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  1. When I was on pg Medicaid (over a decade ago), they included the unborn baby in the household count. With a household of four (counting baby), dh was able to work full time, at above minimum wage, and we were well under the income limits for pg Medicaid and also for under-5 Medicaid. (We were too high for older kid and non-pg adult medicaid.) We also were eligible for WIC, but not food stamps. Definitely research the limits - pg Medicaid limits were higher (at the time, anyway) than other Medicaid limits, and they counted the unborn babies in the household, too.
  2. Lol, that is better than remembering to turn on the stove but forgetting to put the water in, though. My oldest did that and the pot got so hot it melted the solder holding the copper bottom on. I had no idea that was even possible!
  3. If you're using Windows, you can use Paint 3D to convert them to .jpg. Open them in Paint 3D, go to Menu->Save As->Image. Then under the File Name dialog box there's a dropdown menu for "Save As Type", with "2D - PNG (*.png)" selected. Click on the box, and it should show all the available file types. Click on "2D - JPEG (*.jpg)" and then save. That should convert it to jpeg, which Shutterfly should have no trouble with. Another way to make the prints is to collect them into a pdf file and have them printed in color at an online print shop. Don't know whether it's cheaper than shutterfly or not. The Walmart photo center is pretty cheap, esp for the smaller prints, and they can be mailed to your home.
  4. Your summary sounds good to me 👍. I expect you could just jump into DDbD. SYS provides the world's most open-and-go spiral dictation program - it is extremely convenient and easy to use. But most of the value comes from how they've laid it all out for you, and hold your hand as much you need through it. (Also, philosophy-wise, they aren't all that OG - I brought in some extra OG focus.) But with having done AAS, I expect you have all the knowledge you need to apply AAS's approach to word analysis to DDbD. Marking-wise, here's the categories: vowel digraphs, r-controlled vowels, y-as-a-vowel, consonant digraphs, silent letters, prefixes, suffixes; each category gets its own color. I added in blends (between silent letters and affixes), because my girls had a really rough time hearing the separate sounds (let me know if you want my comprehensive list of consonant blends). ETA: I also added in a misc color, because in DDbD my middle was constantly misusing colors (marking as a suffix, say, something that wasn't a suffix, because she felt that it was worth highlighting, but it didn't fit into any category, so she'd (mis)use whatever category she thought was closest), so I gave her a color to use specially for marking things that weren't in a category but that she wanted to highlight to help her remember. ~*~ Just to be complete, I incorporated cursive writing into my teaching of spelling, and I think the cursive aspect was very helpful for my girls. Learning cursive was hard for them, especially for my oldest - I basically ran them, as fluent readers, through the equivalent of a cursive-first spell-to-read approach over the course of a year, right back through the phonics book starting at the beginning - but the connections made were very helpful. I've read that to read cursive you have to be able to read in syllables, not individual letters or phonograms; and to write in cursive you have to be able to spell by syllables, not by individual letters or phonograms. Oldest dd couldn't do that at all when we started, but by the end of spelling through first the phonograms (as she learned new strokes and new letters, I had her practice every phonogram that contained the letters she'd learnt) and then the first 2,000 words in our phonics book (arranged by phonics pattern) - she could. This was in direct contradiction to SYS, btw (lol). They are hardcore practice-spelling-in-print-only, with the idea that it helps to imprint the visual image of the word when there's consistency between book fonts and handwriting fonts. I don't disagree with them, actually, but since I have kids with excellent visual memories and horrible phonemic awareness, I'm constantly trying to find ways to force them to use their ears. And the visual disruption different fonts provide forces them to think through the word phonetically, instead of just relying on their visual memories.
  5. Forgot to mention, Dictation Day by Day is free online - it's in the public domain:"Kate+Van+Wagenen" Turns out I am actually using Modern Speller, which is a compilation of several Dictation Day by Day volumes. Modern Speller Vol 1 is 2nd-4th Year, and Vol 2 is 5th-8th Year. I started with "Fourth Year - First Half", partly so it would be fairly easy, and also because the Fourth Year has pictures and the Fifth Year does not, and my dd likes to color the pictures. I printed out the pages, using the "fit to printer margins" setting (which enlarged it), which makes it easy for dd to mark up. ETA: Also, in terms of "spelling things I've done", I've also done Touch, Type, Read and Spell with the girls, which uses an OG progression. Oldest dd took a little over 1.5yr to finish, while middle dd is 3/4 done in two school years (middle dd hit a wall last year and backed way up when she restarted this year); I'm planning for middle dd to continue over the summer, in the hopes she can finish before this year's subscription is up in mid-August.
  6. What I do is basically SYS, but using my own models (also I incorporated the OG-based sound-spelling correspondence charts we used for phonics and the prefix/suffix chart from Rewards, instead of just using SYS's phonogram/affix lists - so there was continuity with our previous formal study). I suppose it's a subset of studied dictation, in that the "study before" is guided OG word analysis (through marking up the passage SYS-style) + copywork, instead of leaving it entirely up to the kid how they study it. (The latter wouldn't have worked here, either.) It's similar to CW Aesop's approach to word study, in that it's not a *replacement* for a formal spelling program, but instead is guided practice in *applying* the tools learned in a formal program to real-life, uncontrolled models, first by analyzing the words in the passage (using the tools learned in your formal program), next by copying the passage, and finally by writing the passage from dictation. Since I came to studied dictation via SYS (and first applied it to WWE, which introduces dictation by having them use the passage as copywork before writing it from dictation), I forget that the CM approach to studied dictation is a lot more freeform. ETA: With my middle, after she finished the SYS book we had, I started a spiralling dictation program, Dictation Day by Day, which I do in my modified SYS-style. She marks up the passage and then copies it in the morning, and I dictate it to her in the afternoon. And she got tired of marking up her WWE dictation, so she now does it mostly cold (before the dictation, I go over any words I think she might have trouble with). She usually only needs me to go over the words SWB mentions going over.
  7. It's more that I think that *dictation* is super important. WRT studied vs cold dictation, it's not really that I think one is more *important* than the other, but that they do somewhat different things. When it comes to getting spelling to transfer over to in-the-wild writing, I'm not sure there's a big difference between studied dictation and cold dictation; heck, cold dictation, being closer to in-the-wild writing, might actually be more effective. *If* the student can be successful at it. And that right there is why I first started with studied dictation - because cold dictation was just too hard for my oldest. We were doing WWE2, and there was just. no. way. she could have done the dictations cold - her spelling was just too bad. Studied dictation allowed her to spell things she couldn't otherwise spell. Studied dictation was kind of a bridge between formal spelling lessons and in-the-wild writing; it had the uncontrolled vocabulary of in-the-wild writing, but it used the analysis tools she'd learned and practiced in formal lessons. In effect, it was applied spelling, guided practice in applying spelling tools to words in the wild. So, mostly I hit studied dictation so much because my kids find it a lot more doable than cold dictation. And I use the SYS markings because it's a fun, efficient way to analyze the words. I do move away from studied dictation to cold dictation (and writing from memory) once they no longer need that sort of guided practice. ETA: Studied dictation has been really helpful in the in-between stage - where they are successful in their spelling program, but it hasn't really hit all the common-but-phonetically-weird words yet (instead working on phonetically regular words and common patterns), and so no matter how good their learned spelling, they miss all these common-but-unlearned words in their writing. Studied dictation allows them to get some guided practice on those words before they study them formally, and so gives a big bump to their outside writing, but is still treating the words phonetically and not as sight words. ETA2: It helps with common multi-syllable words that they haven't gotten to yet in their spelling program, too.
  8. I'm assuming, given your concern plus the stealth dyslexia comment, that your dc's spelling is quite a bit below grade level. My oldest was similar (and my middle not far behind her). My oldest's "in the wild" spelling at the end of 5th wasn't great - she was guaranteed to have several misspellings in anything she wrote, and I strongly encouraged her to do rough drafts (that I would spell-check) before she wrote anything she meant to give to someone. (Even so, the garden-variety "bad spelling" she had at the end of 5th was a genuine improvement over the truly wretched spelling she had at the end of 3rd, where anything over CVC was more likely to be misspelled than not.) But by the end of 7th, she was fairly decent, and now she's fairly effective. She can spell most of the top 2,000 words "in the wild", and she can effectively use a dictionary to look up words she isn't sure of. (She says spell-check is only helpful when she's just switched the order of two letters, but otherwise she has more success looking a word up in the dictionary than in spell-check recognizing her attempts.) A key thing is that, between her spelling and dictionary skills, she can figure out most any word - she's no longer having to censor herself, avoiding using words because she doesn't know how to spell them. In general, to get my girls spelling, I've been doing a three-pronged approach to spelling: 1) work on phonemic awareness (breaking one-syllable words into phonemes and combining phonemes into words, and breaking multi-syllable words into morphemes and combining morphemes into words); I used my homegrown OG-style approach (using Dekodiphukan's sound pictures) for another pass through their phonics book plus Rewards Reading, 2) direct instruction on phonetic spelling (my homegrown OG approach) and then on spelling by morphographs (I used Spelling through Morphographs), and 3) studied dictation, using Spelling You See's visual marking system (we've done a level of SYS, modified WWE dictation to use SYS markings, and done Dictation Day by Day); really, just about everything we did for LA in upper elementary I modified to use SYS markings. Once they had the tools to break words into morphemes and phonemes (and were able to apply them to new words) and were generally successful in their spelling program, studied dictation (and later, once their spelling was good enough, cold dictation) was a big help in getting their spelling skills to transfer to their "in the wild" writing. ~*~ What sorts of things can your dc spell successfully, and what sort of errors do they make? Would you say AAS is working, in the sense that your dc is successfully learning what it is teaching? In general, if AAS is working, I'd continue it, especially since you own it. I'd be more prone to do Megawords (or another morphograph-based spelling program, like Apples & Pears or Spelling through Morphographs) *after* you finish AAS, not *instead* of AAS. If your dc is successful in their spelling program, but it's not transferring to their writing, you could add in some studied dictation alongside your program and see if it helps.
  9. I remember seeing something here about a writing program for upper elementary that was centered around letter-writing, but my google-fu is failing me. Any ideas?
  10. Both of my girls were that way - OG-style spell-your-way-into-reading was great for learning to read, but didn't transfer over to spelling beyond CVC words. Like PeterPan, I did a *lot* of different things with them: *Did another go-around through our OG-style phonogram-based program, but in cursive, using it as both cursive practice and spelling practice. (Was great for learning cursive, for cementing phonics, and for developing the ability to read/write by syllables, but by itself didn't do overmuch for spelling - more helped with precursor skills.) *Did Spelling You See: its visual marking system was just the addition to studied dictation that we needed. (My oldest especially needed it - it taught her to pay attention to the insides of words.) I use SYS's marking system for all our studied dictation (doing Dictation Day by Day with middle now); I also converted WWE's cold dictation into studied dictation for my oldest (because her spelling wasn't good enough to write it without practice), and had both girls use the marking system on WWE's copywork. I do SYS in cursive instead of the print they strongly recommend, because I've got kids who have excellent visual memories but who struggle with spelling by ear, so the way the different fonts interrupt visual memory and require them to work through it more by ear is a feature instead of a bug for us. Dictation in general has been a big help in spelling. *Did Rewards Reading: hit the reading side of working through multisyllabic words by morphographs, but many of the skills it worked on are needed for spelling words by morphographs as well (lots of practice with breaking words into morphographs and putting morphographs together into words). *Did Spelling through Morphographs: this has been *huge* in developing their spelling ability. *Did Touch, Type, Read, and Spell: an OG approach to spelling, so it gives us a third time through OG (and to a higher level) In general, I've combined reading-based instruction, spelling-based instruction, and dictation (studied first, and studied and cold, once they are able to spell well enough). They've needed the targeted instruction to learn *how* to spell, and the extensive dictation work to give them enough practice applying their fledgling spelling skills so that they can learn to spell "in the wild".
  11. Two of my kids are lefties. I don't really remember noticing till age 3 or so. We haven't had too many difficulties. I can write a bit with my left hand, so when I was teaching them to write I'd just pick up the pencil in my left hand and see how I did it, which was a big help. The right-handed mouse issue didn't even occur to me until last year; neither of my lefties had any problem using a right-handed mouse - my oldest even games that way. I tried to teach my lefties to crochet right-handed (so they'd not have to flip patterns around), but my oldest had problems and my youngest automatically switched to using his left hand; I'll probably see if my oldest does better crocheting left-handed. I taught my oldest right-handed knitting (ditto pattern reasons), but she's never persisted enough to know whether handedness is an issue or not. I can crochet left-handed, a bit, but I don't even know where to start wrt knitting left-handed, so that will be fun if dd13 wants to try it. ETA: Because of this thread, all my kids have spent the past 10 minutes trying to write and draw with their off hands, lol. They are all actually pretty decent - they can all produce legible print (albeit a bit wobbly and slanting down the page), and those who've learned cursive can produce legible cursive. My lefties actually did better at drawing with their right hands than my righty did with her left hand - not as good as with their left, but plenty serviceable.
  12. Here's a more elegant way of solving the soda problem than I did before, one that takes better advantage of 1/20 cans as your common unit: Having found your LCM=20, you draw your diagram, dividing your bar into 20 equal units: |-----*****-----*****| Then mark the parts on your bar (2/5 of 20 is 8 units of cherry; 1/4 of 20 is 5 units of root beer; the remaining 7 units are the 28 cans of fruit juice): |-----***|**---|--*****| 1 unit = 28 cans / 7 units = 4 cans 8 units (of cherry) - 5 units (of root beer) = 3 units difference 3 units * 4 cans/unit = 12 cans difference
  13. I will say, if you understand the problem and can solve it another way, it *is* a fun puzzle to then try to figure out how you'd do the bar diagram. Pretty much all bar diagrams fall into two categories: part-whole and comparison. Part-whole is usually one bar subdivided into parts (like the above soda problem), while comparison usually has each part gets its own bar (and you figure out how each bar relates to each other and the total). (And problems can combine elements of both: individual comparison bars being subdivided into parts, or comparing parts of a whole (like the end of the soda problem).) Figuring out which one to draw is the first decision you make with bar diagrams. Some problems can be drawn effectively either way, but some definitely prefer one or the other - if you choose wrong you'll run into trouble at some point. Once you get past the four operations and into fractions, ratios, and percentages, then another element comes into play: that of a unit. Generally speaking, in diagramming a fraction/ratio/percentage problem, you want to define some quantity as your base unit and draw everything in relation to it. Really, it's very comparable to choosing a variable. (Although if you bring algebraic thinking to figuring out your diagram, sometimes you'll end up with a less elegant unit than if you were thinking in diagrams - the diagram becomes more of an appendage or visual showing of your algebra than a genuine tool for solving the problem.) So, in the soda problem, the first bit of work you do is to find your LCM for your unlike fractions, and that's your unit - 1/20 of the total number of cans - and everything sorts out very nicely from there. So, in terms of trying to puzzle out bar diagrams, it helps to think in terms of part/whole versus comparison, and (in fractions/etc.) to seek a common unit to subdivide your bars into.
  14. It's a basic part-whole diagram, but what makes it hard is dealing with the fractions of differing denominators - figuring out how to draw it without basically solving it first to be able to accurately draw it. You can first find your LCM and make 2/5 and 1/4 into equivalent fractions (8/20 and 5/20), and then you'd know just how to draw everything. But you don't have to. The way I deal with the practical issue of drawing unlike fractions accurately but without making equivalent fractions first is to: *draw my bar, *draw lines for fifths on the top and mark the 2/5 cherry soda on one end, *draw lines for fourths on the bottom and mark the 1/4 root beer on the other end, and *mark what's left in the middle as the 28 cans. It would look like this: Then the equation set-up is pretty straightforward: 1 - 2/5 - 1/4 = 7/20 (fraction that are juice cans); 7/20 of the total cans = 28 cans, so total cans = 80 cans; 2/5 of the total cans = 32 cans (of cherry soda); 1/4 of the total cans = 20 cans (of root beer); 32 cans (cherry soda) - 20 cans (root beer) = 12 more cherry sodas ~*~ That said, if she is capable of reliably setting up and solving problems with variables and equations, and you both otherwise like SM7 - is there any reason she can't just do the SM problems that way instead of doing bar diagrams? I mean, I do like bar diagrams for helping to see what's going on, but they are just one tool among many. ~*~ FWIW, I'm finishing up Dolciani Pre-Alg with my oldest and I do like it.
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