Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

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Dorla
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Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by Dorla » Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:58 pm

I have loved HOD since day 1. We finished Little Hearts and Beyond Little Hearts and I was still in love. But Bigger has been tough.
My 7yr can do the work, but it is too much. So we backed down to 1 page of the guide per day. Not good. I tweaked it every which way I knew how and failed. The biggest problem is my 7yr old's attitude. He suddenly is not interested in school and fights and argues and whines about school. So I finally gave up and we have been unschooling for about 2 months which is driving me insane. So, next week, the first week of 2010 I want to be ready to try again. I don't want to use another curriculum but I am at a lost as what to do. I have already been having talks with my son about his attitude. He really wants to just do whatever he wants and be free all day, which is great for an unschooling family but I cannot unschool. We normally have school in the morning and then he is free after lunch. He loves to research Hurricanes and plan detailed driving trips all over the world. He is extremely intelligent - but I truly believe he needs guidance. I cannot just let him be all day - but at the same time I want to have a relaxed HOD school and I am out of ideas.
I saw on another post that someone is reading The Harried Homeschool (?), and I ordered it. But your timely advice, experienced moms, would be appreciated!
Thanks in advance,
Dorla :?

Amey
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by Amey » Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:06 pm

No advice here Dorla because I am in the same boat. We finished Beyond last year and had a great year, but Bigger takes us from 10 am to 3 pm to finish. I have 3 other children to take care of and we just can't find a way to make it work. Like you, I have cut down to one side a day but it still doesn't seem to help our time?? My son is having a pretty good attitude but he is waning quick and burning out. I am interested to see the feedback you get here. Thanks for posting!
Amey
Missionary Mama in Mexico to Benjamin 02, Averic 04 and Deacon 07 and our first GIRL, Phoebe, born August 16, 2009
using Bigger Hearts for my 2nd grade son, finished Beyond last year for 1st
Come visit our family website! http://www.familyafair.com

water2wine
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by water2wine » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:16 pm

Dorla I am so sorry to hear this for you! :cry: I had issues last year with attitude with one of my children, really in a huge way. We were doing Bigger and LHFHG, For us it was not the program definitely attitude. But I think it is more time in for the parent reading maybe or it can feel that way. It is just that in between stage. They are not really ready for all the independence that is to come but they are preparing for it if that makes any sense.

Anyway sometimes it is a trial and error thing. :roll: For my children I find they do better when I expect more of them and this even goes for my dd with CP and learning delays. I sometimes find that when they have a hard time focusing and are out of sorts that sometimes it is more responsibility they need. Now this is certainly not if they are mentally struggling but if it is more of a hear issue if that makes sense. My instinct is to lighten up but sometimes they need me to tighten the reins and expect more in a loving way. So as we progressed with Bigger I did make it more independent. They did the history activity box most often without me. They would do it and then show it to me. It was an adjustment but it later became more of a impress me type thing and they began to raise the bar for themselves. Not sure of this would work for you. It was against my sort of instinct but it really turned out to be the key for me letting them have some guided independence.

And if none of that even comes close to helping you I am saying some prayers for you. My heart breaks just hearing this because I know how joyful things were for you before and I know how much you do love HOD. Praying for you and for some wisdom to come your way on this. :D
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
~Six lovies from God~4 by blessing of adoption
-MTMM (HS), Rev to Rev, CTC, DITHR
We LOVED LHFHG/Beyond/Bigger/Preparing/CTC/RTR/Rev to Rev (HS)

Dorla
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by Dorla » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:53 pm

Amey! I have read your blog/website many times in the past and admire your family's ministry. So glad I am not the only one in these troubled waters. Sometimes when all you read is how well everyone is doing it makes things even worse at home. We reached the point where we only covered English (completed orally), Math and Journeys in Time. I know my son loves to learn. Everything we learned before through HOD he uses as reference for everything else he does. Burnout is the right word. We need an HOD energizer bunny... :)
Dorla

Dorla
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by Dorla » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:20 am

Water2wine! You always have sound advice and prayer for us. thank you.
I am rereading your words and thinking that sometimes in order to keep the peace in school I have required less and less, and at the same time not knowing how to require more with love. It is frustrating when I know he can do more, and does do more with his own time/honnies but does not apply it for school.
Evaluating HOD
Does he really need History? who cares if he doesn't. he has met some fascinating people!
Does he really need geography? Ha! my 7yr old knows more geography than my husband and I. His love for it is unreal.
Does he need poetry? big dilemma here. He remembers every poem we have read. But I stopped. His attitude was killing me.
Does he need character study/Bible? Every time he encounters the words bold, perseverance, thrifty, etc. he runs to tell me with a twinkle in his eye. Did he just happen to pick that up? no, we learned it with HOD.
Hymn study? are you kidding me? who sings hymns anymore? well, we do. I used to be a "old school" church musician, so I know quite a few. and he loves to learn them. But since it is for school - he is not interested slumps in a chair. BUT will figure it out on the piano when he thinks no one is paying attention...
English? he loves and corrects my sentences. but doing it for school is killing the love for grammar.
DITHOR - we had to drop. we were just reading the books. they are all at his level. he can read them very well, but not at the pace required for DITHOR
Storytime - he loves every book. Snow Treasure was our last.
Math - no complaints. it is only one page!
Science - OK. he wants to do experiments and Bigger has A LOT of reading for science. by the time we reached here my patience had worn out and he was a crying mess.
We need a spark...I want him to get back his first love for school.

Vicki
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by Vicki » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:31 am

post deleted
Last edited by Vicki on Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Moving along at our own pace, and very happy with it!

threegreatkids
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by threegreatkids » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:35 am

Praying for you, Dorla! Specifically praying for the Lord's wisdom in discerning what the issue is...program readiness, burnout or attitude issues.
I think I was the one who mentioned The Harried Homeschooler. This book has been really blessing and challenging me, and I hope it will meet a need for you as well.
I also wanted to pass on the thought that we are doing Bigger with a young 8 y.o. girl and it challenges her in a very good way, but if we had done it last year it would have been way too much (especially not having done earlier HOD programs). I know there are families who have used it succesfully with 7 y.o.s, though. So back to praying for wisdom...
There is a thread from Feb 27th of this year called "3rd Grade Boys in Bigger" viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2957 that might be helpful...sounds like it's common for boys even in 3rd grade to have some adjustment issues since Bigger is a big step up. One specific thing I learned from that thread: Carrie mentioned that there is always a big leap from 2nd to 3rd grade (whether ps or hs) as it's a shift from primary(K-2) to middle elementary (3-5). There are great tips for easing into the next level.
Last edited by threegreatkids on Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Mom of three great kids
7th grade dd, 6th grade dd, 4nd grade ds

water2wine
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by water2wine » Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:57 pm

Dorla BTDT with the requiring less just to survive. That is so normal and sometimes it helps it is just not a permanent solution. Can I tell you something that I learned in five years of sales and getting people to do things they did not know they wanted to we will say. :wink: Ain't nobody going to come to the party if you aren't throwing one and excited about it. And they will not buy squat if you aren't really selling it. So sometimes for me the first person I have to sell is myself. And as much as I absolutely love HOD and do not look becasue we are home there are days when I have to sell myself on hsing period even with HOD. I am just human. And I know this Satin is the first one to take my joy. But if I make myself excited and resell myself on the why more than the how of hsing I can sell that back to my kids and it reflects in their attitude. :shock: There is something inside me that will sink and jump ship the moment they grow weary. But if I fight it and resell myself I can resell them.

I'll tell you something I posted on a more private board. I found out that my dd with CP used to try to make herself throw up to try to get out of school. This is ps we are tlking not hsing! She was not very successful at it but that is how stressful it was for her and we are talking second grade. It breaks my heart to know this and I can't even understand how she would know to do that but it was ps surrounded by many kids and some older. I knew she was having a hard time but I had no idea she even understood so well how messed up it was at ps for her. Can I tell you at age 12 she can still have an attitude that rivals the ones she had at age 2, tantrum and all. It looks ridiculous but she still does it from time to time stomping and all. But in her rational moments she does thank me for all the work we put in to help her to read and do her best. She knows she would be much farther behind if we left her in ps. She's my one that made me hit a wall and really give in for a while to her attitude. But some to find out even my special need child does better when I expect more, not add more, but expect more. Not even sure this relates to you. I am really just talking about myself and what I found works for me. :wink:

Praying for you and your child! :D I think you are just in a season Dorla and it is one that will pass and joy will come in the new day. Praying God blesses you in this area! Don't want to lose my HODie! :wink:
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
~Six lovies from God~4 by blessing of adoption
-MTMM (HS), Rev to Rev, CTC, DITHR
We LOVED LHFHG/Beyond/Bigger/Preparing/CTC/RTR/Rev to Rev (HS)

Dorla
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by Dorla » Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:26 pm

Vicki, thanks for your questions and advice. It helps to think things over and over. My son has shown himself to be quite capable of doing the work. He just doesn't wanto to! Lapbooks he does not like and going back to Beyond is a no, no. He considers Beyond 1st grade material and would not want to go backwards. But we have great memories of Beyond. We had a little chat today about school and I think we have found part of the problem.

threegreatkids, thanks for the link. I am anxiously awaiting my book! A lot of the problems could be ME - wanting school to be perfect and on time everyday, because we all know that the house should be perfectly clean, laundry put away,perfect color coded meals by the time dad gets home. Harried is the way I feel and I bet that is why he would rather work on his hobbies than school!

water2wine, are you kidding? I hate the fact that I have even considered leaving HOD! I even put all the books away and that was painful. I researched all the popular and unpopular curriculums and none of them came close to what we have already accomplished with HOD. I am not giving up...

So after chatting with my son (for the 100th time) about school, I realized that he does not want to do school because he only gets one hour of computer time after school. Plus when he is grounded he always has to give up computer time, which he has explained that he really needs for the "work" he has to do in learning about Hurricanes and planning trips for us to go on. WHAT? THAT''s it? OK maybe I wasn't paying attention before...

Thank you ladies, for helping me think this through. I will eventually come up with a workable plan. Need to have a few more family chats!

water2wine
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by water2wine » Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:33 pm

Dorla wrote:\
water2wine, are you kidding? I hate the fact that I have even considered leaving HOD! I even put all the books away and that was painful. I researched all the popular and unpopular curriculums and none of them came close to what we have already accomplished with HOD. I am not giving up...
Whew! That is good because we were going to have to hunt you down! :lol: We planning on hsing with you for a while! :wink:
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
~Six lovies from God~4 by blessing of adoption
-MTMM (HS), Rev to Rev, CTC, DITHR
We LOVED LHFHG/Beyond/Bigger/Preparing/CTC/RTR/Rev to Rev (HS)

Tansy
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by Tansy » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:23 am

I had pile of trouble with my dd1 but I did eventually place her in a charter school and we have a neuro-developmental therapist working with her. Things are improving with our RAD issues. Maybe in one year I could bring her back to HS. I am HS the younger one who is loving it.

A few things that work in our house. The ridiculous time outs. they get grace chips. like 2-3 then each uncooperative moment they have to give one up. When they run out of chips they get a 20 min time out. the next transgression is a 40 min time out. The next is a 60 min time out. Its just keeps going up. My dd1 is home on school break. The first day she was horrible she lost both of her chips before breakfast, and spent 4 hours total in time out that day. She just wanted to see if Mom really would stick to her discipline during vacation. Ever since then she has been so good! I recommend this technique to my friend she was having a terrible time with her 8 year old. She called me 2 weeks later to tell me I had changed her life. Her boys no longer bickered the eldest no longer behaved badly and provoked the little one. And she only used a 10 min building time out! It works and it works quickly. Typically within one week with this form of discipline, the behavior issues disappear, the child chooses to control themselves than sit for extended periods of time.

The other thing I use is a reward stamp. I draw up a page of 50 boxes. For each box we do, she gets a stamp. When the page is full she gets up to a 3$ treat. For example a visit to yogurtland, bubble tea, or 3$... when DD2 decided to buy the playmoblie princess castle (to the tune of 140$) she just took the money. But now that she has that, its back to bubble tea. Might I suggest a big reward for your computer mapper? say one of those inexpensive net books... block out school time, and if he successfully flies though school each day within your time frame he gets points toward the computer. If he finishes school early I would give him extra time on the computer. I would load the computer up with massive parental controls tho. I find the reward stamps really help motivate me, I don't want to gyp my child out of her stamp and filling up the her sheet. I find myself really doing all the pieces of the program to make sure she gets maximum stamps so she can achieve her reward.

When school started taking 6 hours a day due to non-compliance it was just awful I know how you feel.
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Carrie
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by Carrie » Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:06 pm

Dorla,

There is so much good advice in this thread! My best tips for how to help younger little guys thrive in Bigger Hearts are in the thread that threegreatkids linked above. So, if you get a chance to peruse that thread, it is so helpful. :D

Another tip is to make sure you're doing most of the grammar orally and that you're doing Rod and Staff 2 and not above that. By doing most of the lesson orally, the entire thing should take 10 minutes. You'll need 5 minutes more if you assign a small portion to be done in writing. You can slow it down if the content is too much, doing a lesson a couple of times a week instead of daily. :D

Another thing that is helpful to do is to set your timer and check how long each subject is taking you within Bigger Hearts. Then, compare it to the times mentioned in the thread linked below. Bigger Hearts typically took us 2 and 1/2 to 3 hours per day to day (including DITHR). So, in comparing your times for each subject area, you may find some that are very out of sync with how much time we intended it to take. Link: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=702

While you can easily meander and take longer on the listed subjects, it's good to remember that boys are pretty much get-it-done and check-it-off learners. While we as women, desperately want boys to "LOVE" school, it's helpful to realize that they are differetnt from girls. They are much more concerned about finishing on-time, no matter how wonderful the activity is! :D

Even boys who are easily distracted are still bothered by school going too late in the day. They still WANT to be done on time, even with all the dawdling they do. So, with boys it's good to move quickly through each part of their day and do less lingering. Be no-nonsense in your approach and cut out whatever the time wasters are. Choose the battles to do, and keep the day moving quickly. You'll notice a huge difference in your child if your time spent on each subject gets shorter and you're consistently done on time. :D

My whole goal is to partner with my kiddos to help them get done with each area on time. My boys enjoy school, but they enjoy their free time even more. If they don't have time in the afternoons to work on their own pursuits, they feel less positive about the school day, no matter how wonderful it was. Just some food for thought. :D

Hope that helps! :D

Blessings,
Carrie

Carrie
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by Carrie » Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:27 pm

Dorla,

I see that I forgot to mention the 4 day a week school plan as being a wonderful option for you as your little guy is on the youngest age range of Bigger. So, I'd definitely consider that as a possibility. Having a light 5th day each week to add in a few areas that are targeted toward your son's interests can be such a fun way to end each week. When we have done a 4 day plan in the past, we've chosen four or so 30 min. "subjects" that fit each kiddo's personality. In that way school on Fridays only took around 2 hours and was filled with topics the kiddos enjoyed. :D

Another thought I had was that it may help to put your little guy's favorite non-school related thing on the school schedule right in the middle of the school day. For example, if Samuel loves computer, you could just schedule 30 min. of his computer time mid-way through the morning. You could also consider adding a 30 min. playtime or recess time in the middle of the school day too. Then, when school is done, Samuel could do his other 30 min. of computer time. By scheduling his favorite non school-related thing right within the school day, it relieves the anxiety that he may not get to do that thing and instead makes it a part of "school". :D Otherwise, if he happens to lose the time to do his favorite thing due to school going too long, or due to an unfavorable attitude, or to not having his work done, etc. he may begin to associate "school" with the "loss of his favorite privileges". :D

When kiddos move up to Bigger Hearts, they are moving out of the K-2 mentality and into the grades 3-5 stage. There is a big change in expectations academically for this grade range and much of the subject matter will be new. So, by keeping a few of the kiddo's favorite things right on the schedule during the school day, it gives them some regularly scheduled down-time, lightens the load, and provides some much-needed enjoyment right within each day. I know this seems like it will extend the school day a bit, but really it is likely time he's spending doing these things daily anyway, so it's really not adding time that you're not already spending within the scope of the day. It's just moving the time around a bit. :wink:

It seems like once my kiddos get to 4th or 5th grade or so, they really are ready to give up any "extras" in their morning schedules in order to be done early by just moving from one school subject to the next. However, prior to that time, they still enjoy having the extras right within their school schedule to break-up the school day (like computer, book on tape, recess, playing with a sibling, etc.).

Just some more things to think about as you ponder. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

my3sons
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Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by my3sons » Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:09 pm

Hi Dorla and hugs from me from chilly SD! I hope you've had a good Christmas. :D I know how much you love your little guy and have his very best interests at heart. You are an excellent mom and homeschool teacher, and you'll be able to work through this, I know. I'm coming late to this thread, and you've already gotten such good advice, so I'll just share about a few things here.
Dorla wrote:He really wants to just do whatever he wants and be free all day, which is great for an unschooling family but I cannot unschool. We normally have school in the morning and then he is free after lunch. He loves to research Hurricanes and plan detailed driving trips all over the world. He is extremely intelligent - but I truly believe he needs guidance. I cannot just let him be all day - but at the same time I want to have a relaxed HOD school
Dorla wrote: So after chatting with my son (for the 100th time) about school, I realized that he does not want to do school because he only gets one hour of computer time after school. Plus when he is grounded he always has to give up computer time, which he has explained that he really needs for the "work" he has to do in learning about Hurricanes and planning trips for us to go on. WHAT? THAT''s it? OK maybe I wasn't paying attention before...
Oh how I understand all of this! You know I've got 3 sons running around here, and while it's not hurricanes or planning driving trips for my sons - they each have things that they are wanting to get to that are in the forefront of their minds. For my oldest, it's physical work - preferably outdoors (i.e. raking, shoveling snow, clearing sticks, making large snow caves, etc.). For my middle ds, it's building things or doing LOUD things - erector sets, RC cars, riding his 3-wheeler, legos, etc. For my little ds, it's anything John Deere - he's almost 3, so I'm sure this will develop in ways I care not to imagine at the moment. :lol: If they feel they are not going to get enough time for these things in any given day, their attitude goes downhill fast. They also would always rather do THEIR things than school things, if given a choice. I believe God designed boys/men that way.

I've been going back and forth thinking about little Samuel here, and I think that if he could go back and forth between school things and the things he's dying to get to you may have a smoother day. Maybe you could clip along and do about an hour of school with him or so, and then have him do a 30 minute computer time, setting the timer and making sure he understood he'd have to be willing to work again after it. Then, you could do another hour of school with him, and set the timer for 30 minutes or so of his research on hurricanes, etc. Then, you could finish with the rest of school and if you clip along and keep to the 3 hours or so BHFHG takes, you'd still be done with school around lunch time even with the breaks. He'd have to understand that during his school work time he'd have to give it his all, have a good attitude, and you'd be clipping along with the plans - so you could work together to accomplish school, which is a necessary thing to do, and yet have his things he loves to do planned in his school day too. HTH! :D

Love in Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
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Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
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Amey
Posts: 131
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Location: Jalisco, Mexico

Re: Trouble with Bigger Hearts...

Post by Amey » Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:53 pm

Thanks for these insightful posts ladies. I always thought lots of breaks in our day was a good thing for my boys, but based on your advice, maybe not :? This is why our days are so long! This week I will be implementing some of these tips! Thanks again girls!
Amey
Missionary Mama in Mexico to Benjamin 02, Averic 04 and Deacon 07 and our first GIRL, Phoebe, born August 16, 2009
using Bigger Hearts for my 2nd grade son, finished Beyond last year for 1st
Come visit our family website! http://www.familyafair.com

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