Juggling different levels

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Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:44 am

Juggling different levels

Unread post by Guatejen »

#1 is 8 and working on a 4th grade level for most of his subjects. Everything has always been quick and easy with him... He loves math, he was reading by 4, and he tested into 6th grade spelling the first year we started spelling.

#2 is 6. She's artistic and creative, but I have to take deep breaths whenever we have a reading lesson... she's going through 1st SLOWLY. She's easily distracted and gets "bored" with reading (she thought she'd learn to read in a day, and so she's been immensely disappointed at how much time this is taking).

#3 is 4. She has a strong leader personality, she's impatient, and she often responds to authority with a bad attitude and disobedience. I tell people that if she decides to be a good student, she'll be my best, but if she decides she doesn't want to be a good student, she'll be my worst. Right now we are working on the basics: obedience with a good attitude and just doing a preschool worksheet or two (trace the lines kind of thing) to introduce her to writing. She's highly intelligent, but wants to work on her own terms.

#4 is almost 3. On his own from watching educational shows, he has learned his letters and most of the sounds. Academically, he reminds me of his big brother. He loves to sit and color and draw while we do school (while his big sister is off making a mess). He also loves to count and add simple facts and often listens to "big school" and surprises me with what he picks up.

#5 is 18 months old. She's a typical toddler. She gets into things but is still small enough for me to strap her down during school when I don't have an older child to "babysit."

#6 is coming in January. All bets are off on the gender, since we were told at one ultrasound that baby is definitely a he, and at another ultrasound that baby is definitely a she...

Now, for my question: #4 seems about ready to start Kindergarten, academically speaking. I'm absolutely NOT starting him, of course, since he's still only 2, almost 3. But I would be willing to start him at 4, when his oldest siblings started (and it was a perfect fit for both! #1 took a year to go through, #2 took 2 years). Next school year he will be 4 (in Oct) and his sister will be 5. I definitely plan to start HER on Kindergarten. I believe he could easily keep up, and perhaps even find it easier than she does. But she's got SUCH a strong personality, I'm afraid it'll be a battle to teach her at all, much less with another sibling... however, she IS very competitive, so perhaps having a brother to try to do better than would motivate her and be good for her?

What would you do and why:

1. Kindergarten with ONLY the strong-willed 5 year old?
2. Kindergarten with BOTH the strong-willed 5 year old AND the little academic-soul 4 year old?
3. Kindergarten with ONLY the academic 4 year old because the 5 year old is determined that she's already a grownup and doesn't need to listen to Mama or do school? (Just kidding... but my, that would be easiest!! Ha!!)
Julie - Staff
Posts: 1046
Joined: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:52 am

Re: Juggling different levels

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

Hello and welcome,
It's been fun to read about your family and your experience as a homeschooler today.

I thought I'd bump up your question by adding a couple of things that we typically recommend.

1. We recommend always teaching reading and math individually. There are many fun activities in K/1st (or your oldest child's program) that siblings might enjoy together, but the actual reading and math lessons are best done one-on-one, even with twins, so that each child can progress at his or her own pace.

2. We generally recommend starting kindergarten when the child is 5 in September, even with a reading child. We look at the whole child, including spiritual development (which we all work on far longer than  academics), emotional readiness (including accepting corrections), and physical maturity (sitting time; small muscle control for writing).  Many children jump ahead in one area or another, especially in areas that involve memorization, but we often hear back from parents in a later year after a child has hit a roadblock in his weaker areas.  Young children may be enthusiastic about grown-up learning, but parents can help children develop enthusiasm for all kinds of learning. K includes character traits that are valuable in learning at home and lifelong.  Even children who are reading will benefit from skills taught in the K program, and there are suggestions for further challenging an advanced reader.
3. Just to explain how K/1st are set up, our kindergarten program allows an entire year for children to become fluent in reading short vowel words.  Reading short vowel words fluently for many months gives a child the foundation needed for success in first grade. Learning God's Story for first grade quickly reviews these skills in the first three weeks of school and then moves on to new skills at a rapid pace. So the placement of a child in kindergarten also affects success in 1st grade and beyond (even affecting the age at graduation from high school!).

I hope some of those are helpful in your decision and look forward to other moms sharing their experiences.

Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Re: Juggling different levels

Unread post by ruthamelia »

Hello- just a few thoughts!

1- it sounds like you have really paid attention to, and therefore know very well, your individual children's strengths, weaknesses, and needs. Knowing that, you are in a good position to make good decisions! I think the Lord will be faithful to guide you to good choices!

2- I have sort of just gone through something similar with my 6 year old and 5 year old, except the younger one is the super strong willed one, not the older. I didn't start them in K at the same time, but the older one hadn't quite finished when the younger one started. Sometimes the younger would join with the older on various activities, but not often. I am glad they didn't do it together, because their needs are so unique that they really couldn't have worked at the same pace, and either one's attitude could easily affect the other.

3- I wonder what people do with twins that have very different personalities?
Kids in school: 15, 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, 4
We have used: K, First, all Investigate years
2018-2019: First, ECC, AHL
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