Need some help with choosing guides--Please!

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learningtolove
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:01 pm
Location: Pierce, CO

Need some help with choosing guides--Please!

Post by learningtolove » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:35 pm

Hello ladies, I have not been on here in a very long time and am in great need of some feedback. I have a dd that is 8 going on 9 this year and am starting her on Bigger this week (after quitting Beyond very early) which I know is a very intense guide. My ds is 13 going to be 14 this fall and we have not finished CtC. We are only on unit 13 as we took a break and were a part of a class day that was taking over most of his classes. We have gone through a tough transition for our family and its a battle every week to stay on track. I am considering moving my ds up to the Revival to Revolution guide since he has the skills for that, but really don't want to miss out on all of the rich learning in CtC or the next guide. I see how it could be best to move him up to where he should be so he is on track for hs without the extensions, but cost is a problem for us right now too.

Can any of you give recommendations for using extensions?

If I stay in CtC, what would it look like to go through the hs program and how could we cover it all?

Is it worth it to skip guides and get him into RtoR?

Can any of you help with a schedule for running Bigger with either of these two guides? We seem to always run way over the recommended time....
I am also working part time twice a week in the afternoons, but will need to increase work hours in the near future.

Thank you for any feedback you can offer. It would be greatly appreciated!

In need of His grace,

Bryn

Carrie
Site Admin
Posts: 8058
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: Need some help with choosing guides--Please!

Post by Carrie » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:16 am

Bryn,

I apologize that we haven't had a chance to get back to until now. We have been trying to get the catalog to press and it has been consuming what little time we had left after writing the US2 installments each week. So, we appreciate your patience!

In trying to decide which guides would be best for your students at this point, I think it would really help if you could take a look at the placment chart with fresh eyes for each of your kiddos. As you go through the chart, pretend that you are brand new to Heart of Dakota (setting aside in your mind whatever guides your kiddos are currently in). This will help us figure out where they would fit best. Here is a link to the placment chart: http://www.heartofdakota.com/placing-your-child.php

Be really honest in your assessment, especially on the first page of the chart, because having your kiddos correctly placed will make your job as a teacher flow much better. With the precious time you have available, you will need your kiddos to be correctly placed.

Once you get a chance to go over the chart, it would be great if you could pop back and share what you discovered about each child and their skills. Then, we can advise you better on how to get it done! :D

Blessings,
Carrie

learningtolove
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:01 pm
Location: Pierce, CO

Re: Need some help with choosing guides--Please!

Post by learningtolove » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:30 am

Carrie,

Thank you for your response. I really appreciate it:) I believe my son's skills are at the Revival to Revolution level for the most part. I know that my daughter needs to be in Bigger. I am concerned for how long things seem to take us. Even continuing to go through just the CtC guide with my son while I figure this out and my daughter is just doing math, english, writing, and reading unguided right now we can't get through a whole days work in one day. I am very intimidated to try starting two new guides. I LOVE this curriculum!! My son and daughter LOVE this curriculum. I have seriously struggled from the beginning to get a schedule figured out and stick to it. When we start getting into a routine, something comes in that is unavoidable, or I add something thinking that we can handle it and everything falls apart.

I am working Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-6 or 7, last night it was 8 and we had dinner at my work. Fridays we leave at noon since my daughter and I have dance and my son can do more school while there. We need to be going to sewing on Wednesday afternoons so that my daughter can continue to learn to sew and I would love to as well, but I don't want to give up that time at home. I will be needing to pick up more hours at my work soon and would like to get a routine down before that.

My son works slower through things and can often get distracted by reading too many pages for a day, or not reading instructions thoroughly and missing a whole section of an assignment and having to go back and redo it, he doesn't do well when rushed. He has been working a lot better independently lately and am very thankful for that and know that will help a lot moving into a new guide. I see how I have had poor influence for staying on task.....

I'm trying to find as many books for the revival guide at the library to keep cost down before I order it, and I am also looking for help on the schedules. I have printed off all of the times suggested for each guide for each box and can't seem to get if figured out....I think I have failed so many times, I am in unbelief that trying anything else will actually work. I have thought about just going to a workbook based curriculum so that it is less complicated and the kids know what is next by just going to the next page, but I know it won't be as rich of an education for them.

Any help that you can offer on how I spend my time with each child would be greatly appreciated! Any other suggestions or links to things that have already been written. I have struggled navigating through these posts.

Thank you! I was beginning to give up on a response. I understand about projects needing done. I have a couple going on too:) I need to keep school the priority.

In need of His grace,
Bryn

Carrie
Site Admin
Posts: 8058
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: Need some help with choosing guides--Please!

Post by Carrie » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:51 pm

Bryn,

Thanks so much for sharing a bit more about your kiddos. In thinking through what you've shared, and keeping in mind your busy work schedule, I think it will be very important for your kiddos to be placed in guides that they can work through without requiring tons of extra teaching, help, and guidance from you (outside of what the guide already requires).

It sounds like your son is well-placed workload-wise in CTC for right now (even though he may be able to handle the content of a higher guide) and just needs to be accountable to do each day's work within a day. To help him do this, I would meet with him mid-morning to go over his work. Then, meet with him again near lunch to go over the rest. Let him know that he is to do what is assigned, without reading ahead. I love the idea that he enjoys his books so much he wants to read more, but when it makes him unable to finish the rest of his assigned work for the day... the positive becomes a negative. If he understands that he has to finish a day within a day, then he may do better with only doing what is assigned. I tell my boys that it is an obedience issue if they continually do their own thing rather than doing what is in the guide. :wink:

One other thing that may help with your schedule would be to have your son in CTC do an hour of school from 8:00-9:00 at night to get ahead for the next day. My two middle boys do this each night, and it really helps take part of the load off for the next day. They love getting up in the morning feeling like they have a jump start on their school. Their evening subjects are typically their independent ones, so I don't have to do anything with them at that point except make sure they are working during that time. Then, we check those subjects first the next morning. 8)

Right now, to move up several guides in work volume would likely be overwhelming to both you and your son at this point. If you were going to move him up a guide, I would be inclined to move into RTR rather than Rev2Rev. But before considering any move, he needs to start doing a full day of CTC within a day for awhile. He also needs to be sure to do the 'I' boxes as independently as possible. You will still need to check the 'I' boxes and go over that material, but the work should be done independently first. :D.

As far as your younger child goes, I may be inclined to finish Beyond at this point. Even though your younger child is turning 9, it would help to have the skills from Beyond before heading into Bigger. It will make Bigger less overwhelming for both teacher and student. If you feel Beyond is way too easy though, you can definitely head into Bigger instead. You will know best. You may just want to begin half speed then in Bigger at first. I would also look at the things you are using for reading, spelling, writing, and math with your younger child and add up how much time those are each taking. If you are adding a bunch of separate time-consuming programs for those areas, it could be that your time is going to those extra programs leaving you unable to get to the rest of Beyond or Bigger. If that is the case, you may need to consider moving over to more of the recommendations within Beyond or Bigger in those areas to get your time more in balance. The same could be true for your son, if you are adding on time-consuming programs in the 3R's for him.

Last, I would suggest that if you can minimize outside interruptions during school time that will really help. Keep your mornings until 1:00 set aside strictly for school. Try not to go off on bunny trails and stick to doing a day within a day of the guides if at all possible. If you can realize that your frustrations at this point stem partly from feeling like you're not steadily moving forward with the guides, then you can focus more on just doing what the guide says and then being done for the day. It can actually be a relief to let the guide be your gauge as to when you've done enough. This will likely help your son too, as right now he may not have the expectation to finish a full day's work each day, and he may feel like he's never sure what will be added or taken away from the day's plan. So, I would encourage you to just stick with what is on the printed page without adding or subtracting for awhile and see how it changes your school days. I am an adder by nature, and this was something I had to learn myself! I finally realized my boys just wanted to know what they had to do for the day, and then they wanted to do it and be done! :shock: Boys need to know what the tasks for the day are. They are finishers by nature and do not want to constantly have more added. More is sometimes just more... not better. :wink:

I would encourage you not to worry about feeling behind and needing to jump ahead. There are so many good work habits that are learned within CTC that you will not be wasting your son's time in going through that guide. If you worked steadily through it for March, April, and May, then he would be on week 23 of CTC at that point. Then, we can take another look at jumping up to RTR or even Rev2Rev in the fall. Focus on the goals for your son of establishing good work habits, getting better at reading directions, being less distracted (perhaps your son needs to move to a quieter area while still being near you), and finishing what is started. We are working on those same goals right now with my own 14 year old son which is why these goals readily spring to my mind!! :D While these goals will never be accomplished in a single year, progress is what we're seeking! :D Believe me when I say I tell myself this daily!

Here is a link to my schedule, when I was using CTC and Beyond. Keep in mind this particular schedule of mine does not reflect the evening set-up time I mentioned (because we hadn't started it yet back then). Also, my schedule includes my two other boys, so it will be more convoluted than you will need. So, it may or may not help. You will likely also want to be done by 1:00, which is possible if your older son does an hour of school the night before. My boys are all done by 1:00 pretty much these days...thanks to evening set-up! Scroll down at the link to see my schedule:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2093&start=90

Blessings,
Carrie

learningtolove
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:01 pm
Location: Pierce, CO

Re: Need some help with choosing guides--Please!

Post by learningtolove » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:43 pm

Carrie,

Thank you so much for the very thoughtful and thorough response! :D What a blessing!! I have renewed direction, hope, and energy. I had been working on a response throughout the day as I was processing what you said and then when I submitted it, it had logged me off and deleted what I had been writing :shock:

Is it possible for you to give me a call? My number is 970-815-4472.

I had sat down with my son and he loves what you wrote about sticking to the plan. He had a few "Amens!" to that paragraph. I don't remember everything that I had written to you earlier, but do have a few questions mainly about literature, science, transitioning, and HS. If it doesn't work to call, I can work on another email. Just let me know:)

Carrie
Site Admin
Posts: 8058
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: Need some help with choosing guides--Please!

Post by Carrie » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:10 pm

Bryn,

Due to my tight schedule I don't get a chance to return phone calls very often. I am so sorry that your post was lost! :shock: That can be frustrating. I have had it happen too! Now, I try to copy my post before I click "submit" just in case I may have been logged out. In that way, I can paste my post after logging back in. Sometimes too, if it takes you to the login screen, you can hit the back button and still see your post to copy it before re-logging in. Then, all is not lost.

I will be glad to help as time allows if you get a chance to retype your questions! :D

Blessings,
Carrie

learningtolove
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:01 pm
Location: Pierce, CO

Re: Need some help with choosing guides--Please!

Post by learningtolove » Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:24 pm

Carrie,

Here are a few things that I had questions about....

Can you explain better how I would do high school for him since he will be behind?

Do you think that after he gets into a groove with the CTC that he could go ahead and move up to one of the other guides?

When we started CTC, I made the mistake of entering him into a science class at our class day school and we did not do the HOD science. We both regret that very much, as he loves the HOD science very much. We have stopped doing all classes at the class day and are taking a semester off and I am thinking of not going back unless it was for choir or drama class. I have Malaki doing ACE Paces for human anatomy at this time instead of trying to catch up all of that science.

Do you have any suggestions to try and catch up with the HOD science? Should I just finish out what I started with the ACE science?

Thanks again for all your time and I look forward to moving forward again at normal speed.

I am concerned that he will not be ready for HS science.

He had been taking a creative writing class and and very strong literature class doing writing as well, so he is not behind in these areas. He has probably come to a standstill in this area a bit, but I had also started him in a ACE Literature packet that requires writing at the end of each book. Since I wasn't sure what I was doing with him and was considering doing something completely different, I decided to go with the PACES since they require very little of me.

I am willing to forgo the PACES if there is a way to catch up in science and the writing program, or I can just leave out DITHOR, Science, and Literature until he is done with those and moving into the next guide.

Carrie
Site Admin
Posts: 8058
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: Need some help with choosing guides--Please!

Post by Carrie » Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:07 pm

Bryn,

These are good questions! I do think that if your son gets in a good groove with CTC from now until the end of his school year he will likely be ready to move up a guide at that time. Remember that we are training work habits and routine during this time as well as moving forward with the guide steadily to do a day's work within a day. :D As part of doing a day within a day I think it would be wise to pick up DITHR Student Book Level 6/7/8 (since it sounds like he is familiar with formal literature study already) to begin now if possible. You can use any books you choose with the Level 6/7/8 Student Book. The Level 6/7/8 Student Book is written to the student and is quite independent. If you desire to order a literature set to have the books on hand, I would lean toward Level 7/8 Boy Set linked here: http://www.heartofdakota.com/drawn-into-optional7-8.php You can use part of this set to finish out this school year, and then use the other part as you move into your son's next school year. He would also use the 6/7/8 Student Book over two years, which makes it a more economical purchase.

I would forego the ACE paces for literature at this point and begin DITHR according to the schedule in the CTC guide. This is because we want to move toward expecting your son to do everything that is on the two-page spread for each day in CTC without omitting things or adding a bunch of extras. :D

As far as writing goes, you could easily begin Write With the Best: Volume I mid-way through CTC. Simply pick it up when the next new unit of Write with the Best begins in the CTC guide. :D

For science, I would also begin with whatever books the CTC guide is currently using for science and have him follow the plans daily for that. This will minimize his frustration in hopping in and out of the CTC guide for various subjects. If he can simply do exactly what is on the two-page spread each day, his days will flow much better. 8)

To order what is needed, just open up the guide and look where he is at. Then, order the science books he will need to complete the next 3 months. Also, order Write with the Best Volume I and DITHR Teacher's guide (unless you already own it) with 6/7/8 Student Book. Decide whether to order Level 7/8 Book Pack, and you are done! Also, be sure he is doing the Storytime books from the Basic Package Option 1 each day. If he isn't doing that right now, be sure to add those on, looking from where he is now in the guide forward 3 months and ordering just those titles. Here is the ordering page: http://www.heartofdakota.com/hearts-for ... ckages.php

When he finishes the year strong with CTC, we can re-evaluate where to go next. All of this will be excellent training in getting in the rhythm of the guide and doing a day within a day. Don't worry right now about being behind. If we just jump him ahead without building the skills and work habits he needs, it will be a tough road all the way. It we take a few months to build skills and work habits and routine instead, jumping ahead will feel more natural because he will be ready. :D

The same is true for your younger child. I would just pick up where you left off in Beyond, set aside anything that is not scheduled within Beyond and get a good routine going these last 3 months of school. Then, we can re-evaluate and most likely pop forward into Bigger much more ready for that guide!

Blessings,
Carrie

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