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gidamom
11-07-2011, 04:06 PM
What exactly is your role and what are your tasks in your daily hs lives??

We are using a Calvert curriculum for 5th and 8th grade for our first year. It has outlined the lessons and tasks per class per day. I am finding that the kids are working very independently and that mostly I am here to support when there is a question or doubt, or to nudge when tey are stalling.

However, I had the idea that I would be much more "involved" in their learning?? Was I just way off in what I should be doing during hs?? I thought I would be "teaching" or explaining more, but that is just not the case...

I'd love to hear what YOU do, to know if it is just the way hs is, or if it has to do with the curriculum we are using....

theWeedyRoad
11-07-2011, 04:12 PM
I pull from a ton of resources. And when I can't find what I want, I make my own. I have a few hrs of prep time every month.

Daily, I give a lesson. We talk about it, the kids do written work (if any). It is VERY teacher intensive. But it reflects my kids, and me, so it works. I know some folks are eager to have completely independent learners, but I think I'm just not one of them at this stage (sharing learning with my kids keeps me ticking).

So no, it doesn't sound like our days are like yours. I'm forever researching something. If dh asks me what I'm thinking about, it's almost always the best way to teach my kids the next thing. We have very few books that are actual curric, and even fewer still that we follow step-by-step.


Adding: of course, ultimately, what your hs looks like is up to you! I know our methods wouldn't work for lots of people, just like other methods wouldn't work for us. :)

gidamom
11-07-2011, 04:16 PM
Weedy - do you teach from a variety of subjects? ie. grammar, history, reading, science or do you work mostly on unit studies? Also, do you teach bot children together?

Stella M
11-07-2011, 04:34 PM
Hands-on for ds.

As a facilitator for dd14.

For dd12 ? Idk. Counsellor in chief ? :)

theWeedyRoad
11-07-2011, 04:37 PM
Weedy - do you teach from a variety of subjects? ie. grammar, history, reading, science or do you work mostly on unit studies? Also, do you teach bot children together?

I teach the subjects separately because that's what seems to work for us. So yes, we have all the ones you listed. I don't have rabbit-trail type kids, really, and there is a definitive separation between 'school' and 'not school' (although my dd will pursue her own sciencey interests). I get their written (or booklet-type) work all together the night before and put it on a clipboard. Knowing exactly what needs to be done for the day is a big help for my ds. He could pick and choose what to do next if he wanted, but usually he just does it in the order I have it set up. So for instance, he'll do the spelling list, then phonics is next and he'll pause so I can explain. Then he does the work, then math so pause for me to explain.. Each subject is sort of handled in that manner: I explain, we discuss, they do anything written for cementing and followup.

I don't teach both children together. I tried that originally and they fought like crazy. Both wanted my undivided attention and... ack! My blood pressure couldn't take it. I was spending all my time trying to keep order instead of teaching them anything. I do each separately now- and it takes about the same amount of time (but no yelling!). At first I hated it, honestly, but now we all look at it as time alone with mom and it's pretty valuable to us. I don't know how it would work for bigger families, but with only two kids, we really thrive this way.

It's pretty schooly, I won't lie. But we tried (and failed) more relaxed methods before this, so we are sticking with what works.

Teri
11-07-2011, 04:38 PM
Since the 5th grade level they have been pretty independent. I am traffic cop, facilitator, technology support. librarian.

itsafoot
11-07-2011, 04:45 PM
This is our first year hsing our 6th grader. I really thought I would be more involved with her daily work, but she actually does much better when she works independently. We created a weekly calendar of what subjects she does each day (this is very broad... so no specific lesson outline, for example her schedule will say History/WWI) and she just follows the schedule as to what she needs to accomplish each day. We do not use a specific curriculum, but have bits and pieces from different sources.

laundrycrisis
11-07-2011, 04:59 PM
I choose all the materials and online programs, plan what they will do each day, and get them through doing it. I teach when they need teaching. I keep the other sibling out of the hair of the one I'm working with, then switch. I record it all.

I am really fantasizing about trying Calvert next year for DS1. I have a fear that it will be too advanced for him, but I'm so tempted to try it to see how he does, and the idea of having everything planned for me and all the materials already put together sounds wonderful.

Gabriela
11-07-2011, 05:21 PM
Right now, Science and Mythology are the classes that I'm most involved in. I don't know if I would call it "teaching", it's more like reading together and talking about what we read.

For Language Arts, it's usually me giving a 5 min. explanation (because he has a block with written instructions) and then leave him to it.

With Math, he usually doesn't need the explanation, and it's more me checking work and then he corrects his mistakes, and I recheck, until he has them all right.

I'd say, all in all, of the 30 hours a week we put into academic work, I am sitting next to him for about (or less than) a third of it.

With Science, I'm more involved because I need to learn the stuff if I don't want to get left behind.

I probably spend, on average, two or three hours a week looking for resources, documenting what we do and preparing (printing) materials.

Marmalade
11-07-2011, 05:25 PM
I choose all the materials and online programs, plan what they will do each day, and get them through doing it. I teach when they need teaching. I keep the other sibling out of the hair of the one I'm working with, then switch. I record it all.



This sounds like the situation with my 10 year old daughter.

My oldest works very independently, I think this is more a reflection of her than of anything else. She gets help when she needs it but I haven't had to teach her anything this year.

For the boys we are pretty much the teachers, although I am hoping that the older they get the more they will work on their own.

dbmamaz
11-07-2011, 05:37 PM
My kids are not particularly independent learners, tho I suspect my younger will get there once his reading and writing is solid enough.

When we started 2 years ago, Orion needed me a LOT and Raven spent a lot of time on T4L (online).

Now . . lets see . . . Science, I just tell Orion what chapter to read and give him a deadline, he reads it and does the end-of-chapter problems. Raven is doing a coop where i teach 1/3 of the time, but he needs a lot of support most days as his writing is so bad

History I am putting togehter every week. We sit together and I read Joy Hakim's book and pull in maps and other resources. Orion sits pretty passively, as its pretty far below his level, but there is information there he doesnt know, so its worth it. Raven needs a LOT of help sitting still and paying attention, so I ask him a lot of questions and stuff. Orion has additional readings which, again, i just assign and he sends me summaries. We will finish that book soon so I am trying to find if we will use another book, a presidents unit study, assigned writing, not sure.

English, we have used MCT which is very teacher-intenstive, but we have finished a lot of it. We go through the vocab chapter together, then he enters the words in his hand held flashcard app and writes teh sentences, and practices the vocab daily (tho i need to remind him, sigh). Raven is using a workbook, but he is not working independently. I dont need to do MUCH, tho, so I often sit next to him browsing the web on my ipad.

Math - Orion is getting SO much more independent now! We read over the section together, and i make him do a couple of the example problems w me there, then I tell him how many problems to do, and leave to do math w Raven. Raven is doing some Khan Academy again, which he does independently, but I am sometimes doing it at the same time, as he is more likely to actually do it that way. We area also working through Primary Challenge Math out loud - again, he's not really writing yet.

thats it, i guess. Its a lot of work, but i hope to get Raven more independent soon.

Calvert, tho, is designed to be self-teaching, I think

Hampchick
11-07-2011, 05:39 PM
If I had to put a number on it I'd say at least 95% I am working with the boys. My kids are younger though. Well, I suppose DS8 could do more independently if he didn't get lost in his head so much ;) But, it's also because the programs that work for us are not meant to be independent work.

jar7709
11-07-2011, 06:07 PM
I sometimes consider myself the 'cruise director' for DS. I mostly help him transition from one thing to another and stay nearby to help him on track. He's pretty self-motivated for a 6.5-yo, as long as he is working on something he finds engaging. So I try to find things in all his subjects that engage him, so that once I get him started with something he will usually want to finish it. For LA and Math he does Time4Learning daily, and if I ask him to read a page or two of some science or history page and come back to tell me about it he usually does. I started our homeschooling journey with MBTP with him, which crashed and burned. He does not like to sit and be *taught to* if that makes sense. I realize we'll have to work on this, assuming he will want to go to college someday, but he's young still and I see progress.

DD, on the other hand, really needs me to be *rightthere* and I think that's both her age and her personality...she enjoys MBTP and math with Cuisenaire rods and things like that which are much more teacher-intensive.

All three of us usually have a half hour to an hour on the couch each afternoon, cuddled up while I read to them from some great book I've picked out. Since this is just an extension of what we've done each afternoon since they were babies, even though it isn't "independent" work by them, it doesn't feel like "instruction" to me, either. :) I realize they will eventually be older and not want to cuddle, but I'm hoping we can keep our afternoon reading tradition going for a while.

Cafdog
11-07-2011, 07:15 PM
We use a virtual academy (Laurel Springs School), so the curriculum is set out for us. While I like the structure, I sometimes feel a little bit like the "homework cop" I used to be and envy the unschoolers' style. I don't think it would work well for my kid and our situation, but I had a vision for my role as "guide" that is different from our homeschooling reality.

DragonFaerie
11-07-2011, 08:01 PM
Both my kids are very independent. They don't particularly like listening to me lecture.... er, teach. LOL.. So basically, my role is to plan the work for the week (I do this each weekend and write the week's assignments into each kid's planner), provide explanations and answer questions when needed, and keep them focused and on task. For the most part, the kids complete their assignment and then give it to me to check. If they've made any mistakes, I mark them and give it back for corrections. Sometimes they are just simple mistakes and sometimes they need explanations to understand what they did wrong.

Staysee34
11-07-2011, 08:20 PM
If I had to put a number on it I'd say at least 95% I am working with the boys. My kids are younger though. Well, I suppose DS8 could do more independently if he didn't get lost in his head so much ;) But, it's also because the programs that work for us are not meant to be independent work.

This is true for us as well. DD9 gets frustrated, overwhelmed easily and DD7 has perfectionist issues. Because they both have poor reading skills at this point, they rely on me way too much. I'm sure this will change as I'm already seeing improvement and a willingness to do as much as they can on their own. I've gotten quite a bit of push back but with them being fresh out of PS and having behavioral issues, I expected way more push back. So, our school days are extremely teacher intensive with the goal of being much less so by the end of the year.

MrsLOLcat
11-07-2011, 08:56 PM
I set out the lesson plans and guide where need be, but DS does most of the work independently... basically what DragonFaerie said. I very rarely have to be nearby unless we're doing something like grammar, which is scripted (and he does insist on following the script). He comes and asks questions if he's confused, and I do make him correct work that needs to be corrected, but I'm there more just to keep him on task.

skrink
11-07-2011, 09:06 PM
I wouldn't say I'm up in the 95% range, but close. EC knows what to do, and mostly (if she'll admit it) enjoys the work. She is just so hard to keep on track. Even with simple things like Daily Grams she can take up to a half hour for a five minute job. If I walk away her mind wanders. I need to be there, drawing her back again and again. So, I think of myself as part cruise director (to borrow from a previous poster) and part border collie. ;)

dottieanna29
11-07-2011, 09:39 PM
My guys are really young so I'm pretty much directing everything. My son can do a few things semi-independently since he loves worksheets and some of them are pretty easy for him now (ETC and some Scholastic Grammar and Reading Comprehension things). Other things I have to actually teach - like Math (MM) and Spelling (AAS). Others are review but just aren't set up for him to do alone (OPGTR). If he continues to like worksheets and things continue to come easily to him, I could see getting to the point where he does much of his work independently. DD is still too young to tell how things are going to go with her.

Avalon
11-08-2011, 12:12 AM
I'm not really using any formal curricula this year, so I am very, very hands-on. We do some reading every day from a variety of sources: whatever topics we've been talking about, or whatever I found at the library that seems relevant. My dd has a math book, so she needs a little help at the start of the lesson, and with keeping on track with the lesson. I recently decided that all the math books are waaay too boring for my 9yo, so I've started to just spend half an hour with him at the whiteboard showing him stuff (fractions, decimals, multiplication, whatever pops into my head). I'm trying to just cover some basic territory and then try out Life of Fred. We're doing science experiments once a week with friends, and I'm the one who chooses them, so again, I'm heavily involved.

I'm trying to get them both to write more frequently and regularly this year, but I haven't purchased a program, so every couple of days we discuss what to write about and then I encourage/cajole/coerce them to actually put pencil to paper.

If it were just my son, I bet he could be 80% independent within a year or so, but my dd has always needed constant interaction, lots of discussion and reading aloud, so that is how our homeschool evolved.

Mum
11-08-2011, 12:24 AM
We use Calvert but because of my son's LDs and the fact that he's only in third grade I have to teach and walk with him through the entire workload.

When I homeschooled my senior year of HS with a boxed, correspondence curriculum I don't think my parents ever even looked at my assignments.

I'll trade you a little of my constant involvement for a little of your independent learners and we can both be happier. :)

It could be that Calvert isn't the best fit for you all too. It is a nice choice for beginners, IMO but maybe next year you'll be ready to branch out into something that will make you feel more involved.

Busygoddess
11-08-2011, 01:25 AM
I think it's part the curriculum you're using and part the ages & personalities of your kids.

My daughter is working pretty independently this year. Even though most of her courses are pieced together with supplemental materials (or no materials at all, just a plan), there is very little for me to do, now that the planning is done. With dd, my job is basically to ask her what she's doing when she's wandering aimlessly through the house, remind her that she needs to do her schoolwork, check over her work when it's done, be there to help & answer questions when needed, and research to find more resources she could use. She used to need me to be much more involved. She started actually taking more responsibility last year, and this year is doing quite well being almost completely in charge of her own education.

My son, on the other hand, is only 7 & in 2nd grade. So, he still needs me to be much more involved in his education. He is totally independent in Spanish since Tell Me More is made for independent use & I wasn't planning on having him do it this year (he chose to do it this year). In every other subject, he does some work independently, but still needs me involved to some extent. How much involvement differs by subject.

Total, I would say I spend at least 4 hours a day directly involved in their education. I'm not sure how much time I spend indirectly involved (researching resources, planning, prep work, etc.).

lakshmi
11-08-2011, 02:28 AM
Yes, curriculum, kids ages, personalities...

We use MBTP and RightStart. Spelliing City and Rosetta Stone. And D'Nealian Handwriting, and Modern Curriculum Press Phonics. Both of the last were from Public School Step-son and I just kept using them. They worked well enough.

I love love love RightStart, but it took me a bit to get there. Now all I want to do is math. So we are. Nothing else. As soon as I clean off my desk we'll start doing some other stuff too. I just separated the girls math, and it took me 26minutes to work with her one on one. Totally just me and her. I do it all hands on when I do it. If I don't do it then they play. And today I played. I sat in a "house" and made conversation with my daughters and their children. One daughter cooked on Fridays but the rest of the time she was a pediatrician. LOL> cancer kid becomes pediatrician.

hockeymom
11-08-2011, 06:15 AM
Another cruise director/border collie here. Love those images! :)

laundrycrisis
11-08-2011, 07:28 AM
We use Calvert but because of my son's LDs and the fact that he's only in third grade I have to teach and walk with him through the entire workload.

When I homeschooled my senior year of HS with a boxed, correspondence curriculum I don't think my parents ever even looked at my assignments.

I'll trade you a little of my constant involvement for a little of your independent learners and we can both be happier. :)

It could be that Calvert isn't the best fit for you all too. It is a nice choice for beginners, IMO but maybe next year you'll be ready to branch out into something that will make you feel more involved.

Derail...apologies all around....

Mum, I have to ask, are you using Calvert or Verticy ? If you are using Calvert, do you have to adapt it for him, and is/would it be easy to adapt as needed ? I am also dealing with LDs, 4th grade next year, very interested in Calvert, but not convinced Verticy is what I want and am leaning more toward the actual Calvert and lightening up any parts he can't do...what do you think ? Thanks !

WindSong
11-08-2011, 07:44 AM
But, it's also because the programs that work for us are not meant to be independent work.

This is how we are too. My ds does quite a bit independently, but prefers to work with me. He learns best through discussion and hands on projects. So this is more intensive for me, but it is what works for us. My dd is still young to do much independently. If I'm not working with them, I am reading their literature selections, planning the next science lessons or researching books and curricula.

Mum
11-08-2011, 08:40 AM
Derail...apologies all around....

Mum, I have to ask, are you using Calvert or Verticy ? If you are using Calvert, do you have to adapt it for him, and is/would it be easy to adapt as needed ? I am also dealing with LDs, 4th grade next year, very interested in Calvert, but not convinced Verticy is what I want and am leaning more toward the actual Calvert and lightening up any parts he can't do...what do you think ? Thanks !

We use Calvert and I do adapt it to his needs and abilities. They give you A LOT of subjects and some days there's just too much writing for my kid. We used the Verticy Academy last year because it was our first year. I decided this year that we could save the extra money and just use the curriculum. The only difference between Calvert and Verticy is that you send in the tests, etc. for someone at Calvert to grade. It's the exact same curriculum with the same lesson plans.

This year we realized that the full curriculum was just too much for DS. We've cut his workload down to Phonics, Reading, Composition and Math. We use the other subject materials but not on a daily basis.

Feel free to message me if you want to talk more about it.

Also, there's a thread in the Homeschooling Styles section titled something like, "Part-Time Unschooling" where I discussed our challenges with Calvert. There was a lot of good advice from the SHS community. It might be worth reading.

Jackielyn
11-08-2011, 04:47 PM
I would say my ODS does most of his work independently...he won't take the initiative to start his school work unless I say something though. Plus he uses T4L. I'm finding that if I do most of the writing it actually makes life ALOT easier...I've decided not to push the writing part this year.

MDS is very dependent on me, I have to stay on him, "please just do these questions and you can be done" I have to help him with reading or explaining...he's 6 though but a lot smarter than he acts. If he's motivated he can knock out his school work (math anyway) by himself. He's my rebel and he isn't going down with a fight!

DD is only 4 and if she wants to do a workbook she can or if she doesn't she won't. My ODS is actually doing a lot of seat work with her, which is really cool to see. Reading the directions and explaining things to her, it's super cute!

coloradoalice
11-08-2011, 06:59 PM
I do up all our plans. My daughter can do some of her stuff alone but prefers I do it with her. My boy can't read yet so I havae to help him with everything. I like being there with them though so it's not a big deal. I think I'll miss it when they don't need my guidance anymore!

zcat
11-08-2011, 09:04 PM
My dd (11) doesn't actually do much independent work. A lot of our hs time is reading, discussion or exploration with little written work.
We use Sonlight (a literature based curriculum), Math U See and various other things.