Independence in CTG?

Including using "English From The Roots Up," "God & the History of Art," & Composer Studies
Post Reply
cbollin

Independence in CTG?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:44 pm

Independent work
Amy M in NC wrote:Can they do a lot of it independently or how much time will I need to devote to it? My 2 yr.old is a busy boy and I will be feeding the baby. I don't want to overload.
Posted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:10 pm
Not all 10 and 9 year old are ready for too much independent work as others. That's part of the issue. ECC is working well so I think it will continue to work to use CTG. :)

Ideas to adjust:
Bible - Can Dad do the Bible lessons the night before? In other words, on Sunday night can he do the Monday Bible lessons?

Book basket/reading time – that will be independent.

Notebooking – that will be independent

Spelling - I’ve had times where my children have to call out their Spelling Power word list to each other and then their 10 Step Study time is done by themselves.

PLL and ILL – don’t take too long.

Science - I let my older child have more responsibility for subjects that seem easier to her so she’ll set up the science experiments and clean them up. Maybe that would work for your children to do together?

I’m sure there are other ideas out there too. :)
-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Independence in CTG?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:56 pm

BostonMom wrote:I'm wondering a few things about CtG for those who have done it. I plan to use it with my 4th graders.

Is there more independent work as the cycle goes on, or is the amount of teacher directed work about the same as ECC? I'm curious if they try to move kids towards more independent work as they go, or if it's pretty much the same until high school, where they are more independent. Also, are there research assignments in Ctg and beyond?

Thanks for your help!
I really like the way MFW has the parent *teach* the elementary child, rather than sending them off on their own. And then MFW gradually transitions the child into independence in 7th and 8th grades as they head towards high school, so there is no culture shock.

And the amount of time spent as a family is all very *do-able.* For many reasons, it's truly do-able in real homes -- because the family learns together, and because it is learning to love learning rather than constant group tests etc., and because every single assignment has been piloted by many families over several years...

That said, things happen & family circumstances differ.

We've dealt with an ill dh in our home for a couple of years. Things have been more independent than I would like in an ideal world. But because of MFW's clear grid format, it has been very easy for me to develop some independence early in my ds and still have a good sense of where we are in each subject that we should be covering. We have still had full years, with a well rounded education in all subjects.
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

cbollin

CTG question

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:46 pm

4littlehearts wrote:Have any of you used this program in such a way that the child is more independent rather than teacher dependent? I am thinking specifically of using it that way for a 6th grader. If you have, how did you go about it?
I'm sure you'll get various ideas...

when my oldest was in 8th... and did ctg... she was doing language art, math, science on her own. art history book.. the music composers, book basket. and some of the advanced reading in Streams.. I handed over to her after I had previewed it to know what the topic was so we could discuss. projects and hands on stuff were independent. notebooking.

I preferred to teach history and bible for discussion and making sure she was learning the material. that part of her year (and yes I realize that's the part you probably meant) was not full independent. memory work was.

not quite the same, b/c she was 8th grade.. and it was the year we moved and I needed to spend more time with other kiddos... but wanted to share it anyway in case in spark an idea that might work?

-crystal

MelissaB
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: CTG question

Unread post by MelissaB » Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:53 pm

Agree w/ Crystal. You can absolutely do this curriculum independently. To check your student's comprehension, you could check your TM each day to see what was studied, and have discussions about it over dinner at night or lunch time each day. It's a fascinating course. I bet your student would enjoy "teaching" you as much as he or she enjoys learning it themselves. :)

Enjoy the year!
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

HeyChelle
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:51 pm

Re: CTG question

Unread post by HeyChelle » Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:45 pm

My dd now just takes the TM and makes her own list of things to do. She is a very early riser and usually has much of her work done before I'm up and ready for the day. Then when I'm ready to start school with ds (also doing CTG) we all go through Bible and History together, then I let her lead him through science while I work with my kindergartener. So far, so good!
Chelle - Christian, wife, and mommy of 4
My family/homeschooling blog

4littlehearts
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:05 pm

Re: CTG question

Unread post by 4littlehearts » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:56 pm

Thanks for your help, ladies!

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

1st Grade, CTG & Rossetta Stone?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sun Jun 30, 2013 12:35 am

girlmichal wrote:We will be continuing school through the summer mainly because we started our year in late October following the birth of our baby girl in Aug. So we are working on K and ECC, our 10 year old is a struggling learner (dyslexia). Our baby is now crawling everywhere and is very busy which unfortunately seems to take even more time from our 6 year old. At this point neither of our sons are able to do much independent work, so there are a lot of interruptions.

I am trying to order our curriculum for next year so that we can just continue on when we finish (should be in late Aug). I am going to get 1st grade and CTG, I am considering Rosetta Stone and I was wondering if anyone has recommendations? Would this be something my boys could do independently for short amounts of time? Can non readers use this successfully? Any other educational ideas of what my boys could do independently while I am working with the baby would be greatly appreciated, thank you and God Bless!
I do think it's helpful to spend some time with the kids when you first start Rosetta. But kids are fast learners and they will usually take off on their own fairly quickly. If they have less experience with a keyboard, it might be a bit different, maybe someone else could chime in on that, if your kids aren't as attached to keyboards as mine seem to be.

For a few ideas on independence, I thought I'd share some links. Maybe you've seen these threads, but I always think my own posts are best when something is really fresh in my mind.

Independence in CTG: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=5750
Independence (3 pgs): http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3047
Productive Activities: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=1829
Occupying youngers: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewforum.php?f=2

Best wishes as you lead your little flock,
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

MelissaB
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun May 09, 2010 10:01 pm

Re: 1st Grade, CTG & Rossetta Stone?

Unread post by MelissaB » Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:22 pm

Hi, Michal,

We did CTG and 1st together. Like ECC and K, they fit very well together. There were many times our 1st grader wanted to join in CTG's science projects, and vice versa (those 1st grade experiments were just too fun & interesting!).

Just an idea... You may want to let your 1st grade little man join in CTG for Bible, using his special yellow notebook to write and draw in, and then use the 1st grade Bible Reader during his reading time. That would be one less "class" to teach. His Bible timeline pieces will be a lot like the CTG timeline, so it's easy to do, and will save a little time.

CTG & 1st combine so well together; it should help make the year a tiny bit easier. :)

We've used Rosetta Stone for 3 yrs., going on 4, and it can absolutely be done independently. Like Julie noted, they'll need a little training in the beginning. After that, you can check their progress easily, including the % correct, % missed, etc.

One last thing... Tons of great videos and extra ideas are on the CTG Ideas board.
Don't forget to take a look now and then as you go thru the year. ;)
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

girlmichal
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 12:53 pm

Re: 1st Grade, CTG & Rossetta Stone?

Unread post by girlmichal » Sun Jun 30, 2013 9:28 pm

Melissa and Julie, thank you for all the great advice and ideas. I have to admit that I have forgotten about the MFW boards these last several months (so much going on) but I just have to tell you what a blessing it is to connect with other homeschool moms who understand our day to day struggles. Thanks again!
girlmichal
wife of dh 20yrs,
mother to ds 10, ds 6, and dd 10mo.

jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Just got autism dx for dd/feeling frazzled

Unread post by jasntas » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:13 pm

cinmor wrote:Hi everyone,
I guess this is just more of a venting post than anything, for any of you that have "been there, done that".

My oldest dd who is 9 doing CTG. The struggle this year is the same as it has been every year. Every time I say it's time for school, there's whining and complaining, and we are not practicing the "obey right away" rule at all. I am TIRED. So much so that I am contemplating public or private school for her. She is just not taking me seriously anymore. She sits in front of an assignment FOREVER and stares out the window, worries about her sister, etc etc etc etc. She has a desk/armoire in her room for doing work that she has to concentrate more on, but she doesn't want to use it. But then when she sits in our school room (which is our dining room) she gets mad at everyone for being too loud. Her 5 yo sister has a hard time understanding when/when not to be quiet and I do the best I can to give her activities, but she still likes to play and pretend and I feel like she should have the right to do so. Am I being mean by making her go to her room and sit at the desk to get her work done? I've tried just giving her time limits on her work and what she doesn't get done making it homework that night and she misses out on time with the family; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm just at my wits end with her.

My youngest dd just got a "moderate autism disorder" diagnosis this week. Yep, I'm frazzled. Seeking the Lord, but still frazzled.
Blessings,
Cindy
I understand your feelings of frustration with your older dd. My ds is the same way about getting his work done. It doesn't matter where he is, he cannot do independent work independently! He's 12 and in 7th and I still have to constantly keep after him. Yes, it is exhausting. I'm still working on a solution. I highly suspect he is A.D.D. so he will probably always struggle with focus. And both my dc are dyslexic which makes double work for me because they both need extra attention in almost every area. Yes, some days (weeks) are exhausting for all of us and I have those times when I'd just like to give up and send them to ps. And then I go to my 14 y.o. niece's fb page and see how ps teens talk and act and I'm reminded of some of the reasons why we hs.

Today is park day where a few local hs families get together and my ds had to sit in the car and finish his work before he could get out and participate. It's amazing how fast he was able to complete his work. I don't think I'll have that problem with him again for a little while, at least. But on days when there is nothing to motivate him, he doesn't care if it takes him all day. It really bothers me but he doesn't seem to care, unless he will miss out on something.

What I have found to be the most effective is just being consistent. I have to start at the same time every day and he knows what to expect and when. And when I tell him I will punish him, I have to follow through or he tries to take advantage of my generosity.

I don't know how helpful that was other than to say 'been there, done that'.

You may look in the archives for some of the comments by cbollin who used to post here a lot. I believe her youngest has autism, she has 3 girls and they hs. You might find some good advice and/or encouragement from some of her previous posts.

HTH
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Just got autism dx for dd/feeling frazzled

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:53 pm

Hi Cindy,
<hugs> on the new diagnosis. I'm sure that is making everything seem overwhelming right now. I love an old post with a link to a "welcome to Holland" encouragement: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 200#p92200

As for your older student, it sounds tough. When things get tough, it's often a temptation to think that our kids might perform better with a little peer pressure and outside feedback in a group setting. But I'm not sure it doesn't just put off the character issues until later, or never.

Not knowing your dd, I'll try to brainstorm some things I have tried over the years. I've mostly had one student, but in the beginning I had a high schooler and 3rd grader, and later on I had a high schooler and preschool grandson at home.

- I really hesitate to make a kid work alone if she doesn't want to. For some kids, it can feel like solitary confinement. In public schools, there are teachers to answer questions and classmates where you can look over shoulders or whisper questions. Large families probably have some of this, too. So when I have one student working, it seems to me like I should be the classmate and discuss/model/chat about each step, even if it seems like I already did that a lot of times.

- Does she have a lot of independent work in CTG? I think of CTG as very family-style learning, with reading together and hands-on -- feasts and the plagues and the 10 commandment tablets. There is occasional notebooking but sometimes we would brainstorm different ways of accomplishing that on the computer or whatever. As for English & math, we often did those on the marker board together. On a recent thread, we brainstormed the idea of giving the younger sibling a turn on the marker board as well (toward the end of this post): http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 479#p96479

- Do you have a set time for beginning school every-single-day? I feel that helps "get over" the battle, because it's nothing new. It takes a lot of discipline on *my* part, because I'm not a morning person. Not only do I have to be up and ready, but I have to have my materials close at hand and even pages marked.

- You might also try having a set time to end school, even if nothing is finished. Public schools do that. It's a risk and might not work, but there have been times that my kids felt "mom is just going to go on forever, and if I finish this, then she'll think of something else." Knowing exactly when school would be over seemed to help during those times. (It helped me, too, since there were times I was way ready for the school day to end as well.)

- When my ds was in 3rd grade or so, he would be up early. Therefore, starting school meant pulling him out of "playing/fun." So I felt I needed to either (a ) start school right when *he* was awake/fed (even if I was in my pjs), or (b ) start school with something fun -- we had a "morning meeting" the first year, where we would do something different each morning of the week, from making a school lunch menu to checking the weather. Bible time also was a happy thing for him to start the day, or singing. All of these things could involve the younger one.

- During later years when ds slept in, I would set school hours according to the neighborhood kids he wanted to play with or whatever. And if he couldn't get up on time, we had an earlier bedtime to see if that would help :)

- Another "morning meeting" type activity is to plan your schedule together. You can ask her how much "quiet" time she needs, how long she thinks you need to occupy her sibling, maybe some ideas she has for that, some things she can do to meet her own needs (headphones? her room for a small amount of time? evening work with dad taking sibling out?), and just generally discuss how hard it is for an active little one to wait, special needs, etc.

- Are you modeling "school hours" too? Are you showing her how you set aside your various household tasks for the important task of education? If you just do school stuff during school hours (including clean-up, prep for the next day, correcting, etc), I think it helps you get more done both during those hours and during later hours. But more importantly, it shows them the self-control and focus that they need to develop (and helps my son in his college classes!).

- Do you give her a chance to move around if she needs to? My son has done school on a large exercise ball, taken 5 minute runs around the house between subjects, done chin-ups while I read, and more. Each kid is different and you need to check whether they are retaining info this way or not. Maybe they need the opposite - sitting still, taking notes, reading along in their own copy of the book, etc. But it's something to explore. It will actually help them all their lives if they understand how *they* best learn. Sometimes we remember our public school experiences as a classroom full of students all dutifully sitting in desks and learning everything they are supposed to, but I assure you that is a false picture of the way things actually are (I've been a room mother etc. in the public schools).

- Don't skip the hands-on. Both kids can join in on those thing, and often my kids remembered those things far longer than anything we read. If you have to skip something, I'd skip other things and focus on anything you can do as a family.

- MFW light Fridays mean you can often change things up once a week and do those nature walks, field trips, etc. It could be the middle of the week, if needed.

- Pray and pray some more. I will join you.

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

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Just got autism dx for dd/feeling frazzled

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:13 pm

Julie's comment made me think of something: noise canceling ear protection... A friend of mine has a couple of kids who really have trouble focusing with the extra noise (she has 8 kids!), so she has these: http://www.amazon.com/3M-Peltor-Ultimat ... protection

Something like that might help. She let me try them over at her house, and you could still hear the other noises, but it was way quiet, like a whisper.

I have one child who really needs quiet for math. So, during that time my boys are either doing Book Basket or playing Wii or playing outside where they can't be heard. It used to be she needed quiet for more stuff, but now it is mostly math. Now, she's an 8th grader and she does a lot of her work independently now and goes to her room and closes the door. But, it took us a lot of work between 9 yo and 13 yo to get to this point.

I would not expect my 9 yo boys to be able to stay on task without me around to watch over them. (Well, one of them, yes, but the other, no.) I know with my oldest I had to sit next to her and point to the next problem/sentence/question to keep her on task for a long time. And I have to do that with one of my boys. But it is worth the effort. I do try to be doing school related stuff when I am near them: looking over my oldest's work, typing up handwriting practice sheets, etc. It shows them that school is important. These last two years I've really seen the persistence of working with my oldest pay off.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

4th Grade - How Much Independently?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:58 pm

stelaine wrote:
Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:16 pm
We are doing CTG and I was wondering how much of it I should let my 4th grader do independently? I also have a 1st grader and a 3 year old that thinks she needs my full attention 24/7. I am really struggling with juggling it all and the stress is getting to me. My 4th grader has the ability to do the majority of the work independently - she reads/comprehends at 8th grade level - but is it okay to just "oversee" as she goes along, answer questions, and check up/discuss once she finishes each subject? What should I expect of her at her age?
Hi and welcome,
And <hugs> for the busy years juggling three young ones.

Questions about independence and expectations are of course up to you, the teacher, but I hope you receive a variety of responses to help you think this through. In the meanwhile, here are previous conversations to see if anything would help:

Independence http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3047
Younger kids http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=14690
Independent work in CTG http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=5750
Combining 1st and older program http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2713

Hope that wasn't too much :)

I'll also share random thoughts that I have.

1. You might sort out the things that are by definition done independently in CTG - things like notebook pages, copywork, and book basket. Then identify the things you are doing together - for a few days, observe how your together time is actually being spent, so you can make informed choices.

2. Be aware that even a good reader does not necessarily have the maturity to teach herself what is most important or how to interpret what she reads. Make choices with that in mind. MFW recommends History and Bible especially be parent-led.

3. MFW has a nice balance of book-learning and fun activities. Be sure you're not skipping the fun stuff, because that's just where you can pull in your younger kids (and because it's the way kids learn best). I'd skip some of the reading (other than Bible), or put the reading into book basket, before skipping all of the hands-on.

4. When we did CTG, we did the Bible readings in the evenings with dad. It is a precious memory, and a side benefit was that our schoolday was shortened.

5. MFW is designed with parent discussion and student narration as learning tools, rather than worksheets and such. If you eliminate discussion and narration, then you will need to assign extra notebook pages or something else to help the student's brain to latch onto what he's learning.

Keep asking as you work through your particular situation.
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

stelaine
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 2:22 pm

Re: 4th Grade - How Much Independently?

Unread post by stelaine » Wed Oct 28, 2015 1:43 pm

Thank you Julie for the ideas! I will definitely try out some of them. Right now we do History, Bible, Spelling, Math, Latin, Art/Music and Read aloud together. The rest she does alone.

I guess I probably should have included more background detail to more fully explain the situation also. This is our 5th year homeschooling. I am pretty much on the edge of (or perhaps have crossed over into) burnout. I just find myself so exhausted. And our homeschool day makes me feel like Sisyphus, constantly pushing a boulder uphill day after day after day with no relief in sight.

My 4th grader is very intelligent, but also has a very independent personality that balks under direction from me. She does not like school - not just homeschool, but *any* form of school. She's one of those very smart kids who doesn't want to do the work of learning when she comes to something challenging enough to cause growth.

My 1st grader loves school and is extremely easy to teach. If I was only teaching her, homeschooling would be the simple, joyous time one thinks of when they think of homeschooling. But, if not kept occupied, she gets into things. She's the kid who comes up with grand schemes that leave giant messes behind.

My 3 year old does fantastic when I do school with my 1st grader - she loves to listen to the books and will happily play blocks or toys by my side when my 1st grader is doing the writing portions or math. The problem is when I need to do school with my oldest - from that point on till her nap she wants to hang off me like a monkey!

Between the 3 of them I feel like I'm pulled in 3 different directions. I'm racking my brain with how to juggle all three, keep my sanity, and do it off of the very low amount of energy I have right now. I guess that was my main thought with wondering how much work should be independent - just trying to figure out how to balance the three of them.

Thanks again for your message - I read all the links and saw one notation about a conference talk called Help! My Homeschool is in Chaos that might be good to listen to!

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: 4th Grade - How Much Independently?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Oct 29, 2015 1:01 am

Love the Sisyphus analogy. You are worn out and need to take care of yourself, first. What your kids benefit from most is a mom who is emotionally healthy and taking care of herself physically.

After that, I'll just throw out random ideas until someone else chimes in ;)

1. Can you separate out the together-subjects further, such as spelling practice independently and spelling tests together?

2. Read-alouds could be moved to bedtime, inviting all who want to listen quietly and the rest must go to bed LOL so a little incentive there. And see #3 - read-alouds are optional.

3. The bottom section of the grid, under the gray bar, is completely optional. If you are on the verge of giving up, I'd take those things out right away. You can always do them this summer. You could save the CTG music for EX1850, when it comes up again in history. Latin could be saved for a year when all your kids are school aged or moved to a free-time activity. Art could be skipped or just do parts; at our house, we did only the history-related lessons.

4. Hopefully you have slimmed down the 1st grade program. For instance, don't do both sciences. You can go back and forth when a lesson looks fun or connects to a history topic, or just choose one science program and stick with that.

5. And again, focus on hands-on activities in CTG. Even the little one will enjoy blowing the shofar and sitting in a tent, things like that. I'm not sure if it was in the lesson plans, but we planted plants in dirt and sand that year - might make your middle child happy ;)

6. I wonder if there's a way to appreciate your creative middle child while still roping her in a bit - perhaps limiting her to the kitchen, where mopping up is easy, or providing a tote of acceptable project materials each week? Or at least creating a method for clean-up time with clearly understood bins, a timer, and a CD of fun clean-up music.

As for the character issues in your oldest, I am sighing here. It's tough raising kids in general. I find being a grandparent much more fun! One thing I can tell you from experience is that the dream of public/group school being easier is not necessarily true. It can make your mornings and evenings extremely pressured; it can put you behind on character issues and learning skills rather than ahead. But of course each family situation is different.

I do think we homeschoolers can love our kids to death sometimes, wanting the very best for them (myself included). We research each topic and examine each learning trait and feel responsible for each flaw - even though God Himself allows us to have flaws. Our kids never get to let someone else answer the teacher's questions that day or look over someone else's shoulder for an example when he wasn't listening to instructions. And without any peer pressure, kids are expected to have very grown-up skills of self-motivation and time management that are hard for all of us these days.

Hopefully some of the wonderful moms-of-many around here will chime in with more concrete ideas (or more reading here http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1011 ). Mostly I want to console you. There are seasons when great advances are made and seasons that drag. In my opinion, you're doing a job that's as important - and as difficult - as anything else on earth.

If it helps, here's a post about my youngest, who didn't like school, public or homeschool, but he's personally gotten himself into college this year, after a one-year break: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 346#p22346

My best advice is to hang onto God when it gets hard. I pray you will see Him leading you forward in the way you should go.
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

Mom2theteam
Posts: 184
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:33 pm

Re: 4th Grade - How Much Independently?

Unread post by Mom2theteam » Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:07 pm

I've read most of Julie's responses. :)

I'm in my 5th year. I'm doing CtG. I have 6 kids who are in 4th grade, twin 2nd graders (not fluent readers yet), twins in K and a 3 year old. And yup, I have a couple of children with character flaws. ;) My oldest is really tough when it comes to being independent because he has such a hard time staying focused. He also has an aversion to doing anything challenging, though it is getting better this year. One of my 5 year old twins gets into things. A few months ago, I sent him to his room to play (with his twin). His twin came down to tell me he was getting the room wet. He was filling the bins from his toy shelf with water and then dumping it on the floor of his room. His twin brother's mattress was so wet I had to sit it upright outside in the sun to let it dry. My other 5 year old can't get enough school. He begs me to "do school" with him all the time. So, that can be stressful for me because I prioritize my older children's formal education....I'm relaxed in K and have a "better late than early" type philosophy. My 3 year old wants to be on me a lot of the time, but he does not have a quiet mode, even when he is behaving. It's a crazy life with lots of littles. ;)

For me, I think of this as a season. I also remind myself often of why I'm doing this. I had a very rough year last year. I got burnt out and basically, I quit....for a time. We usually school year round, but I was so burnt out and tired of struggling through every day that we took a very long summer break, 8-9 weeks. We never finished ECC. :~ I wanted to get back to it, but we needed a fresh start. I prayed about it and we moved to CtG as scheduled this fall. It's been going much better this year. I feel God has intervened on our behalf and really shown Himself in our school this year. I'm really learning to lean on Him for my strength and patience.

But, as for your question, I think the independent work for a 4th grader is more about maturity and what you want for your student than about reading ability. My 4th grader reads on a very high level and really loves to read. He is an avid reader both of fiction and non-fiction books. But, for us, one of the reasons I homeschool is so that I can guide his learning in some of subjects that are more interpretive. We use these subjects as a jumping off point to have lots of discussions. I want to guide his understanding of the world and point him toward the right path, God's.

For us, anyone who is in 1st or higher does the cycle year. So, last year, my 1st graders did ECC with us. I just adjusted to their level and they did great. They did MFW 1st LA and their own math. Same thing this year for my 2nd graders. My K'ers get LA and math and maybe a book and possibly 1 activity from MFW K topic of the unit and the rest they can sit with us...or not. I'm relaxed about K. Oh, they get the Bible from K, but a simplified version and not necessarily every morning/day. This cuts down on the amount of work I'm doing with each child.

So, we all do Bible, history, science, art/music together. We don't always get to music and art. We do it when it fits in the day, which is only 1-2 times per week. I don't sweat it because we have plenty of time for that as they grow and mature.

My 4th grader does several things without me. He does spelling independently except for testing on Thursday and the random times he needs help. He does writing independently except the random explanation from me. He does his math drills independently and his workbook exercises. I do teach him the lessons. My goal is to teach him the lesson and then have him do the workbook page for it the next day, so he can do his math in the morning while I am teaching the younger children. Any notebooking page for history or science, I let him do while I'm working with someone else. Copywork is independent. I work with him on Language Lessons, but it's very quick, maybe 5 minutes. Any work to be done from it, he does independently. Oh, I teach the Greek vocab word in about 3 minutes to all of them on Monday. But, he does the rest of week's vocab work by himself. I put it on our whiteboard and I mention at least once a day, "What's our Greek vocab root of the week, Kids?" I point, they answer and we move on. My 4th grader tests on them while he is taking his spelling test for the week.

Basically, I have him do anything he can independently, even if I have to get him started first, except the reading/teaching portion of Bible, history and science. We do Bible first, but after that he works on his independent stuff in the morning while I'm working with the younger kids. I usually am able to do his Language Lessons too because it's so fast. After lunch, we do our CtG work together. Whatever gets done first, gets done. So, we start with LA and math.

He has a composition book that we use as an "assignment book." Each night, I write down all the things he can do independently. He checks them off as he goes. He gets tickets for completing his work each day. He gets 5 for doing it and 1 for having a good attitude. Anything not done that was through no fault of mine (he can't do a notebooking page on something I haven't gotten to teach him) or any complaining/dilly dallying results in lost tickets for the day. The tickets = $.05 each or we have prizes they can choose from. Most days, I do have to keep him on track. I'm constantly saying, "Do the next thing." If I remind once (or twice) and he gets to it, he doesn't lose. I know he struggles with focus and I make concessions for that, but don't let it get excessive either. I usually let him choose the order, but I require something written before reading/book basket. (Again, whatever you do first, gets done.)

So, while my 4th grader does have a lot of time with me, he also does have a lot of independent work too. I can't stress enough to remember that this time with your family this age is a season. It won't last. I feel like at my house, we are already starting to get over the hump of it. But, I have twin 7 year olds. So, with finally having 3 who are getting a little older and not 6 who are 7 and under type of thing, my life is less crazy than it was. It's still crazy! LOL! My toughest season was last year....so far...with 6 kids 9 and under, a 3rd grader still needing a lot more direction than this year, twin 1st graders in the thick of learning phonics and reading and twin 4 year olds and a 2 year old. It was tough year. This may be that year for you. It's different for all of us. Take a break if you need it. Pray without ceasing. Prayer is my lifeline. I never thought of myself as a prayer warrior. I am now! If God has called your family to homeschooling, He will give you the grace to see it through. Trust Him and call on Him. He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it. Take each day as it comes. Teach and raise your children one day at a time, one hour, one minute if you need to. Hang in there. I'll say a prayer for you and your family.

Wow...this is long...I'm always long winded. Maybe something I said will help a little. LOL!! :~
Heather
Wife to an amazing man
Mom to 6, ages 10, 7, 7, 5, 5, 3
Zack, 10 CtG
Samantha & Blake, twins, 7, CtG
Matthew & Joshua, twins, 5, MFW K
Nicholas, 3 derailing and tagging along

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest