Placement: PHFHG or CTC for a 10 yo newly independent reader and writer?

Pondering Placement

Would you recommend Preparing Hearts or Creation to Christ for a 10 year old who is a newly independent reader and writer?

I’ve been pouring over the HOD Message Board and catalog! My daughter is a 10 year old 4th grader. She’s taken time in becoming independent in reading. Last year, she did really well with Bigger Hearts, but she only made it through Unit 24. She didn’t continue into Preparing Hearts because she was not reading independently. This year, we spent lots of time with intense phonics review and lots of reading. She also completed Singapore 3B, Dictation Level 2, Rod and Staff 3, Writing with Ease, and Level 2 readers. She can read and orally narrate, and she can write about 3-5 very simple sentences. One minute I’m convinced she should be in PHFHG. Then, I switch to CTC! She might not be ready for DITHOR 4/5. I’m very unsure. She’s self-motivated but can be a complainer if she thinks she can’t do something. My worry is the reading!

Carrie’s Reply: Preparing Hearts for His Glory is my placement recommendation.

Thanks so much for sharing about your daughter! With what you’ve shared so far, I’d be inclined to suggest Preparing Hearts for her placement, based mostly upon her reading and writing level. Additionally, CTC is quite a step up in independence, in amount of reading, and in following lengthy written directions. I would be hesitant to put a child who has been a bit of a late bloomer in reading into CTC without first having had that child go through the stepping stones that are built into Preparing Hearts.

I’d recommend DITHR 2/3 along with the Level 3 DITHR Book Pack.

I think that a year in Preparing Hearts would also keep her from being too overwhelmed with the addition of DITHR to her days. With this in mind, I’d lean toward having her do Preparing with DITHR Level 2/3 (if she hasn’t already done it) or 4/5 (if she has already been through DITHR 2/3). I’d also lean toward the Level 3 Book Pack (which actually has a reading level in the range of 3.5-5.1). If you think that is too young, you could move into the 4/5 Book Pack, but I would do that with some hesitation as you want to encourage her to feel good about her reading without overwhelming her.

I’d recommend R & S English 4 at half-speed, Level 3 dictation, and the narration and writing skills planned in Preparing.

I would have her move on into Rod and Staff English 4 at half-speed, spreading each lesson out over 2 days. Then, I’d move onto dictation Level 3 (which is in the Appendix of Preparing). I would move away from Writing with Ease, as you’ll have too much duplication between that program and the writing across the curriculum we do in Preparing Hearts (through guided written narration, oral narration, and dictation). I would make sure to do the writing lessons from the poetry as scheduled in Preparing Hearts to build those writing skills that are not covered elsewhere in our guide or in Rod and Staff. She will also be getting quite a bit of writing instruction through Rod and Staff.

I’d further recommend Singapore 4A, the Deluxe Package of Books for the Newly Independent Reader, and the Science.

She can also move easily into Singapore 4A as that is scheduled in the Preparing Appendix. I would have her do the Deluxe Package with Preparing and the science too. These will be her independent areas and will do a great job of building independence incrementally. In looking down the road at the level of reading, written work, and independence required in CTC and RTR on up, I would definitely encourage you to spend a year heading through Preparing first with your daughter. The leap from completing 2/3 of Bigger and then jumping to CTC would be very huge (without having Preparing in between first).

Blessings,
Carrie

Placement for a Freshman New to HOD Who Struggles with Spelling and Writing

Pondering Placement

Where would you place a freshman new to HOD who struggles with spelling and writing?

This was our first year homeschooling. Spelling has been a constant struggle. No matter what we do, he doesn’t retain it. He reads well for his age (Chuck Black books), especially regarding his spelling struggles. As far as his writing…he can write….it just takes a LOT of effort on both of our parts. I’ve ordered R & S English level 5 for him. I chose not to deal with this until now, as he was unwilling to work on it. But, he finally came to me 2 nights ago and said he needed to learn about adverbs, adjectives, etc., so he could write better. Detoxing my boys from PS has been a much longer process than I anticipated. But, we have also made a lot of progress, so I know he will catch up! So, where would you place a freshman new to HOD with spelling and writing struggles?

Carrie’s Reply: I would be inclined to place him in either Revival to Revolution or Missions to Modern Marvels.

Thanks so much for taking time to share about your son!   It really helps to get a fuller picture of where he is at skill-wise. From what you’ve shared, I think I would be inclined to place him in either Revival to Revolution or Missions to Modern Marvels. This is because placement in HOD is very skill-based. Correct placement makes a huge difference in how successful a child is in his/her guide.

Writing, grammar, literature, and spelling are important skills wound in all subject areas.

Writing, grammar, literature, and spelling are a big part of HOD. This is because these skills are wound within all of the subject areas. Since our guides lean heavily in the Charlotte Mason direction in many areas, it helps so much if your child is comfortable with some of these skills gradually before working into the higher level of version of the skills later. We do want to place your son appropriately in writing, grammar, literature, and spelling to make sure that he gains the needed skills he is ready for in these areas.

I would lean toward doing Revival to Revolution, English 5, DITHOR 6/7/8, and The Exciting World of Creative Writing.

I would encourage you to take a good look at Revival to Revolution and Missions to Modern Marvels. See which would be the best fit in the areas of writing, grammar, literature, and spelling. I’d lean toward having your freshman do Revival to Revolution with the Extension Package and with Rod and Staff English 5 (as scheduled in Rev2Rev). I would recommend using the Drawn into the Heart of Reading Level 6/7/8 Student Book with the Level 7/8 Book Pack. He can also do Level 5 dictation along with The Exciting World of Creative Writing, as scheduled in Revival to Revolution. Your son would also do the Exploration Education Physical Science Advanced Version (which is high school level Physical Science). He would do the inventor study as well. I think this would be a good fit for your freshman.

Thoughts on Government, Fine Arts, Foreign Language, and Bible 

He would need to add something for government (as he wouldn’t get to that in our final two high school guides). As there is a composer study in Rev2Rev, you could add to it to award 1/2 credit in Fine Arts music appreciation. To award this 1/2 credit, you’d need to get to 70 hours. There will already be around 45-50 hours in the study as scheduled in the guide. Then, when your son reaches World History for his senior year, you could do borrow the Government from U.S. History I and put it in place of the Fine Arts elective. So your son would use Rev2Rev as is, except for adding government (possibly adding foreign language study and beefing up the Bible). Suggestions are given in the Rev2Rev for high school thread, if you do decide to go this route.

I think these recommendations would fit your son’s skill level well and still push him in many areas.

The reason I would lean in this direction is that I think it would fit your son’s skill level well and still push him in many areas. The grammar will be daily and significant, while the writing will be more than he is used to as we write across the curriculum all throughout the school day. He would do copywork daily as well in a variety of subjects and do written narrations. The literature study through DITHOR sounds like it will be a new set of skills too, which would be good. We want to solidify those important skills before jumping up into guides that assume these skills are in place.

Looking Ahead to the Following Years

Looking ahead to the following year, he could do MTMM with all of English 6 (as scheduled in MTMM), WWTB II for high school level composition (as scheduled in MTMM), and Drawn into the Heart with either some high school level classics of your own choosing or with a DITHOR Book Pack instead. He would also continue with studied dictation. This Bible in MTMM is credit-worthy, and you would add Economics (and possibly Foreign Language). There is a thread that explains how to do this as well for high school, should you decide to go that route. This guide includes Chemistry, which would need some supplementing. Or, you could borrow IPC for the science from the World Geography guide. As a junior, he would do the World Geography guide as written. As a senior, he would do the World History guide.

This overall plan would give him the needed core credits.

This overall plan would give him the needed American history, government, economics, geography, and world history credits for high school. It would also give him Physical Science, Chemistry, Integrated Physics and Chemistry, and Biology credits with lab for science. It would give him a credit each year in English. Math would need to be at his level each year to earn a credit each year there. That takes care of your core credits of history, science, English, and Math.

This plan would also give him electives.

In Bible, he would earn a full credit two years (from the World Geography and World History Guides) and a 1/2 credit in MTMM. He’d also earn 1/2 credit in logic, 1/2 credit in World Religion & Cultures, 1/2 credit in health, and 1/2 to 1 full credit in Fine Arts, either in music or art appreciation . He would gain 1/2 credit in foreign language in the World Geography and 1/2 credit in foreign language in the World History Guide too. I share this so you can gain a picture that it would be possible to follow this plan for high school and still have your son earn the credits he needs for graduation. If instead, you felt MTMM was a better fit, you could go that route instead for his freshman year. If you have questions as you pursue your options, let us know. We’d be glad to help!

Blessings,
Carrie

 

 

 

 

How should I handle the English credit for MTMM for 9th grade?

Pondering Placement

Question: My daughter will do MTMM as a 9th grader. I have it all figured out, except how should I handle the English credit?

I’ve been mapping out my 12 year old’s progression through Heart of Dakota. She’s in Resurrection to Reformation now. I am confident using Missions to Modern Marvels for 9th grade, except for the English credit. My daughter reads on grade level, but she has to work extra hard to do so. Until this year, I have read all her history, science, and a read aloud to her, while she read mainly historical fiction novels to herself with questions. This year she is reading most of history herself, science by herself, and the DITHOR books herself! She has a hard time with step-by-step directions, which we are working on. She has been apathetic in the past, not caring and only doing j.u.s.t. what was required of her. I just wondered what my options for English credit for MTMM for 9th grade might be?  Thanks in advance!

Carrie’s Reply:

It sounds like your daughter is making good gains this year in RTR. Looking ahead to MTMM’s English credit, you have several good options. To earn English credit you would need to combine the Rod and Staff English level your student is doing (English 6 is scheduled in MTMM, but is very advanced so we typically use it for 8th graders), plus the composition scheduled in MTMM (which is Write with the Best II – and is definitely high school worthy), plus the literature you choose to do. If you desired to keep the guides intact coming up, you would do Drawn into the Heart of Reading for your literature portion. You could use either the level 7/8 book pack or choose harder selections of your own. Either would work for grade 9. Together the grammar/composition/literature would equal one English credit for grade 9.

Or, you could borrow the literature from the guide ahead for another option.

If you borrow the literature from the guide ahead, the only potential problem is you may at times need to borrow the full English credit. This would be to keep needed balance. For MTMM, you could either use the writing program as written and borrow just the literature from World Geography, or if the composition and grammar from World Geography seemed a better fit than the composition and grammar in MTMM, then you could borrow those from World Geography too.  The following year you would borrow the literature from World History. Depending on what you did for composition and grammar the previous year, we would then decide whether to also borrow the grammar and composition from World History or use what was scheduled in World Geography.

You will want to consider how much your daughter is used to reading on her own each day when you make this decision.

One thing that will make a difference in how you handle literature will be how well your student does in this area and whether she is used to reading quite a volume on her own each day. There is quite a difference in volume between what is read for Drawn into the Heart of Reading and what is read for literature in the World Geography guide.  There is also a difference in level of difficulty, vocabulary, and in the level of literary analysis. So, you have several good options for literature for high school English credit!  Either will be fine, so just choose the one that fits your daughter best!

Blessings,
Carrie

Follow-Up Response from Poster…

Thanks for helping me think this part through! I had two main reasons for switching to HOD. I fearfully decided to switch after 7 years with another curriculum. One was because my girls became very passive in their learning with our previous curriculum/style and the. The second reason was their relationship with the Lord. At 7-1/2 weeks in, I will say that both of my older daughters are not as passive, and they are engaging with the material more with HOD’s teaching! I was skeptical when seeing people rave about HOD, but now that we’ve dipped our feet in, I have become one that raves. Even if it is silently to myself, I am elated with how this is working for us. In fact, the girls beg me to switch totally over to HOD (which we will next year in Rev to Rev). Surprisingly, it’s not because it’s easier. On the contrary, it is much more challenging than before. It leads me to believe that the reason they want more is because they are interested and engaged. Bravo!!

Placement Help for a 13 Year Old Son with an Extremely Busy Mom

Pondering Placement

Placement Help for a 13 Year Old Son with an Extremely Busy Mom

We’re new to Heart of Dakota, and I’m trying to place my 13 year old. His reading isn’t super strong. However, he’s not a struggling reader. We’ve had no previous exposure to dictation or narration. I’m an extremely busy mom with a baby on the way in 6 weeks, and I have difficult pregnancies. I have a 3 year old too. I’ll be teaching my 6 year old to read and starting Little Hearts for His Glory. We also live on a ranch with horses and chickens and a lot of responsibilities. We’ve already done some of the Apologia elementary sciences but not Land Animals. So I am wondering with my family dynamics and my son’s ability if starting him with CTC would be right or too easy. I originally wanted to start him with Revival to Revolution but am now thinking that would be way too hard. Help!

Reply: Placement Help for a 13 Year Old Son with an Extremely Busy Mom

I’d be glad to help with placement for your 13 year old son! From what you’ve shared, I would agree that placing him in CTC would be the best fit in pretty much every area. I would lean toward placing him in English 5, as CTC does only the first half of English 5 (with the second half in RTR). You can do much of it orally or on a whiteboard, with just a portion assigned to be done on paper each day. I do think it will be good for him to do Write the Best as scheduled in CTC for writing.

I would recommend Drawn into the Heart of Reading 4/5.

If you haven’t had much in the way of formal literature instruction, I would lean toward using Level 4/5 of Drawn into the Heart of Reading for one year. After that I would bump him up to Level 6/7/8 the following year. Even if you haven’t completed all of Level 4/5, I’d still move him up. Just make sure when you switch to Level 6/7/8, you do the genres you didn’t get to in Level 4/5 first. In that way, he’ll receive a balanced reading experience.

I would recommend doing the science as written in CTC, but add the Biology 101 DVDs.

As far as the science goes, I would lean toward doing it as written in CTC, however you may wish to add something like the Biology 101 DVDs for him to watch on the 5th day of each week, just to raise the content level a bit (since your son will be on the older age range of the guide).

I would recommend adding the CTC Extension Package for your son.

You’ll need the Extension Pack for your son in CTC, but not the Basic Package. This is because of your son’s age, and also because you will be doing another HOD program with a read-aloud already for LHFHG. In that way, you won’t need to do multiple read-alouds each day.

I think your 7 year old might enjoy The Reading Lesson for phonics.

I think you have a good plan coming together! As far as your 7 year old in LHFHG goes, you could consider The Reading Lesson with the downloadable CD for helping him learn to read. It is a good incremental approach and can be done cuddled on the couch in just short sessions each day. The downloadable CD is hugely helpful and entertaining.

I am sorry to hear about your difficulty pregnancies and pray for your babe and for you.

On a sidenote, I’m so sorry for your difficult pregnancies. I have had those too with every pregnancy I’ve had… bedrest and long hospital stays with babies finally coming early around 34-35 weeks (which was always a blessing for me to get that far). I pray for your babe to be here in God’s perfect timing.

Blessings,
Carrie

How can I beef up Bigger for 5th graders so they are ready for CTC?

Pondering Placement

How can I beef up Bigger Hearts for fifth graders so they are ready for Creation to Christ?

We are lovers of Heart of Dakota and completed LHTH, LHFHG and Beyond! However, then we discovered our twins have dyslexia. We had many issues and took a hiatus from HOD. I tried to keep a Charlotte Mason approach but didn’t do so well. We did manage to read aloud Preparing’s history books, most of the science, some read alouds, and a few extensions. I love Carrie’s book selections! Now we are ready for a new chapter. My twins just turned 10 last week and will be in 5th grade. I’m going to put them in Bigger. I am thinking to then skip Preparing. My question is how can I beef up Bigger so we can make a smooth transition into Creation to Christ? I’m so excited to be back. I really need the structure I get with HOD. Otherwise, I feel like a wanderer with no clear direction.

Carrie’s Reply: The easiest way to beef up Bigger is to add the extensions.

Welcome back! It sounds like you have a good plan forming. As I was thinking through some of what you shared, I do think that Bigger sounds like a good placement for your twins. The easiest way to beef up Bigger is to use the Extension readings as assigned in the Appendix. I’d recommend reading those aloud to your kiddos if time permits, since the reading level is likely a barrier for them to read the extension books independently.

You could possibly omit the Storytime books, but then you would definitely need to do DITHR.

You could possibly forego the Storytime books in lieu of the Extension books to add greater depth to the study. However, the Storytime books have excellent literary skills that you would then miss. In this scenario, you would for sure need to do DITHR then, in order to compensate for losing those skills from the Storytime box. I hesitate to suggest this option, as it would benefit your kiddos so much to have the Storytime and follow-up skills as a daily part of their learning.

I would wait to decide what to do next until you are within 8 weeks of finishing Bigger Hearts.

In looking ahead, I would honestly wait until you are within 8 weeks of finishing Bigger to decide what to do next. This is because kiddos grow and change so much in a year’s time. By the end of Bigger, we will have a better idea of whether they should just head into Preparing, or whether they can make the jump to CTC. Even if they need to head into Preparing, doing the guide fully along with the readings will provide a very different experience from simply reading the books aloud. Not to mention it would be a terrific stepping stone for your kiddos to do the “I” boxes in Preparing by reading their own assigned material (which they may be able to do in a year’s time).

Whether you use Preparing or CTC next, your next step after Bigger will be a good one.

Kiddos often like hearing stories more than once, and Preparing is a whirlwind tour through all of world history. There is so much content that it actually would be good to cover it again. So, either way your next step after Bigger will be a good one. For now, I would just settle into Bigger and enjoy the journey. There are so many skills wound within Bigger that I think you will have a good year of growth ahead of your twins.

Blessings,
Carrie