Planned Meeting Times Make Correcting Homeschool Work Easier

Heart of Dakota - FOHTY

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How can planned meeting times help with correcting work more easily?

Plans may differ in level of involvement of teacher and student. But, they have one thing in common… the teacher must make sure the work has been done. This may be done by asking noted questions, checking written work, listening to the student, assisting in editing, etc. But, no matter how correcting is done, it is the teacher making sure all work is completed properly. One thing that makes correcting Heart of Dakota homeschool work super easy is to do it during planned meeting times!

This week, I’ll share how I correct work for my son who is using Creation to Christ. Next week, I’ll share how I correct work for my son in World Geography. Finally, the following week, I’ll share how I correct work for my son in U.S. History II.

Planned Meeting Time for Correcting Creation to Christ’s Bible Quiet Time and Teaching Dictation and Math

For all planned meeting times, Emmett must come with his guide, his books he’s used, and all completed work.  He must also bring any subjects I will be teaching during our meeting time.  For the first planned meeting time, he has completed his Bible Quiet Time.  I also teach dictation and math during this first meeting time.  For Bible Quiet Time, I simply ask him if he did each part and then follow the question up with additional checking.  Children are generally honest when asked direct questions!  I have the guide in hand, he has his Bible in hand, and we meet upstairs first thing in the morning.

Our conversation (which is in italics) during this first planned meeting time goes something like this…
  • Did you read pages 123-124?  What did you find most interesting about it? Oh, I love that part about Jesus too!  Did you pray your prayer of ‘supplication?’  Do you want to share what you prayed for, or is it more private? Ok, that’s ok!  I keep some of my prayers private too!
  • Highlighting your verse in your Bible was part of this lesson.  Can you show me your highlighted verse? Good job!
  • Did you sing with your Phil 2 CD?  Oh good, singing praises to the Lord is so important!  Why don’t you sing or say your verses for me?  Thanks – great job! (I only have him say his verse 1 or 2 times a week.)
  • Today was a day you were supposed to copy your verse in your Common Place Book.  Can you show me that?  Oh shoot!  You forgot!  Let’s do it now then.  Next time, try to read your plans more carefully and have your work done by the time we meet, ok?  But, good job overall!
  • Finally, I end this first planned meeting time teaching dictation and math.  I correct both of these immediately, with answer keys in hand.  I help him fix any mistakes in his dictation and math.
  • Then, we check off Bible Quiet Time, dictation, and math!  Hooray!
Planned Meeting Time for Correcting Creation to Christ’s Reading about History and Teaching Storytime, Genesis Study or Geography of Holy Lands, Poetry, and History Project

Emmett and I meet on the couch for this meeting time, as we like to cuddle up and read there.  First, Emmett shows me his Reading about History work he completed independently.  Next, I read his Storytime and do the assigned follow-up skill with him.  Then, I read either his Genesis study or his Geography of the Holy Lands.  We do any follow-ups and then read his poetry.  Finally, we discuss what he needs to do to finish his poetry on his own.  We also read through his History Project box directions, and I help him set up for that at the kitchen table.

Genesis Study on the Couch Together
Our conversation (which is in italics) during this second planned meeting time goes something like this…
  • Did you read p. 83-85 of Ancient Rome?
    • Research – Day 1:  Where did you look to find your research answers? Then, I ask the research questions.  The directions say to answer one or more of the questions, so I don’t require answers for them all.  He has his answers jotted on a markerboard ready to share.
    • Copywork – Day 2:  Can you read me the portion you chose from today’s reading you found memorable?  Be sure to read with pencil in hand, so you can make any corrections you think you need to as you read.  Let’s see your picture you drew.  Great job!  Please fix these things. (I put a sticky note with editing corrections next to the box for easy reference.  He corrects these immediately.)
    • Timeline – Day 3:  Can you show me your timeline entries?  Oh, I love the shield especially!  Can you use your guide to fix the spelling on the caption though?
    • Written Narration – Day 4: Did you read p. 90-94 of Ancient Rome?  Please read aloud your written narration.  Please be sure to have pencil in hand, in case you notice any corrections on your own as you read.  Good job fixing that misspelled word!  I loved the part your chose about Jesus’ resurrection too!  You still need to highlight the main idea though.  Do you see, here, where it asks you do that in your guide? Let’s find the main idea together.  Looking at your editing checklist, you did a great job with indenting and choosing a topic sentence!  You’re missing some punctuation though.  Listen to me read this, and see where I pause so you know where to add punctuation.  Let’s fix the misspelled words too.  We fix this all quickly together.
  • Finally, I end this second planned meeting time teaching his Genesis Study or Geography of the Holy Lands.  We do any follow-ups questions.  Map work is saved for the kitchen table, and I use the map answer key to correct it there.  Finally, we read his poetry and make a plan for what he needs to do to finish it on his own.  We also read the directions for the history project and make a plan for him to complete that.
  • Then, we check off Reading about History and Genesis or Geography Study!  He finishes his poetry and history project independently at the kitchen table.
Creation to Christ History Project
 Planned Meeting Time for Correcting Creation to Christ’s Poetry and History Project, and Teaching Grammar, DITHOR, and/or Write with the Best

Emmett and I meet at the kitchen table to first quickly correct his poetry and his history project.  (If it is a sharing day for the poem, we meet in the addition, and he shares with me and his brothers.) Next, I teach grammar, Write with the Best, and/or DITHOR, depending which are scheduled for the day.  Then, I go through his Independent History Study and Science Exploration directions with him.  We set out anything he needs to complete these.  Finally, he finishes the independent parts of DITHOR, grammar, and WWTB with me nearby to help.  I correct them as soon as he’s done, and he finishes his day with his independent history study and science.  These are left out on the kitchen table for me to correct before or after lunch.  As this is getting long – sorry – I won’t include my conversation during this block!

Creation to Christ Science Exploration
Planned meeting times help me stay on top of teaching and correcting!

Planned meeting times help ensure I get both my correcting and my teaching done.  Usually around 3 meeting times have worked well with my younger children.  Two meeting times have been enough with my older children.  The times with older students are much shorter in keeping with the increase in independent work. Planned meeting times make every child feel special.  Important skills are taught from year to year, and meeting times help none to be missed.  Meeting times also mean I’m done with both my teaching and correcting by early afternoon.  My kiddos are too!  This makes our homeschool time a happy time! It is kept in balance, so we can enjoy both our homeschooling and our free time.  Try some planned meeting times in your day!  You may find you love it – just like we do!

In Christ,
Julie

P.S. To find out more about having a written routine, click here!

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Author: Julie Grosz, M.Ed.

Some passions of mine are homeschooling with Heart of Dakota, cooking with All Recipes, reading Jane Austen in a bubble bath, singing along with lyrics that strike a chord, making family traditions, creating organization out of disorganization, and writing words - in emails, posts, and books - that glorify God. I'm a teacher and an editor by trade. Here's a quick rundown of my numbers... 22 years of teaching (7 public school, 15 homeschool), 6 years of college (4 undergrad, 2 graduate for my masters in education), 15 years of editing for HOD, 46 years old, 22 years of marriage, 3 sons who are 17, 14, and 10 - and I believe that should about 'sum' it up! You can view my blog here - https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/

5 thoughts on “Planned Meeting Times Make Correcting Homeschool Work Easier”

  1. Julie,

    Can you speak into how this might look in conjunction with younger ones? Next year, I’ll have one in RTR, two in Bigger, and a 1st grader (not HOD). How do you balance the teacher intensiveness of Bigger with the meeting times in RTR?

    1. Hi Heather! I saw your question on Facebook first, and I answered it there. I will copy my answer here, in case you see it here first! The meeting times in RTR are not long, as long as kiddos are able to do the work they’re supposed to do independently on their own. I’ve taught three Heart of Dakota guides for many years, and not found it to be overwhelming even when I’ve done Bigger Hearts as one of the guides. I could teach most of Bigger Hearts during the independent and semi-independent work of the older guides. My meeting times are fairly short and efficient, and I’m not adding anything to them. The idea is to quickly check things and teach and move on. I’ve always worked part time in the afternoons, and planned meeting times have helped me finish everything by early afternoon. If you prefer, you can use your meeting times only for teaching, and do your correcting at the end of the day. Hope this helps! In Christ, Julie

  2. All good thoughts! Generally, how much time is spent on each meeting time (understanding, of course, that there will probably be some variability)?

    1. Hi Mary! That really depends on the age of the child, the guide he/she is doing, and how it best works with your daily routine. I often put my teaching time within my meeting times, so they vary based on that. In general, my meeting times with my upper middle school and high school students are shorter, probably around 20 minutes or so. My meeting times with my younger kiddos may be around 30 minutes or so. I’ve varied the length of the meeting times based on the attention needed by the child.

      So, for example, one of my children has always been very independent, able to work for longer uninterrupted times and really do well. For him, I scheduled fewer meeting times. Another one of my children loses focus more easily. For him, I scheduled shorter work periods and more meeting times to be sure he was able to keep moving along with his work well.

      My morning meeting times this year were short. This worked well as Riley, my 9th grader had done independent work the night before, Wyatt, my 12th grader, had done independent work early in the morning, and Emmett, my 5th grader, had just done his Bible Quiet Time right before meeting with me. I also planned time to read/annotate Wyatt’s and Riley’s Devotionals by myself the one time a week it was planned in their guides prior to meeting with them for it later. My morning looked something like this…

      MOM’S SHORT SCHEDULE for BLOCK ONE:
      7:00 AM – 7:15 AM: Coffee/Bible/Prayer for Mom
      7:15 AM – 7:30 AM: With Wyatt
      7:30 AM – 7:50 AM: With Riley
      7:50 AM – 8:15 AM: With Emmett
      8:15 AM – 8:30 AM: With Riley
      8:30 AM – 9:30 AM: Shower and Make Breakfast; Day 1 for Wyatt: I need to Read/annotate Created for Work; Day 4 for Riley: I need to Read/annotate Practical Happiness.
      9:30 AM – 10:00 AM: Breakfast/Cleanup

      I loved this start to my day this year! Other years, I didn’t do any meeting times until after breakfast, and that worked just fine too. Hope this helps as you think about how you would most enjoy your day!

      In Christ,
      Julie

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