As we are in our busy season with conventions, phone calls, and inquiries on the message board (and families are prayerfully pondering the path that the Lord would have them take this upcoming homeschool year), I felt led to write a series of posts that offer answers to some of our most commonly asked questions. My responses will strive to explain HOD's philosophy behind the answer to each question.
In answering these questions, I also want to share that my educational philosophy has changed much during my 22+ years as a career teacher. Spending 11 years in the public school setting first, then getting my master's degree to be a principal, and finally spending the last 11 years as a home educator has allowed me to view education from almost every angle. I know each of you are on the journey to find the philosophy that fits you too and that your philosophy will also be a work-in-progress. So, I share these thoughts not as "the" right answers, but the answers I've found that make sense to me and my family. We are always fine-tuning our philosophy as we travel the homeschool path, knowing we have never arrived but are always learning.
I hope my thoughts will prove to be food-for-thought for each of you, as you ponder your family's needs and how HOD may fit into your homeschooling journey. I also want to add that this is not my entire educational philosophy, by any means, but only the parts that focus on questions I get asked often that I may not have fully answered previously. We continue to spend much time answering Biblical and character based questions, so you will not find those specifically addressed within this thread. However, I mention this now as I wish for you to keep in mind that to our family the most important focus is upon our Lord and Savior, and He is our guiding light as we write and minister to others.
I wrote these responses for inclusion in the "Reasons Behind HOD's Choices", which will hopefully be of help to families as they ponder using HOD in their homes. While I would deeply love to open each question up to discussion, I am in my busiest writing season right now, leaving me no time to respond further. So, at this point I decided to place the questions and answers on the board in an informational only capacity in the hopes that they will be useful in that capacity.
Question 1: What are we considering, when you ask us which guide your family should use?
Question 2: Why do we ask you to look at the placement chart for each of your individual children when considering the best placement for your family?
Question 3: Why can’t I just place my children in HOD where they would fit next in the history cycle?
Question 4: Why don’t you recommend having children younger than the target age range of the HOD guide simply listen in with the older student’s guide?
Question 5: What would my child be missing out on if I did choose to combine him/her in a guide that doesn’t fit him/her well on the placement chart?
Question 6: How will we be learning as a family, if we do separate guides?
Question 7: How can I get my different-aged children into the same guide, or how do I know if I should try to combine them?