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LA for dyslexic/dysgraphic kiddo...


Penny_P
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I'm really questioning what I've chosen for ds9. I pulled him out of ps this year, and I'm concerned that I haven't picked the right curriculum for him. He's reading now at about a 4th grade level (Yea!), but his spelling is atrocious. His writing is laborious. He would have gone into 3rd grade this year. (He repeated 2nd grade in ps.)

 

FLL2/WWE1- It seems like it should be EASY-Peasy for a 3rd grader, but he still often forgets to capitalize the first word. It's hard to get a lot of practice with this when it takes so long to write one sentence. I'm almost wanting a workbook style something where he can fill in the blanks with periods or circle the proper verb, etc. I do like that FLL is oral, but I'm not convinced it's sinking in without a worksheet. And, admittedly, I don't do all the written activities suggested. Although I like the theory behind these, it just doesn't seem like enough... I am having him learn typing, but we're still on the home row. :)

 

Dulce 100 list for spelling- I've been trying to get him to memorize sight words. We started this in the summer, and he's still missing words week after week. I've looked briefly at AAS, but it's sooo teacher intensive. After 3 weeks I'm already starting to feel a little trapped in our classroom. How much time does AAS take a day? Other suggestions? He really likes rules, and gets so upset when the words don't follow rules. I do not have phonics in my line-up and I think that is really missing. (Barton is way beyond our means, fyi.)

 

Help!

 

Oh, we'll be gone for the weekend, so I eagerly await the Hive's wisdom when I return.

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I have two thoughts:

1-Start him keyboarding. This helped my son so much. He now pretty much types everything. He also uses Ginger which is a context specific spell checker developed for dyslexic kids. Also, most word processing programs will automatically capitalize (I know, you want him to learn....and he will, but for now there will be a lot less irritation). Even though my son is not a fast typist, he can type faster than he writes. It was irritating for him to learn, but it has paid off. Furthermore, after a year I have noticed, after a year, when he writes by hand his spelling is way better and he is writing faster (go figure!)

 

2- We used Verticy Grammar/ Composition. I LOVED it. However, it is expensive. So in lieu of that I fully recommend the Writing Skills Series Verticy is based on

http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/products/details.cfm?seriesonly=2561M

 

Also, designed for dyslexic kids.

 

I have no thoughts on spelling. We are tackling that this year (but again, weirdly, he seems to have gotten a ton better with no work)

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My 7yo is not officially dx'ed, so take this for what it's worth. She meets nearly all of the criteria for dyslexia and dysgraphia.

 

AAS has already been a big improvement for my dd. We've completed the first 7 steps of Level 1. The manipulatives aspect make her much less grouchy about doing spelling than any of the traditional programs we've tried. Allowing her to do the writing portions on the white board instead of paper has also reduced the reluctance, since she doesn't have to "waste" concentration on lines and sizing. I *do* push for corrections on letter reversals since she doesn't have to worry about those other things. ;)

 

It's definitely teacher-intensive, but we've only needed about 15 minutes/day after the first couple of lessons. It's been more than worth it.

 

We're struggling with the same issues regarding FLL and WWE. The oral components have been really good for dd, so I'm not willing to give them up completely, but I am on the search for a supplement, likely standard workbook style, to reinforce individual concepts such as capitalization and punctuation. In the meantime, she definitely does better using paper with smaller lines for WWE. There's less room for her hand to go hog wild somewhere between the top and bottom of the letter R, lol.

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I fully recommend the Writing Skills Series Verticy is based on

http://eps.schoolspecialty.com/products/details.cfm?seriesonly=2561M

 

 

I second this. It breaks writing down into very manageable chunks and takes you step-by-step through it. It lends itself well to typing or to the parent acting as a scribe.

 

For grammar, we found Growing With Grammar to work very well. It's a workbook format with comparatively little writing. (It also has lots of review, if that's a concern.) It covers diagramming but we chose to omit that -- diagramming would be too frustrating for my dysgraphic ds.

Edited by Maverick_Mom
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Programs like AAS work well because they reach the right parts of their brains. Yes, it is hard work but if it works, sometimes the trade off is less frustration and less adapting other programs. I don't like the teacher intense ones either, but after wasting too much time in other places, well, I am much more open to them.

 

Have you looked at Sequential Spelling? It reminds me a little bit of the Dolch list but it is also much more organized.

 

We will begin using AAS probably right after Christmas. My son is using Winston Grammar with a tutor right now and I am just amazed at how much using those color coded cards have helped him remember rules. If AAS works that well for him, then I am all for it.

 

My son's reading teacher had him learn his site words from the Fry Instant Words List since it was more current. She was also able to find more special activities for it for practice. She does not recommend using it for spelling though because most words on the list (and Dolch as well) are irregular phonetically. It has taken my son well over 1 year though to learn the 300+ words on Fry's list just for reading. I wonder how long it will take for spelling... The good thing about learning Fry's list (and Dolch) is that once you are finished the child can read over 60% of all words in print.

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FLL2/WWE1- It seems like it should be EASY-Peasy for a 3rd grader, but he still often forgets to capitalize the first word.

 

My 3rd grader has been doing a sentence of dictation and she also STILL forgets to capatilize the first word. I know I am not giving you much hope here, other than my oldest two do have it down now. When ever my dd makes this mistake I try to get her to see it and self correct, so instead of telling her right off I wait till she finishes the sentences and ask, "Ok there is something you need to fix, can you find it?" Most of the time she will find it, and this is what eventually got my oldest two trained.

 

It's hard to get a lot of practice with this when it takes so long to write one sentence. I'm almost wanting a workbook style something where he can fill in the blanks with periods or circle the proper verb, etc. I do like that FLL is oral, but I'm not convinced it's sinking in without a worksheet. And, admittedly, I don't do all the written activities suggested. Although I like the theory behind these, it just doesn't seem like enough... I am having him learn typing, but we're still on the home row. :)

 

There are easier ways but for dyslexic students they usually don't work well, they don't stick. Honestly I would break it down into a manageable amount per day (yes even less than scheduled) till you get the typing taught then you can play catch up. Really dyslexic learn by repeated use over a long period of time anyway. There is not short cut here. You can take longer to get through it and that might actually help it stick. Do what you have time for and remember that it is a long term race that you will win, even if they are finishing up grammar in 8th grade. I personally only passed my Senior English class by reading Roots (do you know how thick that books is?), so poor was my grammar. You ds I am sure is already passing up the skills I graduated with, so set aside grade levels and just keep moving forward.

 

Dulce 100 list for spelling- I've been trying to get him to memorize sight words.

 

Actually most of the Dulce words are phonetic and teaching them as sight words to a dyslexic will generally set them back in their reading. It teaches them to read based on sight and so many words are similar that they start guessing based on the shape of the word instead of sounding them out. For example:

 

their

they

them

those

 

They all start off relatively the same, the dyslexic glances at the words sees the same beginning and chooses the word they remember best that starts the same way.

 

I would personally back up and teach these phonetically. Here is a great thread on the issue, though long.

 

It is frustrating that the English language has exceptions, but that is just reality. Some of it can be traced to foreign words being assimilated into the English language, so kids can learn to look up the origin and thus understand the spelling. But my guess is you ds doesn't really want to do that. It isn't that he wants it to be explained it is that he wants it to be easier. (((Hugs))) I know how he feels, as spelling is my poorest subject with grammar being 2nd.

 

BTW if he can read well then Barton would be overkill. All About Spelling would be my top pick for a child who is already reading. Based on the same o/g methods but doesn't cover reading.

 

Though my next question for him would be, can he see words in his mind? I personally don't, so I have a low to non existent visual memory bank of how words are spelled. In fact I can spell a word right, and have that nagging feeling it is spelled wrong. I can use spell check and it will say it is fine, so I think maybe I just mis-spelled it as a real word. I look it up in the dictionary to see it is the right word, and I will still have those internal bells going off telling me it doesn't look right. Of course this comes and goes sporadically, just to make life even more interesting. :001_huh: I am using Seeing Stars with my 3rd dd who also does not see words in her mind naturally. I didn't have to buy the whole program just the TM, and I use the methods with AAS. Slowly we are both developing the ability to see words in our mind. My dd's spelling has improved a lot since we start using both together.

 

Now for how long things will take to get it:

 

My 3rd dd and I have been doing Seeing Start work for 6 months, and it has been a struggle for me. Even when I am able to see a word I often have a hard time holding it in my mind, though that is also getting easier. It is all much easier for my dd than it is for me. For the first time yesterday I actually was able to think of how a word was spelled, see it in my mind and spell it from what I could see in my mind. 6 months of work just starting to pay off. Because my 3rd (3rd grade mind you) is easily overwhelmed she does one section of a lesson a day. If there is a bold typed heading we stop and cover that the next day. These are lessons that my oldest, who is more dysgraphic and dyscalculic covered in a single day that my 3rd grader has to cover over a couple of weeks. When we do spelling lists she covers 4 words a day and I add in the seeing stars work. Can you say crawling? But it is working. She also does review of 4 words a day, reviews all the phonograms on Monday, the rules on Tuesday, and the sound cards on Wednesday. It took my oldest two dd's roughly 5 years of covering the phonograms first daily and then weekly to own them and quit making miscellaneous errors in recall. Now they do them once a month and are still getting them consistently correct. My ds has been covering the first 30 phonograms for about 2 years and still messes up l and thinks it is i. He has the rest down...most of the time. Sometimes it just takes time....

 

Honestly, and please take this the right way, I think you are expecting a little more than your ds can manage. He needs to simply move ahead and not worry about catching up. Catching up will happen over time. You will have to make accommodations for years to come (using audio/visual resources or reading to him instead of having him read) but he will eventually get there.

 

(((Hugs for Mom)))

 

Most of all sing with Dory, "Just keep swimming....."

 

Heather

 

p.s. I know a lot of people who use a timer to do school with and don't focus on how much they get done. They just do what they can do in that amount of time. Honestly here by the time I work one on one with each of my kids and do corrections I am spending 6 hours a day doing hs. It is no longer a leisurely pursuit but a job.

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Thanks you so much for your responses. You all have given me something to chew on. Looks like AAS, despite teacher time, may be a good fit. What level should I start with...? He's reading at a beginning 4th grade level, but spelling at first (maybe).

 

I will definitely continue typing practice. It's sort of slow going, though.

 

Thanks for the list to the sight word debate. A lot of the sight words don't follow rules, which drives my ds crazy.

 

I like the look of Growing with Grammar... if I were going to use it along with FLL, do I need the workbook and the student book for level 3?

 

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I was going to use "Beyond Phonics" when we reached the end of our Dolche word list (almost there, but with poor retention.) http://beyondphonics.com/ But, I'm not sure if it's such a great fit. Maybe I'll try it for a few months before spending even MORE money. :(

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You might want to take a look at Diane Craft's web site. http://www.diannecraft.org

She has a lot information about teaching children with dyslexia and other learning struggles. We've used her 'right brain' strategies to help my 10 year old dd with spelling. Each week we put her words on index cards using color and pictures to help her remember them. It has made a BIG difference in helping her to learn the words.

 

Last year we used Shurley English. It was the first LA arts resource we have used where I felt my dd learned! We're continuing this year. Beside grammar, Shurley also teaches vocabulary and writing. The teacher's manual looks a bit intimidating but it is easy to use. Each lesson is scripted making it easy for the teacher to pick up and run with it.

 

Education Creations has some good daily language worksheets to practice skills like editing a sentence, finding nouns in the sentence, etc...

http://www.educationcreations.com/

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I have been looking at buying Spelling Power. It's around 60.00 new. I haven't tried it, but it looks good.

 

I have been using Susan Barton with my son. He is profoundly dyslexic and is dysgraphic as well.

 

We use Handwriting Without Tears for learning cursive which takes away some of the remembering of which direction a letter goes.

 

I've heard Analytical Grammar is a good program. I would love feedback on that if anyone has tried it.

 

I always ask my son "what does every sentence begin with and end with?" After asking this for two years when he writes sentences, I still find my self asking him this question!

 

He's 9.

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