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About hepatica

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  1. What about DM does not appeal to you? I know some people think DM is too difficult, and I agree that it is rigorous. I have found that while 6A/B does not take a full year to finish, DM 7 and 8 take more than two years, so it works out well. DM is integrated, very much like the elementary math in its rigor and approach, and if you finish 8B you are into the equivalent of High School Alg 2. So I can see why some might want to move slower, or follow a more traditional B&M curriculum order (all valid points), but it doesn't seem accurate to say that Singapore just leaves you hanging.
  2. I have used Singapore US ed. for three kiddos, and my youngest is currently in 5b. I always hem and haw about this, but then just end up doing SM 6 (or parts of it) and then moving on to Dimensions 7. I do not understand why the Singapore 7 and 8 are not used more frequently. They are fantastic, especially for kids for whom Singapore is working well. Both my older girls transitioned to either public or private high school math with no problem.
  3. For many tasks that certainly seems true for my dyslexic kids. I have also noticed that they can have mastery over something (like a piece of music, for example), but have trouble retrieving it from memory. But, once they get started, it all comes completely back to them. It's weird in a neat and interesting way. I recently watched this conference presentation by Laurie Cutting from Vanderbilt who studies the neurobiology of dyslexia. It gave me a whole new understanding of the role of executive function in learning disabilities. It's about an hour long conference presentation, but completely fascinating and enlightening.
  4. The thing that always gets me with classifying dyslexia is the sense that it is both specific and not specific at the same time. So many of the other things that are included in DLD or other reading difficulties, such as auditory processing, receptive or expressive language, visual processing, are much more hard wired in the brain than reading. The human brain has evolved for speech for more than a million years (also for certain types of visual processing). So it seems it is much easier to say that children with a speech articulation problem, for example, have a certain deficit or disability in the part of the brain that processes speech. Reading on the other hand has only been around for a few thousand years, and available to the mass of the public for only a few hundred, so there isn't a set way that the brain processes reading. The brain borrows circuits evolved to do other things (like facial recognition) and combines them with other circuits to complete the complex task of reading. There seem to be more or less efficient ways to process written language, but it is not done the same way by all brains. So, when it comes to dyslexia, it is not clear that there is a disability involved, but rather the brain is utilizing different, less efficient perhaps, circuits to accomplish a task for which it does not have a dedicated circuit. So I am always frustrated when dyslexia gets cast as one among a series of other disabilities or processing deficits because there is no clear "correct" or "non-disabled" standard to compare dyslexic functioning to (not sure if that makes sense, but it is a thing that has been bothering me as I have learned more and more about reading).
  5. Thanks for posting that. I'll have to take time and listen. I think I'd rather see more, rather than fewer, diagnoses of dyslexia, simply because there doesn't yet seem to be consensus on its definition. The most workable definition right now seems to be an "unexpected" difficulty in reading (which I suppose would mean a difficulty that is not explained by one of these other factors). I see in the posted outline that dyslexia is covered under the category of phonological processing primarily. This is the definition people like Sally Shaywitz seemed to be advocating. What seems to be missing from this outline is the double-deficit understanding of dyslexia that includes difficulties with speed (rapid naming) as also a form of dyslexia. I think it's Wolf that makes the argument that dyslexia can be either a phonological deficit or a rapid naming deficit or both. All three of my dyslexic kiddos were super slow in the processing speed/rapid naming categories, and that seems to be a different sort of brain organization - probably heritable as well.
  6. This is very interesting. I have always felt somewhat intuitively that dyslexia made more sense when it was accompanied by noticeable speech or language difficulties. And, I know people told us to look for speech articulation problems or vocabulary problems in our young kids if we were concerned about dyslexia. In our case, none of that was present, which made the dyslexia so confounding. All three of my kids spoke well, in complex sentences and with great vocabulary from a young age. They all love listening to audio books and have good listening comprehension. They just have difficulty with reading text/spelling/ writing. To be honest, the medical and diagnostic terminology seems to be changing so fast, in an environment where the research is also growing, that it's hard to keep up with the meaning of terms. In this case, dyslexic becomes a broad, work in progress, category.
  7. I'm a huge Barton fan. I know it seems expensive, but IMO there is nothing else like it for home teachers. I homeschooled three dyslexic children and didn't use Barton until the third (I tried just about everything else at one point or another), and if I could go back in time I would definitely use it for all three of my children. I agree that reading aloud and audio books are essential!!!! My kids were able to keep their vocab scores in the superior range even though it took forever to get them reading somewhat fluently. Reading is not just about decoding. Reading comprehension relies heavily on vocabulary knowledge and dyslexic kids can fall behind if they do not have access to rich reading material both fiction and non-fiction. Read aloud history and science and literature etc so that they can keep up with their vocab and content knowledge. Also, remember, dyslexia is a processing difference, so it can impact spelling and writing and math, not just reading.
  8. My experience applying as a homeschooler was not positive. I ended up consulting a lawyer and filing an ADA discrimination complaint with the DOJ before my DD's accommodations for extended time were finally approved. They have streamlined the process for students in school who have IEPs or 504s, but be forewarned the College Board does not feel compelled to apply those 2017 policy changes to homeschoolers. It was a multi-year process for us and required two separate neuropsych evaluations. Make sure your neuropsych evaluation has a clear diagnosis and clear recommendations for accommodations. As far as the letter is concerned, if you have homeschooled you need to provide all the various forms of documentation that would otherwise have come from the school. You need a complete academic and developmental history - any problems at birth, any developmental delays as a toddler/preschooler, early academic environment (was she/he raised in an academically rich environment, read to as a child etc). They wanted a complete early academic history - when she was introduced to letters and numbers, when reading instruction began, what curricula we used (and we used a ton), when we first saw problems, who we consulted (pediatrician, other teachers), when she saw a reading tutor, how often she met with the tutor and for how long, what curricula the tutor used. I covered her progress at various ages - when she could read beginner chapter books, at what age she could read longer books, what problems continued (missing words when reading, difficulty with test questions etc, difficulty with non-fiction), what new problems we encountered (difficulty with writing, spelling and handwriting), how we addressed all of these problems. I also detailed any and all accommodations I provided at home (or in online courses), and how those accommodations impacted her performance. I thought all this detail was way over the line. The DOJ has a paper detailing the ADA requirements for testing agencies and it clearly states that testing agencies should rely on the recommendations of qualified professionals and not require excessive documentation. We were initially denied and the College Board asked us to get additional testing, which was out of bounds but we did it anyway. We were denied again, even after the additional testing and even though the testing report clearly stated extended time as an accommodation. It was only after I contacted my Senator and he helped me file a complaint with the DOJ that we were finally approved. Even though my DD was finally approved, it took until her junior year and she did not receive her accommodations in time to use them on two of her AP exams, which was extremely difficult for her, so it is good you are starting early. I know this sounds like a lot, but the College Board has all the power here, and they are, at this time, essentially an unregulated monopoly. Start early, be persistent and be aware that they are known for denying homeschoolers. But, if you have the documentation in testing, then don't give up.
  9. On this same note, DS10and I were just recently listening to Arthur Ransome"s Winter Holiday (one of the many books in the Swallows and Amazon's series). I think it's set during the 40s. Anyway, the entire plot revolves around the fact that the kids are on winter break and one of them catches mumps, so all the friends have an extra month long holiday because they are not allowed to return to school (sounds like they are all at boarding schools) if they have been sick or exposed to any illness. They have to bring papers signed by a Dr. back to school with them.
  10. I am in general agreement with the argument I keep hearing that the risks are rare and the benefits substantial, so from a whole population risk/benefit standpoint full immunization seems to make sense. The problem I have with this argument is that it seems to treat the risk as if it were random. Even the CDC doesn't do this. They do identify categories of people that are at heightened risk. But the categories are vague. So while the risk for some people may be one in a million it is decidedly greater for others. We accept that immune compromised people, for example, should be exempted, but there seems to be great fear that discussing an apparently healthy child's potential risk as greater than typical would undermine the entire project. For example, in my family the list of neuropathologies is extensive - OCD, Tourettes, depression, anxiety, autism, ADHD and learning disabilities abound. So it sees fair to say that we are a differently wired genetic pool. We also have celiac and scleroderma in the family - both immune system related diseases. Since we don't really have a firm grip on the origin of these problems, it always seemed logical to me that a doctor should sit down and take all that into account when planning how to immunize a child in this sort of family. Obviously, you might want to be especially careful about avoiding know neurotoxins and you should be more cautious when it comes to altering the immune system. I know the autism connection has not been shown to be true, but it certainly makes sense that that would have worried people when the studies first emerged. It's not like the Lancet was some internet rag.... Never, once did a doctor who wanted to vaccinate my children initiate such a conversation. Never once did they ask me for family history, either of vaccine reactions or any of the above concerns. I had to initiate all these conversations myself, even though the family history was a part of the medical record. I would love to see some sort of algorithm developed that would help patients to better understand the risk to their particular child (using genetic information or family health history). Because when we say the risks are rare, that same level of rarity doesn't apply to everyone. So it is simply not fair or true to say that we all assume a tiny risk in return for a great benefit. Some of us assume a much greater risk than others. I agree vaccination is important, but right now the conversation is not honest and doctors are refusing to even discuss particular risks.
  11. I think we may have finally found something we can all agree on! 🙂
  12. This is a serious and legitimate public policy position. While the constitution protects our right to bodily integrity/privacy as one of our most fundamental rights, it has also, for over 100 years, recognized that the state has the right to legislate and at times restrict our rights in order to promote the public good/ general health and welfare. This is, in many ways, the same conflict that gun rights and gun regulators argue over. So you are right here that we don't have a right to do whatever we want. But, I think it is also true that, as Eliana and Pen and others have pointed out, the rise in chronic diseases and our current inability to pinpoint the causes of this rise, as well as our inability to accurately predict everyone who will be immediately harmed by vaccination (hopefully genetic research will help here) places an extra burden on the state to care for (provide health care for) those who are harmed. Right now, our state in no way meets that burden. I think France is on stronger ground here because they have a healthcare system that provides universal coverage and is financed by national health insurance.
  13. How so? A small number of people have serious vaccine reactions. We don't really know who they will be.
  14. Seems to me there are a couple of problems with this consequentialist approach: First, the side effects (costs) are not equally distributed, so while they are inconsequential for many, they are devastating for some. We don't yet know how to identify who those some will be. The effect of not vaccinating (an measles outbreak for example) is also not evenly distributed. Most people who get ill will recover and do fine, but some number will not. So the effects for that some number are also devastating. Which devastating effect should count more here If the outcome of preventing countless deaths is the highest value, then why are we not confiscating the wealth of developed countries to build infrastructure - sanitation, housing, medical, transportation - in less developed countries. This would also prevent countless deaths. These are tricky ethical issues and they are not simply a numbers game. We have values and principles such as rights to self determination and bodily integrity, religious freedom, equality etc that sometimes run contrary to easy assertions of moral certitude. In such societies we are left with resorting to argument and persuasion in order to achieve public aims such as full immunization. We can sometimes force compliance by asserting an emergency status, but such assertions are seen as temporary precisely because they violate other cherished rights, such as liberty and self determination. If vaccinating is so self-evidently correct, then we ought to be able to make the argument for it and when we can't then we need to listen and understand the frameworks and yes fears that are making these arguments ineffective. Sometimes those fears are valid, sometimes not, but I don't think we get to just dismiss them as irrelevant.
  15. The ACA mandated coverage of the required vaccines at no cost, provided you have insurance. Vaccines that are not on the required list, such as gardisil, depend on the insurance co. Regulatory changes under the Trump administration have allowed the sale of short term insurance plans that do not meet the ACA coverage requirements, so I don't know that those cheaper plans would necessarily cover vaccination. I assume these regulatory changes are being challenged in court as virtually all the current regulatory changes are tied up in court, so it's not yet clear how that will play out. As others have pointed out, there are some free or low cost clinic or pharmacy options if you live near them.
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