Is it time to separate two children who have been happily combined?
Do you feel it is time to separate two children who have been happily combined? Often times, when the older child of a combined pair reaches middle school, you might feel it would be best to separate them. In fact, a fellow homeschool mom just called to say this very thing. Her two sons have been happily combined for many years in Heart of Dakota (HOD). They even just have had a wonderful year together in Preparing Hearts for His Glory (PHFHG). However, this coming year her 9-year-old will be going into 4th grade, and her 11 1/2-year-old will be going into 6th grade. She is feeling it is time for a change.
While her 9-year-old is an excellent reader and has no trouble with a 5-sentence written narration, he is less mature. He’s a bit of a perfectionist, and emotionally he is just not the same place as his older brother. Reading out loud is fun for him! He is very good at it. In fact, he is better at it than his older brother. He has grown in orally narrating, but it is not his favorite. Really, his favorite thing is independent work, and he is good at it.
In contrast, her 11 1/2-year-old is very social, and he is excellent at orally narrating in detail. He’s very creative and an artist. His written narrations are good, but he shines at giving oral narrations. He likes to read, but he prefers to read to himself rather than out loud. His comprehension is great, and his narrations are well-developed. However, he really still likes mom to read to him.
Reasons It Is Time to Separate for the Older Son
For many reasons, this wise homeschool mom could see it was time to separate. She could see her oldest son needed to start taking on more independence. Middle school is preparation for high school, and she wants her son to learn to work well independently. He prefers to read to himself rather than out loud. Additionally, he has good comprehension, and his oral narrations are excellent. He is definitely capable of writing longer narrations, but he doesn’t understand why he would have to write more than his younger brother.
He’s become reluctant to read aloud because his younger brother is better at it. He’s also noticed his younger brother keeps up with his reading, and that makes him question how good of reader he is himself. Not to mention, this son will be 12 in the fall. Going through the Boyhood Study in Resurrection to Reformation would be good. He also would really like to have his own books rather than having to share everything and coordinate it all with his little brother. This makes true independence harder. It is time to separate.
Reasons It Is Time to Separate for the Younger Son
There are also reasons why it is time to separate for the younger son. Upon reflection, this loving mom can see her youngest son needs time to mature emotionally. He is just younger! She doesn’t want to push him to take on all of Creation to Christ, even though he is an excellent reader and writer. He is excellent at working independently already, and he too finds sharing resources somewhat cumbersome.
He’s become reluctant to orally narrate aloud because his older brother is better at it. Though he has really grown in his oral narration skills, it is just tough to measure up to big brother’s narrations. His older brother is just more social! It comes easier to him, and this is hard on the younger brother because he is somewhat of a perfectionist. He’s just less mature and extra time in Creation to Christ would be so beneficial. It is time to separate.
How to Separate Successfully
So, how can these two amazing sons separate successfully? Well, like most homeschool moms, this mom is very busy. She has four children, so she’ll also have a first grader and and a 4 1/2 year-old to mother too. The littlest is a firecracker; they always are, right?!? So, she will just be lighting up the world with her dynamite personality this year! (Sparkle on, little one!) The first grader will be doing Little Hearts for His Glory, which has five-day-a-week plans.
The oldest son will be doing Resurrection to Reformation (RTR), which has four-day-a-week plans. As this will be a transition for him, mom will work half-speed with him for around thirty days or so. This way, he can ease into the reading, writing, and independence of RTR with mom by his side training him to do so. He will then move to full-speed RTR and will finish his guide the same time as his first grade brother. He will also be on track to do each of HOD’s four high school guides as written.
After finishing out Preparing Hearts for His Glory, the fourth grade son will be doing Creation to Christ (CTC) half-speed. The goal for his fourth and fifth grade years is to finish PHFHG and move through CTC half-speed, so he can begin RTR in sixth grade. He will do school the same days his first and sixth grade brothers do. He will also be on track to do each of HOD’s four high school guides as written.
A Wonderful Plan to Separate
This is a wonderful plan to separate! Yes, there will be a transition time to work through at the start. There always is with change! However, there are so many things this plan fixes! This lovely mom will be able to focus on all the things that are a priority. Her older son will learn independence. He will become a stronger writer and a more confident reader. He will have his boyhood study at just the right time in life, and his little brother won’t get to it too early.
Little brother will have time to mature. He will build confidence in orally narrating. He won’t be pushed too hard. Both will be more successful with independence because they have their own guide and books. Mom will have time to train oldest son because younger son is half-speed and great at independence already. Yes, a wonderful plan to separate. So excited for this family! If you are feeling it is time to separate, take heart that it can be done and it can make life better! Reach out if you need help with a plan to separate! We can figure it out together!