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Posts posted by LEK

  1. I am reviewing what I am using for school for my ASD 6yo, child #3, and I think there is room for significant improvement.

    By age she is mid way through grade 1 (jan-dec school year). By ability she is just (finally!) beginning to learn to read CVC words, no concept of writing but a solid late 2nd grade level in mathematics. She is on a k-1st grade level understanding wise for all other subjects however her complete lack of reading/writing makes these challenging. She also needs things to be "orderly", if it looks messy (eg miquon) or feels disjointed in any way she cannot cope. Neat, orderly, lined up, precise, and explicit, she is that kind of kid.

    So, I am after recommendations of tried and true curriculum for the early schooling years that appeal to and have worked for other ASD kids in the hopes that it will also work for us. Main subjects we are looking for are reading/LA, mathematics, and science. They must not be overly parent intensive especially in preparation, open and go is perfect, I will have 4 kiddos homeschooled next year, K-7th, and if I need to prep the lessons ahead of time then they just do not happen, period.

    I will also have a very bright and advanced but young K kiddo next year so suggestions for curricula that I can combine teaching the 2 younger kids would be great. They are at very similar grade/ability levels despite a 2.5 year age gap.

    Thanks for getting through all that ? Any suggestions most welcome, I am hoping there is something out there that will make the schooling side of raising her less challenging and intense.

  2. Please help me before my 9yo (4th grade) drives me absolutely bonkers.

    She does not get fractions AT ALL beyond identifying how many parts have been shaded on a shape divided into equal parts, ie if shown a picture of a shape divided into 3rds with 1 piece shaded she can correctly identify that is 1/3 shaded. That is it. We have been stuck on fractions for months now, she is getting nowhere. Nowhere!

    I have tried different books, I have explained it, dh has explained it, she has watched lessons online. Nothing works. What can we try? Does anyone have any resources they can recommend to help her? She has taken time off hoping a break would help, we have tried different approaches including hands on and different curriculum, we have done other math areas and moved sideways for a while, more time off, we are getting no where. She cannot move forward without getting this, she has completed all other concepts at this level besides decimals which obviously requires an understanding of fractions. She is just stuck and has been for ages.

    So, tried and true fractions help and instruction for a kid who just does not get fractions. What would you recommend? We are open to anything!

  3. I am after some suggestions for audio books for my 6yo dd please.

    Diagnosed ASD, average to good comprehension for her age but very delayed in expressive language.

    She does not like picture books and never has. Will not even look at one.

    Will not, under any circumstances, allow someone to read to her (again, never has, even as a tiny baby she would not allow it). She will not even stay in the kids room at the library during story time as there is someone there reading aloud...

    She loves audio books lol lol lol

    So, we are needing quality books in audio format that will appeal and be suitable for an ASD 6yo. Ideally we want great quality literature, must be a chapter book, definitely no picture books on audio, I swear she knows it is meant to be a picture book and will not allow it, and most are not the same without the pictures anyway.

    We listen in the car while driving to extra curricula activities and visiting family so it would be great if the book was interesting to the rest of us, the older kids are 9 and almost 11.

    Luckily since we moved last last year our new library has a decent collection to borrow but it seems very hit and miss for her, they are all either twaddle or way over her head.

  4. My dd10 (would have just started 5th grade in ps) just finished the first chapter of AOPS pre algebra. We were going to do it last year but she found the layout and presentation too overwhelming. A year later and she is now able to tackle it and did so well.


    I know chapter 2 is generally considered to be the hardest, fingers crossed we make it through ok :)

    • Like 9
  5. Hi all,

    Aussie here, I am planning out our new school year which begins this month and am in need of 4 recommendations for literature studies. I have planned out their main curriculum and each child has 10 weeks left over that will not be covered by their major year long studies. This will be broken into 4 literature study units at the end of each of our 4 school terms of between 2 and 4 weeks.

    Ideally I am thinking of doing each literature selection as a 2(ish) week long literature inspired unit study.


    My requirements are:

    Each book appropriate and appealing for grades 4 and 6 (both girls), they will be doing these literature units together

    Literature guide OR unit study available for each book which covers both discussion questions and written assignments. Ideally a guide I can get as a digital product but not a requirement.

    We will have between 2 and 4 weeks per book so something achievable in this time period.

    Secular guide.


    What books and guides would you recommend? Thanks!



  6. Is there anything like the prodigy math game only harder? My 10yo still loves the game and plays frequently however she finished the content well over 12 months ago and has completely mastered all that prodigy covers. She just keeps repeating the 8th grade stuff over and over. It is good review but I would like if she could actually move forward in the game. So is there another game option that would appeal to a 10yo? Thanks

  7. We are getting an audio book library sorted right now. There is not a lot in terms of free stuff available here, a few at the library but that's it, but the mum is buying a couple a week online so soon enough there should be a good collection happening. And there are free ones online too.


    At to classroom accommodation, it looks like the school has finally realized the extent of the issue and is now going to start being of assistance. Before this they were saying this child was only a year, maybe 2 max, behind her peers and that was not enough in their opinion to warrant classroom accommodations and extra assistance, now they have realized she is actually 5 years behind they are starting to work with the child and her family. We will see how this pans out and the extent of the assistance that is actually given long term, the school has only come to the party in the last week so they are still working out the details and putting plans in action.  We will see what happens but so far the news on the school front is a lot more promising.

    • Like 4
  8. At the moment we are getting together 2 times a week for an hour at a time. I am just using resources I have on my shelf until we hit a problem that I cannot deal with using the current resources. This way I know exactly where she is at and I should have the most possible information to make a decision on the best program to purchase when we hit that stage. So far things are going really well, much better than I expected actually. Both mother and daughter are very dedicated to sorting this out and they are working together every evening, I am sending home work for them to do and instructing the mother in how to do it correctly. It is too early to see any major improvements as we have only had 3 sessions but she is starting to sound out unfamiliar CVC words which is a pretty big step forward already.


    And in some really exciting news, the school decided to test her themselves as they did not trust my assessment of 1st grade reading level. Well guess what, she IS first grade level! She can read some harder words from memory or good guesses but she also has some holes in her kindergarten level skills. She is now getting one on one reading help in school, it is only 20 minutes 3 times a week but it is a great start. They have started her back at the same place as I have, reviewing and practicing letter sounds and filling in the gaps (as there were 9 she actually did not know!) and sounding out VC and CVC words.


    All in all things are looking up. She is making progress even in such a short time, the school is now on board, and we are starting to get the gaps in the very early reading knowledge filled in. I will keep you updated on our progress :)

    • Like 3
  9. oodles of time lol, I have 4 kids one of which also has ASD, all I have is ooodles of mess and books :P

    looking up ronit bird now, I got sick of the kids fighting inside and sent them out, we have 1.5 acres they can fight on, they don't need to be under my chair


    The 7yo is having all sorts of issues at school and it is affecting the entire family. I agree, I would take out the older first and get in a routine and get a feel for everything and then take out the younger next year once both mother and older child have settled in to homeschooling and worked out what works for them

    • Like 2
  10. Wow!



    If she is pulled out to homeschool what happens financially?  Does the school / district lose money by losing her? And does that make for any incentive to do something, or do they just not care?



    How strenuous are the requirements there to homeschool? And is there any help offered to homeschoolers?


    Did you say there was also a sister?


    Anyway, I hope the meeting on Tuesday goes well!!!


    The school does not lose any money this year, funding is paid at the beginning of a school year and stays with the school once it is paid even if the child leaves or moves schools, if they are pulled then the school loses the funding for them for next year. Frankly, the school just does not care and the funding these girls bring to the school does not get spent on them at all.


    Yes there is a sister. She is 7 and has ASD. She has no obvious learning disabilities however spends more time sent out of the room for "behavior issues" rather than in class. They will both be pulled together if it comes to homeschooling.


    Homeschooling in our state is not regulated at all, there is no assistance or help of any kind but on the other hand, the only requirements to get registered are to send in a copy of their birth certificate and fill in a 1 page document stating that you intend to offer educational opportunities to your children in their home and that you will cover (in any manner you choose) the key learning areas. That's it. Registration only takes a few minutes and no one bothers to check on anything.  There is some limited funding you can apply for if you are homeschooling for certain reasons (medical conditions, anxiety etc) so hopefully they would qualify for that which will help get them set up with some resources and access to professional assistance. Due to the mother's limited reading and education homeschooling really is not a great choice, but school might be a worse choice. There is no good option at this stage.

    • Like 1
  11. Did they say they refuse to help with anything for reading?


     Or are they waiting to hear from you as the expert hired by the mom to recommend to them what to offer for reading help? From what you wrote I would have thought it was this latter situation.


    "They have requested I write them a report with my findings and to outline what I plan on doing with her so that they can get their act into gear and work with us. "


    How about a short letter requesting 2 hours per day --ideally in at least 2 separated sessions -- of one-on-one reading help at the school with materials and methods to be mutually agreed on (since you are still researching that). Maybe they would say they cannot give 2, but could give 1 hour.    Or maybe they'll say none.  Or, better, ask for whatever exactly and truly you think would most help at this point.  Maybe release from school to go work with you at the times that work for your family. Think of what would be most ideal at this stage and ask for it.  


    Also maybe ask for them to provide audio materials for learning history, science etc., since it is clear she would not be able to learn from on-grade-level text books.  And help with reading all instructions, word problems, etc., plus extra time on tests.  Or whatever accommodations you think she needs to be able to succeed in learning.


    Pen they are refusing to offer any help for reading at all, even with my report. They want the report so that they know what methods I will be using mostly just so that they know, but also so that they can make sure that any explicit teaching that may occur at school does not directly clash with what she will be learning at home. There might be hope that they will change their tune this week, this child is part aboriginal and as such she is in a "high risk" group which means the school gets more funding for her but the family can also access advocates. The mother has set up a meeting between herself, the principal and someone from the local indigenous advocate group to try and get the school to help her child in reading. We will see what comes of this meeting (on Tuesday) before making any recommendations or asking for any additional time.


    And Pen, yes pulling her out to homeschool is being considered for any time between now and the end of this year so part way through the school year, or for next year. It really depends on what the school will offer in terms of additional support, if they start supporting and helping her she will stay in and see if they can offer enough to make a difference, if they continue to do nothing or not enough then she will be pulled out. There is no point her being in school at this point without that additional support.


    As the the math, it sounds like they mean an hour pull out instruction weekly and then an hour of time weekly with an aid in class. I think we will know more on that too after Tuesday. It was for math only, they do not believe that her reading problems or level are significant enough issues to warrant additional teaching or remediation. According to the school she is "only 3 grades behind" in reading (I say 4) and that is not significant enough to worry about :ohmy: I doubt there is anyone OG trained at the school, that is not something that is used here.


    I don't have any standardized test scores but there is a good chance the school has some, standardized tests are done in 3rd and 5th grades so unless her mother decided to refuse the testing she would have done it about 3 months ago. They generally do not release individual scores except to the school so I am not sure if we would be able to access them. I would say that this might be the reason for the one on one math time, the tests are mostly word questions here and also on very tight times, I can't imagine she did well at all under those conditions. I have not actually sat down with her to do math as such, I have observed her while playing board games with my kids (she struggles to add 3 dice together) and I have seen her work on a couple of problems on prodigy and need to count on her fingers to work out 16-6. But eventually she will usually get the right answer even on harder questions, it just takes forever. There is clearly something going on there too but as she CAN get the answers and she cannot read we will focus on the reading for now as we will have limited time together. I am working on a list of games to suggest to the mother which use the basic math skills so that they can play together at home as a family and she will have a reason to practice her basic math facts frequently, hopefully she will be able to gain at least some fluency in the very basics by using them often, any degree of math fluency will help.

    • Like 2
  12. So the mother approached the school this week and informed them she has hired a private tutor who has assessed the child as having a 1st grade reading ability and dyslexia and wanting to know what they will also be doing to help her daughter catch up, their response was "well that explains a lot"
    UM what?
    Are you telling me that the school does not know they have an 11yo who STILL can't even read 20 of the top 100 words, cannot decode ANYTHING and they have no flipping idea it is that bad!?
    Oh my!
    They have requested I write them a report with my findings and to outline what I plan on doing with her so that they can get their act into gear and work with us. Given the degree of educational neglect so far I can't see them actually doing anything to help the situation. I will consider the report, maybe, there is still a chance this kid will be pulled out of school to be homeschooled at least for the short term to help her catch up so I will wait until the parents have made a decision on that at least. Unfortunately given the mother's reading ability homeschooling is not really a great option but anything has to be better than staying in a school where they are not helping her to learn at all and if they do decide to homeschool I will be able to help them more frequently. This whole situation sucks.

    Oh, the school have decided they can offer this child 2 hours a week of one on one math instruction (but still nothing for reading!). Seriously, she does need this but it is the least of her concerns. Besides a complete lack of any math fact memorisation or any math fluency she really only has a few holes in her understanding and is capable of grade level work in most topics if given adequate time, it is only the fluency that is holding her back. If given plenty of time she would test to be almost on grade level, but a timed test would have her completely failing and years behind.

    • Like 2
  13. Thank you OhElizabeth, so much to think about and check out. That list might be exactly what I needed to get started on making sure we are making the best choice.

    No I would not say this child has adhd, her younger sister, age 8, is mildly dyslexic and has adhd though, so maybe that is something to keep in mind. She does not have the best working memory though so I will do some research into it, maybe this will prove to be another piece in the puzzle.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to give such a thorough reply, I will read everything more carefully and continue researching tomorrow, it is past bedtime here now :)

    • Like 2
  14. Following on from my post about tutoring an 11yo struggling in writing, I am now sure the problem is dyslexia.

    She needs to start right back from the very beginning with letter sounds.


    So I would like to compile a complete list of ALL the intensive reading curricula that will be appropriate for this situation and a child of this age so that I can research which one will be the best fit for this child as well as weighing up overall cost, shipping, availability in australia or shipping available to us, ease of use, how many times a week we would need to use the program etc.


    BTW I passed the barton tutor test and she passed the barton student test so we don't need pre-barton level suggestions.




    • Like 1
  15. Thanks all, I will talk to the mum about audio books and documentaries, I completely overlooked that when talking to them yesterday. As mum has very limited reading abilities herself and is only just literate enough to function in society she does not read to her girls, she is not able to do so, so even if the reading situation was not do drastic audio books would still be a great idea for this family. Both mother and daughter have been suspected of dyslexia but it is not widely acknowledged here and in school testing "ruled it out" for both, however it seems that is the standard response, there are many homeschoolers who have pulled their kids out at ages 8-10ish because they still cannot read only to find out that these kids have severe dyslexia despite being tested in school and being told there was no dyslexia at play. The mother was told when she was at school that she would never learn to read due to her dyslexia and then several years later they decided she was not dyslexic and instead was labelled "too lazy to learn", sigh, things for this entire family may have been very different if the mother was given proper instruction and intervention as a kid. Luckily this child is desperate to learn and really wants to catch up so hopefully her desire to read will help the process. I will keep you posted on how things are progressing.


    Frankly this has all been a real eye opened to me too, how can the school keep kids in a class when they are 4 or more years behind in some areas and not make a single accommodation to those children; no individual learning plan, no assistance, no remedial teaching, nothing! The school is not doing a single thing to help this child or teach to her level at all. When her mother asked what they were doing to help catch her up they could not figure out why she would ask such a thing, they are doing nothing at all and will not help her in any way, she is past the K-2 age grouping when they offer very minimal remedial teaching, if you are past that age group there is nothing they will do. This system is beyond broken.

    • Like 4
  16. Ok so from all the above it seems like barton is what pretty much everyone recommends. I will talk to her mum about it. If it was my own child I would 100% buy barton immediately however this is not my child and I don't want to fork out heaps of money and then have the situation change.

    They are very limited in their options, both for tutoring and for assessments, we live in a rural area and to get more in depth assessment than she has been given in school will require traveling to the city over 4 hours away (which will happen if needed, they want this sorted). The tutoring situation for a child with such difficulties is the same and clearly that can't happen on a regular enough basis to be beneficial. So they are pretty much stuck with me, it is either me or a local university student, and at least I have some experience with dyslexia and teaching reading to a dyslexic student as both myself and my 10yo have mild dyslexia. I also have more experience tutoring however just not in reading, I usually tutor highschool and university mathematics and biological sciences.

    I also really need to sit down with her one on one and just see where she is at, what she is struggling with, what she just has not been taught/learned I have done no assessments on her at all and am just going off what the school and her mother have reported and from hearing her reading twice in a non-educational context. We will sit down together in a couple of days and see where we are at. While I do believe we are dealing with dyslexia here in both mother and daughter I am hoping that it actually is not severe and that the extent of the problem is due to the circumstances. This child was always a little behind in reading however she was making progress, in second grade she was reading at a 1st grade level and actually beginning to catch up with her peers once she started in a remedial reading class but then they had a major family tragedy and she lost her older sister, after this she regressed in all areas including learning and behavior and basically lost a couple of years of schooling due to the family situation and her emotional state. Now she and the family are back on track emotionally but she is so far behind that she has no hope of catching up in a regular classroom, the class teacher just cannot cater to a child who is 4 years behind her peers and she is missing some important instruction to enable her to make that reading leap required. We will see how things progress. If I have to buy barton for this child I will pay for it out of my own pocket if needed, I will do what it takes and her family are prepared to do whatever they can afford to do to help get her back on track.

    • Like 4
  17. Hi all, I am beginning tutoring my daughter's 11yo friend this week. She is mid way through 5th grade at a local school however has a 1st grade reading level. She also has some problems in math however is only about a year (according to the school) behind there rather than 4 years in reading, I will work with her on math but for now we will focus mostly on reading. There are no known learning or vision issues and she has been tested for both. Her mother also had similar learning issues while at school and she ended up leaving school at age 14 completely illiterate so clearly there is something going on in this family. Mum has since taught herself to read and has completed some further education. Dyslexia is potentially an issue with both mother and daughter but I have not yet spent enough time with them in an educational setting to evaluate that possibility. She was however tested for dyslexia through the school (and apparently it was ruled out) however they did suspect dyslexia at some stage.


    So I am after some advice on curriculum please. We need to start at the very beginning with reading. She does not yet know "th" or "ch", only knows short vowel sounds and apparently does not know that some letters (like c or g) can make more than one sound. What reading or phonics programs would you recommend for a beginner 11yo? I have AAS and we will start there for now as I have it on my shelf ready to go but what else should I consider? Are there any evaluations you would recommend that I can download and give her? We will see how we go for the next few months but if needed they will take her for further evaluations outside of the school to see if there are any learning disabilities that were not caught through the previous testing.


    As to math, apparently she is strong in some areas but has some significant holes in her understanding which are preventing her from moving forward. I will evaluate where those holes may happen to be and we will focus on those areas. Are there any curricula you can suggest for working on specific problem areas or would I be better just moving through a full curriculum? I suspect we will have to back up several grade levels here to fix the holes.



  18. They have just left. We have signed both kids up to a couple of online learning sites that they will use at home, the kids are excited to finally be playing prodigy as they have been hearing about it for months from my girls. They are coming back in a few days and I will see what exactly she knows and what she does not know. We have looked through a few things on our shelves and have decided to at least use AAS but will probably use some other resources as well, I will check out my extensive collection and put together a pile of stuff that I own that I think will be suitable and we will see what works well and what both mum and daughter like the look of. She needs to start in level 1 of all about spelling, she does not yet know "th" or "ch", no wonder she can't read! I would have started at level 1 anyway just to be sure the basics were mastered but this level will be a challenge for her at this stage rather than review.


    Homeschooling is being discussed seriously in their household for both girls, the 11yo due to her academic delays and the 7yo due to ASD related behavior challenges which result in her spending more time excluded from class each day than actually in class (the 11yo does not have ASD). The current plan is to see how she goes learning with me and learning at home for the next few months while also giving her mum time to research curricula and work out how homeschooling might work for them and they are expecting to pull both girls out of school some time in the next 6 months, for now they will all come here and I will teach the girls and teach the mum how to teach her girls at home. We could be in for an interesting few months but I know all the kids will love having more time together each week so everyone is looking forward to starting asap. I am still researching and checking out new curricula options so keep suggestions coming. For now I will not start math until she has finished the prodigy placement test, I might use that as a base for working out what level she is at and what her weaknesses might be and we will go from there. As I have many curricula options on my shelves and computer I am sure I will have a math option that will be suitable if it is needed. We already have an abacus but I might suggest the ALAbacus app to their mum. Thanks all

    • Like 6
  19. Thanks all, looking into everything and researching.

    I am so upset it has gotten to this stage but on the other hand I have been telling her mother all year that I will help wherever possible but they have been trying to get the school to help but not looking outside of school, because she is so far behind the school just cannot cater to her so she is just getting left further behind all the time.

    The daughter does know there is a serious issue here, all her school friends are reading proper novels and she is struggling to read Billy B brown etc (and apparently will get more than one word wrong in each sentence in billy b brown), her 7yo sister in 2nd grade, and about 6 months behind average grade level according to the same school, is reading better than she is. She is struggling to make friends at school as all the girls are talking about the books they are reading and she just has nothing to contribute to such a discussion. She knows, and is very excited, that I will be helping her try to catch up a little as it is impacting everything.

    • Like 3
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