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Thread: Adjusting expectations for rising 3rd grader.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Adjusting expectations for rising 3rd grader.

    So I am putting together my August lesson is allergy season (grass capital of the world pbbth!) and we are stuck in doors and drowsy so it is a good time to get all my scheduling/ordering done.

    I know I have chatted before about my youngest ds who is now 8.
    First time I have had to deal with a non fluent reader so it has been a bit of a turn.

    We are waiting on an eval...but now we have been told we won't get in until November.
    I am certainly not going to just sit around until then doing nothing with him.
    He started last fall reading just his first name and not always recognizing that...we are up to shaky cvc words now ..still swapping vowel sounds and flipping b/d/p...we are just finishing book C but struggling. He is mostly compliant and has a good attitude, he does enjoy curling up and reading Little Bear and Frog and Toad with me...with lots of prompting for the aforementioned issues.

    We have been working slowly through some 2nd grade materials we were given and the kindergarten/1st phonics we had...

    Math has been slow going mainly because of writing... he is a wonderful pen in constant motion all day artist but sitting down for any writing has been conceptually math is pretty good but I would not say "on grade level" simply because we have not worked through the 2nd grade books...

    We have all the third grade core materials from the older kids and several 2nd grade lit books we did not get to with him...we ended up doing Little House out loud and the Animal Folk tales buddy reading because he so wanted to do reading lessons other than just the phonic stuff...he mostly read the CVC words and a few sight words...but I hesitate to schedule 3rd grade work for him in August even thought he would be "third grade age"

    I know if we did all the third grade work orally he would understand and be able to answer questions...his vocab and comprehension is excellent but obviously I want to work on fluency in reading and writing...while the read aloud route worked with my older ds while he had vision problems I knew he "read" just that he could not "see"...with ds8 I worry I would put the cart before the horse and he would miss out developmentally. In my head I sort of planned on him being there by fall but for his confidence and my sanity he is just not ready even for the new moderate pace schedule unless I read/scribe most everything. So I am thinking the 3rd grade core needs to stay on the shelf for now.

    Of the second grade stuff we have been given we have not yet used Sarah Noble and Beatrix Potter...we have never had any Story Time treasures so he has not done those...he has picked up most of dd's Latin by being in the room... although he has not had his own books yet...we have read aloud almost all the enrichment books which dh has brought home from his library and we have done the patterns of nature book aloud and he has filled two nature journal books as that is a favorite activity he now just does it daily in his own large artist sketch book... he is certainly academically inclined...he likes learning, pesters me with questions and debates his siblings.

    Looking over the SC3 readiness assessment he is about 100 percent in everything except the reading/spelling/writing where he is about there in reading but none of the spelling really...dictation/spelling is a huge mystery those vowel sound are tricky...(curse you Pacific North West and your clipped shifted vowel sounds, I have not been called Maaaggie since I the last time I was in the Midwest ha)...and the writing ...he makes lovely letters but can't connect does not seem to be a fine motor issue...he makes complicated delicate intricate Lego and art creations...though I did just pick up that amazing squishy pencil grip thing someone here recommended to correct his death over grip and it is helping quite a bit even if he grumbles about it...he can copy sentences I write but the letters are never joined without over the shoulder prompting...and he often switches to block capitals if I am not looks decorative but not cursive for sure.

    We really are needing that eval is thoroughly checked by our fantastic eye doc twice a year as he appears to be at high risk for developing nearsightedness...she worked through all of big brother's and sis's issues so we know she would catch it if there was an acuity or tracking issue but he checks out at this point as fine. He does do the oddest turning/tipping of his book and when he uses his finger to follow along or try to sound out words he holds it a good 3 inches below the word.

    Anyhow I am rambling off track of my question ha rather standard for me!

    I don't have any funds to buy a lot but I am trying to figure out what to do between now and November. We have FSR D we can use after we finish our last few pages in C...he is young enough he does not mind working in the summer with me...

    I am wondering just working slowly over the summer/early fall for an hour or so day using FSR D/classical phonics along with starting Math 2 and keeping at it with cursive...would that be enough until late November then based on the eval deciding how to move forward maybe starting a core in Jan?

    He will be busy...he is gonna get tons of time in the garden this summer and playing outside... camping in August and we do our family vacations in September...obviously I will keep reading aloud everyday to him as will dh...we have a family habit of nature sketching and walks together and he and dd younger, my attention butterfly, are so attached...they paint and sketch and sing folk songs and listen to classical music and so many audio books together and look art books, they love those MP art cards, so they do lots of enrichment type stuff together (they are ridiculously cute together and like to wear matching clothes too )...and he has recently begun joining in piano lessons with her as well and now plays every day, and he still manages to spend hours and hours alone in his Lego corner designing and building things so yeah ha he is busy ...

    I guess I just hate the idea of waiting about in Limbo with him...even after all these years homeschooling and not being in the classroom anymore I struggle with the whole "official" grade level/placement thing...esp as in 3rd our state requires testing...I don't even care where he gets placed other 3 are all asynchronous due to their learning issues..but the whole not knowing is making my skin crawl and toes tap with impatience and the restless need to "do something".

    Any ideas on things to support him that I may be missing while we are in a holding pattern? Or do I just need to relax and breathe ha!

    *coming back to say ahhhhh tomes...I wrote tomes! So sorry! The little ones are at church with dh and the bigs are sick in bed still asleep at 1! and so it was quiet...usually they keep me succinct with their interruptions ha! I did not realize how long it was until I posted!
    Last edited by MaggieAnnie; 06-18-2017 at 03:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Richmond, VA

    Default Re: Adjusting expectations for rising 3rd grader.

    I love your "tome"!

    Succinctly I will say: deep breath, slow down, all is not lost. Step back and take your time this summer forming a plan. We don't make good decisions when we're worried. We don't make good decisions out of fear. Take a bit, put your mom-educator hat back on and think through this in love and logic. Have some fun with it and put together a great plan for him that satisfies you both. You know what to do! You're a professional! He's not "failing", "losing ground" or "getting worse". He's becoming the incredible, unique young man he was designed and intended to be. And he's in good hands.
    "Do not let the past disturb you -- just leave everything in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and begin again with joy."
    ~ St Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    "Pray, hope, and don't worry."
    ~ St Padre Pio

    Boy Wonder: 9, Simply Classical, Level 2
    Girl Friday: 7, MP1
    Silly Cowboy: 5, JrK drop out
    Pink Baby Bunting: 1, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Re: Adjusting expectations for rising 3rd grader.


    Clearly you already have enrichment covered for August!

    Now you need a plan for the core areas, which also happen to be his greatest areas of need at the moment: spelling, decoding, penmanship, arithmetic. Unless you plan to scribe his way through his academic life, it is time to allow yourself to focus on these!

    I agree with your thinking that 1) you need to re-evaluate entering MP 3, even though he is bright and comprehends well, and 2) you need a clear academic plan for August. Even if his evaluation occurred in November at the earliest, you would need to wait for the report, read and process the report possibly over the holidays, and then create a plan for January.

    So you have an entire semester to work on this. The question is, how might you do this with the least cost to you and the greatest efficiency for him?

    Use your FSR C with coordinating Core Skills: Phonics K, 1. Consider purchasing the SC 1 plans for this (~$6-8). Use everything you already have available: Classical Phonics, Phonogram cards, letter tiles, alphabet posters, slant board, white board. Plan on 50-60 min. daily for this critical "class," broken into two daily segments if needed. You can even teach spelling and dictation with the CVC words he knows best. Add words he knows next-best, and so on, but avoid having him spell words he does not yet read well.

    SC Spelling Book One
    Teach as written, 10-15 min/day.

    Go back to the beginning on this, 10-15 min/day. Teach from NAC 1 SC 2 lesson plans this time. ($6-8)

    Yes, teach from R&S 2. Have him do the writing portions, such as tracing numbers. 35-45 min/day.

    Written Expression:
    If you can add SC Writing Book One, I would do this. Choose Bible, because he probably has the Bible knowledge in his mind already. Teach two lessons per week through the semester.

    You might find all of these skills accelerating by January, or you might find yourself needing to work through SC 2 phonics, writing, reading, and spelling for a semester. Even if you eventually shifted to the entire SC 3 to keep everything cohesive, the American history elements would keep you safely in the "3rd-4th" range of knowledge, while the reading, writing, spelling, and arithmetic might be exactly what he needs at that time.

    Whatever the eventual path, it seems you need to separate his phonics/reading/spelling/math instruction right now, as these are considerably lower. It is like breathing for you (and he) to retain all of the good grade-level+ enrichment for his enjoyment, so this can all stay, as time permits.

    You might also need to allocate more funds for this child, as you might if he needed a tutor (except you will be the tutor!). These could be critical academic years for him before adolescence.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: Adjusting expectations for rising 3rd grader.

    Ha! Anita thank you. Breathing again! Yes there is a bit of fear I need to let go...mostly because of the big medical issues with the older kiddos I worry about him being forgotten. You are so right I can not plan well from a place of worry and I have been spinning my wheels. So moving forward only question is can my " mom-educator hat" look like a Sherlock Holmes hat?
    'Cause I think I could rock the 'deductive' look. All cool and collected sans the pipe.

    Cheryl...that helpful. I knew what I wanted for him but not how to go forward and achieve it ...I had A +? =C and you gave me the B. I know that is a very workable and affordable plan for us. And yes I will need time to process no matter how the evals come building in breathing room for that is a good idea.

    We got some good news after I posted, after our last chat here following up on some of your suggestions I was able to get in touch with the local hospital board and the long story short is they were able to get some of our pending medical bills forgiven, not everything but enough to give us some wiggle room for school for the fall so I can get this kid budgeted properly!

    We will continue on with phonics/reading.

    The spelling looks perfect...the core 2 had been impossible.

    The writing book is good too, exactly where he is at...he won't like it ha but he needs the support...

    For penmanship I had been toying with going back to the beginning with NAC so that is just fine...

    My only follow up question is do you think just the regular lesson plans for Math are fine or is there a set from the SC that would be helpful?

    and everything else as you said is just life around here!

    So we will work on those things and based on the eval and 6 months of growth and tutoring see where were we are at after Christmas.

    Thanks for helping me work through it...I will look at getting updated lesson plans and the couple of books we don't have on the the first!

    Now I only need a crow bar to get him out of the Legos...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Default Re: Adjusting expectations for rising 3rd grader.

    Yes, the MP Arithmetic plans should work well. No need to swap for the SC plans for him.

    However, be sure to read the Teacher Manual ahead of time, prep the visual aids, use the flash cards and blacklines when suggested, and otherwise "over-teach" as needed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Default Re: Adjusting expectations for rising 3rd grader.

    Quote Originally Posted by cherylswope View Post
    Yes, the MP Arithmetic plans should work well. No need to swap for the SC plans for him.

    However, be sure to read the Teacher Manual ahead of time, prep the visual aids, use the flash cards and blacklines when suggested, and otherwise "over-teach" as needed.
    Sounds good, I will use them, thanks...oh boy "over teach" ha I jut had a very strong visceral memory my father and flash cards when I must have been about ds's age...heheh I used to giggle because at my eye level the top of the card aligned with his mustache and instead of paying attention I would pretend it was a caterpillar. I should invite Grampy over for math time!

    While a very early fluent reader I was definitely a late bloomer with math and writing...come to think of it my dad spent every evening at the table with me after dinner with those cards...I was not really good with math or the physical components of writing until high school... huh it is funny how you forget these things.

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