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About ElizabethB

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    Apprentice Bee Keeper

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    Christian since 1997, Volunteer Phonics Tutor since 1994, Homeschool Mom since 2007
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    Wherever the Air Force sends us
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    Reading, Teaching Phonics, Rollerblading
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  1. My daughter is taking the ACT in February. We were not originally preparing for the essay portion, but she recently started considering a college that requires the essay, so we have a very short time to prepare for the essay; we're been prepping the rest of the ACT for a while. I actually own the IEW High School Essay Intensive but have misplaced it in the move, I shoved it somewhere thinking I wouldn't need it until my son took his ACT or SAT, it could take weeks to find it, I've already looked for a while. Anyway, she is a good writer, but does better if she has a set pattern to follow. Does IEW or anything else have a suggested logical pattern for the middle paragraphs that works for any topic? I've found some good ideas for organizational patterns for the intro and conclusion. Thanks!
  2. ElizabethB

    Opposite result from Marie Kondo's show

    Oh, time to check my local thrift stores! I have become allergic to polyester and have found natural materials with no polyester more common in mens clothing or older women's clothing. Most of my jackets and sweatshirts are mens right now, although my husband found a cool organic jacket for me recently. Pants are particularly hard to find, I cannot tolerate more than 1% poly in pants and tops have to be 100% natural, but there are plenty of 100% cotton t-shirts still.
  3. I feel very strongly about the subject after 24 years of tutoring students and just want to be sure everyone knows that there are upper level phonics skills, and that you should make sure your child is reading well for their age, even in the upper years! Hisses' Reading Pathways have good fluency building pyramids: And Don Potter has some Blend Phonics fluency drills: I also like working through the 1879 McGuffey readers, the difficult words are diacritically marked and defined so you practice them first in isolation and don't stumble on them when you get to the passage. They also have passages from a variety of different genres. Since they are short, it is less work to read aloud, and you can alternate paragraphs at first to build up stamina. Free from Gutenberg press: Or, buy the set, the blue and orange ones:
  4. In the state where I currently live, they are counted on the high school transcript in the school system if you do high school level work, algebra and science are counted. Once it gets closer, you can contact the specific schools your student is interested in and put things on the transcript or not accordingly.
  5. Reading is too important to leave to chance! I keep reviewing phonics at the beginning of the year for 3 years after they complete a good phonics program, and I keep teaching upper level multi-syllable phonics until they are reading at the 12th grade level. Free with my syllables program, follow with other multi-syllable resources like Webster or Megawords or Marcia Henry's words. Reading/syllablesspellsu.html Literacy is more highly correlated with earnings than IQ: Phonics/profitable.html And less than 25% of all Americans are reading at the proficient level, which I would judge to be somewhere around 12th grade level from the Adult Literacy sample questions I've seen. They dropped the level above that, college level, and only 5% of Americans were reading at that level. Phonics/litpercent.html
  6. ElizabethB

    Reading comprehension 8th grade

    So, here are the levels of things to look at after you've made sure she is fluently reading at grade level: Basics of comprehension, elementary level but good for students who struggle, in both Spanish and English, keep reading, it will switch back to English. Evaluate comprehension when read to vs. when reading silently, if silently not good but oral is, is wandering attention problem, focus on paying attention, may need to take notes while reading to help. If both are poor, the lowest level of problem to address is visualizing, the visualizing and verbalizing by Lindamood Bell is good: Next level up is looking at how comprehension compares across different types of reading, each area, science, history, fiction, sports, etc. has its own vocabulary and background knowledge that needs to be addressed up for comprehension to occur. You need to read across a wide variety of genres, and those that the vocabulary and background knowledge is low, you need to start with simple material at a lower grade level and build up to high school level. The 1879 McGuffey readers have short passages across a variety of types of reading, and incrementally increase in difficulty over each book and within each book, they are free online and also have difficult vocabulary and words diacritically marked and defined. You need the PDF versions, start slightly below reading level, and their reading levels are higher than current norms, so you may have to start with the 2nd or 3rd reader. The later readers also include comprehension questions. You can also get the whole set at Amazon, you want the 1879 Blue and Orange version, not the older brown Mott Media edition. Then, within each type of reading, you need to assess which skills are lacking. Are fact based questions good but inferential reasoning needs help? The CAP reasoning and reading curriculum is good to assess and fix each level, see samples to know what level to buy to start out with, you may need the whole series or you might be able to start out at level 1 or level 2. I have had scores of students who were thought to have comprehension problems but were actually just not fluent readers at the advanced word level, but homeschoolers are more likely to have used a good phonics and spelling program and have good reading skills. I've had a few homeschool students who had trouble with multi-syllable words, some phonics programs do not teach multi-syllable words.
  7. ElizabethB

    Reading comprehension 8th grade

    First, make sure she is reading at least at the 10th grade level, I've had several students who were thought to have comprehension problems who just needed help with decoding accuracy, give my quick screen reading test and my nonsense word test to see if she is decoding accurately and fluently, tests are at the end of my syllables page. Reading/syllablesspellsu.html Then, there are various things to use depending on what component of comprehension needs work, there are a lot of factors that go into comprehension, but take those tests first.
  8. I would give her a silent reading speed test and then a sample test for the reading, then work from there based on her reading speed and what types of questions she missed and what her current score is vs. the goal.
  9. ElizabethB

    Dysgraphia as described by my ds

    Here is an example of how you could use mnemonics with a mountain for M/m, and a log with a limb sticking out for a L. My letter drawing is better than my art drawing!! Draw the drawing on the left for a few days, then transition to the letter on the right.
  10. I would think that a good math student that age who has not been exposed to algebra should be able to pick up enough to do well on the SAT fairly quickly, especially when well explained, which I'm confident lewelma can accomplish!
  11. ElizabethB


    Part of it is being able to manipulate and say the sounds that quickly! But, if he reads fast enough silently with normal text, I would not worry about it and would work on other things. And, like PeterPan says, I've not normed them, but that is what I have seen with hundreds of students.
  12. ElizabethB


    Those are good scores, definitely no problems with blends! I find that 100 WPM and close to 100% accuracy make for faster, more accurate reading and is necessary for most people who want to be able to read silently at 300 WPM. If silent reading speeds are already 300+ WPM, I would not worry about it. If silent reading speeds are slower, automating the reading of nonsense words and syllables helps get their reading speed up. My students also usually come from an environment where they were not taught all the sound spelling correspondences or how to sound out multi-syllable words. It seems like his problem is encoding and writing, not decoding. Here is my nonsense word test, it has 25 nonsense words: Reading/Resources/NonsenseWordTest.pdf And here is my silent reading speed test: Reading/Resources/Reading speed tests.pdf
  13. ElizabethB

    Dysgraphia as described by my ds

    Right. But if he could learn shorthand fairly fast, it could help for quick note taking and other self-recording that he could use both now and later on in life. If it won't be fast, I would focus on other things, and get him as fast as possible writing and typing while figuring out what to use for accommodations. Almost no one reads shorthand any more, so it would only be useful for some purposes. But, people who learn it well do get very quick with it!
  14. ElizabethB

    Dysgraphia as described by my ds

    One more thought, could he learn shorthand? There are different kinds, here are Geraldine Rodger's thoughts about shorthand: Short vowels, present in Gregg shorthand manuals before 1918, were not present in shorthand manuals after that date but only unmarked vowels which could be either long or short. As a stenographer of Gregg shorthand who learned it at the age of sixteen without the use of the critically important short vowels, I can assure anyone that transcribing such Gregg shorthand, with its additional reliance on “brief forms” (a kind of sight word) can only be done with heavy, conscious, context guessing. Although I have taken shorthand rapidly and quite accurately for over fifty years, I find transcribing it requires conscious judgments (“psycholinguistic guessing”) and is therefore unpleasant. I much prefer to use longhand to take notes because I can read it automatically and avoid unpleasant conscious decoding. I pity those who must read all printed matter “psycholinguistically.” It is no wonder they prefer to watch television.
  15. ElizabethB

    Dysgraphia as described by my ds

    I would also investigate if you go directly from sound to how to draw the letter if that is faster than name of letter to drawing, when you are writing words you go directly from the sound of that letter but spelling and writing you usually talk about the name. Treat it as a giant science experiment, I know you have experience with that!! ETA: here are charts for the sound spelling patterns and their frequency: Lsns/phonogramsoundch.html
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