Okay, so where were we? It’s late morning, and I have two of my four students done with school. On to the junior high and high school students. This is where it gets tricky. You’ll only know what I mean if you have one. Sigh. If you’re new to this series, I’ve written about the first half of our schedule, choosing curriculum, getting started, homeschooling on a budget, and why we homeschool.
The 9th grader has the morning to do grammar, any reading for literature and history, science, and math. After lunch, she and I meet to review her work and make any adjustments, new assignments, etc. I wish I could say we breeze through each day, but that wouldn’t be very true. Our adjustments aren’t tweaks. They are more like major highway changes. If she has an assignment for a 300-word paper, it will be exactly 300 words, no more, no less, and half the sentences will be repeats of other sentences. She’s quite bright and capable, but hasn’t grasped the concept of effort. It’s the age. After four or five drafts, she finally has something passable. I imagine that she eventually will get tired of re-writing and begin doing a better job. It’s all a matter of who is the most stubborn. I would normally say I had the inside advantage on this, but teens have a way of wearing you down.
While my 6th grader and 9th grader have vastly different personalities, they both approach their studies with as little excitement as possible. Double sigh. On a normal day, lunch isn’t served until the 6th grader is done with her school. Sometimes, when she is dawdling more than normal, I tell her she may finish the offensive subject on her own in the afternoon. That thrills her to no end. My goal is to finish morning school by 12:30-ish. The 6th grader has the following subjects:
- History: Presidents and States. We are reading through a mini-biography of each president and answering a few questions to compile a study guide. For the states, we read a short history, trace the state, and complete a questionnaire. At the end of the year, she will memorize the presidents and the states and their capitals.
- Grammar: two pages of punctuation and sentence structure practice. In the second semester, we will begin writing practice.
- Math: two pages each day. Some days go well. Some days do not.
- Geography: This is a history/geographical region study. It’s mostly reading now, but I intend to add in some activities at the end of each region.
- Science: We are using Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day, and she loves it. She reads wildlife books and animal encyclopedias for fun, so this is right up her alley. We are doing a lapbook activity at the end of each chapter. For instance, she drew a picture of a bird and labeled the different parts. She’s really pretty good, as you can tell from the photo.
- Spelling. I’ve mentioned that I believe in teaching spelling, but this child tests my mettle. While she can read and memorize detailed facts about something she likes, such as animals, she can’t remember how to spell a 6-letter word that can be easily sounded out. I swear off spelling at least every two weeks. But I keep chipping away. If you have any tips on teaching/learning spelling, please share.
Once I’m finished with the 6th grader and reviewed the 9th grader’s work, I am usually free from school for a few hours, unless we are working on a project or someone needs extra help in a subject. I try not to let one subject sidetrack us too long during the regular morning school. Sometimes you do nothing more than spin your wheels, and a break and second run at it might get us over the hump. Around 4:00, I check back in with the high schooler to see where she is. When she has not finished by dinner, her dad puts the screws to her. I cannot imagine how she would accomplish three or four hours of homework after spending an entire day in a classroom.
This is how our schedule is supposed to flow. Oh, if only it would flow so well. You know what I mean. I know you do. Don’t deny it. Nevertheless, I press on.
And what does your school day look like? Tell us. No judging.