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Modifying Literature

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    Modifying Literature

    Cheryl, We are working through Little House in the Big Woods guide. The girls are having a hard time answering the comprehension questions. Any suggestions on how to adapt. I am thinking of reading a question to them and then reading the selection until we come to the answer. But if I do that are they really comprehending the story? Susan

    #2
    Susan,

    This sounds like a great idea. You can help them locate the selection where they can find the answer. Then reread the selection and lead them to the answer with guiding questions.

    You are helping them comprehend what they did not fully understand with the first reading.
    Over time, their ability to comprehend may become stronger with such training.

    As you lead the girls through the guides, you will not expect perfect comprehension. You are training their minds to become more active in their own reading. Just as they think through their books, so they may begin to think more analytically in other areas.

    Consider this from the literature guide description:

    "Reading requires an active, discriminating mind that is challenged to think, compare, and contrast....Literature study guides train students to become active readers."


    Active reading helps them avoid mental passivity. You are helping them think, remember, and analyze. You can even add your own questions about characters to cultivate empathy. If needed, you can omit some of the guide's more advanced questions.


    The guides are just tools. They help us ask questions we might not think to ask. For a good thread from the K-8 forum, see especially Courtney's & Maggie's responses here.

    Remember the independent, instructional, and frustration levels from Simply Classical & from the Evaluation session. With the literature guides, you're not expecting independent completion based on automatic comprehension. You can expect to guide them through the questions with coaching, practice, and training. The literature guides serve you at the girls' instructional level.


    Does that help?

    Cheryl


    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

    Cheryl Swope, M.Ed., with Foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith

    Comment


      #3
      My boys have a hard time with that, too. We read the assigned pages for the day. Then I ask the questions. Next, I point out what page the answer is on, and we mark it. Finally, we form our response on the board for them to copy down. Slow going, great training.
      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


        #4
        Modifying Literature

        Thanks, I am hoping this helps. Susan

        Comment


          #5
          Susan,
          If you find that the tips do not help, feel free to give specific examples. Even if we cannot brainstorm a solution, the examples will help in the development of our new literature guides for special-needs children.


          If anyone has requests for these guides, please contribute suggestions! We will soon create adapted literature guides for possible release next year. Everyone's input will be very helpful.


          Thanks-
          Cheryl



          Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

          Cheryl Swope, M.Ed., with Foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith

          Comment


            #6
            Modifying Literature

            I will post specific example as as they come up. I am excited to know that You are working on Lit guides for special needs kids. The MP literature guides are great, but very challenging for my girls.

            The girls have made huge gains academically thanks to MP and private tutoring they receive. One area of concern for me is behavior and their emotional needs. Do you remember any books you used to help in discipline and encouraging in maturity. Perhaps, I am asking too much. With their low IQ's maybe they will not gain more maturity. For Grace, when things do not go her way, she will bully or pinch people. For Julie, she will just cry. Most days I can accept the life God has given with these girls, but some days not. thanks, Susan

            Comment


              #7
              Consequences might help. Just this year I instituted a $1.00 fine for pinching. Although indignant, Michelle quickly refrained from pinching after payment for the first infringement, much to the relief of her brother.


              Anyone else?

              Cheryl


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

              Comment


                #8
                bad mom

                This is going to sound awful. When my son with autism was younger, he started biting his siblings. We tried everything we could think of. Finally one day, I had had it. I told his younger brother to bite him back. That was the end of the biting. Apparently he was intellectually unable to empathize with his siblings, but he did know that he didn't want to get bitten in return.
                Also, I remember a friend of mine telling me that they were having a problem with their autistic son repeatedly unbuckling his seatbelt. All of their explaining why that wasn't safe were having no effect. She asked if my son had ever done that. I told her that he had once. Once. Because when he did it, I immediately pulled the car over and let loose with a tirade that shook the heavens. Something along the lines of, "ARE YOU CRAZY?!!? You don't EVER take off that seatbelt until the car is off, or you will NEVER ride in this car AGAIN....."
                So pretty much, if I wrote a book on discipline, you wouldn't want to read it. But I did figure out along the way that consequences needed to be immediate, and I was going to have to rise to new levels of vigilance. I think it may have been the book, "The World of the Autistic Child," that said that children with autism who had very authoritative parents tended to fare better in the long run. I can be a real drill sergeant with my son, when too many people he encounters in daily life would like to give him a free pass to misbehave. I love him, I'm affectionate with him, and he will always be my beautiful baby boy. But he knows that he can't pull anything with me.
                Blessings,
                Jude

                dd 17
                ds 14 (special needs)
                ds 11
                ds 9
                dd 7
                ds 4
                dd 2

                Comment


                  #9
                  literature guides

                  Hi Cheryl,
                  I almost forgot about the literature guides suggestions. My son has severe language delays. Interrogative pronouns are almost impossible. He has gotten much better at "where" and "when," although the answer needs to be very concrete, like, "Texas," or "on May 5th at 4:00." He is not likely to get an answer that was something like "when the day is done." For a while his strategy was to give every possible answer at once, guessing wildly. Most discussion and comprehension questions are a nightmare for him and will bring on hand-biting and flapping. But he is much better at fill in the blanks. The parts of the literature guides that he can handle are vocabulary (copying from the dictionary), copy work (only in print, not cursive), and fill in the blanks. And he loves to draw pictures of what we have read.
                  I thought you would like this story. The school diagnostician was telling me once that she tried to do basic analogies with him, and he was unable to complete them correctly. She said, "I gave him Climb is to Up as Fall is to..." I asked her, "Did he say leaves?" She was startled that I knew how he would answer. It made perfect sense to me. Finn has his own logic that just doesn't conform to testing. So his IQ is around 70. But I have seen this kid surf the internet at lightning speed, hook up electrical equipment, find a loophole in the channel locks on Dish Network, and pull out every pot and ingredient necessary to make foods that he likes. He's a 70 only on paper. A true 70 IQ doesn't figure out that if you flip the power switch on a Mac right before your 30 minutes is up, it will let you start over when you turn it back on.
                  Blessings,
                  Jude

                  dd 17
                  ds 14 (special needs)
                  ds 11
                  ds 9
                  dd 7
                  ds 4
                  dd 2

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Jude,

                    You're right. I love that story! It is especially interesting that you knew exactly how his mind would interpret the analogy. As homeschooling moms, we spend so much time with our unique children, we can predict how uniquely they will think!

                    Yes, a single full-scale number like 70 tells us very little, especially with children on the autism spectrum. Your son is technologically intuitive in ways most of us can never be. Similarly, given my Michelle's full scale I.Q. of 75, no one would expect poignant poetry!

                    Good to have you back. Thanks for the suggestions about the literature guides. Very helpful.

                    I remember when our language therapist gave us daily homework with "question words." Maybe we can include daily practice with question words, as this is such a common difficulty.

                    We could keep it simple with the most concrete four first: who, what, where, when. "Who said ...?" "What color is X's hair?" "Where did the girls live?" "When did the clock chime?"

                    After a semester (or year), we can introduce the more abstract "How" and "Why."

                    All could all be answered orally, perhaps first with modeling and imitation.


                    Combining forum answers for the sake of time today, and because they do overlap...

                    Susan, if you're reading this, another suggestion is Aesop Fables. [Jude, do you remember the thread in which you explained how you use these?]

                    Aesop's fables can help develop character in very accessible ways, because the animals fail or succeed in story form. They teach our children lessons about virtue with simple cause-and-effect patterns.

                    As you utilize consequences for the girls' behavior, you can even remind them of the stories. Just be sure to encourage them when they practice the behavior you desire. "Good, Julie (or Grace). You were frustrated, but you showed good self-control." If you know a suitable lesson from Aesop, you can even link the behavior to an admirable animal. "Your good self-control reminded me of the ...."

                    As for your feelings, we can all say the very same thing.

                    I am hopeful that you will see growth in your girls' maturity, even as they continue to grow academically. They're still young. My 19yo son Michael said just yesterday, "I think I'm finally growing up."


                    Thanks -
                    Cheryl



                    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

                    Cheryl Swope, M.Ed., with Foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith

                    Comment


                      #11
                      modifying Literature

                      Thanks for the suggestion about Aesop's Fables. I will have to get a copy from the library. On a brighter note, we just received word that Grace passed the Ohio Graduation Test. I am not sure how she pulled that off. Susan

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I agree with SaintJude about the Lit guides. Mine can do very concrete facts. But "Describe Mr. Popper." was the end. They could not put together from the clues given in the text that he was absent-minded and untidy. Perhaps as an example, the question could quote from the text with blanks to fill in, and/or even page numbers as a clue to where the answer can be found? I am thinking along the lines of Reading/Science Detective by Critical Thinking Co. where the kids have to show where they found the answer in a labeled text.

                        Many of the activities and enrichment ideas may also need to be modified. I am sure ya'll have already thought of that, too.

                        200 Questions About American History is great because it is asking for short concrete facts, not speculation. Perhaps something like the 200 Questions format could also be considered for the Famous Men and/or the Mill's books? Oh and maps...lots of maps to color/fill in.
                        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

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