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Dyslexia, adoption and trying not to lose my mind!

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    Dyslexia, adoption and trying not to lose my mind!

    I have two questions (probably more!)

    My fabulous son Gaelan is very bright, newly 16, and dyslexic. I am trying to continue with and expand on his MP education without losing my mind!

    Right now he uses First Form Latin, English Grammar and Recitation 1 (intermittently), Saxon Algebra 1 and 2, (we review 1 at least once a week for his working memory) Classical Composition - Fable stage (we came to MP late), and handwriting (cursive).

    I feel like we need to do more but with his speed (he can take up to an hour to do a page of Latin) I'm afraid I will lose my mind!

    He wants to be (and will be) a veterinarian so I'm considering adding on Novare Science's Advanced Studies in Physics and Chemistry. Unless someone tells me that is too hard. We could try Apologia's Chemistry again - but he hated it last time. He said it makes him "lose interest in science" and my boy LOVES science (so he sticks to reading Science News and non fiction science books).

    My second question is for my daughter Anelia, who is newly home from Bulgaria. Anelia is fully blind and "globally delayed" due to neglect and her 6 (she is 7 now) years in the orphanage. I wonder how to help her get ready for any sort of academic work? I read to her daily (Braille books) and we sing. We are working on pulling up her socks, brushing teeth, and many other daily living activities. She is non verbal (except for "more" at the table) but she gestures (especially when we do Floortime) and we have high hopes that she will talk. She loves to play our piano and enjoys attending her brother's violin lesson (I think she might start on violin as soon as she will follow instructions)

    I also have Jericho (8) and Olive (3). Jericho is working at a 3rd grade level in Prima Latina, Singapore math, Classical Phonics, Suzuki violin, and cursive handwriting. I would also like to do more with him but how do you find the time? I feel overwhelmed many days!

    I'm just wondering if there are any words of wisdom for me. I'm feeling a bit lost. I want to give my kids a thorough education but also want to be consistent. Thank you!

    #2
    Originally posted by kimbabucha View Post
    I have two questions (probably more!)

    My fabulous son Gaelan is very bright, newly 16, and dyslexic. I am trying to continue with and expand on his MP education without losing my mind!

    Right now he uses First Form Latin, English Grammar and Recitation 1 (intermittently), Saxon Algebra 1 and 2, (we review 1 at least once a week for his working memory) Classical Composition - Fable stage (we came to MP late), and handwriting (cursive).

    I feel like we need to do more but with his speed (he can take up to an hour to do a page of Latin) I'm afraid I will lose my mind!

    He wants to be (and will be) a veterinarian so I'm considering adding on Novare Science's Advanced Studies in Physics and Chemistry. Unless someone tells me that is too hard. We could try Apologia's Chemistry again - but he hated it last time. He said it makes him "lose interest in science" and my boy LOVES science (so he sticks to reading Science News and non fiction science books).

    My second question is for my daughter Anelia, who is newly home from Bulgaria. Anelia is fully blind and "globally delayed" due to neglect and her 6 (she is 7 now) years in the orphanage. I wonder how to help her get ready for any sort of academic work? I read to her daily (Braille books) and we sing. We are working on pulling up her socks, brushing teeth, and many other daily living activities. She is non verbal (except for "more" at the table) but she gestures (especially when we do Floortime) and we have high hopes that she will talk. She loves to play our piano and enjoys attending her brother's violin lesson (I think she might start on violin as soon as she will follow instructions)

    I also have Jericho (8) and Olive (3). Jericho is working at a 3rd grade level in Prima Latina, Singapore math, Classical Phonics, Suzuki violin, and cursive handwriting. I would also like to do more with him but how do you find the time? I feel overwhelmed many days!

    I'm just wondering if there are any words of wisdom for me. I'm feeling a bit lost. I want to give my kids a thorough education but also want to be consistent. Thank you!
    Are you on Facebook? If you are, I belong to two groups on FB that would likely be helpful to you. One is for parents homeschooling children who are blind or visually impaired and the other is for parents who have adopted children who are blind or visually impaired. They are private groups, so you have to be invited to join them. I'm not exactly sure how to do that, but I could contact the moderators if you are on FB and are interested.

    Congratulations on your new daughter!! My 11 year old daughter was adopted (from Korea) and is visually impaired, but she came home at 6 months old and has a lot of usable near vision so I have no words of wisdom to give you. My child who has delays was my non-special needs adoption (also from Korea). Go figure, LOL.
    Cheryl, mom to:

    ds 24, graduated
    ds 23, graduated
    dd 15, 9th Grade
    dd 12, 6th Grade
    ds 10, 4nd Grade

    Comment


      #3
      I think I am on both those groups. Blindhomeschooler and Adopting and Raising your Visually Impaired child?

      I love the information I find there. Especially about her "learned helplessness" which drives me batty. I know where it comes from but the day to day of helping her "come out" is tough.

      Thank you for reaching out!

      Kim

      Comment


        #4
        As for my original post....I guess I'm asking what are the "big rocks" for my 16 year old? What should I definitely be doing (that I'm not) so he can thrive?

        Anyone?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by kimbabucha View Post
          I think I am on both those groups. Blindhomeschooler and Adopting and Raising your Visually Impaired child?

          I love the information I find there. Especially about her "learned helplessness" which drives me batty. I know where it comes from but the day to day of helping her "come out" is tough.

          Thank you for reaching out!

          Kim
          Yes, those are the groups. Sorry I didn't recognize you! I'm not very active.
          Cheryl, mom to:

          ds 24, graduated
          ds 23, graduated
          dd 15, 9th Grade
          dd 12, 6th Grade
          ds 10, 4nd Grade

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by kimbabucha View Post
            I have two questions (probably more!)

            My fabulous son Gaelan is very bright, newly 16, and dyslexic. I am trying to continue with and expand on his MP education without losing my mind!

            Right now he uses First Form Latin, English Grammar and Recitation 1 (intermittently), Saxon Algebra 1 and 2, (we review 1 at least once a week for his working memory) Classical Composition - Fable stage (we came to MP late), and handwriting (cursive).

            I feel like we need to do more but with his speed (he can take up to an hour to do a page of Latin) I'm afraid I will lose my mind!

            He wants to be (and will be) a veterinarian so I'm considering adding on Novare Science's Advanced Studies in Physics and Chemistry. Unless someone tells me that is too hard. We could try Apologia's Chemistry again - but he hated it last time. He said it makes him "lose interest in science" and my boy LOVES science (so he sticks to reading Science News and non fiction science books).

            My second question is for my daughter Anelia, who is newly home from Bulgaria. Anelia is fully blind and "globally delayed" due to neglect and her 6 (she is 7 now) years in the orphanage. I wonder how to help her get ready for any sort of academic work? I read to her daily (Braille books) and we sing. We are working on pulling up her socks, brushing teeth, and many other daily living activities. She is non verbal (except for "more" at the table) but she gestures (especially when we do Floortime) and we have high hopes that she will talk. She loves to play our piano and enjoys attending her brother's violin lesson (I think she might start on violin as soon as she will follow instructions)

            I also have Jericho (8) and Olive (3). Jericho is working at a 3rd grade level in Prima Latina, Singapore math, Classical Phonics, Suzuki violin, and cursive handwriting. I would also like to do more with him but how do you find the time? I feel overwhelmed many days!

            I'm just wondering if there are any words of wisdom for me. I'm feeling a bit lost. I want to give my kids a thorough education but also want to be consistent. Thank you!

            Hi, Kim.

            You're doing just fine!

            Addressing your children one at a time ...

            Gaelan
            First, congratulations on all that you have accomplished with your oldest despite his dyslexia! Novare sounds like a good plan. Have you seen the accompanying CD for Novare's Physical Science & Chemistry? The CD might help.

            The math prerequisite for Novare PhySci & Chem is Algebra I. Because you have (wisely) continued reviewing Alg 1, this might be a good fit!

            With Latin, Science, Math, English Grammar, and Composition, you have a good plan with the "big rocks" firmly planted.

            You might consider adding history & literature, but you can do this in a very relaxed way. You could create an Intro to Independent Classical Studies course to accompany his FFL. For example, add read-only ancient Roman history - perhaps Famous Men of Rome - with the Iliad. He could listen to the Iliad as an audio book, if desired. You could omit the study guide, or highlight only the most important questions for him to answer. Because he is late coming to MP, you can fill in gaps without burdening either one of you unnecessarily.

            In the next school year, you could do the same with ancient Greece and the Odyssey. Then include American History in this same manner. Even with dyslexia, Gaelan will receive an enviable education. He will be poised to embark on his journey toward becoming a veterinarian.

            What do you think?

            ...

            Jericho

            His plan sounds very good too! You're doing remarkable work with these four children.

            If you wanted, you could add independent reading or independent study in Science for Jericho. He could accomplish this while you work with Gaelan. Before long, Jericho will be your oldest student. At that time, you will be able to teach his content areas with greater focus. For now, even an additional 15 minutes a week of checking his progress in his independent studies might be sufficient. He is only 8!

            The only areas you will need to boost for Jericho are these: literature and writing. The Teacher Notes in the literature study guides will help you teach sentence writing. If you added Third Grade Literature as read-alouds, your younger girls might be able to follow along. You would be addressing all three children at once. You could then dismiss the girls to play after their "story time" and help Jericho with his literature guide/sentence writing.

            ...

            Anelia & Olive

            Have you looked at components of Simply Classical Curriculum Level A for Anelia? See what you think. This would not need to be accomplished daily. She and Olive might even enjoy this together.


            Overall
            Do you have help? If not, you might want to plan a restful afternoon each week. Gaelan might be feeling the pressure of impending college, and the others are still young enough to enjoy a good park day. If you can gather with another homeschooling family for an afternoon every week, this might restore perspective & refresh everyone before returning home.


            Congratulations again on Gaelan's and Jericho's academic achievement. You're doing a good job! Consider focusing on moving both boys to greater independence in their studies over the next year or two. Then you can give a little more attention to academics with your girls, when they are ready.


            Feel free to follow up -

            Cheryl


            Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

            Comment


              #7
              I feel much more at ease now. I LOVED your book Cheryl. Thank you for your kindness and words of wisdom. You are what every mother needs.

              xxxoooo

              Comment


                #8
                Cheryl,

                Told you I would have more questions!

                Do you think I should do the literature guides for 3rd grade or the Intro to Composition. I've also been wondering about a spelling book but I need to choose ONE for sanity!

                Thanks!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by kimbabucha View Post
                  Cheryl,

                  Told you I would have more questions!

                  Do you think I should do the literature guides for 3rd grade or the Intro to Composition. I've also been wondering about a spelling book but I need to choose ONE for sanity!

                  Thanks!
                  Kim,

                  This depends on how well he is writing now. For example, in Prima Latina, does he usually spell words correctly? Does he always capitalize his sentences? Does he enjoy writing?

                  If yes for at least two of these, then as long as you are reading "real" books with Jericho, you could teach literature and writing with either the Literature Guides or Intro to Composition! Intro to Composition might be less time consuming for you. Look at a sample lesson to see what you think: Intro to Composition Sample.

                  If you have time to teach vocabulary, early literary analysis, and more, consider this sample from second Prairie School - and from third: A Bear Called Paddington. You could complete 1-3 sections each day.

                  See which of the above samples seems to be a better fit for him (and for you). Either will help give structure to his writing lessons.


                  Spelling
                  I noticed you're already teaching from Classical Phonics. For spelling, you might save yourself another book & take his spelling word lists from Classical Phonics this year. Then you can help him edit his writing in Intro to Comp (or literature guides) with the phonics/spelling rules he already knows.

                  If he enjoys workbooks, you could obtain a Spelling Workout book for "fun." For word-oriented students, the exercises and various word games can be enjoyable & help teach spelling at the same time. To foster independent work, he might receive an incentive for every 5 pages completed independently. Just an idea.


                  And thank you. Have a good evening there -

                  Cheryl


                  Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Well, Cheryl, now I have to be totally honest and say I let my 8 year old dictate his writing to me!!

                    Why? I now HAVE NO IDEA!!

                    So now should I do Intro to Comp or a Literature guide or just throw in the towel. Hide my head in homeschool shame.

                    Also - I've been thinking about my 16 year old. I'm thinking that history is easier for us (and more enjoyable) through DVD documentaries.

                    I really want him to feel comfortable writing and answering questions in college. Would a Literature guide (instead of history) be a better investment for him?

                    I am going to order him Novare science and we are excited to begin!

                    Thank you again!!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Kim,

                      No need to throw in the towel. Or hide your head.

                      Just regroup & move on from here. After all, you receive an "A" for honesty!

                      You want your 8yo son to become a stronger writer and a more independent student. This will give him greater confidence and save you considerable time. You're a good writer yourself. You can do this.


                      Jericho
                      Take a few minutes to assess Jericho's current writing skills objectively.

                      Look at this checklist:

                      _Can write all upper and lowercase letters in manuscript
                      _Can print full words
                      _Can write a sentence with a noun and verb (both of which he knows through Prima Latina, correct?)
                      _Writes most sentences with a capital letter and endmark. (Or this skill is emerging.)

                      If all of the above are not yet in place, then begin to help him write his own answers, as you teach. Consider adding this for more practice:
                      Copybook I with Copybook I lesson plans.

                      ...

                      However, if he possesses all of the above skills, then he can move to "Intro to Writing/Spelling." You could accomplish this on your own, or you can teach through any of these Individual Items to create a good program through MP:
                      _Copybook II with Copybook II Lesson Plans
                      _Cursive (New American Cursive)
                      _Cursive practice (e.g., First Grade Worksheets - Cursive Practice & Spelling Lists)
                      _Spelling Workout B

                      You will also want to stop scribing. This will instantly give him daily opportunities to write! He can even begin writing in his Prima Latina book himself.

                      He can also write dictated words from Classical Phonics. To lessen the shock of writing for himself, you might allow him to write these words on the board, rather than on paper. He will receive good writing practice by writing vertically.

                      ...

                      Whenever you feel he is ready, move to these two steps:

                      1. Add one book for beautiful writing.
                      Keeping in mind that you want to streamline studies, consider adding this book for more independent writing:
                      Prima Latina Copybook

                      This will work efficiently to reinforce his Latin lessons and embedded English grammar lessons.

                      2. Obtain one or more Literature Guides (second grade) for instructed writing in the context of literature study.
                      Ask these questions orally. Allow oral answers. When a sentence is needed, create a good sentence together for the answer. Write this good sentence on the board. Have him copy the good sentence into his guide.

                      Primary teachers at the acclaimed Highlands Latin School use this method every day. If you can teach your son to think in good sentences and to write good sentences, you will open the door to excellent writing. This step cannot be rushed. You might allow a full semester or an entire year for the above exercises to build a foundation for writing.

                      ...

                      Whenever ALL of the above seems too easy, then move to Intro to Composition or a third-grade literature guide. He may well be ready for BOTH of these, after you give him a good foundation in writing!

                      ...

                      Gaelan
                      As for Gaelan, yes, you could certainly teach him literature and writing through a literature guide! Given the reported dyslexia and limited exposure to writing, consider a lower-level book that still possesses sufficient adventure and intrigue for a young man. Do not worry about the assigned level. Just look at the samples to see where his writing best fits:

                      The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe - fifth-grade literature)

                      Robin Hood - sixth-grade literature

                      If Gaelan's writing skills are beyond these levels, keep searching for a good fit in any of the upper level literature guides here.



                      Overall, just be patient with yourself. You're taking time to re-evaluate. This process is essential and will strengthen both boys' education in the end!

                      Thanks-
                      Cheryl

                      Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child


                      cherylswope.com

                      Comment

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