Are we behind, is this enough?

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Are we behind, is this enough?

Post by HSMom03 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 7:48 pm

My just turned 8 year old is almost done with UNIT 10 of Beyond & Emerging Reader's, and just over 1/2 way through Singapore 1B.

Really, he could have done Bigger & DITHOR 2/3 this year, plus Rod & Staff English 2 and Cheerful Cursive. I just underestimated when I placed him in Beyond this year. Not sure what to do about Math (wasted time last year with curriculum from another publisher-not HOD or Singapore), do you think I could skip ahead to Singapore 3A/3B? A friend of mine suggested skipping ahead, she said that it covers the same concepts just with higher numbers. She didn't think it would be a problem. We have started cursive, just doing our own thing, because of his desire to learn. Even 6 year old is joining us for that. It doesn't seem right to wait until we start Bigger (Fall 2016) in order to start Rod & Staff English 2. He will be close to 9 then and that seems like 2 years behind? Seems like I should have started R+S English 2 at age 7? What changes should I make now if any?

I'm concerned that we are not at the right levels overall, I might have a tendency to place my kids too low by mistake! Any suggestions? Double up on Reading, Math, and LA for awhile? Also, when we start Bigger in Fall of 2016 (wish we could start now), I will have a 6.75 year old and 8.75 year old and it seems like they will fit nicely into that guide. What do you all think of starting Bigger with a 6.75 year old?

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Re: Are we behind, is this enough?

Post by StephanieU » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:07 pm

First, one thing to remember is that Rod and Staff and Singapore are both advanced curriculums. Carrie's goal for Rod and Staff is to complete Level 6 by the end of 8th grade. Most/many families start Level 2 in 3rd grade, so at most you are 1 year behind with that. Similar with Singapore, after 6B, some kids are ready for Algebra 1. Others need a year of pre-algebra. Either way, completing 6B by the end of 7th grade would be "on schedule." So, you are only slightly behind for that (the goal would be to be doing 2A right now).
Personally, I would not skip unless he is really ready for it. There are placement tests on the Singapore website you can use to see if you could skip a book or two, but I don't think that will be the case. It is not just bigger numbers!
As for Rod and Staff, there is no issue in starting it now if you want. I would first consider speeding up the grammar in Beyond (doing it daily) and then move into Rod and Staff 2 when you are done with that (doing 2/3 of it orally).

As for Bigger with a 6.75yo, it could work, but the workload is more than most 6yos can handle. And the vocabulary in the history books is not easy! Combining for one year might work, but it would be rare for a 7.7yo to be able to do Preparing with the independent work (as written). So, you would have to split them by then. What is the younger one doing now?
Mom to 4
DD (12) Rev2Rev (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CtC, and RtR)
DS (10) CtC (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, and Preparing plus some of LHTH)
DD (8) Bigger (completed LHTH, LHFHG, and Beyond)
DS (3) Starting LHTH soon!

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Re: Are we behind, is this enough?

Post by Gwenny » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:18 pm

If you are only in unit 10 of Beyond and you feel he places in Bigger now, I would switch him to Bigger. You didn't say what your younger one is doing, but it seems like if you have that one in Little Hearts and the older in Bigger it would be a good spread.

That would be a huge jump in Singapore. I would do the placement chart for that and go with what it says.
Dd29 married (w/2 sons 1/2/14, 5/24/16), ds27, dd25 married (w/dd born 8/9/16), dd25, dd22
Dd 19 HS in special ed
Dd14 RevtoRev
Ds12 RevtoRev
Ds 9 Preparing

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Re: Are we behind, is this enough?

Post by daybreaking » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:39 pm

We used R&S English 2 when we did Beyond and it worked very well for us. If you think your son is ready for it, you can easily start right now.

For math, I would agree with the other poster about giving your son the placement test for Singapore and make your decision based on that. A solid foundation is essential in math, so I would be hesitant to have him jump ahead, unless the placement test indicates he is solid in the concepts presented in all of the Singapore books before 3A/3B. FWIW, I used Singapore 1 and 2 as a supplement and often did two exercises a day, but from different sections, such as adding and graphing, enabling me to get through faster. You might want to consider doubling up vs. jumping ahead, so that your son has no gaps. I wouldn't recommend this with the higher math levels, but I found it easy to do with Singapore 1 and 2. Of course, if doubling up causes frustration, that would be a sign that he should go back to one exercise a day.

I would stay the course with the Emerging Readers. Both of my children were reading well past the Emerging Readers' level when we started them, but I still found the set, along with the questions in the guide, to be very beneficial. Plus, the time spent snuggling on the couch as my children read to me truly helped to develop a love of reading in both of my children.

Lastly, I would not recommend putting a 6 year old in Bigger. As the guides progress, it will only become harder and harder to keep up, because of the increasing workload. My dd is 8.75 right now and I couldn't imagine her trying to do keep up with all of the independent reading and all of the writing in CTC. Plus, it would be a shame for your 6 year old to miss Beyond, as it's such a delightful guide! :)

Wife to one amazing husband and mother to two precious blessings from above:
ds17 & dd13

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Re: Are we behind, is this enough?

Post by LovingJesus » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:56 pm

My daughter did Italic Cursive and Rod and Staff 2 with Beyond at age 7/8. I would look at the placement chart. I wouldn't put a child in Preparing before age 8, and almost 9 or 9 is better. And no you aren't behind. If you look up through High school at Carrie's plan a child doing Bigger for 2nd grade will graduate a year early and one doing Bigger for 3rd will graduate at the end of 12th grade.

My oldest did 1A thru 4A in Singapore. I definitely would not skip 2A and 2B. 3A is equivalent of end of the year 4th grade math with many of the concepts, and some of it is at a 6th grade level in other programs. I wouldn't follow the Singapore numbers for grade level. Moms even go from 5B to Pre-Algebra in some cases. In certain areas it really does lay a nice foundation. For second grade 1B or 2A would be considered the first half of the year for 2nd grade level. I wouldn't push Singapore either; it is easy to get over a child's heads with the concepts if you get up too high too fast. Math is all about laying a solid foundation, and 1B lays the foundation for multiplication and place value needed in early 2A so I wouldn't skip it.

I guess I would add R&S gets abstract in books 3 and 4. A little older for those books can be helpful. My almost 9 is in book 3 and I have to watch her to make sure it is really coming together. I also had my oldest in R&S at grade level until mid last year. He hit the middle of book 5 half way through 5th and it became a lot. So we took 6 months off and now he is finishing book 5 with CTC for 6th. So he did 2 for 2nd, 3 for 3rd, 4 for 4th, and then 5 for 5th became over load. Just a little something to think about as you move down the road. Book 5 has been great for 6th!

Both Singapore and R&S are quite advanced and abstract. I wouldn't consider you behind. Another thing to think about is the history. The content of the books in Bigger are more mature, and Beyond is already using books that Christian Liberty says are 3rd / 4th grade level.

It is easy to feel in the early years that one isn't doing enough, and then later on us moms can realize that we wish we had done less in the early years. :wink: Enjoy those early years and the extra time they give for a more relaxed day. They really are precious.

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Re: Are we behind, is this enough?

Post by Nealewill » Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:04 am

I would pray about it. I would definitely not say that you are behind if your child just turned 8 and is working through Beyond. If you start your child in the middle of the age range (sounds like you started this child at 7 and that is the middle of the age range for Beyond) and they do 1 guide per year, they will be on target to finish the final high school guide as a senior. But, if you truly feel like your child is not placed correctly and that Beyond is way too easy and just isn't enough of what this child is looking for, then I would bump him. I know many times, us as moms are always encouraging people to take every year slowly. But I also know that my girls really wanted that extra school. My youngest is doing Bigger and she started at 7. It has been great for her. There is a lot more writing in Bigger and there is a lot more work in general. For my dd, it is a ton of fun though. She really likes it. She likes to sit and write and draw and read. Does your son like to do this too? If so, then I would consider bumping. However, if he complains at all while doing Beyond (which, by the way, was one of my kids all time favorite guides), then I would not bump him. I know that copy work might not seem exciting but there is a lot more of it in Bigger so your child must be able to do quite a bit of writing in Bigger.

As for Singapore 1, I would have your child take the placement test on line. This will give you a good view of which level you should start at. Because Singapore is so different from other math programs, you can't really skip around. Singapore takes 1/2 the time to teach and do for kids when compared with some of the main stream programs because it doesn't include nearly as much drilling and reviewing. And it covers things differently. Again, you are actually on track for where you child is grade wise. But if you feel like your child could do more, I would print the placement tests and test him. Then you will see exactly where he places and that will work well for you.

As for combining the kids and putting a child in a guide that isn't for their age range, I wouldn't. This is my third year using HOD. I started it when my youngest was 5.5 and my son was 7. Because I didn't quite see how HOD worked, I didn't realize that it would be unwise to put my youngest in the guide that wasn't in her age range. I started her in Beyond that year. She did beautifully. She had no trouble at all. Her and her brother did everything together and she always kept up. However, my oldest started Preparing that year and after finishing that year, only then did I really understand why you wouldn't want to place a child to young in a guide. It would have been way too much work for her once she turned 7.5 to do Preparing. In that guide, they start reading quite a bit of history to themselves and they read and do all of the science independently. There is no way I would want to push that much work on my child. So last year, I decided I didn't want my son held back and decided to have my kids complete 3 separate guides. I bumped my youngest down to Little Hearts, my middle child bumped to Bigger and then my oldest moved up to CTC. It was a great year! My kids learned a lot. Everyone was perfectly placed. Everyone grew. It seemed to work out wonderfully. This year, I started all 3 kids separate again. Everyone was doing fine in their guide. And everyone was perfectly placed. It was me though. I work from home and I just couldn't maintain the pace of running 3 guides. I prayed about it and prayed about it and prayed about it some more. I had to make a change. I wished that when I originally started HOD, I had put my two younger kids in Little Hearts. They did learn well together. But I also knew that I couldn't bump my youngest up a guide and skip Bigger because I was unhappy. I ended up deciding to repeat Bigger with my son for everything except science. And to be quite honest, we are so much happier because of it. By doing this, my son will not finish every HOD guide. And honestly, I am okay with that. Did I feel behind when I decided to make this decision? To be honest, a little. But then when I look at the age ranges of the resources, I don't feel like that anymore. I feel like life is a happy balance. I personally want more down time with my kids and no longer feel the need to constantly push, push, push my kids in school. Even my oldest is slowing down a little bit this year. There is so much reading and writing in R2R that she is having a hard time focusing to get her work done. She started the guide at 10 so she was on the youngest end of the age range. Right now she is really struggling with moving from one thing to the next. And there is more writing in this guide. She does great at writing. But it seems like a little maturity could go a long way. So I am slowing her down a bit to give her that little bit of time to mature and hopefully focus a bit better. I can only see this being a huge benefit in the years to come and in future guides.

As for your kids, are they combine now? Are they similar in abilities. If they are similar, then I would consider putting the younger child into Beyond as long as that child can actually do the work. If it would be to difficult to do the work, then I wouldn't do it. If anything, I would consider bumping the oldest down into Little Hearts. Yes, Little Hearts is going to feel like a step backward but it really isn't. Life will be just fine if you did that in the end. That would mean that your oldest would miss the final high school guide but that would be totally fine. It wouldn't be a big deal at all. Your child will still more than be prepared for whatever college path they chose. However, if you did do Beyond with the younger child now, I would move to doing school 4 days a week. This would mean that you would not finish a guide a year. And it would help to make the younger child a little bit older for each time you start a guide. I would do this for Beyond and for Bigger. Your school year could eventually move to starting in January and then by the time you get to Preparing, your kids will be 8 and 10. As for the oldest child, you can definitely up the grammar program for that child (I didn't though - my son is on target to only finish up through the first half of 8). And you would adjust math. If your oldest is a good reader, I would also consider having that child complete the extensions. My son is not a strong a reader so he won't be doing them. I should say, he does read fine for his grade and he could easily have done the reading in Preparing, but he doesn't particularly like to read and those books are longer and can be challenging. For me, I decided against it.

HOD really is a wonderful program with a lot of flexibility. It is really only ourselves who lay guilt down on us for what we do or don't do. I struggled for so long with my own decision of combining my younger kids but I am so much happier now that I did combine them. They are a lot happier too. Your really are right on target for where you child should be. You are definitely not behind! I have found that eventually kids who are ahead will slow down anyway. I wouldn't worry about it all. Every child is different. I would just pray about where the Lord is leading you with this. If you do decide to jump into Bigger now though, I would definitely not bump the younger child up with the older child. It would be too much for that child and then you would have to start modifying every guide. HOD works best without tons of modifications. That is why I love it. I love the skills it targets and builds in each child. If you start modifying it, you lose a lot of that simplicity and growth. As the kids get older, HOD has them become more independent. I need that! So for me, running the guide without modifying it works beautifully.

DD 13 WG
DS 12 R2R
DD 10 R2R

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

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