Kids are funny like that! You're still welcome here. So tell us, what's up? What's happening and making things hard, and how are you dealing with it?
I was actually editing to add a little bit more background/detail probably while you were typing that message. :-) But I'll add a little more about the specifics of what he's gone through and where he is now. This is going to be a little long (thanks for your patience...though I understand if you don't have time to read through this...just figure details help).
My youngest is my struggling learner. He went to public school KG (just like his older brothers, still there) but after a horrible first year I have been homeschooling him ever since (he's 9 now).
My older two (in public school) are both ahead, but I'll admit I worked a lot more with them in the early years, and limited their screen time more (it was easier to limit their screen time because they were both so close in age, while it's harder to let older children have what I felt was a positive amount (as they were communicating with friends, and doing all sort of creative things on minecraft, as well as use for cartoons and such). I wonder how much that played into it (yeah, big time mommy guilt here). Another thing that played into it was that he preferred songs to stories at bedtime, and didn't gravitate towards being read do during the day (and forcing a toddler to sit and listen to stories didn't seem like a good idea). When he did finally let me read stories to him at bedtime, he liked mainly first person stories and asked the characters questions, so I ended up add-libbing the stories to answer his questions a lot, which I didn't realize at the time was not allowing him to make the connections between the words and the letters that he needed. It also meant he never did what my older kids did (memorize stories...another building block to reading). And he also didn't like the ABC books and Number books that my older kids had enjoyed. A lot of little things like that.
Add to it my mom was terminally ill at this time, and I was distracted, and KG really just crept up on me. We didn't do preschool because I've never thought that was necessary, and it wasn't for my older kids. He was excited about school at four, but at 5 when I really started to try to work on his ABCs to prep him for school (realizing he didn't even know them all yet...) he pushed back hard and started to not want to go to school so I backed off because I didn't want to jeapardize that. I told myself "Well, my older kids were several grade levels ahead, so maybe he's not that far behind and all this will be covered and he will do fine. But in my gut I knew he wasn't. Emotionally, he had trouble even spending time away from me at Vacation Bible School the summer before KG. I am not sure if redshirting was even an option as he has a Spring, not summer birthday...in hindsight I would have considered it.
And then, the first week of school, my mom died. So I took his crying before school to be grief, because he otherwise loved his teacher and classmates. But the crying before school continued throughout the rest of the year. And academically he seemed stalled. His teacher kept sending him home with extra practice activities to help try to catch him up in reading and math, but he seemed burned out, and those never went well, and I gave up trying on them because it seemed to me like he needed to play more and recover than have extra school piled on after school (and more crying over having to do that).
In our last parent-teacher meeting I asked about how much play happened in the classroom, and she said that her and the other teachers were hoping they would be allowed to do more play based learning under a new administrator coming in, but right now they were discouraged from doing that. So at that point, I knew I wasn't sending him back. We looked into private schools, but they all seemed like he would be even more behind his classmates and might face a lot of academic pressure there. I decided to homeschool, but made my first priority building a love of learning and tearing down his fear of learning, and put academic achievement secondary to that. So, we've done a really flexible structure with lots of choice, lots of play built in, and low pressure. That means when he gets tired we take breaks and we don't do long homeschool days unless he just seems very engaged.
And it's worked...he's gone from crying for twenty minutes before attempting a short Bob Book at his reading level, to asking to read the Piggie and Elephant books first (yes, he's still on Piggie and Elephant books at 9, but he ENJOYS reading them.) He's gone from not being able to memorize ANYTHING (even if I just said "5+2 is 6, him not being able to even spit that back), to having a good portion of the addition facts memorized, being able to do some two part addition, and starting on subtraction (but we're still behind in math by about a year and a half I'd say). He's gone from not being able to sit down through a whole Story of the World lesson to being able to listen through all of it (sometimes even without props, though he still struggles to retain anything without visuals). In the beginning he couldn't remember any placement on a map, but now he can recognize Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, Africa. Spelling has always been a little easier to him that reading...but he's never enjoyed writing, but recently he's opened up more to it (less struggle).
His attitude from saying he can't do things has changed. Now he calls himself a reader and says he needs to learn math so he can become a scientist. So, I feel in one way like homeschooling has been very successful for him...but on the other hand, he's SO FAR behind, that I worry.
He still reverses b and d sometimes. There was a few words that he's reversed (was he would always read as saw for a while, and two letter words he still occasionally reads backwards). So, yes, I've considered Dyslexia and plan to get him tested this summer. Math I really struggle to teach. I worry that I'm not serving him well there. I tried Math U See and while it worked great for place value, it broke down in addition and we ended up mainly doing wrote memorization drills while jumping on the bed (with some concepts like the 9 trick and the doubles +1 trick). Some of their ways of teaching he didn't repsond to, and I feel like I have to translate their lessons and I've been looking for something more scripted. I'm going to try Addition Facts that Work and Subtraction Facts That Work. I don't think waiting to teach subtraction until he was firm on addition facts (as suggested IN MUS) has served him well, so I'm going to overlap addition and subtraction somewhat going forward. We do co-op once a week mainly for science and he loves it but he still has issues with consistently participating. I'd like to get him back where he could attend our schools by 7th grade (because I love our Junior High, and I feel less confident on providing education at the upper levels). I don't want to push too hard and undo the "love of learning" progress we've made, but neither to I want to set him up to once more be unprepared. It's 4-5 years away (depending on whether I enter him at age level or a year behind) but it's still on my mind.
Edited by goldenecho, 20 March 2017 - 07:04 PM.