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Posts posted by LEK

  1. And I agree, post on the Learning Challenges board.  


    FWIW, I was in her position once.  My 5th grade daughter was only barely reading at a 1st grade level.  No school eval caught any learning issues.  She was struggling mightily but the explanation was "lack of focus" or "maybe reading is just not her thing" or "spaceyness" or "maybe she just doesn't like school" or any one of a number of crap statements.  Eventually I got her privately evaluated.  Profound dyslexia but she was bright so her verbal responses indicated she understood a lot.  Teachers and evaluators assumed she just didn't like school.  They dropped the ball completely.  It has taken 4 years of Barton Reading and Spelling to really remediate her struggles but she started really taking off within a year of starting Barton.  If we had realized back in 1st grade what the underlying issue was it would have made a world of difference but at least we were able to start her on Barton when we did.  Night and day difference.  



    As for math, I will mention that although we knew she was behind a little in math, her grades were pretty o.k. so we didn't realize until we started homeschooling for 6th that she was actually much further behind than one grade level.  


    This sounds EXACTLY like what the mother has been told, "lack of focus", "reading is not her strength"  and so on. Apparently that was what they said about the mother too, lack of focus was the verdict there too :/ She is bright, she is actually "ahead" in some subjects according to her school, especially history, if you can consider a child who cannot read the text ahead, however when tested verbally in history the school places her well beyond grade level. I will certainly keep dyslexia in mind, despite the evaluations saying otherwise so far this seems to fit both mother and daughter. Sounds like Barton may be the way to go, I will check that out tomorrow, thank you.

    • Like 2
  2. Um, everything you are saying absolutely raises red flags for an underlying learning issue.  Absolutely.  The child needs to be evaluated by someone who actually knows what they are doing.  Preferably a neuropsychologist if they can swing the cost but if not I would be seeking out other private avenues since the school seems utterly useless for this.  Is she attending a private school?  Or is this overseas?  If it is a public school in the U.S. they are required by law to evaluate if the parent sends in a written request and the child is over two years behind in specific skills.  Has she ever sent in a written request?  And you are saying that the mom left school at 14 completely illiterate.  I beg strongly to differ with the idea that there are no learning issues.  Lots of learning issues have a genetic component including dyslexia.  Since you have a dyslexic child maybe you can shed some light.  Why do you in particular feel this is not severe dyslexia?  And the people who did the evaluations for the child and the mom didn't do a very good job at all.  There is obviously SOMETHING causing a massive disconnect.  


    Until it is determined what exactly is causing the difficulties it will be hard to know what to do to remediate this child.


    We are in australia. I am not sure if she has sent in a written request, I will ask, but all verbal requests to the school have failed to produce results. I am not sure what the protocol here is as my kids have never attended school but I am sure given the extent of her delays that there must be something they are required to do, at the very least an individual learning plan for her.  I have not sat down with her yet to figure out what the issue might be so I would not rule out dyslexia at this stage, I have heard her reading in other contexts however. We will sit down and I will see if I feel dyslexia might be the issue. Apparently dislexia has been mentioned before but they "ruled it out" during testing although clearly there is something going on.

    • Like 1
  3. It sounds like a very problematic situation. You might want to consider posting on the special needs board here, as there are people who have been through this kind of thing -- getting action from the school, pursuing independent testing, supplementing at home, moving to homeschooling, etc.


    This special needs board here is a great place to start -- an incredible encyclopedia of experience and excellent advice.


    Ooh that is a great idea, thanks, I will do that

    • Like 1
  4. I have just started using AAS this year with my 13 year old dyslexic. It is working really well. His spelling is improving. We started in book 2 but changed to book 3 within weeks.


    I am impressed with AAR as well, I read somewhere it was originally designed for remedial reading.


    Great, thanks :) I was thinking AAS might be a good place to start as her spelling is really poor, it hopefully will also help with phonics and decoding. We will need to start in book 1 but as I already own books 1-6 that won't be an issue.

    I might check out AAR too and see if I think that will be beneficial, I have been considering it for my 5yo anyway so I am happy to buy if I think it will be a good fit.

    • Like 2
  5. How nice of you to help out!


    Did you mention if girl had been tested? Her reading sounds behind enough that school might, I mean should, have tested. Is the school doing any remediation? There are some programs that are designed for decoding. Many here use Barton. Lindamood Bell has some good decoding programs. We used a program for kids who could decode, but not comprehend.


    IMO, understanding the child's specific needs comes first. It could be a learning disability, or vision, or auditory issues. It would be sad if you used a great program and taught with dedication, but were not able to make the progress you had hoped for on account of undiagnosed, underlying issues.


    If the mother is able to spend some $$, you could talk to her about testing. Or her mother could be a stronger advocate for her child at the school level, if this had not already been tried.


    Mum has been at the school weekly asking for help, remediation, work they can do together at home, and asking what they are doing to help her catch up. Apparently she just gets strange looks like "why would we do anything to help catch her up" and they tell her there is nothing they can do as the school only offers remediation in K-2 and she is well past that age. Apparently she is finally making some progress with the reading after years of not getting anywhere so hopefully she was a late bloomer and is finally ready to take off.

    It is decoding that is the problem with her reading so I will check out your suggestions this evening. As far as we know there are no underlying causes, she did get tested in school several years ago (while in the remediation program which clearly did not help) that that didn't show any specific learning disabilities but I will keep it in mind. Eyesight is fine and no vision problems. My eldest is dyslexic so I have some experience with dyslexia at least. Her mother also struggled to learn to read while at school, she has no learning disabilities and has also been tested, however left school at age 14 completely illiterate. She has since taught herself to read and gone on to complete some higher education yet failed to learn to read during 8 years of schooling.


    I will talk to mum tomorrow about further testing, they are willing to spend whatever it takes to get this sorted so testing is not out of the question if we decide that would be beneficial. They are coming over tomorrow afternoon to look over some of my curricula to help in the to homeschool or not decision as mum is worried with her lack of education that she will not be able to do a good enough job, given the school is failing her daughter so miserably I don't think she could possibly do a worse job personally.

    • Like 1
  6. I am after suggestions for a curriculum for an 11yo please. I have just offered to tutor my dd's best friend. She is currently still attending school, mid way through 5th grade, however homeschooling is on the cards and may happen anytime now.

    She is reading at a late 1st grade level, maybe early second grade at best, her spelling is first grade level. Reading and spelling are the biggest concerns. Her math is about early 4th grade level so about a year behind there which is significantly better than the 4 years behind in reading and spelling. 


    What reading and spelling curricula would you recommend for an 11yo at these levels? Obviously I need something that will start right from the beginning but not be too babyish. I have OPGRT and AAS so thought those might be suitable as they start at the beginning but are not little kidish but are there any better options? I also have all levels of explode the code and well, heaps of other stuff lol, I could practically start a used curriculum store. What would you use to tutor an 11yo who is a beginner reader?


    Also and math suggestions most welcome. What is needed in math is not a full curriculum, apparently she is great in some areas but has significant holes in her understanding so what I really need is a good tool to work out what those major holes are easily so that we can focus on those areas specifically. Are there any good diagnostics that might help with working this out?


    Finally, her mother is asking for suggestions for great online learning games, preferably free but willing to pay. I have suggested prodigy and literacy planet, any others we should consider?


    Thanks heaps

  7. My math kid is in 5th grade, she does an hour on average of formal math a day (approx half hour each of 2 different curricula) and then spends an additional hour or more on math games, math exploration and math reading most days. I require 30-45 minutes a day, anything more than that is entirely up to her.

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  8. I personally feel that when it is a special hand made gift it is polite to ask assuming that gift is no longer needed.

    If I put a lot of time and effort into a gift I would rather the recipient ask me in a few years if I would like it back vs them disposing of that item. Sure I may not want it back in which case I will politely let them know they are free to pass it on however they wish however there are certainly times when I would appreciate that gift back for one of various reasons rather than it be passed outside the family.

  9. Thanks for this thread, this is something I have been considering for dd, at 9 she is not yet contemplating where the math will take her, only that she wants to be a mathematician. Maybe she will end up in the academia field but there are so many other places that a mathematics degree will take you. Over time I am sure she will refine her goals but right now we are following the math and seeing where it leads us. I am loving all the diverse places this may end up for her, so many choices

    • Like 1
  10. That is exactly why I am asking now, I want the best ideas on exploration and "alternative" areas we might want to explore.


    At this point I think the plan is AoPS prealgebra and then onto their introduction to number theory as this is one area she loves. But she also loves algebra and geometry... there are so many great books out there

  11. My 9yo, yes I know she is still really young, desperately wants to become a mathematician when she is older.

    So now I am trying to work out how to best prepare her for this and also to keep up with her interests and desires.

    I can't really see her changing her mind too much, all her "when I grow up" dreams her whole life have revolved around numbers, problem solving and complex calculations. And if she does change her mind, well she still loves math and she will have a great foundation in it for anything :001_smile:


    She is 9. She should have just started 4th grade (jan-dec school year) but we call her 5th grade.

    We were going to start AoPS at the start of this year however I have decided to take this first term (jan to april) to go through grade 6 australian math briefly to make sure we have not skipped any topics (2 weeks in and we will be done in another week) and also to finish up beast academy.


    So we will be starting AoPS prealgebra once the above is finished.

    She will also use alcumus.

    She has been using prodigy for the last 8 months or so but has finished all the levels and topics, she maxed out the game in less than a year, damn. She still likes to play so that is good review for her but she really is done with it.


    And then what?
    Obviously my #1 plan is to continue with the AoPS books. Are there other programs I might want to consider?

    Is there anything else you would recommend? Books? Online learning? Games? Activities? Anything really. What would you recommend now, or in the future for an aspiring mathematician?

    If you have raised a mathematician or have an aspiring mathematician currently what are you using? How are you preparing them?

    Thanks heaps :001_smile:

  12. We have tried so many different writing curricula over the years and my dd has hated them all, tears all round. This year for 5th she is using wordsmith apprentice and I honestly can't believe it, she is doing it and has not once said a single negative thing about that book, not one! Coming from this kid this is HUGE. I have no idea where we will go after this but it has been life changing here, she is doing it, she is really enjoying it, her writing is improving and best of all her writing confidence is soaring.

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  13. My current 5yo is doing maths, handwriting and phonics as more "formal" subjects.
    She is also doing art and science, sometimes through her own free play and exploration but sometimes semi-directed.
    We are also learning about Australia through picture books and read alouds.

    Most of her learning over the day is through manipulatives and games

  14. When my kids started it placed one child 1 grade behind and the other child one grade ahead. I suspect that the child placed a grade behind did not read some of the questions carefully and made a couple of simple mistakes as this child often does. I contemplated overriding the placement but decided to leave her there figuring it will act as revision and hopefully she will learn to read more carefully before answering. Within 12 months both children had progressed through 2 complete grade levels and both are now almost ready to move up a grade again so all in all, initial placement was not really a problem, yes she had to work through an entire grade behind where she should have been but it only took her a couple of months to do that entire grade and she is now almost 2 grades ahead in under a year. The program will move them up a grade as they finish one automatically

    • Like 1
  15. I would personally start right back at 3A and let him progress at his own speed. By beginning in the "easier" books he will have a chance to develop his problem solving skills a little more while the math is not as complex. Also, each book covers very different topics, by jumping in at the end you are missing a lot of really helpful strategies only taught in the earlier books. And beast is designed to be quite challenging anyway, just saying :)


    I have been using beast as a supplement 1 grade level behind their main curriculum (starting with 3A), I have found by doing it this way beast is not too difficult and my kids have been working completely independently through the program.

    • Like 4
  16. Here in australia it is all integrated but there really are no homeschooling options.
    I am currently debating between using US books with a sequence that does not translate into our system at all or using australian highschool textbooks.
    So far all I know is that we are using AoPS prealgebra this coming year (jan-dec) however she is in grade 5 this year so I really have 2 years to consider my options before she starts "highschool" which is grades 7-12

    • Like 1
  17. This describes the differences between sultanas, currants and raisins.




    All 3 are dried grapes but are very different in terms of taste, texture and use in cooking.

    Sultanas and raisins are not the same. They are made from different varieties of grape and have a completely different size, shape, texture and flavour profile.

    It would appear that what is called a golden raisin in the US is actually a sultana.

  18. Raisins and sultanas are different. Raisins are small, black and quite hard. Sultanas are large, soft and greenish brown.


    Here a raisin is large and soft and dark brown. A sultana is a mid size, lighter colour and also soft. A currant is small, black and hardish.

    • Like 1
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