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Posts posted by 4KookieKids

  1. On 7/20/2021 at 2:27 PM, Carlisle said:

    Would you be interested in romance novels in German? I'm a US author with translated books. I would love to find them a good home.

    Ha ha, I don't think so, unfortunately. My kids are all 11 and under, and while I'm shopping ahead, I'm not sure when/if they'll be interested in romance novels! 🙂. Thank you so much, though!

  2. On 7/6/2021 at 11:26 AM, PeterPan said:

    Thought of @4KookieKids when I came across this. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0770/1861/files/handouts_for_blog.pdf?v=1611261352 Past president of ASHLA talking about causes of reading comprehension problems in adolescents with autism. 

    On p32 she shows how to integrate vocabulary instruction (which she says to do with synonyms/thesaurus vs. dictionary) with story grammar and prediction to improve comprehension. So the beginning of the powerpoint is pretty general, but it gets better as you progress.

    Fwiw, the heteronym and contrastive stress stuff she discusses is covered extensively in APD materials like https://www.therapro.com/Differential-Processing-Training-Program-Acoustic-Tasks.html  (3 part series)

    Thank you so much!

    • Like 1
  3. 2 hours ago, Lecka said:


    For seeing what pronouns refer to — there is a “Hyperlexia Kit.”  I tend to doubt that would be helpful for someone reading at a 6th grade level, but I don’t know.  

    I will look into all of these resources. Thank you! I may have been unclear earlier:  when his reading ability was last tested (over a year ago, right after he finished Barton) he was reading at a 12th grade level. It’s just that when he takes multiple choice reading comprehension quizzes, they put him at a 6th grade level.

    2 hours ago, Rosie_0801 said:

    Have you done sentence diagramming? 

    No haven’t tried that yet!

    • Like 1
  4. Ds12 scores much worse on these sorts of tests than I would expect, based on his reading level (went through all 10 Barton levels and now reads at a 12th grade level, supposedly) and his IQ. When we talk about questions he missed and why a different answer would make more sense, he looks at me, says ok, he understands, and moves on. But he continues to get ones I'd peg as "simple" wrong, and his scores on things like readtheory quizzes consistently put him at a 6th-ish grade level. I know multiple choice questions are just not ideal for autistic and dyslexic kiddos, but is there anything structured I can do or he can study to help him improve in this area? We test very infrequently, but I'd like to figure out just what is actually breaking down. 

  5. We struggle to get kids speaking German as well. Here are a few things we do or have done, with varying amounts of success. Many of them are geared towards younger children, but you didn't say how old your kids were, so sorry if none of these are applicable for your situation!

    1) Find friends who speak German and have German-only playdates. (By far, this is the best and most efficient way of getting them speaking.) It helps a lot if the parents speak ONLY German with their kids, so EVERYONE is speaking German.

    2) German in the afternoon(or morning, or tea time, or whatever you want to make it). Start with 10 minutes of "only German is spoken." Work your way up. 

    3) Understanding spoken language is so, so much easier than speaking it yourself. They may really feel very frustrated. When my kids say, "I just don't know how to say it!" I ask them what they want to say, and then repeat it back to them in German. Then I have them repeat the translated version back to me. My goal is to get them comfortable with the words coming out of their mouths -- fluency and comfort will come with time. My older two can speak it in a pinch (like when we travel to Germany), but my younger two can actually not communicate in German what they want to communicate -- English is SO much easier. And until German actually gets easier, it's not going to come naturally or fluently. So I spend a lot of time repeating them back what they just said in English, but doing it in German. This works especially well if they actually want something from me or want me to do something, because I just wait to do it until they actually repeat it in German.

    4) Agree with above comments about only doing German for media/movies/etc. Most netflix originals come dubbed in German.

    5) When in doubt: pay or bribe. "If you can speak only German and no English for 10 minutes -- INCLUDING amongst yourselves!!-- you can have a dollar/sucker/whatever. Every day, we'll add 1 minute to the timer before we get the prize!"

    The biggest issue I have run into is that the more outnumbered I am by children, the more they speak English amongst themselves. And the more they speak English amongst themselves, the less German there is all around. If you have older and youngers, you could assign an older to read aloud in German to a younger?

    • Like 4
  6. I also think LiPS is doable with just the manual. I read it cover to cover several times and watched a few videos that had a lot of similar content, and used it effectively with two kiddos. I met someone formally trained in it years later, and they confirmed that I’d been using it correctly, which was a great boost of confidence. 🙂

    • Like 2
  7. I know there are lots of posts about learning ASL, and I'm not saying they're not good, and I also don't want to minimize the complexity of deaf culture, but I am looking for a crash course for ASL to get my family basic conversational skills as quickly as possible. We have unexpectedly found ourselves in a situation where we are interacting with a deaf family on a regular basis, and we cannot find an interpreter (we live in a super rural area), and writing notes on paper is extremely cumbersome. If we were willing to devote 1-2 weeks of doing it full-time in our homeschool, could you recommend something for this? We will do it slow and "right" in time - just looking for a jump start!

  8. 4 hours ago, PeterPan said:

     So that's like pragmatics, narrative language, EF testing, etc.

    And there are psychs who do this stuff, but they're uncommon, that's for sure. The big name neuropsych we used and the middle name neuropsych we used (both in a very big city) were much more fast food. They'd get you in the ballpark and then you still needed specialists to dig in. So I'm just suggesting it's another way to do things, to flip that and go to specialists, get the specialized testing. 

    What tests, specifically, will test this kind of thing?

    3 hours ago, Lecka said:

    I think you need to find parents who have gone through the College Board with homeschool students, though, to find out how they did it!

    I've gone through College Board with the PSAT, but I don't know if they're more forgiving with that than the SAT/ACT? We had available our neuropsych evals and formal diagnoses, but all that we submitted initially (and it turned out to be enough) was a list from our normal psychologist stating the diagnoses and suggested accommodations. We got every single one we requested. 

    • Like 1
  9. Since we don't need evals for PS purposes, how often do you guys repeat neuropsychological evaluations? I've read we should have them repeated every 2-3 years, but if we're not currently using any meds and feel like we are managing to meet my kids' needs at home, is there any reason to repeat an evaluation? FWIW, my kids are autistic, adhd, dyslexic, dysgraphic, and have also been diagnoses with anxiety & pervasive depression. Just looking for pros and cons (besides the obvious con of having to do hours of evaluations.... lol)

    • Like 1
  10. I learned German as a child (primary language until age 12) and Spanish in my teen years (C1), but stopped both for a while. I’m now speaking German again with my kiddos, but realizing that my grammar is a bit rusty. We also have Spanish speaking family moving nearer to us this year, and our most recent trip to visit them left me realizing how rusty my Spanish grammar is.

     Duolingo doesn’t seem to be a good fit because there’s so much repetition, and I don’t really need that. I have the vocabulary, once I get speaking it daily, I just need something to “jog” my memory and help me remember the grammar and structure that I already know somewhere deep down.  😂 I can read books and watch shows in each language, but I’m wondering if anyone is familiar with some kind of crash course in grammar in either of these languages that will lay things out explicitly and without fluff?

  11. 14 hours ago, SeaConquest said:

    I think I will bump it up on the stuff that he has already covered. I am not sure that I will do it for the classes that he is currently in. People have said that the Intermediate Algebra class was brutal when Alcumus was included, so they dropped it. I doubt I will be mean enough to add it back in at the Insanely Hard level -- at least, not until he is well past that level and is, perhaps, prepping for a competition or something.

    Ah, so one big difference is that we do it at home only (no online class)- so he has all the time he needs with no pressure to “finish.” I think my kids would lose their marbles if they had to work in that kind of online class environment... lol EF is still not strong enough for that over here, but hopefully one day!! 🙂

    • Like 1
  12. On 3/23/2021 at 3:40 PM, SeaConquest said:

    I have set Alcumus at one down from Insanely Hard. Maybe I should bump it up. Insanely hard level of Alcumus when AoPS is already insanely hard seemed sadistic to me, but I'm a pushover. 

    I went ahead and put ds at insanely hard for his Algebra book that he's working through. I did it with preA initially a few years ago, and he couldn't handle all the perceived "failure." Now that he has matured a bit more and also understands it a bit more, and how the challenge is part of the "fun", he's handling "insanely hard" like a champ and really enjoying it. 

    • Like 3
  13. On 3/17/2021 at 7:58 PM, kirstenhill said:

    The second "it" in that comment (The one you linked to) is a bit unclear.  I actually took the the "it" in the deeper sentence to be referring to the other program being discussed in the thread (EMF).  I read it as saying essentially, "Among all the programs that could be described as 'deeper', EMF is on par or less deep." -  Rather than the opposite implication that AoPS is the "on par or less-deep" program.  Hopefully @4KookieKids can stop by this thread to clarify. 

    So sorry that I didn’t see this for so long! And I’m also so sorry for the confusion my comment caused!


    All that I actually meant, is that among the ‘Deeper’ math options that involve classes and not just text book learning, EMF seemed about on par PRICE wise with many other options. The quoted sentence from me came right after a discussion on how it seemed a bit pricey to me.

    • Like 1
  14. So my ds is heartbroken. Had a 90% going in to the last test on EMF, but I didn’t think to prep him for a test you can’t repeat and he’s completely used to do-overs. He was rushing to finish because he was excited and he made a bunch of mistakes and  only got something like 46/76 correct and now feels like an utter failure, with no chance of redemption. 😞 

    ETA: I just got an email from EMF saying his score on the final exam was 83% (adjusted due to difficulty). I have no idea what that means, but I'm sure it will make him feel better!

    • Sad 1
  15. Right now, all of my kids' work is laid out by time: they work for a set period of time, and whatever gets done, gets done. The next day, we just start where we left off the day before. 

    But my oldest is turning 12 this year, and I'm thinking that he needs to start to have more direction in his learning (beyond me just talking with him about what he wants to learn and how to schedule his school day). So I'm wondering how to make the transition from "Read for 1 hour a day and then give me a narration/paragraph/report at the end of the hour/week" or "Do 30 minutes of math each day" to "Read this book and write about this prompt / build a lego re-enactment / create [[insert project here]]; get it back to me in two weeks" or "Do chapter 3 in your math book over the next two weeks."

    Three of my four kiddos are autistic, and all four have ADHD, so EF skills do not come naturally to them. I am already following the thread on teaching EF skill explicitly, but wondered if I could hear veteran advice on how you made this transition in a way that set your kids up for success. In particular, oldest DS would like to start learning how to self-manage over the next year so that he can start taking online classes independently when he turns 13 the year after next. But right now, the idea of spending Lego time to do school when his younger sisters are playing is just about horrifying. I don't know how to set him to succeed. 

    • Like 1
  16. Right now, all of my kids' work is laid out by time: they work for a set period of time, and whatever gets done, gets done. The next day, we just start where we left off the day before. 

    But my oldest is turning 12 this year, and I'm thinking that he needs to start to have more direction in his learning (beyond me just talking with him about what he wants to learn and how to schedule his school day). So I'm wondering how to make the transition from "Read for 1 hour a day and then give me a narration/paragraph/report at the end of the hour/week" or "Do 30 minutes of math each day" to "Read this book and write about this prompt / build a lego re-enactment / create [[insert project here]]; get it back to me in two weeks" or "Do chapter 3 in your math book over the next two weeks."

    I'll probably X-post on the LC board, because my kids do have some challenges that affect their executive functioning skills, but I'd still like to hear how and when you switch from a timer/schedule type of homeschool day (where kids don't really have to think about managing their school work outside of "school time") to a homeschool day that involves kids working to complete an actual project or task, where the time commitment per subject may fluctuate or where they may have to invest a bit "extra" occasionally (my autistic kiddos very much have a hard time with variable schedules.)

    I don't even know if my question is coming across clearly. I just would like to move (some of) my kiddos towards independence over the next year. Not achieve it, necessarily, but just move in that direction.

  17. 10 minutes ago, Not_a_Number said:

    Need any help with the proof writing? What's he having trouble with? 

    (I've always done proofs with DD8, and she slid into them very naturally by herself. So I do know about teaching little kids about proofs.) 

    He just can't do it. At all. Like, he has no idea what to write down. When he does write things down, they don't make much sense. Organizing work is horrible (very smart, but autistic and dysgraphic and pretty high on the adhd scales....) Last summer I sat with him 2 hours a day for five weeks straight, with a focus on proofs and write-ups, and I'm not sure he learned anything that entire five weeks. lol. I haven't tried since then, because I've just had no idea how to even try again. lol. 

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