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Getting ready to start MP with 3 boys (2 special needs)

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    Getting ready to start MP with 3 boys (2 special needs)

    Hi I'm new to MP and have not used it before. I have been on the website all summer and just finished reading Cheryl's book. It was very helpful and inspirational. I had been slowly losing hope that anything would work to help one of my son's progress in his academics, but now am very excited about starting MP. I have 3 boys whom I am currently homeschooling and am trying to decide exactly what I need to order for them. I want to keep things a little streamlined as I have a total of 6 kids and they all have medical issues and impairments. (LOTS of dr appts.)

    The 3 boys homeschooling are 13, 10, & 10. The middle 10 year old will be in 5th grade and doesn't have any learning issues, but hasn't had any classical education and needs some work on his writing skills. The younger 10 year old will be in 4th grade but has special needs and just learned to read last year. He is probably at a solid 2nd grade reading and writing level. He has severe rheumatoid arthritis and has difficulty writing due to the arthritis and other learning issues. (He has anxiety, ptsd, and was born drug exposed). The oldest is probably my most challenging child with school. He is 13 but also has profound PTSD, learning disorders, anxiety, social issues, severe behavioral problems, and also rheumatoid arthritis- he was also drug exposed prenatally and severely abused in his bio family. On a good day academically he functions at about 2nd to 3rd grade in reading and math. He has extreme difficulty composing even a sentence.

    A couple of ideas that I had for the boys was to order 3rd grade package for all of them, but modify a few things. All of them would do Prima Latina instead. Also the 13 year old and young 10 year old would do 2nd grade literature. But then I would have them skip the intro to comp (because it's mostly based on 3rd grade literature) and pick it up next year. I was debating whether to have the 5th grader start Classical compostions or to just have him to the Intro to Comp. I don't want him to be too far behind, but as I look ahead I'm not too worried about it. Some of the 3rd grade literature may be on the easier side for him too.

    My biggest worry is that the 3rd grade MP package may be too difficult for the 13 and young 10 year old. I have considered having them do the 2nd grade, but wasn't sure there would be enough writing to challenge the 13 year old. I also am worried that the 13 year old is sooo far behind academically, but the doctors are now saying that my son will probably have significant lifelong challenges. It was so encouraging to read Cheryl's story though! My son used to do a lot better, but his bio mom passed away 2 years ago and then he revealed how severely abused he was by her as a young child, so he is really struggling. So many similiarities with Cheryl's kids. There are many days when learning doesn't happen for him- He's either having severe tantrums or in depression- also hallucinations, etc. Very sad for my son. But he does love reading and literature and I think Latin would be so wonderful for him too.

    I know this got very long, but I really want to do MP and am very excited about starting it. I want my boys to have success as well as be challenged.

    Thank you so much!

    God bless, Tammy

    PS: One other issue I am struggling with is the classical and history studies. My 5th grader is very eager to learn about mythology and other history, but my 2 other boys with ptsd have severe nightmares at the mention of anything violent. This concerns me with having them study mythology or the Famous Men books. Do you have any other suggestions for what I could use with those 2 instead?
    Last edited by 6boysmom; 08-17-2014, 06:57 PM. Reason: adding a little more info

    #2
    Welcome, Tammy.

    Your boys' challenges brought tears here.

    To recap your descriptions:

    13
    - learning disabilities, severe behavior disorders, social issues, anxiety, profound PTSD, drug exposed, rheumatoid arthritis, severely abused, hallucinations & depression, difficulties with references to violence;
    - reading/math at 2nd-3rd grade level, ~K writing - cannot yet write a sentence
    - loves reading & literature [this may become the key to teaching him!]

    10 (older)
    - no learning disabilities, has had no prior classical education, eager to study history and embark on classical studies
    - performs at 5th grade level, needs formal writing lessons

    10 (younger)
    - severe rheumatoid arthritis that affects his writing abilities, anxiety, PTSD, drug exposed, difficulties with references to violence
    - performs at 2nd grade level reading/writing


    You would like to streamline the studies by combining all three of these boys. The 2nd-grade core would definitely provide enough writing for your oldest. Bonus - the writing occurs within literature study! With 2nd grade, you could enjoy the Enrichment read-alouds for science, culture, and history. Bible stories will supply more history. You can omit the occasional reference to physical destruction. (A local friend has a similarly sensitive boy with severe anxiety and, for now, must do this even with select Bible stories and fairy tales.)

    While 2nd grade seems suitable for your oldest and youngest students, this would not sufficiently challenge your middle student. He seems well-suited for 4th. One option, as you mentioned, would be to compromise because of very real time constraints. All could study 3rd together, just as you mentioned. As you know, you would need to greatly simplify some portions for the oldest & youngest. Possibly substitute Bible study and the Enrichment read-alouds for Greek myths. You would need to provide more challenges for the middle student. Perhaps he could become the "family scribe" for literature. This would give him extra writing practice while allowing all three to study together. Your middle student could embark on Greek myths and other more challenging elements of 3rd, during which you might give your other two Copybook exercises (or rest). This plan might work for this year, as long as you keep looking for ways to challenge your middle student in writing instruction and in content.


    Regardless of the curriculum selection, I hope your oldest is receiving good medical care for the depression and hallucinations. He sounds like my son. Of course everyone is different, but such medical treatment helped my son tremendously. Just last week, Michael said, "My mind feels stronger than it has been in a very long time. I'd like to return to regular study of pre-algebra, music theory, Bible study, and Latin." We shelved these after his graduation last December, and I allowed him to study only the "easy" (for him) subjects of literature and history. As peers embark on college this month, he wants to study too. The stabilizing of his mind makes this possible.

    A final tip - for all of those doctor trips, consider ordering the Lingua Angelica CD for travel time. The soothing, beautiful music allows everyone to hear Latin pronunciations in an edifying context.

    I hope some of this helps!

    Cheryl


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

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you so much Cheryl! I am overwhelmed by your kind and detailed response. I really appreciate all the time that you took to respond. You have given me a lot to think about and I will definitely consider that when I order. (hopefully next week!)

      My son who is 13 has had wonderful doctors and medical care- we also finally found a therapist who works with kids with severe trauma issues and that has been extremely helpful as well. The last 2 years have been the worst for him because of the grief and loss as well as revealling the abuse. It has affected every area of his life- especially learning. He has always had severe learning issues as well, but when he was in school a few years ago it was very difficult for him. It has lowered his stress tremendously to have him home with me. I am looking forward to this school year with him as he seems eager to learn and hopefully doing MP and Latin will be a fresh start for him.

      I love the idea of the Latin cd for the car! We are always looking for lots of things to help our son (and other boys) relax. We do tons of sensory and OT stuff with him as well. I'm so glad to hear that your son is doing well too and that he is wanting to do more with his learning. That is so encouraging!

      Your book has been such a blessing to me as well- I've brought it everywhere with me the last couple of weeks. It has so many good ideas and suggestions. I don't think I've ever seen another book that has discussed homeschooling a special needs child with such depth. You also addressed (and wrote curriculum!!) for more involved special needs children as well which is just fantastic. I also have 3 other boys (all 16 years old- not triplets) and 2 of them are profoundly impaired as well. They go to a center based program for school and function at infant level. They have Cerebral Palsy and are non verbal- they are happy and play with infant toys. Having these boys is a huge blessing and I meet parents all the time with children with various impairments. Many of them are seeking curriculum for their special needs children and I am so excited to tell them about your book as well as your MP curriculum. Just looking at it on the MP website I am incredibly impressed by it!

      Anyway thank you again Cheryl for your thoughtful response!

      God Bless, Tammy

      Comment


        #4
        Thank YOU, Tammy.

        While searching classic books for our next special-needs curriculum levels, I noticed your Simply Classical book review on Amazon this morning! Thank you so much.


        I hope you have a wonderful year with your boys.

        Cheryl


        Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

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

        NEW Simply Classical Curriculum

        Upcoming Simply Classical speaking sessions:
        FPEA Florida Nov 2014
        GHC Texas Feb 2015
        GHC South Carolina Mar 2015
        GHC Ohio Apr 2015
        FPEA Florida May 2015
        GHC California Jun 2015
        MP Kentucky early July 2015
        CCLE mid-July 2015


        "The senate-chamber is not open to all; the army, too, is scrupulous in choosing those whom it admits to toil and danger. But a noble mind is free to all men."
        Seneca

        Comment


          #5
          Autistic Non verbal 5yr old

          I was doing a "non-verbal" search here and your thread came up.

          My sister has two beautifully, and wonderfully made children, they are perfectly made in the image of God. One of them is autistic, non-verbal. But is an active little boy that is attending a special school for a few hours a day and has improved and this year. He actually said: I love you, to his mommy for the first time! this year! He loves to run, play with water, can handle an ipad very well for image searching and little games, He is great at directions, and knows when mommy is turning to go somewhere else other than grandma's house.
          The other little boy is a talkative 3 yr old, that gets to sit in the car with mommy as they wait for brother to have classes.

          So, looking at your curriculum for special needs, I am reading at the levels, and he cannot talk to you, but understands, follows direction and is working on using language to get toys.

          Where would you start him?

          Thank you, My sister has just now opened up to me as one of her friends is doing Sonlight, and reading books to her children that were not at all in our upbringing. Before today she thought that she could not help him, that she needed to focus on lifeskills. Help me help her!

          Thank you!

          Karen

          I saw her talk #cherylswope about the improvement of her children, what an inspiration

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by homeschoolkitty View Post
            My sister has two beautifully, and wonderfully made children, they are perfectly made in the image of God. One of them is autistic, non-verbal. But is an active little boy that is attending a special school for a few hours a day and has improved and this year. He actually said: I love you, to his mommy for the first time! this year!

            The other little boy is a talkative 3 yr old, that gets to sit in the car with mommy as they wait for brother to have classes.

            So, looking at your curriculum for special needs, I am reading at the levels, and he cannot talk to you, but understands, follows direction and is working on using language to get toys.

            Where would you start him?

            Thank you, My sister has just now opened up to me as one of her friends is doing Sonlight, and reading books to her children that were not at all in our upbringing. Before today she thought that she could not help him, that she needed to focus on lifeskills. Help me help her!

            Thank you!

            Karen


            Good morning, Karen.

            Level A of the Simply Classical Special Needs Curriculum seems perfect for your sister's little boy.

            -Level A will introduce your sister to enjoyable books her son can understand.
            He can then progress to Level B, perhaps as a one- or two-year after-schooling plan.

            -Level A provides a gentle introduction to language with some nonverbal response options, such as pointing. She can modify any suggested verbal responses by encouraging but not requiring these.

            -Level A is the least expensive overall and requires the least amount of time to implement, so this might be the most successful for her.

            -With Level A, she could include her 3-year-old in the read-alouds! The program could benefit both of her boys.



            You might also consider giving her a copy of Simply Classical. Even if she only reads the story portion and the first four chapters, she can be encouraged by the possibilities of bringing much more than self-care/daily-living skills to her little boy. She can then access the remaining chapters for reference, as her son grows.


            Feel free to follow up, if you have questions.

            Blessings to you, as you help your sister!

            Cheryl

            Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

            Comment


              #7
              non verbal autistic

              Thank you! sounds like birthdays and Christmas are set for her family!

              I am excited. Is therere an MP3/CD version of simply classical? My sister will be on the road a lot, and it would be nice if she could hear it.

              thank you!

              Karen

              Comment


                #8
                Hello.

                You can purchase Simply Classical as an ebook here: http://www.memoriapress.com/curricul...mply-classical

                We don't have an audio version available.

                Cheers,

                Tanya

                Comment

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