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5th Grader Advice

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    5th Grader Advice

    Hello! I love browsing this forum and getting advice for my family and homeschool. I'm posting today to get opinions on my 10 year old daughter, who is in 5th grade on paper, but is following the 3rd grade MP curriculum, with the substitution of Right Start Math. She was evaluated in November and she was diagnosed with the following:

    Other Specified Neurodevelopmental Disorder (traits of Nonverbal Learning Disorder)
    Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in written expression, impacting clarity and organization of written expressin
    Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in mathematics, impacting accurate and fluent calculation
    Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood

    If I had to describe her I would say she is a very sweet and compliant child, but who is resistant to doing schoolwork that is very challenging. I've been very happy with my decision to go slowly with her through the 3rd grade core, and I've seen very gradual improvements in her independence. She also loves being read to and we've greatly enjoyed the MP selections.

    Here is my main question: Because of our pace, we're only about halfway through the year's lesson plans. I'm planning on continuing over the summer to keep things fresh, but I'm also planning to send her to a week of day camp and a family vacation in August. Should I just keep going how we're going, no matter how slow, and just keep going in the fall with the 3rd grade core if we haven't finished it by then? Are there any elements of Simply Classical that I should use next year? She's an extremely reluctant writer and the IEW Fun and Fascinating book is right at her level. Another option is that I could skip over some parts of the 3rd grade core in the hopes that she could start 4th in the fall, but I'm wary of weakening the foundation, as it were, by rushing through or skipping.

    Thanks in advance!

    -Kristen
    Kristen

    DD 16
    DD 14
    DS 12
    DS 9

    #2
    Re: 5th Grader Advice

    Originally posted by ms. pacman View Post
    Hello! I love browsing this forum and getting advice for my family and homeschool. I'm posting today to get opinions on my 10 year old daughter, who is in 5th grade on paper, but is following the 3rd grade MP curriculum, with the substitution of Right Start Math. She was evaluated in November and she was diagnosed with the following:

    Other Specified Neurodevelopmental Disorder (traits of Nonverbal Learning Disorder)
    Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in written expression, impacting clarity and organization of written expressin
    Specific Learning Disorder with impairment in mathematics, impacting accurate and fluent calculation
    Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood

    If I had to describe her I would say she is a very sweet and compliant child, but who is resistant to doing schoolwork that is very challenging. I've been very happy with my decision to go slowly with her through the 3rd grade core, and I've seen very gradual improvements in her independence. She also loves being read to and we've greatly enjoyed the MP selections.

    Here is my main question: Because of our pace, we're only about halfway through the year's lesson plans. I'm planning on continuing over the summer to keep things fresh, but I'm also planning to send her to a week of day camp and a family vacation in August. Should I just keep going how we're going, no matter how slow, and just keep going in the fall with the 3rd grade core if we haven't finished it by then? Are there any elements of Simply Classical that I should use next year? She's an extremely reluctant writer and the IEW Fun and Fascinating book is right at her level. Another option is that I could skip over some parts of the 3rd grade core in the hopes that she could start 4th in the fall, but I'm wary of weakening the foundation, as it were, by rushing through or skipping.

    Thanks in advance!

    -Kristen

    Good morning!

    You are doing very well. You are accommodating her needs while building her knowledge and skills. Moreover, the steady pace combined with nurturing read-alouds is likely both protecting and strengthening her emotionally. I would continue just as you have been.

    Just a few notes:


    Pace
    Allow her to enjoy those brief summer breaks for day camp and family vacation. The remainder of the summer, continue with MP 3. You are right: there is no benefit but certain risk to skipping ahead in order to more closely "match" chronological age to the stated grade on the package. Do not do this. The MP Core Curriculum is brilliantly constructed. MP 3 slides so nicely into MP 4, you will want to stay the course.

    Do not worry that she is in "3rd" rather than 5th. I wish we did not have such grade labels! Begin to think in terms of CONTENT for formulating her middle-school plan and high school transcript. In some circles, "3rd grade" is lazy, flat, or filled with time-consuming projects. With MP, "3rd" is Classical Studies, Christian Studies, Literature, Latin, and more!

    Rest assured that, even at the pace she needs, your daughter is far ahead of where she might be in a typical SLD school placement. I have seen many middle-school SLD students whose backpacks bulge with "7th-grade" textbooks; yet they understand almost nothing in them. Instead, as you aptly note, she is building a firm foundation. And you are both enjoying the carefully selected literature together! No need to change a thing.


    However, you asked about possible alterations, so here are some ideas. Use these only if you want:

    Math SLD
    If you wanted to switch to R&S, you can find placement tests to determine levels. All is customizable within MP, as with SC, so you could have the lesson plans for any R&S Arithmetic level. However, if she is doing well with her current math program and mastering operations as she goes, continue as you are.


    Writing SLD/Mood
    If she is doing well with IEW ATFF, continue this. From there, she will begin Fable I in MP 4.

    If you wanted to give her a boost in writing instruction over the summer or to accompany the remainder of MP 3 in the fall, you could look at Simply Classical Writing: Book One, Bible Edition. (The cover is reverent sacred art, so this will not look "young" to her.)

    If she knows Bible stories well, she could complete this as an add-on review without any additional reading. The format is structured and predictable, so after a few lessons, she could do much of this independently. The bonus: the emphasis on the Christian faith soothes anxious tendencies and lifts depressed moods.

    To review Bible stories in a reader she could tackle herself, or that you could read together, you can find the lovely and comforting A Child's Garden of Bible Stories. The writing book coordinates exactly with the stories in A Child's Garden of Bible Stories, which is written at 2nd-3rd grade reading level. This program (Bible stories with SC Writing Book One, Bible edition) might make a good addition for composition practice.

    Similarly, you could consider Simply Classical Writing: Book Two, Read-Aloud Edition, American History, when you embark on American Studies in MP 4. We continue the SC Writing format but add more English grammar and more sophisticated composition skills.


    Feel free to follow up. Thanks!

    Cheryl

    Comment


      #3
      Re: 5th Grader Advice

      Cheryl,

      I wish you knew how much comfort your words have brought me this morning! Thank you so much for your reassurance and advice. Two of my children have special needs, and it is so easy to feel like I'm totally off-track. I will keep plugging away with MP 3 and building up her confidence and exposure to a beautiful education.

      -Kristen
      Kristen

      DD 16
      DD 14
      DS 12
      DS 9

      Comment

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