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  1. Did you ever figure this out? I am thinking about ordering one but that sounds a bit like a design flaw to me and maybe I will skip it if that is the case.
  2. I think before any kind of new system is set up first it needs to be established there is truly a problem. Is it sad and a problem when kids slip through the cracks? It definitely is. How common is it *really* though? Are the problems with the education the kids are getting or with the parenting in general? Statistically how does the number of children in these truly failing homeschool situations compare to the number of children that are in truly failing public school situations? As I am sure most people on this board well know there are some truly awful, abusive public school situations as well. They are in the minority but some really awful stuff has gone down in public schools too. I suspect that if the stats were looked at the cases of true educational neglect/abuse/failure actually wouldn't be that far off from public school cases. I had a friend when I was in school who was struggling in elementary school. She was put in to a special needs classroom where they basically did nothing but try to keep the kids out of trouble for the hours they were required to be at school and this continued until in JR high she refused (and got in huge trouble) to walk in to that classroom anymore and insisted she be allowed the same chance to succeed in a "normal" class room as any other child. She did too. It wasn't easy for her because of everything she missed but she managed to succeed. She had to fight for a chance to even have a chance to learn though. It isn't just her either, public schools fail students in terrible ways, just like homeschools do. So I would argue to establish that there is a problem worth taking a special interest in you would first have to prove that it is a problem that is much worse than it is in public schools. Then once you do that you have to come up with a system that is effective at addressing the problem that actually improves outcomes. I am talking about the "What then" of all this monitoring. If a homeschooler fails to meet whatever standards you have decided to implement, what then? Do they instantly lose their right to homeschool? Compulsory public school? Do they lose their children? What happens? Will this truly improve the educational and emotional outlook for these kids in life? Who pays for all this additional oversight? How? It is a complicated issue. It is for sure a problem when parents think it is ok to fail to educate their children and call it "homeschooling" and it does make other homeschoolers look bad when those isolated cases come out and get sensationalized. Unfortunately I think that without careful study and planning any increased level of monitoring or intervention is highly unlikely to be effective and very possibly will do a lot of harm.
  3. As far as the OT eval, I do not know they did not tell us if they evaluated those things, they did work specifically on handwriting with her but our options for OT are limited due to insurance coverage, especially due to her age. My daughter has been diagnosed with ADHD as well. I should add I really do empathize with her on the handwriting issue. I had a terrible time with handwriting and likely had undiagnosed sensory issues as a kid. I always wrote so hard on the page that I left indentations on multiple layers of paper. I was constantly harassed about my handwriting and marked down for it and it never did any good until I myself decided to try to fix it in around 6th grade. It got a bit more legible then but I still don't have beautiful handwriting. My husband also has always struggled with his handwriting and still has messy handwriting as an adult and strange letter formation.
  4. Jess- that is essentially what we do now. We have worked through the first grade workbook twice and are about halfway through the second grade workbook and it just feels like we are getting nowhere :( If I look back at her old books I can see definite improvements in her ability to reproduce the models but her letter formation just disappears if I am not sitting right next to her helping her (which she tolerates with varying degrees of patience). I do not ever even mention her handwriting when we are working on other things because it bogs us down too much. She consistently uses incorrect letter formation any time she is not writing in her HWOT book though. It just seems like I haven't figured out the right way to get letter formation to stick. I still do a fair bit of writing for her too.
  5. I do think she may have dysgraphia. She is a struggling reader as well and I know all of this is likely tied together. I have been looking at getty dubay italic cursive as well. I might let her give cursive a try, maybe it would be ok because it is an entirely new thing. I got the kickstart cursive book for HWOT and she says she doesn't like it because it isn't "real" cursive (we have not started it, she just looked at it). Maybe if she was super motivated to do it herself it would make a difference. She is newly 9 years old, if she were attending public school this would be her 2nd or 3rd grade year (they didn't feel she was ready for first at the end of K so she may have repeated K).
  6. We are not currently doing OT. The one thing we have not worked with a ton is the slate, we broke the small slate a while back and I have not replaced it. When we were actively doing it we didn't seem to be making a lot of progress but maybe I just didn't give it enough time. My daughter is very verbal and musical and loves listening to stories and singing. I just can't quite figure out why she hates that part of HWOT so much it seems like it would be a really good fit for her but for whatever reason it drives her crazy. She has anxiety and I think she has a lot of fear about being "behind" compared to her peers (this stems from her highly competitive K environment I think). I try to reassure her that there is no ahead or behind in homeschool, everyone just works where they are but she isn't buying it. So I get a lot of resistance from her when anything she perceives as "babyish" comes out. I think that might be part of the issue. It is SO tempting to switch things up again but I think maybe you are right prariewindmomma. I think I will put a strip down for her to look at whenever she writes, and really focus on individual letter formation one letter at a time rather than entire words, buy a new chalk board and maybe even try using the wood pieces and play dough with her. She really likes play dough type stuff, maybe I will try the salt tray again too.
  7. The only secular literature based programs I know of are moving beyond the page and bookshark (which is the secular version of sonlight).
  8. My daughter despises HWOT. She is 9 years old. She hates the instructions for forming the letters, she hates the cute little stories and chants and all that. She struggles with handwriting and has been through a lot of changes (she started off with zaner bloser at home but went to public K where they did d'nealian which she hated and it completely dissolved her confidence in handwriting. At that point we started OT and switched to HWOT, we have been working on HWOT for about 2 1/2 years and if she has a model to copy she can produce a reasonable approximation of what is there but she does not remember (or does not care to remember) proper formation of the letters still. If she doesn't have HWOT models right in front of her all her skills disapear and she switches to a mix of everything she has learned over the years, mostly capital letters. We have tried chalk boards and all the fun stuff but she just hates it all and thinks it is babyish and doesn't retain anything. She is begging me to switch to a new handwriting program, she remembers the colorful pages of the zaner bloser program and really wants to go back to that, or to something that looks more "pretty" like italics or cursive. I am hesitant to introduce yet another thing and further confusing things (which is why I have stuck with HWOT this long). I feel like we are just treading water. She has gotten better at reproducing the models but she still refuses proper formation and does things like reverse a's (which is something she started doing with d'nealian), no matter how many times we do magic C she still makes her a's by making a backward C and then drawing a line on it unless I am standing right there reminding her, which ticks her off, and I can't say I blame her it would irritate me if someone was standing over my shoulder correcting my every move too.
  9. I don't know what to say about grade, lets call it grade 2 1/2. What books are you referring to from remedia? We wouldn't be using it as stand alone language arts. We also will be doing HWOT and brave writer stuff.
  10. I decided to try Fast track AB to help my 8 year old. She loves it. I wasn't expecting this because it seems pretty dry to me. But it is the one reading thing we have done she hasn't completely dug in her heels on. Does anyone use dancing bears as a stand alone reading program? I originally bought it as a supplement but my daughter likes it so much I have been considering using just this. It just doesn't seem like "enough". It also seems like at 10 minutes a day it might take forever to get through the whole book. If you use this as your primary reading instruction program what did that look like for you? How was your success with it? Did you supplement it with anything? Is the program really intended to be used this way?
  11. We hit a wall in AAR2 also The broken robot just about broke me too. We are taking a step back I have the level 1 cards and we are working on those to make sure she has mastered them all. I just got dancing bears and we are working on that as well. I plan to return to AAR when she has mastered all the cards up to the point we were at previously and can generally read the word cards 90% accurately, then we are going to slowly start working through the fluency sheets again. I posted a thread about this not too long ago and got some good advice so you could look up that one too.
  12. Reading eggs does have a lot of sight words, it does teach some phonograms as well but I would say it leans more towards a sight word method than a truly phonetic method, though it isn't 100% sight word based. Generally the only 100% phonetic program I have seen is Read Write type (at the talking fingers website) which is a typing program that teaches phonograms.
  13. Wow, thank you so much it is really helpful to hear how other people physically use the board. My daughter is a major wiggler and yes she would roll all over the floor which drove me crazy, when I put it on the table sometimes she slowly scoots closer and closer to the board until she is laying on the table which also drives me crazy. I could hang it on the wall but it either be hard to reach or she would have to stand while she read the board and it would be in a slightly inconvenient area. It is a full sized white board. I have had some reservations about whether or not maybe I should have started with level 1 and gone at an accelerated pace (mostly practicing word cards and reading the practice sheets and stories to build her confidence and reading stamina up). She *can* do level 2 and I don't want to go slower than she is able to go but at the same time struggling through the words is not improving her confidence :( I have a full set of the level 1 cards that someone sent me when I bought their level 2 set so maybe I should just go through those. Any thoughts on that? What books do you have your kids read as practice? I sit with her and read the words I know she doesn't know but she is really frustrated that she can't get the satisfaction of reading a book she considers an "actual" book on her own (she doesn't consider bob books real books, we have a ton of early reader books like the "I can read" and henry and mudge and whatnot but those still contain a lot of words she needs help with, and I feel like having her read those leads to her guessing).
  14. I recently started using AAR 2 with my daughter. She is a struggling reader and we are going very slow. We are running in to a couple of problems I am hoping that I can get some ideas. First of all the magnentic white board is really awkward. How do you manage it during lessons? I have to hang it high up on the wall to prevent my 3 year old from playing with the magnents so right now for a lesson I have to take it down off the wall and set it on the table. But it is really awkward, do I lay it on the table? Try to prop it up somehow? We have sat on the floor and propped it on the couch, I just can't seem to figure out a comfortable way to use it. I am also unsure about the word review cards, do I just keep doing them until I feel like she can read the word without struggling then put it behind the mastered divider? Even at lesson 10 there is a massive stack of word cards to review at the start of each lesson and by the time she has done that she pretty much doesn't want to do the lesson. Just to clarify, I have already cut the review cards down at least in half by taking out words and putting them behind the mastered divider when she can read them with out help. So right now we break it up, we do the cards then later in the day do the lesson part, then later on work on the practice sheet, which we also have to break in to sections. She really struggles on the read the story days. She gets really fatigued trying to read the whole story and forgets and has to sound out words she wouldn't have had to on the card, which makes the story reading slow going and she hates it. I had intitally considered placing her in level 1 but I think she would get very bored very fast since that is all stuff she has already been working on for 2 years. She is able to do the sound cards no problem, and the word problems only sounding out a few words but the practice sheets and the stories are rough. She is 8 1/2 and in "second grade" but reading is a real struggle for her.
  15. HO made a lot more sense to me when I found out that it came out before the SOTW activity guide. Some people still prefer it but they are similar in many ways.
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