Thinking of doing Little Hearts over two years...

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Thinking of doing Little Hearts over two years...

Post by momof4 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 8:53 am

I need some advice from all you veterans out there.

Let me start with what we are doing now. We alternate days with K math and Reading Made Easy. We do Little Hands everyday. We tried doing all 3 on the sameday and I just could not get him do focus that long. This new schedule is working great and we may be halfway done with K math by the end of this year and not quite halfway with Reading Made Easy.

Now, I know what some will say, "He's just a 5 year old boy." I would agree but I've had people come right out and ask if he has been tested for ADD or ADHD yet. It does seem like there is more to his energy level than just being a boy. My husband and both think he would be miserable in a classroom next year.

I REALLY like Little Hearts, but IF we were to start it tomorrow I don't think he could switch that many times in one day (9 boxes) no matter how short each one is. We would all be in tears. I know this could change by Fall, but I'm trying to feel comfortable with where we are going.

So now, my question, I read on this forum several times that some spread this out over more than a year. How specifically do you do this? I've read one page a day, but I do want to finish K math and phonics next year.

Looking at the manual, I'm thinking of doing the math and phonics 3 times a week with fun things for each mix in between. So each day we would spend about 1/2 hour on each of these. Each day we would do 1/2 of the remaining Little Hearts boxes (about 3 boxes a day). This would be about another 1/2 hour. This means we would do the history, science and Bible over 2 years and the second year we would do 1st grade math and 1st grade LA. Does this make sense?

Hope this wasn't too long.
dd's 22, 17
ds 9 - Bigger
dd 5 - LHFHG


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Post by netpea » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:14 am

I have naturally stretched out all our a programs a bit because we just have days where we don't get to everything but I haven't stretched one out to 2 years so some of the other Ladies will have to tell you about that.

But, tell us a bit more. If you keep going at your current pace, when do you expect to finish LHTH?

When did your son turn 5? I would say it's much too early to suspect attention issues. Some children are naturally more bouncy than others, I have one of those too.

Even 6months can make a huge difference in a child. If you're not looking to start Little Hearts until Fall, he might be ready then. If not, maybe you could work with him with other materials until he was ready to start Little Hearts? He may surprise you. :wink:

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Post by momof4 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:42 am

We plan to finish LHTH this Spring. We really love it! We used this year as a trial run to see if we could work together and if homeschooling would be an option. We would start Little Hearts in the Fall.

He turned 5 the beginning of Jan. I know even from Sept when we started he has improved so I agree by Fall he may be able fine, but I have noticed that if I'm not sitting with him the entire time he is off in his own world and I can't tell if he did what I asked him or not. Like a dot to dot. He can do them up to 50, but if you don't watch him you can't tell what he was doing when you come back. I'm just afraid his teacher will think he doesn't know the material when he can easily do it.

I would like to plan for a slow pace and if it ends up too slow we can always move faster. Like math this year. I hadn't planned on K math, but he is doing it no problem. Phonics is a little slower, but he is wanting it and doing it. He does the Reading Made Easy lessons and is starting to read the Bob Books someone suggested to me a while back. So it seems like it's just how much his attention span can handle.

dd's 22, 17
ds 9 - Bigger
dd 5 - LHFHG

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Post by water2wine » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:31 am

I agree with the time making a difference and even if in that you do not get to where he can handle the whole two sides maybe start out with one side a day until that is what works for you. I think if you go needed to take one year to do just one side a day the second year you would probably get to two side a day. But honestly this is a time for learning how to do school and if you have attention issues then it may take longer to find how that works for you. I would not worry about if that has you stretching something out or starting the next program mid year. We run our year by Math and Language Arts. The rest of what they are learning is all cyclical so how can you really pick a level anyway. :roll:

I also wanted to say as a mom with a special needs child, and another that is highly detractable, if you have a child that does not fit into the public school mold you will have a child that does not get taught. :shock: And it will take you several painful years to admit that to yourself (at least for me it did). I am so glad for you that you and your husband see that. But just know it takes a little time to learn how to do school when they learn a little differently and give yourself time to find your groove.

You picked a great curriculum for kids that have hard times focusing. The box thing will end up being your best friend for that reason. You can run it however works for your child and you need that. Also you need something that will engage them. This is the perfect curriculum for all of that. And my hat is off to you for seeing ahead hsing would be best and for doing such a great job choosing a wonderful program for your child. You're going to love it! :D
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
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Post by peridot » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:36 am


My middle child will be 5 on Feb 6th. When we start LHFHG in August, I plan on just doing one page a day. We will do math and phonics everyday though. She can still sit in on more history and science with my oldest that will be doing Bigger. I just want her to be REALLY ready for Beyond. I think of Beyond as more of a 2nd grade curriulum so that is why I will be stretching LHFHG. I could be wrong, so we will see how it goes. :) I have not used any of the curriculum YET, so you may want to take what I say with a grain of salt! :lol:

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Post by mom2boys030507 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:11 am

Sure you can stretch it out over 2 years if you want to. Little Hearts will work as a K or 1st or combined curriculum.

I know you are nervous about the 9 boxes but I am not finding that to be an issue with my over active guy. We spread the 9 boxes out through the day. We do History most mornings along with the activity following. Then we do music later so that he can get wiggles out. Then we work on Math or Writing. After lunch and quiet time we finish Math or Writing, Read the Read aloud and work on Phonics. We don't do the boxes in the same order every day or even do school every day. I am planning on schooling year round as my husband works year round and that is part of our routine when he is at work. We have gotten half way through Little Hearts since the beginning of Aug. I expect we will be done by the end of June.

I guess my whole point of this is to say that wiggly little boys do great with this curriculum because it is so easy to break up and do through out the day or to carry over to another day if it is just not working one day.
Karen - mom to Bryce 02/03, Micah 03/05, and Matthew 05/07

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Post by blessedmomof4 » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:47 am

My 4th grader (also a January birthday, by the way) was much like you describe your little guy at that age. I soon discovered if I was to read anything aloud to her, she HAD to be moving IN ORDER to focus. If I made her sit still during a story, she had no idea what I said a moment ago, but if I let her walk around, hang upside down from the sofa, etc, she could tell back the whole story :shock: I put her in gymnastics, and it really helped her focus (she's pretty good at it, too!)
Even now, she needs something in her hands, at least, during read-aloud time to help her concentrate. She also does far better in math with hands-on examples and simple pictures with NO other items on the page and not too much repetition.
You might just have a kinesthetic learner there. :)
Oh, and I agree, if he needs it, stretching out the Little Hearts program should be fine as it is good for multiple grades, it's not like he'd be behind or anything, and you could keep on as you are with phonics and math.
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Post by Tansy » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:38 am

I just wanted to share some observations in my life.
When I was a wee little girl I was labeled Hyperactive.
In the 70's my mom was told about this drug called ridilin (sp?) it would make me more tractable and let me focus better.
My Mom said "thanks but no thanks." instead she pulled all processed food out of my diet. My problem disappeared. Not wanting to stay away from all processed food she added them back in one by one. till bingo Red jello, red koo-aid, red anything... suddenly I was bouncing off the walls. so no Red dye for me. In college I drank red kool-aid to stay up all night. Now I do have LD, but these were not discovered till much later.

Now another true story to tell ya.
After 3 years of speech therapy My dd was at minimum 6 months behind her peers. Highly distractible, many many signs of hyper-activity ADHD or ADD and even autisim. After reading a book on autism and finding a one page excerpt on a milk addiction. It was like reading a discription of my child. I though hey can't hurt to try cutting out all dairy. My dd at the time would drink a gallon of milk in a day if you let her.
I talked to the speech therapist and my kids Dr. I wanted to make sure any change was trackable. We cut out milk in Mid-December. In early January My hubby and I went to India for 3 weeks. My dd went to speech therapy 2x a week but the lady watching her did not do the In-home work. (She was just too swamped cause her family was moving overseas 2 weeks after we would be coming back.) I came back and was really sick they stuck me in the hospital. While I was in the hospital they, graduated my child out of speech therapy cause she no longer needed it. 6 weeks of no dairy my child progressed over 6 months in her language skills, while getting minimal therapy. The speech therapist was floored and my Dr was amazed at the change in my dd. If she gets cheese well the hands flap and she mixes up her words.

ok one last one my nephew, his Mom was a Box cook you know hamburger helper tonight, suddenly salad the next. Her son, sweet boy but no emotional control. He was so very out of control some times it was scary. He's allergic to corn and soy. When she found that out she learned a whole new way to cook. She got rid of all the corn and soy in his life. I found corn syrup free candy and became his favorite Aunti for a few months. :-) I COULD NOT believe the change!!! he is not the same child. he is polite helpful kind and does not melt down anymore. It was shocking to me to see the change. When he eats A (as in 1) corn chip now, he describes what he feels, he says its like ants crawling inside his skin, and he just wants to run or jump, effects last about 20 min with 1 chip.

Be encouraged the symptoms may be caused by a food/allergy and may not be inherent in your child.
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Post by Melanie » Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:20 am

Tansy is SOOOO right on here! My nephew was this exact same way. Turns out he is severe ADHD, but his dr. wanted to do a food allergy test because it seems that there is almost always a connection. His allergy test revealed extreme allergies to egg whites, and also allergies to egg yolks, tree nuts, gluten and the dairy protein casein. Cutting these out of his diet has made a HUGE difference!

It is definately something you should consider having him tested for. Or do as Tansy's mom did, and cut them out yourself adding one back at a time. I, personally, would do the testing as sometimes it can take a month or two to see the difference.

The answer to your question....I think your plan for Little Hearts sounds like it would be perfect for your ds! :wink:
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dd - '02

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Post by Carrie » Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:52 am


I'm so glad that you are getting a chance to use and enjoy "Little Hands to Heaven". We have loved it too! :)

The ladies on this board are so encouraging and helpful! They have given you some wonderful advice and some good things to ponder.

We are currently doing "Little Hearts.." at half speed with our 5 year old son by doing the left side of the plans one day and the right side the next. I think your plan for stretching "Little Hearts..." sounds just right for your active 5 year old. Ours is also very active and a young 5, so the speed we're using is working great for him right now. He may grow into being able to do more by next year, and if so, we'll just speed up then.

As to the activity level of your son, I can really identify with you! Our oldest son was incredibly active. Everyone commented on how busy how was. From being a classroom teacher I knew he would have been tested for ADHD if we had sent him to Kindergarten in the public school. So, we began homeschooling him in preschool "just to try it out".

Well, now my oldest son is in sixth grade and still home with us. He has finally calmed down and is much more in control of his emotions and his body (although here comes puberty :shock: )! He's still a kinesthetic learner but is adjusting to other ways of learning too. He is a joy to us, although the training is never done.

My husband and I also have 3 other active boys, but none as active as our first-born. We used to joke that it was like he had been shot out of a cannon! :lol:

We'll pray that you'll have a peace about your decision!


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Post by 6timeboymom » Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:06 pm

We generally end up with about three days a week as school, and the rest are "lazy days" or "catch up days" depending on who asks. :lol:
So, we naturally end up with a longer time frame to complete our curriculum. And I've found that the content is superior to what they would get at "grade level" in public school that they never fall behind, per se.

I have a couple that are highly active, highly distracted. We work around it as best we can. We use shorter time frames to do things and take a lot of breaks. I never asked about diagnosis, because I don't see it as enough of a problem to require a label. If it was, I would seek additional support.
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Post by my3sons » Wed Jan 23, 2008 4:52 pm

Hi Laurie! We've been doing Little Hearts... one page at a time since August, and just today we did both pages. My little honey is now ready for it. We'll finish it in a year and a half. He just can't stand not having both Bible and Storytime each day now, where before he wasn't ready for both on the same day. Time is a wonderful thing! I'd suggest starting with the pace you've mentioned, and certainly do the phonics and math the way you want. We did phonics daily since the beginning of the year. I think you'll know when he's ready. By the way, I have 3 very active boys too, and I think you'll find him able to attend more and more as you go. The boxes don't take long to teach, and you'll get into a rhythm with them that he can enjoy.
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Post by momof4 » Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:19 pm

WOW! With all the posts lately, I almost lost this one! I'm finally getting to it now.

Thanks for all the ideas and the encouragement. I really need it! You ladies are great and I am so happy God led us to this curriculum. At first I felt I stumbled onto it, but now I know better.

As for the food thing. We have cut out a lot of things already. One of the people that suggested we get him tested also gave me a list of foods to stay away from. This was about 2 years ago so don't ask for the list, BUT we did cut out all pop, most sweets, and a lot of boxed foods and pre-packaged foods. I've never made so many things from scratch! That did help, but maybe there are more that need to be pulled from the menu. What do you give kids to drink if you've cut out pop, kool-aid, and juices (sugar content)? There's just milk and water. If he would have a dairy allergy, water would get pretty boring!

We don't want to go the route of testing him for ADD or ADHD until he is older because one article I read said that it is difficult to diagnos correctly before 7 yrs old. We may go ahead with checking for allergies, though.

I think we will keep moving with Little Hands and start Little Hearts slowly in the Fall. I may be back for more moral support when we are deep in the trenches, though.

Blessings to you all from the land of the frozen (-35 windchill tomorrow morning).

dd's 22, 17
ds 9 - Bigger
dd 5 - LHFHG

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