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Scheduling 3A: what would you do?

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    Scheduling 3A: what would you do?

    I've got a scheduling question for all you mamas with good ideas. Here's the background:

    We operate on a year round schedule, with our school year beginning roughly around the calendar new year. My two girls will be finishing MP2 and a weird gap year (somewhere in between MP2 and MP 3) around Christmas. Because we live overseas in a country without a reliable mail system, we won't be able to get our new school books until the end of January. So we'll start 3A for both girls in February, but we'll have to take a 12 week break over the summer while we visit the US (yay!). That trip will be crazy busy with visiting family and friends. We'll also be taking a Great Out West Road Trip, as my girls are calling it, to visit lots of National Parks. We don't plan to get any "real" school done during that time. So, my question is....

    Is there something I could tweak in the 3A schedule to avoid huge regressions over the summer? Could we do all of Greek Myths in our first semester, for example, instead of following the lesson plans and having that big break half way through? Then do all of CSI in the second semester? Or is that too much info for little brains to cram in in such a short time period? We've already done States and Caps this year, as well as all the American History reading, so that does give us a little wiggle room in the schedule. I'm doubting Latina Christiana could be done in 1 semester, since many kids that age are taking 2 years to cover it anyway. Astronomy?

    Or should we just follow the lesson plans as written and accept the break in the middle for what it is? I must admit, I'm really looking forward to a more normal year of following the lesson plans (yay for box checking!) after this mash up year we've had. And if that means we have a too-long summer break, I can live with that. Stopping math for 3 months while my new 3rd grader will be right in the middle of learning her multiplication tables....grrrr....but I can't see anyway around that.

    So what would you do? I realize there really isn't just one right answer, but I'd love to hear your ideas!

    #2
    I would not cram any of the subjects into a semester. That sounds like a recipe for poor mastery.

    Part of the beauty of MP is the recitation. Take that on the road with you. I am definitely a veteran homeschooler who isn't often home to school. Outside of numerous doctor appointments, we frequently pack up and head to the mountains for 3-4 days, taking much of our schooling along with us. I print off math sheets for the car and picnic table. I snap pictures of books we're doing and ask questions to keep knowledge fresh. I've even taken a picture of flashcards all laid out on a table so that I can drill my 3A-er in the car or on a hike. We have managed to stay 90% on pace, taking review weeks where we need it, but so far so good with travel schooling.

    We tried a more year-round approach this year, and it has not lent itself to smooth learning. The gaps we inserted have been more harmful than helpful. Last year, in MP2, we just blazed from week 1-34 without much rest. I scheduled 2 weeks off at Christmas and 3 days for Spring Break. It was a break-neck pace, and I was a wet dish rag by the end. That's why we started in July this year. I built 4 weeks off here and there until Christmas, and I was ready to take the whole month of December off and a full 2 weeks at Lent and Easter. Haha, that is NOT going to happen. My kids actually do so much better when we just blow and go. We take 3 months off in the summer (as we did this past year, ending in April, resuming the end of July). We do 5-10 min of math 4 days a week over our summer break, and I don't think you could do any less and keep those new math facts current. My daughter now knows it is too much hard work to recoup the losses, so she ASKS me to hold her feet to the fire, even if she grumbles when I finally force her to carve out the time for flashcards.

    My only caution about 3A and 1yr LC pacing is that I think you might hit a snag when you run out of words you already know. Be prepared for this. Depending on where you stop or put knowledge into maintenance mode, your student may need to work a lot harder to remember the new words and forms for weeks 8-15. If you school until week 17 and finish out LC lesson XV, then stop for 3 months, that is a big crop of words to hold in maintenance for 3 months. It would be very challenging to resume with week 18 in the guide not having rapid recall of Latin vocabulary, phrases, and declensions. I would personally prepare for it and do some heavy quizzing at least once a week. Over our past summer, I went through every word we learned in Prima Latina about once every 2 weeks. It wasn't perfect, but we wanted to enjoy our summer. Fortunately, the first 5-6 lessons are heavy review where only 2-3 words were new each week. You aren't going to have that, so you're going to have to figure out a way to keep those declensions and vocab current.

    Astronomy isn't as cumulative. When we hike, I drill my eldest on the 15 brightest stars and their constellations. If you keep that fresh, it's all gravy.

    Bring D'aulaires GM with you to reread on evenings you take your tour out west.

    It's possible.
    Mama to 2, Married 17 years

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

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      #3
      Another idea:
      I might break a couple subjects up like you've suggested. I'd do Greek Myths and Astronomy starting in February. You'll have some gorgeous night skies on your Great Out West Road Trip, so it would be nice to know some of the constellations and myths. Then I'd do CSI and begin LC when you return.

      I'd also schedule the lit books so you read Farmer Boy before your trip.

      We use XtraMath for facts practice, and I'd continue that throughout the trip. It only takes about 5 minutes so it can squish into little free moments easily, and it's on my phone so it's nothing extra to pack.
      Amanda
      Mama to three crazy boys - 6A, 5A, 1

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

      Comment


        #4
        One option for Latin is to skip the review worksheets as you go through the lessons the first time. You can look them over and do a few orally, but save them for the trip. Start back at the beginning and work a little bit every day. It is a small workbook and quite portable. There are also sets of Latina Christiana words on quizlet for review so no need to bring flash cards.
        Dorinda

        For 2019-2020
        DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
        DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
        DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
        DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

        Comment


          #5
          I'm going to say trim back Greek Myths to a semester overview. (Dodging rotten apples). Here's the deal, in all my time on this forum, I've never seen somebody say to a 5th grader or higher student, "You need to go back and do Myths." Nope, not once. I have seen people recommend reading the book over the summer to prepare for upper level grades, but no workbook. It was always, read it for familiarity.

          So, I'm thinking reading it for familiarity is okay. I think knowing the 12 main gods and their symbols is worth memorizing and adding to your overview.

          And then check it off your list, enjoy your summer roadtrip, and move on with life. It's third grade folks. Focus on family and friends and making memories. Throw in some Latin and math flashcards and you're golden.
          Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

          DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
          DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
          DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

          We've completed:
          Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
          Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Colomama View Post
            I'm going to say trim back Greek Myths to a semester overview. (Dodging rotten apples). Here's the deal, in all my time on this forum, I've never seen somebody say to a 5th grader or higher student, "You need to go back and do Myths." Nope, not once. I have seen people recommend reading the book over the summer to prepare for upper level grades, but no workbook. It was always, read it for familiarity.

            So, I'm thinking reading it for familiarity is okay. I think knowing the 12 main gods and their symbols is worth memorizing and adding to your overview.

            And then check it off your list, enjoy your summer roadtrip, and move on with life. It's third grade folks. Focus on family and friends and making memories. Throw in some Latin and math flashcards and you're golden.
            We have always (3x now) done Christian Studies and Greek Myths/Famous Men as read and discuss with no tests and no writing. All I use is the teacher manual. I figure if they can answer the drill questions or the items in the recitation, things are good. Astronomy I only did once and that son learned the brightest stars and always had a word bank for spelling them. Shhh...sometimes science (especially insects in 4th) didn’t happen. Overall, I focus our mastery energy on math and Latin...some might call it picking one’s battles.
            Dorinda

            For 2019-2020
            DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
            DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
            DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
            DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

            Comment


              #7
              I am going to jump in here with another suggestion. I totally agree with the great moms who have suggested doing things less intensely or just for read-throughs. You guys are going to be learning so much through your visit that will be AMAZING. (So jealous about the road trip - that is on my dh’s bucket list!)

              BUT....I also read in your post that you would really like to be able to open your lesson plans and do exactly what is listed there every day. Hoo-rah for that! I totally get you there and it’s one of the reasons MP helps me keep my sanity! I would not discount the months of that convenience lending up to your break. Depending on when you take your break, you could foreseeably have completed half the year - that’s not chump change!

              I think you could still manage schooling as-written and taking the summer off. There are ways you can include review without making it be a ton of school. Road trip means lots of cool sights, along with a lot of corn and trees. Which get old after only a little while! There are things you could bring in a single knapsack that could help you review. You could photocopy drill questions from each of your texts, the Recitation in the back of the CG, and definitely bring math flash cards. If you use Quizlet and have phones to hand to the kids they can have nearly everything they need right there. Shoot for three days of solid review - all of which could be done in probably 30-45 minutes. Grandparents can drill flash cards with their morning coffee while the kids are eating cereal. It could all be done before, in between, or after outings when there is downtime. And then you can come back, ready to go again in the fall, and wrap up just before Christmas like usual.

              Totally doable in my book.
              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

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