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Everything posted by alicai

  1. Anyone tried Earworms for language learning? It's an interesting idea to pair with music. Seeking reviews!
  2. Thank you very much to all of you for your input. It is very helpful and I appreciate it. I met yesterday with my special ed friend and we came up with a plan for how to try to get Emery the most assessments as soon as possible. Our thinking was it's free, it's a starting point, and if anything comes up positive, I can then use it to get additional covered testing. PeterPan, our VT doc is not a Fellow with COVD although he comes highly recommended to us by friends. I've already paid for the assessment and the second part of that is the meeting with him next week. So we'll go to that at least, but I really appreciate your advice on not pre-paying visits because I know that is something they do. I did find a Fellow somewhat farther away but they require weekly sessions and, without going back to work, I simply have no way to pay for that. So I'm not sure what to do there. I am going to try to test for retained reflexes myself today and see if there is some work we can do on that.
  3. I need help unwinding what is going on with DD6 and figuring out what to pursue. Some background: DD6 had an uncomplicated birth but was delayed in all her milestones. I guess I should say she was at the absolute tail-end of acceptable for all milestones and some were over. The ped said if I wasn't worried, she wasn't worried. Looking back, I can find pictures as young as 6 months old where she has one inward-turning eye. We noticed it but thought it was transient. A couple of years ago, this became more pronounced and we took her to see an optometrist. She received a diagnosis of hyperopia and accommodative esotropia ou and he tried putting her in prismed glasses. The next year at her check up, her diagnosis included visual disturbance unspecified and paresis of accommodation. I remember him telling me that she had 18 extra degrees of rotation in the right eye and that he was putting her in bifocals to try to help hold the eye in place but that even that prescription could only correct 3 degrees. He recommended vision therapy when she was a bit older. Yesterday we did the VT assessment. On the computer portion (RightEye), none of her eye tracking or focus movements were close to normal. Her overall score was 22, very low. I was surprised by one auditory test the therapist did where she asked DD to remove a sound from a word, like say "play" without the p. I already knew that DD cannot do this for words that involve blends and certain sound groupings, but I was surprised the VT was assessing this. Can anyone shed light here? Meanwhile, I have a good friend who used to be the IEP coordinator for our local district. She has multiple special ed credentials etc. She asked me in passing the other day when we were starting speech therapy. This caught me 100% off guard. I knew that DD's pronunciation wasn't all the way there yet but in no way considered her to have a speech delay. My friend also asked if we were starting OT and said she thinks she has fine motor deficits. This made more sense to me because of the visual perception issues. DD does struggle a great deal with things like handwriting and she is extremely frustrated by her inability to draw. Her drawing attempts do not look like other 6yos. I am now trying to figure out what all is involved here and what assessments and therapies I need to seek. Money is a significant factor. VT is already going to cost much more than I had thought and we will be maxed out there. I am aware that I can get a speech assessment and therapy if needed through our school district. If I am able to get an IEP for that, there is a apparently a path to an OT assessment and treatment that would be covered by the district. But I'm now wondering if there are auditory processing issues as well, and I already know someone who couldn't get that tested through the district. Is seeking OT premature, do you think, when VT may really help visual perception? Oh, I forgot one piece. DD is highly sensory seeking. From a very young age, she developed a behavior of self-soothing by rocking back and forth hard on the couch, in the car, in her high chair. She used to do it so hard that we used to put a pillow behind her, but we just let it be and she has done it less and less with time. She still does it now but rarely, only when stressed. She very frequently asks for petting or holding and likes to be held tightly. She likes to listen to music as much and as loud as possible. If the music is loud, she will almost always go sit down and rock/bounce to it. Do these seem like separate things or do they make a whole? Her preschool teacher suggested she was on the spectrum and I disagreed. I thought it was more likely to be a SPD but didn't feel we needed a diagnosis at that time. She looks people in the eye and loves playing with other kids. She communicates very well. She hates playing or being alone. Also, please talk to me about my educational choices. I am using LOE with her, cursive-based. I felt she would need something really incremental and highly multisensory. This has been going really well. The integrated speech exercises are perfect, and she is already writing things like "dad" fluently. I'm using RightStart for math and games. My thinking is that she's going to need very robust pictorial mental scaffolding because symbol interpretation and manipulation may always be a challenge. Each day I have her do midline work: drawing large sideways 8s, crossbody movements, etc. Each day she does art of various sorts to help with fine motor. I welcome all your thoughts and input. Thank you for taking the time to read a long post!
  4. Marine Bio 101 followed by vertebrates and invertebrates with Next Level Homeschool. My daughter LOVED it and learned an incredible amount.
  5. I wonder if Prodigy has any plans to add levels.
  6. Both of my kids LOVE Prodigy, but DD12 placed into late 8th grade and there are few topics she doesn't know. I so wish she could keep using it into more advanced topics. Any suggestions for something similarly fun for younger kids with advanced math skills?
  7. Thank you so much to all of you for the info and support. It has been very helpful. I was able to obtain a copy of her chart today from the dr's office and here is what I've learned: The current diagnosis is: -Accommodative Esotropia OD right eye -Visual Disturbance Unspecified, right eye -Paresis of Accommodation OU distributed on left and right eyes His notes mention at the midline both eyes now jump by 20PD. The notes suggest 3-4 months VT - oculomotor, fusion, and accomm. I'm not sure what the differences are there.
  8. It doesn't turn in all the time. I first noticed the slight inward turn when she was a baby. In fact, I have a picture of it. I was not overly concerned about this because DD9 had the same thing and it just went away over time. This caused me to wait longer than I otherwise would have before seeing a doctor. But once she was 4 and it was still happening - at that time it was maybe once a day I would notice it - and I knew reading was coming up, I became more concerned. What's happening now is that as soon as she takes off the glasses, the eye immediately turns. She feels uncomfortable while her eyes adjust and then it improves. If I sit to her left, the right eye is turned to focus on me. If I sit right in front of her, it's all fine. The point there being, the eye is not turned at all times, but much more than before the bifocals. It's seeming like from my reading that that is because the bifocals have allowed the eye to rest a lot more. I've found a COVD fellow an hour from here or a well-liked pediatric opthamologist nearby. The opthamologist does not seem to do VT.
  9. That's encouraging. I think accommodative esotropia might be what DD has although the doctor has never told me that. What was the glasses rx if you don't mind me asking? Bifocals? Did you also do VT?
  10. Is it just midline jumps or does the eye inappropriately go inward toward the nose? I can see even just from these posts that the doctor we've been seeing has withheld a lot of information from me, despite my constant questioning, so I'm trying to dial in on her problem. Clearly we need a second opinion.
  11. Bought! I've been eyeballing this for a while. Thanks for sharing!
  12. Highly recommend the Marine Bio series through Next Level Homeschool. DD12 has been through it all and has learned an incredible amount. She just qualified for a highly competitive bio camp on the basis of what she got out of those classes.
  13. DD5 has strabismus in the right eye. Each eye is 20/20 but the two eyes don't track together properly. Every time her vision crosses the midline, the right eye jumps around and she has to refocus. We started with an optometrist (who does VT and came recommended) about a year ago. He prescribed glasses to try and limit the degrees of rotation in the right eye and retrain it. That didn't work. At the last appointment, he moved her to bifocals (progressive). He said she has 18 degrees of rotation in the right eye and the bifocals would limit it a little bit more. This seems to have actively made the strabismus worse. Is this possible? She now says she is uncomfortable without the glasses and she looks to me to have a lot more inappropriate movement in that eye. He suggested that we delay reading while we worked on the problem and this was understandable to me because of the midline issue, but it has been hard to hold her back. She is reading cvc words but I can see where reading sentences is going to be a problem. A year ago when we started treatment, I wasn't too worried about this. I am getting very worried now because the condition is worsening. Looking for input from anyone with experience with this. TIA.
  14. I've been using the Frixion fine points exclusively for a year and never had a problem. I can't stand other pens now! My notebooks stay in the house though. They do run out quicker than other pens, but I buy the refills in bulk and it's not bad. I write every morning, and also do planning. I recently switched from my Panda Planner to trying a bullet journal. For that, I got the Frixion colored marker style and I've liked those too. They work well with the stencils.
  15. I've bought it and am collecting books. Planning to start when more come in. It is pretty similar to the choices I made with my older kids but that was a hodgepodge of stuff we put together. This is way more organized and, for my last kid, it's exactly the type of thing I want to be doing. The Facebook users group is outstanding, btw. They constantly post awesome websites and other books, etc.
  16. I just found Be Naturally Curious science units and I think they look super fun and engaging for littles. I'm planning to use A Butterfly's Adventure and Life in the Desert and probably a few others with my kinder soon.
  17. Thank you, this is helpful. That’s a great point about working on multiple things at once. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  18. I contacted Singapore and got this back. Slightly more info: "You will have to check back in April on our web site for sample pages and prices and more information. They will be less expensive than PM, the books will be full size, and there will be more content. All levels will not be available immediately, just pre-K through 2A and 3A initially, probably. Teacher Guides will be available, but Home Instructor’s Guides not until next year. So if you are using a higher level than that, and need to order immediately, you will have to wait until next year, I guess. But the approach is very similar and it will be possible to switch."
  19. I think I'm going to go with Torchlight. I picked up the PDF guide yesterday (only $30) and I love the looks of this - it's like a more modern, better organized FIAR, which I did with my oldest and that was one of our best years homeschooling ever. The author has put a great deal of thought into making this easy, flexible, fun and increasing the joy and love of learning in your child. I also like the look of the Be Naturally Curious units she recommends for science (and you get 60% off if you buy Torchlight). I'd already decided on RightStart for math. The only place I'm wavering is handwriting/phonics. The Torchlight author recommends LOE, which I am unfamiliar with. I was looking at HWOT because DD5 has visual tracking issues (needs VT) and is already showing the same pencil grip (highly unusual) of DD9, who probably has dysgraphia. I'm feeling a lot of pressure to head this problem off at the pass and I welcome any input. As for phonics, I taught the other kids to read without a formal program and they both read well. But DD5 seems like she may struggle. It's hard to say yet. So a more formal program may benefit her. AAR seems really expensive and intensive. Although she could end up needing that. Decisions!
  20. Where did you see that?? I missed it somehow! I’m not familiar with Be Naturally Curious but I saw that she recommended their science units. Have you tried it? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  21. It does sort of sound Christian! Definitely secular though. I ended up buying it today since it was PDF and only $30 (bound version will be available soon). I'm never an early adopter so this was out of character for me but . . . affordable. Anyway, I've only started going through it but I like it so far. I joined the Facebook groups as well. The author is very thoughtful and intentional. Levels 1 and 2 will be out before Fall. She has plans to go all the way through 6th at least. She releases updates for free. She has clearly given great thought to removing impediments to getting stuff done. For example, one thing that held me back from Bookshark in the past is that there's just.so.much. She has pared down to the most minimal, great quality resources she can find, but she offers curated lists of additional if you would like more. I really appreciate this stance; if a book is $40, she doesn't shy from it if it's the best (in her opinion). But there's also not 40 books to buy. She has deliberately tried to make the vast majority of the lit available through your library. I went through it all today and I'd say 95-98% of it is available through either my local library or the LINK system. She's also taken pains to make the guide simple and not overwhelming. As someone who gets overwhelmed by guides, I'm a fan. I'll update when I can get into it more. This is a big choice for me because I've got charter money to burn in the next few days, so I *could* buy a ton of these books :)
  22. Pandia Press is having 25% off right now through the end of March.
  23. I stumbled across Torchlight today, which is a lit-based secular curriculum. Only K is out so far, and it reminds me of a more modern FIAR or a simpler Bookshark. I'd love to get some user reviews!
  24. I'm up a bit of a creek here because I have $300 in charter funds to burn in the next week and I'd like to spend it on curriculum for next year, and I was thinking about Singapore anyway. Wish I could get my hands on some samples, or at least some real info on differences from regular Primary Math.
  25. I'm totally intrigued by how you could capture all of this in a single journal without getting lost in it. Can you tell me more? Or pics? Pretty please :)
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