Schedule - Ideas when first weeks are taking too long

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TriciaMR
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Schedule - Ideas when first weeks are taking too long

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:04 pm

Starting to feel overwhelmed...
MBrasher wrote:We are in wk 3 of ECC and I think I'm hitting one of those moments where I'm wondering if ECC will ever take less than ALL DAY to finish. Don't get me wrong; we LOVE this program so far! But, how do you fit it all in --before 4:30 I mean? I guess I just figured that by now, we should be hitting cruising altitude, but it actually seems to have started taking longer -esp. now that my 9 yr. old just started Spelling Power this week. We start school at 9 am and don't usually finish up until around 3 -sometimes 4pm or even later. Is this normal? We usually don't even finish with the 3 R's so we can finally get to the "fun stuff" until around 1pm. By that time, we're ALL (mostly me) so exhausted that it's hard to find the energy to be enthusiastic and happy about it. We're using all of the MFW recommendations for 3 R's except Math which takes about 45 min - 1hr. I've tried switching it all around and doing the "fun stuff" first and then waiting until afterwards to do our 3 R's but then the kids are still tired and un-motivated and I feel like they "really" shouldn't be falling behind on Lang. arts and Math so we just press on. Is it normal to struggle with fitting it all in during this week?? ~~~~loooong sigh~~~~
Back when I did ECC, it did seem to take a while. It was about week 5 when we hit "cruising altitude."

Couple of questions/suggestions...

1. Are you using a timer? That can help... Set it for 20 minutes, when it goes off, you're done with that topic for the day. Pick up where you left off the next day and save catching up for "light and independent" Friday.
2. Do you have little ones? Don't expect to do school in 4 hours if you have little ones.
3. Are you taking breaks? A morning 15 min recess to go outside can help refresh the brains. Same either at lunch or mid afternoon.
4. Are you getting enough protein?

Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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Fly2Peace
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by Fly2Peace » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:24 pm

I think at first they might even suggest not doing math? Is that right?? I would have to track down my manual, and it is packed away in the attic....
But, it does get easier / shorter as you go, you will get there.
Fly2Peace (versus flying to pieces)

schelean
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by schelean » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:57 pm

We experienced the same thing last year when we were in ECC. I kept reading that it would go better around week 5. It did improve some for us, but for some reason it just always took a long time for us. We never hit "cruise" in ECC. Out of desperation I changed my schedule up a bit. I made our week take 2 instead of 1. I did not do geography and science on the same day. It took longer for each country but it worked for us while I needed it to. After Christmas, I was able to go back to the normal weekly schedule and everything seemed to go a little quicker for us. Sometimes we would save geography/science reading for bedtime reading. That would save us some time during the day also. With your children's ages, I don't think everything has to get done. Do the best you can with each country and move on. Do the fun stuff like art projects, cooking, dress up, etc. Read great books about the countries. If you don't get all the science done, don't worry about it.

My daughter was 7/8 when we did ECC. We sometimes did not do everything. We loved ECC and we learned so much. I look forward to doing ECC again with my 8th grader at the end of the cycle. Keep up your basics daily and do what you can on the rest. I think you really will find that it gets a little easier to get it all done within a few weeks. In the meantime, slow down and enjoy the fun stuff. Your kids will learn so much that way too.
Schelean in Texas
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doubleportion
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by doubleportion » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:09 pm

Hang in there it does get better. Also be sure that you are not trying to do all the advanced stuff with your two. 4th and 2nd grades right? To keep me from doing the advanced stuff, I would often white out what I knew my dd wouldn't do in my grid (on my photcopy).

Once you get out of the introductory weeks it does seem to slow down some. There were days when I also pushed things over into another day like Friday if I was beginning to feel overwhelmed or having too many interruptions.

We also do the hard stuff like Math (my dd's most challenging subject) first thing in the morning. Have you tried kind of switching things around? Like do some written stuff then go listen to your Wee Sing or do the Craft etc. We could never just go straight down the grid my dd would have melted. I think there are more fun things as you get further into the year and less intensive stuff everyday. They will also get better and faster at certain things and that will change the speed of the day for you too.

Finally remember that English is only three days a week (if you are doing PLL or ILL). Spelling is only four days a week etc. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I would encourage you to put off doing SP for a couple weeks till you hit your cruising altitude. SP feels overwhelming at first but it actually is pretty simple to implement once you wrap your head around it. (don't feel alone, I have a post when I started with it where I freaked out).

((((hugs)))) ECC is fun! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. :-)

:)
Edie

rawbanana
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by rawbanana » Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:17 pm

(((HUGS))) Miranda!
Could it be the 3R's stuff you are using? I can get almost all our schooling done from 10-12noon. The afternoon is usually saved for our read aloud (Kingdom Tales) and for art if there is an art project scheduled that day.

I have schedule that I use for my kiddos and school, would you like to see it? I was going to put it in my blog next week, but I can show you now if you like!

We also have not started Spelling Power yet (will start that next week), so I am sure that will move to the afternoon when we do it as our mornings are pretty full already.

For Math we use another program. For LA we are doing PLL for the 6.5 and 8yr old and ILL for the almost 10 yr old. Sometimes I dont have them do the answers to the question at the end of the lessons in there on paper, I just have them tell them to me orally. I figure they get the handwriting portion in other areas and they are FOREVER writing wishlists, letters to friends, notes to each other and such that they get enough writing in =) I DO have them write out their Writing Strands lessons though.

Also, feel free to skip some stuff, or move it to another day. Simplify if you need to. Is there any one thing in particular that you feel like is taking a longer time?
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Julie in MN
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:33 pm

rawbanana wrote:Could it be the 3R's stuff you are using?
I'm having the same question as Anna. Not just the stuff you're using, but how you're using it. Have you tried doing some of PLL/ILL orally, especially on the Writing Strands days? Those books are well suited to conversational lessons about language, IMO.

If it takes from 9:00 to 1:00 to do the three R's, that seems too much for grades 2 & 4. And if math is 45 min to 1 hour, then language arts is 3-1/4 hours? I agree that math & language arts are important, but there is only so much a child can truly learn in a day. I'd be curious about those first four hours.

Julie
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Kelly1730
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by Kelly1730 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:20 am

We did ECC this year (at the time the twins were 8 ) and it never took more than 3 hours. That said, we did very few of the world geo. pages. Saving those for when we do this again in 7th grade. The boys enjoyed coloring and drawing much more than writing so we did more of that. We didn't do all of the art projects, only the ones that I thought they would really enjoy or felt really added to our study of particular country. We did as much orally as we could. 8 yo boys are not known for loving writing so I made it as painless for them ( and me )as possible ;) I used as many books/videos as I could to enhance their learning since we weren't doing as much of the written work. And still, at the end of the year we had a pretty impressive portfolio to turn into the school district :)

It may take another week or so to hit your "stride" or you may have to take it down a notch and give yourself permission to skip some things or find a way to make it easier on yourself and the children. But try to hang in there. Ecc is so worth it! And we are here to help. Just ask:)
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MBrasher
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by MBrasher » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:32 am

Thank you all SO MUCH for all of your responses and suggestions on this...I feel such a weight beginning to fall off just reading them all and taking them in.
Could it be the 3R's stuff you are using? I can get almost all our schooling done from 10-12noon.
As I think on this a little deeper, I'm thinking the problems may actually be stemming more from my kids than from the actual school work. We start every morning with Bible, then move on to HW/Dictation, Math, SP then PLL/ILL. Here's how yesterday's Bible lesson went (which sets the stage for the day) and how most of the lessons also end up going:

We pile up on the couch and I begin reading a couple of pages about Dwight L. Moody from --Hero Tales. After about 30 seconds into it, dd 7 starts fidgeting and asking if she can get some paper and crayons to draw while I read. Realizing I should've anticipated that already I tell her, "yes, quickly go get some and come back so we can continue". Dd get's back maybe 2 minutes later after me calling her back in a couple of times, saying that she couldn't find the "blue, green, turquoise, etc." color. Finally that's taken care of. I begin to read again. A few more sentences in, ds 9 interrupts and proudly exclaims that he's heard about something in this story before! "Could it have been from Fetch, Aurthur...?" I tell him please don't interrupt until after he's heard the "entire" story and then we can discuss together. Ds seems to get this and we finally finish the reading. At the end of the story he has TONS of questions that I am all over answering but they're about DEEP spiritual truths or just details from the story that don't make sense to him. I understand them for the most part and attempt to explain but he begins to rub his eyes and get frustrated because he WANTS to understand but still can't (I can hear Anna right now saying, "this sounds a little familiar". :-) ) So I try to gloss over it a bit and move on but I can tell it's still weighing on him, so I try to take the time to sift through what he's confused about and it mushrooms into a 30 minute discussion in which at the end, ds is still not satisfied and dd is --rolling on the floor with the dog or something. This sort of sets the stage for the rest of the day.

I do actually set a timer (20 min. for ILL/PLL, 15 min. for WS, 15 min. for SP, 45- 1hr for Math) but I think since both dd and ds are so used to Abeka's workbook style which they did mostly independently, PLL/ILL/WS's simplicity and conversational style is confusing for them. When I tell dd that I'm going to read a short story to her from PLL and that I want her to "tell it back to me in her own words" she freezes like a deer in headlights. She acts embarrassed or something. It takes about 15 min. just trying to reassure her that this isn't a big deal. It's just a new, easier way to do school and all she needs to do is just pretend that I've never heard the story before and explain to me what it's about. Ds also does this --questions methods and reasons for doing things they way we do them now. I'm so tempted to say, "because the books says so!" and leave it at that. lol

It's the same in Geo/Science and even Art! I think that because with Abeka they did alot of independent reading from their Science and History readers and now that we're supposed to be learning together, they both want to kind of take over and continue with that independent style when I'm trying to present the lesson. They have a hard time just sitting quietly and listening while I read or explain. There's lot's of, "why don't we do it this way, and that". They both interrupt with questions/things they've already learned about this subject before. They both question, "how" and in "what order" we do the lessons. --"Why don't we go ahead and do the activity first then read the book?" or "Instead of writing the names of only 6 states on the map can't I right ALL of them?" Even in Art they want to change it up to suit their taste --and I'm fine with that for the most part, but it just throws a curve ball at me and makes things take longer. I want to encourage independent learning but it's making things very disorderly and chaotic during lesson times.

I hope all of this makes sense --I'm noticing alot of facets to this which may make it sound confusing :~
I have schedule that I use for my kiddos and school, would you like to see it? I was going to put it in my blog next week, but I can show you now if you like!
Yes! Please do if you don't mind! I have been wondering how you do it!

doubleportion
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by doubleportion » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:46 am

If your dd is strong on independence (as mine is), I often will have her write the narration instead of doing it orally. Maybe you can have her do that. Tell her to retell the story in her own words. We don't usually worry about spelling etc then.

In regards to the constant interruptions and questions, I got a lot of that too with my dd (very auditory, talkative etc) in the beginning. I started telling her that she must sit quietly and listen until I am finished, then she may ask questions after. If she doesn't follow through on that there is a consequence (lose five minutes off recess/ free time after lunch etc.) If your dd is having trouble with sitting through all the questions from her brother (she is 2nd grade right?), maybe you could have her ask her questions first and then let her go do something independently like copy the Character Trait into her notebook while you discuss further with your ds. If it were me I would try and not feel pressured to hurry up and get it done. Isn't the reason why we are homeschooling is to be able to help our children grow in Godliness? So asking deep spiritual questions would be more important to me than getting English done. KWIM?

I came to MFW via Abeka first and then SL, so it took some adjusting the first year. When we started PLL, I often typed up the lessons on the computer for her and printed them out. Then she filled in the blanks etc. Later she started doing more copy work directly from the book. I also would print out the Memory Verse and post it on the wall. She used that to copy from etc.

Maybe for science you can give them a piece of paper to draw on while they listen (if they need to be doing something and are kinesthetic). You can always type up little question sheets later to be sure they were listening or have them answer orally about things. If they are really into writing maybe you can give them the option of choosing to answer on paper or out loud. I bet pretty soon they will start choosing to do it orally ;)


Don't know if any of my ideas are helpful. Don't be too hard on yourself. You will find the best order of the day for your kids and they will get used to it.

If your kids are like mine, I have to give very specific directions at first when beginning a new way of doing things.

Edie

rawbanana
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by rawbanana » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:14 am

Oh my goodness Miranda, we JUST had a morning like that this morning!
I was ready to start reading Hero Tails and then it was 'oh wait I need to go pee pee', so that child come back, then 'oh, hold on I gotta sharpen my pencil', 'oh wait, I need to get a drink of water'...'oh since she sharpened her pencil, I should sharpen mine'...'Oh, I need to sharpen ALL my pencils!' and then the little guy with his 'cracker'... so ya, it was a slow start this morning =) And yes, your boy and my 8yr old Ariel are 2 peas in a pod =)

What helps for me, sometimes, if they ask things that are DEEP spiritual things is just to say 'lets save that for daddy when he gets home', or 'you'll understand that when you get older, some things are too hard for an 8 yr old to understand'.

Why does your math take so long? what are you using? It takes us under 20 min.

For PLL, my 6.5 yr old had trouble w/ the narration too. Lets see, we read lesson 17 about the Lion and the Fox. Sometimes I read it to her and she follows along, sometimes, she reads to me. I read to hear and at the end I said 'lets pretend you just read this story and I have never heard it, and I come to you and say -hmm, the lion and the fox, I've never read that, whats it about-'? At first she was like your daughter, alot of 'uhh,....', and 'ummm...'s so I said, was it about an elephant who rode a tricycle to the circus for some candy? so she giggled and said 'no, it was about a lion and a fox' so i said 'good, now what ABOUT the lion and a fox' and the she was able to give me more details...I think you need to walk them through it the first few times a LEAST. Maybe even do one for her. Read the story and say, 'ok, heres how you tell a story back to someone who hasnt read it' and set an example for her.

My 9yr old asked the same thing about the states 'i know them all ma, so cant I write them all?' and I just said 'I know you do, but we are just going to do it the way the book tells us to'. But really, you could just tailor it to him. If he really want to do it, you can say 'yes,but you'll have to finish it later as we need to go on to xyz right now'...anyway....

Praying for you!
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Anna-mom of 4 girls, 1 boy
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Julie in MN
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:42 am

MBrasher wrote:There's lot's of, "why don't we do it this way, and that".
Miranda,
Thanks for sharing more about the situation. I'm hoping you get lots of specific help now, like Edie and Anna have given already.

I just wanted to talk about the transition from textbook-style learning to a new way of learning. I think it's hard for kids and hard for us, too. We were all raised to think that "learning" meant a certain thing. Whether they were doing textbooks at home, or sitting in a classroom, or even watching a TV program about school-aged kids -- it's a very strong image we have in our minds.

My kids started out in public school and, if you take out all the "social" issues and just look at methods of learning, they also felt uncomfortable with learning by talking and listening and thinking and writing. I think in fact it *is* harder. But to me, that's because it's real learning. And one of the hard things about real learning is that it has no boundaries -- you never are really *done* and you never are 100% *correct.* I think kids can adapt to it. I think they learned that way for the first several years of their lives -- they just didn't call it "school" and didn't realize it was legit learning.

To make up for that "lost feeling" as my children made the transition, I tried to make sure they saw (1) that school learning will have an end each day -- our school hours will end at a certain time whether we have finished our planned lesson or not, and (2) that it can be fun and freeing -- ds played math games and dd decorated notebook covers more than actually studying at first, and I tried really hard never to skip the fun parts of MFW in the early years.

I try also to mention a few things about how the brain works. I think even young kids realize that sometimes they "memorize for the test and then forget." I also may point out their individual learning styles, and ways they are not really best served by traditional worksheets and tests. One of the best ways to encourage them in this new style of learning is just to review their history notebooks and Bible copywork pages and such -- then they realize they really have "done something," and it's really good stuff!

Sometimes I gave my kids a little workbook for their vocab or a computer game for math, in order to satisfy their requests. And of course there were math workbooks and such. Eventually, I assure them that they will go back to a lot of textbook learning, either in high school or college. (Not all of college is done through textbooks, by any means, but likely there will be a few.) However, I am hoping that because they spent this time really learning to think, they will approach the old textbook method with new eyes.

That's how I look at it,
Julie
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Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
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Cyndi (AZ)
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:46 pm

I skimmed through your other answers and you got some great responses!!! :-) This board is awesome!

My little contribution:

1) Cruising altititude in ECC comes in week 5 at the earliest. Seriously.

2) We did the start-up/testing phase of SP in the afternoon when my dd had an energy boost from lunch. (Protein!) Didn't really tie spelling into school time until we had a starting point for word lists. That's just how it worked for us.

3) For all of the "can I write ALL of the state names?" type questions, I learned from this board to say, "Sure!! You can do that this afternoon after we finish today's lesson. Let's set it aside so you know where to find it later." About half the time, my dd will go back and do it.
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TriciaMR
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:56 pm

Miranda,

It's great that you have a child who is seeking to understand spiritual truth. I like one of the other responses, "Let's save that question for Daddy when he gets home. He's better at answering those." If that's a possibility. Keep a notebook handy to write down his questions. Say, "That's a really good question. Let's write it down so we remember to ask Daddy." Another possibility would be to have Daddy do Bible the night before.

Something that has helped me - I have a basket I keep where we do our "group" stuff. And in that is all the books I use for those topics. If you have something similar, may I suggest adding a box of coloring utensils and paper :) Don't be hard on yourself with "I should have anticipated." It took me about 1/2 way through CTG before I realized I should have a basket that I put all the books for Bible and History in, so I don't have to go hunt them down in the middle of that time. If I had to go hunt down a book, I'd lose my dd if I was gone too long. Keeping everything (notebook, pencil/pen, whiteboard, dry erase marker, eraser, books, TM) right there in that basket made our days go so much smoother.

For narration, you're going to have to lead her through it for a while until she gets it. I would slow down and go a paragraph at a time, rather than the whole story. I switched from Abeka to MFW when my dd was going into 3rd grade. In anticipation to switching to "narration" and other methods, we practiced those informally through the summer. I'd read a paragraph, and then have her retell or summarize just that one paragraph. Then the next. In a few weeks she was able to do a whole passage or story.

Here's an idea for your son... Give him a cup with some buttons or chips or rocks in it - 20 or 5 or whatever you think. Tell him at the beginning, "I'm going to read through this. When I get to the end you can ask questions. If you interrupt, I'm going to take a button out of the cup. If at the end of <Bible/Geography/Art/whatever subject> you have less than <15/18/you pick the limit for this subject>, then you lose 5 minutes of play time <or have to do some extra chore>." I think kids don't make the connection to a behavior unless they have a visible way of seeing what they've just done. I did this for my dd whenever she complained about doing school work. Took about 2 or 3 weeks of a chip cup and consistently taking a chip when she did complain or fuss, and the behavior stopped.

You could do the chip cup for both of them for every time they question why/how/what you are doing something the way you are (you're the mom, it's your school, because you said so! - sorry, but I had a son today who wanted to jump the Lauri letters across the table rather than lay them down next to the vowels and say the blend, making it take 2 to 3 times as long as what it should have to do this little exercise). I think doing "Art" differently is fine. But I think I might put my foot down on other subjects. And, it is okay to say, "Because the book says so." or "Because I'm the Mom and I said so." Yes, there can be give and take, but I know *I* feel like my kids are disrespecting me or badgering me when they question every little method or reason.

Again, take what you think applies, drop the rest. Above all, pray for God's wisdom on how to handle your school.

-Trish
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
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MBrasher
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Re: Starting to feel overwhelmed...

Unread post by MBrasher » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:50 pm

Wow! There are so many helpful responses and advice here! I love this board so much! :-) I am going to take some time over the weekend to sit down and really absorb everyone's advice. There were so many nuggets that popped out at me that I want to remember...just a few but definitely not all of them were:
Are you getting enough protein?
This one made me laugh b/c it made me wonder if you've been a fly on my wall! No, I DON'T get enough protein -I'm a dry cereal muncher throughout the day to keep my sugar from dropping so maybe I need to keep some Slimjims on hand! lol
((((hugs)))) ECC is fun! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming.
Edie, this put a smile on my face and made me feel alot better!!! ;-P
Isn't the reason why we are homeschooling is to be able to help our children grow in Godliness? So asking deep spiritual questions would be more important to me than getting English done. KWIM?
Yes, I totally do! Thank you for reminding me of this!
My kids started out in public school and, if you take out all the "social" issues and just look at methods of learning, they also felt uncomfortable with learning by talking and listening and thinking and writing. I think in fact it *is* harder. But to me, that's because it's real learning. And one of the hard things about real learning is that it has no boundaries -- you never are really *done* and you never are 100% *correct.* I think kids can adapt to it. I think they learned that way for the first several years of their lives -- they just didn't call it "school" and didn't realize it was legit learning.
Julie, this is eye-opening for me...wow --so rich.
3) For all of the "can I write ALL of the state names?" type questions, I learned from this board to say, "Sure!! You can do that this afternoon after we finish today's lesson. Let's set it aside so you know where to find it later." About half the time, my dd will go back and do it.
That's a PERFECT response! And I'm sure mine will prob. only go back to do it about half the time too! lol
Here's an idea for your son... Give him a cup with some buttons or chips or rocks in it - 20 or 5 or whatever you think. Tell him at the beginning, "I'm going to read through this. When I get to the end you can ask questions. If you interrupt, I'm going to take a button out of the cup. If at the end of <Bible/Geography/Art/whatever subject> you have less than <15/18/you pick the limit for this subject>, then you lose 5 minutes of play time <or have to do some extra chore>." I think kids don't make the connection to a behavior unless they have a visible way of seeing what they've just done. I did this for my dd whenever she complained about doing school work. Took about 2 or 3 weeks of a chip cup and consistently taking a chip when she did complain or fuss, and the behavior stopped.

You could do the chip cup for both of them for every time they question why/how/what you are doing something the way you are (you're the mom, it's your school, because you said so! - sorry, but I had a son today who wanted to jump the Lauri letters across the table rather than lay them down next to the vowels and say the blend, making it take 2 to 3 times as long as what it should have to do this little exercise). I think doing "Art" differently is fine. But I think I might put my foot down on other subjects. And, it is okay to say, "Because the book says so." or "Because I'm the Mom and I said so." Yes, there can be give and take, but I know *I* feel like my kids are disrespecting me or badgering me when they question every little method or reason.
This is an awesome idea --will definately try this!

Anna and Edie, THANK YOU for the (((Hugs)))!! I could definitely feel them :-)

And thanks mostly to all of you for taking time out of your day to write such detailed and helpful responses and also for your prayers. Today was actually a pretty good school day -Thank you Lord, for "light Fridays" :-)

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

overwhelmed

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:29 pm

paulaj wrote:We are new to MFW and are in the 2nd week of ECC. I am having difficulty staying on task as other
curriculum : math , Cath. History, writing , reading , grammar seems to compete with the time this takes.
We generally start school at 8:30 am and are not done until 4:00. We are exhausted . I feel like the joy we should be having is not there because I just cannot fit it all in everyday. If anyone has any input , I would love to hear!

Paula J.
Paula,
The first two weeks of ECC are more intense, and some people spread it out over 3 weeks. Most people find they hit "their groove" about week 5 when you get to Brazil.

Some ideas...

Slow down the pace of ECC a little.

Or more gradually add in other topics... So, maybe you drop back and just do ECC and math. Then, after two or three days, add back in your history. Then, the next week add grammar, and then after a few days add in writing. (Then, at the end of the year, when ECC runs out, you gradually finish off your other subjects.)

Also, what are you using for math, grammar and writing? Those choices can also add time. I have found MFW's recommendations a pretty good fit for my family.

-Trish
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

paulaj
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:54 pm

Re: overwhelmed

Unread post by paulaj » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:51 pm

Hi Trish,
thank you. I am using Math u see and writing strands and writing with ease. I also have a toddler, ( 6th grader doing ECC) and a high schooler. I do not spend much time with the High Schooler but he is also doing High school MFW . Also my 6th grader needs lots of help with EVERYTHING! SO I guess it all adds up to a long day! I usually do CA history 1day a week.. So I only get to spend 4 days a week trying to catch up and I cant seem to find anytime to help him read aloud !( he is a slower learner) If I have him read some of the MFW books like science or geography it will take all day! I like that you said it gets easier though. I will hang in there then and not be too rigid. maybe I can turn 2 weeks into 4?? I really want us all to enjoy school!

Blessings,
Paula J.

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

Re: overwhelmed

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:09 pm

Definitely stretch out the weeks. Even stretching 2 into 4 is good. Friday's do get lighter after the first 2 weeks, so move some things to there.

I wouldn't do two writing programs. Choose one, or alternate, doing a lesson from one, and then the other, but don't do both at the same time. And, when we did ECC, we did writing on Thursday and Friday because English often had writing, and my dd couldn't handle that much writing. Math shouldn't take long (we used to use it). I know you said he is slow, but perhaps use a timer. You know, "We're going to work on this for 20 (or 30 minutes, whatever seems good to you), and if we don't finish, we'll stop and pick it up tomorrow (or the next time)." Set school hours - 8:30 to 2:30 - and call it a day. If there is something that you feel that he didn't try to do his best on or work hard on, then make it homework. But, if he worked hard and did his best, then call it a day.

-Trish
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

Re: overwhelmed

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:53 pm

Hi Paula,
I just want to mention that after the first two weeks of ECC, I'd keep an eye on where your time is going each day. The problem I'm worried about is adding, adding, adding and never subtracting. ECC and the MFW recommendations make up a full, rounded curriculum. But I see you adding a lot of potentially big things (grammar, 2nd writing program, student read-aloud practice, a full day each week of Catholic history, more?), but no mention of subbing out other things. :~

If you still find yourself over-scheduled by the time you get to South America in the ECC schedule, then I'd take a hard look at your goals and decide just what you want to *subtract* in place of the things you are adding. Make a big X on the grid and write the replaced activity in marker, if you have to.

The other thing I do to hold *myself* back is to set school hours. At my house, 6 hours is the max I've decided that a child can possibly concentrate, and more than enough time for daily one-on-one tutoring during childhood. At your house, you may set different hours. But I think setting the hours forces us as teachers to be more accountable, as well as modeling to our children how we leave behind other (important! interesting!) tasks and focus on school during school hours. Then we clean up and end the day on time, too, which takes care of our need for rest, relaxation, and housework :)

And lastly, during our school hours, I have to resist the temptation to always squeeze out the fun stuff. I've seen time and again that kids actually learn by the fun stuff and get burnt out and forget what they're learning when the fun is gone, Don't skip the geography game in order to do more worksheets. Use the big black marker if you have to ;)

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: overwhelmed

Unread post by MelissaB » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:02 pm

Our family is doing ECC and K curriculums this year. I can often feel overwhelmed. As HS moms, we're not just teachers: we're the teacher, the school nurse, the principal, the lunchlady, the janitor - we do it all! as well as try to be loving wives and mothers and homemakers. I can't do it all perfectly every day. The most important thing (I have to remind myself!:) is whether our children feel loved and nurtured in the admonition of the Lord.

One resource that has been a great help to me (and to our home) is at Titus2.com. It's called, "Managers of Their Homes," and another book, "Managers of Their Schools," written by Steve & Teri Maxwell, who HSed 8 children. It has helped me as a HS mom to prioritize better, organize my home, and get things done. It's also helped me feel less "overwhelming" guilt about what we can't get done.:o)
God bless,
Melissa B.
Steve's wife
Mattie's (9) & Abigail's (6) mom
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

LSH in MS
Posts: 208
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2005 9:26 am

Re: overwhelmed

Unread post by LSH in MS » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:45 am

I understand. I am teaching 4 this year and am having to do intense phonics and spelling work with my dyslexic 9 yr old. My 5th grader needs intense help with language arts. I have a hard time getting around to everyone. My 8th and 7th graders are pretty much on their own except for Bible, read alouds, and writing.

I was very overwhelmed with everything until I decided what the priorities needed to be. For my oldest 2 after Bible of course, it was writing, science, math, grammar, and the 7th-8th grade supplement. We read Properties of Ecosystems together as a family after our Bible time, then finish with the read aloud. Then we split up and I work with the younger ones while they do independent work. The oldest 2 know a lot about geography , play online geography games, and are learning a lot with the supplement so I don't require them to do the other geography that I do with the younger ones. Then at some point after I finish working with the younger ones, I do writing with the older 2. They also do the country reports but can do that more independently. That's probably too much information but it did help me when I realized that I had to have priorities based on their weaknesses and what they needed the most work in.
Lori

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years

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