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Switching it up this New Year?

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 3:48 pm
by queenireneof3

I currently have two kiddos doing HOD: ds (7) and dd(5). (Technically 2nd grade and K). Both are in LHFHG. My reasons for combining: I was trying to keep things simple for us and I love the connectedness/friendship my two kiddos have going through school together. They are good friends. Also, my ds (7) seemed to fit fine into LHFHG. I thought I would give him an extra year to grow, since I felt he was a little behind 2nd grade level. I knew some of it would be easy, but better that than too hard! We also have a 2 yo running around keeping us busy and I just found out I am pregnant with #4. :D

Anyways, I have purchased the Beyond guide already because my son is doing Singapore 1a and I wanted the hands on activities. My question is: I am wondering if I should switch things up with them somehow and get my 7yo going on Beyond by himself? My dd(5) is doing fine with LHFHG, but I can't tell if the storytime is just beyond her comprehension, or if having an older brother who is more advanced in his story-listening skills makes it hard for her to answer the questions. I can't tell if she is being lazy in answering questions about the story because big brother will answer them anyways if she can't, or if she truly is too young for them.

Anyways, Math is a breeze for her. She is advancing well in her reading, able to sound out all short vowel words. Handwriting we are working on slowly. However, I cannot, at this point, imagine her ready for Beyond next year. I wonder about slowing down LHFHG for her to half speed, and bumping my DS to Beyond.

Will my son be missing out on something important if I just switch him partway through? (we are on unit 14). I think he would LOVE the storytime and history in Beyond. His reading is not very advanced. I would say a 1st grade level (He can read short vowels, and is now learning consonant blends at the beginning and end of words.) I am afraid to start him on the spelling in Beyond when he hasn't finished phonics yet.

I am kind of sad to think of splitting them up. I am also worried about not being able to run two guides at a time (especially with 1st trimester sickness and new baby on the horizon). Obviously they can still do the LHFHG activities together if he would want to join in (which he probably would). Doing half-speed LHFHG really appeals since we are not getting all of it done everyday anyways. I hate skipping things.

Sorry if this is confusing. This is just a new thought I had that I am trying to process through.... :roll: Any thoughts would be helpful!

Re: Switching it up this New Year?

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:42 pm
by MelInKansas
Is the storytime, your daughter's inability to answer the questions, the main problem that is making you think of splitting them up? Because if you can keep them together and still add in enough for your older one to be growing, then I would say do it! Especially with a younger and being pregnant. Don't complicate things!

Running back-to-back guides can be tiresome. You may not enjoy it with the younger one because you just did it with the older one. And Bigger Hearts + Preparing is something that they do not recommend if you can avoid it. Meaning, doing those two guides together in one year, would be a very intense year for you as both of those need a lot of time from you. So that would be a couple of reasons not to move him up. That's why I say, if it is working pretty well, stick with it.

Some ways you might be able to help your younger one with storytime:
- Make some times where she is supposed to answer and big brother is not allowed to answer. It may take some training for him to not jump in.
- If it is her turn to answer and she is struggling, give her a word or a couple of words, have her finish a sentence about what happened, whatever. Or re-read part that tells the answer to see if she can pick it out. The storytime books are challenging listening comprehension for that age group, that's the point, they can grow into it.

Re: Switching it up this New Year?

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:17 pm
by queenireneof3
Thanks for the reply!

Yes, storytime is one of the main reasons. It seems to be the only part of LHFHG that she doesn't click with. My son loves the stories. I do ask them individual questions and it is almost like she has chosen not to listen so she doesn't know the answer. I have tried switching storytime to different times in our day to see if it makes a difference. So far, putting it first thing after our bible study seems to help the most. We do have our little 2 yo in the room at the time, so that is probably a big distraction. I try to limit his room time (time alone in his room) to the time we are working at the table, so I let him hang around in the room when we read the stories or do the activities.

I didn't know if i slowed down the pace for her, if she would have more time to grow into the story-listening and narration skills. But my son definitely does not need to slow down.

I also would like to be engaging my oldest son's mind with more great stories. I know he would LOVE the history and story time in Beyond. But honestly, we have trouble getting all LHFHG done in one day if we don't start at 8:30 or 9 in the morning. We have afternoon commitments that require us to be done by about 12:30 (lunch included). We could finish after 3 if we put our mind to it, I suppose.

I guess I worried he was capable of more work, and that by next year, she might not be ready to move up to Beyond. It seems like a big jump between the two, but maybe it is not as big as I think.

I really appreciate your thoughts. It is helping me rethink trying to switch it up.

Re: Switching it up this New Year?

Posted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:19 pm
by queenireneof3
I am also glad to hear you say that the storytime books are challenging for that age group. That makes me feel better about her challenges to retain the story!

Re: Switching it up this New Year?

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:58 am
by Mombeck
My 6 year old is currently using LHFHG and he is really loving it! It sounds like your 7 year old son is doing really well with it, also. I know how fun Beyond looks and I am using it with my 8 year old daughter this year. However, I would really recommend sticking with LHFHG with your 2 children. You can always give your son extra projects if you feel you need to challenge him. I really think with how busy you already are, you will be thankful in the end that you stay with keeping your first 2 together. Maybe your daughter needs an extra picture book to be read to her daily. Not all kids readily take to the Burgess stories. My son really loved Reddi Fox and he even asks me to read ahead. :) Yet, for your daughter, a book with more illustrations may hold her attention better. I pray you have an easy pregnancy. If I were you, I would try to keep on with LHFHG and just enjoy the simplicity of teaching them together while you can. :)

Re: Switching it up this New Year?

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:43 am
by MelInKansas
When we did LHFHG the first time my older daughters were 6 and 4. The 4YO was the same way you are describing your daughter. She sat and listened but she seemed "checked out" a lot of the time and she could not answer the questions at all usually. For her, it was not really her guide and I didn't have any expectations for her. She didn't need to answer the questions, she ended up going through LHFHG again on her own later. If you feel your daughter isn't ready for Beyond by the time you finish LHFHG you could always repeat LHFHG with her at that time, with 1st grade options or things from Beyond added in. You may find though that she does better than you think. Also if she knows she will be expected to answer maybe that would help her listen. I was having a terrible time with narration with my oldest, then I finally re-read the directions they have in the guide and it said "tell the child before you read that they will be narrating when you are done." That made a world of difference. I guess it helped her focus.

Again, there's no problem with her needing nudging or help. My oldest needed a lot of that. The point is you need to be seeing growth. Another thing you could do is try to talk about the story later on, maybe at dinner with your husband he could ask the kids about the story they heard that day, and see if he can get your daughter to remember and talk about what was read. It's not the same skill as an immediate narration right after it's read, but it may help her put the story together. The storytime books are harder vocabulary and longer readings without pictures, again it is growing their listening comprehension skills, but the stories are so great with the suspense at the end of each chapter, we loved them so much!

Even though LHFHG is really short and simple, don't underestimate what your older one is learning from it. Also there are supplemental titles in the back of the book, you can either buy them or try to get them from the library (our library is small and did not have many of the titles, but I got those I could and did some on inter-library loan). Those would enrich what your son is learning from the history. Also doing the whole overview of history, since he is more likely to remember it, will give him some pegs to hang the American History in Beyond and Bigger on, and then he will do world history again in Preparing, in much more detail. I love the emphasis on the fact that history is His Story.

Re: Switching it up this New Year?

Posted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:34 am
by queenireneof3
Thank you for all the advice! It would definitely be nice to keep them together! I think I will try and stick with that for awhile. The easier pace of the stories and history for my son allows us extra time to work on his reading and math which i feel is important right now. We will keep plugging away as we currently are. I will try explaining to my daughter ahead of time about the narration and see if that helps her! Thank you!