Jump to content

What's with the ads?


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

43 Excellent

About camino

  • Rank
    Hive Mind Larvae

Recent Profile Visitors

129 profile views
  1. Hi, OP. I have a very similar 2E kid, same diagnoses plus anxiety. I started to write a much longer message and continue if you think details would help. But to your question--I did not and would not define mastery the same way. There is a such a delicate balance here: between making progress and managing frustration, between the need for repetition and the need for novelty, between mastery and boredom. I think it is so important for these kids, at least for my son, to gain confidence in themselves and rediscover the love of learning. He needs to be challenged in order to be engaged. However, he needed a lot of support in order to accomplish the simplest tasks. My son needed some years to find his strengths, allow them to develop, and feel good about them. For my son, who is exceptionally strong in math and truly did not need as much practice as my other kids, I certainly moved on and made no issue about careless mistakes. (Or rather, I tried to work on attention to detail separately, but I didn't hold him back on concepts because of it.) If I saw that he understood a concept and could do it correctly, I continued to practice but moved on. I also used a lot of math games to practice speed, computations, mental math in a varying, fun context. We did Singapore, we did Beast Academy, worked with manipulatives--a lot of variety. I worried about how much support was okay, and when to remove myself, for years. For example, I largely scribed for son for years in every subject, but there came a time when I decided that independence was the biggest goal. For us it was 8th grade but it was less about the age than about where he was emotionally and academically. I knew that he was "ahead" in all the subjects--and I knew that he was confident about his abilities--so we sent him back to a school. For us, the return to school was all about him learning to work completely on his own, without support. Even learning how to advocate for himself. I was happy to have him repeat Algebra, for example, if it meant he learned how to work through, relay, express everything on his own. But I couldn't have done this before 8th grade because he just wasn't emotionally ready for all the change and all the challenges... he had to be mentally ready to handle the little failures of life. As for the balance with other kids--I don't have a good answer. I try so hard to meet my kids where they are and support them when and where they need it. It definitely is not an equitable distribution, and it can be exhausting, but there are only so many hours in the day. I am happy to discuss more if you would like.
  2. Thank you--I will look and see what is available.
  3. Thank you! Open Tent has just what I am looking for but it doesn't start until April. I am hoping to find something that starts in Jan or soon after. I will check out Outschool. Thank you so much!
  4. Hi! Can anyone recommend an on-line writing class, appropriate for a fifth grader, that starts in January/spring semester? My older kids have taken Well Trained Mind Academy classes and also some through IEW—thought they were great especially WTMA. I would love a similar class but am having trouble finding a class for just one semester. Would be grateful for any suggestions. Thanks in advance!
  5. I have a twelve-year-old son like this, too. (And he loves the same novels!) He has a diagnosis of Dysgraphia -- it is so severe that he was diagnosed in second grade -- but later testers have used different language. One person called him Dyslexic, and wanted us to do a whole program starting from the beginning. The last person we worked with about a year ago, a very well-known and respected psychologist and psycho-educational evaluator in my area, calls it "Language-Based Learning Difference that manifests as" ... in my son's case, specific writing challenges. Basically this psychologist won't distinguish between Dyslexia and Dysgraphia because their origins are the same. What he says makes a lot of sense to me. My son had a lot of the same issues (problems crossing the midline, bilateral coordination) that dyslexic kids do but has always enjoyed reading. I find that Dyslexia is not a *useful* descriptor but I can believe -- I do believe -- that the early Montessori and then homeschool instruction he received helped him address work through potential decoding problems that he probably would have otherwise had. As for how to remediate: we have had a lot of success this past year addressing his writing/composition challenges (my son is also an elegant writer and is writing a novel in Tolkien's style), though his handwriting will never be useful. The two things that have helped with spelling -- we tried a lot of the same ones you did, too -- are years of Spelling City and the keyboarding program TTRS. Or maybe something just clicked in his brain?? I doubt that because I'll still occasionally see him write "multiplicashen" but generally his spelling is now actually pretty strong. Not on the level of the rest of his performance but a huge improvement relative to his past. We still have other writing challenges: lining up numbers properly in math, not being able to read his writing, or, more generally, his avoidance of writing in multi-step problems. These didn't cause problems in early grades but now that he is doing more advanced math, algebra this year, it is a constant issue. If you have any ideas for math besides graph paper, let me know!
  6. Hi, This model is working for my just turned 12-year-old, but he is doing only two online classes (through the Well Trained Mind Academy), which may be less than what you had in mind. I am signing him up for three next year (AOPS Algebra, Physics for Logic Stage, Writing). My son takes the school part seriously and does not surf the net. His two classes are writing and math. He has always been an independent kid when it comes to reading so getting other subjects done isn't a problem except when it comes to output. Because the two on-line classes are pretty demanding output-wise, i don't expect much more writing from him. For most other subjects, other than read-aloud and outdoor time, we have a plan and he works entirely on his own. As for the classes themselves, the lectures are live and he enjoys the class time very much. I am impressed with the instruction in both! One of his classes, AOPS pre-Algebra, is very challenging and often requires me to sit close by and poke him in the arm to make sure he is focused. He also likes me close by when he is working on the problems as well but I find that it is often for emotional support rather than actual help with the material! All that may sound annoying to parents of kids who do not have ADHD, but it is just normal for us. I think the ADHD (my son's is severe)/high IQ and intellectually curious kid is a difficult one to manage--but this year has been wonderful for us. My son also has severe dysgraphia. He was in a gifted program at school and was still absolutely miserable. He really wasn't supported enough (no one ever explicitly taught him how to write until we started homeschooling), nor was he challenged enough. He came home feeling exhausted and down on himself. The problem is that he really needed more in every way than our all-around solid public school could offer. He is so much more challenged, stimulated, happy at home--and these classes give us some structure that a) ensures that we are on the right track and b) allows us to practice executive functions skills in a step-by-step and less overwhelming way.
  7. I live in Northern Virginia (Fairfax County) and the advanced track here has kids doing Algebra in 7th. I have heard that occasionally kids start earlier but it is rare enough that I do not know one child personally who has done that. Most children coming out of the Advanced Academic Program in Elementary School do Algebra in 7th or 8th. If anything, there is a push from teachers to make kids slow down in middle school. The requirements to be allowed to take Algebra in 7th are actually extremely high. So it really is not that different from before. That said, I constantly hear my son's friends saying that they did "Algebra" in their sixth grade classroom and, when I ask, it is clear that they got a little taste of algebra, in other words... a tiny bit of pre-algebra.
  8. Hello! My eleven-year old is enrolled in a couple of on-line classes through the Well-Trained Mind Academy and is loving them. I would consider enrolling my 10-year-old fifth grader in a class or two, starting in January--if I can find something comparable for just the one semester. Ideally I'd love a writing class and a math class. (Both kids are strong in math but need a lot of structure in writing. Older son absolutely loves Art of Problem Solving.) In sum, I am looking for something very much the same style as the Well-Trained Mind Academy but for one semester only. Any recommendations?? Thanks in advance!
  9. I have an eleven-year-old with dysgraphia as well. He was diagnosed at age 7. In more recent testing, psychologist said it is the most severe case he has ever seen. I second OneStepAtATime's comment that the most/only useful book-reading on dysgraphia is The Mislabeled Child. I don't have any great advice because we're in the throes of it now... I have posted before about our struggles with Math. My son is very strong in Math but we have reached a point where the dysgraphia is really interfering even in his strongest areas. I can tell you that, in our case, no amount of OT (two years of private OT weekly with no time off ever) or practice at home (daily for years and years) improved child's handwriting. This is not everybody's story, of course, but it can happen to some. The best decision I ever made was to start homeschooling in third grade and de-emphasize the physical act of writing. Homeschooling has allowed my son to grow in his areas of strengths and to gain back confidence academically. We can use different methods, there are no handwriting comparisons. One of my most important insights--and I think I got this from the Mislabeled Child, though I don't remember--is that my son, unlike so many people, not only does not learn through writing but rather the act of writing in fact impedes his learning. I repeat this message to myself again and again because... it goes so counter to my own learning style and education. But it is my son's reality. If i ask him to write down his Latin verbs, it will be an exercise in frustration and exhaustion that will lead to no learning. If I repeat them and mix -in some visuals, he learns easily. Of course, the struggle is always PRODUCTION. Has he really learned if he can't write it?? How much can he keep in his head with our methods?? how will this work in high school?? Still, I can't find any other way. I scribe for my son in every subject. When he has to write, he does as much as possible on the computer... which of course is slow-going. I'd be happy to talk more and share experiences...
  10. Hello! Can anyone recommend a website with simple drills to practice Latin conjugations, declensions, and so on? I'd love for my son to do a few minutes every day of repetition and drill work and something on-line work much better for us than workbook/paper. He is in fifth and this has been his first year with Latin so we are still working on the early basics. Thank you for any suggestions!
  11. No solutions, just joining you in the search. I don't find modmath user-friendly or intuitive either... I am sure it is to some, but I have been on the lookout for the ideal app for my ten-year-old for two years and can't find anything. I keep thinking we should go back to modmath and just get used to it... Generally I scribe for my son during math, let him do a lot mentally, and limit what he how much to write day-to-day. Our system works in that he has been able to continue to advance at a good pace in our program. However, he is not growing more independent. If anything, as the work gets more complex and likely to require multiple steps, he has become more reliant on my scribing than he was at age 8 because he can't count on his memory to do all the work. (And writing always increases the likelihood of all sorts of errors. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.
  12. We really like Dreambox. I think we bought a one-year family membership? I don't remember exactly what I paid but for my four kids, I definitely felt that it was reasonable.
  • Create New...