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Everything posted by mktyler

  1. I would love to do a planned day but I have 3 kids with ASD and ADHD so that hasn't worked; there are too many long disruptions that have to be dealt with. I've spent the summer reading a zillion education theory and practice books (thank you Google Books!). This is what I've come up with (haven't implemented fully, but all parts have been field tested :) ): Vital Domains of Education: Home care (cleaning, maintaining, organizing, beautifying) Self Care (hygiene, health, appearance, emotional, physical, safety) Family Care (current and future) Math Cosmic Knowledge (history and sciences, from Montessori) Real life problem solving (processes to solve different kinds of problems) Gross and Fine motor skills Social interactions Sensorial discrimination (mostly for my little guy) Language Arts Vocal Arts (voice control and elocution, singing, recitation) Fine Arts Storytelling (listening, structure, types, creating, relating) Religion (ethics, morals, behavior, values, tenets, world, history, scripture) Minimum each domain 2x per week. Minimum 1 outing per week. Mornings: mom directed cleaning (mom sits and directs and judges assigned work for each child, 1 at a time. Mom does not do work or anything else so child has practice and stays on task. Other children do independent school work or play. No tech. Montessori like activities set up for them) Afternoons: Domain related activities or lessons as I can pull together or that come up spontaneously. I check off what we've done and loosely plan for next day in the evening. I am building a notebook of activities, lessons, curricula, resources, needed knowledge and skills, and a sequence for knowledge and skill development within each domain. Currently I have a few activities for each domain. The cosmic education idea of Maria Montessori really helped because it showed a way to get through all the content areas, but not necessarily at the same time, which relieves some pressure. We use Netflix for most of the content area because my kids will sit through it. The cosmic education plan gives a topical guide (now we watch about astronomy . . .). If I find an activity about astronomy I put it in the book and put together a kit for that activity. On days when I think I can do it, I do. This plan gives me some structure and focus, but doesn't leave me feeling a failure when we don't stay on a preplanned schedule. I can look for projects and lessons in a more focused way, rather than drowning in the Internet ocean of ideas. Melissa Minnesota
  2. I agree it's important not to judge yourself by your kids. They will think THEY are the failure. My daughters have both been slow at learning to read and to appreciate reading. My oldest didn't become a fluent reader till she was almost 10. At 14 she's an avid reader and scored at college level in her testing this year. My younger daughter has taken 2 years to accomplish a grade level. At 10, she's finally picking up speed and confidence. We talk a lot about difficulty not being a product of intelligence. Lots of famous people stories tackling problems. As for reading suggestions, I really like the Let's-Read-and-See science books. My challenged readers have liked non-fiction better as they aren't struggling to follow a narrative as they struggle to just read the words. If they come to a word they don't know I either point out the difficult part of the word and let them work through it again, or if it contains spellings I know they know, I take them through the word sound by sound and part by part (affixes and bases). Melissa Minnesota
  3. My kids have been spelling challenged as well. After trying lots of programs and methods what has worked best is based on Realspelling.com. The program is quite expensive at 140 euros, but it is SO worth it. This is not a program per se but a thorough and rigorous understanding of the English writing system. The ToolBox consists of multimedia presentations on various aspects and a users manual. It is a lot of information to weed through but it has been invaluable for my kids who could not memorize or remember spellings for anything. This info helps with the structure of words, relationship of words to each other, history of English spelling, addresses spurious rules and teaches ways of approaching new words. My daughter had lessons with the creator, Melvyn Ramsden, for about 6months via Skype (he lives in France). Awesome, awesome, funny person. If you have any questions he responds quickly. I have used it like this (after going through all the material and watching all the videos and doing some random word analyses myself to make sure I understand the process): (optional) Present information such as terminology, patterns, review info from previous lessons. Dictate sentence or words depending on what level. I use sentences from books a little below reading level. I haven't tried this yet, but have been thinking of having them write a sentence of their own. You could also start with a word they want to know how to spell. Look at together. Discuss why the student spelled each word as they did (or just discuss words that are wrong). Discuss relation to other words. Etymonline.org, the OED online if you have access (my library system has a subscription), m-w.com, and word searcher.org will become your spelling best friends. Do one word at a time. Watch appropriate videos together or do a word study analysis as discussed in the manual. if you feel comfortable enough with the material you can explain it yourself. Dictate sentence again. Repeat as necessary for other misspelled words. I have a list of the 5000 most common words and as they master the words I check them off (by master I mean use the word or it's derivatives correctly in another sentence or context). I also add words that they master. This is for my own peace of mind. I have been able to fold grammar into this as well. Parts of speech have to be discussed as word relationships are examined. This is not an open and go program, but it has turned spelling into a (wordy) adventure for me and the kids. Spelling becomes a thinking activity rather than just a memorization activity. For my oldest daughter (14) it has provided a way to think about words and process for analyzing and understanding word spellings. This program is an investment of time and money, however, it cost less than all the spelling programs I bought that didn't work! Hope that helps. Even if you don't get the program the website has a lot of great info and multimedia presentations that are worth viewing. Melissa Minnesota
  4. You bring up a good question. I think it could be possible to disprove it, for example by showing that younger children can be taught and can perform higher levels of learning such as those in the logic or rhetoric stage. However, as demonstrated by the response from Dan Willingham, such specific issues are probably not on researchers' radar. I would love to post more, but family calls-well, screams. I am going to compile all the trivium/cognitive development quotes to which I have access and see if anything shakes out. I think some of the questions I'm really trying to answer are: What cognitive skills and knowledge are essential for deep satisfaction with ones life and the ability to support oneself and a family? With reference to those skills and knowledge, are there times within a child's development when those things are better (by better I mean increases the probability that the stated goals above are accomplished) taught, whether in whole or in part? Would such generalizations as described above in fact be useless in the face of individuality? Melissa Thanks to anyone willing to discuss this with me!:grouphug:
  5. Hi Eleanor, Here is a quote from the Revised Taxonomy, published in 2001: Pg. 267 11. (11th of 12 changes in the revised taxonomy) The process categories do not form a cumulative hierarchy The revised framework is a hierarchy in the sense that the six major categories of the cognitive proces dimension are presumed to be ordered in terms increasing complexity. The categories of the original scheme claimed to be a cumulative hierarchy, however. This meant that mastery of a more complex category required prior mastery of all the less complex categories below it-- a stringent standard. Subsequent research provides empirical evidence for a cumulative hierarchy for the middle categories, comprehension, application, and analysis, but empirical support was weak for ordering the last two. I only have the standard version not the expanded version so it may be they go into more detail in that volume. The book uses examples from 2nd grade through 12th grade to illustrate using the taxonomy. Melissa (have to get my dd off to harp lesson so won't be able to respond for a tick)
  6. Kai, Could you expostulate ( hey! Word of the day!) further on why you think-I'm assuming classical education- is contrived. It's kind of what I've been thinking, too, at least in its modern incarnation. I don't mean to imply therefore bad or wrong, I just want understand what I'm doing. Melissa
  7. It's funny that you bring up Dan Willingham because I recently emailed him to see if he had any suggestions of where to look for research as I had just read his book. He replied that he didn't know anything about classical education and therefore couldn't recommend anything. He suggested I needed to figure out what I want for my children and teach to that goal. I reread some of his articles and I felt he focuses more on how to present information and help kids retain it vs. deciding what to teach when, which is more of what I'm asking than the former. Does that jive with your reading? Melissa
  8. Thank you one*mom! This looks really great. I haven't read Corbett's book yet, though it's in my 1001 books I'd love to read saved-for-later wishlist on Amazon. Does it address these issues directly? I haven't looked at it for a while. Thanks, Melissa
  9. I had my gallbladder removed about 10 years ago. My gallbladder was riddled with stones so it wasn't going to go away. Haven't had any pain or problems since. The attacks were awful. So I'm glad I went with the laparoscopic surgery. I did have to stay an extra day in the hospital because I did not respond well to the anesthetic. Other than that, no problems. You could check with other family members to get a better sense of your possibilities. Everyone in my generation, my parents and my grandparents (on mother's side) has had their gallbladder out by the time they were 50. Best wishes, Melissa Barely maintaining sanity in Minnesota Dd 14 Dd 10 Ds 8 Ds 4
  10. I've read TWTM and Dorothy Sayers as well as other classical education theorists such as Mortimer Adler, Doug Wilson and the Bluedorns. All of these authors make statements about how children learn, but there is no data that I can find that supports them. Originally the trivium was a course of study for high schooling and college age kids, right? Now we are applying a course of study for near adults to the cognitive development of young children. I've just finished reading Bloom's revised taxonomy. It divides education into types of knowledge (factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive) and types of cognitive processes (remember, understand, analyze, apply, evaluate, and create). It's a very different model in that it is not hierarchical- you can teach any or all cognitive processes or knowledge domain at anytime. So, according to Bloom's syncophants, the cognitive process of evaluate (this word has a precise meaning in the book) which I would stick in the rhetoric stage could be taught to a 1st grader, someone in the grammar stage. Maybe I'm looking for something that doesn't exist. I was hoping for empirical data about the relationship between children's cognitive development and the tenets of classical education. The ideas make sense to me and its what I've done for my kids, but things have gotten really difficult of late and I'm evaluating everything again (I started off an unschooler):tongue_smilie: Thanks, Melissa
  11. Hi, I am wondering if anyone is aware of research about the trivium as it has been interpreted for homeschooling? I have 3 children on the autism spectrum and I find myself feeling a need to " start at the very beginning.". One of the statements that gets bandied about is that the trivium aligns with children's cognitive development. Does anyone have any suggestions where to look for more information? I've only found info on Piaget's stages and am not sure where to go from here. Thanks, Melissa Barely maintaining sanity in Minnesota Dd 14 Dd 10 Ds 8 Ds 4
  12. I love talking to and being with my children. I love thinking about, organizing, and preparing courses and lessons. I love figuring out how to teach and what to teach. I am awful at actually teaching regularly. I am an introvert; being with people wears me out, even if its people I love. All of my children (4, 2ds and 2dd) have developmental disorders: 2 with Asperger's, 3 with ADHD, 1 ODD, 1 apraxia, 2 depression, 2 anxiety disorder. This means I spend a lot of time informally and formally teaching emotional and social skills (ah, the irony of life). I have also had to focus most of my academic work on figuring out how to get them reading despite their various difficulties. I have a great relationship with all of my kids - I have really worked hard at that. I feel we have a good family life despite the challenges. I have been saved over the last few years by my son's autism treatment center and my friends who have schooled my girls 2 days a week. I have a passion for knowledge and we have many informal discussions about all sorts of topics. However, things are changing: my son has "graduated" from his autism treatment and requires delicate handling, my oldest is entering her high school years with all that entails, my 2nd has a lot of catching up to do now that she is (finally) reading and we found the right meds to control her ADHD, and my youngest is starting kindergarten material, well, demanding it. I don't think what we have been doing will be sufficient anymore. It has only been in the last few months that I have come to realize my difficulty with actually teaching my kids formally. It was always hidden by other challenges. I chafe at following routines and plans (even the ones I make); am exhausted mentally and emotionally after only a few rounds of teaching; too easily declare sick days (though we are sick frequently); tend not to utilize the learning experiences available in the wider world because my kids can be so unpredictable; can't spend enough time preparing and evaluating; and am derailed by any intense emotional work (which is daily). The fact is I am not a people person. Also, I am BURNED OUT. I feel strongly that they need to not be in PS, considering all of the above. I don't have money for any other private type of ed. Anyone dealt with this? My main concern right now is what is best for their academic lives? How to educate when you don't want to teach? Is self-teaching, with some mentoring, good enough? Any mantras to help deal with the guilt and self-doubt?:001_smile: Melissa Minnesota dd14 dd9 ds8 ds4
  13. I sold some items on the Sale Forum and can't figure out how to delete the posts? I have looked at the edit functions, but can't find anything for delete. Please help, Melissa Minnesota
  14. I'll just add that I started on Ritalin last week and I can tell a difference in my ability to function. I heard a news report about a doctor who wrote an article addressing the concern about long term psych meds. At the time I completely agreed with his concern that people who grow up on meds don't know who they really are. However, EVERY SINGLE caller stated that they could be more who they were when they were on the meds because they could control themselves, see things through and interact more normally with people. Most of the callers had been on various meds for 10+ years. Also I have seen the dramatic changes in my sister since she got on psych meds. In some ways she is a completely different person: she actually functions and is just about to graduate from college (at the age of 33) Like the PP indicated, some drugs work better than others for specific people and so it may not be a quick fix. However you might be able to give yourself and your son some breathing room. Best Wishes! :grouphug::grouphug: Melissa Minnesota Reading Program Junkie dd(11) dd(7) ds(5) ds(2)
  15. You have been so helpful! Little by little the pieces are coming together. My oldest two are going to spend T and H at a friend's house where she will direct their studies. We already meet with them 2x a week but this will give my girls a break from their brother and greatly reduce the friction in the family. I have decided to eliminate a bunch of subjects for my 11yo d and have set these goals for her: 1. Finish Saxon 7/6 by June 2. Finish R & S LA 4 by June 3. Finish reading Twelfth Night 4. Finish Dictation Day by Day 4 by June 5. Finish Real Science 4 Kids Chemistry I hate using the TV so much but I think peace is the most important thing right now. I have some daily therapy in the wings for my 5 yo so I can at least know that it won't be forever. My husband started taking my son to the gym with him this week and it has improved their relationship which is helpful. Also my husband started reading about Asperger's and ADHD, which is a good sign; I think he's been in denial. I also started seeing an ADD coach/therapist this week so hopefully I can get a better handle on myself. Thanks so much for listening, it has meant a lot. Melissa Minnesota Reading Program Junkie dd(11) dd(7) ds(5) ds(2)
  16. Thank you for your replies! I read my post and went AHH! Is that really my life right now? We are scheduled to see a ped psych in March for everyone. I recently started on Ritalin and probably everyone will be on ritalin eventually. Everyone has had a primary visit but it takes a while to get into the specialist. I am divided about what to do. I want to teach my son -- it is the best time with him. However, I feel I can't adequately address my girls' needs and his needs at the same time. I will talk to my friend who is the only one with whom I have been able to successfully leave him. Perhaps we could set up some babysitting exchanges so I can have some regular planning and alone time. My husband is very supportive, as much as he can be. This situation is overwhelming to him as well. I haven't had a chance to explore further services, but they told me I was eligible for county services, perhaps I can get a para or something. I feel a little better - I was able to read 3 books to my kids this am, which is unusual. Thanks, Melissa Minnesota Reading Program Junkie dd(11) dd(7) ds(5) ds(2)
  17. My situation is this: 1. oldest dd11 has asperger's, and add. Really needs help keeping her going. Is depressed and struggling. 2. dd7 has add and struggles with memory and language issues. 3. ds5 has asperger's, sensory integration and add. Extremely aggressive. Upsets dd11 and dd7 all the time. 4. ds2 enough said. 5. dh depressed 6. me depressed, add, sensory integration disorder, aspergers, multiple health issues. Everyone is getting help but it all takes so long and is incremental. I am at my wit's end. I don't know what to do with my children. I moved to separate schooling and that has helped, but my kids fight all the time and it overwhelms me. I feel such grief over the way my family is; it is so different than the idea I had when I started homeschooling. I am trying to move on and accept this is who we are, but the failed expectations do get in the way. I think that I should put my son in school. We have a charter school designed for HFA and aspergers. However, that doesn't start until next August. The only way I can keep my son "happy" is with movies and videos, however when these are put on, my girls are sucked in and it is so difficult to get them to do anything. I'm scared I'm turning my son into Cable Guy. So, what can I do right now to make things better for my family till I can get some of the stuff taken care of? I've been thinking for the remainder of the year to cut everyone's schooling down to a minimum, just to ease some of the pressure for everyone. I need help as to what to do with my son until I can get him into something. Thanks for listening! Melissa Minnesota Reading Program Junkie dd(11) dd(7) ds(5) ds(2)
  18. Whether your son is officially diagnosed with dyslexia or not, the teaching is pretty much the same: incremental and comprehensive direct instruction to mastery. Having him tested won't necessarily give you any more specific info to remediate him. Barton is a very thorough program and many people purchase it and use it at home. There are other good programs available that are cheaper and have a slightly different approach, as there are flavors of phonics instruction. As for formal instruction, this is what I am using with my non-reader (though she would technically be in 2nd grade, I have "held her back" and am doing 1st grade work with her) History: I am using SOTW, however I am going much slower. Most chapters I break up into several readings and I have projects and outside reading that I add in. If you want to see some of my lesson plans you can PM me. Science: I am using the Pandia Press science curriculum. It's been great. There is some writing, but I have her write what she can then fill in the rest. Art Study: I printed out six painting from an artist and we talk about it. We talk about the artist's life and influences in general terms (eg. Mary Cassatt loved Japanese prints, here is a Japanese print and a painting by Mary Cassatt, what looks the same?) We compare paintings among the artists we have studied and I have her do memory work with the paintings. Art: I use the Draw Write Now series. My daughter loves these so much I haven't actually used them as a curriculum as she pulls them out all the time. Cooking: A friend and I made up a cooking curriculum using Mrs. Rileys page builder. We put recipes together using pictures (2 cups of flour, would have a picture of two cups then a picture of flour). The steps were sequenced 1, 2, 3, etc. This way they don't need to be able to read but can feel competent. HTH! Melissa Minnesota Reading Program Junkie dd(11) dd(7) ds(5) ds(2)
  19. My dd7 is very VERY similar. We had a speech eval this week and her assessment was that inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity were being manifest in her speech. Basically, she speaks before she thinks --well, orders and categorizes what she wants to say. Some things stick, even when they are wrong because her brain shies away from focusing on the correct word. We are going to have a medical/psych eval next for ADD and probably start her on ritalin (along with the rest of my family). As for reading, I truly believe in the moral of The Tortoise and The Hare: slow and steady wins the race. After teaching her for the past 3 years (and starting over several times) she is finally blending fairly smoothly and I now feel comfortable moving forward with more of the code. Her problems with inattention have definitely contributed to her slow learning. She has difficulty paying attention to things going on outside her own head, therefore everything has to be taught multiple times and in multiple ways and situations before it sticks. Errors will often be stuck because she missed what was actually being asked of her. I am going to try the McGuinness' Verbal Intelligence book as I think the exercises in there will address some of her deficits. As for dyslexia, there can be many and multiple reasons why someone is struggling to read. Vision, attention, hearing, memory, interest, mood, opposition, speech, neurological. Oddly enough, the "cure" is pretty much the same whatever the cause: incremental and comprehensive direct instruction to mastery. You may be surprised at the level of instruction some kids need. My oldest (aspie) needed me to teach her explicitly 300+ sound-spelling correspondences (out of over 400+, most programs teach less than 150) before she would read from a book. My oldest even needed me to tell her that she actually understood what she was reading! With that cleared up, she took off. :tongue_smilie: HTH! Melissa Minnesota Reading Program Junkie dd(11) dd(7) ds(5) ds(2)
  20. Thank you all for your kind replies! I will go foraging . . . Lisa, Your kind words really lifted me when I needed it (many long battles of " I hate you!" "You're the worst mom ever!" You are my enemy!") If any other ideas come keep sending them my way. Blessings, Melissa Minnesota Reading Program Junkie dd(11) dd(7) ds(5) ds(2)
  21. I am in need of some curriculum suggestions. My ds 5 has recently been diagnosed with Asperger's, ADHD, Pragmatic Language Disorder, and ODD. Life has been difficult. He loves structured activities with one on one attention. I have made up a lot of curriculum for my older children, but I'm too overwhelmed to start on another specialty curriculum. He can read some and is about at a 1st grade level in Math. I need a pre-packaged, non-computer based, secular to mildly Christian K or 1st curriculum to fill 2 to 2 1/2 hours a day. For the rest of the day he will do computer activities while I work with my other children. It needs to be fairly complete so I can just open and go. Thanks in advance! Melissa Minnesota Reading Program Junkie dd(11) dd(7) ds(5) ds(2)
  22. Christie, You could do one of a number of things. 1. Skip the stories 2. Start over (or try Blend Phonics) to build mastery before adding in the stories. Go back to easier material so you are not working at his limit. 3. Use the stories, but either have him reread the stories till he can read with good prosody, or break them down sentence by sentence, rereading each sentence till he feels comfortable and understands what he is reading, Then put them together into the story. Which method you choose really depends on what you and your son are comfortable doing. I personally feel that accurate and comfortable word reading should be your highest priority. When that is in place then move on to phrases, sentences, and stories. I myself would go back or add in other activities from other programs and then move on in OPGTR when its really comfortable. If the stories are what motivate your son then throw them in, slowly and methodically, till he can read with comprehension through repeated readings. Hope that helps.:001_smile: Melissa Minnesota Reading Program Junkie dd(11) dd(6) ( went through the beginning stages of reading three times before it really clicked and we moved on to phrases and sentences) ds(5) ds(1)
  23. I have really enjoyed this discussion. As I am not nearly so eloquent as previous posters, I will jump in with a link for Rebekah on the topic of becoming gods. It is a fairly short and concise description of the Biblical passages that influence such a doctrine. http://www.fairlds.org/Bible/Do_We_Have_the_Potential_to_become_Like_God.html Melissa Minnesota Reading Program Junkie dd(11) dd(7) ds(5) ds(1)
  24. Some programs choose to neglect the schwa sound (unstressed /uh/) and instead fold words with it into other sounds or require the student to pronounce it as the short sound. So 'aqua' would be initially pronounced as /awkwaw/ and adjusted to sound like the real word /awkwuh/. This is meant to simplify what needs to be memorized and encourage proper articulation. I personally prefer to say there is a 4th sound for the letter 'a' -- /uh/. Melissa Minnesota Reading Program Junkie dd(11) dd(7) ds(5) ds(1)
  25. Does your son struggle with language or memory in other areas of his life? If so, instruction will need to be incremental, thorough, and logical. I prefer synthetic phonics (now the national standard for reading instruction in the UK) because it emphasizes teaching all through the English code ("In these words, this letter(these letters) spell the sound /__/") and accurate all through the word blending and doesn't emphasize spurious rules. OG programs such as Barton are also quality programs. If he doesn't have problems in other areas then you can do some detective work to figure out what his stumbling block is. How is his word reading? If you give him a list of mixed words, does he read comfortably? Is it only when the words are in context that he struggles? If his word reading is choppy and full of errors then you need to work on the components of reading: left to right, all through the word blending, "phonics" - that is, the possible sounds for a letter or letter group, and for longer words, and seeing the meaningful chunks such as prefixes, suffixes, and roots. English requires some flexibility of thought. If your first sound choice doesn't work, try a different sound for a letter. A good program would be Abecedarian if he doesn't have memory issues, as this program presents information in big chunks. The "rules" of many programs are difficult to implement in connected text for several reasons: they are often wrong, or the process to analyze when to use them (If this and this but not this use this) is so laborious that it is a detriment rather than a help. Reading Reflex, Phonics Pathways, OPGTR, and Spalding all have decent lists of correspondences--the sounds that go with a letter or letter group. Check that he knows these and can use them on a word level before asking him to read connected text. If he only struggles when reading connected text, then working on some visual tracking and rereading can be extremely helpful. Using a line guide and forcing him to say each sound once all through the word before reading the word (or using a notched card thus only showing one letter or letter group at a time) can help him practice smooth left to right tracking. Rereading to full prosody--that is, till he can read a passage with appropriate or even exaggerated emotion--will increase his fluency over time. Start with small passages and gradually increase the length. I know its frustrating. I purchased more than a dozen programs and reviewed a bunch more before I was successful teaching my daughter to read using a program of my own invention. My daughter did not read her first easy chapter book till she was 9, after 4 years of instruction (1 year of intensive). By the time she was 10 1/2 she was reading at college level. This was because I gave her incremental, logical, and thorough instruction. Some kids--even bright, articulate kids--just need it that way. They don't intuit the complexities of English very well. I'm sorry this is a bit of a jumble of advice. Perhaps you could write back when you get a sense of what his slow step is and we could give more specific advice. Blessings, Melissa Minnesota Reading Program Junkie dd(11) dd(7) ds(5) ds(1)
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