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Janeway

One course at a time

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Son really wants one course at a time. I might be more open to 2 courses at a time. But, we did have a period of time with just math last year because he spent so much time refusing to do math that we just did math only for the remainder of the school year for two months. I am 100% sure he has a learning disability in math. He avoids it like crazy. 

 

He wants me to let him do all his subjects one course at a time now. And then he would finish the year doing math. 

 

Any opinions? He is 12 yrs old. Anyone try this?

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No way for math and foreign language, where you need continuity.

 

Science and history? No problem, that works fine. But I would insist on daily math and fl - most especially for a struggling student. Doing math for a few weeks each year and then nothing would not even work for a strong student; for a weak student this would spell disaster.

 

Have you had him evaluated for a math LD?

Edited by regentrude
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No way for math and foreign language, where you need continuity.

 

Science and history? No problem, that works fine. But I would insist on daily math and fl - most especially for a struggling student. Doing math for a few weeks each year and then nothing would not even work for a strong student; for a weak student this would spell disaster.

 

Have you had him evaluated for a math LD?

I had asked the public school to do it when he was there. They refused. They used calculators and ipads for everything so they were not really teaching math. Once at home, I started putting him on waiting lists for evaluations, but it was been one road block after another. He is on yet another wait list now. 

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Does he have trouble transitioning from one subject to the next? Does he have focus issues?

 

If he is really struggling in math you might read David Sousa's How the Brain Learns Mathematics.  Also look up Brian Butterworth and Ronit Bird and see if anything they have to say might help.  Unfortunately there are a lot of assessors who are not trained in how to evaluate for math LDs specifically.  Even with an evaluation it might not give you better answers for how to help him right now.  What it might do is giving him extra time on the SAT or additional assistance/accomodations in college.

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How many subjects do you have him take?  And how long would it take him to finish one subject?  How many hours would he be working on that subject?  I don't see how that is even possible logistically and as Regentrude said, some subjects need continuity and review. 

 

You could do more of a block schedule.  So write out all the assignments for each subject for the week and if he wants, he can do more than one assignment on a day, and no assignments for that subject on another day as long as it gets done by the end of the week. 

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I would go for that in everything except math (and foreign language if you are doing one), provided there is writing practice/instruction embedded in the various subjects (history analysis, science lab reports, etc.)

 

That sounds like a lot of fun, actually! 

 

But I suspect that since he is wanting to put math last, he really just wants to avoid math, which is a separate issue.

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When my older son used American School Correspondance School, he took 2 courses at a time. I tried to make sure one was a skill and the other content.

 

Back around Y2K, my younger used the CLE cover school for awhile and one of their options was for the student to take 2 main course workbooks at a time, and then switch to the other two subjects for a workbook each.

 

Two courses at a time works well if the test is the entire or almost the entire grade, and especially if the student is cramming. Of course many people despise cramming and curricula that encourage it, but...really, it can be the right choice for some families.

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We had block scheduling in high school where we did a year's worth of work in one semester but I agree with the others that doesn't work with things you need to be fluent in such as math, music, foreign language, and English (though you can get in English spelling and writing in the content subjects). Oh, and I don't think we actually did a year's worth of work even if we got credit for it. :(

 

I like the idea of alternating some subjects though because I enjoy digging into things and hate juggling little bits of time. What would he say if you told him he had to do math first? ;) I would tell him at least two classes and math first. When he finishes the math for the year he must do reviews or quizzes maybe once a week or every other week so as not to forget it. Or he can do English and Math all year long and pick a content subject to finish in a big chunk.

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For high school courses in the alternative schools here, they go through 1 subject at a time. This works well for the ages and stages of their students (16 - 20 years). 

 

For a 12 year old I wouldn't do this. There are a few subjects that need continuous attention, such as math, language, music and motion. 

 

You could adapt your program to do "maintenance" work on math and language, while going in-depth on a different subject. 

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I think you should restate your question with the pertinent information in one:

I think my child has a learning disability in math, so should I only have him do math for a small part of the year?

 

 

 

It really doesn't make sense, does it?

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Is this kid also on or close to the spectrum? I wonder if the real issue is about transitions and transitioning between subjects.

I would not study one subject at a time, especially not math. I would be checking all of the framework around executive functioning skills:

1. Does he allocate his time well in a day?
2. Can he organize his study materials?

3. Does he study?

4. Can he switch mental gears and move between math, etc.?

 

The math disability issue is a separate ball of wax.

 

With my 9th grader this year, he has a checklist of work.  It is all due on Friday.  He still struggles with time management during the week, and often will leave one subject (least preferred) to finish last in the week rather than working a bit each day on everything.

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For DS1 he does math daily, plus one other subject per day. This works well for him. Starting next year it will be full time American School. He will always have a math course going, and one other course to work through.

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 Anyone try this?

 

We did this last school year from June to December.  It was great!  We did math, foreign languages and "the subject".  My kids were 9th grade and 8th grade.  The problem is...and the reason we are not doing this again...we kept taking SO many rabbit trails that I was scared we weren't going to finish everything.  It was actually a very enjoyable way to do school (for us).  If mine weren't high school age, I might continue...but I was worried about what the heck would that look like on transcripts?!  And would we actually finish enough courses to have the right amount of credits to graduate?!  Anyway, that was our experience.  Ultimately, I chickened out and we went with a more traditional schedule in January.    

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