AHL - User tips for hurdles later in the year

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cbollin

AHL - User tips for hurdles later in the year

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Oct 02, 2009 9:02 am

Teresa in TX wrote:I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. First, I'm just NOT getting to the weekly meetings...they aren't happening for some reason. I have other dc, and I'm catching myself missing those opportunities. We've had them, but not weekly, that's for sure.

Second, there are times I'm feeling unequipped to evaluate and guide the writing projects like I would like, to help her with college preparedness. Has anyone used any online writing evaluations? One was recommended to me where they charge per paper. I don't want a class of any kind, so I think that is the best bet. We like the instruction and assignments in AHL. I think I could just use some confirmation in this area from an outside source. Are there any others that are good that I'm unaware of?

Third, my dd is keeping up with the work but she is struggling at times. I'm just wondering how much you-all are involved and how you make sure to keep up with what they are doing? I know that sounds crazy, but really, this whole thing of handing them the manual and not being that involved except for grading tests and writing assignments, looking over work, etc., is throwing me. I find myself forgetting. I hate to admit that. I just get bogged down with the 6th grader, the K child, the 3yo, pregnant weariness, and outside activities.

We've had some good weeks and some not-so-good weeks. Everyone got sick late last week and early this week, so I called off school and let dd catch up. I think that may help. I just feel like I need a better game plan to start back next week. My energy level is just not great right now. Does anyone have some sort of checklist they have created for themselves for the high school program? I'm thinking of making a daily, weekly, etc. chart to help me keep on track. If someone has already done that, I'd love to see it!!

I could really use prayers that I could think this through and come up with a workable plan. Sorry so long.
Teresa,
(((hugs))) and a few prayers. Pause typing a minute.

Back to typing…
In terms of high school and writing, I’ll walk a tight rope here. You asked about a specific, expensive writing service. You and I are part of another forum. On that forum, that specific service gets lukewarm reviews. (mostly it costs a lot and people don't necessarily think they get their money's worth.) I vaguely know one person who works for that company. Tight rope.

In case no one from MFW chimes in on this thread with how MFW does the writing progression over 4 years, and what they think parents can do each year to work toward that goal, I'd like to encourage you to call the MFW office and ask to speak to one of their high school curriculum consultants. I'm not in high school program to have any idea what is in the manual for parents and students to do to improve their writing in this year.
*****

General encouragement on this writing process because I think the nesting instinct is taking over for you right now. (((hugs)))

Is there anyway at all that your husband is able to take the reigns on high school right now and spend 15 minutes a night with your high schooler? Or to take 1 hour on Saturday morning to do the conference? See what he will offer to help you. My dh does more this year with our homeschool than in any years. Working Dads can help too. We can’t do it all without them. My dh is gone 11.5 hours per day from the house and he likes being able to give about 10 minutes to do read alouds, and then 30 minutes to help our 8th grader with writing.

Are there helps and hints in the manual for parent and/or child to learn how to improve writing over the year? I know I was college prep track when I was in high school and we didn’t learn it all in one year or one assignment. My teachers in college prep English classes didn’t spend tons of time with each paper. Yet, we somehow managed to get into college and then learn that it was graduate students who taught Freshman English. a 9th grader isn't going to write like a college kid in most cases.

Then, I was introduced to English 102, Composition for Business majors. Giggle giggle giggle. We learned to write 2 page executive memos all semester long. I remember the instructor was a graduate student in the English department and he brought his dog to class.

-crystal

tiffany
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:56 am

Re: Some questions about high school/prayers

Unread post by tiffany » Fri Oct 02, 2009 12:35 pm

I haven't read everyone's suggestions, so forgive me if I repeat.

First of all, I totally get how physical circumstances with illnesses and pregnancy mess with routine. I've been there for sure. We have had some setbacks already this fall for various reasons.

My AHL student and I have done more frequent shorter meetings during the week instead of the weekly meeting. I tend to check in with her when I'm grading her math or helping her with composition. I'm going over the lessons with her in the composition guide, including the grammar lessons. So that gives me a natural opportunity to check up on other work, instead of trying to find another time to do it. I need to look over in detail the evaluation section in the Lit. guide. I think it provides a lot of ideas for evaluating her work. I can't say I have extreme confidence with evaluating writing, but so far things are going okay. I don't think I'm over my head yet. Maybe if you guys do those lessons together that will help both of you.

My husband is going over the OTC questions once a week on Sunday with my daughter. Because of sickness, we've only been able to this two times. But, we plan to get back on the horse this weekend. :-)

Try to relax and enjoy the day that God has given you. Sometimes homeschooling seems like such an endurance course that I find myself obsessing over goals and objectives and trying to find new ways to be even more efficient. Remember, "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." Hope you know I don't meen that in a preachy way. :-) Just trying to encourage you, so you don't feel so overwhelmed. :)

Anyway, just wanted to sympathize and see if I could give you any ideas. Praying for you now.
Tiffany
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Some questions about high school/prayers

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:33 pm

Teresa,
<hugs> from me, too, and I'll add you to my prayers. And you may need to pray for me next year :) Here are my thoughts, for whatever they're worth -

1. Weekly meetings would be a priority for me, but I don't have all the kids you do. Some families will have strengths in one area and weaknesses in another, and the next family will have the opposite. Your dd is definitely getting some extra health/home ec in there by watching you handle children of different ages as well as pregnancy. Your dd probably has many learning opportunities that other kids have to have paid teachers and curriculum to provide. It all balances out.

2. I know there are many other writing evaluators out there, including Mr. Stobaugh who charges like $25 to evaluate an essay (not sure if it has to be an SAT essay). However, I'm agreeing with the others that you should look carefully through the MFW materials first. I think they will hold your hand more than you are remembering? As a last resort, I've seen some moms post essays on various boards and ask for input from other homeschool families...

3. I don't plan to just suddenly transition to complete independence in 9th grade. I know I've been transitioning my son through 7th & 8th, but in my day, 9th was still junior hi. It still is junior hi in some schools around here, depending on building space.

4. I don't know if this is possible, but I might consider a few ways that your 6th grader can do things with your 9th so that you can shrink your responsibilities a little more. I know my older dd used to "teach" my younger son some of his English, and she'd even do things with him for some of her electives, such as God & the History of Art or Spanish. Logic would be another idea. This wouldn't be a quick fix, but maybe if you mull over it in the back of your mind, you'll slowly realize a few ways to combine the kids, and what to substitute for what? AHL & CTG do have some topic overlap. Just an idea.

Remember, you're making a big transition in your teaching at the same time your family will be adding another member. Take care of yourself, as you are more important to your children than the curriculum.
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

Teresa in TX
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:20 pm

Re: Some questions about high school/prayers

Unread post by Teresa in TX » Fri Oct 02, 2009 1:51 pm

I appreciate the advice. I am going to get dh more involved, particularly in Bible. I think that would help. The weekly meetings are important to me, and one thing I really looked forward to when planning for this, so that is why it is bugging me to not be on top of that. Tiffany, I think I like the idea of breaking that meeting down and just having discussions at different points.

Crystal & Julie, thanks for the advice on the writing. I realize that the instruction in mfw is thorough. I also had to remember that after reading through all the instructions for evaluating the writing assignments and grading that very first paper, I felt very good about my evaluation of it and that it was a good starting point for her. Crystal, I'm glad to know that about Writeathome. I don't want to waste $$, so I doubt that will be something I do.

I do feel better today. I have taken charge of the thing again and feel we can start off better next week. Thanks for the help & prayers.
Teresa, Mom of 5: 15yo dd, 12yo ds, 7yo ds, 5yo ds, and 1yo ds

4th year with MFW
Using:
MFW 1st w/ 7yo ds
MFW RtR w/ 7th grade ds
MFW World History with 10th grade dd
So far we have used: ECC, 1850-Present, CTG, RtR, High School Ancients and MFW K

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Drudgery for a girl who loves novels

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:40 pm

winni wrote:My 14yo. She likes a few things, like The New Answers Book and Rosetta Stone. Everything else is just drudgery to her, and this is a girl who loves to read great novels. Should I have gone with Sonlight?
For your high schooler, to me the biggest requirement in AHL is reading through the entire Old Testament, and I probably wouldn't budge on that even if I were to use Sonlight (which I did one year in the ancient past). Then there's the Notgrass textbook to read, which seems fairly painless as far as textbooks go -- even SL is going to require some sort of spine, and it will probably be a lot more textbook reading than Notgrass.

I'm not surprised that a girl who loves good novels isn't finding her heart content in the literature of the ancients. If you truly feel she can discern historical information well from literature, then I might allow the maximum flexibility in the literature area of AHL. There is already some time scheduled for free-choice reading, plus the teacher manual says you could sub-out the Iliad, and I suppose she could sub-out Cat of Bubastes, although some avid readers just love Henty. I'm not sure what week you're on, but I think you could be flexible with a bit of the literature and still give her full credit. You might still want her to do the writing lessons, but some of them are looser and could be about subjects from her outside reading, if she is getting a lot from that. There are ideas in the manual for extra reading that correlates with the history topics, and really she can read things she's interested in even if it isn't about the ancients. My ds is in a book club and he does his reading there -- it almost never matches the history we are studying.


Not sure if anything is helpful, but I'm all about flexibility and making something work for me.
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

Re: Drudgery for a girl who loves novels

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:52 pm

Pretty much what Julie said is what I planned on typing....

Which week are you in AHL? I know my oldest thought the beginning of Cat of Babu. was slow going. Then, she said "by chapter 10 or so, it gets cool." And I had to listen to it a bit with audio books to sorta get into it.

but speaking of audio books, check this thread
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... ilit=audio

-crystal

Winni wrote:You are all so sweet to respond to all of this!
Lol...don't kill me, but I feel much better now. I think I just needed to vent! This happens about once a year.
This is my 10th year homeschooling, so I'm actually a bit embarrassed that I even felt that way...ha!
Thanks for the ideas and encouragement!

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Question about first year of high school

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon May 16, 2011 9:27 pm

4grapes wrote:My ninth grade dd is having a hard time getting to the end of the year. She is doing AHL. She had a lot of trouble at the first being independent--not that she couldn't, she just didn't want to. I worked a lot with her and then had to have her do it on her own as I have 3 others to school. I was meeting with her some but not every week. She didn't want to do the writing so she just didn't do it. And sometimes she would check off things that she had not done.

Long story short, I made her go back to the very beginning of the year and start over showing me what she was doing every day. Let me just say that it has been a struggle. She is a smart girl and could get it all done by lunch if she would just apply herself. sigh. Anyway, my question for you guys is do you finish the book completely in high school to count it a year? She is currently on week 23. I don't want to stop too early and we are already planning on her going throughout the summer. I would appreciate your thoughts.

Thanks,
SuLyn
Hi SuLyn,
My heart goes out to you. I had a challenging dd, too. Here are a few thoughts, which may or may not work for you. It's a lot to think through, especially when you have other children to worry about.

1. If she's in week 23, she's in the middle of the Iliad. The Iliad is considered "somewhat optional" in AHL, so you might set that one aside or just have her write the final Iliad paper about something she's learned so far (the final Iliad paper is in week 26).

2. The extra "reading box" is also somewhat optional, so I wouldn't assign that for now. If you want to get more done now and less in the summer, she could start the Eric Liddell book in that reading slot right now. It kinda relates to Greece (he was an Olympic athlete) and kinda to China which will be studied later (he was a missionary).

3. The history has some lighter weeks built in, such as week 24 coming up. If she's not weighed down by reading the Iliad, you might have her do an extra lesson or two on those lighter history days. You could pencil in a check-mark box for that.

4. I would personally have her work on an essay every day for at least the rest of the regular school year. She could either be writing a draft or editing or adding some research or whatever, but I might pencil in an "essay" check-box in one of the empty rows at the bottom of the grid and have her check that off every day as she does that. I'm sorry to say that I think the essay work will probably require mom time every day, at least until she gets going on her own more than she has been. But hopefully you can find a time slot where this is do-able for you. I'd be more inclined not to drop this and to drop other things instead, if I must. Not only is writing an essential high school skill, but writing is what your dd was refusing to do on her own, so this challenge must be faced, IMHO.

5. I personally wouldn't worry about *which* essay she is working on every day, as long as she is seriously working on one of the essay projects. This year I occasionally combined two essays if my ds got going on something, or if I wanted to continue editing with him. If your dd didn't do any of them until recently, I might choose one that is about something she's learning right now. Or go back and see which essays seem like really good lessons for your particular dd (either in terms of writing skills or in terms of spiritual lessons).

6. You could conceivably pass over all of the "light Fridays" and just keep her chugging through. It would mean doubling up on some Bible studies, but maybe those could be done on Saturday for now? I'd hate for her to have no break this summer at all. Well, both of you will need a break!

7. I'd try to drop any electives for this year. Six credits per year is average in my area, and AHL plus science, math, and foreign language add up to 6.

8. As for what is "required," that is up to you in your homeschool. But MFW high school is a body of work that has been tested with many students and established to be a reasonable expectation. However, on the other hand, MFW standards are far above my local public school, which takes great pains to get kids through the Odyssey in 9th grade and would never think of adding Bulfinch, Gilgamesh, and the Iliad (maybe one other book similar to Eric Liddell or the other general reading suggestions). I'd try to spend a day this weekend thinking through what your personal minimum is in your homeschool. After having a (smart) dd myself who passively would not work, I know that my minimum dropped considerably -- however, it didn't go down to zero and I did not agree to graduate her without some sort of minimum.


I hope something in there helps give you an idea that will work. Best wishes,
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

cbollin

Re: Question about first year of high school

Unread post by cbollin » Tue May 17, 2011 2:19 pm

SuLyn,

Another hug here. Please understand, all of this comes from how it is going right now in my house! right there with ya!
[...]
4grapes wrote:Crystal, you are absolutely right, and I appreciate your honesty, that I am the main reason she got away with it as long as she did. I actually caught on about week 15. I think that after the first few weeks, I just ended up checking to see if she had completed (or checked off) her work and forgot about the teaching and discussing part of the parent conference. That's when the snowball avalanched. I know I tend to retreat from the kids when I am feeling stressed or feeling overwhelmed and oldest tends to mirror my emotions, so when I am lazy, impatient, etc. she is too.

Hopefully, now that the other 3 kids are almost finished with their school, I should be able to spend more time with her and hopefully enjoy doing it. I just hate that the only way she is motivated to try something that doesn't come easy, like writing and science, is if my thumb is on her, KWIM? And even then, most of the time she'll throw up her hands and give up before she tries. But, I know the Lord is shaping both of our characters through this so maybe if I get my act together and try to encourage without being frustrated, she will be more motivated as well. Also, what you said about daily encouragement is true. She has always done better with positive reinforcement rather than negative so maybe consciously and purposefully finding what she is doing well, will help motivate her as well.
amen to that. right there with you.

-crystal

DS4home
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Re: Question about first year of high school

Unread post by DS4home » Tue May 17, 2011 5:23 pm

I have been following your conversation with interest, as I am in somewhat of the same boat. My first dd went through high school with ease, my second dd not so much :~ I called the MFW office a couple of weeks ago for advice on how to move forward. One thing David told me was to just give her a half credit for one semester of ancient history and then focus on world history.

Colleges only really need to see World and American History. In our eyes it may look like a failure to finish, but on a transcript it looks like an extra semester of history!

So if you drop history you will have a bit more time to focus on the All Important English Credit. Yes, our students need 4 credits of English, one a year. As for Bible, we are choosing to complete that as it is a part of our family's priorities, but you can decide what you want to do for that. I would think that either a full credit or a half credit of Bible would look fine on a transcript.

Maybe some of this will help as you try to map out the rest of this year's schooling. I just wanted to let you know about the option to end the history portion of AHL at this point. :)

Dawn
Celebrating our 29th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(10th).

2019: WHL for the 3rd time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Question about first year of high school

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue May 17, 2011 8:32 pm

4grapes wrote:Julie, I appreicate all of those options. I will go back through your suggestions and really think on what to do and count. I want her to have at least a small break but as I told her, she took her vacation time in small increments every time she didn't complete an assignment!

Well, I am going to pray that the Lord will kick me in gear as well as my dd. LOL. Thank you so much for your help. Iron sharpens iron and I appreciate you ladies helping me figure this out.
SuLyn,
You know, I just want to assure you that this is not just your child:
4grapes wrote: I just hate that the only way she is motivated to try something that doesn't come easy, like writing and science, is if my thumb is on her, KWIM? And even then, most of the time she'll throw up her hands and give up before she tries.
I think if you talk to most parents of teens, you will find this to be a challenge. And you know what? I think there's a certain intelligence in there. I mean, who wouldn't try to find an easier way to accomplish a goal :~ My oldest (public schooled) was one of those great students, as were most of his friends, but to be honest, over the years I glimpsed lots of effort toward doing things the easy way and asking for extra credit to make up for skimping. But now in their mid 20s, they are pretty successful young men who work hard. And some of the reason they got there may be because of parents who were their little Jiminy Cricket, providing a little nagging conscience in their ear during the years when the kids were still building up their own from within :)

Best wishes on your new plan!
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

sandi
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:35 pm

9th Gr. MFW....Falling Behind?

Unread post by sandi » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:37 pm

marprkr wrote:Our 9th grader has used MFW for several years and has done very well. However the magnitude of work from 8th grade to 9th grade this year is a huge adjustment. She is meticulous & somewhat of a perfectionist. But it is taking her much longer each day to "check off" the daily plan items than was indicated should take in the manual. She is now stressed and worried because she is falling behind on numerous items and feels overwhelmed. We have made adjustments such as using audio sources, setting a firm "stopping time" each afternoon, etc.
It seems abnormal to us that she starts before 9am, works hard, has very few breaks, and is still often not done by supper time. She's never had this trouble previously. How concerned should we be, as parents, that not all elements are being completed along the weekly lesson plan schedule? At this point it seems she won't come near completing all 30+ weeks of content as laid out in the curriculum before next Summer.
Input, advice.... encouragement would be appreciated.
Hi
We are also using AHL this year. Yes, it does take quite a bit longer for us too. The only suggestion I would add is maybe you could read some of her books with her? I know when she got bogged down in certain books we just read them together and this seemed to help her go a little faster. Sorry, not many other suggestions other than that. Just hang in there, that is what I am trying to do right now. ;) It does take us all day too.

Maybe look at the part of the program that is taking her the longest and see maybe why that part is taking her so long.

Hope you find some good advice. I am sure Crystal, and Julie will chime in and add some ideas. Take care and good luck.
His Child,
Sandi

DS4home
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Re: 9th Gr. MFW....Falling Behind?

Unread post by DS4home » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:55 pm

Been there...(hugs)...

My second dd had a hard time keeping up. We tried a few things throughout the year but nothing really stuck. By the end of the year we had some decisions to make. We ended up just giving her a semester's credit for ancient history. She worked on some other writing/lit to complete a year's credit in English over the spring/summer. And she spent the summer finishing reading through the Old Test. and going on a mission trip to complete the year's credit for Bible. We just had to come to terms with what was accomplished and what we were going to require.

The next year she tried harder to stay on track, still had some make up work over the summer but not near as much.
Every year she is growing and able to step it up a bit, so I do see progress.

I suggest to keep plugging along for now and tweaking as you already are. Encourage her as much as you can, stress can/will be a detriment. Don't ask how I know!! Maybe you will need to reevaluate how you want to give a credit; maybe counting hours toward a subject instead of number of pages read, etc. There is more than one way to reach the end goal here. Talk to your husband, pray, pray again, and then pray! God will give you ideas and answers for what you are working through. He knows your child even better than you and He knows what she needs for her future.

Dawn
Celebrating our 29th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(10th).

2019: WHL for the 3rd time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

cbollin

Re: 9th Gr. MFW....Falling Behind?

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:07 pm

Welcome to the board.

kinda blushing here that sandi thinks I might have any ideas.... eek... I'm not sure I have any solutions... but willing to brain storm out loud... also, you should call MFW office and talk with some of their more veteran consultants who have had children actually in AHL. sometimes that one on one, on phone in real time can pinpoint a solution....

on the meticulous and perfectionist....
Is it possible that she is thinking that all of the questions in a reading need full paragraphs instead of just a few words in an answer?
in something like Old Test. Challenge....... how long is that taking to answer or think? could you reschedule the day so that is done together? listen on biblegateway together and then discuss the reading or questions?

without knowing how she is working on assignments each day, and where she is spending too much time.... it's a little hard to take a stab in the dark to toss ideas.... or advice or encouragement.

would it be possible for you to let the other children have a week off from new material and just review stuff, so that you could spend a full week with your 9th grader helping her in the transition to working more alone? that way you could see where she is getting bogged down in each subject. ....

and of course.... normal for us over here to ask "what are you using for math, science"..... what electives are you doing? and what week are you in?

also... the "history essays" from notgrass do not have to be all that long... 2 page double spaced or less on some of them. They don't have to be full 5 paragraph argumentative essays.


I'm sorry it's only more questions and no solutions yet.....

I know next year if my middle gal uses AHL, she'll struggle. I don't know what I'll do yet....

-crystal

sandi
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:35 pm

Re: 9th Gr. MFW....Falling Behind?

Unread post by sandi » Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:33 pm

I second the biblegateway suggestion. It does really save time, and sometimes I get things that I missed while reading it myself.
His Child,
Sandi

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: 9th Gr. MFW....Falling Behind?

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:45 pm

sandi wrote:Maybe look at the part of the program that is taking her the longest and see maybe why that part is taking her so long.
cbollin wrote:without knowing how she is working on assignments each day, and where she is spending too much time.... it's a little hard to take a stab in the dark to toss ideas.... or advice or encouragement.

would it be possible for you to let the other children have a week off from new material and just review stuff, so that you could spend a full week with your 9th grader helping her in the transition to working more alone? that way you could see where she is getting bogged down in each subject. ....

and of course.... normal for us over here to ask "what are you using for math, science"..... what electives are you doing? and what week are you in?
I really like the idea of pinpointing where the time is being eaten up. I think this can be so helpful and take away the overwhelmed feeling for both of 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

Bret Welshymer

Re: 9th Gr. MFW....Falling Behind?

Unread post by Bret Welshymer » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:50 am

I think part of what is going on has to do with the step up in the amount of work and the type of thinking required to complete work at the high school level. Some students are caught off guard by the reality that each subject (credit) completed in high school will take an hour each day if the student reads at an average speed. With a full load of 6-7 subjects, school will take 6-7 hours each day. A slower reader may take more time. The type of thinking required in high school is more analytical than before. Most kids are ready for this by the time they are 14. However the transition may take some time. Reading a book like New Answers will require slower more thoughtful reading than most books read in 7th and 8th grade.

The preparation we recommend for composition, grammar, and analytical thinking during 7th and 8th grade make the transition to high school easier. Using Writing Strands (at least levels 3 & 4), All-in-One English Masters Series, Applications of Grammar, and Progeny Press literature study guides will lay a good foundation for the composition assigned in high school. Entering high school without this type of background in composition, grammar, and analytical thinking will make high school work harder to complete.

Another important skill for high schoolers to learn is time management. Sometimes we will need to help our high schoolers learn that good enough is good enough. If a student is consistently spending more than 60-75 minutes daily on each subject assigned in the lesson plans, they many need to accept that work completed in that time frame is good enough. This, of course, needs to be balanced against the student who thinks they are done with an assignment in 20 minutes but has not meet the requirements of the assignment. An example is the argumentative essays in Ancient History and Literature. This style of paper will be written 5 times during the year. As long as each paper is getting better, the student is successful. The first argumentative essay written may not be very good after investing the allotted time. That’s OK. The student will have opportunities to improve throughout the year.

It may take some students 6-8 weeks to get into a good routine their first year of high school. That’s OK. I remember my first semester in college. I though the amount of required reading could never be done. I got used to it and even graduated in four years. As parents we can encourage our children that this transition to high school level work will be great preparation for what awaits them in college and/or real life work experience.

marprkr
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:34 am

Re: 9th Gr. MFW....Falling Behind?

Unread post by marprkr » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:45 pm

Thanks, for your replies and encouragement. Also appreciate the time spent on the phone recently with Bret....we are working towards those goals and making some progress.

Have been able to confirm her reading pace is not at a level considered below normal ranges, so she's okay there. She works hard with minimal to no "slacking". Part of the solution, I think, will be helping her learn quicker pace at researching back through her notes and material already read when answering assignment questions, etc. Seems to be cumbersome in that regard and I believe that is where much of her time may be getting eaten. Also looks like she is "perfectionist" in some ways with her handwriting....again needs to be faster and less concern with neatness. I wish we had put more emphasis on cursive work in the earlier grades. Have any others noticed that kids today don't seem to write cursive like we did in our era? Will work on that.

Using Math-U-See Geometry this year, Rosetta Spanish 1, and Apologia Biology textbook (with weekly lab outside the home). (That last one is rather meticulous material)

Thanks again.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2927
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Behind in AHL

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:59 pm

Amy C. wrote:My 9th grader, going into 10th grade, is behind. He completed through week 30 before going on a 2 week backpacking trip at the end of June. He returns this weekend. So he lacks 6 weeks in all subjects. The last few weeks of work, it would take him all day to do Bible, Lit, and one other subject. He is an intelligent boy who works hard in many ways and on many days but he is a boy and he is a perfectionist, a procrastinator, and his mind wanders. Especially the last few weeks, perhaps because he is tired and was so excited about his trip. He has had to prepare and train for it. Other than life happening here and there which didn't cause very many interruptions from school, we did not schedule any breaks from Christmas until now. We also dropped the extra credit logic study several months ago.

When talking with him, he says the Bible reading is what is bogging him down, which I hate to hear because that is the main thing I was so excited about him doing/learning this year. I did notice the last week he worked, it took him an incredibly loooong time to complete Bible and Lit (the Odyssey). He would usually only get to those two and one other subject, either math or science.

I have tried for the past few months to pinpoint the problem, even wondering if the material was just too much for him. He admits that his mind wanders during reading, especially reading he sees as not helpful to him in the here and now (even though he has found some to be interesting and has even connected the dots with certain OT verses with other Bible verses he has learned). I have talked to him about the importance of the Bible and the OT in particular and am hopeful it will all make sense to him at some point. Some of it has been hard for him to understand, and he says 6 chapters of OT laws (Leviticus) and prophecy (Ezekiel) is too much at one reading. I have suggested that he listens to the passages on his ipod/iphone which he tried but said that his mind wanders. I have suggested that he read along with the audio. He tried that but says the audio goes too fast for him to stay caught up. I felt this child was a strong reader, but now I don't know. I have read to him but after a few times, he told me he didn't want me to. I don't know if he feels too old to be read to or if it is the not keeping up while I am reading and his mind wandering. ??? I am constantly walking by saying, "Are you reading or are you daydreaming? Get your head in the game" when I think he is not in it. One day he had his eyes closed, and he said, "I am praying, Mother!". He was about in tears that particular day. I have been about in tears. I have 3 other children, all different ages/grades/needs, and I am tired!

As a side note, he is not a rebellious child. He is usually very obedient and agreeable. We are not having an issue with him having a rebellious nature. Just wanted to clarify that.

Also, as a side note, I am trying to be both mother and teacher to him. It has become clear to me several years ago that there is a line to walk in pushing academically and in keeping that relationship with my child strong, not destroying it. In particular, I felt I needed to back off a little that last week, because he was going to be gone far away for a long time (to me, anyway). I was conscious of the last thing we did or said to one another not be anything I would regret. I want to live my life in such a way that our relationship with each other be like that everyday. But I also want him to finish his work! :~

As another side note, we have not had our weekly meeting every week, but I have tried to keep up with him throughout the year the best I could with 3 other children with their own specific needs. I am sure I wasn't always on top of things but I have tried. Plus I dealt with my own health issues this past year. Please be gentle with me!

I told him that I wanted him to enjoy these 2 weeks and not think of anything else (this really is a trip of a lifetime for him and we feel God opened the door and worked out all the details to make it possible - plus he is very interested in this and I feel it helps him to learn/grow and that God can use this interest for His perfect plan in his life) but that when he returned we would have to sit down and come up with a plan. He agreed and I hope will be ready to work hard when he gets home. So we need a plan.

Does anyone have any suggestion? I have looked at the manual to see what we could tweak/leave off, but I hate to leave anything off at this point. If he had to choose, it would be Bible. Of course, I don't want to do that and would like to come up with a creative solution to finish it. He really likes the Daniel study and Apologia Biology. Math is obviously not an option. He only lacks 2 more weeks reading the Odyssey and then the writing assignment. I hate not to finish that. Writing was one thing I wanted him to grow in this year, and he has (a tremendous step up from first paper to the second). Also, since he is almost finished reading the Odyssey, I don't think the audio would be helpful at this point.

He has already read the Iliad which was said to be somewhat optional. He enjoys the history even though he doesn't see how it is relevant. It just seems such a shame to quit on anything this close to the end, but time is ticking away until the new year starts. I hate to leave anything off. Do we just finish and pick up with WHL immediately or will this be too much? And will this put him perpetually behind?

Sigh ... I just need some help thinking this through and coming up with a plan. Thanks if you made it to the end and if you can help me.
Amy C. wrote:I also wanted to say that I debated about posting because I don't want to be discouraging to others. My ds has learned tons this year and has grown in many ways and in many subjects/areas. We have just hit a bump in the road and need help getting back on track.
Hi Amy,
I don't want to monopolize all the high school conversations, so hopefully someone else will chime in, as well. But being that I've graduated my last student, I may have more free time than most :)

Well, the first thing is that it's your school, of course, and only you know what you require for graduation, whether your son deserves the credits as-is, etc. etc.

That said, here are some random thoughts.
1. I personally skipped the Odyssey. Like you, we read the whole Iliad. We liked it better than the fantastical Odyssey. My son missed some of the detailed questions and vocab in MFW's study of the Odyssey, but he got the general understanding of the Homeric epic poem, the mythology blended with history, etc. We watched the Hallmark movie of the Odyssey, plus I compared one scene to reading it in the book (to show there were significant liberties taken), and he still was able to write the essay.

He also did some of the final grammar lessons from the end of the year, and he read Eric Liddell in the summer (which I guess would be now, or next summer?).

2. I'm not getting why your son is reading Leviticus, which should be near the beginning of the year? The end of the year is the Daniel study, which didn't seem too taxing for my son?

3. If he's not working on Daniel, then is it possible for you to do his readings as family Bible time during the summer, or are you too busy? When we got to the prophets, we just listened to the chapters on audio as a family, and I would try to have a few simple questions or comments (from my Study Bible footnotes, or from the Journey book, or from Greenleaf Guide when we were reading law and history). Then my son would write me a couple of sentences each day as a summary, just to make sure it didn't all float out his other ear, so-to-speak. The OT questions were taking him too long because they have him look up other areas of the Bible and make inferences, which as a just-the-facts-ma'am boy were not occurring to him :~

4. Dawn shared on this thread that she cut back the history credit in AHL to 0.5. I know you didn't necessarily ask about history, but the thread might give you some ideas: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 098#p93108

It's very hard to guide high schoolers, whether homeschooled or not. It sounds like you are making some good decisions. It is not hard at all for me to understand where you're at. High school work doesn't "go away" like K-8 work does, and 9th is a huge transition. It helped for me to realize my local public school does not schedule 36 weeks of school (closer to 34), and it also helped to move ds's service hours to summer & Sundays.

And when things got discouraging, I set my minimums for graduation from my school, which were much smaller than my hopes and dreams. Just for reference, my minimum looked something like this: reading the whole Bible, learning algebra well, doing 4 years of English with lots of writing, and learning American history. His transcript wouldn't look too pretty with just those, though, so I always aimed far higher ;) But thinking through your minimums can help you hang on to what's most important at your house and choose what to let go of.

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

DS4home
Posts: 266
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Re: Behind in AHL

Unread post by DS4home » Mon Jul 07, 2014 7:33 pm

Amy,
I feel your pain. I've been there ... twice now!
My second high schooler labored with all the reading. She just reads at a slower pace and after spending hours on schoolwork I would let her call it a day even when the day wasn't all checked off. She got really behind by the end of the year. We did some creative juggling to finish earning enough credit for the Bible and English credits, and stopped history where she was and just gave her a half credit (1 semester) of Ancient History that year.

My third high schooler is currently finishing WHL. Yes it is July and as of today he has one week left to do! He has been good about doing it every day, even when the others in the house are done with school. His issue was more of trying to do too much (new job, sports) and not enough time to do it all. So if something was going to slip it was usually some of his reading from WHL. He got behind this spring and I saw it coming. I began to edit the Literature portion of his day. I took a book or two out of the line up for 2nd semester and stretched out the readings for the books I really wanted him to read. This gave him less pages of reading each day and helped ease the burden a bit. He still got behind though.

The AHL that my kids are using is a pilot version we used with my oldest. I don't really know what today's version looks like and what tweaks/changes they made after our pilot year. With that as a backdrop I'll try to brainstorm with you, and if something is different in your manual then ignore me :)

I would finish the Odyssey like you said and drop the last book Eric Liddell. Maybe you can have a fun movie night instead to get his story.
As the teacher, in your own time without student around, really look over those last writing lessons. Maybe some of them could be condensed. Maybe some of it he already has a good enough grasp on and could be skipped. It could be feasible that his English 9 credit could be completed in 3 weeks time instead of 6. Is that easier to swallow?

OK, Bible credit. I know having our kids read the whole Bible cover to cover is the goal, but...here's what I would consider if I were in your shoes. If he hasn't finished the book of Ezekiel, have him do that. Then I would skip 1 and 2 Chronicles. It is reviewing the history he has already covered. Move right into those last books covered in Weeks 34-36. That would knock out 3 weeks of Bible reading. Keep working through the Daniel study and reading the Psalms. When he finds his daily work is taking less time he could possibly do two days worth to get done faster. The Daniel study ends in week 35, so at the very least he would finish "most" of Bible in 3 weeks and Daniel in 5 weeks.

History is history. In my book, there will always be gaps, there will always be material that is skipped for lack of time. In college they can do a deep dive into some time period if they really want to know everything... but there will still be things left out in even that. He has covered a lot of ancient history this year! I would be OK with condensing this subject. Maybe he could do every other day's history to still get the flow of time, just skimming at a faster pace. Or you could choose a book, like the Notgrass text, and just finish the scheduled readings in that book and simply put the extra books away and be done with them. Either way he could have his Ancient History credit completed in 3 weeks at most.

I should wrap this up! I see Julie has replied since I began. I'll read what she posted, always good advice from her! ;)

Dawn
Celebrating our 29th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(10th).

2019: WHL for the 3rd time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

Amy C.
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:12 am

Re: Behind in AHL

Unread post by Amy C. » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:24 am

Oh my goodness! Thank you ladies so much! This was exactly what I needed, some been-there-done-that practical advice on how to do this! I have saved your posts and will get the AHL manual out and come up with a plan. This helps me to breathe a little easier and know that there is a doable plan here. Lots of good advice!
Julie in MN wrote:I'm not getting why your son is reading Leviticus, which should be near the beginning of the year? The end of the year is the Daniel study, which didn't seem too taxing for my son?
I did want to clarify that his complaint about Leviticus was when he was reading Leviticus back at the beginning of the school year. Lots of OT laws! Actually he began struggling with the OT with Job at the very beginning of the year. He had a hard time understanding Job. I tried to help him on several occasions try to grasp it, even though I think Job is a hard book for even some adults to grasp and understand, including me at times. And, yes, some of the questions in the OT Challenge has been, well, really challenging for him. I have worked through some of it with him to help him move along, but probably not near enough.

He did very recently say, in regards to some of his OT reading, "It seems to just be a lot of repeating things. Why can't it just say it one time instead of repeating it so much." So I guess he is a just-the-facts-ma'am kind of guy like your son, Julie. I did, however, remind him that the Bible was God's word, that He told men what to write, and that if He said something more than once that that means it is very important because God doesn't waste words. But I guess that explanation isn't necessarily what a 15 year old boy wants to hear when he is frustrated by all the reading! :)

I really do appreciate you ladies. You are always ready and willing to help others and have such good advice as "seasoned" homeschooling moms and MFW users. Thanks more than you know! Praying for showers of blessings for you and your families!

Amy C.
[End of the story here: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 694#p99694 ]

DS4home
Posts: 266
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2005 11:32 pm

Notgrass/AHL question

Unread post by DS4home » Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:35 pm

kayben wrote:
Fri Apr 01, 2016 4:59 pm
My daughter is finishing up the first Notgrass book this year. (She was late starting - We were using a mix of curriculum this year.) Would it make sense to start with WHL next year for 10th grade, or would you recommend still beginning with AHL even though she is just finishing Unit 9 which I understand is the last unit covered in AHL? I'm trying to figure out where to place her.

I think if I stop the Notgrass now and don't complete book 2 through the summer I could give her a half credit in Ancient History. Maybe have her finish reading the old testament through the end of this year and over the summer and then jump into World next year? I would love someone to steer me in the right direction. The expected requirements in Maryland (although not necessary under my umbrella School) is to have a credit in World History, US History, and Government.
I agree with the plan you have layed out. That's pretty much what we ended up doing with one of our dd. There was a lot going on her Freshman year and she didn't keep up with the school schedule.

We gave her a half credit of Ancient History that year. She did finish reading through the old testament during the summer. Sophomore year she jumped right into WHL and completed it for the full 3 credits (Bible, history and English). It worked out just fine. So I'll back you up on your plan. ;)

Dawn
Celebrating our 29th Anniversary <3
Amber(HS Grad, Married), Carmen(HS+Col Grad, Married), Nathan(HS Grad, College), & Bethany(10th).

2019: WHL for the 3rd time!
Completed the MFW cycle: Pre K-yr.5, AHL(pilot), WHL, US Hist.1

kayben
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:40 am

Re: Notgrass/AHL question

Unread post by kayben » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:51 am

Thank you so much! I have been thinking and rethinking how to make this work. I truly appreciate your help and knowing that it's been done successfully gives me peace. ☺
Rebecca loving my Dear DH 25 yrs
Kayla 19 and Married expecting grandbaby #1
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