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I think there is something wrong with my son and/or me...


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I just don't know what to do anymore...My 5th grader struggles too much with everything...I said to him the first line from MCT Essay Voyage, "The ablility to write a proper, formal essay is a requirement for academic achievement"...I aksed him what that means...He can't answer me...I went over the meaning of EVERY word in the sentence and he still can't tell me...He cannot write a paragraph and STRUGGLES with WWE 2...His reading comprehension is poor, and he is working on a 3rd grade level in math...His ability to read has improved since we started using TOG, but I still don't think he is even close to being able to read and comprehend what most 11 year olds can...I just don't know what to do anymore and left the schoolroom because I didn't want to cry im front of him...

 

I have read every post and thing I can find about teaching writing, but I just don't think he can do it...I can't see him going to college or even graduating...I know this sounds really negative, but I am loosing hope...I also don't feel like I have been the best teacher...My time with my youngest two is sufferring because I have to spend so much time with my oldest...I am afraid they are going to end up in the same situation if I can't get to spend more time with them...I wanted to give them a better education and I feel like I am failing them, and spending a lot of our families money on homeschooling materials...I am not even sure why I am writing all of this, I just don't know what to do...If I put him in school, I think he will test into the 3rd grade and he will be 12 in September... :crying:

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Tahara,

 

I don't mean this to be a generalization b/c every child has their own processing abilities and you need to figure out what is going on with your own child. But, I do want to encourage you!!

 

My 10th grader is my most advanced student. He didn't even read on grade level until 4th grade. He didn't start learning how to really write until 5th b/c you can't learn to write well if you can't read/process information. He is know functioning on a college level pretty much across the board in all areas. He still reads slow, but that is the only issue he has (other than his spelling is awful!)

 

Our 17 yod could not write how-to paragraphs in 4th grade. She had to write them ad nauseum before she even mastered something as simple as that. However, her college teachers this yr have raved to her about how phenomenal her essays are.

 

All kids aren't high performers at young ages. Some really struggle and blossom later.

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:grouphug::grouphug:

 

You know, when I read that sentence from MCT in your post, I had to read it over again, too. I don't think it would be unusual for a 5th grader to have trouble with it. I don't know that it would have much meaning for a 5th grader.

 

I wonder if something like Rod & Staff might work better for grammar & writing for your son? R&S is so straightforward, structured, clear, age-appropriate. It almost guarantees success at every step.

 

 

:grouphug:, again.

Edited by yvonne
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:grouphug::grouphug:

 

You know, when I read that sentence from MCT in your post, I had to read it over again, too. I don't think it would be unusual for a 5th grader to have trouble with it. I don't know that it would have much meaning for a 5th grader.

 

 

 

:grouphug:, again.

 

Excellent pt! I have used EV, but I used it w/a very advanced 6th grader (I would never use it w/a typical 5th grader b/c the classic examples are definitely "elevated" in lang and I thought incredibly dull for the target audience.)

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My son is a good overall student...and we started with Town in 6th! And, we are not doing Essay Voyage until 7th. Writing can be a difficult process. The last 4 years, my son did a lot of pages of writing, but the actual content didn't really improve. It was just a greater volume of poorly constructed sentences, poor organization and execution.

 

If he is having that much difficulty, I would stick primarily to copy work, narration (even allowing him to narrate orally into a recording device and then copy it down), dictation, and modeling good writing (like in Killgallon).

 

There could be many different things at play, but work should not be unnecessarily frustrating (which it sounds as if it may be). And, if you don't start working on essays until 7th or 8th grade, your son will NOT be at a disadvantage for college.

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:grouphug::grouphug:

 

You know, when I read that sentence from MCT in your post, I had to read it over again, too. I don't think it would be unusual for a 5th grader to have trouble with it. I don't know that it would have much meaning for a 5th grader.

 

:iagree: That was my thought, too. I don't know if this helps, but there is a series of articles that Marie Rippel from AAS sent out. Here's the first one, second one, third one, fourth one, and fifth one.

 

With my own kids, I've noticed that using long words totally loses them. Using examples they cannot relate to, loses them. And whatever they understood yesterday, they might not understand today. And...sometimes when learning how to multiply multi-digit numbers, they completely forget how to multiply 2 x 2. I've also had to change course many times with a kid that simply didn't get it. I've also had to dumb down and simplify. I've even had to resort to teaching methods and materials that I hated and didn't believe in (I had to ditch phonics to teach my oldest to read, switched to Horizons math which is a different approach then I wanted to take with math, etc.).

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:grouphug:

 

If it makes you feel any better, my 5th grader would have trouble telling me what that sentence means. He still can't write a paragraph, because he can't spell worth beans. It's hard to teach paragraph writing when we're still working on basic spelling skills. He was a late reader, and still reads far better silently than he does out loud.

 

Try not to get discouraged! I'm sure your son has some strengths, and maybe you can focus on those for a while. Maybe sit down and make a list of all the things he's good at, and the areas where he's improved, so when you're feeling a bit down, you can read over it. You said his reading has improved, and that's pretty awesome! Even if he's not where you want him to be yet, it sounds like he's making progress.

 

My brother is a classic dyslexic, and really struggled in school. He was in the special ed reading group all through elementary school. A teacher once told my parents, "He might build bridges, but he'll never design them." He still can't write in cursive, and his handwriting is painfully slow. But now, he's an oral surgeon, with an MD and a DDS. :) It was a LOT of work, but he did it. So you really never know how your son will end up... A kid can struggle for YEARS, and still be successful!

 

Hang in there. :grouphug:

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:grouphug:

 

If it makes you feel any better, my 5th grader would have trouble telling me what that sentence means. He still can't write a paragraph, because he can't spell worth beans. It's hard to teach paragraph writing when we're still working on basic spelling skills. He was a late reader, and still reads far better silently than he does out loud.

 

Try not to get discouraged! I'm sure your son has some strengths, and maybe you can focus on those for a while. Maybe sit down and make a list of all the things he's good at, and the areas where he's improved, so when you're feeling a bit down, you can read over it. You said his reading has improved, and that's pretty awesome! Even if he's not where you want him to be yet, it sounds like he's making progress.

 

My brother is a classic dyslexic, and really struggled in school. He was in the special ed reading group all through elementary school. A teacher once told my parents, "He might build bridges, but he'll never design them." He still can't write in cursive, and his handwriting is painfully slow. But now, he's an oral surgeon, with an MD and a DDS. :) It was a LOT of work, but he did it. So you really never know how your son will end up... A kid can struggle for YEARS, and still be successful!

 

Hang in there. :grouphug:

 

:iagree:

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All kids aren't high performers at young ages. Some really struggle and blossom later.

 

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

I had to shift away from expecting DS to produce much in elementary. Instead, we focused on him absorbing and processing information. This worked wonders for him. No curriculum out there helped him. Mostly he needed time and lots of library trips.

 

I bought MCT Voyage series last year( 7&8 grade) and my kids could not relate to it very well. I love it and wish I had had such interesting material as a student. They prefer Analytical Grammar and WWS has been a great resource for them at this age even.

 

:grouphug:

 

ETA: My son was diagnosed with an LD and I did try many remediation techniques. They all ended in frustration. For him, much of the academic output was tied to his development. He is now fairly academically advanced although he does struggle with some issues.

Edited by Trilliums
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I don't have any words of advice. I have "good readers", but their penmanship.... Well it looks like they are all kindergarteners and I have 6th, 5th and 4th. Maybe bring him down to the same level as the 7 year old and work with them together? Have you tested for any learning disabilities?

 

Right now, all of mine are doing "remedial" work in LA and math. We're covering areas they didn't understand in PS or that weren't taught yet in PS. Both DH and I have terrible handwriting, so I'm not really worried about their penmanship at this point.

 

Boys tend to be slower in their language development than girls also. So, maybe he just isn't ready to start writing essays. Maybe he needs to build a strong foundation of reading comprehension first.

Edited by dansamy
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On the writing front, I would highly recommend you drop all writing except WWE. Maybe even go back a level if 2 is too hard. It slowly develops reading comprehension and paragraph making skills even though they aren't physically writing their paragraphs down. We had major tears through the first part of WWE3. We are just now getting to the point where it is easier, but it took a lot of patience and hard work. When we were starting WWE, I didn't make dd do any other writing. It scared me to go "off the beaten path" like that, but now I can see the results. Dd is more confident writing in other areas now too and I think it's because we focused on the skills and didn't get sidetracked by the feeling that something was wrong if she wasn't writing a certain amount or doing a certain type of writing everyday.

 

I know it's hard to see your kids working with materials that don't have the "correct" level or number on them, but remember that the correct level is the one that works for *your* kid, not necessarily most kids. Making sure he learns as much as *he* can is the most important thing.

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Has he been evaluated for auditory or visual problems? Has he ever had a formal evaluation of any sort?

 

No...He went to a private school (Waldorf) for 1st grade and we have been homeschooling since then...While he was there, his teacher mentioned that she thought he may have an auditory processing issue, but it was too early to tell...I asked DH if we should get him evaluated, and DH said "no, he will be fine"...So no, he has never been evaluated and I am not even sure how to go about that, and if we could afford to have it done...

ETA: His vision checked out to be almost perfect...

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While being evaluated for emotional/behavioral issues Ds was also given ADHD and IQ testing. Through this we determined that he had very specific issues that impacted they way he learned. With adjustments, my DS has done much better academically.

 

Without a full evaluation you are going to have a hard time figuring out how to best teach your child. It may be as simple as a vision issue, it may be a permanent "impairment." But knowing what it is will help you create the best program for your child, so I would encourage you to seek out that information. If you do testing and evaluations and nothing is found, then you will know that it's time to work out a new teaching method.

 

:grouphug:

 

 

For our testing, our pediatrician referred us to a behavioral pyschiatrist. She did basic IQ, ADHD, behavioral, etc. This was enough to give us some insight. I think you would need further specialists for visual and auditory- but your pediatrician can probably refer you for that as well. Our insurance has covered all DS' testing thus far.

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My oldest is 11 and I would highly suggest that if he is having problems in those areas right now, that he should be evaluated. We are doing this for my 7 yo right now through the school district. I was scared to at first, but they are very helpful. It is also FREE. Further evaluations through a neuropsychologist may be warranted, but your insurance will likely cover at least part of it, and it is optional (I would if the school made a recommendation to).

 

My brother had the same issues you are describing. He was later diagnosed with dyslexia and auditory issues in junior high. I really wish he had been diagnosed and had proper understanding and treatment BEFORE that. It really affects their self-esteem and can get them behind. Check out the Special Needs board on here for lots of discussion. Sure, he may just be a bit behind and "get over it", but IMHO it does more harm to keep putting it off if there *is* an issue. He may end up doing fine and getting a job and struggling through school, but without a proper diagnosis, he would not get accommodations for college, testing, or anything. Best to have the testing on his record. KWIM? And his vision may test normal, but has he seen a developmental optometrist? That might help and probably would not be caught by regular vision exams.

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He needs to be thoroughly evaluated for learning problems. Until you know why he is struggling you are just going to keep doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same results.

 

The longer you wait, the more behind he gets, and the harder it will be for him to catch up.

 

Why wait any longer? I have always read your posts with great interest. I think you are a great teacher and you have a lot of insight. But this is not a new struggle for your son. The two of you have been doing this for a long time. If a Dr says there is no cause for alarm and he is just a late bloomer, then you are no worse off than you were before. But, if your son needs specific learning strategies to help him read etc, then why would you not want to get him that help as soon as possible? The sooner you know what you are dealing with the sooner you can address it.

 

He deserves this. If this is hard for you, it must be harder for him.

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For perspective on writing....My 11yo is going to a classical charter school next year for 6th grade. Here is their description of their writing program:

Six through eight grade writing students learn the parts of speech, grammar, punctuation and basic sentence and paragraph structure. In the ninth and tenth grades, they are taught to develop and order their thoughts in a logical way by writing essays. In the eleventh and twelfth grades, students develop more substantial and compelling arguments through more sophisticated analysis and different stylistic and organizational techniques.

 

 

 

In the sixth grade, they focus on sentences and work their way up to paragraphs by the end of the eighth grade. Essay voyage wouldn't be appropriate in the charter school until 9th grade.

 

I hear your fear and frustration. To move forward, I'd focus on reading and reading comprehension. Read aloud to them all. Talk about what you're reading. Have them all read aloud to you, and talk about what they're reading. Listen to audio books together. Read and read and read. Development takes time. Back up to copywork. Maybe add in some poetry memorization to help with fluency. Meet them where they are and move forward.:grouphug:

 

And please do see about having him evaluated. It could at least help you find the most effective ways to teach him.

Edited by Karen in CO
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I would drop MCT programs all together. Your son may need to have more concrete examples given to him, with a lot of repetition. FLL has a lot of repetition for grammar and Writing Strands and Winning With Writing are both very incremental in their approach. I would go a grade or 2 below his current age "grade".

 

For reading, you can go to the library and pick out books that are below his grade level and summarize each chapter in a few sentences. You want him to be successful, so the chapters should not be that long. And of course read aloud to him more advanced books so that he can be introduced to a larger vocabulary and sentence structure. Don't ask him to explain these books, unless he asks. Back up a bit and focus on the 3 R's.

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I would drop MCT programs all together. Your son may need to have more concrete examples given to him, with a lot of repetition. FLL has a lot of repetition for grammar and Writing Strands and Winning With Writing are both very incremental in their approach. I would go a grade or 2 below his current age "grade".

 

For reading, you can go to the library and pick out books that are below his grade level and summarize each chapter in a few sentences. You want him to be successful, so the chapters should not be that long. And of course read aloud to him more advanced books so that he can be introduced to a larger vocabulary and sentence structure. Don't ask him to explain these books, unless he asks. Back up a bit and focus on the 3 R's.

 

Grammar Voyage and Caesar's English are his favorites...He BEGGED to use MCT because he said it makes more sense to him than R&S, so we made the switch...He does seem to retain the grammar and loves doing the 4 level analysis sentences...He also really likes TOG, so those are the two things we really can't drop, unless he starts doing really bad with them...

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I just wanted to thank everyone for their encouragement...I can feel the :grouphug:...

We don't usually go out for lunch, but I took the boys out for lunch today...My oldest handed me a piece of paper where he tried to explain what the sentence from earlier meant...He was a little off, but not too bad...We had a chance to talk, and he really wants to homeschool and feels it is best for him...Since I feel the same (most of the time), we will continue and take things a little slower, with more of an emphasis on his basic skills...I am also going to look into getting him evaluated, but I didn't tell him that ;)...Poor DH will probably get an earful about my day tonight...I think I am going to go reread that Ryan Gosling thread for a few laughs!

Thanks again hive...

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Just wanted to add that for the MCT materials, the Essay Voyage book seemed far more advanced than the Grammar book. When we first got the set, I was thinking the paragraph writing book might have been better for my kids.

 

My older son did like the vocab--and he already has a very advanced vocabulary. Our neighbor jokes that he needs a translator.

 

Also, a child can have perfect vision and still have tracking issues. This was the case for DS. We did not pursue vision therapy though. I did find a video of vision therapy activities at the library with a lot of line following, hitting a ball on a string, going back and forth between sheets of letters. We did some of these activities when DS was younger.

 

Glad your day is looking better. :)

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Has he been evaluated for auditory or visual problems? Has he ever had a formal evaluation of any sort?

 

I'm curious about this too. I think it is great that you are getting so many encouraging responses but a soon to be 12 year old working on a 3rd grade level in a couple subjects is outside the norm. It couldn't hurt to have him evaluated. I would trust your gut.

 

I've been reading WTM forums a long time and posting for about a year now and I've always really enjoyed seeing your posts. I know you've been working *so hard* for a long time to bring your son up to grade level. It really may not be you at all - you sound like a wonderful and dedicated mom and teacher. I don't think there is a thing wrong with admitting when things are not working and regrouping to find another way forward.

 

:grouphug:

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I just don't know what to do anymore...My 5th grader struggles too much with everything...I said to him the first line from MCT Essay Voyage, "The ablility to write a proper, formal essay is a requirement for academic achievement"...I aksed him what that means...He can't answer me...I went over the meaning of EVERY word in the sentence and he still can't tell me...

 

He also really likes TOG, so those are the two things we really can't drop,

 

My 11 year old wouldn't be able to tell me what that sentence means, either. And she *can* read and is done with WWE. My point is, that sentence has abstract meaning in the words, while many 11 year olds are still into concrete thinking. Or else, they just don't care about the idea in that sentence. Not at 11 years old! And if they don't care about the idea, why would they stop and try to figure out the meaning of each word. I wouldn't worry about that.

 

I'll join in with whoever suggested just focusing on basic academic skills - writing (can we help you with specific WWE struggles?), math, spelling, reading, grammar. Those skills take up a LOT of energy in the first years (at least eight, in my experience so far) of learning. As an aside, my daughter struggled for years with learning to read and spell, and still struggles somewhat. I still closely concentrate on those skills with her.

 

You say he likes TOG. From what I understand, TOG is quite an involved program of history and lit. study. Could you tame it down for a time, while you concentrate on the basic skills? Maybe just include TOG reading in your daily routine, without all the discussion/extra writing/mapping/whatever?

 

I've read your posts, too, and I think you are an excellent teacher. Some days, we just have to keep on keeping on.

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The Scottish Rite Learning Centers provide dyslexia screening for free to everyone. This organization is located all over the country and keep odd hours as they are volunteers. Call the nearest one and set up an appointment. If he tests for dyslexia, they will be able to recommend professionals for further testing.

 

I despaired for my child until he hit 5th grade. I feel your pain. Now go give that boy a hug for me.

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My 11 year old could not have been able to tell me what that meant, either. LOL! I'm not sure that it wouldn't have taken a minute or two for my highschooler to come up with an answer.

 

What I do when things are worded that way, is change the wording for my son. Instead of asking, What does that mean? I will say something like, "Now you see baby, this is just a fancy way of saying that a person needs to know how to write a good essay so that he's successful in writing in the future."

 

I think your son is fine. Sometimes it's hard gauging what our children should be doing, but I bet he's progressing just fine. You are doing a great job! Don't get discouraged. Remember to teach to them. Reach them...change, rewrite, omit, add, do whatever you must do to reach him at his level right now. And of course, remember the basics are the only thing to really stress about at this level. It's better that he master the 3rd grade math and move forward, than be at his actual grade level and be struggling.

 

My 11 year old just started producing some writing this year and I have had to model a lot of it for him. One of the things I have loved about IEW (but this works for every type of curriculum) is that Andrew Pudewa says you can never help a child too much, especially in writing. If you have to write the paragraph for him and have him model it by copying it for a while, that will be fine. Trust me, he will learn how to write a paragraph before he leaves your home. There is no better place for him than right there where he is, with a momma that loves him so much that she would do anything for him!

 

(((((Hugs)))))

 

Dee

 

ps I have a son who is mildly dyslexic and I thought this child would never take off with writing. Well, he did! He also took off with math and my then math hater (hated math until about the 5th grade) is now a math lover doing Pre-Calculus. I would never have thought it possible, but God is good and faithful!

Edited by deeinfl
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I live in NY and my younger son gets special educational services through my public school system while remaining a homeschooled student. I KNOW how hard it is to ask them for help. I really do.

 

I looked it up and found this:

 

http://www.state.nj.us/education/genfo/faq/faq_homeschool.htm

 

 

  • Special Education Services - In accordance with the federal special education law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (P.L. 108-446 §612), the board of education must ensure that “all children with disabilities residing in the State, including children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of the disability, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located and evaluated...â€

When the public school district receives a written request for special education evaluation, the district must review the request in a meeting of the child study team, the parent/guardian and the regular education teacher. This procedure applies to children who are educated at home. At the meeting, current information about the child is reviewed to determine whether an evaluation is warranted. If an evaluation is warranted, another determination will be made regarding the assessment procedures. Written notice of the determinations is given to parent/guardian. Once the assessments are completed, a meeting in accordance with N.J.A.C. 6A:14-2.3(i)1 is held to determine whether the child is eligible for special education and related services.

If the child is eligible for special education and related services, the public school district must make a free, appropriate public education available only if the child enrolls in the district. If the child does not enroll in the public school district, but the district chooses to provide services, the district would develop a plan for the services to be provided.

 

 

So, it looks like in NJ the school can provide an evaluation but they are not mandated to provide the special ed services. But, at least you would know more than you do now.

 

 

I suggest if you choose to use the school to do some evaluating, that you contact your local homeschooling group and ask for information about the process. I urge you to pay attention to people who have actually gone through the process. I know that in my own group lots of people are happy to give their opinion of what they think the process entails, but they have not done it themselves. I try very hard to set the record straight and will go out of my way to talk in a supportive way to local parents who are making the decision.

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:grouphug:

 

I think he tuned out that first MCT sentence. I know I did! Then I re-read it, and thought it was kind of dry and if you want to talk to your child about the importance of writing, well, it will have to be in a more interesting way.

 

Re: everything else, again :grouphug:

 

If he is struggling right now, myabe a change in style/curriculum will help. Don't give up on HIM or YOU! I'm not a veteran (this is only our second year and we've had our moments!), but I'm sure the vets will give you some good advice.

 

:grouphug:

 

Edit to add: my son is a fifth grader doing MCT. We did Island level last year (our first year hsing) and he loved it. Is enjoying Town Level this year. My guy is very solid on language arts, but I didn't want to jump ahead and miss any of the fun of MCT. But just wanted to point out that YOUR fifth grader is doing a level ahead of mine, so really, all is not lost here...

Edited by Trish
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I'm using it with an 11 year old who is gifted in the language arts and she "gets it" but it's not a breeze for her. Her brothers were advanced and they could not have done it in 5th grade. They would have hated it. Remember too, that some hormonal brain fog might be influencing him too. Sometimes it can last days or weeks. With one of our dc we lost almost a half year because she couldn't retain material and on most days could not think logically about what she was studying. It passes. Put those things aside for a few weeks and focus on what he's good at.

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No...He went to a private school (Waldorf) for 1st grade and we have been homeschooling since then...While he was there, his teacher mentioned that she thought he may have an auditory processing issue, but it was too early to tell...I asked DH if we should get him evaluated, and DH said "no, he will be fine"...So no, he has never been evaluated and I am not even sure how to go about that, and if we could afford to have it done...

ETA: His vision checked out to be almost perfect...

 

ADHD doesn't preclude CAPD, and in fact some kids get diagnosed ADHD initially and the CAPD is missed. There is usually slow processing and other things that go along with the ADHD. That could explain why he can't answer your questions. Or there could be some auditory processing problems. Or both. If you actually had a teacher TELL you she suspected it, I would follow up on it. Go read about CAPD on the SN boards. People don't bite there. There are accommodations and things that can help him. Whatever is going on, you want to know. Stuff like this doesn't just get outgrown. Might get compensated in ways or get covered by personality changes, but it doesn't disappear. Get the testing. You can't really afford NOT to, kwim?

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Hi, I also have a suggestion. What about having your son take something like the ITBS? You could see exactly where he stands academically in comparison to other students his age.

 

I had a homeschooling friend last year who was constantly telling me how behind her kids were. She had some serious anxiety about this. She ended up putting them in public school and they were exactly where they were supposed to be. :)

 

Also, I've love reading your posts. You sound like a great teacher! If you suspect something is going on, you can go over it with your pediatrician. Our pediatrician said that he will give us a referral for testing if we need one.

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I agree-there is no reason not to get him tested, and huge reasons TO do it. You will find out the details of his strengths and weaknesses , and find out exactly how to help him and what to do. You sound so frustrated-and if you find out what is going on, you will both feel better.

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MCT's materials are specifically written as an alternative for gifted students. I know they have become more mainstram now, but they still are what they are. I don't think a student having difficulty with materials for gifted students means there is something wrong with him. I would just find something else or (if he really, really wants to use them) go back a level or two.

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I just want to say that I did Essay Voyage with my 8th grader this year. I think that your son is way too young for this program. My 13 turned 14 year old understood this statement, but I don't think that he would have understood it at 5th grade. My 8th grader finished this program by December of 2011 because he just turned 14 years old.

 

Please do not get discouraged and think that it is your child or you. If he did not understand it, then it is the wrong choice of curriculum. Put the curriculum aside. Say to yourself, "OK, this was the curriculum that exposed him to some great writing statements and pieces of writing." Then, get something like Writing Tales where it is easy and yet enjoyable or Rod and Staff which explains writing information a little bit more on his level. Remember don't get caught up in thoughts that your son is behind. He really is right where he belongs. Then pick up Essay Voyage in 7th or 8th grade. Hey, that's one less curriculum that you will have to purchase in the future. Please realize that it is the curriculum not you or your son. Don't let the curriculum dictate to you. You dictate the curriculum.

 

It is just my $.02

 

Blessings in your homeschooling journey.

 

Sincerely,

Karen

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/testimony

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Hi, I also have a suggestion. What about having your son take something like the ITBS? You could see exactly where he stands academically in comparison to other students his age.

 

I had a homeschooling friend last year who was constantly telling me how behind her kids were. She had some serious anxiety about this. She ended up putting them in public school and they were exactly where they were supposed to be. :)

 

Also, I've love reading your posts. You sound like a great teacher! If you suspect something is going on, you can go over it with your pediatrician. Our pediatrician said that he will give us a referral for testing if we need one.

 

Giving them a standardized test doesn't tell you everything. My daughter tests quite well, but she had things going on. So yes do the standardized tests, but that won't exclude other problems.

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Have you had him looked at by specialists? Tested his sight, his hearing, his processing, for dyslexia, et cetera? Not to make you feel worse, but to encourage you to look for extra help: third grade math at age twelve is a big gap and I think you're right to be worried. So often homeschoolers say, "they'll catch up eventually," but also sometimes I hear parents say they wish they had their kids tested for special needs earlier so that they could have gotten into therapies earlier and spent more of childhood doing things that work. It sounds like your son's brain might just need something you never would think of or know about without professional screening for special needs.

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You know...my gut tells me that if I were in your situation, I would not worry at all about paragraphs right now. Just keep going in WWE2 and have him read and read to him, just like you are in TOG. Don't focus on what he can't do, but focus on what he does do well. Talk A LOT about what he's reading (you may have to read it, too...)

 

The other ladies here have given excellent advice. My advice is this. Step back. Maybe take a few days off and take a field trip or two. Have a "teacher work day" and get your head in the right place and use that day to pray and ask God for wisdom. Really hit the carpet and don't leave until you have peace. kwim? This is your son, but he's God's son, too.

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:grouphug:

 

But, please consider that your expectation may not be appropriate for your ds right now.

 

I imagine that a huge part of that stress is feeling that he needs to "catch up". While that's a worthy ambition, it shouldn't be the complete focus of your home school. Homeschool moms take on alot of responsibility and that responsibility is to and for the ones we love most in the world. It's no wonder it's a stressful job.

 

Right now, he is who he is, and you need to accept him for that and not who you want and need him to be. Teach him where he's at not where you want him to be. His being "behind" isn't a reflection on you as a teacher, nor is it a relection on him as a person.

 

Even if he performs two years behind a "typical" or "average" 5th grader, that means he'll likely eventually complete four years of the Logic stage and two years of Rhetoric. It sounds like he might not proceed on a typical schedule or a typical fashion. That's okay.

 

Relax, prioritize, work hard, have fun, and love him for who he is right now.

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I'm debating whether even to say this, because I'm getting kind of harsh here.

 

It's false hope to tell someone not to worry about their child who is dramatically behind. YES, the child will continue to develop, but that doesn't CHANGE the fact that he has something going on that needs to be addressed. And it glosses the fact that getting the evaluations and finding the REASONS can enable her to DO something about it or change her methods with that further information.

 

For instance, a 12 yo child with ADHD, slow processing, etc. may have the executive function (a part of brain development that affects most of the things she listed) that would be equivalent to that of a neurotypical 8 or 9 yo. Absolutely the 12 yo will continue to develop. But he will always be BEHIND, and in fact the PROBLEMS due to that get worse and worse as the work and expectations become harder and more complex. And there are things you can change both with your curriculum and lifestyle and with therapy stuff to work on it.

 

I know little about CAPD, having only glanced at a book about it, but I gather there are accommodations and things you change when you know what's going on. I have NO PROBLEM accepting where your child is and working with them. Totally in favor of that. The only beef I have is when we don't get the information to know what's really going on.

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I think the issue between evaluation or not is based on varying opinions as to whether he is behind or not. It may be too difficult for anyone not near the situation to make that determination.

 

:iagree: We don't know her son and it's hard to give advice from a distance. It's also really hard to say that a student is behind academically until you have the numbers to back it up. I feel like my kids are behind All. The. Time (and they're not). Do you think there is an LD? You can go through your pediatrician and have him tested.

 

As far as boys and abstract thought...I have a son. :glare: There are a few books out there on development (Boys Adrift is one of them) that have really helped me add some things that my son needs to learn in his own way.

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I'm debating whether even to say this, because I'm getting kind of harsh here.

 

It's false hope to tell someone not to worry about their child who is dramatically behind. YES, the child will continue to develop, but that doesn't CHANGE the fact that he has something going on that needs to be addressed. And it glosses the fact that getting the evaluations and finding the REASONS can enable her to DO something about it or change her methods with that further information.

 

For instance, a 12 yo child with ADHD, slow processing, etc. may have the executive function (a part of brain development that affects most of the things she listed) that would be equivalent to that of a neurotypical 8 or 9 yo. Absolutely the 12 yo will continue to develop. But he will always be BEHIND, and in fact the PROBLEMS due to that get worse and worse as the work and expectations become harder and more complex. And there are things you can change both with your curriculum and lifestyle and with therapy stuff to work on it.

 

I know little about CAPD, having only glanced at a book about it, but I gather there are accommodations and things you change when you know what's going on. I have NO PROBLEM accepting where your child is and working with them. Totally in favor of that. The only beef I have is when we don't get the information to know what's really going on.

 

I agree. I put off evaluations for my dd for a looong time thinking it was a variation of normal or she'd catch up. She's not. This isn't just not understanding a line of MCT, but several things mentioned, including a teacher who suggested an eval for auditory issues. Go with your gut!

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Skipping a lot of pages here, what type of learner is your son? This is very important, a lot of kids struggle because they are being given the wrong materials to learn with. A see a lot of reccs here that while great for auditory learners they are disastrous for visual learners.

 

What about any other issues? Memory problems? Did he have a lot of ear infections as a toddler? Does he have white spots on his nails? Remember his dreams every morning? Issues with Anxiety? These may seem like odd questions but for us the problem turned out to be an extreme visual learner with Pyroluria and CAPD. Once I understood what was going on I could adapt and dd is now soaring and doing wonderfully but a year ago? *shudder*, life was difficult and she couldn't even remember a single sentence read to her.

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