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11 year old with dyslexia & 7 year old -- Classical education?

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    11 year old with dyslexia & 7 year old -- Classical education?

    I am thrilled to find this website & forum. I have ordered Simply Classical & am awaiting it's arrival. In the past, I have brushed aside the thought of a Classical Education, deeming it "too difficult" for my 11 year old with dyslexia. I am grateful to have read recent articles directing me to Simply Classical & this website.

    My sweet 11 year old boy was diagnosed with Dyslexia several years ago. He started struggling in Kindergarten (couldn't keep up with the class). Though he attended private school from K thru 3rd, he was tested by the school district (total waste of time), privately tested, been to an educational therapist, child psychologist, private tutors & finally tested by Lindamood-Bell. Post-2nd grade he was still unable to read. After the end of his 6 week LMB intensive course, he read Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Amazing. Still, he struggled in 3rd grade. At the end of 3rd grade, the private school told us not to come back. They had given up on him & said he needed to be in Special Ed Class in public school. (They would not look at his testing results from LMB). Thus, our homeschool journey began. This is our 2nd year now & technically he is in the 5th grade, however, I feel as if he is not "getting it". Schoolwork causes him great anxiety, crying & he dreads it. Math is a real struggle... still having trouble with multiplication facts. I almost feel like we need to back up to 3rd grade in Math & start again. Even though he is reading, I have to read him all of his work. Even still, his reading comprehension isn't very strong. If I make him struggle through & read the lesson himself, it's the same. Low reading comprehension. There has to be a better way!

    To complicate matters, I also have a 7 year old. Though I do not see the same struggling traits my older son has, I do notice that my little guy is having trouble catching on to letter recognition, sound, etc... (He IS a "young" 7) He is stronger in numbers though. Last year we did a Kindergarten curriculum & this year he was not ready to advance to 1st grade, so we are doing a modified K/1st curriculum. Still struggling with him though as far as letter recognition, so reading is not happening yet.

    Both boys have an advanced vocabulary for their ages & are extremely creative. My 11 year old's face lights up when he talks about the stories he's made up, shows me the cartoons he's drawn or talks about the "films" he makes with his Legos or plush toys. Super creative!! I would love to spark the same love of learning in him that he shows with his extra-curricular likes.

    My question: Would I be crazy to embark on a Classical education for both of my boys? At this point, they both need me by their sides through all of their work. Can I pull this off? I have looked at your curriculum packages for K & 1st grade... I am not sure my 7 year old could handle the 1st grade curriculum at this point... would I back up again to K next year for him? What about my 11 year old? How would I know where to place him? What about the Online Academy your website offers? Would this be an option for either of them? Also, the tons of books & then accompanying teacher books actually intimidate me! I find it confusing. However, I will do whatever it takes to give my boys the very best education they both deserve. I believe in them both 1000% & will never give up.

    I would so appreciate any guidance or advice you can share with me. Thank you so much for providing such a wealth of information & support.

    God Bless.

    #2
    Good morning, "Mommy2TwoBoys."

    Welcome! Many of us thought just as you did. We now believe instead that the ordered, formative, beautiful, and elevating content of a classical Christian education helps our special-needs students far more than a random, "progressive," overly utilitarian, or uninspiring approach. You will appreciate this even more after you read the stories in Simply Classical. You will also find a helpful chapter on assessing your own children at home and another on modifications for learning difficulties.

    Your boys --

    The sweet 11-year-old boy brimming with creativity:
    He has endured so much! But it is not too late at 11. You write,

    Originally posted by Mommy2TwoBoys View Post
    I almost feel like we need to back up to 3rd grade in Math & start again. Even though he is reading, I have to read him all of his work. Even still, his reading comprehension isn't very strong. If I make him struggle through & read the lesson himself, it's the same. Low reading comprehension. There has to be a better way!
    Your instincts seem strong and accurate here. And, yes, there is a better way! In a step-by-step manner, your son needs the basic formation of skills he never received. Often when we move our children "backwards," we fear hindering our children; yet many of us find the opposite is true. When my own learning-disabled son was 11 or so, I repeated an entire level of math with him. I warned the examiner that year, "He'll test low in math this time." His scores soared! My son's mastered skills proved my fears unfounded.

    We need to give our special-needs children solid skills and mastered understanding, not just progression through levels. We want to do this while encouraging wonder, joy, and the love of a good book.

    You may have seen the Memoria Press motto: docere, delectare, movere. A very "classical" way of thinking, this triad comes from men like Cicero and later Augustine: "to teach, to delight, to move."


    Teacher's Guides/Lesson Plans:
    As for the seeming confusion of so many books, the K-8 forum offers an impressive collection of experienced, encouraging homeschooling moms and moderators ready to guide you through.

    You can move to a lower level with your older son, perhaps 2nd or 3rd, and help him regain confidence. The lesson plans include repetition, review, and recitation. These techniques seem simple, but they will strengthen his mind and memory for more learning. Whenever sections of the lower level prove "too easy," you can congratulate him and move more quickly!

    My nearly 19yo twins and I have discovered a "learning curve" when beginning any new curriculum. An few evenings (or coffee shop hours) alone with the teacher's guide usually relieve trepidation for me.

    A bonus for special-needs children: Memoria Press teacher's guides provide effective ways to teach and review material beyond the daily lessons, if your son needs more help.


    Your 7yo:
    Perhaps you can prevent difficulties, even as you see them emerging. Although he has not yet been tested, you have enough "soft signs" to consider giving him a strong K curriculum this year. If he balks, call this K2, and assure him the Memoria Press K level is more advanced than some 1st-grade school programs. He will solidify his phonics skills in a much-needed way. Your 11yo might benefit from (and even enjoy) helping with some read-alouds at this level.

    Online:
    You should not yet consider the online academy. However, this may be a good option for you in the future. For now you need to strengthen both boys' foundational reading, math, and writing skills.


    Flexibility:
    If you select the curriculum packages, remember that you need not perform every exercise or check every box in every subject every day. You are the teacher. The lessons and guides assist you, but they need not rule over you. You retain the very flexibility and control that brought your boys home to you.

    Summary:
    Both boys have strong vocabularies and much creativity. They can both flourish! Your 11yo's ability to create his own stories will blossom, as he learns to read well and write well. He will read and hear good, old-fashioned, well-crafted stories selected for both levels. Consider the MP science read-alouds for excellent supplements to inspire wonder. You want both boys to enjoy good books. This will assist them - and you - throughout their education.



    Cheryl

    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
    Cheryl Swope, M.Ed., with Foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith

    Comment


      #3
      I was just winding how you liked Lindamood Bell? My daughter starts Monday for 3 weeks at the center and I am going to finish up with it at home. She will be 10 in May. Her testing showed a actually reading level at 9th grade but they told me she read paragraphs for them fluently at a college level. The problem is she doesn't comprehend much of anything tested at upper 2nd grade and vocabulary the same. Spelling was grade Le El at 4.8. Math was low at about 2nd she has always had trouble with math.
      Their r suggested 6 to 7 weeks of visualizing and verbaliIng. Retest later and possibly their math program.
      We had tried Classical Conversation s at the begining of this school year bit we had just moved here and it was to fast for her. I think if we were back where we had moved from with their group would have went better because they were aware of her issues.
      We are currently doing 4th grade everything except math. We will not be doing anything except Lindamood Bell stuff until the end of our school year.
      So I am planning on starting Memoria Press 2nd grade core curriculum and read a loud programs with her in June. Will plan to go year around with a week or 2 break at a time to get caught up.

      I also have a 2 year old I may start in Jr K in the next 1-2 years.

      Comment


        #4
        Cheryl:

        I think starting my 11 year old at 3rd grade level again next year would be a huge relief to both of us, but I just felt as if it was not even a possibility..... However, with what you said, I'm now thinking it might be a necessity. If they don't have a firm foundation, how can they possibly build on it in years to come? Makes total sense. The same goes for my 7 year old & the Kindergarten.


        Thank you SO much for the detailed & very helpful reply! I am so grateful for your time & advice. What you say makes very good sense to me. "Simply Classical" just arrived yesterday & I will begin reading it today. Again, I'm so relieved to have found your book & this website!


        God Bless


        Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
        Good morning, "Mommy2TwoBoys."

        Welcome! Many of us thought just as you did. We now believe instead that the ordered, formative, beautiful, and elevating content of a classical Christian education helps our special-needs students far more than a random, "progressive," overly utilitarian, or uninspiring approach. You will appreciate this even more after you read the stories in Simply Classical. You will also find a helpful chapter on assessing your own children at home and another on modifications for learning difficulties.

        Your boys --

        The sweet 11-year-old boy brimming with creativity:
        He has endured so much! But it is not too late at 11. You write,



        Your instincts seem strong and accurate here. And, yes, there is a better way! In a step-by-step manner, your son needs the basic formation of skills he never received. Often when we move our children "backwards," we fear hindering our children; yet many of us find the opposite is true. When my own learning-disabled son was 11 or so, I repeated an entire level of math with him. I warned the examiner that year, "He'll test low in math this time." His scores soared! My son's mastered skills proved my fears unfounded.

        We need to give our special-needs children solid skills and mastered understanding, not just progression through levels. We want to do this while encouraging wonder, joy, and the love of a good book.

        You may have seen the Memoria Press motto: docere, delectare, movere. A very "classical" way of thinking, this triad comes from men like Cicero and later Augustine: "to teach, to delight, to move."


        Teacher's Guides/Lesson Plans:
        As for the seeming confusion of so many books, the K-8 forum offers an impressive collection of experienced, encouraging homeschooling moms and moderators ready to guide you through.

        You can move to a lower level with your older son, perhaps 2nd or 3rd, and help him regain confidence. The lesson plans include repetition, review, and recitation. These techniques seem simple, but they will strengthen his mind and memory for more learning. Whenever sections of the lower level prove "too easy," you can congratulate him and move more quickly!

        My nearly 19yo twins and I have discovered a "learning curve" when beginning any new curriculum. An few evenings (or coffee shop hours) alone with the teacher's guide usually relieve trepidation for me.

        A bonus for special-needs children: Memoria Press teacher's guides provide effective ways to teach and review material beyond the daily lessons, if your son needs more help.


        Your 7yo:
        Perhaps you can prevent difficulties, even as you see them emerging. Although he has not yet been tested, you have enough "soft signs" to consider giving him a strong K curriculum this year. If he balks, call this K2, and assure him the Memoria Press K level is more advanced than some 1st-grade school programs. He will solidify his phonics skills in a much-needed way. Your 11yo might benefit from (and even enjoy) helping with some read-alouds at this level.

        Online:
        You should not yet consider the online academy. However, this may be a good option for you in the future. For now you need to strengthen both boys' foundational reading, math, and writing skills.


        Flexibility:
        If you select the curriculum packages, remember that you need not perform every exercise or check every box in every subject every day. You are the teacher. The lessons and guides assist you, but they need not rule over you. You retain the very flexibility and control that brought your boys home to you.

        Summary:
        Both boys have strong vocabularies and much creativity. They can both flourish! Your 11yo's ability to create his own stories will blossom, as he learns to read well and write well. He will read and hear good, old-fashioned, well-crafted stories selected for both levels. Consider the MP science read-alouds for excellent supplements to inspire wonder. You want both boys to enjoy good books. This will assist them - and you - throughout their education.



        Cheryl

        Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
        Cheryl Swope, M.Ed., with Foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith

        Comment


          #5
          Hi Brandi:

          Lindamood-Bell was an answer to prayer. We had spent thousands of dollars on all sorts of treatment & tutoring for our son. Nothing at all helped him. Lindamood-Bell was something I found after doing tons of research. The intensive course was definitely a lot of hard work for him, but I have only good things to say about the teachers. They were very sensitive to his needs, very kind & patient. It was a different way of teaching & it worked for him. I know everyone is different, but in our case it worked incredibly well. When he began the course in the summer after 2nd grade, he still could barely read at all. Six weeks later, he read "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" ( a graduation gift LMB gave him). It was astounding success. The big drawback is that LMB is SO horrendously expensive. That 6 week course he took was $12,000. I am sure that additional courses would have helped him further, but at those prices, it wasn't an option for us. I can say that his reading has continued to improve since taking the course & they did teach me some things to help him at home.

          I hope your daughter has great success with her course too!

          Mommy2TwoBoys



          Originally posted by Brandi Graham View Post
          I was just winding how you liked Lindamood Bell? My daughter starts Monday for 3 weeks at the center and I am going to finish up with it at home. She will be 10 in May. Her testing showed a actually reading level at 9th grade but they told me she read paragraphs for them fluently at a college level. The problem is she doesn't comprehend much of anything tested at upper 2nd grade and vocabulary the same. Spelling was grade Le El at 4.8. Math was low at about 2nd she has always had trouble with math.
          Their r suggested 6 to 7 weeks of visualizing and verbaliIng. Retest later and possibly their math program.
          We had tried Classical Conversation s at the begining of this school year bit we had just moved here and it was to fast for her. I think if we were back where we had moved from with their group would have went better because they were aware of her issues.
          We are currently doing 4th grade everything except math. We will not be doing anything except Lindamood Bell stuff until the end of our school year.
          So I am planning on starting Memoria Press 2nd grade core curriculum and read a loud programs with her in June. Will plan to go year around with a week or 2 break at a time to get caught up.

          I also have a 2 year old I may start in Jr K in the next 1-2 years.

          Comment

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