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    Need some references for 7th grade

    Would anyone be willing to PM me with some insight into how long their 7th grader is working and some pics of the quality of their work? We have a mild case of 7th-grade-itis here and I could use some real life models to show him what the level of effort should be.
    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

    #2
    Working on that, Jen!
    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


      #3
      Thanks, Sarah! CatherineS also sent me some very helpful pics!
      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


        #4
        We have a huge case of 7th-grader-itis here (did not know that was a diagnosable condition! ). I'm not sure who is going to die from it, him or me. I was about to post about this in Sarah's other thread. It is not so much quality of work (although that can be an issue), but it is mostly a level of effort that is making his school day take For.Ev.Er. And I might be losing my mind.
        Jodi
        ~~~~~~~
        2019-20 School Year:
        Ethan (7A)
        Matthew (5A)
        Silas (1st)
        Eleanor (4yo dabbling in PK as time allows)
        Andrew (brand new as of Oct 2019)

        Comment


          #5
          Hi Jodi,
          This is an especially hard age for boys, and with you still recovering from the birth, you may need to lower your expectations for him maybe until Christmas while you figure out a new normal. Give yourself time, but maybe have a goal of by New Years, there’s a new plan in place with clear expectations, clear consequences/lost privileges, and Dad’s input. And maybe it won’t take until New Years—maybe just a Saturday afternoon of coming up with a plan.
          I have a 6th grade son and 7th grade son. While they go to school, we still have the same challenges with them regarding chores and homework. There just simply has to be external motivation, ideally provided by Dad, or they won’t do what they need to. And they’re awesome boys! This is just normal with young teenage boys.
          Feel free to post more specific questions!
          Catherine

          2019-20
          DS16, 10th
          DS13, 7th
          DS11, 6th
          DD11, 6th
          DS7, 1st
          DD4, JrK
          DS 17 mos

          Homeschooling 4 with MP
          2 in classical school

          Comment


            #6
            Jen,
            I (finally) sent you some emails with pictures from our current seventh grade daughter. I forgot to give you a time estimate of her work day - but honestly, I don't know. We don't have set "start/stop" times, but rather they just ebb and flow throughout the day. She is a diligent worker though, always has been, so as long as I see her walking around with a book and her planner in hand, I know she is still working. And I see her planner each night, with boxes all crossed off. Sorry I can't be more specific there.

            And Jodi, your question from the other thread was what it looks like when I miss checking a couple of kids for a day or two, (or lets be real - several days!). What it looks like is I have to back in their guide to the last page on which I have a check mark, and work my way forward from there. I usually have no more than an hour to spend with any one child at any one time, so we fit in whatever we can and try to make it a really concentrated dose of goodness. Very often, the stack of three or four things we need to go over, takes three or four times of trying to get through it all! But we just keep plugging along and I keep trying to keep my head in the game with each one.

            More advice. Not all of our children have been diligent workers. Daughter #1 was, but the next two were not. They were more of the variety that they needed to either a) be in my sight-line to keep working (my son), or b) they needed to be within physical contact of me to keep them on task (daughter #2). Seventh grade was *not fun* with either of them. God has blessed me with a reprieve with this current seventh grader, but whoa Nelly, there are some fun ones still coming up the ranks so I know I am not out of the woods by any means.

            Here's what I have garnered thus far - and Jodi, I hope this helps you too. Keep in mind that Cheryl Lowe's original plan for the curriculum divided the grades from 3-6 and 7+ into two different groups: grammar and upper schools. While the curriculum was then adjusted (the third grade split), it shifted the work a bit but does not change childhood development. I think it is still really, really good to identify that division in some way in your own home. It's a big deal no matter if you have a disciplined young person, or one who suddenly can't seem to compose a complete sentence without five water breaks. I think there needs to be a lot of grace given to these young people as you help them adjust to the reality that they are entering a new phase of work with all that comes into play with that: amount, quality, complexity, and responsibility in completing it. It may simply not go very well for a while and you need to see it through.

            Think of it back like whenever you first started with MP - that same advice about taking two weeks to do a single week at the beginning. It's kind of the same thing. It's a really good year for teaching tough consequences. I know for our second child, this was the year he did not get a summer break at all - and he discovered that he really did not like that. We also learned that it was a good thing to give him a BB gun, have him help dad clear the yard and run the burn pile, take a couple of hiking/fishing trips, etc. He needed some concrete tangible things to show that he was capable of more adult-ish, manly things to help him realize what he was capable of - and most of it was not actually in school. For our girls, that looks more like learning to make dinner, babysit their younger siblings, go over to friends' houses to babysit. And yes, as you can tell, our experience has been that they have naturally fallen along traditional gender roles (but we like that).

            Gosh, the day is starting already. One more thing...

            It does end, but then again, it also doesn't. We have had three go through it, and one currently in it. The three girls have all adjusted and seem to be rock-solid in the homeschooling through high school vein. For our son, it has definitely been rockier. Good kid, heart of gold, wants to please, and loves to learn - but truly needs the external motivation of teacher, peers, classroom, etc. We have known this for a long time, but have not had the option to address it, unfortunately. Don't get me wrong - I love homeschooling, and we are stumbling our way through it in the best way that we can. But it has opened my eyes to realize that sometimes the sacrifices it places on our young people are very tough indeed. It has been a commitment to fostering endurance of trials, rather than a marvelous academic journey. So my caution about this is - yes, it's a stage, and yes, it is survivable. Some kids adjust and truly enjoy the high school homeschooling journey. But not all do. Be careful to watch for that, and address it in whatever ways your family can manage. Right now, he works outside the home, and has one class at the community college. The days he is home all day after class are the worst. Restless beyond belief. But then again, his dad is very much the same way when he faces a full day with nothing on the agenda. Totally wired to work and be busy. Homeschooling is just so quiet and slow. You may have to realize that your plan is going to turn out very different than what you first thought. But isn't that what we go through every day?

            Hugs to all, gotta run...
            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


              #7
              Originally posted by KF2000 View Post
              Jen,
              I (finally) sent you some emails with pictures from our current seventh grade daughter. I forgot to give you a time estimate of her work day - but honestly, I don't know. We don't have set "start/stop" times, but rather they just ebb and flow throughout the day. She is a diligent worker though, always has been, so as long as I see her walking around with a book and her planner in hand, I know she is still working. And I see her planner each night, with boxes all crossed off. Sorry I can't be more specific there.

              And Jodi, your question from the other thread was what it looks like when I miss checking a couple of kids for a day or two, (or lets be real - several days!). What it looks like is I have to back in their guide to the last page on which I have a check mark, and work my way forward from there. I usually have no more than an hour to spend with any one child at any one time, so we fit in whatever we can and try to make it a really concentrated dose of goodness. Very often, the stack of three or four things we need to go over, takes three or four times of trying to get through it all! But we just keep plugging along and I keep trying to keep my head in the game with each one.

              More advice. Not all of our children have been diligent workers. Daughter #1 was, but the next two were not. They were more of the variety that they needed to either a) be in my sight-line to keep working (my son), or b) they needed to be within physical contact of me to keep them on task (daughter #2). Seventh grade was *not fun* with either of them. God has blessed me with a reprieve with this current seventh grader, but whoa Nelly, there are some fun ones still coming up the ranks so I know I am not out of the woods by any means.

              Here's what I have garnered thus far - and Jodi, I hope this helps you too. Keep in mind that Cheryl Lowe's original plan for the curriculum divided the grades from 3-6 and 7+ into two different groups: grammar and upper schools. While the curriculum was then adjusted (the third grade split), it shifted the work a bit but does not change childhood development. I think it is still really, really good to identify that division in some way in your own home. It's a big deal no matter if you have a disciplined young person, or one who suddenly can't seem to compose a complete sentence without five water breaks. I think there needs to be a lot of grace given to these young people as you help them adjust to the reality that they are entering a new phase of work with all that comes into play with that: amount, quality, complexity, and responsibility in completing it. It may simply not go very well for a while and you need to see it through.

              Think of it back like whenever you first started with MP - that same advice about taking two weeks to do a single week at the beginning. It's kind of the same thing. It's a really good year for teaching tough consequences. I know for our second child, this was the year he did not get a summer break at all - and he discovered that he really did not like that. We also learned that it was a good thing to give him a BB gun, have him help dad clear the yard and run the burn pile, take a couple of hiking/fishing trips, etc. He needed some concrete tangible things to show that he was capable of more adult-ish, manly things to help him realize what he was capable of - and most of it was not actually in school. For our girls, that looks more like learning to make dinner, babysit their younger siblings, go over to friends' houses to babysit. And yes, as you can tell, our experience has been that they have naturally fallen along traditional gender roles (but we like that).

              Gosh, the day is starting already. One more thing...

              It does end, but then again, it also doesn't. We have had three go through it, and one currently in it. The three girls have all adjusted and seem to be rock-solid in the homeschooling through high school vein. For our son, it has definitely been rockier. Good kid, heart of gold, wants to please, and loves to learn - but truly needs the external motivation of teacher, peers, classroom, etc. We have known this for a long time, but have not had the option to address it, unfortunately. Don't get me wrong - I love homeschooling, and we are stumbling our way through it in the best way that we can. But it has opened my eyes to realize that sometimes the sacrifices it places on our young people are very tough indeed. It has been a commitment to fostering endurance of trials, rather than a marvelous academic journey. So my caution about this is - yes, it's a stage, and yes, it is survivable. Some kids adjust and truly enjoy the high school homeschooling journey. But not all do. Be careful to watch for that, and address it in whatever ways your family can manage. Right now, he works outside the home, and has one class at the community college. The days he is home all day after class are the worst. Restless beyond belief. But then again, his dad is very much the same way when he faces a full day with nothing on the agenda. Totally wired to work and be busy. Homeschooling is just so quiet and slow. You may have to realize that your plan is going to turn out very different than what you first thought. But isn't that what we go through every day?

              Hugs to all, gotta run...
              AMDG,
              Sarah
              What Sarah is saying is good food for thought. I think the ability to discern between a passing phase with its own challenges v. personality quirks, so to speak, that will always be there, is something all parents need to work on. Honestly, it has taken me a long time even simply to realize those are distinct phenomena in the first place.
              But what really got me thinking is what Sarah says about what they did with her son and daughter, in short, encouraging growth and responsibility in other, more practical, areas. It was striking reading it, because those same things she mentions I keep them as rewards for good school effort, good behavior, etc., not as a sort of parallel track to foster their growth. So I think our philosophy is that if you're faithful to the little duties, to your basic tasks, then you get to widen your horizon - but maybe we've been too rigid? As I said, food for thought... But I still remember when I thought babies were tough!! Now that I have two teenagers I now better But seriously, it's hard but I love how we school our children, but our children also school us in return...

              Comment


                #8
                Mrs Bee,
                Your take on this is really interesting, too. We have definitely kept the idea that certain things are privileges - i.e. not necessary for development and therefore able to be lost for problematic behavior issues. But helping them develop as people outside of the specific realm of academics has not seemed to us to be optional, you know? My dh and I both had jobs in high school, multiple jobs apiece in college, and we were expected to cover our own expenses. Our kids need to save for college. So to us that's not a privilege so much as it is part of their body of needs for their futures. Plus, it does help a lot with learning maturity and responsibility from folks besides just their parents. Lots of good things - if they have time for it, and again, are not displaying problematic behaviors. Praise be to God, that is not something we have had to deal with at all.

                As I have been thinking about this, Heidi came to mind. As much as she loves being with Clara, and helping her, she cannot voluntarily or willfully turn off the need to get back to the mountain. She does her best and puts on a brave face, but there is no denying that that is where she really belongs. That's what I was trying to get at as something to watch for in our kids. There will be things that are about willfulness, but there will also be those things that are simply a part of who they are, that they can't "turn off." That's all. Not to say that we jump ship and abandon the course altogether, but to be cautious in how we handle the difficulties.

                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


                  #9
                  Thank you all for the lovely advice! A lot of things to mull over. It's especially helpful for me to think of the transition to 7th on par with the transition to 3rd. In my mind I have such a clear line from 2nd to 3rd, but I hadn't made that connection going from 6th to 7th. Also, it helps to hear this is just somewhat how things go for kids this age.

                  Ideally, Dad is the go-to when addressing difficulties in the school day with this child, and he is...when he is home! Unfortunately, we have entered a season for the rest of this school year where Dad will be gone for weeks at a time, and largely unable to even email or call for a lot of that time. On the flip side, this means that said kiddo *is* having to rise to the occasion of helping out in more ways around the house. I've somewhat thought of that as maybe a bit too much pressure and had some guilt about it, but reading these posts has helped me see that maybe it is how God is growing him into more of a man at just the right time. I mean, it's not ideal without Dad around consistently, but reframing it in this light might help some of my worries about this time for him. And this season won't last forever as, Lord willing, my husband will retire from the military at the end of this school year, just in time to be around more for the boys.

                  Also, Sarah, I've really feel what you've said about some kids doing better in school or a school-ish environment. This is my kid whom I've always thought would do better in school. But since he has been in 2nd grade, God has placed us, each time we've moved, in a place where that just hasn't been an option. I've tried to do different things to compensate for this, but I completely understand what you're talking about. It is helpful to maybe just remind myself that we are all making sacrifices in some sense for the sake of pursuing a Christian education. And I think, if God hadn't structured our lives this way, I never would have found MP or met any of you ladies, so there is that (but strangely my 12yo boy does not find that to be a huge consolation, go figure! )

                  Anyway, I really appreciate the thoughts here. I should also say that by and large, this boy is helpful and willing to do any task I ask him to do and helps in so many ways that I know are not typical for his age. It's just this school business that has hit a bit of a hurdle for both of us, and probably mostly me since I'm caught up in newborn life while trying to also figure out my 12yo!!

                  I am off to church for a day of rest so we can gear up to start it all again tomorrow!
                  Jodi
                  ~~~~~~~
                  2019-20 School Year:
                  Ethan (7A)
                  Matthew (5A)
                  Silas (1st)
                  Eleanor (4yo dabbling in PK as time allows)
                  Andrew (brand new as of Oct 2019)

                  Comment


                    #10
                    JodieSue, if it can cheer you up, my 7th-grader boy has become a much better 8th-grader! And yet, he's still himself, too slow for my taste... but the truth is, he's like that in literally everything, you just can't hurry him or make him more... efficient. It drives me nuts Maybe Sarah would tell me a job will cure him, once he's old enough He has a sister, one year younger: I'm telling you, she's almost unrecognizable from last year: it's not real difficulties with the subjects, but attitude - she's just deflated, distracted, unwilling to work, I've never seen her like that, my quick-at-everything girl now dragging her feet. I joked with my husband that she's busy being 12-13... a lot going on! But I can't wait for this phase to be over. Maybe 7th-grade-itis is really a thing

                    Sarah, it's interesting how our past colors our present. In my family, jobs during the school years, even college, were forbidden: we were told our studies were our job. Both my parents worked by necessity during college, and concluded it was a real drag. So, no jobs for us until after graduation. But of course I'm talking about Italy, where state college tuition was ridiculously cheap when I did it, so even a poor family like ours could afford to pay for 5 kids. Now here I see it as somewhat common for homeschooled kids to have jobs even during high school - my hat off to them! In particular, it seems to me big families are on a steeper curve, kids learning like skills earlier, on average. We'll get there too!

                    Comment

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