Placement Questions and Emerging Readers

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Taramisu
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:38 pm

Placement Questions and Emerging Readers

Post by Taramisu » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:51 pm

Hi,

We are in the middle of our first HOD year. My son just turned 6 in December and is doing LHFHG for Kindergarten. It has been going really well and we both enjoy it a lot. While I love a good boxed curriculum with everything planned out for me, I found out pretty quickly that we would have to make adjustments based on his varying skill levels in the different subjects (and it makes me wonder even more how in the world classroom teachers teach so many kids at once all at the same level!). As of now, we're on Unit 13 and planning on finishing about 2/3 of the curriculum by the end of the school year and then switching to Beyond when we finish the last 1/3 of LHFHG around December. Here are my concerns:

1) My son is weak on writing. We are doing the basic italic (Getty & Dubay) because I love that program (I learned it when I was homeschooled) and I don't want him to learn regular cursive. He never wrote before this year, so it's not like he's bad at writing, he just hasn't had much experience and it's kind of a struggle for him (or rather, me- a perfectionist- watching him write poorly). I'm a little frustrated that the book is SO short for each lesson, because it seems he's not getting enough practice, especially when the manual doesn't schedule it but every 3 days or so. He still hasn't gotten through all of the lower case letters yet. My question is: By what curriculum does he need to be able to write fluently? I'm a little nervous about that. I think we will do practice sheets through the summer and try to "catch up" a bit at least.

2) We finished our phonics program (Reading Reflex) last month (started it casually when he was barely 5 because he was begging to learn) and according to the testing, he now reads comfortably at a 3rd-4th grade reading level. Since finishing phonics, I've been having him read out of the McGuffey Readers out loud to me. He just started book 2, but even it is pretty easy for him. Content is another thing. He generally understands things better when HE reads it as opposed to me reading aloud to him, but even so, a lot of the books he can technically read are above his maturity level or comprehension. He struggles a bit when I read to him to be able to answer the questions at the end (we have finished most of the Beatrix Potter tales because we both hated the Burgess books and he couldn't understand them), though he is slowly improving in that.

My question is, after this spring when we finish 2/3 of LHFHG, I'm not sure what to do with him for reading (out loud to me). I looked at the emerging readers schedule a little bit and considered buying it for this summer and just doing that apart from Beyond, but I realized that at least half of the books on the list are way too easy for him (though he hasn't read most of them before and they look like great books). So... do I buy the second half of them and start the schedule in the middle? Or is it even worth it? Should I just find our own books to read at his level? I'm not super confident to pick out the best books at the right level technically and maturity wise while also being a worthwhile read. And I don't want to jump ahead and pick books that will be covered in the following year either.

Any suggestions?

Thank you!
Tara

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

Re: Placement Questions and Emerging Readers

Post by Gwenny » Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:44 pm

I'm glad you are enjoying Little Hearts. It's a fun guide. Yes, you will be adjusting and tweaking throughout his schooling. :) No two students are exactly alike. Based on what you have shared, I would start on the emerging readers wherever you think he would fit best. It's nice to have them picked for you and have the questions at the end of each reading. They are great books. Pick where you think he should start and then go back one book and start there. :)

I would go back to the Burgess books and work on those to increase his listening comprehension skills. They are perfect for that. The readings are short and simple. He probably just needs to practice paying attention--a very important skill. Maybe you could give him some things to listen for, or remind him that you will be asking him about what the reading and he needs to pay attention.

Just a couple of thoughts. :)
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

MomtoJGJE
Posts: 1534
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:20 pm
Location: Gastonia, NC

Re: Placement Questions and Emerging Readers

Post by MomtoJGJE » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:51 am

They don't need to be writing fluently until Bigger at least.. and even that you can make it work if they aren't writing well. Preparing and up is when they really need to be writing well.

The Burgess books will help him be able to understand and comprehend the readings in Beyond and Bigger. They are written in older/classic language and are a bit hard to follow unless you've had the practice.

As far as the Emerging Readers... They aren't just about being able to read, but to think about what you have read. I'd start at the beginning. If he reads quickly then he could do two readings on the easier books per day. You only want to spend about 15 minutes on them anyway. The questions are way more than just general content of the reading.

Taramisu
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:38 pm

Re: Placement Questions and Emerging Readers

Post by Taramisu » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:43 pm

Thank you both. That is helpful. As far as the writing goes, would you buy the next basic italic book then for next year as well as doing the copywork in Beyond? I'm just surprised it isn't scheduled as an option since in LHFHG it says Book A or B. If you do Book A, you would still need to do Book B at some point...

Maybe we will go back and try the readings in the Burgess books. I don't know. Neither of us liked them, and we like most classic literature! I feel like the Beatrix Potter books are about the same level and also have the classic/old language to a certain degree, but are much more interesting and he seems to follow them better. We both had issues with the old southern accents in the first Burgess book especially (I even found it hard to read aloud) and I've always been a good reader. Maybe it's just the style I don't like. Anyway, we may try them again.

Like I said, he really is reading at between a 3rd and 4th grade level easily, so if we were to do all the emerging books they would go really fast and I'd probably want him to read something else during that time that was a bit challenging for him, but I guess we could do that, too? I do want him to really build his comprehension skills. If we started the emerging readers this summer (from the beginning) and finished early that year, what would be your recommendations next? I doubt he'd be ready for DITHOR at that point, right?

Thank you!
Tara

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

Re: Placement Questions and Emerging Readers

Post by Gwenny » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:53 am

You can read the books from the level 2/3 book list and not do DITHR.
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

Rice
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:00 am

Re: Placement Questions and Emerging Readers

Post by Rice » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:59 pm

If you think that all the ER books are too simple, or after reading whichever ones you deem appropriate for him, I second moving on to the DITHOR Level 2 books (which are grade 3.0 to 4.1), having him read about a chapter per day (some books could be more or less, depending on length) and then having him narrate what he's read to you. I would not start the DITHOR workbooks at that age, using the book packs to stretch his reading and saving the literature analysis and Christian character study portion of that program for another year or two. I would assign the books in order of difficulty (not necessarily by genre) so they will gradually stretch his reading and comprehension. (Grade levels are given on this page: http://www.heartofdakota.com/drawn-into-optional.php)
Rice

DS 17 parts of WG, WH's EIW, US2 Finance (DONE: Prep-MTMM)
DD 15 WG, US2 Finance, different lit (DONE:Bigger-Preparing & RTR-MTMM; Irlen)
DS 14 WH (DONE: CTC-WG)
DS 11 RTR (DONE: LHFHG-CTC)
DS 9 Preparing
DS 7 3Rs,
DD 6 phonics + 2yo DS

Taramisu
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:38 pm

Re: Placement Questions and Emerging Readers

Post by Taramisu » Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:42 pm

Thank you for your advice! We ended up ordering the emerging readers (all of them) and started today. I did decide to skip the Bible readings since we own that Bible and my son has already read the whole thing several times (plus we are in LHFHG so have already gone over these stories in addition to Sunday School covering them, as well). So we started with Owl at Home. What a fun book! My son was laughing out loud, could answer all of the questions, and begged me to let him read the whole book in one sitting (took about 15 min to read and answer all questions). He read it about as fast as I would have and maybe stumbled over one word in the whole book. I'm still glad we got it and will plan to continue with the next books in order even if we go through faster until getting to some more challenging levels.

Rice
Posts: 376
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:00 am

Re: Placement Questions and Emerging Readers

Post by Rice » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:21 pm

Sounds like a perfect fit! So happy for you! :)

When you get there, know that the last few books of the ERs overlap in difficulty with the first few Level 2 DITHOR books. My last DS had heard me read Stone Fox (DITHOR Level 2) to the older kids so before he finished the last 3 ERs begged me to be allowed to read it - he did, independently, in a matter of about 2-3 days! He never did go back and finish the ERs, lol.

We're about 2 weeks away from my next son moving from phonics into the ERs, too, so will be joining you soon (though much slower ;) ). Enjoy!
Rice

DS 17 parts of WG, WH's EIW, US2 Finance (DONE: Prep-MTMM)
DD 15 WG, US2 Finance, different lit (DONE:Bigger-Preparing & RTR-MTMM; Irlen)
DS 14 WH (DONE: CTC-WG)
DS 11 RTR (DONE: LHFHG-CTC)
DS 9 Preparing
DS 7 3Rs,
DD 6 phonics + 2yo DS

Taramisu
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:38 pm

Re: Placement Questions and Emerging Readers

Post by Taramisu » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:14 pm

Good to know, thanks! Oh, if I remember right, I LOVED Stone Fox when I was little. Glad I'll get to re-read it with the kids!

Yes, my son has finished 3 of the emerging reader books in about a week of school! We will be starting Wagon Wheels next week. I can see how it is helpful for their comprehension to go through the questions, even if the reading is fairly simple for him. I think it also builds confidence for him to succeed at it. We will go slower, of course, as it becomes more difficult (the higher levels of emerging readers).

As for read alouds, at this point we are reading through the WInnie the Pooh stories, but after that's finished we may go back and take a look at the Burgess books again. My son begs me to read more each time we finish. I'm so glad he's loving school and reading!

I'm just so happy with HOD overall and looking forward to Beyond mid-way through next year! We will also be starting my (will be) 4 year old in the fall on LHTH, and she is excited about that since I think she's a bit jealous of her brother's school time! :)

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