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Choosing between 7-9/8-10 and 4 days a week planning

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Emily C
Colorado Springs, CO
3/22/2021
Hello! I am strongly considering using MBTP for my gifted 8 year old son. He will be in 3rd grade in the fall. I'm vacillating between 7-9 and 8-10 for him simply because he is a reluctant writer and the jump in writing in 8-10 is intimidating me a bit.

My main question is regarding scheduling. I know that MBTP is a 5 day a week curriculum. Has anyone managed to do it successfully 4 days a week? My son will be going to a homeschool academy one day a week, so I need to be able to do everything in 4 days. How has this worked for other people.

Thank you!

Emily
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Angela D
La Grande, OR
3/22/2021
This is a great question. You are able to use our curriculum on a 4-day a week schedule. It was important to us that we design flexibility into the program. Our units are designed to be used over 3 weeks but we have always incorporated "wiggle room" into the curriculum. This means that instead of 15 daily lessons in a unit, there are 12-14. This "wiggle room" is for field trips, doctor appointments, occasional days off, etc. But this will also allow you to easily complete the curriculum in a 4-day a week format. You simply need to know that you complete one lesson a day (for the levels you are considering, one language arts, one math, and one science/social studies lesson) every day that you are schooling at home.

As for the level, our Age 7-9 level is designed for third grade and even an advanced student will be challenged with this level. We have differentiated activities in the curriculum to add both depth and difficulty, if needed. What this means is that many of our activities have two options for completion, with option 2 being more difficult and/or involved. So, if your child needs more of a challenge, you can opt for the option 2 activities. My children will often self-select Option 2 when the subject interests them.

We also encourage parents to place children based more on their writing abilities. It is common to have an advanced reader but rare to have an advanced writer. Our writing program is thorough and can be challenging, and we want learning to feel natural and fun. So please pick a level that your child can comfortably complete.

If you have any further questions, feel free to call customer service at 888-316-8242. We would be happy to help.
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Lisa P
Soldotna, AK
4/9/2021
I have a precocious just-turned-9 year old, and we went with the 8-10 for his third grade year. His reading skills are solid, and his writing I thought would be fine, and based on the placement tests, it seemed like a reasonable choice. In hindsight, I wish we had gone with the 7-9 level. There were certain assignments that he really excelled at, but quite a few that we needed to slow down and spend a bit more time on for him to succeed (like teaching about topic sentences, and spreading out the brainstorming, rough draft, editing, and final copy of assignments over two or three days instead of one or two). I also perhaps overestimated his reading abilities, as he wasn't quite ready for all of the inferencing needed at the 8-10 level. We've had to step back and talk a lot about character arcs, themes, and plot structure. (I'm thinking that might have been covered in an earlier level of MBtP.) It's made for some really good discussions, but has definitely required a slower pace than laid out in the curriculum. For my own child, there is no way we could have done five days of work in four--it often took six or seven days, and we would occasionally omit bits here and there.
I found the social studies, science, and math curriculum to be more at my child's level, but when combined with the challenging literature units, it made for some very busy and long days and necessitated a change in pace.
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ANGELA B
LAMPASAS, TX
4/9/2021
Hi Lisa,

I would rarely, if ever, recommend someone try to compress multiple lessons into one day. Usually, when parents follow a four-day week schedule, they're just doing four lessons per week per subject. -Not trying to squeeze an extra day in. This will stretch your year a bit longer.

Also, one of my daughters takes quite a bit longer than "a lesson a day" to do her work. She's very bright, but she works slower. That's okay. She's still doing well. We do a year-round schedule for this reason. In turn, my other daughter is slightly ahead of schedule because she works faster and will be starting next years work early.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 888-316-8242 or email at [email protected] We'd be happy to talk with you about any of your questions or concerns.