Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Fail: Attempt #1 Grade 9 Fall Schedule for My Son

Fall 2011 is comprised of home studies plus one online math class which has lots of homework (15-20 hours a week). I created a schedule for my son as he has started to drift and space out and the time goes by without him doing more than two or maybe three subjects in an entire day. The challenge is compounded by the desire (?need) to sleep 12 hours a day yet the resistance to go to bed before 11pm.

He is going to have to get up earlier in order to get the work in. This is the schedule for this week which does not allow for the additional hour per day of physical exercise outdoors that the coach asks they they do, and it doesn't allow for the extra hour or more that he needs for math. There is not time for foreign language or art, and there is no free time save for after dinner with an hour of TV and then before bed reading for fun. There is also no time here for chores. Also, the two plus hours he likes to spend on the throne every day interferes with free time or more studying.

Working around my son's sleep schedule primarily, here is what is left. This is not good enough to get all the high school level work done. Thus, this schedule is a fail. I have consulted with my husband and we had a family meeting about this then later, my son started a fight about the topic (ending at midnight), so this is not yet resolved.

I am sharing this struggle and this failed draft so that other homeschoolers can see what this family is going through and how things change when high school begins. We started our homeschool journey as unschoolers who were very relaxed. This son has struggled with learning disabilities which changed the course of our homeschool. Now his studies are dictated by HIS DESIRE to seek a career in engineering. Between the increased rigor of academic studies necessary for my son to do what HE WANTS with his life and the clash of teenage developmental stages and hormone surges, parenting and homeschooling change and get harder. Maybe this post will help some reader as if this is going on in their home they at least will know they are not alone.

Monday-Thursday

9:00-10:45 Mom wakes him up, which is resisted. Eat, shower, get dressed, use toilet & dawdle around procrastinating. Mom attempts to speed things up which seems like nagging.

10:45-11:45 Biology

11:45-11:55 Break, snack

11:55-12:55 Math homework for online class

12:55-1:25 Lunch while checking Facebook

1:25-2:25 English composition, grammar, spelling, literature analysis, reading the literature required, poetry (not enough time allotted for all that work)

2:25-3:25 History, snack

3:25-3:35 Break, snack (he is hungry all the time)

3:45-4:00 Penmanship cursive (attempting to fix extremely unreadable penmanship)

4:00-4:20 Touch typing course (CD-ROM)

4:20-4:30 Change for rowing practice, grab snack on the run, or eat early dinner, fill water bottle

4:30 Leave for rowing practice

7:30 Get home from rowing, grab snack, shower, Facebook

8:00 Eat dinner (or a second dinner)

8:30-9:30 Watch a TV show as a family

9:30 Get ready for bed, read in bed, listen to music on MP3 player

10:30 Mom pushes to go to sleep, he says he is not tired and resists, what time he actually goes to sleep varies, could go to one in the morning

Friday is the same except omit rowing and insert online math class for 90 minutes.

One weeknight add a 90 minute Boy Scout meeting after rowing.

One weekend a month will have a Boy Scout campout. There will be two away regattas which will require being gone all weekend with the family staying at a hotel with the rowing team. Doing academics on weekends at those times will be nearly impossible. He is also sure to come home physically and mentally exhausted.

This light academic schedule will not get all the work completed so "homework" will have to happen in the extra hours, or, he will have to start rising perhaps at 7 in the morning and being more quick about getting ready to get to work on academics.

This schedule doesn't even include art or foreign language or other extra-curricular classes which he must take.

Once you see this schedule it is not hard to see why I am not pushing him to start doing homeschool co-op's or outside classes. Any outside stuff would take away from home study time for the basics and so far I have not found outside classes that act as true replacements for these home study topics.

We are trying a new schedule which includes setting an alarm clock to get up earlier and studying more topics in the daytime, then being so tired that bedtime will happen earlier. I will let you know how it goes.

4 comments:

JC said...

I have had similar struggles this year. I really appreciate your honesty because I believe it is far more supportive to other homeschoolers than glossing over our struggles.

I have been challenged by a somewhat unco-operative teen with a million excuses. We still aren't up to a full course load because I am having vsion problems that make reading and lesson planning very difficult. Our optometrist rescheduled todays appointment for next we so I am trying to hang in until I get new lenses!

Thanks again for sharing!

ChristineMM said...

JC, Thanks for your comment. I read your recent posts but keep getting error messages when I try to leave a comment.

Sorry your eyes are a problem. I am just starting to wear cheaters for reading books only.

Blame teenager-hood and male hormones....

JC said...

A few people have had trouble posting comments on my blog. I did too until I changed the setting for cookies.

just jerrie ann said...

I'm sorry to say that I chuckled out loud as I read your post this morning. Believe me when I say that I am not laughing at you but with you. We have just begun high school this year and we are also experiencing more than our fair share scheduling "issues". The only difference is that I have twins! Yes, that's right -2 teenage boys. Can you just feel the stress and see the grey hairs magically appearing on my head? Thank you for sharing so honestly. While I do not wish that anyone should have to deal with this, it is nice to know that I am not alone in my struggles. Blessings, Jerrie Ann