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Different Kids, Different Curriculums


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I've searched and can't find a topic directly related to this, so if you know of one, please let me know.

Do any of you use different curriculum at the same time with different kids?

For example, I think my oldest will do well with a CM learning style, but number 2 would LOVE Oak Meadow and I have no idea about DD 3 yet.

 

Have you tried it? Did it work? Thoughts?

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Hm, kind of. I come at teaching both kids from the same philosophy of classical/project-based, but the curriculum I use to achieve that end is different for each child.

 

For example, ds 1 is a VSL, hands-on and top down learner, but he is also very much "just the facts". For him OPGTR worked pretty well with a phonics workbook as well as straight MM. He just wanted to get his work done and get back to building his own projects.

 

Ds 2 is a more creative, games-oriented learner. Within the classical umbrella, AAR & Singapore with their color & games & puppets have been a better fit for him.

 

I tend to have similar goals for where I would like them to end up, but the methods or specific curriculum may change with each learner's preferences.

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My boys are over 7 years apart, my youngest is 5. So far everything I've used with his older brother, that he loved, has sunk with the younger one! I used a set of phonics tapes to help my oldest with reading. worked great. My youngest asked me to throw them out- "I hate her voice". I've learned quickly that since they are so different, their learning styles need to be too. This has made a world of a difference! And our days are going much smoother. :)

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My twins use different math and spelling approaches. We do the same things for history, science and some other things though.

 

I think there can be a lot of benefits to having siblings on different paths. It lessens the sense of competition, for example. However, depending on how many kids you have, I could see that it could be hard on the parent as well.

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I think I would go crazy if I tried to do completely different approaches with each child. My two learned to read very differently and so I needed to accomodate that, but imo a successful homeschool is not *only* what works for the kids, it needs to work for the instructing parent(s), too. I have to be true to my own style, too, or I am not going to be homeschooling very long, ykwim. This is why I couldn't use RightStart even though one of my kids would have loved it.

 

That said, I think there is a lot of overlap between Oak Meadow and CM styles and you don't necessarily have to pick one or the other. They can work together or pick one to use with appropriate mods for different kids, and yourself. :)

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I think using different things for skill subjects is no biggie at all. Necessary even sometimes. Using different things for content subjects would drive me batty. Honestly, with three kids, I can't even see how it would be possible to do it, let alone do it well (in the early years at least, when the kids are fairly dependent on me for direct instruction). There are only 24 hours in a day! We all study the same content together. I find it easy and practical to adjust reading and modify expectations for output according to age and personality. One kid can keep a Waldorf style notebook for science while another keeps a "just the facts, ma'am" science notebook on graph paper, for example. Keeping the kids together for content makes my job easier. Plus, it gives them a common topic for discussion, which I think is important, because they are not going to get that anywhere else and, frankly, Mom gets boring and predictable after a while. Working on the same content fosters a sense of camaraderie. Makes for lively family dinners too. :D

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Yes, my kids use almost entirely different curriculums, but they're a full three grades apart (and even further apart in math). It would be a challenge to combine them in anything, so I don't even try. DD is my Oak Meadow/ Sonlight kid. She's finally enjoying science now that I've stopped having her use her brother's old science programs and there's no way she could do the math that he uses. They're just too different.

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My kids are almost six years apart in age, they have vastly different learning styles, and they excel at different subjects. I approach both classically but their curricula has been different, it has to be. I haven't used any of the same core subject curricula with either. Although we use the same science and history spines, DS12 has extra history he does for pure love the subject and so he can go deeper, while DS7 has extra science and math classes he takes for the same reason.

 

I agree that separate curricula also helps avoid competition. DS7 is rapidly approaching his older brother's skill level in math, and I expect he will move ahead of him in a couple of years. Hopefully using different curriculum will help ease any sting. Heck, they've both already surpassed me!

 

I'm lucky that there is a large gap between my kids, though. My eldest was moving into mostly independent work when it became time to begin HSing younger, so I never had the stress of trying to teach two that needed all my help at the same time. We planned the age gap for college purposes (hopefully only one in college at a time), but it has paid off in homeschooling, too.

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My kids are same age, but very different. For core subjects (math, LA), I chose the curriculum that suited each child best. For other subjects (history, science), I used the same program, but implemented it differently. For example, I remember a CK oceanography unit: dd read heart-warming stories like 'Octavia the Octopus' and 'Chester the Crab;' ds made bar graphs of ocean depths and did Janice VanCleave experiments. Both benefitted (I think) from seeing how the other approached the same topic.

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I do use different stuff for Math and Handwriting and Reading instruction. My kids are 2 years apart. DD is light years ahead of the others, Younger DS is very motivated and loves school and is moving to catch up with Older DS. ODS is very smart, but very squirly and doesnt want to settle into school. He also struggles with fine motor skills. He would rather build legos than do anything else. He is also very sensitive. He is noticing that DD is very far ahead and that YDS is catching up and he is has been expressing that he feels dumb. So I am keeping ODS in SM and HWT. As soon as YDS finishes Singapore Earlybird, he will be going into MM and when he finishes the preschool level of HWT he will switch to A Reason for Handwriting. He doesnt seem to need the extra help of HWT. I am hoping that this will elevate some of the comparing a little. As far as phonics, both will do PR 1 after some time in Explode the Code. ODS will start PR 1 this fall and YDS maybe in the spring or the following fall.

 

Of course, this is all tentative, so fingers crossed that it works!

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This is fascinating. Like everything else with HSing it seems, you really have to find the fit that works for you and your family. My DDs are 10 (almost 11), 8, and 5, and they are all so different. I like the idea of picking bits from whatever works.

 

I've always been the kind of mom that will stop mid track walking when I see something interesting and educational and say "HEY, kids, CHECK THIS OUT!" I think that's so much of what learning is about. Just observing. Fortunately, I retained a lot of what I learned from physical science and such, so it's easy...for now. Soon, I know, DD (10) will surpass me. She's my future chemist. Loves the stuff. DD (8) is my artist and crafter. She never tires of painting and clay modeling. DD (5) is my active child. I'm hoping to get her in to try out gymnastics. She is excited to try. Anyway, I can see how sprinkling bits of other learning styles in with a general core can help tailor it to their learning needs.

Keep 'em coming. I love hearing about how everyone does this.

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My older two are very different and are in vastly different educational spots. Oldest is an advanced reader and loves reading about history and science. He also is able to make some big connections. Middle child is still learning to read, and he's so literal still that teaching a lot of history is kind of hard. For now, we're working on differentiating real and imaginary. I can't combine them easily in content subjects right now. If I aim at DS1's level, DS2 will have no clue what's going on. If I aim at DS2's level, DS1 will be bored to tears, and frankly, I pulled him out of school so he wouldn't be held back for other kids. Why then would I do that in my homeschool? So for right now, combining wouldn't help, especially in history. I would still be reading one thing to one child and another thing to another child. I might as well let them do something different. It's less work for me than trying to match up their content subjects.

 

Strangely, while these two are very different learners, I've ended up using the same curricula for their skills subjects. Both are doing well with Singapore math. Both are doing well with Pentime handwriting. I think DS2 will do well with WWE. Grammar is really the big question, but I wouldn't be surprised if R&S worked for him. I'd just use it at grade level for him if needed. Both are also using Sonlight this year, but one is doing US History and the other is classic nursery rhymes and stories from around the world. So they're pretty different. :D

 

I am thinking about combining the kids in history when oldest is 5th and middle is 2nd. If I do that, we'd be doing Ancients with oldest having a different spine. Middle and youngest (K) would do SOTW. There are schedules out there that make it easier to fit SOTW with another spine. We'll see.

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That's my oldest and middle exactly. I have a bigger age difference, but it's pretty much the same. Middle has a huge imagination and is struggling with reading because he would rather make up his own stories. Oldest loves to read and likes straightforward, check the boxes type stuff. He likes to get his work done and get on with his day, while middle likes to tell me a story between every word in the sentence he's reading. <_<

 

 

Yes, mine turns words into cars when he's writing. During math, he sometimes has big, scary numbers that eat the other numbers. I look forward to reading his stories when he's older. :D

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