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Suggestions? 11, ASD, new to Memoria / classical

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    Suggestions? 11, ASD, new to Memoria / classical

    I'd like to move my 11 year old son with aspergers and adhd into Memoria Press materials, and I'm struggling with deciding where to start, how much to start with, and how to adapt things for him.

    He's a strong reader now, but couldn't read a lick until he was almost 10. Math *just* clicked for him this year. His handwriting and spelling are awful, often illegible. This will be a new approach for him, and I'd like to avoid overwhelming him. Mentally he's 11. (Flighty and young, but still 11.)

    Just as a starting point, I'm looking through the sixth grade package and available "swaps".

    Literature - He's read most of the literature selections up to eigth grade, but I certainly don't object to him reading them a second (or in some cases sixth!) time, with a literature guide. Should I let him pick wichever package looks most intersting to him? Or should we stick with "Grade 6"? The student workbooks/texts are going to be *very* difficult for him without modification. Should I...
    ...let him answer questions orally?
    ...have him read all the books, but only go through one student guide, working slowly but thoroughly, including all writing? (He might have a real sense of accomplishment from this... then again, he may burn the book to celebrate!)
    ...write answers for him? (Sounds time consuming!)

    Composition / Grammar / Spelling -
    given his physical writing struggles, should we limit this to *one* choice this first year? Or should I even stick with simple copywork and penmanship? (Maybe focus only on cursive, and go from there?)

    Classical Studies - He would probably enjoy any of the Classical Studies books. Is there much physical writing or maturity difference in the student texts? Should I just let him pick whichever looks intersting to him, and deal with the details as they come up?

    Latin - Latina Christiana
    (I am horrified of introducing Latin! I've read Simply Classical and am *almost* convinced Latin will be healthy for his flightly mind, and not just torturous!)

    Christian Studies - Christian Studies I

    American/Modern - open to suggestions! Geography I and II and the American studies set, all look look like great options.

    Science - Trees. I think he would "hate" this the least. (heh!)

    Math - I *really* need suggestions with math... in fact I think this is worth a seperate thread.

    Looking at the above, I really am concerned about overwhelming him. Should I trim down
    -Classical Studies
    -Science
    -American/Modern
    -Literature
    to only 1-2 subjects? I understand they are all completely different materials and subjects, but they are all similar in that they are a read, then answer questions, format.

    Likewise with Christian Studies. The courses look excellent, but I wonder if he should just stick with reading his study bible. I don't want him to associate Christian studies with workbook/handwriting dread.

    I appologize this is so long. I've been trying to trim it down but wow, I have a lot of questions!

    I would appreciate any advice and suggestions.

    -Laura

    #2
    Good morning, Laura! You have many options. Based on your descriptions, you will want to combine skills and subjects whenever possible.

    The following scenario might serve him well this year, as you transition. Then you could add more, as both his confidence and abilities improve:

    Literature -

    You write ..."I'd like to move my 11 year old son with aspergers and adhd into Memoria Press materials, and I'm struggling with deciding where to start, how much to start with, and how to adapt things for him."

    You could obtain all of the books and have him read (or reread) all. Consider choosing only one literature guide per semester this year. Work through the guide with him, but have him write all of the answers. As he does, gently correct errors. In this manner, you can incorporate some of the grammar/composition/spelling skills he has not yet mastered, such as the use of commas or the capitalization of all proper nouns. You can even teach dictionary skills through the literature guides, as he learns to use guide words when searching for the correct spelling of unknown words. The guides will assist his comprehension skills, his attention to detail, and his ability to find the main idea in a story. All of these can be challenging for our children on the autism spectrum.

    Composition / Grammar / Spelling

    You write ... given his physical writing struggles, should we limit this to *one* choice this first year? Or should I even stick with simple copywork and penmanship? (Maybe focus only on cursive, and go from there?)

    At least one formal program would be helpful, because he will need to learn the rules of language and spelling. Perhaps consider something he can learn orally for grammar, such as English Grammar Recitation? This, along with penmanship and the assisted writing in his other classes, as described above, might be sufficient for now.

    Classical Studies/Latin/Christian Studies

    "He would probably enjoy any of the Classical Studies books. Is there much physical writing or maturity difference in the student texts? Should I just let him pick whichever looks intersting to him, and deal with the details as they come up?
    Latin - Latina Christiana
    (I am horrified of introducing Latin! I've read Simply Classical and am *almost* convinced Latin will be healthy for his flightly mind, and not just torturous!)"
    Christian Studies - Christian Studies I ...Likewise with Christian Studies. The courses look excellent, but I wonder if he should just stick with reading his study bible. I don't want him to associate Christian studies with workbook/handwriting dread....


    If you only select one of these, choose Latin. Latin can even become his Classical Studies! With this all-in-one classical language study program, Latin includes a study of ancient Rome and even Christian Studies (Latin prayers and Latin elements of the historic Christian liturgy). Latin is an integral part of a classical Christian education, not an elective. The study of Latin offers so many benefits, Mrs. Lowe even wrote an article on Ten Reasons to Study Latin!

    For our special-needs students, one overlooked benefit is the instant esteem from others, simply because so few schools offer Latin any more.
    Doctor/Neighbor/Relative: "What are you learning in your homeschool?"
    Child: "Latin."
    Doctor/Neighbor/Relative: "Latin?? Wow...."

    This happens often for my own children. Because our struggling students fail in so many social and public ways, every little boost to their confidence is welcome!


    You can supplement learning Latina Christiana I with Christian Studies I by doing much of the work orally. You can continue your upper-level bible stories to promote biblical literacy.

    History & Science

    American/Modern - open to suggestions! Geography I and II and the American studies set, all look look like great options.
    Science - Trees. I think he would "hate" this the least. (heh!)


    You could select whichever you'd like in these areas. Many boys with Asperger's/high-functioning autism seem to enjoy maps and classifications, so everything you mention here could be a good fit.


    Math

    Math - I *really* need suggestions with math...



    What has he studied so far in math?

    Thanks-
    Cheryl


    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

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

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