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Placement/pacing recommendations, please

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    Placement/pacing recommendations, please


    I have gained so much helpful information from reading responses to other posts for the past few years that I finally decided to post my own questions.

    I have 3 boys. My oldest turns 9 in September, next will be 7 this month, and youngest boy (May birthday) is 5. I know that there is no "behind" in homeschool, but I am struggling to establish a good routine, and I am definitely lagging behind my boys' capabilities at this point. I started my oldest in MP K 3 years ago at newly 6 years old. Unfortunately, between working full time outside the home and adding two baby girls since then, the first of whom died unexpectedly 5 weeks after birth, I just completed MP 1 with him a few weeks ago. This is the first year that I have done standardized testing with him (required by our state starting at 8 years old), and his MAP Growth reading and language use scores were well above average, with math landing at average/expected for second grade spring semester. He is always complaining that whatever I am teaching him is "too easy" and he "knows it already". I don't want to miss anything foundational by skipping over material entirely, but I also don't want to hold him back unnecessarily.

    My next boy, turning 7 this month, is a quick learner and loves math and building things. Despite starting MP K with him a year and half ago, we are only on week 13 now. My youngest boy, 5 this past May, taught himself to read watching his brothers and sitting in my lap for read alouds. He reads quite naturally despite only being on week 2 of MP K at this point. Our precious youngest is newly 2 years old, and adds chaos and spunk wherever she goes, pulling everything off the shelves and demanding everyone's attention.

    I am trying to determine where I should place each of my boys at this point. For my oldest, I'm considering working quickly through MP 2, which we have, and just trying to move quickly on to 3rd grade to get to more age appropriate/challenging material for him. But would it be better to just skip some parts of grade 2 with him? Maybe work through second grade math and spelling at an accelerated pace, but skip ahead to 3rd grade literature and the rest of the 3rd grade core? Leaning more towards 3A over 3M, but should 4th grade for new users also be an option, subbing math and spelling? My next two boys are 20 months apart, and are probably pretty close in reading and math ability at this point, although the older one definitely has better handwriting/fine motor control. Should I try to work through K with both of them together where possible? Or work through each subject at their own pace, which would definitely be more challenging time-wise for me? I have already decided to use Christian Studies and Enrichment from only one year for everyone, but wondering if there are other opportunities to combine? We also have supplemental science programs that I am trying to work through with everyone.

    Any and all recommendations would be most welcome! I feel like I have talked myself in circles about where to go next with each of them, and I know that I need to stop planning and get to work, just hoping a fresh perspective might help me determine next steps.

    Thank you,


    I would consider your oldest with a September birthday to be a rising third grader since he wouldn’t meet most state cutoff dates. My first feeling is I would not put him in 3A this year - it is a huge jump from what you have been doing and needs some ramp up preparation. Off the cuff I would say MP2 with third grade math if you think he is ready and then do 4NU the following year. For the other two I would combine enrichment starting at the beginning for both, allow the middle boy to move faster in his core subjects if he needs it, but I wouldn’t try to force them to stay together. I could see starting your middle in first grade (still combining enrichment). Customer service can help greatly with placement! Hopefully moms who have used these cores more recently than I have can comment as well.


    Plans for 2022-2023
    16th year homeschooling, 13th year with Memoria Press
    DD College Sophomore
    DS 11th grade - Lukeion Latin and Greek, Vita Beata, MPOA Divine Comedy
    DS 9th grade - Vita Beata Literature/Classical Studies
    DS 4th grade - 4A with Right Start F, Second Form Latin, AAS 5


      I admit to being biased to lagging behind a bit, because the MP curriculum is rather advanced. You are a busy mama and you are juggling many things. You also need to consider yourself and the entire family when you plan for the kids.

      To streamline your homeschooling, I would focus on math, literature, and phonics/spelling. I would try to do cursive and maybe Latin, but not worry if it doesn't get done. Everything else I would try to do just as family time read-alouds. Especially for grades K & 1, the point is to expose them to new ideas and concepts. For the oldest boy, if he likes reading, I might assign some books as free reading for him to learn a bit more on the subject.

      I would be inclined to use the materials you have at an accelerated pace, with the goal of getting them to working at their level (whatever grade number that is) by January. For your oldest, do you have the new version of the R&S 2 arithmetic? If so, in the back of one of the practice sheets books are quizzes. Give him the quizzes, one per day, until you find the level that he seems to need to work at. Begin there in the book. Another option, do 2-3 lessons per day, only assigning a few of the problems from each lesson (the lessons repeat a lot, you usually can combine fairly easily). Perhaps that would improve his attitude? You can explain, you are very glad that this work is easy and we are going to work at a rapid pace until we find something new to challenge him.
      For literature, you could choose to do just one or two of the books with him - perhaps Little House in the Big Woods since that is the hardest book they read in 2nd grade. The point of the literature is to analyze the book and learn to think about it, the actual reading material isn't supposed to be very challenging.
      For spelling, unless he is a naturally gifted speller, I would just work through the book at regular pace. I find Traditional Spelling to be rather challenging, but partly that is because my oldest struggles a lot with spelling.
      For Latin, either Prima Latina this year and Latina Christiana next year, or just wait to begin Latin until next year. At that time you could begin with either Prima or LC, depending on his grade, his abilities, and your time.

      For the 7 year old, do you think he is ready for first grade? It sounds like he might be. I would do first grade phonics and literature, and work through all of R&S 1 at as fast a pace as needed. If you get to the first book of R&S 2 as they have in the new schedule, great. If not, that's fine too, it can wait for second grade.

      For your younger, sounds like K is the perfect place for him.
      DD8 - MP3 and SC 5/6
      DD6 - MP1
      DS4 - R&S preschool
      DS baby


        Thank you both so much for the recommendations, and the fresh perspective! I greatly appreciate you taking the time to help me work through this.


          I'm a proponent of using a full core as close as possible to "as written," because everything is planned so well and because the curriculum guide provides accountability for pacing. I also prefer each of my kids to work at their own grade level without too much combining, unless it's for science or enrichment.

          I like Dorinda's suggestion of 2nd grade core with 3rd grade math for your oldest, and considering him a 3rd grader. If he's a strong reader, you could definitely accelerate the literature, possibly getting to some 3rd grade selections later in the school year. Using the 4th for New Users package next year puts him on the regular track.

          If your 7 year old is reading well enough to read Little Bear semi-independently, I would go ahead and put him in the 1st grade core. You said he is strong in math, and his age would place him in 2nd grade, so consider accelerating math and working through 1st and 2nd grade this school year.

          Kindergarten sounds perfect for your 5 year old.

          If you indeed end up placing your boys in K, 1st, and 2nd for this school year, I would suggest picking ONE enrichment package to do with all of them, so you combine them for read-aloud, poetry, art study, music study, craft, and social studies/science activities. If you don't use 2nd grade enrichment, I would suggest adding in Patterns of Nature for your oldest, as it gives essential practice in reading non-fiction material before the jump to 3rd grade.

          Also, I just want to say I'm sorry for the loss of your daughter. ❤ I hope your family is healing.

          Fall 2022:
          DS 14 9th
          DD 12 7th
          DS 10 5th
          DD 7 2nd
          DS 5 K
          DS 2