Topic | Cutting out too much

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  • HSMom03

    Hey I am teaching my 5th, 3rd, and 1st graders with SCM module 1, except we use The Good and the Beautiful for history.  I feel so bad because we never get to Enrichment and we most of the time don’t read the history read-aloud (or the regular read-aloud which is included in Enrichment).  We are missing all these great books!  My boys just hate being read to all day (or at all) and if I do everything it is a lot of reading.  I don’t think I can expect them to listen that long.  Actually my kids hate books, no idea why or how to fix that but it is alarming!  I can’t get them to read.  The homeschool community promised me kids who love books.  They like to be done by lunch which is understandable.  So I don’t know where I went wrong with all of this or how to fix it.  We haven’t done any Shakespeare this year even!  It’s sitting on the shelf…


    Let me start by saying not all kids love books, just as not all adults love to read books. My middle child likes to read the most, but even that is not a lot of reading. My kids max out at about 10-15 min of me reading for a stretch, and I actually think it makes them want more. I can’t remember which Sonya SCM video blog it was where she talks about stopping while they are interested. I started doing that a few years ago, shortening reading time but leaving them excited for the next thing, and I think that gets them more excited vs me just reading on and on. That is my kids though, some kids love reading on and on 🙂

    Why are you doing two History programs? If you like G&B and it works, just go with that. Wodering if trying to do too much is causing “burn out”. There are so many great books, you will never get to them all 🙂

    We did Shakespeare last year, but not this year, it is ok 🙂 Spreading a feast often looks different year to year.

    Simplify and try not to compare. Every homeschool looks different with different goals and ways to reach those goals. That is the benefit, and also the challenge, of focusing on what works for you and not getting caught up in “keeping up with the neighbors” 🙂

    (sorry for typos, touch screen issues, haha)

    Karen Smith

    With the ages of your children, you should be reading most of their books to them. Grades 1-3 have all of their books, except a reader used for reading practice, read to them. Your 5th grader should be reading some of his books on his own.

    Try alternating reading subjects with non-reading subjects. For example, one day’s lessons may look like this:

    1. Read your Bible lesson
    2. Math lesson
    3. Read from your history book
    4. Picture study
    5. Science lesson
    6. Copywork/dictation
    7. Read from your literature book

    Remember that not all subjects are done every day. Picture study, poetry, hymns, foreign language, creative art, music study, handicrafts, and Shakespeare are only once or twice a week. Creative art, handicrafts, and Shakespeare are not every term. Some terms the student works on a handicraft, another term he does creative art. Shakespeare is scheduled for one term.

    Also, you can schedule your day however it works for your family. There are no rules that state that literature must be read during school hours. Save it for a bedtime story if that works better for your family.

    Most importantly, know that you have not ruined your children because you did not get to everything this year. There is always next year to add in some more of the feast. You could also do some of the enrichment subjects during the summer as a way of doing them without making your school days too long.



    Sarah2106 – we’re not doing 2 histories, we’re only doing 1 history.  The Good and the Beautiful.


    Sorry I misunderstood. Sometimes when people say Module 1 it was about history rotation year 1, Egypt, Sorry about my confusion.

    So it is enrichment studies that you are using along side Good and Beautiful?

    I use time around breakfast and lunch and even at bedtime to accomplish school. Listen to composer during lunch a couple times a week, or present a picture over breakfast and hang it in view of the kitchen table. Do the family read aloud during bedtime… I find for us spreading out the enrichments helps us complete them but not make the day too long with school. When we did Shakespeare we actually did it over the course of 2.5 weeks instead of a full term. The kids wanted to hear the end so we listened to it over lunch a few times a week and did not do composer for those few weeks. I have no idea why but we do better with accomplishing Hymn study before December, come January I tend to push it off, so now we do Hymn study for a few months not the entire year.

    All that to just encourage that it all looks different in every house, and in my house often different year to year.


    Sarah2106 – great ideas!  Sorry the way I said it did sound like I was using SCM history too.  I just meant we are using the guidelines for every subject, except we are not using SCM history.  Yes, Enrichment studies from module 1 are not getting done and we are more than halfway through the year ahh!  I wonder if I can double up or if that would not be a good idea.


    I would not double up, I would just start where you left off and not stress finishing everything. Or if you were in a book that was not engaging for your kids, move forward and start a new book. Then you can either continue next year or start fresh with new topics.

    Doubling up would just end up being a lot, and really take the joy out and it would be just “checking the boxes”


    My son was in middle school before household internet and streaming television became a thing. (At our house anyway.) My daughter born 8 years later grew up with it. My husband and I both thought our daughter wasn’t a reader. She also believed she didn’t enjoy reading and definitely didn’t like listening to me read. My son used to say to her, “Why? That’s the best part of the day, I wish I could do that again.”

    Last June when my son graduated I turned off our internet. I canceled the streaming tv. Packed away the movies. And I Locked the only two devices in the house with WiFi. (My phone and an iPad my husband uses for his business.)

    Turns out my 5th grade daughter is a voracious reader. She read three full books today, and finished three others for history. A little bit ago she put herself to bed early for more time to read the book she reads at night.

    She just needed the blessing of boredom. She needed the space in her day to pick up a book. She needed quiet.

    We also have realized the reason my son tapered off in reading during 9th-12th grade was not because he was busy with school work, college credits and online classes, but because the internet cast a more attention grabbing and holding glow. (I don’t care who you are, no one gets into a book as fast as they get hooked on an internet rabbit trail!) When he’s home for visits he reads like he used to. recently he broke his laptop screen at school, we didn’t offer to replace it so he’s been using the school’s library, and as a consequence, he’s checking out books again and hanging out with kids that are also readers of books. Tonight he texted to say several of them had dinner together after seeing one another at the library; he said they had a great conversation about Western Civilization- a conversation started about a book one of them was reading.

    (He also tells me his future kids will not have cell phones.)

    I know this may be completely irrelevant to your situation. But just in case it might apply, or could help someone else, I felt compelled to share. If I could change a few things about the last twenty years, the way my family used technology would be a big one. (And we were very modest users my most standards.)

    As far as enrichment goes, just be sure you’re not taking too long on any one thing. Scripture takes around a minute for us. Poetry is another two-minutes-or-less subject. Picture study is one ten-minute look and tell session a week, and usually an additional ten on week three or so when we learn a little about the artist. French is ten to 15 minutes, three days a week. Shakespeare has taken less than ten minutes a week this semester, though last semester we loved the play so much we spent hours on it. Music we listen to when we drive to the next town. So you see, we’re not spending lots of time each week on enrichment, and yet, my daughter has a favorite artist, she recognized the two composers we studied when she heard their work elsewhere. She can tell you in amazing detail the story of Midsummer Nights Dream 4 months after reading it. She knows the names of many poets and has grown to like the ones she didn’t initially, she has even recongnized the work of poets we haven’t studied yet just as a result of being more aware. She is loving Latin, a subject we try to get to most days, but only spend a few minutes on. I’m not exaggerating. It takes longer to get the book down and put it up * than it does to actually use it. And yet, this is working. (so do keep materials in easy reach and where you can’t help but see and remember them)

    Most of all, don’t be discouraged. I had years of what felt like no progress. Months long stretches where I wanted to hide in bed every morning. Seasons when I seemed to meet every need except the needs of my immediate family’s. And you know what? My kids are fine. They both enjoy learning, they both love God and are interested in doctrine and church history. They have great relationships with a wide range of people. And the oldest has started acknowledging and thanking me for little things he never noticed before.

    Anyway, just know, even if my advice was way off, I’m praying for you tonight and encourage you to keep chipping away at what’s in front of you. Don’t worry so much for now if they’re enjoying it or not. Keep the lessons short, move quickly from one thing to the next, and enjoy it for YOURSELF. You’ll see, enjoyment is catching.



    Mom2Millie is my new hero, and I’m not even the OP.


    Thank you for all the great advice;  I really needed it.

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