This will be my very last year to homeschool so I am melancholy about that (year 27). I have reached a sort of impasse and simply can't seem to make any decisions so I am asking for your help. Our youngest daughter just turned 18, and this year was diagnosed with dysautonomia, which is similar to Aspergers or autism. She is so bright and intuitive but is often very difficult to teach, short attention span, extremely opinionated lol. I've tried almost everything out there through the years but most materials and methods have fallen by the wayside. She is behind in most subjects despite my best efforts but I press on and I try to hold onto thankfulness for the opportunities to make her life as meaningful and successful as possible. She wants this to be her last year, even though her 11th grade was a disaster. **If you had only one year left to try and give your child a world of worthy skills and knowledge (I am asking too much, I know), what would you choose as the best of the best?** She is still trudging through geometry so math is behind but consistent. I need an awesome writing program (Lost Tools of Writing?), some kind of classic literature guide that could keep her on a manageable schedule (Ambleside, Sonlight?), a worldview program?, a simple world history (MOH 4?), she wants chemistry so I am looking at several simpler programs (Guest Hollow or Chemistry 101?), she will try Spanish again, (with a tutor), and basically some kind of amazing program or guide that will help us both 'finish this race' on a positive note. My most favorite thing to do is reading aloud and having discussions so I always lean toward materials simply for the beautiful books. Even though she acts bored a lot of the time, she still hears me. She struggles with too much reading on her own and has very little personal discipline so this is a big factor that I need to keep addressing. Sorry to ramble but, as you can see, my mind is tired and since all my best laid plans have been a washout, I need other thoughts! Thank you so much for helping me this late in the year but I still have faith that it may be our very best.
Help Needed With Choosing 12th Grade Materials
Posted 11 August 2017 - 09:25 AM
Has she done anything with social thinking? Since she's so opinionated, she might like to discuss the concepts of social thinking and apply them to other areas (life, literature, religion, science, ethics, etc.). Social thinking will be the single biggest determiner of her ability to hold a job, not how much math you get done.
I like your plan to work on geometry, but you might wrap that up and move over to some consumer math and life skills math (Dave Ramsey, budgets, how credit cards work, etc.) if she has issues there. She needs functional math.
What is her plan for after this? It might be good to start to transition to that. Like she might like to work 3-4 hours in the morning and then work 2-3 hours a day in the afternoon at something she's thinking of transitioning to.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the dysautonomia. Google is saying it's autonomic nervous system and you're saying she has symptoms more like spectrum, which I take to mean she's struggling with rigidity, perspective taking, etc. So that's what I was assuming in my suggestion to look at Social Thinking.com and get materials for her age/stage that you could use as a prism for the world. If that's what she's dealing with, that's what I would do. It's more important than the actual history or the actual science or lit or whatever.
That's a pretty wide range of work there. Chem 101 is pretty trim, and Guest Hollow is very fleshed out. You might attempt to do *1/2* of what is in the Guest Hollow chem and focus on the things that allow her to debate, since that seems to be her bent. Like really work on that flexibility and perspective taking and how we solve problems and how we think about issues. If the reading level is too high, look for the books on audio or find a simpler book. Look for the *concept* of the topic and how you can attack it with social thinking and then get the quantity of the work and the overall modality down to where she can connect. That could mean you take 5 books from Guest Hollow chem and you find them as MOVIES and you watch the MOVIES and discuss.
On the writing, Jump In sounds like it would fit her. It comes with really nice writing prompts, so I would definitely do those! Is she doing some kind of response journal? With her propensity to debate and be opinionated, a response journal would be good. My dd didn't get why I had her doing one, till she started taking college courses. It's a really good tool!
Does she read on her own? Not sure on the lit list. Reading aloud to my dd wouldn't have fit at this age/stage, but if it fits yours, that's fine. I'd definitely look for things she can be opinionated about. Like I don't think the whole classics thing matters. I would roll with her and go dystopian or ethics or horror or whatever really gets her, making it your goal to bring in the social thinking thought process. There's a book I Get It that tells how to do book chats with social thinking in mind. It includes some lists. I could grab my copy and see if it has anything that would work for that age/stage.
On the history, if she's to MOH4, you're wanting modern, yes? Does she like MOH? If she doesn't, she could start subscribing to online news emails and rabbit trail one thing each day, looking up where it's occurring on the map, reading background on it. I had my dd do that, and it was a really useful tool I think. It's something, again, she can be opinionated about.
Yeah, languages are such a half waste of time for some kids. If she's missing inferences, she won't get Muzzy, sigh. I really like Muzzy and a lot of kids would learn a ton just by watching it. If you want to warm body it, put her in front of Disney movies set to spanish on the dvd player with the subtitles on. She's likely to learn something.
When you say she struggles with reading too much on her own, you mean she has difficulty reading and can't handle being assigned large amounts? Have you wondered if it's a comprehension issue? Has she had language testing? It's getting a bit late, but it's still something to look into.
Ending on a positive note and working on personal discipline, sigh. I think pick something that will really make a difference in her life. Social thinking or life skills. A lot of the academics don't sound very important for her right now. What is she going to transition into? If some things would transition into her being a lifelong learner of them, it might let them pan out in the long run.
- KathyBC likes this
Posted 11 August 2017 - 07:22 PM
Oh thank you so very much! I've been away all day today and just saw your lovely response. I will read it through thoroughly and I'm sure there will be much to help me!
- PeterPan likes this
Posted 12 August 2017 - 12:13 AM
I haven't had a twelfth grader yet, and I no longer homeschool, but I'll throw this out.
Why try Spanish again? Does she like it? Does she need it for some reason? If she has language/reading problems with English (which I am inferring, though you don't say that specifically), it makes sense that foreign language will be challenging. Since she is "trying it again" it sounds to me as if it is struggle for her.
Is it worth spending your money on a tutor for Spanish if she will not use it in real life? If so much of academics is a struggle is this an area that you can cross off the list, and use the time to explore an interest that will captivate her instead, or prepare her for whatever job she may like?
- KathyBC likes this
Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:14 AM
I'm watching this thread for ideas myself - especially in the writing department because I just can't seem to help my ds accomplish this goal in any way shape or form. I did want to suggest Friendly Chemistry - even if you only made it through the first half of the book. There is a hands-on component and you can freely skip the games/play, etc. make it work but the reading is lighter, easier to understand and seems to be retained without overwhelming effort. I have the Chem 101 DVD which I had my ds watch alongside, too. There is a schedule you can print out that guides the student/teacher in it being more high school level which is great but, again, make it work for your dd.
Posted 12 August 2017 - 11:53 AM
Take the money you would use for a Spanish tutor and spend it on an appropriate Bravewriter online writing course?
Posted 15 August 2017 - 07:31 PM
You all have really encouraged me to take pencil to paper and plan. I've put on my big girl panties about this being my last year so now I am focusing on it being a great year. I have purchased the Guest Hollow Chemistry and a few of its recommended books to get us started. It looks really fun and since I want to spend time with her it looked like we could enjoy it together. I will read some and she will read some. As far as literature, I am thinking about Learning Language Arts Through Literature Gold (Brit Lit). Those novels are superb and she hasn't read them yet, so they will do well as read-aloud selections. I am making a separate short list of books I want her to read on her own (I can dream!). Although she struggles with motivation she can do things required as long as she makes her own schedule and she reads much more easily after 6 months of OT exercises. I like the Jump In book for those writing prompts so I think that it will take a lot of pressure off her to have a simple, step by step method instead of having to create a research paper and numerous essays off the bat. I hate to admit this but, honestly, I am thinking about using SOTW 3 and 4 for an easy overview of US and world history (We've made it to the time of exploration with other programs and I don't want to leave her hanging lol). It's been years since I've read those but I need easy and low-stress and wide coverage. She has studied some Spanish on her own but wasn't consistent so she requested a class with others. We'll see how that goes. I also have a little Government 101 pamphlet and lots of videos to plug in that hole. In the spring I can find some economics things, Dave Ramsey might fit alongside. Still looking for some interesting things that we can have spirited discussions with like current events and worldview, but at least I am off square 1, thanks to everyone's encouragements. Thank you so much!
- PeterPan and Storygirl like this