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Missing the plan


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I have been hsing for 12 years and have used SL, HOD, and MFW. They are all excellent, but this year I found that none fit us in this season. I have specific books that I want my oldest to read and I want him to have some freedom to read things he wants to read. When he has all of the assigned reading, he doesn't read for pleasure which I think is important. My next ds is just learning to enjoy reading and I don't want to bog him down with assigned reading.


I want to keep my kids together for history so I am using TruthQuest. I do like the guide and the book list, but our library doesn't have but a handful of the books. I purchased a couple of the spines and have been reading them aloud, then assigning some other reading or book basket time with science or history related books. I am finding that I have the same problem that I was having with MFW; the spines are over my younger two dc heads. Also, while I love the idea of TQ, I am having a hard time getting it done. With no schedule or plan, I lose motivation.


We used MFW RtR last year and I had purchased Exp.-1850 for this year, but I wanted a different Bible study for my oldest. There are books that I want him to read this year that I feel will help him to grow spiritually. While I want the ease and family experience of reading history together, it just doesn't seem to work like I think it should. It did for a while, but as my oldest has hit his teens, he seems to get more out of it if he reads or listens on his own then we discuss. The younger two don't seem to listen at all and I think it is because the books are too mature. I also want all of the shared family learning such as doing maps together, cooking, projects, etc. But, again, it just doesn't seem to meet everyone's needs. I have a hard time giving this idea up though because I want that family learning style.


I also wanted to choose our read alouds this year, but once again, I am finding that I choose books that my younger two can enjoy and really get, but they are babyish and don't challenge my oldest.


I am thinking that they have just reached ages that combining isn't going to work any more. I thought TQ would solve this issue because I can read the commentary and a spine and then select books for them at their own levels. But, I miss having a plan.


I have been looking the HOD site and it calls to me. I would have to run two guides and I had a hard time doing that in the past. It is part of why I left HOD. But, I love how everything is written so clearly to the student. Exact step by step instructions for each thing. I write out a list for my dc, but HOD has clear steps such as what to write and where. I like most of the books in the levels that my kids would place, but I then start to think of the books that I want them to get to this year. When I remember our HOD life before, it seemed that things were so full that we never got to extras. I know my oldest didn't read for pleasure. Yet, I have great memories of what we did read.


I don't know what advice I want. I wish I could select all of the books that I want to study this year, send them to Carrie, and have her send me back a guide for each kid. Or, perhaps I just need to sit down and do it myself, but I get overwhelmed with it all. I just wish there was a way to have the ease of an open and go curriculum that comes in a box with all of the books and specific instructions written to the dc, yet uses the curricula and books that I want.

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What if your oldest does HOD Revival to Revolution independently and something like BF Early American (super super sweet and super easy) for the youngers? BF tells you to make coloring pages out of the D'Aulaire books. My kids LOVED that year. This keeps your kids at the same time period and I think is fairly easy to implement. HTH!

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I sat down over the weekend and made out a plan for this week for my oldest and I did feel better, until I looked at the HOD site again. Then someone went and listed Revival to Revolution on the for sale forums. ARGH!


I really felt led to go it on my own this year. It is just so tempting to have it all planned out. I guess the answer is for me to sit down and get plans made out for the year. I have never done that before. I typically just do the next thing for things that are not scheduled. That works for math, but when I am working out EVERYTHING on my own, I think I need to get it all out on paper. Otherwise, I lack focus and direction and then nothing gets accomplished.


I am still looking at the HOD site though. I need to stay away and remind myself of the reasons I decided to do this on my own this year.


Perhaps HOD is a solution for next year.

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I'm not sure of the ages of your kids, but some things I've found:


My oldest wanted to read on his own when he entered 8th grade, even though he and his sister are close in age (2 years) and have always studied together. I think at some point it's just easier to let an older student become more independent for subjects. I still do read-alouds at night, but what you can do may depend in part on the ages of your students. I've found a lot of Sonlight books even in the younger years are still interesting to teens and adults, so I wouldn't necessarily shy away from books that match your younger children's needs too, I just wouldn't expect those books to be your son's main lit books for the year.


Truthquest was a bit too unstructured for me as well. I'd rather have a plan to follow and then tweak or take rabbit trails as I want to, than to come up with the whole plan myself. Even when I'm making my own plan, I'm pulling from other resources that have it all planned out and just adjusting to fit our needs.


If you do decide to come up with a yearly plan, rather than do a daily plan, I'd encourage you to consider estimating how long it will take you or your students to read a book, list the books in order, and put a week # for approximately when you'll start each book. Then, list a few optional books at the bottom. This way, it's easy to drop a book without throwing off your whole plan, and you have a list to choose from that's not overwhelming if you or your kids go through a book faster than planned. Sonlight has a weekly plan like this at the front of their IG's, and it's much easier for me to follow than a daily plan--seems less rigid somehow I guess!


I think you'd have more success doing cooking projects together than mapping exercises, if you have a big age spread. But you may still be able to do the mapping together, just give the younger ones less details to note on their maps.


Just some thoughts, I hope you find what works for you! Merry :-)

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