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About 1shortmomto4

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  1. Depending upon the field of study, George Mason may not be what your dd is looking for if she wants a challenge. They are very big on the Integrated Studies degree and even if you choose a more traditional degree plan, they do their best to sway you or make it very difficult by adding more classes than what are required if you were to take the IS road. My dd graduated in May (she transferred in after receiving her AA from NOVA) and she met both commuters and residential students-including an RA who shared some very wild stories about activities happening on campus. Reading the crime logs/reports from the university can help but trust me, they don't report everything that should be reported (my family is in LE so trust me on this) Academically (my dd is an education major - she will earn her Masters in the Spring), most of her IS courses were less than disappointing - check out their course listings and descriptions and you'll quickly get a snapshot about the courses - lots of wellness courses and there are no limits to how many you take. Social justice courses, and the list goes on. In her courses required for her field and state license requirements, the course descriptions say one thing but the professors teach completely different content - even at the Masters level. Thus far, two professors gave her an A- versus an A because they didn't agree with her POV. They charge a lot of fees - parking and activity - but then charge the student to use/participate in the activity. They do have robots rolling around the campus delivering food. And apparently they have great opportunities for internships in DC depending upon your degree field - but not so much in the Education department. If you are looking for money to attend school because your child is smart - don't bother. If your child has no money, qualifies as an independent, and is from a foreign country you most likely get money. A lot of parents in VA are finding that their kids are qualifying and receiving far better assistance outside of VA versus staying instate.
  2. Until your step-dd begins and receives treatment to address her trauma you are going to be spinning wheels. The brain will remain in the cycle it is in because of the trauma. Her maturity will slow - hence, she won't begin working towards that independence you are hoping to find - and most likely will just stall out. I'm so sorry this young sweet girl is struggling so. What she needs is a whole lot of patience, understanding but mostly love and security. I'm guessing that your approach to her schooling is similar to what you've experienced and that is what you have to work with, right? Just like a parent who tries to replicate the school-at-home approach when they first begin because that was how they were educated. I think it is important to keep that in mind as you allow yourself the freedom to approach this in a completely unfamiliar, different way. What worked and was successful for you will most likely not be the way this young person achieves success. So perhaps she is in therapy, getting treatment, etc. Well, then, lots of ideas have been provided. There is a common suggestion that kids who were in public school need a time to deprogram from that experience and to refrain from doing "school" as we know it. It sounds like you have a strong reader on your hands - and that, in and of itself, is a great gift. I think that is the biggest hurdle and one she doesn't appear to need to climb which opens so options. You could consider a program like Sonlight - but choose a level that is just at to just below her strengths so she is learning but not struggling to learn. You could look at Trail Guides - Paths to --- which includes everything but the kitchen sink and math. Beautiful Feet guides or Five in a Row (but this definitely requires some planning on mom's part). She reads and enjoys reading and that is her strength - use that but, important, don't overdo it. The problem with picking a program is that you may struggle with the "I must do each box" part - which is helpful when you have little ones but you have to be flexible to either go half speed sometimes, skip a day, skip a lesson, etc. Depending on your state's requirements you may, for now, pick a user-friendly math program and visit the library once a week letting her pick out books she'd like to read and you could pick some history ones (there are some great girl heroines out there!) (Truthquest History guide and eventually add in their notebooking pages - but, again, keep it simple for now) and some science ones, too. There have been some new releases of girls and STEM that might be interesting. Maybe get a journal and find a resource of journal prompts to have her write each day. I'd be working towards pulling out her creative side - whether that is music or art or dance. These are all activities that your 3 year old could participate in, too. A relaxed day but some light structure which allows for creativity - that creativity is what helps heal that brain. I find there is a general push in our society towards a lot of online learning. Each year mom's will come looking for some program that they can load in to their computer, set the child down, and call it done for the day. Most of the time the results of this approach end badly and people return their kids to PS. I think it is important to note that online learning in the younger years, fosters this answer this/reward with a game/activity behavior which for someone that has experienced trauma most likely triggers the brain in a negative way and produces responses that are not conducive to healing - which she so desperately needs. The most important curriculum of all is love and relationship. It may not seem like a 3 year old and a 10 year old have much in common but there is a relationship to be made there (and even with the baby). Unfortunately her success is going to take time - more time than might seem normal or reasonable to you but with a whole lot of help from professionals and her family, she'll find success.
  3. Just a question here - has this child had a dx of dyscalcula or a math-related LD? If so or frankly will have one down the line, then move on to fractions and get out the calculator. Yes, we should be able to do this, etc. but a person with a math LD may not but yet is understanding everything else. Yes, you could on the side use some Key to books or math mammoth worksheets as a review perhaps but I'd move on and let some time pass and allow perhaps some of this information to process in his brain and not get bogged down in failure. If you practice/review the skills allow him the use of that calculator. It is kind of like expecting a person who struggles with dyslexia to be an excellent speller - sometimes you just need to rely on the spellchecker on the tool you are utilizing at the time. If you've had success with MUS up until now I'd be very cautious in trying something else. There are things you can do like using graph paper, playing games (maybe check out Right Start and the level they teach division and see if anything sticks out that might work). I remember that level and it bogs down for kids who struggle but over time they do gain the division concepts.
  4. Typically you have to have documentation stating the disabilities and what accommodations should be offered to level the playing field for a learner with disabilities. Do your students learn best by reading and then answering written questions? Is the teacher basically a proctor in the room to be sure they complete a workbook assignment?
  5. I was doing a search for something else on the big www and this thread came up - and I meant to respond earlier - look at Readers in Residence.
  6. Quick question but didn't want to start a new thread - someone suggested (I believe PeterPan) using the A History of US concise volumes for history and work off of that series to create a course. Well, we have this awesome used bookstore that I visit frequently and they had the first 2 volumes for .75 cents each! I picked them up as they were basically brand new and in excellent condition. I've looked and owned a few of the books from the 10 volume set but boy, these books are really, really nice - colorful and font is a great size for reading and very engaging. So I looked around and see that K12 offered a teacher's "guide" for each volume along with a guide for the student but I can't find a sample online anywhere. K12 has gone completely digital so these books are hard to come by. Has anyone seen what is inside one of these books/guides? Just trying to figure out if buying them would save me some time in trying to recreate the wheel, so to speak. I wish the Trail Guide to Learning stuff wasn't so expensive because I know my guy would love the 2nd guide and it stretches to 8th grade levels - just the right amount of history and skills!
  7. Love the videos posted. Something that I've been doing with both of my sons (one who has learners and one is working towards it) is asking them "what do you see" as I drive around running errands, taking one to work, etc. I'm getting them to look not just at signs, but conditions around them, a car coming from a side street, etc. to begin training their brains to search beyond the front of the car, to look down the road a bit to prepare for possible issues, etc. I read that this is something that really helps and generates discussion between the stressed out driving instructor and the future learner 😉 I did look up driving schools in my area that offer disability driving instruction and only 1 in the area and I live in a big metropolitan area! And they want a college tuition for the instruction time. The biggest issue in my area is that most of the companies are owned by people that English was NOT their first language so accents are real strong and troubling. Nice people but for my hearing impaired son - that is the biggest struggle he has when interpreting language - accents are a big no go! I will say this - we delayed teaching our kids to drive until they were 17/18 for a few reasons - the biggest being that the longer you wait the better they do statistically on the road with regards to accidents. Insurance is not as high (but still high!). I know many want their kids to drive so that it frees them up not to have to take them places but sometimes you get more than you wished for speeding up the process. I know that some kids are chomping at the bit the first day they are eligible and others are hesitant. Just because they can doesn't mean they should.
  8. My oldest, with the hearing impairment and anxiety, has had a learner's permit for a few years. Oh we tried the driving lessons but for some reason my dh left me holding that stressed out bag of worms to manage (he being the one that was professionally trained in advanced driving maneuvers because of his profession - no, he's not a race car driver ;-)). Because of his impairment we really need two instructors - one in the back that he could see, if needed in rear view mirror and one in the front seat that can see what is happening on the road and giving instruction as needed. I also wish one had a brake pedal on the passenger side. My ds had to drive once last year in an emergency so we could get my dd's car home and she sat with him with me following in the car behind. He did amazingly well and I did amazingly well just following rather being in the instructor mode. He is finally ready to finish up and get that license and made a comment that I wouldn't let him practice in my van because I was afraid he'd wreck it. It was then that I realized that my van was a "escape" route to do what and when I wanted to go and do something. hmmm.... My dh did help teaching my dd and she is a great driver. So now we've got to 2 more to go and I told my dh that he'd have to help more since he had achieved success in his instructions. What I don't understand is here in my state the parent(s) have to do hours and hours of behind the wheel training - day and night time before you even get to call the driving school for behind the wheel instruction. And they spend about 5 hours or less and then issue a driver's license. We don't have the special equipped car with pedals and extra steering wheel. I'm pretty sure my anxiety came to be when I began those driving lessons long ago.... There needs to be a self-help group for mom's who go through this frightening process. 😉
  9. I love the books about ADHD. Sounds like a great idea as he is my thinker and this might help him process his feelings a little better. We tried MUS Algebra but it wasn't sticking - although now that we've used something else I might go back because the something else didn't cover the graphing stuff found in Algebra. I may also try the MUS Geometry to begin with since I've already got it and just maybe it that might help. I've found some hands-on visual stuff - a white board style grid the size of paper that might be helpful, too. Again, thank you all for the great ideas and suggestions. I appreciate you sharing your experiences with me - lots to think about and consider.
  10. Thank you all for your responses. I think it has helped me refocus - more on finding things to spark creativity and less on a typical "box" of curriculum. I'm not sure that there is a language problem. What I do know is he is extremely sensitive to sound. Years ago when our oldest with dx with his severe hearing impairment we had the other kids tested to be sure they were not also suffering from any hearing loss. Two kiddos in the middle were fine but the joke at the time was that the youngest could hear so well that he could hear grass grow. I didn't realize at the time how that really isn't a great thing. They are constantly hearing sounds that others might not hear and hear them louder and over time your brain just can't keep processing at this speed. Overall, he has done well but probably because our home is more sensitive to sounds because of his oldest brother. He is more comfortable at home versus going out but when we do go out and about he is fine. When he was little, say 4/5/6 I used to read a story each night. At one point I started reading chapter books and I read the Dr. Dolittle book from Sonlight and he'd fall asleep but the other boys were still listening. Well, wouldn't you know that the next day he was the one who remembered everything I read the night before! I could probably put ear phones on him for a book on tape and he'll retain the whole thing in his sleep. I'd like to work on making his reading comprehension stronger in regards to when he reads it versus when I read it. He does read non-fiction books - loves WW books, Far East subjects, Middle Ages, weaponry, etc. for fun and can tell me about everything he reads. We used Spelling U See over the past few years but after the first day of marking the words he just knows how to spell everything. He is very much a natural speller and doesn't need a spelling program but his brother did so it just made things easier in peace keeping. He literally grew up playing nearby and listening in to most of the lessons I would teach over the years to his older siblings so when it came time to focus on a lesson he wasn't up for any repeated info! Except for Math-this is something that has not come easily until most recently. He has really struggled in Algebra although when he was in 5th/6th he learned Hands on Equations to build a foundation in Algebra and picked up on it FAST. We were working through an algebra unit (Systematic Mathematics) and it was a slow start but he finally got it and retained it. We'll keep working through the next book but sadly the company is no longer in business so I can't get my hands on the geometry so I'm going to have to find another option. I have MathUSee Geometry on the shelf but not sure this would work the best. I like that it is easier to teach (this is one math subject that is NOT my strength). His sister was like this but after geometry and achieving great success it seemed to unlock something in her brain and Algebra made much more sense and math became her strongest subject. He doesn't mind watching a short lecture or video presentation on the screen but doesn't like to read from a screen or definitely not do math on the screen. He wanted to learn Russian - which he tried but I didn't follow up on making sure he actually stuck with the lessons. He ended up using goggle translate - his story that he is writing has Russian and German dialogue - go figure. I recently had him and his brother take a battery of online tests from youscience (check it out!) that helps identify their strengths and weaknesses and it provides a whole slew of possible job ideas to consider. It was money well spent. He doesn't seem to have any direction of interest although when he was younger he thought he'd enjoy becoming an ENT. It is important to note that none of my 3 boys have had any drive towards a particular field of interest. They mature a bit later and slowly find their path. The results confirmed what I thought I have observed over the years. He does well in a position where something isn't working and he can identify the problem and then come up with solutions to fix it. He is not the guy to write the software program but he is the one to debug it and make it work and make it work better. He would do well as an orthodontist-you look at the issues and then fix it. I'm thinking I should find a computer course perhaps this year to give that a try and see if he doesn't grab hold of an interest. As for meds, not at this time. I've actually not seen any issues until most recently that would warrant them. I'm not against them; they have their benefits. And I have to agree - ADHD and follow thru is a big issue. I'm going to work with him on tools to keep him on task - due dates, etc. I just seem to function in a more organized way but these people I live with are a different story 😉
  11. My last student - the neglected one that just seemed to get lost in the shuffle as I worked to remediate, guide, and a whole lot more a few of his older siblings - is ADHD/anxiety. I've got 2 years to work with him and get him prepared and ready for college. He has, on his own, been writing a novel - well over 200 pages at this point I believe but we've definitely got work to do on writing and mastering that essay skill but at least he'll write and is very creative! I need some ideas for history or world geography and science to engage him in learning. My earlier attempts have failed miserably. When he was younger it was all about the experiments but he didn't retain much info although the Nancy Larson science stuck. Too much wording just bogs him down and if things aren't engaging he checks out. Same with history. His reading is fine but not strong. Some days I just want to order a Sonlight package and just read, read, read, to build that skill but he'd probably shut down after the first few days. He doesn't not enjoy screen learning. I've looked at everything and feel like Goldilocks - this one is too hard, this one is too black & white, this one is too..... He is definitely a tactile learner. I've found lap books that might work for the older crowd but this mom needs guidance and a lesson plan. I'm not hung up on whether it is high school level material. I've already seen what my two oldest had to know at the college level to be prepared well for assignments. My goal is learning, engaging and retention. He is willing to learn but his mind easily wanders off...unless he is lost in engagement in something he greatly finds interesting. Don't we all, right. As for remediating the ADHD, that is work in progress. I'm just looking for some fresh ideas, approaches or something I might have missed in that big curriculum world.
  12. I have no answers to your questions because I'm a Biblioplan dropout but yesterday I happened to see the Remembering the Days book for Medieval and it was so much more readable than the Family reader. Lots of color, pictures and engaging text and it reads more like a story versus snippets of information. Just the right amount of information. I should have bought the book (and may go back) because the book was $8.00! It just seems to lend itself to one being able to visit a rabbit trail if you so desire or just keep reading along. For whatever reason I didn't see, or this book wasn't available a few years ago but if had been I'd probably not ended up in tears and mailing it back as fast as possible.
  13. Since you would be applying as out of state - put in the application as you might be surprised at the assistance she'll receive financially. VA students are not getting the $$$ to attend the VA schools but the out-of-state applicants are getting great packages to come to these schools. Just saying....
  14. So he is reading at grade level but his spelling is not great. I'll be honest - not sure I know a second grader that could spell the word laundry so perhaps things are not as bad as you think they might be. I've read repeatedly over the years as I worked with 4 kids - 3 of which have struggled due to many issues - dyslexic/dysgraphia were just the start...that you don't focus on spelling until you've got the foundation solid when it comes to reading and it sounds like you are still working on this at this point. I'd be inclined to look at All About Spelling and just reaffirm those early lessons of reading - you'd be reviewing skills he already knows and work on those small words he seems to be missing. Take a look at their site - they now have an app that might be appealing. Also look at Logic of English - this works with the phonics instruction and handwriting - yes, I know HWT has been working but with dysgraphia - he's going to hit a wall.
  15. So if you go with the assumption that he is dyslexic/dysgraphic I wouldn't be using Pathways/ETC - they are great, I suppose for review but I didn't find retention in the long run for a struggling student. I would look at something that is OG - for a young student All About Reading would be great - yes, not cheap, but cheaper than Barton. They don't recommend spelling until you've completed the first 3 levels of reading and then you begin to review all those sounds you've learned. I've worked through the AAR and AAS - I completed all of the AAR levels but after level 3 of AASpelling is when I switched back over to Spelling U See. They have specific time guidelines so the child is not writing for long periods of time. When I started SUS I was stopping the writing process but my kids wanted to write more and they didn't like not finishing the selection during dictation so we just kept going - but NOT until they were much stronger in their skills. There are other OG options, obviously but this is what I found worked and was easy to implement and very child/teacher friendly. But it is important to keep in mind that this is not something that can be done independently by the student - it has to be taught - as it should be because once they've learned something the "wrong way" it sure is hard to have them unlearn it 😉 You didn't say what you are using for handwriting instruction?
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