Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Year 4 Scheduling Update

This year's home-learning schedule has been an experiment from the get go. We've abandoned our afternoon schedule in favor of getting work finished and out of the way before lunch so that post-lunch, kiddo is free to follow his various bunny trails without interruptions.

The hardest part previously was waking up early. We're not morning people. But perhaps due to the warm weather, or perhaps because I'm beginning to freak out more now that kiddo is approaching the tween years, it's surprisingly easier to wake up early these days. I also, err, tweaked my alarm clock so it's about an hour ahead -- he, he nothing like a shock factor to force me out of bed!

This year has also been different in that kiddo's using high school materials much more so now than before. Still isn't producing junior high or high school level output (except in math and science). So it's a balancing act all the way. For example, in literature (we're trying Literary Lessons from Lord of the Rings), he completes the paraphrased passage, looks up vocab words and discusses the literary elements with me but isn't yet ready to write all the answers to discussion questions. So we either discuss them orally or leave them be. I figure we'll just catch up to these areas with an Online G3 class in the future or by re-visiting the Lord of the Rings when he's older. What's important is that he's enjoying the work and is holding his own recognizing themes and appreciating Tolkien's engaging writing style.

I purposely included a mid-week "flexi-day" in our schedule to enable kiddo
to pursue fun, hands-on activities he loves, like beeswax or clay modelling, cartooning,
patty-paper geometry, origami and building.

So far, after a shaky start, our schedule is going well. We try to set aside three hours in the morning to get the staples completed: math practice, foreign language online classes and then after a break, alternating projects, science, literature lessons depending on interest/ urgency. After lunch, kiddo has a lot of free time to be silly, read and attend classes like piano and swimming. My plan to begin grammar studies had to be postponed. We may put it off till next summer. I hate to not begin a curriculum when it's sitting on my shelves looking so pretty. But hey, it's not about me. Drat.

You may also have noticed that I've been blogging less frequently. We're still sharing a laptop kiddo and I and his online lessons demand more laptop time these days so I've had to resist the urge to blog, browse and brood over how much WTM-ers are getting done on the WTM forums. Less computer time has meant some productivity around the house. I'm finally finding time to devote to laundry and also, preparing meals in a timely fashion. :)

And I'm working on setting up a dedicated learning space. The time has come for kiddo to graduate from using the coffee table or dining table to a study desk of his own. I'm trying to rearrange our family room (the brightest yet coziest area in our home) to accommodate a desk and chair for the kiddo in addition to our sofa and bookshelves and kiddo's toys and games. Perhaps if the result is to my liking, I'll post photos when I'm done.

Hope your year's been a great one so far, dear reader!


  1. It all sounds good, Suji! The gap between a boy's intellectual acquisition and his dislike for writing is very common. Girls don't seem to have the same dislike for writing. I have many friends whose boys are not too keen on writing too. Tiger is the same in our literature lessons. We discuss orally and I write down all his narrations and answers. One solution might be to type out the answers, if kiddo finds writing just too bothersome?

  2. No, not mornings! lol

    Glad to hear its working well for you.

    And I want to see photos when you're done rearranging!

  3. What a great schedule you have set up. I am thinking about doing something similar too. I want the academics out of the way early in the day, so the kids can concentrate on their passions, whatever they may be.


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