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diaperjoys

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About diaperjoys

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    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee
  1. My 13yo is begging me to switch him to Saxon. He's currently working through MUS Zeta (decimals/percents). He's used Saxon before at a classical school, did fine with it there. He hates conceptual leaps - likes everything predictable. I was the same way at his age. Loved Saxon, hated mastery programs. But I'm not sure where to place him. We were going to finish up Zeta, and then work through Pre-Algebra, with either MUS or Saxon. Gave him a Saxon placement test, and he scored lower than I thought he would- by that test he'd place into 7/6. But when I look over what he missed on the test, it is stuff that just isn't covered in MUS, or hasn't been reviewed for a looong time. He wants to just continue in the Algebra 1/2 book we have on the shelf. I think he likes the look and feel of it. I'm leaning toward placing in 8/7, because of all the review of decimals/percents/fractions. Is that a big mistake? If he needs to do 7/6, then we'll do it. Just hate to place too low and waste time/money/effort...
  2. Lori - that was super helpful, thank you so much! Yes, several things you describe sound like my son. Very much so - I hadn't thought about that developing later, but it makes sense. It took three years to learn to read well....it'll probably take time for him to be developmentally ready for those spelling skills. I'm going to keep Megawords at the top of my list for spelling curricula next year. Thanks again!
  3. Our son is finishing the last book of Apples and Pears. He's 12, and we've had some issues with focus, dyslexia type symptoms, and vision. Learning to read was very hard, but we got there! Apples & Pears, as well as the Dancing Bears programs were incredible for him, and he wouldn't be where he is today without them. I thought A&P would be our last spelling program, but now I'm not so sure. This last book is harder for him. And I'm seeing lots of misspelling crop up in his other written work now. Lots. Seemed like he was doing so much better at the end of last year than he is now. Where to go from here? Any suggestions?
  4. Thank you all for the great input. So many valuable things here! Extremely helpful! We had a breakthrough this week. The OT eval showed that his vestibular system is off. We're in the insurance approval process which may take a couple weeks. So, rather than wait it out, I decided to step up his sensory diet at home. I added in some spinning, and lots, and lots of deep pressure. I'm kicking myself for not thinking to check this before - I kind of thought that he was self regulating his sensory needs, since he has the freedom to move around here at home. Anyway, huge, massive difference. He loves, loves, loves the deep pressure, and says he feels calm and refreshed afterward. We're not where we need to be yet - however, his focus is much better, his depression is much improved, anxiety is down, he can follow instructions better, the tears are gone. I'm estimating a 50% to 75% improvement. Now, of course, I've only done this with him two days, and I expect we'll have our ups and downs. But...sheesh! those of you who have these kiddos will understand how massive and life changing a shift like this is. Once we get the OT working with him, she may be able to help me fine tune his needs more than I can on my own.
  5. Our 11yo son has some pretty tough genes when it comes to math issues. My husband and my husband's father both have a terrible time with anything spacial. For example, they both find reading a tape measure extremely difficult. Where to start with our son? ADHD, SPD. One of his older brothers is also adhd/spd, and also has trouble with math. Much of what we've done with our 11yo is based off of what has worked for his older brother. This is where we are now: - Multiplication is hard. Many facts are not memorized. (Also true for older son - we eventually gave him a multiplication chart, and let him keep moving forward.) Xtra Math, copywork, flashcards - clearly not the answer. Huge frustration, almost no progress, same as older brother. He knows 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s, and a smattering of other random facts. Recently discovered he is struggling with "fill in the blank" facts. For example: 1 x ____ = 4, and 8 x _____ = 0. I was astonished when I saw him struggle with those. We have a much bigger problem than I realized. - We've moved to MUS. The super clear layout helps, and is much better for him than CLE or TT. - We backed up and went through Delta, took longer than anticipated. Fairly successful. He understands the process, and can handle two digit divisors, and several digit dividends. - Now we're starting Epsilon, and also doing one hard division problem daily, and also one hard addition, subtraction, and multiplication problem. Just to keep building on those skills. - I just ordered some Right Brain Multiplication Flash Cards for him. He's very visual, and it might be helping. Need a little more time. - Lesson 1/Day 1 of Epsilon. What is 3/5 of 20? He's supposed to use blocks to figure it out. Oy. Blocks. He stacked them, built pyramids, scattered them with his pencil, dropped them, fiddled with them, played with them. Huge, huge distraction. Finally, we worked through some problems. Along the way we did lots and lots of practice about what the numbers in the fraction mean. I thought he was getting the concept, but he was also frustrated. Then the book worded the problems a new way. "What is three-fifths of twenty?" He looked at me, with tears in his eyes, and had zero idea what to do. I told him to write it down using numbers. Still no idea what to do. I demonstrated a problem for him, showing each step clearly. Still needed hand holding for each and every number he wrote down. We made it through the next couple problems, but it was way, way, way harder than it should have been. - Lesson 1/Day 2 of Epsilon. This time I asked him to choose his own manipulatives. He brought army men, and, interestingly enough, he didn't play with them, just worked his way through the page. I sat with him and helped when he needed, but he largely functioned on his own. - Lesson 1/Day 3 of Epsilon. Still largely functioning on his own, yet still completely dependent on his manipulative for each and every problem. Handling the manipulatives one by one. For example, if he is finding 1/8 of 16, he counts out 16 manipulatives, then one by one begins eight groups - like he's dealing cards. It is a slow, laborious process, but he is getting the right answers. The problems written in word form are much, much harder. Writing it with numbers helps, and he can do that now, but it still throws him for a loop. Does this kind of math difficulty ring any bells for any of you? We can't afford to do neuropsych testing now, and, honestly, it wasn't all that helpful when we had our older son do it. Insurance will cover an OT, and we're starting that next week - maybe that will give us some ideas to help with focus. But MATH! What can we do about MATH!!!
  6. Just a question for all you moms who have "been there done that" - Do you notice focus becoming dramatically worse during the onset of puberty? Focus has always been a significant challenge. But it is incredibly bad now. This son is 11, turns 12 in January, and has physical development consistent with early puberty. Could there be a correlation, or should I be looking for another cause? Focus is poor to the point where even following a one-step instruction is difficult/impossible. For example "please go upstairs and get dressed". He'll go up full of good attitude and good intentions, but get side tracked. Until I walk upstairs with him, and stand there, it just isn't happening. Other things are markedly worse, too. Self esteem is suddenly way down. Defeat. "No matter how hard I try I just mess everything up." Depression. This kiddo is usually upbeat and extremely energetic. We're a family that likes to avoid meds when possible. His focus challenges have been significant enough that we've tried several meds over the last year. Ritalin, and others. He couldn't tolerate any of them. Most recently we tried a non-stimulant, Strattera. That seemed helpful at first - we saw a huge increase in ability to focus, and particularly his ability to organize himself. Then the sleepiness increased, and the focus issues increased, too, to the point where the ped. decided to pull him off and let it all clear from his system. Not sure what to try next. I'll post separately about math issues. ETA ...Oh, we have an appointment with the OT on Monday. Hopefully to start Interactive Metronome, but she'll run an eval. and we'll see what comes up. I still feel that this is likely missing the heart of the issue.
  7. Thank you, all of you, for your wonderful suggestions. I've really appreciated seeing all the ideas come in. This is all very, very helpful as we weigh our options for this coming school year. You have pointed me to resources I didn't know existed. Exactly what was needed; I appreciate it so much!
  8. Our oldest two (13yo and 14yo) are ready for more outsourcing. We really value them getting experience sitting under different teachers, learning to handle deadlines, etc. And it frees me up to work more with the younger children. But we're hoping to find qualified instructors - as in, science taught by someone with a science degree, which rules out all the local co-ops we've been able to find so far. Online classes are wonderful, but at $500+ per course/per child, that adds up quicker than we can manage. This year one child is doing Essays1 with Mr. Vogel, and one child is doing Great Conversations 2 with Wilson Hill Academy. The kids love everything about both courses, and we're looking for an affordable way to include much more of this sort of thing next year. Any ideas or suggestions? These are the specific courses we're aiming to cover next year: Biology Algebra Great Books/History English/Writing Logic
  9. We're going to need another computer or two in our home to accommodate online classes. I'm trying to figure out if a Chromebook would work well. Do any of you have any good or bad experiences to share with going that direction? I'm not enough of a computer guru to see all the benefits/problems with the different operating systems; any help ya'll have to offer is most welcome!
  10. I'm getting ready to use The Nose Tree with older kids (13yo and 14yo). How many times a week would you suggest working on this, and about how long per session? I'm thinking of working rapidly through the first book (or two), but I'm not really sure the best way to go about that. I'd love some scheduling suggestions from folks who have used this with older kids. Thanks!
  11. So, the DVD option includes a hard copy of tests/quizzes. And the DVD is just a rental. What about the textbook? Is that a rental too, or can that be kept?
  12. Thank you for that info. That has generated a couple questions... -- We have siblings sharing this science course. I'm trying to figure out the best way to get them set up. I'd much rather not purchase two separate complete sets at $300 ea, but I'm not seeing an easy way for the second sibling to access the test/quizzes. --What is the format of the online tests and quizzes? Is it possible for one child do see the quiz and do the answers on paper? And then the next child does the quiz online? I don't mind correcting that second quiz, just need to be sure there is some way to access it. -- I wonder if the hard copies of the quizzes and tests that I assume are available would line up to the DVD/Online course.
  13. We want to use the BJU Space & Earth Science/Mrs. Vick (8th grade) this year. I think it used to be available on DVD, but now that we're ready for it, I only see it available as an online class. Are the DVD's still available somehow? We've not done any BJU dvd classes before, so this is all new to us. Thanks!
  14. I'm rejoicing. Thank you so much for all those awesome tips. My hubby and I will look them over and I'm so encouraged that there are so many great resources. Thank you!
  15. Thanks for that tip. Looks like something was approved within the last year or so. Our insurance is kind of weird, though. I'll look into it.
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