Common Questions Series: Question 2

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Common Questions Series: Question 2

Post by Carrie » Thu May 19, 2011 7:46 pm


This is one part to a series of questions that I am frequently asked. I've given an introduction to this series of questions linked here which is VERY important to read prior to reading the questions and answers. Link: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=9344

I wrote these responses for inclusion in the "Reasons Behind HOD's Choices", which will hopefully be of help to families as they ponder using HOD in their homes. While I would deeply love to open each question up to discussion, I am in my busiest writing season right now, leaving me no time to respond further. So, at this point I decided to place the questions and answers on the board in an informational only capacity. :D

Question 2: Why do we ask you to look at the placement chart for each of your individual children when considering the best placement for your family?

With HOD, every family member is valued when considering placement. :D This is why our placement chart looks at each individual child and considers what skills he/she has and where he/she would first place as an individual. You’ll notice we spend much time on our message board asking about each child within your family. This is because we need to know about each individual before we can suggest options for the whole family. Possible combinations within the family are always considered based on the needs of each individual child. :wink:

When deciding which learning path to take for your family, we lean toward combining smaller age increments if at all possible. :D The only times we work toward separating kiddos are when the age spread between children is too great to accommodate the varying needs of the learners, or if the younger students or older students are not getting what is needed as individuals within a combined situation, or if the combination of personalities within the mix is not the best for combining within a guide. :wink:

In order to make sure that the younger learners are getting the skills they need, we lean toward combining with the younger student in mind and beefing up for the older student. With this plan, we can make sure that the younger is receiving meaningful instruction and skill-based activities, and not just a watered down version of what the older student is doing. With this plan, it is always easier to move an older student forward if needed, than it is to back up with a younger student. :D

To help visualize what I mean by making sure that the younger student is receiving “meaningful instruction and skill-based activities”, I’ll share the following example. On my flight to the convention, the flight attendant on the plane gave her “speech” about plane safety, seatbelts, oxygen masks, exiting the plane, and floatation devices. I listened fairly halfheartedly and could tell you generally what was said, but mainly because I’d heard it before. Now, suppose that instead I had been informed that after the speech I would be required to write down what the flight attendant said. How much better would I have listened? What if, instead, I had been told that I would have to retell what the flight attendant had said after her speech? This would be a bit easier than writing it down, but still fairly difficult, and I would likely have had to listen better. Now, what if my assignment had been to follow along with the printed card instead? This wouldn’t take nearly as much effort as either of the two previous assignments, but I may still take a bit more from the speech if I could follow along. Last, consider if my assignment instead was to color a picture of the airplane during or after the flight attendant’s speech, while I listened in. If this was my assignment, how involved would I be in the “speech” and how much would I take from it? While this example does show varying levels of assignments, each increasing in difficulty, we have to weigh how valuable is the learning experience that the youngest is receiving in this watered down approach? How much better would the youngest child retain if the learning was on his/her level and the assignment really required him/her to think as much as the older child? :D

At HOD, as we ponder various combinations for a family, we’re always keeping in mind that there should be different expectations for different age levels, both in length of school day and in skills addressed. We won’t suggest combining within a guide, unless we think the learning will be meaningful for all learners grouped within a guide. :D This is why it works well to extend the learning, skills, and time for the older student, while giving the younger student the core learning. We also want to assure that a child is not merely listening in to an older child’s school day, but rather we want a younger child to get the same focused attention that an older student received in his/her younger years. In this way, each child in the family is valued and addressed both as an individual and as part of the family. :D