|~ a copy of my teens schedule that will be in his daily Gmail Calendar, shorter classes, while setting aside our block scheduling~|
I began working further on my teens schedule for the new year ~ as I had mentioned in previous posts I was adding/assigning specifics in his gmail calendar so that each day he could go to a specific day and see his work assignments all laid out for him.
As I worked on this months lessons, I quickly started to get an uneasy feeling as I keyed in and entered his math assignments for the month and then moved onto Grammar and Writing.
Its kind of interesting when you take the new skills/concepts and sort of lay them out in a calendar you begin to have a more overall picture of things and that sort of got me thinking more about the real "learning" that will be taking place.
As many of my readers know I have not been one to plan things very specifically this was going to be our big first attempt to do so, in order to help my teen learn how and encourage him in managing his own time a bit more. I have found over this past year he has really been doing quite well with this~
So as I began writing out all our specifics I started to be concerned about certain areas/new skills and the fact of where we would be and if we would be at a point to keep moving onto new skills or to maybe "recheck" things before we move on. This sort of thing can certainly put a wrench in planning, but if it isn't considered, then it can stop the real learning from actually taking place and becomes more of a type of conveyor belt type of learning. Which is what I DO NOT want for my teen.
I then stepped back and decided to add in a few "check your understanding" days. Hmm, then I looked back again and wondered ~ what if the understanding was not there? This would throw the whole month of assignment planning off and if I kept with the schedule then the lack of understanding would not be there.
What is a HS parent like me to do? I have decided to maintain the Google Calendar for all his learning and studies, but with a slight change, it will be written at a higher level so that each day we will have all the subjects he needs to do listed and the time amount he will spend on each topic. If he gets done early then he can move onto the next study subject. (some days he does go longer if it is a science experiment, history dvd/program or something he is more involved in) but that is where we can remain flexible.
I thought of choosing to write down the "number of pages" rather than the "time period" to work on a certain subject, but I found (like with his reading) If I assigned something ( like the pages) he would whiz by (only thinking of the pages he needs to do) and not really take the time and care needed for the topic or assignment. ( with his reading I quickly saw when he was reading 2 chapters (that were assigned per day) in a much shorter amount of time so instead of increasing the chapters I chose to increase the time- depending on how hard and what level the reading was he was working up to his ability at his own pace )
When I assign a time, say 30 - 40 minutes for reading or for science, it will all depend on how far he goes, as to his own pace and ability, but this way he is not being boxed into a more compulsory style of learning.
One huge factor I found that has helped us with our studies is working our subjects in smaller, shorter chunks while still covering a large amount of information. Working shorter times can really help children who have moderate ADHD and struggle with other Learning Disabilities. By working shorter lessons your setting them up for success and building their self confidence in their learning abilities at the very same time.
We homeschool throughout the entire year now- so our schedule works out very well for us and allows us to follow directed learning also.