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HeidiD

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  1. Does anyone know where I can find replacement bulbs for this? I think I bought it at least 10 years ago, and now I can't remember where I got it. :o)
  2. Ah, but then they'd have to move back in with you in order to swing the expenses. The WTM mothers-in-law might get into an argument over who gets to host (or escape) the happy couple, causing bad feelings to erupt on the board. :) :lol: Of course the nursing home might gobble up your rich, elderly husband's assets before you can get them, leaving you with free tuition but nothing else to show for it. :)
  3. Yes, that's our experience as well. The tuition alone has risen $6 K over the past 3 years. So the value of the scholarship erodes... And scholarship $$ go to a relatively small number of applicants, so it's getting harder and harder to come by, even for kids with good records. Costs vs. benefits of plunking down $200 K for a 4-year degree are out of sync.
  4. Insane! We have 7 kids - no way we could afford that unless I stopped homeschooling the younger ones (a couple of whom have LD's and thus would not fare as well in a regular school environment) and went back to work. My eldest chose the school which offered him so much merit aid that it was hard to turn down. Maybe penny-wise, pound foolish, though. Keeping a high enough cumulative average to hang on to the money so he can stay there is like having the Sword of Damocles hanging over his head - very stressful, and leaves him no time to do anything except eat, sleep and study. So his younger brother is planning to go to the state university. He's been accepted to the honors program with a full merit scholarship, but since he's also going for math/engineering, there's no guarantee he'll be able to keep a high enough cum to keep the money - but at least if he loses it, he can still come up with the $$ to graduate!!! The Parents Plus loans - that whole gimmick really blew me away. My siblings and I all put ourselves through private schools with money we earned by working, student loan, and scholarships. I always assumed my kids would be able to follow the same path. Ha! The current price structure makes that approach impossible for most kids, and the costs have gradually become prohibitive - not just for families with many children, but even families with just one or two. I know people who have taken out Parents Plus loans who have neither the assets nor income potential to pay them off. I wonder how many people will default on these loans as the economy continues to tank. It seems that in the long term, the cost structure is untenable.
  5. My 5 yo sounds very similar to yours in regard to learning on her own. And she's also very active, so getting her to sit still long enough to work through Abeka isn't going to happen any time soon. :D I've decided to try a combination of Spectrum workbooks ("Phonics", "Sight Words", and "Spelling") with some of those boxed reader sets (like Bob Books) for early readers. I think this will be integrated enough, but more streamlined to implement than Abeka (or any of the other phonics programs we've used over the years!).
  6. I've recycled this book with 3 kids so far. For ease of use, I love it. :) My two oldest kids didn't do formal composition until high school, at which point they dabbled in Composition in the Classical Tradition, and Reading Critically, Writing Well. http://www.amazon.com/Reading-Critically-Writing-Well-Reader/dp/0312390475/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1300821015&sr=8-3 This prepared them for Verbal SATs and college writing (one's in his second year and the other dual-enrolled). Third child (mildly dyslexic) is using it and his writing at this point is very good (when he started, he tended to include WAY too many details, but that bad habit has now disappeared. :)) I tried CW (fleetingly) and decided we needed a more streamlined and flexible approach. Tried Writeshop (too incremental), and Writing Strands (same problem). Now I just have them write, write and re-write, for the most part without adhering religiously to a particular program. And they don't start doing very much formal composition before jr. high or even high school. Instead we mainly work on reading, oral analysis and vocab. As you keep working, she will catch up (at least with the reading). My severely dyslexic son (12) uses texts at grade level now, but when he was 9, he was a couple of years behind. As for spelling, we are still digging in, and he'll never win a spelling bee, but as long as he gets to the average range (hopefully), that's good enough. Well, it sounds like you are splitting the difference, which is the sensible thing to do. If we can help them develop as much writing ability as possible, while accepting that it's never going to be perfect, that's all to the good. Now that would be something really useful. :) If you find a program like that, I hope you'll give us a heads up here. For sure! I never taught formal science to my older kids before high school (they read "living books" for that) and they loved science. But then I decided to teach them high school biology, and that's the point where their love of science flew out the window. :lol: Another of my kids is like a history encyclopedia (no thanks to me, or any particular method, either!) He just likes history and likes to read. :iagree:
  7. My older kids started out in public school, and they were given blank paper and told to write. THAT would be an onerous approach for my dd9, whose dyslexia is relatively severe. It didn't work well for my middle dd, who is mildly dyslexic, either, which led to homeschooling for us. Wow, that's awful! I think that would be an onerous approach for many kids, dyslexic or not. :tongue_smilie: Re dictation, etc. - it can be wonderfully efficient, but not in all cases. I wanted to point out that it's a means to an end, that's all. If it isn't a good fit, there are other ways (learned the hard way on this). I'm not a trained teacher, so when I started homeschooling, I read lots of books on the subject, and zeroed in on Charlotte Mason as an interesting approach. So there I was, sitting on the sofa trying to read aloud to this bunch of wiggly boys (some with undiagnosed auditory problems, dyslexia, etc.!) and wondering why they weren't fitting into the program. After all, this is what Charlotte says to do, so it must be THE WAY to go. Ditto the dictation/narration thing. I think that learning style has a lot to do with which methods are most efficient. My kids with language LD's are visual, big picture thinkers and learn more efficiently when the material is relevant to them. Combine that with CAPD, and auditory approaches such as dictation, or incremental programs such as Writing Strands aren't the most efficient for practicing composition skills, but very effective at creating much frustration! :) So, for exercises, I use models and examples for them to look at, study and imitate. We talk about theses, etc. so they're aware of proper structure. Then they practice writing and rewriting. A nice, pick-up-and-go composition practice book for high school that's designed for this approach is Composition in the Classical Tradition. I've also used Teacher Created Resources, MOSDOS and even V/V workbooks. And for note-taking, I did resort to Andrew Pudewa's IEW program, "Advanced Communications" for my 15 yo dyslexic son. It's long and I found it dull (and left the room :) ) but by the time he was done with it, he was taking good notes. He can watch it again and again if necessary as college looms closer. I think the point is to break the skill of writing into its separate parts and develop one skill at a time. In the case of my son who is severely dyslexic/dysgraphic, he needs more intensive practice than this approach can provide. Spelling, for instance requires a separate OG approach with lots of time on task - daily. Handwriting - probably never going to be beautiful in his case, so the word processor is the way to go. He gets some handwriting practice writing short answers in workbooks and vocabulary books, without putting extra time into a (probable) lost cause.:) Orderly thinking, support of ideas and assertions - these are another important skill for writing, but much of this can be learned through oral discussion and feedback. But dd is doing more than the EdPsych thought she'd be able to, and I fully believe that when she gets to college, she'll be able to transition to notetaking from a lecture. That is so gratifying. You must be very pleased. :) Looking back, I'm so glad I didn't listen to the naysayers. Another notetaking tip I came upon somewhere (maybe your daughter is already doing this, but it's not something I ever thought to do in college, unfortunately :tongue_smilie:) is to always read the chapter before the lecture. Then you'll be aware of which info the teacher relays that is already in the book, eliminating the need to write it down again in your notes. Particularly helpful for people with CAPD who are already struggling to accurately process what they're hearing.
  8. Very true. And it's definitely a more onerous approach for kids with language LD's or dysgraphic kids than for typical kids. Why is narration/dictation/copying considered so essential, whether one is following WTM or the Charlotte Mason Method, when the desired results can be achieved using other types of exercises? How would dictation/narration develop the skill of notetaking? They seem like very different skills. Note taking requires filtering information and only noting the important parts, while dictation is writing word for word, and ability to narrate is completely irrelevant to notetaking. It's helpful to work on notetaking as a distinct skill, using videos with lecture formats for practice. (Also IEW has a program called "Advanced Communications" which specifically teaches college skills.) I so agree with this - particularly since I have several kids who have LDs (one mildly dyslexic, one with Aspergers, and one severely dyslexic) as well as several others who are EG. None are typical, so I've had to think long and hard about priorities. I've found that by generally prioritizing and working on reading and critical analysis, computation skills, and verbal communication skills, the rest has seemed to fall into place over time. I've tried to avoid cloning a certain type of education for each child; rather I try to take into account each child's interests, strengths and weaknesses. My two eldest are mathematically inclined and a heavily literature-based program was not a good fit, so their high school courses were more weighted toward math and science. My third child (dyslexic, yet reads prodigiously) is interested in law, so his curriculum has had a more WTM emphasis (exception for dictation/narration :)). My fourth child has Aspergers, and once again, her curriculum has been different than the others, with lots more time focused on her particular talent (art/design) and with college not necessarily the end goal. I think so, too. Basically, I want them to be able to read, think communicate and compute to whatever degree they can achieve within their particular ability level, and I look for the quickest ways to accomplish this. One of the most helpful tactics I've discovered for the kids with language LD's is lots of back and forth discussion on topics of interest, news, politics, history, books they're reading, etc. This helps strengthen logic and communication skills, and also (with instant feedback provided) language production skills, simultaneously, with the added benefit of being relatively painless (except when we start arguing about politics) :). Maybe I'd better come with you! :lol:
  9. I have a child who struggled with this, and I know how frustrating it can be. :angelsad2: Yllek's book suggestions are excellent. Also check out books regarding dyslexia/dyscalculia by Steve Chinn and Brian Butterworth. http://www.amazon.com/Mathematics-Dyslexics-Dyscalculia-Steve-Chinn/dp/0470026928/ref=pd_sim_b_5 http://www.amazon.com/Dyscalculia-Guidance-Specific-Learning-Difficulties/dp/0708711529/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1300205897&sr=8-2 And "Teaching Mathematics to Students With Learning Disabilities": http://www.proedinc.com/customer/productView.aspx?ID=1850 What really helped my son the most were lessons using a combination of manipulatives, particularly the "On Cloud Nine" number line, combined with customized worksheets to complement the lessons. The aim of the manipulatives was understanding, and the worksheets were for instant reinforcement and memorization. Somewhere in my pile of dyscalculia books, there was a recommendation for using strings of beads for practicing "counting on", so I made some for counting by 1's, 3's, 5's 10's and so on, color-coding the increments for instant recognition. The giant "On Cloud Nine" number line (counts to 100, showing increments of 10) along with counting cubes was combined with worksheets made up on the computer (8 + 2 = 10 grouped with 10-8 = 2, etc.). We'd set up the number line on the floor, do the problems with the cubes, and then practice the same problems with the worksheets. Once he understood relative value and adding and subtracting smaller amounts, we started adding and subtracting larger numbers, using the tens tables which he had memorized as a framework for adding and subtracting within and beyond each increment of ten, once again using the giant number line first, having him explain it to make sure he understood, and then on the the worksheets for more reinforcement. The light bulb went on, I think, because this was a simple and direct way for him to see the relative value of numbers and memorize the framework at the same time, but who knows? :confused: It was just such a relief when it finally sunk in. :) For place value, we used charts with the columns labeled, along with the "Keys to" percents books. By copying the chart himself a few times and then referring to it over and over as he practiced in the workbook, the concept sank in. It might be easiest to comprehend and retain if you start with tenths, do a bunch of practice problems with only the single digit to the right of the decimal, look at pictures of things divided into tenths (or the MUS blocks) then add hundredths, thousandths and so on, digit by digit, over a few weeks rather than all at once. Also relating the values to money seemed to help with understanding. I think if you continue to experiment and observe your child, you'll be able to come up with some different ways of presenting the info that will finally make sense to her. Sometimes it feels like hunting for a needle in a haystack, I know! :tongue_smilie: But keep on plugging and breakthroughs will happen. :) Good luck!
  10. Here's a method (VERY time-consuming, might take a while to get used to, but can be extremely helpful for strengthening these skills): Pick a document, or a particular page from a book, or even just a paragraph to analyze - eg, the Declaration of Independence, or something else from your curriculum (I use those Teacher Created non-fiction workbooks) or a page or paragraph from any book you like. Read it, discuss it together until it becomes very familiar, and then start analyzing it in multiple ways over a number of days. For instance, write a "reaction" paragraph, also a "summary" paragraph, and then an "opinion" paragraph. Working on the same source material from different angles is a helpful approach to developing thinking skills, because familiarity with the material gained from considering the same piece of writing over and over makes it easier to focus on the analysis/logic aspect. And writing about it helps to reinforce those skills. It might be necessary to work together for a period of time (weeks or months, even) and repeatedly model the approach and the steps to follow (gradually fading out the help as the student's proficiency increases). And start with material that is either at or slightly below the student's present ability level/comfort zone, gradually increasing the complexity of the readings over time. Also work on vocab development (workbooks for vocab, along with as much daily reading as possible). Wapiti, I think your suggestions fit well with this approach. Does Remedia publish a summarizing workbook also? I think we may have used it aound here at some point. :001_unsure: Also, "HELP For Language" is something we've used: http://www.linguisystems.com/itemdetail.php?itemid=10272 With time and practice, language and thinking skills will improve. :)
  11. Not both in the same day. I switch back and forth, sometimes doing the Key books for a week or two, and skipping parts here and there (as we also end up doing with Saxon because some of the repetition gets to be overkill :)). My Aspie daughter used the Keys Algebra set exclusively, and then did a repeat of algebra with another program. Key to Algebra was a good intro for her because she's so visual and she loves workbooks. I think for my son I'll keep mixing it with Saxon. I'm not familiar with them, but if it's something he can watch on his own, that might be helpful for you. :) I know what you mean. It can be difficult to break down topics into simplistic enough form or into a sufficiently incremental explanation, or to provide an adequate amount of detail without causing overload - particularly when concepts seem kind of obvious to us. And we're emotionally invested in the outcome, so we want to do the best that we can. Definitely a challenging job we've all taken on!
  12. Rhonda, have you tried Key Curriculum Press? http://www.keypress.com/x6469.xml My Aspie used these, and now I'm using them with my dyslexic son as a supplement to Saxon. Lots of review, with a narrower focus than Saxon, which helps nail down some of the concepts he initially finds confusing or just needs more practice to cement.
  13. Saxon can be good because the spiral approach (multiple problem types within each practice set) helps avoid the repetitious rut some Aspies tend to gravitate toward. The narrow focus that often becomes their comfort zone is partly the cause of difficulties in math. We don't stick with a single program (my daughter did Algebra two years in a row with different programs before gaining a thorough grasp of the subject). :lol:
  14. Yes, one of my kids used Lexia "Primary" reading a few years ago, and I've recently started my 5 yo on it as well. I use it as a supplement, something that provides extra phonics practice which they can use semi-independently (a big help, since so much of dyslexia remediation can become boring and repetitious - especially for the teacher :)). Some other computer-based supplements we've used and found effective are "Seeing Stars" software, "Visualizing and Verbalizing" software, and math drill software (Dr. Aardsma, I think it's called). Have you looked at Time4Learning? It can be used as a complete curriculum or as a supplement. We used it a couple of years ago, and it was a good fit for my dyslexic child. One of the things I liked most about it was that the text on the screen was accompanied by a voice reading along with it, which prevented him from getting stuck on new words. http://www.time4learning.com/homeSchool-curriculum.htm
  15. :iagree: And sometimes a mix of methods is more efficient than a single method. Or a modification of an established method to customize it to someone's particular learning style. But I have doubts that any method(s) alone or combined will be able to turn some kids into proficient spellers. Kids with CAPD may be more successful relying on visual memory for spelling, because they scramble the phonetic sounds in their heads. For instance, my 5 yo keeps saying "Yew Nork" instead of New York, even after hearing it correctly repeated multiple times. :tongue_smilie:
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