Help! I'm drowning in Bigger!!!

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).
Nealewill
Posts: 1611
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:08 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Help! I'm drowning in Bigger!!!

Post by Nealewill » Thu Aug 21, 2014 2:20 pm

I think all kids are different. For us, my son is actually doing some with lines and some without. My dd is the same. She can do stuff without lines but she was having a melt down the other day in CTC where she had to write something without lines LOL. I told her to chill out!

If he can do the work but struggles only because of the "lines", then I would just provide lines. Maybe you could work your way to having him do one thing without lines to start with. And then he will work his way up to doing 1/2 without lines. And then work his way up to doing everything required without the lines. Just a thought. We are at the 1/2 part. When he does the copy work from the Bible, he really likes having lines. But when he does the journaling from the science notebook, he doesn't care so much about lines (maybe because it is drawing a picture and then giving it a label). But he will get there :-). So I would just let him write on something lined or draw a few lines if it were me.

My dd last year was drawing lines on her paper for the bible verses last year all year long (on her own with a ruler) when she did Preparing and it was fine for me. But when she had to draw a picture and label it - it was fine without lines. So I would just take each day one day at a time and see how it goes.
Daneale

DD 13 WG
DS 12 R2R
DD 10 R2R

Enjoyed DITHOR, Little Hearts, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, R2R, RevtoRev, MtMM

4froggies
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:02 am

Re: Help! I'm drowning in Bigger!!!

Post by 4froggies » Thu Aug 21, 2014 6:11 pm

That is a good idea about the cardstock- thanks! He turns 9 in February. I think Beyond would be good for him except he loves Bigger science- I suppose I could drop back to Beyond and add in a science book to keep his interest. It's nice to hear of someone else having done Beyond with a third grader...that may be a good solution. I will look at the Beyond samples again.
Beth

Mom to 5 great kiddos (15,11,8,5,2) and one due in October!

MelInKansas
Posts: 1700
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: Help! I'm drowning in Bigger!!!

Post by MelInKansas » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:05 pm

I would say the skipping letters and things is normal, especially for the 8YO. My kids do this a lot, but this is part of the training of attention to detail. It helps if you are right there with him. If he finishes a word he has copied incorrectly then I would stop him at the end of that word and say, "check the word you just wrote." Sometimes if I am not right there (working with another child) I will have them check over their work or point out the error if they can't find it. My kids are getting better at proofreading this way.

I would say giving him lines to write on for now is fine. As Nealewill and others have said, you can work on transitioning off of them throughout the year. My 9YO does not do her work on unlined paper as neatly as I would like (sizing problems, writing is not straight) but I have compromised a bit on it because it is such a struggle for her. It has to be readable. On certain things, like Common Place Book, project work, I expect her to do her best and I expect it to look reasonably nice. On notebooking I expect it to be readable.
Melissa
"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases
His mercies never come to an end"

DD12 - Rev to Rev + DITHOR 6/7/8
DD10 - CTC + DITHOR 2/3
DD7 - Bigger + ERs
DS5 - LHFHG
DD2 - ABC123
2 babies in heaven

Carrie
Site Admin
Posts: 8058
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: Help! I'm drowning in Bigger!!!

Post by Carrie » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:20 pm

Beth,

The ladies are doing a terrific job of helping you talk through your options. :D A couple of things that stood out to me in your post about your son being both a struggling reader and a struggling writer leads me to suggest that you take another look at Beyond. Struggling in two of the 3R's is a challenge when doing Bigger. In looking down the road, I would be concerned that even if he manages to get through Bigger, by the time he gets to Preparing on up I worry that each year will feel like an overwhelming task for both you and your son. In looking at the fact that he isn't doing the cursive or copywork of the poem right now, I am also assuming that you might not be getting to the written part of DITHR either? Or, perhaps your son is doing the Emerging Reader's set? Honestly, the copywork and reading assignments are going to be very important right now to help him gain needed confidence and practice in his areas of difficulty. With the workload feeling too heavy in Bigger, it is likely that you will end up downsizing or skipping things that your son will actually need in order to be successful in the next guide. :wink:

So, my recommendation would be to shift him down to Beyond. Due to his age, I would keep Rod and Staff English 2 to do daily along with Beyond. I would make sure that he writes a small portion on paper each day for English to practice getting comfortable writing on paper. Since he's on the upper end of the age range for Beyond, I would also be sure that he completes several lines of copywork of the poem from Beyond each day, striving to copy the entire poem by the end of the week. Then, I would be sure to daily do the Emerging Reader's Set (if that is where he is) or do DITHR. With DITHR, when you get there, you can do some writing for him at first and/or also write on a marker board for him to copy on his paper later. Eventually, move toward having him do more of the writing in DITHR in preparation for Bigger. :D

With boys, it is especially important to give them every chance to mature into the needed fine motor skills. I taught third grade for many years in the public school, and it was easy to tell which kiddos needed a bit more time to mature (and most often they were boys). :wink: So, give your little honey the gift of time to grow into needed skills. Don't worry about adding to the science, as he will still get twice weekly science lessons in Beyond. Just worry about the 3R's right now and gently ease him into those needed skills daily, along with all of the other excellent skills found within Beyond. Doing all of Beyond well, rather than randomly skipping things or downsizing within Bigger will help your son be more prepared for the next guide the following year. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

my3sons
Posts: 10599
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Help! I'm drowning in Bigger!!!

Post by my3sons » Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:37 pm

Carrie wrote: So, my recommendation would be to shift him down to Beyond. Due to his age, I would keep Rod and Staff English 2 to do daily along with Beyond. I would make sure that he writes a small portion on paper each day for English to practice getting comfortable writing on paper. Since he's on the upper end of the age range for Beyond, I would also be sure that he completes several lines of copywork of the poem from Beyond each day, striving to copy the entire poem by the end of the week. Then, I would be sure to daily do the Emerging Reader's Set (if that is where he is) or do DITHR. With DITHR, when you get there, you can do some writing for him at first and/or also write on a marker board for him to copy on his paper later. Eventually, move toward having him do more of the writing in DITHR in preparation for Bigger. :D ...With boys, it is especially important to give them every chance to mature into the needed fine motor skills. I taught third grade for many years in the public school, and it was easy to tell which kiddos needed a bit more time to mature (and most often they were boys). :wink: So, give your little honey the gift of time to grow into needed skills. Don't worry about adding to the science, as he will still get twice weekly science lessons in Beyond. Just worry about the 3R's right now and gently ease him into those needed skills daily, along with all of the other excellent skills found within Beyond. Doing all of Beyond well, rather than randomly skipping things or downsizing within Bigger will help your son be more prepared for the next guide the following year. :D
This is what I was thinking as well. He sounds like he fits squarely in Beyond Little Hearts, and so why not get to enjoying it?!? :D :D :D I love this idea for many reasons for your ds, which have already been shared, but I also love it for YOU - a busy mama this year!!! :D Next year, half-speed LHFHG, Bigger Hearts, and RTR will be a very nice year overall too. I also taught 3rd grade for many years, and what Carrie says is right on target. :D Ds will probably have a huge growth year next year, and this year can be all about strengthening reading/writing skills, building confidence, yet keeping a solid balance to his day with all of the subject areas in Beyond. I'd be sure to do the hands-on activities. Children learn much from the hands-on activities, and cognitive abilities and even physical fine motor skills abilities are strengthened along the way, which impacts learning in all subject areas. My dh comes to mind. He lived for the chance to show what he knew in school with hands-on activities. They were an area in which he shined! Many boys are the same, which is why ps is so hard for many boys -there are very few if any hands-on activities used as assessments. I'm so thankful for the few teachers my dh had that encouraged him like that. :)

I remember when he first got his sales job for telecommunication materials. He was handed a lot of books and manuals. (He is a good reader and speller actually, though he dislikes writing.) He came home pretty downtrodden, wondering if he could really do that job, overwhelmed at the prospect of training for his new job by reading a lot of books and manuals. I suggested going to work alongside the guys putting in the telecommunication materials on the job sites. His eyes practically lit up, and he was off and running! :D Now, whenever someone calls and needs help with what to put together for a job, he is the best person to talk to! The whole layout is in his head because he worked on it hands-on himself. He still loves to go to job sites when he can! He also loves to have reps bring new products to sell, and show him and his customers how they work by using the products themselves in demonstrations. Many of his customers comment on how much they appreciate being able to actually 'get their hands on the stuff' rather than having to look at a picture in a catalog to try to figure out how it works. I'm so proud of my dh. He has worked his way up to an excellent position he is good at! All of this has been due to God's grace, and also to his being able to use his hands to learn and to show what he knows. I personally begged Carrie long ago not to take the easy way out and let go of writing hands-on activities in the HOD guides, even at the upper levels. How easy it would have been for Carrie herself to skip writing these! They by far take the most time to create, write, and edit. However, 7 boys between the 2 of us spurs us on... that and (for me) the picture in my mind of my dh as a student not feeling very bright in school sitting at his desk with a pile of textbooks in front of him. Just had to share the thought and heart that goes into each and every single word of plans that makes it onto that finite space of 2 pages of plans in each guide. :wink: It all has a purpose and is worth doing IMHO.

In Christ,
Julie
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 https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

Post Reply