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We Never Feel Finished

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  • Beorn
    replied
    ♥ .

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  • tanya
    replied
    I love it when you guys quote Cheryl Lowe. (We need a heart emoji here.)

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  • VAmom
    replied
    I just wanted to chime in that I, too, have similar feelings. You’re not alone. It is hard with the renewed outside demands on our time and the needs of our children. There simply isn’t enough time to check every box. This year I keep coming back to the wisdom of Ms. Lowe when she said that many folks overestimate what they can accomplish in a day but underestimate what they can accomplish in a year.

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  • Enigma
    replied
    I just wanted to add many of us use the CM to write our own plans to combat the feeling of being behind, etc.. I make mine for each kid on Sunday afternoon. That way, I can rearrange pacing depending on what we were able to accomplish the week before.

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  • ChrissieK
    replied
    I appreciate the thoughtful feedback and suggestions. They are very helpful and encouraging.

    The idea of having a wrap up time is very appealing. It is discouraging to work all day only to come home after practice and have to finish an assignment so Mom can check her box. For the sake of transparency I must confess that it drives me kooky to be out of sync with the lesson plan manual. That alone probably drives a lot of my anxiety.

    So my thoughts as of right now follow. Next week starts our two week fall break. I believe I will use the first week to catch up on those things I "feel" behind on and take the whole second week off to reorganize and plan. When we come back, I am going to declare 3 P.M. quitting time. I want science to be more of a priority as she really enjoys it. Also I am going to plan to work the above mentioned cycle for our geography and history subjects, maybe setting aside the guides and only reading the text.

    We'll see how it goes. I don't want my child to feel like a failure when she is working so hard. At some point I suspect I am going to have to let good enough be good enough. There will always be one more box to check.

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  • pickandgrin
    replied
    smithamykat
    You make such a great point. It's often in the midst of the crunch of outside commitments that we feel the pinch around getting school done. Many commitments come and go (like a single sports season or participating in a play), but there are plenty of things that don't let up--year round lessons, work, music, etc. You gave such great advice. In times like these we have to sift out what is essential and what is nice (and we will try to get to it, but we won't die if we don't, and we can always shift to summer or try it again next year, or do it at a reduced depth or slowed pace). All of this happens in the classroom and teachers have the experience or access to people with the experience to figure it out. We have each other!

    When a student struggles, we can adapt the pace and/or depth. The same can be done in a time crunch, and can be done to some subjects, but not all. Setting something aside until "X" season is over may be a big relief!

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  • smithamykat
    replied
    Oh man. When I read the last part about sports, that answered every question. My son is also doing the 8th grade core, subbing Second Form Latin, a different math program, and Ref/Con for composition. He is playing soccer in the local public school, with practice 5 days/week and games 2-3 days/week including some Saturdays. He also started doing yard work for a bunch of people this summer, and we thought he would be finished once school started, but his happy clients keep calling and begging for leaf raking, painting, etc., so he is squeezing them in on Sunday afternoons and evenings!! All that to say, we are in a similar situation. Here's what we're doing:

    Start by 9 every day, no excuses. Do math, grammar, literature, Latin every morning, no excuses. Take an outside break at lunch time to recharge. In the afternoon, it's composition or typing practice, science every day, and then a cycle of classical/Christian/geography. The day ends at 3 because that's when we have to leave for soccer practice. So whatever he got through, that's what got done. I will assign some homework for weekends, but not much because of the other commitments I outlined above. We are not on track with the curriculum manual for those afternoon subjects. This makes me twitch, especially because he is not an especially diligent student, so I know he could be accomplishing more some days. But I know we will be able to cover more material once soccer season ends and there's more afternoon leeway and some weekend time. My long-term goal is to finish the books in the core, and if that takes a bit of leakage into next summer for science and classical studies, I'm okay with that. I agree with Jessica that you can trim geography to basics. Beyond that, I guess I would just say it sounds like you are juggling about as well as possible and encourage you that there may be time to "catch up" in the winter if she doesn't have so many sports commitments.

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  • ChrissieK
    replied
    I am happy to provide a little more information. I tend to be a wordy girl and tried to not inundate with too many details.

    Our family is not new to homeschool. We have four children and have made educational choices year to year, child to child.

    My daughter was homeschooled until fourth grade. I enrolled her in our public school system for 4th through 6th grade. I ended up pulling her out after one week of seventh grade in response to contact tracing shenanigans. My plan was to send her back when things settled down. Hoping for a smooth transition, I chose curriculum that would align with state standards. Over the course of last year, I realized that I was being called to continue her education at home for multiple reasons. I knew what I had piecemealed last year was not going to be adequate moving forward. We thankfully ended up settling on MP for both my 9 year old and the daughter in question.

    She is doing a modified core 8. We are doing First Form Latin, Accelerated Fable and Narrative, and I am moving her through EGR 2&3. We are doing the literature, science, bible, and history as written. We are using Saxon for our algebra. She does the reading portions independently, but I make an effort to go over reading notes, facts to know, and vocabulary in the student guides before she reads a given lesson. Additionally, I only have her answer a couple of select comprehension questions per lesson. We do the rest orally together. I am learning First Form along side her, so we do that together as well.

    The only class we are doing for HS credit this year is Algebra 1. On Wednesdays we have enrichment classes at a local tutorial. That day is not a total loss, but I do plan lightly. She runs cross-country and races/practices four afternoons a week. She also participates in competitive cheerleading with two practices a week. I understand that I am indeed crazy.
    Last edited by ChrissieK; 10-01-2021, 12:03 PM.

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  • pickandgrin
    replied
    Another option for a *diligent student* is to say that "you stop school daily at 3pm" (4pm, whatever is reasonable based on the start time). Work every day diligently until that time, then pick up the next day. In this method you have to set daily non-negotiables. It sounds like this is basically what you are doing, except you are just working on through until dinner or later. Would it be nice to know everyday at 3:00 or 3:30 that she is "done"?
    ​​​​​​
    What time is she starting each day? We have noticed on the Forum this start time varies widely once students get above 6th or 7th grade, not to mention high school!

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  • pickandgrin
    replied
    ChrissieK
    Hello friend and hugs.❤️

    Can you share what you are counting, if anything, for high school credit?

    I would reduce Geography greatly, esp. if you are doing Geo III. Make it a light subject.

    What are you doing for Lit/Classics? You may be able to trim a little there as well.

    What do you have for science?

    Christine makes a great suggestion about putting non-math, Latin, language arts onto a cycle and just work the cycle.

    Lastly, what outside commitments do you have for her during the school day each week, if anything? Any work taking up chunks of time? Weekly appts? Sports?

    I'm delighted to hear you are loving MP!

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  • howiecram
    replied
    Good morning!

    Can you tell us a little more about where you came from, before MP this year? (brick and mortar school, miscellaneous homeschool providers (each subject from different providers), one specific homeschool provider (for example all A beka).

    Secondly, did you buy the 8th grade core, did you sub some subjects with different cores, etc? Do you work with your daughter or is she more independent?

    Lastly, moving to MP, especially in the 8th grade does require some adjustments and you should expect that you might need about 6-10 weeks to get a good feel for how the rhythm is for your family. I ask the specifics of what you are doing to see where you might be able to trim back, or work up to specific expectations. Another piece of advice for new to MP families is to do exactly what you are doing. Get math, latin and language arts going well and then rotate through the other subjects. (put a sticky on the guide to know where you are.) 'Cycle" through them as you have time. As the year goes on, you'll notice a rhythm. I personally find by Thu/Fri these days are a little lighter. It does take adjusting the core to not match exactly what the guide says. So for geography, science and history, make a list exactly like that. If on Tuesday, you only get to geography, Wednesday will be science...say there is extra time, add in the history...then on Thursday you cycle back to geography....etc....

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  • ChrissieK
    started a topic We Never Feel Finished

    We Never Feel Finished

    Good morning all,

    I am hoping to receive some suggestions and encouragement concerning my eighth grade daughter. We made the swap to MP this year, and I have to say that I absolutely love this curriculum. I continue to be impressed by how well the content is organized and how each subject reinforces the others.

    My issue is that we never feel finished. It seems that there is not enough time in the day to fit it all in. We start in a timely manner, and I try to be mindful of staying on task throughout the day. My priorities are algebra, latin, and language arts. These studies seem to take up most of our time, and geography, science, and the histories always seemed rushed and afterthoughts. I want to check every single box and don't want to miss any good thing. My daughter is very bright, loves to please, and is an extremely hard worker. Our issue isn't sloth. She will sit at the table all day and do what I ask of her. We both feel defeated and frustrated as we seem to fall further behind in some subjects.

    I can't be the only one. What are some strategies that have been helpful in your homeschools? Any thoughts? I have tried a few different things but am open to hearing any and all suggestions.

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