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Starting with 9 year old boy

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    Starting with 9 year old boy

    I'm new to this board, but can already see from just the last few days that there is encouragement and help here! I've recently finished Cheryl's book after hearing her speak in Greenville, SC back in March (needed the summer to be able to go back and reflect and think and read through what I learned there). I must say that in spite of how encouraging and hopeful her book is, I'm fighting some feelings of sorrow and regret as I realize how much time I've wasted with my little boy. I am working at not letting this defeat me, leaning into the Lord's provision and care and acknowledging that He has sovereignly given Jack to ME - not someone else - and He will equip and supply all that I stand in need of. But oh, how I wish I had done more with him these last few years...

    He is 9 1/2 years old, with Down syndrome, speaking more and more but still not with great articulation. He's not reading but he does know his letters (most of the time). He loves to be read to, loves to look at books, loves to look at photos. He still cannot consistently count to 5 and doesn't understand simple concepts of time - later, more, soon, yesterday, tomorrow, etc. He has 5 older siblings and 1 younger - a 5 year old sister who is reading like crazy, just to give some context to his home life. Some of his current delays may have been present anyway, regardless of instruction, but I feel quite sure that they have been compounded for him because of my lack of intensive and consistent instruction. I never wanted to put him in school, but for some reason, I have not lived up to the ideal I had when we made that decision many years ago and there have been many days when he has been left to his own activities - happily so. It's painful for me to admit that, even in this "safe" place where there are others who understand the difficulties in raising a child with special needs. I have just not given him the tools that he needs, have not given him the time that he needs, have not given him the repetition and consistency that he needs. But I want to do better.

    My immediate question relates to what level of the MP Special Needs curriculum to order for him. I have gone through the readiness assessments for all Levels A, B, and C, but I feel like I don't have solid clarity from them - his skills seem to be somewhat all over the map. I really think that some of it is due to lack of consistent or particular instruction, not so much from an overall delay (though he does have overall delay, certainly). So that is making it hard for me to figure out where I ought to start. He has achieved nearly 100% of Level A skills (though some might be considered emerging), so I feel pretty confident that that level would be beneath him, especially since he's 9. But then when I assessed him for Level B readiness, he had about 88% on language, 79% on cognitive ability, 100% on emotional development, 100% on fine-motor skills, and 100% on gross motor skills (again, with some of these skills being emergent). The Level C assessment was where I saw most of the all-over-the-map results. His yes/emerging/no breakdown for language was 3/10/1, for cognitive ability it was 4/2/5, for social-emotional development it was 11/3/1, for fine-motor skills it was 2/9/4, and for gross-motor skills it was 7/2/5. If the criteria for readiness is no more than 25% no responses, then it would seem he isn't ready for Level C. But in most areas of Level B he appears to be beyond readiness level. Some of my hesitation in feeling like I've got a solid picture here is just in my own questions as I assessed him - I'm not sure that I did a completely accurate job of judging his skill set. Some things that were questionable were things that we've never actually worked on.

    I don't want to belabor the point with too much detail. He is a delight to our whole family and we are all changed because of him. I just want to meet his needs as his homeschool mom better than I have been and am so thankful for the push that Cheryl's book has given me. Again, I'm still struggling some with turning from repentance to the point where I'm "forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead." Regret is a hard thing to deal with sometimes. But for Jack's sake, I want to press forward in Christ, with His help, and make great strides in the year ahead - not so much in terms of huge academic gains for Jack, but in MYSELF and how I approach his education from this point on.

    Thanks for any help that you can offer. I'm so glad to be connected here!

    Marcie

    #2
    Originally posted by Marcie View Post
    I'm new to this board, but can already see from just the last few days that there is encouragement and help here! I've recently finished Cheryl's book after hearing her speak in Greenville, SC back in March (needed the summer to be able to go back and reflect and think and read through what I learned there). I must say that in spite of how encouraging and hopeful her book is, I'm fighting some feelings of sorrow and regret as I realize how much time I've wasted with my little boy. I am working at not letting this defeat me, leaning into the Lord's provision and care and acknowledging that He has sovereignly given Jack to ME - not someone else - and He will equip and supply all that I stand in need of. But oh, how I wish I had done more with him these last few years...

    He is 9 1/2 years old, with Down syndrome, speaking more and more but still not with great articulation. He's not reading but he does know his letters (most of the time). He loves to be read to, loves to look at books, loves to look at photos. He still cannot consistently count to 5 and doesn't understand simple concepts of time - later, more, soon, yesterday, tomorrow, etc. He has 5 older siblings and 1 younger - a 5 year old sister who is reading like crazy, just to give some context to his home life. Some of his current delays may have been present anyway, regardless of instruction, but I feel quite sure that they have been compounded for him because of my lack of intensive and consistent instruction. I never wanted to put him in school, but for some reason, I have not lived up to the ideal I had when we made that decision many years ago and there have been many days when he has been left to his own activities - happily so. It's painful for me to admit that, even in this "safe" place where there are others who understand the difficulties in raising a child with special needs. I have just not given him the tools that he needs, have not given him the time that he needs, have not given him the repetition and consistency that he needs. But I want to do better.

    My immediate question relates to what level of the MP Special Needs curriculum to order for him. I have gone through the readiness assessments for all Levels A, B, and C, but I feel like I don't have solid clarity from them - his skills seem to be somewhat all over the map. I really think that some of it is due to lack of consistent or particular instruction, not so much from an overall delay (though he does have overall delay, certainly). So that is making it hard for me to figure out where I ought to start. He has achieved nearly 100% of Level A skills (though some might be considered emerging), so I feel pretty confident that that level would be beneath him, especially since he's 9. But then when I assessed him for Level B readiness, he had about 88% on language, 79% on cognitive ability, 100% on emotional development, 100% on fine-motor skills, and 100% on gross motor skills (again, with some of these skills being emergent). The Level C assessment was where I saw most of the all-over-the-map results. His yes/emerging/no breakdown for language was 3/10/1, for cognitive ability it was 4/2/5, for social-emotional development it was 11/3/1, for fine-motor skills it was 2/9/4, and for gross-motor skills it was 7/2/5. If the criteria for readiness is no more than 25% no responses, then it would seem he isn't ready for Level C. But in most areas of Level B he appears to be beyond readiness level. Some of my hesitation in feeling like I've got a solid picture here is just in my own questions as I assessed him - I'm not sure that I did a completely accurate job of judging his skill set. Some things that were questionable were things that we've never actually worked on.

    I don't want to belabor the point with too much detail. He is a delight to our whole family and we are all changed because of him. I just want to meet his needs as his homeschool mom better than I have been and am so thankful for the push that Cheryl's book has given me. Again, I'm still struggling some with turning from repentance to the point where I'm "forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead." Regret is a hard thing to deal with sometimes. But for Jack's sake, I want to press forward in Christ, with His help, and make great strides in the year ahead - not so much in terms of huge academic gains for Jack, but in MYSELF and how I approach his education from this point on.

    Thanks for any help that you can offer. I'm so glad to be connected here!

    Marcie

    Good morning, Marcie. I remember you from Greenville!

    Based on his readiness assessment, I would begin with B.

    Your own confession of some inconsistency indicates the possibility of some spotty learning. Level B will offer plenty of challenge in content. Level B will also provide regularity of study with some successful material. This will help, because a daily academic routine will be a bit of "culture shock" for him! Level B entails a considerable amount of fine-motor activities, so this will feel very much like "school" to him. He will join your academic crew!

    With fully forgiven regrets, celebrate his newly discovered readiness to embark on his studies. Perhaps you can have your other kids help you plan a way to give him a hearty welcome to formal homeschooling. I am excited for you!

    Cling to the blessings you have already given him. He loves books, loves being read to, and he has enjoyed far more of a rich, nurturing language environment than many! This gives him a good foundation for beginning his formal schooling.

    Just as God's mercies are new in Christ every morning for your son, so they are for you.

    I hope you truly enjoy this new chapter in his life -

    Cheryl


    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

    Comment


      #3
      One further question...

      Thank you so much, Cheryl, for that encouragement! I had about decided to order Level B anyway, after the mental exercise of writing out all my thoughts. I do have one question about ordering, and this has probably been answered somewhere already so I apologize for asking it again rather than searching the forum. We already own about half the books in the read-aloud package so I will probably just purchase the rest separately, but it's not clear from the website what books are actually included. When I tried to pull up Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, for instance, there were many editions by different authors. Is it possible to get a more detailed list that would include authors' names, publishers, etc.? Or is it possible to order them separately from MP, which would then ensure that the right book was ordered?

      I'm getting excited about starting and already have Level B in my cart...

      Thanks again for all of the time and effort you have put into this curriculum and into this forum!

      Marcie

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks, Marcie. Below please find the book information for Level B. Although we do not include all authors in this list, you can search by the book's ISBN (given below) for the exact book.


        LEVEL B

        CORE:
        A Child's Garden of Bible Stories, 9780758608581 Concordia
        How Can I Help?, 9780758643476 Concordia
        A Child's Garden of Verses, 9780811841689 Hachette
        My First ABC Book, 9780789499004 Penguin
        Please and Thank You, Richard Scarry 9780394826813 Random House
        Prayer for a Child, Rachel Field 9780020430704 Simon & Schuster
        Bible Pictures to Color Rod & Staff
        Counting With Numbers Rod & Staff
        Adventures With Books Rod & Staff
        Big Thoughts for Little People, 9781414333106 Tyndale
        Alphabet Coloring Book, Memoria Press
        A-Z Craft Book, Memoria Press
        Alphabet Flashcards, Memoria Press
        Numbers Coloring Book, Memoria Press
        Best First Book Ever Richard Scarry, 9780394842509 Random House
        My Big Animal Book, 9780312511074 Macmillan
        My First Body Book, 9780756602796 Penguin
        A Child's Garden of Songs CD, 510503280 House at the Corner
        Back to the Garden CD, 510503290 House at the Corner
        Level B Curriculum Guide, Memoria Press

        READ-ALOUD:
        Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, 9780316056960 Hachette
        Harold and the Purple Crayon, 9780062086525 Harper Collins
        Harry the Dirty Dog, 9780060842444 Harper Collins
        Henny Penny, 9780899192253 Houghton Mifflin
        Pancakes for Breakfast, 9780156707688 Houghton Mifflin
        The Little Engine That Could, 9780448457147 Penguin
        The Very Hungry Caterpillar, 9780399226908 Penguin
        Little Cloud, 9780698118300 Penguin
        Corduroy, 9780670013111 Penguin
        Owl Babies, 978-1564029652 Random House
        The Color Kittens, 9780307021410 Random House
        The Happy Man & His Dump Truck, 9780375855177 Random House
        The Christmas Story, 9780307989130 Random House
        The Poky Little Puppy, 9780375839252 Random House
        Tawny Scrawny Lion, 9780307021687 Random House
        We're Going on a Bear Hunt, 9780689815812 Simon & Schuster
        Drummer Hoff, 9780671662493 Simon & Schuster

        Supplement (Included in Level A):
        Prayers for Children, Eloise Wilkin, 9780307021069 Random House


        I hope this helps!


        Level A, B, and C book lists are now posted on the New Curriculum Package thread.

        Thanks-
        Cheryl

        Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

        Comment


          #5
          Hi Marcie,
          I could have written sections of your post word for word and have the similar regrets and also almost the same size family. Justin who is 9 with down syndrome is the youngest of 6. He is very content and adored by all. His schooling has not been what it should be. I did end up going with level C and am hoping it will with Gods help that it will assist me with consistency which is where we have struggled. I would love to keep in touch with you and perhaps we could share and it will help keep us accountable. I am not sure how to on this board. I didn't see a private message option. I could post the link to my facebook if you are on there. Hoping to here more you and wishing you the best.

          Comment


            #6
            Hi Carol!

            Yes - I'd be happy to keep in touch and mutually encourage one another! I also don't see a way to contact you off this forum, so I'll give you my email address and you can contact me directly if you'd like. I am really looking forward to a better year with Jack and hope that your year with Justin will also be a fresh beginning for you.

            I'm so thankful for the work that Cheryl has done to make things easier for us and to encourage us that all children can benefit from this beautiful instruction. Here's my email: marcieharper@atlanticbb.net.

            Marcie

            Comment


              #7
              I am checking into MP for my daughter with down syndrome. She is older than both of your boys - 11 years old. My story is much the same of regret and wishing I had been doing more. I need to make a change and I think the Lord has pointed me to MP to fill that. I would love to keep in touch with you two ladies and hear how your year has been going and perhaps offer some encouragement to each other. We have a 16yo son in school, our daughter who is 11, then a 6.5yo son and an almost 4yo daughter. The younger ones are all at home.

              Comment

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