New to DITHOR, HELP!!!

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cbenner0723
Posts: 16
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:47 am

New to DITHOR, HELP!!!

Post by cbenner0723 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:40 pm

We are new to HOD and DITHOR this year. I'm teaching an 11 yr (I have him in preparing), a 9 yr ( I have him in Bigger), and a 6 yr old (she is in Little). My oldest is the only one currently in DITHOR and we both are struggling with the program.

The first thing we are having trouble with is the fact that he doesn't like to keep to the recommend pages. He reads, sometimes, the whole book in one sitting (this is like 100+ pages). When answering the questions in the student book, they are always cryptic like; not usually, not really, not yet, none or nothing. When he does answer with actual information its usually very short; 3-5 words. I feel like its something that my 9 yr would write. I can't get him to think and analyze anything. I started him out in the 6-8 student book because last years public school said he was ahead in his group. So far I was not seeing that, so I dropped him down to 2/3 level. He is still struggling and most times not wanting to do the work at all. He has even gotten to the point where he doesn't want to read for himself and he listens in to my 9 yr storytime from bigger (since they almost run the exact same) and calls that his DITHOR but doesn't want to do the student work book.

I was never really strong in my reading/writing skills growing up and it wasn't until I went to a college that everything (even math) was essay based. I learned how to write reports and thesis papers this way. Unfortunately, this isn't helping him either as I think its mostly his comprehension that's the problem. Even during bible time with Daddy, he struggles to retell a passage into his own words. He usually ends up repeating everything my husband reads. This upsets my husband because he wants to see what he has learned from a passage but instead he is getting the same words thrown back. It is as if he doesn't understand fully what the words mean or how to apply them.

How can I help my son be successful with DITHOR? If I'm having a hard time with him I feel like when I start this next year with my 9yr, it will be even worse as he just started reading the emerging reader books. He isn't 100% successful with them but its far better than it was only 3 months ago when he couldn't read kindergarten level books.

Struggling Mom of Soon to be 5 littles
Thanks so much
C Benner
Mom of 6
Wife of a Navy Submariner
Boy 13yr - finished BHFHG and Preparing
Boy 11yo - finished BHFHG and BLHFHG
Girl 7yo - finished LHFHG and partially finished BLHFHG
Boy 3yo
Girl 22 months
Girl 3 months

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

Re: New to DITHOR, HELP!!!

Post by MomtoJGJE » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:30 pm

First of all, if you are having to help your 9yo multiple times on a page for reading then you might need to back away from the ERs. They aren't supposed to be for reading instruction as much as they should be for comprehension. Maybe check out the alternate books for each unit of ER for him to read for instruction before you jump into the ER schedule? (ETA: I have a 9yo in Bigger who is a delayed reader. I understand the frustration, but it truthfully is a situation where they need to be able to read that level well before doing the questions)

Now for your oldest, this sounds like it might be more of an attitude problem than anything. Especially if he's reading the entire book in one sitting after being told only to read certain pages. It sounds like the books are the right reading level if he can read them that easily. So maybe make him read the section out loud to you still? Then maybe he could type or dictate the answers? Maybe ya'll can go over it orally before he writes it down?

How does he do with the narrations? Does he do them well?

Another thought, if he has been in public school until now, it's quite likely he doesn't know HOW to think and might need some hand holding. Maybe that's why he likes the Bigger story time better? because it is basically the same idea as DITHOR except it's more guided.

my3sons
Posts: 10604
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: New to DITHOR, HELP!!!

Post by my3sons » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:17 pm

cbenner0723 wrote:We are new to HOD and DITHOR this year. I'm teaching an 11 yr (I have him in preparing), a 9 yr ( I have him in Bigger), and a 6 yr old (she is in Little). My oldest is the only one currently in DITHOR and we both are struggling with the program.

The first thing we are having trouble with is the fact that he doesn't like to keep to the recommend pages. He reads, sometimes, the whole book in one sitting (this is like 100+ pages). When answering the questions in the student book, they are always cryptic like; not usually, not really, not yet, none or nothing. When he does answer with actual information its usually very short; 3-5 words. I feel like its something that my 9 yr would write. I can't get him to think and analyze anything. I started him out in the 6-8 student book because last years public school said he was ahead in his group. So far I was not seeing that, so I dropped him down to 2/3 level. He is still struggling and most times not wanting to do the work at all. He has even gotten to the point where he doesn't want to read for himself and he listens in to my 9 yr storytime from bigger (since they almost run the exact same) and calls that his DITHOR but doesn't want to do the student work book.

I was never really strong in my reading/writing skills growing up and it wasn't until I went to a college that everything (even math) was essay based. I learned how to write reports and thesis papers this way. Unfortunately, this isn't helping him either as I think its mostly his comprehension that's the problem. Even during bible time with Daddy, he struggles to retell a passage into his own words. He usually ends up repeating everything my husband reads. This upsets my husband because he wants to see what he has learned from a passage but instead he is getting the same words thrown back. It is as if he doesn't understand fully what the words mean or how to apply them.

How can I help my son be successful with DITHOR? If I'm having a hard time with him I feel like when I start this next year with my 9yr, it will be even worse as he just started reading the emerging reader books. He isn't 100% successful with them but its far better than it was only 3 months ago when he couldn't read kindergarten level books.

Struggling Mom of Soon to be 5 littles
Hi there! With DITHOR, the books are meant to be read slowly. This is so there is time for character development, plot development, etc. It is also so children can be successful with reading comprehension due to the amount of pages being smaller and more manageable. Many children view reading as something to race through, but reading really is something to savor, to slow down and think about, and to enjoy. That is why a literature-based Charlotte Mason style education includes fewer books done better. So, first, it is important that your son reads only the assigned pages each day. We told our sons that in their free time, they can blow through books as fast as they want, but for DITHOR, the purpose is to slow down and really enjoy the books, as well as be able to discuss the books and learn reading skills. I think Level 4/5 is probably the more appropriate student book for your 11 year old, but you can continue with 2/3 if you'd rather. Keep in mind PHFHG only schedules DITHOR 3 days a week, so your son will only complete half the genres and student book this year, and the other half the next year in CTC. Our sons really enjoyed the kickoffs at the beginning and the projects at the end of each genre. When they turned 11, I let them choose the kickoff and the projects themselves. That was fun for them! So be sure to take time to do the kickoffs, activities, and projects along the way, as they are an intended part of the balance of the program, and they add variety to the assessments.

I wanted to mention, if your son is having difficulty completing the Student Book, it is okay to step in and quickly help him. For example, you can help him complete half of the Student Book page, and then walk away for him to complete the other half. The reading pace in the student book is pre-assigned and set by the parent in the Reading Calendar prior to the student starting a book. The schedule is meant to be followed, so once you've filled out the reading calendar, your son should complete the work as assigned, including the Student Book work as it is assigned in the DITHOR teacher's guide. I know this seems obvious, but if children begin to think they can read any amount of pages of the book and choose whether to complete the student book or not for the day, or choose whether or not to participate in discussions, projects, etc., they begin to think of reading instruction as a buffet they can choose from, and they skip things and skills begin to get missed. This negatively impacts their reading abilities and reading comprehension. So, just by filling out the Reading Calendar and following the teacher's guide, you can alleviate discussing what must be done each day.

As far as Bible, I am thinking this is something your husband is doing outside of PHFHG's plans? Or, if it is the Bible in PHFHG, retelling is not part of the plans; rather varying follow-ups are assigned in a rotating way, as follows:

*Day 1: discuss a portion of a Psalm using heartfelt questions that encourage students to read and reflect upon God’s word
(Note: The questions work best with the KJV of the Bible.)
*Day 2: identify the mood and purpose of the Psalm, and pray about the Psalm
*Day 3: have a personal quiet time filled with prayer and praise based on a portion of a Psalm
*Day 4: copy the Scripture memory selection in a Common Place Book
(Note: See the description of a Common Place Book in the “Bible Study” box of the plans for Day 4 in each unit.)

It is so neat your husband is doing the Bible time with your 11 year old - that is wonderful!!! But, retelling/oral narration is part of other parts of the PHFHG guide, and Carrie chose the books and the amount of reading to best fit with retelling in those subject areas. For Bible in PHFHG, it is best completed and enjoyed by simply following the plans, as it keeps the intended balance in the guide. Otherwise, children can begin to feel they are being quizzed in Bible, which is in contrast meant to be a more inspirational (as opposed to disciplinary) subject in PHFHG.

For your 9 yo, he could truly just need a little time to grow into the ERS. He is just starting, and so much growth can happen in a year! It could also be that he could benefit from some phonics help in Sound Bytes phonics alongside reading the Emerging Reader's Set...
https://www.heartofdakota.com/phonics.php

I think you'll just have to see how his reading develops as the year progresses. You can always add Sound Bytes phonics and slow down the Emerging Reader's Set, checking out some of the supplemental titles from the library along the way. Doing the oral questions for the ERS in the back of the BHFHG guide will help him be ready for DITHOR too, so be sure to do those as your son moves through the ERS.

So, I just want to encourage you, your older son will surely settle into DITHOR when he is reading smaller amounts that he can more easily comprehend and complete the follow-up questions, assignments, projects in response to, and the DITHOR 4/5 Student Book may be a more middle of the road placement (not too young, not too old) for him. Likewise, he can enjoy his Bible time more just by doing what is assigned in the guide and not having to narrate on it as well. Finally, your little one will probably keep improving more and more as he moves through the ERS, and you always have a plan B to do Sound Bytes phonics or check out some supplemental books from the library to enjoy along the way as needed! I hope this helps, but you can give HOD a call (605-428-4068) and talk to me more about this if you'd like any afternoon Monday through Friday! I am their placement specialist and would be glad to help.

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

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