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Everything posted by WeeBeaks

  1. You are also describing my child (8th grader currently), and he carries an ADHD diagnosis, very typical from what I surmise. My husband has it also (diagnosed and medicated) and is like this as an ADULT. There is a percentage of people for which this will not be outgrown and may need medical or therapeutic management of some kind. Again, my son is not military and 8th grade, but he did join Civil Air Patrol Cadets last year, very military like in their structure. He is really thriving and loves it. He responds well to very rigid structure and rules laid out explicitly. Gray areas are not his friend, and neither is too much freedom on when to do things. Strict scheduling and basically being told what to do right now makes him feel good about himself. He knows the expectations and expects reprimands if he doesn't meet them and praise if he does. Military might very well be a situation where your own son will really thrive. By the way, my 13yo son does not take medications any longer (his choice in conjunction with me) and my husband does take stimulant medication. They chose different paths at least for now, but a teen would need to be on board for whatever is decided obviously. My son did take medications until he gained some organization and behavioral skills to cope better off the medication. He is not age consistent though on organization despite being very bright.
  2. Thank you all so much for the insight. I do think repeating is probably the way we will go.
  3. My feeling is it depends on the kid (obviously!), whether you supplement it at all and what you are going to ask of the child for high school. I like the content, and I use it. But I do not feel it would be enough for my 8th grader based on what is going to be asked of him in high school in terms of how to present information (writing) and complexity of the suggested reading, as well as the amount unless I used quite a few of the suggested supplemental books. The maps I think are fantastic. The projects my oldest (age 13) has zero interest in. Your kids might. For reference my kids are 13, 10, 8 and 5 right now. The 8 and 5 yo use it as primary. The 10yo I used the suggested books list and maps as supplement for him. The 13yo uses a different program.
  4. My son is gifted but ADHD. This past year (age 13, 14 in June, 8th grade right now), we have seen massive growth in attention and general capability, finally seeing maturity level catching up to his intelligence and very little now of his "H" component. However, he still struggles in math, not conceptually usually (but occasionally) but with diligence (again, focused attention, little details). Because of that and frustrations we switched from Singapore after 6 to Teaching Textbooks the past couple years supplemented with Fred. He did Algebra this year, and his scores in TT are far from great. In fact, I'm considering repeating algebra next fall (9th grade) with a tougher program to solidify. He strongly disliked Fred this year for the first time (Algebra) so that won't happen. I already browsed the sticky re algebra programs but need some additional advice on programs as I have not seen a lot of those programs in person. I do have a math minor and am comfortable tutoring/teaching. We are having some of the teen resistance to mom's help so TT was good for that (self-guided) but he is just not paying enough attention so we need another way. He has to watch Khan videos as well and be tested afterwards on anything where he does poorly on a specific TT topic. My concern is if I let his progress, algebra is so foundational that he will always struggle. His goal is an engineering field, and we have obviously talked about the need for a really really solid groundwork in math. Advice from high school parents? Repeat algebra with a more rigorous program to focus on reinforcement and challenging thinking rather than basics? Just move to the next level but realize he will need extra assistance for anything he is shaky on? Advice on specific programs whichever way?
  5. This was not his first psychiastrist. This was probably his 5th, maybe 6th, and the very first one who truly took the time to get to know him in depth before giving any recommendations whatsoever. And he saw a few specifically behavioral therapists as well with different approaches to therapy. I can honestly say I'm extremely happy with his psychiatrist after seeing a fairly wide variety of the alternatives. He is one of the most educated people I know, and very up to date. I'm feeling like I'm being attacked to a degree so am going to back off this thread for a while. I have had enough in the past of being told that everything was either in my head (i.e., ADHD or any psychiatric diagnosis doesn't exist) or that it was all the parenting fault. The truth? Diet is a factor, parenting, environment, genetics. All of it. I'm not angry. I know tone doesn't come through well in boards, and none of you know me personally. Perhaps even posting was a bad idea, but I try to get a wide variety of advice for any and all sectors and evaluate whether it will fit. Certain things I feel absolutely are wrong for him and will go with that based on advice from his health professionals and my own instinct as a parent, but that leaves open a huge variety I'm willing to try, with the encouragement and support of his health care. But accusing me to of only seeing his diagnoses or that I'm too rigid when you don't know me at all is not helpful. I can see that it is indeed because you don't know me that the advice is put forward --- irony. Of course you don't know that, because this is a massive forum. Yes, I'm familiar with the parenting styles, including the autocratic and democratic styles, nonviolent communication, team building, etc., etc. Ways of phrasing things to building a sense of unity. It seems you (inclusive, no specific person in mind) have a vision of me dictating to this child down to the tiniest degree that isn't the case. I'm not sure where that came from? Moving on ... again, I appreciate putting forth viewpoints.
  6. Alte Veste Academy, I see his psychiatrist, as does my husband. He has met with most of our family to see the group as a whole as well as the individuals to be able to treat effectively. I like his approach in that. Seeing each person in isolation would not give a true picture of dynamics. I'm actually doing pretty well for the most part. I have hobbies, friends, etc. There are good days and bad days certainly. I'm fortunate to have a local group of moms with kids with their own challenges, and that helps. Parents of neurotypical kids have been critical locally in the past, often starting with "You should just ..." followed by whatever worked for their kids. Advice is good and fine but one solution does not fit all, especially for kids outside the norm. And it might take 100 different solutions that only work for limited times, especially with the ODD.
  7. Corraleno, that goes against most of what ODD or ADHD kids apparently need. I'm not talking about making his bed - I don't care. I can live with all that. But not participating at all in any household chore whatsoever is not working for us. A family is a unit and one member refusing to do anything is not acceptable. I don't consider that a power struggle so much as teaching somehow how they are going to have to behave in order to live in society. I can accept the bed thing because it only impacts him for the most part. Refusing to help at all is different in that it impacts the whole unit. He does share a room, so I suppose the bed impacts his brother but, since his brother doesn't care either .... that is livable. Basic cleaning for health though is not negotiable given he also has asthma, skin allergies, etc. So dusting has to be done for health. Curriculum - traditional? Sometimes. We generally do living books, stories. Classically in history in a 4-year cycle as a core but our roots were Sonlight. Literature follows from history content. Science he chooses. Math he has chosen LOF and will be doing Teaching Textbooks as well. He generally does not care and gets a lot of choice. My problem is that even when he is allowed to choose he will not put in any effort whatsoever. He doesn't want to learn Klingon or whatever. He just wants to play on his phone all day. He doesn't want to learn to program. We did teach his last year after he expressed interested and was provided those resources. Yes, we tried unschooling certain subjects in the past. I appreciate your input, but I'm not going that way. It is too far off from what his pyschiatrist and experts do recommend based on his pyschiatric diagnoses. I do thank you for reading and listening though.
  8. Yes. His therapist and psychiatrist is one and the same and in his 70s or possibly even 80s by now. He has worked with extremely difficult, often hospitalized kids for many decades. The homeschooled line of thought is different for him to adjust to, but he does admit after many years with our son that it seems to work for him.
  9. Thank you. This makes sense. On a positive day, I can see he will make a good lawyer if he chooses that route because he will argue anything tirelessly down to the finest nitpicking detail. _____________ Arguing about access, permission, ownership, authority, etc, was just a distraction from the real issue - child was frustrated and didn't know how to get what he wanted, nor how to accept the fact that sometimes we simply don't get what we want. There's a real temptation to place blame in these scenarios and I would encourage you to avoid that, as well. Instead, try and approach these things as a matter of solving problems effectively or not. Help him see why learning to play certain social games are going to help him. Explain to him they aren't really games, they're not simple manipulation, they are social skills that dictate how people are likely to respond. Bipolar issues will make this more challenging because of impulsiveness, but the more you help him see these cues, the more you help him mindfully respond, the better he will get with this skill.
  10. He doesn't get it back without doing the work. He is out there now. But even doing it today, what should be done yesterday, the phone doesn't come back until tomorrow because he delayed a full day. Otherwise I am constantly hanging the thing over his head, which I feel gets less and less productive. He hasn't in the past done well without a definitive date of return (still contingent on fixing what he did wrong). So his "date" is written on the board so there is no argument then that it wasn't what I said, I changed the date or any other manner of arguing. I'm tired though of the carrot and the stick. Is there hope with this type of child that I will some day not spend a good portion of my day coaxing, cajoling and punishing? I used to just feel like an awful mother, but thankfully my other 3 are nowhere near like this. So I'm struggling with the right combination of what to do and what is just his own personality problems.
  11. "makedo" line of products for cardboard and stuff you already have Lego EV3 robot "Make" magazine or books Snap Circuits He might like Maker Faire if there is one near you http://makerfaire.com/
  12. This is a general parenting question but definitely involves school too as a major component. My son is ADHD, 12, 7th grade this year. He has been a challenge and a half his entire life, constantly battling, his psychiatrist feels in addition to ADHD possibly bipolar or oppositional defiant disorder as a formal diagnosis and not just a character issue. Everything he does is sloppy from his bed, his clothing, flinging the silverware from the dishwasher into the drawer and letting them land where they land instead of dividing it, handwriting poor, math work riddled with mistakes, every task assigned done less than the barest minimum, just doesn't care for anything ever. It isn't a new problem that I can attribute to tweens, etc. It is life long problem that unfortunately is only getting worse as we head into the tweens, and I'm dreading teens. I'm open to advice here. I feel like I have read and attempted so many things experts feel is right and just really haven't gotten anywhere ever. He is medicated for his variety of psychiatric issues, at what his psychiatrist does feel are optimum levels. That gained us his not being physically threatening to me or others any longer. He has been in an outpatient day program at the pysch hospital before on the adolescent unit for nearly a month a couple years ago without real benefit. They agreed though his meds were optimized. He does get behavioral therapy sessions in addition to his med treatment. The one thing he adores is his iphone (minus phone service for now). He loves Minecraft. Today he lost his phone for a day for failing to adequately do his 1 hour of work yesterday and thus delaying today's tasks by a day since he didn't get it down. My logical (I hope punishment) was since he was so eager to play he skimped and cost us a day's progress he loses his phone for a day. This led to an hour tantrum, arguing and now he is browbeating his siblings and generally being mean because he is angry. This is typical. It causes me to fear confrontation with him. He used to actually hit and bite, now just uses his words and anger to intimidate and hurt. I am very honestly a timid person and pretty easygoing so confrontation is hard for me. I have been diagnosed PTSD from dealing with his issues and abuse of me. So fighting him head to head 12 hours a day is killing me very literally with anxiety issues, lack of sleep, mental stress. Sorry this is so long. Advice is often not useful without the background though. Last year he finally had limited success with on-site classes for his charter school of 3 hours 2x a week. What a relief for me. My other children got to see mom smile occasionally when he was gone. This year he is moving into 9am-3pm 2x a week on site in classes, which he actually enjoys and behaves for the most part. His writing class there inspires him to try harder than he will for me. The others are some fluff and some content. I continue to provide his core math, LA, science, history, etc. He currently gets 3 hours of structured PE per week, 1 hour of multisports (rotates) and 2 hours/week of gymnastics/parkour. I would like some advice from parents who have BTDT with perhaps a very challenging child you managed to get through the teens. Different ages/stages have always brought different issues of course. The hormones I'm told that impact all teens may bring his bipolar if acccurately diagnosed fully into the light, or impact conduct disorder if that is what is happening. [Psych diagnoses are tricky in kids with multiple issues going on.] Oh addendum - he is 2E. Academic achievement is typically not a problem despite lack of any effort whatsoever. He tests IQ very high (haven't tested in a few years but went through various neuropsychological tests to help psych diagnoses). His charter requires standarized testing and he scores very high in nearly all areas despite his ADHD. He whips through tests in an hour or two, alarming, but continues to excel on the scores so whatever. He is not behind in any area, though he is falling from excels to average because of effort as workload increases. Tanya
  13. For your youngest in your sig or your 9yo ... varies depending on age. In general, I do like the "Poetry for Young People" series. Target age depends on the poet for the most part. Toddler and up in our house seem to like Eric Carle's Animals Animals. A decent one is 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury. A Child's Introduction to Poetry is good because it comes with a CD for those moms who don't enjoy poetry as much (i.e. me ... )
  14. Your child might like those little snippet books a lot more than you do and get a lot out of them. I say that as a mom who feels exactly like you do. My sons, however, really love those books that seem a disorganized mess to me. They read them over and over and enjoy them (Horrible Science, Magic School Bus though not quite as much, Usborne guides, DK Eyewitness). Paula's Archives has a science books list: http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/sciencebooks.htm Another list that appears pretty good I found: http://www.pennygardner.com/sciencebks.html
  15. I like the illustrations too, more so than the text. We use them among other books. I will say we just today started Art Through Children's Literature by Englebaugh, and the first lesson uses the Abraham Lincoln book. It liked it better as part of an art study (pencil drawings and shading) than as a history book. :)
  16. We are using some separate products but all open and go for my 4. We are using History Odyssey for the second year. I use 2 levels of it to get all of my kids (grades preK, 2, 4 and 7). My oldest uses it pretty independently as far as reading, and there are literature and some writing assignments in there. My others use level 1. Science Elemental Science for oldest 2, Sassafras for younger. Both those have additional lit if I want to use it or not if too tired that week. Teaching Textbooks for math this year after trying it for one child last year. LOF for interest. Growing with Grammar for Grammar. Youngers have spelling, none for oldest. Writing I'm covering with the assignments in History Odyssey and a few extra things. Little extras here and there but that is the meat of it. PreK gets Moving Beyond the Page 4-5 as well as her integration is the hardest with being so far behind the next up right now. We tried TOG in the past, and it was harder than my piecemeal approach. Sonlight before that even but got too hard with my age span. Each subject separately but scheduled for me in basic format was easier than finding an overall to fit us.
  17. With being new to HSing, I would try the different things you have concurrently for a bit, as someone else kind of mentioned. Looking at it new and shiny and actually using it with your child can be different. Some of your things are fine to do together also, just not everything every day. We actually use Sassafras and BFSU together, Sassafras on a 2-day/week schedule and BFSU 1-2 days a week. Sassafras (you have zoology?), is all one subject and can get dull to do it all year. BFSU introduces new topics but can be done one specific topic at a time to inject some interest in other topics back in. Math, we personally use a regular core program and then do LOF again to add interest similar to how we use BFSU in science. It is not a linear type of thing, and the first books are really really simple. You can spend 5 minutes doing a lesson a couple times a week to add some interest into your math program. Unschooling? Not really the thing for me, though we have done it for brief periods in specific subjects. Early years are such a time for exploration. If you are having plenty of time of time for play and unstructured fun, and your child is enjoying exploring all your different curriculum choices, why not try them? You can see for yourself how your child learns best and how that fits with how you want to teach, and slowly weed out things that don't work for your family.
  18. I'm another person who always seems to have at least one ordered item on backorder. The waiting a max of 5 days before shipping the rest appears to be a new policy though, at least since the last time I ordered. That is one I can live with as my order is only delayed by 5 days from what it would have been. Funny thing though is that my backordered item arrived the day after my order because they sent the backordered item 1st class and the rest media or whatever is slowest on earth.
  19. Some things that worked for us at that age in addition to what you have listed: Gakken workbooks (easier than Kumon in many cases, work at a younger age or without letter awareness yet) Magnetic dress-up doll (flat wooden doll with magnetic outfits), lots of different brands available Lacing cards Wedgits though this is a little loud if they like to crash towers Magna-Tiles or similar Melissa and Doug Latches board or "Basic Skills Board" Leap Frog reader and books (make your life easier and get the one with the headphones jack)
  20. We are only a few weeks in, but we are using Sassafras Anatomy and used the Zoology last year. We use the lab books, the teacher's guide and the story/textbook. Until you mentioned it and I went to look, I wasn't even aware there was a kit offered. The experiments in the guide are all completely optional and described in the teacher's guide. We only did a couple from the zoology and had a good year, but then we aren't a family that is in love with science labs. We did do a lot of the extra reading books, geography work and filled out the logbook. That is what we plan for anatomy also, and we are doing the larger project of glueing in the anatomy systems on the body outline described in the teacher's book. Got out my guide and note that it is mentioned the dissection and microscope activities are optional and suggested for older students. For the microscope stuff, the author notes links are provided to just view the slides online for those who don't have a microscope.
  21. This will probably be my last pre-K'er, our youngest child. She is getting Moving Beyond the Page 4-5, something we have never used before. I'm excited to teach preK one last time, and with new curriculum that looks wonderful.
  22. Just recalled - the teacher materials also have tests and answer keys to the tests. Not sure if that matters as some families don't use the tests, but I administered them last year as practice for taking tests similar to what a traditional school would be like.
  23. We do the Elemental Science. With my 6th grader last year and continuing this year, he reads the books himself and we do discussion and lab together. Part of what Elemental Science encourages teaching is notetaking in outline form from the text, so I do not teach it beforehand. He reads and attempts to outline. Then, he does the sketch. At the end of the week, we do the lab together (along with a friend from another family who did his reading during the week as well), talk about the lab, fill in the lab sheets and do an overall discussion of that week's material.
  24. We have always done all the same history cycle here, no matter where it lands. I started with my oldest and we just keep cycling through. Two separate history threads is too hard for me. That said, we do a very "large concept" kind of thing with the youngest rather than getting bogged down in details for that level. I mentioned in the two threads for history posts that I do some concurrent US history through all years. That is really more focused at my youngers and review for my olders. So even a child doing SOTW 3 or 4 at a very surface level learns about US holidays and so forth in more depth for that level. I'm not really all that concerned about my K-2 crowd retaining a ton on their first pass through the history cycle anyway. And even my most sensitive here has not really had any problem with SOTW 3 or 4 content when being taught to an older.
  25. In the materials or only on the webpage? We did Logic Stage ES Earth and Astronomy and I don't recall this at all in the materials. They used Kingfisher materials for readings primarily, with some add-ins. I don't recall it in the teacher's materials either. Edited: Week 1 in student guide gives pages for Big Bang Theory from Kingfisher, but they are optional and not required readings. The teacher materials suggest the parent teach the big bang theory at that point because most astronomers do believe it. It presents it is pretty neutral language, explaining why most astronomers do believe it, what they are basing that on, and what astronomers are not finding. The suggestion is then to talk about facts and theories. Reading it, I read it as neutral, yes. [i'm Christian but not young earth.] I can't even see a non-Christian finding fault with it as presented, and YEC could just skip the big bang material as it is not the central part of that lesson.
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