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Need high school planning help for special needs 14 yr. old

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    Need high school planning help for special needs 14 yr. old

    Hello,

    While I've mostly lurked since joining last year, I am very grateful for all the wisdom and encouragement this forum offers.

    Here's the situation I am struggling with:

    Our oldest, now 14, has receptive and expressive language processing issues. She worked with a wonderful speech therapist for seven years and made tremendous strides. She is a motivated worker and loves MP products, but goes at her own pace and can't "cram" to "catch-up" on subjects. The material simply doesn't stick. We are considering a neuropsychological evaluation for her this spring. She is probably working at more of sixth grade level when it comes to writing, struggles at arithmetic (she's used Math-U-See all her academic life and would prefer to stay with what's familiar; we have been working on the Epsilon (fractions) level for nearly two academic years), and has been slowly using the MP literature guide for "Anne of Green Gables." She's loved the book but still doesn't trust her own memory and we just completed the midterm review that took three separate periods. She also loves Latin and is working on First Form right now.

    In the "technical" sense, she'd be a freshman in high school next year, but I know that most of her current work is not near a high school level. She is (at least for now) perfectly happy to graduate in six years as opposed to four. (She has a younger sister and they want to graduate together.) Do I worry at all about transcripts for next year, or treat her academic plan at more of a 7th grade? Can we wait until she's 18 to take the ACT or SAT? I don't see her attending a four-year college right off the bat, even at 20 years of age, but I do want to make sure that she has as many options open to her as possible and prepare her for that if she desires it. I also have three younger daughters whom I am trying to guide through this homeschooling path and need Mom's time and attention. There's a lot of plates spinning here and I'm not sure what I can afford to let go! 😅

    Any insights here would be much appreciated!

    Thank you,
    Laura
    Laura H.

    DD: 14, special-needs (modified 7M Core)
    DD: 11
    DD: 7
    DD: 7

    #2
    Originally posted by MarmeeLaura View Post
    Hello,

    While I've mostly lurked since joining last year, I am very grateful for all the wisdom and encouragement this forum offers.

    Here's the situation I am struggling with:

    Our oldest, now 14, has receptive and expressive language processing issues. She worked with a wonderful speech therapist for seven years and made tremendous strides. She is a motivated worker and loves MP products, but goes at her own pace and can't "cram" to "catch-up" on subjects. The material simply doesn't stick. We are considering a neuropsychological evaluation for her this spring. She is probably working at more of sixth grade level when it comes to writing, struggles at arithmetic (she's used Math-U-See all her academic life and would prefer to stay with what's familiar; we have been working on the Epsilon (fractions) level for nearly two academic years), and has been slowly using the MP literature guide for "Anne of Green Gables." She's loved the book but still doesn't trust her own memory and we just completed the midterm review that took three separate periods. She also loves Latin and is working on First Form right now.

    In the "technical" sense, she'd be a freshman in high school next year, but I know that most of her current work is not near a high school level. She is (at least for now) perfectly happy to graduate in six years as opposed to four. (She has a younger sister and they want to graduate together.) Do I worry at all about transcripts for next year, or treat her academic plan at more of a 7th grade? Can we wait until she's 18 to take the ACT or SAT? I don't see her attending a four-year college right off the bat, even at 20 years of age, but I do want to make sure that she has as many options open to her as possible and prepare her for that if she desires it. I also have three younger daughters whom I am trying to guide through this homeschooling path and need Mom's time and attention. There's a lot of plates spinning here and I'm not sure what I can afford to let go! 😅

    Any insights here would be much appreciated!

    Thank you,
    Laura
    Hi Laura!

    I'd be happy to talk more, but just wanted to chime in quickly and say that if your daughter is already expressing a desire to delay high school, and you have various concerns leading to a neuropsych eval, I would not hesitate to wait. There is truly no reason to rush a special needs student. Yes, I am sure you can take the SAT and ACT at 18 years of age. One of my sons may be 19 if he takes them his senior year. Special needs students can receive evaluations/services from public schools and have their education considered as high school level until age 21 years, at least in my state. I have "held back" both a child with major special needs (autism & mental health difficulties) and one with relatively minor special needs (mild dyslexia), and both have been relieved. I have given my son with the more minor issues the option of catching up, and so far, he is not interested.

    Perhaps after the evaluation, when you have a clearer sense of her specific strengths and weaknesses, you will be able to chart a high school & post-graduation plan.

    Catherine

    2019-20
    DS16, 10th with MPOA
    DS14, 7th
    DS13, 6th
    DD13, 6th
    DS7, MP1 with Barton Reading & Spelling
    DD4, JrK
    DS 23 mos

    Homeschooling 4 with MP
    2 in classical school

    Comment


      #3
      Hello!
      I don’t have special needs kids, but I do know that there is no age limit on the SAT or ACT. Adults are allowed to take the exams. That said, if you consider a community college there is often no need to take either exam at all.
      Dorinda

      For 2019-2020
      DD 16 - 11th with MPOA(AP Latin), Lukeion (Greek4 & Adv. NT Greek), Thinkwell (Economics and Chemistry), plus Pre-Calculus, American G’ment, Early Church History set, and British Lit
      DS 14 - 8th with MPOA(Fourth Form), CLRC(Intro Lit and Comp), plus Algebra, Field Biology, Classical Studies 1
      DS 11 - 6th with Right Start Level G online class
      DS 6 - 1st with Prima Latina

      Comment


        #4
        If she is not yet doing high school work and she's planning on an extra two years, there may be no need to create a transcript. At the same time, she may not want to consider herself 7th grade, so you might create "high school prep" or "individualized studies" or some other designation within your homeschool. Then proceed with the coursework that suits her until she is high school level.

        An updated formal assessment may be useful in many ways. If you are able to obtain a good evaluation, the results may afford her extra time with standardized tests and extra help when the time comes for college.

        I agree with Catherine. You have plenty of plates spinning already. No need to attempt rushing a child who cannot be rushed. Instead, continue everything that is working well for, namely language therapy, slow-and-steady academics, and the wise plan to extend the time on her studies and defer graduation. She sounds like a content young woman who knows herself. This is an accomplishment in itself. You're doing well!
        Last edited by cherylswope; 02-11-2020, 08:50 AM.

        Comment


          #5
          Ladies,

          Thank you all so very much for your responses. They helped tremendously. My husband and I spoke just last night about going ahead with the evaluation this spring, so that will (hopefully) provide clarity as we plan. But definitely a relief to be reminded that there is no rush necessary here.

          Gratefully,
          Laura

          Laura H.

          DD: 14, special-needs (modified 7M Core)
          DD: 11
          DD: 7
          DD: 7

          Comment


            #6
            Hello, again!

            So I got brainstorming this afternoon...Could you veterans take a look at a proposed curriculum list for next year (she'll be 15 in September). Her next younger sister (to be 12) will be completing Latin, Composition, History, Greek Alphabet, and Geography along with her, so it's shaping up that we have two "grade" levels sets among my four girls, with our twins working through MP 2nd grade this Fall.
            Latin: Second Form Latin
            Greek: Greek Alphabet Book
            Math: MUS Zeta (?)
            Composition: Refutation &
            Confirmation
            Literature: Poetry for the
            Grammar Stage
            Trojan War,

            Tom Sawyer,
            Bronze Bow,
            (21 Balloons possibly)
            History: Ancient History (texts TBA)
            Science: selected Tiner texts (at least Astronomy & Biology)
            Geography I
            English: Grammar V
            So this is a modification of the 7M level, and I'm trying to set out a plan that corresponds mostly with the MP Core levels so that she'll be doing truly high school level work within two years. It's a fairly ambitious plan, but my daughter also is motivated to do "hard things" and prove her mettle. We also plan to do lessons year-round to prevent knowledge loss due to a too-long summer break.

            Thank you again for any suggestions and insights.

            Laura
            Laura H.

            DD: 14, special-needs (modified 7M Core)
            DD: 11
            DD: 7
            DD: 7

            Comment


              #7
              Good morning, Laura. I was waiting for others to weigh in, but this looks amazing to me!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by MarmeeLaura View Post
                Hello, again!

                So I got brainstorming this afternoon...Could you veterans take a look at a proposed curriculum list for next year (she'll be 15 in September). Her next younger sister (to be 12) will be completing Latin, Composition, History, Greek Alphabet, and Geography along with her, so it's shaping up that we have two "grade" levels sets among my four girls, with our twins working through MP 2nd grade this Fall.
                Latin: Second Form Latin
                Greek: Greek Alphabet Book
                Math: MUS Zeta (?)
                Composition: Refutation &
                Confirmation
                Literature: Poetry for the
                Grammar Stage
                Trojan War,

                Tom Sawyer,
                Bronze Bow,
                (21 Balloons possibly)
                History: Ancient History (texts TBA)
                Science: selected Tiner texts (at least Astronomy & Biology)
                Geography I
                English: Grammar V
                So this is a modification of the 7M level, and I'm trying to set out a plan that corresponds mostly with the MP Core levels so that she'll be doing truly high school level work within two years. It's a fairly ambitious plan, but my daughter also is motivated to do "hard things" and prove her mettle. We also plan to do lessons year-round to prevent knowledge loss due to a too-long summer break.

                Thank you again for any suggestions and insights.

                Laura
                Hi Laura,

                I think this sounds like a good plan. How does it compare, though, with her work load this year? One thing that has worked with my kids with difficulties (including one who is a stellar student without any learning disabilities but with some serious mental health challenges that interfere with schoolwork) is to, rather than follow the CM as written, schedule like this:

                Daily
                Latin
                EGR
                Math
                Comp
                Lit
                Review current poem for memory
                And do only one of the other subjects:
                Monday—Christian Studies
                Tuesday—Modern Studies
                Wednesday—Classical Studies
                Thursday—Science
                Friday—catch up or review or weekly therapy appt

                Perhaps you have already experienced this, but the CMs as written can quickly overwhelm with a child who needs regular outside medical appointments and has multiple siblings in the homeschool. This is our situation. Scheduling like this has helped us keep all the subjects in upper elementary & middle school but at a slightly reduced pace. I tend to drop everything at the end of May wherever we got to in the plans, and only continue with Latin and Math to the end of the book throughout the summer.

                It can be different for high school, with counting credits and following your state’s graduation requirements. But if pacing and keeping up with a number of classes is the concern, being able to keep things to a “3 Rs plus one” schedule can get you through the middle school years in hopes that as your daughter gets older she’ll have more stamina for a full high school schedule.


                Catherine

                2019-20
                DS16, 10th with MPOA
                DS14, 7th
                DS13, 6th
                DD13, 6th
                DS7, MP1 with Barton Reading & Spelling
                DD4, JrK
                DS 23 mos

                Homeschooling 4 with MP
                2 in classical school

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by CatherineS View Post

                  Hi Laura,

                  I think this sounds like a good plan. How does it compare, though, with her work load this year? One thing that has worked with my kids with difficulties (including one who is a stellar student without any learning disabilities but with some serious mental health challenges that interfere with schoolwork) is to, rather than follow the CM as written, schedule like this:

                  Daily
                  Latin
                  EGR
                  Math
                  Comp
                  Lit
                  Review current poem for memory
                  And do only one of the other subjects:
                  Monday—Christian Studies
                  Tuesday—Modern Studies
                  Wednesday—Classical Studies
                  Thursday—Science
                  Friday—catch up or review or weekly therapy appt

                  Perhaps you have already experienced this, but the CMs as written can quickly overwhelm with a child who needs regular outside medical appointments and has multiple siblings in the homeschool. This is our situation. Scheduling like this has helped us keep all the subjects in upper elementary & middle school but at a slightly reduced pace. I tend to drop everything at the end of May wherever we got to in the plans, and only continue with Latin and Math to the end of the book throughout the summer.

                  It can be different for high school, with counting credits and following your state’s graduation requirements. But if pacing and keeping up with a number of classes is the concern, being able to keep things to a “3 Rs plus one” schedule can get you through the middle school years in hopes that as your daughter gets older she’ll have more stamina for a full high school schedule.

                  This would be a good time to mention that CatherineS has graciously agreed to lead an entire Simply Classical session at our summer conference this year!

                  Look for "Navigating the Teen Years: Anxiety, Angst, & Achievement" on the Sodalitas Conference Schedule, July 6-7, 2020.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                    Good morning, Laura. I was waiting for others to weigh in, but this looks amazing to me!
                    Cheryl,

                    Thank you so much for your encouragement; it means a great deal. You have probably heard this kind of remark before, but it was your book "Simply Classical" that really inspired me to ensure that my daughter have as much of a Classical education as possible. I deeply grateful.

                    Laura
                    Laura H.

                    DD: 14, special-needs (modified 7M Core)
                    DD: 11
                    DD: 7
                    DD: 7

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by CatherineS View Post

                      Hi Laura,

                      I think this sounds like a good plan. How does it compare, though, with her work load this year?

                      Hi Catherine,

                      Thank you for your suggestions. It is ambitious, but right now, she does complete Latin, Math, Grammar, and Composition daily. I have found that individual lesson plans per subject are a much better match for me than trying to work out of a Core Curriculum plan. But I certainly appreciate the reminder! Friday afternoons are for our weekly appointments, so we can't do too much that day as things stand, but there's a couple years to iron out those details and figure out transcript requirements.

                      Your presentation at the Sodalitas Conference sounds wonderful! One of these years, I hope to make it to the conference.

                      Laura


                      Laura H.

                      DD: 14, special-needs (modified 7M Core)
                      DD: 11
                      DD: 7
                      DD: 7

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by MarmeeLaura View Post

                        Hi Catherine,

                        Thank you for your suggestions. It is ambitious, but right now, she does complete Latin, Math, Grammar, and Composition daily. I have found that individual lesson plans per subject are a much better match for me than trying to work out of a Core Curriculum plan. But I certainly appreciate the reminder! Friday afternoons are for our weekly appointments, so we can't do too much that day as things stand, but there's a couple years to iron out those details and figure out transcript requirements.

                        Your presentation at the Sodalitas Conference sounds wonderful! One of these years, I hope to make it to the conference.

                        Laura

                        Laura,
                        That’s great that she’s already completing those subjects daily. The transition to high school was helped by increasing stamina in the 8th grade year towards doing school “all day,” like a brick and mortar school. That was more important than getting all the subjects in. If by the time you start counting credits, they are accustomed to working from 8am-3pm or so, then you will probably have enough time in the day to get high school credits in. For my son, who is midway through 10th grade now, we are beginning to introduce the idea of homework in the evening. It’s a bit of a shock to his way of doing things, but it’s necessary if he wants to go to college. We started with a fun one—drivers ed videos. But as you said, you have plenty of time for that.

                        I hope you can make it to Sodalitas too someday! This will be my first time to go!
                        Catherine

                        2019-20
                        DS16, 10th with MPOA
                        DS14, 7th
                        DS13, 6th
                        DD13, 6th
                        DS7, MP1 with Barton Reading & Spelling
                        DD4, JrK
                        DS 23 mos

                        Homeschooling 4 with MP
                        2 in classical school

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by CatherineS View Post

                          ...we are beginning to introduce the idea of homework in the evening. It’s a bit of a shock to his way of doing things, but it’s necessary if he wants to go to college. We started with a fun one—drivers ed videos. But as you said, you have plenty of time for that.

                          I hope you can make it to Sodalitas too someday! This will be my first time to go!
                          Catherine,

                          Thank you for the suggestions about evening work. Yes, that will probably be a shock around here, too -- but necessary. Our twins (now 7) have always been kind of the "loose canons" in the homeschool equations; I confess I haven't always done my due diligence in creating a more structured plan for them. So that is another area that I'm trying to integrate here in the "big picture." I love the idea of using videos as a way to integrate evening studies into our family's life.

                          Trying to work out Sodalitas for this summer. It's not a terrible drive for me (around four hours?) and looks like it would be incredibly rewarding.

                          Laura
                          Last edited by MarmeeLaura; 02-13-2020, 10:16 AM.
                          Laura H.

                          DD: 14, special-needs (modified 7M Core)
                          DD: 11
                          DD: 7
                          DD: 7

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by MarmeeLaura View Post

                            Cheryl,

                            Thank you so much for your encouragement; it means a great deal. You have probably heard this kind of remark before, but it was your book "Simply Classical" that really inspired me to ensure that my daughter have as much of a Classical education as possible. I deeply grateful.

                            Laura
                            Thank you very much for this, Laura.

                            Regarding Sodalitas, we drive 6 hours. With music or an audio book, the drive becomes part of the getaway! I hope you can make it.

                            Comment

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