Placement questions...

This is where new posts begin. All questions or discussions about any of Heart of Dakota's curriculums start here. If you wish to share a one-time post about your family's experience with our curriculum, you may post under the specific curriculum title (found beneath this "Main Board" heading).
Post Reply
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:33 am
Location: Kentucky

Placement questions...

Post by Lynnw » Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:37 am

If you read my post about our coming back to HOD (here: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=10154), I'm wanting to be sure of placement... Here's the short version. We've done a bit of HOD in the past, but between a new baby (3 years ago) and dh's deployment (1.5 years ago) we didn't complete guides we began. So, here's a fresh look at my kids and where they might place. I need to combine somewhere. My 3rd grader and 4th grader are closest in age, but not necessarily the best to combine. My 3rd grader marches to the beat of a little bit different drummer and my 4th grader is very bright and I don't want her comparing herself to him. So, she might combine better with her younger brother where she can be "the lead." Her younger brother is just turned 6yo - he is sort of K, sort of 1st grade.

Oldest, 7th grader, ds - did part of RTR last year. Possibly because we haven't always done HOD, he doesn't seem to enjoy doing so much notebooking. He seems a little burnt out on narrations. He is a big reader and a history buff - so much so that I allowed him to choose a book list for his history this year. My instruction time with him is focused more on math and writing this year. I feel bound to honor this arrangement as long as he makes progress in the skills we need to work on. So, I'm not considering placement for him at this time, but request your prayers for God's leading if there are to be any changes in our plan for him this year.

4th grader, 9yo ds (turns 10 in Dec) - did part of Bigger last year. He reads independently (even read Fellowship of the Ring in the spring - though it took him a long time to do it!), but is not as big a reader as his older brother. Prefers print, but can write in cursive - I have him doing cursive copywork now so he doesn't forget what he learned last year. Does fine with dictation. Ready for written narration instruction. Completed FLL 3 last year, using R&S this year. Math - doing really well with CLE 400.

3rd grader, 8yo dd (turned 8 this summer) - While she does read independently, she still mis-reads some words. I recently decided she could use some "finishing phonics" lessons to help her with bigger words. She has read one of the Peggy Parish mystery books. She can copy sentences and words. SHe is finishing HWOT cursive now and I was planning to give her cursive copywork after that. I've started R&S 3 with her, but sometimes she needs more time with one concept before moving on. (For example - she wasn't ready to move onto compound subjects and predicates immediately after the lesson on diagramming sentence skeletons. So we just spent more time working with simple subject and predicate skeletons). She is using CLE for math a grade level behind (CLE 200). She has really improved a lot.

ker/1st grader, 6yo ds, (turned 6 in August) - He began phonics lastl year with Get Ready, Get Set, Go For the code. He was reading easy BOB books in the spring. I have backed up a bit for review and I'm working through Phonics Pathways with him. He knows how to form most letters and does simple copywork (usually words that relate to his phonics lesson). No real grammar instruction yet. He does well with math - we are using CLE 100 and going slowly.

3yo dd - she would love to be doing school everyday and would probably love LHTH, but I'm not sure I could ahndle another thing. Maybe after everyone else is rolling along smoothly.

I'm guessing ideal placement might be - 4th grader - Preparing, 3rd grader - Beyond or Bigger, and K/1st grader in LHFHG, but I would like to combine someone and I'd like to avoid back-to-back guides.

If you read all this - thank you! Thoughts welcome! Prayers welcome too!!!
Married 19 years to Dh, Detective and Army Reservist: 1 tour in Iraq, 1 tour in Afghanistan
ds 12.5 (7th grade) RevtoRev
ds 9.5 (4th grade) Preparing

dd 8 (3rd grade) Beyond
ds 6 (K/1st grade) Beyond
dd 3

Posts: 227
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 8:02 am
Location: Seattle area

Re: Placement questions...

Post by mamas4bugs » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:43 am

Um...I'm thinking. :) Did you use the placement chart to see exactly where they place? I'm not sure you can avoid back to back guides, but I'm thinking. I suppose you could do the 4th grader in Preparing, combine the next two in Beyond (both favorite guides of mine:P), and then even do the 3 year old in LHTH. My concern with that is the the K/1st grader isn't really ready for Beyond, and the guides just get progressively more challenging as they grow. I'm afraid by the time that child hits, say, Preparing, he would be completely frustrated. Also, part of your concern was that he was getting left behind when they were all combining. I'm afraid that would wind up happening again.
Living the adventure, blessed to be schooling 3:
Cub 15 MTMM with extentions
Crawdad 11 Preparing
Taz 6 her own interesting mix

Have used and loved: LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, RTR

Posts: 965
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:49 pm

Re: Placement questions...

Post by 8arrows » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:11 am

I am thinking you could either put the oldest two in Bigger and have the oldest do the extentions, putting the younger in LHFHG, or put the oldest in Preparing and the 6 and 8 year olds in Beyond. I would probably lean to the second.
Melissa, wife to Jim for 28 years
3 graduated, 2 using US 2, 8th grade dd using Missions to Marvels
Isaiah 40:11 ...He gently leads those that have young.

Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:37 pm

Re: Placement questions...

Post by holdinon » Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:50 am

Lynnw wrote:I'm guessing ideal placement might be - 4th grader - Preparing, 3rd grader - Beyond or Bigger, and K/1st grader in LHFHG, but I would like to combine someone and I'd like to avoid back-to-back guides.
I think you are right on this individual placement. There are many reasons to combine, and it can work well. Just keep in mind that sometimes it is actually easier to run multiple guides rather than combining. (As it can be time consuming to have to add-to for an older or help out or water down for youngers.) That said, we do some combining at our house, and it works well for us.

If you do choose to combine, I think ds9 and dd8 could go into Bigger (with dd9 doing extensions). I know you said dd9 did some of Bigger last year, but I would not combine dd8 and ds6 as there is quite a spread in abilities there, and I wouldn't put ds6 in Beyond. And I think Preparing may be a stretch for your newly 8yo (but maybe not???). She may could handle it, but I think Bigger is probably a bit better fit, and it has the extension for the older.

Placement decisions can be soooo difficult. And what one family would do, is not necessarily the best for another family. But it is nice to have a board like this to get ideas that's my .02 :wink: . I pray you will find the perfect fit for your kiddos :)
Last edited by holdinon on Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2013-2014 year:
Geography, CtC, Preparing, Bigger, Beyond, and Little Hearts (and surviving!)

(Completed LHTH, LHFHG, BLHFHG, BHFHG, Preparing, CtC, RtR, and RevtRev)

Posts: 1491
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:45 pm

Re: Placement questions...

Post by pjdobro » Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:12 pm

My thoughts as I was reading was to put your 4th grader in Preparing and your younger two in Beyond. Your 4th grade ds sounds ready for Preparing from your description. I was thinking that your dd might not quite be ready for Bigger so Beyond sounds like it would be a good choice there. Do you think your 6 yo is ready for Beyond? How does he place on the chart?

If he is ready for it, I'm thinking you could do the program as written for him using the gentle grammar introduction in Beyond one day per week, the first spelling list, and your own level of math. Then for your dd you could use the left side of Beyond and add in R&S grammar at her level, use the second spelling list for her, and her level of math. You could slow down the pace of the grammar to whatever works best for her perhaps only doing 1/2 of R&S 3 this year. Next year when you do Bigger with both of them, you can finish off R&S3 with her, do R&S 2 with him, do spelling list 2 with him and dictation with her. You can add in the Bigger extensions for her next year if needed. Then when you go into Preparing the following year you'll be all set to follow the schedule in Preparing for both of them using R&S3 for your ds and R&S4 for your dd and doing appropriate levels of dictation for each of them. I know that is a far look ahead, but I was just trying to think through how it could work for you in future guides and years. This is assuming though that you think your ds can handle Beyond now and progress along at a guide a year.

The good thing about doing Preparing and Beyond this year would be that you wouldn't be doing back to back guides plus Beyond is still pretty short which will allow you time to get your older ds working well with his guide and gaining some independence. That way next year when you would be doing CTC and Bigger, your older ds will be fairly independent allowing you more time to really get your younger two solid in skills as they progress towards independence. The question is though is your younger ds, ready for Beyond? Would it be too much for him? :D
Patty in NC

b/g twins '02 Rev2Rev 2014/15
previously enjoyed LHFHG, BLHFHG, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, RTR
Nisi Dominus Frusta (Without God, frustration)
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Psalm 127:1

Posts: 180
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:33 am
Location: Kentucky

Re: Placement questions...

Post by Lynnw » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:21 pm

Ladies, Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and post your replies. My 6yo getting left behind or hitting Bigger too soon are both very good points. I'm also torn by the desire to "save" time by combining vs. enjoying one on one time with each child in his/her own guide. I think avoiding back-to-back guides should probably be the least of my worries.

Here are some a couple scenarios I'm pondering.... I'm typing them out so I can remember them as well as for any additional comments! :lol:

1) 9yo in Preparing, 8yo and 6yo in Beyond
2) 9yo and 8yo in Bigger and 6yo in LHFHG
3) 9yo in Preparing, 8yo half speed in Bigger, 6yo in LHFHG
4) 9yo in Preparing, 8yo half speed in Bigger, 6yo half speed in Beyond

I admit - I'm leaning toward option 4. Two kids going half speed would really take some pressure off me.

Thanks again!
Married 19 years to Dh, Detective and Army Reservist: 1 tour in Iraq, 1 tour in Afghanistan
ds 12.5 (7th grade) RevtoRev
ds 9.5 (4th grade) Preparing

dd 8 (3rd grade) Beyond
ds 6 (K/1st grade) Beyond
dd 3

Posts: 10594
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Placement questions...

Post by my3sons » Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:03 pm

Thanks for sharing about each of your dc here to give us some fresh perspective! :D The ladies have given some very good things to ponder. I think that it is important to consider that your 8 and 9 yo may each be at a point where separating them would be beneficial for both. I also think that your 8 yo would love to be the leader, and would probably "mother" your little 6 yo quite well along the way. Doing 3 back to back guides would be difficult, as this is a decision that would have you teaching every guide 3 years in a row. I love HOD very much - but that would be a bit hard for me (probably a personal preference here though). So, this leads me to thinking Option #1 would be good. Your 9 yo will be able to thrive with PHFHG, and 8 yo dd won't be struggling to keep up. This will be a good pattern for years to come. Your 6 and 8 yo will be able to enjoy Beyond, and I'd really consider doing it just 4 days a week. This will give your 6 yo just some nice added time to grow into it. It will give you a day off each week too. Very nice! :D This would give you time to focus on teaching 6 yo to read and to write, and I think after you get these 3 dc going, you can add in LHTH half-speed for little 3 yo. This would take 15 minutes a day, and will give your little honey some mommy time too without taking up too much teaching time. Also, looking down the road, the 9 yo doing PHFHG would give you the chance to have your oldest join in and do the extensions. :D HTH! :D

In Christ,
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional
Sister to Carrie

Posts: 180
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 11:33 am
Location: Kentucky

Re: Placement questions...

Post by Lynnw » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:39 pm

Thank you SO much for taking time to post. I really appreciate your perspective on guide placement and sibling relationships! I'm relieved that combining my 8yo and 6yo is a workable plan.

Thank you for a warm welcome back :)
Married 19 years to Dh, Detective and Army Reservist: 1 tour in Iraq, 1 tour in Afghanistan
ds 12.5 (7th grade) RevtoRev
ds 9.5 (4th grade) Preparing

dd 8 (3rd grade) Beyond
ds 6 (K/1st grade) Beyond
dd 3

Posts: 1980
Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:23 pm
Location: NE Kansas

Re: Placement questions...

Post by Kathleen » Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:12 pm

Welcome back Lynn! :D

I think I'd go with "option 1", too. We've done the younger guides 4 days a week when our oldest got to Preparing, and I have to say that having that 5th day kind of free during the week has been very helpful to me! We've used it for some extras, field trips, extra music practice or lessons, running errands, or cleaning the house. :wink: I could see this helping you be able to keep up in the day to day, as I know it has helped me! My husband isn't home a lot - although he's usually just down the road at the farm...not in Afghanistan! :shock: You've had a lot of extra life situations to deal with in the last year and a half!! I can imagine how this would make getting school accomplished hard. You're wise to be looking for a plan that is realistic for you to be able to DO daily. I think this is just as important to consider as what the needs of each of your kids are. I really liked knowing that when I was giving most all of my time and energy to homeschooling in those 4 days per week that we could use the 5th one for the other things that were calling for our attention. Once you look at what they need and what you can do, you should be set!

:D Kathleen
Homeschooling mom to 6:
Grant - 19 Kansas State University
Allison - 15 World Geography
Garret - 13 Res2Ref
Asa - 8 Bigger
Quinn - 7 Bigger

Halle - 4 LHTH

Post Reply