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About MerryAtHope

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    Amateur Bee Keeper

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    Author--Invisible Illness, Visible God: When Pain Meets the Power of an Indestructible Life
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    Crocheting, writing, violin, homeschooling of course!
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    Customer Care Representative, AALP

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    Writing, singing, encouraging, hanging out on message boards, and homeschooling of course!

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  1. Consonant blends are really hard for a lot of kids. I think in your shoes that I'd take a break over the summer. Read books to him that he's interested in--all kinds of fiction and non-fiction. Work to create a love for books, which in turn helps with motivation to read. How is he with phonological awareness skills like rhyming and oral blending? If these are hard for him, work on those skills over the summer instead of reading specifically. This article has some ideas and free downloads you can use. Reading is really hard work for kids with dyslexia, so it's not unusual that it's so difficult for him. When you start back up, I would restart AAR from the beginning but implement the lessons too. Keep things short and fun if possible (I know it's not always possible in this "reading is a lot of work" stage for kids!). The AALP site has free practice page activity ideas to make those pages more enjoyable (which tend to be difficult but important for kids who struggle.) Doing things like the switch out tile activities can really help with consonant blends. Work on ending blends first--beginning blends tend to be a bit harder. Change one tile at a time, like had-lad-land-sand-sad-pad-pod-pond, or gift-lift-left-theft, etc... Do a string each day, and make sure he's using the full blending procedure if he starts to guess. It does take work, but he'll get there! You can also check out the Dyslexia Resources page for teaching tips and ideas.
  2. LOL, congratulations on a great score! I laugh every time I see the title!
  3. Thanks, this is so helpful! I'm thinking that when the young man heard "scholarship," he's thinking "full ride, I can go anywhere," and the reality from what you and Lori are saying is more like a 1k or 2k scholarship.
  4. How do you know, like, everything, @Lori D.?!
  5. some poster ideas: Get foam board and mount posters (you can put a different one on each side). Then you can display them around a room (either mount temporarily or just lean them against walls etc...) and put them away when you need to. Hallways can be good places to put posters that will be seen regularly, even if you don't have a school area. Use a clear vinyl tablecloth on your dining room or kitchen table, and put posters on the table, under the cloth. Again, easy to change out if you have company or want to change up the poster Use magnets to put posters on the fridge or on metal doors Put posters on closet doors (inside or outside--open the door to display the poster during school hours, close it to hide it away).
  6. I'd just have the student read to you a bit each day and discuss his readers and also read-alouds that you do with him. I would not worry about doing a separate reading comprehension program with overall good scores (and the scores could be something like bad or confusing questions, or that he reads a bit slower than the test allows for etc...). Having him read to you is one of the best ways to really know how he's doing with regard to all reading skills, and also to help him develop comprehension skills.
  7. @dmmetler or others--what can you tell me about scholarships for boys doing cheer (asking for a friend)? The student is finishing junior year and was "told" by someone (not sure who) that he'd "for sure" get a scholarship as a guy doing cheer. Is there a place to find more info on colleges that might offer scholarships, what it takes to get one and other basic info?
  8. By the time my kids were the ages of your older ones, they preferred to just take any independent work to their rooms to do--they really didn't use a "school room" for anything. We have a livingroom adjacent to our kitchen where I did our together time in the mornings (Bible, history etc...) and also our one-on-one time each day. Science experiments were generally done in the kitchen, and then evening read-alouds were done in our upstairs family room. So--not exactly a "homeschool room" type of situation here! It's just not how our lives flowed. I might consider looking towards making the basement into a teen hang-out spot with game tables etc... though...
  9. For me, having a nice diploma was a reflection of the accomplishment. I worked hard, they worked hard, and a homeschool high school is a real education they can be proud of. The diploma showed I took what we did seriously. Whether others will ever need to see it is irrelevant because I made it for my kids first and foremost.
  10. I take a debrief approach. "So, do you think you could have done anything differently this semester?" Help him think about what he could change for the future to turn all that moaning into something positive. "Those are all great ideas! What do you think you'll do differently in the fall to implement those?" Get him off the broken record and onto something positive. "I think you have a good plan. For what it's worth, I'm proud of you. College is hard, and some semesters are harder than others. Do your best and don't worry about the grades." But if it keeps up after a conversation or series of conversations along these lines, I'd probably say, "No one's perfect. Shake it off and move on."
  11. My kids did levels 7-11, and there is only grammar in levels 1-6. However, I tend to prefer grammar that is applied directly to writing, and think I would have liked that! I didn't do grammar every single year though--some years were a writing focus, and others were grammar focus. So, I probably would have been fine even if the grammar seemed light to me. The writing is the only program that worked for us consistently over time, and was definitely worth it here! It's the only thing that broke the writing task down into small enough tasks to make it doable for my son especially, and finally moved him from being dependent on me and oral writing most of the time, to being able to put all of the skills together and start writing independently. It took a lot of work and scaffolding to get to that point, and he was older than your son (9th grade) when it started all coming together. Different challenges, but quite significant to overcome. Anyway, hth some!
  12. Essentials in Writing by Matthew Stephens is really incremental. That turned writing around for us here.
  13. My ds will be a transfer student in the fall, so it wasn't a graduation present, but he really appreciated getting a sweatshirt for his new school! I agree, it does help the transition seem real!
  14. Congratulations! I wouldn’t worry about it; You used a grading standard and she met your standard. There are lots of ways public school kids can add points to their scores, such as extra credit and through attendance and class participation.
  15. You’re right about the Sonlight guides, they have gone up a lot.
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