Schedule - What if our day is too LONG?

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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MelissaM
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Schedule - What if our day is too LONG?

Unread post by MelissaM » Thu May 17, 2012 3:27 pm

Book Day in K is supposed to be light...so what happened?
lea_lpz wrote:So yesterday we completed our first unit for k Ss Sun and had our first book day. According to posts and tm it's supposed to be the light day. So, now I am wondering where'd we go wrong? Maybe it's because of the new teaching grid(?) but I found it to be our longest day! We started at at 8:30 and didn't finish until 12:30!?! The cuisenaire rod page S took 45 minutes on its own and we only did 1 of 2 pages and the shadow concept for outside took so long for my dd to get. Maybe my own fault? Measuring shadows lead me to have her draw pics of her of her shadow and self to compare the size of shadow to herself which lead to a discussion about 1/2, 1/3, & 1/4. So Ross came out to explain. What do you do if a day in a unit is going over suggested time? Would you skip it, do it the next school day, but this would make the unit longer. The first 4 days we did take only 1 hr to do MFW K (Ss Sun, days 1-3&5) but 4 (I think) and 6 took about 3 hours! What to do? Maybe I need to start thinking about spreading k over 2 years. My girl will just take her sweet time to do anything involving coloring and starts to glaze over easy. We are also doing BFIAR and MFW preschool toys with son (this only takes about 30 min together) and la clase divertida, which also takes about 30 minutes. I want to have K take no more than an 1 1/2, maybe 2 if we are adding fun hands on activities. Chime in if you have ideas please. I'd wait another year for K but my hubby wants her to start k, but is open to it being spread over a year. We were going to have my dd tested for ld's before pulling her out of preschool and have now held off. Maybe we should go ahead to know what we're dealing with if that is the case.
(((HUGS)))

I'm interested to hear about that 45 minutes on the Cuisenaire rod page. Was it 45 minutes of totally not getting it? Tears, fussing, fidgeting, etc? I can't imagine a 5yo spending 45 minutes on one worksheet, unless she was just happily playing with the blocks - building things, making patterns, whatever.

One big thing I have done in early grades with my kids (like K-2 or longer, as needed) is set a timer, and say, "Okay, we're going to work on this (whatever) for 10 minutes (10 minutes is plenty for a 5yo, for almost any lesson, imo), and we're going to really focus and work as hard as we can. When the timer goes off, we'll put this away and have a 10 minute (or whatever) break to play. Then, after the 10 minutes, no matter how much has gotten done, put it away and take a break.

If the eyes have started to glaze over it's time (maybe a few minutes past time) to put it away and do something else.

The thing with the shadows - was this a game you were playing, and one thing naturally led to another, and you were both enjoying it? If so, then no problem. If it went on for a long time because you were trying to find a way for her to understand the fraction bits, then you know for next time that that's not necessary, and you can stop when she seems ready to stop. (Just fyi, I think you'll get a little sampling of fraction lessons when you get to the A-a Apple lesson, with cutting an apple in 1/2 and then in 1/4, etc.)

First-borns are hard to teach! We (the parent/teachers) don't really know what we're doing that well yet, and they (the 1st borns) are often eager learners; the combination makes it easy to go overboard. A good rule of thumb is to stop when they're begging for more, BEFORE they get tired of it, lose interest, energy, etc. That way, the next time you get out that book, lesson whatever, they're eager for it.

It might help to read up on what Charlotte Mason had to say about short lessons for young children - how to do them and why they're effective, etc. I know that's helped me tremendously.

Remember that Kindergarten should most of all be FUN! Yes, you want her to learn and progress, but she will learn more with greater retention if the lessons are short and fun!

(((HUGS)))
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

cbollin

Re: Book Day in K is supposed to be light...so what happened

Unread post by cbollin » Thu May 17, 2012 3:56 pm

I should tell the story about me teaching my oldest on that Christmas Day with the solar eclipse.

poor kid... I was new at homeschooling. and people made it sound like all homeschoolers are 5-6 grade levels ahead and all of that....
I made a fun, simple lesson (tracing the shadow of the sun getting smaller) into this all day event with way too much info...... and what I used to do with something as sweet at FIAR... sigh....

Lea... you're a good homeschooling teacher in my opinion. Why? because you are asking questions when you know something isn't right and you're wanting to do the best things for your child. you're going to do fine.

-crystal

lea_lpz
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:00 pm

Re: Book Day in K is supposed to be light...so what happened

Unread post by lea_lpz » Thu May 17, 2012 4:54 pm

With the fractions, we were having fun and one thing lead to another, but then I made it not fun because I was deteremined to finish what we started. Same thing with the cuisenaire rods. Thanks for the advice. I think I will be setting a timer for activities and simplifiying activities she doesn't get and breaking more often. It really is just me 8O pushing her and making something that was fun very unfun. I just don't really know what's normal, what I should expect from her and forget what it's like to be 5 because she's my first. My little guinea pig. Thanks for the advice Crystal and Melissa. I just have all these fun ideas i want to try at once and need to scale back, a lot.
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Book Day in K is supposed to be light...so what happened

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu May 17, 2012 5:23 pm

lea_lpz wrote:It took a long time because she colored in all the squares rotating pink and green for each square (her fav. colors).
For artsy kids like that, just set it aside and allow her to come back to it after lessons. Art is a wonderful pastime.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

MelissaM
Posts: 161
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:52 pm

Re: Book Day in K is supposed to be light...so what happened

Unread post by MelissaM » Thu May 17, 2012 9:00 pm

lea_lpz wrote:With the fractions, we were having fun and one thing lead to another, but then I made it not fun because I was deteremined to finish what we started. Same thing with the cuisenaire rods. Thanks for the advice. I think I will be setting a timer for activities and simplifiying activities she doesn't get and breaking more often. It really is just me 8O pushing her and making something that was fun very unfun. I just don't really know what's normal, what I should expect from her and forget what it's like to be 5 because she's my first. My little guinea pig. Thanks for the advice Crystal and Melissa. I just have all these fun ideas i want to try at once and need to scale back, a lot.
I haven't read through the whole thread yet, but I just wanted you to know this is SO normal, and we have ALL done it. (Well, I probably shouldn't speak for everyone, but I know that *I* have done it, and I'm sure others have too!) Very, very normal. Just try to remember that it's a learning curve for both of you, and you'll figure it out as you go. And then next year, you'll have to figure it out for 1st grade...and she'll always be your guinea pig, because she'll always be in a new grade that you've never taught before. And that's okay. (When she gets a little older, you can even explain it to her, just like that - or even now, "Hey, Mommy's sorry for making this not fun, I didn't mean to. I'm trying to figure this out too. Let's try it again, and I'll try to do better, ok?")

((HUGS))
:)
Melissa
DD13
DS10
DS5
DS2

Ohmomjacquie
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: ohio
Contact:

Re: Book Day in K is supposed to be light...so what happened

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie » Fri May 18, 2012 7:22 am

Your dd sounds a bit like mine. Why can't I go play? Then taking all day to color every other square etc LOL a timer helps us a lot with time issues. I have started having her do the work then when all school is done she can color any page she wanted amd take her sweet time.

We are finishing our second year and it has taken a lot of trial and error to. Figure out how to run things smoothly. Relax and find what woeks for you.
Jacquie
2012-13 Adventures
2013-2014 ECC & K
Mom to:
Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
See MFW in action @ http://www.myblessingshomeschool.com

lea_lpz
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:00 pm

Doing a lot better today

Unread post by lea_lpz » Tue May 22, 2012 11:32 am

Today is going a lot better with MFW K. At the onset I promised a break and set the timer telling my dd we'd break when it went off. If she stayed on task and did her best she's get to play with her V tech for 15 minutes, if she didn't she'd go straight into her morning chores and get dressed, brush teeth, etc. She goofed off and rushed through her work, so I didn't remind her if our bargain. Boy was she surprised when she got sent to do chores after the timer went off, but when we ce back she finished in 5 minutes the worksheet that had taken her 15 minutes to get about a quarter way through. We hadn't been working long earlier (about 30 min earlier) and she was just intentionally trying to do as little as she could do before break the first time. Any other tips for kids who do this with worksheets? My dd is really strong willed so this is going to be a long term challenge, but am glad we were able to resolve the issue today without me totally losing my cool and her not continuing to fight me every step of the way! We got through math and language by 9 am!
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Doing a lot better today

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed May 23, 2012 1:40 am

I'm so glad to hear things are going better. Parenting is hard, sometimes, isn't it?
lea_lpz wrote:Any other tips for kids who do this with worksheets?
I have to tell you that kids do this in public school all the time. My youngest especially used to bring home the craziest things that made no sense. He told me he was just trying to get to playtime :) My tips as I think back to having little ones and worksheets:

- Be her classmate, sharing work and ideas and modeling the work *with* her. Remember that public schooled kids get to look over one another's shoulders, get to ask one another for help, and they don't have to answer every single one of the teacher's questions themselves!
- Alternate sitting and moving. The mantra of kindergarten and preschool teachers is "keep them moving." Do hand exercises before writing, do jumping jacks afterwards. Sing, have activity stations, run to the letter or the number...you'll find some great ideas in the archives.
- Allow a reasonable length of time and then set the sheet aside. If you feel she tried hard, then continue tomorrow. If not, tell her she can do it "after school, before playtime." That usually worked quickly at my house.
- Do every *new* task with her, 100% walking her through, start-to-finish. Teachers do this; everyone place their pencils at the dotted line, now follow me... Save independent work for things she knows well.
- Consider waiting for a 5yo not ready to sit or to write. My oldest son didn't start K until after he turned 6, and he's an engineer now, so it didn't hold him back.

HTH,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Ohmomjacquie
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: ohio
Contact:

Re: Doing a lot better today

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie » Wed May 23, 2012 7:10 am

My dd can be very easily distracted and dawdle with work. A timer helps a ton. We've gotten to the point now where usually a warning gets her on track. If she gets to. Complaining too much we go back to a very strict schedule. We still start work and plug along til finished for.the day. Trying to stop /start several times causes more headache than good.hope that helps a little. This has taken me 2years to get down. I remember many days that were just a struggle .we haven't been with mfw yet though either so I'm excited to see how things go next fall.
Jacquie
2012-13 Adventures
2013-2014 ECC & K
Mom to:
Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
See MFW in action @ http://www.myblessingshomeschool.com

lea_lpz
Posts: 146
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:00 pm

Yeah! MFW K is taking the suggested amount of time, finally

Unread post by lea_lpz » Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:37 am

:-)

Over the summer, doing school only 3 days a week I was really beginning to worry that my dd would end up taking a lot longer than the amount of time predicted on the MFW website for MFW K, 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, but we are finally hitting the grove this last unit, unit 6, and finished in an hour and a half every day! Now we're on unit 7, and we have done the first two days and have also been able to complete everything in an hour and half. I was concerned that with the language arts portion beginning to be more challenging that it would take even longer, but she is so much better at staying on task and I am so much better at not over doing everything either. I'm glad because while she is young, I'd like us to have freedom to enjoy other things and have flexibility in our day, which is feasible if we can do it all in an hour and half. I'm even able to get her to do a little work independently so that I can work with my ds on his preschool activities at the same time and do about 15 minutes of Spanish for both of them in the hour and half time frame!

We've also started doing school M-Th instead of M-W-F, so maybe that is part of it. Perhaps the day on, day off, was throwing her off and making it difficult to get into a groove? I'm just glad it's working.
ds14, dd11,ds9, dd4.5, dd2.5, dd2.5 (yep twins)

MelissaB
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: Yeah! MFW K is taking the suggested amount of time, fin

Unread post by MelissaB » Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:51 am

The year gets better and better as you go! :-)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

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