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#1 knitgrl

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:48 AM

Ds is 4. He's going to preschool three days a week, and his teacher says he is doing fine, if not better than some of the other kids in terms of written work. I do some things with him at home, and he does alright and is happy to do some more structured things with me, but his attention span is definitely shorter than either of his sisters. I get that boys are different than girls. I plan on doing a relaxed K with him next year.

 

His younger sister just turned 3. She has a longer attention span than he does, and is actively trying to write (without any prompting from me), and for 3yo, does pretty well at it. The preschool also does nursery school two days a week, and when I signed her up, the teacher asked if I wanted to put her in the nursery or pre-k section. She said there will be a few other kids there that have birthdays close to dd's in the pre-k. Academically, she already knows what would be covered in the nursery school. Emotionally, she is definitely 3 and nothing close to 4.

 

We send our kids to preschool so that they have a chance to play in a group of kids their own age, and hopefully make a friend or two for play dates. It seems like it would be easier later on if ds and dd were closer together for history and science. In my mind, I think of them as being just a year apart. I worry a little about youngest dd outpacing her brother. Am I unfounded in my worry? Thoughts?



#2 beka87

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:15 AM

Would it be a problem if she caught up to/surpassed him in some things?  They needn't worry about grade levels, after all.  He would have his work, she would have hers, and they could have, I would think, lots and lots of combined work (which would be easier for you).  I have two girls that are 22 months apart - so almost two yeas.  But the elder is a young six and the younger is a mature four and I fully expect the younger to catch up to the elder.  I'm looking forward to when I can combine almost everything for the two of them. :)



#3 knitgrl

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:22 AM

I come from a small family. I am unfamiliar with the dynamics of multiple kids as they grow up, much less homeschooling them all. It's why I'm asking.  :001_smile:  I kind of had similar thoughts, but dh worries it may have some negative effect on ds.


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#4 Syllieann

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:37 AM

It’s unlikely that she would outpace him in everything. I think you should just do what seems best today, but be open to change later. My middle child was my youngest talker and earliest writer, but so far she seems to be moving at only an average pace. My youngest, who didn’t say a single word until well past 2 has a vocabulary nearly as large as her and will probably overtake her in math and reading at some point. Meh, we just talk about how people have different strengths. Some people have to work harder at certain things. Don’t forget to praise progress in non-academic areas. Whether it is with siblings, friends, or coworkers, I think it is good to be able to accept different talent sets without labeling one person as inherently better.
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#5 Zoo Keeper

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:05 AM

..nm, edit


Edited by Zoo Keeper, 13 February 2018 - 10:14 PM.


#6 marbel

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:41 AM

My kids are 18 months apart.  They are very uneven when they were little.  The younger (girl) was reading well before the older (boy).  They worked it out.  If he was having trouble reading or spelling something, he'd ask her for help.  She'd ask him for help on other things.  We just always talked about people being different, having different talents, etc.  Heck, they could see that my husband and I had differences; it was never a secret that Dad was much better at math than Mom, but Mom had her own competencies.  :-)   We did history,  literature, science together through high school, but they had their own levels in math and writing.   So it wasn't a big deal for us.  I think this is one of those things every family has to find their own way with. 


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#7 nixpix5

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:43 AM

I have a DD who is 18 months older than her twin siblings. We have gotten to a place recently where they are all about at the same level. Part of this happening was that DD started in a brick and mortar school where she was paced with her peers and her siblings have been homeschooled so they have always gone at their own pace. DD is a better writer but they all are basically reading on the same level and about 5-6 months part currently in math skills. We do all science and history together. Quite honestly it is pretty great because it is like I have a little classroom of three :)

I wouldn't worry about it. They are each going to show strengths and weaknesses as you go and there will be plenty of opportunity to shine.
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#8 Attolia

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:37 AM

I had the exact same situation as you.  DD is 17 months younger than DS.  Yes, she outpaced him.  In elementary I kept them together a good bit.  They shared the same Veritas Self-paced history course.  They did science together. They read the same lit books so we could just discuss together.  She is still far more advanced and academic than him.  It really doesn't seem to bother my two.  DS isn't competitive and really doesn't care that she is ahead of him academically.  Try not to worry about it now.  Their personalities will develop and you will learn what is best as you go.   :grouphug:


Edited by Attolia, 13 February 2018 - 10:37 AM.

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#9 Ms.Ivy

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:40 AM

I have several kids with a close age gap (including twins) and we have learned as a family to celebrate each other's strengths and interests and accept the different rates at which we all develop. It is a good thing to be aware of potentially unhealthy comparisons to siblings. But success and accomplishment doesn't have to be measured by reading speed, spelling abilities, or memorization skills. Homeschooling is a great way to make sure of that.

Edited by Ms.Ivy, 13 February 2018 - 10:41 AM.

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#10 J-rap

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 10:50 AM

I wouldn't worry about it now, but at that age you could easily start them together and just see how it plays out.  My oldest two (also a boy and then a girl) are 17 months apart, and I mostly taught them together.  However, due to their own unique interests and abilities, they slowly branched off as they got older -- one might excel in one topic, and the other might excel in another.  So we'd adjust accordingly.  I don't think I saw a real difference in how they did because one was a boy and the other girl though, as far as academics was concerned. 

 



#11 Targhee

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:30 PM

she may outpace him in some things - do you think there are others she won't, though? For example my middle dd outpaces everyone else in art, even though it is something my oldest loves and is fairly good at too. There's 4.5 years between them even! But oldest will always have more advanced math and Logic skills. Ds outpaces everyone (including me) in music, but we all continue to love and play music. My youngest shows greater potential in athletics than two older siblings. They all learned to read at different ages. I "outpace" my husband in organization and logistical planning, and he "outpaces" me in cool-headed optimism, but we are happily in favor of our differences. My point is we can't nor should we expect everyone to develop evenly or turn out the same.

#12 2_girls_mommy

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:43 PM

Haven't read the others, so sorry if I duplicate something already said. 

 

But my thoughts are: I agree with you on keeping the little in the 3 yr old class for playing now. Finish this year that way. Then if you bring the other home to homeschool for K, you can do it with her at that time, either skipping the 4 yr old class for her, or just doing it once a week or so, or by doing the classwork portion when she is home so that they can do it together. Don't push her. If at some point it is too much writing for her, pair it down, but try to keep them together. It will be easier on you if that does work for awhile, so why not if they are both there. 

 

I have friends that have kept kids around that same age mostly together all the way through high school. My kids are 23 mos apart, and I have kept them together in as much as possible too. They might end up splitting off or doing skills work differently at some point, but I keep the content together as much as possible still. And often when the older was learning skills, the younger was along for the ride and picked up some. Then when I am doing skills with the younger, it is a good review for the older at times too. 


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#13 Targhee

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 12:50 PM

Haven't read the others, so sorry if I duplicate something already said.

But my thoughts are: I agree with you on keeping the little in the 3 yr old class for playing now. Finish this year that way. Then if you bring the other home to homeschool for K, you can do it with her at that time, either skipping the 4 yr old class for her, or just doing it once a week or so, or by doing the classwork portion when she is home so that they can do it together. Don't push her. If at some point it is too much writing for her, pair it down, but try to keep them together. It will be easier on you if that does work for awhile, so why not if they are both there.

I have friends that have kept kids around that same age mostly together all the way through high school. My kids are 23 mos apart, and I have kept them together in as much as possible too. They might end up splitting off or doing skills work differently at some point, but I keep the content together as much as possible still. And often when the older was learning skills, the younger was along for the ride and picked up some. Then when I am doing skills with the younger, it is a good review for the older at times too.

In my response I was so intent on reassuring there's no problem with younger "outpacing" older in some area I didn't actually comment on what I would do. Since you have them in preschool/nursery for social reasons I would let those reasons drive your decisions. I would keep her in nursery. When they are homeschooled you can meet them where they are and at their pace. This is coming from experience with grade acceleration in that began in K for my oldest - she ended up spending 3 years of public school accelerated but they were still not meeting her intellectual needs and she was floundering socially (ADHD made her a bit socially immature). In other words it didn't meet either of her needs. Homeschooling allowed her to soar academically while we sought out the best social contexts for her.

Edited by Targhee, 13 February 2018 - 12:51 PM.


#14 lexi

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 06:10 PM

My kids are 16 months apart. My son is the older of the two. His younger sister has surpassed him in many areas except math. I do some of their schooling separate so that they can work at their own pace. My son doesn’t seem bothered that his sister has passed him. Although I don’t ever Point it out. He’s fairly content to be somewhat lazy right now. I tried to keep them together as much as possible but that’s not always feasible. They do history, science and bible together. Oh and spanish together. But I do most other things separate because they are just not at the same level. And one is a motivated student while the other is not. Lol. I’ve just let them develop at their pace.

#15 shand

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:03 PM

Our kids are 15 months apart and, while we're not in the same position of worrying about our youngest surpassing his sister, we are trying to ensure that he's at a point where he can join her for science/history by finding curriculums for multiple ages. I understand why you would be worried about your oldest being surpassed, but at the same time, I think it could be equally bad if you held your youngest back if she's ready/capable of working at a higher level academically and socially. 



#16 2ndgenhomeschooler

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 07:56 PM

I have four DC ages 13, 11, 10, and 8. I take things year by year. Everyone does their own level of math. DD10 passed DD11 in math a few months ago. I switched DD11 to a different program that suits her better and we just talk about moving up “levels” instead of grades.

All four do Bible, History, and Spanish together. Sometimes I assign a little extra for the oldest, sometimes the youngest just doesn’t catch everything. Next year I’ll probably split the oldest off for history and Spanish or maybe I’ll split oldest two and youngest two.

We did science together until oldest DD started 7th grade; then she started doing her own program. Next year DD11 will be on her own for science.

DD13 hates writing/English and DD11 loves it so I’ve had the two of them together for all english subjects for a couple of years. DD10 has struggled to learn to read so I had the youngest two doing phonics together. We’ll finish the program next week and she’s doing much better. DS8 still needs work so I’ll be splitting them up when we’re done.

All that to say, it’s perfectly fine to do whatever works for your family. :-) Keep them separate for nursery and preschool if that meets your social goals best. When you’re homeschooling you can combine content subjects (history, science etc.) and skill subjects (math, reading, writing) if they’re at the same level. It really saves a lot of time to combine. If their skill level or interests change, or really for any other reason that works best for your family, you can separate them. You can take it year by year and even make changes part way through the year if you need to. Nothing is permanent.

#17 knitgrl

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 09:47 PM

Haven't read the others, so sorry if I duplicate something already said. 

 

But my thoughts are: I agree with you on keeping the little in the 3 yr old class for playing now. Finish this year that way. Then if you bring the other home to homeschool for K, you can do it with her at that time, either skipping the 4 yr old class for her, or just doing it once a week or so, or by doing the classwork portion when she is home so that they can do it together. Don't push her. If at some point it is too much writing for her, pair it down, but try to keep them together. It will be easier on you if that does work for awhile, so why not if they are both there.

 

Ah. Yet another possibility I had not considered.....

 

So what I am hearing is combining them for content subjects should be fine, skills should be separate, and I am probably not going to do irrevocable damage by putting them close together or even at the same level, although it would probably be a good idea to discuss that everybody has different strengths and weaknesses. (Ds definitely has God-given athletic gifts, because goodness knows it's not genetic.) And to know that, like most things homeschooling, there is a good chance it will change at some point down the road. Got it.
 



#18 Skippy

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 09:10 AM

My older children were about this far apart in age. It wasn't long before they were doing all subjects together, and it was great for me to be able to teach them this way. Comparisons between the two weren't really an issue because I didn't make it an issue, meaning I didn't do things like point out differences in their abilities to them.

 

Then naturally, as they got older, they got more independent and separate.

 

When the time comes, it will probably be apparent to you how much you can combine them in different subjects and how that is working for you. You can adjust then as needed.



#19 MerryAtHope

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 05:27 PM

Mine are 2 years apart, and we also did content subjects together for all of elementary and most of junior high. Enjoy!



#20 Sweetpea3829

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 07:48 PM

My children are spaced 11 mos, 16 mos, and 13 mos apart (3 1/2 years from Kid 1 to Kid 4).  

 

The second born is academically accelerated.  The oldest has some cognitive weaknesses and mild delays.  The middle boy (Kid 3) is about average, but he struggles.  And Kid 4 is slightly above average in terms of ability to learn new information.

 

I have Kids 1 and 2 combined for Language Arts.  

 

Kids 1, 3 and 4 combined for math, which is being done at Kid 4s level (turns out, the perfect level for Kids 1 and 3).  

 

All four have been together for science and history until this year.  

 

I say do what works!  And if it makes things a bit easier on you, even better.  



#21 Tsuga

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 08:18 PM

I work really hard to make sure my kids have their own classes and their own groups and their own "things" that they cannot compare each other with. They're pretty competitive so it's really hard to do that! My littlest is the fastest at solving logic problems in the family. If I'd have put her in the same class as DD11, DD11 would have shut down. She is smart enough to realize that her sister is very quick.

 

For this situation, I would ensure she's challenged at home, and keep her with peers in the school.

 

That's my 2c based on my experience though.

 

 

 

They are each going to show strengths and weaknesses as you go and there will be plenty of opportunity to shine. 

 

Sadly, this is not my experience, particularly when one kid just likes school, or one kid is much more extraverted, or much more quick to process things. In those cases, I think it's necessary to cultivate a space for each of them.

 

So I vote keep them in age-oriented classes, particularly as I think most of pre-school should be social-emotional learning and opportunities for new experiences, rather than academics.



#22 Evanthe

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:31 AM

Are you planning to homeschool both of them?  

 

My oldest two (boy and girl) are 13-14 months apart.  Except for one year, I have always combined them in almost everything.  They're even combined in high school for most of their classes.  They've always done everything together (they learned how to ride bikes together, they're taking driver's ed together this fall, they always did the same sports, etc) and they like the competition, I think.  They look like twins - people ask if they're twins.

 

As far as one being more advanced than the other...  The boy definitely lagged far behind the girl in some stuff until late middle school.  Her math skills have always been a gazillion times better than his.  She started reading at 4, he couldn't read fluently until about 9.   :(  That really hurt his self-esteem, so you have to be careful of that.  I don't think I did enough to boost his self-esteem when he was younger (sports has really helped him with self-esteem issues).  By late middle school, he started to catch up and now there are a bunch of things that he's better at than she is (which they think is funny - like I said, they're very competitive).  He's much more mechanical than she is.  He designed and built his own computer, when she can barely figure out how to print things.   :tongue_smilie:

 

Anyway, mine are best friends.  No one seems resentful or anything.  They're looking at the same colleges together and the same career field, too.  So, they'll probably just carpool to school together in a couple of years.  Lol.  

 

And combining them always helped - especially financially.  I just bought their schoolbooks for the fall and they are definitely cheap to homeschool together.  I think I spent more on the 4th grader than I did on the two high schoolers...



#23 Evanthe

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 06:43 AM

I work really hard to make sure my kids have their own classes and their own groups and their own "things" that they cannot compare each other with. They're pretty competitive so it's really hard to do that! My littlest is the fastest at solving logic problems in the family. If I'd have put her in the same class as DD11, DD11 would have shut down. She is smart enough to realize that her sister is very quick.

 

For this situation, I would ensure she's challenged at home, and keep her with peers in the school.

 

That's my 2c based on my experience though.

 

 

Sadly, this is not my experience, particularly when one kid just likes school, or one kid is much more extraverted, or much more quick to process things. In those cases, I think it's necessary to cultivate a space for each of them.

 

So I vote keep them in age-oriented classes, particularly as I think most of pre-school should be social-emotional learning and opportunities for new experiences, rather than academics.

 

I wonder if you have a different dynamic, because you have two girls.  My oldest son and daughter (that are 14 months apart) are best friends and work well together.  BUT...dd16 and dd13 can not do anything together without dd16 controlling dd13 and hurting her feelings.  I keep all of their classes/activities/etc separate.  I noticed dd16 doesn't do that with my youngest daughter (sorry, I have 5 kids, so this story is confusing).  She only does it to her sister closest in age to her...  



#24 knitgrl

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 08:23 AM

Are you planning to homeschool both of them?  

 

My oldest two (boy and girl) are 13-14 months apart.  Except for one year, I have always combined them in almost everything.  They're even combined in high school for most of their classes.  They've always done everything together (they learned how to ride bikes together, they're taking driver's ed together this fall, they always did the same sports, etc) and they like the competition, I think.  They look like twins - people ask if they're twins.

 

As far as one being more advanced than the other...  The boy definitely lagged far behind the girl in some stuff until late middle school.  Her math skills have always been a gazillion times better than his.  She started reading at 4, he couldn't read fluently until about 9.   :(  That really hurt his self-esteem, so you have to be careful of that.  I don't think I did enough to boost his self-esteem when he was younger (sports has really helped him with self-esteem issues).  By late middle school, he started to catch up and now there are a bunch of things that he's better at than she is (which they think is funny - like I said, they're very competitive).  He's much more mechanical than she is.  He designed and built his own computer, when she can barely figure out how to print things.   :tongue_smilie:

 

Anyway, mine are best friends.  No one seems resentful or anything.  They're looking at the same colleges together and the same career field, too.  So, they'll probably just carpool to school together in a couple of years.  Lol.  

 

And combining them always helped - especially financially.  I just bought their schoolbooks for the fall and they are definitely cheap to homeschool together.  I think I spent more on the 4th grader than I did on the two high schoolers...

 

I do plan on homeschooling all of them. Dd, the first one to be homeschooled, has been really easy because she is generally compliant and loves worksheets. As the other two have very different personalities from their big sister, I am trying to prepare mentally and logistically, because in a number of ways I know it's going to be a whole other thing than what it has been.