Schedule/Time - Adjusting to the increased workload

Issues specific to teaching 6th to 8th graders, including the transition to Saxon math, Apologia science, Progeny Press guides, and grammar lessons
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Schedule/Time - Adjusting to the increased workload

Unread post by Lucy » Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:48 pm

7th grader - How is the increased workload working out?
rstine wrote:By the way, could I ask what else you are doing with your 7th grader? I know you mentioned ECC, but is he doing a literature guide, what grammar and math are you using, and has he adapted well to any new workload? I'm always interested in what others are using and how it's working out for them. Thanks so much.
We are doing lit. guides. We will do 2 this year along with the 7th and 8th grade read alouds for ECC. We are using All in One English which is going well. We only do a couple of pages a day and I am using the pre-test in the front as more of test after each section.

For math he is finishing up 5B(by next week, we had done some lessons this summer but when we really started school in Sept. we have been doing 2 or 3 lessons a day). I am planning to move him into Saxon pre-algebra with the D.I.V.E cd, which has worked well for my daughter. I have him spend 1 hour a day usually in math.

The work load at first was a bit of a learning curve especially the science textbook. We are now almost finished with module 3 and he seems to be doing fine now. He is not a school lover, although he is very bright, so his goal each day of course to finish as quickly as possible, but he is working well most days. I just have to stay on him or he will be off playing with his pet or off in his room! He is a normal boy still!

Let me know if you have more questions.
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.


Science - Apologia schedule / time

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:41 am

Hmschooling wrote:How much time is spent on Apologia each day with the MFW plans?
It will vary a bit by how quick of a reader your child is. In General Science this year, we go about 45-60 minutes a day on days with labs. Less on days without labs. I have a strong reader. Plan for an hour to allow reading time, note taking, etc.



How long does Physical Science reading take each day?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Aug 28, 2009 11:25 am

Winni wrote:Just wondering. I will be reading it along with my children...and want to schedule it in.
Crystal calls out :Hey oldest....
come here a minute.... Will you answer this question from the board since I don't read the book with you....?

K:uh maybe...? ok.
When I read what is assigned, it takes me about 15 minutes, but I always read more and get ahead except for writing my lab reports which were due today, right? Then sometimes I have to do labs and experiments and stuff on the CD. The stuff on the CD doesn't take much time at all. And you want to read through an experiment before starting. That amount of time will vary from experiment to experiment. But we had fun with that second one in module 3. that was cool.

me: ok. honey, what about the days where Mrs. Hazell's lesson plans say to study for the test... how much time....

K:probably about the same time.
me: you mean you only study for those things for about 15 minutes? what? I can't post that. You have to be spending more time. You need a clock in that room.
K: well, yeah, I learn by reading. so, yeah...

me: great...... let's try another route here.
K: well, ok, the module summaries slow me down, a bit.

(stop laughing Kate)

(stop laughing MOM! you'll get in trouble with Mrs. Robertson. Hi Mss Lucy.)



Well, ok. my oldest and I are time challenged. She says she's gets the assigned readings done in about 10-20 minutes. She is a fast reader and just retains stuff. I'm not reading the book out loud to her. I listen in on the module summaries, sometimes. (honestly though, I'm too busy unpacking from an out of state move). And then I grade the test to see if she's getting it. Every once in a while she just telling me something from the book and shows me. so I see what's going on in the book.

Or, we work together on a lab report. Or she'll do something like go to the Memphis Zoo and watch the polar bear in the river and observe refraction and say "this is so cool. it's just like the book said."

I"d plan for 30-45 minutes a day if your child needs to read to themselves and actually take notes and learn from the text. The actual reading time will not be a ton of time per assigned section. When you do labs, you'll read through it before starting. do the lab, then read the stuff after the lab. and yes, oldest dear... you have 2 lab reports due today....


Tracey in ME
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Re: How long does Physical Science reading take each day?

Unread post by Tracey in ME » Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:39 am

That was so funny, Crystal! I could just picture you two sitting there...

I'm actually not going to read the book TO her...but along with her, in the evenings. I, uh, don't know this stuff...and want to learn. :o)

Thanks, Crystal and oldest!
- Tracey
Mother of six (16, 13, 9, 7, 4, and 15 months)
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Re: How long does Physical Science reading take each day?

Unread post by cbollin » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:15 am

Winni wrote:I'm actually not going to read the book TO her...but along with her, in the evenings. I, uh, don't know this stuff...and want to learn. :o)
oh... in that case.. 10 minutes or so per "daily assignment" for "old gals" like you and me.

but you might find you read all of the On Your Own questions and answers and study guide stuff and it might be a bit longer.

maybe someone who has the audio CD would know about how long each section goes and that might be a way to figure it out too even though that's an out loud version.

Last edited by cbollin on Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.


Jr High Science ?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:08 am

RB wrote:How long does the Jr High Science take, once the student is used to the routine?
I wish I were one of these perfect families of clock watchers who had a straight forward answer.

it'll depend on factors such as how fast they read, how quickly they comprehend or take notes...
some days will include labs -- and you might take longer to have the lab write up.

my daughter was taking "on average" 30 minutes, except on days where she had lab write ups.

there were times that we would bundle the experiments and do them all on Saturday as preview to the chapter,
or playing catch up.

she's a strong learner, learning the material, getting A's on the tests., even the quarterly tests. She likes apologia.
some kids might need longer each day.

LA in Baltimore
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Re: Jr High Science ?

Unread post by LA in Baltimore » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:19 pm

Our family is on the same page with Crystal's about "bundling" the experiments.
The student completed the reading, study questions, etc. on their own, but did experiments with Dad one evening a week and then he helped them work through how to write up a lab.
As they get older, he lets them write up their own lab and he just checks it over for completeness, grade, etc.
Only by His grace,
LA in Baltimore
Currently enjoying Rome to the Reformation
Graduated oldest May 2010, Three more to go!


Re: Jr High Science ?

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:33 pm

RB wrote: Oh, what a relief! I'd heard somewhere that it took 1 1/2 -2 hours per day!!!! We liked the look of it at convention, but that time frame made me concerned. Thanks :-)
maybe it was in terms of how long someone spent at a co-op one day a week or something?
I know my kid is quick at school and somehow retains it, but I can't see how a regular, normal day would take that long all the time? maybe if you include lab write up -- but my kid typed hers and by the end of the year finally realized that she could do those in 20 minutes if she just followed our instructions. LOL

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Re: Jr High Science ?

Unread post by SandKsmama » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:52 am

Yeah, I would agree with Crystal - 30 minutes is a good "average". There ARE days that are longer, but in general, 30 minutes.
Amanda, Wife to a great guy since '99, SAHM to 4 fabulous kids! DD(7/96), DS(1/01), DD(8/03), and baby DS (3/09)!
Used MFW K, 1st, ECC, CTG, RTR, Ex1850, and currently using 1850-Modern!


how many lessons in Apologia general science

Unread post by cbollin » Tue May 01, 2012 1:18 pm

henryteachers wrote:I am wondering how many days a week my daughter will be doing science on her own if she uses Apologia general science for 7th grade. I noticed MFW has a schedule included for daily lessons. Going back to the MFW website, I noticed the lessons are scheduled for 4 days a week, so how many days are scheduled altogether for the whole year?

One more question--Those who have used it, did you find using the optional CD as necessary and really helpful? Thanks.
most weeks are 4 days a week. on the weeks where the quarterly tests are scheduled (which happens every 4th module), those weeks will be 5 days a week for 2 weeks...

modules are scheduled for 1 module (chapter) per every 2 weeks including time for study and test taking.

It's 32 school weeks scheduled as is. that's a full year.

is the multimedia cd "needed"...... some people say it is the dumbest waste of money. Other people say, you know... it's kinda nice to hear the proper way to say the vocab and to have a little video of an experiment that isn't feasible to do at home.... It is optional. not 100% needed, but we like using them... I don't want to spend hours on youtube finding stuff.
henryteachers wrote:Thanks Crystal! You're so helpful.
Is Apologia general science pretty independent for the 7th grader?
I will be doing other science with my younger ones and would really like a science program that she can use on her own without too much help from mom.
It can be independent for many 7th graders. My oldest did fine. My middle gal needed a bit more helps. So we got the mp3 audio cd of the text for her. And I spent time as her study helper and also helped her to learn how to take notes and go back through the text for answers. I was definitely her lab partner, but she did the write ups... She wasn't as ready as most students are.... I'd say by 2nd semester she was more on her own.... she wasn't ready on first week.

if this site is still up next year.. it's really nice for helping 7th grader with vocab and study for the stuff. look at it now and even if Debbi takes it down, you can learn how to make paper version of index cards for vocab and then self study.

if possible, start the 7th grader a week ahead of other students to get use to "a dry run" of science and math on their own.

another great resource to help with note taking for module 1
and for lab reports. check her site too, or use the link in the apologia text for the book extras for lab stuff.

MFW plans are designed to help the student transition toward more independence. depending on the student, it might not be week number 1.



Time spent for jr high math and science

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:12 pm

TriciaMR wrote:Okay, admittedly were only on lesson 3 in Saxon 8/7 and just today did the first module in Apologia General Science...

But, it is taking dd 1 hour in math just to do the "Warm up" and follow the lesson on the DIVE cd. That is about all this child can handle before her brain shuts off. She is stopping the cd and trying the problems and taking notes. We've broken each lesson up over 2 days at this point because of the amount of time it takes her. I have her do about 4 problems from the mixed practice at a time and then check her answers because it would devastate her to have to go back and fix a whole page of mistakes. (Number reversals are very common for this child. She's getting better, but...) Will the Saxon lessons get shorter? Is it just this first module in GS that is so long? I mean, it would be okay if it takes us 2 years to complete this, but it makes me worry about high school.

It was similar today for Science. I have the book on cd (she's dyslexic, so I think it is good for her to listen as she reads along), so she has to stop the cd, copy from the book (because her spelling gives her trouble), and then continue on. (We did enjoy the experiment, and she did get the point about what it was about before reading the summary in the book, so that was very good.) But it took her a while to write everything down (and neatness is a challenge for this dd). Her keyboarding isn't good enough at this point for her to be taking notes on the computer (or writing her labs on the computer), but we are working on it.

Any ideas for speeding this up? She can only handle about 1 hour of math and 1 hour of science before her brain fries. She's a good kid and works hard, but the dyslexia really poses some challenges. (Plus I'm stressing about how to do 1850-Mod with the 2nd/3rd supplement with my twin 3rd graders, plus this jr. high stuff.)

Math. oh my! it shouldn't take an hour for warm up and lesson.

ready for a shocker? this is what I did with middle gal in Saxon 87.... I read the lesson out loud for many weeks into the year. set timer on the "warm up" drill page for 5 minutes... did what we could for 5 minutes... did the non drill warm up out loud... .

My daughter wasn't fully ready for it being more independent from Saxon for a while... by end of the year.. it was "mom... I can read this on my own". (loved it!)

maybe later on the science... but yes... module 1 is the long one.

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Re: Time spent for jr high math and science

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:22 pm


I set the timer for 5 minutes on the drill (which once she finished in the 5 minutes, and the last time only got 40 problems done), and then we do the rest of the warm up out loud together - so that's 10-15 minutes. I think it is the taking notes part that is taking so long. I could read the book to her and see if that is better. But she still needs to do the problems in the text, doesn't she, for practice? She still needs to write down key terms and such? I'm still thinking writing is quite laborious for her (it always has been)...

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Amy C.
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Re: Time spent for jr high math and science

Unread post by Amy C. » Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:59 pm

Math. My ds started out last year using the Saxon DIVE CD, stopping to take notes. I thought it would be easier that way, with him being more independent with it. However, it was taking him forever and we were having to divide the work over 2 days. He would be fried afterward and it would be hard to get any more quality work out of him. He would also have breakdowns over it. After a few weeks of this, I started sitting down with him and reading over the lesson with him. I might not read word for word. For example, if it was something familiar, I would say, "Oh, yeah, you know how to do this" and would read/work through a sample problem with him. When he was sure he knew it, we would move on. After a few days or so of that, he started reading it on his own and decided it was much quicker reading it than watching the CD. We are not dealing with dyslexia with him, though. It might be better for you to read through the lesson with her.

By the end of the year he would be able to finish a whole day's worth of work in one day and was feeling much better about it. Admittedly, we are no where near the end of the 8/7 book and he is going into the 8th grade, but we got started with it late in the year last year finishing up Singapore 5b before moving into Saxon (I think it was around mid-November) and then it was taking him 2 days to do 1 day of work for awhile until we decided it was quicker to read it. Doing it that way, he was able to finish a whole day's work (following MFW's lesson plans) in 1:15-1:30 hours. That included him (and sometimes I would help him) checking his work with the answer key after he was finished. He is still stretched and challenged but he is able to finish a day's lesson and still function afterward so I feel we have made progress.

Science usually took him anywhere from 45 min. to 1 hour. Sometimes less depending on what he had to do for the day. And, yes, it seemed to take him longer at the beginning. Not sure if it was due to the content of the lessons or if it was because it was new for him or a little of both. We started off using the CD, but not long into the year, it quit working so he would just read the lessons himself. At the beginning of the year, I had him writing out the study cards as recommended, but that was taking FOREVER (and was a cause of great frustration for him) as well. In other threads, Crystal has given a couple of blogs/websites that have study guides on them. He started using those and would also just use his book to study by. He did a science lab notebook, but I was not super strict about it. As long as he put forth the effort and wrote his lab reports was the main thing I was looking for.

I think 7th is a big transition year. You know, leaving elementary going into Jr. High looking ahead to high school. We had some bumps and rough patches in the transition but finally found what worked for my ds. He had to learn how to do the work in a way that was best for him. It was not an easy process in the beginning but finally it fell into place. It took about 1/3 of the way into the year for science (just because I am a rule follower and felt that we needed to try to make the written study cards work) and toward the end of the year for math (but that is because he started later in the year with it). I have definitely seen growth in him over this last year. I think that is part of the equation, too - growth in all areas including maturity.

I don't know if any of this helps. We are not dealing with dyslexia with this ds. But maybe something I typed may help.

Blessings and prayers for your 7th grade year journey!
Amy C.


Re: Time spent for jr high math and science

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:07 pm

typing same time as Amy... :)

Math. well... eventually before end of high school I guess they have to take notes on all of that math stuff. it just didn't happen that way for my middle gal.

I taught my middle daughter to look back for math terms and we used narration. she wasn't ready at beginning of 7th grade to be in "advance" style learning. did she write down the vocab? uh... in math? uh... we put a sticky note on p. 10 for the math properties, and then she learned all about a glossary.

take the drill now as a baseline and see how she improves.....(I'm guessing you didn't mean 40 problems in 5 minutes? I don't recall anything like that in the book?)
We read through the examples in the text. then practiced with the practice problems.

I know it's rough in the start of the year to build toward more independent work.. and with my oldest.. I know she struggled too. We dropped the DIVE cd unless it was needed to help after we read the text. and I'm laughing out loud at myself realizing how differently I used Saxon 87 with oldest compared to middle. LOL

... yes module one is longer.. some people plan for that to be 3 weeks. with tests... my middle gal had some of those tests in different format. would it help your daughter to take "notes" versus copying everything in the bolded section? I know it says to write it all down... but maybe she needs permission for a different style of key word notes so that when she looks at her notes it will jog her memory for the full sentence?

I know with oldest, I really needed her to work more on her own.. but with middle.. we needed a semester of guided instruction in math and science.

oh... lab reports... keep it simple. since you have procedures in textbook... you don't "have" to copy all of that by hand. We used copy of the procedure for lab sheets in a pre packaged "lapbook" company. didn't do the lapbooks as lapbooks.. but used the pages for lab reports ,and sometimes to write down answers to on your own (which don't have to be written at all!) and the lab sheets had the procedures already printed.

just one opinion.... not necessarily a good one..

oh... math usually took middle gal 60-75 minutes before it wasn't worth keeping on that moment. we sometimes would finish in evening...

it will get easier


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Re: Time spent for jr high math and science

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:16 pm

Oh, that Test A drill with the 64 multiplication problems is the "40 problems in 5 minutes" reference. You know, the practice drills at the beginning of Warm Up.

I'll work with her on note taking. I tried to get her just to write the main point, but she's just 12 and thinks everything is important. :) We'll get there. Maybe teach her some common abbreviations (w/ for with, & for and, things like that) to help speed that up, too. (Anyone have a good list of abbreviations for taking notes?)

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


Re: Time spent for jr high math and science

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:23 pm

ooh.... yeah.. I forgot about those. they don't stay like that all year. they really don't. and my middle gal couldn't do them all in that time either to write them. we'd write for 5 minu.. then finish out loud with me writing. I wouldn't worry on that. they don't stay that length all year.


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