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Creative Pacing for 8th Graders Wanting to Stretch the 4 High School Guides over 5 Years

A few years ago, a fellow homeschool mom asked for help in stretching Heart of Dakota’s (HOD’s) four high school guides over five years. Her daughter loved HOD and had been doing it since preschool. Her daughter was always advanced and on the youngest side of the target age range. Each year she completed a guide within a year. So, as she began 8th grade, she was going to be starting the World Geography guide. Her daughter wanted to stretch the 4 high school guides over 5 years, as she was also heavily involved in sports and more than likely headed to college (or even possibly the Olympics) to compete. So, I decided it would be fun to figure out some creative pacing for her. Since they’ve been very happy with this pacing, I thought I’d share it here!

Alternating Half-Speed and Full-Speed Pacing

Honestly, in a situation like this, there are endless pacing options. However, to stretch out a guide so kiddos can mature, I’ve always liked starting guides half-speed, taking 2 days to do 1 day’s worth of plans in the guides, and then finishing the guides full-speed. This gives us time to really start a guide well, paying close attention to the directions and getting off to a solid start. So, here is one creative option for this half-speed, full-speed pacing for doing the 4 high school guides over 5 years. As each guide has 35 units, with 4 days of plans in each, there are typically 140 days worth of school in a school year. I kept the 140 days each year, with the exception of the last Year 5 year, which has 36 days (one week for planning graduation/testing is nice anyway). Hope this makes sense!

Creative Pacing for Year 1:

WG Units 1-10 half-speed = 80 days of school

WG Units 11-25 full-speed = 60 days of school

Creative Pacing for Year 2:

WG Units 26-35 full-speed = 40 days of school

WH Units 1-10 half-speed = 80 days of school

WH Units 11-15 full-speed = 20 days of school

Creative Pacing for Year 3:

WH Units 16-35 full-speed = 80 days of school

USI Units 1-7 half-speed =  56 days of school

USI Unit 8 full-speed = 4 days of school

Creative Pacing for Year 4:

USI Units 9-10 half-speed = 16 days of school

USI Units 11-35 full-speed = 100 days of school

USII Units 1-3 half-speed = 24 days of school

Creative Pacing for Year 5:

USII Units 4-5 half-speed = 16 days of school

USII Units 6-35 full-speed = 120 days of school

*1 week to plan for graduation/testing = 4 days of school

In Christ,

Julie Grosz, M. Ed.

P.S. This creative pacing would work well for stretching Preparing Hearts for His Glory through Missions to Modern Marvels too! As those four guides are also all 4-day a week guides, this plan would stretch these four guides over five years too. This could work well for a 3rd grader who is starting Preparing Hearts for His Glory.

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We’re excited you have landed on our blog! We are Carrie and Julie, author and editor of Heart of Dakota homeschool curriculum. Sisters by birth, friends for life, we’ve done most things together for as long as we can remember. Reading, singing, teaching, and raising a house full of boys are just a few of our common interests. So, when it came time to write a curriculum to homeschool our sons, it’s no surprise we worked on it together. These days you’ll find Julie answering your questions at Heart of Dakota, writing the catalog, planning for conventions, blogging, and doing any other creative tasks that need to be done. You’ll find Carrie revising the Heart of Dakota guides, dreaming of new writing projects, and sharing tips with all of you. Our latest venture together is this blog! So, pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee, and join us!




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