Help Switching to Heart of Dakota Next Year

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Shelly
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:20 am

Help Switching to Heart of Dakota Next Year

Post by Shelly » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:02 am

We are planning to transition from Sonlight to Heart of Dakota next year. We do Bible together as a family in the mornings, then we all do language study for the rest of the morning. So our only home school time is in the afternoons. Between our busy schedule and having 6 kids under 9, I need to keep things as simple and streamlined as possible. Heart of Dakota really seems to fit my needs and our educations philosophy. My kids are 9, 7, 6, 4, 2 and baby #6 is due next month. I plan to combine the 9 and 7-year-old in Bigger. My 9-year-old is reading independently at about a 3rd/4th grade reading level. My 7-year-old is a slow reader just now doing phonics and beginner books. I hope he will be ready for the emerging readers next year, but not sure. He'll be 8 at the beginning of the school year. I plan to do Little Hearts with my 6-year-old and Little Hands with my 4 and 2-year-old. I have a few questions. 1. Do I need to start my oldest (9) in the DITHOR program, or should I wait till he is in Preparing since he's never done literature study before? My other concern with DITHOF, though I think it looks like a wonderful program, is lack of time. Even now, we usually only get around to Bible, Language Arts, and Arithmetic. History and Literature only happen when we have time and we omitted Science this year due to lack of time and adjusting to a new baby and a new lifestyle. 2. Should I order the Extension Package for my 9-year-old? He does enjoy reading independently, but due to budget and time I'm not sure if this is necessary. I know I could't do both DITHOF and the Extension Package with him, so was wondering whether to eliminate both, or choose one.
expat living in Asia, language student, wife, mother to 5 boys ages 9, 7, 6, 4, 2, and a new baby girl

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

Re: Help Switching to Heart of Dakota Next Year

Post by Kristen » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:36 am

Hi Shelly, welcome to HOD!
I'm sure others will chime in with more detailed answers but what is always the most helpful at first is to look at the placement chart and see where each of your children places individually. HOD is made to tailor specifically to each chld's individual needs. That being said, you can still combine where necessary.
At first glance, I might suggest combining your 6 year old and 7 year old in Little Hearts, and let your 9 year old do Bigger alone. Right now, I have a 6 year old doing Little Hearts and a 9 year old doing Bigger. Bigger has more reading and lots more writing than Little Hearts and Beyond. There is poetry to copy, vocabulary words to look up and write definitions for, spelling or dictation, lots of notebooking activities, timeline, etc. There are a lot of skills to master in Little Hearts and Beyond that would be great for your 7 year old to work on. But you'll get a better sense when you see the placement chart.
You can certainly wait until Preparing to do DITHOR, and I would suggest that. Definitely get comfortable with each program and a good routine going before adding in DITHOR. I'm not sure about the extension package. I'm sure someone else will give some tips on that. I would tend to say what I said about DITHOR, wait until you get used to each program as written and see if you need to add anything.
Hope that helps!
Kristen
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

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

Re: Help Switching to Heart of Dakota Next Year

Post by Gwenny » Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:22 pm

I agree with the pp. I would have the 9 yo do Bigger, no DITHR and no extensions. I would combine the 6 and 7 in Little Hearts. And, personally, I wouldn't do Little Hands with your younger 2 at all. :shock: You have A LOT on your plate and trying to do too much would make it that nothing gets done very well. Having beginning readers is time intensive as well. I would focus on the 9 yo--Bigger is teacher intensive-- they are learning a bunch of skills in this guide. The goal is to get them to some independence for the next guides and the better that is worked on now, the easier it will be in the future.

Just my 2 cents! For the youngers, play, play, and read them lots of lots of books. :)
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

Shelly
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:20 am

Re: Help Switching to Heart of Dakota Next Year

Post by Shelly » Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:54 am

Thanks for the advise. After looking at Little Hearts and Beyond, I think I will order what I need for both and then use the one that suits my 7-year-old best when the time comes. He has advanced past some of the things in Little Hearts, but it looks perfect for my 6-year-old. I may end up doing Little Hearts for the 6-year-old, Beyond for my 7-year-old, and Bigger for my 9-year-old with some shared listening in on the reading aloud time. Has anyone done 3 guides at once? Is it too much work, or manageable when that seems to suite your kids levels best? I'll skip Little Hands and just continue to do reading aloud with my youngest two.
expat living in Asia, language student, wife, mother to 5 boys ages 9, 7, 6, 4, 2, and a new baby girl

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

Re: Help Switching to Heart of Dakota Next Year

Post by StephanieU » Sun Jan 29, 2017 8:21 am

Three guides is doable, but running back to back guides is not advised. This is mostly because you will be doing the same things over and over and over again, which can be draining on you. Second, though LHFHG, Beyond, and Bigger won't be too hard to run (so Year 1 would be okay), doing Bigger and Preparing together is hard because those are the two most teacher intensive guides. They take about two hours each of your compete attention and time.
What things in LHFHG would be too easy? It is easy to adapt the math, phone/reading, and fine motor skills/Handwriting in the guide. Would the history and storytime content be review? Those are the meat of the guide!
Last edited by StephanieU on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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!

countrymom
Posts: 770
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:16 pm

Re: Help Switching to Heart of Dakota Next Year

Post by countrymom » Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:39 pm

I would not do those three guides back to back. Those are the most teacher intensive guides and I think you would be setting yourself up for burnout. With what you have shared I really think your 7-yr-old would be best served in Little Hearts with your 6 yr old. Having gone through the program up to Rev to Rev with two totally different children, I can say those earlier guides are so important and although they might seem light, they are building skills needed for the later guides. You can always add emerging readers and a spelling list for your 7-yr-old if he is ready for it at some later point. You wouldn't have to wait for Beyond to do that. You could also eventually start cursive with him before you get to Bigger. I also agree with the other poster to wait on your youngers. Get your olders going with a good routine first and the youngers can come along later. Part of my advice is based on things I did that I shouldn't have done. :D :oops: Welcome to HOD!
Countrymom
Wife to J
Big J - LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, R2R, Rev to Rev, Modern Missions, beginning parts of World Geography
Little J - LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, working in CTC

Shelly
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:20 am

Re: Help Switching to Heart of Dakota Next Year

Post by Shelly » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:22 am

Thanks. I just may end up doing that. I may have to adjust Little Hearts somewhat for my 7-year-old. He turns 8 early in the school year and he's already writing in cursive and doing spelling words. I felt that the Going on Eagerly and Just Thinking and Choosing might be too simple for him. That's why I thought I would just order both Little Hearts and Beyond so that I could choose what I feel works best when the time comes. If I don't use anything from Beyond next year, I'd have it already for later.
expat living in Asia, language student, wife, mother to 5 boys ages 9, 7, 6, 4, 2, and a new baby girl

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