A question about LA placement in Bigger Hearts

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RebekahH.
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:58 pm

A question about LA placement in Bigger Hearts

Post by RebekahH. » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:02 pm

Greetings,
I am looking to purchase my first HOD guides and I could use some information on placement. I have 4 sons who will be: 3yrs, 6 yrs, 8 yrs, and 10 yrs. Would BHFHG work for the 8 and 10 both? My 10 ds places perfectly in BHFHG, but my 8 ds fits better in BLHFHG according to the LA and Math placement part. I already am using material I'm happy with for Math and LA. Is the LA mostly Rod & Staff or is it integrated throughout the activities in the rest of the guide. My 10 ds is an advanced reader and my 8 ds is just becoming an independent reader. My 6 ds should fit LHFHG great.
We have been homeschooling for 6 years and I need help guiding my guys into discussions about the Word, the Lord and His ways of doing things. My history and science programs have also never completely worked. I am hoping HOD will work for us as I've spent a lot of money on other materials, that I've had to tweak a lot.
Thanks,
Rebekah

StephanieU
Posts: 1544
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: A question about LA placement in Bigger Hearts

Post by StephanieU » Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:42 pm

The language arts is mostly contained in specific boxes. Have you seen the first unit of the guide? It is a PDF you can download and view. It will give you a good idea of how things are organized.

What parts of language arts does you 8yo place better in Beyond for? (Math definitely isn't an issue.)
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)
DS (4) LHTH

RebekahH.
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:58 pm

Re: A question about LA placement in Bigger Hearts

Post by RebekahH. » Sun Mar 29, 2020 11:20 pm

My 8 yo placed better in BLHFHG in writing, grammar, mechanics & usage, as well as history and science. The written portion of the history and science looked like a better match.

Rice
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:00 am

Re: A question about LA placement in Bigger Hearts

Post by Rice » Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:27 am

If your 8yo places best in Beyond, do NOT attempt to combine them in Bigger. You would either: 1) use Beyond and beef things up for your 10yo (which would be easier after this first year - in Bigger and up HOD provides Extensions for older students), if you believe that combining them is best for your family; or 2) place your 8yo in Beyond, and place your 10yo where he places best. While this may mean running two back-to-back guides (generally harder than having them two guides apart), I have found it easier than trying to combine my children (no second guessing if you're expecting enough or not, no comparisons between the two, etc.).

In Heart of Dakota the way you combine two students is to place the lower one for their skills, then add the older, if appropriate, using Extensions (Bigger and up only - you have to create your own for Beyond). This way the younger one isn't always overwhelmed, frustrated, and left feeling like they never measure up.

The other option for combining, if your 6yo and 8yo are close in skills would be to place them both in LFHGH, especially if you'll consider your 6yo to be in 1st. Your 10yo is ready for the increased writing in Bigger, and will be expected to be partially independent next year (there are 2 independent subjects in Preparing) by the time the younger two reach Beyond (which, obviously has longer lessons than LHFHG).
RebekahH. wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:02 pm
I already am using material I'm happy with for Math and LA. Is the LA mostly Rod & Staff or is it integrated throughout the activities in the rest of the guide. My 10 ds is an advanced reader and my 8 ds is just becoming an independent reader.
Math is separate in HOD, so it will be fine to keep what you are now using.

LA is spread throughout several boxes. While there is an LA box (spelling, grammar [R&S in Bigger; 1 day/unit gentle intro in Beyond], reading), there are also other skills spread through other boxes. So, oral narrations in history are an integral part of the composition skills they will acquire in all HOD guides. By the time they get to Preparing, written narrations in history are combined with the creative writing in the Poetry box, and the two independent boxes add to the reading in the LA box, etc. So. . . while you can use other LA programs, make sure that you don't overwhelm (add extra time to the intended work day of HOD - there are lists of estimated box times available), or overlap (if you are doing another spelling program, you will need to decide between that and the spelling in Beyond, or the spelling or studied dictation in Bigger).

If your DS is an advanced reader, you may also want to consider placement in Preparing. If it would not be overwhelming in the writing department, the beginning independence in that guide (Science and Independent History Study are supposed to be done by the student alone) will help with your own time management for your other children. (Using LHFHG/Bigger, or Beyond/Preparing is easier than doing Bigger/Preparing due to the higher teacher involvement in those two guides compared to others.)

If your goal is to not have to tweak a lot, though, using a separate guide for each student, when they are placed where they fit best for skill level, is definitely the way to go! (I've BTDT, trying to combine, having kids pass each other in skills/guides, and even having to switch guides part way through our first year.)

I hope that answers some of your questions and gives you some options to consider. Please keep asking questions! Placement is the hardest, but most important part of starting HOD!
Blessings,
Rice

DS 18 parts of WG, WH's EIW, US2 Finance (DONE: Prep-MTMM)
DD 16 WG, US2 Finance, different lit (DONE:Bigger-Preparing & RTR-MTMM; Irlen)
DS 14 WH (DONE: CTC-WG)
DS 12 RTR (DONE: LHFHG-CTC)
DS 10 Preparing
DS 8 3Rs,
DD 6 phonics + 3yo DS

RebekahH.
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:58 pm

Re: A question about LA placement in Bigger Hearts

Post by RebekahH. » Thu Apr 02, 2020 12:17 am

Thank-you for the advice. I purchased BLHFHG for my 8yo this spring and am planning on adding or subtracting as needed for everyone else and then reevaluating in the late summer.
Thanks,
Rebekah

my3sons
Posts: 10582
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: A question about LA placement in Bigger Hearts

Post by my3sons » Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:44 pm

It sounds like your 8 yo places quite squarely in Beyond Little Hearts, so I am glad you are using that with him this summer! If you complete about 9 units of Beyond this summer, you could just do Beyond 4 days a week all next school year! :D That might help out if your oldest ends up placing more in Preparing Hearts by the end of the summer, as Preparing Hearts is only a 4-day a week guide. So much can happen in a summer! I think you will know best where to place your oldest then.

It sounds like your 10 yo is a strong reader, so he'd do just fine with the reading in PHFHG. He'd also be working more independently in PHFHG than in Bigger Hearts, and just 4 days a week instead of 5. But, writing might be the deal breaker! This post comparing Bigger Heart's writing with Preparing Heart's writing might be helpful in placing your oldest son...

Amount of writing in Bigger vs. PHFHG:
http://www.heartofdakota.com/board3/vie ... f=6&t=3602

I taught Beyond at the same time as PHFHG. It was not hard to do! In fact, I could pretty much teach Beyond during my oldest son's independent and semi-independent boxes of work in PHFHG. (And I was also doing Little Hands with my little guy). So, definitely doable, and fun!

One of my favorite things you'd mentioned in your post is having a goal to guide your kiddos in discussions about the Word, the Lord, and His way of doing things!!! HOD does just that, and it has drawn my sons closer and closer to the Lord through the years! In fact, in PHFHG, your son would have both a Bible study time with you and a 'learning to have' a Bible Quiet Time part of the plans. Both are so important! My son in college still does a Bible Quiet Time each day - I credit HOD. We also have an open way of talking about God, the Bible, our faith, and our challenges with one another - largely because of HOD and the way the Lord is a meaningful, real part of every homeschool day. I think you will love this, Rebekah, no matter which guides you end up using!

I loved all that Rice had to say - thank you for all of the time and thought you put into that post and into explaining how writing/LA skills are incorporated across subject areas in HOD! Lots of gems of encouragement and wisdom in that post, Rice! Thank you also, Stephanie, for helping and encouraging here on the board, as moms ask questions! Simply the best ladies on this board - thanks!

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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