Ask the grumpies: How much workbooking should your child do each day?

Katie asks:

When you say your kid does a page of Singapore math each day, would that be the Primary Math textbook and/or workbook? Is that generally math they understand already, are they figuring it out themselves based on the textbook, or are you teaching it? If you teach it, how long do you usually spend on it each day.

I also have a kindergartner at home. She’s enrolled in virtual public school, but I’ve also been doing a homeschool kindergarten math curriculum with her since she aged out of preschool in mid-August, just because we both like math and we needed something to do. I’m starting her on Singapore 1A soon (probably Dimensions, maybe Primary Math though). I’m wondering whether we’d be able to transition that to an after-school enrichment activity once she’s back at in-person school, dependent on her interest level and my time. (Though I’d be surprised if her district goes in-person before spring, if at all…)

That depends on the kid and what else is going on. DC1 usually did an “exercise” a day in the workbook. DC2 usually does just a single page (DC2 is a bit more rebellious). BUT when DC2 isn’t getting enough mental activity or when DC1 was overwhelmed with other stuff, we’d do the opposite (or if really overwhelmed, Singapore math would switch to just weekends during the school year).

Early on, we would go through the textbook each day they had a new exercise. Right now with DC2 we only do that when it’s something that DC2 doesn’t already know (this is because DC2 is a bit rebellious and doesn’t want to spend time on the textbook if the workbook is clear enough). But in the early years there is quite a bit of difference in how Singapore math approaches things and how school approached things so we did do the textbook every day. Now (4b/5a) that’s less of an issue with a few exceptions.

Similarly, the number of homework books and which ones depend on the kids’ individual needs at the time.  With virtual schooling, DC2 is doing a page of Singapore math and 15 min of DuoLinguo on school days, and two pages of Brainquest (reading + math), one page of spelling, Singapore math, and DuoLinguo on weekend days and holidays.  In the summer we’re probably going to add a science workbook in Spanish unless zie has daycamp.  Zie also has 15 min of piano practicing each day and has been agitating for violin, but that’s not going to happen until it is safe to get fitted for a violin.

So… we’ve played it by ear with both kids. It depends on where they are, what else is going on in their lives, and how tractable they’re being. Early on, there was a lot more new stuff in new ways that we taught with the textbook, as it got later, they would be able to figure things out just from the workbook or from reading the text themselves, though we would sometimes still need to explain things.


5 Responses to “Ask the grumpies: How much workbooking should your child do each day?”

  1. Ana A Says:

    Great post! Please would you share any links for Spanish workbooks? I haven’t found many but am possibly looking in the wrong places.

    • Debbie M Says:

      Practice Makes Perfect publishes a series of highly rated Spanish workbooks, or at least the one on verb tenses and the one on Spanish pronouns and prepositions are highly rated. The intended audience is teenagers.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      It is difficult because there are a LOT of way too easy options and not as many intermediate. Right now DC1 is working through Easy Spanish Step-by-step by Barbara Bregstein. DC2 finished it earlier and is now doing 15 min of Duo Linguo on weekends (and immersion every other week).

      I was shocked to realize that DC1 isn’t watching any Spanish movies for class and we put Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown on the Netflix queue. DC2 watches a lot of Pokemon in Spanish on Netflix. Several of our Miyazaki films also have a Spanish language option.

  2. Omdg Says:

    Mine does 1-2 exercises in DuoLingo and khan academy most days. It sometimes takes her five min, sometimes 30.

  3. Ana A Says:

    Many thanks to Debbie and N&M!

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