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Thread: D/R students

  1. #1
    Hi - I am just wondering if anyone has any advice for doing discussions with one Dialectic and one rhetoric student. I have eight total children, 5 in school, so these are not the only 2 that I am schooling, and I am wondering when I am going to teach everyone, and have 2 different discussions for each - a total of 4 discussions in the week, with history and literature for each child. Just trying to put the nuts and bolts of things together. We used Tapestry this year for the first year, and absolutely love it, but I am wondering how to schedule everyone in. The ages I have are: 14-dd(9th gr), 12-ds(8th grade), 8-ds, 6-dd, 4-dd, 2-ds, 2-ds, and 9mth-dd. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed, but I know that it is all doable. If anyone has any suggestions for how to do these 2 different discussions, I would really appreciate it.
    Thank you.
    Kimberly

  2. #2
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    Hi Kimberly

    I'm not where you are yet, but I've noticed that the TNs in Dialectic sometimes refer me to the Rhetoric discussion outline, and also that the Rhet discussion goes for 2 hours (not nec. 2 hours straight). Would it work to have your D&R discussion together for an hour basically using the D outline, and then follow up with a further R discussion later, picking up what wasn't covered in D?

    Just an idea. Hopefully Marcia will chime in when she gets a chance.
    In Him

    Meredith in Australia
    Wife to Phil, Mum to 13dd, 11ds, 9ds, 7ds, 5dd, 4ds, and 18mthds

  3. #3
    Member
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    Jul 2006
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    Kimberly,
    I've been there! It's overwhelming to think about all those discussions. It's amazing, though, how it's become a part of our life since Y1, and I really look forward to those times.

    Meredith is right that at times, the factual information from the Dialectic discussion can be covered with both levels at once. I have found that since this is not the case with every week, it was easier for me to have a consistent schedule set up for when that wouldn't work, and then if possible, set up the children's schedules so that the R student would be able to join us during the time for the D discussion in the weeks it makes sense. I haven't done that much, though, because the D & R discussions focus on different things because of the level; also, I find that my particular R student doesn't really need me to go over that factual info with him.

    When I only have one student in a level, the discussions do not take as long as is implied in the Teacher's Notes. Often, especially in literature, I can skip topics that I know my student knows well, and I can skim others quickly. I have made my schedule flexible to allow for differing times needed - sometimes, we really get into a topic, and I'd like to be able to explore it fully. Othertimes, we have other things to do that week, and we need to cut the discussions short.

    That long-winded explanation over, this is what we do:

    for Dialectic - 45 minutes each day:
    Wed, history discussion
    Thurs, finish up history discussion if needed, discuss church history
    Fri, finish church history discussion if needed, discuss literature

    for Rhetoric - 1 1/2 hours each day in the afternoon (nap time for littles!):
    Wed or Thurs, history and church history discussion (the other day is my errand day)
    Fri, finish H & CH as needed, discuss literature
    (Some weeks, we only need 1 hour each day; e.g. this week was tough for outside activities, and we actually did both lit and history in 2 hours one day - covering almost all of the points, too!)

    A related topic - have you heard of MOTH (Managers of Their Homes)? It's a tool to help homeschooling moms develop order in their days, and it has helped me immensely to coordinate all the activities that need to go on. The author has some wonderful tips for occupying younger ones, too, especially during those discussion times when you don't want the train of thought to be disrupted.

    HTH,
    Janet, wife to 1, mom to 10
    5 graduated, 2R, 2D, 1LG - doing Y3 again!

  4. #4
    Vice President
    Lampstand Press

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    And to give you one more perspective...
    All of my kids sat in on the one history discussion each week. If the question was geared toward Rhetoric students, then Child #1 needed to answer...if toward a Dialectic, then Child #2 answered. There were craft materials on hand so that Child #3 (grammar level) could work on his project while listening and he would jump in and add information when he could.

    I just had three kids, but I couldn't imagine doing separate discussions with them with everything else going on. Our literature discussion were separate, but they lasted 15 minutes or so, so that wasn't a problem.

    For what it's worth, all three of my boys have benefited from these discussion because in college the majority of classes give discussion grades.

    I'm sure you'll find something that works well for your family with a bit of tweaking!
    Dana C. in TN
    Vice President
    Lampstand Press

    "Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew,
    like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.
    I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!"
    Deut. 32:2-4

  5. #5
    This past year I had one D and one R student. I found that usually I could combine the history discussions if I, the teacher, had prepared well in advance. That often meant not going in the same order that the discussion script was written for one or both children, but having both kids together really enhanced the discussion. There were a few weeks where we just had to do them separately, but that was only a couple of weeks out of the year. We found that history discussions took around an hour.

    Since the lit readings were based on different books, there was no way to combine those. Lit discussions for D were pretty short (10-15 minutes?).

    Michelle

  6. #6
    Wow!
    Thank you all for your suggestions. I feel much better. I think I might actually be able to handle things. Thank you to Janet for sharing your basic routine. That was really helpful. Our family is a military family, and there aren't a lot of families that we know with more than 3 kids. It was very helpful to have advice from someone who has 'been there'.

    I have heard of MOTH. I have tried to implement it, but I am finding that when I fall short of the time schedule, I feel extremely guilty - even if it was for very good reasons. So, I have used the ideas I learned from that and applied them to a more flexible routine. I still don't have a time for everything I want to have time for - groc. list and menu planning - but I am trying to get there. Somedays I think that by the time I learn to do everything, the children could all be grown...

    I still don't have the younger kid thing worked out. I think it is because the twin boys are just turning 3, and always into something that needs attention - training, cleaning... the last 6 of mine all came within 7 years, so maybe that is overwhelming me more than the discussions. I just need to to one piece of the puzzle in place. The other thing that keeps happening is that every time I seem to get into a routine, something changes. A new baby, a move across country, husband away for a deployment... There are just a few variables that are always changing. The Lord has really helped me to understand though that the only thing that never changes is Him. Praise Him for that.

    Thank you ladies for all the input. It sounds like I need to just get the Y4 plan, and go through it to see what can be joined. We are moving again this year, so if I can get things to a bit of a routine before we move, it will help. I am finally understanding after 9 years of schooling that I must prepare rather than procrastinate. - novel idea

    Kimberly

  7. #7
    Member
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    God bless you, Kimberly! You are serving many people - the Lord, your husband and family, and all of us by supporting your husband in our service. Thank you, and don't be weary in well-doing, for you will reap rewards!

    Don't ever feel guilty about not sticking to the schedule you set - it is just a guideline to help you. We don't stick to it every day, but it helps me to get a lot more done than I would have if I didn't have some sort of plan to follow when I can. I just pick it back up the next time slot (or the next day, or week, . . . or month). My cleaning schedule is like that, too. If we have one of those days/weeks and other priorities rise to the top, and the vacuuming doesn't get done, we just do it the next time it comes around. Sounds like you have found a way to have a flexible schedule that works for you now.

    I know what you mean about getting it together by the time the children are grown! We'll be able to help our children with their families with all our wisdom ! It wasn't until this year that I figured out a great way to do dinners. Yahoo! Now if I can only figure out what to do with the little ones always saying, what can we do, Mommy? (Or worse, being VERY quiet somewhere that I can't see them!)

    Life is always in flux to some extent or another - and your life has more flux than most! You already know this, but I want to encourage you that you don't have to have it all together to be doing what God wants you to do. Little by little, you will discover ways to make things work better. And as Elizabeth Elliot always says, just "Do the next thing." (Of course, her daughter with 8 children called her one day and said, "Mom, I don't know what the next thing is!" ) The important thing is to love God and show your children that love.

    On the discussions, if you have a week that you just can't get to it, you can always have the student read the discussion outline by themselves. Even if you totally miss a few weeks here and there, your children are getting much great thinking training and foundational history on the weeks that you do the work.

    In Him who is able to do more than we can imagine,
    Janet, wife to 1, mom to 10
    5 graduated, 2R, 2D, 1LG - doing Y3 again!

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