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How to proceed when you need a level of Simply Classical that is not yet released

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    How to proceed when you need a level of Simply Classical that is not yet released

    I know everyone is working hard to get the higher levels of the Simply Classical curriculum done. I need help brain-storming what to do to adjust the standard fourth grade, moving into fifth grade 12 year old student. All the work is too hard for her. She must repeat much of the information and we have been doing Latina Christiana for 3 years already. How do I adjust the forms for her or do I just concede to giving up Latin? How about writing? She has not been able to do any of the composition classes at all. When she writes comprehension question answers, unless I am spoon feeding her the answers, she just copies random text out of the book (currently in the Blue Fairy Book). She can read fairly well. Her spelling is awful. She has ADD so I sometimes get half a day of work out of her. I am really trying to be creative in her learning but with 5 others and 2 preschoolers (1 is my grandson and only 2 times a week), she is kinda getting a lot of free play time. I need a structure for her.

    I have considered sending the others to school or her to school. Neither option seems viable. We live in a no so good school district.

    Thank you

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

    #2
    Re: How to proceed when you need a level of Simply Classical that is not yet released

    Originally posted by debbiejz View Post
    All the work is too hard for her.... How do I adjust the forms for her or do I just concede to giving up Latin? How about writing? She has not been able to do any of the composition classes at all. When she writes comprehension question answers, unless I am spoon feeding her the answers, she just copies random text out of the book (currently in the Blue Fairy Book). She can read fairly well. Her spelling is awful. She has ADD so I sometimes get half a day of work out of her. I am really trying to be creative in her learning but with 5 others and 2 preschoolers (1 is my grandson and only 2 times a week), she is kinda getting a lot of free play time. I need a structure for her....Debbie

    Hi, Debbie.

    This is telling: "All of the work is too hard for her." Yes, time to regroup.

    You mentioned that she has ADD. When was this diagnosed? Did she receive any other formal testing at the time, or has she received any evaluations since that time? If not, an in-depth assessment could be very helpful in determining what is going on for her.


    For now, you might just set aside everything she is doing. Still plan on a half day of teacher instruction, but also give her the content and skill work she needs for achieving mastery. Perhaps something like this would help:

    Daily Half Days of Engagement with Teacher Instruction

    First Form Latin
    Make this first in the day. This will become her main subject for mastery, vocabulary building, language & grammar, and mental discipline. Break this down into doable lessons for just 30 minutes daily.

    Arithmetic
    Back up in R&S to the level of Arithmetic she needs. Teach her daily from the visual aids, mastery drills, and total lessons.

    SC Writing Book One, Bible edition
    After the hard work of Latin & Math, move to writing. (Use the Bible edition, so she is not writing from picture books. With the Bible edition, she can use a real Bible or a more advanced story Bible.) Her own required illustrations will work on comprehension and concentration along with fine-motor stamina. The required caption will work on composition. All of the exercises will be very manageable for her, yet will provide her with rudimentary skills she might be missing. Complete one full lesson in two days, if possible, so she is ready for SC Writing Book Two by fall. This will become her composition program.

    Spelling
    Work through SC Spellling Book One, but with a twist. First, complete one full lesson in two days, so she can begin SC Spelling Book Two in the fall.
    Second, give her a writing tablet to accompany this book. At the end of each lesson, she must create 2 original sentences using words from the lesson. Have her check her sentence with the SC Writing check lists for capital letters, end mark, and proper nouns.

    Latin & Arithmetic will take the most effort and time from you each day. Writing & Spelling will be "icing on the cake," but necessary every day to fill in gaps and help her achieve mastery of these skills. (If you think Book One will be far too easy, you could substitute an alternate spelling program, or drop back to SWO B or C.)

    Literature, Science, & History
    Read this orally. Try to have the little ones join you, or read with your daughter during the younger children's rest/nap time, or read with your daughter in the evenings. If she is currently in the habit of watching television or movies in the evenings, change this asap. For your reading, choose from your current 4th-grade reading, reading you have in the home, or drop back an MP level for good content. Ask very simple questions to engage her as you read. "Who did xyz?" "Why do you think he did that?" She needs to be verbally engaged with content for gaining the facts, knowledge, vocabulary, and exposure suitable to her age.

    That would conclude your teaching sessions for the day for your daughter, preferably before lunchtime. She would be expected to continue her work with the next segment.



    Structured Half Days of Independent Work

    First Form Latin
    She listens to the FFL CD or watches the FFL DVD. If the latter, make this one of very few screen time options during the school year, so it is more appreciated.

    SC Writing
    She can do her illustrations independently during this time. Give her gel pens, colored pencils, or other motivating writing tools for this.

    SC Spelling
    Have her write all words 5 times or spell with tiny hobby-store letter beads. She presents them to you at the end of her Independent Work time. If she likes to write in a notebook, she could create her own spelling notebook. If she likes to be outside, she could write these with sidewalk chalk. Initially the SC words will be too easy, but that is why you will move her quickly through Book One. You're simply filling any gaps.

    Copybook
    Have her redo any MP Copybooks she has not already completed, such as Prima Latina Copybook or the Christian studies copybooks. If these are far too easy, then give her the MP Composition & Sketchbook. Use the power of Imitation & Illustration by having her copy an entire paragraph, word for word, from one of the literature selections you read together orally. Then have her illustrate something from the scene.

    Literature, Science, & History: Independent Reading
    Fill a bookshelf with books she can understand when reading on her own. Gather these from your home. Include historical fiction, science picture books, an atlas, an encyclopedia, and easier (but still good) literature selections. Assign her 30 minutes of daily reading from these books only.

    "Passion Time"
    Does she love to cook, tend the little ones, engage in crafts, scrapbook, create with art or music, style hair, help with household chores, garden, design fashion, decorate, sew, quilt, draw horses, tend animals, or organize things? You could create a Home Economics course to help occupy her independent time in constructive ways. By "requiring" her to engage daily in something that nurtures her own gifts or talents, this will be more valuable than free play, especially given her age. If she is more of a sports girl, this could become a Physical Education time, in which she engages with the younger children in ball sports outside. Be creative, but require a constructive independent course to be completed daily, especially if it also helps you or other family members in some way.


    Restructuring her day AND her course of study seems necessary at this point. You could do this in many ways. Those are just some ideas.

    What do you think?


    Cheryl

    Comment


      #3
      Re: How to proceed when you need a level of Simply Classical that is not yet released

      To answer some questions first, she had a neuropsychological evaluation in December and it was after a shunt infection and two week hospitalization. Her hydrocephalus is the main health issue affecting her learning but she also has spina bifida but is ambulatory (except for in April, she will be off her feet 6 weeks or more for feet surgery). The evaluation found her intellectual ability 'impaired' with deficits in memory, attention, executive functions, and fine motor skills (there are a few other more specific deficits mentioned). The inattentive form of ADHD was diagnosed and we are working with ADHD meds to see what might work for her. She needs to have some success in school so that she can have a more positive view of education. Her full scale IQ only hit 61. What this means to me as a mom and her educator: Twelve is a hard age for girls and for kids with special needs. Friends are noticing differences and emotions are high. She cannot pass as a little kid any more. Some of the adults that she knows casually (neighbors, church friends) didn't realize she had problems until recently. I need her to find something that she feels good about doing and can do well. The psychologist stated that she had a flat affect and I have NEVER thought that about her but I see it more as a lack of confidence in the people or situation she is in. She is becoming more guarded with her expression of emotions. Her siblings are having a harder time honoring her place (3rd oldest of 7 at home).

      The suggestions for structuring the day sound good on paper I may have a hard time implementing them with the various activities of the family. I really do not want her working in the same books as her youngest siblings. She works now in some of the same books as her 8 year old sister. Her 11 year old brother passed her by a long time ago. I just do not want her working in the same books as her 6 year old brother.

      We use an Ipad with some assistive technology programs. I photograph the pages in astronomy in an app and highlight the important things that will answer the questions, and instead of flipping pages to find the answers, she just looks at the page on the ipad. If she is tired of writing, I let her type the answers with the same app by photographing the page and the app allows typing on the picture. I try to get audiobooks when available. I use the app with other workbooks too. All her quizzes have been open book lately. We use quizlet and and spelling city. She uses teaching textbooks math 4 but has not made progress this year. She has re-done some of the same lessons 3 and 4 times scoring in the 50% range.

      I am a bit of a disorganized thinker myself. And distracted. I hope my messages have made sense. I shared a lot of information about my daughter because I'm not concerned about who knows about us and because if any bit of what I have to say about my daughter, and the advise others have to give, can help anyone else, then it serves a higher purpose.


      Thank you!

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

      Comment


        #4
        Re: How to proceed when you need a level of Simply Classical that is not yet released

        Okay -- yes, this is very helpful.

        You have far more than simply "ADD" going on here!


        Have you looked at SC 2 in person? These look intentionally "grown up" on the covers, and they progress incrementally. She would not be studying from the same books as the younger children, because these would be her own books. With a total I.Q. of 61, she might be better served by working through SC 2 Spelling & Writing as written, rather than at the accelerated pace described earlier.

        Do you use R&S Arithmetic with your other students? If not, you might switch her to this, so you avoid the same-book comparison. This emphasizes mastery, so she would begin to build confidence as well as knowledge and skills.


        Yes, 12 and 13 become glaring crossroads. I am so sorry. This hurts us, as parents. So hard to see them struggle. One "upside" is that the realization can help you relax your own expectations for yourself and for her. For our students, this is often needed at 12 or 13.


        One option -
        You can take my good-on-paper suggestions suited for someone of average intelligence but ADD, and cut them into much smaller bites. Aim for 90 minutes of total instruction in the mornings with 30-90 minutes of independent work to follow in the morning or later in the day. The progression still might be helpful. Even this would be an improvement from the current routine of failing most coursework and then playing the rest of the day.


        For Latin, would you consider teaching from Prima Latina, if she does not mind? Like most MP resources, there is nothing babyish about the look of the program, and the benefits are still inherent in the study.

        The key is to bring her basic skills to mastery, rather than letting her experience perpetual failure, even as you help her enjoy interesting literature and history and other areas of study. You might consider SC 3 Enrichment. This, again, would be her own book. This does not look like any other MP book. It includes history, science, historical fiction, biography, art, and music for rich content, yet bite-sized for her mind and attention span. This releases very soon.

        If you could boost her spelling & writing with SC 2 Spelling & SC 2 Writing before then, SC 3 Spelling, Writing, & Enrichment might work really well for you.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: How to proceed when you need a level of Simply Classical that is not yet released

          We also found 12-13 to be a tough age for disabilities, where it suddenly becomes more glaring. Even slight differences get exaggerated at that age, especially among peers. My 15 yo has a similar IQ (maybe higher due to improper testing, but for everyday academics it seems pretty accurate) and ADD and such and it can be so tough to feel like you're bushwhacking figuring out curriculum choices. On the other hand, what a glorious freedom to be able to choose whatever curriculum will work!

          As for academics and siblings, we have the same issue. DD15 is the oldest with 4 younger siblings, the oldest of whom is extremely advanced. So the 8 year old has surpassed her and the 6 year old (also likely gifted) will as well. We've had to sort of be blunt and call it what it is. We can't hide that she's behind. But what I do is I'll say "Yes, you struggle with reading more than your brother, but you are far more talented in swimming!" We reiterate a lot that everyone has strengths and that their strengths are God-given guides to their vocations in life and they should work to improve in everything but honor their gifts. However, I also do use different curricula on purpose to avoid too much comparison in the day-to-day.

          So, if your others are using Memoria Press math, maybe try Math U See or something for your daughter. It's labeled "Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc" so she won't know the grade level at all and everyone is supposed to start towards the beginning and move up. That switch alone helped us a lot because the approach works well for DD15 and it relieved any stress of being below grade level because of a silly number. Or if your others are using something else, use Rod and Staff at a lower level like Cheryl recommended. You could even cut off the binding and put it in 3-pronged folders in little units. Less overwhelming AND hides the cover which might proclaim that it's for 3rd grade or 4th grade or whatever. I also have learned that because Intellectually Disabled kids often cap out around 4th-6th grade math (basically, they can do arithmetic but true upper level math is often too abstract), a lot of parents will switch curriculums so they can re-do the same grade without it feeling redundant or the child catching on that they are repeating. Math Mammoth can be a good program for this as it's inexpensive and you can print out what you need...though I found it was too busy for DD15 and didn't have enough explicit instruction. But for practice it can be good.

          I agree that the SC stuff does look plenty grown up. And the "Simply Classical" title is both beautifully descriptive and sneakily does not in any way suggest that it is remedial or 'less than' anything else.

          As encouragement for the years to come, we adopted DD15 at age 11 and she was WAY behind even when considering her disabilities. Couldn't read, still on 3rd grade math even though she really liked math. It was hard for me to get over my own fears and go ALL the way back. But we did, and it has paid off big time. I'm learning now that if a child is crying or throwing tantrums (even teen-ish tantrums) regularly the curriculum is just too hard for them!

          I've also seen that starting too easy has never held us back. If anything it builds confidence and joy of learning, then we move faster until things start becoming difficult again. For example, in 6th grade we started Ana with MUS Gamma (meant for 3rd graders). Now in 8th grade she's 1/4th of the way through MUS Epsilon (meant for 5th graders) but on the state testing she tested at an upper 7th grade level for math! So all of that back-up work has done wonders. If I remember correctly Cheryl had a similar experience when she repeated a grade of math for her son, right?

          Comment


            #6
            Re: How to proceed when you need a level of Simply Classical that is not yet released

            Originally posted by imagine.more View Post
            I agree that the SC stuff does look plenty grown up. And the "Simply Classical" title is both beautifully descriptive and sneakily does not in any way suggest that it is remedial or 'less than' anything else.

            As encouragement for the years to come, we adopted DD15 at age 11 and she was WAY behind even when considering her disabilities. Couldn't read, still on 3rd grade math even though she really liked math. It was hard for me to get over my own fears and go ALL the way back. But we did, and it has paid off big time....

            I've also seen that starting too easy has never held us back. If anything it builds confidence and joy of learning, then we move faster until things start becoming difficult again. For example, in 6th grade we started Ana with MUS Gamma (meant for 3rd graders). Now in 8th grade she's 1/4th of the way through MUS Epsilon (meant for 5th graders) but on the state testing she tested at an upper 7th grade level for math! So all of that back-up work has done wonders. If I remember correctly Cheryl had a similar experience when she repeated a grade of math for her son, right?

            Right! We backed up a full year in math, and later 2-3 years in both spelling and piano after turbulent (understatement) times for him. I did this with much trepidation at the time, fearing that it would forever set him back. Instead the review, support, and extra practice built a stronger foundation for moving forward. And, as you mention, this built much-needed confidence for him. Today (age 22) he often thanks me for staying with everything, especially piano, rather than giving up.


            Congratulations, imagine.more and Ana, for Ana's scoring so well in math! She has grown so much under your good care. Stay with everything through these challenging years.

            I have enjoyed "following" her from those pre-adoption years. (Btw, although this is not related to the original question & is more related to the thankfulness journal thread, if you created any scrapbooks as we discussed in those early years, this might be a good time to pull those out. In a way, they become your own modeled thankfulness journal, as you take time to notice and write about a few of the fun, healthy moments she has enjoyed with your family, and you with her.)


            To the original poster --

            The primary levels (1, 2, 3) took much time to create, because so many books were original to these SC levels. For those waiting patiently, we have our eyes on very helpful, existing resources and hope to produce the next sets more quickly!

            Readiness A, B, C 2014
            Primary 1, 2, 3 2015-2017
            Scholar 4, 5, 6 pending
            Advanced 7, 8 (possibly 9) pending

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