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Am I ruining her already? (DD7)


Lovedtodeath
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Emotionally she is a little behind other kids. Academically, well, she really should be ahead. She started out with everyone saying how smart or precocious she was. She went to a preschool at age 3 and was already reading and more advanced in everything than every other child in the class, most of whom were 5 years old. I put her in PS K after she was reading at a 3rd grade level and done with K math. (I had severe PPD.) She just stopped almost all forward progress for a couple of years. We are starting to ramp up now, but I am severely ill, so I really can't handle doing much more with her, and she refuses to do anything independently. Tell me the truth.

 

SL 2 Intermediate Readers, Abeka Arithmetic, FLL & a combo of How to Teach Spelling and AAS,

Writing and Vocabulary of our own making from religious books

 

All if this takes us under 2 hours. It is rare that we do anything else.

 

Unschooling: Ancient Explorations, WP Buzz and Bite, Slow and Steady Get me Ready

 

She does about half of the reading from ancients. We started Buzz and Bite but we will read a lesson and get side-tracked with our own project. She watches You-tube videos for drawing lessons and wow is she good.

 

We have started teaching DS together last week.

I am ordering a chemistry set and a guitar with a lesson book, and I have the Calvert Music videos but no TM. This will all be unschooled no doubt.

 

I am really worried that I am not ramping up the rigor. Tell me the truth.

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I think it sounds like you're doing fine. You are doing the basics and the rest is just extra. :001_smile: When you're feeling better you can slowly add back the science and history. You could always find some nice nature books and let her combine learning about nature with a nature sketchbook (this would allow her another chance to do more drawing)...

 

HTH

Edited by Kfamily
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Carmen, are you on track to improve your physical problems? You said you're sick. PPD is often low thyroid. Did you ever get that diagnosed and treated? Do you know what is causing your problems? I had severe health problems when my dd was young, and it took a lot of years to resolve them. I can tell you for certain that as long as you give her plenty of time to read, plenty of good ways to occupy her time (art supplies, that sort of thing), and do a lot of books on tape/cd, it will all pan out in the wash. I would work on improving your own health and not worry about any of the rest. Her reading sounds like it has plateaued, so I would work on figuring out the issue there. If she reads broadly and voraciously, it's going to cover up all your sins and lack of formal teaching, honest. I don't teach history; I throw books at her and let her learn. Science can be the same way. Your dd is right on the cusp of that age where she will suddenly get driven and want to do things for herself.

 

I would pick one or two things that are the most valuable ways to spend your energy with her. That way you're filling her bucket with the physical strength you have. Then I would simply not worry about the rest. If she doesn't do grammar now, it won't matter, honest. If she reads history broadly and voraciously but not in perfect order, it won't matter. If she reads lots of usborne and science topic books and does things when she wants but doesn't do it formally with you, it won't matter. She's *7*!!!

 

In addition to putting your energy into that one hour a day, the things that really matter (which aren't necessarily academics btw), I would also focus on good books on tape. Books on tape cover a multitude of sins, because it means we don't have to read aloud. I was always so tired I fell asleep, so books on cd were my savior. Chronicles of Narnia, Uncle Remus, Charlotte's Web, Little House, things like this she listened to over and over and over... They can listen while they play, listen while they craft, listen while they sew. She only needs 2 hours school a day anyway. All the rest is that profitable time where they listen to books on tape while doing things with their hands. This age is perfect for the weary, invalid mother in that sense. The more you let them do their thing and play imaginatively (with good stuff like art supplies, fabric, play food, etc.) the better! Don't be afraid of that.

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I say she is still young, let her do the basics and there will be plenty of time for self-directed rigorous learning as time goes on. And if you get yourself well enough you can do more with her later. :grouphug:

 

Do what's most important and let her play. There is value in a child's play, their play is our work. ;)

 

 

I don't think that science needs to be a priority until later, ditto with history. From what I understand, you are doing plenty of history anyway. What is important is writing and reading for now. (and religion) Those things should be mandatory.

 

Two hours of work for a seven year old is plenty, IMO. But then you already knew my take on the situation...I’m sure you will get various responses. I hope you are happy with whatever direction you decide to go in.

 

Hugs!!

 

:bigear:

 

Okay, I edited my post because I do not want to come off as judgmental or unsupportive at all. I do not know where you are getting the idea that you are not doing enough with your dd. ?? I am not in your house but from what you are saying, you are doing plenty and doing it all very well. ;) Chin up, as they say. This too shall pass. Remember what is most important, read about unschooling...relax!

Gotta run…

where's the car smiley? :)

Edited by lovemykids
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Carmen, are you on track to improve your physical problems? You said you're sick. PPD is often low thyroid. Did you ever get that diagnosed and treated? Do you know what is causing your problems? I had severe health problems when my dd was young, and it took a lot of years to resolve them. I can tell you for certain that as long as you give her plenty of time to read, plenty of good ways to occupy her time (art supplies, that sort of thing), and do a lot of books on tape/cd, it will all pan out in the wash. I would work on improving your own health and not worry about any of the rest. Her reading sounds like it has plateaued, so I would work on figuring out the issue there. If she reads broadly and voraciously, it's going to cover up all your sins and lack of formal teaching, honest. I don't teach history; I throw books at her and let her learn. Science can be the same way. Your dd is right on the cusp of that age where she will suddenly get driven and want to do things for herself.

 

I would pick one or two things that are the most valuable ways to spend your energy with her. That way you're filling her bucket with the physical strength you have. Then I would simply not worry about the rest. If she doesn't do grammar now, it won't matter, honest. If she reads history broadly and voraciously but not in perfect order, it won't matter. If she reads lots of usborne and science topic books and does things when she wants but doesn't do it formally with you, it won't matter. She's *7*!!!

 

In addition to putting your energy into that one hour a day, the things that really matter (which aren't necessarily academics btw), I would also focus on good books on tape. Books on tape cover a multitude of sins, because it means we don't have to read aloud. I was always so tired I fell asleep, so books on cd were my savior. Chronicles of Narnia, Uncle Remus, Charlotte's Web, Little House, things like this she listened to over and over and over... They can listen while they play, listen while they craft, listen while they sew. She only needs 2 hours school a day anyway. All the rest is that profitable time where they listen to books on tape while doing things with their hands. This age is perfect for the weary, invalid mother in that sense. The more you let them do their thing and play imaginatively (with good stuff like art supplies, fabric, play food, etc.) the better! Don't be afraid of that.

:iagree: lots of good info here, the perfect time to be ill, yup!

 

Get better soon! :thumbup1:

Edited by lovemykids
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Your DD sounds a lot like my DD9. At 3yrs DD was "diagnosed" as having a photographic memory and a talent in art. I was worried about ruining her too, and I was going through divorce, etc, at the time which added to my stress and worry. Oy.

 

It sounds like you are going good with the curriculum and the OPs gave great advice. I worked closely with the top Child Psychologist in my state because at the time I didn't know what to do with the this brain-child of mine. He cautioned me not to push her, that parents can get really caught up in the brain-side, and don't focus enough on who else they are besides smart. He strongly recommended that I don't push it, that I keep her challenged but just enough to keep her skills up and not lose them.

 

That children, especially girls, begin to identify themselves with their smarts and that is not necessarily healthy because it sticks with them and they develop a complex, or they become teenagers and HATE that they are identified this way and rebel, totally tossing out their talents and carefully honed skills to try to become a Just Normal child.

 

I know on this forum it's all about HS and curriculum and books, etc so that is what we all think of when we try to come up with what else we could could be doing. And sometimes that is good.

 

I would actually advise to back off a little, as long as she is staying challenged and you are covering all the basics. Maybe the stress of all this is making a vicious cycle with your PPD and that is not a good example/foundation for her either. *She needs her mommy more than she needs to be Smart*. She will learn to make choices in life from YOU, not books. She will learn to be a mommy and a woman from YOU, not curriculum. That is also part of Education. And, IMHO, those are what matter most.

 

The rest can be made up for--she could be a Self Educated WTM person like the rest of us who didn't even grow up with HS or WTM. We're ok and doing good for our kids. But dating jerks and getting knocked up to fit in because she has a Smart Child Complex, doing drugs, or being a mean person--that is something no book can make up for. NO BOOK/CURRICULUM CAN REPLACE MOMMY! :001_smile: or make her a Whole person.

My 2cents.

Edited by ValkyrieMom
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Make sure she's reading and being read to and you're discussing it with her (developing narration skills). If you're not able to read to her, get some audio books from the library. Make sure you're doing a little grammar and memory work (FLL is fine), math, and handwriting/copywork. That's all you really need. If you have the time and energy, add in a bit of history, science, geography and arts and crafts, but you don't need a complete program for those things. Think of them as enrichment.

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Gifted kids sometimes have uneven development (firsthand knowledge here for myself and my DD). Sometimes they are really gifted in one area and struggle in another. Sometimes they fly through everything and then 6 months later stall out for awhile. You can't take that personally. Just from reading your posts here, I highly doubt you are holding her back. She will jump forward again when she is ready to, and until then, you are covering plenty with her. JMO, but I think you are doing a fine job. I can't see where she is behind. Keep up the basics and get better yourself.

 

Prayers and best wishes!

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Elizabeth, I have Ulcerative Colitis that has gotten worse and worse for 3 years. I am heading for cancer fast and now on full cancer treatment. It is an autoimmune disease and also causes inflammation in the musculoskeletal system and eyes, and skin ulcers. (dealing with the skin ulcers now, I am so gross!) The PPD is actually so much better and has been steadily improving with therapy.

 

Thank you for your thoughts everyone. What we are doing now is what we have ramped up to. We were doing much less. LOL. Last year at this time we were doing more. Our culture study was awesome and so much fun. I wish I had the energy to do all of that. We loved the projects. The history and science projects that we get to now are few and far between. I am really working on using the energy that I have for my kids.

 

ValkyrieMom, that certainly has a ring of truth to it and was very touching. Thank you.

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Just from reading your posts here, I highly doubt you are holding her back.
Yes, well, I post on here what we do on good days. ;):lol:

 

I guess I see other people talking about their length of school days and most days we only do the basics. On the other days the other subjects aren't taking time. We don't usually do read-alouds. When I say "unschooling" it means mostly independent and/or few and far between. :lol: She likes history, but science was her thing. She used to blow people away with her science knowlege. The SSBB just isn't getting done. I think that is my main feeling of failure. That and her reading level stalling out. I think I will try Apologia or God's Design. I have a computer program that will read any text (pdf, etc.) out loud for me.:D

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From previous posts, I think our daughters have had a lot of the same struggles, especially with math. Considering your health issues, you might want to consider requiring more independent work. I sat my daughter down and gave her the "school speech". You know: why it is important, how it is her job, how smart she is, my expectations for her, she has to be responsible for her own education/life, I can't force her to learn, she has to want to . . . I gave her basic work to do and sent her to her room. She can come down with questions, but she has to finish her independent work before she has play time. She also has to do it correctly. I think by second grade, there doesn't need to be so much hand holding. I also find that my children retain more when they make their own connections. I used to be very anti-workbook, but I have found there is a certain amount of critical thinking that goes into "solving" workbook pages independently and that critical thinking transfers over to test taking ability.

 

She does 1 page each: MUS, Reading Connections (LA workbook), Italic, Map Skills

reads for 10 minutes each: God's World News, STOW, fun book

 

Of course there are other things we do together, but I consider the above her core, and accept no excuses for the work not being done.

 

:grouphug:

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Wow, Carmen! You do have a heavy plate. I can sympathize. I pm'ing you about those details.

 

As for your dd, I agree with the masses. What you're doing is plenty. Our eldest ds was very much like her. He was emotionally behind, but academically superior to most of his peers. He read so much (several Sonlight years as a matter of fact) and looking back, that really is the most important thing. He's twenty now and it shows in his vocabulary, both spoken and written. He uses words that I have to pause over and I consider myself well-read.

 

Honestly, I wouldn't worry. You're such a caring and hands-on mom and there's no way you'd do her any injustice.

 

I don't know if you adhere to any Ambleside Online approaches, but I like their "Emergency Plan". If you scroll to the bottom, it gives you a relatively simple schedule.

 

:grouphug:

Edited by angela&4boys
added AO link
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Wow, Carmen! You do have a heavy plate. I can sympathize. I pm'ing you about those details.

Yeah, I also forgot to mention that the 2 year old makes it harder for us to do anything. LOL I am not so sure how chemistry is going to work with him around. She also does so much for and with him with her time. Thanks for the PM! :grouphug:

As for your dd, I agree with the masses. What you're doing is plenty. Our eldest ds was very much like her. He was emotionally behind, but academically superior to most of his peers. He read so much (several Sonlight years as a matter of fact) and looking back, that really is the most important thing. He's twenty now and it shows in his vocabulary, both spoken and written. He uses words that I have to pause over and I consider myself well-read.

 

Honestly, I wouldn't worry. You're such a caring and hands-on mom and there's no way you'd do her any injustice.

 

I don't know if you adhere to any Ambleside Online approaches, but I like their "Emergency Plan". If you scroll to the bottom, it gives you a relatively simple schedule.

 

:grouphug:

Thanks for the link. I will check it out!
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Carmen, i don't have any real advice but i am thinking of you and your DD. I do know plenty of HS Mum's in my free play group who only teach LA & math and everything else in unschooled and their kids have gone on to Uni, so i am sure you are not ruining her.

 

BTW, which computer program reads aloud your PDF's etc? That could be really handy :)

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Carmen, so sorry that you are not feeling well, it must be hard! I think that your doing a great job, teaching her to read is so valuable. Once she can read well, she can do history and science on her own and that's ok. Focus on getting the basics done and getting yourself better!

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Carmen, i don't have any real advice but i am thinking of you and your DD. I do know plenty of HS Mum's in my free play group who only teach LA & math and everything else in unschooled and their kids have gone on to Uni, so i am sure you are not ruining her.

 

Thank you! I just feel like we should be doing more in those areas. We could certainly be further ahead, but I guess it is too late to do anything about that, so I need to stop stressing about it.

 

 

BTW, which computer program reads aloud your PDF's etc? That could be really handy :)
My dad downloads these programs for free. I don't know where he found them. They are called Say Voice V40 and A1 Speech Tron. HTH
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I am not in your house but from what you are saying, you are doing plenty and doing it all very well. ;)
It is mainly the reading really. She is done in a few minutes. We don't do read alouds regularly, just here and there. Her reading for ancients is sporadic. (It is when I get a new amazon shipment.lol) Oh, and writing. She does one handwriting page and we stopped with copywork because of her troubles in that area. Yeah, but we did the sand and the air writing and she is showing improvement. I guess I am doing what I should LOL. It just seems like everyone else is doing more than us. :o

 

Plus she doesn't understand anything at meetings or when we try to study any of our books that weren't written for children. What happened to the precocious kid with the high vocabulary? So I looked at Wordly Wise. No way she needs that. ;) I got the Greatest Man book out and read two paragraphs to her. She picked 5 words that she didn't know out of that and we are using those words for vocabulary. We will continue that once a week, read in the book until we have 5 unfamiliar words to work on. Cool idea huh?:D (that is my smiley for I'm so cute you can't hate me for bragging on myself. lol)

 

Ugh. Now I feel like I am hogging up the Curriculum board with my nonsense. Sorry.

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Yeah, I also forgot to mention that the 2 year old makes it harder for us to do anything. LOL I am not so sure how chemistry is going to work with him around. She also does so much for and with him with her time. Thanks for the PM! :grouphug:

 

Thanks for your reply. Sometimes it's a lonely place... being ill and homeschooling. I'll definitely keep you updated, please do the same.

 

 

Thanks for the link. I will check it out!

 

YW. Although, AO's emergency schedule looks more like a regular schedule to me. :001_rolleyes:

 

And we have a 2yo as well! He's our little mad man. :willy_nilly:

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Well when I was growing up my friend's mom took the whole yr off of school when she had a baby in sept. It didn't hurt any of the kids. I would say you getting well is the top priority. I feel for you. I get these horrible fever blisters around my mouth and in my nose. I can't imagine having them in more places than that. :grouphug:

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It is mainly the reading really. She is done in a few minutes.

That’s okay!

We don't do read alouds regularly, just here and there.

This is alright as well. Great! You are doing them though…don’t beat yourself up.

Her reading for ancients is sporadic. (It is when I get a new amazon shipment.lol)

Well that is pretty often then! LOL!

Oh, and writing. She does one handwriting page and we stopped with copywork because of her troubles in that area. Yeah, but we did the sand and the air writing and she is showing improvement.

Writing…This I would work on. Just make her do it, honestly. Most parents just need to be a little firm in this area.

So I looked at Wordly Wise. No way she needs that.

Ugh, yes my dd wouldn’t have done well with that either.

I got the Greatest Man book out and read two paragraphs to her. She picked 5 words that she didn't know out of that and we are using those words for vocabulary. We will continue that once a week, read in the book until we have 5 unfamiliar words to work on. Cool idea huh? (that is my smiley for I'm so cute you can't hate me for bragging on myself. lol)

Very cool yes! Awesome job mama!

Ugh. Now I feel like I am hogging up the Curriculum board with my nonsense. Sorry.

Who says its nonsense? This is what the boards are for…encouragement and help with homeschooling, whining, griping, second guessing ourselves,…all of that good stuff. We all do it.

:party:

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Well that is pretty often then! LOL!

:lol: Yep. I am an amazon junkie. I am almost always expecting a shipment of something.:tongue_smilie:

 

So how much writing should I have her do? She writes 5 words or so for spelling or vocab, and one handwriting page.

 

We have a workbook that she doesn't mind writing sentences in, but she has all of the letters the same height and uses uppercase and lowercase indiscriminately. Should I just have her go ahead and do that?

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Sorry I missed this at first; I am so tired from all that socializing I did earlier. Zonk, what a long night! Whew.

You need lined paper to teach her proper letter formation. When she has done that over and over again, you can take the lines away and her letters will remain in the proper place for the most part. I would say two pages of Zaner Bloser a day, plus one sentence of copywork; at a minimum of four times a week. With an increase in the copywork when she can handle it, two sentences then three etc. Do not let her have bad capitalization, she can correct it. If she misuses a capital or vice versa, have her erase it. Teach her how to do it the right way the first time and every time.

 

:001_smile:

Edited by lovemykids
wrong word, LOL.
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Plus she doesn't understand anything at meetings or when we try to study any of our books that weren't written for children. What happened to the precocious kid with the high vocabulary? So I looked at Wordly Wise. No way she needs that. ;) I got the Greatest Man book out and read two paragraphs to her. She picked 5 words that she didn't know out of that and we are using those words for vocabulary. We will continue that once a week, read in the book until we have 5 unfamiliar words to work on. Cool idea huh?:D (that is my smiley for I'm so cute you can't hate me for bragging on myself. lol)

 

 

Carmen, what do you mean she doesn't understand 'anything' from our literature or meetings? I doubt seriously that is true. But what do you expect a 7 year old to understand from adult religious literature?

 

She is 7. What is most important in her life at the moment is to be with her mother and brother and father. Read to her of course. Pray with her. Teach her the 10 commandments. Have her do writing everyday for 5 minutes or so. Take her to meetings.

 

I'm sorry you are ill. Be with your daughter. Let her be with you. The cool thing about bright children is they can catch up easily when they need to.

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((((((Carmen))))) You are facing a lot of major issues and you certainly do NOT need to add guilt to your list!! You are doing absolutely everything you need to do already! No need for burdening yourself!!:grouphug:

 

How your dd is performing currently vs at younger ages is not a product of what you have or haven't done. Kids develop differently. Some kids that start off advanced at young ages do continue to advance at that pace continuously. However, that is not the case with the majority. Most kids do level off. If I looked at my kids performance at the earliest ages, my 15 yod should be my most advanced student. (she talked in full paragraphs with a huge vocabulary at 16 mos, read early, etc) She is actually my most average student of all my kids. She is still bright......but very "on grade level" all around. My late blooming boys (some not reading until 3rd grade) have left her academically in the dust. It is not me. It is not anything other than simply who they are and how they developed.

 

Kids the ages of your dd don't need anything more than what you are describing academically. The basics are the only essentials. Just make sure that the rest of her day is filled with self-entertainment activities which are actively engaging her brain and not passive activities like TV. Playdough, dress-ups, puppets, arts/crafts, dolls, house.......simply playing! Entertaining themselves is a huge mental skill.

 

My read aloud time for my younger kids is bedtime. I read them a chapter a night at bedtime. Would that work for you? I vary the types of stories. Sometimes I just read them wonderful lit like The Little Princess or the Secret Garden. Other times I read more "learning" type books like Helen Keller or Mother Theresa. On nights that life is haywire......it just doesn't get done. No stress. No big deal. The nights that we do read.....it is snuggling and enjoyment.

 

Prayers for improved health and peace of mind. :grouphug:

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You have not ruined her. You do not deserve to feel guilty. :grouphug:

 

But, you do want her to make more progress, so maybe you can make some changes that will be manageable for you and get her moving ahead.

 

I wonder why your daughter's reading level hasn't gone up in a couple years. Maybe she doesn't know how to sound out words she is unfamiliar with so she is still only reading the words she knew when she was younger. Is it possible that she needs to review phonics in order to decode larger words? Thephonicspage.org has some ideas I am using to get my son to figure out new, bigger words. We use the McGuffey Speller sometimes. It's free and it has gotten us results without much effort. If you do work on phonics you might skip Spelling that day, in order to keep lesson time short.

 

You could have her read to herself for at least X minutes while your 2 year old is napping every day. My son likes to lay on the couch with Zoobooks magazines - that kind of thing counts as science you know.:)

 

You might use books on tape to get her hearing literature with big vocabularies. Maybe you could go on-line and reserve some books for her to read and some books-on-tape. Maybe your husband could pick them up from the library.

 

I encourage you to keep up with the copywork, and be a stickler about her handwriting. Or, if she isn't ready for doing copywork, reteach her how to print lower case letters and just have her write letters on plain paper. Handwriting Without Tears recommends the child write only 6 letters a day for handwriting practice. It needn't be anything tedious or time consuming.

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Carmen, there is nothing I can add that hasn't already been said. You've gotten great advice. I especially like what Karen (momof7) said about not adding guilt to your list to things to worry about! I just wanted to post and say that I am very sorry for all that you are having to deal with and that I will be praying for you in the weeks and months to come. If we lived close I would make you a basket of your favorite goodies and a home cooked meal, too. It's hard when you see someone you've come to respect and think highly of go through and hard time and there's not much you can do. You offer so much to these boards. :grouphug: and prayers for healing.

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Carmen, what do you mean she doesn't understand 'anything' from our literature or meetings? I doubt seriously that is true. But what do you expect a 7 year old to understand from adult religious literature?

 

She is 7. What is most important in her life at the moment is to be with her mother and brother and father. Read to her of course. Pray with her. Teach her the 10 commandments. Have her do writing everyday for 5 minutes or so. Take her to meetings.

 

I'm sorry you are ill. Be with your daughter. Let her be with you. The cool thing about bright children is they can catch up easily when they need to.

 

Yeah, I never expect my little kids to understand some of the tough material we cover on Sunday. I do read aloud and study it with them when I can, and on a regular basis, but the younger children are not expected to follow all of it. The oldest is though, and has to do some of it herself, and outline some of it. God’s Love is a good book to read and discuss. Other than that, we use the children’s books for the children. That’s what they are for! If you want you can dumb the hard stuff down, just discuss the theme of the study with her and ask her simple questions.

You have some more good advice, but “Handwriting Without Tears recommends the child write only 6 letters a day for handwriting practice.†But this, well this advice just isn’t going to cut it. Sorry, but now I know why I don’t like HWT. :glare:

Try doing a Bible story once a week, and have a read alouds when you can. What about your DH? Can he read aloud to E.? The meetings are like read alouds, lots of good literature being read aloud there. :tongue_smilie:

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You have some more good advice, but “Handwriting Without Tears recommends the child write only 6 letters a day for handwriting practice.†But this, well this advice just isn’t going to cut it. Sorry, but now I know why I don’t like HWT. :glare:

 

I used to teach 4 year old K in an academic school and per the schools tradition I assigned tons of tracing and printing. I even sent worksheets home for homework.

 

When my son was 4 I would teach him to write a letter, and he would write it 6 times. I used the HWT 1st grade teacher's manuals ideas, but I used normal paper. His handwriting was just as good as the children at the school I had worked for. All that stuff I had the school children doing was busywork. My son learned to write the letters easily, with little practice and then moved on to copywork. The reason I like HWT is because it doesn't have practice pages that are really busywork. It worked for us. It has worked for other people too.

 

HWT's second grade program has the child writing more than 6 letters a day and I am sure the author thinks children will write other times besides Handwritng Time. However, since the OP said her daugher is not currently able to do copywork due to handwriting issues, I think something like HWT first grade program would be appropriate. Once she can print well she can move on to copywork.

 

Honestly, 6 letters a day would not "cut it" for my son when he is 7, but he already knows how to print and is accustomed to writing more than that. Every child is not on the same level at the same time, though.

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I used to teach 4 year old K in an academic school and per the schools tradition I assigned tons of tracing and printing. I even sent worksheets home for homework.

 

When my son was 4 I would teach him to write a letter, and he would write it 6 times. I used the HWT 1st grade teacher's manuals ideas, but I used normal paper. His handwriting was just as good as the children at the school I had worked for. All that stuff I had the school children doing was busywork. My son learned to write the letters easily, with little practice and then moved on to copywork. The reason I like HWT is because it doesn't have practice pages that are really busywork. It worked for us. It has worked for other people too.

 

HWT's second grade program has the child writing more than 6 letters a day and I am sure the author thinks children will write other times besides Handwritng Time. However, since the OP said her daugher is not currently able to do copywork due to handwriting issues, I think something like HWT first grade program would be appropriate. Once she can print well she can move on to copywork.

 

Honestly, 6 letters a day would not "cut it" for my son when he is 7, but he already knows how to print and is accustomed to writing more than that. Every child is not on the same level at the same time, though.

 

I am not all about busywork, what I have recommended is for this particular child. She doesn’t have any severe LDs that would prevent her from writing a little. Have you seen ZB handwriting? It’s very light. Yes, every kid has their own pace, but we want to encourage them to their full potential. Carmen’s child is seven years old, she can do a lot more than 6 letters a day. I’m sorry I said I do not like the program that you have had success with. I’m sure that it is good for some kids.

 

I am also sorry you worked in a four year old Kindergarten. Ugh. I do not encourage handwriting in four year olds at all. Unless they like to do it for fun or something, or you can’t stop them. Instead they should do artwork and handicrafts.

Anyway, it’s always nice to hear what is working for different children. Thanks for contributing, I love reading on this forum and I respect all of the varying viewpoints….I didn’t intentionally mean to stir the pot with you. I apologize, like I said, I just happen to think that this child (and most normal children that are seven), can do more…but that is really up to her mother! If the work makes her cry, she should back off a little. If it makes her whine, well so what, make her do it anyway. LOL! Sorry but children that are seven need to eat their veggies, brush their teeth, and do handwriting. It won’t kill them.

 

We want our children to be able to form their letters because there is a lot of writing that needs to be done later on!! Copywork is certainly not busywork, and children need to do a lot of it. Otherwise they may be too overwhelmed with the actual act of writing itself when it’s time to do more in the years to come.

 

:grouphug:

Edited by lovemykids
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Yeah, I also forgot to mention that the 2 year old makes it harder for us to do anything. LOL I am not so sure how chemistry is going to work with him around. She also does so much for and with him with her time. Thanks for the PM! :grouphug:

Thanks for the link. I will check it out!

 

You know when my ds was 2 I had my low point in hsing. It was torture and it felt like we wouldn't ever get anywhere. He would spend the entire hs time tearing apart the hs room. I would correct him, but between actually wanting to finish SOMETHING and that fact that he is very stubborn it took a good 6 months to train him. He would dump every set of crayons, pencils, pull all the books of the shelves till the whole room was a disaster. I would call it quits in hs simply because I couldn't the stress or the mess. We didn't get much beyond the basics done, and often not even that.

 

(((hugs)))

 

It does get better as the kids get older. There is just a certain amount of emotional energy they sap out of you when they are that little and have to have everything done for them, and be constantly correct....or at least that was the way it was with my kids. They are all strong willed and not super complaint. I hear about complaint kids, but I sure didn't get any.

 

Heather

 

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Carribean Queen... lovemykids and I talk frequently. (Probably more often than I talk to my husband. :lol:) So she is recommending based on that. It is not that your advice isn't good.:grouphug: I know what you mean that if they do only 6 letters then they learn to do it right.

 

We want our children to be able to form their letters because there is a lot of writing that needs to be done later on!! Copywork is certainly not busywork, and children need to do a lot of it. Otherwise they may be too overwhelmed with the actual act of writing itself when it’s time to do more in the years to come.
Exactly! I need her up to par with the act of handwriting. Her writing and grammar skills are excellent. She just can't get them on paper. I don't want her handwriting to hold her back.

 

Honestly, there are 2 main things that have held Emily back. One is PS Kindergarten. They have the child write in all caps and learn sight words with no phonics. They do not teach a one stroke method for numbers or letters. She was doing better before I sent her there. The other is her teacher (me) being inconsistent. :(

Edited by Lovedtodeath
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It does get better as the kids get older. There is just a certain amount of emotional energy they sap out of you when they are that little and have to have everything done for them, and be constantly correct....
OMG Yes!

 

or at least that was the way it was with my kids. They are all strong willed and not super complaint. I hear about complaint kids, but I sure didn't get any.

 

Heather

 

 

LOL! Thanks for chiming in on this.:grouphug: After that post count thread, I was mentally figuring who my favorite people are on these boards (the ones I admire) and you are one of them. Thank you.

 

(I can't seem to fix my quoting mis-hap. Oops!

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(((hugs))) to you Carmen.

 

I didn't read everything, so sorry if I'm repeating.

 

Here are my thoughts. Do the basics and with Science & History I would get those on audio. Just have them listen to them. My dc learn so much by listening to Little House, Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family, Jonathon Park etc. We also have MOH, Diana Waring and SOTW on cd. It's amazing how much they retain (although my dc listen to them over and over and over again.) I slowly add new audio books.

 

Also read aloud time is a good way to add them in.

 

I am now putting my Add-A-Century Timeline together so we can start putting what they learn there and see how it all comes together.

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My oldest DD turns 7 next week and her print penmanship is *AWFUL*. Getting her to do copywork was like pulling teeth. BUT I just started teaching her cursive and it's going unbelievably well. She finds it so much easier because it's all one fluid motion without all the picking up her pencil. I should've taken the "cursive first" approach with her!

 

Now I'm seriously considering going back after we finish with the cursive and teaching her slant print.

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Carribean Queen, I keep having to reteach her correct formation. She will forget and get frustrated.

 

Thank you for the additional suggestions. I have already tried them without success. ;) She is very visual and ADD, she totally tunes out books on tape or read alouds if she is not on my lap reading with me. Cursive was very frustrating and confusing for her.

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OMG Yes!

 

LOL! Thanks for chiming in on this.:grouphug: After that post count thread, I was mentally figuring who my favorite people are on these boards (the ones I admire) and you are one of them. Thank you.

 

(I can't seem to fix my quoting mis-hap. Oops!

 

I was really touched by this, thank you.

 

Heather

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You have not ruined her. You do not deserve to feel guilty. :grouphug:

 

But, you do want her to make more progress, so maybe you can make some changes that will be manageable for you and get her moving ahead.

 

I wonder why your daughter's reading level hasn't gone up in a couple years. Maybe she doesn't know how to sound out words she is unfamiliar with so she is still only reading the words she knew when she was younger. Is it possible that she needs to review phonics in order to decode larger words? Thephonicspage.org has some ideas I am using to get my son to figure out new, bigger words. We use the McGuffey Speller sometimes. It's free and it has gotten us results without much effort. If you do work on phonics you might skip Spelling that day, in order to keep lesson time short.

Thank you for the practical advice. I am using our phonics based spelling for this reason. Yes, I do want her making progress!
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Carmen, there is nothing I can add that hasn't already been said. You've gotten great advice. I especially like what Karen (momof7) said about not adding guilt to your list to things to worry about! I just wanted to post and say that I am very sorry for all that you are having to deal with and that I will be praying for you in the weeks and months to come. If we lived close I would make you a basket of your favorite goodies and a home cooked meal, too. It's hard when you see someone you've come to respect and think highly of go through and hard time and there's not much you can do. You offer so much to these boards. :grouphug: and prayers for healing.
Your post made me feel so much better. As I read through this thread again I am feeling like TWTM boards threw me a party. :D Like a baby shower, but for homeschool encouragement. :lol:
((((((Carmen))))) You are facing a lot of major issues and you certainly do NOT need to add guilt to your list!! You are doing absolutely everything you need to do already! No need for burdening yourself!!:grouphug:

Prayers for improved health and peace of mind.

Karen, I am so glad to have you here. You were in my top favorites list as well. :D
Carmen, are you on track to improve your physical problems? You said you're sick. PPD is often low thyroid. Did you ever get that diagnosed and treated? Do you know what is causing your problems? I had severe health problems when my dd was young, and it took a lot of years to resolve them. I can tell you for certain that as long as you give her plenty of time to read, plenty of good ways to occupy her time (art supplies, that sort of thing), and do a lot of books on tape/cd, it will all pan out in the wash. I would work on improving your own health and not worry about any of the rest. Her reading sounds like it has plateaued, so I would work on figuring out the issue there. If she reads broadly and voraciously, it's going to cover up all your sins and lack of formal teaching, honest. I don't teach history; I throw books at her and let her learn. Science can be the same way. Your dd is right on the cusp of that age where she will suddenly get driven and want to do things for herself.
I might pull the books on tape back out and just play them in the background while she paints, etc. You are another homeschooler that I admire and really :bigear: when I see your posts! I pretty much unschool history already. Thanks:grouphug:

 

From previous posts, I think our daughters have had a lot of the same struggles, especially with math. Considering your health issues, you might want to consider requiring more independent work. :grouphug:
Thanks so much for the practical advice. I will watch for your posts!
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Carmen, what do you mean she doesn't understand 'anything' from our literature or meetings? I doubt seriously that is true. But what do you expect a 7 year old to understand from adult religious literature?

 

She is 7. What is most important in her life at the moment is to be with her mother and brother and father. Read to her of course. Pray with her. Teach her the 10 commandments. Have her do writing everyday for 5 minutes or so. Take her to meetings.

 

I'm sorry you are ill. Be with your daughter. Let her be with you. The cool thing about bright children is they can catch up easily when they need to.

This was beautiful Scarlett. Thank you. I got the impression from some members of the yahoo group that their kids were studying for the meetings and paying attention while there and really learning. I was annoyed that she doesn't follow along, so I decided to study ahead with her. DD does not understand when I have tried to go over some things with her (like the Greatest Man book). She couldn't answer the questions and when I reread the part with the answers she told me that she didn't understand a lot of the words. It was very discouraging.
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This was beautiful Scarlett. Thank you. I got the impression from some members of the yahoo group that their kids were studying for the meetings and paying attention while there and really learning. I was annoyed that she doesn't follow along, so I decided to study ahead with her. DD does not understand when I have tried to go over some things with her (like the Greatest Man book). She couldn't answer the questions and when I reread the part with the answers she told me that she didn't understand a lot of the words. It was very discouraging.

 

Ds is 9 1/2. Just in the last year have I been able to study ahead for Sunday meeting with him and hold his attention. I have to say that when he is prepared he enjoys the meeting MUCH more, participates more and basically can pay attention the entire time. So I would work toward that....but it is a process. For instance, help her prepare an answer that she understands. Just go over that section with her and no more. And just gradually increase how much you expect her to study ahead of time.

 

Read to her a lot. Out of the My book of Bible Stories which as you know is chronilogical, and has short stories. At age 7 I was reading one of those every other day to ds and about half a story out of the Learn from the Great Teacher which are longer, every other day.

 

:grouphug: Hope you feel better soon.

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Okay my friends and science gurus (Paige and Lovemykids) are already on this thread so I thought I would ask here. I am just not up to a science curriculum. Emily really wants something fun and is asking for chemistry. I am thinking about these:

 

Could I do better, get something else? Are they overpriced for what you get? TIA!!

 

Y131296.jpg My First Chemistry Kit

$21.95 (It says the booklet has only 8 experiments, so I am not sure if it is worth it, but it does come with some sort of microscope.)

 

Y511298.jpg Pop Bottle Science Kit

$14.95 (Could be fun)

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What I would do is save the money for a better microscope, and buy a used Usborne Microscope book to go with it instead. I would also check out a Janice Van Cleave Chemistry experiment book.

The Pop Bottle science kit looks fun! If you want to try making your own bottle that comes apart, you can save a lot of money buying the book used on Amazon.

 

:bigear:

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Oh, okay, never mind. LOL. How about the Chemistry kit from Home Science tools:

Chem C500 Kit

 

 

 

 

$34.95$31.95

Item# KT-CHEM500

 

 

In Stock

 

Learn all about chemical reactions with this exciting chemistry kit! Chem C500 provides an excellent introduction to the world of chemistry. Kids will get to perform 30 fun experiments, like making invisible ink, turning yellow liquid dark blue by adding citric acid, using litmus solution to test for an acid or base, and forming carbon dioxide. The projects cover foundational topics such as acids & alkalis, liquids & gas, electric current, and chemical compounds.

This set comes with a 32-page illustrated instruction manual as well as chemistry lab equipment, safety goggles, and five chemicals. Adult supervision is required. Some household items are needed, such as a 9-volt battery, lemon juice, and vinegar. Ages 8-13.

This is a good replacement for the Chemlab 1100, which is no longer available.

Kit Contents

 

 

  • Litmus powder
  • Potassium ferrocyanide
  • Ferric ammonium sulfate
  • Sodium carbonate
  • Citric acid
  • Amber glass bottle
  • 3 test tubes
  • Metal measuring spoon
  • 2 plastic dropper pipettes
  • Rubber stopper
  • Safety goggles
  • Plastic lid opener
  • Clip for 9-volt battery (not included)

 

 

They also have a microscope kit that doesn’t include a microscope. You can get the microscope on Ebay or Amazon.

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