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Anything working well so far? Bumping for latest updates...


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I would love to hear if anyone is having some successes right now.  Although this year has been challenging, and is not going as I had planned, mostly DD is doing really well. (DS is another story but that's for another thread, I think.   :) ). 

 

1. Basic College Mathematics is a really good fit so far, with minor tweaking.  We are going slowly and still roll in CLE for review but she is happy with it and learning.

2. Fix-It Grammar is also still a hit here.

3. Critical Thinking Company Mind Benders are the first thing she grabs when she gets up.  She says they help her warm up her brain.

4. Science we are struggling to get to but when we do, with a little tweaking on the order of the chapters, so far the AGS General Science textbook is pairing beautifully and unexpectedly with Trail Guides to World Geography.  It is helping reinforce the material from both ends.

5. Unfortunately, we have had to take a brief hiatus from Barton for a couple of weeks, but it was working well after she spent time with the specialized tutor over the summer.  The humps she kept running into have smoothed out quite a bit.  We will return to it on Tuesday of next week.

6.  Biggest success has been AGS World Literature.  DD is able to read the text independently and understand it.  She told me today that it is the first textbook that ever made sense to her.  She loves the way it is organized, the amount of white space, the shorter pages, the color but no overwhelming amounts of graphics and side bars, and the fact that she can decode the words and read the text with fluency.  Vocabulary words are carefully excerpted on the bottom of the pages for her to review when she is uncertain of the meaning within the context of the passage.  We review together as well, but she loves having independence with reading the passages.

7. Touch Type Read and Spell has been an excellent choice.  She is no longer struggling with typing, her accuracy is usually 98%, and the lessons pair with Barton quite well.

8.  CNN Student News is still keeping her engaged with the bigger world in a way that is not boring or overwhelming to her.

9.  Electives are somewhat haphazard right now but we are working to set up a better schedule.

10. Extra curriculars are drama and 4-H at the moment.  She enjoys both.

 

 

Bumped this thread to get updates...

We are still using the AGS World Lit text.  Still working well for the most part.  I had to tweak questions a bit to make them more interesting.  DD is back with CLE full time for math.   It is just a better fit for her.  Barton is going well.  Pretty much everything is the same as above except for using CLE as our primary math for DD.  Well, and we are using Plato Science, kind of playing around with it.  DD likes Plato.  Haven't used it yet with DS.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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Our year is going pretty well, but we must be a bit busy with all our therapy appts and stuff.  I went to the chiro today (because I was so sore I could hardly stand it) and when I told him I was still struggling with the thing that had been hurting me a few weeks earlier, he looks at me...  I had last been in 2 months ago!  That was a FAST two months!   :lol: 

 

On the plus side, ds can now stay at a table with me (bolting less), can walk through a store with minimal disruption, and can color a small amount like a math worksheet with intention, not scrawling.  So all the therapies, the independent work, the visual schedules, etc. are really working!

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For us, ASD Reading has been the big breakthrough. That and a bribe with "when you finish level 1, you get a Minecraft book." But he's reading, and he's discovering that he can read other things. He's taking great delight in "Hey mom! Watch this!" and then reading something to me.

Spunky Math mixed with Ray's has worked very very well.

 

Plain ol' Pentime is working for his handwriting. He doesn't mind doing it at all. I'm hoping to shift into copywork, though maybe I'll just stay with this since he likes it. Idk yet.

And oddly enough, pulling books from AO's Year 1 has helped a lot getting him interested in something other than bugs. 50 Famous Stories Retold has him wanting to really dig into history, for example. Working on narration is actually helping him somehow slow down in his speech, so that is improving as well.

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No huge breakthroughs here, but we're getting through with fewer struggles than last year. Our (homegrown) math is probably our biggest success, she really is making progress for the first time in awhile. We're also having a lot of fun with writing...I'm using a Bravewriter-esque method, of having her come up with story ideas and then partner-writing, where I'll scribe one of her sentences and she writes the next. My primary purpose is to help her work on handwriting (since she won't do copywork, and hates practicing.) It's really raised her enthusiasm for writing (she wants to be an author when she grows up, like her mama), and it's so much fun for both of us. (Yesterday's story was about a "bone tree" who was friends with a daisy. The daisy was being attacked by a cobra so the tree dropped bones on its head, and the cobra thought the clouds were falling and slithered away into a hole. :lol: ) These are also going to be awesome to read again in a few years.

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For my dd(10) reading is happening. It is very exciting. When she reads out loud there are still many mistakes, but she is reading silently for fun and her comprehension is excellent.  Aside from the jump in reading, her general attitude about school is surprisingly good. I think she is understanding that all of her hard work pays off. She also made a real friend this year, since she has always been anxious and socially awkward this is possibly the best news of all. 

 

As for ds (7) the only thing that seems to be working is copious amounts of margaritas. For me. Not him. Today I wondered if I should just quit doing school with him for a while and start up when he is more mature. I know that is probably a really bad idea, but I am at a loss at how to help him move forward. Something drastic is going to have to happen. A switch to martinis perhaps?

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HWOT Can-Do Printing has worked remarkably well for older DD. She just finished the handwriting review section, and her handwriting is soooo much better now.... when she wants it to be. ;)

 

Another winner is.... DICE and CARDS. LOTS of dice and card games as part of our math foundations / basic number sense work. I'm borrowing liberally from our Right Start games book and free Ronit Bird videos on YouTube. I'm starting to see a little progress. We still have a ways to go, but I'm optimistic. :)

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I'm back.  :D 

 

Y'all are going to think I get a kickback from Jann in Texas, but I swear I do NOT! :laugh:  Her online Geometry class is working well for ds15, not paying off in terrific grades but because of her investment in his success and willingness to provide extra help and support.  I don't think that most online classes would work for him.  She is aware of his ASD - I outed him last year when I thought it would benefit her to have the information in working with him.  He actually seems to (grudgingly) kind of like her, and he doesn't ever like anyone.  lol

 

He is in my English class in co-op, and he is doing okay.  His writing needs some work, but so does other students' writing.  

 

Biology at co-op seems to be going fine.

 

Landry Academy Spanish is okay for him, but his lack of attention to detail shows in his self-grading of homework.  I have considered letting the teacher know of his ASD/APD/EF issues so she does not just think he does not care. He is always doing his best.  I don't want special treatment for him, but as a teacher, I would want to know if a student struggles in some way.  I have not let her know thus far.  His younger brother is in the same class and does a better job of understanding the homework, etc.  Ds15 has become dependent on his brother for interpretation of assignments and help with homework (not doing it, just explaining it).  I have told them both that I will never put them in the same online class again.  Ds15 needs to learn to fly.  I have instructed him to pay attention for himself and not to depend on his brother having the answers later.

 

He has essentially pushed History to the summer (as has his brother).  It was not getting done, and basketball season has started so they are very busy.  Ds15 works extremely slowly so four core classes and a heavy extracurricular is what he can manage.  I'm fine with that.  He will likely not take Spanish next year.  Ds12 wants to take Spanish 2 next year if the same teacher offers it.  

 

Time management and disorganization are his two biggest overall issues.  We talk a lot about this, and he is learning from experience that taking your first geometry test at 9 pm after co-op and bball practice does not yield the best results!  Some of these are just life lessons.  He is pretty open to my suggestions and feedback right now.  I am walking a pretty good line between helping and letting him sink or swim, I think.  He is self-motivated to do his best, so that does help.

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Oh, I can't believe I forgot this one:  Whispersync (immersion reading) on our Kindle Fire.

 

I'm not exaggerating when I say that it has been life changing for older DD.

 

I'm normally pretty cheap frugal and don't buy a lot of new books, but I buy her whatever kindle/audible combos she asks for.  Seeing her get really into a good book is PRICELESS.

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This year is going pretty well. 

 

S is fine, but he is academically easy. In other excitement, he joined the big kid orchestra, and with much prompting actually talked to a kid. Turns out the kid in question is a total chatterbox, so the whole thing was very satisfying and encouraging for S. Next week, maybe we'll get another "hi" out of him. 

 

R +S grammar is working well for T. Her writing is smoother and more accurate. All the DB and A+P continue to help her spelling, and she is reading very, very well now. She loves Beast Academy, though I continue to have my doubts. 

 

D continues to do well with DB. His reading keeps getting more confident. MM remains a struggle, but we are almost done, and he's excited to start BA. He is very strong in math, so hopefully it will be a good fit and not too frustrating, and hopefully T can stay ahead of him. We're waiting on the reports of his Evals, so I'm in the "man, that ADOS went badly" blues phase. We'll just have to see what they say. I'm grateful for the week's delay. It gives me time to get prepared (and if necessary cry without D in the room).

 

M, after all my anxiety, is completely school ready. She is flying through her work, and making it all look easy! A very pleasant surprise, but I suspect more to do with the child than the materials. 

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This year has been going excellent for all my kids actually. I do need to step up my reading instruction game for the almost-5 year old but he is soooo dyslexic-ish that it's almost scary to me to start. I'm tutoring DD13 plus 3 other kids (all dyslexic, all with ADHD diagnoses) with Barton right now, I just don't know if I have it in me to make my wayward son also sit and do these lessons. Ugh. Anyway. 

 

Anyway, on to the good parts :)

 

Barton 4 is going awesome with DD13. Barton 3 was rather boring but now we're both enjoying Level 4 a lot more and she feels like she's seeing progress in her daily reading. She's even using the spelling in her other schoolwork and she's writing complete sentences sometimes, which is new. I'm amazed at the progress she's made. She read the word "exact" accurately on the first try the other day, which is amazing from a girl who couldn't read the word "act" a year ago! 

 

Math U See is going well, slow but steady. I do feel like she could still use a bit of help making the leap from concrete to abstract so I ordered some Montessori Stamp Game manipulative and I'll update in a few months whether they helped or not :) But overall she likes MUS and I think it's helped her to really sit with a concept for a year, kwim? She also almost knows all her multiplication tables, which is nothing short of a miracle!

 

I switched science and we're using Harcourt Science Grade 2 with her and it's going much better. She can almost read the textbook independently and more importantly she can understand the concepts and complete the worksheets without me holding her hand through the whole thing. Considering her academic knowledge (science & history) was at a K.0 level as of two years ago I figure Grade 2 is decent progress actually.

 

History/US Geography is going well too. We're using Catholic Heritage Curricula's 4th grade text but not doing the workbook, instead as I read aloud the two kids fill out this free state notebook printable notebook on each state, including writing down historical facts. 

 

For Handwriting we've been using Rhythm of Handwriting and all the kids love it, even Ana who was not understanding cursive when I tried last year and Tobias who has hated to write pretty much forever. Anyway, so big win! I like how it introduces the letters with particular strokes and provides practice in linking them within words too. 

 

For Literature we're using Confessions of a Homeschooler's lap books. I downloaded 8 of them and we're reading each Classic Starts book aloud together over lunch and the kids fill out their lap book as we go. It's a challenge for Ana but is doable and I can see her growing and most important she's enjoying most of the books and laughing along with the funny parts and asking questions about parts she's wondering about.

 

Religion with Faith and Life 2 (Catholic) has gone very well too. I really think Ana's basic academic understanding is at a 2nd grade/8 year old level right now because of a big lack of background knowledge and language delays so sticking with 2nd grade for the content areas is working well. I figure next year I'll just bump her up to 3rd grade in Religion, History, Science, and Literature. 

 

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Well my son's mix of dx's and puberty is turning out to be our biggest challenge yet I think.

 

I am loving Grammar Made Easy. It's a sentence combining approach to grammar. That's the sort of grammar that research I did showed actually improves writing. It just feels both practical and important when we're doing it. I'm using Fix It too, primarily to cover the mechanics aspect of editing writing.  It's been too easy for him so far, so the verdict is still out. 

 

CLE math, which we began last spring, has fit him better than any math we've used. I didn't expect that! The variety of types of problems makes it more tolerable for him. I really love that program. Singapore FAN Math for word problems works well for him too, though I've been using that for a long time. We do just 1 or 2 problems a day.

 

I've connected videos with each history lesson. This is something he looks forward to, so improves the feel of school for us.

 

We finished Apples and Pears (love!) last week! The dictation was the most challenging, and probably best, part for him. So I need to find an easy to implement way to work dictation into his school going forward.

 

The verdict is still out on everything else, but I don't have anything that's a major clunker.

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CLE Math is working really well for both my 13 year old and 10 year old.

 

Bartons still works for my 10 year old DS and he is starting to read the Learning Ally books with the recording on his own.  He is now taking a minecraft book to bed with him.

 

A local place that has hands on learning for simple machines is wonderful.  

 

Checklists that I make for independent work have been requested..they are getting more independent and want to get tasks done.  I know this shouldn't be my favorite... but it kind of is.

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Coming back to report on my son later, but I will say that I switched out Singapore math for CLE with little dd and we are so much better for it. OneStep singing the praises of it is what brought it to mind. Little dd is a non mathy person like her mother. She loves CLE.

 

I think your little dd is the same level as my littlest dd. And I think she must have been in Singapore 4. It's supposed to be a bear. I don't want to tell you how long it's been since I checked her math...but it's been a week. At the last checking, there were definitely some retention problems from last year that needed working on. CLE is on standby for me, too.

 

FYI, my 15 yo dd took geometry last year in private high school. Now she's back to algebra for algebra 2, and it's scary how much she's forgotten. I had to sit there last night and watch her work through remembering the algorithm for muliplication that she learned seven years ago and did everyday with CLE for years. CLE was so perfect for her because she genuinely needed constant review, and I miss that we don't have that option for her anymore.

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My biggest concern going into this year was dd9's writing, and she has not complained about writing at all this year. She just graduated from vision therapy and I think that helped immensely.

 

HWOT cursive has been great. Today she asked to write her Dictation Day By Day passage in cursive.

 

She loves CLE reading.

 

Spending a lot of time thinking about her needs and what curriculum would work has paid off. She is very independent, but her work is getting done without fighting. She's still sloppy but is making progress compared to last year. And she is writing complete words, not just abbreviations to keep from having to write.

 

For my eighth grader, CLE math has been a great help in filling in gaps and providing constant review. Science and history and lit are getting done slowly since I made a loop schedule, but they are getting done. She seems to like Lingua Mater but she's not very attentive to detail and misses certain parts or works ahead in her own way, not realizing the curriculum breaks things down into steps over a couple of days. Her writing is half-hearted but I'm pretty confident in her writing when she puts her heart into it.

 

I think the Easy Grammar method is finally making sense for her. I started out the year copying pages from the teacher's book. When I realized the loose papers were making life more difficult, I bought a student workbook and decided to start over at the beginning. I think going through the beginning again was a good move.

 

For both girls, I'm really liking Modern Speller/Dictation Day by Day. I think the content of the passages are so nice and I'm pleased with the spelling words and grammar that my eighth grader is getting through it. She is going half pace, copy one day and dictation the next. I think that's as good as anything. She'll cover less but get more out of it, I think.

 

The bad news is dd is getting headaches everyday. She has a history of headaches. Her eyes have been checked. I think it might be allergies, so I'm going to try to give her allergy meds everyday and see if it helps at all.

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Apples and Pears is working well for my 8 y/o. I'm not sure why or how it works, but he can magically decide whether to use l or ll, c, k, or ck, etc. I made letter tiles for him, one color for single letters, another for digraphs, so it's a bit more multisensory than usual. We are also using sandpaper word cards for difficult-to-remember patterns. 

 

Rod and Staff math. He has math issues--either dyscalculia or nvld-related math problems, but he recently scored at grade level in a math computation assessment. :) 

 

 

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I think your little dd is the same level as my littlest dd. And I think she must have been in Singapore 4. It's supposed to be a bear. I don't want to tell you how long it's been since I checked her math...but it's been a week. At the last checking, there were definitely some retention problems from last year that needed working on. CLE is on standby for me, too.

 

FYI, my 15 yo dd took geometry last year in private high school. Now she's back to algebra for algebra 2, and it's scary how much she's forgotten. I had to sit there last night and watch her work through remembering the algorithm for muliplication that she learned seven years ago and did everyday with CLE for years. CLE was so perfect for her because she genuinely needed constant review, and I miss that we don't have that option for her anymore.

Yes, little dd was in Singapore 4 and struggling.  She has still not memorized all of her multiplication facts, and we have done everything imaginable.  What I found with SM is that little dd missed the conceptual leaps that my boys made with the program.  She is thriving with CLE and actually enjoys the speed drills.  The repetition is working for her.  I put her back a level into CLE 3, and this was a good choice.  It will help cement the multiplication facts and give her confidence.  CLE is very comprehensive in the topics covered, which I like.  It is perfect for the non-Singapore lover/Saxon hater.  (I'm the Saxon hater, by the way.)  

 

I also switched her from Spelling Workout to Rod and Staff Spelling, and it is so much more thorough.  She hated SWO and had done it since kindy so was ready for a change.

 

We are loving the Mennonite curriculum here!

 

Little dd does not have any LD's, but she has struggled with math in a way that the boys did not and that I did as a kid.  I am so glad we switched to CLE math.

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Every subject is working and getting done.  The only thing that I love is Lial's Introductory Algebra.  The Kindle with Whispersync is new to us and a huge hit.  My DD loves all her subjects, violin, and a robotics class.  I feared that DD might have some SLDs like her bro, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

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He has essentially pushed History to the summer (as has his brother).  It was not getting done, and basketball season has started so they are very busy.  Ds15 works extremely slowly so four core classes and a heavy extracurricular is what he can manage.  I'm fine with that.  He will likely not take Spanish next year.  Ds12 wants to take Spanish 2 next year if the same teacher offers it.  

 

 

I am really pondering this portion of your response. I definitely think my child would benefit from pushing history to the summer. Mine is also a very slow worker and it feels like everything takes so much time. It just feels like too many balls in the air. Mine does not have a heavy extra curricular, but does have a regular volunteer commitment on the weekend.

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I am really pondering this portion of your response. I definitely think my child would benefit from pushing history to the summer. Mine is also a very slow worker and it feels like everything takes so much time. It just feels like too many balls in the air. Mine does not have a heavy extra curricular, but does have a regular volunteer commitment on the weekend.

It was not the plan, but what we found is that ds has a finite amount of time and energy in the day to devote to academics which is lower than most people's because he works slowly.  He has required extra tutorials in math since algebra and will again this year in geometry.  He is not a gifted student.  All of the progress he makes is hard-won due to a strong work ethic.  I thought that a six credit freshman year would be doable, but he will do a five credit year and add the history credit in the summer.  (One credit is for basketball.) Fortunately, we have the flexibility to do this.  

 

Basketball practice and travel there and back takes 12-15 hours a week so it is like a part-time job.  He is exhausted after practice (which is four days a week) so he gets done what needs to be done prior to practice.  He does have free time during the day because academics fatigue him.  He cannot work from the time he wakes up until the time he leaves for practice or he would suffer in the emotional deregulation department.  I think pushing history to the summer is a good plan for him.  I would rather him divide his time and energy among four academic subjects rather than five.  Also, because of outsourcing, these four classes have hard deadlines.  This is a good learning experience for him.

 

This year, being his first year of high school, has been a big experiment, and I think we have found something that works well enough.  He and I have a better relationship when his classes are outsourced.  

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Gifted Homeschooler's Forum classes are working brilliantly for both boys. It seems like they just "get" 2E over there are providing some incredible content without expecting a lot of output in writing. Both boys are learning a ton in their classes and progressing/pushing themselves in skills because they are so interested in the content.

 

Derek Owens Prealgebra is working very well for older ds because it is self-paced and straightforward. I read a comment from Kai the other day that she felt too many parents held their students at the arithmetic stage for too long, I felt like that spoke to me and I put ds into DO. Jann's BCM class did not work for us for a variety of reasons (mainly maturity, EF skills, and pacing). The math was doable but managing the class was not. When I pulled him out I planned to do another year review of arithmetic, but after Kai's comments I went ahead with DO and I'm glad I did. Ds says he likes the content, the pacing/slow processing speed is less of an issue because of the asynchronous self-pacing, and the math has absolutely been the right level (if not easy) for him. He is working on skills I would not have thought possible with his issues (note-taking, time management, lots of writing) because it is broken up into smaller chunks. I'm very pleased.

 

AAS is a solid, steady working series for us that is basically on autopilot but still proving valuable. Junior Analytical Grammar Mechanics is working very well for older ds too. I really need to accept that he is very much a "just the facts" kind of person when it comes to skills. He just wants to be taught didactically and then be creative with his own interests & passions. He really doesn't like the discovery approach and I should probably honor that.

 

Not a whole lot is working well for younger ds other than his GHF mythology class, but a big part of that is just that he doesn't enjoy working on basic skills much at all. That might be another post too. :)

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Working well right now are the classes at co-op (city planning and acting).  Also going well are  history and literature (both unschooled in approach and heavily audible based--literature is books and history has been Great Courses lately), and ice skating.  A ukulele group starts tomorrow, and we'll see if that is goes well or not.  Writing workshop is less well liked than co-op, but pretty good.

 

Not working well right now are math, science, study skills and writing, or, more particularly, motivation to do them is not working--about which I'll probably start a thread.

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Ugh. The only things going well for dd12 this year are dance classes at a studio & art on her own or during artist studies with me.

We changed up a bunch of academic stuff based on new testing results & a few things I had high hopes for are not panning out to be the life savers I hoped for (should've known better, been down this road before, sigh). She does like the read alouds we're doing, at least.

The toddlers are getting into everything & making life crazy plus high school & homeschool group stuff & FTC for the oldest are keeping us all busy.

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Coop!

 

Something I did not expect to work well is IEW through coop for my younger two. This is our second year and I'm surprised a how much they've gotten the hang of it and what they can produce. I have to scribe for ds2 but he gets the concept and has become fairly creative with his writing. I'm pleased! :D

 

Older ds (ASD)  is taking hs geography class at coop and gave an awesome oral presentation a couple of weeks ago. Never expected that either!

 

 

And CLE math of coarse. I'm constantly surprised at how well the concepts are taught.

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We started the exercises from "Stopping ADHD" about three months ago. At that point, DS could only do 7 unresisted rocks and could crawl only one length, also unresisted. This week, he reached 30 resisted rocks in one session and can do 6 cycles of unresisted crawling with flat fingers and his head up all the way! We are adding resistance to crawling this week, so we will have finally arrived at the "starting point" as identified in the book. 😋 He's so excited to be stronger! I've noticed a sharp decline in his hands-all-over-everyone-all-the-time behavior just in the last week. This may be a coincidence, but....

 

Spalding is working too. He's finally reached relative automaticity in letter formation and can now spell about thirty words. This is huge! (No dyslexia here, we're pretty sure, but significant spelling, auditory phonemic awareness and writing delays).

 

He has his evaluation in a few weeks. I'm nervous because I'm illogically terrified that I'll find out he has no issues and I'm just a bad mom/teacher. I know that's not true, but I'm still terrified.

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DS 11--pretty good year overall. Singapore's Dimesnions Math, CC edition, 7A is beautiful. We love it. It makes me very happy. He loves Uncle Sam and You from Notgrass. 

 

DS 7--American History book, which we are reading as an extra (SOTW is a family read aloud). It's called The Complete Book of United States History for grades 3-5. A friend suggested it (loaned it as well), and he LOVES it. He'd read from it all day. It's colorful. I have the world history version for older students that I picked up from a yard sale but haven't yet used. I am hoping it goes over well too later on. He also like Aesop's Fables from Royal Fireworks Press for language arts.

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We started the exercises from "Stopping ADHD" about three months ago. At that point, DS could only do 7 unresisted rocks and could crawl only one length, also unresisted. This week, he reached 30 resisted rocks in one session and can do 6 cycles of unresisted crawling with flat fingers and his head up all the way! We are adding resistance to crawling this week, so we will have finally arrived at the "starting point" as identified in the book. 😋 He's so excited to be stronger! I've noticed a sharp decline in his hands-all-over-everyone-all-the-time behavior just in the last week. This may be a coincidence, but....

 

 

 

What is this? Because my son, among other things, is the hands all over everything all the time sort. He's constant energy and fidget and chatter. We are trying stimulants, but have been bumped up to top dose starting tomorrow. It helps, but not enough. Nothing behavioral/therapy wise has been effective.

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What is this? Because my son, among other things, is the hands all over everything all the time sort. He's constant energy and fidget and chatter. We are trying stimulants, but have been bumped up to top dose starting tomorrow. It helps, but not enough. Nothing behavioral/therapy wise has been effective.

Hugs.  I liked your post to show sympathy for your situation and hope for the future.  Best wishes.

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What is this? Because my son, among other things, is the hands all over everything all the time sort. He's constant energy and fidget and chatter. We are trying stimulants, but have been bumped up to top dose starting tomorrow. It helps, but not enough. Nothing behavioral/therapy wise has been effective.

 

OT hasn't helped with hands all over? 

 

I'm sorry. That's frustrating.

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OT hasn't helped with hands all over? 

 

I'm sorry. That's frustrating.

 

He clearly does have a lot of sensory stuff (all sensory seeking) going on, but OT never seemed to help. He's older now though, and it's been a long time. I've checked out some books from my state disability library to try to put together a sensory diet. If that doesn't help, we're going to have to try OT again. I wish it all wasn't so expensive!

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What is this? Because my son, among other things, is the hands all over everything all the time sort. He's constant energy and fidget and chatter. We are trying stimulants, but have been bumped up to top dose starting tomorrow. It helps, but not enough. Nothing behavioral/therapy wise has been effective.

It's "Stopping ADHD" by O'Dell and Cook. Someone on this board mentioned that they were using it a while ago (OhElizabeth perhaps). The writers' goal is to help parents and therapists to mature the STNR reflex, a very commonly retained reflex. They argue that maturing this reflex addresses many symptoms. My son has many retained reflexes including the one this book addresses.

 

Like I said, it might be a coincidence, but I've been coaching/punishing/reminding about keeping hands off of people and things since he was two years old with no change (actually, increases in the behavior over the years), so I doubt it. And even if it is a coincidence, his arms are already so much stronger that we would keep doing the exercises just for that. He hates that his friends can all push him around, so stronger arms was his goal.

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Oh, I also wanted to mention that Homeschool Planet has been a HUGE success for DD and I.  Since her pacing on subjects can be erratic (some days things click, some days they don't), it has really helped to be able to see how things break down for the rest of the year if we get behind or ahead on anything.  For instance, she got a bit behind in history and was worried that she wouldn't be done by the end of May (we usually go through mid-June then take a 3 week break but she really wants to be done by end of May).  We hopped on HP and she was able to see that she can still finish in time but she now has no cushion.  She has decided to work an extra two days during our planned week long Thanksgiving break to make sure she has some cushion built back in.  She might do the same at Christmas.  I told her it was up to her and I would support either decision. 

 

And DD really loves having a color-coded list of what needs to be done for the day and the week just laying on the table ready to go.  She can grab her materials from our roll-around cart and get started on whatever she is able to do independently even if I am busy elsewhere.  This is especially helpful since she usually wants to get started by 6:30am or at the very latest by 8am.  Sometimes she is done with 3-4 things before I have even had time for breakfast.   :)

 

If for some reason we can't finish something, it is easy to just bump it to the next day and print out a new list for that day.  The list also includes places we need to go, like drama or 4-H or whatever.  She feels so much better and is far more motivated if she knows what is happening and feels like she has a lot of control of her pacing for the day.

 

ETA:  This does not mean that every day is roses and my teen is this super happy, always compliant teen (I wouldn't want her to be, anyway, since that is not her personality and I value her opinions and willingness to stand up for herself :) ).  It just means that she is a lot more motivated now that she is more in control of her day.  I still need to tomato stake for some things and sometimes I still get teen attitude but things are soooooo much smoother than they used to be.  :)

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OneStepAhead, I am really interested in hearing about your color-coded list. Is that part of Homeschool Planet? What does it code too? (I'm picture colored stickers on book spines or boxes of materials, but that's because i have a little that might need something like that.)

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OneStepAhead, I am really interested in hearing about your color-coded list. Is that part of Homeschool Planet? What does it code too? (I'm picture colored stickers on book spines or boxes of materials, but that's because i have a little that might need something like that.)

O.k. I will try to answer this in a way that makes sense but I don't have a lot of brain cells to work with today.   :)

 

Homeschool Planet provides the color coding.  It has you set up each person with their own profile but there are already general categories for subjects (such as Math, Language Arts, etc.).  Each category has a color but you can go in and change the colors and there are several to choose from in many shades.  You set up each general category with the color you prefer and that color remains the one for all subjects under that category.

 

Let me give an example:  I set up Language Arts as a darker green.  Barton, World Literature, Fix-It Grammar, etc. fall under Language Arts so they are outlined in a green box on the calendar and any checklists.  Individual subjects have their own box but the color outline of the box will reflect the general subject.  Assignments under those individual subjects are inside those boxes under the subheading.  

 

Therefore, if DD had Barton and World Literature on the same day, on her calendar there would be two darker green boxes (the outline, not the inside).  One would say Barton and have Barton assignments listed inside the box underneath the class heading.  The other would say World Literature and have the assignments for that subcategory listed inside it.  If she also had Fix-It, that would have its own darker green box and assignments listed inside.  Order of the boxes depends on how you set up the categories and which subjects she is covering for the day.

 

All general subjects have a color.  Science has a color, Math has another color, Geography another color, etc.  You can also set them to no color, just a black box outline for each subject or no box outline.  Also, extracurriculars and outside activities can be entered in the system and color coded, as well as dental appointments, birthday parties, etc..  All of these can be assigned a specific time that they occur or they can just be listed as sort of do the next thing.

 

I started by creating profiles for the kids and I, then the general subjects, extra-curriculars and electives, putting in my preferred titles and assigning the color I wanted for each.  Then I entered specific subjects under the general subjects.  Then I went through and added assignments.  If it is something that has a repeating pattern you can enter the information with just a few clicks and it will fill in for the entire year (easy to alter later, as well).  There are other short cuts, too, that can make the process very simple.  

 

Each week I check for the next's week's assignments to make sure DD/DS have the information they need then I print out their daily list.  The list is in color but it doesn't use up much color ink since the subjects just have a thin outline box.  Each "class" will be outlined in the general subject color and all assignments for that class for that day will be listed within that box along with a check box to check off when they are finished.  

 

DD can look at the list at a glance and immediately see how many subjects she is covering that day, which subject categories they are, which specific subjects they are, and how many assignments per subject, as well as what extracurriculars and electives she has.  If she has a dental appointment I can have that in there, too.  

 

I have a really rugged Library cart that I keep the materials we will need for the week.  DD has the top shelf and

DS has the second shelf.  Bottom shelf is for my stuff.  I keep everything in a specific order in magazine holders that fairly closely tie to the order they normally do their subjects.  The cart holds nearly everything we will need for the week, so we all know where to go to get what we need, including dictionaries, writing utensils, paper, etc..  

 

Anything DD or DS can do on their own they grab from the shelf, finish, check off their list, then leave for me to check.  Anything they need me for we have scheduled for specific times so that I am available for each of them when they need me.  The time is listed on their checklist. We all regularly refer to our lists to make sure we are staying on track.  At the end of the day they turn in their checklist and we see if there was anything missed or that we need to review or correct for the next day.  If someone couldn't get to a subject or we ran into some snags and decided to tackle things the next day for whatever reason, I can just quickly bump that particular assignment down to the next day with a click and it will print out on the next day's list without messing up anything else.

 

DD has requested she get a list for the week so she can have the opportunity to get ahead in some areas when possible.  She prefers Fridays to be a light day.  I can print it out as a long list broken up by per day per page or I can print out a landscape version on one page with columns for each day.  The color coding remains the same.

 

The color coding could easily be carried further and tie to the physical materials like with a workbox scenario.  DD and DS don't really need that so I haven't gone that far.

 

That was probably way more info than you needed. Sorry.   :)

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He clearly does have a lot of sensory stuff (all sensory seeking) going on, but OT never seemed to help. He's older now though, and it's been a long time. I've checked out some books from my state disability library to try to put together a sensory diet. If that doesn't help, we're going to have to try OT again. I wish it all wasn't so expensive!

SB, I don't think the exercises in Stopping would help this, because they're for a specific retained primitive reflex (the STNR) not sensory seeking.  They're good if you have an retained STNR, but you may or may not have that going on.  When he had OT, did he ever get Therapeutic Listening?  We're doing it now, and it's wicked powerful.  Of all the things you could do for sensory (to chill sensory seeking), it is the stinking strongest thing I can imagine.  I mean you're going in with this music targeted on the vestibular system and you're applying it right into his brain.  It's wicked potent.  I'm doing it myself and my dd and ds are doing it.  Dd can barely tolerate 5 minutes.  Ds eats it up.  I get a headache if I do an excessive amount.  Otherwise, with just sane amounts (30-40 min, which is more than recommended but which I seem to tolerate easily), I wake up really well.  I'm losing weight, getting more done, feeling better.  It's sort of vestibular crack.   :D

 

I'm not saying sensory seeking is what's causing your ds' to have hands all over everything.  I've seen that in a kid, and I'm not a practitioner to know.  I'm just saying if you think it's sensory, that would be a way to get in some serious sensory.  Like if you've done the little piddling things, kick it up a notch.  There are several types of listening programs.  The one we're doing is Therapeutic Listening, and it seems to have the best reputation when you read old threads on the board.

 

Another way to approach this.  I think Kuypers said yellow zone is where that stimming occurs.  I don't know, I was sort of walking out the door when she said that, oops.  It just sorta caught me.  So then if you look for techniques used for yellow zone (Zones of Reg), that would be another way to approach it.

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ShapeMath for dyscalculic ds.  I love it.  It's been a complete turnaround for us working together on math.  The minute I saw how it worked, I could tell it was a perfect fit for him.  It works for a visual-spatial learner.  It works a bit like a set of tangrams but there is a specialized set of shapes that fit together to make a 10 shape (and a pattern for 10 shapes together making the pattern of 100...and another shape for 60 to use  when calculating time).  When adding numbers together, instead of trying to figure out what they add up to, you physically or mentally put the two shapes together and see the resulting shape which you then recognize as the shape of...(whatever the sum is).  My ds got it right away with only a few glitchy moments in the beginning as he realized you can't plunk the shapes in any way you want...there are certain ways they fit together.  But once he got that part, we've been moving at (almost) blazing speed.  We went through addition, subtraction, carrying, borrowing, and last week for the first time I showed him multiplication.  Within an hour he was able to answer the 10's, 9's, 8's and 5's, manipulating the images of the shapes in his head....so he was doing mental math to answer all these multiplication problems because he could "see" the shapes in his mind.  I have been absolutely elated.  It's also been fun for me.  It's just plain fun to use.  It also makes it really easy to see how division works.  With my ds' memory problems I have no idea if he'll ever be able to memorize the multiplication tables so my goal is to teach him how to visualize the answer as quickly as possible, not to memorize the answer.  I have never seen anyone on this board mention it before and I wanted to spend some substantial time with it before singing its praises but I am wow'ed.  My husband thinks it's genius and I agree.  Their website has a 14 day free trial and if you buy it, it's only $50 for a one-year access to the videos and web app  (you can use the web app to manipulate all the shapes/pieces...it turns out for my ds it was easier to print the shapes and have him use physical manipulatives but the web app seems to be well thought out.)  

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ShapeMath for dyscalculic ds.  I love it.  It's been a complete turnaround for us working together on math.  The minute I saw how it worked, I could tell it was a perfect fit for him.  It works for a visual-spatial learner.  It works a bit like a set of tangrams but there is a specialized set of shapes that fit together to make a 10 shape (and a pattern for 10 shapes together making the pattern of 100...and another shape for 60 to use  when calculating time).  When adding numbers together, instead of trying to figure out what they add up to, you physically or mentally put the two shapes together and see the resulting shape which you then recognize as the shape of...(whatever the sum is).  My ds got it right away with only a few glitchy moments in the beginning as he realized you can't plunk the shapes in any way you want...there are certain ways they fit together.  But once he got that part, we've been moving at (almost) blazing speed.  We went through addition, subtraction, carrying, borrowing, and last week for the first time I showed him multiplication.  Within an hour he was able to answer the 10's, 9's, 8's and 5's, manipulating the images of the shapes in his head....so he was doing mental math to answer all these multiplication problems because he could "see" the shapes in his mind.  I have been absolutely elated.  It's also been fun for me.  It's just plain fun to use.  It also makes it really easy to see how division works.  With my ds' memory problems I have no idea if he'll ever be able to memorize the multiplication tables so my goal is to teach him how to visualize the answer as quickly as possible, not to memorize the answer.  I have never seen anyone on this board mention it before and I wanted to spend some substantial time with it before singing its praises but I am wow'ed.  My husband thinks it's genius and I agree.  Their website has a 14 day free trial and if you buy it, it's only $50 for a one-year access to the videos and web app  (you can use the web app to manipulate all the shapes/pieces...it turns out for my ds it was easier to print the shapes and have him use physical manipulatives but the web app seems to be well thought out.)  

Signing up for the 14 day free trial as I type this, just to see what it is like.  Thanks for the tip.  :)

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Another thing that really, really is helping here is if I spend time over the weekend reviewing what we are doing for the next week, confirming I have everything in place, etc. by Saturday afternoon.  That gives me Saturday evening and Sunday evening to do anything else that I might have missed but it also means if everything is done I can relax and spend time with the family.  Every day, before breakfast, I then check my list (yeah, I print out my own color-coded list, too) to refresh my memory.  When I don't prep ahead of time (EF issues so I sometimes forget or get distracted), then things have the potential to get off track, even if it is just a do the next thing situation.

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I'm going to add one more thing (wow - this year is going quite well, I keep thinking of things that are going right):  Key to Measurements.  It's not arithmetic  but it is necessary and useful.  So, as we work on her glitches/foundational issues in arithmetic, this allows her to keep moving forward in another important area of math without feeling overwhelmed.  So far it's gentle, easy, and she can do it about 80% independently.

 

 

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I'm going to add one more thing (wow - this year is going quite well, I keep thinking of things that are going right):  Key to Measurements.  It's not arithmetic  but it is necessary and useful.  So, as we work on her glitches/foundational issues in arithmetic, this allows her to keep moving forward in another important area of math without feeling overwhelmed.  So far it's gentle, easy, and she can do it about 80% independently.

Ronit Bird puts a lot of stock in the usefulness of *measurement* for developing number sense.  I don't think you're crazy to work on it at all! I've been trying to weave it into our math sessions, even for just a little bit.  I don't have him doing any workbook math yet, but the Keys to books would probably be great for that.  Great idea!

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Another thing that really, really is helping here is if I spend time over the weekend reviewing what we are doing for the next week, confirming I have everything in place, etc. by Saturday afternoon.  That gives me Saturday evening and Sunday evening to do anything else that I might have missed but it also means if everything is done I can relax and spend time with the family.  Every day, before breakfast, I then check my list (yeah, I print out my own color-coded list, too) to refresh my memory.  When I don't prep ahead of time (EF issues so I sometimes forget or get distracted), then things have the potential to get off track, even if it is just a do the next thing situation.

 

Rabbit trail.... How do you color code your schedule and your kids' schedules?  I am obsessively visual (color-focused) and I think this might be helpful for us.  

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Rabbit trail.... How do you color code your schedule and your kids' schedules?  I am obsessively visual (color-focused) and I think this might be helpful for us.  

She mentioned she's using Homeschool Planet.  I assume it's a website where you enter your stuff and print schedules.  

 

I'm using the visual schedules from Christine Reeve on TPT, and she has color-framed sets so that each student can have their own assigned color.  Ds picked brown, because it's like camo.  She could have done camo, hehe, which would have made his day.  Anyways, I haven't tried, but I would think you could make color-framed text boxes to write everything into or frame your schedules in the color or whatever (if you're wanting alternatives to HP).  Reeve's stuff includes word cards (rectangles) also color-framed, so I figure we're good to go for a while.  I used to print dd's schedule with colors, so that would be another way to do it if you make your own.  

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Rabbit trail.... How do you color code your schedule and your kids' schedules? I am obsessively visual (color-focused) and I think this might be helpful for us.

Yep, as OhE said, I use Homeschool Planet through Homeschool Buyer's Coop. Color coding is built in to the system. I customize as needed. I refer to it in a bit more detail upthread, maybe #34 and #36.

 

I am a notorious list maker and long term planner. Homeschool Planet helps me do that without having to constantly rewrite things, as well as helps me color code things, do short term planning, adjust plans on the fly and keep the whole family on the same page.

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I emailed Michael Cornell, the ShapeMath creator, after I signed up for the program....I was asking if he sold physical manipulatives.  He said he discontinued doing that because it wasn't cost effective but he was willing to share a pdf file of the shapes so I could print my own.  I printed mine on inkjet magnetic sheets which are reasonably good because they have some heft (paper ones just didn't work...too flimsy) but the magnets eventually curl up at the edges but it still works fine.  

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Really struggling this year - not sure why.  We have been consistent with working through the Mathtacular 4 word problems mystery and working through harder type fraction problems and that has been good.  Spelling U See is going great.  Science is okay.  Writing is a struggle some days and some days it is great.  But history - man, the bane of my existence.  I don't want it to be this way but truly can not figure out what way to go and hence I'm going no where fast.  My youngest, RB/VSL learner needs/enjoys the hands-on craft stuff but can't seem to find something that would fit the bill that isn't inclusive of every other subject.  Sheesh!!!

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