Schedule - High School Time Savers?

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

Schedule - High School Time Savers?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:14 am

US1 - 11th Grade
thesummerfields wrote:My daughter has already completed Ancient History as well as World History and Literature levels of high school. She started the 11th grade level about a month ago and I have to say I am concerned. We are busy family with a lot of chores on the farm and places to go only a couple times per week but they are important. Right now she does school from 9am to 5pm! Is this normal? She does take 2 small breaks but then gets right back to work on her studies. She is doing a good job with everything it's just that it takes her so long! We can't do much as a family it seems in the afternoons. Is there something we can drop? Something less essential to her education in MFW package we can eliminate or simplify?

She is doing:
  • The MFW US History to 1877 package
    Jacob's Geometry (finishing that up in the next few weeks, starting Alg. 2 soon)
    Apologia Biology
    Rosetta Stone Spanish Level 1
    Personal Finance
She is a bit of a slower reader, and she is big on taking notes and is careful to make sure she retains things etc. She REALLY enjoys MFW and has learned so much and has a strong walk with the Lord. I just worry at this rate she will burn out soon, spending that many hours on schooling. She wants to be able to serve in several ways in the afternoons and evenings a couple nights per week, but with school taking so long she isn't able to.:(

We got as many of the books in Audio Versions as possible to help her be able to multi-task a little. She listens to audios while she weeds in the garden, and brushes and feeds the horses etc. So at least she can be productive in other ways during part of her school time. She has also noticed her weight creep up this last month from being so inactive for so many hours of the day....before school started we were go-go-go with lots of physical activity around the farm etc,.

Help, we need help to balance it to our lifestyle.
Hi Julie,
<hugs> on getting bogged down. In my experience with public schoolers around here, 11th grade is typically the hardest year. That said, 11th graders range all over the board. My ds had one friend who was up all night sometimes doing homework until 6 a.m., and another who was in alternative school and summer school and still needed help.

I do think your values of having some family and service time in these last couple years at home are also of value. I like to brainstorm and maybe something in there will seem a good fit.

- First, the electives. It looks like she's earning 6.5 credits this year, and at our local public schools, they schedule 6 classes per day. There is also a "zero hour" but it mostly is for band/choir type things. So, if necessary you might drop the personal finance this year, or see if she could do it in the summer. Some kids are dropping foreign language at this point, but it looks like your dd is just ramping that up.

- Math would remain a priority for me, since she's just finishing Geometry. I personally think it's really important to be solid in that area, so I would keep pushing forward on that one.

- Probably by 11th grade, and with your farming background, Biology won't be too heavy of a challenge at this point. However, if it is bogging her down, there is a Virtual Homeschool Group that is free and has lectures she can watch, with slightly easier quizzes/tests (because they are multiple choice, and because the quizzes can be repeated -- and then the tests can be done only once). The labs still must be done at home, and I would try not to let those slip through the cracks, but perhaps some of her hands-on work with animals could sub out a bit of it?

- For Bible, not sure if you're doing the "parent/teacher involved" option 1, but we did that one. And I found that I needed 2 days to get through a thorough review and new lesson. Some kids won't need it, but my ds benefited from my really going over the lessons, so I stretched out that semester of Bible into the 2nd semester, and cut some from the 2nd semester schedule.

- For History, there are occasional "optional" activities, and she could just cross those off her lesson planner. Not sure if she's getting bogged down with the jump up to history studying/testing/etc., but if she is, I've been in conversations where different families adapt different parts of this, from letting them do the student sheets using the answer key, to letting them do open book tests at least at first. This seems consistent with the kind of test-prep study sessions some of the high school teachers are doing. Again, where to tweak here really depends a lot on the particular student.

- For English, how is she on the grammar? I know I started my oldest dd on a grammar review around this age (long before MFW had high school) and found she really didn't need it at all. You could evaluate that need, and maybe she's already mastered portions of the review book, or all of it.

- For Literature, I was juggling my ds's book club assignments and his college course reading and his just generally having a bad year due to losing his father the summer before 11th, so I did a lot of juggling. I just read him excerpts of Plymouth Plantation, and he did the Progeny Press guide using the movie version rather than reading Scarlet Letter (we used the 4-hour movie, which has quite good coverage). He did read Ben Franklin & Frederick Douglass, but those aren't long. His book club had just done Red Badge of Courage and we subbed out Billy Budd. He still has had plenty of exposure to American Literature with all the shorter readings in there, as well. It will be different for your dd, since I expect she isn't reading in a book club, etc., but just letting you know that you can make these kinds of changes and still get a valuable education with all of the Lit Supplement readings and the Early American Lit book, and mixing and matching exposure and study for the rest.

Well, there's some brainstorming to start the conversation. There are a few conversations on US1 in the Archives, as well, but not a lot yet.

From Another 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

thesummerfields
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 11:44 am

Re: High School Time Savers? 11 grader bogged down

Unread post by thesummerfields » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:10 pm

Thanks so much for the ideas, I think I will use a couple of these ideas. She is doing good with it I am just concerned with how many hours it takes to complete it all. Good to know it is normally the hardest year. My 11th grade year was the hardest but only because I took extra credits at the local community college to graduate a year early. I had it planned from grade 7 when I saw my brother go only half days his Sr year...I thought that was a waste of time so I took 3 credits one summer at the college and crammed the rest in where I could in 3 years of public school. So my own experience was different than most I guess.

I am going to encourage her to work on Personal Finance during breaks (Christmas, spring break and summer). She can also do Financial Peace University, we teach it almost every year at our church and we have the DVDs to teach it at home too if we want to. I also have the High School Curriculum version of Dave Ramsey's program that I've taught for a co-op class a few years ago I could take her through that.

To be honest I miss her, she spends so much more time in her room for quite away from our reading aloud etc. I just miss her, I go in and visit with her a couple times during the school day to touch bases and talk over when she's working on but it isn't the same as getting to be around her all day. She misses the family interaction too. I guess we will just find ways to balance it, I am trying to talk her into doing Bible in the evening before bed so it won't take up so much of her day. She says she likes having Bible first thing in her school day and it helps set her off to the right start (makes sense).

I will keep looking over the lesson plans and see if there is anything we can skip or simplify.
Julie~
Holden age 7~ MFW 1st Grade, modified to use Barton for reading portions for dyslexia
Evan 6th & Toby 4th~ Rome to Reformation
Sierra 11th~ U.S. History to 1877

dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: High School Time Savers? 11 grader bogged down

Unread post by dhudson » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:16 pm

My ds is in 11th grade and we do many of the reviews verbally. For instance, the chapter reviews in BJU and the retention questions in American Literature can be done verbally. Also, looking through the American Literature Supplement there are Assignments that could be used as discussions versus essays. I schedule a time with my ds each week and we go out to Starbucks to have our meetings and discussions.

I think that could shave some time off without taking much meat from the program and I have had some amazing discussions with my son because of that time together.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002

4littlehearts
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:05 pm

Another MFW WHL question... how long...

Unread post by 4littlehearts » Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:28 pm

Does it take for your child to complete the assignments in WHL each day? My daughter in 10th is using WHL, as well as Lifepac Health, Lifepac Spanish 1, MUS Geometry/ MUS Algebra ( she spends an hour and a half total on her maths), and Apologia Biology. She also speed walks for PE once a day for about 20-30 minutes. She wakes up at 7:30, starts school around 8:00-8:15 and besides an hour break for lunch and a dinner break, she will work up till sometimes 10 or even 11:00 pm each night. She has some OCD tendencies especially in regards to reading and she likes to understand everything perfectly, so she will spend time "hemming and hawing" over her reading material until she feels she " gets it." In order to get a feel for how much time she is spending on each assignment I asked her to record her time today and in the History of the World book where she only had 3 pages to read albeit somewhat detailed pages, she took 20-25 minutes. When I asked her what took her so long she said there was a lot to digest and she was trying to take it all in. I know she takes quite some time of the Notgrass questions assigned each day. Due to the sheer amount of time her assignments were taking we quit reading Church History in Plain Language a long time ago. I do feel it is a very valuable book, but the extra reading required there would just serve to burn her out. Although the lesson plans ask that the students read both sides ( easy and hard ) of the British Literature book I just tell her to pick either the easy or the hard side and read that, not both. We have also used audiobooks when available for a couple of the literature whole books so far. That has proved quite helpful. Even with these modifications however my daughter still has quite a long day, many times carrying over some do her WHL assignments into Friday, which is a more free day, devoted to service actitivies. She usually always has some kind of homework over the weekends as well, which is fine. My concern is her very long days during the school week. Is there anything else that could be done to help make her school day not so long? I am open to more tweaking and suggestions.
Thanks so much!

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

Another MFW WHL question... how long...

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:58 pm

WHL - 10th Grade
4littlehearts wrote:Does it take for your child to complete the assignments in WHL each day? My daughter in 10th is using WHL, as well as Lifepac Health, Lifepac Spanish 1, MUS Geometry/ MUS Algebra ( she spends an hour and a half total on her maths), and Apologia Biology. She also speed walks for PE once a day for about 20-30 minutes.

She wakes up at 7:30, starts school around 8:00-8:15 and besides an hour break for lunch and a dinner break, she will work up till sometimes 10 or even 11:00 pm each night. She has some OCD tendencies especially in regards to reading and she likes to understand everything perfectly, so she will spend time "hemming and hawing" over her reading material until she feels she "gets it." In order to get a feel for how much time she is spending on each assignment I asked her to record her time today and in the History of the World book where she only had 3 pages to read albeit somewhat detailed pages, she took 20-25 minutes. When I asked her what took her so long she said there was a lot to digest and she was trying to take it all in. I know she takes quite some time of the Notgrass questions assigned each day.

Due to the sheer amount of time her assignments were taking we quit reading Church History in Plain Language a long time ago. I do feel it is a very valuable book, but the extra reading required there would just serve to burn her out. Although the lesson plans ask that the students read both sides ( easy and hard ) of the British Literature book I just tell her to pick either the easy or the hard side and read that, not both. We have also used audiobooks when available for a couple of the literature whole books so far. That has proved quite helpful.

Even with these modifications however my daughter still has quite a long day, many times carrying over some do her WHL assignments into Friday, which is a more free day, devoted to service activities. She usually always has some kind of homework over the weekends as well, which is fine. My concern is her very long days during the school week. Is there anything else that could be done to help make her school day not so long? I am open to more tweaking and suggestions.
Thanks so much!
Just a couple of possibilities to try:

1. Reduce the number of credits? Six credits is the usual where I live, except for a zero hour meant mostly for those in band and choir. If she is floundering, I might drop the health credit for now. And if she is truly earning a phy ed credit, then I might give some thought to delaying the foreign language, although that would depend on how far she is in already because you wouldn't want that to be forgotten. Another elective is the Bible credit - reading the New Testament was VERY important to me, but one possibility would be to just do that and take out the other things (you already mentioned dropping the Church History book), and earn 0.5 credit instead of 1.0. And finally, the extra 0.25 credit in geography might be worth a look. I think it's REALLY valuable, but it could justify extending the year or putting it off for a full credit in 12th grade or even rolling it into the world history credit this year by taking a couple things out, keeping history at 1.0 credit only (without the extra 0.25).

2. Go to a 5-day week. My ds did most of his service during summers at VBS and such, until this past year. We treated AHL and WHL as 5-day weeks, just continuing through the grid.

3. Sort through where her extra time is eaten up, and group all the efficient subjects together during "school hours." Move only a couple of especially slow things to evenings or weekends, such as reading literature if that takes a long time, or the Notgrass. That way, her school day could feel like it was getting done, with only one or maybe two things to work on outside of a 6-hour school day. The math at 1.5 hours isn't a surprise, but that is usually balanced by shorter classes here and there in foreign language, maybe science, etc. - basically, are there SOME things that are going more quickly?

4. Audios are good because they force her to keep up a certain pace. They are a little slower than reading for most kids, but not for perfectionist types like your dd. Another option on occasion is videos. Yes, the WHL literature is great and college-prep, but my local public school only studies about 2 pieces of literature per year, so subbing out a couple of WHL pieces for the videos would still give the exposure to literature of the world and classic plots known in our culture, but lighten things up a bit. Some videos are particularly true to the original narrative, such as The Hiding Place and the 5-hour BBC version of Pride & Prejudice.

5. A couple of pieces of literature could be saved and read as a summer assignment. I'd choose one or two that aren't particularly tied up in writing assignments or historical events, such as More than a Carpenter?

Just some random ideas,
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

4littlehearts
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 11:05 pm

Re: Another MFW WHL question... how long...

Unread post by 4littlehearts » Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:38 pm

Thanks so much for your input! I had my daughter keep track of exactly how much time she is taking for each subject. I was blown away at how much time she was taking. For example, today in Biology she spent an hour and 40 minutes and she uses a 5-day schedule (not the MFW Apologia schedule). I know the length of her school day is associated with her OCD issues. Today I decided to make a schedule allotting how much time she should take for each subject. I tried to make it as reasonable as possible. I am going to have her try to stick to that schedule and see at the end if her school day how much was accomplished and maybe count the rest as homework. Although we do use our Fridays to make up work because like your son, my daughter's a Christian Service happens on Sundays.

I appreciate your suggestions in using some Movies for the literature selections. Also I do not feel comfortable dropping Spanish right now, because she is too far into it, and that is the one subject she is actually doing in a very timely manner. Although I did drop PE for now. We live in Michigan where it is really cold and we have tons of snow, so it is difficult for her to do this anyways at this time. She is actually almost done with her health course. She will probably finish it by the end of March or possibly in one month from now. So we Re going to keep going with that. It seems that her history, literature, and writing takes the longest. She will take an hour on writing, an hour and a half on history ( not counting the history of the world book, or the geography), and another hour or more on a Lit. Exactly how long do most kids take to finish the Bible, English, and History in WHL? Thanks!

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

Re: Another MFW WHL question... how long...

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:34 am

4littlehearts wrote:It seems that her history, literature, and writing takes the longest. She will take an hour on writing, an hour and a half on history ( not counting the history of the world book, or the geography), and another hour or more on a Lit. Exactly how long do most kids take to finish the Bible, English, and History in WHL? Thanks!
The usual expectation seems to be one hour per subject. Here are some random thoughts:

1. HISTORY: You've mentioned Notgrass takes her a long time. Is she filling out the questions as she reads, rather than trying to memorize what she reads and answer the questions later? I think it's an important skill to learn how to do some of the questions or notes while you are reading.

Typically, Notgrass is only scheduled three days per week. That leaves the other two days for catching up on the maps and the History of the World book, especially if you aren't doing the Church History on those days. Is that how her week plays out?

2. ENGLISH: I'm not sure what week you are on, but to me the writing in WHL (after the research paper) settled into a pattern of either (a) no writing the first week of a literature piece, and then the next week when the student had a good start on the reading, begin the writing assignment, or (b) smaller writing assignments that were done daily, such as the plot summary or character sketches.

A lot of times, during the writing weeks I would have my son do the reading in the evenings (sometimes we'd listen to an audiobook together). I do think English can be a credit that takes extra time because of reading plus writing, but I look at reading literature as a typical homework assignment at least some of the time, and hopefully not too stressful most of the time.

Just brainstorming with 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

DS4home
Posts: 263
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Re: Another MFW WHL question... how long...

Unread post by DS4home » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:04 am

Julie has some good helps. Another thing I did was spread out some of the reading over extra days. I know you mentioned you aren't doing Church History anymore, but that is one I spread out so my ds is reading 2-3 pages every day (instead of a whole chapter a day). I extended Pilgrims Progress to be read over 3 weeks instead of 2 weeks. We will watch a movie of one of the lit books to help us catch up the lost ground again. Spreading it out has helped him get the daily reading done in a more reasonable amount of time.

Just another idea to pass along, as we tweak the curriculum to fit our children, ;)

Dawn
Celebrating our 28th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(9th).

2018: AHL for the 4th time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

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