Switching to HOD fully? Dropping Classical Conversations

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Switching to HOD fully? Dropping Classical Conversations

Post by LHayes723 » Wed Dec 28, 2016 4:02 pm

Hello I have a lengthy question that I need feedback on. Here is a little background. We have used the HOD guides for LHTH, LHFHG, BLHFHG, & now BHFHG. And while doing guide we have tacked on Classical Conversations (CC). Now I know and have read lengthy on the difference in methods and I don't want this to be about that. Basically getting all the info into my kiddos using CC has been fun for them and reassuring to me if I missed something. Next year though we are entering a point where I think I will have to make a decision if we want to keep doing HOD or go deeper into CC. Because our oldest will be ready for their Essentials program which they do IEW. I am very comfortable teaching the math and sciences. But language arts/writing is where I wanted help. The IEW program and all the other things the CC essentials program offers was very appealing to me and made me think I could use that help. When I look at the HOD guide Preparing I am not sure how writing instruction is taught. Is all of it through the Rod and Staff books? Those who have done Preparing and above guides is English grammar and writing skills taught well? I am terrible in these areas. I am trying to learn well so I can instruct well. I was a chemistry major and so didn't put much into those areas in school. So I am hoping to learn along side of my kids and want a good homeschooling program that will allow me to do that. And that is why I though CC would be a good fit. But we have loved everything in our HOD guides so now I am rethinking and trying to discern if just fully doing HOD would be enough help for me and the kids would do well. Hope this all makes sense. Please any thoughts and help. Thank you.

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Re: Switching to HOD fully? Dropping Classical Conversations

Post by twolittlebears » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:55 pm

Hi! I am familiar with CC and IEW. CC is awesome from what I hear and so is IEW. I am in the middle of Preparing right now, and I can help answer your question. More seasoned moms will probably have more answers than me, but here goes....each day my sons will be either writing a Bible verse, excerpt from a book we are reading, answering questions out of the grammar book, answering science questions and once a week writing a narration. So every day they are getting writing practice and formulating their narration whether written or oral about selected readings. On top of that they are doing studied dictation and/or spelling words. They also copy a poem and keep a commonplace book for beautiful quotes and scripture. Weekly they make timeline cards as well. They are laying out their history pages and science notebook pages. This takes a lot of thinking on their part as they begin with a blank piece of paper. They are copying in cursive and keeping the lines straight and having to leave room for the drawings they are copying out of the science books or history books. It's genius, making them lay out the pages and not giving them pre-printed sheets to just fill in. I will say that this year has a lot more writing than last year. I even have to cut out some at times to tailor it to my boys. The approach is very different from most writing programs, HOD follows more of the Charlotte Mason approach which is more gentle at this age and goes deeper each year. I will say that when my oldest son was in Beyond and Bigger I wondered if we would ever be ready for Preparing because of his dislike for writing. Carrie's approach has been so gentle and builds each year that I am amazed at how far we have come!! Personally if I put my son into IEW, he would freeze and it would be overload. He loves what we are doing in HOD because it is gentle and not overwhelming. He tackles his lessons with a happy heart! That's huge for us, thank you HOD! I've tried programs that require a lot more and it's been overwhelming and my son would shut down. That's just us though, and every family and child is different. I think it also depends on your teaching philosophy and what your yearly goals are. For me, I can see where HOD is going and I know I can rest, because we are getting where I want to be, just differently than other programs. Each year I can see growth in my sons' abilities in all areas. I had my oldest tested last year and his scores were much higher than average in our state!! The only things he was low in were the topics we'd not studied yet. I used to worry if my sons were where they should be, but after 3 years with HOD, getting tested and seeing the growth in their yearly notebooks, I am amazed and SO happy!! Praying for you in your decision!! God will lead you where you should be, no doubt. Blessings! Ashleigh
Married to my best friend 18 years
DS 10yo CTC (finished: MFWK, SL Core A, LHFHG, Delectable Ed, PHFHG)
DS 13yo CTC w/extensions (finished: WP Animal Worlds, MFW1, SL Core B, BLHFHG, BHFHG, Delectable Ed, PHFHG)

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Re: Switching to HOD fully? Dropping Classical Conversations

Post by LynnH » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:34 pm

In Preparing is where the writing instruction starts to really take shape. The start written narrations, which have been a huge tool in helping my soon formulate his thoughts on paper. They start with short narrations and a lot of guidance. In each guide that follows the narrations get longer and there are guidelines in the appendix to help with what is expected. By the time they get to high school they are writing 3-5 paragraph narrations and some of these are things like opinion narrations, topic narrations etc. The narrations are considered part of the history and in some of the guides they also do science narrations. I guess it isn't technically writing instruction, but it sure helped my ds become a better writing. There is specific writing instruction/programs in each guide starting with Preparing. In Preparing they are guided to do creative writing around the poetry. It was such a gentle approach that it really helped my son go from hating writing to loving it. He still remembers when he had to write using lots of descriptive words and I took him to the local bakery so he could write about what he saw, smelled and tasted.

In CTC the writing program Write with the Best 1 is used. This is where they start learning to write more essay style papers. In RTR IEW is actually used. My son loved using IEW in RTR, but he and I felt one year of it was plenty. In Rev To Rev they use a Creative writing program(I'm blanking on the name) and in MTMM they use Write with the Best 2. In High School the first 2 years a fantastic program called EIW is used. This program does a fantastic job of teaching essay writing and makes it easy to grade yourself, or my understanding is that you can now pay EIW to grade the essays for you if you want. Junior year of high school a program called In Their Sandals is used which is a wonderfully unique, biblically based writing program and Senior year instead of a writing program there is a 1/2 credit of public speaking where the dc are learning to write speeches. And if this wasn't enough instruction, there is also all the wonderful writing instruction in Rod and Staff each year. They also do writing in a literature journal in high school lit. As you can see the writing instruction component in HOD is well thought out and quite comprehensive. I am amazed at how my ds can write after 7 1/2years of HOD.
Mom to:
dd 22 college graduate and employed as an Intervention Specialist
ds 18 US2, Loved Preparing, CTC , RTR , Rev to Rev, MTMM ,WG, WH and US1

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Re: Switching to HOD fully? Dropping Classical Conversations

Post by Nealewill » Mon Jan 02, 2017 3:15 pm

It think the other ladies did an excellent job describing the flow of HOD writing to you already. One thing that I have noticed is that both HOD and CC have a lot of writing included in them and it is similar and yet different. CC will have the students do different grammar with the writing and they will do their own copywork as well. HOD does lots of copywork, grammar and writing too. To do both would be overload. I also have found that HOD focuses on many types of writing for elementary ages vs IEW which seems to focuses on the style of writing for three years straight but really just writing the same thing over and over again. With HOD, your kids will learn to summarize something they read and make it their own using narration. Then they have completely awesome creative writing assignments in Preparing. They read a poem and write something based off of the topic of the poem. And copywork is included weekly as well. They also have start answering written questions for science in Preparing. The assignments are very balanced throughout the week and I found it be a very natural move from Bigger to Preparing. With IEW, you do mainly outlining and then writing from your outline. While the assignments do differ, it is kind of the same thing each time. I don't like that there isn't much creativity. After using HODs writing, I liked that HOD only uses it one time and not 3. Before coming to HOD, I was planning to use IEW for my kids writing program once they got to 4th grade but obviously you can see that I am not glad that we didn't do that. Truth be told, I really did like IEW with RtR and right after we finished it, I was feeling sad that we won't be doing IEW again. There were some elements of style that I think my dd could focus on a little bit more but I don't necessarily need their program to do that. As for outlining practice, I have found that the R&S book actually covers many of those topics this year already. So there really isn't any need to keep reviewing them for multiple years with IEW IMHO.

Before starting HOD, my oldest was very hesitant to write. I started with the classical approach and they wanted they kids writing their own sentences in 2nd grade! To be honest, she just couldn't do it. I left the classical approach in 3rd grade and used MFW (I didn't know of HOD at the time). For 4th grade, I found HOD and my oldest started in Preparing. It was the best year for her. I am so glad we found HOD and that she made the switch. The writing in HOD has completely opened her up! My son has Auditory Processing Disorder and I can also say that HOD has been wonderful for him as well. He does still struggle with writing but he never really shuts down and always gives his best. Many times I am still sitting next to him and he tells me his sentence before he writes it. His main problem is that his sentences will be missing the subject or the verb so it just isn't a sentence and this is all part of his disability. But in general, even with his weird mistakes, he is starting to actually become quite a good writer and he enjoys most of the assignments. He started HOD in Beyond and repeated Bigger which I think really helped him be placed correctly (he needs to be on the oldest end of the age range). But in general, I couldn't be happier with the writing in HOD. I can see that the process really works and I do think my oldest is well above her peers in being able to actually write. I anticipate the same for my younger 2 kiddos as well.

DD 13 WG
DS 12 R2R
DD 10 R2R

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

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Re: Switching to HOD fully? Dropping Classical Conversations

Post by Tiffini » Sun Jan 15, 2017 12:10 pm

I'll just chime in quickly and give you the perspective of someone who has a child who graduated using HOD. She used HOD from Bigger Hearts on and graduated last year. She is currently taking college classes online. There have been large amounts of writing in several of the classes. She is able to easily write one paragraph essays up to ten page papers and usually gets scores in the high 90's. She doesn't necessarily enjoy writing and it isn't her hobby or anything, it is just that she has learned how to respond to knowledge in writing so well because of doing that continually as she moved through the HOD guides. Carrie has the students read and then respond in writing, read and then respond in writing - all through the years of history. She also has them working through a variety of writing programs that teach writing from multiple angles. For someone who loves variety like I do, this is a wonderful feature! It is slow and gradual, but those building blocks really stick. I have been extremely pleased as I've seen how easy it is for her to write her college essays and I would say that HOD's style of teaching writing is definitely enough - and not painful in the process! :D
DD (21 ) Graduated! Used HOD from 5th Grade through 12th Grade!
B/G Twins (18) Graduated! Used HOD from 3rd through 12th Grade!
DS (12) and DS (10)- Preparing Hearts
HOD Users since 2008

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Re: Switching to HOD fully? Dropping Classical Conversations

Post by my3sons » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:34 pm

The ladies have answered so well already, that I will just share this link, where Carrie describes the writing progression from LHTH through RevtoRev (of course now, writing goes through 12th grade :D )...

My 11th grader and 8th grader have become excellent writers under HOD's tutelage. I want to encourage you, the combination of LA skills in HOD works!!! What's more - they LIKE writing. They have their own style, and it is from all of the exposure to different writing programs and styles that have helped each of them hone their own.

In Christ,
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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