A spin off of my other post for my son. What approach/recommendations would you give for teaching my 7 year old daughter this upcoming year? We really, really burned out last year. Mostly just because of the issues with my son's learning, but also just because all we had on the go with our daughter (she had a busy year medically).
Our lives are hectic. Our daughter has high functioning Autism, as well as has some health issues which can keep us on the go sometimes (we have two trips to her hospital in September alone), and a major surgery is being contemplated. My son, daughter and I are also all being evaluated for Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a genetic disorder, so we'll be on the road a bit for that (our children's hospital/specialists are 6 hours away, so every visit is an overnight trip, and honestly takes a day or two after once home to recuperate from). My father in law is also seriously ill, possibly dying, so we are helping with his care as well. Though once we get home care in place for him next month that will ease up, but we could potentially have a turbulent year with emotional distress for the children (they're very close to their grandfather). So, all of this needs to be taken into consideration. I feel like if we use curriculum we need something that is open and go.
On the other hand, I have contemplated taking a year to "deschool" in a sense, and just be very relaxed/unschoolish, taking a break from formal math etc... to just try and re-energize ourselves and find the joy in learning again, and also, for my daughter, really focusing on social skills, flexibility and ways to cope with her anxiety, but not sure if that's wise?
So with that background, here is some information on my daughter. I would really appreciate all your thoughts/insights. Thank you!!!
My daughter is 7, with HFA (advanced IQ, delayed socially/emotionally).
Some of her life-related struggles:
- She really struggles with flexibility and rigid thinking.
- Delayed emotional processing - things can happen and she "seems" to handle them fine at the moment, but then ends up crying about the event three months later out of the blue
- Some mild sensory issues, especially relating to her hair.
- Has a need for control. Really, really can be bossy, controlling and overbearing. This is anxiety driven.
- She also needs good rhythm/routine.
Some of her school-related struggles:
- Reading is still a work in progress. She can read CCVC, CVCC, and CVC words fairly well as long as they're short vowel. She has not been able to progress to long vowel yet. She has a lot of anxiety over reading and does NOT handle mistakes well. If she misses one or two words, she typically ends up losing it. We have to keep our phonics lessons VERY short - often just 5 minutes. She will only read aloud for practice for about 10 minutes. In reading, I notice that she uses context clues from the pictures, will guess at words often based on their shape. Sometimes she can read a word in one sentence fine and then not know it on the next page. She can decode/sound it out/break it down perfectly well - WHEN I remind her to do it. She will always try other methods first. Still has a few letter reversals.
I have wondered whether a more word-family based program like Delightful Reading from SCM might be better (though that's far from open and go)? Or focusing more on sight words? My mother who is a teacher said that she doesn't think that phonics is probably her "reading learning style". I'm inclined to agree. I've also considered just backing off for another year, and just reading aloud to her lots, and letting her continue to practice with the readers that she has, knows.
- Printing needs some work, still has some reversals, but it's not that bad.
- Short attention span. Last year (grade 1), we only did about 30 minutes of work per day.
- She's a perfectionist with a short fuse who needs to learn to listen to instruction (lol)
- Still needs work on various social skills, including peer related ones. We have planned to use Social Express and some resources for Flexible Thinking this year.
- Is a very visual learner. She does not do well with auditory input. She will quite literally reach her hand out, put it on the page, and ask me to stop reading, because she is getting overwhelmed and needs a break.
- She is an incredible self-motivated learner. She would easily excel with unschooling, IMO, because she is so driven and so independent. When she wants to know something, she won't stop until she learns it.
- Math. See above. We have done 0 formal lessons with her so far outside of some random math fact worksheets, and yet she has taught herself/picked up on so much including money, time, measurement, fractions, adding, subtracting, skip counting, math facts etc... She is starting to pick up on multiplication now. She has an incredible ability to see patterns. She LOVES speed drills, and for "fun", she loves to print out "books" of math facts to 100.
- She loves to memorize things like math facts, poems, prayers etc... We had great fun last year memorizing poetry and then doing recitations.
- She has incredible fine and gross motor skills, and hand-eye coordination. She is a natural athlete through and through, and loves to get dirty and hands on. She is the girl who is out in the garage with her father taking apart the lawn mower trying to fix it. Last year she helped my husband build our deck - and by helped I mean she was cutting 2x6's with a hand saw, using an impact drill etc... She LOVES to help - whether it's her father building, or me with the housework, she really loves to help others.
- She is teaching herself to play the piano, using the Bastien Primer books.
- Loves music and art, especially painting
- Loves handicrafts such as knitting (she knit a scarf for the fair's hobby show), sewing, baking, gardening etc...
- She does far better with short subjects.
- Prefers math over reading, and really has no interest at all in science or history
- Loves art projects
So, I think that gives an overview!
Edited by mshanson3121, 06 August 2017 - 04:33 PM.