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Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

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    Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

    Hello! First time posting here! I plan on starting MP in January right after the holidays. As I have been looking over the various choices I find that I am at times stumped on what level to go with-- K, 1st, or special needs.

    My son is 5 (6 in march), autistic, sensory processing disorder, and expressive/receptive language delay. Regarding his language delay he is a little over a year behind. He is bright, advanced academically, and driven to get his work done with little to no external motivation. For reading he is at 1st going into 2nd grade level. He can read very well and is working on fluency at this time. Also, his comprehension is still coming along. Right now we read aloud a mix of things, one chapter book and pictures books, as well as phonics readers. He has an amazing memory and tends to learn better with whole word method than phonics instruction. However, I still do phonics instruction in addition to whole word reading instruction. His reading seems so intuitive that I have not really struggled with reading instruction but we work on comprehension.

    In Math he is anywhere from k to 2nd grade. He just learned what 1 more than # means (a kinder concept) but picked up the concept of fractions easily on his own and we are having a lot of fun with that. A lot of our math lessons are hands on and he gives me the answers orally. Writing is minimal to none.

    Handwriting: We are using handwriting without tears prek level and this is definitely work for him although he puts in his work daily with no fuss. Its hard to do a cross on his own, he cant write 2 yet on his own, he can write his name with effort. I have noticed that he has developed some physical endurance in his handwriting and can handle some extra writing at his point. so this brings me to my question.

    Here is my question: I have been wanting him to do some copywork that is enriching to him but want to be careful regarding his limited fine motor skills and writing ability. I cant seem to pick the right level of copywork for him. K? 1st? He likes to read good things. He really enjoys Aesops fables, bible stories (his heroes and the men he looks up to are from the old testament and Jesus), and begs for me to read more of his burgess chapter books. But its a little more complicated with copywork. I am not sure what direction to go in here.

    The safest option is to do kinder. But will he be engaged in that? What level should I go with here?

    Thank you very much. Nubia

    #2
    Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

    It's not clear whether he struggles with just the number 2 formation, etc or whether it's all handwriting. My son can write all his letters and numbers, but it's not automatic recall and lots of things are reversed or formed inaccurately. With that in mind...

    Here's what we decided. We will use SC level 1 for Bible and the accompanying SC copybook level 1 starting in the New Year. It starts with basic strokes, moves to letter formation and finally copywork.

    Your son seems a good fit for kindergarten math. MP uses rod and staff grade 1 book 1 in kindergarten. The pace you would like to go will determine whether the Simply Classical or regular curriculum is a better fit. SC assumes you'll be schooling year round and that allows a slower pace. Topics covered are number formation, addition facts 1 to 5, subtraction facts 1 to 5, and telling time to the hour. The grade 1 book 2 is used in first grade.

    Reading level you may want to adjust up from kindergarten. But his writing seems on pace for kindergarten or possibly even SC level C. Reading and writing go hand in hand in the MP curriculum, so you may want to select SC level C or 1 and allow him to read outside the curriculum at his ability.

    You can easily adjust various levels within the curriculum. From the SC level 1 page, click 'customize' and you can change things on a drop down menu. For example, select a higher or lower level reading program.

    I'm sure Cheryl will chime in quickly.

    As an aside, I recently received my Christmas gift to myself, Cheryl's 'Simply Classical' book and it's phenomenal. I highly recommend it to other rookies like myself.
    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: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

      Thank you so much for your thorough advice! I have been reading and re-reading Cheryl's new book and it has been a real blessing for me. Its through that book, MP, and now this forum that I hope to be able to make some great choices.

      Its a whole different way of thinking about learning and education. Im absolutely loving it. But it is kind of like learning a nee language! Im so thankful for this forum.

      i failed to clarify in my original post that my son struggles with all handwriting and fine motor skills. He struggles with design copying, forming his own letters without having a reference to look at, and overall appears to have great difficulty telling his hand what to do. We do OT regularly.

      So you think we should mainly go with simply classical and let him read at a level he feels good at. I took that little assessment tool to determine where he is at and it looks like he can do level 1. I need to look over all the materials in this level and get familiar with them.

      Im excited to move forward and I just know he will love this program. 😊

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

        Originally posted by Nwicks629 View Post
        Thank you so much for your thorough advice! I have been reading and re-reading Cheryl's new book and it has been a real blessing for me. Its through that book, MP, and now this forum that I hope to be able to make some great choices.

        Its a whole different way of thinking about learning and education. Im absolutely loving it. But it is kind of like learning a nee language! Im so thankful for this forum.

        i failed to clarify in my original post that my son struggles with all handwriting and fine motor skills. He struggles with design copying, forming his own letters without having a reference to look at, and overall appears to have great difficulty telling his hand what to do. We do OT regularly.

        So you think we should mainly go with simply classical and let him read at a level he feels good at. I took that little assessment tool to determine where he is at and it looks like he can do level 1. I need to look over all the materials in this level and get familiar with them.

        Im excited to move forward and I just know he will love this program. 😊

        Welcome! After Colomama's good advice, my only suggestion was to take the readiness assessment. You have already done this!

        If SC Level 1 seems to be a good fit for your son, he will receive side-by-side phonics and printing instruction through Books A-D in First Start Reading and with the Core Skills: Phonics books. This, along with SC Copybook 1, will give him a gently but steady introduction to careful reading, spelling, and writing every day. Then, after you teach him with SC Level 1 each day, you could continue his oral reading practice as "dessert" for finishing his lessons.

        By concluding with an area he loves, and which is a clear area of strength for him, this might be an encouraging approach for both of you.


        Even if he could begin MP K or MP 1 now, his fine-motor concerns seem sufficiently significant to warrant beginning with SC levels. He could always transfer over to MP Core in future years, if his skills improve in each area. In the meantime, we worked hard to provide beautiful read-alouds and other areas of enrichment, including the Story Bible to nurture faith, so your child would receive the riches of a classical Christian education while building his necessary skills. As Colomama mentioned, you can also customize the levels, if you would like.


        Regardless of your decision, we're so glad you found us! If you have not yet subscribed to the free magazine/catalog, The Classical Teacher, the articles will help unlock the (seemingly foreign) language of true education in enriching ways. This "magalog" is delivered for free, in print, four times a year. You can also read archived articles here.

        Feel free to follow up -

        Cheryl



        Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child

        foreword by Dr. Gene Edward Veith
        (Memoria Press, 2013)


        ClassicalSpecialNeeds.com

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

          Cheryl

          Thank you so much for your response. Its such a relief to get help with this.
          I see you suggested the phonics instruction. My concern is that he is well beyond how to read three letter words like mom and sun. He jist got done working on concepts like magical e, oo words. Hes gotten most of his blends down like th, sh, wh, etc

          So would first start phonics level 1 still be a good fit for him?

          Thank you for your assessment (I know a tricky one since all of this is online) regarding how to approach his delay in handwriting. I will definitely go with the simply classical materials and add in as he needs regarding the reading material. 😊

          Nubia

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

            Is he your only child? If yes, FSR could be taught primarily for the small daily doses of printing, simply because you might have time to do this.

            This could help him with good letter formation, pencil grip, and attention to detail. The advantage for your son is that he is far ahead in phonics instruction, so he would not be attempting to learn both simultaneously. He can move as swiftly through FSR as his printing allows! He can even move more quickly through SC 1 than the lesson plans indicate. The curriculum is only there to help you. You retain all flexibility in teaching. The program entails 34 weeks, but you can move more quickly. (And we include 8 weeks of review, if he needs more time.)


            By teaching with FSR for printing, this is not to say that he should move "backwards" in his reading instruction. You would proceed with silent e, blends and beyond in his reading instruction. Perhaps you could consider these as two separate "subjects" for him:
            1.) printing letters with reviewed phonics instruction
            2.) oral reading with new, more advanced phonics skills

            These could occur back-to-back, or at different times in the day. FSR is a very good tool to address printing (with a bonus of phonics review) at the beginning of each day. FSR is so systematic, you can see from this sample of Book D, he will eventually review many phonemes while he practices his printing in an orderly way.


            However, if you only want copybook, you could add Simply Classical Copybook I. View a sample here. The advantage to SC Level 1 is the integration of content with daily writing. He is only kindergarten age, so this content would be age-appropriate for him.

            One caveat -- sometimes with our exceptionally bright or eager special-needs children, we can think they need higher levels of instruction than they do. I made this mistake with my own children at times, because their love for knowledge soared above their abilities to do the basics. Perhaps for this reason, I may seem overly adamant about addressing those "building blocks" of printing, phonics, and spelling, even as we encourage our children's areas of interest and strength.


            All much to consider. What do you think?

            Cheryl

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

              One more thought:

              In our discussion we focused on your son's writing difficulties, but his receptive/expressive language delays will also benefit from the integration of SC Level 1. The use of recitations, non-fiction and fiction read-alouds, and comprehension questions target oral language. Anita, our homeschooling mom of three with special needs, could speak to her experiences with SC and oral language.

              Let us know if we can help further.

              Thanks-
              Cheryl

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

                Cheryl, thank you so much. What you said there at the end is exactly my battle. He is the only child I am homeschooling as my younger one is only 1 and expecting a third in January. He tends to just go go go academically and things can be so intuitive for him that I want to run ahead right with him! Its too tempting but at the same time I felt the tension of going ahead and noticing he had some basic skills that needed some diligent work.

                I understand now what you mean about starting with phonics instruction as a review and making sure to work on printing letters. I actually really like this idea. Thank you so much for helping me figure this out! I am definitely going to be doing this along with the advanced reading he likes to do.

                Nubia

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

                  I can speak to what Cheryl's talking about. Sometimes its disheartening to put our children in curriculum 'younger than them'. I did that 2 years ago with kindergarten material from another curriculum. He had already completed kindergarten in public school, but struggled with it. I thought we'd quickly breeze through it for review and get right back on track with his grade level. Nope, total disaster. Crying fits from both of us. I thought homeschooling was not for us. I took a deep breath and stopped and prayed and listened.

                  God answered, "It doesn't matter where he should be, it matters where he is".

                  More deep breathing and prayer followed. I came to peace. As I said before we're still, two years later, working through the kindergarten level. And that's okay. It's where he is and he has success. He makes progress and we delight. I've stopped thinking, "yeah, that's nice, but look where he should be..."

                  Memoria Press is an academically rigorous education. First grade requires a lot of writing and ramps up quickly. I would suggest that the Simply Classical route is the better fit, it specifically addresses the amount of handwriting and pace of studies. I would suggest you look through the level c at the handwriting practice books from rod and staff (they're only about $3 a piece) and the letters and numbers book by MP. You could work through those this second semester and then start level 1 in the fall full on.

                  I totally agree with cheryl on the 'dessert' idea. The curriculum guide has read aloud picture books listed with discussion questions listed. You'll quickly pick up on how to deeply question a book and you could apply that to books that he reads at his level. Just the idea of looking at the cover to guess what the book might be about, paying attention to the copyright date and discussing the style of illustration makes our kids go more deeply than simply reading, it works their deep comprehension.
                  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


                    #10
                    Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

                    Nubia, you wrote: I understand now what you mean about starting with phonics instruction as a review and making sure to work on printing letters. I actually really like this idea. Thank you so much for helping me figure this out! I am definitely going to be doing this along with the advanced reading he likes to do.


                    Good! A bonus with SC Level 1 is this:

                    The student book and practice sheets with R&S Arithmetic Part 1 will take ample, careful steps toward helping your son print every numeral correctly. I think you will like the combined slow-and-steady approach to basics while simultaneously providing truth, goodness, and beauty for mind and soul.


                    Congratulations on Baby #3. By the time your younger two are ready for homeschooling, you'll be knowledgeable and experienced!

                    Thanks-
                    Cheryl

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

                      thank you so much for sharing. Its been very helpful to read your perspective and Sheryl's. The advice yall have given is wise and reflects your experience. First and foremost my relationship with my son is the most important thing. We have a good time learning together and as we approach the new year I was struggling with how to continue doing that with a new curriculum.
                      After reading your posts I am no longer worried or lost. Everything you and Cheryl have said has resonated with me and it makes so much sense-it just feels right. That is what I was looking for.
                      I want to honor him and give him the space to fall in love with learning! You are right about being in the moment and not focusing on the shoulds (he should be doing X thing by now).

                      After consulting with yall I am going with the simply classical for sure. 😊
                      God Bless yall,
                      Nubia

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

                        Cheryl is very wise and she always recommends simple, but beautiful! However, I wanted to echo what Coloroma mentioned about those R&S books. They are specifically for 4 and 5 year olds and it even says on their page "for remedial" 1st grade. I think your son would benefit from these books. I don't know that you need to order the A-D books, but perhaps a few, maybe just the one or 2 from the E-L books. There is coloring, letter and number writing, cutting and pasting, etc. - There is also letter rhyming, etc. We did these with my now 6 year old last year. We started with C (A is merely coloring) and worked our way to I (we never finished). So, doing A-L is maybe too many..:-)

                        However, if you are doing Level 1, it might be too much to add. But, maybe you could take a bit and work through those and then move on to Level 1?

                        You can see samples at milestone books - maybe 1 or 2 would be appealing!
                        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


                          #13
                          Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

                          Good point, Christine (and Colomama)! The R&S preschool books and the MP Alphabet and Number Books might be helpful as supplements. In case anyone reading is not familiar with these books, you can find the titles here:

                          From SC Level B, right-hand column entitled Individual Items

                          Alphabet Coloring Book (MP)
                          Number Coloring Book (MP)

                          Adventures with Books (R&S)
                          Counting with Numbers (R&S)
                          Do It Carefully (R&S)
                          Everywhere We Go (R&S)


                          From SC Level C, Individual Items

                          Alphabet Books One and Two (MP)
                          Numbers Books One and Two (MP)
                          Finding the Answers (R&S)
                          Going on Eagerly (R&S)
                          Hearing and Helping (R&S)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

                            With the added info of a baby due in a month I would lean heavily towards the books Cheryl listed and start SC 1 in the fall. In this season of motherhood I would focus on continuing your positive relationship, but really focus on a light academic load until you get three kids under control. My third threw me for a loop
                            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


                              #15
                              Re: Copywork- Go with K or 1st grade level or SN curric?

                              Oy I know. Ive been so focused on my son's change in curriculum that I havent really thought about how I am going to juggle the third. We will all tale a long break to enjoy baby sister 😊 I certainly am looking forward to it. This will be a nice change for us for a bit. Besides my son llooooovvesss babies. Absolutely loves them. He will enjoy having her with us (at least when she is not crying or pooping &#128522

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