Disclaimer - Read This First


This website contains general information about medical and educational conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

The educational and medical information on this website is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied. Cheryl Swope, M.Ed. and Memoria Press make no representations or warranties in relation to the information on this website.

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or individualized advice from any other professional healthcare or educational provider. If you think you or your child may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention.

You should never delay seeking medical or educational advice, disregard medical or educational advice, or discontinue medical or educational treatment because of any information on this website.
See more
See less

Need some direction for K and 1st

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Need some direction for K and 1st

    I have a first grade boy and a K girl, both on the spectrum. Both children are hyper-verbal, but struggle with anxiety, attention, and fine motor skills. Each is on track with R&S math at grade level with the regular MP plans. We recently finished FSR D using the regular plans, but doing much of the work orally, especially for my K student. Reading is a joy for them but writing is a big struggle. We write every day, but not as much as is in the lessons.

    I'm not sure where to go from here with phonics. When I asked on the main board I was advised to just get their writing up to speed ASAP. I figured maybe on here people would have better suggestions since the writing component is just going to be a longer road for us and I don't want to neglect their phonics just because we're behind on writing skills. Just to give you an idea of where we're at, both kids can read early readers like frog and toad or henry and mudge pretty fluently and my son (1st) can pick up most picture books and make his way through them with a little help.

    I had some explode the code books laying around so we're working through those right now just to keep up phonics and writing practice until I figure out what to do next. Is there a way to do book E with story time treasures even if we're not up to speed on handwriting? Do I do STT with my first grader the rest of this year and move him into second grade literature next fall even if we haven't finished SST? Do I wait until next year to start my K on SST, but, if so, what do I do with her in the meantime? Do I keep teaching them together or try to get each more on grade level (K is ahead, 1st is "behind"). So far we've done well with the content and pacing of the regular lesson plans other than the writing but I'm open to using some SC materials if those would be a better fit.

    Sorry, that was a really long way of saying, please help!

    Hello! You might consider pausing briefly to combine phonics & writing with Simply Classical Storytime Treasures. The writing has been adapted yet still gives practice with composition as well as pre-oration, which both of your children may enjoy. They will read the stories easily, so the lessons will not take long.

    Then you could move to FSR E and Simply Classical More Storytime Treasures.

    You have many options, including those suggested on the K-8 forum, so this is only one idea. If you need a bridge beyond this, consider at that time Simply Classical Writing Book One, Bible edition, which might allow them to read some portions on their own while improving the ability to write sentences.

    Links for all of these sequentially:
    Teach first --

    Then --

    Finally --

    All of the above will give you slow-and-steady writing practice without overtaxing, yet will also allow you to continue strengthening language, reading, spelling, and math. You can continue simultaneously in the Enrichment and other areas of the Classical Core if all is going well there with your bright children!

    Does that sound like a plan?


      Thank you, Cheryl! That sounds like a great plan. I'll start there. Is it pretty easy to teach the lessons together (of course with each child doing his own writing) or will I need to sit down with each child individually?

      ​​​​​How does traditional spelling work in? Would that wait until I have worked through the other three you listed? And where would I go from there? Say we finished around next fall, would I start my son on second grade literature? And where would that put my then first grader?

      Sorry, I know I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm just trying to figure out where we're going and how to get there. We're not doing full cores yet, but my goal is to get there. Right now we're doing MP math and phonics and reading lots of good books. My hope was to get to some semblance of full cores for next year but I guess that may not be feasible. My plan was to wait an extra year to start latin until we had reading and writing really solid and so that my daughter was old enough that I could combine the two. But then what do I do for grammar in the interim? My son is currently doing a couple pages of core skills language arts each day. I also have a crazy 3yo in the mix who keeps our days interesting.

      I really appreciate all your valuable advice! I really hope I'm in a place to just look at a grade and order a core someday, lol.


        Yes, you can combine your children. It sounds as if this is working well for them right now. Just order a second consumable (student) book for anything you teach. With both children writing simultaneously, this might nudge them toward more writing time.

        Next fall you could divide the two children or, given that you will have a 4yo at that time, you might keep them together. Before projecting too far ahead, I think I would wait to re-evaluate after SC ST and SC MST, but before SC Writing One.

        We can reassess at that time so you know what to order. That might even become the time for SC 2 to address reading comprehension and writing with composition, which includes SC Writing One. In SC 2 he (or both children) would begin SC Copybook and SC lessons for cursive. Sometimes children on the spectrum decode early and expertly but benefit from more concentrated language lessons, such as our visual cues for question words, work on oral language syntax, and visual aids for narrative story components. We include all of these in SC 2.

        But let's wait to see how everything goes for you over the next 8 months or so. Just so you know, after SC 2, some children transition back to MP Classical Core. Others transition back after SC 3 or 4. Still others find the pacing and lessons beneficial through graduation. All options are good! We can also customize for you if needed at any time.

        Spelling -- For spelling, you might consider SC Spelling One now. Largely aural but involving brief writing, this may give you the good printing/spelling combination benefits mentioned on K-8. In SC, we wait on Traditional Spelling until after our "bridge" spelling/writing courses, SC Spelling One and Two.

        Latin -- Bonus: SC STT, SC MSTT, and SC Writing will include grammar for you! We wait on Latin until the latter half of SC 3 for the reasons you mentioned. For introductory grammar with short lessons, we love Core Skills Language Arts 1, which you're already using.

        One more -- If you have not yet seen Myself & Others: Lessons in Social Understanding, Habits, & Manners, consider Book One (no writing) for all three of your children. This can become your brief combined opening for the day to "fill the tank" of your 3yo before you teach the others. The lessons are only 14 weeks.

        Myself & Others Book One Core Set | Memoria Press (with the accompanying read-aloud set.)

        Continue math as you are currently doing. This will be plenty but will fill in the gaps you mentioned.

        One more tip: Encourage fine-motor "play" in free time to build dexterity and hand strength. Stencils, craft tools, sidewalk chalk, scissors (see My Scissors Books for something structured), squeeze toys, coloring, tracing paper, homemade playdough, etc. will all help you promote more adept and sustained writing in a context of play.

        And you are welcome. Feel free to follow up if you need clarification on any of the above --


        abbreviations for anyone reading:
        SC STT = Simply Classical Storytime Treasures
        SC MSTT = Simply Classical More Storytime Treasures
        SC 2 = Simply Classical Level 2: Comprehension, Calculations, & Character


          Thank you! So, start with ST1 and 2 then see where we are. Does this also incorporate FSR E or do we wait on that? Also, start SC spelling 1 with both now and continue the core skills LA book with my oldest. Did I get that right?


            1. Yes, press "pause" right now to start with SC STT to work on writing, which is more challenging, based on reading, which they enjoy. At the same time, you can teach both children from SC Spelling One if they can spell simple CVC words. At the same time continue CS:LA 1 with your oldest if this continues to work well.

            2. Then ... teach from SC MSTT with or without FSR E. Your call there. SC MSTT has phonics lessons built in. You might see if they are sufficient, but if your children are ready for vowel teams you could teach FSR E mostly orally alongside SC MSTT.

            The main takeaway is to continue working toward more writing proficiency and stamina, continue working on receptive/expressive language as well as decoding, and do not feel the need to rush academic reading instruction even if your children enjoy reading for pleasure. This delight, by the way, is wonderful.


              We are also looking toward an eventual transition to MP cores. My little guy is finishing up FSR D and doing surprisingly well. We, too, have the same cautiousness about wading into STT (and specifically Traditional Spelling I). I decided to get the Simply Classical Writing Book 1 Read-Aloud Version. It has been awesome, and the areas where my little guy failed to consistently capitalize at the beginning, put a full space between words and not crowd letters within a word have all been methodically addressed. As if magic, the lesson on spacing has called to attention how he writes. I mean...give an ATD kid a rule and he will follow it! He loves circling the beginning of a sentence in green for go, the period in red for stop, and the proper nouns in blue, which he is getting great at identifying. I cannot brag enough about how helpful it has been...for whenever you add it to your plan. I know that we do want to complete MP1 if we can, so we're just skipping the ones that overlap the read alouds for 1st grade (not the science/history readers).

              By the way, cherylswope, does MP sell those question cards for download independent of the SC2 curriculum guide?

              Mama to 2

              MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
              SY 20/21


                Got it. Thanks again for all your help!


                  Originally posted by Jweishaar View Post
                  Got it. Thanks again for all your help!
                  You are welcome. Follow up any time as you teach!


                    Originally posted by enbateau View Post

                    I decided to get the Simply Classical Writing Book 1 Read-Aloud Version. It has been awesome, and the areas where my little guy failed to consistently capitalize at the beginning, put a full space between words and not crowd letters within a word have all been methodically addressed. As if magic, the lesson on spacing has called to attention how he writes.

                    By the way, cherylswope, does MP sell those question cards for download independent of the SC2 curriculum guide?
                    enbateau I'm so happy to hear of your son's success with SC Writing Read-Aloud. I wish we would have had the program when my children were learning to write!

                    Those visual Question Word cards and Comprehension Caterpillar visual aids are part of Wonder, Beauty, & Imagination within SC 2, so they can be found for less than half the price of the SC Level 2 Curriculum Guide. Look under Individual Lesson Plans for Simply Classical, Enrichment.

                    It will look like this:
                    Simply Classical Level 2 Wonder, Beauty, & Imagination Lesson Plans Buy Digital $12.00 Buy Print $13.00


                      Thanks! Now I need to decide if I want to just go ahead and buy the curriculum guide anyway (in case we revert back to SC 2) or simply have the downloads. Decisions, decisions!
                      Mama to 2

                      MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
                      SY 20/21