 1/3rd of the assignments on their due date. When they were returned, we exchanged papers and copied each other's work to get the rest of the assignments in. You need to understand that I didn't see an ethical problem to this at the time. I was meeting all expected and required metrics - eventually. Those metrics showed that I was an "excellent" student.

    I don't want history to repeat with my kiddos.

    I'm wondering if it's better to start teaching a kid to plan out time a lot earlier and giving them a real tool to learn from. I keep reading how at HLS, students are given "homework", even in early primary years. Well, how is that accomplished? How does the student know that they need to read an American History book by a certain time? If there is assigned homework, then they must be learning some kind of daily "planning" that goes outside of the teacher plans and outside of class time. I've spent a painfully long amount of time fool-proofing my next year with each kid having their own individualized, customized, color coded, dated, explicit assignment detailed guide. Now, I'm rethinking it all.

    KF2000 I'm wondering if I've made it a bit "too easy" and I'm setting them up to be spoon fed every year from here on out. I'm going back to one idea posted by Sarah a while back (I think it was you, Sarah!) about how she prints out the individual course lesson plans and puts them into a binder for each kid. Each kid flips through the binder to know the next assignment for each class. I'm revisiting that idea because it requires just a bit more work out of the kiddo - much like when you start upper level school and each class has their own course syllabus.

    pickandgrin I'm also thinking about the planner mentioned by Jessica (Order out of Chaos Planners). That planner style makes a lot of sense.

    I can't help but wonder if I start this process of making them actually aware of their own time, aware of real deadlines, aware of the concept of "homework", would that make later grades, and eventually college, go a little smoother? Put another way, is time management and planning something that should be started very early, rather than just telling them to do something, nagging them to finish it, or giving them the completed guides that require no effort? Does it make sense to introduce them to the concept of the planner that THEY are responsible for (within reason), and teaching it (over teaching really) explicitly?

    If I start with 3rd and 2nd, then I can begin this phased approach so that they are being exposed to the planner, they have to write in the planner, they have to review the planner to know what they are supposed to be doing, they have to mark down any homework and get ready for any quiz or test. I haven't done "homework" yet but I'm thinking that they need to learn how to manage some of their after school free-time so that they know it's not all "free". This could make the school day classes shorter because they are not going to do math until it's "all" done. We can do some in class and the rest is homework. This would free up more of the day for me to spend with each kid too. Looking at next year, there are nearly 23 different classes that must take place every single day.

    Is this a ridiculous 4am thought?
    Melissa

    DS (MP3) - 9
    DS (MP2) - 7/8
    DS (K) - 6
    DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

    #2
    Hi Melissa,

    Sarah and Jessica will have lots of wisdom for you, but I wanted to chime in with my initial reaction to your post: don't short-change the importance of modeling.

    Modeling is what you're doing right now. You're taking out the Curriculum Manual (or your Homeschool Planet list), starting at the first block and working through each block from there. If something needs to change, you're making a written note of that on the planner page. If certain time limits need to be assigned, you're writing that on the planner page. When things are done, you (or them) are checking it off before moving on. If something needs to be reviewed by you, you're having them bring it to you before checking it off. If there's a mixture of things that need you and that don't need you, you're marking those in some way so the kids have a visual (Frixion highlighter works great for this btw).

    At your children's ages, they still need this modeling. My MP-since-4th-grade child was ready for an independent planner at 6th grade (with consistent oversight). My MP-since-Kindergarten child (9yo) uses the CM like a pro. My boy with mild special needs (11) will probably need another year (or two) before he even has independent work. But for all of them, it's the day-in/day-out modeling that is setting them up for success.
    Jennifer
    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

    DS16
    MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
    MPOA: High School Comp. II
    HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

    DS15
    MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
    MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
    HSC: Modern European History

    DS12
    7M with:
    Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

    DS11
    SC Level 4

    DD9
    3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

    DD7/8
    Still in SC Level 2

    DD 4/5
    SC Level C

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by MBentley View Post
      Is this a ridiculous 4am thought?
      No, I don't think it is a ridiculous thought at all. I'd echo Jen, though, that modeling is important at this age. They're awfully young for planners. If they see that mom keeps an organized plan, that will help them transition to keeping their own planner later.

      My vote is keep it simple. Perhaps incorporate a timer for certain activities (instrument practice, math drills), and keep a steady rhythm/order to the day (work before play). That's enough for this age, in my opinion.
      Amanda
      Mama to three crazy boys - 6A, 5A, 1

      "Non nisi te, Domine. Non nisi te" - St. Thomas Aquinas

      Comment


        #4
        I am far from a veteran homeschool mom, but I can share with you what I've done with my 3rd grader. Starting last year in 2nd grade, I would give him "independent work" which consisted of doing his math problems, reading his literature (we would then read it together a second time during class), writing his spelling words, and doing his copywork and cursive work.

        I told him that the work needed to be done by our class time the following day, and it was up to him to determine when to get it done. In order for him to know what to do, he would write it down on a sheet of paper and then cross it off when he was done; he will sometimes look at the CM just to see what's coming up, but I did not have him use it to check things off.

        It worked well for him, and gave him some autonomy and independence over some of his day, which he likes. I never had a problem with him not getting the independent work done, but he is a child who enjoys creating structure for himself so this was a pretty natural thing for him, even in second grade.
        Central Ohio

        2019-2020
        3rd year homeschooling - 3rd year MP user
        DS 8 - MP3
        DS 6 - MPK/1
        DS 3

        Comment


          #5
          Golly. The things we Moms worry and stress over, right? We can really wrap ourselves into a dizzying knot of trying to plan for the future if we are not careful to remember a couple of basic principles.

          I think Jen has already pointed out one invaluable one, and which Amanda echoed. You are already changing the narrative of your children's approach to their education by the different path you have chosen. You will reinforce those differences every single day simply by living out the commitment to homeschool with fortitude, discipline, humor, and the magic word: modeling.

          The second one that I think is also important to keep in mind is one that Martin Cothran and Paul Schaffer bring up often, so I will steal it from them and hopefully do it justice, which is to understand the difference between the order of knowledge and the order of learning. There is a difference between what is important to know and the the correct order in which to teach it. The most common example we use to explain this difference is using the Classics for literature. Martin's top five "books" that everyone should read are: Iliad/Odyssey, Aeneid, Shakespeare, Divine Comedy, and the KJV of the Bible (because of it's high literary quality). Now, just because these are "the best of the best" does not mean that we use them for reading practice in 2nd grade. It's not where we start because there is a lot of preparation that is necessary to be able to truly appreciate them. It would be like serving a $400 bottle of wine at a family dinner where very few people are wine connoisseurs. It would be wasteful because the folks are not able to appreciate the magnitude of what they are receiving. Instead, you start with simpler, lesser quality materials that are age or developmentally appropriate and gradually increase what they know so that they can eventually reach the greater, higher quality materials. You use the order that makes sense for the child, not the order of importance of the material.

          This is what is at play here in your concern over teaching them time management skills. I would agree with you that within a framework of important things for our children to know and develop as skills, time management is a biggie. It is very high on the list of what is important because it is a key factor in their ability to be responsible adults. So think of it as one of those "top five books."

          But you don't have to start teaching it directly for them to be starting the preparation for it. As the others have pointed out, MP has already set things up well for us to model the behaviors we want them to imitate down the road. We are the ones opening the planner to see what needs to be done each day and making the concerted effort to achieve it each and every day. We are the ones managing school time with outside commitments and appointments; making adjustments for unexpected events; and then jumping right back in to try to complete the next step of the plan. By being home with us, they see adults managing their time all the time...what better way for them to learn?

          And in our house at least, that desire to take over the planner from Mom comes on earlier and earlier with each successive child. My current second grader - who is only in week three - knows what things she can pull off her shelf and do while she is waiting for me. And her ability to do that brings her a joyful sense of "bigness" because she is imitating what she has seen her five older siblings do for the last seven years. And all it takes is that gradual loosening of the reins for them to become more independent in their work. Each subject has parts to it that require mom, but also a lot of parts that don't. So once a few of the weeks have been modeled, when both parent and child know the routine, it becomes easier to say, "Okay, you know what to do now...you work on this while I empty the dishwasher/change the laundry/start supper/change the baby/practice flashcards with sister/answer this telephone call and I will look at it when you have finished it." That is sort of "level one" of independence - the ability to complete some work on their own in one subject. There is a "level two" also, which is the ability to go over a subject with you and then set it aside until their "independent time" and still complete it well. This is an awesome stage to get to because you can consolidate your teaching time into a block, and then they can have a block of work time, and then you can have a simple check in time later to look it over. I would say there is still one more layer of independence which is great for high schoolers - which is the ability to begin a subject on their own, complete the work themselves, and be ready for a more in-depth go-over with mom or in a class environment. But as you can see - there is a progression. It doesn't happen overnight. They begin with simple steps that don't really seem to be related to time management, but which set the foundation for it to come later. We have never needed anything more than the MP Curriculum Guide for this to happen naturally in our home.

          There is one more thing I think would be good to keep in mind with this as well. We don't study literature in isolation and expect our children to do well handling the classics. If we did, they might get to the point of reading the words, but I would sincerely question the quality of that reading. Instead, we also study phonics and spelling so that new words come easily to our children; we study Latin and Math to develop the ability to think critically, analyze well, synthesize well, draw conclusions well, and make strong inferences and connections; we study composition so that our children have the ability not just to think but to then also express their thoughts and make arguments clearly and understandably; we do all of this day-in and day-out so that children learn commitment and fortitude; and we pay attention to our attitudes about school so that children realize what character is and how our actions define who we are. All of these seemingly ancillary things play into their ability to handle the classics when the time comes - and not just handle reading them, but really reading them, taking them to heart, learning from them and letting them change them. Everything comes together to make great things possible.

          When you give your children this sort of complete education, it does indeed help them with time management. But not in isolation. It's teaching them virtue in a complete sense. Time management is just a part of that. So please, relax. Trust the process. You don't need a character club to beat over your kids' heads. Do school well, live out what you are teaching them in real life, and it will happen in its own good time.

          AMDG,
          Sarah



          2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
          DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
          DS, 16
          DD, 14
          DD, 12
          DD, 10
          DD, 7.5
          DD, 5.5
          +DS+
          DS, 18 months

          Comment


            #6
            Ok. I like what you guys said. Modeling the right behavior. I think that's brilliant.

            Next question - is the CM (either the one we get from MP or the ones we create) really the right tool for teaching or modeling that behavior?

            What do I mean by that?

            A CM isn't much more than a very - VERY - detailed syllabus of all the classes and every single assignment for an entire week. It shows EVERYTHING. Most of that (nearly all of it) is done during the school day. However, if you are just staring at that manual, does it highlight the stuff you (the student) are supposed to do "on your own" after school time?

            For example take Math. You do a Math lesson. You may even do a lot or even most of the problems during class. However, looking at the R&S 3 Math, I can easily see how some of it could be assigned for homework. Well, what if you did Math at 8:30am? What if you, as the teacher, aren't intending for the kiddo to do every single problem in each lesson (the TM doesn't state what "not" to do)? What if, after the lesson, you assign homework for rows 6 and 7? What if you had a rule that row 6 could be done directly in the book, and row 7 needed to be done on paper (to give them practice to write out problems neatly and correctly and lined up)?

            That's where I'm thinking about the planner. Eventually, kids should pick up on the skill of taking the time to write down in a planner what that teacher wants for the next day. Reading the CM doesn't do that because it just says to do "lesson ##, Flash cards for 10 min" etc....

            I LOVE the idea of modeling this next step - which means if I were to do it, I would have my own "student planner" identical to theirs, and I would show them how I would jot this assignment down and what it would look like. That way they see in perfect detail what I want them to do, they copy it, and now they have a nice summary of what homework expectations are by class. Not to mention, it will show me what I assigned too. With this much to juggle, I'm not going to remember what I assigned to whom.

            3rd is where we start seeing some bigger quizzes and tests. Up until this point, the tests have been somewhat "light". I just spent the time downloading and printing all of the tests and quizzes for the year (thanks for that tip Veteran MP'ers). It's not a small pile of paper in that binder. This is a good time to introduce the idea that they should maybe pull their student workbooks back out and glance over their answers for a few minutes in preparation for those quizzes and tests. If I'm modeling that, I would ask them questions - Do you think you should look over this before the test? How often? When? How long do you think you need to re-read your answers? It gives me the chance to guide them how to budget a few minutes some days to review their workbook answers on their own and build up the idea of "study time".

            I love your ideas guys. You take my convoluted questions and you just give and give and give. God bless you all.

            Melissa

            DS (MP3) - 9
            DS (MP2) - 7/8
            DS (K) - 6
            DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

            Comment


              #7
              This is not the age where students are going to be able to answer questions such as, "How long and how many times do you think you need to study earlier in the week in order to be ready for the quiz on Friday?" This is the age of equipping and scaffolding. For my child prone to disorganization, I provide a rigid support structure of clear expectations and guidelines. I tell her when to study, how long, and I supervise the results (or else what I get is declarations of completion with little retention or accuracy). We study together. I cue her for hand motions, mnemonic devices, and memory tricks to recall facts. I'm sorry, but I just don't think 3rd grade and under are good grades to expect autonomy in study skills. Goodness, they are just finally beginning to write independently. However, my 3rd grader is doing all of the things mentioned above: taking charge of moving on to the next assignment by looking in the CM.

              In addition, the struggles you mentioned above sound like classic ADD with inattentivity. This requires a bit more intentional effort than just exposing a child to a beautifully designed curriculum manual. Executive functioning impairment demands a highly structured environment (just like Memoria Press with its clear expectations, predictable format, uncluttered book design, and repetitive order of the day) and overteaching of study skills. Check out this link:
              https://www.understood.org/en/learni...ssues-and-adhd

              If you've ever wondered why a kid w/ ADD can sit and attend to an activity that they enjoy for hours but can't follow a simple 2-step instruction to get dressed and brush his teeth, motivation and routine are the keys. Find ways that motivate the child, be it fear of the timer announcing a consequence or missing a reward. Also, choose rewards that don't undo all the progress you've made in regards to attention. Reward obedience in following a prescribed plan for writing down assignments in a planner of the child's own, but know that this is not likely to be self-reinforcing. You aren't going to magically get a child ready to check his planner 5 times a day to see what is next. You're going to need to assign a time where your son has to open his planner in the afternoon, read over the requirements, and delegate time to do the work. Children with executive functioning issues aren't going to get anything out of just writing it down in a planner. Plan on it taking 6-12 weeks to establish a habit (where you have hovered over the child and enforced the work getting done, until you gradually fade the prompting and supervision).

              Mama to 2, Married 17 years

              SY 19/20
              DD 8-3A
              DS 5-SC C

              Comment


                #8
                Still too complicated. I went through a TON of trial and error on this because some of my kids don’t get things that are implicitly taught. They need specific, step-by-step details.

                Best solution I’ve found: the CM belongs to both you and the child. 1. Two minutes in the morning: use a Frixion highlighter to highlight line items that you know they can do independently.
                2. If you’re only assigning part of a math page, you highlight those rows in the book OR make a quick notation on that line in the CM.
                3. Friday afternoon: you write on a post-it strip “study [insert subject] flashcards” and stick it on the day(s) you want them to do that. Each Friday afternoon, you move those strips to the next week. (See attached)
                4. In different weeks in different subjects? Label a tab with the subject name and a number. They turn to the numbers in order and do the highlighted items. (See attached)
                5. Work-with-mom? Use a different color highlighter for those items. When you sit down to work one-on-one, you turn to the tabs in order and work on the items that have your color.
                7. Mom needs reminders? Write it on a pretty piece of cardstock and clip it to your current CM page. Move it as you go. (See attached)
                6. As they get older (4th grade minimum): if you make an adjustment to an assignment, write it on a piece of paper or on the board and they copy it into the CM. You ensure that it’s in the correct place while they write.
                7. Around 6th grade: they usually want more independence at this point. This is where you can offer them a Planner where they transfer the week’s assignments. You have “Planner day” where you make sure everything was transferred for the upcoming week and that they have included study items for quizzes/ tests. Have them use a Frixion pen so that it’s easy to make changes.
                8. Give them a “How to Study” Guide so they learn how to work with the material in multiple ways. They can start using this — with direction — as early as third grade. (See attached)
                9. Schools only do homework because they can’t get to everything in class. Homeschoolers don’t need homework unless a child has been purposefully dawdling/procrastinating, at which point homework becomes the natural consequence. When they’re in high school, they’ll begin to need homework time just to get to everything and still have a life...my boys are facing that this coming year...no need for your guys to start that now.

                Can’t attach from my phone...will add in a few minutes from my laptop.

                ETA: enbateau and I were posting at the same time! Yes, executive function delays have been our bread and butter for over 13 years...hence all my trial and error (read: grasping at straws) to get/keep my kids on track.

                Here are the attachments mentioned above (note that the pink highlighter is "my" color — I don't expect my SC child to do those items independently!)

                Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_8481.jpg Views:	1 Size:	126.9 KB ID:	115643Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_8506.jpg Views:	1 Size:	111.7 KB ID:	115644Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_3116.jpg Views:	1 Size:	108.9 KB ID:	115645

                How to Study Guide: study guide.pdf
                Attached Files
                Last edited by jen1134; 08-22-2019, 09:25 AM.
                Jennifer
                Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                DS16
                MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
                MPOA: High School Comp. II
                HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

                DS15
                MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
                MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
                HSC: Modern European History

                DS12
                7M with:
                Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

                DS11
                SC Level 4

                DD9
                3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                DD7/8
                Still in SC Level 2

                DD 4/5
                SC Level C

                Comment


                  #9
                  As Jen described beautifully, that CM is our planner...we work from it together throughout the day. If they don’t get something done, it gets jotted into a slot for the next day, or for an open space later in the week. If they need more review than what is suggested in the CM, we joy it in where we need it to go. Quizlet gets written in each week, as does religion. But it’s a constant team effort of looking at what is expected, deciding what to do and when to do it, and moving things around as necessary. That’s why we have never felt the need for anything more - the CM is where it’s all happening.

                  The time I have seen my kids become able to do that completely for themselves has been late high school - not before 11th or 12th. And this is for neurotypical kids who do have motivation to be on top of things but are simply too immature to follow through. We tried encouraging it a bit earlier for our second child over the summer with just the subjects he needed to wrap up, and even at 15 he was not ready to plan out his time well. So we keep helping until it sticks and they take over for themselves.

                  But the funny thing about this conversation is that my college freshman ran errands for me yesterday, and what did she bring home in addition to the list I had given her? A new planner and a companion size journal in case she needs to write down things that don’t fit in her planner. All those years of MP guides, and she knows what it’s going to take to keep track of her life.

                  It really boils down to giving the help they need until they don’t need the help. And then having a reasonable expectation of when that should happen - which I have seen to be on the later side of homeschooling rather than the early side. Jen in Japan mentioned in the other thread that she felt like she had waited too long to instill this in her kids, and that middle school was a crucial time to set the foundation. But I don’t think she meant that they should be good at it by then. I am going to venture a guess, based on our experience, that if you are continuing with the modeling and helping throughout these years, then that is enough to address it until they reach the time when it takes hold for itself.

                  ETA: And totally agree with jen too about homework...it’s never been something we have done on purpose or on a regular basis. They work a subject until it’s done, so there’s no need. Reviewing and drilling is a good thing to do at a separate time so that they are revisiting material more than once a day, but not setting aside work in purpose for homework.

                  AMDG,
                  Sarah
                  Last edited by KF2000; 08-22-2019, 09:57 AM.
                  2019-2020 - 9th Year with MP
                  DD, 18, Homeschool grad; Art major/philosophy minor
                  DS, 16
                  DD, 14
                  DD, 12
                  DD, 10
                  DD, 7.5
                  DD, 5.5
                  +DS+
                  DS, 18 months

                  Comment


                    #10
                    enbateau The kid I was describing above was - myself! I'm basically describing what a non-modeled behavioral outcome could become - it's not ideal! And I do get the sense, after so many observations here, thatI would probably have been classified ADHD. I still contend that if I weren't so young (young 4 yr old, starting 5 yr old K), many things might have been different. That extra year might have made a world of difference.

                    KF2000jen1134 Nerdmombuckeyelaw Please don't be frustrated with me guys. I know I can be a very frustrating personality - ask my husband! God bless the man.

                    I see patterns. When I see patterns emerging, it creates questions. I've always loved asking this question of people who are some kind of subject matter expert in a given field:
                    "If you had it to do all over again, knowing everything you know now, is there anything you would change if you were given the chance to go back to the beginning?"

                    Sometimes, the answer is no - but that's pretty rare.

                    I once asked this of a cowboy whose family had a ranch in West Texas. He's a third generation rancher. I asked him this question and his answer was "We would have started with Black Angus cattle and stayed with them because no matter what, they always command a better price, regardless of the problems". There you go - 3 generations of family knowledge of ranching, summed up in one sentence. If someone were to start ranching from scratch, how long might it take them to come to the same conclusion?

                    Ask my husband - "Honey, if you could go back and tell your younger self what direction your education should take, what would that be?" "Petrochemical engineering with a minor in accounting"

                    Ask our pediatrician - " Knowing everything you know now, if you could go back and advise yourself how to get where you wanted to be in your field, what would you tell yourself? Like would you change your undergrad degree to something else?" "I would have majored in BioChem instead of Biology - the MCATs alone would have been so much easier."

                    I see things like this article (http://midlifeblogger.com/homeschool...es-in-college/), and it specifically mentions time management being a challenge to so many kids, homeschooled or not. If it's that rampant a problem, then trying to brainstorm a different direction is a fun and worthy exercise.

                    I ask this of you guys because I'm still back here at the beginning and I want to glean as much as I can from your experiences of what worked, and especially, what didn't. Your experiences are a wealth of data to learn from.

                    So when I pose this question to you guys (the subject matter experts in my opinion), it's in that same vein of thought. Now that you have seen a problem, fixed or not fixed a problem, if you could go back in time and make a change however big or small, what would that look like? For every single kid that you taught with this struggle, long before the real challenges emerged, if you had the clairvoyant ability to know it was coming, what would you have done to try to head it off at the pass? What baby steps would you have taken early on? I'm even curious to know if you might believe it was inevitable, and no amount of pre-knowledge would have helped you formulate a different plan that would have made any difference to the outcome.

                    This is how I should have started this post, rather than tossing out my first possible solutions.



                    Melissa

                    DS (MP3) - 9
                    DS (MP2) - 7/8
                    DS (K) - 6
                    DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

                    Comment


                      #11
                      MBentley "Things I would have done differently" is a hard one because for thirteen years we didn't even know what was wrong. I co-presented a session with Cheryl Swope at the 2018 Sodalitas gathering about executive function delays/organization/time management for tweens and teens. They cut the first portion of the video because I was sharing our family's story. I wish they hadn't because our family made a joint decision to be very open about our backstory so that other families can know they're not alone. I'm copying the transcript here (btw: several professionals are now wanting to classify ADD as primarily an executive function disorder):

                      "My husband and I are second generation homeschoolers, and we’re getting ready to start our third year of using Memoria Press and Simply Classical. To give you a glimpse into our family — and why this topic is so important to us:

                      We have seven children, ages 3-15, and six of them have varying levels of:
                      • attention
                      • sensory processing
                      • executive function
                      • anxiety
                      • and emotional regulation challenges
                      My husband has had moderate-severe ADHD with sensory sensitivities since childhood and I have obsessive-compulsive disorder and a stress-induced hormone imbalance. Needless to say, things get very interesting at our house. For years, our family and our home were a chaotic mess, punctuated by extreme tantrums/meltdowns. But I always thought the problem was in:
                      • the systems I was using,
                      • or in character issues,
                      • or in my own failings and incompetence
                      Then, two years ago, on the Simply Classical forum, Christine used the phrase “executive function issues” in relation to some of her own child’s struggles. I had always been interested in Christine’s posts because her child was, in many ways, a carbon-copy of one of my more difficult children. So — of course! — I immediately Googled “executive function”. Everything I read described my child “to a T”. As I continued to learn more about executive function and the impact it can have on children and families, Cheryl recommended that I read the Smart but Scattered books — which I’m sure many of you are familiar with!

                      While reading, I did the informal assessments for each member of our family and, out of 9 people, seven of us showed significant executive function deficits, including my husband and myself. After 13 years, we finally felt we had hope because we finally knew what we were up against..."

                      So my answer to your question would be:

                      1. I would have considered the possibility that these weren't just character flaws, especially when normal parenting techniques didn't help.

                      2. I would have given things more time to work. I come from a self-taught (and later mentored) Montessori background. In that, there is a tremendous emphasis on ordering the environment and the routines so that the child can then internalize that order. I kept trying to do this, but I never kept up with it for more than 2 weeks. The thing I didn't understand was that some children take YEARS to internalize that order in a home environment, even after they've internalized it in a classroom (which can also take longer for some children). My own impatience and my constant search for a "magic bullet" got in the way of helping my children. I will always regret this.

                      3. I would have taken one thing at a time, meeting each child where they were at and gradually working from there, understanding that often we would be moving two steps forward and three steps back.

                      4. I would have seen my children as persons having challenges to be worked through, not as flawed humans needing to be fixed

                      5. I would have kept things simple

                      6. I would not have based my daily parenting/schooling decisions on fear

                      7. I would have understood that it's not my job to make my kids perfect or prevent future struggles; it's my job to show them the right road. The rest is between them and God.

                      The biggest thing I see throughout your posts (both here and in other threads) is a desire to cover all. the. things. and to avoid all. the. mistakes. I know some of that is because of the level of explicit instruction needed by one of your littles, but I also know, from experience, that much of it comes from FEAR. You don't want your children to experience what you did as a child/young adult. Or even what you experience now. You don't want them to be the statistics you read about.

                      Some of it also comes from ADHD. My husband's take on it: "ADHD makes it difficult to just give a high-level explanation of things because you easily get caught up in thinking that the details are the 'most important things'" This is an executive function thing and it also goes back to what Sarah mentioned above. The order of learning is different than the order of knowledge. They will go deeper each year. If you give it to them all at once they will eventually drown, or even worse, they will start tuning you out. That's what happened to someone in our extended family. He was so afraid of his children missing important information that he gave them too much at once, all the time, and they grew to resent it — and him. There were other factors at play, but their memories of his teaching are full of annoyance and frustration, not delight.

                      From my husband: "If you deny your children the grace to go down a wrong path as children [not talking morals here], they won't know what it means to fail and they won't know how to handle it when they're on their own."

                      You can't prevent every mistake — whether yours or your children's. You can't even prevent most of them. It's part of parenting, it's part of homeschooling, it's part of life. Your children will struggle. They will likely struggle in the exact same ways you do because you're dealing with genetics and this isn't a "will go away someday" thing. You can follow all the experts (who don't even agree half the time) and it might lessen some of it. But this doesn't go away. You have to accept that. Really and truly in your heart, not just your head. Otherwise, you will always be looking for the next thing to fix, the next thing to prevent.

                      The numbered items above are the essentials I've found in walking this very long, often-heartbreaking road. I hope they help.
                      Jennifer
                      Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                      DS16
                      MP: Lit 10, VideoText Algebra
                      MPOA: High School Comp. II
                      HSC: Spanish I, Conceptual Physics, Modern European History, and electives

                      DS15
                      MP: Biology, Lit 10, VideoText Algebra, Greek Tragedies
                      MPOA: High School Comp. II, Fourth Form Latin
                      HSC: Modern European History

                      DS12
                      7M with:
                      Second Form Latin, EGR III, and HSC for US History

                      DS11
                      SC Level 4

                      DD9
                      3A, with First Form Latin (long story!)

                      DD7/8
                      Still in SC Level 2

                      DD 4/5
                      SC Level C

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by MBentley View Post



                        I can't help but wonder if I start this process of making them actually aware of their own time, aware of real deadlines, aware of the concept of "homework", would that make later grades, and eventually college, go a little smoother? Put another way, is time management and planning something that should be started very early, rather than just telling them to do something, nagging them to finish it, or giving them the completed guides that require no effort? Does it make sense to introduce them to the concept of the planner that THEY are responsible for (within reason), and teaching it (over teaching really) explicitly?

                        If I start with 3rd and 2nd, then I can begin this phased approach so that they are being exposed to the planner, they have to write in the planner, they have to review the planner to know what they are supposed to be doing, they have to mark down any homework and get ready for any quiz or test. I haven't done "homework" yet but I'm thinking that they need to learn how to manage some of their after school free-time so that they know it's not all "free". This could make the school day classes shorter because they are not going to do math until it's "all" done. We can do some in class and the rest is homework. This would free up more of the day for me to spend with each kid too. Looking at next year, there are nearly 23 different classes that must take place every single day.

                        Is this a ridiculous 4am thought?
                        I don't think it's a ridiculous thought at all, and it's going to be one of the focus (foci?) of our year. If I was unable to teach/facilitate school, things would be a HOT MESS. So, everyone is getting a binder, and an an editable planner. I do agree with jen1134 that you have to model, and KF2000 brings up a good point about maturity and time management.

                        HOWEVER, I've seen fruits in my oldest child (not still at home) as well as my 7yo, from having planners modeled for them from an early age. This wasn't from me, but because they were in a classroom setting.

                        My oldest was in public school the majority of her school years, and learned from a very early age how to use an agenda. My 7 year old began copying assignments into an assignment notebook last year at HLS. (first grade)

                        I think beginning early is a BIG step to learning time management skills. I have the added challenge of having kids with some learning issues (dyslexia, dysgraphia, auditory processing disorder), so executive functioning is VITAL, but hard to tackle. Personality plays into this a great deal (we all know those people who seem to have been born organized), but I really do think that consistent modeling, maturity appropriate expectations, and specific checkpoints are key.

                        Plans for 2019-20

                        DD1 - 24 - College Grad and rocking her own bakery business
                        DD2 - 13 - 8A Louisville HLS Cottage School and MPOA
                        DS3 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                        DS4 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                        DD5 - 7 - MP2, Louisville HLS Cottage School
                        DS6 - 5 - MP K

                        [url]www.thekennedyadventures.com/all-about-our-memoria-press-homeschool[/url]

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Time management has been on my mind as well, with the same question whether the way I'm doing it is just micro-managing things for my older kids (13 and 14 in the fall). I have been thinking back to my own school experience.

                          In 1st and 2nd grade homework was not much, and the teacher personally wrote what needed to be done on each student's notebooks, one lined for language arts, one with graph paper for math (my class had 8 students total!!) The homework was always for the following day, so there was nothing required but the diligence of opening the notebooks and follow the instructions.
                          In 3rd grade a planner started being required: at the end of the time allotted to each subject, the teacher would either dictate homework, or write it on the blackboard for us to copy. I'd say 90% of the homework was still due the next day, so things were still very simple.
                          Middle school was a bit more complicated, with more subjects that were done only once or twice a week, or project assigned for a later date to keep track of. Again, each student kept a planner, and at the end of each lesson the teacher dictated what to do, and the day homework would be due. It was up to each to decide how to take care of homework: you could go day by day, or you could do some work in advance, especially on days with not much to do for the next one. But it took a lot of will power to do so! Why do today what can be procrastinated for a bit... I'd say what really taught me to embrace discipline was getting fed up with the fear that dominates the life of an undisciplined student: you think you're dodging work, but you're actually making your life miserable. But no one taught study skills, like how to work on a chapter of history and mark important dates and passages, things like that. I think time management and study skills are connected, and I actually suspect that it's only when kids become confident with the way they study that they are able to develop good time management habits.

                          Translating this experience in a way that made sense at home has proved tricky for me. The idea of replicating the school schedule I was used to, lessons until lunch time, then homework done independently, doesn't seem to make sense at home. The way I've organized work so far has meant homework done right after a lesson, and whatever was left undone would be completed the next time our plan had that subject scheduled. So for instance, there are always 45 up to 90 minutes of Latin scheduled every day: once a week that means a new lesson, and the rest of the days they study and do homework/quiz in that allotted time. Whenever I've bought planners for the kids, they've stayed blank: all they needed was the main schedule, and each day they knew they needed to complete one more piece of whatever lesson they were working on. When they were done I'd step back in the picture, correcting homework first then moving on to the next lesson. This has worked decently for us because the number of subject my older kids have done together has increased over time, and now I basically find myself with two 8th graders. Only decently, though, because, boy, can they drag things... It doesn't matter to them that I remind them that the quicker they are, the sooner they can get to their free time. So again, my suspicion is that I need to help them develop sound study habits, and then we'll see results in how time is employed as well: handing them a planner or a check list is not going to ensure that they will study the way I want them to. Sometimes, though, it's just that subjects are tough, and we need more time: this past year I was a bit shocked by Third Form, after having seen them breeze through years of Latin with ease: so we've taken it slowly, and not finishing it by June was not caused by poor time management or study skills.

                          This year I'm a bit perplexed because I'll be adding our youngest child to the mix, and it's such a gap in age that I'm not sure what to expect. Now that the older two do the same things, I wonder if it might make sense to radically revisit our system, but my mind is blank: it's nearing the end of August and all I've come up with is a schedule that reflects the usual way we do things, with homework time baked in and me deciding when everything gets done, and their job is just to be diligent and serious. I just have no idea if this is ok, or if I'm keeping them too passive, keeping them from owning their schooling more and more.

                          So really, this is just me musing out loud, not really offering any advice: I'm in no position! I just want to say, though, that I'm not sure that the "if you could go back" approach is all that useful. Of course we should reflect on how we've done things, and try to learn the right lessons from our inevitable mistakes: but what exactly is the purpose of trying to imagine our life lived differently? My husband studied Music Performance in college, because he wanted to be in an orchestra: it turns out that was technically a disastrous decision, as he's never used his hard-earned diploma, and what he ended up doing couldn't be farther from that world: all those years and all that money could be said to have been wasted. And yet, if we take that out of the picture, and try to imagine what he really should have done in college, who's to say that he would have been better off? I understand the cowboy family regretting working with the wrong type of cattle, but not everything in life is like that. But maybe I'm just misunderstanding the purpose of those questions. Thank you for starting this thread, it's given me lots of good food for thought!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Mrs Bee

                            Hey there. The purpose of the question is that there are some answers that you only get after years of trying one thing, only to find it didn't have the result you were targeting. I'm not saying, "How would you change your life to make it better?" - that's a whole other topic! I've never even come across someone who would go that drastic.

                            So take that pediatrician - her goal wasn't to be a biologist. Her goal was always to be a pediatrician. Based on the information she had at the time, biology seemed like the best undergrad degree to help her get to medical school. Most people do select biology (about 38% actually). You have the take the MCAT exam about a year before you apply to medical school. There's stuff on the MCAT that you aren't expecting (once upon a time, I took it to). Biology is only one aspect of it - 25% of it actually. There's another 25% section on chemistry (and not the simple stuff and all memorized), biochemistry, and of all things - physics! If I were to advise someone who was planning to take the MCAT, I'd go a step further and say to take it towards the end of their second semester of physics, because that test requires that you memorize all of the physics equations - every single one. Some teachers or professors allow you to have notecards with the equations written down to use during tests, so you never have to fully memorize them - no so with this test. I had to spend 6 weeks re-memorizing physics...understanding why you needed cathodic protection for underground pipes because the soil will leech out....blah blah blah.... That's what I mean. You can't find that information anywhere (at least not a couple of decades ago). So, anyone with kids out there even remotely thinking about medical school, think long and hard about that test. That biology degree only gets you 25% of the way there. And make that undergrad minor count! Don't try to plug that physics in over the summer between your freshman and sophomore year just to get it out of the way because your degree plan requires it and you are reasoning that you won't need to calculate velocity of a moving car again... That kind of information is gold because it is specific to accomplish your goals. If someone is targeting medical school, that information is directly applicable to accomplishing their goals.

                            In the case of your husband, it's completely the wrong question, because his goals or targets "changed" for one reason or another. That's valid too and definitely part of life and learning. There is no information that his current self could go back and tell his former self because former self wouldn't listen anyways since former self had a different goal path than current self. Maybe he thinks he made a mistake in those early years or maybe he doesn't, recognizing that different events transpired that might not have happened any other way. That's one my own hubby can relate to, as he rashly joined the US Navy one day because he got mad at his part time job (before we met), and the only reason he picked the Navy was because the recruiters for the other branches were at lunch. It didn't turn out like he thought, but it has provided so many benefits over our lifetime. He wishes he had been more studious and attended college out the gate, but that would have changed the fabric of every other aspect of his (and our) lives. So, again, not the right question for that phase of life. However, when he did pursue that degree, it was online. At that point, he was firmly established in his career in the Oil & Gas industry. He picked one when he could easily have picked another. It wouldn't have changed any aspect of our lives back then, but had he picked the other, he would have one more tool in his toolkit to accomplish things he would like to now. The goals from then to now haven't changed, but he didn't have a few golden pieces of information back then that could have made all the difference.

                            When I ask these questions of you guys, it's to understand where you are at now with the hundreds of kids using this curriculum. Knowing what works, what doesn't work, what "meh" works...that's golden information. Put another way, if you were to combine the years of experience of all parents and teachers across all kids on this forum, you have hundreds of years of knowledge wealth to learn from. It's worth the exercise to try to see the patterns and rhythms in these experiences. I would be truly foolish to try to come up with best practices all on my own because my knowledge is in its infancy by comparison.

                            Outside of curriculum, there are some skill sets that our kids need to master, and I recognize my own shortcomings in these areas. I'm using a list from this article that another person in this forum posted a few weeks back: https://www.wku.edu/gifted/documents...esnt_learn.pdf

                            Work Ethic
                            Responsibility and Discipline,
                            Coping with Disappointment,
                            Self Worth Stemming from the Accomplishment of a Challenging Task,
                            Time-Management Skills,
                            Study Skills,
                            Goal Setting,
                            Decision Making and Problem Solving Skills,
                            Sacrifice

                            I thought that article was fascinating because it listed specific and universal skills every student should master, regardless of the life choices they make or the course of curriculum studied. What's more, the article implied that some groups of people were adept at teaching these skills to the next generation - regardless of where they attended their early schooling. That leads me to think that I need to be paying attention to things "not" in the CM from MP because these skills don't develop from the content of the lesson plans. It also leads me back to the website for HLS. When I do a deeper dive into their practices, I see how there are extra "things"...like homework in early grades like the ones I'm teaching (30-45 min for lower grades and it goes up from there), uniforms that start with polos in K going all the way to blazers by 7th, standardized testing. If this forum houses hundreds of years of combined knowledge, then HLS has thousands of years of combined experience across its many teachers with each and every student. I have trouble deciding that I know better than they do and that my kids don't need planners, homework, a dress code of some kind, exposure to standardized testing... If they have found validity in those practices, perhaps those practices are just as important as studying Latin. They implement these practices pretty early...some of them K and 1st even. That's right where I'm at.
                            Melissa

                            DS (MP3) - 9
                            DS (MP2) - 7/8
                            DS (K) - 6
                            DD (Adorable distraction) 2 1/2

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Gosh, thank you for having the patience to explain your thinking! Yes, now I see what you were trying to do. This is very interesting, but I don't have time right now for further thoughts! What I consider interesting is that you're trying to make explicit some "soft" skills, or if not skills whatever they might be... I just need some more coffee now!

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