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what to do with DD? suggestions please

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DD is 13. She attended private schools up to last year at the end of seventh grade. She's always been years above grade level in English, language, reading but she has ADHD and her lack of executive funtions made school a tourture session. She has the intellegence but she was always plagued by her organization problems. There may be a DX of aspergers added in the future.




In 7th grade I realized that her self esteem was suffering. The school system was determined to make her acheive a level of organizaion that simply was not possible. The school was also at a loss of what to do with her underdeveloped math ability.



After finally reading WTM I decided almost instantly that I would withdraw and begin home schooling.


I spent the last quarter of last year foucisng on math. After years of math tutors she was still about 4 years behind grade level and not showing any signs or progressing. I discovered she was a visual learner and started her on MUS. She caught up about 2 years in 9 months. She still doesnt like math but it doesnt generate tears or the blank look as it did before.



Now I'm at a loss of what to do next. Her English and writing level is really beyond where I feel I could be of much help to her, especially with two toddlers to care for. At 13 her SAT reading and writing scores are 580. ACT English score of 26.


I'm currently outsourcing writing with home2teach and Latin with either Latin in the Christian trivium or the Potter's school.


I'm thinking about having her take English classes at the CC online. John's Hopkins CTY classes look attractive but they are more than we can afford until I go back to work.


I've been talking recently with the CC. They were not terribly receptive at first but now that she sat for their placement test and scored high they've agreed to allow her to take classes for credit (with the exception of math). We just need to have any instructor sign off that their class would not contain content not appropriate for a 13 year old.


DD is thrilled with the idea and keeps talking about wanting to have an associates at 17 instead of a high school graduation. Keep in mind she is ADHD and is hyper focused on this right now.


I think she is capable but I would need to have her take the first few classes on line so that I could help teach her the organization she needs to stay on top of the classes. Right now trying to do both teaching and organizing her is too much for one person (me). I know going back to school would not be a good fit as there would be no help for her to learn the skills she needs.


Here is a snap shot from the past---> she get assignments from 7 teachers, normally looses assignments from 5 of them, just gives a blank stare during math and manages to complete Latin and be one of the top students in Latin. The teachers get frustrated and force her to take the consequences of the missing assignements/grades. Without most of her assessments or knowing to prepare for tests she does test well from memory and averages out most subjects with C's (along with an A in Latin and an F in math).




so here is my thought...


Let her take ENG 101 on line from the community college next fall. She would also continue with her on line Latin and writing classes. At home we focus on primarily on Math as well as organization (can I create an ongoing class for this?), Science, history and Logic.


Provided she gets an A in the class i would let her take 2 or 3 more the following semester with MAYBE one of them on campus.


does this sound feasible?

Is there anything I should think about?

Could she be eligible for financial aid or scholarships?

Could this plan jeopardize any future aid or admissions?

Should I just look into online AP courses instead?


I would love any thoughts on this.

Please be gentle :)

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My middle son has mild organizational issues. They used to be huge when he was in elementary school but years of traveling as the only child in a group of busy adults "fixed" him. He learned to pay attention and keep track of things and remember things. It took us two years to teach him how to do CC classes and I still am really worried about next year when he will be at his 4-year college. He doesn't have ADHD or ADD. He just is wired a little differently. I think it is a very good idea to start the college classes one at a time. You will need to work out a system for her, a routine that she follows, and then make her follow it until it becomes automatically. As you said, that is a lot of work.


I assume you know the tricks like having each subject one colour and sticking with it? (Skip this bit if you already have a system that works for you.) My son's math notebooks are blue. We bought him a blue folder and a blue spiral bound notebook with pockets. He put any papers he was given in class in the pocket of the notebook, and then transfered them to the folder when he got home. This was a fairly fail-safe method because there at least was some sort of pocket immediately available when he was given a paper (and the traveling gave him the skills to make sure he had his notebook when he went to school). He had a bin at home in which he kept all his notebooks, textbooks, and folders. We put a box at one end of the bin for his assignment book, pencils, calculator, chem goggles, etc. He tried to keep his books either in his backpack or in his bin when he wasn't using them. Traveling made him able to remember to pack up his books in his backpack when he finished using them.


I had spent the two years before he went to CC getting him in the habit of labelling each paper with the subject, page number, and datel, but I didn't have him put his name on the paper because it seemed silly at home. That was a mistake GRIN. It took a year of work to get him to use an assignment book, and he wound up not using one very well for CC because he prefered to write the assignment in the subject notebook when it was given. I should have insisted that he transfer papers and write the assignments into the assignment book as soon as he walked in the door after class but I didn't, and that is one of the things that has me worried now. We spent the CC years working on teaching him how to sign up for his classes, use his syllabi, find and talk to his prof's (sometimes not easy), use the campus email system, get help before it was too late, keep track of his grades so he could balance his classes... listing it out here reminds me of how much work it was. Luckily, the traveling taught him to keep track of time, so when I dropped him off for classes which had a gap between them, I didn't have to worry about him missing the second class. I guess none of that is very helpful, except perhaps to let you know that you aren't alone. It was a good deal easier to teach him to manage using CC classes than it would have been if he'd been in regular school. My oldest went to public high school and although the system paid lip service to learning organizational skills, it made it very difficult to help from the outside and didn't offer enough help from the inside. My oldest, who tends to be pretty organized, managed, but there is absolutely no way my middle one could have.


So - I think your plan is a good one from the point of view of learning to organize. I worry, though, that it might not work academically. Our CC's math and science classes were very good, but the English classes he took were pretty low-level. They were more like what my oldest did in 9th grade. We haven't done any AP classes (CC is easier for us), but I would guess academically that might be a better choice. On the other hand, there is no way my boys, any of them, would have gotten much out of the AP selection of literature. We stuck to the great books that had enough relationship to their own lives that they could appreciate them. That meant lots of ancients and medieval and renaissance stuff, some 19th century novels, and sci-fi instead of moderns. People here who have done AP classes talk about how much their children learned about organizing and studying. If their students had to work at it, I hate to think what a disaster it would have been for my middle one. He's intelligent enough to do it, but AP is about the opposite of how he learns best (situations like traveling and having people tell him things). Online classes wouldn't have been a good choice for him, either. He learns better from real people and he liked the interaction with the teacher. He liked learning about the lives of the other students (some very very different than his own). He works harder for a live person. We chose MWF classes rather than TR classes because they gave more constant feedback and didn't have to go over so much material all at once. We began with a speech and a drawing class, then did composition and basic computing (how to use your computer), and then did pre-calc (math isn't his strong point) and chemistry (a huge challenge with all the memorization and the many bits of information). Anyway, it may be your particular CC has English classes that are the right level. You will find out the best way - by trying one. And if it turns out that it doesn't, then she at least will have gotten to practise taking a college class with an easy class.


The rest of your plan sounds good. I think it is very important to take these children out of the regular school system. My son is a cheerful, balanced, confident, competant adult. I shudder to think what he would be like if we'd left him in school. Fortunately, college and the working world are very different from school. Good luck!



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You might also want to x-post on the Accelerated board.


My DD12 (8th grade) is similar - I could have written your school experience for my daughter verbatim. Here's my thoughts.....


Since my DD was so ahead in LA, we took it easy last year using LLATL and focussed on science and history - we completed 3 courses of science and 2 courses of history in 1 school year. Your priorities may be different - my DD had gaps I wanted to fill.


I outsourced math to an expert. My DD's math scores started catching up her last year in school so she was on the verge of this "window" opening. She is visual/spatial and I'm linear/analytical so it's like an accountant teaching math to an artist. Not a great fit. DD responded extremely well to her math teacher - he's a college professor who opened a One Day Academy for homeschoolers. She aced the class and it really built up her confidence.


This year we will use Life of Fred which is a language approach to math. She is reading "The Phantom X (Murderous Maths)" by Kjartan Poskitt which was recommended on this forum. For girls, I also recommend Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail and Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's Boss by Danica McKellar.


There are tons of Living Math books available. I believe this is the best way to reach a Language oriented student on this topic: http://www.livingmath.net/


Something will make math click for her. It may never be her favorite subject, but you need to get that window to open a crack.


Of course you can keep pushing her ahead in English - I doubt the college class will be any struggle for her at all. The issue will become juggling classes for so many different teachers - Latin at one place, English at CC and writing someplace else. I think Mom needs to take a deep breath. You obviously have a special, talented child and you don't want to waste any of that talent. But you don't have to do it all in 1 year. This became my mantra last year - we don't have to cover it all in a year. The Classical way is for her to learn HOW to learn and then she can teach herself anything. You don't have to carry such a burden of teaching her everything now.


I think your plan is doable, but you are going to struggle with the organization issues. You are going to have to do it for her - if she's like my DD, she's not going to be able to keep all these classes organized herself. You need to develop an organization system which YOU like and model it for her. She can tweak it and develop her own systems once she's mastered yours. You will be in charge of getting her homework mailed into these teachers. She will observe and learn how to do this and you can gradually put some of the responsibility on her. But at 13 you are working against nature right now - between hormones, how her brain works and bad habits established in school you need to take this slowly.


My DD and I started out the year with our beautiful workboxes - 1 for each class. I was very strict about keeping books in all the right boxes and not mixing any and I helped her keep these organized. By the last few weeks of school I was busy with my younger DD and wasn't helping her stay organized - in 1 week the boxes were a jumbled mess with Latin books in with science, loose papers for other classes in every box, etc..... Ahhhhhhh! So much for my modeling and establishing good habits. Maybe your DD will be better.


Here's a thread on organizational skills which will lead you to another excellent thread:



DD is using the book Learning on Purpose this year. It is full of quizzes which 12/13 year old girls love and the outcome is supposed to be better organizational skills. We'll see..... I thought it would be a light way to introduce some of these concepts and then we'll reinforce these concepts with a more structured class in the future.




These are just my opinions and what's working for my daughter may not be the best for your daughter. But I wish you all the best and hope you have a great year homeschooling! And remember, enjoy it! Don't forget to have fun!

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