As I mentioned last week in my Middle School Monday post, I have been musing over schedules. I have decided what we are going to do as far as a schedule goes. I’ve pondered and played a little bit with time allowances and such since last week. And one single thing made the difference – responsibility.
I did a couple of things this last week to see if some specific things worked or not. One was to let the girls have a few minutes of play time after breakfast. This didn’t seem to affect their work ability, except that if they got involved in an in-depth pretend then they didn’t want to stop. And THAT did affect their work ability.
Another thing I did was to let them have a short amount of TV time (watching a single 20 minute episode of something) before starting work. This did NOT work. There is a desire to keep watching and watching and watching, which did not end well with attitude and work focus.
The last thing I played around with was to have a relaxed wake up time and breakfast but require school to get started by 8:30. That is pretty early for us. But, I like this one. And I’ll share why.
- It gives the girls and me a relaxed wake up and breakfast schedule. I have time to drink a cup of hot tea and read my Bible. I also have time to glance at the lessons for the day and see if I need to do something or change anything.
- It gives the girls the ability to read a bit or play a short bit if they get up and at’em.
- It keeps our focus for the morning.
- The girls have the choice to either buckle down and get it done and have plenty of time to play OR to dilly-dally and waste time and allow their school work to take them all day.
This last one is the responsibility I mentioned earlier. The choice is the girls’. I need to give them the chance to grow in responsibility, at an age appropriate level, rather than dictating every single thing to them.
I have a list of what needs to be done and a couple of extras for fun if we have time and desire but there is a “must do” list. This “must do” list can take them a couple of hours or all day long. It is up to them. Miss E’s will naturally take longer than the other girls because of her status as oldest. This gives her the privilege of having a couple of extra things she has to do each day. But, really, it shouldn’t take her much longer than Miss L’s list if she’ll buckle down.
So, while it isn’t a strict, every-subject-at-a-scheduled-time type of schedule, it is a schedule of sorts. Miss E still has the ability to pick and choose which order she’ll complete things in. And that kind of freedom will help her learn responsibility.
We’ll see how this goes for a while. I may have to revisit it again in a couple of weeks or it might last us for a good long while. I am hoping for the second option, here.
Next Middle School Monday, I will share our curriculum. We have revamped it for a couple of reasons (see Goals) and I really like a couple of things we are doing.
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