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New Curriculum Package

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    New Curriculum Package

    Everyone,

    Would you have an interest in a slow-and-steady classical curriculum package designed just for students with special learning needs? Unique in the current publishing world of classical education, this idea – not surprisingly! - is Tanya's.

    Such a program would combine the essential elements of classical Christian education (Truth, Goodness, and Beauty through the liberal arts and Christian catechesis) with the modifications, review, extra practice, and slower pace necessary for our challenged children. Tanya and I will be meeting next week to discuss the possibilities. We would greatly appreciate your input as we work together on this project over the coming year.

    To spark your thoughts, please consider a few questions:

    1. How could such a curriculum package be most helpful to you?

    2. Would you prefer that the curriculum package be organized by content area, rather than “grade,” for students with specific learning disabilities and varying competence in different areas of study? If so, how do you envision the implementation and purchase of such a program?

    3. Would you benefit from a level prior to Jr K for children who need additional help before beginning their classical education?

    4. Would you appreciate having practice helps (e.g., review sheets, flash cards) included, or would you prefer extra open days incorporated into lesson plans to design your own practice sessions (or both)? To prevent regression over the summer, would you be interested in a program designed for 36 weeks of school and 4-8 weeks of summer school?

    5. In which levels or areas of study would such a curriculum package be most helpful for you? In other words, where would you like for us to begin?


    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions.

    Cheryl

    #2
    YES!!!! I don't have time now to elaborate. I'll get back to you with my ideas. Thoughts floating around my head now:
    Perhaps make special editions of the MP guides and extra support materials for Latin and Logic...
    The Homeschool Grads:
    J- 6/96
    S- 11/98

    Still Homeschooling:
    G- 4/04
    D- 5/05
    F- 7/08 (my only girl)

    Future Homeschooler:
    M- 9/16

    Comment


      #3
      pre-preK ideas

      I'm certainly interested although my experience is limited so I can't have much input for older kids but I have some thoughts.

      question 1) Such a curriculum package would be most helpful in being able to organize and direct my activities so that she would be best prepared for a strong classical curriculum.

      question 3) I would be very interested in something for pre Junior K. Instead of just novel toys to keep her occupied while I work with my older daughter, I'd love something that actually helped me to prepare her for school/life.

      My child's specific issue is speech. As I've mentioned before, without the 'normal' speech cues, I find myself not realizing what would be appropriate to teach her. The unconscious default is to think she's younger than she is. Something that was organized and purposeful would be helpful. I'm told that the more we can get language wired up correctly for her (despite speech not being there yet), the less likely she will be to develop severe learning disabilities

      Right now (age 2) she gets speech services from the school district at home. Next year (age 3) she would be put in the general special ed classroom and get about 30 min a week of one-on-one with the speech therapist. This isn't set in stone but is what is likely to happen since there is no speech specific classroom for our district and, as with most places, the SLP is very limited.

      Anyway, instead of putting her in the general special ed classroom at the school district, I am currently planning to use some things from the Timberdoodle site from their preschool/preK curriculums (and either the school SLP and/or a private one to continue with speech).

      For example,(1) "sew-n-sew" for fine motor work,
      (2) Beleduc's colorful caterpillars for colors, more fine motor (beading) and eventually following directions/patterns;
      (3) Lauri alphabet puzzles- letter recognition, fine motor, practicing in/out (I have the regular wooden sort of alphabet puzzle but I think this might be helpful since it differentiates upper and lower case separately and seems like it would take more finger effort to get the pieces in that just matching it up to the wooden outline in the normal puzzle);
      (4) Usborne big book of things to spot, item recognition, continuing language work,
      (5) Day and night- a pattern-type puzzle - may not be able to use til 4 years old;
      (6) some of the Kumon I Can Big Skills workbooks and easy mazes to start working on drawing purposeful lines, be like her big sister etc...;
      (7) the music box: songs, rhymes, and games for young children--i just don't know all these things or remember to do them;
      (8) Learning resources': primary science mix and measure because every little one likes to pour and measure back and forth;
      (9) playfoam, for finger strength and frustration/fidgety outlet without a crazy mess;
      (10) My first scissors kit-easy to use scissors for little ones;
      (11) wedgits - building, colors, following directions; and
      (12) big Oball - catching and throwing.
      (13) What your preschooler needs to know. for some sort of direction on what to do.

      and, The Read and Share Bible for simpler bible stories. The Golden's children's bible is beautiful but difficult to listen or pay attention to for little ones.


      Basically, I am looking for things to help develop skills that I might be overlooking. What would be great, would be something that would list what to do, how often, etc... especially with a classical education in mind.

      Question 4 I think including the extra practice sheets, etc. would be great. Also, I think including information to help the parent develop other practice helps specific to their child if the ones included don't work would be good.

      question 5 I think, in general, for both the younger grades and older, making lesson plans or teacher guides by grade or subject with the specific adaptations for specific special needs would be wonderful (language, cognitive, deficient in fine or gross motor skills, needs movement etc...). These could utilize the regular resources but explain how to use them for special needs and incorporate additional practice, flash cards, alternate explanations, alternate time frame, alternate delivery of testing or responses etc

      Comment


        #4
        Curriculum Package

        I couldn't begin to suggest how to build a package right now, but I would definitely love to see something which took students step by step through study skills and reading a text book. I would also love for it to contain encouragement through testimonies and/or quotes and/or historical examples (like Helen Keller). The three biggest problems we face are her attitude towards learning (or rather that she CAN'T learn hard things and that it is TOO much work), her struggle to focus on studying or learning something with her mind mentally engaged instead of floating elsewhere, and her lack of understanding of how to read a text book and figure out a way to memorize/retain/properly store mentally information. She freaks out that she can't understand what they are asking (this is in a math textbook) when it is really a simple question that she can't seem to translate in her mind to make sense of what they are asking her. If there were a book on practicing study skills I think it would help tremendously. It could explain how to study different subjects or with different kinds of materials (flashcards, diagrams, lists) so that they can apply that to whatever they are learning. It could include creative ideas (make up a song or an acrostic, etc.) as well as tips for good drilling of material. It could have tips on how to stay focused on the task at hand and how to bring glory to Christ through their attitude when they study, etc. It could even contain prayers for when they are struggling or frustrated. I think it should be written directly to the student (though moms of younger children could use it too for helps and encouragement for non-readers).

        HTH!

        Comment


          #5
          Everyone,
          Thank you for your suggestions and requests.

          A summary of your ideas so far:
          -special editions of existing MP books and guides
          -guidance to help with knowing what to teach before pre-K
          -extra practice sheets with instructions for designing your own
          -additional support for Latin, Logic
          -instructions on study skills and organization for older students, some written directly to the student
          -prayers that students might wish to pray when struggling

          This curriculum package is still in preliminary development, so please continue to make suggestions. Your ideas will be incorporated into the final design. So far, this is all in the earliest planning stages.


          In the meantime, CelticaDea, you requested help with language, especially for infancy through age 4. You will find ample how-to instructions with examples in Simply Classical, the book Memoria Press is scheduled to release this spring. As your child grows older, you will find guidance for continued modification through high school. My hope for you is that you can continue to teach your child at home next year. Your ideas are so good and your commitment so strong, I believe you could do this.

          Similarly, stm4him requested support. I wrote the book especially to encourage and inspire. In addition to many specific strategies, you will find stories that you might even want to share with your daughter. Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child will be the place to start for you too.


          We appreciate your ideas for the special curriculum package. Note that this would be only for children who cannot adapt to regular materials. For most of us, working within the existing Memoria Press resources with simple modifications is all we need to give our children an excellent and beautiful education.

          Cheryl

          Comment


            #6
            It will most likely be too late for us to use these wonderful ideas as my special needs son is already 15, almost 16, however, hopefully my answers will help.

            Question #2: I think one easy way to implement something like this immediately would be to allow those with special needs to pick and choose the level of curriculum that would work for us and you put together and send the lesson plans just like the regular packages you have. I've looked and drooled over the packages, but there isn't just one that fits for my son. I'd have to buy 3 or even 4 years of lesson plans and then cobble them together to make them work for him. Math at 4th grade level, History at 7th grade level, Writing in between; you get the picture.

            Question #4: Review, review, review is a common denominator in special needs and extra review sheets and flashcards, recitations, memorizations, games, etc., anything that gets them reviewing continually what they've learned would be great. This would be great for every subject: math, grammar, writing, latin, history, etc.

            Question #5: See #2 above, but being that my bias is for the later years, I'd vote there.

            Thank you for looking into these options. I think they have an opportunity to really help those with special needs implement a classical education.
            Cynthia

            DS19 - Eeyore - LDs/Aspergers
            DD16 - Kanga
            DS6 - Tigger/Roo/F5 Tornado

            Comment


              #7
              Lucidity,

              Great input! Thank you. I especially appreciate the request for more review in a variety of forms. This will most certainly be included.

              I do have some good news for you. Regarding a student who is working at different levels, I learned this from Tanya:

              You can order lesson plans by the subject for $3/subject rather than buying a grade level.


              Tanya notes that this is especially popular with students who begin classical education later, because they need to do some preliminary work in areas such as classical studies and Latin. However, this option might also be helpful for students who function at varying levels in different content areas.

              Thanks again-
              Cheryl

              Comment


                #8
                1. How could such a curriculum package be most helpful to you?

                My oldest son has average intelligence, but he processes things very slowly. He also has serious fine motor issues that make writing very time consuming and slow and generally painful for him. Typing isn't much better, and with consumable workbooks it isn't the easiest alternative as he needs to be able to look at the question in the book and then answer it on the computer which introduces more lost time looking back and forth. If there was some way to reduce the amount of writing required without sacrificing the learning, or some type of recommended "lite" version of the curriculum.

                He loves Classical Studies (says this is what he wants to for in college), but he is seriously bogged in Traditional Logic I, and generally everything else as it takes most of his day to complete the Intro to Classical Studies materials.

                Something else that would be great for us is an alternative track available in math and maybe science for high school. We are considering, strongly to go through a Consumer Math program like R & S's Grade 9/10 offering, because with him, he is going to need those skills to help him be independent later in life, and he doesn't pick things up by association or example. It requires explicit teaching for him. I am not sure how not having Calculus/Physics will effect his college applications, but I am fairly certain that the only way to get him through them would be to devote an entire year to each, and pretty sure he won't be required to take them in college. We are considering holding him back a year in 7th or 8th to give him 6 years to complete the work from 7-12.

                2. Would you prefer that the curriculum package be organized by content area, rather than “grade,” for students with specific learning disabilities and varying competence in different areas of study? If so, how do you envision the implementation and purchase of such a program? Maybe a set price for the grade and then the ability to choose from any level for each individual subject? This would be great for kids that are average for their grade except one or two subjects as well. My second son is advanced in math and bored stiff with grade level programs. Spelling on the other hand he is behind in. Ideal for him in 7th grade would be Algebra, 4th grade spelling, everything else at grade level.

                3. Would you benefit from a level prior to Jr K for children who need additional help before beginning their classical education? NA for us now, but I would have been interested.


                5. In which levels or areas of study would such a curriculum package be most helpful for you? In other words, where would you like for us to begin? Logic
                Miah - married to Warcabbage, 3 boys, BS in social work, AS in Electrical Engineering Technology

                Evulcarrot - 18, freshman in college, Medical Technology , mild autism
                Battlebroccoli - 17, lives with grandma, attends a special high school program part time
                Doomsprout - 10, highly verbal moderate autism, anxiety, motor delays, sensory processing issues - SC 4 with R&S 4

                Comment


                  #9
                  Cheryl,

                  I absolutely LOVE the idea of a new curriculum package geared toward kidlets with challenges! Like Enigma, I would like a little time to process what can be done to give these children a classical education without blowing their little fuses ;-) As soon as I can collect some thoughts, will send them along.

                  In the meantime, still anxiously/patiently awaiting the chance to proof your book when the time comes...

                  Elisabeth

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Dear Miah,

                    Thank you for your input. I especially appreciate these helpful thoughts & experiences:

                    Originally posted by Miah View Post
                    [B]If there was some way to reduce the amount of writing required without sacrificing the learning....

                    He loves Classical Studies....it takes most of his day to complete the Intro to Classical Studies materials.

                    Something else that would be great for us is an alternative track available in math and maybe science for high school.... We are considering holding him back a year in 7th or 8th to give him 6 years to complete the work from 7-12.

                    3. Would you benefit from a level prior to Jr K for children who need additional help before beginning their classical education? ...I would have been interested.

                    5. In which levels or areas of study would such a curriculum package be most helpful for you? In other words, where would you like for us to begin? Logic

                    We're taking all of these suggestions into consideration & we're looking forward to hearing others, as everyone has time.

                    Thanks-

                    Cheryl

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I would love a summer program to keep things fresh. We school year round.
                      Karen
                      Mom to DD-13 and DD-8.5
                      3rd and 8th grade (2014-2015)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by my3luvbugs990105 View Post
                        I would love a summer program to keep things fresh. We school year round.
                        Thanks, Karen, for this good reminder!

                        Yes, every curriculum package will feature summer components. We will likely make these optional for additional practice and review, but we will be sure to include them.

                        Year-round schooling (with breaks) has worked well for my own special-needs children, so I appreciate your suggestion.

                        Thanks-
                        Cheryl

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I haven't been here in a while, but I thought I would add some thoughts.

                          I think I would be most interested in modified lesson plans that go along with each individual item, and perhaps modified workbooks. My son just doesn't fit into any of the current year plans, so individual lesson plans are a must. I would want them open-ended, not by day. (We may need more time than a year to finish a book.) They should list key points that my student should know from each chapter, perhaps with graphics that could even be used by the student as a study aid. Some suggestions for various ways to present the material for various types of learners would be awesome, as well as fun ways to review. Fun web sites to reinforce a lesson would be nice too, as well as crafts and recipes and other hands on activities. Many s/n parents embrace technology to enhance learning while others may not, but suggestions for those of us that do would be welcome. Sets of picture cards to go along with the flash cards would be awesome, so that the student could match the picture with the correct flash card. I don't know that we would be interested in a separate summer program, as we school year round and just extend what we are doing into the summer.

                          I would just like to say a big thank you to everyone at Memoria Press for thinking about our special kids!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            New Curriculum Package

                            Hi I'm new this coming year however my 5 year old daughter has severe Apraxia so I agree with a pre Jr.K package with multi sensory hands on. A hands on activity or craft to teach letters and numbers, puzzles are also great if I can add Nursery Rhymes and Music whether it be kids songs or Bible songs etc.
                            I'm told the Apraxia really responds to crafts and Music

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thank you to these individuals for your support and input so far:

                              Enigma, CelticaDea, sthm4him, Lucidity, Miah, 4gr8kids, bugs990105, dsmith, Trusting God

                              Your contributions will strengthen the materials we offer to special-needs children.

                              A Summary of Input To Date

                              General Suggestions
                              • Special editions of Memoria Press study guides
                              • Modified MP workbooks
                              • Adapted MP lesson plans
                              • Lesson plans by skill or concept, rather than exclusively by day
                              • Inclusion of summer plans for year-round schooling
                              • Extra review sheets, activities, and tips in every content area
                              • Suggestions for individualized methods of review


                              Specific Requests for Younger Children
                              • A pre-jrK program
                              • Purposeful, organized lessons and methods for teaching early language
                              • Simpler Bible stories than those in Golden Book
                              • Fine-motor components (e.g., Lauri alpahbet puzzles, bead stringing, rhythm instruments)
                              • Nursery rhymes and music
                              • Crafts, recipes, and other multisensory learning experiences


                              Specific Requests for Older Students
                              • Extra review and supports for teaching Logic
                              • Supplements for teaching Latin
                              • Material written directly to the student for study tips, encouragement, comfort
                              • Alternate track in math and possibly science for special-needs high school students
                              • Reduced amount of writing required without reducing the amount of learning acquired



                              Thank you for your good suggestions!

                              We welcome others....

                              Cheryl

                              Comment

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