Is anyone happy @ combining?

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Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:51 pm

Is anyone happy @ combining?

Post by amysue277 » Sun May 20, 2012 3:22 pm

Hi all,
I know the issue of combining is a personal one, and can work beautifully for one family, but not another. After lurking on this board for awhile, I have read several posts about the positive effects of placing each in their own guide. I have also read posts about combining and then regretting it.

I am wondering if there is anybody who combines who is loving that decision? I would love to hear from those of you that have successfully combined as I am on the fence with whether I should, and I feel I am being swayed and want to make sure I hear both sides.

Next fall, I will have a ds 5.5, and ds 4 (and almost 2 and almost 1). My hearts tells me to start LHFHG with my oldest, but my brain tells me to wait a year so that I can put the two together. My current plan is to do the right side of LHFHG, and then supplement with other things. My 5.5 is very bright and could almost place in beyond, if it were not for the writing. My soon to be 4 year old is learning his letters..and overall is just taking his time (as it should be) with academics. I want to combine b/c I feel like although they are just 18 months apart, they are worlds apart in other ways. BUT-then my brain takes over and tells me that with my family,I could someday be doing 4 guides and I think thats a little ambitious. If I combine, but continue to challenge my older one, is that good enough? Or am I doing him a disservice by
holding him back so that this brother can catch up? I feel like it may be a struggle for this mama to do 2 different guides, esp. if we are blessed with another little one in the next few years.

Appreciate any thoughts? Thanks!

DS 6-LHFHG w/ ER's and Singapore 1a/b
DS 3-keeping up with his brothers
DD 2-into everything!
DD born 3-10-13

Posts: 75
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:51 pm

Re: Is anyone happy @ combining?

Post by amysue277 » Sun May 20, 2012 4:21 pm

I forgot to add that it's not so much now that I am worried about, but later when the work gets more challenging. I do not want to be "stuck" with a decision that I regret. I wouldn't know how to combine them....

DS 6-LHFHG w/ ER's and Singapore 1a/b
DS 3-keeping up with his brothers
DD 2-into everything!
DD born 3-10-13

Posts: 237
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:20 pm

Re: Is anyone happy @ combining?

Post by farmfamily » Sun May 20, 2012 5:42 pm

Well, I probably don't have the amount of experience you're looking for, since we've only been combining for a few months now. I too, wonder how it will look in the future, but for now combining is working great for us. We basically only combine for the left side of the guide and storytime from the right side. Math and language arts for my two girls is separate. They are 22 months apart and doing Beyond, though my older daughter is doing language arts from Bigger. With everything else there is to do, I appreciate being able to combine for some things, while my kids are each getting a good education on their own level in the 3Rs. We started this school year not combined (my older was doing Bigger half-speed, but not really ready for the amount of writing - even at half speed lol! And my younger was in LHFHG), and I found it hard - maybe just due to my older daughter's personality. She always wanted to do what her younger sister was doing because it looked more fun. She couldn't concentrate on her work, even if she was upstairs and we were downstairs because she wanted to listen in on what I was reading to her sister. If I told her she could go play, she wanted to sit on the couch with us and listen to sister's things and she just HAD to do sister's art projects etc... The end result was that she was trying to do all her sister's work and her own and it made her school day really long, so she (and I) was exhausted at the end. It is also nice that now we are memorizing the same Bible verse together and doing art projects together. I feel that my time is well spent on these great activities because 2 kids are doing it, so I am less tempted to skip things on busy days. My two girls get on very well together, and they are both very social so they really enjoy doing things together.

Here is a link to another post I read on those who combine:


blessed to be married 17 yrs to my hardworking farmer dh, mom to:
daughter 13 MTMM
daughter 11 Rev to Rev
son 10 CTC

Enjoyed Little Hands, LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, Res to Ref, and Rev to Rev!!

Posts: 31
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 8:13 pm

Re: Is anyone happy @ combining?

Post by jen_good » Sun May 20, 2012 9:33 pm


I don't have a lot of experience to add either -- this was our first year hs. We combined our 7 yr old dd (1st grade, but advanced) and our 9 yr old ds (3rd grade) in Bigger this year and have been loving it. They both have their separate Reading, LA and Math, but do everything else together. I think combining for us is beneficial for many reasons. Some of which are:
1. We love spending time together.
2. Going on field trips is more fun, because they can both share in the experience. (i.e. We went to Philadelphia yesterday. They both really enjoyed the trip because they both studied about Independence Hall, Ben Franklin, George Washington, etc. this year).
3. We often get in great discussions because one dc's idea/thought will lead the other dc to another thought, etc.
4. and... honestly, I think it does save some time.

I've asked my dc several times throughout the year if they would prefer to do separate programs. Each time they emphatically said "NO".

That said, I too have some concerns about the future. We may hit a point where my dd may not be able to move as fast as my ds. If that happens, I would probably move my dd to half-speed and continue my ds at full-speed. In the meantime, we will keep enjoying combining.

I will pray that God gives you wisdom in deciding what is best for your family :D


p.s. I forgot to mention that we had checked the placement chart thoroughly and spoke with Carrie and Julie before making the decision to combine.

Posts: 220
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:19 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Is anyone happy @ combining?

Post by basesloaded » Mon May 21, 2012 6:46 am

We have been using HOD for 3 years now beginning with Preparing. I have combined my 2 oldest sons who are 2 years apart for 6 years now. Keeping them together has been a priority for us and we have been happy with how it has worked using HOD. My oldest has always used the extension pack. I will say that if they were further apart in age I would not be able to make it work for them. My oldest son did K - 2nd on his own and I started combing them when my middle son was in 1st and my oldest was in 3rd using another curr. so I don't have any experience to share about combing with the earlier years of HOD. Next year they will be 6th & 8th and will be using Rev to Rev. I have a younger son who will be in 1st and using Beyond. We are excited that although they all are not doing exactly the same things they will all be doing American History and we can plan some field trips that they all we enjoy to go along. :D
Suzy in Eastern NC
Momma of boys 11th grade, 9th & 4th
HS World History, HS Geo & Preparing

Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:04 am

Re: Is anyone happy @ combining?

Post by mamayi » Mon May 21, 2012 7:37 am

I've combined my oldest two for the past three years. It kind of just happened as my oldest son was not eager to do anything school-related (except read) until he was past 6 years old and my oldest daughter was more than eager (and able) to start schooling. We started with LHFHG when ds was 6 and dd was 4.5 and went half speed for a long time. When we finally finished that guide we started Beyond at half speed for the first 10-12 units (I can't remember exactly). Then I purposefully stretched Bigger out for almost two full school years so that my dd would be at least 8 when we started Preparing. (It was easy to stretch Bigger because we were living in Northern Virginia at the time and there were a ton of history-related field trips we took and we had another baby and moved during that time period too!) We started Preparing in April and it suits my ds just perfectly and my dd is fully capable of doing it but can balk at some of the writing. We're taking a long break right now (baby's due this week) and I am sure that when we pick up again in August she'll be ready to go.

I have had concerns over the years that I should be pushing my oldest child a little more and not challenging my daughter so much but whenever I would pray about my concerns the Lord would reassure me that combining them is working just fine and fits our family. (I will say that they each do their own level of math and reading but everything else is combined). They both just had their "end of the year evaluations" as required by the state of Florida and the evaluator was impressed at their work and skill level (THANK YOU HOD!) so it gave me more reassurance that combining is working just fine.

I hope our family's experience helps encourage you.
Marine Wife for 14 years
Mother to
DS 07/02 Preparing
DD 04/04 Preparing
DD 07/06 LHFHG
DS 09/09 Playing
DD 05/12 Joining the party!

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

Re: Is anyone happy @ combining?

Post by 8arrows » Mon May 21, 2012 8:35 am

I combine my 10 1/2, 12. and 14 year olds, and I combine my 6 (in the fall) and 7 1/2 year olds. I too have second-guessed myself and tried splitting up the group of three. I couldn't keep up. There were too many books to keep track of for me. I didn't like all the different history periods rolling around in my head. Combining gets the work accomplished with sanity for our family. I like having quiz time with the groups. We like discussing the same topics together. It just is what we do well with and enjoy.
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.

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