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Struggling 1st Grader

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    Struggling 1st Grader

    I posted this on the K-8 board and someone suggested that I post here as well.


    My 1st grader is really struggling. I have always known, at least for several years, that he is ADD. We had suspected dyslexia because most of the men on my husband's side are, including my 9-year-old. However, my 9yo is a very mild case and he is able to learn using the main core.
    I bought 1st grade core for my 7yo. He is struggling with reading and spelling BAD! However, he is bored beyond belief with math. I am beginning to wonder if a made a huge mistake by placing him in 1st Core. My daughter is K core. I could move him back into K phonics and reading, but I am not sure where to begin or how to know where to place him...

    Any advise?

    TIA

    #2
    Re: Struggling 1st Grader

    I ended up re-writing my post...here it is!

    I suggest posting on special needs, Cheryl Swope is great help! I will tell you that I ended up having to go with AAR. However, had I really understood what to do, I wish I would have just stuck with the MP SC1 phonics plans longer and then re-visted the SC2 plans. I would have saved myself $500+.

    The SC1 phonics plans are really very good (you can download them). Did your 7 year old complete FSR? Or did you place him right in MP1 from another program (what was that program?) I would suggest, taking him back to book A with the SC1 plans. You don't have to do it for 8 weeks, but at least make sure he knows all the words in that book. (The lesson plans give you lots of suggestions of things to do in that book, and then at the end says "continue to use whatever is working well", so really doing the "A" book plans well will help you through the next few books. Writing all the words on notecards (you build up each work) and playing games with them is really very helpful. (what to do with them are in the plans) Also the suggested "Phonics A to Z" is also almost a must. It really gives good ideas and helps you understand what/why is being taught. I did take my child back through book A but I didn't actually have her do the workbook. We did all the writing on the board. Your child could help you make the notecards, so his writing could be on them, instead of the board.

    P.s. my daughter was evaluated and she was determined NOT to be dyslexic. I still am not so sure. She didn't test quite gifted, but above average intelligence and I think she was guessing her way through entire passages! She was determined to have ADD and a working memory issue, but no specific learning disability. (She just needs a lot of time to remember and apply rules, so slow is her pace)
    Last edited by howiecram; Today at 11:29 AM. Reason: Sent in haste! Re-writing
    Christine

    (2021/2022)
    DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, MPOA Narrative)
    DS2 9/1/11 - MP4
    DD3 2/9/13 -MP2 or SC4? (still debating!)

    Previous Years
    DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
    DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
    DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Struggling 1st Grader

      I bought the MP1 and MP2 for my 5 and 7yo this past Jan. Once I received them, I realized that my 7yo was not ready for the 1st grade program. I decided to look through the K program and see where he would be successful and after some work, decided on the last 6 weeks of K. It has been a really good fit for him. It also made me realize that keeping the two younger ones together for the extras would be good, too. So, he's now in week 31 and when he finishes, I'll just move him into 1st. Hopefully it'll be a good fit then. I do wish that I had bought the SC program for him, but if MP1 ends up being too hard, I'll just move him into whatever SC parts that will help him most. (I've already bought the SC Spelling, writing, and one of the Storytime books just in case.)
      Lisa in Jax
      Mom to:
      Allison (28 graduated from homeschool)
      Jonathan (26 graduated from homeschool)
      Genevieve (18 graduated from homeschool)
      Isaac (15 using MP 7)
      Sophia (13 using MP 5th grade)
      David (10 using MP 3rd grade)
      Charlotte (8 might be using MP1 or SC2)
      Layla (6yo granddaughter using MP 1)

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Struggling 1st Grader

        From your K-8 post:

        Thank you! I placed him straight in. He was using Reading Eggs before. I have K core and have considered just backing him up and letting him 'help me' teach his sister starting with A. His ADD is the biggest issue. He fiddles all the time. We have fidgets, oils, discs to sit on, etc, but he cannot concentrate for long at all! He is so distracted by the pictures on the page or the amount of words that he stumbles and struggles all the way through. I am overwhelmed. He is so smart! He takes over his 4th grade brother's math all the time. He just has a really hard time focusing. Reading has become a HUGE hurdle!
        This is very much like my 9yo son.

        Besides the focus challenges, what specific concepts give him trouble when reading? (If you're not sure, I would recommend the online DORA test. Howiecram recommended it several months ago and I used it to find out which concepts my son wasn't grasping. It was the best $25 I ever spent.)

        For the constant movement:
        1. Keep lessons short as howiecram recommended
        2. Stay by his side the entire time he works (I know how hard this will be. Believe me, I know. I spend our entire work time refocusing him: now what is this word? slow down, take it one letter at a time, don't draw stick figures on your math page, no...this number...right here)
        3. Some kids benefit from movement breaks, but that actually makes my son worse. Instead, I'll give him school-related tasks like making a copy of his math worksheet, pulling out his markers for spelling, etc. Just enough to get him moving but very short, specific, and right next to our work table.
        4. I've found that fidgets can make things worse sometimes...every child is different and so is every day so you might want to consider removing those at least occasionally and see what happens; the one thing that is a huge help here is a pillow on his seat. Sometimes, I also need to wrap my arm around him; the pressure seems to help stabilize him so he doesn't have to lean halfway across the table to "feel comfortable".


        Let us know what his specific reading troubles are so we can all help more!
        Jennifer
        Blog: [url]www.seekingdelectare.com[/url]

        2021-2022
        DS18: Almost done!
        DS17: MP, MPOA
        DS15: MP, MPOA
        DS12: Mix of SC 5/6 & SC 7/8
        DD11: Mix of 5M and SC7/8
        DD9: SC3
        DD6: MPK

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Struggling 1st Grader

          Originally posted by murdak View Post
          I posted this on the K-8 board and someone suggested that I post here as well.


          My 1st grader is really struggling. I have always known, at least for several years, that he is ADD. We had suspected dyslexia because most of the men on my husband's side are, including my 9-year-old. However, my 9yo is a very mild case and he is able to learn using the main core.
          I bought 1st grade core for my 7yo. He is struggling with reading and spelling BAD! However, he is bored beyond belief with math. I am beginning to wonder if a made a huge mistake by placing him in 1st Core. My daughter is K core. I could move him back into K phonics and reading, but I am not sure where to begin or how to know where to place him...

          Any advise?

          TIA
          You could order SC 1 phonics, as Christine (howiecram) suggested, and plan to follow this with SC 2 spelling, reading, and writing. This plan might serve as a bridge back to MP 1 or, at the very least, get him reading, spelling, and writing.

          Regarding math, are you in R&S 1? If yes, are you teaching only the written pages, or are you teaching from the visual aids in the front of the manual? If he is only doing the fact pages without interactive Before Class, After Class lessons, it will feel boring. So the first step is to be sure everything is being taught as indicated in the Teacher Manual.

          After a few weeks of teaching concepts and knowledge along with the written work, re-assess. Just be sure he is truly bored by the content, not by the repetition. Repetition is important.

          However, if after considering all of the above, you find he is advanced in all aspects of arithmetic, you could save R&S 1 for your daughter next year and switch him to a higher level if he needs it. Both MP and SC are customizable on the ordering page by subject, so you have plenty of flexibility.

          (A side note: be sure you say he "has" ADD or dyslexia, not that he "is" a diagnosis. It matters -- both how we think about our children and how they think about themselves.)

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Struggling 1st Grader

            Where are you in grade 1? Your post sounds like he recently started. Or, did he start in the fall and he's been struggling this whole school year?

            Either way, I think SC1 sounds like a good fit. It has shorter length lessons, less writing, more active ideas, etc. Which it sounds like would work well for him.

            For math, see how many of those flashcard facts he already knows. Mastered vs still memorizing. It's important he knows these facts, no counting on fingers. My five year old could figure them all out with enough time to add and subtract with blocks or fingers. But, the goal is automaticity, automatically answering. If he truly knows those facts move up a level. If not, continue on.

            I think this is also the beauty of being exposed to older siblings material. He's being exposed to it without any expectations of mastery. He knows answers sometimes, but couldn't be expected to sit down and do a full lesson every day.

            Continuing to work through level one is teaching more than math. It's slowly extending his writing stamina, his seat time, his attention time. And those are things it sounds like he's struggling with.
            DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
            DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
            DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

            We've completed:
            Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
            Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Struggling 1st Grader

              First of all, thank you all for taking time to reply. Sometimes just knowing that I am not alone in this is comforting!

              I realized that I needed to clarify a couple of things in regard to my original post: We have been using 1st Core for a week. I know that isn't very long, but the tears are enough to let me know that he is not ready for spelling or reading at this level. I mentioned the math, not because I wanted to move him up, but because my first thought was K Core and I knew that wasn't a good fit either. I love R&S and their push for mastery! He definitely needs to work on mastering his facts.

              I just worked through the Word Mastery Review of Book C. He struggled with some concepts (ones that I know he has been taught and read before) and he did not do well with the high frequency words for C. I am giving him a break and was going to try the book B review. I love the idea of the DORA assessment and need to talk to my husband about that when he gets home tonight. Pending that, my goal, I *think* is to work through Book C and D while continuing math with the Core 1 plans. Then when he completes those I will purchase SC 2 and use that. I am open to thoughts about that and appreciate advice!

              With him having ADD ( thank you Cheryl for that! I needed to be reminded) and us suspecting Dyslexia, I want to move at his pace and make sure that he has the absolute best foundation for both reading and math without completely overwhelming him!

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Struggling 1st Grader

                That sounds great. I would say that if he struggles with FSR B, doesn't show mastery, step back to SC1 phonics.

                For Spelling. What are using? The original plans used Spelling Workout B. They've since transitioned to a MP spelling program called Traditional Spelling. First grade uses book 1.

                Couple of options here. If using SWO you could step back to book A. You could switch to MP traditional spelling book 1. Or you could switch to SC Spelling. I would recommend moving to Simply Classical Spelling. My son struggled with SWO B and we ended up stepping all of the way back to SC Spelling book 1. And even that takes 2 weeks to get a passing score.
                DS12- Simply Classical mash-up of SC Spelling 1, intensive reading remediation, and MPOA 4th grade math.
                DD10- Classic Core 4th Grade w/ 5th grade literature
                DD8- Classic Core 2nd Grade

                We've completed:
                Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, third grade
                Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5/6

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Struggling 1st Grader

                  Originally posted by murdak View Post
                  First of all, thank you all for taking time to reply. Sometimes just knowing that I am not alone in this is comforting!

                  I realized that I needed to clarify a couple of things in regard to my original post: We have been using 1st Core for a week. I know that isn't very long, but the tears are enough to let me know that he is not ready for spelling or reading at this level. I mentioned the math, not because I wanted to move him up, but because my first thought was K Core and I knew that wasn't a good fit either. I love R&S and their push for mastery! He definitely needs to work on mastering his facts.

                  !
                  The Math in the 1st grade is a little odd, because it assumes the first workbook was completed in K. So, they review book 1 over the first few weeks. The first oh, 15-20 lessons are writing numbers. I could see that being boring for a bright boy! If he can write the numbers well, you can probably skip to where the addition families begin. If he can not, then I would do them anyway, but he doesn't have to do all the rows! You might need to just do a lesson a day, instead of what the MP1 schedules because it will go through book 1 rather quickly, spending the majority of the year on book 2.
                  Christine

                  (2021/2022)
                  DD1 8/23/09 - Mix of MP5 and MP6 (SFL, Birds, R&S 6 Math, MPOA Narrative)
                  DS2 9/1/11 - MP4
                  DD3 2/9/13 -MP2 or SC4? (still debating!)

                  Previous Years
                  DD 1 (MPK, SC2 (with AAR), SC3, SC4, SC 5/6, MP4 + FFL and R&S Math 5, MPOA Fable
                  DS2 (SCB, SCC, MPK, SC2/AAR/Storytime Treasures), Traditional Spelling 1, SC5/6 Year 1
                  DD3 (SCA, SCB, Jr. K workbooks, soaking up from the others, MPK, AAR), MP1

                  Comment

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