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    How concerned to be? And how to help?

    I was torn about whether to post this here or in special needs...but hoping here some seasoned MP moms and teachers might weigh in.

    We are four weeks into teaching FSR in our Kindergarten class. Our oldest student, age 7, is struggling the most. He was a late-starter, as mom just didn't think he was ready for the focus required to learn to read, and he also demonstrated very few signs of readiness. This little guy is extremely verbal, intelligent, social, and has been read to profusely from birth, and yet letters and sounds seem to make little sense.

    He is barely starting to blend CVC words, with much support.

    But most concerning is that he seems to have almost zero recognition for the common words. Our teacher has introduced about 16 common words...the numbers and colors and the first few from FSR. She reviews them at least 3x every mornings (we have the students 4 mornings a week), and plays games and does drills. The other students pretty much have them down. Our little guy in question has almost no recognition....its like he's never seen them before.

    My question is...how concerning is this? Is it too early for concern here?

    And more importantly, is there anything you would recommend that we ask mom to do at home? Our teacher has already sent home flash cards and word lists, and mom is super on-board with whatever we ask of her Just wondering if there are any more or better strategies than just more, more, more repetition?

    Thanks!!
    Shawna

    #2
    Definitely wait for MP pros to respond tomorrow, but an initial thought: what if your student’s mom did the multi-sensory and review activities from SC1 with him throughout the year? She would only need the SC1 Phonics plans, sandpaper letters, and some inexpensive supplies (play dough, cornmeal, chalk, etc).
    Jennifer
    Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

    DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC, Breaking the Barrier French
    DS15: MP, MPOA, HSC
    DS12: Mash-up of 6/7M
    DS11: SC 4
    DD9: 3A with First Form Latin (long story!)
    DD8: Mash-up of SC 1/2
    DD5: January birthday, using SC B and C as a two-year JrK

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by ShawnaB View Post
      I was torn about whether to post this here or in special needs...but hoping here some seasoned MP moms and teachers might weigh in.

      We are four weeks into teaching FSR in our Kindergarten class. Our oldest student, age 7, is struggling the most. He was a late-starter, as mom just didn't think he was ready for the focus required to learn to read, and he also demonstrated very few signs of readiness. This little guy is extremely verbal, intelligent, social, and has been read to profusely from birth, and yet letters and sounds seem to make little sense.

      He is barely starting to blend CVC words, with much support.

      But most concerning is that he seems to have almost zero recognition for the common words. Our teacher has introduced about 16 common words...the numbers and colors and the first few from FSR. She reviews them at least 3x every mornings (we have the students 4 mornings a week), and plays games and does drills. The other students pretty much have them down. Our little guy in question has almost no recognition....its like he's never seen them before.

      My question is...how concerning is this? Is it too early for concern here?

      And more importantly, is there anything you would recommend that we ask mom to do at home? Our teacher has already sent home flash cards and word lists, and mom is super on-board with whatever we ask of her Just wondering if there are any more or better strategies than just more, more, more repetition?

      Thanks!!
      Shawna
      Dear Shawna,

      Hi! I'd really encourage you to cross-post this in the Special Needs forum so you can get Cheryl Swope's advice, as well as the perspectives of the moms who post there. I can offer my experience as the mom of two boys with dyslexia, one moderate and one severe. The signs that you have identified are concerning, especially given his older age, his oral verbal strengths and background, and his marked difficulty to memorize sight words as compared with (younger) peers. If "letters and sounds seem to make little sense" for him, he probably needs a thorough evaluation for learning disabilities, specifically dyslexia. Age 7 is definitely not too early for concern in this area.

      Here is some information you could share with the mom if she is open:

      https://bartonreading.com/about-dyslexia/

      http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/dyslex...about-dyslexia

      I imagine Cheryl Swope will have some great ideas for helping this student in the classroom immediately, but I'd just definitely encourage you to share your observations with the mom. I suspected my first son with dyslexia had learning disabilities, but I didn't have the courage to get him evaluated until a teacher at the classical school I was trying to enroll him in confirmed that he was significantly behind his peers in reading and directly told me, "he needs to be evaluated for dyslexia."







      Catherine

      2020-21
      DS17
      DS15
      DS13
      DD13
      DS8
      DD5
      DS 2.5

      Homeschooling 4 with MP
      2 in classical school

      Comment


        #4
        Also make sure he has had a recent vision exam.

        Blessings,
        Jude
        DD23
        DS20
        DS18
        DS16
        DD13
        DS11
        DD8

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by SaintJude7 View Post
          Also make sure he has had a recent vision exam.

          Blessings,
          Jude
          Yes! And not just a regular optometrist, but a real pediatric developmental optometrist.

          additionally, some kids just develop incongruently, but you’re the mom who knows your kid. Are there any other areas that concern you? Such as gait, manner of speech, etc? That info would give better idea of potential issues.

          Great catches, momma! You are such a caring and observant parent. Eager to hear more seasoned responses .
          -Victoria

          at home:
          boy - 3rd grade
          boy - 2nd grade
          boy - k/1st
          girl - toddler

          Comment


            #6
            Good morning Shawna,

            I'm glad you posted here with your concern and would also encourage you to cross post on the Simply Classical Forum. A student of 7 who is struggling to master his letter sounds is a concern, especially when you mention remembering the common words is challenging as well. Even a child who is slower to start reading, by seven should be able to keep pace with other kindergarten students. A vision and hearing check would definintely be the first things to eliminate as the issue. Otherwise I want to encourage you that using FSR is going to be the best program for success. Keep at it and don't skip lessons with him. Also don't keep pushing onto the next book if the end of book assessments don't reflect mastery. It could be he needs to spend another week or two reviewing material covered in that book before retesting.

            Common words are basically memorized. Since you purchased the videos you will see that once a letter or a common word is introduced it is added to the morning flashcard practice. It may be that you want to go through that stack of 16 common words once in the morning and then once again in the afternoon. I would add weekly common word dictation following the implementation guidelines given in the Teaching Tips.

            Please check back in a few weeks and let us know how it is going.

            Comment


              #7
              I want to thank you for your responses, and I will cross post to special needs. You have given me some good things to share with his mom. CatherineS thank you for the encouragement to pursue and evaluation. It's always a tricky thing, because among homeschoolers, there is a strong value that kids will do their own thing, in their own time. I generally agree. I do not mind the "better late than early" philosophy, but I believe what you should see in those students who wait is typically more rapid progress or at least equal to their younger classmates.

              Michelle T I will encourage mom to implement more Common Word practice at home, and the dictation as you suggest. And I do hear what you are saying about not pushing him on to the next book if the assessments don't reflect mastery. However, I want to point out that this child is in a 4 day a week classroom, and my concern is that he is likely not going to reflect mastery at the assessment checkpoint when we get there. How do you handle that in a classroom setting at HLS, when one student is not yet ready to move on?

              Comment


                #8
                ShawnaB,

                Communiction with the parent is going to be critical in this situation. It should be no surprise to that parent if the student doesn't display mastery at the end of book assessment. A student who is not meeting weekly expectations or obviously not retaining information covered, requires weekly communication to the parent of progress, and lack of progress as well as what they need to be doing at home to practice or review concepts covered in class. This will be a bit easier once you are reading stories from FSR or word lists from Classical Phonics. These first few weeks the practice they can give is just reviewing alphabet cards and having their student identify the letter name, then going through the cards again and having them give the letter sound. Couple this practice with blending and readiing the word families as they are introduced or added to. All this extra work will need to be reinforced at home for just 5 to 10 minutes a day. This practice is especially important for a student with any type of challenge. Hopefully with this support from home the student will be able to keep up with the class even if just barely. After vision and hearing results are back, if they are normal, you can begin to look for other explanations. While still in Book A it is a bit early to be too concerned though I would be in weekly communication with parents as to your observations and concerns. By Book B is assessments are low, we should revisit the discussion and begin looking for other answers for lack of progress.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ShawnaB View Post
                  CatherineS thank you for the encouragement to pursue and evaluation. It's always a tricky thing, because among homeschoolers, there is a strong value that kids will do their own thing, in their own time. I generally agree. I do not mind the "better late than early" philosophy, but I believe what you should see in those students who wait is typically more rapid progress or at least equal to their younger classmates.
                  ShawnaB

                  I agree; it can be tricky. I also agree with the other responses that the child needs to have his hearing and vision tested before suspecting a learning disability. But it does sound like the mom has recognized in the past a lack of reading readiness at the usual kindergarten age, and you can already tell he is likely to fall behind the class quickly. If the mom is interested in a supplemental program that teaches pre-reading skills, this one is excellent:

                  https://www.foundationinsounds.com

                  While not a substitute for a formal evaluation, the mom can test his auditory discrimination skills at home with this 10-minute screening:

                  https://bartonreading.com/students/#ss

                  No vision skills or alphabet knowledge is necessary for him to pass this test (although obviously hearing is). If he can't pass all parts of this test, then he may benefit from the Foundations in Sounds program, which can be done by mom at home after school. This program helped one of my sons immensely. He was also struggling through MPK, simply unable to connect letters with sounds or to memorize sight words, despite constant review. Although he could speak perfectly well, and had an excellent memory, he lacked the auditory discrimination skills needed to learn phonics. Foundations in Sounds really turned things around for my son.

                  Catherine

                  2020-21
                  DS17
                  DS15
                  DS13
                  DD13
                  DS8
                  DD5
                  DS 2.5

                  Homeschooling 4 with MP
                  2 in classical school

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I would also be curious to hear how he did with the listening portion of FSR. Was he able to distinguish the beginning sound of the letter of the week? It took my MPKer a few weeks to truly cement the difference between beginning, middle and end sounds (and discriminate for them).

                    I will give a short plug for the Simply Classical approach to reading if the mother chooses to supplement at home. The letters are already introduced before the child ever starts reading, so the common words that follow predictable spelling rules and first sounds are not a surprise to the budding reader. We found the SC C/Jr. K program to be a superior preparation for the FSR program. And to address the specific requirements of my learner, I held back on number and color (other than tracing) words until I had introduced many of the vowel or consonant teams they employed (wh, ur, or, ow, th, ee, broad o, ou, i_e, ue, eigh) . The nice thing about most FSR stories and the Fun in the Sun, Scamp and Tramp, and Soft and White books is that they don't rely heavily upon common words like some primary readers.
                    Mama to 2

                    Summer:
                    MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
                    SY 20/21
                    4A

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Again, thank you for the very sound and practical help here. I talked with our K teacher, and we are making plans to ensure thorough assessment when we get to the end fo Book A. The Susan Barton videos are great Catherine S And enbateau , that is a very good point. The assessment of sound discrimination is key, and I may just go ahead and assess him for that myself sooner than later. We make these assumptions that students can hear what we think they can hear, but often they cannot!

                      One of my particular concerns for this child is that he absolutely LOVES the social and interactive part of the classroom. He is a bright eyed, brilliant, verbal, high-social intelligence little guy, and he has been yearning to join a classroom for several years now. It breaks my heart to think that the classroom environment will highlight areas of difference and difficulty of which he was previously unaware. That is the beauty of homeschooling for those with learning differences---the intensive one-on-one, and the protection from comparison to one's peers. An added challenge is that this little one's younger brother, who is in the same class, will soon be reading circles around him...and mom has 2 3 year olds a home, making if difficult to carve out one-on-one with anyone really. (though not impossible...she's an incredible mother, and willing to do anything!)

                      I suppose what I am grappling with is the inevitable conversation that may come about whether the classroom environment is the most beneficial for a child with potentially serious learning differences. I think I will post this on over at the Special Needs board and see if anyone may weigh in! Thanks so much!

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