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Ideas for modifications for 12yo boy?

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    Ideas for modifications for 12yo boy?

    We've just finished Week 9 of 4A with my 9yo and 12yo, and I'm doing a mental assessment of how things are going. My 9yo daughter is doing great with everything--thriving, really! My 12yo boy who has Asperger's, OCD, fine motor issues, among other things going on has really risen to meet the demands of the curriculum extremely well. However, there are a few areas where I feel like either he is not achieving mastery, or his struggles (slowness) are causing stress and long days/weeks to get everything accomplished. My husband is a former SPED teacher/director and still involved with Sped on the higher ed level, and has helped me with some ideas for modifications over our first 9 weeks, but as he is not intimately familiar with the MP curriculum itself, I thought I could get better advice on some of the larger issues here. As for the big picture, he struggles mightily with spelling, writing (physically), and focus. And he is ssllllloooooowwwwwww at everything (fine motor + processing + perfectionism).

    1. Classical Composition: Fable. We actually just added this into the core recently so we've only done a couple of weeks. He has a great vocabulary, and loves fables. He doesn't complain and actually enjoys everything we've done. It just takes him forever. Like for.ev.er. For example: On the first paraphrase, I did not have him rewrite on the whole fable, only do the three figures of description. We three worked on it together yesterday for 30-45 minutes. He could not say things the way he wanted to say them, was having trouble focusing and remembering the words long enough to put down, so I helped him to make a note of which part of his outline he wanted to use for each figure of description, so that he could come back to it later when he could retreat to his room to work. (He uses sound reducing headphones, which help.) He didn't have a chance to finish it up yesterday so during the lesson today, I had him work on that instead of moving on. It took him 1 hour+ to finish only the three sentences. He worked diligently and happily...it just takes him that long to form his thoughts and get it the way he wants. I'm not sure the best way to modify these CC lessons for him in a way in which he still receives the benefit of the exercises. So, I guess I'm asking what are the important takeaways...what could I cut...how could I reduce his workload...what do I need to prioritize or ???? I'm not even sure that I know the questions to ask????

    2. Geography. After discussing with my hubs, I think I'm going to have to scrap Geography I for him and go back to States and Capitals. We used another program lightly last year to learn the states and capitals, and I thought they would be review for him this year, but that is just not the case. He struggles with the abstractness of mapping, I think. He is getting very little, if anything, out of Geography I. He spends most of his Geography studying for the States and Capitals review quiz (and gets frustrated with himself that it is difficult for him), and is completely not understanding or remembering any of the Middle East stuff. So, I'm planning on separating them for this and taking him back through the States and Capitals. Any ideas on helping him with understanding the concept of maps and mapping in general? He is doing great with Math and other abstract concepts (engineer brain), so I can't figure out why this is difficult for him.

    Well, there are a few more minor things, but I think I'll stop with these two. These are the ones keeping me up at night, trying to figure out how to adjust. I have been so amazed at how wonderful he has done with this curriculum. This is my tenth year homeschooling, and this is BY FAR our best year. I think we've learned and mastered more in 9 weeks than we have in any previous entire year!!

    PS...Any projection on when the next spelling levels will be ready? I wonder if they would be appropriate for my son.
    Thanks for any help or guidance you can give!

    -Heather
    Orthodox Momma to 6: 16, 14, 11, 7, 2, 7mo
    Have used or currently using: K, 2, 4A, 5A, 8M + high school Christian Studies, Novare IP, Henle I

    #2
    Re: Ideas for modifications for 12yo boy?

    Hello.

    It sounds like your son is doing well overall, and that's great! For Fable, if three sentences are too much, then just have him do one a day. When he masters one good sentence in a reasonable amount of time, up it to two a day. You could actually just work on one figure of description for each lesson and cut the work load. Have you tried having him give you oral sentences thst you would then write on a board for him to copy? That would only require him to process one concept at a time. He may not get many Fable lessons completed at a slower pace, but if he is progressing with understanding, and he is learning, then that is fine. Five lessons done well in a year would be better than fourteen that are frustrating and take all the fun out of writing.

    For Geography, I would definitely cut out that program and spend your geography time on States & Capitals. You could still use the review book so that he is learning a section at a time, rather than a state, but slow it down. Copy the pages so that he can fill them in multiple times. Let him fill in the same map region every day until he has it mastered, maybe even just adding one state each day. Then he will feel successful. There is no rush here. The curriculum is meant to be a guide. It is totally fine to tweak it to meet the needs of your student.

    I need to add a disclaimer. I am speaking from experience that has shown me that a slowed down pace is beneficial to some students, but I know nothing about the particular learning struggles your son has, so my advice may be totally wrong for you. Cheryl Swope is on vacation, so I just thought I'd take a stab at this, but don't take my advice without waiting for others who have a better grasp on what you are facing!

    Tanya

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      #3
      Re: Ideas for modifications for 12yo boy?

      Tanya,
      Thank you so much for your common sense suggestions! I am very grateful to you for taking the time to write that out on your Saturday morning! I've modified his Birds exams to do the comprehension questions orally because his oral answers are so wonderfully detailed compared to his relatively pitiful written answers. I'm not sure why I didn't think of using a similar method for writing. Doh! Susan Wise Bauer even discusses this in her Elementary Writing MP3...the effort needed for coming up with something to write, the recall needed to remember, and the physical act of recording the ideas can combine to be too much for a beginning writer. In your opinion, is it necessary to have him do a rewrite of the fable at any point? What about the final draft?

      Thanks for the ideas on Geography. Is there any additional benefit, do you think, to going through the States & Capitals curriculum versus the review book for him? Thanks again. You've given me much to consider!
      Orthodox Momma to 6: 16, 14, 11, 7, 2, 7mo
      Have used or currently using: K, 2, 4A, 5A, 8M + high school Christian Studies, Novare IP, Henle I

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Ideas for modifications for 12yo boy?

        Hello.

        I'm glad I was able to help. If you are working together sentence by sentence, and he is copying from a board, just make sure he is copying them perfectly. Then, you are actually completing the final draft a sentence at a time. No need to rewrite. The final draft would be if students are working independently and you have edited. Then, they need to rewrite, making your edits.

        States & Capitals is a slower program, aimed at younger students. They do a little research work on each state, writing fun facts about the state. I feel like the review you own is probably a better fit for a 12-year old. You can take it slowly and still work on just a couple of states at a time, but it would be on a level that will probably feel more age-appropriate to him. His time will be better spent concentrating on learning the states & capitals without the extra work writing facts about each state at this point. But if your instinct tells you that States & Capitals would be a better fit, that wouldn't be a wrong decision. There isn't a right or wrong here!

        Tanya

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Ideas for modifications for 12yo boy?

          Originally posted by mommahawk View Post
          We've just finished Week 9 of 4A with my 9yo and 12yo, and I'm doing a mental assessment of how things are going. My 9yo daughter is doing great with everything--thriving, really! My 12yo boy who has Asperger's, OCD, fine motor issues, among other things going on has really risen to meet the demands of the curriculum extremely well....

          I have been so amazed at how wonderful he has done with this curriculum.

          This is my tenth year homeschooling, and this is BY FAR our best year. I think we've learned and mastered more in 9 weeks than we have in any previous entire year!!


          PS...Any projection on when the next spelling levels will be ready? I wonder if they would be appropriate for my son.
          Thanks for any help or guidance you can give!

          -Heather

          First, thanks to the multi-talented, hard-working Tanya who knows MP Classical Core Curriculum better than anyone, and who covered the SC Forum while my family enjoyed five days of long-awaited vacation.


          Second, congratulations, Heather! Watching academic progress is so satisfying. This is great news.


          Third, the next SC Spelling book might be too low for your son, but you can check samples when it is ready. We finished formatting, so I think the book is in copy editing now. From there, any needed changes will be made, and then the book is printed. We anticipate all SC 3-related items, including SC Spelling Book Two, to be ready by spring. If you needed to drop down a level or two in SW instead, just be sure to physically cover those visually scrambled exercises, unless he really enjoys those and benefits from them.


          Thanks-
          Cheryl

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Ideas for modifications for 12yo boy?

            Thank you both! I will implement some of these ideas and let you know how we get along!
            Orthodox Momma to 6: 16, 14, 11, 7, 2, 7mo
            Have used or currently using: K, 2, 4A, 5A, 8M + high school Christian Studies, Novare IP, Henle I

            Comment

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