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Help me think through next year

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    Help me think through next year

    I need some help thinking through next year for my two older children.

    C is 7 weeks into 1st grade reading. I think she is doing great - she is reading the Little Bear books with relative ease. However, both kids took the Woodcock Johnson achievement test and the results were somewhat concerning. She was only at a K.9 reading level -- since we did FSR E and Primary Phonics readers sets 1-5, I really expected her to test higher -- maybe around 1.5 or so. The tester thought that she was doing a lot of word memorization rather than sounding out most words and suggested a switch to AAR, which I'm using with A. So I'm conflicted, I'm thinking of going ahead and using AAR with her, starting with level 2 and using STT/MSTT as a literature/writing program with both kids, but I'm not sure if its really necessary for her.

    A is doing great with reading. We're about 1/3 of the way through AAR level 2 and expect to finish it and level 3 next school year. I do want to use STT/MSTT as a literature/writing program with him, so combining with his sister could simplify things. If we're not using MP literature as our phonics program, it might be possible to accelerate it a bit and do some of the 2nd grade selections. That could be wonderful. He is itching to be able to read bigger kid books. He despises early readers -- he can't stand the ALS readers or Moose Moments books.

    They've both finished AAS level 1 and will move on to AAS level 2. I'm a little apprehensive with A, I think we may have to return to Barton for spelling. I'm going to give AAS a few months before I decide. Barton is just so explicit and has so much practice and I'm afraid that what he needs. I don't want to hold up his reading though. I'm contemplating going through AAR levels 1-4 and just skipping spelling until we finish, and then going back and going through all of the Barton levels. Is that a terrible idea?

    I'm also thinking of beginning formal grammar with R&S grade 2 English. I'm worried that might be overkill with the STT/MSTT though. I really want formal grammar, though, especially with A's expressive language issues. Maybe SC 3 writing instead? But to use that I'd need to use with SC 3 bible or history.

    I'm also conflicted about content areas. A will be 4th grade age and C will be 3rd grade age. My husband really wants them to "catch up," especially C since she doesn't have special needs. So one option would be for us to do Christian Studies, Classical Studies, Modern Studies, and Science from the 3rd grade core. The problem of course is that we'd have to adapt it since neither child is writing enough for them as they are designed. If I don't do them this year, he will want me to do them at the one year pace next year. My other option would be to use SC3 enrichment. That would give them Bible, history, and science and would probably be more on their level.

    I wish we could just do the entire SC3 core. We'd have to start mid-way through SC2 I think for STT. But AAR is working, so . . . can you tell my mind is going in a million different directions. I feel so frazzled.
    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

    #2
    Re: Help me think through next year

    When you say literature and writing program with STT / MSTT are you meaning student read or you read aloud?

    If she's doing well you could accelerate it. There are I think 2 days a week that don't have any reading assigned, just one workbook page. So, you could just continue moving through the reading and tack that workbook page onto a different day.
    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: Help me think through next year

      What have you been doing for writing this year? SC2, or just things from MP1?

      I'm in a similar position and still deciding what to do. However, I found this particular post of Cheryl's helpful.

      https://forum.memoriapress.com/showt...chronous-Child

      First, of course we want our kids to be "on grade level" but we can't really push them beyond what they are capable of. You said that C doesn't have any learning disabilities, but are you sure? Your child with dyslexia really might need the extra time on phonics. (P.s., I would not stop spelling - I would consider SC spelling one, and then move to two, if you can). We did AAS 1 last semester as well and while my daughter actually enjoyed it, I prefer to continue/move with the SC spelling this year. She can spell anything phonetically, so it was too easy for her. She needs some more common word type things. For example, she could not spell one! But, definitely continue with spelling (which can totally progress differently than reading).

      I think to simply things and streamline them and really see progress, I would suggest SC3, minus phonics (sub in AAR). However, I'm not sure where they are at on writing (do they actually need SC2 writing)? I have been pouring over SC3 and WOW. I'm excited, but it is quite challenging! I was considering adding either R&S grammar or Language of God from CHC. After looking over the writing in SC3, there will be NO need for additional grammar! (the above post alludes to this as well). The writing gradually progresses and by the end of the year your child(ren) will be writing paragraphs! It's really brilliant! (Thank you Cheryl!) Do whatever level of math you need. Cheryl really kind of thought of everything (varying needs on phonics and math and includes alternate choices at the front of the manual).

      In the enrichment, there is an opportunity for teaching "research" to your children (this feels grown up, 3rd gradeish to me!)!

      I really think you'll find everything you "want" in SC3 (sub AAR, if you need to)!
      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


        #4
        Re: Help me think through next year

        Originally posted by Colomama View Post
        When you say literature and writing program with STT / MSTT are you meaning student read or you read aloud?

        If she's doing well you could accelerate it. There are I think 2 days a week that don't have any reading assigned, just one workbook page. So, you could just continue moving through the reading and tack that workbook page onto a different day.
        With C, we team read, just as described in the lesson plans. Then when we re-read, we switch pages. When thinking of using them just for literature and writing, I would be doing team reading if they were able, but if they weren't then I'd read aloud.
        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: Help me think through next year

          Originally posted by howiecram View Post
          What have you been doing for writing this year? SC2, or just things from MP1?

          I'm in a similar position and still deciding what to do. However, I found this particular post of Cheryl's helpful.

          https://forum.memoriapress.com/showt...chronous-Child

          First, of course we want our kids to be "on grade level" but we can't really push them beyond what they are capable of. You said that C doesn't have any learning disabilities, but are you sure? Your child with dyslexia really might need the extra time on phonics. (P.s., I would not stop spelling - I would consider SC spelling one, and then move to two, if you can). We did AAS 1 last semester as well and while my daughter actually enjoyed it, I prefer to continue/move with the SC spelling this year. She can spell anything phonetically, so it was too easy for her. She needs some more common word type things. For example, she could not spell one! But, definitely continue with spelling (which can totally progress differently than reading).

          I think to simply things and streamline them and really see progress, I would suggest SC3, minus phonics (sub in AAR). However, I'm not sure where they are at on writing (do they actually need SC2 writing)? I have been pouring over SC3 and WOW. I'm excited, but it is quite challenging! I was considering adding either R&S grammar or Language of God from CHC. After looking over the writing in SC3, there will be NO need for additional grammar! (the above post alludes to this as well). The writing gradually progresses and by the end of the year your child(ren) will be writing paragraphs! It's really brilliant! (Thank you Cheryl!) Do whatever level of math you need. Cheryl really kind of thought of everything (varying needs on phonics and math and includes alternate choices at the front of the manual).

          In the enrichment, there is an opportunity for teaching "research" to your children (this feels grown up, 3rd gradeish to me!)!

          I really think you'll find everything you "want" in SC3 (sub AAR, if you need to)!
          A has been doing SC 2 writing and is doing fine with it. C is just doing STT. We're only 5 weeks into STT. I know I need to focus on what is best for *this* year and not worry to much about next year. I guess I'm trying to respect my husband's opinion at the same time, but he would accept what I decide to do. I can't be sure that she doesn't have any learning disabilities. She doesn't seem to to me, but I've only taught one other child with a variety of issues, so I suppose she could have less severe issues. But I don't think so. Both kids flew threw AAS level 1. A had a harder time on the last few lessons - the plurals especially. Level 2 doesn't have many common words either - I think I found two. So I'm on the fence. We'd have to start with SC spelling level 1 for the common words. My gut says SC3, I guess I just want them to be able to handle MP 3. SC 3 sounds really promising.
          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


            #6
            Re: Help me think through next year

            Originally posted by sfhargett View Post
            A has been doing SC 2 writing and is doing fine with it. C is just doing STT. We're only 5 weeks into STT. I know I need to focus on what is best for *this* year and not worry to much about next year. I guess I'm trying to respect my husband's opinion at the same time, but he would accept what I decide to do. I can't be sure that she doesn't have any learning disabilities. She doesn't seem to to me, but I've only taught one other child with a variety of issues, so I suppose she could have less severe issues. But I don't think so. Both kids flew threw AAS level 1. A had a harder time on the last few lessons - the plurals especially. Level 2 doesn't have many common words either - I think I found two. So I'm on the fence. We'd have to start with SC spelling level 1 for the common words. My gut says SC3, I guess I just want them to be able to handle MP 3. SC 3 sounds really promising.
            My "plan" is SC3, then SC4, then MP 4th grade for new users....at least...that's my plan for now......I don't know if it will work out or not, but we'll see! My point is maybe two more years of SC for you as well. There are many neurotypical 5th graders who are new to MP, that go with the 4th grade for new users, so this still seems like a fair goal.

            But...we also just may need to stay the course with SC period. After a rough evening, I was talking with my daughter about random stuff and she said "but it's just so hard to remember sometimes, it gets all jumbled in my head". That really puts things into perspective for me sometimes!
            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


              #7
              Re: Help me think through next year

              We also all need to remember that MP is advanced. So, Susan I would recommend you look up the reading level of the books within the core packages. My dh is also concerned with grade levels.

              I have been debating whether to just allow free reading this summer or to move onto grade 2 literature immediately. So, I've been sitting here looking up lexile and DRA levels. I printed off a quick comparison chart that lists all the different brands of reading levels and compares them.
              It looks like most of the literature is a half to full grade above where it's placed in the core. So, for example, farmer boy is grade 3.8 to 4.5, but is used in grade 3.

              By showing my hubs the hard numbers he calmed down a bit.

              Nobody likes to feel behind. Not us mama's that get behind on the schedule because of a surprise in-law visit or a flu strain that can survive multiple hits from Lysol. And our kids don't like to feel behind either. They pickup on our stress over grade levels and comparisons to 'normal' kids.

              We walk a fine line between stretching our kids abilities and not challenging them enough. Unfortunately, we don't realize we're pushing too hard until the wheels come off the cart and we have to backtrack and pickup the pieces. In the end, we're no further ahead than if we'd just stayed the course.

              There's no easy answer here. It depends on the family and the kid. And then it all changes in a few months, just to keep things interesting.

              Prayers for clear thinking, discernment and open communication within your family to come to a good resolution for this season.

              Edit to add: earlier this year I really wanted to add some core 3 things for my son next year. Cheryl talked me off the fence. I'll see if I can find that link. One of the biggest deciders on that was that was that then he no longer fits in a core anywhere, SC or MP. One of the beauties of MP is how things fit together. The read alouds work with enrichment. The enrichment works with classical history, etc. So, I felt I was meddling with the overall flow. The guides balance the different courses workloads, so each day is manageable. I felt like I was throwing the big picture balance off by mixing components. It's one thing to customize a math level, it's another thing to add geography 1 to first grade (a subject that was never intended to instruct at that grade level).
              Last edited by Colomama; 06-04-2017, 09:48 PM.
              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


                #8
                Re: Help me think through next year

                Thanks for the advice Christine and Michelle.

                I definitely want to be able to do full cores in the future --- that is one of the main reasons I think MP is so wonderful -- that everything in a core melds so wonderfully.

                Sounds like most things from SC 3 for us. Maybe we can accelerate spelling (for those common words especially) and cursive from SC2. I think I could possibly stick with AAS and add the common words from SC spelling.

                The only big question that remains is whether to switch C to AAR or stick with MP 1 plans. In reality, if she is only 7 weeks through MP 1st grade, then she is grade level 1.2 or so, and K.9 isn't far behind. I just was expecting her to be more advanced, so I was kind of blind sided. I guess I'm wondering if I should go with the advice of someone who spend one hour with my daughter (but has a long history of assessing and advising students) or just keep on as we were doing.
                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


                  #9
                  Re: Help me think through next year

                  Hi, Susan.

                  If you do not mind sharing, ...
                  1. What were her standard scores (not grade equiv) on each subtest? This might be helpful to see.
                  2. Did the tester administer any intelligence testing, or only academic achievement assessment?
                  3. Were other tests given, such as assessments related to visual-motor speed or processing?


                  As for content, yes, we ramped up content considerably in SC 3, just for the reasons you noted. Many of our SC students are "older" than the level of their reading and spelling, so they are ready for more stimulating content. American history is a perfect place to begin with the key names, dates, events, moments of character and heroism, and historical themes they need to know. Yet we kept composition skills incremental in attempt to provide the best of both worlds.

                  If you wanted, you could substitute AAR 2 and then supplement with the phonics, grammar, and composition within SC More STT and Spelling series within SC 2 & 3.

                  Then in SC 4, you could teach R&S English Grammar 2 alongside Prima Latina. MP provides a list of lessons that coordinate those two, and you would be studying Prima anyway. We plan to provide this list in SC 4.


                  But the tester is right: whatever you choose right now, avoid allowing her to guess, and hone in on good phonics instruction for reading and spelling. Combine your students if this will help you. Make it all as easy and efficient to teach as possible. If you avoid spreading yourself too thin and avoid having too many different programs to be taught each day, progress will be faster. And your husband will be happier!

                  Testing can be a good time for a slight course correction. Do not let this overwhelm you, though. After you adjust in subtle ways, all can flow reasonably smoothly again.

                  Btw, great responses, howiecram and Colomama!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Help me think through next year

                    Another question or two:

                    You mentioned that C is in MP 1 reading. Is she doing all of it? If not, you might not need to change anything except to add everything listed in MP 1 Phonics & Reading: Phonogram Cards, Classical Phonics lists, Phonics Games from your Curriculum Manual, Phonics for Reading and Spelling First Grade, and Core Skills: Phonics. Even though the readers and STT books are the "fun" part, the MP 1 phonics instruction needs to be taught completely before making a decision that it is not working. If you are already doing this, she might simply need 5-10 minutes of more concentrated time with the phonics instruction before and after reading.

                    Just a thought --

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Help me think through next year

                      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                      Hi, Susan.

                      If you do not mind sharing, ...
                      1. What were her standard scores (not grade equiv) on each subtest? This might be helpful to see.
                      2. Did the tester administer any intelligence testing, or only academic achievement assessment?
                      3. Were other tests given, such as assessments related to visual-motor speed or processing?


                      As for content, yes, we ramped up content considerably in SC 3, just for the reasons you noted. Many of our SC students are "older" than the level of their reading and spelling, so they are ready for more stimulating content. American history is a perfect place to begin with the key names, dates, events, moments of character and heroism, and historical themes they need to know. Yet we kept composition skills incremental in attempt to provide the best of both worlds.

                      If you wanted, you could substitute AAR 2 and then supplement with the phonics, grammar, and composition within SC More STT and Spelling series within SC 2 & 3.

                      Then in SC 4, you could teach R&S English Grammar 2 alongside Prima Latina. MP provides a list of lessons that coordinate those two, and you would be studying Prima anyway. We plan to provide this list in SC 4.


                      But the tester is right: whatever you choose right now, avoid allowing her to guess, and hone in on good phonics instruction for reading and spelling. Combine your students if this will help you. Make it all as easy and efficient to teach as possible. If you avoid spreading yourself too thin and avoid having too many different programs to be taught each day, progress will be faster. And your husband will be happier!

                      Testing can be a good time for a slight course correction. Do not let this overwhelm you, though. After you adjust in subtle ways, all can flow reasonably smoothly again.

                      Btw, great responses, howiecram and Colomama!
                      I'm at the beach until Sunday, so I'll post the standard scores when I get home. In NC we're required to give a standardized achievement test each year so that's why I had them tested. So the WCJ is the only test that was done, no achievement or any other testing.

                      I do like the idea of simplifying and consolidating as much as possible. If I did Simply Classical STT and then literature from SC 3 and 4, we would likely be able to transition to MP 4 literature? Meaning, the SC literature track will teach the same skills as the MP track but in a different way? I hadn't considered SC for my daughter, but now, I'm seeing how it could work to do it for both of them. SC 3 pulls from MP 1 and 2. SC 4 will pull from MP 2 and 3, right?

                      I love the idea of Prima with R&S grammar. That sounds wonderful.

                      For reading and spelling -- I'm unsure whether I should teach them together, even if they are doing the same programs at the same level. I worry that it will always be easier for my daughter than my son and that that will have a negative emotional impact. However, he has really surprised me this last term with AAR, it seems like it has finally clicked with him. He took to magic e without any problem whatsoever! I was worried, but it worked just fine. I suppose it could be worth it to try to teach them together. On the other hand, if I teach them independently, I can assign the other to play with G, who absolutely needs structured play-time. And my daughter is a chatty Cathy, which drives A nuts. So with that circular reasoning, I think I'll do the same reading and spelling programs, but do at least the reading lessons separately. Maybe reading and math for one while the other plays with G and then switch. Then everything else could be taught together while G has TV time and quiet time. Hopefully moving toward a bit of table time with us all together.

                      I'll certainly have another post about G in a month or so after we have some OT under our belt.
                      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


                        #12
                        Re: Help me think through next year

                        Yes, teaching separately sounds good. Yes, SC 3 is a little bit of its own entity while drawing from the wisdom of MP 1, 2, and 3, but I hope it will be just what you need. Yes, SC 4 is a more obvious yet modified mix of MP 2 and MP 3.


                        The beach sounds perfect! When I first read your post, I was going to suggest, "Get away for a little bit. Sometimes distance brings clarity."

                        Enjoy the beach, Susan! And enjoy those children. We'll still be here when you come home. ☺

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Help me think through next year

                          Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                          Hi, Susan.

                          If you do not mind sharing, ...
                          1. What were her standard scores (not grade equiv) on each subtest? This might be helpful to see.
                          2. Did the tester administer any intelligence testing, or only academic achievement assessment?
                          3. Were other tests given, such as assessments related to visual-motor speed or processing?


                          As for content, yes, we ramped up content considerably in SC 3, just for the reasons you noted. Many of our SC students are "older" than the level of their reading and spelling, so they are ready for more stimulating content. American history is a perfect place to begin with the key names, dates, events, moments of character and heroism, and historical themes they need to know. Yet we kept composition skills incremental in attempt to provide the best of both worlds.

                          If you wanted, you could substitute AAR 2 and then supplement with the phonics, grammar, and composition within SC More STT and Spelling series within SC 2 & 3.

                          Then in SC 4, you could teach R&S English Grammar 2 alongside Prima Latina. MP provides a list of lessons that coordinate those two, and you would be studying Prima anyway. We plan to provide this list in SC 4.


                          But the tester is right: whatever you choose right now, avoid allowing her to guess, and hone in on good phonics instruction for reading and spelling. Combine your students if this will help you. Make it all as easy and efficient to teach as possible. If you avoid spreading yourself too thin and avoid having too many different programs to be taught each day, progress will be faster. And your husband will be happier!

                          Testing can be a good time for a slight course correction. Do not let this overwhelm you, though. After you adjust in subtle ways, all can flow reasonably smoothly again.

                          Btw, great responses, howiecram and Colomama!
                          I'm back from the beach. Glad to be home. I've ordered most items from SC3 and the SC2 copybook, spelling, and STT. I'm not sure whether I should hold off on starting the SC3 writing and enrichment until after they have finished NAC1. I'm leaning toward waiting because that way, we could do almost the entire core exactly as written which would be so refreshing. So I'm thinking of spending the first semester doing SC 2 writing, spelling (common words only), cursive, copybook, and maybe some enrichment at double pace. This would still give us a few empty weeks as far as Storytime Treasures goes -- meaning we'd finish STT before we finished the other subjects, but we could just increase our AAR/AAS during that time.

                          Then we could start SC3 as written except for some of the phonics & spelling after Christmas.

                          We were doing the 1st grade reading plans exactly as written in the phonics guide - so all the activities -- except that I was substituting AAS level 1 instead of Spelling Workout. So she didn't do the phonics activities on the spelling side of the phonics guide. We stopped a few weeks ago for vacation after week 7 of the 1st grade plans.

                          After looking carefully again at her reading scores, out of 8 scores -- 4 are average, 3 are low average, and 1 is low. All of her math and writing scores are in the average range. I think I'm less concerned than I was before. Anyways, here are C's standard scores from the WCJ (norms based on grade 1.9):
                          • reading - 89
                          • broad reading - 82
                          • basic reading skills - 93
                          • phoneme-grapheme knowledge - 99
                          • letter-word achievement - 90
                          • passage comprehension - 87
                          • word attack - 99
                          • sentence reading fluency - 77
                          • written language - 99
                          • broad written language - 100
                          • spelling - 90
                          • writing samples - 111
                          • sentence writing fluency - 100
                          • spelling of sounds - 98
                          • mathematics - 100
                          • broad mathematics - 97
                          • math calculation skills - 95
                          • applied problems - 102
                          • calculation - 98
                          • math facts fluency - 92
                          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


                            #14
                            Re: Help me think through next year

                            Susan,

                            This is good! Look at those Phoneme/grapheme and Word Attack scores!

                            Her difficulty with fluency brought down her overall reading cluster. This points to the continued need for daily oral reading practice with a combined emphasis on speed and accuracy. She evidences good word attack skills with unfamiliar and nonsense words, so this can help her fluency with practice, practice, practice. Elevate her oral reading practice to front-burner status over the summer. She does not need to love it, but she needs to do it.

                            She does have a relative area of concern in Reading when compared, for example to her impressive standard score in Writing, so she will practice reading all summer and in SC 3.

                            Your plan sounds very good. Then you can catch her up to SC 3 as written, which will make things much more cohesive for her. She might even enjoy the content!

                            So glad you had time on the beach. Thanks for following up.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Help me think through next year

                              Btw, I noticed that math fluency is lower too. Add 5 minutes of +/- flash cards daily before or after her oral reading time.

                              MP has a nice set. Colomama likes the R&S set. Either way, get facts up to 20. Keep the cards with her reading, so you can tackle the practice necessary for both reading fluency & math fluency in a single efficient session.

                              Comment

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