Teaching multiple ages moving forward

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Juniperandwool
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:44 am

Teaching multiple ages moving forward

Post by Juniperandwool » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:05 am

Hi. :D Thank you for letting me join your discussion group! We are new to Heart of Dakota, and are really loving it this year. I am hoping that we will continue using HOD for our longterm journey.
I have three children ages 7, 5, and 4 (but actually only 18 months apart each). I am currently teaching my 7 and 5 year olds from Little Hearts for His Glory (they both placed into this level nicely), and my 4 year old is listening along as well when he is interested (he is bright for his age and also doing phonics instruction about 2-3 days a week).
My question is regarding next year, would you recommend moving just my girls up to Beyond Little Hearts and then repeating Little Hearts again with my youngest (He will then be 5 and probably not remember much from what we are doing now). Or would you move all 3 of them up and read their history/science to him and just adjust his phonics and math to his personal level (I'm currently already doing this with all 3 of them)? They have a pretty good handle on science already as their dad is a biologist and spends lots of time explaining things to them. So, I feel like the science would be too easy for him next year. Or is there a better way to do it that I'm not thinking of?
We supplement our own core subjects because they needed a more multi-sensory approach: English (Logic of English: phonics, reading, handwriting, spelling in one program) and Math (Rightstart Math).
Thank you for your input. I feel like my girls will probably shift to where I'll possibly be doing the older extensions as they get into the mid-older levels, but for now they seem like they will be in the same levels together as they move up for a few years.
Thank you for your input!
Kim

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

Re: Teaching multiple ages moving forward

Post by Rice » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:18 pm

While it may work this year and next to have your LO tag along, the reality is they NEED to be within the suggested age range for the guides. While I've heard of people starting kids off under the age range, I have not heard of that successfully continuing for longer than a year or two (and the stress and work of trying to then separate them, when they've done all the previous work but are not yet ready to move forward, is not easy on mom or student). It is not often that a child starts at the youngest suggested age and can continue at a guide per year all the way through, even, never mind starting younger than that. I think you will find yourself much more satisfied with HOD if your younger one is in their own guide and you are not always needing to adjust and second guess whether or not you are challenging him enough or not enough.

The younger guides are light intentionally, especially in science, as you've noticed, and along with the very different than PS scope and sequence of LA skills, are part of how HOD is CM-based. You may find it enlightening to do some reading on how CM is different from what you are used to (as it was to me, coming from being schooled in PS, myself). Oral narrations replacing written answers in the early years; "late" formal lessons in grammar; informal, hands-on science (ideally with added CM-style Nature Study), etc. are all part of the CM method, and they come together throughout the middle school years, and even starting in Preparing. That is why, although the younger guides seem "light", they are really laying essential ground work for when those skills come together, and it is really best not to approach the Preparing guide before 4th grade for a vast majority of students. The middle school guides are challenging for most, even at the middle and upper end of the suggested age range.

I suggest allowing him to "tag along" as much as he wishes, but not to require any responses of him, leaving his answers to come when he does each guide on his own. My littles listen in to whatever is being read, but they are not allowed to narrate or give answers before the one for whom the guide is intended. (They ARE allowed to add comments after that one is done, if time allows.) When they get there, both enjoy the reminiscing about when you/I did/heard that, and the younger one then has the chance to shine.

As a mom of multiples, you may even want to consider waiting till the youngest is closer to the middle end of the age range. This allows you to not be doing back-to-back guides, and will mean he is more able to do exactly what is asked of him in each guide, needing less hand-holding, and being able to begin independence even earlier than is suggested in the guides (for example, my boys have done science independently in Bigger, even though that is not an independent subject until Preparing). If he's advanced, then even giving yourself a few extra months (starting the guide in January) might give you some more flex in being able to finish one guide well and getting your girls started on the next before brother is ready to start the one they are finishing (especially if the guide skills ever start to outstrip younger DD's skills and you find you need to slow down some for her).

Blessings as you consider placement and juggling all the "maybes,"
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

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

Re: Teaching multiple ages moving forward

Post by StephanieU » Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:28 pm

My older three are 23 and 20 months apart. My oldest is advanced and possibly gifted. She started LHFHG at 5.5 and had done well doing a guide a year. My next two I tried to combine in LHTH at 2 and 3.5. It didn't work well, as they competed for attention, etc. I ended starting them both in LHFHG at 5.5yo, but we had to slow down.

From all of that experience, I wouldn't move on to Beyond unless a child is over 7yo or 6yo are truly ready for the emerging readers (which start at a second grade reading level). It is easy to fill in the young years with interest led learning than to have to pause a later guide to focus on reading skill. I wouldn't move on to Bigger until a child is through (or very close to being through) the ER Bible unless the child was 9 andthere is a documented learning disability that will require you to modify guides.

As you can see by my signature, I am currently running 3 guides. The youngest will start LHTH in January, around the same time #2 moves to CtC. We get done in under 7 hours a day easily. Running separate guides is definitely doable and often easier. I don't worry as much about over challenging or under challenging a child.
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

spiderpetal
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 2:49 pm

Re: Teaching multiple ages moving forward

Post by spiderpetal » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:38 pm

If you want to do LHFHG again with your upcoming 5yr old you could do the first grade science choice if you’ve already done the K science. That might give him something more to chew on.

Blessings,
Kristen

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

Re: Teaching multiple ages moving forward

Post by Rice » Thu Sep 26, 2019 5:35 pm

I don't know if you've looked at the first grade science. There isn't any "more" to it than the K, just different topics covered. Unfortunately, while that may be an option, it eliminates the correlation of the text to the activities Carrie has planned in the guide. (I use the K science for 1st grade so that we can do the activities and make science more "hands on" since the texts are so superficial.)

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

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

Re: Teaching multiple ages moving forward

Post by my3sons » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:11 pm

Juniperandwool wrote:Hi. :D Thank you for letting me join your discussion group! We are new to Heart of Dakota, and are really loving it this year. I am hoping that we will continue using HOD for our longterm journey.
I have three children ages 7, 5, and 4 (but actually only 18 months apart each). I am currently teaching my 7 and 5 year olds from Little Hearts for His Glory (they both placed into this level nicely), and my 4 year old is listening along as well when he is interested (he is bright for his age and also doing phonics instruction about 2-3 days a week).
My question is regarding next year, would you recommend moving just my girls up to Beyond Little Hearts and then repeating Little Hearts again with my youngest (He will then be 5 and probably not remember much from what we are doing now). Or would you move all 3 of them up and read their history/science to him and just adjust his phonics and math to his personal level (I'm currently already doing this with all 3 of them)? They have a pretty good handle on science already as their dad is a biologist and spends lots of time explaining things to them. So, I feel like the science would be too easy for him next year. Or is there a better way to do it that I'm not thinking of?
We supplement our own core subjects because they needed a more multi-sensory approach: English (Logic of English: phonics, reading, handwriting, spelling in one program) and Math (Rightstart Math).
Thank you for your input. I feel like my girls will probably shift to where I'll possibly be doing the older extensions as they get into the mid-older levels, but for now they seem like they will be in the same levels together as they move up for a few years.
Thank you for your input!
Kim
Hi Kim, and welcome to the HOD Board! Thank you for sharing about each of your children and what you are doing with them. We are so glad you are loving this year! It sounds like the 5 and 7 year old are well-placed in Little Hearts for His Glory and doing well. Having your 4 yo listen in if he feels like it is fine, but it may steal the thunder from doing that guide when he is really going to do it. Though your son is already doing phonics, there is much he could benefit from by doing Little Hands to Heaven. Little Hands to Heaven does include letter recognition and letter sound activities (which he might not need if he already knows all of his letters and sounds). However, there is so much more to be gleaned from doing Little Hands to Heaven that would be good for him!

I like to think of Little Hands as a nutshell-version of kindergarten. While many preK programs only focus on letters/sounds, Little Hands includes chronological Bible history from Creation to Paul's missionary journeys. It also includes corresponding Bible activities, music, art activities, active exploration (science/health topics), dramatic play skills, devotional activities, and math activities (see the linked introduction below for a scope and sequence of the math activities, which include skills such as measurement, coin recognition/value/counting, fractions with whole vs. part, etc.). Children make a Numbers Book and a Colors Book as well, which encourage further cutting/gluing/coloring/skip counting type skills linked to the Bible theme of the week. Even the Fingerplays concentrate on left/right brain skills and large gross motor movements, so important for this age - and fun to do too!

By doing Little Hands to Heaven now alongside the phonics you are already doing with your son, you can give him exactly what he needs for his age and save Little Hearts for His Glory for when he is truly ready for all its skills. That way when he reaches Little Hearts for His Glory it will be new and fresh! His older sisters now have all the answers and do so well with all of Little Hearts, but it will be his turn to shine in Little Hearts next year. When he is done with Little Hands to Heaven and is 5 years old he will be truly ready to begin learning higher level skills such as discussing the questions and meaning of the Devotions for the Children's Hour readings, answering the comprehension and critical thinking/vocab questions about the Storytime readings, orally narrating/retelling the Storytime readings, making the moral connections and personal applications planned in after the readings, doing the writing exercises for Storytime each week, completing all of the art activities and science experiments himself, memorizing the Scriptures, and even just being a more mature listener able to better understand the history and science readings.

The following year, your then 6 and 8 yo would move on to Beyond Little Hearts, provided the younger of the pair did well with all of the skills in Little Hearts. Your son, then 5 yo, would probably be finishing Little Hands to Heaven (as it has 33 units, and he would be starting it later into this year). Whenever he finished Little Hands, he could start Little Hearts. As he is on the young side of the guides, you could even use this schedule with him if you wanted...

https://www.heartofdakota.com/blog/2019 ... ys-a-week/

However, next year is always best figured out next year, as we'll know more based on how this year's placement went. Hope this helps!

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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