Jump to content

Menu

WWYD Should I pass my DS to 4th or repeat 3rd


Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

I am having a problem. My DS8 is showing signs of not being ready for the workload of 4th grade. He is not even able to to the complete 3rd-grade workload. Here are some details.

 

Math: Saxon Int. 3 he is completing on 85-93% basis. I would definitely pass him onto Saxon 5/4 next year.

Grammar: He completes all work and seems to understand, so I feel confident passing him forward.

Vocabulary: His vocabulary based on the San Diego test is close to a 7th-grade level.

Spelling: He can learn words just by glancing at them.

Reading: He can read at 800-1000+ Lexile and answer multiple choice problems with near 100% accuracy; written answers he wants to complete orally. The short answer (1-3 words) he can answer with almost 100% accuracy. Written paragraph or 2-3 sentences he will not write at all. I can not get him to read novels, so I am using ReadWorks on higher Lexile scores for a challenge. Yes, I have tried many ways to get him to read, he does not enjoy it and thinks it is stupid. Currently, I am reading to him, so he has exposure.

Writing: We go over and over paragraphs, we practice brainstorming, summaries, opinions, etc but he will not complete a paragraph on his own. He will not complete sentences or paragraphs without a lot of prompting.

History: He will complete map work but NO writing, we complete work orally.

Science: He will fill in short answer, completes hands on labs, but NO notetaking or summaries

 

So, here is my problem. How can we go forward if he will not write? Should I hold him in 3rd grade with the sole purpose of improving his reading and written communication? He is 8, so holding him back one year would not be an age problem. Or, am I looking at a maturity problem that will work out and I should pass him forward and work on the written communication.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

So, here is my problem. How can we go forward if he will not write? Should I hold him in 3rd grade with the sole purpose of improving his reading and written communication? He is 8, so holding him back one year would not be an age problem. Or, am I looking at a maturity problem that will work out and I should pass him forward and work on the written communication.

 

I wouldn't hold a child back a whole grade just because of this. I would continue to work on writing skills, perhaps focus on fine motor skills more if he is objecting to the physical act of writing.

As for reading, not every individual enjoys it. If he can read at level and understand, I don't think there is a problem.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have absolutely no personal experience with this, but I can say with a high degree of certainty that I would not hold him back.  

 

Obviously he needs to work more on writing...is it the physical act that he objects to (does he know how to type) or getting ideas down on paper?  But, I'm not even sure what holding him back would look like since he is clearly ready to move on in all other subjects.  I see no purpose in offering less changeling reading, history, science, etc just because he can't yet write his output in those subjects.

 

I highly recommend Susan Wise Bauer's audio lectures on writing:  A Plan for Teaching Writing: Focus on the Elementary Grades (I have also listened to the middle grade and high school lectures to give me a big picture view of the process).  She talks a lot about initially separating the two writing skills (composing the sentences and getting them down on paper), and then gradually helping kids learn to complete both skills at once.  One example she gave was having a child orally narrate into a tape recorder and then afterwards take dictation (of their own words) from the tape recorder.  It sounds like that type of scaffolding might benefit your son since he can answer the questions orally, but has issues getting them onto paper.

 

Wendy

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on what you've said, I would not hold him back (but, I don't know him). It sounds like you've got pretty high standards, so he's falling below your standards but is still within the range of normal for 8yo/3rd grade boys.

 

I'd try to figure out what his problems with writing are.

 

ETA: just noticed that your signature says he's got dysgraphia. I still wouldn't have him repeat 3rd grade.

Edited by luuknam
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

This is the beauty of homeschooling: You don't have to call him a "grade" at all.  Let him work where he is at in each subject, independent of the others.  If a grade level must be assigned for state law reasons, give him the age appropriate label and work where he is at anyway.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and I'm unaware of a San Diego vocabulary test. I know of a SD reading test:

 

http://facstaff.bloomu.edu/dwalker/Documents/San%20Diego%20Quick%20Assessment.pdf

 

A kid with a good understanding of phonics (or awesome sight word memory) can score well above grade level on that test, without necessary understanding the words. Broccoli scored at a 5th grade level on that a month after turning 5. He couldn't (and still can't) read longer passages on a 5th grade level with understanding (he can read them understanding only half of it), nor do I believe he had the vocabulary of a 5th grader.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would find out what the problem is with writing - does it hurt his hand? How is his letter formation? Does he hold the pencil properly, does he prefer writing lists of words rather than sentences? Could you get him to draw or write a proper letter to someone who would reply - getting letters is still fun and meaningful. Would he wrote invitations to a party so he can see a result of his effort? Would he wrote questions for you to write responses to? Writing is about communicating so many bright children need to get a response in some way. Work up the amount he writes even if just by one word a day. But definitely continue with grade 4 or above work in the other subjects.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I had two kids with very similar writing issues.

 

For one, I continued to scribe until junior high in some subjects. In others, she started typing in fifth or sixth grade. Imagine my surprise when she took an assessment for a private school at the end of eighth grade and placed into honors writing and literature. She gets straight A's in high school and I don't think she would have done as well as your DS did in testing in third. There is hope for kids who don't write in early elementary years!

 

My next one has reached the point where she enjoys writing stories, but not much else. I'm not worried too much about her because I can tell she has solid langauge skills.

 

Scribe to get him to reach the goals you have for him while taking away the stress of writing.

 

You could try occupational therapy to try to understand the problems more and try to figure out what might help. I think I waited to the summer after third grade to do that with my youngest.

Edited by Tiramisu
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Said very gently, I think you need relax a bit! Enjoy your boy: celebrate his many successes and scaffold him into improving his weak area. Writing is a complex and difficult task for many, but I can assure you it will be easier to improve if you remain gentle, positive, and encouraging rather than judgmental and fault-finding.

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

"Passing" in early elementary school is a concept that only has relevance when a school is reporting to you how well they're doing at educating your child for you.  Since you're educating your OWN child, it's wildly irrelevant.

 

For content, study whatever you want to study.  For skills, proceed to improve the skills from where they are.  It doesn't matter one whit what you call the level you study, you just...do what you're doing.  I would *absolutely not* have him repeat content he's already covered, unless you're doing it at a more advanced level.  For skills, you repeat as necessary until there's improvement--or, alternately, you'd completely change up how you're approaching something.

 

Now, writing:  I think you may be expecting public-school type writing.  It may work better for you to switch to a different style of progressing with writing.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

From my reading of the OP apparently writing is the only hang up, which is very normal for a boy of that age. I would definitely not hold him back for that.

 

Fwiw, my oldest was in 5th grade before he could reliably write a paragraph. He was placed a couple grades "behind" in a book that had him rewriting fables. His first fables were barely three sentences. Somewhere, something just clicked, and he found he loved tweaking the stories. And his fables grew in length and complexity. And grew. He grew into a teen that loved writing so much we seriously give him paper in various forms (leather journals, fancy binders with filler paper, notepads, etc) for holiday gifts.

 

My current 8yo has never been asked to write a summary, take notes, or come up with a paragraph on her own. I don't consider those good tools for her at this stage. She's working on the parts and pieces needed to craft good sentences and good paragraphs. I don't see the point in asking her to build something if she hasn't mastered all the tools required for the job. She primarily only did copywork for all of K-2 for her Official Composition instruction. This year she is working through Treasured Conversations, which starts with nouns and verbs and gently works up to paragraphs. It's for grades 3-5.

 

Also, I do not require her to write about what she reads. She reads and we discuss it. If she can hold a conversation with me about the book I can tell if she's understanding it. I just keep asking questions until she seems like she's through. "Why was the doll so important to Kaya? Would you have made that choice? Why was the boy so angry?" She enjoys reading and reads for fun when school is done too. This is MUCH more important to me than her ability to write about it. The writing will come in time.

Edited by SilverMoon
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with the others, don't hold an 8 year old back for what you posted.  There are a lot of kids who don't write well at that age, either with the physical act or with getting ideas down.  There are kids in Middle School that still struggle with this skill.  That is a skill that can be taught over time while he gains ability in content knowledge.  Scribe for him so he can focus on his thoughts.  Maybe use a writing program that is more systematic like IEW SWI-A (but still scribe).  Get him learning how to type (it may take a year or much more for him to be able to type well enough to produce papers so get him started by this next year, use a program to track his progress, keep lessons short but do them consistently every weekday).  Do handwriting practice separately, also keeping it short.  Build stamina over time.  

 

In other words, work hard within your own approach to this to recognize that the ability to write should not hold a child back if they are functioning well otherwise.  Kids gain abilities organically, in fits and starts and at different paces for different skill sets.  Work to scaffold and target his weak area but don't let it keep him back in other areas.

 

As for his reluctance to read, how well does he read when he reads out loud?  Does he skip words?  Especially small words?  Guess based on the first few letters for longer words?  How is his fluency?  Phonics understanding?  

 

If he has any trouble with out loud reading he may not like reading because it is taking too much brain power to decode.  Personally, I would continue reading to him and let him listen to audio books while you work on reading skills separately.  That way he is still being exposed to more advanced vocabulary/concepts/grammar/ideas while he works on the skill of reading separately.  

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for all the support and help. I really enjoy homeschooling my DS8, he is such a joy. I scramble to keep up with him. The writing issue has me perplexed. We have been doing OT for dysgraphia and cramping hands, it gets better for a while then it feels like it reverses. His writing is probably between 1st and 2nd grade but his abilities are above 3rd grade.

 

To answer about science, I use middle school books for pictures, graphs and basic info bc that is his level, he finds elementary science too easy. For notes, I mean jot 3 main ideas from the reading once a week. We use hands-on projects, models, and experiments for science as the main learning tools. We alternate history and science.

 

I think I will stick to my gut and pass him on, but keep working on his writing. I think is maybe a maturity/dysgraphic type problem. This boy delights me at every turn as we homeschool. There is never a day when I do not feel amazed at his accomplishments. I became really worried when I started looking at 4th-grade expectations and writing examples. I did the basic panic over am I doing too much or not enough.

 

Thanks for the guidance!

Link to post
Share on other sites

The dysgraphia is not a physical diagnosis but a learning disability. It extends to organization and structure and difficulty getting his thoughts out. It will show up even when you scribe for him. You'll want to come to LC and ask about curricula and how people approach dysgraphia (SLD Writing). OT alone is not going to solve it, because it's not a physical problem. His physical problems are co-morbid.

 

My ds is the same age, 8, and also has a high vocabulary along with dysgraphia. With him we focus on pleasant, contextualized writing, and we scribe for him. This week he wrote a letter to King Clucken, his chicken mummy. We used to do a lot of lists. If you have time, writing prompts can be good. But, again, scribe. We've dabbled in some IEW fairy tales with just basic retellings, and those can be good. This week I pulled out Marjorie Frank's book "If you're Trying to Teach Kids How to Write..."  thinking he's probably ready for it.

 

Does he type? Can he use dictation software? Most tech devices now can do dictation, so if you have an old iphone, kindle fire, ipad, laptop, anything, you should be able to hook him up with dictation abilities and get him going that way. 

 

I try to play games that involve a lot of language and story-building. You can do Rory story cubes, sequencing games, Dixit, whatever you want. We've done retellings with clothespin puppets. Even just your simple narrations where you remember what your previous day's read aloud was about and summarize are really helpful. Talking about your day can be helpful. 

Edited by OhElizabeth
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the others. No way should a child with that skill profile be held back! This student is extremely successful.

 

Consistent ability to take notes on three main points is really a middle school skill. Writing is a very complex skill that is rarely mastered to any significant degree in elementary school.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

With your last posts it sounds like he is 2e, meaning twice exceptional. He has some amazing strengths along with the dysgraphia (and possibly dyslexia since you say he resists reading). Absolutely please do not hold him back in his areas of strength while you help him in his areas of weakness. Seriously. Read up more on dysgraphia and look into stealth dyslexia. And continue forward as far as he can go with scaffolding for weak areas. If he can handle the content of middle school science, give him middle school science. Just keep output expectations realistic and scribe for him.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

 

I am having a problem. My DS8 is showing signs of not being ready for the workload of 4th grade. He is not even able to to the complete 3rd-grade workload. Here are some details.

 

Math: Saxon Int. 3 he is completing on 85-93% basis. I would definitely pass him onto Saxon 5/4 next year.

Grammar: He completes all work and seems to understand, so I feel confident passing him forward.

Vocabulary: His vocabulary based on the San Diego test is close to a 7th-grade level.

Spelling: He can learn words just by glancing at them.

Reading: He can read at 800-1000+ Lexile and answer multiple choice problems with near 100% accuracy; written answers he wants to complete orally. The short answer (1-3 words) he can answer with almost 100% accuracy. Written paragraph or 2-3 sentences he will not write at all. I can not get him to read novels, so I am using ReadWorks on higher Lexile scores for a challenge. Yes, I have tried many ways to get him to read, he does not enjoy it and thinks it is stupid. Currently, I am reading to him, so he has exposure.

Writing: We go over and over paragraphs, we practice brainstorming, summaries, opinions, etc but he will not complete a paragraph on his own. He will not complete sentences or paragraphs without a lot of prompting.

History: He will complete map work but NO writing, we complete work orally.

Science: He will fill in short answer, completes hands on labs, but NO notetaking or summaries

 

So, here is my problem. How can we go forward if he will not write? Should I hold him in 3rd grade with the sole purpose of improving his reading and written communication? He is 8, so holding him back one year would not be an age problem. Or, am I looking at a maturity problem that will work out and I should pass him forward and work on the written communication.

 

I don't believe in homeschooled children's repeating grades. In your son's case, you're mostly concerned about his writing, and I would certainly not hold him back because of that.

 

FTR, and I know I'm saying this on a forum where much more is expected for young children, I don't think taking notes, or even writing summaries, is appropriate for an 8yo.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would pass him on. Both my boys were writing resistant at that age. My first did not start writing much until fifth grade and now, at 16, has an A in AP English Lang.

 

Put him in IEW SWI-B, let him answer questions orally and I think you will be surprised where he is in a year. Also, get him typing.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If your child is diagnosed with dysgraphia, you accommodate the handwriting by scribing, typing, and/or using speech to text sw. If you have not done so already, get him evaluated by a competent OT that looks at motor planning, vestibular, handedness, pincer/core strength, visual perception, and developmental motor.

 

For the composing aspect, I suggest you join the Dyslexic Advantage website. The payside of the blog contains an outstanding webinar by Dr. Charles Haynes that addresses the subskills of writing. Absolutely do not hold your intelligent boy back over dysgraphia. Honestly, I cringe at the suggestion.

 

Dysgraphia affects processing and organization of thought. These students require prompting way beyond what seems appropriate until they internalize the writing process. When my DS was 3rd grade, he was completing handson type reading projects. He eventually worked with an O-G certified IEW tutor. Look at mindmapping sw such as Inspiration or Kidspiration sw. These products work great on the iPad. Good luck!

Edited by Heathermomster
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

My boys resisted writing at this age big time. Big time. Now my 9th grader is called talented by his charter school teachers. I have been told kids who can write like THIS are given scholarships. Read to him. Have him listen to audio books. Have him read. Maybe try WWE level 2 or IEW but either way give as much help as needed. Do oral narration with him. Write as he dictates and help with better word choices. He is SO young. Enjoy!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...