Next year I will have a 6th, 5th, and 4th grader. My soon to be 6th grade son is asking to do his science and history independently next year. We have always done those subjects as a family and I love it! What are your thoughts? Pros and cons?
Last year my daughter (she was 7th grade) started doing science independently instead of with the family. She did great and really enjoyed it but it was twice as much work for me, since I had to keep track of two curriculums and sets of experiments.
Not sure I have any good advice but it can be fun watching kids become more independent. And start small if you need to, let him choose one of the subjects to keep doing as a group for another year or use the same curriculum so even though he is working on his own he is still doing the same thing as everyone else.
Thanks! What science curriculum did you start your daughter with?
Following, I have 2 soon to be middle schoolers who I would like to start working independently in almost all subjects so that they can get ready for high school which I plan to be either completely independent or they will at least work together while I focus on my middles (who will be 3rd grade and Kindergarten /1st grade by then). I am also looking for some History/Science suggestions. If I can find an all in on solution with Science separate that would be fine too.
We used Apologia’s general science but I’m not sure I would recommend it for 6th grade unless the child really loved science because it had a lot of reading and was a big jump from the elementary series which we had been doing.
He may be wanting to focus on something in depth. If that is the case, work together to design an area of concentration and then enjoy watching him grow and learn not only history and science, but how to focus deeply and fully on a specific area of interest. Giving him that type of chance would be, in my mind at least, such a learning gift.
We changed more gradually. My oldest went independent in science for 7th grade, and for history in 8th.
With my son, I think he felt he should be separated from his younger sister because he felt he should be doing something harder than what she did since he was older–not the same thing. I just viewed it as sort of a natural desire for a young boy who was growing up, and felt it was important to let him do that. We continued to do Bible together, and we continued literature read-alouds through high-school. I sometimes missed doing history & science all together, but it also gave my younger one a bit more room to blossom. (For her, doing science independently led to all of us discovering she had a lot of interest and talent in that area–and she’s hoping to go into nursing as she heads to college next year.)
Transitions can be hard, but good too.
There were a few times in high school where my kids did the same science and history again, but independently–just depended on the year and each one’s needs etc…
When we were in that boat, I allowed my eldest student’s history and science topic dictate what the rest of us studied. If my older student studied Middle
Ages independently, I read the SOTW and picture books to the youngest about the medieval era. If she studied Anatomy, we made “my body” posters and studied elementary anatomy. That way, when I did read-alouds or activities for those subjects, my older one would often read to the youngest, help with the activities and interject interesting concepts learned at her higher level. I made it clear that we (especially her younger siblings) would miss her participation and wanted her to at least join us for lunch (when I read science or history and follow with activities.) My middle is graduating this year and she will still interject with applicable comments and addendums when she overhears us discussing a certain topic.
Unfortunately, the need to have one more subject to grade is a reality as your kids mature. However, if they are pushing to be independent, hopefully they will need less and less help from you which SHOULD balance out the extra grading.
Blessings on your plans.
I was thinking of going this route. The problem I have however is that I always lumped my 2 olders together as they are less than a year apart. One wants to be completely independent. I can’t buy 2 different Science and History programs for them but I DO want to give them that independence in preparation for high school. I’m trying to figure out how to make that work.