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I need your assistance! Should I combine or separate my oldest two children?

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Dear Carrie

I need your assistance! Should I combine or separate my oldest two children?

Dear Carrie,

I need your assistance! I have 4 children, ages 6, 4.5, 2, 1, and a baby due in 3.5 weeks. At the beginning of the year, I agonized over combining my oldest two. I decided to do just the right side of Little Hearts (LHFHG) with my 6 year-old. Then, the following year when little brother turned 5, I planned on doing LHFHG with both of them. However, I now know more about my boys. My 6 year old (K) is bright, picks up things quickly, and is ready for more. Little brother is more average. He often feels inadequate and not as smart. When he gets a wrong answer, he shuts down or walks away crying. The beauty of homeschooling to me is meeting each child where they are. I feel like I am not doing that with either. However, I need to do what’s best for the whole family too.

Sincerely,

“Ms. Please Provide Assistance for This Mama of Many Little Ones with Combining or Separating”

Dear “Ms. Please Provide Assistance This Mama of Many Little Ones with Combining or Separating,”

I would be glad to give some assistance! First, take heart that as time has passed this year it has revealed much to you about how your oldest two would do if they were combined. The past months have also shown you that your first-born is more ready to move ahead and that your second in line shuts down when pulled too fast. These are good things to discover, and honestly can only be found out as time passes. So, you have actually gained more clarity these past months and now have a bit clearer vision! This will provide assistance going forward!

I’d start Little Heart for His Glory full-speed with your oldest now.

With what you’ve shared, I would look at beginning Little Hearts (LHFHG) full-speed with your oldest now. To do this, I would just keep going with where you are on the right side of the LHFHG plans but I would start at the beginning of LHFHG for the left side and the Storytime. This would mean that you would have two spots you are working from in the guide for now. (Just put two sticky notes on those spots, and you’ll be fine). This will immediately provide assistance, as you will feel you are meeting your oldest where he is right now!

I’d start Little Hands to Heaven with your 4 year-old now, either full or half-speed.

I would also begin Little Hands to Heaven (LHTH) with your 4 year-old so that he has some of his own school. You can even just start half-speed with LHTH if desired (splitting each day into two days). Since your 4 year-old is shutting down at times right now, I would not have him join his older brother for LHFHG “school” but rather have the two just join together for play, lunch, recess, etc. I would keep their school very separate right now. This will provide assistance because it will cut down on unhealthy comparisons. They are probably together quite a bit, so they may actually need separation more than they need togetherness. I know this is true for my older two!

Once baby comes, it will provide assistance to focus on full-speed Little Hearts and to do Little Hands half-speed. 

Once the baby comes and you start back up with school, I would concentrate on getting in your older one’s LHFHG school done first. At that point, if it helps to do LHTH half-speed, I would do that. Just do half the boxes one day and half the boxes the next with your 4 year-old. This only amounts to 15 minutes of school a day (as LHTH takes 30 minutes in total). However, it will show your 4 year-old that his school is important too. I wouldn’t let big brother join in on LHTH right now either. Instead, just really concentrate on each of your older two as individuals for now. This plan will help stretch LHTH out and put some distance between your two kiddos.

It will provide assistance in the future to combine some of your littles.

As you travel down the homeschool path, it looks like you will have some little ones coming up who can definitely be combined. This will provide assistance because it will keep the number of guides you are running down. I think you will definitely be relieved to just get your older one started, and it does really help in the long haul if your older one can move into doing more on his own more quickly. Those older kiddos are often just wired by the Lord that way, and you will avoid more battles if that child is more independent.

It would not provide assistance to skip LHFHG and move into Beyond, but I truly believe the rest of my advice will provide assistance right now as well as in the future!

It wouldn’t provide assistance to skip LHFHG and move into Beyond, as there is a big jump between LHFHG and Beyond. So, I would jump into LHFHG full time as soon as possible, and I think you will really begin enjoying your days!   I would also make sure to begin LHTH in some form so that your 4 year-old can get excited about his own school too. I truly believe all of this will provide the assistance you are wanting and will get your homeschooling back on a good path!

Blessings,
Carrie

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