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Everything posted by ElizabethB

  1. We have lived in a variety of states as homeschoolers. It depends on a variety of factors, but one of the most important seems to be the cost of private schools. For example, Illinois had more homeschoolers than I would have expected, but private schools were very expensive compared to cost of living. In Arkansas, there were a lot of homeschoolers but some military families that homeschooled in other states put their kids in private schools there because private schools are cheap there, especially for Christian schools if you are a member of the denomination associated with the school. I also know many people in the military who either started homeschooling in Hawaii or homeschooled just while they were there, private schools are very expensive in Hawaii.
  2. Some students figure out multi-syllable words on their own, many need explicit instruction in this. My syllables program teaches how to divide them, and there is Webster's Speller with pre-divided syllables and schwa accent pattern organization, some students need to see and hear the schwa accent pattern that way before they can figure it out on their own. My syllables program also teaches how to use Webster: Reading/syllablesspellsu.html If he is still having trouble after that, there are several other good multi-syllable resources out there: the Megawords series, Marcia Henry's Words, and Sophris West Rewards.
  3. Test his phonemic awareness with the PAST: 2016.pdf You can repeat the question, but no hints or helps, part of the test if if they can determine the position of the sound in the word. Automatic is a correct answer within 2 seconds.
  4. Yes, brain full, totally worthless to keep working after that. With my group classes, I work for 25 to 30 min, then games for 10 minutes, then a short break, then back to work. There is a point at which several of the students are no longer accepting info into their brain. When I teach several lessons over 1 1/2 to 2 hours, I have to add in longer breaks and breaks with snacks and running around.
  5. And, there is also a difference between boys and girls even along the normal spectrum. My son needed a lot more phonics repetition, my daughter needed more math repetition. I was tutoring a 4th grade girl with some underlying issues at the same time my son was in the 4th grade. I got her to grade level and then was working on some more advanced stuff, similar but different word endings. The book I was using had one type, then the other, then mixed practice. My son needed all increments, she blew on to the final level with no trouble. When I tried to go to the final level with him, it was not good, I had to go back. When I told her about that, she was so happy after struggling for years that she was finally advancing faster than someone!! (And someone with no underlying difficulties, just on one end of the repetition level.) My son now reads 300 WPM and is a few grades above grade level for reading. If I had only had my daughter and no remedial students, I would have worried about him, but he made slow but steady progress when young and just needed a lot of repetition. (My dyslexic students and students with speech/language problems present differently than he did.) It does sound like she has a longer than normal attention span, though, even for a girl of that age.
  6. I have a 5th grade student who freezes up and reverts to guessing when being timed, I wonder if the same or similar is going on or if it is just part of longer term guessing, my students who were motivated by the timing of the nonsense words were all 3rd grade and below or 4th and 5th grade refugee students who had only recently learned English. I will have to add strong notes about not adding in timing for some students and focusing on accuracy to the nonsense words documents. I did tell the mom of my 5th grade student to stop timing her nonsense words for a few months.
  7. My daughter studied for the ACT, not the SAT, but the same books should work. Both the ACT and SAT have their own weird grammar. The ACT has something called comma sandwiches, my daughter missed very few grammar questions but most of those she missed on the ACT practice tests were what the ACT black book calls "comma sandwiches." So, just reading that portion and then doing a few questions got her a 2 or 3 point improvement, just practicing would not have, a big improvement with just an hour or two of work. (The Black book identifies common areas of study/problem for each missed question.) A 2 to 3 point improvement on the ACT is in the hundreds for the SAT. You need the SAT black book: And the tests that go along with it, although they may be online: For math practice, the Panda books are organized by topic, so a very good way to get in practice problems in the areas that you think need more work. I got the ACT one but the SAT book should be as helpful:
  8. That is awesome!! It sounds like you both have worked very hard!!! I have a question about before and after MWIA scores, and I have new MWIAs if you haven't given one lately, you could give the MWIA 3 short: Reading/Resources/The MWIA Version 3 new.pdf What was her slowdown before and what is it now? I have had a ton of 3rd graders and younger and a few 4th and 5th graders go from 20 to over 30% slowdown to no slowdown at all, but students older than that have ended up at between 5 to 10% slowdown or I have moved and lost track of them. I would think sustained nonsense words would get students to no slowdown eventually, but would be interested to see her progression in this area. (I have also had a few middle school and older students who started out between 10 and 20% slowdown that have ended up with no slowdown.)
  9. 4H has short term summer exchange programs. We hosted a Korean boy and a Japanese girl for a summer program. They were good guests but it was a bit tiring for all the introverts in the family, and even the extrovert got a bit tired by the end! Of course, we tried to do more with them than if they had been here a whole year. They don't have a lot of outdoor activities and spaces available, they both lived in large cities, so they appreciated fairly cheap outdoor activities that our area has in abundance. We also drove to visit my parents and do big city activities, my mom is a huge extrovert so enjoyed doing things with them and planning things with and for them.
  10. Changing the habits is actually more work than teaching the phonics, but daily nonsense words help a lot. Here is an article I wrote on LinkedIn about how to build up the new reading habits:
  11. That is around normal for my remedial students, they CAN read phonetically when they slow down but have been trained to guess, and they guess more often when reading faster. My average student has a slowdown between 15 and 30%. For my students with a slowdown 30% or above, they really need to stop all outside reading for a month or two while remediating. A slowdown of 20%, it helps to limit or stop outside reading and will make progress faster but is not mandatory. I would work through my syllables lessons and work on over-learning the sounds in my chart, do the charts daily for a few weeks, then just the vowels. Reading/syllablesspellsu.html These charts daily, across and down: Reading/Resources/40LChartsCombined.pdf After a few weeks, you can probably just do the vowels. Then, after lesson 6, add in the vowel team charts, I am working on a video about which sounds you need to drill and how to do them, it should be out this week. Reading/Resources/OnePageVowelChart.pdf I would do daily nonsense words, either my game or the nonsense word homework from the syllables lessons. Phonics/concentrationgam.html The nonsense words help un-train the guessing habits and build new left to right sounding out habits, and the lessons help learn the phonics that have not been taught. For someone taught with balanced literacy, you have to both learn the skills and really work hard on changing the habits so that you can read fluently; you have to learn new habits while un-training the old ones.
  12. Most schools have Fountas and Pinnell readers, the system is based on sight words and whole language, each level adds a few more sight words. The repetitive nature of the readers and the use of guided reading only exacerbates the guessing problem. I have found that I can remediate inner city kids faster because they are exposed to less sight word drilling, and my fastest students to date were formerly homeless minority students who spent so little time in school they had no guessing habits to overcome. My middle class students take longer to un-train the guessing habits, but daily nonsense word work shortens the process. Here is the Fountas and Pinnell explanation of their leveled readers:
  13. The Leveled Literacy Intervention is just more whole word, not phonics let alone OG phonics. I have had a ton of remedial students who remediated quickly and had no underlying issues, they were just taught with sight words, balanced literacy, and leveled readers (the A-Z leveled reader system is based on sight words, not phonics) and then got LLI, just more of the same. All they needed was phonics and some nonsense words to un-train the guessing habits caused by sight words and multi-cueing teaching. Very few of my remedial students coming from the schools have had an underlying issue in addition to the problems caused by poor teaching, although a few have also had underlying speech or language problems or true dyslexia.
  14. You're welcome! Use version A now. The others are for later, but I actually have 20 pages worth of 25 word lists that you can use too, for practice and testing.
  15. I think Spelling Plus with the companion Spelling Dictation book would be easiest. What is her native language? I have some good resources for Spanish, German, French, and Russian that may help mom. Also, what is the age of the children? I have some spelling videos but there are different ones for different ages, some of the more complete ones are not really appropriate for anyone below 4th grade, but mom could watch.
  16. I would do Secondary since it seems to go to a higher level, but I have only seen samples. You might also consider Marcia Henry's words, the samples are from early on, it has multi-syllable words of Latin and Greek at the end and explains and separates by sound patterns of Language of Origin. I would also work through my syllables overview lesson and then lessons 6 - 10, that will get you a quick multi-syllable overview. Reading/syllablesspellsu.html
  17. Most of my students who come from schools who are behind in reading are behind from balanced literacy teaching and sight words and remediate quickly with my free syllables program and other free and cheap resources. If you give him the reading grade level test and either the MWIA 3 or MWIA 1 depending on his score on the reading grade level test. Also, give the nonsense word test. Students scoring at the 1st grade level or below on the 40L QST should take the MWIA 1 short. Students scoring above 1st grade level (a score of 1.1 or higher on the 40L QST) should take the MWIA version 3. The nonsense word test WPM scores compared to the MWIA scores give me an idea of what he is struggling with and how to fix it. The tests are linked at the end of my syllables page: Reading/syllablesspellsu.html For active children, you can do a lot of things to hold their interest. This video has some ideas: You can print out every word from Blend Phonics on a card and use them in a variety of games where you have to run somewhere to get each card before you sound it out. I use a subset of the Blend Phonics words in my syllables lessons.
  18. Names are like nonsense words! She can also work though my syllables program and do extra nonsense words to get better at reading unfamiliar words. Reading/syllablesspellsu.html That seems like a pretty bad fit as a job for a dyslexic person, though, I would encourage her to consider other career choices if possible. We used to live on a street named "DeChambeau" and almost no one could pronounce it, people would not even try!! "Do you still live on....?" [silence] I would quickly say,"Yes, we still live on DEE-SHOM-BOW, don't worry, no one can pronounce it, it's French." The pizza guy tried once, I praised him for his effort, he was kind of close. People asking always looked happy when I jumped in with the pronunciation quickly. With names, they are usually phonetic within their language of origin, so all French streets and names follow the French pronunciation rules. I cover the patterns for each language of origin in my syllables program linked above.
  19. It is babyish but I would actually use Read, Write, Type to get the sounds better associated with typing. Then, I would find a list of the most common cities, streets, and names that she is entering (for the state if it is just the state, for the country if it is the whole country.) Practice the top 10 or 20 for a few weeks, then up to top 50, etc. It should be helpful if she can get really fast at the most common ones. You need to sort most common names by year for first name, get the average age of people she is working with and look at most popular first names for that year and a few years around it. Common last names vary by state. For example, growing up in the Seattle area there were a lot of names like "Yamamoto, Nguyen, Hoang," etc. When I went to college, someone from a midwestern state said, "Nguyen, what an uncommon name." I laughed and replied, "Actually, it is like Smith in the Seattle area, it's a very common Vietnamese name." Anything weird, anyone is going to ask how to spell it, I would also help her practice typing while you spell weird names, grab a phone book and find some to practice with. Also, many people spell their names crazy now, so it's always good to ask with a name. She can build up her speed and confidence of doing this in an unpressured, untimed situation.
  20. I have found that working through my syllables program helps my dyslexic students be better able to hear, divide, and understand syllables, the portion that she failed in the screening. I would keep working through it. The schwa accent pattern of syllables in Webster is especially helpful for my dyslexic students. For learning the letter sounds and getting them long term, I have students use this chart on their own when reading to look up sounds, the physical act of looking them up seems helpful. You can also drill it daily across and down for a few weeks, then weekly for a while. The arrangement is by sound, not alphabet, which is also helpful for my students with dyslexia. Reading/Resources/40LChartsCombined.pdf For 2 letter vowel teams, I use this chart, and drill the sounds with color and the key, then without the key, then in black and white. Reading/Resources/OnePageVowelChart.pdf I am actually working on a video about how to learn the sounds and which vowel teams are worth drilling, it should be out Monday, although I am running behind so it might be late.
  21. The ACT math and SAT math are quite different. The SAT math matches Khan better. The SAT math is more theoretical, the ACT math more hands on. The panda ACT math book has things by area, so you can focus on what she can learn quickly to get her scores up quickly. Also, the Black book has really good tips that are not in any other book: You need this book for the tests that go with it.
  22. I would do regular biology but subtract the things he is not interested in and add in biochemistry.
  23. My daughter is taking 2 classes at the local high school, they classify psychology as social studies. They do a lot of experiments and have studied the anatomy of the brain, still social studies. She is really enjoying it, though, I plan to modify her next year's advanced biology and add in some neuroscience and subtract a chapter that doesn't interest her. This is the book I got, it is quite good, it is up to date in the dyslexia/how the brain processes language area, an area of neuroscience I keep up to date with, so I assume the rest of the book is good, too:
  24. I recommend the ACT black book, my daughter's scores improved 5 points overall and 2 points on the English section from the tips in that book. She took it in February and again in April, she did much better this time. It just took 1 hour of study to get that improvement in English from the Black Book organization. For example, she missed mainly things that that book calls "comma sandwiches," she studied the comma sandwich section, then took some more comma sandwich questions open book, then took comma sandwich ACT questions closed book, 2 more points. The comm sandwich thing makes no sense to me, really, but you just memorize it... You also need this book that goes with it: For math prep, we basically did what was in this book but on our own, but I got this book for my son, it is ACT and ACT like questions organized by topic: We did use a few questions and the organization from this book, but I only got it a week or so before the test. Prior to the February test we were just doing a few practice tests and working on understanding what she missed. She did well enough in February to go to most of the colleges she wanted, but borderline for one college, so we did a bit more study in math and got the ACT black book and studied using its tips.
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