I have an 8-year-old boy that will be going into 3rd grade, and a 6-year-old girl that will be going into 1st grade. This will be their first year of homeschool. The oldest is a very good reader, the younger just starting out. Would I be able to do the same study guide with them both, or do you recommend each their own. The oldest is reading at a 4-6 grade level.
Good question. You have a couple of options as you mentioned, and either would work.
If you'd like to do the same guide with both of them, your eight-year-old would be able to write the answers down and do well with the study guide. Your six-year-old would enjoy the story, and be able to discuss the questions with you out loud. Since she is just starting to read, remember that her ability to write probably won't come easily for another year or so.
Another possibility for you is to do one of the 1st-3rd grade level guides with him, and do our Prereader guide with her. The Prereader Study Guide ( for Oscar Otter and Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble) is actually two study guides for the price of one, including all the questions a regular 1-3 grade level guide would have (but no space for the student to write their answers; we assume you will discuss the questions out loud). The Prereader guide also includes science ideas, arts and craft ideas, coloring pages, and activity/maze pages. This can keep their little hands busy while they discuss the book with you.
Whichever way you decide to go, I would suggest doing only two guides in their first year, and simply reading lots of books for the rest of their literature for the year. That way they will learn critical reading and comprehension skills, but they won't feel they have to study everything. Choosing reading titles that coincide with your history studies is always fun. When you add some phonics, spelling and grammar, they will be well-covered in language arts.
I hope this helps, have great fun next year!