Preparing...taking him FOREVER

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Motherjoy
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:52 pm

Preparing...taking him FOREVER

Post by Motherjoy » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:34 am

I'm wondering if I placed my son in the right program. This is the start of our second week. Certain aspects of Preparing take him a long time. I knew that vocabulary would take forever. He just isn't used to that kind of work, and he doesn't write very well. Sometimes the independent science and history take awhile too, but he usually enjoys those, so its not a big deal.

I know part of it is that we haven't been diligent with school in the past. And the other part is that he has character issues like laziness that crop up when something gets hard.

I'm pretty sure I should just keep it up, and in another month, we'll have settled into the curriculum (of course, there is a baby coming at some point.) Should I have started him in Bigger instead?
Last edited by Motherjoy on Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
MJ, mom to 8
2015-2016 plan
*17yo is dual-enrolled after using HOD for 7 years
*11yo, 10yo, 9yo, and 7yo - CTC with modifications
*5yo, 4yo - LHTH
*3yo - playschool

Accomplished: LHTH, LHFHG, BHFHG, Beyond, PHFHG, RTR, Rev to Rev, MTMM, WG, WH

Vicki
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:14 pm
Location: MS

Re: Preparing...taking him FOREVER

Post by Vicki » Tue Aug 19, 2008 8:50 am

Motherjoy, I'm sorry about the frustration you're having. I hope things settle down soon into a more peaceful day for you.

I know Carrie has posted about taking your time at first if need be---just do one side of the guide one day (Learning Through History) then the other (Learning the Basics) the next. Maybe this would help you ease into the program.

I am holding my child back a little to finish Beyond, as I felt he was truly not ready for the step up in writing that is required in Bigger. I do have the Bigger manual, and I think having a chance to actually look at the manuals in person makes such a difference. We are working to cement handwriting and and spelling rules, etc. before moving on to Bigger.

With a baby coming (congratulations!), you already have your plate full. Remember, this is not a race---it's a marathon. There's no need to rush through, but if the program seems to hard for your child, call or e-mail Carrie. She is such a great sounding board, and we are so privileged to have her as the author to help us when we need it.
Moving along at our own pace, and very happy with it!

Motherjoy
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:52 pm

Re: Preparing...taking him FOREVER

Post by Motherjoy » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:21 am

The program itself isn't too hard. In fact, last week went really well. However, on Tuesday last week, I only made him do one vocab word because it was taking so long. So, this week, he was expecting to get a free pass. What makes it difficult is that I am having to chase around little ones and I'm not fully available for his every question. I also think this is a good thing, because he really needs to be more independent. It is obvious that Preparing has revealed some serious character flaws in my son and some things that need to be addressed in our homeschool. He tries to do as little as possible, and doesn't read the directions in Preparing well enough. I'm excited to continue with Preparing, and I really think he can do it. I'm just not sure if I'm expecting too much too quickly.

I didn't think of easing into the program in the way you mentioned. That might work for us. Last week, I was able to get all the boxes checked, but some things I would speed up or do halfway (like the Research section) just so we could be done.
MJ, mom to 8
2015-2016 plan
*17yo is dual-enrolled after using HOD for 7 years
*11yo, 10yo, 9yo, and 7yo - CTC with modifications
*5yo, 4yo - LHTH
*3yo - playschool

Accomplished: LHTH, LHFHG, BHFHG, Beyond, PHFHG, RTR, Rev to Rev, MTMM, WG, WH

water2wine
Posts: 2743
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 7:24 pm
Location: GA

Re: Preparing...taking him FOREVER

Post by water2wine » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:38 am

I think Vicki has a good idea by taking it a bit slower at first. I might cut back a little but expect more with what he does do. Then when he gets the the first set of skills mastered add more. Also maybe that will give you more time to look at the why of the time delays in things. Vocabulary should be a fairly quick thing. Maybe there is a dictionary skill for instance that needs to be learned. Just slowing things down may allow you to identify what the slow downs are due to and correct those areas before adding more. Hang in there. :D
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
~Six lovies from God~4 by blessing of adoption
-MTMM (HS), Rev to Rev, CTC, DITHR
We LOVED LHFHG/Beyond/Bigger/Preparing/CTC/RTR/Rev to Rev (HS)

inHistiming
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Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:30 pm
Location: Central VA
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Re: Preparing...taking him FOREVER

Post by inHistiming » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:27 am

Something I want to mention is that if you are new to Charlotte Mason-type studies in general, and HOD specifically, part of it could also just be that it's something new to get used to. We began Bigger...yesterday, and the first day went great, but we still have not added storytime or DITHOR. Due to poor planning :oops: :roll: , we don't have our storytime book yet, and I had planned to add the reading program in a few weeks anyway so we could get into a good schedule with the other things first. It takes time to adjust to something new, and he may just be struggling with that...as well as testing you, because we moms all know that every child will try that! :wink: I would say maybe give it a bit more time...to see if it's really a struggle for him or if it's just the learning curve combined with his testing you. Both my older kids have had issues with getting lazy if I'm not close by to keep them on task, and with little ones to keep track of I'm sure you're all over the place. You could try sitting down with him to have a 'serious talk' about what is expected and how it would be a big help to you for him to be diligent with his work. You've probably already done this, but it was just a thought. I'm sure others will have good suggestions. And as a pp said, you could contact Carrie to ask her opinion of the situation; then she could offer solutions. Hang in there, it will get better. :P

Motherjoy
Posts: 376
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 7:52 pm

Re: Preparing...taking him FOREVER

Post by Motherjoy » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:02 pm

Thanks for all the replies.

Vocab took more than 45 minutes today. About 5 of that was us having a talk about responsibility, etc. I wasn't in the room with him, so I have no idea what might have caused the delay. But I expected it to take 30 minutes. Just because that's a lot of looking up, writing, drawing.

I'm not sure what we'll do. I'll talk to hubby tonight and see what he thinks.
MJ, mom to 8
2015-2016 plan
*17yo is dual-enrolled after using HOD for 7 years
*11yo, 10yo, 9yo, and 7yo - CTC with modifications
*5yo, 4yo - LHTH
*3yo - playschool

Accomplished: LHTH, LHFHG, BHFHG, Beyond, PHFHG, RTR, Rev to Rev, MTMM, WG, WH

wdworkman
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 6:46 pm
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Re: Preparing...taking him FOREVER

Post by wdworkman » Tue Aug 19, 2008 2:08 pm

We won't start Preparing until next week so I'm not speaking from experience. Could you possibly make Vocabulary 1 word a day every day?

Carrie
Site Admin
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: Preparing...taking him FOREVER

Post by Carrie » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:59 pm

MotherJoy,

First of all I just want to let you know that this happens at our house too when we start a new program, especially when I am trying to teach my kiddos independence and wean them from needing me for everything. :wink:

If you haven't done "Bigger Hearts..." and your son isn't used to doing vocabulary words, I would start with one word per week, done well and then move up to 2 and eventually end with 3 for this school year. Vocabulary time should never exceed 15 minutes.

I would also shorten some of the writing (in the beginning as needed), letting him know you will eventually be working up to full-speed on the written requirements. I would make sure to assign only a VERY SMAll portion in writing Rod and Staff English-wise as well (doing most orally or on the white board). :D Each box of lessons in Preparing.... is meant to be done in about 20 minutes or less (with the exception of Drawn into the Heart which will take 30 minutes and math which may take up to 30 minutes). If you are going longer than that, you need to adjust the assignment or step in and help them quickly finish it up. Forward motion! :D :D

Another thing to be mindful of is that the top boxes of plans are all meant to be Teacher-directed. The middle boxes are meant to be semi-independent, meaning you stay with him to start the activities and only leave him on his own to finish what he really can do on his own. :wink: While you can definitely move him toward more independence overall as the year progresses, if you've not used our other guides, many of the skills in Preparing.... will be new and will take a little training to get down. I assure you that it will get much better. Set a goal of staying by him or being nearby as much as possible in this beginning month or two to encourage good work habits and less frustration. :wink:

If the material seems to be on the right level listening-wise and reading-wise then you chose the right program. You just need to allow him to grow into the skills! This is necessary for all kiddos when they begin something new. I invite you to think back to a time when you were being shown a new skill, remember how overwhelming it seemed, and how it didn't seem like you'd ever learn it? This is how your kiddos feel. Step-by-step they will make gains, they just won't do it all in the first month! :D

Blessings,
Carrie

stellar
Posts: 29
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 4:57 am

Re: Preparing...taking him FOREVER

Post by stellar » Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:31 am

You have recieved some great advice from Carrie. I think they key is to have short lessons but to expect attentiveness and diligence. This year I am going to focus on expecting their best. It does not have to be perfect but it needs to be their best work. This works well if you are keeping the lessons short (20 min). That way you are training them to stay and task and give it their full effort. I have failed miserably in this area. I have 5 children 8 and under os I can relate :-)

Keep on trucking!

Kari

Matt'sMom
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:01 pm

Re: Preparing...taking him FOREVER

Post by Matt'sMom » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:50 am

I feel your pain. Last year I started my 8 ds in Bigger and it was our first time to use HOD. Like you it was taking forever to get done. I found it discouraging when everyone else seemed to finish so quickly. Hang in there and keep working even if it is slowly. I believe you will see great improvement over time. We did not complete bigger last year and just resumed school this week. I absolutly can not believe the differance in our first few days this year and last year. He is zipping through the boxes and enjoying being done early. I believe the differance is he knows what to expect and he is a little more sure of himself. As your son moves forward he will better understand what is expected and he will gain conficence with will mean moving through the assignment more quickly. I always have to remind myself that it is not a race and we don't have to be finished with school by a certain time. The important thing is to steadily move forward and have fun. Praying for you both.

Durea

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