Sunday, October 13, 2013

Categorizing Our Schoolwork

Our organizational system for this year's school has worked excellently, which happens to make life so much easier as I am physically unable to keep school running by myself this year.  We have finished our first term and are working on exams, although since I really can't sit at the computer for more than a few minutes at a time exams may drag on for awhile this term.

One facet of our system that may not be clear from the original post is the way we categorize our work.  I thought I'd give some examples.  For Ambleside's Year 7, Term 1, we sorted the work this way:

Devotional

Bible
Mere Christianity
Saints and Heroes

Enrichment

CM's "Ourselves"
How To Read a Book
Story of Painting
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy

Extras

Artist/Composer
Chess
Drawing
Handicraft

Geography

The Brendan Voyage
Lay of the Land
Map Drill
Map Work

History

Asser’s life of King Alfred
Bede
Book of Centuries
Churchill's Birth of Britain
History of English  Literature
William Malmsbury’s Battle of Hastings

Literature

Age of Chivalry
Ivanhoe
Once and Future King
Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
Watership Down

Science

Great Astronomers
Signs and Seasons
Signs and Seasons Field Work
Stargazing Year

Workbooks

Grammar of Poetry
Grammar: Our Mother Tongue

Really, the arrangement is slightly arbitrary, but the focus is on evening out the work load so that each category has roughly equal amounts of weekly work and work of a similar type, more or less.

Our arrangement changes each term as the books change.  For Term 2 of year 7, we have this list of daily items:
Chores
Dictation
Focus Room
Math
Musical Instrument
Pets
Recitation - Bible
Recitation - Poem
Recitation - Shakespeare
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Devotional
Enrichment
Extras
Geography
History
Language
Literature
Poetry
Science
Workbooks

All the assigned work fits in one of these categories.  The items at the top half of the list must be done before lunch.  Some of them are chores rather than schoolwork, but keeping them all on one list works best for us.

3 comments:

  1. I am curious to know what focus room is. This chart is helpful. I have a hard time making everything fit in one day. Today math for my 7 year old took 40 minutes but she only did one problem. It wasn't a hard problem, but it involved lots of steps and it just dragged on. I try to keep lessons short like CM did, but if I left math at 20 minutes for her, we'd get nowhere. (She's actually working at higher math - 4th grade - which she can do well, just extremely slowly).

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    Replies
    1. The focus room is based on the FlyLady rotation. Each week we have three or four rooms to focus on, which rotate through the month.

      40 minutes seems excessive for math for a 7 year old. I'd consider moving her back a bit until she can do the operations more quickly. There is really no hurry! (I disagree that you'd get nowhere in 20 minutes. At 7 we're usually doing math for 10 minutes or fewer and we make plenty of progress.) Try setting a timer for 20 minutes and stopping at that point!

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    2. I agree that 40 minutes is excessive. I will set a timer on Monday and see how that goes. I've been thinking about moving her back for a bit and we've started xtra math to get her to speed up her thinking. Thanks for your input, Kathy.

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