placement question...am I crazy??

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queenireneof3
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:44 am

placement question...am I crazy??

Post by queenireneof3 » Sun May 14, 2017 9:24 pm

Hi everyone,

We've decided to go with HOD again next year after a year off! :D I'm looking forward to it! I'll try to keep this simple and reader friendly:

Here is our situation:
4 kiddos, with #5 due in August. 3 oldest will be in HOD, one toddler, and one newborn. We just moved to a new town/house and are settling into a new life. My oldest (11 yo boy) has generally struggled with schoolwork and so places lower in the guides. I will be putting him in Preparing with extensions for reading. My second (9yo girl) is pretty much on track for a 3rd/4th grader. I am debating between combining her with my 11 yo in Preparing or placing her in Bigger on her own. My 3rd (5-6 yo boy) will be starting LHFHG as a kindergartner.

My question: to place my two oldest together in Preparing or not? Or to place my oldest in Preparing with extensions and my 2nd in Bigger with possible extensions.

My pros for combining:
1. Easier teaching load for me. I will have a K, toddler, and newborn. I would love to have the two oldest start to work independently together on some subjects.
2. Two oldest generally get along really well. They are usually good playmates and best friends. It could be fun for them to study the same thing together.
3. my daughter will be on track for finishing guides.
4. I LOVE the four day plan. We tend to get behind and I have some other subjects I would like to pursue on the 5th day if possible.

My cons for combining:
1. possible competition between two oldest. I don't want them to have to compare their work all year. My 2nd doesn't like it when my oldest finishes the projects first because she doesn't want to see the end result before she is done. My oldest is 2 years older then my 2nd and I don't want him to feel less smart if she can easily keep up. I am planning on giving him the extensions to read anyways so he will be doing something extra than she will, which could help to make him feel older, it could also make him resent his higher work load, who knows?
2. My second is only halfway through her cheerful cursive book. I think I could tweak the assignments until she catches up, but it might be better for her to place in Bigger and concentrate on really mastering cursive. She has not mastered it yet.
3. Looking ahead, I don't know if it would be better to keep the oldest two separate so they can stay in their own guides till the end or keep them in the same guide all the way through.
4. If my oldest two are combined and stay combined all the way through high school, my 3rd child will always be the only one without a school buddy, since my youngest two will also be two years apart from each other. My 3rd is 3 years younger than his older sister and 4 years older than his younger sister, so truly a middle child.

My pros for separating:
1. Give oldest two some independence from each other.
2. It is possible that the work load in Bigger would fit my daughter better. I have the Bigger guide, but not Preparing, so I can't completely compare them.
3.They don't have to share reading/looking at a guide.I've heard that can create sibling battles :wink:

My cons for separating:
1. I don't know if I can keep up three guides... :? I know Bigger isn't written to be independent at all, but wondering if she can do any of it independently?
2. I've heard not to run Bigger and Preparing at the same time, and am I a crazy woman asking for burnout if I am adding a K, a toddler and newborn to the two guides??
3. How do I figure out the 4 day and 5 day difference between Bigger and Preparing? I had some ideas about additional subjects we could study on the 5th day if they were on a 4 day schedule together (or just use that day to catch up if needed), but having them with different week lengths is hard for me to figure out. I don't want my daughter to only do four days and take a long time to get through the guide.

Last thoughts about my 9yo DD and her level. She is a great reader, but can be picky about chapter books that seem too long. All the spelling dictation passages in Bigger are too easy for her. She is working on "Spelling Wisdom" by Simply Charlotte Mason. She has mastered manuscript, but is only halfway through cheerful cursive. She is still working on "Climbing to Good English - 3rd grade" grammar. (only 2-3 units in). She will be starting level 3 Math Mammoth (I think, she needs to take the placement test).

Any advice or thoughts?

thanks!!
sara
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

StephanieU
Posts: 1553
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: placement question...am I crazy??

Post by StephanieU » Mon May 15, 2017 8:06 am

Bigger and Preparing are time intensive for mom! Honestly, if your 9yo places into Preparing, I would combine. But, I would schedule yoru day so they are doing much of it alone. The things you would do with both together would be history reading and storytime. Poetry and Bible you could do alone or together, and part of it depends on the day (some things are more independent as written in the guide). While one does science, the other can do independent history. While you are doing grammar or math, one can do the history project.
There will be a few times you will want them doing history project or science labs together, but often it is just as easy for them to do them alone (and that would avoid competition).
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)
DS (4) LHTH

queenireneof3
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:44 am

Re: placement question...am I crazy??

Post by queenireneof3 » Tue May 16, 2017 1:14 pm

Thank you for your reply!
I've had casual conversations with each of my oldest two separately to try to get a feel for whether they would want to work together. They both said they would prefer their own work. And probably looking ahead, it would be better for my son to stay a year ahead of her.

That leaves me with the dilemma of trying to separate their Preparing work so they don't feel competitive or managing either Bigger and Preparing in one year or bumping my son up to CTC and putting her in Preparing.

Both kids would balk at having to write in cursive simply because my daughter is only halfway through cheerful cursive and my son is almost finished. I think the cursive in Preparing would be just the right amount of stretch for him. CTC might be too intense for my son without having gone through the training of Preparing, but again, I'm not sure about that. He hasn't had any real lessons on research yet, so I don't know if he would just be frustrated.

I am leaning towards my 9yo in Bigger and my 11 yo in Preparing with extensions, but wondering how to do it succesfully. I will be running LHFHG too.
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

StephanieU
Posts: 1553
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: placement question...am I crazy??

Post by StephanieU » Tue May 16, 2017 2:44 pm

Hopefully Julie or Carrie will come in and give their suggestions on how to proceed. You could also call and leave a message, and they will call back and talk through things with you.
While you wait, you may want to check out page 10 of Share Your Schedules (a discussion on the main board). It has the times per box for the guides, which should help you determine if doing all three is feasible. Make sure you also look at week 1 of each guide to see what each box actually is, and if it is I, S, or T for Preparing. (Everything in Bigger and below is assumed S or T - semi independent or teacher led.)
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)
DS (4) LHTH

MelInKansas
Posts: 1700
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: placement question...am I crazy??

Post by MelInKansas » Tue May 16, 2017 9:32 pm

I replied to your other post too. So in answer to some of the things in this one:

Separate guides is really so much easier in so many ways, and as they move up into those older guides it will be easier! I can't imagine my kids having to share their guides with as much independent work as they do. I'd probably end up buying two guides and then trying to schedule them so they use the books in a different order. I think even with 2 guides there would be issues.

So that means you're really stuck for this year if separate guides down the line is where you want to be. Bigger and Preparing is really the best idea. If that's where you end up I would just really look at how you can maximize the time you have with each one. Maybe get some of the read-alouds on audio (there are some really long ones in Preparing! Wonderful books, but long read alouds). Have the girl in Bigger do a number of things on her own where possible, as long as she's doing a good job with it. My husband teaches math in the evenings, and even though sometimes I don't like the fact that it eats up some of our "family time" I am always so thankful that that's one less box we have to get done during the day - he just does it with the older 2 after the littles have gone to bed, I still do it with #3 and #4 during the day. Maybe there's one part, Bible, storytime, science, or math, that your husband would like to do with the kids to be part of things. I sometimes flip flop with my older 2 on who I meet with first, knowing that perhaps the one I meet with second won't actually get any time in with me at all, sometimes that's what happens. Then I make it up the next day by meeting with the other one. Really whoever meets with me first (the others go in reverse age order always, I spend the 30-45 minutes with my 5YO first thing, then I work with my 7YO until she's done, and then #3 to meet with me is one of the older girls, and that's all I get done before lunch) gets the most and best attention from me so I have to switch that up otherwise the last one would not be getting much of me at all.

It's not that Bigger and Preparing can't be done. I had a period where I've had two in those two guides - my older 2 are less than 2 guides apart so I think they overlapped in those two guides for about 8 weeks. Like right now, they look to be one guide apart, but my oldest is in unit 32 and my 2nd born is in unit 2. I did it, and by the end of that short period was kind of ready to be done with it.

I hope this is helpful.
Melissa
"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
DS5 - LHFHG
DD2 - ABC123
2 babies in heaven

Rice
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:00 am

Re: placement question...am I crazy??

Post by Rice » Wed May 17, 2017 3:37 pm

Our first year with HOD I had kids in Bigger (10yo DD no Ext), Preparing (12yo DS with Ext) and CTC (9yo DS). The older 2 tried a guide above that but had to move down for different reasons (DD coudn't read well enough; older couldn't handle the workload), so this was where they had to place. Because my kids were older, they were able to do the guides more independently than suggested, more like the guides they would have been in if placed in the middle of the age range.

I see that it is potentially similar for you. With your son being old enough to need extensions, he should be able to be fairly independent, and if you're considering your daughter being able to do some things (science) independently in Bigger, it will not be as bad as the "average" Bigger/Preparing combo. It will still be a challenge for you (running 3 guides is for us all! ;) ), but if your daughter doesn't place solidly in Preparing, then it will be better for you than trying to combine. (And don't consider the Preparing/CTC option - that would be torture for all 3 of you, if the kids don't place solidly in those guides. Ask me how I know! <3 )

Also, if something has to "give" remember that the only essentials for a child in the LHFHG age range is the 3Rs. Bible and Storytime are great supplements, but academically, they will do fine with the 3Rs and lots of play time. (They can also listen in on Bigger Storytime, of course, not requiring narrations and making sure that student answers questions first, so not miss out on listening to great literature.)

Another thought about the difference in "Days" between Bigger's 5 and Preparing's 4, is just to do the next Day the next day. My kids in different guides are never on the same Day and Unit. Just let that go; it will be less stressful for you. In fact, I suggest starting your son for a week or two before starting your daughter (since cursive, math and grammar will be separate from what's suggested in the guides, she could be doing those for that time). Get him going and ready to start working independently before starting Bigger. Then start LHFHG when the older two guides are going more smoothly. They will each finish their guides at different times, but that is an advantage. You will finish the year with their math (doing a grade per year), but it doesn't matter when you finish the guides, and having time to finish well, then start half speed with just one child at a time, while the others continue working on what is familiar is a blessing. (I'll have 2 in the same guide switch next week and complete about 5 units before we stop for the summer, one switch over summer, one in October and one in December!)

One other thing to note: because DITHOR is not scheduled every day in Preparing, the goal is to get just 4-5 genres done in a year. You can wait till Unit 7 to start and still finish 4 genres, leaving the other 5 to finish next year in CTC! ;) (Although it's scheduled every day in Bigger, you may want to consider either just having her read the books and not worry about the workbook for at least the first few units, or just having her start once everything else is smooth, adding it in closer to when her brother reaches Unit 7.)
Rice

DS 18 (GRAD: after WG, 2020)
DD 16 WH w/different lit (DONE:Bigger-WG [-CTC]; Irlen S.)
DS 15 non-HOD @ US1 level (DONE: CTC-WH)
DS 13 Rev2Rev (DONE: LHFHG+Prep-RTR)
DS 10 CTC (DONE: Prep)
DS 9 +
DD 7 Storytime + 3Rs
3yo DS

queenireneof3
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:44 am

Re: placement question...am I crazy??

Post by queenireneof3 » Wed May 17, 2017 9:00 pm

Thank you, ladies! These replies are so helpful! I really do feel like the Bigger/Preparing combo is best for each child.
MelInKansas wrote:Separate guides is really so much easier in so many ways, and as they move up into those older guides it will be easier! I can't imagine my kids having to share their guides with as much independent work as they do. I'd probably end up buying two guides and then trying to schedule them so they use the books in a different order. I think even with 2 guides there would be issues.
I didn't even think about the future of sharing books in the higher levels and how that could be frustrating. This year they already expressed the desire to have their own work and guide, so that totally makes sense that that would only continue. Thanks for that reminder!
Rice wrote:With your son being old enough to need extensions, he should be able to be fairly independent, and if you're considering your daughter being able to do some things (science) independently in Bigger, it will not be as bad as the "average" Bigger/Preparing combo. It will still be a challenge for you (running 3 guides is for us all! ;) ), but if your daughter doesn't place solidly in Preparing, then it will be better for you than trying to combine. (And don't consider the Preparing/CTC option - that would be torture for all 3 of you, if the kids don't place solidly in those guides. Ask me how I know! <3 )
I am hoping that she can be fairly indendent with at least two days of science and history readings. She should be. She is mostly independent with her L.A. and I do think I will take your advice to wait on DITHOR workbook until the rest of the guide is running smoothly. I really like the idea of waiting until until unit 7 or so to start the DITHOR workbook with my son. I will need to gauge his ability to finish the work in Preparing before adding that in. He can get easily overwhelmed.
MelInKansas wrote: Maybe get some of the read-alouds on audio (there are some really long ones in Preparing!
Super great advice here! I will be on the look out for audio. He loves audio books

!
Rice wrote:Also, if something has to "give" remember that the only essentials for a child in the LHFHG age range is the 3Rs.
Yes! I need to remember this. He does listen in to our family bible time and even tries to narrate a bit!
MelInKansas wrote: I sometimes flip flop with my older 2 on who I meet with first, knowing that perhaps the one I meet with second won't actually get any time in with me at all, sometimes that's what happens. Then I make it up the next day by meeting with the other one. Really whoever meets with me first (the others go in reverse age order always, I spend the 30-45 minutes with my 5YO first thing, then I work with my 7YO until she's done, and then #3 to meet with me is one of the older girls, and that's all I get done before lunch) gets the most and best attention from me so I have to switch that up otherwise the last one would not be getting much of me at all.
This is great advice. I will probably schedule similarly!

And thank you, Rice, for the idea of starting them all separately. I had thought of starting my 5yo first in LHFHG, but I think your description of starting the oldest first makes most sense.

So if we do Bigger 4 days a week instead of 5, how much longer will it take us? Is that too slow? Trying to decide whether to include her in on the 5th day extra things I am thinking about for my son in Preparing. (art and music study, nature study, Visits to...Geography study) I like the idea of 4 regular days of school and 5th of extra or catch up subjects.

I'll have to see if my hubby would be interested in taking on a subject on a regular basis.
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

kt7673
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 6:50 pm

Re: placement question...am I crazy??

Post by kt7673 » Thu May 18, 2017 3:19 pm

We will be doing Preparing, Bigger, and LHFHG at our house next year also. In our house I have my 3 school age kids, a toddler, and a baby. I thought I would share how I plan to make these three guides happen. I have made some adjustments to make the Preparing and Bigger easier to use at the same time. First, my Bigger student will be doing his science independently. Secondly, I am stretching Preparing to be a 5 day a unit program instead of 4 day. However, I do not plan to finish a unit a week. I moved the entire history project to day 5, added in some reading about the life of the poet, and assigned extension books for him to read on day 5. Third, I am not viewing a day in the guide as needing to be done in a day. We are going to have set school hours and they will be used in the following manner. We plan to begin our day with our math and English related boxes. When I am working individually with one student on those boxes, the other students are going to begin independent work and/or they will have assigned time that they need to entertain the toddler. When all math and English related boxes are done I am going to look at the clock and determine how much school time we have left for the day. I will split that time between my three kids and rotate through the other boxes with them. They will be required to finish independent work when I am working with someone else. When our "time" for school is done we are going to be done for the day even if we have not finished a "day" in the guide. After math and English the next day we will just pick up where we left off the day before. Theoretically, we will be farther in the guide in math and English then all other subjects, but I am okay with that. My goal is to finish the Math and English by the end of the normal school year and if we have to complete some of the other boxes in early summer its okay.
DS10 and DS 9 Preparing
DD 7 LHFHG.
DD2 and DS 8 months playing!

Have used LHFHG and LHTH.

queenireneof3
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:44 am

Re: placement question...am I crazy??

Post by queenireneof3 » Fri May 19, 2017 1:28 pm

kt7673,

I really appreciate your reply! Lots to think about there! I will look at those guides again and see if we can do something similar. I had some other ideas for day 5 if we were on a 4 day schedule, but I really like the idea of having the project all on day 5. My son would probably appreciate that too. He loves to create and it would probably be more fun for him to do the whole project at once and a better use of our time during the day not to be pulling out project supplies and cleaning them up more than once a week. (or rather, me having to remind him to put everything away :lol: ).

We'll probably have to keep school within certain hours as well for my sanity. It is hard to know how long it will actually take us to get done and how much my older two will be able to do independently. It is getting better, but i suppose every day could be different until they get the hang of the guide.

Thank you for chiming 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

StephanieU
Posts: 1553
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: placement question...am I crazy??

Post by StephanieU » Fri May 19, 2017 1:49 pm

Just a note: Some projects can't be done in a day. Some times things have to dry before you can finish them (once you make something in clay and then paint it later for example). Many projects you can do in a day, but not all!
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)
DS (4) LHTH

MelInKansas
Posts: 1700
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 7:32 pm

Re: placement question...am I crazy??

Post by MelInKansas » Sun May 21, 2017 1:20 pm

If you take a 5 day guide and do it 4 days a week, just continuing on the next day for your next day of school (which is what I do) then it takes 1.3 school years. There are about 9 units left at the end of the year and it will take you about 12 weeks to do them. Because I do this, all of my kids usually switch their guides at different times of the year, which I really like. My 4 day guide kids can usually get their guides done in a school year and the younger ones don't. I like only having one new guide to deal with at a time. Getting a new guide started is stressful! It's a bit easier if its a guide I've done before, but the brand new one for my oldest is always pretty intimidating for me.

Some of the projects, as noted, would be difficult to do in only one day. It could be done, if you started it early in the morning and then took it back up in the afternoon, but it's not always ideal.
Melissa
"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
DS5 - LHFHG
DD2 - ABC123
2 babies in heaven

queenireneof3
Posts: 173
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2013 10:44 am

Re: placement question...am I crazy??

Post by queenireneof3 » Sun May 21, 2017 4:10 pm

Thank you, Melissa.
That is helpful! I was wondering how much longer it would take to stretch a 5 day guide out over four days in the long run. This is all helpful , thank you ladies.
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

Rice
Posts: 416
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:00 am

Re: placement question...am I crazy??

Post by Rice » Mon May 22, 2017 3:05 pm

I'm an other one who intentionally lets the 5-day guides take longer than a year in order to have my kids start guides at different times of the year. We just started 2 in Rev2Rev on Friday, my guy who started Rev2Rev in the fall will finish at the end of the school year, starting MTMM in September. This year with a baby has thrown off my schedule somewhat but originally my guy in LHFHG would have finished in October and my guy in Bigger in Nov/Dec. some time, but we'll have to see now when they end. It's great to have extra time to finish well, decide what will be kept for portfolios, give the kids a break while I take a few days to wrap my head around the new guide, tidy old books and finish prep (most gets done the previous summer) before starting half speed - while all the others are cruising along with what is familiar. ;)

I'm glad you've found a combo that you think will work for you, not only this year but into the coming years as well.

Blessings!
Rice

DS 18 (GRAD: after WG, 2020)
DD 16 WH w/different lit (DONE:Bigger-WG [-CTC]; Irlen S.)
DS 15 non-HOD @ US1 level (DONE: CTC-WH)
DS 13 Rev2Rev (DONE: LHFHG+Prep-RTR)
DS 10 CTC (DONE: Prep)
DS 9 +
DD 7 Storytime + 3Rs
3yo DS

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