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New to Memoria Press and Homeschooling...Advice?

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    New to Memoria Press and Homeschooling...Advice?

    Good Evening!
    I found Memoria Press from purchasing the book, Simply Classical A Beautiful Education for Any Child by Cheryl Swope for my little boy who will be 2 next month who has down syndrome.I fell in love with the book and so admire Cheryl and all she has done for her two children! Where I live there is a Classical Christian School and preschool but they do not offer a curriculum for my son or any children with delayed abilities at this time. I have an older son who is 3 and at the preschool now and loves it. My question becomes how to offer this beautiful education to my little boy with down syndrome when the school here does not offer that as an option? So doing a little research I found this website. I was raised in the public school system myself and do not have a teaching degree so I am very new to all of this! I would love to start with the Level A for Special Needs children preschool curriculum but was curious if anyone has ever done this curriculum with a typically developing child? I am considering trying to hold my older son back next year and do homeschooling Level A with both he and my little boy with down syndrome. Thank you for your time and any advice you have to give!

    Sincerely,
    Caroline

    #2
    Re: New to Memoria Press and Homeschooling...Advice?

    You can absolutely use the Simply Classical curriculum for a non-special needs student. I have not personally used level A. I'm sure Cheryl will chime in in the morning, but I would be hesitant to use level A with your older boy next year. The developmental age is 2-3 and you say your older boy is 3 now. It may not be challenging enough for him, but may be a great fit for your little guy.

    I too have a 3 year old non-special needs child and she will be doing level B next year. Level B and C, when used consecutively, basically spread the standard jr. K curriculum out for 2 years. She's doing preschool this year, but I don't think she'll be developmentally ready for jr. K next year and so level B it is.

    I would spend some time looking through the curriculum samples available online. They have a skills checklist in there that will help you decide where your boys fit.

    With that said, there are lots of us that juggle multiple levels of curriculum with our many children. I think you could easily take the best of both curriculums at their appropriate levels and combine them. Level A for your little guy and either Level B or the normal preschool or even jr. K for your older boy. You could combine them for one set of read-alouds and crafts and yet work individually on fine motor and gross motor skills.
    Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
    DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
    DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

    We've completed:
    Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
    Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: New to Memoria Press and Homeschooling...Advice?

      Originally posted by CBlair11 View Post
      Good Evening!
      I found Memoria Press from purchasing the book, Simply Classical A Beautiful Education for Any Child by Cheryl Swope for my little boy who will be 2 next month who has down syndrome.I fell in love with the book and so admire Cheryl and all she has done for her two children! Where I live there is a Classical Christian School and preschool but they do not offer a curriculum for my son or any children with delayed abilities at this time. I have an older son who is 3 and at the preschool now and loves it. My question becomes how to offer this beautiful education to my little boy with down syndrome when the school here does not offer that as an option? So doing a little research I found this website. I was raised in the public school system myself and do not have a teaching degree so I am very new to all of this! I would love to start with the Level A for Special Needs children preschool curriculum but was curious if anyone has ever done this curriculum with a typically developing child? I am considering trying to hold my older son back next year and do homeschooling Level A with both he and my little boy with down syndrome. Thank you for your time and any advice you have to give!

      Sincerely,
      Caroline
      Welcome Caroline! I know Cheryl will chime in with her wonderful advice and encouragement! However, I thought I would share our experiences to help you make a decision! I agree with Colorama that combing the boys might not be the best, but a mix of two levels may suit your needs. Level A has beautiful board books that are at the center of the curriculum. Each week it gives you prompts while reading the story. In addition there are fun gross and fine motor games/activities. In my opinion, they would benefit (and be fun) for both of your children. I bought Level A for my 2.5 year old and had really only planned to use it in the evenings before bedtime for the language prompts. However, one morning she woke up early and we were reading through her books and I decided to try one of the activities it suggested. By the time we got to the that, my other two children (ages 6 and 4) were awake. They always eat breakfast first. However, they heard the book and saw the activities and waited to eat until we finished the activities! (we even did them more than once!) So, they are fun for a variety of ages! It does not take that long to do the plan. There are some days it might take longer (for example for a week it has you have your child(ren) help cut soft fruits, etc. That would have be done at a different time of the day. This week we are reading The Little Fur Family and the activity is to have your child practice zipping, buttoning, etc. It's perfect since it is starting to get cold and even my 4 year old needs some help in this area! We are going to take the time also to organize all our outwear and show them where it goes when we come home, etc.

      Your older child could benefit from the R&S books scheduled in Level B and C as well as the literacy and number activities. Your younger one can listen in and then when he is ready it will be review for your older child!

      I did find having the lesson plans in had to be very beneficial. I was debating between SC1 and MPK and it was easier to have them side by side. They cost $26.50 at Rainbowresources. I have had not trouble re-selling them! I think, though if you buy them from MP, you can return the one you are using, so they may prove to be even more beneficial!
      Christine

      (2019/2020)
      DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
      DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
      DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

      Previous Years
      DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
      DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
      DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

      Comment


        #4
        Re: New to Memoria Press and Homeschooling...Advice?

        Originally posted by CBlair11 View Post
        Good Evening!
        I found Memoria Press from purchasing the book, Simply Classical A Beautiful Education for Any Child by Cheryl Swope for my little boy who will be 2 next month who has down syndrome.I fell in love with the book and so admire Cheryl and all she has done for her two children! Where I live there is a Classical Christian School and preschool but they do not offer a curriculum for my son or any children with delayed abilities at this time. I have an older son who is 3 and at the preschool now and loves it. My question becomes how to offer this beautiful education to my little boy with down syndrome when the school here does not offer that as an option? So doing a little research I found this website. I was raised in the public school system myself and do not have a teaching degree so I am very new to all of this! I would love to start with the Level A for Special Needs children preschool curriculum but was curious if anyone has ever done this curriculum with a typically developing child? I am considering trying to hold my older son back next year and do homeschooling Level A with both he and my little boy with down syndrome. Thank you for your time and any advice you have to give!

        Sincerely,
        Caroline
        Thank you, Caroline. Welcome!

        As our other moms indicated, you have many options.

        Your Nearly Two-Year-Old Boy
        Homeschooling your little boy will give you great flexibility. He is already 23 months old now, so by the time you order and receive Level A, you can begin right away! No need to wait until next year.

        As you know, early intervention is critical. While your 3yo is in preschool, this will give you time to explore and obtain additional support, such as speech and language therapy, occupational and physical therapy, for your son with Down syndrome. All of these will work together to give him a strong start. (Many moms are reading your post and wishing that they had been able to start when their own child was two!)

        Your Three-Year-Old Boy
        Your older boy can join Level A lessons with your younger boy. This might be alongside his brother on non-school days or after preschool as "Level A Round Two." The 3yo's modeling of language and cognition will help your 2yo, just as the daily lessons will help your older boy! Level A takes only an hour or so to teach, and everything is based on little books that become the beginning of your children's high-quality home library.

        Homeschooling Both?
        Some families prefer to have both special-needs and "non-special-needs" children in the same educational setting for family bonds, sibling relationships, and ease of scheduling. If you decided to bring your older boy home too, Level B might be more appropriate for his own skill development. This would depend on when he turned three. You can find the assessments in "Where Do I Begin?" If you taught him from Level B, he could still participate in Level A for "fun" enrichment. And then both boys can go play!

        Playtime
        Water play, climbing on playgrounds with other children, indoor gymnastics or swimming, exploring outdoors - all of these are so important for both boys. The SC Curriculum Guides A, B, and C give you more than daily lessons. They include specific age-appropriate ideas to target social-emotional development, cognitive and language development, fine-motor and gross-motor skills even in the boys' leisure time, so there is no need to worry about not having a teaching degree. (In fact, as you might have noticed in Simply Classical, sometimes not attending teacher-training college courses can be an advantage!)


        No matter where you want your older son to receive his education, your little boy with Down syndrome can begin right away with SC Level A. You'll notice that Memoria Press Preschool is essentially the same program as SC Level A, so feel free to use Level A with your 3-year-old in whatever manner suits your family.

        We're so glad you found us!

        Thanks-
        Cheryl


        Simply Classical Level A: Readiness, Rhythm, & Rhyme

        ClassicalSpecialNeeds.com

        Comment


          #5
          Re: New to Memoria Press and Homeschooling...Advice?

          Caroline,

          I was thinking about your situation a little more, while I was away with my daughter this afternoon. You have at least two more options:

          Integration into the School
          If you love your school as much as your older son does, he could remain there for his education, while you homeschool your younger son. However, you could ask whether your little boy with Down syndrome might participate in some of the activities to become a part of the school culture. Even though the school does not have anything established now, many classical Christian schools are beginning to consider such integration. You might assist the process for your school! We could even help with this, if they were interested. Whether the school hires a special-services coordinator for a special classroom, creates a resource room, or simply allows some integration in the arts for homeschooled special-needs students, this school/homeschool combination might be another alternative for your family.

          Homeschooling Both Boys with MP/SC combinations
          If you wanted to homeschool both boys next year, rather than embark on SC Level B your 3yo could begin MP JrK next year. Then he would proceed through the MP Classical Core Curriculum in the intended sequence with MP K to follow. Meanwhile, your 2yo would progress through the Simply Classical Core Curriculum. This individualization would minimize inevitable comparisons over time, as each boy would have his own program.

          Much to consider, but all are good options! Let us know if we can help further.

          Thanks-
          Cheryl

          CherylSwope.com

          Comment


            #6
            Re: New to Memoria Press and Homeschooling...Advice?

            Thank you all for the wonderful and encouraging advice I needed.

            It does make sense to do two separate curriculum for the boys and I would honestly love to integrate my little boy with Down syndrome into the preschool/classical Christian school here in the future! That is my main prayer right now and how exactly to go about it I'm not sure. But the Lord gives wisdom to those who ask. He has led me to you all here and this is a wonderful start to me!

            My other questions I had were:
            1. What about the social aspect of homeschooling? I'm nervous about if he is not with peers during the day then what is the best way to integrate him where he is able learn how to interact with his peers/become independent in society to get a job? Is sports my only answer?

            2.And do our special needs children really want to be integrated with their typical peers or do they want to be with their own (kids who are like them)? I have seen research suggesting that it's beneficial for not typical and developmentally delayed children to learn side by side. Is this a majority or minority?

            3. I loved the Readiness checklist for the curriculum but my little boy with Down syndrome does not check all the yes boxes for readiness. So should I wait until he checks yes in all the boxes?

            I sincerely appreciate your time and opinions.
            Caroline





            Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
            Caroline,

            I was thinking about your situation a little more, while I was away with my daughter this afternoon. You have at least two more options:

            Integration into the School
            If you love your school as much as your older son does, he could remain there for his education, while you homeschool your younger son. However, you could ask whether your little boy with Down syndrome might participate in some of the activities to become a part of the school culture. Even though the school does not have anything established now, many classical Christian schools are beginning to consider such integration. You might assist the process for your school! We could even help with this, if they were interested. Whether the school hires a special-services coordinator for a special classroom, creates a resource room, or simply allows some integration in the arts for homeschooled special-needs students, this school/homeschool combination might be another alternative for your family.

            Homeschooling Both Boys with MP/SC combinations
            If you wanted to homeschool both boys next year, rather than embark on SC Level B your 3yo could begin MP JrK next year. Then he would proceed through the MP Classical Core Curriculum in the intended sequence with MP K to follow. Meanwhile, your 2yo would progress through the Simply Classical Core Curriculum. This individualization would minimize inevitable comparisons over time, as each boy would have his own program.

            Much to consider, but all are good options! Let us know if we can help further.

            Thanks-
            Cheryl

            CherylSwope.com

            Comment


              #7
              Re: New to Memoria Press and Homeschooling...Advice?

              It's okay if he's not 100% yes. That would actually indicate to move him up a level. You want him to be 75% yes or emerging. Even if he's not quite at 75 you could start, just slowly. The beautiful thing about homeschooling is you're in charge. He super enjoys a book? Read it again. You think he needs a little more time developing a skill, slow down. Repeat a week. Repeat it twice. The key is to move at his pace. Challenge him without overwhelming him. This is about way more than academics. It's about creating a family bond and life-long learners.

              Ah, the question of socialization. The thing all in-laws worry and tut-tut about. "But how will Johnny make friends?" they moan. He will. You can look for homeschool co-ops in your area. Some times they meet for classes or some times are more social play date kind of arrangements. Sign him up for swim class or gymnastics. My son goes to 'specials' at the local school, PE and music for 1 hr a day. He's involved in Cubscouts. Goes to Bibe study one night a week. Trust me, he's busy. If anything, we homeschoolers need to say "no" to more outside activities. We get so occupied with running here and there to activities, we're cramming in school on the fly or carschooling. Throw in some therapy appointments or doctor visits...we'll you get the idea.

              I wouldn't be terribly concerned with socialization at 2. Your schedule is already full with getting your older son to school and grocery shopping without a melt down, not to mention therapy sessions. Ask your therapist for groups you could mingle with. It might be good mama therapy to mingle with other mama's facing similar challenges. Take him to the park, there will be other kids there as, hopefully, positive roll models.
              Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

              DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
              DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
              DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

              We've completed:
              Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
              Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

              Comment


                #8
                Re: New to Memoria Press and Homeschooling...Advice?

                Originally posted by CBlair11 View Post
                Thank you all for the wonderful and encouraging advice I needed.

                It does make sense to do two separate curriculum for the boys and I would honestly love to integrate my little boy with Down syndrome into the preschool/classical Christian school here in the future! That is my main prayer right now and how exactly to go about it I'm not sure. But the Lord gives wisdom to those who ask. He has led me to you all here and this is a wonderful start to me!

                My other questions I had were:
                1. What about the social aspect of homeschooling? I'm nervous about if he is not with peers during the day then what is the best way to integrate him where he is able learn how to interact with his peers/become independent in society to get a job? Is sports my only answer?

                2.And do our special needs children really want to be integrated with their typical peers or do they want to be with their own (kids who are like them)? I have seen research suggesting that it's beneficial for not typical and developmentally delayed children to learn side by side. Is this a majority or minority?

                3. I loved the Readiness checklist for the curriculum but my little boy with Down syndrome does not check all the yes boxes for readiness. So should I wait until he checks yes in all the boxes?

                I sincerely appreciate your time and opinions.
                Caroline

                Oh yes, the ever popular "your kids won't learn to socialize"! As colorama indicated, I find it harder to be AT home to HOMESCHOOL! :-) I have many friends with kids in "regular" school and they were just complaining that there kids complain they never have time to talk to their friends. At lunch even, they are told not to talk because there isn't enough time to eat if they talk! That being said, there is a Highlands Latin School an hour away from us, and it would sort of be a dream to send my kids there!

                We actually opted not to do any co-ops this year. My oldest is in American Heritage Girls, she attends a weekly religious ed class at our parish, Catechesis of the Good Shepard at a different parish.... and she attends gym/swim for homeschoolers 1x per week. *shew*. I could have participated in an additional 4 co-ops! :-) In the future I would like to join one, where my children can get up and recite their poetry, do some recitations and maybe work cooperatively on a project. We aren't there, "quite" yet. It is hard to find a Classical Co-op that doesn't take away from the MP curriculum.

                Good luck with your decision(s)!
                Christine

                (2019/2020)
                DD1 8/23/09 - SC5/6
                DS2 9/1/11 - SC3,4, 5/6 combo
                DD3 2/9/13 -SC2 to start, MP1 second semester

                Previous Years
                DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4’
                DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2)
                DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK)

                Comment

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