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Aesop Support?

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    Aesop Support?

    I honestly thought that Aesop would work okay right now for our 11 year old with FAS (even though she is operating at about half her age) but I'm feeling frustrated today. One of the easiest stories to me is the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse and the Milo Winter book has lovely pictures in it to give visual support but she totally got nothing out of it except that the mice talked and ate. She wants to do it with her brother (who also has FAS) and is 10 and her 7 year old neurotypical brother (my 3 year old also listens in b/c she enjoys it) but I'm questioning whether it is something I should wait on. Is there any other way I can support her in understanding Aesop which I'm not able to think of right now in my moment of frustration?

    Thanks!

    heather

    #2
    Heather,

    She wants to participate, so there seems no need to wait. As she matures in future years, she might need to study them a second or third time. Even as adults we learn from the wisdom of Aesop's Fables!

    This is the benefit of teaching classic literature. Many adults read the Iliad and Odyssey multiple times.

    Some suggestions:

    First, remember that while your own mind (e.g., valedictorian) operates at very high capacity (quick - "boiling"), your daughter's mind (fetal alcohol syndrome, brain injury, ESL) learns at a diminished capacity (slow - "simmer"). She will benefit from multiple readings, even though this might seem like overdoing to you.

    You will want to read the same fable every day for at least one week.

    Consider a plan like this:

    Day 1
    Review definitions of anticipated vocabulary words.
    Then announce, "We will read this fable two times today." Read the fable.

    Select and review an easy oral language concept. In this case, same and different would be helpful. Give an instruction such as, "Be listening for ways the lives of the two mice are different."

    Reread the fable. Point any differences out as you read.

    Ask for examples of differences after you read. Use answers of "same" as an opportunity to teach. Child: "They both ate food." Teacher: "That is an example of ways they are the same. How are their lives different? ... Did they eat different foods? Give examples of different foods."

    State the moral lesson. Have them repeat in small portions orally or copy as copywork (or both).

    Day 2

    Review same and different. (Same - both have homes; both are mice.) Ask simple questions to emphasize the differences before reading. Use the fable's illustrations as reminders, if needed. "Which mouse eats large, rich amounts of food?" "Which mouse eats small, simple foods?"

    Read the fable.

    State the moral lesson. Have them recite with you or copy.

    Day 3
    Ask questions to emphasize general contrasts before reading. "Whom do we know in a large city? What is traffic like there? Many cars or few cars? What are the noises there? Do we hear sirens? Do we see bright lights after dark?" / "Whom do we know in a small town? What is traffic like there? Many cars or few cars? What are the noises there?" // "Where can we find more movie theaters?" "Where can we see more stars in the night sky?" "Where is it so quiet, we can we hear crickets chirping?"

    If time permits, drive to a larger city and then small, country town or near farmland. Or find examples in books or online.

    Read the fable.

    State the moral lesson. Have them recite with you or copy.

    Day 4
    Ask "Which would you prefer? Life as a city mouse, or life as a country mouse?" "Which did the country mouse prefer?" "Why?"

    Read the fable.

    State the moral lesson. Have them recite with you or copy.

    Your daughter might not be able to answer everything (or anything) with the first few fables, but she may internalize the process of study over time.


    Just remember that she always participates in such exercises at the "simmer" level, so it may take months or years for her to appreciate moral lessons or themes in literature. These lessons will stretch her a little. But she wants to participate! If her incorrect answers are not overemphasized, the fables can become enjoyable family read-alouds.

    I hope that helps!

    Cheryl


    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

    Comment


      #3
      Btw, I do not want to ignore or trivialize your very real frustration. This question reminds me of the Story of the World situation you presented to us.

      You have to be patient with yourself. Your daughter has not been with you very long, so you are still learning just how dramatically her learning has been affected.

      Keep seeking that "sweet spot" of learning: enough to challenge her without unnecessarily frustrating her (or you)! If she only wants to sit and listen to the fables, that might be enough for now.


      As encouragement, my own daughter remained very concrete for many years. She shares many similarities with your daughter. Eventually, with instruction just as I suggested, she began to see themes in literature. She does not always see them fully, but she sees more than many people do.

      Her poetry reflects this -

      An early poem after gymnastics class

      Hand Stand

      Hand, hand
      Foot, foot
      Foot, hand
      Handstand!


      A later poem for Lent

      Solemnity

      See on this cross what thorns did say.
      See now a rose in fine array.
      Love complete ere was shown,
      ere did bloom was the rose:
      The Lamb on the cross.


      from Michelle Swope

      Thanks-
      Cheryl

      Comment


        #4
        Aesop Support?

        Thank you so much! your insight and suggestions are very helpful.

        Heather

        Comment


          #5
          Exactly what I needed, thank you!

          My 6 1/2 yo son, W, just started Struggling Learner Level C last week. His maturity, fine and gross motor, self-care, and socialization skills place him there. As do his skills in math, letter recognition and early reading skills.

          However, he did not begin speaking until about a year and-a-half-ago and has a very challenging receptive language disorder. His verbal understanding is about the level of a two-year-old. He is incredibly bright, but needs extra help to understand what is being asked of him and how a particular process works. Once he gets it, though, he GETS IT. He has an incredible memory and can demonstrate new skills immediately and consistently once he understands. And there is little to no problem with retention if we take breaks. For example, we moved several times in the last few months, but now that we are in our permanent home, his review of math, for example, has gone at lightning speed (Math U See, Primer level).

          But to give an example of his struggles, we just learned "bigger" in relation to numbers and objects last week after over a year of trial and error. I was so proud of him I cried. But it is precisely these challenges with language and concepts that make literature and learning to read and write such a bear to teach. I was going to ask Cheryl how to accommodate his receptive language challenges while we proceed with his areas of strength in a manner that stimulates and challenges him. Glad I found this post! Thank you!
          Last edited by Anita; 09-29-2014, 04:58 AM.
          Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
          Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
          Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
          The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

          “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
          ~Pope St John Paul II

          Comment


            #6
            Bumping this for encouragement. We still have to read each story in Level C multiple times per week (the Lesson Plans dictate twice; we read each book at least four times).

            Three things:

            1) I find a little more attention is paid by my children each time we read. About the third day of re-reading, they are giving me most/all of their attention and they are starting to absorb the text.

            2) We are now able to actually address the vocabulary and comprehension questions! This is HUGE, as previously if I pre-empted, interrupted or tried to ask questions about each book or story, I was met with howling or total inattention. Since engagement with the text has increased, comprehension has increased and my children's willingness to "sit with the text" has gone up. WONDERFUL.

            3) I'm not worried so much that my kids "won't get anything out of" these lessons as

            a) you never really know what is "sticking" and what's not -- my children remember and latch on to things I NEVER would have anticipated as I was teaching them. They are usually paying more attention than I think.

            b) my younger children will be following their older brother (our Simply Classical Pioneer) in their school lessons and they will have the advantage of having heard the stories multiple times as I was teaching him; he will have the advantage of hearing the material again as they learn it formally and can revisit some things he may not have gotten the first time. THIS IS A HUGE, HUGE BENEFIT TO HOMESCHOOLING MY STRUGGLING LEARNERS. Such a blessing. They could not get such an opportunity in a "regular" classroom setting.

            c) if my son (or daughter and younger son) do not grasp the gist of a few of Aesop's Fables (or whatever), their entire academic careers are not ruined. I have to tell myself to relax a little. Mommy can get a bit hyper about their "success".

            Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
            Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
            Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
            The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

            “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
            ~Pope St John Paul II

            Comment


              #7
              Aesop Support?

              Anita--where are you getting Aesop curriculum guide/support? I piece Memoria Press curriculum together to meet my kids varying needs and have not encountered any guide to it. Am I overlooking it and there's something available for me to purchase separately? I'm confused.

              Comment


                #8
                Hi Not formally, no. Just revisiting this thread after I was organizing some information on the site. Came across this advice from Cheryl to you and was encouraged by our own experiences so far as we have used the Level C curriculum. The previous response was more of a "what I have learned" response, rather than a formal response to formal instruction. I have seen the wisdom in what Cheryl said:

                Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                Heather,

                She wants to participate, so there seems no need to wait. As she matures in future years, she might need to study them a second or third time. Even as adults we learn from the wisdom of Aesop's Fables!

                This is the benefit of teaching classic literature. Many adults read the Iliad and Odyssey multiple times.

                Some suggestions:

                First, remember that while your own mind (e.g., valedictorian) operates at very high capacity (quick - "boiling"), your daughter's mind (fetal alcohol syndrome, brain injury, ESL) learns at a diminished capacity (slow - "simmer"). She will benefit from multiple readings, even though this might seem like overdoing to you.

                You will want to read the same fable every day for at least one week.

                Consider a plan like this:

                Day 1
                Review definitions of anticipated vocabulary words.
                Then announce, "We will read this fable two times today." Read the fable.

                Select and review an easy oral language concept. In this case, same and different would be helpful. Give an instruction such as, "Be listening for ways the lives of the two mice are different."

                Reread the fable. Point any differences out as you read.

                Ask for examples of differences after you read. Use answers of "same" as an opportunity to teach. Child: "They both ate food." Teacher: "That is an example of ways they are the same. How are their lives different? ... Did they eat different foods? Give examples of different foods."

                State the moral lesson. Have them repeat in small portions orally or copy as copywork (or both).

                Day 2

                Review same and different. (Same - both have homes; both are mice.) Ask simple questions to emphasize the differences before reading. Use the fable's illustrations as reminders, if needed. "Which mouse eats large, rich amounts of food?" "Which mouse eats small, simple foods?"

                Read the fable.

                State the moral lesson. Have them recite with you or copy.

                Day 3
                Ask questions to emphasize general contrasts before reading. "Whom do we know in a large city? What is traffic like there? Many cars or few cars? What are the noises there? Do we hear sirens? Do we see bright lights after dark?" / "Whom do we know in a small town? What is traffic like there? Many cars or few cars? What are the noises there?" // "Where can we find more movie theaters?" "Where can we see more stars in the night sky?" "Where is it so quiet, we can we hear crickets chirping?"

                If time permits, drive to a larger city and then small, country town or near farmland. Or find examples in books or online.

                Read the fable.

                State the moral lesson. Have them recite with you or copy.

                Day 4
                Ask "Which would you prefer? Life as a city mouse, or life as a country mouse?" "Which did the country mouse prefer?" "Why?"

                Read the fable.

                State the moral lesson. Have them recite with you or copy.

                Your daughter might not be able to answer everything (or anything) with the first few fables, but she may internalize the process of study over time.


                Just remember that she always participates in such exercises at the "simmer" level, so it may take months or years for her to appreciate moral lessons or themes in literature. These lessons will stretch her a little. But she wants to participate! If her incorrect answers are not overemphasized, the fables can become enjoyable family read-alouds.

                I hope that helps!

                Cheryl


                Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
                Honestly, I have not seen ANY engagement with Aesop from my children -- yet! We do the exercises as prescribed and I paraphrase as needed. I keep things shorter and simpler than the text. Then I will typically read it at least once all the way through. I haven't found any engagement yet because this is not (yet!) in my children's "sweet spot" and is about like speaking Mandarin to them. But I am confident we will get there. We do it anyway because, again, I don't know what sticks and what doesn't sometimes. And I am a big believer in being faithful to intent, no matter whether I can see immediate results or not (as I know you are!). My Aesop came with a CD and we have begun listening in the car occasionally, just to further their exposure. I know eventually, with repeated exposure, that it will "click". When? ... Dunno (shrug). Just keepin' on keepin' on.

                Does that help?
                Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
                Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
                Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
                The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

                “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                ~Pope St John Paul II

                Comment


                  #9
                  To be clear:
                  The stories I am referring to are the read-aloud a we do in Level C. This week, for example, we have reached "The Golden Egg Book" (we are a little behind). The first time I read it: no engagement. The second time: a little more. The third time: a bit more (on and off). Today: we were able to do the comprehension questions (HOORAY!).

                  If Aesop can finally click the way the rest of our read-alouds have, will be in business. But, as I said, if it's not this year, my oldest will have next year and the next to revisit Aesop and will eventually get it.
                  Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
                  Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
                  Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
                  The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

                  “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                  ~Pope St John Paul II

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Going back and re-reading, I see how you were confused. SORRY! Doing eight things at once.

                    Just saying: if a principle is true for read-alouds, it will eventually be true for Aesop. And vice-versa. I think your children with FAS and my kids (even though they are non-FAS) have similar issues with comprehension. Might be good to get our heads together from time to time. I know I could certainly use another "troop in the trenches" for moral support!
                    Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
                    Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
                    Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
                    The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

                    “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                    ~Pope St John Paul II

                    Comment

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