Siblings - What to do when a younger child passes an older??

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Siblings - What to do when a younger child passes an older??

Unread post by kellybell » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:30 am

Siblings - Occupying speedier kids while slower ones catch up

Sometimes it's difficult to have one child breeze through a subject remembering all, etc. while the next child needs more repetition. On one hand, you don't want to slow down the speedy child but on the other hand you don't want to leave the slower learner in the dust.

Have you considered having the children draw posters, make a play, create a poem (dictated to you, or you help create), etc. the lessons you just learned to keep the older one busy while reinforcing the lesson with the younger one. So, if you just studied Brazil, make a huge rain forest poster with the different layers of the rain forest labeled. Have one child make pictures (or scan from books and cut out) and the other make the background and have them work together to decide that the boa lives up in the tree and the ants parade on the ground. Oooh, those ants give me the willies...

I've found that my two older girls really "get" the Bible stories better than my son, so we often will act out a story so that my girls keep busy while my son "gets it."

Hang in there.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Siblings - What to do when a younger child passes an older??

Unread post by kellybell » Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:10 am

Cathy Goodspeed wrote:I guess my question is, what should I do if my 2nd child starts to pass my 1st one? Should I slow him down? I can't speed her up. So, I would love any insight in this.

I know they will be doing the same with ECC, but what about spelling, WS, math, etc. Those subjects are more on the individual level.

Anyway, I would love any feed back. Thank you all,
Hi Cathy!

I've got similar issues with our two oldest. One thing that's helped us (and something the Christian and public schools can't easily do) is to pick two different programs for math, spelling, language, or other subjects.

Another thing that has helped us a lot (and I'm sure you are doing) is an emphasis on God making each of us "just right." God gives us just what we need to succeed in the life He's planned for us. So, one child might have an exceptional understanding of science but just doesn't "get" literature studies. That child is equipped for his special life. Another child can spell wonderfully but struggles with math. That child is also properly equipped. Candid conversations of how God made us all uniquely and some of us sail through certain things while others struggle. Of course, this must be balanced with a "whatever you do, work at it with all your heart."

And, finally be thankful they are at home. When a child is in a class of 20 or more students, this problem is amplified and harder to handle in a caring way. The students in the "gold" reading group might easily think better of themselves than they should. The students in the "brown" reading group are crushed by their struggles.

Let us know what you decide to do...
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Unread post by kellybell » Fri Jun 30, 2006 7:22 am

Another thing I thought of to minimize the comparisons at home...

Look for products that encourage self-improvement without competition. For example, we use Quarter Mile Math. In that, the kids compete against their previous times. The kids have their own accounts so they don't see how their sisters/brother did on the drill. Quarter Mile is a math drill. If you decide on things like flash cards or math windows, then do it privately (ie. so the other kids aren't listening in) and record the scores or times privately too.

Another help is to start outside activities such as music or art or sports at different times or to start different activities. One child might want to paint, the other might try the piano. One plays soccer and the other swim. We started our two older girls on violin at the exact same time. Perhaps we shouldn't have done that...

Seeing that you care enough to post about this topic, I know you are on your knees to God about it too! I'm sure that your goal in this is to not squash any of your children's spirits and to have them work at their own unique "excellent" level, even if each child's excellent is different.

Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Cathy Goodspeed
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Unread post by Cathy Goodspeed » Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:00 am

Thanks Kelly. I'm seeing that if I don't make an issue, then they shouldn't "see" an issue. Also, there are not a lot of "tests" to be done every week that says you are an A, or B, or D. That was always very disappointing to the children.

Thanks so much.

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Unread post by Fly2Peace » Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:17 am

Also, even if you are using the same program (ECC), vary the assignments... so one might do a book report orally, another a lapbook on the same topic. Not as easy to compare and compete.

Keep a balance to the studies though, and don't always play to their strengths. Someone was sharing about how when the boss requests a presentation for a group of potential customers, you can't just say, well, I will submit a written report for their review, and on the other hand, when he requests a written report, you can't say, how about I give you a power point presentation Thursday?
Fly2Peace (versus flying to pieces)

Sue in MN

Unread post by Sue in MN » Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:32 am

Sometimes a younger one does pass an older one and you just have to let it happen. I have a dear friend who began teaching her two oldest dds together. They were less than a year apart. Before too long the younger one was ahead. It ended that the younger one graduated two years early and the older one graduated at the normal time. They are now both in college and doing fine and are even friends still.

Just teach your dc at whatever level they are and let them bloom how God made them. I do agree that choosing different curriculum for them helps with not having unhealthy competition.

Cathy Goodspeed
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Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:33 pm

Unread post by Cathy Goodspeed » Sat Jul 01, 2006 10:10 am

Thank you all for the encouraging words.

MFW and this message board have been a breath of fresh air. Helping me to keep my perspective ( I want my children to get to Heaven, not Harvard :>) I think I heard that on this board somewhere.

And to love them, not just pushing the curriculum.

Thanks again so much!!

In Christ,

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Unread post by momof7 » Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:34 pm

I had a 9 year-old who was advanced, a 10 year-old who was average, and a 11 year-old who was slowww. I have them all doing the same level of a computerized math program that they think is fun. It covers mostly math concepts. Then the 11 year-old can work on his computing, and do the cocepts for fun, so they are all moving ahead. I don't think slowing one down is a good idea. I was a high acheiver, so I know that staying with the group can be torture!
7 children, ages 1, 4, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13.
6 yo has CP,
12 yo has LD.
6 boys and 1 girl.

Cathy Goodspeed
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Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 12:33 pm

Unread post by Cathy Goodspeed » Fri Jul 21, 2006 12:51 am

I agree that I don't want to slow one down. When I was using our previous program, I didn't know how to let one "go ahead". But with this curriculum, they pretty much go at their own pace. I love it, and so do my children (we already started since we couldn't wait :>)
Thank you for the encouragement.

Mother to 6 (3m, 3,5,7,9,10)

Amy in NC
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ECC with 8yo boy & 7yo girl

Unread post by Amy in NC » Wed May 28, 2008 11:49 pm

overholt wrote:I have an extremely competitive 8 year old boy, and a much quicker at school work 7 year old girl. We are doing ECC together and I love that I only have to teach one thing for the most part, but she is done way before he is. It's frustrating to him, but I don't want to frustrate her and give her more work to do. Should I cut part of his work, or give her more? He does have some focus issues and gets distracted easily, and if that becomes a major problem, we move on and I have him come back to it later. I want them both to get the most they can out of this curriculum and they love the geography. I just need help with the competition and timing part.
Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 8:59 am

I'm doing ECC this year with dd9 & dd7.5. I would do the continent packets as a group with those ages. At these ages I believe they are meant to introduce research techniques to your children.

You probably know this, but I hope some of it helps.

Julie in MN
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Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed May 28, 2008 11:51 pm

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:25 am

I really like Amy's idea about doing things as a family at that age.

Also, I am wondering if the problem is that she is done first because she seems "smarter," or is the problem that she is done first and gets to go play before he does?

What does she "get to do" when she is done? At my house, school lasts until a certain time of day (at least in elementary school). If ds is done with regular schoolwork, he gets to do "fun school," but he is still to do things I deem to have educational value during school hours. This helped prevent the rush-through-it-carelessly-and-go-play syndrome (which he had very badly in public school).

(We have a famous mega-discussion about afternoons in the archives. Start with those ideas--not just mine, but I did, ahem, go on & on LOL...

Also, if my ds is *not* done with his regular schoolwork, he still gets "out of school" by a certain time every day. That way, he can see there is an end & school will not go on "forever" even if he's having a hard time with something. (Well, very, very rarely he has to finish something later in the day because of character issues.)

Just some thoughts,

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Unread post by Lucy » Wed May 28, 2008 11:52 pm

Posted: Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:01 pm

I just wanted to also remind you that both of your kids will come back and do ECC again when they are in 7th and 8th grade.

The TM suggest to only have a 3rd grader do a few of the packet pages so feel free to pick a few each time and as has been suggested work on them with your kids together. I know this is a side thought from your original concern but I thought it was worth mentioning.


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