Tagged: History, math, short lessons

- This topic has 6 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 1 year, 10 months ago by MissusLeata.

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- HSMom03Participant
I am having a difficult time with a couple of subjects, math and history. Math takes my oldest son (5th grade) 45 mins, sometimes over an hour and he hates it. I’d like to stick to the 20-30 min thing but he wouldn’t finish a course in a year and he is already struggling to finish 4th grade math. Our history curriculum calls for two 60-minute lessons per week. 60 mins sounds like a long time. Not sure what to do??

totheskydearParticipantYou could split the history curriculum into four 30-minute lessons.

Karen SmithModeratorYou are right to think his math lessons are too long, but you think he won’t finish his math course if he does shorter lessons. You also mention that he is struggling to finish a 4th grade math course. As a gentle reminder, your child is an individual. Teach your child where he is at, not where he should be by someone else’s standard. If he is already struggling with the math, having him spend a long period of time on each lesson is not going to help him. It would be better for him to go at his pace, making sure that he understands the math concepts well before moving on to the next lesson. If it takes him longer than a year to complete a course that is okay. It is better that he understands the math and completes it according to his abilities, rather than him pushing through lessons for the sake of completing the course by a certain date and being hopelessly lost in his understanding.

Here are some options for you to consider:

- Have him do two shorter math lessons each day. He can spend 20-30 minutes in the morning, then another 20-30 minutes in the afternoon or evening. This option gives his brain a break from trying to understand his math but should keep him on track for completing the course in a school year.
- Do math only once each day but keep the lessons to 20-30 minutes. This option gives him the space to learn at his own pace. Remember that sometimes math concepts are hard and his pace will be slower, but sometimes math concepts are easy and his pace will be faster. He may or may not finish the course in a school year, but his understanding of the math he does complete should be solid. If he doesn’t finish in the school year, you can always have him work on his math for 20-30 minutes a day in the summer.

As for history, 60 minutes on one lesson is too long. I agree with totheskydear, split the history lessons up. Even 30 minutes is too long if you have children in grades 1-3. You can do history more days in the week for shorter periods of time, or you can do history more than once a day breaking it up into a morning lesson and an afternoon/evening lesson. Remember that if the lessons are too long your children will not be attentive to the whole lesson.

MissusLeataParticipantIs there some kind of rule of thumb for how long a math lesson should be for each grade?

I set a timer for my 6th grader (30-45 minutes) and since he’s doing saxon and there is lots of review, he’s just done with the lesson after that.

But I also have 1st, 2nd and 4th graders all doing different programs, but all have lots of review. How long should they spend a day on math?

MonicaParticipantMy general rule-of-thumb for length of time for subjects each day is 5 minutes times their grade level. In that case, a second grader would only spend ten minutes on a subject (2 x 5), and a sixth grader would spend 30 minutes on the same subject (6 x 5).

Round up or down depending on the individual needs of your child. My current 5th grader doesn’t have a 25-minute attention span, but when my oldest was that age I could have him do closer to 35 minutes.

Karen SmithModeratorWe recommend students in grades 1-2 work on math for 15-20 minutes each day, grade 3 work for 20 minutes each day, and grades 4-6 work for 20-30 minutes each day.

MissusLeataParticipantKaren, I set the timer today for 20 minutes for the younger two and 30 minutes for the older 2 and it went so well. Than you!

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