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How do you "go deep" into a subject and still get everything else done?

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    How do you "go deep" into a subject and still get everything else done?

    I'm having a hard time finding a good balance. The history and geography and science- we could spend hours on each one! The first thing I did was to spread out the lessons- esp history and science so that we do a little bit each day. The second thing I did was to focus on history and geography this semester and save science for next semester. BUT, even then, we want to delve deeper, look up more things on you tube, search internet, look at books from library--etc!! I realize the beauty of homeschooling is that we can do this, however- other things need to get done as well (math, Latin, etc). I'd love any advice!
    Thank you!
    Mollie

    #2
    Mollie,

    Here's my attempt at a coherent response!

    The Memoria Press books are written with the idea of "going deep" (or "ensuring mastery")--that's why we take a few months on each literature book. Those books could be read in a couple of weeks, but we want the student to take their time and focus on vocabulary, comprehension, essay topics, and the like.

    Of course all of our materials can be accompanied by further research (as you mentioned YouTube, internet, library), and this is an awesome way to cultivate the virtue of "wonder", but realistically there's not enough time to do that for all the subjects. Just the fact that we spend an entire year on astronomy and another year on insects means that we are delving deeply into the material even though there will always be more to explore.

    I do not know if you have your day scheduled into blocks (for example, 45 minutes for Latin, 30 minutes for math...), but that is a good way to divide up your time--that way if you have finished the lesson but have 10 minutes left you know you have time to do a bit of research. But if your time is up, you just move on and the kids can look that up if they are interested in their free time in the afternoon.

    I nostalgically remember my time being homeschooled because we were so no-nonsensical (if I can be permitted to make up words) about our learning. We started lessons around 8 or 9. Mom taught the material, we went to our rooms or sat at the dining room table and did our work. Once we were done with our work, we were free for the afternoon (though we did have chores and we did have to let Mom take her nap). I generally had my work done by lunch, so if I had wanted to look something up I was free to do that in the afternoon. I repeat that experience from my past often because I think it clearly shows the difference between homeschooling and being in a school. In a school the students know they have to be there until 3:30 (or whenever school lets out) no matter what. Even if they finish their work, they are stuck there. So they want it to drag on. They are anxious for videos and crafts and the interesting stuff. But if they know they will be free once they are done with their work (homeschooling), they just want to do the academics and move on. Sure this is somewhat of an oversimplification, but my point is that a homeschooling parent can cut out a lot of the fluff and their kids will still walk out with (most likely) a greater grasp of the material than their schooled contemporaries.

    The key to "going deep" is the curriculum you use and the scope of your material over the course of the year.

    I hope this proves to be helpful.

    Paul
    Paul Schaeffer
    --
    Academy Director
    Memoria Press Online Academy

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