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About MJmom

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    Hive Mind Larvae
  1. What sorts of things do you do to study the words and learn them? Sorry. Trying to figure out the quote function. We have different activities each day. One day he'll alphabetize his list, another he'll copy the words 3 times, write the vowels and consonants in different colors, use them in sentences. I'll quiz him orally and sit with the whiteboard and have him take a picture with his mind of each word and then write it. I feel like he has a decent phonetic awareness, but the problem is that when phonics fail (as they often do in English), he can't seem to remember the spelling. That's why when he reaches for phonics during a test, I am concerned. It seems like he doesn't hold on to memories of how to spell words. That's why I gave the word, "description," as an example. I would hope/expect that after a week of practicing that word, he wouldn't be sounding it out, because it does sound more like "discription," but at some point, he needs to just know it. I don't know what to do to help get it into his head. A common problem he has is confusing almost every "w" word as "wh." I can't tell you how often I see "whould," "whant" or whent." We took time out to specifically study these common mix-ups one week. It was actually fun and seemed to work at the time, but it didn't stick. I know other children struggle even more with spelling, but my son is not improving at all. I don't really care about his level as much as I care about seeing him make some progress. I'm looking at every curriculum suggested. Thank you for sharing what has worked for your kiddos. I checked out some basic articles about stealth dyslexia, but I'm not sure if it fits. I do think that I should add copywork into the mix. Maybe I should give him a list of words he commonly misspells so he can check his work. I'm trying to find a balance between needling him to pay attention to detail and do his best, and not wanting to make such a big deal that he feels bad or get a defeatist attitude.
  2. That's interesting about TTRS. My son is already a very good typist, so I'm not sure if it would work for him. Its always a struggle for me to figure out how much of his problem is not applying himself and how much is a genuine struggle. I don't want him to have a defeatist attitude about spelling. Sigh.
  3. I think adding copywork and a spelling curriculum is probably a good idea. I’ll look into everything suggested. Thanks!
  4. Thanks, ladies. I haven't figured out how to quote posts yet, so I'll try an answer here. When he sounds out words, he does get the correct phonics. He is inconsistent with spelling which is why I suspect part of the problem is effort. But he is a good student and I don't think all of the problem is a lack trying. I don't know why Sequential Spelling didn't work. I tried it with both of my kids, who are a grade apart. This was when I was brand new to homeschooling. My younger son is a natural speller who is now using lists 3 grades above. It took me some time to figure out where both of their abilities fell. It just felt pointless with no progress. I could try it again. Seriously, I'll try anything. I thought a rules based program would be good this year, because he doesn't seem to know them. I thought going through them would give him a foundation so he wasn't shooting in the dark (which is what it seems like he does when he spells.) Where would I have him tested for a learning disability?
  5. When I say he's sounding out words, the problem is that the words aren't always phonetic. He needs to memorize them. For example, he wrote discription instead of description. If he was younger, that would be fine, a learning step showing an awareness of phonics, but now it feel like he should be able to study and know the words by the test, not deciding on the fly. Is this a fair expectation? I don't know.
  6. I have a bright 6th grader who wants to be a lawyer when he grows up, but he just can't spell to save his life. I'm so frustrated that I'd like to give up and just say spell check will be his best friend, but he has an ambitious life plan and will need to do well on essay tests. His spelling and mechanics are going to undermine his otherwise good writing. (We are using Grammar Planet which teaches mechanics late, but seriously, starting sentences with lower case letters!?! He knows better!) I don't know exactly what his problem is. I suspect 2 things are going on. 1. He just doesn't understand spelling rules. He constantly guesses. 2. He is lazy about this and sacrifices accuracy for speed. This is our 3rd year homeschooling. The first year we did Sequential Spelling which was a disaster. We finished the year with traditional lists and assignments. Last year we did Spelling Workout, but nothing seemed to stick. He would do well on a test, but then his writing would be riddled with errors. Spelling lessons haven't transferred into his general knowledge. At the end of the year I started making him lists of his misspelled words. This year I got No More Boring Spelling Practice to learn basic rules. We go through the lessons and I make lists from the lessons. He bombed plurals, so we spent 2 extra weeks on it. He just failed yet another spelling test of very easy words. I can tell when he is just sounding out words during the test and making errors because of it. I just don't know what to do. He doesn't have any learning disabilities that I know of, but something isn't clicking. Part of me really thinks he isn't trying hard enough. I'd like to address that. I don't know what I can do to help him improve. I've heard good things about All About Spelling, but it seems expensive and weird to start so late. Is that my only option? Will it do the trick? Should I switch directions and do copywork? I don't know if I should also approach this from a discipline perspective, because he is definitely not putting forth enough effort. Any ideas? I am so lost.
  7. Grammar Planet is an online class by AG. It used to be free, but now I think there is a small charge. It is independent and does diagramming. 15 min/ day.
  8. I never took Latin, but I see its value, so we got BBLL 1 last year. We are finishing the book and I'm not sure what to do. My kids started out liking it, but I think the fact that there wasn't much vocabulary made it seem not so fun. They were frustrated by that. One son would like to just be done forever. My other son sees the value, but he also has an aptitude for languages. I'm not sure if I should get BBLL 2 or switch to Henley. I know nothing about the program, just heard it raved about here. They are both studying Spanish and will until they reach fluency. My main reason for introducing Latin was for knowledge of roots and to help them with further language study. I also liked the grammar, but they are doing Grammar Planet which is thorough. I just got English from the Roots Up, so maybe that would accomplish my goals and I should let my older son off the hook for Latin. What do you think? For my younger son, who likes languages, I wonder if I should stick with BBLL or go to Henley or encourage him to start another Modern Language. Any advice? They are in 5th and 6th grades.
  9. One more thing, I don't envision separate classes like many co-ops. I see this as a morning where the kids work in a large group and break into smaller groups as the subjects flow. I want to facilitate friendships and keep the organization needs low.
  10. Thank you, Lori D. You offered a lot of wisdom and I'm going to take time to think it over. Regarding the Microsoft class, it was a little one who couldn't read, just an example of an inappropriate age range. I think it's fine to work with various levels, but in the same age range. I don't know why so many classes are 5-15 here! It just doesn't work. I get the feeling that the organizers are just very kind and welcoming, but even they are getting a bit frustrated at the outcomes. I think you're right about the older teens. My kids are both entering the logic stage so that is my focus. I don't mind welcoming hs kids, because it's not like they would be distracting and they might get something out of it. My purpose is to build this around my kids. I think getting a chance to interact with peers and build class discussions would be helpful now. I also see it as a chance to test the waters and make connections that might allow the group to grow into something more appropriate for high school. By that, I really mean someone to run great science labs and a chance for my children to build relationships with teachers who could write letters of recommendation. If it doesn't work, I might consider the long schlep to a group that's has an amazing teen program. (It's an hour away, so I'd rather not.) Many families do DE here and we may explore that as well. I agree with potentially hiring teachers. I really want this to be a quality program. If the people who have expressed interest follow through, I think we'd have some highly qualified teachers for this fall. My concern is some of us (including me) also work from home which means we are stretched pretty thin. I want to avoid a situation where I am taking time away from my work and family to teach someone else's kids for free while they get work done. In that case, I would want to charge for my time. Our local culture makes me wary of people not showing up on time and blaming traffic, so that's another reason to want parents on site. I don't know how to do things slapdashed, so I'm sure my classes will take time to plan. My first choice would be to keep costs low by everyone contributing, because I know cost eliminates some families' ability to participate. I guess I'll have to see.... I appreciate all the comments. I've been lurking on these boards, saving posts, and scribbling recommendations for a long time. I wish it was easier to find like-minded mamas with children the same ages as mine who have the exact same schedule locally. Until then, this forum is very helpful. 🙏🏻💕
  11. Thanks for the encouragement Stacyobu! It's great to hear what you've done. I guess hassles are unavoidable, but I'm feeling called to do this. I think it could be really great. Eek. I just can't seem to steer myself away from crazy ideas. 😜
  12. Thanks calbear. That sounds like sound advice. Start small, see how it goes. Square25, I've been putting out feelers with some of the families I know and people have been really excited. My approach is to be really clear about expectations and basically have people choose how they will contribute from the get-go. I'm hoping that because there is a lack of opportunities in our area that it will be a high enough value for people not to flake out.
  13. I don't have a plan for younger siblings. There are a number of families here who have siblings in an older age bracket, although of course, some people have a wider spread. This might be hosted in houses and I know I can't accommodate little ones, just don't have the space. We've also been to a lot of classes in which littles acted in totally age appropriate ways that completely disrupted the classes and left us very frustrated. I think there's a growing feeling that it would be nice to just have something just for middle and high school students here. Parents can swap or find child care for their younger ones. Down the road, I'd be open to a mom with younger kids creating a program for them, but I just can't see devoting energy to that personally.
  14. I have 2 sons who will be 10 and 11 this fall. We homeschooled preschool, went to a private school, and have homeschooled for the last 2 years. We plan on homeschooling through high school. We have never joined a co-op because they are far away, although we live in a major city. I guess the outlying areas got it together better. We do belong to several groups, our main one being a weekly park play group. I actually love that they just get to play without pseudo teaching. We are in a few other groups that offer various nature classes and cool field trips. But they are getting older. Watching the teens in our group get older has shown me how boring and sort of pointless park day can be at a certain point. Also, those nature classes frequently end up being 4 hours if you add in commute and social time and they basically get 5 cool facts and some fun out the experience. It's not exactly worth it, but I do want to provide my kids with chances to play and engage with friends. I think as they get older, it'll be more important. That's why I'm thinking of forming an academic enrichment co-op, just for ages 10 and up because that's also an issue. 6 year olds are too disruptive to tween and teen classes. (Some people enrolled kids in Microsoft Office classes and the kids couldn't even read!) My idea is to meet every 2 weeks as a co-op to door some of rfwp's problem-based learning (so cool!), a Spanish conversation club, a science lab and maybe art history/art. In the future we could add Shakespeare, debate, logic. Basically, group activities that are hard to replicate at home. I'd also like to have us do 1 social and 1 service activity a month. I really don't need or want another project and I've heard horror stories about co-ops, so I hesitate. On the other hand, if it worked out, I think it would be really good for my kids and maybe even grow into something that could help in high school. (I'm a former English teacher; another mom is a former science teacher!) My plan is to keep the co-op smallish, parents must stay, parents will either teach or plan events. The social and service could be open to more families. My question is, do you think it would work? Would it just be a big headache without enough payoff? Any words of wisdom from the trenches? Thanks. 💕🙏🏻
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