Placement Help - Bigger

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Kristen
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:18 pm
Location: Connecticut

Placement Help - Bigger

Post by Kristen » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:19 am

I am excited to start Bigger next school year with my DS8! I think, based on the chart, that it will be a good placement for him. My question is about his age/grade and the choices in the program. His birthday is in August so he is always a "young" age for his grade. Even though with homeschooling I don't really worry too much about grade levels. But my kids always want to know what grade they are in, plus people ask them. Currently he is in 3rd grade, going into 4th, but I'm considering that with his age, I may have pushed him a little too quickly. He learned to read early and reads well, so I think that was what led me to push him. So, for instance, in K he had just turned 5 that August.
So, I'm thinking....here he is as a 4th grader (turning 9 in August) and the R&S Eng is level 2 and the Singapore math is level 2 (even though we may start with 2B because he's done some multiplication). I know they are both somewhat advanced, but I'm wondering if this is a good placement or if I will just say he is in 3rd grade. One of the things I think is great about HOD is that there are no real grade levels, but I'm just trying to make sure this is a good choice. And these issues are going through my mind. Am I making sense? Lol. :lol:
My two older boys did HOD and maybe around the same point, I had my second son stay in the same grade, which has been great in the long run. (He is going into 9th next year.) He is dyslexic and needed some extra time. But we were less aware of grade levels at the time.
My DS8 is a great reader but he struggles with writing, just the act of it, and keeping his attention on task. Math takes forever! So I guess I feel like Bigger is a great choice and will really give him the structure and incremental steps he needs to grow in his academics. I guess I just need some encouragement with the choice. :D
Thanks!
ds17 - mostly textbooks, community college, and lots of hands-on projects
ds15 - an eclectic mix, sports, Scouts
ds9 - BHFHG, loves LEGOs

dd7 - LHFHG, loves taking care of her dolls, arts & crafts

StephanieU
Posts: 1534
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: Placement Help - Bigger

Post by StephanieU » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:33 am

Has he been doing HOD before this? Did he do Beyond for example? If he did, I would just keep going. Decide when he is closer to high school if he will graduate at 17 or 18.
If he will be new to HOD, what did you use prior? Have you had him take the Singapore placement test to see which level to use?
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!

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

Re: Placement Help - Bigger

Post by MelInKansas » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:37 pm

Given how young he is, if I had to assign a grade level, especially for a boy who doesn't like writing, I would call him "3rd grade." Not that it really matters, as you say, at least not until high school. And it does sound like Bigger Hearts would fit well. You don't want to push him too hard. And Bigger is really a great year, I love the American history.
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

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

Re: Placement Help - Bigger

Post by Gwenny » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:56 pm

If he doesn't care about it, it's easier to say a different grade now rather than later. :) If that would bother him, then I wouldn't change--it doesn't really matter and his feelings are more important than anything else since it really doesn't affect anything else. If you need to change it when he's older, at least then he can reason more and you can talk about it.
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

LovingJesus
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:29 am

Re: Placement Help - Bigger

Post by LovingJesus » Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:29 pm

MelInKansas wrote:Given how young he is, if I had to assign a grade level, especially for a boy who doesn't like writing, I would call him "3rd grade." Not that it really matters, as you say, at least not until high school. And it does sound like Bigger Hearts would fit well. You don't want to push him too hard. And Bigger is really a great year, I love the American history.
I would too. I guess I say this though because it was what I did with my boys. One I didn't start K with until just turned 6 (couple weeks before cut-off). The other I called it 2nd two years in a row I think. That decision was based more on emotional maturity and the fact he wasn't emotionally ready for school until age 8 or so, and is at the youngest end of the grade. So far it has been worth it. Especially in Sunday School. I have honestly been relieved to have my oldest in 6th this year at age 12, and not 7th for Sunday School reasons.

Bigger would be a great program for 3rd grade.

No, it doesn't matter for home schooling, but it seems to still come into play in other areas.

Kristen
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:18 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Placement Help - Bigger

Post by Kristen » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:20 am

Thanks everyone, for the replies! To answer your questions StephanieU: we started Beyond late in the fall/winter, but it wasn't a great fit, seemed too easy. I had already bought other stuff we had been using so I just kept on with that. Rather than start Bigger in the middle of the year, I figured it would be good for next year (this coming fall). He seemed to be in the middle of the guides, or maybe I just wasn't sure. :oops:
We have been using Abeka history and science, which I usually read to him or he reads on his own. We talk about it, answer questions orally, or I ask him to tell me what he has read about. He does at least 15 minutes of independent fiction reading each day, things like Encyclopedia Brown or A to Z Mysteries. We have done some workbook-type language arts; he knows nouns, adjectives, verbs, sentences vs. fragments, etc. We did some handwriting and cursive, but that seems to be the hard part. It's not what to write, but rather the act of writing. Math has been tough, which seems to be my biggest area of waffling. Lol. We used a few different programs this year, always moving forward, but I know the switching does not help cement it in his mind. He seems to have a very hard time with math, concentrating or writing the problems....I don't know....I think that's why I kept switching. We started with BJU online and he was too distracted, so we just used the workbook. Then we used some of Singapore 2A. Then we finished with MUS because his brother was using it and I thought it would be very simple for him to understand. He has done most of his multiplication tables.
Sometimes he tries to do the problems in his mind, without writing it out (maybe because of the writing?). I did give him the 2A placement test and, honestly, I had to sit there with him and coach him through each problem. That's how math goes for us. If I leave him to do a worksheet he will literally sit for hours with no problems done. Usually I sit with him and even then I have to keep coaching, "come on, let's do this first one...what is it asking...read the problem...look at this one" Ugh. :( I don't know how accurate the results were because I had to help him do some of them. He got the ones about kg vs. g and all those other measurements wrong.
He is a smart, articulate boy. Example of what he is capable of: his older brothers are in a co-op for teens. Since it's at a friend's house we all hang out and DS8 has been sitting in on classes. They had to do a geography report on a country of their choice, which he was not expected to do. But he wanted to. He did it way ahead of time. He went on the computer and researched his country, typed up a whole, single-spaced page and printed out photos to go along with it. It's informative and infused with his sense of humor. He will present it orally to the class this Friday.
So, that's where we are and I am having trouble placing him. :) Thanks for reading all this!
ds17 - mostly textbooks, community college, and lots of hands-on projects
ds15 - an eclectic mix, sports, Scouts
ds9 - BHFHG, loves LEGOs

dd7 - LHFHG, loves taking care of her dolls, arts & crafts

LovingJesus
Posts: 306
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:29 am

Re: Placement Help - Bigger

Post by LovingJesus » Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:43 am

His grammar could start R&S 3.

He turns 9 in August; correct? So he would be in the middle age range of Preparing.

It sounds like he could benefit from the longer copywork and more focused written narrations of Preparing.

I wouldn't worry about grades. Honestly, he sounds like Preparing would be a good fit for him. I hadn't noticed he was 3rd born, and that makes a difference too in how they progress in my experience.

As for math it is very flexible with HOD. I would pick a program that you like to teach that you think he can learn from and start wherever he is at. Math builds, as you know, and I think does best building up from where they place.

If you choose Singapore start where he can place into the level without any help or coaching. That is true of any program's math placement test.

StephanieU
Posts: 1534
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: Placement Help - Bigger

Post by StephanieU » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:25 am

How much physical writing is he willing to do without a lot of complaining?
I am thinking Bigger might be a great guide simply because Preparing has even more writing and longer days. You could easily add in summer of the extension books as extra free reading for him OR storytime reading. My fear with Preparing is that he would lose his love of learning with the increased physical writing.
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!

Kristen
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:18 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Placement Help - Bigger

Post by Kristen » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:31 am

LovingJesus, I hadn't thought too much about Preparing but once I looked back on what he'd done, and given his age, I see how it could fit. I looked at the placement chart again and he seems to fit. I tend to err on the side of my kids being able to do less. Maybe it's partly me wanting to take the easier road. :oops:
Interesting about 3rd born....what are your observations? I feel like he always was a little man who tries to keep up with his big bros, in everything....and gets very frustrated when he can't. He tends to be a perfectionist.
I'm off to look at the weekly sample of Preparing.
ds17 - mostly textbooks, community college, and lots of hands-on projects
ds15 - an eclectic mix, sports, Scouts
ds9 - BHFHG, loves LEGOs

dd7 - LHFHG, loves taking care of her dolls, arts & crafts

Kristen
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:18 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Placement Help - Bigger

Post by Kristen » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:39 am

StephanieU, I guess we were typing at the same time. :D Yes, the writing is a concern. I'll have to think about that. If it's writing in a workbook I get groans. I try to push him but sometimes I just get tired of it. :oops:
The short time we did Beyond, he seemed ok copying short passages of poetry or scripture, like 1-2 sentences. I wouldn't want to miss out on Bigger....I guess he could still do R&S3 and dictation, right? He's a natural speller. I'll be thinking some more about all this.
Thanks!
ds17 - mostly textbooks, community college, and lots of hands-on projects
ds15 - an eclectic mix, sports, Scouts
ds9 - BHFHG, loves LEGOs

dd7 - LHFHG, loves taking care of her dolls, arts & crafts

StephanieU
Posts: 1534
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: Placement Help - Bigger

Post by StephanieU » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:14 am

It is easy to do Rod and Staff Level 3 with Bigger. We did this year, just doing one lesson a day. And the first level of dictation is in Bigger already. I would look at the writing in Bigger and Preparing (the first week of each guide are free downloads if you have seen them before). It gives you a good picture of what is required, although the notebooking of course changes reach week slightly.
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!

rumkimom
Posts: 253
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 6:25 am

Re: Placement Help - Bigger

Post by rumkimom » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:58 am

Looks like Bigger would be a great choice for him. My older son is finishing up Bigger this summer (he turned 10 in Jan) and he is looking forward to doing things more independently. He also has a rough time with grammar so we did level 2 this year and most of it orally (they suggest doing 2/3rds of it orally). You can do grammar 3 if you think 2 will be too easy. Grammar, reading, spelling and math can easily be adjusted to your child's level. Oh, being at the upper age limit is OK.

I think one of the big differences between Bigger and Preparing is that they have to make up their own sentences in Preparing where they copy stuff in Bigger. There is quite a bit more writing in Preparing than in Bigger. I would suggest that you download copies of the first week of each one and compare them. :)
----
Wendy C.
DH-Owen
Emily (19 - graduatated from UCC spring 2018, Fashion Design Program)
Melody (17 - Rev 2 Rev-unit 21, IEW for writing, grammar, completed math)
Steven (12 - CTC, IEW for writing, grammar, spelling, TT Math)
Clarence (10 - PS)

Kristen
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:18 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Placement Help - Bigger

Post by Kristen » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:49 pm

Thanks everyone for your help with my decision. I was leaning toward Bigger and I think that will be what we'll do. :D I think it will be perfect for him - a good way to get him into more independent work. Look forward to continuing LHFHG and starting Bigger this fall!
ds17 - mostly textbooks, community college, and lots of hands-on projects
ds15 - an eclectic mix, sports, Scouts
ds9 - BHFHG, loves LEGOs

dd7 - LHFHG, loves taking care of her dolls, arts & crafts

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