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Adapting Writing and Comprehension

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    Adapting Writing and Comprehension

    My daughter is 10 years old and doing the third grade program. It is a HUGE struggle to get comprehension questions done, reading, and writing. Her attention span is short and she does not do much independently. I have 7 kids at home, 2 are not yet school age, and I need some strategies to adjust her workload since I do not have the time to sit and work with her all day. Any ideas?

    Thank you

    Debbie
    Debbie
    Mom to DS 24, DD23 (w/SIL, GS3, GD1), DD15, DD13, DD11(special needs), DS10, DD8, DS5, DD2

    #2
    Re: Adapting Writing and Comprehension

    Hi, Debbie.

    A quick clarifying question:

    Does your daughter have diagnosed learning difficulties, or is the concern linked more to family needs right now?

    Thanks-
    Cheryl

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Adapting Writing and Comprehension

      My daughter has spina bifida (L5) and hydrocephalus. She has not had a diagnosed learning disability mostly because I only had her in the school system for help with math and reading. The school decided that she would only be learning life skills and I stopped all services. Her IQ is somewhere between 70 and 94. She manipulated the person administering the last IQ test. She is very sweet in her manipulations and LOVES giving the wrong answer to get a reaction. On multiple choice questions, ever since she was 6 or 7, she will keep giving all the wrong answers first. She is a handful.

      Currently I am trying to give her 20 minutes of one subject, switch to another subject for 20 minutes, and then have a 10 minute break, repeat and then have a 20-30 minute break for the second break.

      Thank you
      Debbie
      Mom to DS 24, DD23 (w/SIL, GS3, GD1), DD15, DD13, DD11(special needs), DS10, DD8, DS5, DD2

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Adapting Writing and Comprehension

        Thank you. This is very helpful.

        Yes, by all means, adapt! The education you are giving her, even adapted, will far surpass the education she might receive elsewhere.

        If you have not yet read Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child, you might appreciate this book. (If you have already read the book, you might consider reviewing the chapters on modification.)


        Some suggestions in the meantime:

        Checklist
        She can concentrate for brief periods, so you are already optimizing this with short lessons. This is good. As you know, this can also be quite demanding on your time! If you can teach her to follow a schedule or checklist through some of her daily tasks, this might not only prolong attention, but also reduce manipulations. Start small, possibly 3-5 items. Even if her tested I.Q. were accurate, you can accelerate up to 15 items in a day, when she begins to see the process and enjoy the satisfaction of completion. Be sure to have something enjoyable planned at the end. ("Listen to music when finished," or "Free to play when finished.")

        Shorten Breaks
        The 30-minute break might derail her momentum. I found with my own children that extended breaks became counterproductive. As you create a new overall plan for your daughter, you might shorten her breaks with the assurance that she will gain more continuous free time in the end.

        Targeted Writing
        Determine which areas promote her best penmanship and thoughtful writing. Require writing only in these areas. For the others, allow oral responses. She might even record her answers orally into a device for you to check at the end of the week.

        Comprehension
        Focus on what, when, where, who questions. See that she understands the basics of a story or non-fiction selection. Give incentives for ANY correctly answered why or how question.

        Listening
        Find audio versions of literature or other items in her core curriculum. Place "Listening to ..." on her daily checklist. This can be used as independent review.

        Promote Independence
        Your daughter is entering an age at which she will want to be more independent in her decision making. This can be a good time to transition to more independence in her schoolwork. Identify a few areas in which she could be working more independently, and add these to her checklist. [See: 1) the section on Independent, Instruction, Frustration levels in Simply Classical OR 2) the webinar series for more information on finding independent-level academic exercises.] For example, if she can read aloud a short book to one younger (patient) sibling, this is wonderful practice for reading fluency and can be added to the list.


        I hope that helps! At some point, perhaps when we catch up to her ability levels, she may find transitioning to the Simply Classical Curriculum beneficial for more academic support.

        Thanks-
        Cheryl


        ClassicalSpecialNeeds.com

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