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Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

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    #31
    Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

    Check out shiningdawnbooks.com. she has some great units on winter, always including outdoor activities and picture books. One of my faves is a color walk. It's so easy to just see white and gray, but when we force ourselves to look for red, it's amazing what we see.

    This coming from a mama whose outdoor thermometer currently reads -7 and we get over 5 feet of snow a year.
    Married to DH for 13 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS10- Simply Classical 4 / Grade 3 Classic Core,
    DD8- Grade 2 Classic Core,
    DD 6- Classic Core Kindergarten

    Comment


      #32
      Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

      Also check currclick.com. katie's homeschool cottage just listed a half price sale for their winter nature study packet 'winter nature study and more' . It's $3.50 and has nearly 80 pages of ideas and books to pick through. Granted, it's for an older age set than either of our kids, 8+, but has plenty of doable ideas. Example, read a book about Bentley the first person to photograph snowflakes, then go outside and catch some of your own (you can also create some in the freezer if you don't get snow).

      I'm all for picking and choosing activities, there's no way you can do all of her ideas even if your kids were older.
      Married to DH for 13 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

      DS10- Simply Classical 4 / Grade 3 Classic Core,
      DD8- Grade 2 Classic Core,
      DD 6- Classic Core Kindergarten

      Comment


        #33
        Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

        Originally posted by Anita View Post
        A new topic to explore: Nature Study.

        Does anyone have tips on how to observe insects in mid-November? And as we progress (and the weather gets colder) some all-purpose tips would be great! We are outside quite a bit, but I have never "taught" outdoors before. That's usually our free time to play in the dirt and goof off. We look at worms and bees and birds, etc. as we are able but we haven't purposely gone to find things. I think that's the part I'm stuck on a bit. Most of our discoveries (the bald eagle we saw on a walk through our neighborhood, for example) are happy accidents.

        Thank you!

        You might still find worms, if you let your children dig deeply in the dirt. Hand out sturdy spoons or trowels and have a contest to see who finds the first living creature. Or, as my son learned this morning, if you leave the compost bin open overnight with apple cores and banana peels in it, you will observe fruit flies by morning. Even in mid-November!

        Comment


          #34
          Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

          I realize this is late (after the fact) since we started Level 1 about 4 weeks ago, but I have just now gotten around to doing the pre-test Interesting results: nearly all Winston's skills rate a "yes" or "emerging"; that is, however rudimentary, the skills are solidly in those categories. Wanted to run these by you (Cheryl) for discussion.

          Language: 11 YES, 4 EMERGING, 1 NO
          "Answers questions about the characters or plot in a story after one hearing."

          This is a huge gap, the one that concerns and frustrates me the most. I've been assured that it just takes time, patience and endurance... Wondering if this part of his brain will ever "turn on". This deficit is such a hindrance to so many areas of life; making friends, understanding rules and norms, social interaction, school work, team sports, amd on and on and on.

          Cognitive Ability: 10 YES, 3 EMERGING, 0 NO

          Social-Emotional Development: 11 YES, 0 EMERGING, 1 NO
          "Learns to answer the phone"
          I could teach him to recite the requisite answer technique by rote, but Winston cannot communicate well enough to ask or answer questions to a stranger. This goes back to the "Language NO" above.

          Fine-Motor Skills: 13 YES, 2 EMERGING, 0 NO

          Gross-Motor: 10 YES, 1 EMERGING, 2 NO
          "Turns several forward somersaults unassisted"
          And
          "Can move forward unassisted on the monkey bars"

          Winston is a big boy for his age -- very tall, very well-built. I cannot hold him up from below on the monkey bars, nor can I give him much assistance on a soft surface (large enough to accommodate him) for somersaults. He tries the monkey bars at the park but can only go one rung before falling. (For the record, I was never good at monkey bars either -- three rungs is as far as I got my entire school career!)

          As for the "somersaults" aspect: He is taking Tae Kwon Do now -- and LOVES it -- and he is regularly being asked to use his body in ways that he never has before. Lots of balance, coordination, strength, flexibilty, discipline and focus go into it, as well as crossing the center-line of his body (something I have read a little about that seems to be a big deal to therapists working with kids on the spectrum) so I think we are covered as far as remediating some of the gross-motor (which is, on the whole, very good). But if somersaults and monkey bars are more important than I have given them credit for, we will find a way to work on them.

          Any input or feedback? I know we have already discussed the emphasis on comprehension you have included in Level 2 (Thank you!) but anything additional to the "Tips To Improve" on each page would be a perk, since we are consistently doing what is prescribed, but moving along slowwwwwwly.

          That said -- HOLY MACKEREL! What a difference a year makes!!!! The strides we made from Level C to Level 1 have been nothing short of shocking. I know I am looking at the beginning of Level 1 in the same way as I did Level C at this time last year. But with so many advances made, we still have problems in the same areas. Perhaps this will always be the case and I am just banging my head against an immovable, brick wall for naught. Dunno. Maybe we can chip away at the wall and make it thinner instead of expecting it to fall... I just want to be realistic. But at the same time -- wow -- if that wall fell, there would be rejoicing in the camp! HAHAHA!

          Advice and a pep talk, welcome!
          Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
          Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
          Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
          Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

          “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


            #35
            Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

            Originally posted by Anita View Post
            HOLY MACKEREL! What a difference a year makes!!!! The strides we made from Level C to Level 1 have been nothing short of shocking. I know I am looking at the beginning of Level 1 in the same way as I did Level C at this time last year. But with so many advances made, we still have problems in the same areas....Advice and a pep talk, welcome!
            Hi, Anita.

            First, do not worry about isolated skills (e.g., monkey bars) within each category!

            Second, your concerns about language and the effects on multiple areas are good ones. You can address these with both immediate plans and long-term plans. Short term: Speak to your SLP about obtaining specific evaluations asap in areas such as "pragmatic language," "social language," "reciprocal language," and "language processing." Ask for suggestions in each of these language areas, based on what she is seeing in therapy. Regardless of the results, ask for a possible increase in services based on your daily observations. Request either increased frequency of visits or length of sessions (or both). With his explosion of skills in other areas, this area of relative weakness may require even more attention. Long term: Engage, engage, engage. Keep engaging him directly in enjoyable games, conversations, and other areas requiring turn-taking. Have other adults and older children do the same. Keep him "plugged in" to people, if only in small doses.

            Third, see if some new techniques appeal to you. You can find them on sites such as this, this, and this. Do your research to see which fits your son and your own philosophical approach. Some of the free ideas may spark more appropriate ones of your own.


            Finally, you are correct that mere patience is not your only option. While this area may always be weaker for him, you can become even more aggressive in addressing his language difficulties. His SLP can be your first and best friend with this. The above sites may provide other ideas. And keep teaching. Dig into the language lessons in SC 1. Keep expecting him to respond in the ways he can. Focus on his successes in language. While patience is not enough, it is certainly necessary!

            Remember to do these things as often as you can:

            1. Express appreciation when he interacts and communicates well. Focus on moments when he is caring, outgoing, loving, compassionate. These may be nonverbal or verbal.

            2. Teach imitation, nonverbal and verbal. Imitation is the precursor. Help him to be observant. For example, "When everyone else stands, you stand too."

            3. As with everything, "task analyze" the social skill. Break it apart into the tiniest steps. Teach these steps with visual cues when possible.

            4. Use his strengths - gross-motor skills, compassion, humor, love of art or church or music, strong memory - to place him in social situations in which he can excel.

            5. Keep remembering how far he has come!


            Just keep engaging him in small, loving, coming-alongside-him ways. Ask little questions. At dinner Thursday, whisper as you point to the turkey, "Winston, what are we eating for Thanksgiving?" If he answers with echolalia or with an inaccurate answer, you can answer for him, "We are eating turkey!" If, however, he answers correctly, then "Yes, we are eating turkey!" (Either way, ... end of lesson and enjoy.)

            I hope this helps. You are doing good work! This holiday, remember the work, but remember too that he is your son. You can enjoy him and engage him just as he is. Sometimes this promotes success in itself.

            Thanks-
            Cheryl

            Comment


              #36
              Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

              Math and phonics are almost too easy for Winston. He's breezing through R&S and really ready for FSR B, but I want to make sure his review of A is solid. Even the copybook is getting easy-breezy for him (did I just say that about my son who refused to even hold a pencil when we started?!).

              But reading comprehension remains VERY DIFFICULT. He's a "decoder". Math and phonics follow formulas and methods. But literature and language are not concrete, rather, they can be rather random and unpredictable. I think that's the key problem -- that and the fact that he knows very well that those are his weak spots so his brain tunes out totally when it's time to engage. He is very empathetic, social, playful, humorous, spontaneous, etc. We just need to figure out how to help him "decode" language in a systematic way that he can apply. Huddling with our SLP right now for a game plan. An age-appropriate assessment was already on the table. So that will likely tell us more once it's established.
              Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
              Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
              Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
              Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

              “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


                #37
                Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

                Originally posted by Anita View Post
                Huddling with our SLP right now for a game plan. An age-appropriate assessment was already on the table. So that will likely tell us more once it's established.
                Very good, Anita. Your SLP will have all of Winston's results at her fingertips.

                She also has YOU! You will be able to help Winston. He is still very young, and you have made great progress in so many areas. Let us know the results of the assessment. Maybe we can brainstorm additional solutions.


                In the meantime, some children with autism and various specific learning disabilities have found success with visualizing the story as it appears, "like a movie."

                You might cue him to do so, perhaps in a manner similar to this:

                Example: Corduroy.
                1. Present the book. Tell him he will be a detective to find out what happens in this book. (Explain "detective" if needed.) Let him hold the book and look at it. Remind him, "You are going to figure out what happens inside this story."
                2. Show him the title. Say, "This book is called Corduroy." Ask, "Look at the cover. What do you think the book will be about?"
                3. Affirm (or inform), "Yes, we are going to read a story about Corduroy, a toy bear."
                4. Say, "Before we read this, we're going to close our eyes. We're going to picture this bear in 'our mind's eye.'"
                5. Have him close his eyes. If he would like, he can even keep his eyes closed, as he envisions the story the first time through.
                6. Have him visualize the book as if it is a movie playing in his mind.
                7. Allow for "read-only" versions the first time or two, even if this means saving Monday & Tuesday questions for Wednesday or Thursday. Encourage his visualizing the reading "as a movie playing in his mind."
                8. Do not ask comprehension questions until you are reasonably sure he will know the answer.


                Read-aloud role playing
                You might also introduce a new element to de-personalize his difficulties, especially if the above does not quite fit his situation right now. You can ask him to bring along a stuffed animal buddy as a read-along companion. Ask the stuffed animal questions. Have the stuffed animal answer correctly at first, so you model correct answers. Occasionally, insert a blatantly silly or incorrect answer. Example: "What was Corduroy about?" Stuffed animal: "A whale in the ocean." Ask Winston, "Is that correct?" ("No!") Ask "What was Corduroy really about? Tell your read-along buddy."



                Finally, if all else fails ... until you hear from the SLP, feel free to de-emphasize comprehension exercises for now. The last thing you want is any unpleasantness associated with these wonderful books!


                Hang in there - you are doing great work. This is just a difficult piece of his puzzle right now. You WILL figure this out for him.

                Cheryl

                Comment


                  #38
                  Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

                  Thank you! Great encouragement and advice, per the norm ;-)

                  One thing I started that worked VERY WELL today was asking him to close his eyes and listen while I read short sentences and then asked simple follow-up questions. He is so, so, SO visual that he squirms and plays with the pages of the book we are reading or looks at pratically anything else but where he is supposed to when we are doing something challenging (that is, lots of spoken language with few visual props). Earlier this week, he was just guessing the answers to my questions (or just throwing out a nonsense answer that he didn't really care about) to, today, actually LISTENING and answering CORRECTLY. The "close your eyes" idea was a real light bulb for us! He came away with greater confidence and enthusiasm after our reading -- and I did, too! (WHEW!)

                  This is not an "attention" difficulty, as he has no problem focusing when we are doing something he prefers (no ADHD issues here). Rather, Winston is SO INVESTED in doing well and excelling that challenges feel like mountain ranges to him. So he prefers to delay, distract and tune out rather than engage. Getting him to even sit down with me at the beginning of our school career (two years ago) was daunting. I had to give him something to play with so he would even sit at the table with me, and our school days were very short -- about 45 minutes total on a good day. Over time, the toys were taken away, bit by bit, and now he has few problems completing his work -- even independent work -- and we clock anywhere from 3-5 hours per school day. That's pretty amazing, if I may say so myself! LOL!

                  You're right: we will resolve this. We have a wonderful SLP and she is nothing but supportive of our homeschool journey -- she has even recommended SC to other clients.
                  Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                  Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                  Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                  Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                  “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


                    #39
                    Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

                    After some thought and a completion of the readiness assessment, it looks like my daughter will be able to skip Level C and go straight from Level B to Level 1. This is good news! It means she's progressing, advancing and really catching on to school. It also means I might have two students on the same level pretty soon. (Wow! So much easier to teach.)

                    Would you recommend completing any work between the Levels B and 1 for preparation? That is, should we complete the 8-week review for Level C before starting Level 1? She is already familiar with a lot of the work from Level C, as she sat in on lessons with her older brother when he completed that Level. And I know for sure she will take right to the work in Level 1 -- she already joins us for lessons now and sometimes completes some Level 1 work as she is interested. We will be ready to make the jump in about 8 weeks.
                    Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                    Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                    Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                    Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                    “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


                      #40
                      Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

                      Originally posted by Anita View Post
                      After some thought and a completion of the readiness assessment, it looks like my daughter will be able to skip Level C and go straight from Level B to Level 1. This is good news! It means she's progressing, advancing and really catching on to school. It also means I might have two students on the same level pretty soon. (Wow! So much easier to teach.)

                      Would you recommend completing any work between the Levels B and 1 for preparation? That is, should we complete the 8-week review for Level C before starting Level 1? She is already familiar with a lot of the work from Level C, as she sat in on lessons with her older brother when he completed that Level. And I know for sure she will take right to the work in Level 1 -- she already joins us for lessons now and sometimes completes some Level 1 work as she is interested. We will be ready to make the jump in about 8 weeks.

                      Congratulations! This is very good news for her and for you!

                      The Level C 8-week review is a great idea as a bridge between SC Readiness Level B and SC Student Level 1. If you identify any rough spots along the way, you can simply return to the weeks addressing those specific skills. After all, you already have the Level C Curriculum Guide!

                      A tip: Even though she and Winston will be close in many areas, you will want to keep her reading lessons individualized. Be sure to obtain her own FSR student books, so you can "begin at the beginning" of FSR A with her. The printing-reading-vocalizing components will serve her best when kept intact.

                      Your combined teaching has borne fruit!

                      Let us know how she progresses. Very exciting --

                      Cheryl

                      Comment


                        #41
                        Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

                        Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                        Congratulations! This is very good news for her and for you!

                        The Level C 8-week review is a great idea as a bridge between SC Readiness Level B and SC Student Level 1. If you identify any rough spots along the way, you can simply return to the weeks addressing those specific skills. After all, you already have the Level C Curriculum Guide!

                        A tip: Even though she and Winston will be close in many areas, you will want to keep her reading lessons individualized. Be sure to obtain her own FSR student books, so you can "begin at the beginning" of FSR A with her. The printing-reading-vocalizing components will serve her best when kept intact.

                        Your combined teaching has borne fruit!

                        Let us know how she progresses. Very exciting --

                        Cheryl
                        Yes! Quite!

                        Since FSR workbook A came with both Level C and Level 1, I actually have two copies. I was intentionally saving the extra one for her once she reached readiness. (How nice!) I put her in Level B initially because she needed the routine of schooling and she was not yet mature enough for Level C (not nearly). Her initial skill level was *almost* ready for C, but her attention and social readiness was not. (And I loved the emphasis of Level B on manners. I also could not resist the read-alouds. Definitely worth the purchase. My younger son will also certainly use Level B once he is ready -- about the same time my daughter will be starting Level 1.)

                        This past school year has been so brisk for everyone (by that I mean, they caught on really fast and all those lovely neurons started firing) that we went from a crawl in the beginning (asking questions on the forum such as, "How do I teach 'like' and 'do not like?') to a near-sprint (requesting a combined recitation schedule because Level 1 recitation was 'too easy' for Winston!). But this is true of all three children, not just my older two. It has been immensely gratifying to be a part of -- truly.

                        I am actually anticipating that we might outpace you and SC development. I might have to eventually hybridize our SC curricula with the regular MP cores. Yet I also anticipate that Winston will likely always need the most help. My girl will need even less, and my (now) younger boy (depending on the gender and needs of baby #4) will need even less than she. So it's almost a given that we will not strictly need SC forever -- I NEVER thought I would say that. We will always need some kind of assistance, advice and at least slight modification. And Winston will likely only be ready for 2nd grade by the age of 9. But, for a mom-ucator who NEVER anticipated a "typical" path for her children, this sounds like getting accepted to an Ivy League school! But I don't want to jump the gun. We will just wait and see how things turn out
                        Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                        Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                        Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                        Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                        “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


                          #42
                          Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

                          PS I think we found Winston's talent. My daughter is very gifted in art and I was wondering if, for Winston, it might be math. Well, we have pretty good indicators that his brain is wired for this. He has no problems counting to 100; understanding number trains; memorizing fact houses or telling me how many (odd and dissimilar) objects are in a group. He can do number flash cards faster than I can and can tally objects even faster.

                          Right now we are only on the 2 family for addition facts (1+1=2, 0+2=2, 2+0=2) so he shouldn't know how to add higher than that. Tonight after we had put together a jigsaw puzzle, in record time, I did an experiment. We put two dice in a plastic cup, tossed them and threw them against the baseboard on the hardwood floor upstairs. And I said, "Five and one -- five plus one is six." And we rolled again. We took turns a few times and I repeated the "facts" when it was my turn. When he took about three turns, suddenly he got it. And he started tallying the total number as fast as I can -- with 98-99% accuracy. He should not be able to do that. He should NOT be able to do that! I took him downstairs and we showed his Daddy (who was mightily impressed). So we might just have a little budding mathematician on our hands Given his Daddy's big brain for all things STEM, it wouldn't surprise me!
                          Last edited by Anita; 01-22-2016, 06:57 PM.
                          Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                          Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                          Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                          Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                          “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


                            #43
                            Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

                            Originally posted by Colomama View Post
                            Anita, I can reply to the flashcards question. They are big, 4x11 inches specifically. Mine came in a specially sized ziploc type bag that's very sturdy. I guess they used to come in a box.

                            After using them a few weeks here's what I've learned. Organize them by type right off. So, group all numbers, domino cards, addition by fact family, etc together. Then, as I need them I pull them out to our working pile. I use a gallon ziploc bag. It's not quite big enough, but really close. I tuck them inside and fold it over, place it on a shelf about 4 feet up and the 2 year old hasn't bothered them yet.

                            We live rural, but I imagine you could take that measurement to target or a container store and find something like a shoe box to keep them all in. I would recommend two containers because then theyre not as unwieldy. The whole stack is a little taller than 3 inches.

                            Hope that helps
                            I realize I'm coming to this thread late, but we use a big ring to hold ours. I punch a hole in the corner, and put them on the ring. They're called binder rings, and come in lots of different sizes. Then, I hang them on my 'teacher box' -- a collapsible tote on wheels.
                            Plans for 2019-20

                            DD1 - 24 - College Grad and rocking her own bakery business
                            DD2 - 13 - 8A Louisville HLS Cottage School and MPOA
                            DS3 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                            DS4 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                            DD5 - 7 - MP2, Louisville HLS Cottage School
                            DS6 - 5 - MP K

                            [url]www.thekennedyadventures.com/all-about-our-memoria-press-homeschool[/url]

                            Comment


                              #44
                              Re: Some Technical Questions Re Level 1

                              Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post
                              I realize I'm coming to this thread late, but we use a big ring to hold ours. I punch a hole in the corner, and put them on the ring. They're called binder rings, and come in lots of different sizes. Then, I hang them on my 'teacher box' -- a collapsible tote on wheels.
                              Dianna! You're a genius! I just bought some binder rings last weekend to hold prayer cards (from CatholicIcing -- Catholic memory verses from the Mass, prayer "starters" for kids, etc -- very clever). Now I have second use for them. Gracias, mi hermana!
                              Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                              Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                              Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                              Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                              “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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