Not sure what to do for next year.

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netpea

Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by netpea » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:50 pm

My kiddos will be 2nd and 4th next year. We are doing Little Hearts and Bigger this year. My son will not work on anything by himself while I do something with little sis, he must see and comment on or participate in whatever she is doing. Bigger has been a challenge with my 8yo, mainly because of a lack of motivation. He loves the stories and activitites but drags out math and LA and any writing for science or history so that in general we spend most of the day schooling. Then he gripes that he doesn't get any free time or time for playdates with friends. He should go on to Preparing next year. Academically, he should be there but I can't bear the thought of struggling for another year with getting him to do his work. (It's not just schoolwork either, it's a struggle to get him to do chores too.) He did Beyond last year. I was considering having him tag along with little sis in Beyond, and adding in Michigan studies and some of the stuff we still have laying around from when we tried MFW Adventures, like some usborne history, and using their resource list for extra reading. I would just keep him going in Math and R&S 3 as well as dictation. Then we finished Beyond, I'd put them both in Preparing, my dd would not do Bigger but she's been listening in for most of it this year anyway.

What do you ladies honestly think? Is this possible to do or should I just keep on track with Beyond and Preparing?

edited to add: Actually that was supposed say adding in some usborne Science books not history. And we would continue in DITHOR.
Last edited by netpea on Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

wisdom4us
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Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by wisdom4us » Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:58 pm

netpea wrote:My kiddos will be 2nd and 4th next year. We are doing Little Hearts and Bigger this year. My son will not work on anything by himself while I do something with little sis, he must see and comment on or participate in whatever she is doing. Bigger has been a challenge with my 8yo, mainly because of a lack of motivation. He loves the stories and activitites but drags out math and LA and any writing for science or history so that in general we spend most of the day schooling. Then he gripes that he doesn't get any free time or time for playdates with friends. He should go on to Preparing next year. Academically, he should be there but I can't bear the thought of struggling for another year with getting him to do his work. (It's not just schoolwork either, it's a struggle to get him to do chores too.) He did Beyond last year. I was considering having him tag along with little sis in Beyond, and adding in Michigan studies and some of the stuff we still have laying around from when we tried MFW Adventures, like some usborne history, and using their resource list for extra reading. I would just keep him going in Math and R&S 3 as well as dictation. Then we finished Beyond, I'd put them both in Preparing, my dd would not do Bigger but she's been listening in for most of it this year anyway.

What do you ladies honestly think? Is this possible to do or should I just keep on track with Beyond and Preparing?

Lee Ann,
Our situations are very similar! I just had no idea what to add into Beyond to make it "meatier" for my 3rd grade boy. :D But my twins also have listened into Bigger so I was thinking we'd go into Preparing the following year also. This is too funny....

I'm interested to read your replies. :)
~Summer
Using LHFHG & BHFHG 2008-2009
http://wisdom4us.homeschooljournal.net/


Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
~William Butler Yeats

Vicki
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Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by Vicki » Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:44 am

This is how I'm "beefing up" Beyond for us to use right now.

I'm adding in a Native American study with notebooking pages. I'm also adding in some of the Ambleside literature as evening read-alouds, and we're reading some fairy tales and Aesop, then discussing them. A few other things we'll do is add in Children of the Handcrafts to read along with Boys and Girls of Colonial Days. We'll also add in some crafts from a book called Revolutionary War Days to that time period.

Something we've lately been enjoying is a calendar notebooking activity. We look at the calendar I've printed from Teacher Created Resources and see who's the important person/place/event from history for that day. We look up information on that topic, print pictures, then write a little tidbit about it. For example, yesterday was Dr. Seuss' birthday, so we read a few of his books, discussed rhyme, then notebooked about it. It adds a little something "extra" to our day, and I think it adds to our learning.

We are using Sheldon's Primary Language Lessons as an add in also to help bring us up to speed for what's required in Bigger Hearts. We also do what we call "old math" from the Ray's texts I've downloaded from google books.

All of these things together really give us a full day, and I'm determined to try to expand and push my little guy's thinking. We're going slowly, but I can see from his maturity that he won't be ready just yet for the next programs to come. Once I read the Preparing book (which is a great program and very full), I realized that we won't be ready for that for quite a while.

I don't know if any of this will help you, but it is making our days more enjoyable, and adding to our interest and learning.
Moving along at our own pace, and very happy with it!

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Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by MamaMary » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:20 am

Lee Ann,

You are getting WONDERFUL suggestions. Vicki, I love all the things your doing. Very 8) :wink: Make sure you read my week in review when I post it on Thursday or Friday. I am going to start sharing what I do differently for my 13 year old as opposed to my 6 & 8 year old boys. (He'll be 13 on Monday)
Mary, Mama to 4 amazing sons and wife to one incredible husband! Come check us out on the blog: http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/MamaMary/

Vicki
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Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by Vicki » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:31 am

Thanks, Mary. I'm having to grow to accept that my 8 y/o has the maturity of about a 6 y/o. He's a sweet little guy who loves the Lord, and that is what is most important above all. I am also having to accept that we probably won't "finish" the history rotation, but you know, my older kids never did when they finished private school, and we paid good money for that! :oops:

So, in the great scheme of things, I think all we can do is just what we can do. I believe God will help us with the rest. That's all I can wrap my brain around anyway, and I have to have peace and not jump around with everything. Continuity is crucial for our children and for us. If I signed on to follow Carrie's programs, then I have to believe in them and follow them to the best of our ability. It just might have to be at a slower pace though, so that we can relish all that's in there for us--KWIM?
Moving along at our own pace, and very happy with it!

Vicki
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Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by Vicki » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:47 am

I should have also added that we are adding in to each day a Bible study very simply (and cheaply!) with a Bible story book and Calvary Chapel coloring pages. If we have any new words (vocabulary for us) we write these on handwriting paper and glue them to the back of the coloring page for that lesson. We'll use this for review, as I plan to do CM-style exams next week before spring break week. I'm hoping this will also help us in getting used to vocab work like is scheduled in Bigger Hearts. Anyway, it works for us, and we're having great discussions from it, and also learning a lot! I'm reading J. Vernon McGee's "Truth Thru the Bible Commentary Series" for each book of the Bible that we cover. I'm learning so much myself, and it really helps to prep me for teaching the lesson each day. I love and highly recommend this series for anyone.
Moving along at our own pace, and very happy with it!

Carrie
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Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by Carrie » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:21 pm

LeeAnn,

I've been thinking about this quite a bit. While I can understand your frustration, I'm still thinking that pulling your son back to Beyond, after he's already been all the way through it would really be a lot of repetition for him. It would also be a jump for your daughter to skip over Bigger and go into Preparing later. :wink:

So, right now I think the best plan would be for you to do Preparing Hearts at half-speed, doing the left side of the plans one day (thus keeping the history portion all together) and doing the right side of the plans the next day. I would keep DITHR at 3 days a week and dictation at 3 days a week, with math being 4-5 days a week, but the rest can easily go to half-speed since your son will be a 4th grader. Rod and Staff can be half-speed, as can the science, poetry, and Bible study. This way, you can have a shorter school day but still keep moving forward with new content on his level. Then, the next year, you would do the other half of Preparing Hearts. This will give your son some time to grow up and to solidify some of his needed skills. When doing half-speed, you won't be able to expect as much retention from day-to-day but you will see progress! :D I know he'll struggle with some of the written work in Preparing, but if it's done at half-speed, he'll have the time to grow into it.

I would also recommend setting the timer for his math and language arts lessons or wherever the dawdling occurs (for 20 min. or 30 min. at the very most) and just putting the subject away when the timer rings. As long as he's working hard while the timer is ticking, even if he doesn't finish, just pick it back up the next day and begin again. If he's dawdling, then still "set it aside" when the timer rings to have him finish in the evening instead (but set the timer in the evening again). :wink: I found with my little dawdler that he couldn't stand having his subjects be "set aside" just waiting there on the counter undone to be finished later, and it hung over his head knowing he'd have to finish it in the evening. Some days his things really piled up! But, I found I was less frustrated then if I kept giving him more and more time and he still was dawdling! As time passed, he started asking me if he could just squeeze in some of his "set aside" subjects before recess or before supper to get them done. This was at least a step in the right direction! :wink: Now, we almost never have subjects set aside for him. He is taking more ownership himself. 8) He will be a 5th grader next year, so take heart. :D

I know you may still end up putting both in Beyond and beefing it up, but I wanted to give you another workable option that would be something else to consider. :wink:

Blessings,
Carrie

netpea

Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by netpea » Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:37 pm

Thank you Vicky and Carrie. At this point, I am just seeking solutions. I don't have a definite plan in my head that I want to make work. I want to do right by my kids without the fight. It seems like my daughter gets the short end of the stick alot of days. She is really cruising along. Somedays we do 2 days of LHFHG because she wants more, other days, I just can't do that with her because my son takes up my time. I often wonder what my son would do in public school, wander around checking out everyone's work?? You've given me some good ideas to chew on and pray over. Thanks...

netpea

Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by netpea » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:52 pm

Actually, I think I have a third plan conceived while reading responses to Summer's post. And that is using the stuff I had laying around from Adventures to extend Bigger. We are only halfway through Bigger. If I added in the other history books / read alouds I have, and the other science books, I could easily drop Bigger down to half speed and make it last longer thereby accomplishing the same goal of giving him some time to grow up a little and take on more responsibility for his workload. I think I could easily manage that and shorten our days NOW. And my son was asking me a while back when he would go back and finish the names of Jesus poster he started for Adventures, so I could add that in too.

Vicki
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Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by Vicki » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:58 am

Great plan, LeeAnn!

I went back to read over your original post, and I messed up with my advice. I see now that you have already finished with Beyond. If he's ready for Bigger, then I'd keep on keeping on, adding in your new plans to make it work. I also definitely agree about allotting a certain amount of time to get things done, then putting it to the side for later. My little guy knows now that if he doesn't finish his copywork, it will be waiting for him later. He has to finish up everything he dawdled with before going out to play. Sometimes it's just a matter of working three math problems, or copying the last line of the poem--something small such as that. But the big lesson he's learning is that he has to finish what we started, and that's really key for him to understand---habit building--KWIM?

I absolutely agree with your new plan, and in fact, that is what I will be doing with Bigger and Preparing when we get there. I plan on giving my self a year and a half with each program, as I will be adding in books I have on hand, videos, etc. That's part of the fun of planning, isn't it?

Have fun with your new plans! That will breathe new excitement into your day!
Moving along at our own pace, and very happy with it!

netpea

Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by netpea » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:08 pm

Vicki wrote:Great plan, LeeAnn!

I went back to read over your original post, and I messed up with my advice. I see now that you have already finished with Beyond. If he's ready for Bigger, then I'd keep on keeping on, adding in your new plans to make it work. I also definitely agree about allotting a certain amount of time to get things done, then putting it to the side for later. My little guy knows now that if he doesn't finish his copywork, it will be waiting for him later. He has to finish up everything he dawdled with before going out to play. Sometimes it's just a matter of working three math problems, or copying the last line of the poem--something small such as that. But the big lesson he's learning is that he has to finish what we started, and that's really key for him to understand---habit building--KWIM?

I absolutely agree with your new plan, and in fact, that is what I will be doing with Bigger and Preparing when we get there. I plan on giving my self a year and a half with each program, as I will be adding in books I have on hand, videos, etc. That's part of the fun of planning, isn't it?

Have fun with your new plans! That will breathe new excitement into your day!
Thanks Vicki. Yes, I will try Carrie's timer idea. That might really help. My kids are both sick today so we did things alot different today for an easy restful yet still productive day. First we made contruction paper tricorn hats for both kids and their stuffed animals. Then, I have Christian Liberty Press's "Exploring American History" leftover from Adventures. We dusted it off and skimmed through the chapters on Ben Franklin and George Washington to review what we've already covered about both men in Bigger, then we just read books about both men and watched Schoolhouse Rock videos on american history. Not what I had originally planned for today, but with two puny looking kiddos who didn't even want to get out of their jammies (unusual for us), it was good.
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Carrie
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Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by Carrie » Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:51 pm

Lee Ann,

You're kiddos are SO cute, even if they were not feeling great! I loved their hats. :D

I think your plan for Bigger at half-speed sounds good. I'd encourage you to keep Bigger as your spine to have that be your primary focus from which everything else stems. I'd also caution you not to add so much that you end up right back where you started with too long of a school day! :D

You could always consider slowly sneaking back up to full-speed if your son seems to be ready for more next school year. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

netpea

Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by netpea » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:24 pm

Carrie wrote:Lee Ann,

You're kiddos are SO cute, even if they were not feeling great! I loved their hats. :D

I think your plan for Bigger at half-speed sounds good. I'd encourage you to keep Bigger as your spine to have that be your primary focus from which everything else stems. I'd also caution you not to add so much that you end up right back where you started with too long of a school day! :D

You could always consider slowly sneaking back up to full-speed if your son seems to be ready for more next school year. :D

Blessings,
Carrie
Thanks Carrie. Yes I intend for Bigger to be our program. I simply discovered that there is alot in the Exploring American History book that complements Bigger. It is not and will not be our main book, but it's nice to know that I can throw it in every once in awhile as a review of the people we've studied. The same holds true for anything else I throw in. I'm not planning to add it all or try to do Adventures on top of Bigger. Dropping down to half speed by itself would shorten our day a bit more than I'm willing to allow for him (he'd think he was getting away with something). But if we add a little extra history reading and science and try to evenly split the writing over two days, it should be just right. It's the writing and math he balks at, so that's where I need to spread out. And he is doing DITHOR every day. He can't do his other work until he does DITHOR because he simply must know what happens next in his book.

THANKs.

Carrie
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Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by Carrie » Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:41 pm

Lee Ann,

I DO think your plan sounds great!! I just had to throw in those cautions there, as I KNOW myself and the adder in me can really go overboard. :roll: You may have more restraint than me though, and may not even need the caution. :wink:

I agree that the Exploring American history book has some very interesting extra stories. We considered adding it into Beyond, but then ran into problems with some of the later chapter's content and with the level of the vocabulary in the book for the Beyond level aged kiddos (so we had to leave it out). :D

It would be great as an extra read-aloud (with parental screening). Have fun! :D

Blessings,
Carrie

netpea

Re: Not sure what to do for next year.

Post by netpea » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:06 pm

Carrie wrote:Lee Ann,

I DO think your plan sounds great!! I just had to throw in those cautions there, as I KNOW myself and the adder in me can really go overboard. :roll: You may have more restraint than me though, and may not even need the caution. :wink:

I agree that the Exploring American history book has some very interesting extra stories. We considered adding it into Beyond, but then ran into problems with the some of the later chapter's content and with the level of the vocabulary in the book for the Beyond level aged kiddos (so we had to leave it out). :D

It would be great as an extra read-aloud (with parental screening). Have fun! :D

Blessings,
Carrie
You are so right Carrie. Thanks for all the time you put in talking things out with us on the board!

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