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Thread: Helping with placement

  1. #1
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    Default Helping with placement

    Hello all!

    We have been an MP family for about 3-4 years now. My typical learners are progressing just fine...but I need help with one of my kids in particular!

    I have long appreciated this forum, and I have many times copied and created documents of ideas for teaching from all of the wonderful advice here. This year, I am finally realizing that I think my sanity could benefit from the structured, slower pace of simply classical instead of trying to modify and go down levels in the regular core. I have partly realized that because we started SC, level A with my 5 year old son whom we adopted 6 months ago, and it is perfect and so wonderful. We are loving it and will just continue along and see where we end up! Of course, I have to remind myself it's ok that we're "behind" according to his age. He is developmentally a 3 year old, so we'll start there. We're good with him...just keep moving along in the SC levels.

    I love SC so much for my son that I'm wondering now if my daughter could benefit...here is where we are with her and where we've been. My second daughter turns 9 next month...and we have struggled since the beginning. She has been tested and we have been given diagnoses...ADHD, ODD, dysgraphia, dyslexia, dyscalculia. We don't medicate her yet, but are not against the idea as she ages, so far in her life we have put in place therapies and such to help her with areas that she struggles. She is off the charts with her verbal skills and her auditory skills. VERY asynchronous learner. She has the capability to learn at high levels, but her skills are low. Here is where we are in each major skill area:

    READING: We have done 2 phonics programs completely through (AAR and Logic of English), and because of her auditory skills she can read in context because of guessing, but if I give her isolated words, she often messes up on the simplest of words, she still sounds out CVC words. It's super frustrating, but I feel like she STILL needs phonics or something to help her fluency. We have been trying MP2 with modifications this year, but we are barely making it through Sarah Noble. I don't think Little House in the Big Woods is going to be a go for us this year. She is just not anywhere near fluent, but because of her high intelligence, she reacts strongly to "baby" books (easy readers). She cannot write a sentence on her own at all...she can say them and I scribe for her in the workbooks. She then has to copy the answers, but it is very, very slow and super messy and often still full of mistakes.

    MATH: Goodness, we struggle here. This is our single biggest fight of the school day, and where the ODD/anxiety just gets us. We are just starting 2nd grade math and are making progress, but slowly. But I do at least feel this area we know we need to keep plugging along. I've created ideas for helping her from many of the posts on this board! She can't tell time, doesn't understand place value very well, and we just now got our basic facts down 1-10...I keep trying to encourage her and myself that we are making progress, but wow, this is hard.

    SPELLING: So, if it's not a CVC word that she can phonetically sound out, she can't spell the word. She can't spell common words like from/for, etc. because they are not phonetic. We use the spelling in MP2 for reading/phonics practice, not actual spelling because it's just so far ahead of what she can do. We just dropped spelling all together, but I feel like I need to do something here...I've been looking at ordering SC spelling and writing for her so we can start working on this area.

    LATIN: She has an older sister in MP4, so this daughter, Ava, asked for Latin this year and we've started Prima Latina. She has actually done fairly well with this! I've been really pleasantly surprised. Of course, spelling is not good, but she knows every single Latin word from Latin to English and English to Latin, has been ok at understanding the grammar and knows all the prayers. Also, she likes it! Praise the Lord! She feels successful and smart because she's learning Latin like her big sister, and so this has been a huge answer to prayer. I think we'll actually finish PL this year, much to my surprise.

    In other areas: she loves listening to books, she likes hanging out during her older sister's subjects, always sits in on Greek Myths starting last year to this year (MP3 and MP4 of her sister's cores), and she's a fast memorizer, so she knows a lot of the recitations from just listening to her sister.

    I guess I just don't know what to do...does she sound like a good fit for the SC 4 that's coming out soon? I think the skills would be where she actually is...what should we do between now and next fall to be ready for SC4...do you think I should do some of the SC spelling and writing books?

    Should I progress with Latin with her since she loves it? Do Latina Cristiana 1/2 pace like we do for the MP3 core?

    She has a little sister coming up behind her. I was planning on ordering MP2 consumables for her, but if SC4 also goes to MP3, could they combine in SC4 (provided that doesn't cause sibling issues?...I may just keep my younger DD in MP2 next year anyway).

    If I can really really focus on skills the rest of this year and next year going through SC4, my hope would be to do MP3 with Ava. But, would Mammals already be done? And US States/Capitals? Of course, this could be me just wishing that we'll get to a place where basic skills are mastered and she can read to learn...I know I need to take it one year at a time and not worry so much about the future, but that is so hard! For whatever reason, it's easier with my son, who actually has a global developmental delay than with this daughter who is bright, but is held back by learning disabilities and emotional difficulties.

    Ok, well, that's me mostly just thinking out loud! ANY advice is appreciated. Homeschooling her has been so good for her, but so hard for me! I've read Simply Classical several times, and I just have to say what a BLESSING it is to our family to have this resource. Thank you for all your hard work in creating it!

    Emily
    Emily J
    DD (10)-4M core
    DD (8)-2nd grade core
    DD (7)-1st grade core plus joining in for Prima Latina
    DS (5)-Simply Classical Level A

  2. #2
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    Aug 2015
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    Default Re: Helping with placement

    I would think that SC3 would be a better overall fit than SC4.

    I would look at SC Writing 1 Bible edition to start now. This was actually scheduled in SC2, but I think it might fit her better. You can also increase the speed of lessons if necessary.

    SC3 would slow down rod and staff math 2 to her current operating speed. Then you wouldn't feel behind and you wouldn't be tweaking the schedule nearly as much. It takes grade 2 and covers it over 2 years.

    Reading. I hear ya! (Refer to one of my previous posts, ha). Courage of Sarah Noble tripped us up. I skipped Little House and jumped to Beatrix Potter. He's doing much better. Maybe we'll get back to Little House. Maybe we'll listen to it on CD and complete the lit guide. I don't know, but I hear ya on that.

    Anita and Cheryl suggested a variety of lit books that I already had on my shelf (or any library worth it's salt would have most of them). I figure if Little House is a no go for us this year, I'll offer him a choice of three of those books. He chooses one and we read and discuss. Then we choose another. No pressure, just continue practicing at his level.

    Spelling. Again, I feel ya! We started with SWO C. Fail. Moved back to B. Fail. We've moved back to SC1 spelling. No amazing results either. It's his most challenging subject for sure. You might compare traditional spelling 1 with SC Spelling 1 and see which you prefer. Traditional Spelling might be more open and go with the phonics lessons right on the same page. SC Spelling would have more VAKT built right in.

    Latin. Rock on. She's good at it. She enjoys it. Let her continue at her pace.

    That's my 2 cents, I'm sure you'll get more feedback tomorrow.
    Last edited by Colomama; 01-22-2018 at 03:42 AM.
    Married to DH for 11 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS9- Simply Classical 3 / Grade 2 Classic Core, DD7- Grade 1 Classic Core, DD 5- Simply Classical C

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Richmond, VA
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    Default Re: Helping with placement

    Quote Originally Posted by Colomama View Post
    I would think that SC3 would be a better overall fit than SC4.

    I would look at SC Writing 1 Bible edition to start now. This was actually scheduled in SC2, but I think it might fit her better. You can also increase the speed of lessons if necessary.

    SC3 would slow down rod and staff math 2 to her current operating speed. Then you wouldn't feel behind and you wouldn't be tweaking the schedule nearly as much. It takes grade 2 and covers it over 2 years.

    Reading. I hear ya! (Refer to one of my previous posts, ha). Courage of Sarah Noble tripped us up. I skipped Little House and jumped to Beatrix Potter. He's doing much better. Maybe we'll get back to Little House. Maybe we'll listen to it on CD and complete the lit guide. I don't know, but I hear ya on that.

    Anita and Cheryl suggested a variety of lit books that I already had on my shelf (or any library worth it's salt would have most of them). I figure if Little House is a no go for us this year, I'll offer him a choice of three of those books. He chooses one and we read and discuss. Then we choose another. No pressure, just continue practicing at his level.

    Spelling. Again, I feel ya! We started with SWO C. Fail. Moved back to B. Fail. We've moved back to SC1 spelling. No amazing results either. It's his most challenging subject for sure. You might compare traditional spelling 1 with SC Spelling 1 and see which you prefer. Traditional Spelling might be more open and go with the phonics lessons right on the same page. SC Spelling would have more VAKT built right in.

    Latin. Rock on. She's good at it. She enjoys it. Let her continue at her pace.

    That's my 2 cents, I'm sure you'll get more feedback tomorrow.
    ColoMama: For some reason I missed that your son was in MP2 — WOW! Congratulations! That’s a far cry from your struggles in K I know it’s probably not perfect, smooth sailing, but it’s still laudable.

    We are just starting MP2 in the next few weeks (or months, depending on how all this moving stuff goes). I know my daughter can handle it; I worry a little about my son. He’ll do excellently with everything (even Latin) but book studies are a little intimidating for us still. Pondering if I should mix up his MP2 with SC3/4. We have time (he’s behind his sister and we are just starting More Storytime Treasures, which should last us awhile) so I think we’ll reassess when we get to the end of that.


    Emily:
    1) you are an amazing mom
    2) you are doing this right
    3) take care of yourself — this is a hard job
    4) Cheryl will give you outstanding advice (we keep putting her on the spot, don’t we?)
    5) Patience is your friend here. Don’t rush and try to “catch up”. Your daughter will go at her own pace.
    6) I’m going to put in a plug for XtraMath. It’s free, online, easy, and keeps records for you on your child’s progress. My kids love it. And it gives me time to work with another child while they are “doing Math with Mr C” (the onscreen teacher). XtraMath is basically just drill and repeat until your student masters the material. There is an easy placement test to determine skill level and — as I said — records are kept for you with weekly reports emailed to you. Highly recommend. It has helped my daughter (and me) to see where she struggles. And it has delighted my son (who loves to “race the teacher”). One session takes about five minutes or so.

    Best of blessings to you.
    "Do not let the past disturb you; 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, MP1 (Special Needs)
    Girl Friday: 7, MP1 (Special Needs)
    Silly Cowboy: 5, breathing down the neck of MPK
    Pink Baby Bunting: 18 months, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

  4. #4
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    Mar 2012
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    1,778

    Default Re: Helping with placement

    Good morning, Emily!

    I know what you mean about global developmental delay being "easier" for planning purposes! I am so happy your little guy has SC A and beyond.

    Your middle daughter has undeniable challenges, but she also has much going for her!

    It seems you are at a crossroads. You will need to decide if you want to place her in the full SC track longterm, in which case she should build skills Jan.-Aug. and then begin SC 3 or 4 in the fall, ... or if you would prefer to carve her own SC/MP path.

    Both have advantages:

    SC Track-
    If you proceed with, say, SC 3 in the fall after she learns to read, spell, write, and calculate/tell time Jan.-Aug., she will have the built-in asynchronous features, such as studying topics of American history, States & Capitals ahead of schedule and with lessened writing. This pattern continues, and in SC 5-6 which (spoiler alert) can be taught in either One-Year or Two-Year editions, she can "catch up" in ways that will be satisfying, while she continues at a more remedial pace with reading, spelling, writing, and math. If you taught from SC 3 in the fall, she would re-study Prima, but this time with correct spelling and writing which will assist her English grammar, writing, reading, and spelling skills. In the SC track she WILL learn to write.


    SC/MP
    If, however, you already know and love MP Cores, and your daughter works well "auditing" courses with her older sister as with Greek Myths, Latin -- (and yes, you might next teach LC 1/2 next orally), then you could consider 40-50% remediation and 50-60% "enrichment" because of her high verbal/auditory abilities. Based on everything you told us, I would NOT combine her with her younger sister for anything; rather, use SC materials for remediation and MP materials -- perhaps with her older sister -- for knowledge, memory work, and recitations to whatever extent she can manage this. It might be science only or only Classical Studies, but she is ready and will need that boost of confidence gained by studying "ahead" as you remediate the other areas.

    Your call as to which of the above two options will better suit her and your family longterm.

    Either way, right now ...

    1. Writing and Reading
    She might do very well with SC Writing Book One. With 34 weeks of predictable, broken-down writing lessons, you will teach one brief lesson daily per week for at least 17 weeks, and then accelerate IF she is writing good sentences by then. If not, accelerate around 25th week and you will finish by fall. Purchase A Child's Garden of Bible Stories as the accompanying reader for her. Work through this together. It will help the ODD as well, as the truths soften her a little and remind her she is loved with an everlasting love.


    2. Spelling
    She might respond well to SC Spelling Book One, in which we break down even CVC words into phonological sounds through sound-by-sound dictation. We emphasize sight words through VAKT methods, so those sight words are learned. This will help her own writing. Teach alongside Core Skills: Spelling K. Also 34 Weeks, this can be accelerated Week 17 or 25 to finish by fall. You might also look at Barton Reading and Spelling as either your core or as a supplement. With her diagnosed learning differences, this might be something that could help her. Traditional Spelling One will move too quickly for her skills right now but might be a good option after SC Spelling Books One and Two. She may always need her own unique program for spelling, and this is ok. Just do not neglect it ever. She cannot "coast" in this critical area. Bonus: research links improved spelling instruction to improved reading.

    Math -
    Consider using the SC R&S Arithmetic 2 plans. This will be half-pace, which will seem tedious at first and maybe even unnecessary, but as you know, placing her on an artificial "conveyor belt" to slide her forward without ever digging in to truly gain mastery is not the solution.

    Classical Studies, Enrichment -
    Until fall, continue to include her in advanced studies via auditory/verbal methods. She can take quizzes and tests in these areas orally. If you want, you can allow her to create through art or demonstrate through some other means her understanding. Is she especially good with sculpting? She could re-create Athena. Does she enjoy drama? She might recite with great feeling a lengthy poem that resonates with her. Appeal to her talents. This daughter may stretch you creatively, artistically, or in some other way.

    Let us know if we can help further.
    Last edited by cherylswope; 01-22-2018 at 10:16 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Helping with placement

    Btw, if you have not yet read this book and have time to do so, you may find many parts helpful!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Helping with placement

    Chiming back in to highly recommend SC Writing.

    It seems so basic and easy on the surface, but it is sooo good. I have seen improvement with my son. He still requires a model to copy to ensure proper spelling, but his ability to create a complete sentence orally has shown dramatic improvement.
    Married to DH for 11 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS9- Simply Classical 3 / Grade 2 Classic Core, DD7- Grade 1 Classic Core, DD 5- Simply Classical C

  7. #7
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    Dec 2012
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    Default Re: Helping with placement

    Thank you all so much for the encouragement and advice! Taking your time to help here on this board is a blessing, to me and so many others! It is appreciated!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Colomama View Post

    Anita and Cheryl suggested a variety of lit books that I already had on my shelf (or any library worth it's salt would have most of them). I figure if Little House is a no go for us this year, I'll offer him a choice of three of those books. He chooses one and we read and discuss. Then we choose another. No pressure, just continue practicing at his level.
    Colomama...I was reading your thread with the book suggestions before I even posted and wrote those all down! I own a number of them too! I do think we're going to wait on Little House for now. We'll finish Sarah Noble, with lots of hand holding, but we'll get it done!

    Cheryl, your feedback was very helpful! I think what struck me the most was your comment about me being at a crossroads with this daughter. That is very true. What I have loved most about MP is that the plans are done for me, the materials are lovely and focus on beautiful things, the skills progress logically, and I can see where we are heading. Not having to worry about pulling all these things together gives me time to truly enjoy my kids and the "extras" that I want to do with them: music, board games, cooking, etc. So, that leads me into thinking maybe I do want to put my daughter into the SC track. I spend so much time on modifying for her that I then second guess what we're doing, if she's learning "enough" and I will be completely honest here: I often just feel like a failure when it comes to educating her. Maybe following SC will help with all of that and give her and me time to enjoy school together instead of it being a fight every single day...partly because of her struggles, but being honest, partly because I also struggle with feeling like I should be able to "fix" her. I've read your book, and that comment that you write about not being able to "fix" your precious kids really hit home to me. I am at a crossroads because I don't think I can keep going with the extreme modifying I'm doing...I feel like we've reached a point where modifying further is just basically reading-aloud (which we add in anyways). So maybe she and I would enjoy having that structure of school written out for us...we follow it, and all the other things are for pure fun and together time. I am just struggling with the extreme contrast in this child: she is truly so intelligent, but her learning disabilities are baffling and a true roadblock to her and her emotional struggles VERY often completely derail her.

    I'm rambling...I ordered Simply Classical Writing books 1 and 2 last night. I'll order the plans here soon so we can begin as soon as we receive the books, at the same time as we begin ordering for next school year (one of our complications is that we are missionaries in rural Mexico, so I have to wait for people to visit and have them bring me books!) I have on hand All About Spelling, thanks for the reminder not to let this slide. We started Level 1 today...just pure phonograms at this point. I think it will have the added benefit of reviewing phonics (again!).

    I am going to look over the SC levels again very closely and figure out where to start with Ava, probably customizing for her, but putting her where her reading/math/writing skills are and then I only customize the enrichment (possibly letting her continue in Latin for her self-esteem...)

    There's nothing quite like this journey with our kids for keeping us in prayer for wisdom! Thank you again for all of your help and testimonies!
    Emily J
    DD (10)-4M core
    DD (8)-2nd grade core
    DD (7)-1st grade core plus joining in for Prima Latina
    DS (5)-Simply Classical Level A

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Helping with placement

    I'm pretty sure a nice long reply I wrote here was just lost! It's just as well, because I definitely rambled some. FIRST and again, THANK YOU all so very much for taking your precious time to reply here and help me and so many others. Truly an appreciated ministry!

    Colomama: I wrote down those books you mentioned in another post! I have most of them, so it's helpful to think we could have a place to go before Little House. We'll limp our way to the end of Sarah Noble!

    Cheryl, thank you. You are absolutely right! I am at a crossroads with this daughter. She has stretched me as a mom already in so many ways, and I'm so grateful for her. I think why I finally wrote here is because what I love about MP is that it is all pulled together for me in a beautiful way that gives me time to enjoy my kids and all the extras! I am struggling with her, though, because I have to so heavily modify everything. Then I struggle with wondering if she's doing enough, and I know I'm not supporting her skill advancement like I should. Honestly, this sounds so horrible, but I'm super frustrated we are still stuck on skills. Her high intelligence tricks me into thinking she's okay, and then we come crashing down when we have to work on basic skills and our day completely breaks down. Her emotional struggles clash with me feeling inadequate as her teacher and we just go downhill from there. I have a hard time knowing how hard to push her, and I feel like I am finally coming to the acceptance phase that her fairly severe learning disabilities are very real and her intelligence masks them but doesn't eliminate them. I don't know if that makes sense, but I think that's the best way to describe it. Combine in some very difficult emotional issues, panic attacks and such, and we are flailing. I think the SC track will help me, and therefore, her. She'll keep advancing and I will know what to do, when to do it with her, and we can do school and then move on to all our family together time that we enjoy: read alouds, board games, cooking, exploring the outdoors, etc.

    I will admit: I keep thinking I can fix her and then we just move along like everyone else. I'm struggling with the thought that maybe we won't ever be over these issues. Just a hard day and an honest confession.
    Emily J
    DD (10)-4M core
    DD (8)-2nd grade core
    DD (7)-1st grade core plus joining in for Prima Latina
    DS (5)-Simply Classical Level A

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Helping with placement

    Quote Originally Posted by EmilyJ View Post
    I'm pretty sure a nice long reply I wrote here was just lost!
    Saved it for you!
    Michael
    Memoria Press

  10. #10
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    Aug 2015
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    Default Re: Helping with placement

    So true about wanting to fix our kids. I think we all struggle with that.

    Some people cringe at the sight of a schedule with all those little boxes to check. I think it's reassuring. I just work through the schedule. Some days take two days to get through. But we just plod along. I'm reassured that my SC child is getting 'enough'.

    We went through a full assessment earlier this year and discovered my son has a low IQ. I was shocked, but it forced me to come to terms with his ability. It forced me to accept that we'll never 'catch up' per se.

    God knows right where he's at, He put him there. Now, it's my turn to accept that. That's hard, but that's part of this journey.

    Just know you're not alone. Plenty of us feel your same emotions. It's not something you come to terms with once and move on; it's something that you grapple with frequently. It's the silent inner doubt. It starts as a tiny seed and grows. Then you have to grapple with it again.

    Prayers for inner peace as you work through this.
    Married to DH for 11 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS9- Simply Classical 3 / Grade 2 Classic Core, DD7- Grade 1 Classic Core, DD 5- Simply Classical C

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Helping with placement

    Quote Originally Posted by Colomama View Post
    So true about wanting to fix our kids. I think we all struggle with that.

    Some people cringe at the sight of a schedule with all those little boxes to check. I think it's reassuring. I just work through the schedule. Some days take two days to get through. But we just plod along. I'm reassured that my SC child is getting 'enough'.

    We went through a full assessment earlier this year and discovered my son has a low IQ. I was shocked, but it forced me to come to terms with his ability. It forced me to accept that we'll never 'catch up' per se.

    God knows right where he's at, He put him there. Now, it's my turn to accept that. That's hard, but that's part of this journey.

    Just know you're not alone. Plenty of us feel your same emotions. It's not something you come to terms with once and move on; it's something that you grapple with frequently. It's the silent inner doubt. It starts as a tiny seed and grows. Then you have to grapple with it again.

    Prayers for inner peace as you work through this.
    Echoing this.

    We have made incredible progress but we still have big challenges. My son is never going to be “normal” when relating to other people or understanding the nuances of language. My daughter’s processing speed and ability to independently navigate basic processes remains slow. I wish it weren’t that way. But it is.

    In the meantime I watch them grow and MARVEL in gratitude. They are amazing people. I have to adjust myself to them as much as they have to adjust themselves to their world. That translation is the journey.
    "Do not let the past disturb you; 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, MP1 (Special Needs)
    Girl Friday: 7, MP1 (Special Needs)
    Silly Cowboy: 5, breathing down the neck of MPK
    Pink Baby Bunting: 18 months, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

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