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Where to start?

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    Where to start?

    Hello! I have a soon to be 11 year old son and five and two year old girls. I am very interested in Classical education and am just not sure where to start. My son would not know that he is struggling, but in terms of where he "should" be, he is not there! He was kind of stuck at a first grade level from ages 6-8 and finally cracked the code and is now reading all the time. He comfortably reads silently on at least a fifth grade level but is only able to read aloud well at a lower level. It's making me unsure how much he is getting when he reads to himself. When I ask for narration, he is quite good at relating the story with some detail.

    During his stuck years, he did three first grade programs, including three different math programs. He wasn't able to go on because he just couldn't remember his math facts, and moving on was too stressful. He is currently doing well at his own level in math and is working from CLE math grade 3 and memorizing multiplication facts with relative ease.

    His spelling is awful and he hates writing. I am having him do Rod and Staff English 2 independently with the requirement of writing 5 sentences daily in his notebook. The grammer book just a good way to get him writing. He will write on a typewriter or computer with much more enthusiasm than writing by hand.

    He is great at working orally and loves listening to read alouds or audiobooks. He is advanced as far as listening skills go but only if the information is in story form. He learns so much from stories and from reading heavily illustrated science and history books on his own.

    Ok, there's my little book about my son. I am just at a loss of where to start when I look at the lesson plans Memoria offers. I do know that we will be sticking with CLE math next year but I am otherwise open to suggestions. Thank you for reading this and for any guidance you can offer.

    #2
    Amazzie,

    Your son's strengths include his enjoyment of stories, his ability to read, and some foundational writing and math skills. He can even work independently. Now you can lead him a little bit higher! In later years, our own home school motto became Excelsior! -- ever higher!

    From your description, your son sounds ready for more engaged instruction. You have many options. The simplest might be an all-in-one introduction to classical studies through the Memoria Press third-grade curriculum.

    Do not be fooled by "third grade," as this is not the third grade many of us knew as children! Your son would receive an introduction to astronomy, Greek myths, Latin, and history. His education would expand considerably in a single year.

    This curriculum requires more time than he needs now, but he would receive greater instruction in the essential tools of learning. He would enjoy many stories, as you lead him through literature guides to think about these stories in ways beyond mere narration. (The lessons in the guides can be accomplished orally or with typed answers.)

    He would also receive more intentional instruction in writing, penmanship, spelling, and grammar. Even though he does not yet enjoy these skills, he needs them. Consider this article.


    Take a look at the lesson plans and books. This could be an exciting year for him. You could "conference" with him ahead of time and let him know that, as big brother, he is ready to embark on something wonderfully new and challenging.


    If his little sister is ready for kindergarten, you might consider a similar path for her through the Memoria Press kindergarten level. If you teach her this year with the MPK curriculum, this might even prove instructive, as you might see learning gaps in your son's own education. Then you could supplement for him accordingly.


    You did not mention a formal evaluation for your son's difficulties with written expression, but this might be something to consider, if you have not done so already. If you have read Simply Classical, you can return to the assessment chapters. Utilize the before-and-after recommendations for such an evaluation.


    Feel free to follow up, if any of these suggestions do not seem well-suited to your son.

    Thanks-
    Cheryl


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

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for the detailed answer. I had been thinking of trying for fourth, but after spending some time looking over the samples I can see why you recommended third. I was just thinking about his reading ability rather than the entire curriculum, especially the writing needed. I do agree that he needs to progress in his written language skills. I am pretty sure he has dysgraphia, to go along with the dyslexia, but I am just starting to think about a thorough evaluation. I have had some interesting experiences with professionals who toss labels out without much investigation. I have been told he has ADD and dyslexia, but in both cases I felt they didn't bother to get to know my son and it seemed so quick and, frankly, annoying! But I know there are more helpful people out there, I will just have to find them. Maybe when I read the chapter in your book I will find some clues on the best way to do that.

      My daughter is ready for kindergarten. Even though she has some of the early signs of dyslexia, like mixing up sounds in words such as aminal instead of animal, she is progressing nicely with spelling and sounding out cvc words. It worries me sometimes when she will sound out a word like t...e...n. and then say net!! But I have been using a cursor along with some drill in blending from Phonics Pathways and she is getting much better. I hope she will continue to do so.

      Thank you for your time and concern for my children,
      Aylin

      PS Could you tell me a bit about the pacing of the phonics and reading instruction for Kindergarten? I haven't been able to figure it out from the samples.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Amazzie View Post
        My daughter is ready for kindergarten. Even though she has some of the early signs of dyslexia, like mixing up sounds in words such as aminal instead of animal, she is progressing nicely with spelling and sounding out cvc words. It worries me sometimes when she will sound out a word like t...e...n. and then say net!! But I have been using a cursor along with some drill in blending from Phonics Pathways and she is getting much better. I hope she will continue to do so....PS Could you tell me a bit about the pacing of the phonics and reading instruction for Kindergarten? I haven't been able to figure it out from the samples.
        Aylin,

        First Start Reading offers a multi-sensory phonics-reading-printing approach that might benefit your daughter. You'll teach her through four books, A-D, over 33 weeks. Mrs. Cheryl Lowe developed the program with her characteristically masterful pacing and review.

        You begin with letter sounds and CVC words in Book A. Some of this will be review for your daughter, but this will reinforce her current skills while strengthening her ability to read and vocalize the sounds left-to-right.

        Week 9: you begin Book B with new letter sounds and new CVC words.

        Week 18: you begin Book C with more letter sounds, CVC words, and common words.

        Week 27: you introduce long vowels, digraphs, and blends in Book D.

        Weeks 1-33, the early reader books and lesson plans include stories, games, and exercises to help you provide extra step-by-step phonics, reading, and printing practice.


        All of this prepares her for MP 1, in which she will gain even more phonics, reading, and printing skills.

        Does that help?

        Cheryl


        Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

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

        Comment


          #5
          Very helpful!

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