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What would my son be missing out on if he doesn’t have proper placement?

Heart of Dakota - Pondering Placement
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Pondering Placement

What would my son be missing out on if I combine him in a guide  that isn’t his proper placement?

I am on the fence about which guide(s) to choose for proper placement. One son likes American history and reading about wars. The other son doesn’t say what he likes. He is probably too young to know. Honestly, he doesn’t even know much about history yet to say what he’d like. I don’t want to choose to combine in a guide just based on my oldest son’s placement and interests. I really like the progression of skills and learning I see in Heart of Dakota’s guide sequence. Both sons would benefit from proper placement.

Deep down, I know my younger son can’t do the same work my older son can do. I don’t want to combine just to combine. I want both sons to have proper placement. So, I THINK I know the answer, but still, I’ll ask the question. What would my son be missing out on if I combine him in a guide that doesn’t fit him on the placement chart?

Carrie’s Reply:

When I was in high school, I played volleyball and basketball. I had always “started” throughout middle school and into high school, until my sophomore year. In that year of basketball, I had a coach with whom I had a personality conflict. The conflict was that he did not like my personality, and I didn’t particularly love his! Now hopefully I have grown and matured since then. However, the point is that I ended up on the bench for almost the entire season. After that year, I went on to a different coach and was back to “starting” again.  No one can ever tell me that you feel a part of a team when you’re sitting and observing, watching, and listening from the bench!

Proper Placement Considerations for Little Ones

Often in homeschooling, we let our little ones sit on the “bench”, simply observing, watching, and listening in but rarely getting them truly involved in the “game”. So, at HOD, we write our guides with family balance in mind. It is so easy for families to get out of balance by targeting one or more key members of the family and targeting the teaching toward that child. When grouping large age ranges together, the parent must choose what age to target their teaching toward, and often teaching is targeted toward the older child. In that case the older child is receiving the skills he/she needs, while the youngers are simply tagging along, which often equates to sitting on the bench.

Proper Placement – the Key to Balance

Proper placement in HOD is the key to balance within a family, making sure all learners are getting the needed balance that gets them involved in the learning. Our HOD guides seek to balance time spent on various subjects within the school day, the amount of time required to complete a guide each day, the teaching time required by the teacher in presenting and guiding lessons each day, the time and attention given to various skills within the day, the way various learning styles are addressed within the day, and the individual time given to children at various age levels during the day. In this way, every child is participating and learning, and no one is left simply watching and listening.


This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Rice

    A child placed in his own guide instead of “up” with a more academically advanced sibling also gets to miss out on the feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and always “less than.”

    And sometimes the more academically advanced child is actually the younger one! (I had one in a higher guide than 2 older siblings.) When the frustrated ones moved down to where they could succeed, the relief was palpable and they started to really learn.

    1. So true, Rice! Feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and ‘less than’ are no fun! Age is truly only one part of placement, and sometimes the younger does place in a higher guide than the older. That is the beauty of homeschooling – placement that is customized! So glad you’ve found what placement fits your kiddos – thanks for sharing!

      In Christ,

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