Juggling multiple kids- newbie question

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Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:36 am

Juggling multiple kids- newbie question

Post by WildernessMom » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:45 am

After trying multiple curriculums and then trying to pull it all together on my own this last year, I have stumbled upon HOD and love what I see. I am seriously considering this for our school curriculum next year, but need some advice from those seasoned moms with multiple children in different guides...
I currently have a dd-7, ds-5, ds-3, dd-1. I understand the concept of keeping your kids in different guides based on skill level and it makes a lot of sense after trying to do the same thing for everyone this last year, and failing to meet all their needs. My question is How do you practically do it with multiple kids?? My kids are all two years apart and I can see them all being in different guides all the way through. How do you schedule all the separate read alouds and get it all done with them individually?? My older two have a very competitive relationship so I think it would greatly benefit them to have separate school work but I start getting overwhelmed when I think about my younger two getting old enough for school and adding in two more guides!! My oldest is very dependent on me to be there or she gets so distracted and won't finish any work alone, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. I would place her in Beyond according to the placement charts.
I would love to see how a large family with younger kids and multiple guides schedules their days to get it all done and still have time to help hubby on the farm, keep up with the housework, and cook meals!

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Re: Juggling multiple kids- newbie question

Post by StephanieU » Thu Apr 27, 2017 10:52 am

First, I give our family Grace to not to every single thing in the guide every single day. As the kids get older, we are more conscience about getting the boxes done. But in the early years, I pick and choose things. Since the middle two often listen in and help the oldest with science, I don't worry if we don't do their science. The same goes for poetry and art.
Second, as they get older, the guides increase in independence. Starting in Preparing, boxes are marked independent (I), semi-independent (S), and teacher led (The). So while I am working with one of the middle kids, my oldest can be doing her I boxes. My middle two can do math fact practice (we use Xtramath on their Kindle Fires), Handwriting, and listen to verses. They also take turns distracting the baby if he isn't napping.
On a good day without ton of distractions, we are done in under 6 hours with lunch and breaks for all. If the kids end up playing outside a lot or we are distracted by cleaning, etc, it can be an 8 hour day.
Mom to 4
DD (13) MtMM (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CtC, RtR, and Rev2Rev)
DS (11) RtR (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, and CtC plus some of LHTH)
DD (9) Preparing (completed LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, and Bigger)

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Re: Juggling multiple kids- newbie question

Post by WildernessMom » Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:00 pm

Thank you for your reply. It is helpful to know that it gives direction in the later guides on what is done independently.
Do you find that doing LHFHG is helpful for your little ones or if you just waited to jump them into BHFHG or Beyond when they are more mature, would that be sufficient to prepare them for more formal school in the following guides?
With my oldest this last year we have just focused on the three R's- learning to read, write, and do basic math. We are using AAR program currently. Now that she is finally starting to get reading down I am ready to plunge into a more balanced curriculum for her. I think that she would be ready for the Beyond guide next year.
I was planning to do the same with my 5 yr old son- we are just working on recognizing letters and sounds and learning the basic motor skills of writing at this point. He is a more slow learner than his sister so I don't anticipate him being ready for formal phonics instructions until atleast 6 or so. My 3yr old just listens in and colors with his brother- sometimes- but since they are both wiggly boys I am not pushing school on him until later...

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Re: Juggling multiple kids- newbie question

Post by queenireneof3 » Sun May 14, 2017 9:33 pm

Following! I wanted to bump this up and give more mamas a chance to pipe in.
Sara Irene
wife to Brett for 16 years already!
mommy of ds B (13yo), dd S (11yo), ds S (7yo), dd (3 yo), dd (1.5yo), and two who went to meet Jesus 3/5/2014 and 7/23/14

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Re: Juggling multiple kids- newbie question

Post by momtofive » Mon May 15, 2017 6:37 am

I understand where you're coming from, as I've been in your place not that long ago. ;) I want to encourage you that it can be done, and done well. :) Try not to worry over what may come down the road, but try to focus on this next year and what will be the most successful. The very best place to start is the placement chart on HOD's main website. Take a good look at that chart with each of your oldest two students in mind. Look to see where each of them places individually. Proper placement is key, as your student will be appropriately challenged, but also be successful and build confidence as they learn. :)

I used to be fearful about running multiple guides, and now we are very smoothly running 5 guides here on a daily basis. It's great, and I can't imagine doing it any other way. ;) The guides build step-by-step in skill building and in independence. As your children grow and learn they'll be able to do more independently, but also things with mom which really helps you be connected in their learning where they need you, but free's you to still be able to work more with the younger children, too. :)

I know it's hard to envision running multiple guides now, but in time, your children will each grow and learn new things and gain independence in areas that will allow things to work well as your littles get bigger and begin school, too. Your oldest two sound very much like my oldest two. There's no way we could have been successful combining them, as they compete with one another so much. ;) But running seperate guides has been such a blessing here. They've both felt very confident where they placed and have grown so much.

Editing to add: I re-read your first post and see that your oldest places in Beyond. Where would you say your 5 yr old places?
Lisa ~ Gal. 2:20, Prov. 3:5-6
Mom to five great blessings :)
Ds20 - Graduated from HOD!
Ds18 - Graduated from HOD!
Dd16 - US1
Dd14 - WG
Dd12 - REV

Loving HOD since 2010!

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Re: Juggling multiple kids- newbie question

Post by MelInKansas » Mon May 15, 2017 7:30 pm

I have 5 kids, who are now 12, 10, 7, 5, and 2.

The placement chart is your key. However HOD recommends if your children place in back to back guides, especially in the younger guides, that you try combining in the lower guide and adding on challenge or extra subjects for the older one. Back to back guides are mostly okay but Bigger Hearts and Preparing Hearts are the two most teacher-intensive guides and trying to do both of those in one year makes for a very labor-intensive year. I have had both of those guides going at once, but only when the Preparing child was at the end and I think the overlap was about 8 weeks. A year of that would be a lot of work. But if that's what you needed to do, you could do it.

With most of the other guides the younger ones are very quick and light and the older ones grow in independence each year. With the older guides your main concern is getting things graded and having feedback for your child in a timely manner, and you have to make the time for that (along with about an hour each day of discussion or other items, maybe teaching for your math or English, Storytime if you decide to keep that one, though you can have the child do it, devotional and the boy/girl studies in Res to Ref). It works so well, it's really amazing, especially once your kids get used to their guides. Now if you are planning to start more than one new guide at a time, sometimes it's also suggested to start one with one child, and get that one going for 2-3 weeks, and then start another child. The beginning of doing a new guide is a little intense for a while as you and the child are learning what to do.

One thing many moms struggle with, especially with youngers in the home as well, is "how do I get it all done." I think having a routine is key and planning things for the youngers, as much as possible helps too. Trying to include them. I do my guides from youngest to oldest, though I do switch the oldest pair sometimes because if I leave my oldest until last I tend to slack more on going over her stuff. But it tends to work out that from youngest to oldest, they have just the right amount of independent work to get through that by the time it's their turn, they're ready for me. I don't get done before lunch. Usually I'm done by 2:00 though, as long as all goes well. My kids love the hands on activities that encourage their learning. They are learning narration and history in ways that amaze me. Most of all, I love how Christ-centered it is, while providing a very rich and quality education. I'm so thankful for HOD!
"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
DD2 - ABC123
2 babies in heaven

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