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When you consider your own child’s day, what have you noticed?
Some people are naturally “morning people” (me!) and others are naturally “night owls” (my husband!)
Additionally, younger kids tend to do well in the mornings. Teenagers tend to become night owls. But even within those generalities, we have to always be mindful of exactly what is true for our children.
While you probably know instantly whether your child is a night owl or a morning person, or something in between, what about the rest of their day?
The middle school here uses a rotating schedule so that kids get to rotate through which class they are in during their most productive time.
You can analyze how your child does on math tasks at various times of the day. Reading tasks? Writing? Science? History?
What type of learning engages them the most first thing in the morning? Before lunch? After lunch? Are they able to do “schoolwork” in the evenings?
Audio version: www.DecodingLearningDifferences.com
This is Decoding Learning Differences with Kimberlynn Lavelle. This episode is part of our series, optimizing your child's learning through getting to know your kid. And this episode is scheduling. So in this episode, we're going to be talking about kind of how to schedule their learning time. And we'll be talking about both the micro and the macro that within a day and the bigger within a school year,
or even potentially a lifetime. So micro within the day, and kind of the order of events within the day, what is going to work best for your kid? Now, the first thing I would start with considering is, is your child at night owl or morning person, do they do better first thing in the morning, me? Or do they,
are they a total night owl that will work super well at like 10 o'clock at night. That's when they're like primed. I husband. Totally. So what about your kid now in general, most younger kids tend to be morning people and then teenagers tend to be my bowels. Now, obviously there's going to be a gray area in the middle where they're kind of transitioning through that.
And then maybe they're not really either they're, you know, middle of the day is the best for them and who your kid is, is going to play a factor. I've never been in a night owl, including when I was a teenager, not a night owl. I've always been a morning person, but that's not true for everyone. So really pay attention to who your kid is.
When are they learning best and the best way to do that, especially if your child's a little bit older, ask them. When do you feel like you're able to focus the best? What, when would you want to work on your math? If you could pick any time of the day, when do you think you could focus best on your math?
When you think you could focus best on your reading, when do you think you'd focus best on your writing? Because those all might vary. Your child might feel like right before lunch, I can do math really well. Right after dinner, I could do a lot of writing right before bed at midnight, because I want to stay up late at midnight.
I can do a lot of my reading. Great. It might be very different depending on who your specific child is. Now. Maybe you're not okay with your child staying up past midnight, that's personal preference discussion within your own home. You make those decisions. I'm just pointing out that within each day, pay attention to the order of events. And when your child is most primed to learn in a local junior high,
we had actually the junior high I went to as a child and they would, they've changed a little since I was a child. But when I was a kid at this junior high, most people call them middle schools. They, they had a rotating schedule. So my first period, one day, you know, first, second, third, fourth is six period.
Then the next week it was second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, first. So I ended my day with the thing that I had started my day with the week before. And then the next week, third, fourth, fifth, sixth for second. And then the next week you see it kept rotating. The reason they did that was so that you,
at some point in those six weeks, every six weeks, you would get your prime learning time for each subject. Most kids they found or had brighter research on. Most kids actually learned the very best at that particular age, right before lunch. That was their like most awake learning time. So if you always had math, first thing in the morning,
you might not do as well, but by rotating it, at least every six weeks, you had math at your very best time. And you only had math at your very worst time once every six weeks. Right? So recognizing that they did the best they could in that particular situation, because they couldn't change the hours at school happened, unfortunately, but they could make some adjustments.
Now, if you're homeschooling, then you get to make those adjustments. You get to say, you get to learn math right before lunch. That's a little bit hard if the only time that they're really good at focusing is that one hour, right before lunch and the amount of things that they need to work on is going to take more than an hour.
That can be a little hard. You might need to start two hours before lunch and allow the order of events within that to change by day. Or maybe they work really hard on math one day. And then the next day they do reading. And then the next day they do writing. It can change if you know, there's different ways to do it,
which kind of gets us to what I was going to talk about. The, the macro scheduling your child might do better to only worry about one subject for an entire week. They're only doing math this week because this is math week or an entire month. I don't know if I could go that long without bringing in some other, but think about it,
consider it. And then also think about the order of events within the month and what you want to work on, what you want to focus on, how you want to be spending your time within a month, within a season, within a year. Maybe you don't do any science for five months because you're working really, you really digging into some history stuff and all of your reading,
all of your writing, even your math is focused around all of this history that you're working on for these five months. But then You conclude all of that. And then you start getting into some science and you dig really deep into science and all of your reading and all of your writing and all of your math is all around that, that science topic that you're digging super deep into,
Okay, You can schedule things. If you're homeschooling, you can schedule things however you want. Now I w I should take that back depending on the laws where you're at and how you're operating here in California. If you're homeschooling under, what's called a PSA- a private school affidavit- you're claiming you're your own private school. You get to do basically whatever you want.
If you're homeschooling here in California, another option is a charter school. It's a public school publicly funded school that gives that you then have rules for that school. That school is going to say, no, you need to submit work samples to us that you're doing this, this, this, and you have to use this curriculum, or they might give you a choice on curriculum.
Different charters have different things, different rules and things have also been changing recently. But so just, those are some things to consider is what, what options do you have what's appropriate for your schooling, your child, all of that, and even, so what, what would work best for you? How would you like to schedule things within that kind of like macro thing?
So within a day, what order of events works best for your child within a year? What order of events works best for your child? Also think about some of us go through seasons where we just don't have the motivation to learn much. Did we go through other seasons where we're super motivated and we want to learn everything. And that might that season,
I'm calling it a season, but it isn't necessarily like a three-month season. It might be six months, or it might be two days. So pay attention to how your child is flowing and how their, their interests and their ability to focus on different learning topics, their motivation, all that. How is that changing? How are they feeling? There is some research,
and I don't know how this applies to children at all, but there's some research that especially women go through a like 20 day cycle of different energies. And some of the time it's more reflective where they're not doing much, but we're spending more time thinking, reflecting, learning, planning, some of that a little bit, and just resting and allowing ourselves to be ready to then go super hard at other times of the month where,
and there's different things that we tend to be better at at different times. But so you can look into that research if you're interested, but the, the concept, and I can see this in kids where, you know, certain times of the year, they start to like really not have much motivation. And maybe that's when he need to do a lot more trips,
field trips, activities, crafts, whatever it is, watch more movies that are documentaries about something or whatever, whatever. And then there's other times where they're going to be like going over to the shelf and choosing to do the math themselves and asking you for more practice on this. And they want more, right? I've seen this with my students who some people that sometimes have called them lazy.
And that bothers me because they're not being lazy. They're in a period of rest. And other times that same kid is highly motivated to work on whatever it is we're working on. Now, sometimes that comes less about a season, and it's more about finding success that motivates them to keep finding success. But other times it is kind of a seasonal whatever right today,
for whatever reason, they're just not up for super strenuous work. Now that's up to you depending on your laws and what you're operating in and your own personal preferences, how much you're going to keep pushing that they do something even when they're kind of in that period. But I would just recommend that you respected as much as you can reflect on what can we do instead in this moment In the state,
I've left you with a lot of things about, And I would love to hear from you, what have you not considered before? What did I maybe bring up that was kind of new thoughts, new information for you that you hadn't considered before, or what is something that you are going to start trying that maybe you have thought about before even, and,
but you haven't given much thought to recently, or haven't really pursued. Are you going to be able to make any changes to the way your day is scheduled? Your child's day is scheduled. I'd love to hear from you. Kimberlynn@DecodingLearningDifferences.com.