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I also need placement advice

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    I also need placement advice

    My kids (ages 9 and 10) are dyslexic and have never been very strong with language skills. This was our first year with Memoria Press, and I have combined both of them in 4th grade new users. Looking back, this has been PERFECT placement for my 5th grade DS. He does all of the writing in the guides without breaking a sweat, and he does all of the optional assignments. He is also able to work mostly independently. (I am around for help and feedback on his work.) But I have no doubt that he is perfectly placed in Memoria Press cores right now.

    Things have been a little more challenging for my 4th grade DD. She is working in the upper range of her abilities...maybe just a tad bit beyond. Latina Christiana was way too hard for her. (Most days brought her to tears—and she is a tough little cookie. So I knew something was wrong.)

    I dropped her down to Prima Latina, and things are going much better. She is gaining confidence, learning to study/work hard, and no longer crying about Latin. (I feel like that was the definite right choice for her.) She is also doing OK with the rest of the content subjects in 4NU with added review and drill. She is doing the 4th-grade literature with her brother (which is nice for discussion)--but it is hard for her. I have noticed that she sometimes struggles with comprehension and she is skipping a lot of words/not decoding them correctly. I have to watch her like a hawk and make her go back and decode words. When she is reading silently, her comprehension plummets and I think that is because she is skipping the harder words.

    Hindsight 20/20, I should have put her in the 3rd-grade core with Prima Latina. I think that would have been PERFECT placement for her. I think she could use another "easier" year of writing and lit, and the extra time in the content subjects would have been good for her. She is holding on with 4th-grade lit, but just barely. Looking ahead, the lit in 4NU gets only harder. We have Dangerous Journey and Blue Fairy Book and they look to be at a higher reading level than Cricket and Homer. I am also worried about how she will handle the 5th-grade literature selections next year. (They look like a big step up.)


    So what would you do if you were me?

    We are in week 10 in 4th grade NU. If I drop her back down to 3rd, it is going to be a mess trying to figure out what "week" she is on and catch her back up. (We school year-round using a 4 day week for co-op). She will be at the start of Literature and Mammals and writing, but quite a bit further in her other subjects. (So all over the place in the guide.) I switched to Memoria Press to simplify my planning, so did this defeat the purpose?

    I would also have to buy more stuff if I switch. (Bad for my budget!) And I would lose some efficiency to our day. (It is kind of nice having everyone combined in Christian studies and the other content for discussion reasons and time.)

    But maybe switching will be the best long-term things to do for her. I don't know. What do you advise?
    Cathy aka The Attached Mama
    2019-2020
    DS 12, 7th Grade
    DD 11, 6th Grade
    DS 5, K

    #2
    Re: I also need placement advice

    Do what's right for your kiddo. If she's hanging on by her fingernails now, she'll always be clawing her way along.

    My recommendation is to work off of pdf's, not the whole guide. So, buy 3rd Lit pdf and Prima if you want to. You could keep them together in Christian Studies 4 if you wanted to.

    You could borrow the lit books from the library for cost savings.

    So, get a binder with subject dividers and put a pdf guide behind each. Just check the next box off each day, but dont get too worked up over catching up. She can continue to work through the 4NU guide as you see fit for certain subjects.
    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: I also need placement advice

      Sounds like you know in your gut she needs to be dropped down to 3rd. But you could just drop down in the subjects you want to drop down in.

      Even if you buy the entire 3rd grade manual, you can get the subjects in individual pdfs. Then put them in a binder like Colomama suggested. Just do the 3rd grade literature until you finish, then pick up in 4th where you left off. That would take about a year, right? If writing is tough, I'd definitely drop down in that too, and again just continue until you finish.

      For the content subjects, that is a tougher call. Combining them likely makes your day a good bit easier. For my kids, I really need my older two to be combined for content subjects right now, so I'd be more likely to stay with the 4th grade content subjects and maybe slow the pace a bit. That one is a tough call. It depends on how many extra sessions you can reasonably fit in your day.
      Susan

      2020-21
      A (12) - Simply Classical 5/6
      C (11) - Simply Classical 5/6
      G (7) - Simply Classical 1

      Comment


        #4
        Re: I also need placement advice

        I agree with Susan and also with Michelle on this quote:
        Originally posted by Colomama View Post
        Do what's right for your kiddo. If she's hanging on by her fingernails now, she'll always be clawing her way along.

        My recommendation is to work off of pdf's, not the whole guide. So, buy 3rd Lit pdf and Prima if you want to. You could keep them together in Christian Studies 4 if you wanted to.

        You could borrow the lit books from the library for cost savings.

        So, get a binder with subject dividers and put a pdf guide behind each. Just check the next box off each day, but dont get too worked up over catching up. She can continue to work through the 4NU guide as you see fit for certain subjects.
        Keep her in he subjects from MP4 that she can handle, drop everything else down a level. Digital Lesson Plans printed out and placed in a binder with tab dividers + a hot library card or bought used on Amazon.

        If this sounds diabolical to you (because it’s going to blow up your schedule and your budget right before Christmas), you might also just keep doing what you’re doing but moderate it. Read the selections together, alternating by paragraph. Ask your own questions. Discuss topics together. Fill in the study guides together — ask the questions for her to answer orally and you write the answer on a white board for her to copy into the study guide. This will put you at her elbow for language arts, but it will maybe alleviate some of her struggle and the pinch in your wallet. Perhaps try this latter approach until the New Year and then reassess? You can also read all the Third Grade books together at bedtime or in free time and discusss them informally so she is simultaneously catching up, building skills, enjoying reading AND working at the fourth grade level.
        Boy Wonder: 12, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
        Joy Bubble: 10, Seton and MP Electives (Special Needs)
        Snuggly Cowboy: 8, Seton and MP Electives
        The Comedian: 4, Seton/MP Pre-K, though she’ll probably zoom through that in a week.

        “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
        ~Pope St John Paul II

        Comment


          #5
          Re: I also need placement advice

          I also accidentally placed a kiddo at a level that had her hanging on by her fingernails. It happens. I wasn't able to buy more books to drop her down a level (not to mention it would have been devastating to drop down to little sister's grade, so I took advice from the wonderful ladies here and went to half pace. It was GLORIOUS. We ended up taking 15 months to complete MP1, which has (I hope) given her time to mature enough to begin MP2 in January. Since you school year round also, you needn't feel rushed to finish 4NU at a certain time. You could let your son continue at a pace that is healthy for him, and let your daughter slow down to a healthy, successful pace for her. I know it's tempting to combine (my girls are only 14 months apart) but so far I've had better luck and happier kids by keeping them (slightly) separate.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: I also need placement advice

            Originally posted by TheAttachedMama View Post
            My kids (ages 9 and 10) are dyslexic and have never been very strong with language skills. This was our first year with Memoria Press, and I have combined both of them in 4th grade new users. Looking back, this has been PERFECT placement for my 5th grade DS. He does all of the writing in the guides without breaking a sweat, and he does all of the optional assignments. He is also able to work mostly independently. (I am around for help and feedback on his work.) But I have no doubt that he is perfectly placed in Memoria Press cores right now.

            Things have been a little more challenging for my 4th grade DD. She is working in the upper range of her abilities...maybe just a tad bit beyond. Latina Christiana was way too hard for her. (Most days brought her to tears—and she is a tough little cookie. So I knew something was wrong.)

            I dropped her down to Prima Latina, and things are going much better. She is gaining confidence, learning to study/work hard, and no longer crying about Latin. (I feel like that was the definite right choice for her.) She is also doing OK with the rest of the content subjects in 4NU with added review and drill. She is doing the 4th-grade literature with her brother (which is nice for discussion)--but it is hard for her. I have noticed that she sometimes struggles with comprehension and she is skipping a lot of words/not decoding them correctly. I have to watch her like a hawk and make her go back and decode words. When she is reading silently, her comprehension plummets and I think that is because she is skipping the harder words.

            Hindsight 20/20, I should have put her in the 3rd-grade core with Prima Latina. I think that would have been PERFECT placement for her. I think she could use another "easier" year of writing and lit, and the extra time in the content subjects would have been good for her. She is holding on with 4th-grade lit, but just barely. Looking ahead, the lit in 4NU gets only harder. We have Dangerous Journey and Blue Fairy Book and they look to be at a higher reading level than Cricket and Homer. I am also worried about how she will handle the 5th-grade literature selections next year. (They look like a big step up.)


            So what would you do if you were me?

            We are in week 10 in 4th grade NU. If I drop her back down to 3rd, it is going to be a mess trying to figure out what "week" she is on and catch her back up. (We school year-round using a 4 day week for co-op). She will be at the start of Literature and Mammals and writing, but quite a bit further in her other subjects. (So all over the place in the guide.) I switched to Memoria Press to simplify my planning, so did this defeat the purpose?

            I would also have to buy more stuff if I switch. (Bad for my budget!) And I would lose some efficiency to our day. (It is kind of nice having everyone combined in Christian studies and the other content for discussion reasons and time.)

            But maybe switching will be the best long-term things to do for her. I don't know. What do you advise?
            Good morning! I don't know if my advice will help much, but my 3rd child (9 almost 10) is just finishing (mostly) the old single year 3rd grade plans from MP in about a year and a half. I don't believe him to be dyslexic, but he was definitely late to the reading party and struggled in second and third with that aspect. From your signature it looks as if you are already using your own math, spelling and science which are the major differences between the standard track 3rd and 4th grade. When 3rd was split the 4th grade lit was developed to fill in and the old 4th lit moved to 5th. I think you should look at 3rd lit before changing because I don't know that it is substantially easier. You already decided to change to Prima.

            My advice is skip purchasing any plans for Prima. It is very straightforward to plan out. If you need records, just keep track of the date you do each week in the back of your guide. If the two kids were sharing the 4NU guide move to two colors of check marks for each of the subjects. Your younger child will just move more slowly through the same material. For what it's worth, I have always done Christian studies orally with all my kids together. We just cycle through the levels until they move onto 7th grade. There is enough writing for me in the other subjects. If she is struggling with reading, I would advice picking a couple of books from the second grade lit package and team reading them and discussing them without a guide. As my son was CONSTANTLY in tears at the end of second with the volume of reading when he got to little house in the big woods, I found out at Soldalitas that at HLS the kids go around the room in class and read a paragraph or so each to get through the chapter, work on the comprehension questions as a class, and then copy one good answer into their guides from the board. It made me realize we weren't as far behind the mark as I had believed. Still, last year we went back and picked up LHBW and Beatrix Potter from second grade books (we skipped charlotte's web because my sons didn't like the story) and kept going with the team reading until he had worked his way through the rest of the third grade literature. This year he has moved into narnia and is doing well, but we still read bits together if he can't answer the questions. I think all the late second/third grade books are available at the library. If you try this and reach the end of 4NU before she makes it through the the 4th grade lit just remember it was not part of the original MP schedule and it will be fine to move to 5M if her reading has caught up or you will have it if she needs it. Remember it is totally OK to turn 4NU into a two year plan if needed.

            Hope that helps a bit!
            Dorinda

            For 2020-2021
            DD 17-12th with MPOA(Classical Studies 3), CLRC (Latin 6, Greek 5), Thinkwell (Calculus and Chemistry), Vita Beata (Divine Comedy), American History
            DS 15-9th with Lukeion(Latin 1 and Greek 1), Vita Beata (9th Literature)
            DS 12-7th with Right Start Level H online class, Vita Beata (6th Literature)
            DS 6 - 2nd blazing our own trail with Right Start D and a mix of MP materials

            Comment


              #7
              Re: I also need placement advice

              Thank you everyone!

              It was especially helpful to hear that the 3rd-grade core was not necessarily a huge step down in difficulty level. (Just slower.) Especially considering I wouldn't change her Latin, Math, or Science.

              She is managing the 4NU plans. So maybe I will keep her where she is, and see how she does with Dangerous Journey/Blue Fairy. I can always do a hodge-podge literature year next year if I am worried that the 5th grade lit will be too hard...right?
              Cathy aka The Attached Mama
              2019-2020
              DS 12, 7th Grade
              DD 11, 6th Grade
              DS 5, K

              Comment


                #8
                Re: I also need placement advice

                Hello.

                I think you will find that 5th grade literature really isn't more difficult than Dangerous Journey or The Blue Fairy Book. The Lion, the Witch ... , Heidi, and Lassie are probably on the same level as far as reading difficulty, vocabulary, and content go. And keep in mind that we are continuing as teachers to be heavily involved in student work at this age, so we aren't asking students to figure out the allegory in Dangerous Journey independently or to recognize the themes in Heidi, etc. With your guidance, your student will probably do fine. If you do need to slow down, though, you will know it as you delve into those remaining 4th grade selections.

                Tanya

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: I also need placement advice

                  Originally posted by TheAttachedMama View Post
                  Thank you everyone!

                  It was especially helpful to hear that the 3rd-grade core was not necessarily a huge step down in difficulty level. (Just slower.) Especially considering I wouldn't change her Latin, Math, or Science.

                  She is managing the 4NU plans. So maybe I will keep her where she is, and see how she does with Dangerous Journey/Blue Fairy. I can always do a hodge-podge literature year next year if I am worried that the 5th grade lit will be too hard...right?

                  If she's managing rather than making confident progress, then it would be best to slow down. I had to do this with my son and daughter when I had them combined. You can place a post-it tab in your Curriculum Manual for each child and just flip to where each child is when you're ready to do lessons. One child's checkmarks could be in the boxes, the other child's checkmarks could be right next to the box. I also use this tab trick when a single child is in different weeks for different subjects.
                  Jennifer
                  Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

                  DS16: MP, MPOA, HSC, Breaking the Barrier French
                  DS15: MP, MPOA, HSC
                  DS12: Mash-up of 6/7M
                  DS11: SC 4
                  DD9: 3A with First Form Latin (long story!)
                  DD8: Mash-up of SC 1/2
                  DD5: January birthday, using SC B and C as a two-year JrK

                  Comment

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