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What to do with this child?

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    What to do with this child?

    I have recently begun MP K with my bright 5 yo boy, who has ADHD and anxiety that can cause pretty major disruptions. Content-wise, he is fine with the material and I'd even say it's easy for him at this point (just 4 weeks in, though). He's pretty good at reading CVC words and doing math sums in his head. However, he has almost zero attention span and it's a struggle to do anything with a pencil. Just getting him to sit still is a battle. If I let him do all the work orally, he'd blast through it no problem.

    We've already done SC B and Jr. K and he actually did great with those. We just did the workbooks in small increments. I wish I had gotten SC 1 for him since it seems like it would be more appropriate for his wiggliness. I really want to switch to SC 2 when we finish.

    My question is how we should proceed now. We have just been doing half of each day's work in a day. Should I just continue at this pace, going half-speed, until we finish and then do SC 2? Are there ways I can work with what I already purchased to make it more suitable? Is it okay to do some of it orally? Or would he benefit from a switch right now?
    2018/2019
    Dd 12: MP 7A and First Form Greek
    Ds 10: MP 5M
    Ds 5: MP K

    #2
    Re: What to do with this child?

    Does he seem significantly different from your other two in his learning, or only in his ability to attend?

    If the latter, you might shorten the lessons, teach some orally, and proceed at the scheduled pace.

    If the former, you might want to continue at half pace AND consider adding the SC 1 Individual Phonics Lesson plans. They will correlate with everything you have already purchased (FSR, Classical Phonics), but they will give you ways to review content that may hold his attention and help him retain the material.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: What to do with this child?

      I guess that in his learning, he is not significantly different other than focusing and controlling his body. His main differences are behavioral, which does affect his learning, too. He does a lot of self-destructive behaviors, like crumpling up a craft that he just finished and is proud of, or scribbling over a page of work that he has almost finished. These actions just make him more angry and upset and derail our school day.

      But his memory is great and he catches on quickly. He definitely needs shorter lessons than the normal pace of MP K. I also think he'd do better with less writing and more oral work. More hands-on components would be good as he thrives on constant movement. He does have periodic seasons of OCD behavior and anxiety (but not super frequently or long lasting). Consistency and routine help a lot, so I hate to change things up too often because I think keeping the same expectations is helpful for him.
      2018/2019
      Dd 12: MP 7A and First Form Greek
      Ds 10: MP 5M
      Ds 5: MP K

      Comment


        #4
        Re: What to do with this child?

        Then I would continue at half-pace. He is only 5. Try to end on a (reasonably) good note each day. You might "save the best for last" to help this along.

        Perhaps after a few more weeks or in second semester, you might find that you can increase the pace.

        If you ever wanted to add more movement or games, but did not want to purchase the SC 1 plans, some activities are listed in your guide.

        If you agree with the above, then whenever you finish MP K, you can determine whether he needs SC 2 next year or MP 1.

        In the meantime, be sure to stay in touch with your in-person professionals. Keep noting and reporting his behaviors and social/emotional concerns, but also note what helps. Then try to do more of this to prevent, redirect, or minimize his disruptiveness to the rest of the family.

        Under the circumstances, it sounds like you are doing quite well with what you have begun so far!

        Comment


          #5
          Re: What to do with this child?

          Sounds like you should just jump to simply Classical now. The workload is going to continue to increase in kindergarten and if his behavior and inability to attend to lessons is already impacting school for everyone (including you), it might be better to transition sooner than later.

          So, what do you need? The lesson material is really not all that different, just the pacing and inclusion of hands-on learning is different in level 1.

          Needed:
          Curriculum Manual
          First grade art cards
          Hailstone and Halibut Bones (this is a book of poetry used for most of the school year)
          Simply Classical Copybook 1 (this could make a huge difference for him)
          Days Gone By CD (optional, but I highly recommend this, my kids still love to listen to it)


          I feel these other things are nice optional items. They're scheduled, so if yo're a box checker it might drive you crazy to skip them. I would check at your library first and then peruse the remaining items online to see if you really need them. Remember, you're trying to condense his learning time in order to increase his ability to attend.

          Our World Jumbo Puzzle
          Nature Journal - you could easily just have him draw and color a picture of a nature item and omit all writing for this subject this year. You could then label his drawings for him.
          Creation Story for Children
          Best Counting Book Ever - you say he's pretty good at math, so he might not need this
          This First Thanksgiving Day

          With his math lessons, one of the things I did for my son was allow him to use number stamps instead of writing everything. I made him do the fact houses with writing, but once we got to mixed addition problems, I allowed him to use the stamps. I think you said you're in week four, that's right about where I am with my littlest now, you could have him use stamps for the before and after numbers, and the 'writing the numbers in order' problems. So, about half the page would be pencil work and the other half would be using stamps. I would make sure he's still using his pincer grip (thumb and forefinger) to hold the stamps; that will still build his finger muscles and stamina. Eventually, he will figure out that writing the answers is quicker than changing stamps and stamping. I bought little stamps in the scrapbooking section of walmart for $1.
          Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

          DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
          DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
          DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

          We've completed:
          Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
          Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: What to do with this child?

            Angela,

            Colomama offers a good suggestion. You hinted at this in your original question. If you wanted to make the switch, you would still be able to use the materials you purchased. One large advantage would be that you could follow the more incremental SC 1 lesson plans without feeling as if you were "behind," yet SC 1 includes "Wonder, Beauty, and Imagination" to enhance the days and make everything more enjoyable.

            We're with you, either way!

            Comment


              #7
              Re: What to do with this child?

              I have three older children that have gone on to college and life while I was blessed with my youngest. After homeschooling the older three, my youngest is a whole different experience. He has so many different issues, some we knew early on and some we are just finding out. Asperger's, ADHD, OCDs, Anxiety, Sensory, Critical thinking issues, etc are all part of his makeup. There are some medical issues as well. Schooling can not be done the same way that my older children had. I have had to look out of the box for my littlest one. Some ideas work and some don't.

              My son is now 12 and I thought I would never reach this point of study when he was 5. Through trial and error we have found a great way for learning. My son needs short instruction when he needs to do math or any writing. I read everything to him, including questions for math and some testing, He takes the test and then I read the questions for him to answer the blank ones. He is almost on grade level in math, which is our biggest trigger for class shut down for the day. I break a lesson up and let him have five to ten minutes to collect himself. This has helped greatly. We have also tried a few minutes of PE before math to get the wiggles out. I did try making math the first lesson of the day and the last of the day. Neither worked. For Science, History and Bible he sits in "his spot" (pillows, blanket, dog) and he is able to fidget to his heart's content. He retains more than I thought possible because at test time he does very well. When doing projects for lessons we add finished lapbook crafts to a three-ringed binder which is one page at a time (lapbook folders were trashed early on). Our dioramas are put on a shelf were he can see but not touch until adding to it. With his sensory issues, pencils do not exist in our home and any paper has to be in a plastic sheet protector. Pens, whiteboard and typing are our tools. We are starting Introduction to Composition and the book passages will be read by pc and writing sentences will be both pc and paper. Books on tape are also a major help. I have also started casting my pc to the big screen tv and have him read along with me now that he is older.

              Basically, I eliminate as much as possible to slow down the meltdowns and increase learning. He learned his abc's finally at 6 yrs. when I put a book together of the things he likes on the pc and he just had to touch one key to turn the page. I've learned as he is getting older, he is losing a lot of the sensory issues he has had and school is getting easier. Trial and error in early years helped me see what worked for him. I now have no problem changing how to teach if it is not working. Clinging to something through the year that is not working is not a good thing in my opinion. Take a couple of weeks to decide and then change if needed. If like mine, he will grow out of things and learn to adapt at his own pace. Before he wouldn't write and now he does. When the child has special needs that can hinder "traditional" teaching, you have to think out of the box.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: What to do with this child?

                Angela, I was thinking about your bright little boy.

                Based on the various diagnoses, I assume you are working with in-person professionals. You might also touch base with them to let them know what you are seeing. Addressing these things at 5 is far easier than addressing them at 15 or 25.

                Also, you will, of course, be limiting his access to destructive playmates, depressing or dark movies, aggressive/violent video games, and anything else that does not elevate his mind to higher, more noble thoughts and actions. He should not overhear the news, PG-13+ movies other household members watch (use headphones if needed), and other influences that will only feed his difficulties. You will want him to be thinking optimally all of his waking hours. SC includes CDs of poetry, music, and stories to assist you in this.

                Sometimes as parents we just want the "bad" to stop, but we can help ourselves by concurrently impressing more "good."

                Whether or not you switch to SC 1 to ease the daily frustrations and smooth out the rough places in his routine, you might find this companion course helpful: Myself & Others Book One Core.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: What to do with this child?

                  Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                  Angela, I was thinking about your bright little boy.

                  Based on the various diagnoses, I assume you are working with in-person professionals. You might also touch base with them to let them know what you are seeing. Addressing these things at 5 is far easier than addressing them at 15 or 25.

                  Also, you will, of course, be limiting his access to destructive playmates, depressing or dark movies, aggressive/violent video games, and anything else that does not elevate his mind to higher, more noble thoughts and actions. He should not overhear the news, PG-13+ movies other household members watch (use headphones if needed), and other influences that will only feed his difficulties. You will want him to be thinking optimally all of his waking hours. SC includes CDs of poetry, music, and stories to assist you in this.

                  Sometimes as parents we just want the "bad" to stop, but we can help ourselves by concurrently impressing more "good."

                  Whether or not you switch to SC 1 to ease the daily frustrations and smooth out the rough places in his routine, you might find this companion course helpful: Myself & Others Book One Core.
                  Thanks for the advice, Cheryl.
                  What do you think about books like Greek Myths and Norse Myths? He absolutely loves those stories, but they definitely have violent components. They also have beautiful and good components as well. I have a hard time knowing when the stories he loves are just going to reinforce aggressive behavior. King Arthur and anything about knights or pirates is also a guaranteed hit here. These are classic stories that boys seem to delight in, and I like that they emphasize chivalry and other good character traits. But the violence is obviously there as well. How would you handle those types of books?
                  We did begin using Myself and Others a few weeks ago, by the way, and are really enjoying it! We are doing Level I, of course, and I have already bought Level II to use once we finish. I'm so impressed with this that I'm considering adding the upper levels for my older children.
                  Last edited by Angela; 08-12-2018, 02:46 PM.
                  2018/2019
                  Dd 12: MP 7A and First Form Greek
                  Ds 10: MP 5M
                  Ds 5: MP K

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: What to do with this child?

                    We just tried to wait on such things, which is one of the reasons we waited a little bit on Greek myths in SC. Fairy tales, on the other hand, often seem to handle physical conflict a little differently and may be fine for younger children.

                    One key difference between chilvalry, as you mentioned, and gratuitous violence, as in media, is that in the former one is acting with honor for the good of another, but in the latter we often see aggression or violence portrayed more as sport.

                    For us, another factor is whether it dominates the storyline. For example, in current comic-book-based movies it seems that the aggression/violence is so vividly prevalent (complete with cgi special effects) it almost tramples the underlying good vs. evil that might otherwise redeem it. In such scenarios, in our home we have chosen to err on the side of caution.

                    Others might not need to be so careful, but we have found sufficient numbers of truly good movies, radio shows, audio dramas, etc., that we can let those go easily enough!

                    (Martin Cothran or Andrew Pudewa could analyze all of this far better than I did. Maybe they have done so somewhere. I love Andrew Pudewa's "Fairy Tales & Moral Imagination" talk. That would be a good start. MP has a free recording.)


                    And I am so happy you are enjoying Myself & Others. Those sets were delightfully fun to create!
                    Last edited by cherylswope; 08-12-2018, 08:52 PM.

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