Block schedule?

Discussion in 'Homeschooling' started by Autumnleavz, May 23, 2010.

  1. Autumnleavz

    Autumnleavz New Member

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    I was just reading about a local school going to a block schedule and I got curious. Does anyone use a block schedule for homeschooling (where you break up the subjects into day...for example have 2 subjects on Monday and do a weeks worth of lessons on that day)?

    I was just wondering if anyone uses this in their homeschooling and if so, how do you break it up? Do the kids enjoy it. I do something sort of like this with my own college work. I'll work on a certain class for a while and complete a few assignments before moving on to another. But for kids I wonder if this would make it easier to forget things or would they enjoy it more? Seems like it would be bad for days when there's a subject that the kid hates (like if he's not into math, having math all day long might be agonizing, lol).
    Thanks for the input. :)
     
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  3. Sue May

    Sue May New Member

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    Never heard of it but it does sound interesting. For those hands-on classes as in science and history, this could be good. There are times that I have set aside a day to spend on certain subjects. This would not work for my child on grammar and math. It seems to take a few days for the information to reach his brain. If I pile on a lot of information in the more difficult subjects, it would not be absorbed.
     
  4. JosieB

    JosieB Active Member

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    I think it could work great for SOME older kids, but young kids have such short attention spans I personally think it's a bad idea. Plus going over the material daily is how some people learn/retain it. The repetition is needed by some.

    IMO, it's a bad idea for public schools to use, but I think it could work well for some homeschool kids, but not all of them.
     
  5. mschickie

    mschickie Active Member

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    I never like block scheduling when I was teaching. Especially when it came to math. I think there is something to be said for doing core subjects every day especially while kids are learning time management skills.
     
  6. Meg2006

    Meg2006 New Member

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    All through Elementary, Middle, and high school we had block scheduling. I hated it. MsChickie is right when she said that core subjects needed to be taught everyday. Take Math for instance. Somedays you would only have 2 days to learn/study/review a concept, and the next week you might have 3 days to learn it. My take is that it's not nearly enough. (Thats if you do this 5 days a week, and take weekends off.)

    Plus, keeping track of the days (ours were school colors- Black day, Gold day alternating) is tough, especially if you are stressed/sick/feeling blah and so on. For electives it's ok. I had Band and art on one day, and Choir and my elective language the next. You might spend less time each day on subjects, but maybe more time reinforcing a concept or idea in the long run. See what I mean?
     
  7. 2littleboys

    2littleboys Moderator

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    I use a form of that, I suppose. We do the basics everyday (math, etc.). We do things like science once a week, though. We'll spend an hour or two at a time on it sometimes. I think it really helps, but it has to be done at a time when there will be minimal interruptions and when the kid is in the mood. I'd never try something like that late in the afternoon or on a day that we also had something else planned.

    There are days when we finish a subject quickly, and then he asks if we can continue working on the next and next and next day's work. I'm fine with that as long as he's understanding what he's doing and we have the time to spend.

    Block scheduling was all people talked about when I was in school (high and college). About half in our area did it and half didn't. For the most part, parents liked it, some teachers liked it, but students hated it, and extracurriculuar teachers (band, art, etc.) hated it. It ate into their schedules, because classes like that had to meet every day. I interned at a school that had a 9-12 grade band. The 10-12 graders were in one building on block schedules, but the 9 graders were in another building (walked to band) and on a regular 7-subject schedule. There were days when 9th graders would practice 20 minutes, the other grades would join them for 25 minutes, and then the 9th graders would leave. It's very hard to work as a collective organization when members can't practice the entire time together, and it's especially hard for lower classmen to learn from upper classmen in a ranked class like band.

    Sorry... didn't mean to go off on a limb there. :lol: If working with several siblings, block schedules could cause problems. If working with only one or two with long attention spans, it can be great.
     
  8. Emma's#1fan

    Emma's#1fan Active Member

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    A block schedule would not work for us. The thought of working on a subject for hours at a time would drive me crazy.
     
  9. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    Carl's school did block scheduling, and he really didn't like it, either.
     
  10. Birbitt

    Birbitt New Member

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    My high school switched to block scheduling the year after I graduated, and I had several friends who were a year behind me, they all HATED it! Our babysitter's High School did block scheduling and for her it was horrid because if she missed a day (which she did often do to chronic health issues), she was automatically behind a week in that class...it was nearly impossible for her to catch up and she only graduated because two of her teachers got together and started having classes with her on Fridays (her school was Monday - Thursday) to help her catch up on her work. I think it's a bad idea, especially for us just because as homeschoolers our schedules are often much different than public schools and to do a weeks worth of work in one class each day would throw off our entire schedule and my boys would always be "behind" do to outside comittments.
     
  11. TeacherMom

    TeacherMom New Member

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    I heard from kids when their schools went to block schedules, they all seemed to hate it. With that "UGH BLOCK SCHEDULES" kind of saying.
    I have had my kids do all one one subect for one day and another subject for second day etc before, when we had 5 subjects it worked nice for a week or so lol. They decided they watned to do the easy ones all in one day but the harder ones they wanted to break up.. so maybe there is a variation the easy subjects can be one day, a week, like say Wednesday English
    Monday Math and History and Science, Tuesday Health Math and History, Thursday History Science Math and so on
    Wed only english would mean the easy class done all only one day but many hours to complete the weeks work, of course we could end up finishing early on that day ....
    Personally I like Math everyday, the rest of them jumble up , usually english each day cause thats Grammar and writing.
    Bible everyday too of course
     
  12. Lindina

    Lindina Active Member

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    Lots of high schools have tried variations on a block schedule. In one type, you do four classes in each of two semesters. For example, English, Math, History and Band one semester, then Science, Art, PE, and Foreign Language the next. You do two periods of each subject at a time, and thus supposedly getting in eight credits per year. The drawbacks there are that when you get down to the end-year tests in March or April, you either haven't had enough instruction yet by then (in a second-semester class you're only half done with the subject) or it's been so long you've forgotten it (you finished math in December and haven't done any in 3 1/2 months). Also, they found that classes like math and band and foreign language simply don't have enough time to "steep" in the brain and really sink in. And, kids don't have a long enough attention span, and teachers have great difficulty sustaining the kids' involvement in extra-long classes, so they allow the last of the class-period to just be "work on your homework time" and they ended up covering less than the whole year's material that way.

    An alternative to this was to split up the subjects on A days and B days, so you have half as many longer class periods every other day for the whole year. Here, they also found that the teens couldn't sustain their attention for the longer class period, teachers had difficulty keeping the students' involvement for the longer class period, and again, they only covered about 75% of the material they could cover in a traditional 7-period day.

    Now, as far as homeschool... I say whatever fits your family is good, and if you get to something really interesting that you want to spend half a day doing (like science experiments or photography or library research or whatever has turned the kids on that day), go for it! Homeschool schedules are flexible -- lots more than b&m schools, anyway. If you feel you "missed out" on something to pursue that interest and enjoyment, you can do it after supper or on Saturday or on your family vacation or in the car or at grandma's house.....
     
  13. Jackie

    Jackie Active Member

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    The second part, especially, was Carl's biggest gripe. Also, if student missed just one day, they supposedly missed twice as much instruction.
     
  14. Autumnleavz

    Autumnleavz New Member

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    Thanks ladies, that was what I was thinking...the kids would really get bored with it. After you all mentioned it, I did remember that when I moved, the h.s. I used to go to went to block schedule and all the kids there hated it. I can definitely see why.

    I do think the only way I could use that would be just to do a "block" day for science and history once a week. I can see the kids loving doing those 2 subjects all day long. lol. But our schedule is usually so busy that I don't think it would work.
     
  15. KrisRV

    KrisRV New Member

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    Autumn, my girls are alot older then your children and we did do a block a few times. Not for math or reading, I think that needs to be daily but anyway. It never worked, they hated it. Said they got bored or tired of doing it.
     
  16. chicamarun

    chicamarun New Member

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    My 2 oldest have block schedules. I think they would do better with the core subjects every day. However - now that one got into the local Vo-tech for nursing next year.... she does 1 day core classes at the high school.... the 2nd day she goes to the vo-tech.

    Here they are A days and B days. It seems to work for them and since they don't know any other way they just live with it.

    Week 1 would have 3 A days and 2 B days - then Week 2 has 2 A days and 3 B days.
     
  17. Jo Anna

    Jo Anna Active Member

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    Now when I first started homeschooling and had my oldest home he was so far behind in everything and I did not know where to start. So, we did something like that. Except math was daily. Now we did our grammar a few lessons daily and math. Then when the grammar book was finished we did this with science and so on. It really helped him catch up where it was needed. It only took us a couple months to finish books this was and it worked for him. Now with my youngest it would not work. I think it really depends on the kid.
     
  18. mamabear01

    mamabear01 New Member

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    This only works for my 12-year-old son, but none of my other children. My other children don't have the attention span to do this.

    We do math and language daily, otherwise, we do U.S. History 1 1/2 hours twice weekly, Science 1 1/2 hours once weekly, and Literature 1 1/2 hours once weekly. We use Friday as a review/makeup day, so we don't worry if we don't get everything for that week in. It seems to work for us.
     

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