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About 1shortmomto4

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  1. I'm following along on this thread because my youngest has all these same traits. If it is "boring" they shut down. If you add in all the bells and whistles it is great for about 5 minutes and then back to boring. I've done the reading, he's done the reading, we've done the reading - same results. The one and only thing that produces any results is one that if ds is interested in the subject then all is great. Yes, I know that real life isn't like that - sometimes you got to do the stuff you don't like or have an interest. I just keep thinking if I just hand him a great book with interesting characters, theme, etc. that he'll just read and read and love life but nope, not unless it is something he totally has interest in and even then... Algebra was a struggle but we've moved on to geometry and are using MUS. I start new lessons on Monday and Monday and Tuesday are grumblefests and Wednesday the cloud begins to lift and I encourage him that he is getting it. That he knows it, etc and by Friday all is mastered and then we start over again on Monday. He as I'm sure your dd are very smart cookies and trying to pull out that talent and help them use it in a way that will allow them to grow and mature and pursue their dreams - man, this is just plain hard! I thought I was on to something with science (We are using Apologia's brand new 3d edition General Science - with all the bells and whistles) (I choose this in order to work on other skills like note taking and test taking because this is something I learned I needed to do sooner for better college prep) but he is now shutting down when I pull the book out. Ugh! Again, I've read it, he's read it, we've read it and the lecture video reinforces the info but if he isn't interested then he becomes Mr. Grumpy. But I'm still plodding thru to try and work on other skills but sheesh, can't I just have one student that doesn't balk at what is assigned and just magically understands it and does the work with a smile. Not today, not today, I've no real issues but know you aren't alone is trying to figure out what is going on and finding something that works.
  2. cbollin - CBU has wonderful accommodations - more than I've seen anywhere in my state! I wish this were closer to home. It is located in my dream state but my dh won't move 😞 My ds is currently attending the big Christian university in VA and they could and should do soooooo much more for their students with disability but I think they've fallen into the trap of "there are plenty of other students who want that spot so if you can't succeed sorry." There is an organization trying to improve the accommodations at universities but first it has to be written into law in a much clearer fashion. It is clearly written for the K-12 but things drop off at the university level.
  3. My ds (severe hearing impairment and a host of other dx) used a small tape recorder because we couldn't afford the smart pens technology. It was helpful, at times. The note taker accommodation - that is an interesting one. The student is required to find and ask a fellow student in the class to either use special paper (the disability office typically provides) that is placed under their paper that copies the notes or some other way to get a copy of the notes - taking pictures with their phone, xeroxing. This can be a problem because the student is trying to find someone that they think can take good notes that are useful and legible. It can work out just fine as long as you've found a the great note taker in the class. My dd was asked to do this for a vision impaired student in a math course and she was good in math and wrote clear so that was a win for that student (on the flip side, the student played games on his phone the entire lecture time because he didn't have to worry about paying attention because he knew the notes would be clear and helpful - so this can be a downside to a student paying attention). Should the student not feel comfortable asking other students the professor is supposed to intercede (my ds had one that refused! - until the disability office stepped in). Another accommodation that my ds had was being provided an outline prior to the lectures of the professor's lecture so that it had the major points covered with space beneath to write in key words, etc. which helped in processing the information and keeping him on track. After the lecture, some professors provided the rest of the information so he could be sure he caught it all. Again, some professors just won't provide this despite the written documentation. The most important fact in using anything to help the student in the lecture hall - it must be in writing. Gone are the days in which students could just set down the recorder and go back and listen to it later - whether you had a disability or not. It is not allowed - without the explicit written approval. My ds had a professor who told him that he couldn't record the lecture but once it was made clear that it specifically said he could on his Memorandum of Accommodations the professor could not longer ignore it. Your student may not use all that is listed on that MOA but it is better to have it on there from the start and the student can use what works for them - each class can be different. It is harder to add something to that MOA than it is to take away.
  4. I understand that these kids have to learn to advocate for themselves - but he's young yet, a freshman, just beginning to learn to advocate and counting on the adults around him to do the right thing. I'm pretty sure your young man is respectful so not going to speak out when things are not the way they should be for fear of being perceived as rude or going against the manners you've taught along the way. Reading between the lines, I can see that what really doesn't work is putting him in a class with switching teachers (due to maternity leave), switching techniques/styles, you name it. This young man needs a solid routine that doesn't change like the menu in the cafeteria 😉 And sadly, the "expert" should know this like the back of his hand. He should also know that "just trying a bit harder" to accomplish something that was clearly spelled out as a huge weakness doesn't bring success. That is like telling my son to listen harder (who is very hard of hearing!) or a person who can't see to try harder to see or someone who can't walk to try harder to walk. Aggravating!!!! I have no experience at the high school level - but I do have it at the college level and man, you think this is frustrating! Hopefully in 3 more years, there were be more laws in place to protect the students at the college-level because they are minimal at best now! Keep your emails and you need to make your voice just as a firm as your dh. The only people who are truly vested in your ds' success is you and his dad. Yes, there are some great educators as you go along (my dd is a teacher) but the people leading or in charge of the "circus" can be a whole other thing. I think it is important to stress that the accommodation didn't say "applies only to long assignments" but to ALL assignments. Keep that IEP handy to be double-checking as you go along this year. It is a learning experience for all, sadly. I hope and pray this meeting resolves the issues - and trust me, what you learn in these high school years will definitely help prepare you for what needs to happen at the next level of learning!
  5. I'm 100% sure he is not on the spectrum. There has been some thought that he could be OCD but truly he presents as ADHD. We are working on getting an official dx so that he'll have whatever supports and meds (unfortunately most likely - I just don't like them but do know they have their place). I honestly believe that aside from the ADHD (and his fear of failure), that unfortunately I'm playing catch up on his skills because of all the time, emotions and effort I've had to place on other siblings over his schooling years. This is his time now, for the most part, and I want to really help him achieve success and work towards a strong launch into adulthood - however that looks. He is not sure what he wants to do but we've discovered some strengths recently (fixing coding and programming in computer systems). He is still fascinated with things in the medical world and meteorology and he has been writing a novel that is almost 200 pages long! I managed to sneak a peek (he won't let me see it) at the first page and I was shocked at the depth of his writing - but this hasn't translated into any essay writing (yet).
  6. No, we have no used BF in the past although I have used pieces of it in the past with other siblings (the geography program and read thru most of the character/moral books). Here are the first two questions: What does nine-year-old Jethro Creighton think of the prospect of war in Chapter 1? How does Wilse Graham response to Uncle Matt's comment that separation would leave them two "puny pieces" of nation? So, the word puny would have been a game changer but once we discussed that he still was a deer-in-headlights with nothing to offer that I could help expand upon. He is such a gentle soul and easily hurt so I'm treading very lightly. He shared that he has read other books (fiction and nonfiction) and understood those but when he is reading something that he has no interest in or is worried that he will need to produce an answer of some sort he just shuts down. He said after about 2 pages of the book being read aloud (or him reading) that he just shut down. I'm not sure what all this means, if anything. What I've decided to do is pull out my Truthquest guides, find a good resource for a timeline and some notebooking pages (he's probably beyond the lapbook! ;-)) and work through history this way instead of killing it slowly. I do need to focus, I think, on comprehension skills - unless this is achieved through reading and working through narration (spoken and written). There is just a lot of immaturity in his development but also a lot of growth (he has definitely passed his older brother with ASD in maturity but it appears to be a slow process in my home with all of my boys - but this is also typical of adhd, too). I guess I was looking at Sonlight because I like to have a guide (that gives me questions/answers) but I'm going to have work beyond that comfort zone and be grateful that I'm only teaching one - I can do this!
  7. I finally implemented history late last week and this week and just when I thought all would be fine - not so fast. My goal for this student (my last one who has been given the short end of the stick over the years because of siblings who needed more help/time/attention) is to really begin shoring up the skills and getting him prepared for most likely CC. In the process for offical dx of ADHD and he struggles with hypersensitive hearing (whereas the oldest struggles with major hearing loss - opposite ends of the spectrum). He is an awesome speller and reading skills are strong - but I think we have a problem with comprehension/retention when done independently. Here is what happened (we are using BF Modern for middle school level): student part of assignment was to read Chapters 1 and 2 of Across 5 Aprils so I look at the number of pages and assign half and finish up the following day (BF uses a 3x a week for history). Time drags on and he slowly decomposes and then is so frustrated he won't speak or interact with anyone. I give him his space and finally he comes to me and we are able to have a discussion about what happened. After page 2 or 3 he totally shut down and had no idea what he read, etc. We discussed that perhaps listening to it being read and following along might produce better results so we head to the library and get the book on CD and start over the next day. Two days go by and he is finished (and no meltdowns - for a lack of better description) so I ask him the first of 4 questions - absolutely no idea what the answer is and very little ability to narrate what he read over the past two days. So here I am trying to figure out how to approach this: Read it to him myself, taking frequent breaks to discuss what we read, etc. (or even finding some graphic organizers on line to fill in as we go along - characters, etc.) and taking things super slow and hope he can grow stronger/stamina as we progress thru the program? Hand hold as long as needed? If I do this, perhaps a reading comprehension program to further work on those skills (which one)? Find something entirely different that would grow the stamina of reading but at a lower reading level (Core 4 of Sonlight just to strengthen the reading skills but even that, with all the reading aloud, would turn into the Peanut's teacher scenario - blah blah blah). I know his reading/coding skills are above average but the stamina and staying tuned in are at issue here but not sure how to gently grow that confidence and ability. I have no reason to believe he can't succeed but not sure if I've chosen the right thing to allow it to happen. But I also don't want to be curriculum hopping. He is doing beautifully with Apologia general science (the lessons are broken down in readable chunks (and the new 3rd edition is absolutely awesome!), the notebook is teaching him to take notes, look for the important info, and critical thinking - I've used other Apologia and it is blah blah blah but this new writer is awesome!). I wish there was something like it for history - I can't do creative on my own.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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. 😉
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