Update and a question

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jenn in nc
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:36 am

Update and a question

Post by jenn in nc » Sat Apr 18, 2020 8:45 am

Good morning fellow HOD homeschool moms... It's been a long long LONG time since I posted here and I thought it was time for an update.

We've been with HOD for many years. This next year I'll be running several guides and I have to admit I'm a little nervous about it. Next fall we will be running these guides...
  • World History - 16 year old daughter
  • Res to Ref - 14 year old daughter who has significant learning delays but is doing great with CTC right now
  • Bigger Hearts - finishing up with my 11 year old son who has significant learning delays; my nine year old daughter is doing Bigger Hearts as well and for now it seems to be a good combination
  • Little Hearts - planning to probably go half speed with my 6 year old son
There will also be my 3 year old toddler running around and baby #10 is due at the end of July.

Although we've been using and loving HOD for years, I don't feel I've ever been that successful at running four guides at the same time. Three guides seems to be my max.

I'd love any thoughts or tips any of you might want to share.
Jenn, mom to 10

Rice
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:00 am

Re: Update and a question

Post by Rice » Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:44 pm

You can take a peek at my kids in my signature. My biggest hint is to just concentrate on phonics and Storytime with your 6yo! Drop the rest of the guide. If you have an older one who could read the Storytime daily, even better!

I'm to the point (running 3 mostly independent high schoolers, and 2 in RTR and Preparing needing me for about an hour each), that my kids under Preparing get only the 3Rs + Storytime. This has worked well for my 2 in RTR and Preparing - they have both thrived after a background of basically only 3Rs.)

While the guides are WONDERFUL, it is just not practical to be able to run 4 guides/5 students using the full guides.

You can also go through and cover (with sticky notes) the History Projects for your ones in RTR and eventually Preparing that cover skills they have already mastered. Keep things that cover skills they need, or that would really add value to their days (the activities they enjoy, that add to their enjoyment or learning) and drop those that lengthen days, take extra oversight, or feel like busy work based on their special needs. The reason I suggest covering with sticky notes is that then the decision is made ahead of time; there is no negotiation of, "Mom, can I skip this one?", but is a pre-made decision for an academic reason.

I also have all my kids who do dictation do it at the same time every day. At 10:30 I am done with the younger ones and ready to work with my high schoolers, so that's when they all come, study their passage, then pass me their copy. I read a phrase/sentence aloud to each one as they are ready, which usually means I am reading to one while the others are writing. It takes less time for me, and is a good transition time - littles go for snack after; high schoolers work with me on LA and electives.

Blessings,
Rice

DS 18 (GRAD: after WG, 2020)
DD 16 WH w/different lit (DONE:Bigger-WG [-CTC]; Irlen S.)
DS 15 non-HOD @ US1 level (DONE: CTC-WH)
DS 13 Rev2Rev (DONE: LHFHG+Prep-RTR)
DS 10 CTC (DONE: Prep)
DS 9 +
DD 7 Storytime + 3Rs
3yo DS

jenn in nc
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:36 am

Re: Update and a question

Post by jenn in nc » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:29 am

Rice wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:44 pm
I also have all my kids who do dictation do it at the same time every day. At 10:30 I am done with the younger ones and ready to work with my high schoolers, so that's when they all come, study their passage, then pass me their copy. I read a phrase/sentence aloud to each one as they are ready, which usually means I am reading to one while the others are writing. It takes less time for me, and is a good transition time - littles go for snack after; high schoolers work with me on LA and electives.
I love this idea! What a great way to define larger blocks of time, with all the littles earlier, then dictation for everyone (and snack!), and then moving on to the older guys while the younger ones get a break. Do you find that it gets chaotic, with doing them all at once? Do you have them take turns? Next fall I will have four kids who need to do dictation most days.

Thanks for your ideas!
Jenn, mom to 10

jenn in nc
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:36 am

Re: Update and a question

Post by jenn in nc » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:35 am

Rice wrote:
Sat Apr 18, 2020 1:44 pm
My biggest hint is to just concentrate on phonics and Storytime with your 6yo! Drop the rest of the guide. If you have an older one who could read the Storytime daily, even better!

I'm to the point (running 3 mostly independent high schoolers, and 2 in RTR and Preparing needing me for about an hour each), that my kids under Preparing get only the 3Rs + Storytime. This has worked well for my 2 in RTR and Preparing - they have both thrived after a background of basically only 3Rs.)

While the guides are WONDERFUL, it is just not practical to be able to run 4 guides/5 students using the full guides.
I have definitely considered doing this but I'm so torn because I really love the younger guides. Maybe I just need to let that ideal go for this next year. I need to be able to take care of my littles, and be involved with my olders in their "T" boxes especially, but I so much want to be able to do something more than reading lessons and writing and math with my middle kids. Making sure to add in storytime is a great idea and I would feel better about that. But oh how I wish there was a way to do the actual guides too! I'm praying about your advice though because I don't want to ignore the season I'm in... maybe it really is just too much right now. Thank you for responding... I'm thinking it all through.

Jenn
Jenn, mom to 10

Carrie
Site Admin
Posts: 8075
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: Update and a question

Post by Carrie » Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:23 pm

Hello Jenn!

I am so glad that you are getting a chance to talk through options for your busy family! Some great suggestions are already being shared. :D In looking at your line-up of kiddos, I had a few thoughts that may be worth pondering.

First of all, I am not sure how your oldest does with school but would there be any way for that child to do a 30 minute school time with your 6 year old each day? I know my older sister (who has 7 children) had her oldest daughter do this with LHTH with her little one. They had so much fun! It was a great change of pace for her oldest daughter in her day too. They just set the timer for 30 minutes and got as far as they could in 30 min. Then, the next day they picked back up where they left off. If this is a possibility, you could have your oldest do the left side of LHFHG during this 30 minute time with your 6 year old. :D Then, maybe you could do phonics, math, and storytime with your 6 year old? :D

Perhaps you could have your RTR child do a 30 minute playtime with your 3 year old to gain you needed work time with your Bigger Hearts kiddos? I had my older boys do a 30 minute "playtime" with my littlest son when they were in high school. I still have my third and fourth kiddos do a 30 minute recess play break in the basement during school now (and they are a junior in high school and a 7th/8th grader). They both love it and look forward to it!

Another thought I had was that it may work to do a common math work time? We have done this before where the kiddos who need help with math do it in one room, and I moved around to be available to all during math time for any questions. It worked for a season at our house and may work with your Resurrection to Reformation, Bigger Hearts, and Little Hearts kiddos in one group. I put them spread out at varying tables and at our counter and spoke very quietly when helping them so as not to interrupt the others. Any formal teaching of math, I did further away first in a different room so as not to derail them all. :D

We have done this same strategy for grammar and composition in some seasons, teaching grammar first away in a different room and then joining in one group to work on writing and grammar assignments at once with me nearby to help as needed. You could try and see if either of these may work?

Another possibility would be to do just one read-aloud for your RTR and Bigger crew. You could omit the storytime from RTR and read-aloud the Bigger storytime books to all of them. Or, you could consider doing the RTR read-alouds with all instead. :D

Or, depending on your goals for your RTR child, you could consider going half-speed with her for a season as she eases into RTR. That would allow her to have a strong start to RTR, give you more time to work with your Bigger Hearts kiddos, and make sure your 6 year old gets underway in LHFHG. :D

Or maybe you could have a mother's helper come three times a week to do 30 minutes of school with your 6 year old and do 30 minutes of LHTH with your 3 year old? The mother's helper could do studied dictation with all too and maybe grammar too. Straight forward subjects work well for this. The mother's helper could be a new homeschool graduate looking for a few outside hours or an older grandma person. My sisters have each done this for a couple of years in their life during their busiest seasons. Maybe there is no one you know who could do this, or perhaps there is no funding for this, but it may be worth a thought for a season.

Or maybe your husband could do grammar with one set of kiddos at night? Or perhaps he could do one of the read-alouds before bed for Bigger or RTR? Or perhaps you could have your mother, or mother-in-law, or an aunt record the storytime books? I had my mother-in-law record herself reading aloud the storytime books in our early guides for multiple years. She volunteered to do it. I sent her the books and she recorded. My boys loved listening to Grandma Jackie read! :D Plus, I could use the recordings again with my next kiddos coming up!

Anyway, just a few ideas that you could ponder to see if any might work. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

Rice
Posts: 437
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:00 am

Re: Update and a question

Post by Rice » Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:40 pm

jenn in nc wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:29 am
Do you find that it gets chaotic, with doing them all at once? Do you have them take turns? Next fall I will have four kids who need to do dictation most days.
No, I don't find it chaotic, but they do need to learn patience if multiple kids finish writing their phrase at the same time. I just read a phrase/sentence to one (sometimes pointing at them to be clear, especially the ones that are in the same level so might get confused because it's familiar :lol: ), listen to them repeat that sentence (to make sure they heard correctly), then move on to the next. The reality is that while they're all supposed to do it at the same time, bathroom breaks, longer time needed to study the passage, different time needed to write their sentence, and other circumstances mean that usually one is done before the last starts, anyway, so it usually isn't like I'm trying to read 4 passages at the exact same time.

And I know what you mean about missing out with the littles. While I hate that, too, I know they do just fine long term. My guy in RTR did about 30% or less of LHFHG through Bigger, and my guy in Preparing did only about 1/3 of LHFHG and the last 12 units of Bigger completely independently (yes, I handed him the guide and said, "Do what you want."!) before getting to Preparing, and they're both thriving. I know it's not my ideal, but God did not plan for me to burn out when he gave me all these kids, then led me to HOD, so I've learned to let go in some areas.

Blessings,
Rice

DS 18 (GRAD: after WG, 2020)
DD 16 WH w/different lit (DONE:Bigger-WG [-CTC]; Irlen S.)
DS 15 non-HOD @ US1 level (DONE: CTC-WH)
DS 13 Rev2Rev (DONE: LHFHG+Prep-RTR)
DS 10 CTC (DONE: Prep)
DS 9 +
DD 7 Storytime + 3Rs
3yo DS

my3sons
Posts: 10615
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:08 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Update and a question

Post by my3sons » Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:53 pm

Hi Jenn! It is good to have you back here! There are some wonderful ideas shared here! I don’t have a large family, but my life has always been crazy busy with my dh constantly traveling overnights for work and my working in the afternoons, as well as some evenings and weekends at times.

I have done dictation at the same time with multiple children. I put them at different tables in adjacent rooms and popped back and forth. They began by studying, and I began with whatever child was ready first. I also sometimes put them at the big kitchen table on opposite ends and whispered directly in their ear their dictation, so as not to mix up the others. It’s easy and effective to do!
I also taught multiple grammar lessons at the same time, and you can read details about that here…

https://www.heartofdakota.com/blog/2020 ... taneously/

I’ve had a mother helper, who was a wonderful homeschool gal from our church. She came a few afternoons a week, and it was a big help! Sometimes I ran errands, sometimes we co-taught. She’s now married, and I’ve babysat her kiddos! Too fun!
To help with read alouds, here are a few ideas…
https://www.heartofdakota.com/blog/2018 ... schooling/

Or, I like Carrie’s idea of choosing one read-aloud, either BHFHG or RTR?
I’ve also had my oldest help out with teaching the youngers. He actually has thoroughly enjoyed it, and so have my other sons! I always had a ‘play’ time for him to play with each of them separately anyway. He liked the purpose in teaching something as he got older.

I’ve also used half-speed pacing at times. You could start half-speed RTR and then ramp up to full-speed, maybe after Christmas in January.

I love teaching the littles too! I would make time for that and enjoy them. You can always just get as far as you get and pick up where you left off the next day. Forward progress is always good – even if it is at a slower pace.
For my olders, I’ve found we can accomplish much in meeting times…
https://www.heartofdakota.com/blog/2018 ... hool-work/
https://www.heartofdakota.com/blog/2018 ... rk-easier/

Finally, ‘homework’ helps my olders have less to do during the day. In this post, I talk about how I did this with RTR and WH…
https://www.heartofdakota.com/blog/2019 ... d-history/

Please share your thoughts when you get the chance! I do think you can have a great year with some of the ideas from all the ladies in this thread put into motion!

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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