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How our first week is going with MP1

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    How our first week is going with MP1

    Hi All,
    Well, those of you I had the pleasure of meeting at Sodalitas know that I was really struggling with where to place my (11 y.o.) son Owen. After pouring over the material, I settled on MP 1 Core. SC2 seemed a bit too easy and I would have had to modify too much of MP2 for it to work. I'm following the lesson plans for MP 1 with these exceptions:

    1) I didn't purchase the little reader books. So, for example, this week we're skipping the pet poodle story, the good cook, etc. But we're doing everything else in the phonics/spelling plans.
    2) I didn't purchase the copy book (in order to save money.) We're just going to attempt to memorize and copy/print those things we "think" are in the copybook. I'm thinking it is the list of things at the back of the curriculum manual under "memory".

    I've been so excited to start and, since our materials arrived at the end of last week, we jumped in on Monday. Can I just share that it's really hard to type here on this forum that I have an 11 year old doing MP1. I'm actually thinking he "might" be the oldest special needs child doing the lowest level work represented here on this forum. I keep telling myself it doesn't matter and that I've placed him where I think he'll both grow and have success. And I'm here to say....that's what's happening this week! So far it's been fairly easy for him. But it's all okay. As I look ahead at the spelling, it's not going to provide that much challenge for the year, but I do like the spelling and phonics plans and their respective teaching lessons and activities. And he really enjoys it. And I feel as thought I'm setting a more firm foundation in place for him after having spent a few years with a different approach.

    As for the math.....he didn't do R&S 1 last year therefore the first 7 weeks as laid out in the guide are NOT a review for him the way it is for the kids who did R&S 1 in Kinder....so I'm wondering how to proceed. For example, it says this week to review lessons 1- 6 but also 11, 12, 13, 18, etc. I'm actually thinking that perhaps I should be taking the lessons sequentially since it's not review for my son. Yes, we spent quite a bit of time in Right Start math. (And I'll say it was REALLY hard to break away from Right Start and embrace Rod & Staff but I decided to go for it and trust the process.) We are able to get through a few lessons of math per day because, obviously, this would be a bit easy for him starting at the very beginning of R&S 1. But it's all good. I don't mind doing a few lessons to play catch up so should I ignore the plans and just shoot for 2 or 3 lessons per day sequentially? What do y'all think?

    If I had been a better time-manager this week, I could proudly say that we did everything in the plans and enrichment guide. But we might end the week with a few loose ends we need to tie up next week, which is fine. I've had other things going on and then there's the whole driving to therapy thing, etc.

    I would love to hear from Anita (if she ends up reading this and having time to respond) what specifically has helped her son's comprehension so much. Because my son sounds like an older version of her son. One of my son's biggest challenges is his language processing issues. One of the things I haven't gotten to this week are the reading comp/vocab in the enrichment guide that go with this week's read-aloud story (A Visitor for Bear.) I'm kind of dreading this as I know how challenging it'll be. I'll have to put a lot of work into the vocabulary explaining AND all the reading comp questions. He REALLY struggles in this area in spite of the fact that his reading is beyond this level of curriculum. Here's an example of how he has interacted with this particular picture book after I read it to him last night .....today, he says, "Ha Ha! Bear said, 'BE GONE!' (And that's about all I got out of him with this story.)

    Well, I'll stop rambling now. I just wanted to check in and say "hi" and say "we started" and say "yay, we're finally home." Because, in spite of our challenges with my son, I truly believe we are finally where we are supposed to be. No more piece-mealing. No more trying to figure it all out on my own. I had the pleasure of experiencing the peaceful sigh that so many of the moms on this forum talk about having once they switch to MP. Yay!

    Cyber hugs,
    SusanP in VA

    #2
    Re: How our first week is going with MP1

    Originally posted by SPearson View Post
    ...I'm actually thinking he "might" be the oldest special needs child doing the lowest level work represented here on this forum. I keep telling myself it doesn't matter and that I've placed him where I think he'll both grow and have success. And I'm here to say....that's what's happening this week!

    ... I just wanted to check in and say "hi" and say "we started" and say "yay, we're finally home." Because, in spite of our challenges with my son, I truly believe we are finally where we are supposed to be. No more piece-mealing. No more trying to figure it all out on my own. I had the pleasure of experiencing the peaceful sigh that so many of the moms on this forum talk about having once they switch to MP. Yay!

    Cyber hugs,
    SusanP in VA

    Hugs back to you. You were so much fun at Sodalitas.

    Fwiw, we have had teens in MP 2, we currently have children older than yours in SC 2, on and on. As you say, we're just matching needs to skill development for growth and success. We can ignore numbers on books, especially as homeschoolers, because we have the freedom to just teach. I hope your son makes great strides this year.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: How our first week is going with MP1

      Originally posted by SPearson View Post
      Hi All,
      Well, those of you I had the pleasure of meeting at Sodalitas know that I was really struggling with where to place my (11 y.o.) son Owen. After pouring over the material, I settled on MP 1 Core. SC2 seemed a bit too easy and I would have had to modify too much of MP2 for it to work. I'm following the lesson plans for MP 1 with these exceptions:

      1) I didn't purchase the little reader books. So, for example, this week we're skipping the pet poodle story, the good cook, etc. But we're doing everything else in the phonics/spelling plans.
      2) I didn't purchase the copy book (in order to save money.) We're just going to attempt to memorize and copy/print those things we "think" are in the copybook. I'm thinking it is the list of things at the back of the curriculum manual under "memory".

      I've been so excited to start and, since our materials arrived at the end of last week, we jumped in on Monday. Can I just share that it's really hard to type here on this forum that I have an 11 year old doing MP1. I'm actually thinking he "might" be the oldest special needs child doing the lowest level work represented here on this forum. I keep telling myself it doesn't matter and that I've placed him where I think he'll both grow and have success. And I'm here to say....that's what's happening this week! So far it's been fairly easy for him. But it's all okay. As I look ahead at the spelling, it's not going to provide that much challenge for the year, but I do like the spelling and phonics plans and their respective teaching lessons and activities. And he really enjoys it. And I feel as thought I'm setting a more firm foundation in place for him after having spent a few years with a different approach.

      As for the math.....he didn't do R&S 1 last year therefore the first 7 weeks as laid out in the guide are NOT a review for him the way it is for the kids who did R&S 1 in Kinder....so I'm wondering how to proceed. For example, it says this week to review lessons 1- 6 but also 11, 12, 13, 18, etc. I'm actually thinking that perhaps I should be taking the lessons sequentially since it's not review for my son. Yes, we spent quite a bit of time in Right Start math. (And I'll say it was REALLY hard to break away from Right Start and embrace Rod & Staff but I decided to go for it and trust the process.) We are able to get through a few lessons of math per day because, obviously, this would be a bit easy for him starting at the very beginning of R&S 1. But it's all good. I don't mind doing a few lessons to play catch up so should I ignore the plans and just shoot for 2 or 3 lessons per day sequentially? What do y'all think?

      If I had been a better time-manager this week, I could proudly say that we did everything in the plans and enrichment guide. But we might end the week with a few loose ends we need to tie up next week, which is fine. I've had other things going on and then there's the whole driving to therapy thing, etc.

      I would love to hear from Anita (if she ends up reading this and having time to respond) what specifically has helped her son's comprehension so much. Because my son sounds like an older version of her son. One of my son's biggest challenges is his language processing issues. One of the things I haven't gotten to this week are the reading comp/vocab in the enrichment guide that go with this week's read-aloud story (A Visitor for Bear.) I'm kind of dreading this as I know how challenging it'll be. I'll have to put a lot of work into the vocabulary explaining AND all the reading comp questions. He REALLY struggles in this area in spite of the fact that his reading is beyond this level of curriculum. Here's an example of how he has interacted with this particular picture book after I read it to him last night .....today, he says, "Ha Ha! Bear said, 'BE GONE!' (And that's about all I got out of him with this story.)

      Well, I'll stop rambling now. I just wanted to check in and say "hi" and say "we started" and say "yay, we're finally home." Because, in spite of our challenges with my son, I truly believe we are finally where we are supposed to be. No more piece-mealing. No more trying to figure it all out on my own. I had the pleasure of experiencing the peaceful sigh that so many of the moms on this forum talk about having once they switch to MP. Yay!

      Cyber hugs,
      SusanP in VA
      Hi Susan

      I'm chuckling a little as I write this because you are correct, your son and mine have similar challenges. I'm honored that you want my advice, actually. Happy to share, with a few caveats:
      1) I am not a specialist. I have no letters behind my name like PhD, SLP, Ed, or in front of it like Dr. I'm a mom with twos kids (that we know of) who definitely have language disorders.
      2) What works for my kids might not work for yours. Some children struggle in the area of language comprehension their entire lives. You can apply the exact same tactics to two children with the same Dx and get radically different results. There are dozens of factors that go into "a success"; many are beyond our control. We just have to get comfortable with that ambiguity.
      3) I did not set out knowing that any of this would work. I just set out. Sort of like climbing a really steep and tall mountain. I had no idea how far I would get -- I still don't -- I just hiked my backpack up on my shoulders and started climbing. I'm not an authority on mountain-climbing. I'm a total amateur who just happens to have made it to the first overlook. I have much more ground to cover!
      4) Selective sharing on my part could make it sound like Winston went from a nonverbal child to a typical child in the space of two years with just a little hard work. This is not the case at all. While his expressive and receptive language have both increased dramatically, along with his fluency, annunciation and poise, he still has a long way to go. He is just starting to grasp themes and details of stories and to be able to tell me character names. He also still has a hard time starting, maintaining and finishing a conversation. He cannot answer the phone, for example, because he would have no idea how to talk to the person on the other end. We might get as far as, "Hello?" "Hi, may I speak with Mrs. Anita?" Winston would have no idea how to answer.

      So having given that back-story (chuckle) what we did that helped the most was to basically trust the plan. (Simple, right?) Truly, taken together, the whole scheme of Simply Classical just worked for us. So you cannot isolate a few things to the exclusion of others. There are things that worked better than others. But they all worked together (does that make sense?). And the things that were the most challenging for Winston were the ones I knew I absolutely had to include every day. Comprehension questions give me a knot in my stomach, too -- trust me. Winston does not like to be asked questions, especially ones he doesn't know the answer to. He gets argumentative and whiny when faced with a challenge like that. He likes to be right. He loves math because it's concrete and follows a system. He likes phonics for the same reason. But free-form Language and Conversation do not. His brain has to work really hard to make sense of it. So some really good things I found that boasted comprehension were:
      * Recitation! I cannot praise recitation enough. Do it. Do it. Do it. It's the same every day, it builds memory, concentration, listening skills... It's amazing.
      * Stories with rhyme and predictable story patterns -- think Mother Goose, Dr Seuss and stories that have melodic, repetitive parts like The Poky Little Puppy. That ear training is invaluable. Thankfully all the SC levels are full of this kind of literature. Exploit that. Go back and just read aloud the selections from lower levels if you think that would help. It helped Winston immensely to hear the stories and songs I was doing with his baby brother from Level A
      * Ask simpler questions at first and answer for him about 40% of the time. This builds in success. He won't be so resistant if he doesn't think comprehension questions are an interrogation where Mama is going to be frustrated at him the entire session (trust me on this, trial and error). Keep it positive, keep it light. Give him major praise for even a small correct answer. Build confidence, build confidence, build confidence. As you do that, he will understand that it's okay to be wrong, it's normal to make mistakes, and he will start to love literature (and even comprehension questions!) more.
      * Pace yourself. Your first week took longer than you expected? That's totally normal. You'll hit your stride. Just keep hiking!

      I wish I could elaborate more, but my babies need me. I type all this from my phone and it takes forever. But I did not want to make you feel like you were not being answered. I know how hard this can be. You have my total support!
      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


        #4
        Re: How our first week is going with MP1

        So glad it seems to be going well! Don't get discouraged, the first week is always hard, isn't it? We've had quite a few meltdowns here (from having to do terribly difficult things like count to 50 hahaha) and didn't get through two full days of work in three full days of school. Oh well, we start fresh on Monday.

        For the copywork, you can just use startwrite or handwritingworksheets.com to make pages for him to copy. Or use a simple notebook and write them out yourself for him to copy.

        For the math, you could just go from the beginning and proceed. If you really wanted you could buy the lesson plans for MP K math only to see how MP schedules the first 85 lessons. But starting from the beginning of the TM should work fine.

        For comprehension, I really like the idea of using lower level read alouds to slowly build comprehension. That makes so much sense to me. I'd expect you could get most of the SC A,B,C,1 books at the library. And the idea that it's okay to answer for our kiddos when they don't know the answer. That you can't help them too much. That seems so straightforward, but it never occurred to me before.
        Susan

        2018-2019
        A (10) - Barton, R&S math 3, SC 3
        C (9) - Barton, R&S math 2, SC 3
        G (5) - Simply Classical C

        Comment


          #5
          Re: How our first week is going with MP1

          Virtual wave to you Susan!

          As far as the rapid review at the beginning of the schedule, we're dealing with the same struggle in grade 2 level even though my son did do the previous level of rod and staff so definitely don't feel bad. I decided to abandon the plans as written by MP and just go one lesson at a time using the teacher manual from rod and staff as my guide. When the MP schedule adjusts back down to one lesson a day, we'll again start following them, but for now I'm just doing my own thing.

          As far as the loose ends. Here's how I keep track. I have a one-page excel spreadsheet. Monday through Friday across the top and subjects down the left-hand side. This is kept in a page protector or you could laminate it. I cross off subjects as we complete them each day. Sometimes we just don't get done with everything, somebody has a meltdown or we're just done with the day. This visual schedule helps my son know how much more is expected to complete the day. Its not a schedule with times or even in the exact order that we may do them everyday, just a very basic checklist. Throughout the week I can quickly see what we still need to work on. Maybe we need to double up spelling today because we didn't get it done yesterday, etc. Or, it gives me a quick way to finish on Saturday; looks like we still need to read Thursday's reading, Tuesday's phonics workbook, and a spelling test.

          And I agree, spelling is below my son's current ability as well. But, I read somewhere else on here that not everything should be a challenge. There should be some easy subjects. Its designed that way. Our children would burn out if everything was always a struggle. Lord knows we already face struggles with our special learners. Its okay to ease up on them. Also, their spelling is usually atleast a grade level behind their reading level, sometimes more.
          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


            #6
            Re: How our first week is going with MP1

            It is so good to hear from you Susan!! I hope you will find some peace with MP!
            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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