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Tracy

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  1. Thanks, OhElizabeth. I will take a look at How to Report on Books. That might be something we can use. She just got to her typing goal, so she will be getting a tablet, so perhaps we can put some mindmapping software on that. And Writing Tales is on its way. My husband has not been the least bit worried about her, so maybe I need to listen to him. Yes! I can definitely see that this is very exhausting for her. And you are definitely right about ballet. I think it helps with focus, and it definitely contributes to her self-esteem being looked up to by the little girls. Not to mention that the moms love her, too. This is definitely worth considering. We couldn't do it with math. But we could devote a whole day to history/reading. Hmmm. Yes, I have read Smart but Scattered! That is a really great book. It is how I honed in on her specific EF troubles several years ago. I will take a look at the other book. She does do a lot of ballet around the house, but perhaps we can make it a point to do that in the morning or between assignments. We tried Omega 3's, and they didn't do anything for her. Most of the time, it is not possible for me to be right next to her. I have to spend more time with ds7. So she is usually in the same room, but not at my elbow. She is doing okay with it right now, but I am concerned about when we add writing. My diet right now consists of grapefruit, oranges, kiwi, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots and lamb. I cannot subject my family (or my budget) to that kind of a diet. I can and do work with her in the afternoons on days when we have morning activities or when she just doesn't get her work done before lunch. I have resigned myself to have to move her along from one activity to the next all day long. I have made significant changes to her work area. First, she has to work where she can be near me. I have installed blinds on the sliding glass door to diminish distractions from outside. I bought Keekaroo chairs to allow her sit more comfortably. I make a great effort to keep the table clear. I have tried a handful of other things, but these are the things that have made the most difference. Thank you all so much for your input.
  2. Some of you are already aware of my situation, but let me summarize. I have a dd10 and ds7. I am asking in this post about dd10, who is 2e. She has EF deficits particularly in the areas of transitioning from one activity to the next and sustained focus. A year ago, I became chronically ill. I have whittled down school work to the minimum. Here is what she does each day. Life of Fred intermediate series, 1 chapter Typing, 15 minutes Book basket, 15 minutes (history and historical literature reading) Piano practice (She loves this, so I don't put a time on it. Usually about 30 minutes.) Chores (make bed, swish toilet, wipe counter daily, laundry once per week) Memorization (Gettysburg address and multiplication tables, about 10 minutes total) Theater class (1 morning per week) Ballet (3 afternoons per week) Ballet helper (1 morning per week, she assists in the 3yo and 4yo classes) Library (we meet our friends there 1 afternoon per week) On days that we are home in the morning, she can get her work done if I prod her along. We have been working on following her chart, and she is getting better about that, especially where it comes to her chores. Math takes a long time. She is good at it, but she is sloppy and often has to go back and redo answers. And multi-step problems are hard for her to focus on. She has a really hard time stopping one activity and going to the next. It is not unusual for piano to extend to a full hour. If she has a long book in her book basket, she will keep reading until she is done. I have managed to get her to use a timer for typing. But the reason that I don't have her use it for reading is that I think that 15 minutes/day is not really enough for a 10yo. So if she does more, that is okay. One of the symptoms of my health condition is insomnia. I need to sleep for as long as a I can in the morning, and that means that they are up an hour or more before me. I also have to cook a separate meal for myself, so I spend a lot of time cooking. And I absolutely have to do my physical therapy exercises each day. I would love for my 10yo to be more independent. But I am not sure that it is possible right now. Some days, she does pretty well. Others, it is as if there is no chart and no school work to be done. I don't feel like she is doing enough academically. I feel like I cannot challenge her academically, because we are always at the mercy of her EF deficits. I don't know how to get her to do more without a lot more participation from me. Mornings are pretty shot, because without someone reminding her to check her chart and do her work, nothing gets done most of the time. I have tried just leaving it up to her and telling her that she doesn't get to go to her activities if her work isn't done. But then she fiddles around all day, and her work barely gets done, but she doesn't have a chance to play outside or work on her projects (like the Halloween costumes that she is making for the two of them). Is there something more that I can do to help her? Or would I be better off just accepting that it is what it is? I am trying really hard to just enjoy the season, but I can't shake the feeling that her academic load is really light. P.S. You might notice that she has no writing in her curriculum. Previously, she did WWE1-3 and 5 years of SWR. We are taking a break from writing to get her proficient in typing so that she can do writing assignments on the computer. She just got to her goal of 20wpm, so we will be adding Writing Tales soon. But that scares me, because I don't know how we will fit it in.
  3. It seems that my 10yo now needs her own e-mail account. Can anyone recommend a safe site for kids? Thanks!
  4. You can download Tales of Peter Rabbit and other stories by Beatrix Potter today only at Penguin Random House Audio. This is no ordinary giveaway. This is 5 hours of audio read by Jim Weiss! What a score!
  5. Hmm. Could be anxiety. She does have anxious tendencies. But my dh describes it as being able to see too many possibilities, and I have always thought it to be more of that. For example, if you ask him about his favorite color, he will respond, "For what?" You see, red is a nice color for socks, but not for houses. He rarely ever has a preference, unless it is more comfortable, more efficient, etc. Since she is so much like him, I have always just assumed it was like that for her. But I will watch for possible anxiety, as it does show up in other areas. I do really love your idea of categorizing different kinds of favorites. I'll have to see if I can figure out how to apply that. I can see that this is really more my problem. I am so in-the-box, and she is so . . . not. And my box must be titanium-plated or something, because it is so hard to break out.
  6. :001_wub: I really love this. Especially the bolded part. (You really have a special wisdom when it comes to these kids.) It is so true. It started when she was a baby before she could even walk. She would show me pictures of similar things in different books. She has always been driven to make interesting connections. Part of my problem is that I am very linear. It is just so hard for me to understand how to approach this kind of child. Her piano playing is a good example. She will attempt pretty much anything, and I often think the piece she chooses is too hard for her. But in a month, she is playing it. And she has not by any means practiced it systematically. I think her writing is going to come about in the same way. You are right. I have always taken the position that her outside writing should stay hers. I was just tempted by it, because of time constraints. I will look at listography again. I don't remember why it didn't work. Probably a part of it was that she had trouble choosing what to include in the lists. Anything that makes her choose favorites is hard for her. If you ask her favorite color, then she will name several, because she wouldn't want any color to be made to feel excluded. :001_huh: I'll look at your other suggestions, too. I know I looked at Writing Tales previously, and I thought it would be too much for her. I suspect that in our current circumstances, we (the two of us) are not quite ready for it. But I like the idea of tag teaming assignments. My husband might be willing to do this with her, too. I love the idea of typing rewards. I was looking online, and I see that you can get a small tablet for only $100 now. I had no idea they came that cheap. Add a wireless keyboard, and she has her own computer. I'll be talking to dh about this, too. Thank you so much! :seeya:
  7. OhElizabeth, I was hoping you would respond. Your experience with your dd has inspired me for a long time. We did try Listography, but it didn't work out so well. She does occasionally write in her journal. And she writes her own stories, though that goes in spurts. She doesn't let me see anything she writes. She doesn't want anything she writes to be turned into school. (In other words, she doesn't want to worry about spelling and mechanics, though her skills in this area are good.) But maybe if I paid her for her stories . . . hmmm. I know you have suggested the inspiration software before, and I thought she wasn't old enough to make use of it yet. I will take a look again, and check out some of those other suggestions.
  8. No, I have not. It was my intention to get an evaluation for her last year. But I have just been too ill to make it a priority. I have done a lot of reading and research, and based on that and the issues that my husband has, I strongly believe that there is an issue with processing speed. Perhaps there are other issues, too. But that is the one thing that I am pretty sure about.
  9. I thought I knew what we were going to do for language arts for my 10yo, but I keep doubting myself. What I have planned just doesn't seem sufficient. A little background. We did WWE1-3 in 1st through 3rd grade. Dd struggled with them. If I had it to do over again, I would start the sequence in 2nd grade. Nevertheless, I feel that her writing is really good for her age. When she writes on her own (rather than as assigned), her grammar and mechanics are good, and she puts together complex and interesting sentences. It just takes her a lot of time to actually do it. Actually, everything takes her a long time. It has gotten a bit better as she has gotten older, but since her father has the same problem, so I have no illusions that the problem will go away. We have to make sure to make assignments short and simple, emphasizing quality over quantity. Last year, we were going to do WWE4. The dictations were too much for her, so I was going to do only the narrations. However, I became quite ill in September and did not get better. So I had to scale everything down. We ended up doing only dictations from another source. She did well with these. She spent about 10 minutes daily on dictations. Dh and I decided that it is time for her to learn to type. (He told me that typing helped him with some of his writing issues, so we are hoping it will similarly help her.) She is excited about it and is currently at about 10wpm. It was my intent to make typing her only language arts activity until she was proficient. But I was looking at WWS (for the future) and I realized that her narration skills are not the greatest. She was starting to really get it at the end of WWE3, but we haven't done much of it since. She has a really hard time picking out the salient details of a passage. So now I am freaking out a bit wondering if I am failing her. I am feeling a little better than I was, but I am still quite ill, and there will no doubt be continuing doctors appointments interrupting the flow of things. And now dd10 has moved up a level in ballet and will be starting pointe in February. She has class 3 days per week, plus she assists in the 3 and 4yo classes one morning per week. She has piano lessons. So 2 mornings per week are completely shot. And we have a loose homeschooling group that is getting together one morning per week, and at some point, people will start planning field trips. My 7yo could handle all this and more. If I told him I need him to get XYZ done before we go, he just does. But my 10yo does not transition well from one activity to the next, nor does she handle changes to her daily routine well. (We don't have behavior issues. She just has trouble getting it all done, and she gets very distracted.) So I have to allow for all of this, and I just don't know how to make it all work. It has been helpful to talk things over with dh, because he has these same issues. But at the same time, no one ever helped him, so his insight is limited. And it doesn't help that he takes the position that "she'll be okay" (or maybe it should help). Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  10. I am really curious how this ended up working out for the OP. My 10yo ballet dancer just got her first period, and we are trying to decide what to do for classes and performances.
  11. We contacted the company to get further clarification of what the upgrade included. Here was my message: And here was Prodigy's response: As you can see, they rather avoided my question about how I can avoid having my kids get the same questions over and over. So I assume that the question set doesn't change when you upgrade. Consequently, all you get is more rewards. I didn't think that it would be fair to my kids to just get the upgrade for a couple of months. I would want at least a year's subscription. But for the two kids, that would be $120. And given that there didn't seem to be enough questions to last them that long, I didn't think it would be worth it. We have moved on to Khan Academy, which I am really happy with.
  12. What is CTC? And how do you use it with Singapore?
  13. I have used CSMP for dd10 from the beginning. It worked well for us until I got sick at the beginning of this year. As a result, she has been doing just the worksheets from the 5th grade curriculum this year. But CSMP is not at all intended to be an independent curriculum. So doing the worksheets have given her some arithmetic practice and a little bit of critical thinking exercises, but we missed a lot by not doing the lessons. Since I cannot count on recovering before next school year, I need to reevaluate everything, starting with math. Dd10 is good at math for her age, but she is not what I would call "mathy." It is work for her, and she doesn't really like it. CSMP has worked well, because it is full of stories and introductions to higher math concepts. Here are some of the things that I know she needs to work on: Division algorithm (though she has a firm grasp of what division is, conceptually) Decimals (she has had some introduction and understands what they mean, but needs to learn how to do arithmetic using decimals) Percentages Arithmetic with fractions (has a good understanding of what a fraction is) Area (has had some practice with) and Volume Word problems I would love to find a program that covers the basics while teasing her with more advanced topics, such as probability (which she particularly likes). But the most important thing is that she needs to be able to do it mostly independently with only support from me. But it can't require that I actually teach a full lesson. I would love to hear the Hive's suggestions.
  14. My dd10 has read through the Percy Jackson series a couple of times and has devoured everything I have in the house about Greek mythology, but they are all at an elementary level. She is looking for something at a higher level, perhaps middle school level, that includes information about minor gods and goddesses. Any recommendations?
  15. I am wondering if anyone here has tried the pay version of Prodigy? The site says a lot about all the extra fun stuff that the kids get. But I want to know, what will I get? Will I have the ability to give my kids a greater variety of problems? Will they get more instruction? My kids love it, and it is only $5/month, but I don't really want to shell out more money just so that my kids can dress their characters in different clothes. They are going through the questions very quickly, and if I am going to pay, I need to know that there is a way to make sure they are not getting the same questions over and over.
  16. I am using Modern Speller for my dictation sentences. Here is the second book for more advanced students.
  17. It seems that Collins Eyewitness is now DK Eyewitness. We actually have a bunch of those. :D
  18. We actually have quite a few history encyclopedias around here, as I have an older child who loves history. I was looking through the Usborne books, but it is so hard to tell if they will be advanced enough. I'll be looking for the Dangerous Book for Boys and the Collins Eyewitness Guides. Thanks for the suggestion!.
  19. I am looking to buy some books for ds6 for Christmas. He has read Percy Jackson, but he is more comfortable at the Magic Tree House level. He is all stereotypical boy. He likes war, battles, weapons and military strategy. I don't suppose there is a book about military strategy for this age level? He likes both science and history. He especially likes trivia and numerical facts. He has read an entire series of books on all the planets in the solar system. He has also read the entire DK book on the human body. He has read a lot of stories about mythology. He would probably like something about inventions. Those are subjects he likes a lot, but I am not sure I could find a book with more information than he already knows that won't seem too overwhelming to him (small fonts, a lot of text per page). I am having a hard to figuring out if a book would be appropriate for him by perusing online. Any ideas for history or science books for a bright and curious 6yo?
  20. Oh, I really like this. Lots of historical references. That is great for her. She is a history nut. I also like that there is a variety of sentences requiring different mechanics. And it is free, now you gotta like that. Thank you!
  21. In the wake of some health issues, I am starting to think of what dd9 needs to be doing in terms of writing. She has done WWE1-3. I bought WWE4, but it is just too much for her. Though she is bright and can remember the passages well, she has huge issues with writing. Nevertheless, I think she really needs dictation, just not on steroids ;) . I have considered gathering my own sentences using the WWE instructor text as a guide. But as I look at the sample for that book, I am not sure I understand how that would work. It appears to provide the passages for you, just as in the Student Text. I also am not sure I'll be able keep up with that level of teacher involvement. I am feeling a lot better, but I still have some bad days, and I still have numerous doctor's appointments. Someone has already suggested to me using the dictation resource that goes with Spelling Plus. I was wondering if anyone has any other suggestions for dictation?
  22. I am not sure that she has a working memory issue. She can recite those long paragraphs to me. But getting them down is the problem. I really think that it is just a processing speed issue. (At some point, we will get testing. I had meant to do it over the summer, but then my health got in the way of that.) Thank you for bringing up typing. Yes, I really do need to get her working on that again. She did it a couple of summers when she was 6-7yo. But I got distracted and did not keep it up. I am not familiar with Dvorak. I will look into that.
  23. I think our dd's are a lot alike. This is so true of her. She liked a lot of what we were doing (like history and grammar), but it definitely was squeezing out other valuable activities. This is a great idea. I love TOG, but I am not liking the UG level so much. There is too much independent reading with none of the fun Socratic discussions that I want to do with her. And I just can't read it all with her. She has a really good knowledge base for history for her age, so maybe I'll just do the literature with her. This is so true, too. I remember dd9 at about 8 months old getting really excited when she could find similar pictures in different books. She has always been really invigorated by making connections. I am not sure she is quite ready for a lot of freedom. She is still really held back by her speed v. her mental capacity. I am thinking that at least one more year of SWR plus some dictation will help her writing become more automatic. Thanks for this suggestion. We did WWE1-3, and WWE4 is just way too much for her. I was thinking of getting the WWE instructor book and choosing my own dictation sentences, but I am not sure that I have it in me to stay on top of it. I really appreciate all the times you have helped me brainstorm what to do with this child. Thank you!
  24. I am so glad you popped in here to share your stories. Dd9 just asked me today when we were going to go back to our regular routine. As it turns out, she likes the freedom she has had, but she longs for more structure. So I am thinking that we will add SWR back in after Christmas, and maybe dictation a couple days a week. She doesn't really like either, but she is spending way too much time on her writing right now, because it is too open-ended for her. This plan will reduce it to 45-60 minutes 4x/week.
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