What else should we do?
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  1. #1
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    Default What else should we do?

    We just started homeschooling 3 weeks ago. I print out the weekly schedule for my daughter (8th grade) and hand it to her Sunday night. She gets up at 8am and begins doing the lessons on Monday. We let her work at her own pace, but it seems that by Tuesday afternoon she is almost complete or has completed the entire weekly schedule. Now, we know this was always the case in school where she'd finish and wait on the rest of the class. Should we add anything else to her schedule? Is there a way to do that? I just want to keep her up to date to begin public high school in the fall. She's basically retaking the entire 8th grade again, so I'm hoping since it's the beginning, she's just working so fast on things she's already done in school. Any suggestions or similiar situations? Just want to be sure we are doing everything correctly?

    She's taking Language, Language ext, MS Physical science, and honors algebra.

    Thanks in advance for the advice!

    Theresa

  2. #2
    Vanessa Jones is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Home schooled students usually get done with their work much faster than children in public school. A large part of this is due to the fact that they don't have to do time consuming tasks like switching classes, using their lockers, settling into learning, or waiting while the teacher explains the assignments to everyone. Also, like you mentioned, she gets to move at her own pace, and doesn't have to wait on other kids needing to go over something again and again until they get it.

    You could include social studies- world history, and/or geography but they usually cover everything again in high school anyway. I've found that the first few weeks are review of 7th grade concepts, and like you mentioned, she probably already got a lot of the information the first time she did 8th grade.

    I would suggest continuing to allow her to work at her own pace, but don't limit the number of assignments she gets to do in the week. If she gets done with her schooling faster, she can enjoy more of a summer break before high school starts in the fall. You can use your number of lessons as a minimum amount that she needs to do to get done on time (but you can even keep that number to yourself so she doesn't go slower on purpose).

    Your daughter playing the piano counts as "band". If she helps around the house with chores and cooking, that counts as "home ec". Middle school children usually get a certain number of electives that take up about half of their school day, with only half the day actually covering core subjects, and a certain amount of time scheduled for P.E. This is something to keep in mind when comparing how much she is getting done per day compared to public school.

    Since I do full time home schooling for my middle schooler, I also teach home ec (cooking), wood shop (tool safety and 2 major projects this year), and horticulture (gardening). We also do field trips to the local rock museum for geology, nature hikes with plant identification for botany, using the fun tools on NASA's website for astronomy and physics, Wii Fit and Biggest Loser Challenge for P.E. during bad weather, etc. It is fun to include things that they enjoy as part of their learning experience.

    Have fun!

  3. #3
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
    MamaToHerRoo is offline Senior Member
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    Theresa, great question~!
    Vanessa, great answers!
    I have and 8th grade daughter and I have let her begin high school courses. She also takes guitar lessons, horse riding (as well as spending time each lesson learning about equine management as prep to getting own horse. Nothing like mucking stall to remind her that horse ownership is not all fun and games!) and participates in a concert choir. She is also taking foreign language. All of this takes less time than public school would occupy

    If your daughter is moving along so well have you considered keeping her home for high school?
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

  4. #4
    Mandy in TN is offline Senior Member
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    What is she doing for social studies? She should at least be doing 4 subjects: math, LA/ LAx, science, social studies. Social studies can be history, but it can also be geography- physical, political, and/or cultural, economics, govt, psychology, sociology, etc. You could also add in arts (fine arts, art history, music performance, music appreciation, music history) and don't forget PE.

    With her subjects that she is moving through quickly, is she keeping notebooks? If you are satisfied with her current output in those subjects, then you have a few options. Keep doing what you're doing and don't worry about it, go faster, or go deeper.

    To go faster, just continue using T4L and assign an amount of time for her to work each day rather than a number of lessons to complete. She will finish faster and just move on to high school when she is done. Just keep plugging away until you are ready for a break. Then, take a break and pick back up whenever the break is finished.

    Alternatively, go deeper. Each week look at what she is studying and do more. For science, she could go to CK-12 Foundation | Physical Science and find the topic she is studying on T4L. Once she clicks on the topics there will be all sorts of free things available. Right now my son is doing some earth science and just watching some of the videos linked from the ck12 site to further explore the topics. Udacity.com has some interesting science things available. She could do more research and write a one page paper each week on whatever she is studying in social studies. For math she could join alcumus Alcumus and work on some challenging problems once a week or so. For LA, it would be easy to require her to read more books and write reports on them.

    Rather than going deeper in the subject she is already taking, she could pick a subject that interests her and study it in depth. She could choose to document her research in a written report if it something like a period of history, or a project (like making a quilt), or photographs (like working with Habitat for Humanity).

    HTH-
    Mandy
    Last edited by Mandy in TN; 02-02-2014 at 11:50 PM.
    ds Doodlebug 11yo
    currently homeschooling with an eclectic mess of stuff

    homeschool graduates:
    ds Cashew 20yo
    ds Peanut 22yo

  5. #5
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    That's the great thing about homeschooling! My son knows what he has to do for the week. If it takes him all week, then it takes him all week. If he chooses to get it done in 3 days, then he is free the rest of the week (which is what he has always done). I don't want to overwhelm him with more than he has to do because he will get burned out on his work. I would say leave it up to her. If she wants to do more, let her. If she wants her free time, let her do that too as a reward for getting her work done. My son usually does 5 hours per day, 3 days per week and he's finished for the week. He loves it and it keeps him motivated.

  6. #6
    MamaToHerRoo's Avatar
    MamaToHerRoo is offline Senior Member
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    JLBounds,
    Thanks for weighing in! Would you share how you determine what a weeks worth of work is?
    Linda
    Homeschooling one for 8 years and counting!

  7. #7
    monnalu is offline Member
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    One suggestion totally lost in this discussion for children who are far ahead of their public school counterparts, is the addition of Latin. No matter that it is not offered in public schools any more, it is the basis of 60% or more of our language. There are several wonderful online courses. My 3rd grade granddaughter is halfway through the first "book" through Lively Latin. She balked at first, but she has learned so much and she looks for words that she can recognize because she know the Latin. Check it out!

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