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Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

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    Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

    Hi Everyone,
    this is my first post and I'm hoping I can gain some great insight from all of you. I just withdrew my 10th grader out of high school on Monday. He was at a new charter school that taught Classical Education. Unfortunately, material in the classes was covered very fast. He just couldn't keep up. My husband and I took him out of public school because we loved the classical education curriculum and thought that our son deserved to have that type of education. Even with his learning disability. He has Asperger's and ADD. He's also always had a very difficult time in school. He has always been behind in math as well as grammar. He uses a calculator to help him in math. He had just begun Algebra I and failed the first quarter. He has never been able to memorize his math facts. He gets lost in anything more than Two digit multiplication and division as well as word problems. I was told by the IEP team that this is due to the difficulties he has with Executive Functioning. Along with that, he has dysgraphia. He can barely write a paragraph, and it always contains many grammatical errors.
    The great news is that he loves to read and does read at his grade level. He often tells me that he can't write fast enough to put down his thoughts on paper, so that is why he just writes one or two word answers on homework. His spelling is also much better than it used to be, but still not up to his grade level. If he is asked to explain an answer to a question regarding material in a class, he can tell you all about it.
    I have a lot of questions, but I am feeling very overwhelmed right now. So, I'll just ask these for now.

    1. What grade level for subjects of the Memoria Press curriculum should I start him in? As homeschooling parents, we know our kids aren't always in their grade level for every subject. How do I determine where he needs to be?
    2. Although he just began 10th grade, was he really?
    3. I didn't see a Spelling book for 10th grade...did I miss it in the online catalog?
    4. What is a high school portfolio and is it really important.

    I cannot take back the years I left him in the public schools. I believed them when they told me they knew how to educate him and I didn't since I had not gone to college to be a teacher. He's home now and I intend to help him get the TRUE education he should have had.
    Thank you to all who have any suggestions.

    AZmom

    #2
    Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

    Dear AZMom,

    Wow, kudos to you for your courage and mom-intuition. I have been homeschooling for years and only the past couple of them have been with MP, so I'm not fully equipped to offer specific, targeted plans. But I assure you that you have come to the right place. It does seem, from what you've described, it would be too difficult for your son to just switch (for instance) straight into MP's 10th grade curriculum and lesson plans, given the struggles your son is having in specific areas. But the fellow parents here, as well as MP staff, will be able to help you pick a place to start.

    I want to encourage you to head on over to the special needs section of this forum, as there are many moms there (along with our amazing leader Cheryl Swope) who can help direct you. I have heard it (and read it) that these years (10th, 11th) are the years where the workload and pacing just becomes too much for the kiddos with any learning challenges, or with ADD, to manage in a traditional school setting. I'm not surprised by what you shared about your son and his struggles to keep up at the charter classical school. You've done the right thing as you don't want his confidence or joy of learning to be hindered by that stress. You can capitalize on his strengths (reading), while remediating his weaknesses (math, writing.)

    I hope others will chime in but I encourage you, first and foremost, to work with MP to figure out where to get him started with math remediation.

    Blessings,

    Susan P in VA

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

      Hi Susan,
      thank you so much for kind words. I really appreciate them and you.

      Azmom

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

        Originally posted by azmom View Post
        Hi Everyone,
        this is my first post and I'm hoping I can gain some great insight from all of you. I just withdrew my 10th grader out of high school on Monday. He was at a new charter school that taught Classical Education. Unfortunately, material in the classes was covered very fast. He just couldn't keep up. My husband and I took him out of public school because we loved the classical education curriculum and thought that our son deserved to have that type of education. Even with his learning disability. He has Asperger's and ADD. He's also always had a very difficult time in school. He has always been behind in math as well as grammar. He uses a calculator to help him in math. He had just begun Algebra I and failed the first quarter. He has never been able to memorize his math facts. He gets lost in anything more than Two digit multiplication and division as well as word problems. I was told by the IEP team that this is due to the difficulties he has with Executive Functioning. Along with that, he has dysgraphia. He can barely write a paragraph, and it always contains many grammatical errors.
        The great news is that he loves to read and does read at his grade level. He often tells me that he can't write fast enough to put down his thoughts on paper, so that is why he just writes one or two word answers on homework. His spelling is also much better than it used to be, but still not up to his grade level. If he is asked to explain an answer to a question regarding material in a class, he can tell you all about it.
        I have a lot of questions, but I am feeling very overwhelmed right now. So, I'll just ask these for now.

        1. What grade level for subjects of the Memoria Press curriculum should I start him in? As homeschooling parents, we know our kids aren't always in their grade level for every subject. How do I determine where he needs to be?
        2. Although he just began 10th grade, was he really?
        3. I didn't see a Spelling book for 10th grade...did I miss it in the online catalog?
        4. What is a high school portfolio and is it really important.

        I cannot take back the years I left him in the public schools. I believed them when they told me they knew how to educate him and I didn't since I had not gone to college to be a teacher. He's home now and I intend to help him get the TRUE education he should have had.
        Thank you to all who have any suggestions.

        AZmom
        Good morning, and welcome to the Memoria Press forum!

        1/2. Based on your description of your student, I second Susan's suggestion of speaking with Cheryl Swope. You can find her sub-forum here or we can even move this thread to that forum for you. She is exceptionally qualified to help create a plan for your son!
        3. We finish Spelling in 7th grade, which is why you didn't see Spelling in our 10th grade package.
        4. A high school portfolio is a collection of work, usually final exams and essays, across subjects and grades. It serves as a summary of a child's high-school work and is sometimes requested by colleges.
        Michael
        Memoria Press

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

          Hello and Thank you,
          I appreciate the help!! I would really be grateful if you could please move this thread for me to Cheryl's forum. I'm having trouble figuring out how to do that. While my son is a whiz on technology, I am not.

          Thanks again,
          Azmom

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

            Welcome! Yes, we can help you create a good plan. You can do this!!

            Some preliminary suggestions:

            1. Plan to read Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child (Memoria Press) if you have not already done so. Though the children featured are in many ways "lower fumctioning" than your own, you will be encouraged by their story and find hope for your own.

            2. Map out the areas you want him to study. Ask yourself, how many subject areas can he handle in a day/week? Which areas will benefit his writing the most? Which are non-negotiable to his truly classical education? Might an MPOA (MP Online Academy) course be appropriate for one of his interest areas? Spend time on the MP website by yourself -- then with your son -- looking at the options. Select what looks most suitable to answer the above questions without regard for "grade level". These are advanced materials. You can create a high school credit from almost anything MP 3 and up, simply by adding to it.

            3. After you accomplish #2 from a brief search, present your game-plan draft here, and we can help as a sounding board. If you need us to create this for you, we can, but you may want to do this first step yourself. He will not fit neatly into any one MP level, so you have full flexibility to chart your own course of study for him!

            4. Connect to resources for students with specific learning disabilities, if he has a written diagnosis. While we do not advocate leaning heavily on technology for most younger children, your son is a prime candidate for the good use of technological supports: he needs accommodations for writing, reads well, is high school age, and is highly "techknowledgeable" (my daughter's neologism!). Keyboarding, computer writing, and even speech-to-text adaptations might make his essays more insightful and more commensurate with his intelligence.

            5. Consider adding a year or two to his high school, possibly with dual enrollment at a community college. Begin now to survey interest/aptitude with a view to his future.


            We look forward to working with you!

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

              Thank you so much for your help. I'll be working on that today.

              Azmom

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

                Hi Cheryl,
                ok, I have a plan. Here it is.

                Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child.

                Penmanship - Teach yourself Cursive (5th grade and above) and Cursive Practice Sheets.

                Classical Studies- The Book of Ancient Greek Set & The Book of Ancient Roman Set. Do I need the Timeline book too?

                Science - Book of Astronomy Set

                Math - Rod & Staff Grade 3 Math set

                I wasn't sure if he should also study any of the plays, Medea, Illiad, Greek Tragedies, etc? Again, he reads well, but can't correctly write a paragraph. Also, where should I start him for Writing?

                Thank you,
                Azmom

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

                  Originally posted by azmom View Post
                  Hi Everyone,
                  this is my first post and I'm hoping I can gain some great insight from all of you. I just withdrew my 10th grader out of high school on Monday. He was at a new charter school that taught Classical Education. Unfortunately, material in the classes was covered very fast. He just couldn't keep up. My husband and I took him out of public school because we loved the classical education curriculum and thought that our son deserved to have that type of education. Even with his learning disability. He has Asperger's and ADD. He's also always had a very difficult time in school. He has always been behind in math as well as grammar. He uses a calculator to help him in math. He had just begun Algebra I and failed the first quarter. He has never been able to memorize his math facts. He gets lost in anything more than Two digit multiplication and division as well as word problems. I was told by the IEP team that this is due to the difficulties he has with Executive Functioning. Along with that, he has dysgraphia. He can barely write a paragraph, and it always contains many grammatical errors.
                  The great news is that he loves to read and does read at his grade level. He often tells me that he can't write fast enough to put down his thoughts on paper, so that is why he just writes one or two word answers on homework. His spelling is also much better than it used to be, but still not up to his grade level. If he is asked to explain an answer to a question regarding material in a class, he can tell you all about it.
                  I have a lot of questions, but I am feeling very overwhelmed right now. So, I'll just ask these for now.

                  1. What grade level for subjects of the Memoria Press curriculum should I start him in? As homeschooling parents, we know our kids aren't always in their grade level for every subject. How do I determine where he needs to be?
                  2. Although he just began 10th grade, was he really?
                  3. I didn't see a Spelling book for 10th grade...did I miss it in the online catalog?
                  4. What is a high school portfolio and is it really important.

                  I cannot take back the years I left him in the public schools. I believed them when they told me they knew how to educate him and I didn't since I had not gone to college to be a teacher. He's home now and I intend to help him get the TRUE education he should have had.
                  Thank you to all who have any suggestions.

                  AZmom
                  Hi there! Just wanted to say welcome and I hope you will share with us your processs as you find the best place to start with your son. I am homeschooling a 14 year old with Aspergers--he's chronologically 9th grade, we call it 8th grade, and he's using MP materials that range in the MP catalogue from 6th-9th grade. I think homeschooling is tailor-made for our kiddos who don't fit into standard categories, and I hope you find it's a great fit for your son too.
                  Catherine

                  2020-21
                  DS17
                  DS15
                  DS13
                  DD13
                  DS8
                  DD5
                  DS 2.5

                  Homeschooling 4 with MP
                  2 in classical school

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

                    Originally posted by azmom View Post
                    Hi Cheryl,
                    ok, I have a plan. Here it is.

                    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child.

                    Penmanship - Teach yourself Cursive (5th grade and above) and Cursive Practice Sheets.

                    Classical Studies- The Book of Ancient Greek Set & The Book of Ancient Roman Set. Do I need the Timeline book too?

                    Science - Book of Astronomy Set

                    Math - Rod & Staff Grade 3 Math set

                    I wasn't sure if he should also study any of the plays, Medea, Illiad, Greek Tragedies, etc? Again, he reads well, but can't correctly write a paragraph. Also, where should I start him for Writing?

                    Thank you,
                    Azmom
                    Looks like we were writing at the same time! I know your post was addressed to Cheryl, and she will give the best advice. 😊 But, here's my advice: look at Classical Composition: Fable and see if you think your son could handle it. There are DVDs available, and I *think* there is even an MPOA class that begins at the Fable level. My son has always struggled with writing, and the Classical Comp series has really helped break the writing process down into manageable chunks for him. If the Fable level turns out to move easily for him, you can move on to the next stage (Narrative) without finishing the entire Fable book.

                    For Literature, see if you can look at the samples of the Student Manuals. They require quite a bit of composition skills themselves. Can your son answer written comprehension questions clearly in complete sentences? I am not familiar with the high school level literature guides, but the 6th/7th grade guides have some questions that require 2-3 sentences of writing.
                    Catherine

                    2020-21
                    DS17
                    DS15
                    DS13
                    DD13
                    DS8
                    DD5
                    DS 2.5

                    Homeschooling 4 with MP
                    2 in classical school

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

                      Agreed. Classical Composition -- Fable would be a great place to begin, if he can manage it. Formed by the classical progymnasmata, Classical Composition can "grow" with him as high as he needs. Tip: purchase the DVD, if you decide to teach this with him.

                      Also take a look at Core Skills: Language Arts. You can drop even down to 2 or 3, if needed, to fill in gaps in grammar and composition alongside Fable. Tip: teach this as an easier second writing period. This is just a supplement.

                      Be sure he is writing with instruments that make his grip good, relaxed, and well-aligned for writing, because he will be writing quite a bit this year!

                      We want both remediation (dropping back to Core Skills: Language Arts) and accommodation (allowing typed or oral responses for some higher-level subjects like history).

                      If for some reason CC Fable is not suitable, look at Simply Classical Writing Book Two Bible or Read-Aloud (American history) edition. He would not need the accompanying readers, because he can study content from a real Bible or upper-level American history books. SC Writing covers main idea, basic grammar and composition of sentences. By the end, students begin to form paragraphs. He may be far beyond this. If so, CC Fable and CS: Language Arts will give him a great writing/grammar course first semester and beyond.


                      As for the Timeline for high school use, someone on the 9-12 forum might be better able to answer, but I certainly wish the Timeline program had been available for my two children back then! Beautiful and visual -- it seems to me you could use this throughout his history studies if you wanted to do so.

                      Start with a few items. Your proposed "cart" looks good, as long as you add writing. Then plan your day and begin!

                      Better to start smaller and add components than overestimate what can be taught well, only to overwhelm both you and your son. We are looking for depth and mastery here, so plan to take your time.

                      We're excited for you. We often say that the MP materials are so rich, no matter the level, you are reclaiming your child's education AND your own, as you teach!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

                        Originally posted by CatherineS View Post
                        Hi there! Just wanted to say welcome and I hope you will share with us your processs as you find the best place to start with your son. I am homeschooling a 14 year old with Aspergers--he's chronologically 9th grade, we call it 8th grade, and he's using MP materials that range in the MP catalogue from 6th-9th grade. I think homeschooling is tailor-made for our kiddos who don't fit into standard categories, and I hope you find it's a great fit for your son too.
                        Hi CatherineS and Cheryl,
                        Thank you so much for telling me about you and your son, Catherine. To both you and Cheryl, I am so grateful for your advice and encouragement. It is comforting knowing that you're out there. Sometimes, doing what we think is best for our kids is not always met by positive reinforcement. This can make a parent feel quite alone at times. My husband is very supportive and older daughter (college graduated and working) but, extended members of my family aren't. My 15 year old son says he's so happy to be at home and working at his own pace.
                        We did do reviews of math facts last week. I was very surprised, but he was able to memorize the 2's - 7's, 10's and 11's. When he started on Monday w/2's & 3's he was so upset because I wouldn't let him use his calculator. He went on and on about how he was just too stupid to learn his facts and promised to always carry his calculator with him. I reminded him that he was made in the image of God and that he was perfect. He was never stupid, he just needed extra help, time and patience. He was very proud of himself, but asked me why did it take him so long to learn them? Why couldn't he learn them in third grade when everyone else did as well as his little brother, who is 12? I thought about his question and told him that some things take longer for others. In my own mind, I wondered if it was a maturity/comprehension issue.
                        He told me he's not looking forward to any type of digit multiplication or any type of division. He also admitted that he can't write a complete sentence and doesn't always know when he should end it. One of the biggest things he was confused about was how can he be able to read so well, but not know how to write at that level, let alone a correct sentence? I told him the truth. I don't know, but I would try to find out? So, do either of you have any thoughts on that? I really don't know the answer.
                        He started reading Mary Shelly's, Frankenstien, this week. I had him highlight the words he didn't understand. We reviewed them. He's enjoying the book so far.
                        I was very happy to get advice from both you and Cheryl. I'm still looking through the catalog descriptions of the suggestions you both made. I have no problem starting at the very beginning of writing for him (still not sure which one CC or SC would work better for him) but, I just know that I want to give him an ABSOLUTELY solid understanding of what is and isn't a complete sentence. I think if he can truly understand that, the idea of writing a paragraph or essay won't be so daunting for him.
                        I'm having a hard time trying to find which book in either CC or SC will present how to outline in a way that walks him through it completely. Any ideas which one?

                        Thank you so much!
                        Azmom

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

                          Hi AZMom!

                          Reading and writing are different skills. It's kind of like the difference between learning to play the piano and learning to compose music. Composition is simply a more advanced skill, and there are plenty of neurotypical students who can read well but still struggle to write well. That said, once your son learns the basic tools of writing, his ability to read well and his "ear" for good literature will certainly help him to develop a good writing style.

                          As to why he hasn't learned how to write yet, or learn his math facts like his younger brother, you might just be very straightforward and say, you have these particular challenges of Aspergers and ADHD, and apparently the classroom setting wasn't a great way for you to learn these skills. People with AS and ADHD are just as intelligent (or more) than people without them, but they can struggle to learn in a classroom setting for a variety of reasons. Assure him that he is a smart boy who, like many kids without special challenges, is going to find it's a lot easier to learn with one-on-one instruction (as he proved to himself this week with the multiplication facts!). With time, patience, and good materials, he is absolutely going to be able to learn how to recognize and write a complete sentence, and more!

                          There is actually an MP composition book that doesn't show up in any grade packages but might be in between SC Writing and CC Fable. It's called Intro to Composition and can be found here: https://www.memoriapress.com/curricu...o-composition/

                          The cover may not be the greatest for your son, and you could substitute more grown-up literature selections, but the format might be really good for him. The format is:

                          1. read a passage from literature aloud,
                          2. answer some comprehension questions orally,
                          3. summarize the passage orally in 2-3 sentences which Mom writes down,
                          4. edit the summary together for proper grammar if necessary,
                          5. perfectly copy the edited summary,
                          6. And finally, write 2 sentences from the original passage from dictation (Mom reads aloud and student writes it down) or, if that's too hard, just perfectly copy 2 sentences from the passage.

                          One lesson like that would be done over one week. Even if you want to use your own literature selections, you could just buy the Teacher Manual and use the dictation sentences with your son. This would be a gentle introduction to writing (and might actually be really similar to SC Writing, which I unfortunately am not familiar with). Outlining is taught in CC Fable.

                          Another MP book that could help teach what a complete sentence is would be the English Grammar Recitation, which is a Catechism-style list of grammar facts beginning with "What is a sentence?". You could skip the workbooks if you are using the Core Skills Language Arts and just buy the Recitation book to use as your son's memory work:
                          https://www.memoriapress.com/curricu...ar-recitation/

                          I'm sorry to hear about the unsupportive extended family. It's really great though that you and your husband are united in this endeavor, and that your son is excited/relieved to be homeschooled. Hopefully your relatives will come around eventually when they see the progress being made.

                          And Frankenstein--how fun! I absolutely loved that book in high school! That can prompt some great discussions about science and technology, etc and should help him feel like he has at least one grade-level class amidst all the remedial work he needs to do.
                          Catherine

                          2020-21
                          DS17
                          DS15
                          DS13
                          DD13
                          DS8
                          DD5
                          DS 2.5

                          Homeschooling 4 with MP
                          2 in classical school

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Help! High School Curriculum - all or some or none?

                            Originally posted by azmom View Post
                            He also admitted that he can't write a complete sentence and doesn't always know when he should end it. One of the biggest things he was confused about was how can he be able to read so well, but not know how to write at that level? ... I just know that I want to give him an ABSOLUTELY solid understanding of what is and isn't a complete sentence. I think if he can truly understand that, the idea of writing a paragraph or essay won't be so daunting for him.
                            Good morning. I was thinking more about this. Because of his age, you want something that will help quickly. You need something both explicit and efficient. I think you should bypass SC Writing right now because of his age and intellect.


                            Are you familiar with Rod & Staff English? Look at Level 4, 5, or 6. Following the Plan (5) might be best for him. They will cover both sentences and paragraphs.

                            R&S begins each level with "What is a Sentence?" and work through basic sentences (vs. fragments). Then they move to the basics of a paragraph and how to write one. R&S may be the most explicit, thorough, and efficient way to be sure you accomplish your stated goal.
                            Caveat #1: Unless you are Mennonite, you may find some theological differences to sidestep or to discuss.
                            Caveat #2: This will be a time investment for both of you.

                            No matter what you use, consider making English Grammar and Composition the first subject of the day. Then you can refer to what he is learning throughout his other coursework. (Show me the subject/predicate here. Where is the topic sentence of this paragraph? See if you can find and correct the run-on sentence in your answer.)

                            If time does not permit the use of R&S, or if you just prefer something faster, you can teach from Core Skills: Language Arts. Plan to teach multiple levels of this. Start with level 2 or 3. This moves more quickly and with less practice, so just be sure to take your time to expand the lessons he needs most.

                            Either way, with the one-on-one tutoring in writing, he will be writing much better in no time. I LOVE that you want to focus on his writing.

                            Based on everything you said, you might take a full semester to tackle remedial mechanics through either R&S or CS: LA, even before you begin CC: Fable. All if this will serve him well.


                            As for the harder questions, you can explain that we all have areas in which we are stronger than in other areas. Give examples of your own weaker areas. (Mine are directions/navigation, so my map-loving son with ASD is a great help to me!) If he is science-minded, you can explain that different parts of the brain accomplish different tasks in language. As he grows in his studies, his stronger areas will help compensate for his weaker ones!

                            In the meantime, you have already made it clear through your words and actions that you intend to support him in his education in very real, impactful ways beginning immediately.

                            You're getting closer to a plan for doing this very thing!
                            Last edited by cherylswope; 10-30-2017, 09:38 AM.

                            Comment

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