does heart of dakota work for large families?

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gracecox
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:46 am
Location: Texas

does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by gracecox » Sun May 22, 2016 12:04 pm

I will have a 2nd grader, Kindergartener, and preschooler next year. I also have a baby and plan on having more kids. I can't wrap my mind around teaching four or more separate guides. It seems like it would be hard to combine my kids since they are all 2 years apart. It seems like the guide will either be too easy or too hard. Also, if I combined my kids. Then once my oldest is in high school my second child would need to repeat some guides again it seems.
So my question is, for those who have large families, what do you do and how do you structure your day to teach multiple guides. I am also thinking of mfw.
Beloved of Jesus
Wife to amazing man of God
Momma to four wonderful kids!
DS7 BLHFHG
DD5 LHFHG
DD3 LHTH
DS 0

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

Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by StephanieU » Sun May 22, 2016 1:23 pm

My family isn't huge, but we aren't small either. I have chosen to put all of them in their own guide. I considered combining the middle two, but their personalities made it less desirable.
We start our day with math and music (listening to a playlist I make with Awana, church, and school verse songs while they finish breakfast and complete their math). Then they get dressed, pick up, etc. Then I start working with them one on one. While I work with one of the middle kids, the oldest does the things she needs little to no help with (Duolingo Spanish, Xtramath, handwriting, dictation, vocabulary, timeline, and notebooking were the ones she was picking from this year). I would spend about 30 minutes with a kid and then change. We would take breaks as needed, and in good days, wet could complete the three guides in under 4 hours. Now with a new baby, it was taking longer because I wasn't available as often. Next year with Preparing, my oldest will have even more independent things to do, and that will learn my load with her. I think hod can work with big families because it does build in independence. Starting in Preparing, boxes in the guide are surgically written to the student and marked I for independent. Other boxes are marked T (teacher led) and S (semi independent- boxes students can complete party of alone but normally not completely).
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!

gracecox
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:46 am
Location: Texas

Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by gracecox » Sun May 22, 2016 1:33 pm

Ok. I am also looking at MFW. I would be doing Adventures this next year. I have a 7.5 year old, almost 5 year old, almost 3 year old and baby. I like how MFW has a family cycle, but I also like HOD. I would like to combine my kids for science, history, music, and just do individual l.a. and math. Would that work with HOD? Is it doable to do separate history? I am trying to picture teaching three or four guides and having another baby. My oldest is a boy and isn't independent yet. I am hoping he will be more independent in a year or two.
Beloved of Jesus
Wife to amazing man of God
Momma to four wonderful kids!
DS7 BLHFHG
DD5 LHFHG
DD3 LHTH
DS 0

my3sons
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Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by my3sons » Sun May 22, 2016 4:39 pm

gracecox wrote:I will have a 2nd grader, Kindergartener, and preschooler next year. I also have a baby and plan on having more kids. I can't wrap my mind around teaching four or more separate guides. It seems like it would be hard to combine my kids since they are all 2 years apart. It seems like the guide will either be too easy or too hard. Also, if I combined my kids. Then once my oldest is in high school my second child would need to repeat some guides again it seems.
So my question is, for those who have large families, what do you do and how do you structure your day to teach multiple guides. I am also thinking of mfw.
The short answer to your posted question is "Yes! HOD does work for large families!" :D HOD has many large families using it very successfully. However, placement is important. You mentioned one of the potential pitfalls of combining with any homeschool curricula... it being too hard for one, too easy for another. Another potential pitfall is choosing the guide for several children with only the oldest in mind, thus having the younger(s) just listen in on mature content and not really have age appropriate assignments to follow up as they are just too young for the work/skills assigned - and, they run out of guides to do to boot. :shock:

Well, I have very good news for you. :D HOD has addressed these pitfalls in the way the guides have been written. HOD already set manageable age increments for guides and offers extensions for history, reading, writing, grammar, spelling and math for older students. Smaller target age ranges, placement charts, and extensions provide excellent guidelines for proper placement. When placing children, it is important to first do so 'individually,' to see where each child truly falls. Then, from there large families can naturally begin to see where combining makes sense, not only for now, but for the future. Because of the way the guides are already written, HOD can have multiple paths through high school, thus making a good combination of children possible (if desired) the entire way through schooling - hooray! :) As you are pondering your future homeschooling with a large family, you may want to read through any of these commonly questions that pertain...
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9344

So, again, YES! You can homeschool with HOD with a large family. :D We just need to chat through placement, so you get started off right. Here is a link to the placement chart to get you started...
http://www.heartofdakota.com/placing-your-child.php

If you could please share the specific ages and when each child will turn his/her next age, as well as details about your placement chart findings for each, we can all help chat through placement until you are set! I'll leave you with this uplifting thread to enjoy reading from someone who had the same question you did...
Homeschooling with Larger Families:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9325&p=68227#p68227

Hope to hear more about your dear family soon! :D
In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USI, RevtoRev
Wife to Rich for 24 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 16, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

MelInKansas
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Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by MelInKansas » Sun May 22, 2016 10:15 pm

I have 5 children and we may even have more (if the Lord allows). Mine are all about 2 years apart. The first 3 are 2 grades apart, but the next 2 will be 3 grades from their other siblings. I am looking at all separate guides, but you wouldn't have to do it that way. I think it depends on what works best for you and your kids. Some families do combine, even beyond the recommended ages, in order to spend more time learning together. The trade-off to me is that I have to spend virtually no time planning what my children will do, because I am using the guide each child fits in best. Each one is challenged at their level and has materials they can easily understand. I can truly open the guide and go - the things I have to plan are which days we will do school, and how the flow of our day looks as we work through the various guides. There are a lot of ways to do this, I think it depends on you and your kids, what do you enjoy, what do you need the most focus for, who gets distracted with siblings around, etc. I change it often and I am pretty good at just going with it, making decisions as I go about what will be finished that day and what will maybe be put off, or even skipped. Structure is good, and flexibility is also good when you have a lot of kids. You probably know that already!

Now HOD is not designed (as MFW is) to do history all together with a wide range of ages. The way skills progress through the guides, you would want to have each child in a guide they could be successful in doing all the work in. So if you combine usually you would use the guide a younger child fits in, and add on challenge for an older child. The history in HOD is meaty at all levels, readings are just shorter in the younger guides. I think Bigger and up offer extensions, added on learning for older children using the guide.

The early years with HOD were a joy. HOD is not heavy in the early years, it allows for the right amount of learning and lots of free time for exploring (which is also learning). We still LOVE HOD but now we are getting into years with a lot of work involved. Running all separate guides is tough at this point, but I honestly think schooling this many kids with any curriculum would be tough. We are not strapped for time if my children all work diligently at their work, but that doesn't always happen, so dealing with character issues, and toddler issues, and housework issues, all together with my family, is what makes it difficult sometimes. But God's grace is sufficient, and sometimes the things learned from dealing with those character issues are the best things of all.
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

gracecox
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:46 am
Location: Texas

Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by gracecox » Mon May 23, 2016 7:24 am

Thank you for the replies. Julie, I did look at placement. Here is the information about my children.
child number 1 boy will be 8 end of September, he is currently in first grade.... he would place in BLHFHG
child number 2 girl- will be 5 in July.... she would place in LHFHG
child number 3 girl- will be 3 in July...She could just play and wait a year for LHTH
child number 4 boy- will be 1 end of September

I thought about combining my oldest two into LHFHG but my son is reading and ready for a meatier program. I am not sure how I would beef it up for him. Any ideas? I see extensions for higher levels, but not for the lower ones. My second child is ready to learn to read. She is starting to blend and excited about learning to read so LHFHG seems to fit her. I am also wondering if I combine my two oldest then when my oldest starts high school, my daughter would have finished the cycles and would need to repeat one I am guessing. So after she finishes Mission to Modern Marvels would she just go back and repeat Creation to Christ?
As I am looking at the family cycle in MFW I am wondering if that is easier, and if anyone has done that and can speak to the pros and cons of that and of HOD and running separate guides?

What do you think about placement in HOD for my children Julie? Thank you so much for your help!
Beloved of Jesus
Wife to amazing man of God
Momma to four wonderful kids!
DS7 BLHFHG
DD5 LHFHG
DD3 LHTH
DS 0

StephanieU
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Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by StephanieU » Mon May 23, 2016 8:09 am

If you wanted to combine then in LHFHG, it definitely could be done. First, in the appendix of the guide is a list of books you can add to the history, sorted by unit. These aren't easy necessarily to find at a library, but you could easily find them online (used). Second, you could buy the Beyond guide and use it for the Emerging Readers. You could also use the language arts box from Beyond easily with LHFHG. You would do that instead of the fine motor skills box in LHFHG (they are even in the same spot in the guide). The only change to that box I would make is to copywork - instead of copying the poem from Beyond, I would have him copy the Bible verse and then something out of the storytime book OR part of the rhyme.
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!

Carrie
Site Admin
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Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by Carrie » Mon May 23, 2016 10:35 am

Welcome! I only have a moment this morning, but I remembered this past thread that might encourage you in schooling with a large family. :D viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9325

I know the ladies will be back to help discuss placement, but in the mean time the thread above will help with some of your other questions. :D There is a link within the thread that is good too! :D

Blessings,
Carrie

gracecox
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:46 am
Location: Texas

Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by gracecox » Mon May 23, 2016 4:14 pm

my3sons wrote:
gracecox wrote:I will have a 2nd grader, Kindergartener, and preschooler next year. I also have a baby and plan on having more kids. I can't wrap my mind around teaching four or more separate guides. It seems like it would be hard to combine my kids since they are all 2 years apart. It seems like the guide will either be too easy or too hard. Also, if I combined my kids. Then once my oldest is in high school my second child would need to repeat some guides again it seems.
So my question is, for those who have large families, what do you do and how do you structure your day to teach multiple guides. I am also thinking of mfw.
The short answer to your posted question is "Yes! HOD does work for large families!" :D HOD has many large families using it very successfully. However, placement is important. You mentioned one of the potential pitfalls of combining with any homeschool curricula... it being too hard for one, too easy for another. Another potential pitfall is choosing the guide for several children with only the oldest in mind, thus having the younger(s) just listen in on mature content and not really have age appropriate assignments to follow up as they are just too young for the work/skills assigned - and, they run out of guides to do to boot. :shock:

Well, I have very good news for you. :D HOD has addressed these pitfalls in the way the guides have been written. HOD already set manageable age increments for guides and offers extensions for history, reading, writing, grammar, spelling and math for older students. Smaller target age ranges, placement charts, and extensions provide excellent guidelines for proper placement. When placing children, it is important to first do so 'individually,' to see where each child truly falls. Then, from there large families can naturally begin to see where combining makes sense, not only for now, but for the future. Because of the way the guides are already written, HOD can have multiple paths through high school, thus making a good combination of children possible (if desired) the entire way through schooling - hooray! :) As you are pondering your future homeschooling with a large family, you may want to read through any of these commonly questions that pertain...
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9344

So, again, YES! You can homeschool with HOD with a large family. :D We just need to chat through placement, so you get started off right. Here is a link to the placement chart to get you started...
http://www.heartofdakota.com/placing-your-child.php

If you could please share the specific ages and when each child will turn his/her next age, as well as details about your placement chart findings for each, we can all help chat through placement until you are set! I'll leave you with this uplifting thread to enjoy reading from someone who had the same question you did...
Homeschooling with Larger Families:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9325&p=68227#p68227

Hope to hear more about your dear family soon! :D
In Christ,
Julie
Thanks Julie. I think after looking at it I am going to go with MFW family cycle. I think that will work better for my family, but HOD looks like a great program.
Thanks for your help.
Beloved of Jesus
Wife to amazing man of God
Momma to four wonderful kids!
DS7 BLHFHG
DD5 LHFHG
DD3 LHTH
DS 0

countrylivin
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Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by countrylivin » Mon May 23, 2016 4:57 pm

I just wanted to pop in and let you know our experience with Heart of Dakota. I have never used MFW, however, I do have eight children and wanted to share how Heart of Dakota has absolutely revolutionized our homeschool experience.

My children range in age from 4-19 with two high school graduates, however, the six that I am still teaching all use HOD. For the first 12 years of homeschooling I tried to have all my kids learning the same things in a rhythmic history cycle. But as my children grew older I became more and more frustrated that the harder I worked to have everyone learning together, the less my teaching was perfect for anyone. It was either over someones head, or not challenging enough. I longed to have language arts actually flow into my history lessons, but having the 'perfect' lesson at the right skill level for each child was not possible given the size of my family. It was when I finally looked at school differently and discovered HOD that each of my children began to soar. No one is learning the same thing in history, but everyone is doing a project, reading a book, or cooking a recipe that a sibling has done before them. There is much excitement and chatter among my kiddos about 'when I'm in Ben's guide', or 'I remember reading that book and I LOVED it!', or 'I remember doing that'.

The benefits of HOD for my large family are too numerous to count, but I will give you my top picks:)
1. My children are learning from custom lessons designed precisely for their skills. I can literally see the progress happening right before my eyes. Carrie's ability to incrementally increase my kiddos abilities in writing, reading, and analyzing is so fun for me to see as a momma. (Especially after years of trying to make one lesson fit all!)
2. All my kiddos LOVE school. My 15 year old son said to me the other day, "She (meaning Carrie) really picks good books!" :D HOD has been a hit with everyone of my kids no matter what their learning style! And them, last week while on vacation to the Outer Banks, NC, my 9 year old said he couldn't wait to get back home so he could do school again :shock:
3. As a momma with many kiddos, it is an absolute relief that HOD teaches my kids to learn without me being the primary motivating force behind my school day. This last winter, my husband and I were gone for a week overseas, and during that time only my 4 & 7 year old took school off. My 9, 11, 13, & 15 year old did school all week without me. Only with HOD would that be possible.

I couldn't recommend HOD enough for large families.

Blessings
Amy
Wife to Jonny
Momma to
DS 19 YWAM
DD 17 college grad
DS 15 World History
DD 13 Missions to Modern Marvels
DD 11 Resurrection to Reformation
DS 10 Resurrection to Reformation
DS 8 Bigger Hearts
DD 4 LHTH

http://www.familyrestorationproject.com

gracecox
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:46 am
Location: Texas

Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by gracecox » Sat Jun 04, 2016 5:49 am

Wow, thanks for your reply. I'm wondering how many guides you use and how you structure your day? I just feel overwhelmed by using three or four different guides. I don't think I can combine my soon to be 8 and 5 year old. Ok Julie, because of countrylivin's reply I am taking a second look at Heart of Dakota. Could you tell me what guides I should use? My kids will be 8 year old boy, 5 year old girl. 3 year old girl. Thanks
Beloved of Jesus
Wife to amazing man of God
Momma to four wonderful kids!
DS7 BLHFHG
DD5 LHFHG
DD3 LHTH
DS 0

Gwenny
Posts: 750
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Location: Texas

Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by Gwenny » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:16 am

If you look at her signature you can see the guides she uses.

Another thought, it's hard to imagine what things will be like years down the road. Right now, you would only need to do the 2 guides. I would choose what is best for them right now and not worry about whether you could handle a bunch of guides in the future. You could do Beyond with your older and possibly 1/2 speed with your younger one in Little Hearts. Spend time reading and playing and such and enjoy the simplicity of the younger years where there doesn't have to be a ton of "schoolwork'. They have more time now for exploring topics they enjoy and building their reading skills. It works later on with more guides because as you work with them in the younger years, they build skills and then begin to work independently--and Carrie has built the learning independence in the guides.
Nancy
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
Dd 5 LHFHG

gracecox
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:46 am
Location: Texas

Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by gracecox » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:22 am

That's a great idea. I keep thinking I have to run three guides full speed! I could just do BLHFHG in one year and go slower with LHFHG with my five year old. My three year old likes to do school also so I would do LHTH slowly with her. That's doable. I am always trying to figure out how it will work in 5 years! I'm also wondering how missions and sharing the gospel is in HOD? That's my heart and one thing I love about MFW. Another question I have is if I combined my kids, would that mean the younger child would repeat a guide? I'm still fuzzy on what that would look like throughout the levels? Thanks for your help, this is a wonderful forum
Beloved of Jesus
Wife to amazing man of God
Momma to four wonderful kids!
DS7 BLHFHG
DD5 LHFHG
DD3 LHTH
DS 0

Gwenny
Posts: 750
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:07 pm
Location: Texas

Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by Gwenny » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:47 am

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by your younger repeating a guide if you combine. You would never repeat a guide. The guides move up in level. When your child finishes a guide, if they have REALLY done the guide as expected, then they are prepared to do the next guide up. What I mean by that, is that if an activity is expected to be done independently (the box is marked with an I) they need to really do that independently. If you are making it easier or it's done mostly with your help, then they wouldn't be prepared for moving up a level--it gets more and more challenging. That is why you choose the guide based on the skills of the student. If you combine, you would choose the guide based on the skills that the YOUNGER one can do and then beef up the challenge for the older one. There are many that do that, it is doable. It won't work long term for you to make things easier for the younger in a harder guide. They will never be on target for their own guide. Clear as mud?? ;)
Nancy
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
Dd 5 LHFHG

gracecox
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:46 am
Location: Texas

Re: does heart of dakota work for large families?

Post by gracecox » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:52 am

Ok. So if my kids are in the same guide, then they would finish high school at the same time?
Beloved of Jesus
Wife to amazing man of God
Momma to four wonderful kids!
DS7 BLHFHG
DD5 LHFHG
DD3 LHTH
DS 0

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