Help!

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MrsKnapp
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:34 pm
Location: Buffalo, NY

Help!

Post by MrsKnapp » Fri May 22, 2015 7:41 am

I would really love to hear from some of you seasoned HOD users, and even Carrie herself! I have no idea what to do...

I am at a loss as to how to move on. We began Bigger this year and it started well. As the year progressed, I found myself not knowing how to balance preschool for my 3yo, caring for the baby and doing school even though my boys (8 & 6.5) were forging ahead. I started to get lax on using the guide and would have the boys do their work without me just so that a portion of school was completed, which then led to them only doing stuff that they didn't need me for (copywork, math, spelling, English [as an extension], reading) for months. We would do small sections of history but not much.

Now we are nearing the end of May and my boys have finished all of their Math and much of English (though I didn't realize they were supposed to do much of it orally! :oops: ). If I were to look back at the guide, we are still only on Unit 9! I need to catch them up in History, Bible, and whatever Science there is. I know that I can double up since my boys are eager learners, but do I just do the guide as written and hope to finish it all before the summer ends? Or do I just begin reading History with them and not worry so much about the extras? I planned on doing school through the summer anyway, but not with it looking like this. We really need to get on track and get our structure underway.

I am embarrassed and now feel pressured. And lost. I know there is a transition year when you begin to homeschool or have a baby, and am trying to give myself grace, but I really just want to have Bigger under our belt; to have done it well (which I have not). :(

Has this happened to anyone? If I don't finish Bigger by the fall and we don't end up starting Beyond until later in the school year, where will that put us? Will it even matter?
Kelly, wife to Jeff
Blessed immeasurably more than all I could ask for or imagine!
Our choices for the 2014-2015 school year:
Jeffery (7) -- Bigger with R&S 2, DITHOR
John (6) -- Bigger with Emerging Readers
Katherine (3)
Margaret (6mos)

StephanieU
Posts: 1561
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: Help!

Post by StephanieU » Fri May 22, 2015 8:11 am

Since your younger boy still isn't in the she range for Bigger (it is for 7-9yos), I would just stay Bigger over in the fall and be more consistent with doing it as written. You can move up in the level of grammar, math, and dictation.
Mom to 4
DD (13) MtMM (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CtC, RtR, and Rev2Rev)
DS (11) RtR (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, and CtC plus some of LHTH)
DD (9) Preparing (completed LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, and Bigger)
DS (4) LHTH

gardenmama28
Posts: 54
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:27 am

Re: Help!

Post by gardenmama28 » Fri May 22, 2015 9:00 am

I would say, don't worry too much about it. I think its great that they completed the math and English, that is the main thing in those younger grades. Honestly I think that the only reason to stress about completing the rest would be to get some practice in things like narrating and notebooking before tackling Preparing. If you did start preparing in the fall, your youngest would be way below the age bracket. I agree with Stephanie. Just take the summer off, or go half-speed or whatever would make your summer restful and help you feel back to normal. The pick up in the fall with Bigger where you left off, and add in the math and English at the right level.

Honestly I was in much the same boat over this past year. I had one in Beyond, One in LHTH for Kindergarten, a three year old and a new baby. I am happy to have completed the English and Math for the most part. We read aloud most of the history stories and read alouds but did not get to doing all the activities or science and craft type stuff. I feel good about it still. It was what I could manage at the time, and I feel that as long as they are staying on track with English and Math they can pick up the rest later on when our family life allows for it. We may do Science over the summer, and will for sure continue reading books aloud together.

Always remember that you are the teacher and mother, and that all the tools we have are just tools to help us along the way. It is just fine if they miss learning about precipitation in grade 3, it will come around again before they graduate.

Jennymommy
Posts: 298
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:19 pm

Re: Help!

Post by Jennymommy » Fri May 22, 2015 10:00 am

With the younger ds, I think you will be happier doing Beyond, starting in the fall, and focusing on him for a few weeks. Let older ds take care of baby while you get a good rhythm with Beyond :) Then pick up in Bigger with older ds, using math and grammar at his current level, being sure that he does each box as written. This will set each boy up for success as they move up through the guides, covering all skills necessary for success in later years. I would stop now, call it a year, and just enjoy your dc for a while :D Read, cuddle, recuperate.

Carrie
Site Admin
Posts: 8075
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: Help!

Post by Carrie » Fri May 22, 2015 11:05 am

Kelly,

The ladies are doing a wonderful job of talking through things with you! They are terrific at helping one another. I'll just pop-in and mention that in thinking through what you've shared thus far, and with the ages of your two older kiddos, I can see where Bigger felt very full. This is because your 6 year old is under the recommended age range of Bigger, meaning that the work load would be heavy for a child that age especially writing wise (and would probably take longer than expected to complete). With this in mind, it actually isn't a bad thing that you didn't forge ahead this year with the history, as you would find yourself having your youngest most likely too young to do Preparing (especially with its more mature content and upped level of reading, writing, and independence).

One idea I am pondering a bit is that you could put your older two kiddos in Beyond starting now, and progress through that guide with them as a pair. You could choose correct levels of math, spelling, grammar, and reading. This would allow your younger child to mature before heading into Bigger, would give you a much shorter school day, and would still hone skills your kiddos typically need before heading in Bigger. It would also allow you a better chance of keeping the kiddos together in the long haul. Then, when you returned to Bigger after finishing Beyond, you could just enter back in where you left off on week 9 and go forward from there. Often, it is easier to teach to the younger and beef up for the older, which is why pondering Beyond would be a good potential decision. :wink:

If you get a chance to pop back and share what your kiddos did for the 3 R's this past year, and also whether or not your kiddos have done Beyond that would be great. :D It will also matter how soon your 8 year old will be 9 as we sort and sift through options.

Take a deep breath and realize that it will be alright. Your kiddos are young, and you can move forward from here and do well! All of us have times like this, and it is actually not a bad thing as it makes us realize what we want to do differently in the coming year. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

MrsKnapp
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:34 pm
Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: Help!

Post by MrsKnapp » Fri May 22, 2015 1:37 pm

Ladies, you have all been so helpful. Can you forgive me when I tell you we were on Beyond this year and not Bigger? I have Bigger ready for the fall. I got them mixed up as I wrote!!

Please feel free to tweak your responses. :)
Last edited by MrsKnapp on Sat May 23, 2015 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Kelly, wife to Jeff
Blessed immeasurably more than all I could ask for or imagine!
Our choices for the 2014-2015 school year:
Jeffery (7) -- Bigger with R&S 2, DITHOR
John (6) -- Bigger with Emerging Readers
Katherine (3)
Margaret (6mos)

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

Re: Help!

Post by MelInKansas » Fri May 22, 2015 2:34 pm

I agree with Carrie and some others. Bigger is probably too far ahead for your kiddos in writing and workload and it's good you didn't get too far in it this year. How old are your two now? If you look at the placement chart, especially in areas like narration, writing, and attention span, which guide do they fit in now? As Carrie mentioned, you usually want to place the younger child in a guide they can accomplish fully and well, and then add on challenge for the older one. You would do reading, math, and grammar each at their level (so it's no problem that they are "ahead" or have already completed that). I do not think you would want your two older ones to both forge ahead into Preparing this coming fall.

Even if you have to do it 1/2 speed, for HOD to work as it should, you need to be doing the readings and activities with them at this level. It really is not realistic to expect children of this age to do most of their work independently and you just check in on them and grade their work. That time will come, and believe me when it does it is a blessing! But now is the groundwork for that to be possible and they need you! I know you may know this already, but I hope it comes across as encouragement and not criticism. Each one of us has to do what we can, and adjust if we can't always do what we would like to.

I have to do it with a toddler/preschooler and baby in tow as well. You just have to figure out the ways to get yourself those snatches of uninterrupted time. The boxes laid out in the guide really help, each one is not a long task by itself, usually. Or you may only need to be very involved for just part of it. I do get my daughter started on her vocabulary words (I write the words on the cards and find the sentences in the books for her, I put sticky notes on them), and notebooking pages but often she finishes them on her own. Naptime, videos for younger ones are something I have used regularly at times (though right now I have one of the older ones playing with my 3YO and my baby is still a lap baby who sleeps a lot). When my son was 1 year old I used to put him in the high chair with a lollipop for 15 minutes. Or I have a "bean box" that he can scoop and dump and yes, it's a lot of cleanup but it gives me time to work with the other kids. I just had to keep trying to find ways to make it work.
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

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

Re: Help!

Post by MelInKansas » Fri May 22, 2015 2:37 pm

You meant you did Beyond this year? Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory comes before Bigger Hearts for His Glory. After Bigger Hearts comes Preparing Hearts. Beyond makes a lot more sense to me actually. Again, I don't think my advice will change. Stick with finishing up Beyond, and don't even worry about hurrying. You don't have to be done by fall. Do some this summer if you want to, or leave it for fall. Put them in math, grammar, and reading at their level.
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

StephanieU
Posts: 1561
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: Help!

Post by StephanieU » Fri May 22, 2015 3:54 pm

Even if you were only on unit 9 of Being, I would probably just steadily work on finishing it, at least for the 6.5yo. He went be 7 in the fall, so he went be in the age range for Bigger still. And most often, the middle age is recommended for each guide, so you funny have to rush. If you think two guides might actually work better (having the child you are not working with distract the little ones), I would consider Bigger for the older
Mom to 4
DD (13) MtMM (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CtC, RtR, and Rev2Rev)
DS (11) RtR (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, and CtC plus some of LHTH)
DD (9) Preparing (completed LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, and Bigger)
DS (4) LHTH

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

Re: Help!

Post by Nealewill » Sat May 23, 2015 5:40 am

I also would count it as a blessing. I do want to ask though, are you using other products outside of HOD? If you are, then using the guide as is each day does seem more tedious. For me, when I came to HOD last year, I used a different spelling program and different math program for all of my kids. My middle child also used a different phonics. This year, though, I switched math and spelling half way through. Using just the HOD guide as it has been a wonderful help. I find that if I don't substitute products, then I am much more likely to just follow the plans. Also - in switching to the HOD products, it makes it much easier to get my day done and done well.
Daneale

DD 13 WG
DS 12 R2R
DD 10 R2R

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

MrsKnapp
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:34 pm
Location: Buffalo, NY

Re: Help!

Post by MrsKnapp » Sat May 23, 2015 10:22 pm

Thank you all once again. I am so sorry that I was confusing with my mix-up of Beyond and Bigger.

My oldest will be 9 in November, and is your typical firstborn who is eager and ready to learn each day. My younger son is 7 on Monday and readily does his work, though may complain from time to time simply because he doesn't have the drive like my oldest does. He's a very easy going child which I'm grateful for.

I had planned to keep them in guides together as much as possible, given that they are only 18 months apart and both quite bright (can I say that, lol?!). We began Beyond this year and have used all HOD stuff with the exception of AAS. I did start my oldest on R&S as an extension and my younger son started shortly after that because he wanted to. I didn't read the guide for it at all, which explains to do most of it orally, which then explains why my guys would sometimes complain about the writing portion of it. But overall, they have both done great with it (older son is about halfway through the book, younger son is about a quarter through so far). I wanted to start DITHOR with my oldest but we never did. He is an avid reader but I never got around to starting it. Perhaps in the fall when I feel like I have a better handle on things...

So they are on their way with reading, English, Math is completed and some of History is, along with some copywork. I think, based on what you all have said, that I will stop worrying and begin anew on Tuesday. We will go through the guide and see what we can accomplish through the summer, all while looking to start Bigger once Beyond is completed.

I hope my new post clarifies the guide we are in (sorry!) and again, thank you for your time and advice. :)
Kelly, wife to Jeff
Blessed immeasurably more than all I could ask for or imagine!
Our choices for the 2014-2015 school year:
Jeffery (7) -- Bigger with R&S 2, DITHOR
John (6) -- Bigger with Emerging Readers
Katherine (3)
Margaret (6mos)

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

Re: Help!

Post by Nealewill » Sun May 24, 2015 6:08 am

I think that sounds like a great plan. Having a new baby is definitely tough and can definitely throw a wrench in the schedule. Many moms here have taken some time off with each new baby. I also know that many moms have scheduled each of their kids at times to entertain the baby or scheduled school at nap times. One thing that was really hard on me as my kids got older is saying no to a lot of outside activities. It is so easy to think that because I am home during day I can get X,Y, & Z done. Many people have assumptions about stay at home moms and have assumptions about the amount of extra time we have. Well, being a homeschooling mom is way different than a homeschool mom. And being a homeschool mom of younger kids verses older kids is way different too. As your kids get older your day will have more and more school. For me, I plan to spend 4 days worth of time at home. It may feel stifling for a bit but in the long run, it is so wonderful! My days are so much more relaxed and I feel like my kids are really happy about it too.

A glimpse into my schedule looks a bit like this: I work every morning now from 6:00 AM to 8:30 (I work around 20-40 hours per week finishing work during lunch and the evenings). Around 7:30 to 8:00, my kids get up. I may need to help them get breakfast started but usually my husband helps or they do it themselves. After eating, they play until 8:40. I start cleaning up my stuff around 8:30. I get the table totally cleaned up (I work at the table and they ate breakfast at the table too so I need to put away my stuff and wipe down the table) and I get DITHOR stuff out. The kids put their stuff away at 8:40 and meet me at the table at 8:45. We go over the DITHOR lesson first thing since that is something all 3 of my kids do and we are doing the same genre. If there is teaching, I do that first thing. Then I send them off for reading. I track down each kids one at a time to listen to them read a page or two if the guide says to listen to them. In general, that takes me about 30-45 min total by the time I talk about the lesson, listen to kids read, and help them with any worksheets. Then, I go over math lessons for each child one at a time and do as many as I can by 9:50. By 9:50 or 10:00 I stop helping them and then I work out for about an hour. My kids are responsible for completing things they can do independently at this time. So, my younger 2 usually complete math, write their spelling words down, copywork and notebooking, my son reads his science, my youngest reads her history and storytime, my kids take piano lessons so they practice the piano, they listen to their songs, and then they do cursive (my youngest is doing cursive, grammar and spelling with my son). My oldest takes her guide and completes the history side of the guide entirely plus math & Latin. If she has time, she also will play the piano but many times does this right after she wakes up. When I am done working out, my two youngest are already on break and done for the morning. I read story time to my oldest and then she is done for the morning. I will then reign in my middle child and read story time and bible to him before lunch. We have lunch around 12:00 or so. We start back up for school around 1:30. The only thing I do outside of HOD is my kids are learning both Greek and Latin. Greek takes 15 min a day and then Latin take 15-20. So, after lunch, we all gather at the table again for Greek. We go through the lesson together. Then my oldest is dismissed and she will usually work on the poetry box. It is either copywork or painting for 3 out of the 4 days. I then work with my younger two kids on grammar, spelling when my participation is scheduled, and Latin. We are done in about 30 min. Younger kids are dismissed. I read to my oldest either the Bible study box or Geography, I help her with Latin questions or lessons, dictation, teach grammar or writing, she shares her poem when scheduled, and asks me any math questions if she hasn't done so already. She is done with teaching at this point. I usually plan about an hour for this. After we meet, she finishes up anything left. I will then do the hands on teaching with each of my younger kids after I dismiss my oldest - includes geography, art, science experiments, bible verses, basically whatever is left that needs to be finished. I am finished by 4:00 or 4:30. My oldest is usually done by 4:00 as well. So - in a nut shell - we school from 8:45 to 11:45 with breaks for the all kids (no more than 2 hours per kid in the AM). Then in the afternoon, we start back up at 1:30 and are done by 4:30 (no more than 1.5 to 2.5 hours per kid). I hold this schedule for Tuesday through Thursday. On Mondays and Fridays we do a half day. I like the thought of having off one day a week but realistically, I prefer to have 2 half days. If there is an all field trip or activity, then I just take the day off. I don't like turning one of the half days into a full day. We don't do a lot of these - I do maybe one once a month max. However, there are more days where my kids have something planned for a half day (no more than 2 per month max). For me, I flex the day that I take as a half day. This set up creates flexibility in my scheduled and seems to be a really good schedule for the kids too.

I only wanted to share all of this because I know you mentioned that a lot happened this year and you had a hard time with your schedule. I am sorry if it seems startling that the days are filled with so much school but as the kids get older, it seemed to be healthy for me to put limits on things I did that weren't school related during the week. I am not saying you can't do anything. Beyond is a great guide because it is only meant to be 2-2.5 hours per day. With your kids, you can probably scheduled and get school done in the AM or at least most of it with only a little bit left for the PM. And only you can decide your limits. But for me, I no longer spend time meeting up with people during the week during school time. If my kids want to get together with other kids, they do it after school is over. We take a lot of breaks during our day and we start later. In the past, I tried to put a limit on the breaks and start earlier but it never really works out. Life is all about a give and take. So if my kids have other goals in mind, they will need to make some changes to their schedules. But right now they seem very happy with the set up. I am not sure what your day looks like but I would spend sometime praying about it and prioritizing what you want it to look like. I definitely think taking some time off is SO healthy. When you already feel behind, it is tough because all you probably want to do is get done and move forward. I have been there. But I have also been to the point that I have had to take some time off even when I didn't want too and in the end, I was glad of it. My oldest isn't going to finish CTC this year and that used to bother me. Now, I can see God's perfect timing. I will have 4 weeks left for her to do next year and this is fantastic because now all of my kids will not start a new guide at the same time.

One other encouragement to you is that if you find you want to split your kids up eventually, it will all work out. As the kids move up in level, the guides become much more independent. As long as your child fits well in the guide, having each child in their own guide can be a blessing. My kids are all 18 months apart and I have split them all up. It is wonderful! When I first came to HOD, I used Preparing for my oldest and then Beyond for my younger 2. After that year, I prayed about it and decided that I didn't want my younger 2 together anymore. I moved my youngest down into Little Hearts and modified it make it a bit more like the workload for Beyond. I moved my son up to Bigger hearts. This year has been one of the best yet. I was very hesitant to split up my younger two because they are very close in abilities. But schedule wise, it has actually worked out better. I can go at each child's pace. I love spending time with each one. And I love the independence that each child gets. You may never feel like splitting them up and that is great. I just wanted to encourage you in that if you ever did feel like splitting them up, it works too :-)
Daneale

DD 13 WG
DS 12 R2R
DD 10 R2R

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

my3sons
Posts: 10615
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Help!

Post by my3sons » Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:32 pm

Mrs. Knapp - I think you have a great plan as you move forward! If you'd finished Beyond this year, your younger child would not have been ready for BHFHG anyway, due to age/maturity, so it is a blessing in disguise! :D Looking ahead though, having completed Beyond 3 times now with our 3 different aged sons, I will share that it would be much better to take a full year to complete Beyond and do it all than it would be to race through it dropping skills only to arrive at Bigger Hearts unprepared. Each of our sons needed each part of Beyond to be ready for Bigger Hearts. :)

Just to give an example, the Storytime box was so important for each of our sons to lay a good foundation to develop their narrating skills because they involved lessons that modeled narration. This is not done in BHFHG as often nor in the same manner. The introduction of each of the different genres of literature, the skill of analyzing and identifying each of the story elements, and the practice of narrating after I had modeled proper narration earlier in the week using different methods to do so were ALL a big help for preparing our dc for the rigor of DITHOR 2/3. There is no way our kids would have done as well (and my ds currently doing Bigger Hearts now) would have done as well in BHFHG if they had not completed the skills taught in each part of the plans. While reading the Storytime books cuddled up on the couch is a part we all enjoy, the follow-up skills taught in the Beyond plans are the ones necessary to teach...
*Day 1: introduce and study different types of literature
*Day 2: model narration to foster comprehension
*Day 3: identify and analyze a different story element for each genre
*Day 4: relate personally to one Godly character trait, compare Biblical and book characters, and select one area to improve
*Day 5: practice narration by retelling the story in a variety of ways

Each part of the plans is this way - having follow-up skills that are taught that are important for dc to learn. As we have been standardized testing, I am reminded of how thankful I am that HOD is not just a bunch of books to be read (though the books ARE fantastic!!! :D :D :D ). Instead, HOD includes plans that teach important skills our dc need to be learning appropriate for their age levels. That is why placement is so important, and that is why it is actually a very good thing that your little one especially didn't finish Beyond only to get to Bigger Hearts too young. And, though your older of the pair is turning 9 in Nov., he really is 8 turning 9 for the school year, which means he fits just fine in Beyond (with appropriate LA/math for him). So, the Lord was watching out for you all along, and I think that looking ahead, you have a terrific plan! Nine units in - PERFECT! You can even school 4 days a week, still finish Beyond in a year with all of its intended skills being taught, and get to Bigger Hearts at just the right time for your little honey. The future is looking bright!!! HTH, and I'm excited for your days to come in Beyond!!! :D :D :D

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

my3sons
Posts: 10615
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Help!

Post by my3sons » Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:42 pm

Daneale - I just want to thank you for sharing the specifics about what is working in your home in the day to day! :D That 'fly on the wall' glimpse into the daily happenings of homeschooling is exactly what helps me envision my day and how it can work well for our family, and I know that other moms feel the same and will benefit from this thread! No two homeschools look exactly the same, but the ins and outs of how homeschooling is working happily and successfully in homes is what makes the practical getting it done well turn into a mom with a plan that becomes a reality. Thanks for sharing what is working well in your home - posts like these are gems to be gleaned much from. :)

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

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