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Thread: How to transition from mediocrity to excellence

  1. #1

    How to transition from mediocrity to excellence

    I have allowed mediocrity for too long in our homeschool and would like to change that. My children(5 students in 4th-11th grades) are not completely independent, except for my 8th grader. My oldest 2, 10th and 11th grade, require constant nagging to get their work completed and then the work is not adequate many times. They both have difficulty finding answers, even obvious ones. My 8th grader would be much more advanced if I were more disciplined. He is independent and normally can glean quite a bit from anything he reads. I have a 6th and 4th grader as well, but it's my high schoolers I'm most concerned about right now. I would like to return to using TOG, but wonder how to transition them into more difficult work. Right now, I have them reading the dialectic readings but would like to move them up to rhetoric. Laziness and lack of discipline are problems in our home and school, I realize. So, how do I transition all of them(us) into a more rigorous study?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Northeast TN

    I would encourage you and your husband to first pray about this situation. You need to have a clear view of your faults, your studentís faults, and what you can do in planning and implementation to encourage change within your home and homeschool. It sounds like are already are aware of many of the reasons things are going awry at the moment. Take courage dear sister, as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day and it will indeed take time for you to make changes too!

    I would first of all set clear rules! Make sure that dear husband is in on what is expected and what the consequences are. I know with my own sons, I could talk some days until I was blue in the face and never make them flinch in the least. When dad came home with his louder voice and bigger persona it was a world of difference. You will have to be consistent with this above all else before real change takes place. Let students know that if work is not done up to par, then they will have to redo it. They will quickly learn that it is easier to do it the right the first time than to keep going back and redoing it. Start taking away privileges as well. Not a good school day? Then you're not going to the park or you're not going to hang out with friends or go watch a movie. Hereís a little twist!!! Some weeks let them lead the discussions. When they are being lazy in finding answers, they have to lead the discussion for the week! This will force them to read the notes, actually doubling their reading for the week. They ďwillĒ read it by the time they lead the discussions. They will soon learn to find answers the first time around.

    You will need to have a weekly planning time available (1-2 hrs. max) and make sure that you have your planning accomplished on time. You canít expect students to do their work on time if you are always late in your planning as well. I would start making blank charts for the week and have them to fill out their own information for weekly planning. Make the reading assignment charts available to them and they actually copy it down and break down the days however they so choose. The only thing you really want to dictate is due dates. Let them do it anyway they choose as long as it's done on time for the weekly discussion. Your 4th grader will need the most help in this area but should be proficient given a little time.

    As far as getting back into Tapestry and the rigors that scare you right now, here are some ideas. Start all of your older kids out in all dialectic subjects in the first unit. In the second unit have them do dialectic literature and rhetoric history. By the third unit have them move into all rhetoric subjects. I hope this information has been helpful. Know that you are not the only mom to go through some of these same situations. It doesnít mean you are a bad mom or your kids are bad students, it just means you have to plan and discipline smarter!
    Last edited by Sharon Land; 02-05-2013 at 02:19 PM.
    God Bless,
    Sharon Land
    Curriculum Specialist
    Lampstand Press, Ltd.
    423-765-2833 (Option 3)

    We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. (NIV)
    1 Thessalonians 1:2

  3. #3
    Thanks for your reply! It has given me hope!


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