New to HOD - placement questions

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New to HOD - placement questions

Post by gsjohnson05 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:37 pm

We are new to Heart of Dakota curriculum. I have two boys, one almost 8 and the other is 11. I am trying to find the best place to start. Here is a little information about them both:

11 year old, considered 6th grade in the fall. He is a very strong independent reader and enjoys writing. I was wanting to start him in CtC. He is able to work independently. I think it could be easy for him but also a good introduction to HOD and build his interest. I think it could also increase his motivation because it would not be as challenging. He loves to read and I was going to get the extension pack as well.

8 year old, considered 2rd grade. He is a very quick learner and strong reader as well but he just started cursive. I was wanting to start him on Preparing Hearts. I know it would be challenging, not sure if it would be too much.

I like that they would both be working on the same history timeline.

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Re: New to HOD - placement questions

Post by StephanieU » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:31 pm

I would not use Preparing for a child you consider second grade. Most use it for 4th or 5th. Plus that would put him one guide behind his brother when they are three years and four grades apart! I would do Bigger personally. It is great for 8yos.
As for the older, where does he actually place on the placement chart? If he places into RtR, doing CtC with extensions is fine, especially if he isn't used to this kinda of curriculum. If he actually places mostly into Rev2Rev, I would consider doing RtR.
Mom to 4
DD (12) MtMM (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CtC, RtR, and Rev2Rev)
DS (10) CtC (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, and Preparing plus some of LHTH)
DD (8) Preparing (completed LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, and Bigger)

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Re: New to HOD - placement questions

Post by Nealewill » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:48 pm

I know it is nice to run only one level but it sounds like they are a lot different in abilities. It is actually very easy to run multiple levels with HOD and your year will run much more smoothly if you place the kids in the appropriate level. Stephanie already recommended looking at the placement chart and I would agree with that. Your kids will do their best and have a better year if they are placed according to their abilities. Plus, a lot of the activities are based on those ages. As for the 8 year old, my girls both started Preparing when they were 8 and it was fine. But they both placed in that level when they were 8. My son places very much in the same guide as his younger sister. He may be a little bit more advanced in a few areas but it isn't significant. I am guessing that your oldest is much more advanced than your younger child. I can't imagine putting my oldest and youngest together.

And HOD isn't based on grades, it is based on skills. Check the placement chart to be sure of placement. Preparing has a lot of independent reading and quite a bit of copywork and writing. With the older son, I would look at CtC, RtR or RevtoRev. My oldest completed RevtoRev last year and it was great. She learned a ton but it was also a very full year. I would check the placement chart though and pick the curriculum that matches up with his abilities too. With HOD, the levels CtC and up are very independent for the kids. They do most of the reading themselves. In Preparing, you are reading half of the history to the child and they read the other half. But they read all of their own Science for that level. Bigger would be the level you would want to go with if that would be too much. Also, in Bigger this is a little bit less writing and copywork.

You can also look at the first week of the plans on the website for each guide and determine which would be a better fit for your children. You can at least see the volume of work they will be completing and that may help you make a better decision.

DD 13 WG
DS 12 R2R
DD 10 R2R

Enjoyed DITHOR, Little Hearts, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CTC, R2R, RevtoRev, MtMM

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Re: New to HOD - placement questions

Post by gsjohnson05 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:18 am

Thank you for the responses. After looking at RevtoRev and RtR, I placed my oldest son incorrectly. I am still undecided on Bigger or Preparing for my youngest.

I should have included this information earlier. On the placement guide my 11 year old was RevtoRev for reading and math, RtR for grammar, RevtoRev for writing except he can write in cursive but not quickly. I am guessing he could do either RtR or Rev to Rev. He is very independent and even though we did not use HOD we used a similar curriculum where he did his own research and writing.

My 8 year old placed in Preparing for reading, Preparing for writing, grammar and math, except he can not write in cursive. He is advanced in reading, spelling, and math and easily gets bored when not challenged. I always have a hard time placing him in curriculum or programs, so we usually skip concepts he already understands. He is a really quick learner and has great retention, I don't want it to be too easy or too hard. I really like the hands on activities in the Bigger (those would suit him well). I also feel that just because he can do the work, doesn't mean he should. He is very straight to the point, loves hands on activities and reading.

I have a one year old now and I do not have the time to do my own lesson plans this year. I really like how everything is laid out and includes independent work. I use to write out what my sons needed to complete on a daily basis.

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Re: New to HOD - placement questions

Post by Rice » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:36 am

If undecided between RTR and Rev2Rev (as it sounds like you are now looking) I would go with RTR, the lower one. This places him in perfect position to do one guide per year through the rest of the HOD guides, and is less likely to be overwhelming for him or you. With multiples, it is much easier to have them in a guide that they can accomplish independently, than one where they need more help than is suggested in the guide. You could still get the Extensions for free reading, but I wouldn't expect him to read them "for school".

As for your younger one, I, too, suggest Bigger for 90% of 8yos. If he needs more of a challenge you can have him do Science independently (or semi-independently), and even have him read some of the History aloud (alternate pages or days, or you start the reading and he finish the last page or two, etc.). He will also do math, and LA (spelling/dictation and reading/DITHOR) at his level, so should be sufficiently challenged in those areas.

That said, if he truly is advanced and does place in Preparing, that could be an option. My 9yo placed in CTC when we came to HOD and has done well there and through the following guides (while his older siblings are in lower guides!); he'll now turn 12 when he starts MTMM this fall. You could cut out some of the copy work expected in Preparing to do one of the cursive programs from Bigger, instead (though I wouldn't cut anything from the LA box).

Placement, based on skill instead of grade, is not always an easy thing. Blessings as you consider. Hopefully Carrie or Julie (my3sons) will weigh in for you to hear their perspective. :)


DS 18 (GRAD: after WG, 2020)
DD 16 WH w/different lit (DONE:Bigger-WG [-CTC]; Irlen S.)
DS 14 non-HOD @ US1 level (DONE: CTC-WH)
DS 10 CTC (DONE: Prep)
DS 8 +
DD 6 Storytime + 3Rs
3yo DS

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Re: New to HOD - placement questions

Post by LovingJesus » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:38 am

How much writing can your kids do? I think placement depends a lot on writing stamina and reading levels and the difficulty they can read well.

Carrie has them write daily in History, Bible, writing programs, science, grammar programs, her reading program, etc. It adds up to quite a bit. How long of written narrations can they do? If you look at the one week samples it gives the length for each level in the history box. If you compare that to their current writing it should help.

Carrie picks difficult reads, but strong readers do fine.

The writing in HOD is very full coming from many places. If you read a week glance for a level slowly and write down every writing assignment for a single week it should give you some idea.

Your 8 year old sounds like what my oldest was like at age 8. I struggled to place him as well back then. Bigger would have been good for him at 8 for oral narration and he easily could have read the extensions at the time. Preparing would have really made him struggle for writing work load. At 8 he could have done a 3 sentence written summary, but he could not have done the amount of writing Preparing requires in a single day. He was very advanced at 8, and he is still very advanced at 13 with a college reading level. He is going to be using MTMM this year for 8th and places well into it for the challenges of skill building in writing, literature study of what he reads, work load, and development.


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Re: New to HOD - placement questions

Post by gsjohnson05 » Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:10 pm

Thank for your the feedback, they really helped me in my decision process.
I look forward to using HOD!

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