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Testing for my middle child

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    Testing for my middle child

    Y'all my middle child (my "neurotypical" child) is struggling with reading and spelling. I really thought that she was going to be a natural good reader and speller because she seemed like she wasn't going to have trouble. She memorizes common words easily, has no trouble with phonemic awareness/rhyming, but she seems to have hit a wall with reading and spelling. She guesses at everything based on word shape, first and last letter, etc. Everything. It is so frustrating. She knows the phonics but has a difficult time applying it.

    She's having an in depth reading assessment done next week along with our yearly achievement testing. I'm so nervous. Three special needs children. Can I handle this? Obviously I'll do what I need to, with God's grace, but I don't want to. They won't be able to actually diagnose her with any learning disabilities but will be able to tell us if signs point toward dyslexia and make educational recommendations.

    I'm worried she's going to need Barton and we'll have to change programs again. She is going to be so upset at having to start over. Again. I know I'm putting the cart before the horse here and freaking out ahead of time, but my gut has been saying that we need to switch for a few months now. We switched to AAR/AAS from the standard MP 1 phonics and spelling plans after her achievement testing last year. I was totally blind sided then, I had no idea she had issues when she went into the assessment.

    She's also having some behavioral/heart issues now which is so hard. She's always been my one child who really didn't seem to have any problems. She is doing back talking, complaining about the boys getting extra xyz, things not being fair, etc. She has somewhat of a point with the boys -- their loud, pressing behavioral problems do tend to end up with her getting the short end of the stick and I likely have higher expectations for her than I do for the boys. So on the one hand, she seems to be acting out upon something is is truly unfair, but on the other hand, I can't let her make rude, whiny, or disobedient behavior the norm.

    I guess I'm mainly feeling very overwhelmed and nervous. I have a hard time fitting our work in now as it is (read I never get everything done). Luckily I'm going to Mexico for a vacation at a health spa with my Mom in a week and a half. No children for an entire week. I need it so badly.

    Anyways, I mainly wanted to vent to a group of people who would understand.
    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: Testing for my middle child

    I notice you're doing level 2 of both reading and spelling. All About Learning recommends that spelling being at least 1 level lower than reading. Encoding (spelling) is more difficult than decoding (reading). Maybe, slow down with spelling for her?

    But, overall I hear your concern. It's hard when even the 'normal' one shows challenges too when your plate is already full. It's also challenging not to put your hopes all into that one basket.

    Enjoy your vacation. Sounds lovely sans kids. Relax.
    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: Testing for my middle child

      Originally posted by Colomama View Post
      I notice you're doing level 2 of both reading and spelling. All About Learning recommends that spelling being at least 1 level lower than reading. Encoding (spelling) is more difficult than decoding (reading). Maybe, slow down with spelling for her?

      But, overall I hear your concern. It's hard when even the 'normal' one shows challenges too when your plate is already full. It's also challenging not to put your hopes all into that one basket. Oh yes, that's it exactly. She's the one that's always been easy and now she's not. Perhaps this a good reminder that she is her own, very individual person.

      Enjoy your vacation. Sounds lovely sans kids. Relax.
      I actually asked All About Learning Press about that exact thing. They said it was fine to be at the same level, just that AAR level 1 needed to be completed before beginning AAS. She's about halfway through spelling and 3/4 of the way through the reading. We've been reviewing spelling for the past 3 weeks. I pulled the word cards from all the lessons she was having trouble with and we've just been practicing, practicing. We also do daily review of phonograms and spelling rules now. And when she misspells a word during phrase or sentence dictation that word goes back into her daily review section. So I'm okay with how we are doing AAS. I'm just worried that it isn't intensive enough and she'll need one more level of explicitness. We'll see what the eval shows. It will be interesting to see the results and recommendations. The testers mainly do homeschoolers so they are familiar with teaching kids at home, etc, which is so nice.

      I guess that's a bonus of living in a state that requires annual testing. There's a market for homeschool specific testing.
      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


        #4
        Re: Testing for my middle child

        Susan, I am so sorry to hear this. I remember the "kicked in the gut" feeling when our son was diagnosed with schizophrenia during the evaluations intended primarily for his sister. We had always thought he would take care of her when we were gone, that he would be the "normal" one. It is overwhelming and feels dreadful to hear that you have more than one -- or three! -- with special needs.

        So many of our SC families have experienced this. Having multiple children with special needs in one family is hard. However it will, if nothing else, force you to answer those tough questions such as, "What is really most important?" and "Where does my strength come from?"

        For now, you can just grieve freely here. It is hard.

        I do find it interesting that you were already thinking she might need more, such as Barton. If she does, you can be honest with her and say something like, "I don't like this any more than you do, but it is my job to teach you to read well, write well, and think well. I am going to do what I can to make that happen."

        A spa is a fabulous idea. When do you leave? I am certain that while you are away you will gain the courage to press forward to do whatever she needs.

        Other thoughts:
        At 8 she may be experiencing hormones or a desire to be away from her brothers to be just a girl, or both. Maybe you can begin a girls' time with her to keep your relationship focused on more than reading and spelling. Take a ceramic or art class, do gardening, ride horses, or find something else creative and not centered on reading. This may mend and prevent tension. Maybe she can be granted some private space in the home for her favorite things -- music, crafts.

        Also, be selective with her reading and movie choices. My daughter has noticed that candy-type preteen books and TV shows promote self-centered "sassiness" rather than respect for parents.

        You are doing the right thing by moving forward, even though you feel like hiding your head in the sand!

        Thanks for sharing this. You are definitely not alone.

        Have a wonderful, relaxing time with your mom.
        Last edited by cherylswope; 04-05-2018, 07:28 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Testing for my middle child

          Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
          Susan, I am so sorry to hear this. I remember the "kicked in the gut" feeling when our son was diagnosed with schizophrenia during the evaluations intended primarily for his sister. We had always thought he would take care of her when we were gone, that he would be the "normal" one. It is overwhelming and feels dreadful to hear that you have more than one -- or three! -- with special needs.

          So many of our SC families have experienced this. Having multiple children with special needs in one family is hard. However it will, if nothing else, force you to answer those tough questions such as, "What is really most important?" and "Where does my strength come from?"

          For now, you can just grieve freely here. It is hard.

          I do find it interesting that you were already thinking she might need more, such as Barton. If she does, you can be honest with her and say something like, "I don't like this any more than you do, but it is my job to teach you to read well, write well, and think well. I am going to do what I can to make that happen."

          A spa is a fabulous idea. When do you leave? I am certain that while you are away you will gain the courage to press forward to do whatever she needs.

          Other thoughts:
          At 8 she may be experiencing hormones or a desire to be away from her brothers to be just a girl, or both. Maybe you can begin a girls' time with her to keep your relationship focused on more than reading and spelling. Take a ceramic or art class, do gardening, ride horses, or find something else creative and not centered on reading. This may mend and prevent tension. Maybe she can be granted some private space in the home for her favorite things -- music, crafts.

          Also, be selective with her reading and movie choices. My daughter has noticed that candy-type preteen books and TV shows promote self-centered "sassiness" rather than respect for parents.

          You are doing the right thing by moving forward, even though you feel like hiding your head in the sand!

          Thanks for sharing this. You are definitely not alone.

          Have a wonderful, relaxing time with your mom.
          Thank you so much Cheryl. It is so reassuring just to be understood by people who have been through this.

          I leave this Saturday. I still don't quite believe it. I have such a generous mom. She may not understand homeschooling but I think she gathered that taking me on a vacation was likely the only way I would truly rest.

          I think she is beginning to have hormone changes, her body is changing a little bit (she'll be 9 in one month). She's always been an emotional/creative/free spirited child. I used to do a special creative time with her on Tuesday afternoons while the boys were in therapy. I'll have to get back to that. I'd also just gotten convicted (again) about too much screen time. Both of my older two children had been watching a number of Disney teen shows and I had noticed some things I didn't like (like the idea that liking school was bad, etc), so they're not allowed to watch Disney anymore.
          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: Testing for my middle child

            Best of luck to you and your daughter tomorrow, Susan. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.
            JeJe Greer
            Mom to:
            Stella (7M with Henle Latin Units 1-5)
            Clara (SC5/6)

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Testing for my middle child

              I really hope it went well.
              JeJe Greer
              Mom to:
              Stella (7M with Henle Latin Units 1-5)
              Clara (SC5/6)

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Testing for my middle child

                So the testing itself went well. My daughter is such a bubbly cheerful little person. She had a great time. She is such a contrast to my oldest, who tends towards serious and grumpy when testing. I got to "relax" while she tested for 2.5 hours and work on our taxes. A necessary evil.

                Results: As this was testing by an educational service and not a psychologist she can't formally diagnose anything, but dyslexia is likely. Ugh. But expected. While her broad reading scores when up almost a grade level from last year, she has some subscores that are very concerning and indicate a need for explicit OG remediation.

                She had the WJIV test of oral language. She did great on picture vocabulary, oral comprehension, segmentation, and retrieval fluency (standard scores and grade/age equivalents all WNL). Her sound blending and sound awareness were very low (grade level 1.0 and K.5, SS 88 and 62).

                She had the WJIV tests of achievement too. She is behind in all areas (as compared to her age - grade 3.7). When compared to her placement (I consider her a 2nd grader) - she's only behind in reading. But her subtests show major weakness -- spelling and word reading fluency were the lowest at 1.5 and 1.7. Here writing samples were great at 3.5. She is super creative and has no problem getting her thoughts on paper if you don't correct for spelling and such. She did better when she knew she was reading and spelling nonsense words (2.3 and 2.5) so that shows phonetic instruction with AAR has been helpful, but not explicit enough.

                Her math scores were somewhat low, I think that is mostly due to where we are in math -- we're just over halfway through grade 2 in R&S. How far do the available lesson plans go for math in SC? I might switch her over if they are available for the full 2nd grade, but I can't remember. She does have more trouble with math facts than A. We still have to review 8-10 families frequently for example.

                My husband is stressed a bit. He wonders if we should put her in school. He wonders if having one child in school would lighten the load on me. It would but not her -- she is my easiest child and she helps manage my youngest so much. I also doubt she is far enough behind to get much help in public school. So for now we are set on keeping all three home, but Barton better work. So the pressure is on some for sure. He tends to see her as flippant and not putting forth enough effort and has difficulty seeing her as a kid with true learning issues. I'm getting to where I can see them, she just presents so much differently than her brothers.

                So I'll be re-thinking our educational plans. For now, AAR/AAS are going to be replaced with Barton for both big kids. And Barton will definitely be the plan for my youngest. However, we have two days before my trip and I don't have the right levels of Barton to begin -- so we will just do math and penmanship for the next two days. We're going for a hike this afternoon with some co-op friends. I'll come back refreshed from my trip and we'll figure this mess out.

                I haven't broken the news to the kiddos that we are switching back to Barton (back for A, new for C). Praying the tears will be minimal. At least I know it is truly necessary now.
                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: Testing for my middle child

                  It is testing season on the SC forum!

                  You sound good, Susan. This seems to confirm your suspicions.

                  Your husband sounds like he cares about you, which is very sweet and good to hear. In our house my daughter is our "lark," and removing her from our academic day would have robbed the rest of us, so I understand your comments about your daughter. Moreover I am almost certain she would not have remained quite so joyful in a different setting.

                  You can find R&S 2 plans via SC 3 (R&S 2, units 1, 2, 3) and SC 4 (R&S 3, units 4, 5) in the Individual Lesson Plans by Subject, scroll to near the bottom of the page.

                  If you can, plan to add quick spelling, reading, and arithmetic flash cards reviews or standing drill contests or games -- whichever everyone will enjoy most or dread least -- a second time each day.

                  It is very good to hear about her stronger areas including her language and love of generating writing.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Testing for my middle child

                    Originally posted by sfhargett View Post
                    So the testing itself went well. My daughter is such a bubbly cheerful little person. She had a great time. She is such a contrast to my oldest, who tends towards serious and grumpy when testing. I got to "relax" while she tested for 2.5 hours and work on our taxes. A necessary evil.

                    Results: As this was testing by an educational service and not a psychologist she can't formally diagnose anything, but dyslexia is likely. Ugh. But expected. While her broad reading scores when up almost a grade level from last year, she has some subscores that are very concerning and indicate a need for explicit OG remediation.

                    She had the WJIV test of oral language. She did great on picture vocabulary, oral comprehension, segmentation, and retrieval fluency (standard scores and grade/age equivalents all WNL). Her sound blending and sound awareness were very low (grade level 1.0 and K.5, SS 88 and 62).

                    She had the WJIV tests of achievement too. She is behind in all areas (as compared to her age - grade 3.7). When compared to her placement (I consider her a 2nd grader) - she's only behind in reading. But her subtests show major weakness -- spelling and word reading fluency were the lowest at 1.5 and 1.7. Here writing samples were great at 3.5. She is super creative and has no problem getting her thoughts on paper if you don't correct for spelling and such. She did better when she knew she was reading and spelling nonsense words (2.3 and 2.5) so that shows phonetic instruction with AAR has been helpful, but not explicit enough.

                    Her math scores were somewhat low, I think that is mostly due to where we are in math -- we're just over halfway through grade 2 in R&S. How far do the available lesson plans go for math in SC? I might switch her over if they are available for the full 2nd grade, but I can't remember. She does have more trouble with math facts than A. We still have to review 8-10 families frequently for example.

                    My husband is stressed a bit. He wonders if we should put her in school. He wonders if having one child in school would lighten the load on me. It would but not her -- she is my easiest child and she helps manage my youngest so much. I also doubt she is far enough behind to get much help in public school. So for now we are set on keeping all three home, but Barton better work. So the pressure is on some for sure. He tends to see her as flippant and not putting forth enough effort and has difficulty seeing her as a kid with true learning issues. I'm getting to where I can see them, she just presents so much differently than her brothers.

                    So I'll be re-thinking our educational plans. For now, AAR/AAS are going to be replaced with Barton for both big kids. And Barton will definitely be the plan for my youngest. However, we have two days before my trip and I don't have the right levels of Barton to begin -- so we will just do math and penmanship for the next two days. We're going for a hike this afternoon with some co-op friends. I'll come back refreshed from my trip and we'll figure this mess out.

                    I haven't broken the news to the kiddos that we are switching back to Barton (back for A, new for C). Praying the tears will be minimal. At least I know it is truly necessary now.
                    Just sending you hugs. You know I'm going to be in Barton land with you, so we can be solidarity sisters together. I'm still tossing around the idea of AAS. (Why? Because Barton is as boring as watching paint dry --- but it works. This is me being petulant.)

                    Our psychologist suggested some sort of reward for Barton. My Thomas simply wants a milkshake. And as Anita says, "A milkshake he will receive."

                    Good point for R&S lesson plans .... both of my boys scored lower on the math as well, but we decided it was because they hadn't been exposed to some of the concepts yet. (multiplication/division)
                    Plans for 2019-20

                    DD1 - 24 - College Grad and rocking her own bakery business
                    DD2 - 13 - 8A Louisville HLS Cottage School and MPOA
                    DS3 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                    DS4 - 11 - 4A Louisville HLS Cottage School
                    DD5 - 7 - MP2, Louisville HLS Cottage School
                    DS6 - 5 - MP K

                    [url]www.thekennedyadventures.com/all-about-our-memoria-press-homeschool[/url]

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Testing for my middle child

                      Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post
                      Just sending you hugs. You know I'm going to be in Barton land with you, so we can be solidarity sisters together. I'm still tossing around the idea of AAS. (Why? Because Barton is as boring as watching paint dry --- but it works. This is me being petulant.)

                      Our psychologist suggested some sort of reward for Barton. My Thomas simply wants a milkshake. And as Anita says, "A milkshake he will receive."

                      Good point for R&S lesson plans .... both of my boys scored lower on the math as well, but we decided it was because they hadn't been exposed to some of the concepts yet. (multiplication/division)
                      After having done both AAS and Barton, I can say Barton is better, hands down, no question. In AAS there would be things like teaching that the sound /z/ is usually spelled with an se at the end of a word. But then there would be a random word that ends in ze in the list and the student would have to memorize that one exception. There were also other little things that were annoying but I can't recall exactly what. AAS is a great program, Barton is just better. Doing AAS and Barton at the same time would be overkill.

                      I've been marathon watching Barton training videos for the last few days (done with levels 1 and 2, still need to watch level 3) and I'm realizing that not only is the methodology and sequence awesome but all those little hand gestures and stuff are crucial. I'm not sure I was doing it quite correctly when I was doing it before. Oh man though, Susan Barton has the most calm and steady voice and she speaks pretty slowly (I'm sure that is perfect for tutoring) but it makes me so sleepy. These videos and tough to sit through!

                      I'll have to figure out some rewards also. I'm really not very worried about the math, but I do need to be careful to make sure she is doing flash card drills daily.
                      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: Testing for my middle child

                        Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                        It is testing season on the SC forum!

                        You sound good, Susan. This seems to confirm your suspicions.

                        Your husband sounds like he cares about you, which is very sweet and good to hear. In our house my daughter is our "lark," and removing her from our academic day would have robbed the rest of us, so I understand your comments about your daughter. Moreover I am almost certain she would not have remained quite so joyful in a different setting.

                        You can find R&S 2 plans via SC 3 (R&S 2, units 1, 2, 3) and SC 4 (R&S 3, units 4, 5) in the Individual Lesson Plans by Subject, scroll to near the bottom of the page.

                        If you can, plan to add quick spelling, reading, and arithmetic flash cards reviews or standing drill contests or games -- whichever everyone will enjoy most or dread least -- a second time each day.

                        It is very good to hear about her stronger areas including her language and love of generating writing.
                        So I had a great trip. I'm relaxed and refreshed. I've been home since Sunday and have been binge watching Barton training videos. I'm hoping we can re-start school tomorrow.

                        I also had my oldest's IEP meeting yesterday (he needs an IEP to be able to apply for some grants here in NC). At least as far as the public schools are concerned, he no longer has a learning disability (you need to have a 15 point gap in standard scores between cognitive scores and achievement scores). It's exciting to see that gap close. It is very clear he needs more structure and more practice doing non-preferred tasks though. For him that means drawing, cutting, arts and crafts, writing neatly and discussing what he has read or has been read to him. We also need to work more on consistent home routines and increasing his demands at home. The same could be said for all three of my children really.

                        So once I get Barton set up and going, I need to figure out what more structure and increased demands will look like through the summer. I'm almost certain that we will do SC 3 as written (except for spelling and phonics) next year. I think that will provide good structure for us. I'm not positive what we'll do through the summer. Barton, regular math, NAC 1, maybe I'll go back to SC writing book 1 Bible edition. I think I'll drop copybook for now. I'll try to keep recitation, reading aloud, and hopefully a little science. My youngest will continue with SC B. We are one lesson away from finishing STT. I'm not sure if I should go with regular MSTT now or wait and do the literature with SC 3. I think I'm leaning toward doing literature with SC 3 and just not have formal literature until it begins in week 8 of STT. Not flipping back and forth between lesson plans would be so nice. If I did that everything would be SC 3 except for math and Barton. I figure I'd just skip the phonics portions in SC MSTT.

                        I am almost relieved to have to go back to Barton. At least I won't be second guessing myself anymore (or I shouldn't be).
                        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


                          #13
                          Re: Testing for my middle child

                          Hooray! Good to have you back. We appreciate Barton for children who need it. This sounds like a good plan.

                          I'm in Louisville at MP this week. When Michelle T and I went to lunch, we were talking about (no surprise) teaching reading, phonics, and the role of Barton for our students with moderate-to-severe dyslexia. Michelle attended an in-person event with Susan Barton.

                          Michelle said that some HLS students with dyslexia need no further instruction that FSR taught correctly and fully. She says there is a webinar on this. I will post it when I have the link. Others at HLS supplement with Barton once weekly during the school year an then up to three times weekly during the summers.

                          Your decision to tackle those "non-preferred tasks" (such a euphemism!) is very good.

                          SC 3 sounds like a great plan. I think he will like the American history. I hope you love it!

                          Comment

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