When the younger one is passing the older....

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When the younger one is passing the older....

Post by MomtoJGJE » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:23 am

This hasn't happened yet, and might not be an issue because I'm aware that at some point Penelope will hit something she struggles with. But if you have a child who is significantly younger (3.5 years) than an older one, and the younger child has caught up or passed the older one, how do you explain/handle it.

Evie is 9.5, technically 4th grade, but more on a 3rd grade level. If we did public school we would have held her out from starting for a year so she would be 3rd grade. She is in Bigger, finishing up spelling list 2, finishing up ERs, and finishing SM2B. Its a perfect fit for her. She has some processing issues that seem to ONLY affect reading, but that includes word problems in math. She can do the math portion just fine, but getting from the word problems (even if I read them) to figuring out what to do is the struggle. Basically what she hears is different from what she reads, and all the input is completely different from what comes out. There is no official diagnosis, so I don't know if I'm explaining that well and I don't know a name for it.

Penelope just turned 6 last week. She finished LHTH with K options from LHFHG last year and is now doing LHFHG with 1st grade options. Well, she finished the 1st grade FMS books last year as well... she did both K and 1st. I don't teach reading per se (I don't do phonics, just model reading and let them pick it up on their own) but she's starting to read some. Honestly I think she can read more than she thinks she can. She can answer all the questions from the Burgess books with zero trouble (I've never had that so it's weird to me :shock: All my other kids had to be guided... she does not) and does everything else very well. She's finishing up SM 1A before Thanksgiving. Math is intuitive for her. Typically she's answered the problems before I get finished reading the instructions. One lesson takes her longer to write the answers than it does to figure out the answer. A math lesson takes her less than 5 minutes on a bad day. I do math first and she always wants to do more. I don't let her until after all other school, AWANA, and chores/exercise is done for the day. Most days she loves math and I have to stop her because *I* am tired. I don't typically do handwriting with them either, but I've added in ARFH A just to give her more to do.

I'm going to get some more math workbooks from the dollar store to let her do on her own time.... but other than that, obviously Evie struggles to do an entire lesson in a day before she's extremely tired, especially on days where she has notebooking. So what can/do I do or say? How do I explain to Evie that people are just different? Or how else can I slow Penelope down? I hate forcing her to stop every single day (oh and she only does math 4 days per week because of this)... I don't want her to lose her love of it. Even if she does extra it's still less than 10 minutes of math total per day...

ugh.... :shock: :lol:

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Re: When the younger one is passing the older....

Post by my3sons » Mon Nov 05, 2018 4:42 pm

Hi Lora Beth! It is tough to know what might happen in the future. Sometimes kiddos have big growth spurts all of a sudden, and sometimes they stay more on the same level for awhile. If your younger child does end up inching up on your older child, this recent blog post of Carrie's may help...

https://www.heartofdakota.com/blog/2018 ... r-brother/

Hope you are doing well!

In Christ,
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 26 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 21, 18, and 14
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

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Re: When the younger one is passing the older....

Post by MomtoJGJE » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:06 am

Thank you for that link! I was coming on here to bump my post.

My problem is not at all getting them to do the work. I have no trouble with these two. My second daughter would do as little as possible and as a result my third passed her. But that was an easy answer. "She does more work than you each day. This is the result of you choosing to do one page of math per day as opposed to an entire lesson." When that happened my second quickly caught up and passed her younger sister again. Because she COULD do the work, she just didn't. And since she was progressing and was at grade level I wasn't going to fight it.

With these two, it is simply a matter of the youngest learns faster and can do the work faster. Evie is a slow worker. Not dawdling, it just takes her longer.

At the moment, unless someone has some sort of idea of what to do :shock: I'm proceeding as is with Penelope. And I'm not going to focus on any reading with her (well reading to her, but not teaching her to read) until after Evie has done a couple of sections of DITHOR. She has two and a half ERs to finish, and then the DITHOR books, so I"m guessing I'll probably start working with Penelope around the time she's 7. Of course I've not yet taught any of mine to read, so who knows what will happen naturally. And I'll let her continue math at her own pace. I will probably buy some addition and subtraction workbooks at the dollar store as a Christmas present to fill in some of the time she wants to do math as well.

For Evie I've decided to slow down Bigger to half speed between now and Christmas and have her do 30 minutes of math per day. Some days that doesn't make an entire lesson and some it's 2-3 lessons. Today she was doing one of the crossword puzzle pages with subtracting numbers in the 1000s... so she was able to do about 6-7 problems and that was it.

But also, as happens sometimes, today (and last Tuesday as well) Penelope was having a hard time concentrating and thinking. She was even having trouble counting to 10. I think she might be getting sick. But we backed up and did the entire lesson with counting blocks. So it'll probably work out on its own even without intervention from me :lol:

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Re: When the younger one is passing the older....

Post by Rice » Fri Jul 19, 2019 7:21 pm

Hi MomtoJGJE! I don't come on the Message Board often, but came looking for an answer to a question today and your post title caught my eye. BTDT.

I have #1DS, #2DD (2yrs apart), #3DS (18mos later), so a spread of just 3 1/2 years between the 3 of them. #1 did things at an average rate at first, but when we came to HOD I noticed huge issues in executive functioning so that he could not handle where we had placed him in CTC and we had to move him down a guide after 10 units of frustration. DD didn't learn to read well and despite testing that she didn't have any learning disabilities, she couldn't handle even Preparing, so we moved her down to Bigger in 6th! (She eventually caught up some in reading and we eneded up skippin a guide so she could avoid the extra reading of Extensions, so she and DS are in the same guide) . . . Then came #3. I never did teach him to read (he only sat in on maybe 3 phonics games with DD), but when we started HOD he started in CTC and thrived there!

Now, at almost-14, 15, and 17, they do some electives (literature, finances, logic, etc.) together, have separate math, and the oldest has done higher lit (though they'll be together this year), but the youngest is a guide higher than the other 2.

So the short answer to your question is yes. I have had a younger surpass 2 older children, academically.

How do we handle it? It is what it is. I don't allow any taunting or "rubbing it in" when one is finished something before another. Older DS can draw in a way that many are jealous. DD can organize and care for kids like nobody's business (5 kids supper, bath & bed by the time she was 11!). DS2 can read and get academic work done in very little time. They are all proficient at different things, and while there are times that it is awkward, and I have no doubt that the older two are oft-times jealous of #3's ease academically, the reality is that they are doing great where they are placed, and each will finish when they finish (DS#1 after WG and parts of WH and US2 for 12th in 2020; DD#2 after WH, with modified lit for 12th in 2021; DS#3 after US2 for 11th in 2022 - yes, a year "early").

While there is no point in worrying about what may or may not happen, you also don't have to worry about what seems "worst case scenario", either. The reality is that each of them has a special purpose to fulfill and they will each need to learn to be gracious winners and gracious losers in all sorts of areas of life, starting in our homes. Holding one back or pushing one to frustration/overwhelm in order to keep them in "order" will not help either of them. Acknowlenging that life is not "fair" and that each of us has strengths and weaknesses that need to be respected is far more important. The one who struggles may be more "set up" for what life throws at them than the one for whom everything is easy.

Who knows what God has in store for these precious ones he's put in our families? But this one thing we do know: He has a uniuqe plan for each of them that may include times of awkwardness and challenge, but that will reveal His glory.

Blessings as you work through it all!

DS 19 - GRAD: after WG, 2020
DD 17 - GRAD: after WH, 2021
DS 16 non-HOD @ US2 level/12th (DONE: CTC-WH)
DS 13 MTMM (DONE: LHFHG+Prep-Rev2Rev)
DS 11 RTR (DONE: Prep-CTC)
DS 9 +
DD 7 both Preparing
4yo DS

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Re: When the younger one is passing the older....

Post by MomtoJGJE » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:34 am

Thank you for that!

We don't allow taunting. And I've talked to my older three (who are in school now and very competitive with their grades, in a fun good natured way) that they need to tone the talk of grades down and talk more about how hard they are working. Because hard work is the important part.... if everyone is working as hard as they can, then that is all we can ask.

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