DS Struggles W/Bigger

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wisdom4us
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DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by wisdom4us » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:29 pm

Summer,

I would definitely go with Julie's suggestion to go half-speed with Bigger Hearts, allowing your son time to grow into Bigger more. What parts is he struggling with?

If you give Bigger at half-speed a good trial run (a month or so), and it isn't getting better, you could consider combining your son with your twins next year in Beyond. Since your son has already done Beyond this isn't the best option. However, you mentioned that you rushed him through it, so I'm wondering how much of it he missed?

I'd love to hear more of your thoughts if you get a chance. Possibly, you'd want to start a new thread? :wink:

Blessings,
Carrie
Our story with Beyond is, we started in January '08 at the beginning of the guide. Me - being who I am - felt it too easy for ds so I jumped ahead to the middle of the guide so that we would finish mid - late June. :roll: :cry:

We are currently in unit 8 of Bigger (day 3 I believe without getting up to look at my guide). In history, I have to stop periodically and go over what I read otherwise when we are done with the reading, he can't tell me about anything I just read to him. He is getting the hang of using the dictionary though he is still a little "clumsy" with it and he doesn't always get the meaning of the character trait in the Bible lesson when we read the definition from the dictionary.

He is a hard one to know exactly what he is struggling with. He does not express himself very well and getting him to answer questions at times is like pulling teeth that are deeply rooted! He just refuses to answer me. I don't know if he is stubborn or if he just doesn't know what to say so he doesn't say anything but he will just sit there....

R&S 2 seems to be too easy for him and his spelling is really improving! His copywork is awful! It took him 45 minutes to copy 2 sentences last week. He does not do any writing right now for R&S or science. I do the writing in science for him. We do all of the grammar lessons orally. He's really enjoying Cheerful Cursive, he has been wanting to learn cursive since he found out there was a cursive writing. :lol:

One of my good friends was over today and she suggested that I do more fine motor exercises with him and have his eyes checked. I have had him doing the cutting and pasting activities with his brothers in Little Hearts but she also said that upper body exercises helps to strengthen those fine motor muscles too so I guess I need to do those now too.

I just have to add that this is really humbling for me. I feel like I am whining about my child and I'm making him sound awful. He is my pride and joy, my first born son after a struggle to carry pregnancies to term. We named him David because he is our promised child from our Heavenly Father but I am really struggling here and I'm trying to do what is best for him but I feel like throwing my arms up and saying I can't do it anymore... Our evaluator even said that he would difficult to teach in the public or private setting because of his quiet stubbornness. She couldn't pin point the "problem" either but that he is just difficult to teach.

When I sit down to teach him one on one, anxiety fills my heart. I know that's wrong and that I should allow the peace of God to fill my heart but in the moment I literally feel anxious. hands shake, sweating palms the whole thing...

He is very bright and knows more about science at his young age than I know at my age. If he thinks about a math problem he struggles to answer it and usually gets it wrong the first time when he finally does answer. But if I ask him an addition problem or subtraction problem (and some multiplication and division) and he just gives a quick off the cuff answer, it's usually right. It's almost like something isn't clicking right in his recall center of his brain.

He is not an emerging reader. We are using Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons after trying Hooked on Phonics, Phonics Pathways, and a couple of other programs. He seems to making great stride right now though - after me laying it down for a time and picking it back up.

To be honest, I feel like all of this is my fault. That through my insecurities I have made him the way that he is. I have cause his learning struggles. Maybe I have but how I fix them now? What can I do now?

We start school between 9-9:30 a.m. and finish around 2-2:30 p.m. (breaking for lunch at 12 to 12:30). I'm exhausted by 2:30 and just want to lay down. This time includes Little Hearts. We start with that then do Bigger. And we usually don't do our story times in that time slot either. That happens at bed time and/or after dinner.

I really wasn't posting on the other thread to get any answers, I was posting that I really have no idea what to do next year! But you ladies are so kind and willing to help - it means so much...

Thank you!
~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

Kathleen
Posts: 1980
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Location: NE Kansas

Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by Kathleen » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:45 pm

Summer,

I'm not qualified to give you any ideas about what to do for your son, but just wanted to know that I'm praying for you after reading your dilema. I'm praying that the Lord would give you peace and wisdom as you teach your son. You can do this! And, I think you're a wonderful teacher and mom for trying to find how to reach his heart and mind. You know it's worth the effort, and I'm sure that the Lord will give you the answers you need in His time whether through the ladies here or in some other way.

Hugs,
:D Kathleen
Homeschooling mom to 6:
Grant - 19 Kansas State University
Allison - 15 World Geography
Garret - 13 Res2Ref
Asa - 8 Bigger
Quinn - 7 Bigger

Halle - 4 LHTH

Vicki
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:14 pm
Location: MS

Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by Vicki » Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:54 pm

Summer, it's late, but I have to tell you what we did.

I did the same as you--started Beyond in Jan. '08. We breezed through the first units, then life got in the way,and we fell short of being finished on time. We started back at unit 12 just a couple of weeks ago, and I've found that he's ready for the copywork, ready to memorize his scripture, ready to do the work required. I'm even bumping it up a notch to get him ready for Bigger in Sept.

It's just my opinion, but I think you could truly have a good year with working through Beyond and allowing him to mature into the skills he will need with Bigger. We are doing Cheerful Cursive right now with Beyond. I don't need a schedule for it. We just do the next lesson. I would definitely give him a chance to do something well and have success with it. It will build your confidence as well as his. YOu already have the manual, why not give it a try? You could let him keep up with his science interest by the use of a "My Science Notebook" that somebody else suggested on another thread.

I just know that we have been in the same situation, and things are going sooooo much better for us this time around. I'm happier and he's happier too! Yippee! :lol:
Moving along at our own pace, and very happy with it!

lmercon
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Location: Zieglerville, PA

Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by lmercon » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:24 pm

Well, it is very late right now, but I will throw out a few suggestions for you to consider. Drop them like a sack of beans if you don't like them! Anyway, I would have his eyesight and hearing checked just to rule out any physical problems. If they check out okay, then you move to figuring out why he's dragging. As I read your description of him, passive-aggressive came to mind. Please, I don't mean to be hurtful, but some of the things you describe remind me of students I've had in the past- no big fussing and whining, just quiet non-compliance stretched out over a ridiculous amount of time. If it is a matter of stubborn willfulness, then I would make attempts to draw him away from those choices. I would definitely have time limits for his assignments. Set a fair amount of time on a timer and announce a reward if he accomplishes the task within that time. Maybe start a sticker chart where he adds a sticker every time he completes an assignment within the allotted time. After so many stickers, he earns some kind of reward. When he starts getting positive reinforcement, it will improve his attitude and hopefully cause him to make better and better attempts with his work. I suggest you not do all the science writing. Make him take some ownership for his assignment. Maybe you write half and he does the other half. He may be taking advantage of your willingness to do his work because he sees how upset you get and then what you do for him. Maybe it has nothing to do with his attitude at all. Maybe he is just overwhelmed by all that he must do in a day. If that is the case, I would suggest you take the advice you received earlier and do it half-pace. The time you describe is way too long, imo. If he still dawdles at half-pace, then you may be indeed looking at an attitude issue. Again, I'm just spouting off my random thoughts. I may be totally off-base here. And please, don't get me wrong. I know your little guy is a great kid and much loved by you. They can be wonderful and rascals all at the same time! At least, I know mine can!
Laura

Edited to add: Another thing may be to model what you expect from him in terms of narration. I would take over the narration for a bit. Show him what a good narration sounds like. Maybe you could make a detective game out of it. Purposefully skip a main event or key idea in your narration and see if he can figure out what you missed. You may also want to have him make predictions about what he thinks will happen next. While you are reading, stop every so often and ask a question or make a comment. He may simply not understand how to think about a passage of text. I hope I'm giving sound advice. Carrie or others, please correct me if I was wrong in any of my suggestions.
Wife to a great guy and mommy to:
Ds(15) - using WG and loving it!
Dd(11) - using Res.to Ref and having a blast!
Ds (3) - our joy!
Two little ones in the arms of Jesus - I can't wait to hold you in Heaven!

Vicki
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:14 pm
Location: MS

Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by Vicki » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:39 am

Summer, I am thinking of you again this morning after re-reading your post.

I have definitely walked in your shoes. I don't know how to tell you any more than what I have already shared, but my little guy is his own person too. I haven't had him tested, and maybe that is something we should really pursue. We probably will go that course this summer when we have more time, and after checking into insurance coverage, etc.

In the meantime, I am meeting him where he is at the present moment. That seems to be key, and we're slowly building up and having success with it. It seems to me that if he's not a reader yet, I would stop everything else and focus on that. If you have to, give up Bigger and let him do the LHFHG lessons with the sibling (brother or sister?). Are they both learning to read at present? If you could make that (and the writing, and math) be your main focus, I think you could join all the children up together in the fall with Beyond. That would again, give him (and yourself) confidence to move forward with each day. In my mind, you really can't go ahead to a program like Bigger Hearts without first having the basics down pat.

I seem to be the lone dissenter on this board about maturity issues and the programs offered, but I just know that IRL, in my home, we can't go by the ages and the placement chart. My child truly should be in the Bigger program right now. Well, we tried it, he wasn't happy, the work was too much, so we took a step backward. Yes, a step backward, so that I could meet him where he is. That to me is the secret to success with homeschooling. That's why we homeschool, isn't it? I have to realize myself on a daily basis that yes, my child could probably not go to either public or private school, but praise God that in this country I have the freedom and opportunity to homeschool him. God knew ahead of time that I would have to fight this battle, and he's armed me with this beautiful HOD program that Carrie writes.

Now I don't use it exactly as prescribed, but I do use it, and that's what is key. My little guy is getting to know God, learning and growing, and I'm sure one day he'll have that burst of growth up to the next level. In the meantime, I'm preparing him for it as best I can. FWIW, I have both the Bigger and Preparing manuals. I know what's in them, and I can't wait to get to them. But when we do, we'll probably go slowly through them, taking up to three years to finish these two before moving into the Ancients guide. But you know what? By then he'll be ready and mature enough to handle the independence and difficulty required for them.

So....long story short...step back, take a deep breath and relax! You can do it, and he can too. The Lord will guide you through it, I know He will. Play math games, do reading games, offer him really easy readers---when we first started I typed up silly simple sentences with the word families we studied like, "The fat cat sat on a mat." or something like that. I used really large font, and we read them over daily. I also printed in large font the Dolch word lists, and we read over those daily. It really helped, and he's been a reader since he was 5 y/o.

Here's a hug for you, and my support. You can do it. I agree about having his eyesight tested too. Start there first.

Oh, I forgot to add...Laura had excellent advice about the time for lessons, stickers, and especially narration modeling. I think that is very sage advice that we could all follow.
Moving along at our own pace, and very happy with it!

Alison in KY
Posts: 181
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Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by Alison in KY » Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:55 am

Summer, how old is your son?

Alison in KY

netpea

Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by netpea » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:00 am

Vicki wrote:I seem to be the lone dissenter on this board about maturity issues and the programs offered, but I just know that IRL, in my home, we can't go by the ages and the placement chart. My child truly should be in the Bigger program right now. Well, we tried it, he wasn't happy, the work was too much, so we took a step backward. Yes, a step backward, so that I could meet him where he is. That to me is the secret to success with homeschooling. That's why we homeschool, isn't it? I have to realize myself on a daily basis that yes, my child could probably not go to either public or private school, but praise God that in this country I have the freedom and opportunity to homeschool him. God knew ahead of time that I would have to fight this battle, and he's armed me with this beautiful HOD program that Carrie writes.
Very well said Vicki! I don't think you're a lone dissenter though. There are many others here who are above the age ranges of the guides or Below them depending on where there child's maturity falls. This is where I struggle, meeting my son where he is rather than where I think he ought to be.

Summer,
Keep us posted about what you plan to do, our kids seem similar so you're in my thoughts.

Vicki
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:14 pm
Location: MS

Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by Vicki » Wed Mar 04, 2009 8:13 am

"This is where I struggle, meeting my son where he is rather than where I think he ought to be."

This is a daily battle for me too. I just had that little inner voice remind me last night that "Comparison is the death of contentment". Don't know where that quote comes from, but I heard it loud and clear, and it really puts me in my place!!

I do read other people's blogs, but I am finding that it gives me a bad feeling about what we're doing--like I'm not going fast enough or doing enough. I probably need to stay away from the blogging community, so that I can be happy in my own home, with our own successes. I'm still learning every day!
Moving along at our own pace, and very happy with it!

nowweare6
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 12:40 pm

Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by nowweare6 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:56 am

I'm new to the boards and HOD so I can't give you any advice on the curriculum aspect but I do want to encourage you to stick with it. My son who is now eleven struggled with reading so much that I gave up homeschooling. I had several seasoned moms telling me to slow down and wait but I just couldn't do it. I hated that he couldn't read at AWANA or Sunday school, my mom was freaked out and I threw in the towel. Fortunately, we were able to find a very small Christian school that the kids have attended for 4 years. Now, I'm bringing them home. During that 4 year time period, we fostered and adopted so the school really helped me keep my head above water during that transition. I don't regret it but in hind sight, I so see the value of home education. Mostly, that you can slow down to a pace where your children are really mastering something instead of racing forward. Having fostered two and two bios that also happen to be little sinners :? , I can also comment on the behavior stuff. I definitely would get the hearing and vision checked. We did that and two out of the four needed glasses! I think one of the responses had a really good balance of slowing on the curriculum but evaluating the behavior at the same time. Some really good advice I got from a fostering book was "Always make the child work harder then you". That may sound harsh but I have seen how it has totally deflated their desire to fight wills with me. For example, if I ask a question that I clearly know they know the answer to instead of drawing it out and pleading with them, I ask the ?, wait for response, no response comes, then I say calmly and lovingly, "I know that you are very smart and know this. I would like you to sit on that(away from where you are working) chair/your room/ and let your brain think about it until you have a answer. When you do, let me know and we can talk about it". I guess it is like a mental time out. The kids soon realized that I wasn't going to come up with the answer, skip it, or allow them to dictate what was accomplished. They also realized quickly that they were never going to be able to get to their free time or join the fun activities that the rest of us were doing until they completed what was asked of them. Be very careful not to exacerbate them or set them up to fail. But we are to teach them to persevere and "work as if onto the Lord". I feel like it is also a good example of how work and perseverance results in blessings and the opposite results in consequences. Our kids are so much smarter than we give them credit for and mine know how to push my buttons. I don't always think it is intentional but we are all sinners and we all have a desire to want the path of least resistance. Very few of us are naturally "strivers". I think just as important as the "educational" aspect of home educating is the "character" aspect that we need to train our children. I wish I had slowed down a bit and targeted both when my kids were younger b/c it isn't easy to undo some of the areas I let "slide" or gave up on when they were younger!
Monica
Married to John 13 years
Mom to Jack(11), Elizabeth (11), Caleb (9), Grace (8) two via adoption after fostering!

Carrie
Site Admin
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Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by Carrie » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:37 am

Summer,

I'm away writing for today and am NOT supposed to be checking the board. :wink: However, I was wanting to see if you had a chance to post a new thread as you've been on my mind. :D

I know there are many moms out there who hurry their kiddos through their early years of schooling to get to something more challenging, only to find out later that it's too challenging (because we rushed)! I know I did it with my first-born child, and while he did hang on with his schooling and did well, it stole his joy for awhile because everything was SO rigorous. With my next kiddos, I have understood better the need for a joyful, steady progression in the early years without such HEAVY academics. I want to encourage you that you're just finding out what many of us have already experienced! :wink:

It's also not uncommon for your son to be all over the place as far as school subjects go. Boys have God-given areas of interest that are their strengths, and pretty often writing a lot is not one of them! :wink:

The ladies on the board are giving you excellent advice to check to see if your son may have possible eye issues or hearing issues. It's just good to rule those out for all kiddos. Next, I would take some time to work on any character issues. In my homeschooling day, I NEED to allow myself the time to address my kiddos' character issues or eventually I know I will lose their hearts. Do I consistently do this every day? Sadly no. I am a work in progress too. However, when I'm noticing a heart issue that comes up repeatedly, I DO stop the rest of my day and deal with it. :wink:

We talk about the issue and how it could be solved. Then, we come up with a plan for working on just ONE problem at a time. I find that choosing ONE problem to work on makes me think hard to determine what is really the biggest problem. Often by focusing on only one thing, the child feels that he can change that behavior without it being overwhelming. It takes 30 days to change a habit. So, we work on that one thing consistently for 30 days. I enlist my hubby's help. We try not to focus on all of the other problems the kiddo may be having and instead just work on acquiring the one NEW, better habit. :D

As far as your curriculum plans go, it's so important to meet your kiddos where they are, but also to try to have the right balance of nudging them forward. This is a dance that is sometimes hard to do. As teachers it's easy to get caught up in labeling things as too difficult or too easy for our kiddos and then thinking that we have to adjust up or down to make sure everything is on just the right level. Instead, I'd encourage you to notice that in life most things are not just right for us. We have some things in our day that are easy and some things that are very difficult. Other things are just right. Educating our kiddos is like that too. They need a mix in their homeschool day. It is good for some subjects to be easy, some to be difficult, and some to be just right. This helps balance out the learning, and helps keep kiddos from feeling overwhelmed. :D

While you've done some jumping around to help you find your place, you'll find that steady progress will make a world of difference! So, the question is what to do now that you're where you are in your homeschool journey? Since your son has not had the first part of Beyond, you could go back and do Beyond as written from the beginning. However, you will have to let go of the fact that you feel the science in Beyond is not enough, or that other parts of the plan may not be as challenging as you'd like them to be. You will be taking the time to work on what is most important right now and will have plenty of time later for all of the extras. If you can't let go of thinking the plans in Beyond are not enough, then you'll need to do Bigger Hearts at half-speed instead. Either way you'll keep going with the right side of Bigger Hearts (doing the Cheerful Cursive, the dictation, the Rod and Staff 2 (steadily progressing even though you're thinking it's too easy), and his phonics program. Rod and Staff is another area that gets much harder as you go, so enjoy the ease of it this year and don't rush to get to what is more difficult too early. :wink:

Since yoru son is still working to get his writing and phonics down, and you've not really gotten a chance for him to do much of Beyond, I feel like the best overall decision is to do Beyond as written and give him time to grow into those skills. If you want more science or more of something else in your day, then you can add that in after your school day is over. However, don't add so much that your schedule gets weighted down. In truth, the writing and the reading (along with math) are the most important skills your son needs right now. The in-depth study of all other subject areas can come later. :D

I pray you are rejuvinated today and that you feel the Lord's peace over you. You're on a journey and will learn many things as you go. I know I am still learning every day! You will not do all of it right, nor will any of the rest of us. However, when you are the teacher you can work to change whatever is tugging at your heart. Listen to the Lord's voice, and He will guide you! :wink:

Blessings,
Carrie

Carrie
Site Admin
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Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by Carrie » Wed Mar 04, 2009 10:55 am

Vicki,

I wanted to take a minute to address your post too. I know that comparison can steal your joy, and I understand that at times you may feel that by comparison you're not doing enough by the ages listed on our guides. There are many moms on the board who work above and below the target ranges on our guides striving to find the best fit. I wanted you to know that from my perspective we are nowhere near a one-size fits all curriculum and that we work really hard with each parent to find the best fit for their particular situation. In the end, only you can know what the Lord would have you do with your little guy. I think you work very hard to make sure that his plan works well for him, and it is obvious that you love him very much! :D

I just wanted you to know that it is a lot to balance for me when giving advice, especially since as a company we are still held accountable by parents everywhere for grade level state mandates, requirements, level of preparation for all academic areas, and even at times for test scores. :wink: So, while it would be easy for me to recommend that moms back up whenever their kiddos struggle with a program, it isn't always the best option, as the parents and child must still be accountable, and I must take care that Heart of Dakota does its job in properly preparing kiddos both to stand before their Lord and to stand before their peers. :wink:

I pray that you will find the peace you are seeking. :wink: I am so grateful for the group of Christ-focused ladies on this board, and I value all of your input. I love that we all work together to help each mom find what is God's best for her family. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

Vicki
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2008 12:14 pm
Location: MS

Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by Vicki » Wed Mar 04, 2009 11:49 am

Carrie,

I'm sorry if I have offended anyone with anything in my post. I certainly had no intent to do so. I try not to post here often, as I have struggles with teaching my own child, and it just seems that what I've read here is always to go to the next program up. I'm just expressing what I had to do in order to find that place that I could work forward from with my child.

Yes, I am "beefing it up" a bit. I realize that we have to take the next step up soon. It's always in the back of my mind. But I don't teach with the goal of testing well on standardized tests. Yes, that is a landmark to strive for, but it's not what is first and foremost in my ideals. If we are moving along, however slowly it seems at times, and I can see forward progress, then I'm happy. I have days when I truly feel discouraged when I read here about 7 and 8 y/o's doing Bigger Hearts. I know that we are behind according the the ages on the manuals, but as you have said, it is not meant to be a one-size-fits-all curriculum. I don't know of one that exists, and I have never considered HOD to be that. I use it as my tool to get us where I want to be down the road. If I can't use it in the way best for me, and suggest to others that there is an alternative to using things that might be of some help, then that would be what would steer me away from using HOD.

I know, I have struggled with that in just the past few weeks. But I always go back to what we started with, and what my little guy loves, and that is HOD. He is truly a poster child for HOD---loves it--and will tell you so any time he is asked. He just the other day came up to me with sad eyes, very droopy, and told me that he was so sorry that we never got to work with LHFHG. I told him yes, I was sorry too, but I didn't know about HOD at the time, so we started with Beyond as soon as I found out. Now this child has staying power. He knows some days are going to be hard, but he's happy as a lark to just go along at our pace--blissfully unaware that any kind of testing looms in the distance. I want that for him, in fact I am thrilled that he has such an innocent heart about schooling. I don't want the feeling of negativity to creep in to our household and get a grip. That's why, and the only reason I respond to posts that discuss a child who struggles---so that I can share our journey in hopes that it may be of some help.

I just wanted to explain myself further for clarification.
Moving along at our own pace, and very happy with it!

dale1088
Posts: 165
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:07 am
Location: Cedar Park, TX

Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by dale1088 » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:47 pm

Vicki, Thanks for your post of clarification. I got what you meant earlier about comparison. There are times when we are all singing the praises of HoD (which I too love) and I wonder "did anyone else have tears and drama over math today?" So it has been nice for these couple of threads about struggles to feel like I'm not the only one have a tough time with a few subject areas, and get confirmation that I'm on the right path and just need to work through it.

I also got what you meant about staying away from the blogging community. i have a friend that has a wonderful blog. She has 3 boys and they raise chickens in their backyard, and all three of them can sew and have made quilts, and they can scramble eggs and bake cakes, and they all have their own glue guns for woodworking projects. And just about every time I read a new post on her blog i come away feeling inferior. It's just all so idyllic! Do they fight? Do any of them struggle with math? Are her floors spotless and the laundry folded? I'm sure she struggles too, but it doesn't seem like it. I know she wouldn't want me to feel this way!! It's just true, comparison is the death of contentment!
~Amy
2009-2010:
Lucy, 9, PHFHG and DITHOR
Elliot, 5, LHTH

Alison in KY
Posts: 181
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:00 pm

Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by Alison in KY » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:38 am

To be honest, I feel like all of this is my fault. That through my insecurities I have made him the way that he is. I have cause his learning struggles. Maybe I have but how I fix them now? What can I do now?

We start school between 9-9:30 a.m. and finish around 2-2:30 p.m. (breaking for lunch at 12 to 12:30). I'm exhausted by 2:30 and just want to lay down. This time includes Little Hearts. We start with that then do Bigger. And we usually don't do our story times in that time slot either. That happens and/or after dinner.


You sound like a loving caring mom to me. For my 2 cents I say stop looking backward. You are making progress in areas. I will tell you that I chose to do Beyond this year with my 3 kids who are currently 9,7, and 5. We just started it maybe a month a ago, but I'm not very far into it due to an interruption here and there. I am totally enjoying it and I will say again that I do not think I am dumbing it down for my 9 yr old, who will be 10 in a couple months. So that means we will be doing this program for quite awhile, since we just got started. For me, it's better to do this and have the wonderful intertwining of the subjects on the left side, than not to do it. I am using my own math and Language Arts, so the right side isn't that big a deal to me. I will tell you that for my 7.5 yr old we aren't doing spelling yet, not until she can greatly improve on her reading (which has been a slow uphill climb). For that matter I haven't started grammar yet with her. Other mom's would probably think I'm a slacker, but I'm doing the best I can with what I have and my ideas for what is best might be a bit different than others. My 7 year old doesn't listen to the history or storytime very well, she doesn't seem to pay attention as much as I'd like her to, but my 9 and 5 year olds can tell me alot about what I've just read. So my 7 yr old (middle child of course) is the oddball here. I just have to strive for that right balance between knowing what is to much and what is not enough...and that's probably a number one struggle with me. Sometimes I'm succesful, and sometimes I guilt trip myself all over the place.

Just remember that you are the parent, God gave you the responsibility, and you can handle it. I think your school day is taking too long. I don't know about other kids and programs, but for David, I'd tweak some things and make them work for you. If your not sure if the problem is attitude or lack of ability then test him on it. My 9 yr old son can go amazing slow at times, but if I say we need to get ABand C done to have a play date then most of the time he can really turn on.. but sometimes it still just isn't his day. He is easily distracted, so for his harder subjects I have my other two leave the table so it will be a bit more quiet. He also hates writing, but I've seen tremendous progress since he has gotten older...I never thought he'd know his addition facts, subtraction facts, be able to write a sentence, etc. Some kids who are 9 are writing paragraphs...mine cried (and he hardly ever cries) when I asked him to write a paragraph about something. If David takes 45 minutes writing two sentences then go for one word, then two, then three...and set a timer. Make it clear that if he does his best then that's good enough for you. Set a timer on all of your subjects for that matter. If you think it will work out better for him to do LHFHG with his siblings then go for it, and just have him do the math, reading, LA's that is appropriate for him. My son still looks at the Reader Rabbit preschool-1st phonics computer program we have and wants to go through it. :mrgreen:

I could do more "school" with my kids. But like you I would be exhausted. I've found a balance, for now, for myself. We're all so different. Some mom's, Carrie who writes these programs included, continually wow me and I have to fight to not being intimidated by them. But I am me, I don't receive homeschooling help from my husband, and he doesn't usually come home and help with the house, but he does want the house to be somewhat neat and tidy or he threatens to send them to PS (he's not a bad guy, really :P ). I am organizationally challenged, so that doesn't help with school or housework. I'm also low on energy alot, have fibromyalgia and heal spurs and I make my own bread and cook alot with whole foods. My point is we are all so different and it's so easy to set yourself up to look at everyone else and feel bad about what your are doing or not doing. Just do what helps your crew and keeps you sane. You cannot be succesful in anything if you are exhausted and wanting to curl up in a ball at the end of the day, so it's time for a Plan B. That doesn't mean you make school super easy on them or you. Just set that timer and make some changes for your oldest, and rest and pray.

Come back here and check in with us.

Vicki, thanks for your comments, I really appreciate what you had to say. I can talk as optimistic and confident as the next person, but it still doesn't mean that I feel it all the time. Your comments were encouraging to me.

Carrie, also thank you for your views and for writing something that is really helping me at my school. I so appreciate it.

Alison in KY

Carrie
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Re: DS Struggles W/Bigger

Post by Carrie » Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Vicki,

I'm sorry I didn't get back to the board to respond until now! I sincerely didn't mean that I'd taken any offense to anything you've had to say on the board. I actually love the diversity of all of the various families who use HOD.What I was trying to say, and must not have done so very well, :oops: is that it's a hard balance for me personally to give moms the "best" advice for their particular situations as each mom's situation is so different. :wink: I also wanted everyone on the board to realize that when I'm giving advice, it always has to be with an eye toward academic pursuits as well as toward spiritual pursuits. The balance is a touchy one for me. :wink:

The only reason I responded to your post at all was because I felt that you were thinking that you're all alone giving different advice from anyone else and that somehow you felt sad about that (or that I wanted you to give the same advice as me)! :D Talking with moms over placement and about difficulties they may be having is one of the things I feel we do best here at HOD and that is because there are all sorts of personality types here with varying opinions. This is why we started the board.... so that moms would get other opinions beside mine! :lol:

I don't ever think that a child who is succeeding where he/she is placed should be rushed ahead just to meet an age level requirement. So, I think you need to feel good about where your little guy is and feel confident that he is progressing. I agree that comparison can be a real joy stealer! :D I also know that we could all come on the board daily with our latest personal struggles because not all of homeschooling is perfect or joyful! However, along with the struggles we do want to focus on the joys (as much as on the trials) or we'll miss the celebrations while we're dragging through the muck! :D

I hope I've done a better job in this post of explaining how I feel! You each are a blessing to me and to one another! I count it a privilege to share each of your lives. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

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