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Everything posted by 4KookieKids

  1. FWIW, our neuropsych wouldn't do dyslexia testing, despite that being one of two primary reasons we sought an eval (the other being anxiety/emotional issues). And he never even told me straight up he wasn't going to test for dyslexia, so I was super ticked when I got our results back, and all he had done was a basic reading test - I think one of the Woodcock Johnson III subtests. No looking at RAN, no phonological processing / phonemic awareness, no other language skills at all, nothing. He said that they can't test for actual dyslexia because insurance wouldn't cover it (and since dd was reading "at grade level, she was obviously not dyslexic anyway"...). I countered that I would've paid it out of pocket if he had just *told* me he wasn't going to test for it for this reason! It was hugely disappointing. When we finally settled on an SLP, she did all that was needed and we didn't even need the psych involved. So it would've saved us a *tremendous* amount of money to just do the SLP to begin with over the neuropsych...
  2. My oldest takes his first standardized test tomorrow! It's a first in our little homeschool, and I'll be so proud if he even makes it through the whole thing!! lol. I have no idea how it'll go, since he seemed completely lost when I went over the "this is what the test looks like" packet this week. It may be a colossal fail, but at least he'll have gained some experience (which is the main reason he's taking it.) ETA: He made it through! Exhausted by the end, but still made it through! Asked when he'd get his score and almost cried when I told him about 2.5 months... lol.
  3. I really like Sherlock, but he's definitely a jerk and a druggy. Maybe not in *every* story, but overall... lol. I had to re-read it as an adult as well.
  4. Thanks! After reading this thread through again, I set up an Alcumus account for him to start, and he really enjoyed it. It was obvious that thinking the math and reading the solutions was just so much easier for him than what we've been doing. He got green on all of chapter 1 already (granted, it's an easy chapter!!! lol) and I'm curious how he gets to blue, if it automatically puts him on the next topic once he hits green?
  5. I wonder... Are there other newspapers that she could contact? Our newspaper has a place you can submit anything you think is newsworthy (and will obviously be vetted). Maybe they don't have the authority to change the rules, but maybe some publicity would get them to take notice and change the rules...? It's good that she's able to accept that this was part of the deal from the beginning. But still disappointing to not get to move on!
  6. Wow! That's such a relief to hear!! I've been totally bogging him down in writing and feel so much better about considering easing up on that. Somehow I felt like I'd be "cheating" him of the AoPS experience if I let him slide without writing out full solutions to all the problems. Thank you both so much!!
  7. DS9 loves his PreAlgebra, but we're only just finishing up chapter 1 (it's only done occasionally). So far, I've been sitting with him while he does it so that I can scribe (he has difficulty writing), and also so that I can model appropriate conventions, like lining up the equals sign, justifying things (e.g., writing "by commutativity" or "by the definition of a reciprocal"), number the problems, etc. I'd like to get him more independent, but I fear it will come at the cost of him writing things out well. As is, he struggles to write out any work in BA, and I have to coach him to get him to write any of his thought process out. On the other hand, I'm concerned that I'm expecting too much of him in asking him to write out what is basically a complete proof for each problem. I teach math at the Uni, so it's hard for me to figure out what's developmentally appropriate for him (he does have some significant EF deficits) in light of the advanced/complex ideas and content that he *is* ready for. I'd love to see what kind of output your kids had at this point!
  8. I feel like things change so crazy fast that I can't even think about this right now! In particular, ds9 loves AoPS PreA, but is nowhere near independent in terms of writing out his work well, so I still sit with him on the days that he wants to do that. But he's still had BA to work on when I want/need him to do something independent. But... he's finishing up BA5 in the next few months, and as of next year, I'll also be officially adding a 6 yo to the homeschooling mix, and the 4 yo will also be amping up what she wants to do (they do a lot together, but at different levels - if that makes any sense at all...). So I'm a bit nervous about adding two more kids to the mix *and* having ds9 need a lot more of my time to work through AoPS. I'm beginning to wonder if I should switch him to a PreAlgebra/Algebra that he could do more independently, instead of AoPS. This year has been a crazy year for us with having dd7 dx'd with dyslexia, taking about a 4 month break from "school" with her to undo some of the emotional damage that came in the process of getting to the root issue, and then trying to move forward again. We also spent a lot of time driving around to vision therapy and OT. I'm hoping to be done with that for a while (we just quit both of them at the end of January), but am not holding that plan too tightly! 🙂 So next year, my kids will be 10, 8, 6, 4. My hope for the the oldest is to start having him start formally learning some history and science that we've mostly just played with up till now. I'd like that to be mostly independent, so not sure what it'll look like yet. My hope for the 8 yo is to get her reading up to par (including German), improve her confidence/enjoyment of reading, and keep plugging along on math. Once she turns 8, she'll be allowed to audition for the Nutcracker, so she's been practicing a lot of ballet in anticipation of that, and she wants to join an ensemble for violin. Both my older two have their sights set on a spelling bee for next year, though I'm not sure why. My (soon to be) 6 and 4 year olds get the shaft a bit, so I'd really like to figure out where they're at and meet their needs a bit better. I really hope to get the 6 yo reading -- she's so close! And she loves math, so she will probably start BA next year. All four will continue piano (though ds10 is hoping to also start the bagpipes, oboe, or drums???) and spend lots and lots of time outdoors.
  9. I think this just blew my mind. (I'm pretty sure your comments often blow my mind!! lol.) She was so desperate to start ballet this year (spent 6 months asking! at 2.5 yo!!), and she's spent the entire time after the first month not wanting to go anymore. We've been scratching our heads trying to figure out what happened, talked with the teacher about what's going on in class (we watch the class, but didn't know if we'd missed something), and going back and forth on letting her quit (their show is in a month and she wants to be on stage with the nice costume, despite not wanting to go to class) since she's only 3. It's hard for us to know how much to follow her lead and if she'll regret it if we did let her quit. But I never realized I guess how much she struggles with the midline thing and it never even occurred to me that the class might just be too hard for her (since it's super age appropriate and fun -- so it's not like it's too hard for most 3 yo's, but maybe just too hard for her). I'm not sure I ever would've thought of this.
  10. I'll look into it! I honestly have no idea if she went straight to walking... I can't remember exactly (4th child within a short span!), but I don't recall her skipping crawling (I'd like to think that would stand out to me?)
  11. Oh this is interesting. My dd7 is very musically inclined but really resists some songs and I've never seen a rhyme or reason for the ones that she resists. But she does have dyslexia and visual processing challenges, so maybe I'll see if I notice these kinds of trends in the songs that she dislikes next time it comes up! Not since 20 months. She passed everything, but had borderline scores for social-emotional skills and communication skills. But kids change a lot in 2 years and she's more than twice as old now as she was then! 🙂 Yeah, I think I definitely stumbled across something odd, because tonight at dinner she was using her left hand to eat the food on the left side of her plate (all that was left), so I spun her plate so that it was on the right side now, and suggested she take another bite. She stared at her plate for a good ten seconds, and then started to switch fork hands. I gently nudged her right hand out of the way, and just said to use her fork! I've never seen a child reach for a piece of meat so slowly!! lol. After one bite, she switched her fork to her right hand, so I spun her plate so that the meat was on the left again. She stared at it for another 10 or 15 seconds before throwing down her fork and yelling at me to stop it. So definitely not normal, I don't think!
  12. Yes and REU's are really great for figuring out what field you actually find interesting in terms of research. For example, my favorite classes were modern algebra classes in undergrad and grad school. Hands down, they were my favorite classes! But it turns out that I didn't really like the research in that field because it was so far removed from what I actually learned about in my classes. The nice thing about an REU is that they don't expect much specialized knowledge coming in; they teach you everything they want you to know at the beginning, and then they teach you *how* to learn the other stuff that crops up that you also need to learn. So it's really self-contained, in a sense. You can often get one or more publishable papers out of it, as well, which grad schools absolutely *love.*
  13. My ds9 has autism, but I've never though to look to see if he does this. It's interesting you bring this up, because my DH actually brought up today the question of if we should consider autism evals for dd3. I don't know. In the video I referenced above, she does look me clearly in the eye for a full 5ish seconds. And her verbal communication skills are excellent. And yet... Occasional things stand out to me as odd. Nothing that I can point to and clearly say, "Yes, that's it," like I could with ds. But lots of little things. Things that could easily be brushed off as her being young, but also things that I wonder may just be different in girls with autism. But lots of fits/meltdowns, a certain amount of rigidity, and increasing isolation/withdrawal in any group activities (e.g., refusing to participate in her ballet class, standing in a corner by herself in Sunday school while others are doing the lesson/game, etc.). She flat out tells me (at just over 3.5?) that she just doesn't like other kids, and she doesn't like when people in dance class touch her or when she has to hold hands with other kids, and I heard her tell her sunday school teacher today that she just didn't want to play with anyone, and she'd rather stand in a corner by herself and she'll find herself a toy when she wants to play. After going through ASD evals with my ds, though, I'm not sure I trust anyone locally to recognize autism in a girl, though. As it was, folks had a really hard time recognizing it in ds because he was "so smart" and "just quirky"-- surely smart people don't have autism, right? .... I think I trust them even less to evaluation dd at this point. I read once that girls with autism often don't have the same obvious social thinking deficits that boys have, but that girls with autism usually have social thinking of same-age boys -- which means behind typically developing girls, but not the kind of obvious social deficits that were noticeable with ds. Oy, this is a rabbit trail, I guess. I just have so many thoughts swimming in my head. I already have two kids with developmental vision issues, so this also wouldn't surprise me.
  14. I'm posting on the LC board as well, but wasn't sure exactly where to post this: I shared a cute video of my 3.5-4 yo coloring, because I thought it was funny how she switched the crayon from hand to hand every 5-10 seconds. Several people pointed out that she's switching every time she colors on the other half of the paper, so she's not crossing the midline, and that this is concerning. She does it with scissors too -- instead of turning her paper so she can cut with the same hand the whole line, she cuts half way in on the right with her right hand, switches hand, and then cuts halfway in from the left side with her left hand. She does it while eating too (right hand to eat food on right side of her plate, left hand for left side). So now I'm left with wondering why it's a problem? Is it not normal developmentally? Granted, I didn't notice it in my other three kiddos, but why won't she just grow out of it? Are kids supposed to have a handedness by this age? Do I really need to get her set up with an OT? We just got two other kids *out* of OT, and I really don't want to have to add more appointments back into our schedule. Someone said to talk with my Ped about it - would a normal ped really know about something so small? I'm in the process of googling, but I need some feedback that doesn't gloss over it if it's a real problem but also not alarmist and telling me she's ruined for life if I can't fix this immediately, kwim?
  15. Of course! We started with NILD tutoring, and she did that for about 4-6 months, but our lives got hectic and we felt like she needed a bit of a break. So we took a break. This was also when we started the IM-like app that we use (where she has to tap to a certain beat and it tells her if she's too fast or too slow). She also does ball bounces to the beat and other stuff like that. When we started back, it was with LiPS. She was really interested in feeling and naming the sounds, despite it being hard for her. She spent a lot of time feeling her mouth and shaping her mouth and thinking about what her mouth was doing. At the same time, we played a lot of the nonsense word game from the Phonics Page. Your kid may be way past this stage, but I'll just throw out there that I thought mine was too. I was certain she didn't need to review basic letter sounds and figure out what her mouth was doing. But she really did and I had no idea! I was shocked at the things she couldn't tell me about how her body moved to make sounds! (T is obviously your tongue tapping up against the gum above your top front teeth, right? Why are you telling me it's your lips moving??) After that, we started going through Equipped for Reading success, the Syllables spell success program, and several other programs Elizabeth has developed, like a long vowels first program and a consonant blends program (dd struggles the most with consonant blends). I've spent a lot of time reading the free online OG materials here: And have been incorporating a number of those ideas into our daily conversations about words/reading/sounds. But we haven't actually been going through the program the way the lesson plans are laid out. At the same time as all this, we applied to NLS's talking book program, and dd received a talking book machine and more access to independent audiobooks (keyword being independent -- she hated having to ask us every time she wanted to listen to a book) than she could've ever imagine. We let her just take it in and get as many books as she wanted (so long as they were appropriate). We wanted her to love books again. When I started asking her to read to me, she chose books that she had practically memorized on her talking book machine. I didn't care. We may read a paragraph a day or a page. What I focus on is making sure she reads *every single word.* I have to really work with her to go slowly, because she just wants to fly through it, filling in gaps by looking for the big idea words. I still point at the words for her most of the time, or we use one of those little ruler things to underline the line that we're on. It forces her to look a little more closely, and helps her not get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of visual information. (Sometimes we even make a cut out in a cereal box so that the *only* line she can read is the one she's on -- none below and none above.) I enlarge everything I can for her. Any resource we print from the web gets enlarged. Obviously this doesn't help with actual books, but it makes practice an awfully lot easier for her. Something else I hope to incorporate soon (more re: a vision perspective than a language one, but she has so many issues with both that it seems worth it to me) is to find tangram type games, but that only use 2-3 pieces. I was always surprised by how she hated those kinds of visual games when she was younger, despite my older ds loving them, but it all makes sense now in light of her visual processing issues. They're just really hard for her! With her NILD therapist, she sometimes got a picture of TWO pieces put together, and they even *showed* her which two pieces they were, and she still struggled to figure out how those two pieces could fit together to make the given shape. It was positively mind-blowing for me to realize exactly *how* much of a challenge this posed for her.
  16. I shared a cute video of my 3.5-4 yo coloring, because I thought it was funny how she switched the crayon from hand to hand every 5-10 seconds. Several people pointed out that she's switching every time she colors on the other half of the paper, so she's not crossing the midline, and that this is concerning. She does it with scissors too -- instead of turning her paper so she can cut with the same hand the whole line, she cuts half way in on the right with her right hand, switches hand, and then cuts halfway in from the left side with her left hand. She does it while eating too (right hand to eat food on right side of her plate, left hand for left side). So now I'm left with wondering why it's a problem? Is it not normal developmentally? Granted, I didn't notice it in my other three kiddos, but why won't she just grow out of it? Are kids supposed to have a handedness by this age? Do I really need to get her set up with an OT? We just got two other kids *out* of OT, and I really don't want to have to add more appointments back into our schedule.
  17. I can tell you what we've been doing if you want, but it might be boring and/or unhelpful if your dd is more advanced than mine?
  18. My dd has some similarities, but not completely. 1) She dislikes reading, but I have to caveat here: She always acted like she disliked reading, but in a moment of vulnerability during our evening quiet time (everyone looks at books in their bedrooms, even pre-readers, who just look at pictures), I was laying next to her reading, and about 10 minutes in she just threw her book across the room and burst into tears, saying, "This stinks! I'm never going to be able to read the things that I want to read! I try and I try and I try and I never get any better!!" Now, this isn't true, because she's progressing pretty solidly "average" or slightly above (maybe 1/2 a year ahead, though how they measure that so exactly is a bit beyond me - I just know this from having her evaluated). But she's very, very bright, and I think she feels a real struggle between the audiobooks that she's into (Castle Glower, Harry Potter, Septimus Heap, etc.) and the books that she's actually able to read (Cat in the Hat, Elephant and Piggie, Ten apples up on top, etc.). And unfortunately, the gap is only increasing as her language skills and interests accelerate even more quickly than her reading abilities are growing. 2) & 3) Also very nice handwriting, very poor content and spelling when free writing. Surprisingly good spelling when focused on spelling though and using Spalding, though. Dd also had vision therapy, but was not really clicking with the therapist or the exercises, so we're taking a break. We'll probably try to hit it hard again this summer when she turns 8. She also has reading glasses that she doesn't like to wear. 😉 Good thing I didn't spend too much on them!! Unlike your dd, though, my dd cannot read aloud fluently. It might *sound* relatively fluid when you hear her -- until you realize that she's using the words on the page as a rough guideline and mostly filling in her own sentences just using the keywords in the book... Also, my dd can express herself verbally just fine, so I'm not sure I'd classify her issues as expressive language issues. When we had her evaluated privately, she tested in the 9th percentile for phonemic awareness and phonological processing, despite a processing speed above the 99.7th percentile. No wonder the poor kid was frustrated!! Her reading has improved since we started interventions, but still not as much as she'd like. It's gone up about one grade level in the last six months, I'd say? Possibly a little more.
  19. Is there a way in Anki to use dictation, so instead of typing the spelling, you spell it aloud and it writes out the spelling for you?
  20. After attending a spelling bee yesterday, my kids decided that they want to study for a spelling bee. I already have the word list, but I want them to do this on their own, if at all, because I'm not up for adding something else into what I need to do. I'm not convinced that just writing them or normal spelling apps where you *write* the word are going to give them the best practice. I think that what I really want is something like an app where you can record/input your words, then the app will say it for the kid, then *record* the kid spelling it, and then replay what the kid just spelled while showing them the spelling so that they can check themselves. I don't suppose something like this exists, does it? OR even an app that would record your spelling and turn it into letters (like a speech recognition thing) and check it for you and show you your errors and then say it correctly for you. (We have a similar app for speech therapy, where it says a word, records you while you say it, and then plays the recording for you while you evaluate how well you said the word.) My brother is an app developer and would happily would make one for me IF nothing like this exists and there were actually a good market for it. But I'm not convinced that something doesn't already exist, and I'm really not convinced there's a market for it. It's just that *I* want this app. lol. Any ideas? I'm really not interested in games that just have you type out the word.
  21. I hear you. My poor 3 yo watches more TV than I'd like...
  22. Unfortunately, talking with some grad schools and grad students it the same. I visited grad schools where the grad culture really was, "Well, life stinks, we're dirt poor, we work a ton, faculty don't value us, I'm not publishing as fast as anyone wants me to be, but - that's grad school, right? At least we're old enough to go out drinking now to temporarily forget how much my life stinks." (followed by feeble chuckles.) Needless to say, I did not pursue those programs. So make sure whatever mentors you find don't have those same feelings or expectations! 🙂 You want him being assured that grad school is really great! Super fun to work on hard math with others who *also* find it fun! Research is super fun because who doesn't like coming up with new math that no one has ever figured out?! You get to do math for ALL your classes and don't have to take dumb gen-ed's (though you may still have to take math classes that aren't your favorite, of course...)! And you get paid to do it, to boot. 🙂 Grad school really is great!
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