Jump to content

Menu

S U P E R S L O W . . .


Recommended Posts

We've been back to school for a few weeks now, with a very gentle start, some good emotional progress, etc.  We took off the whole summer and I've retaught most of the math concepts forgotten, some grammar, some spelling, cursive, etc.

 

IDK if the stamina is just gone and still building up, or what, but DS is taking so long to complete anything.  HWT this am (which he usually does in 20 min for print and cursive) was closer to 40.  Math tends to drag out forever. (30 min for 8 problems or so).

 

Some of it is just distraction.  I'm letting him be somewhat more independent with math problems, so it takes twice as long for him to type or write vs me.  Ok.  Some is correcting errors.  Ok.  Some is emotional when mistakes are made and taking time to get back into a working mindset.  Ok.  The Zone of Regulation is helping emotionally get back on track at least.  A few minutes of Thinking putty vs an hour of talking and being upset.

 

At some point, I'm wondering about making up lost productivity.  I skipped all summer work this past summer.  We had about one month of math to finish from last grade and I wanted to finish AAR4 too.  The other subjects are day by day (reading, spelling, etc).  But we haven't started writing yet either and I'm starting to get concerned.  I told him I'm just going to set the timer, and what he didn't finish (which I think he could have) will be homework, either in the afternoons or weekends.  I know I still have to adjust my daily schedule too.

 

This is the first year we're starting on a normal school year schedule.  I really would like to get through the majority of a year's curriculum in a school year.  I will have to go back to some summer stuff, I think.

 

Does anyone assign homework for SLD?  Either afternoons or weekends?  Or does everyone just make it up all summer?  Or just accept every year subjects X and Y will be behind?  Especially with subjects we weren't behind in before?  I'm hesitating to push too hard but feel super anxious about being too far behind.  EEK! 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DD always has to work slowly to retain anything long term.  It is what it is.  And she cannot take off all summer for math or the herculean effort she has to put in to regain ground is just so demoralizing it slows her down further.  It may take half the school year to get back up to speed.  She also does better if she has some sort of established routine to frame her day around.  But we also need a break and I need time away from having to plan things, constantly work on remediation, etc.

 

To accommodate all that we do two things:  

 

1.  We only take off two weeks at the beginning of summer and 2-3 weeks at the end of summer.  

 

2.   During the summer we work 4 days a week, we keep academics light and short, and it is basically trying to maintain what was already acquired in math.  Some forward progress is possible but it really helps to keep things from just falling out of her head and having to start over in the fall.  For other things (Grammar for one) we just do the next thing because the lessons are so short and it helps keep us in a routine.  DD learns best with a routine that is also flexible.  She picks when to do her grammar lesson, we do it collaboratively so she corrects as we go, and it is done for the day within minutes.

 

During the "regular school year" though, sometimes we also work on Saturdays.  DD needs afternoons free to pursue her own areas of interest so I try hard to be ready to go early in the AM, we work hard through the morning and early afternoon, then give her afternoons to do her thing (art, writing, etc.).  But this means that sometimes we can't finish in a 5 day week.  Some things she really, really needs a lot of time.  If she feels heavily rushed or there is a LOT of material for her to cover, she slows down even further.  She gets stressed to the point she can't think.  Shortening the lesson and just letting it spill over into Saturday works so much better.  But it isn't an assigned thing.  She just wants it that way.  She recognizes her own issues and in brainstorming sessions to figure out how to handle it she was the one that said lets work through summers and on Saturdays.

 

Not sure any of that helped or not.  Hugs and good luck.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think this is individual.

 

I have two kids who are pertinent (I have three kids lol). 

 

With one, he can be pushed.  He can respond to higher expectations.  He can do better than what he does when left to his own devices.  Hello, motivational techniques.  Hello, building his confidence.  When he was younger -- some things were legitimately taking some time, he is doing better now that he is older.  Maturity is going a long way for him. 

 

With my other, sadly he is going to probably fall behind as he gets older.  Content gets harder and more abstract.  He takes more time in every way.  He can be encouraged, he can't be pushed. 

 

What my main difference is ------ with my older son, it is more rote memory and handwriting.  These things count for so much in younger grades and take so much work and effort for him to learn.  But he has always been stronger conceptually and with comprehension.  Now he finally has a good foundation and his strengths can come out.  This is the kind of thing I read about with dyslexia, it just takes a lot of time to get there! 

 

With my younger son, he doesn't have strengths in comprehension or concepts.  So it is all hard for him.  It all takes longer.  He is not keeping up with "grade level expectations" and it doesn't seem realistically reasonable for him to do so.  At the same time -- his attitude is better than my older son's at this point, he has a good work ethic, there aren't the emotional time-sucks that my older son had.  It is an easier process.  But his ability to stay at grade level doesn't seem to be there.  If he falls behind and we can say "hey he is doing the best he can, he is doing a realistic amount of work each day" -- then it is what it is.

 

What is hard is -- do you know which one you have?

 

And then the second thing is, do you know when you have a child who *could* be doing better if you pushed them, had high expectations, didn't take emotional outbursts personally, etc.  I think my older son's personality at a certain point just includes a certain amount of moodiness, storminess, complaining, etc, and those aren't signs of a problem for me to solve or a sign to lessen expectations.  He is going to tend that way *regardless.*  I'm not going to change that about him.  He is better in a lot of ways as he is older and I can have some expectations and some "hey that's not acceptable behavior" and some boundaries and "if you do that then this is the consequence," but I'm not going to make him an easy child who has no attitude or storminess or moodiness. 

 

I think your son comes across that way.  But at the same time, maybe abstract stuff is getting harder for him, hard to say. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You want magic pixie dust? I'm happy to send some your way. Is it possible you're kind of stressed and in bulldozer mode instead of magical pixie dust mode? 

 

All people work better when they're engaged, feeling confident, productive, etc. I think the self-regulation piece you're dealing with is HUGE. It seems like it's this unspoken thing in everything you do and mention on the boards, like he's really smart but he's really challenging to work with. My ds is challenging to work with, and he needs clear expectations, MOMENTUM, and lots of magic pixie dust.

 

I'm not talking about being fun or standing on your head or anything.  But you can drop the level to where you know it's within reach or do the same thing a different way to get the magic back. Writing is magical. Expression is magical. Kids LIKE to learn when it's going well. 

 

Is he on ADHD meds? Are you getting behavioral help? 

 

I'm just tossing out kitchen sink stuff here. For my ds, sometimes it helps to change publishers. Like if one is not clicking or you've maxed out where he can be, change publishers. There are LOTS of great publishers besides the boring, monotonous, droning list of (ill-written, amish-generated, inadequately tested on a diverse population, crap) curriculum pandered to the homeschool market. I didn't just say that. I did. Move on, kwim? Like if math has 8 problems and 30 minutes later y'all were all DEAD and horrified and hating it, what did you accomplish? Move on.

 

The regular homeschool recs were fine for my dd. For my ds, we've had to move on. I go to ANY publisher and use anything. I'll bet any math you're doing right now you could work on using Family Math or Peggy Kaye. Seriously, I'll bet you could. We're playing a Peggy Kaye game right now where we drop paperclips (or edibles, hehe) on a target and score for place value. Then we kicked it up, adding the scores (hello, 3-4 digit addition!) and subtracting to see who won. Crazy fun, edible, kinesthetic, engaging, and we could probably have done 4 rounds of that in the 30 minutes you suffered through and done just as many "math" problems as your 8, maybe more.

 

Go kick some butt with alternative things, kwim? I would never have done that with my dd. She was fine without it and probably I didn't have the confidence. People would tell me to do it, and I'm like oh, we don't need that. Maybe we didn't, and obviously she survived. She started classes today as an official, all the way college student. :D  

 

My ds needs to engage and he needs movement and pizzaz. So we go farther and farther out of the box. And it can be freaky, but that's fine. I know people who went to engineering school after years of Family Math and that kind of thing and then plowing through the levels of TT. Like it can be done in funky, alternative ways.

 

It sounds like you're making a LOT of progress with his self-regulation! That's huge! Huge. Super huge. That's really something to be proud of honestly. That's how my ds was, and with a year of ABA we got it from hours down to minutes. Minutes we can work with. The other thing to remember is kids have days and we have days. The moon comes out or we don't get enough sleep or... Some days are just harder.

 

Does he like AAR4? I haven't used it. I was just kind of surprised. I figured he was decoding beyond that.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also some feedback on math -- if he isn't used to doing them independently, that is a learning process and it is fair for it to take longer.

 

Something you might do is do some of his problems together and then he does 2-3 independent.  Then you can see what is going on and maybe help him a bit, he isn't taking up too much effort with writing/organization/planning, and he still has the independent work. 

 

I think including some independent work is really, really, really good, but you don't *have* to have all his math be independent, you have choices about how much to have him do independent, how much to help him with, how much to (say) help him do the computer part until he gets the hang of it more, etc. 

 

I kind-of know how much help my son has gotten in school for math, and this would be more the kind of help he would get, I think. 

 

It can also really depend on topics in math, how difficult the handwriting/organization/planning is..... fractions and decimals were a lot easier for my son than multiplication and division, because there was just less writing and less lining up.  And less to keep track of.  But he has tended to be strong with math concepts, so we have a lot where he understands but actually doing the work is the hard part. 

 

Edit:  But what I am getting more familiar with with my younger son, is kids who have managed to keep up somewhat through 2nd grade, and then abstract concepts/comprehension get a lot harder in 3rd/4th grade.

 

With my older son he has really struggled despite having some really, really good strengths, but it is just -- I don't know, not the same situation.  I think  you need to be realistic and think about feedback you have gotten.  B/c I have seen my older son respond to stricter teachers at school, even though he needs to feel liked too, but he can be stormy and also accomplish things. 

 

But also I do think you can look at shortening his independent work time, or breaking it up, and doing some together. 

 

My older son is identified as having a hard time getting started (this is a category of executive functioning according to what I was told at school) and so he can benefit more from some help getting started, and then finishing on his own once he has gotten going..... as opposed to leaving him to sit there and go slow (as he would also get into negative spirals at this point too which would not do anything to help him get started!).  So -- just something to consider.

 

If he seems fairly happy and productive and it is just taking him this long to write stuff down or use the computer -- I think maybe it is okay. 

 

For longer times -- some kids really do better with shorter times.  Some kids take a bit to get going and then they will do better with a long time once they have gotten going.  My older son got this way as he got older, after really needing shorter times when he was younger.   I think try to see how productive he is, if he seems frustrated, if he seems to be really daydreaming or staring into space but still thinking about what he is doing, etc.  It could be okay or could need to be changed.  Now he hates to be interrupted if he is doing math, because it makes him lose his train of thought. 

Edited by Lecka
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right now we're doing word searches from Evan Moor I think. I'll go check. Nope, Carson Dellosa. We started with the K5 book, and he's been doing two a day on the days he does them. So I'll lay out 3-6 file folders of work, and a file folder might have one word search (they're now preferred, meaning he ENJOYS them and finds them a reward) and two other worksheets. I use a lot of these workbooks for reading too. They're sneaky and in small amounts. My ds needs the explicit instruction for comprehension. You could toss AAR and get reading workbooks like that for him. They have all kinds! There are paired fiction/non-fiction, all kinds of things. They're WONDERFUL. They're WAY better than the stuff I see being marketed to homeschoolers, at least for my ds. My ds really needs explicit, small steps. He needs to have one page put in front of him, not a whole book. I never set more than one page in front of him, so he doesn't get overwhelmed. 

 

When you lower their stress, you shift those chemicals down, boom, so then they handle moments of stress better. Instead of being on edge, the stressful thing happens and they start from a more chilled place. So for us, we're always looking at how stressed my ds is and how to get that overall level down.

Edited by OhElizabeth
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Btw, you do realize it's not yet September, right? Some schools haven't even started yet, and you're telling yourself you're already desperately behind?? :)  

 

It's ok. Take a deep breath, get some mom time, go exercise... Throw a slam ball at the gym. Go look it up. They come in weights, and you can throw out your stress. I started at 4 pounds and now I do a 12 pound slam ball. When I'm stressed, I go throw weight around. :D

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other thing is -- okay, my older son has always been in public school.

 

Let's be realistic about homework.

 

Do you think that kids who are having some hard time completing their school work in the alloted time at school, then go home and complete their unfinished work at home with no problems at all, all by theirselves?

 

Ime NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Probably I am helping him with it.  Or maybe it is just -- pointless and maybe I do one of those e-mails to the teacher saying "sorry this unfinished work is just not productive, he needs more help at school," or maybe "we both know he doesn't realy need to do this written work nudge, nudge, wink, wink."  

 

So you can give all the homework you want, or leave all the unfinished school work to be completed later that you want, but ----- you just have to see if that equals "oh my son can do it independently and make quality use of his time."  I mean -- that is the dream, and my son is basically doing this now (knock on wood).  But he has needed so much handholding.  

 

So if he can be independent and work efficiently ----- okay, that is awesome.

 

If not, then you have some choice of handholding, prompting, helping, and just reducing output.  

 

Also I agree, it is early in the year and normal to be starting slow and reviewing.  I think instead of trying to catch up right now, maybe mentally think "okay we won't take off all summer next time."  Or give yourself time to catch up if it is reasonable to do a little more each day.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might have another year here where, in reality, you're still working on staying calm to learn. It's only now, this year, that I can do ANYTHING with my ds that resembles traditional homeschooling. Each day we read another book for our state study, and if it's a book about a state we make a little notebook page. That's a pretty typical thing to do, and he actually really engages with it! We did a lot of doodling with books from Timberdoodle, so it's now engaging for him. 

 

For him, predictability, materials that are the same format every time, where he just gets one page at a time, where the difficulty increases slowly, in other words stuff that homeschoolers tend to call BUSY WORK, is actually really, really good! 

Edited by OhElizabeth
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every Intervention Specialist who comes in my house wants ds doing *some* independent work. Instructional level work is not independent. Independent means he basically is there for that skill and has practiced it already and can do it on his own. So independent work is BELOW instructional level.

 

Edited by OhElizabeth
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think math tends to be crunchy, even for dyslexics who don't have the SLD in it. It might not be very realistic for him to be independent at math in an instructional level or homework type level. BJU will teach a lesson and do one side together and the other side independently as homework. That might not be reality for him, even if it's typical of some teaching approaches.

 

If you look at "homework" books by the publishers (Evan Moor, whatever), they tend to be much, much easier and once or twice a week things. 

 

He might be able to be independent in an "at elbow" sort of way. That's what SWB calls one stage and what I'm describing. So like have components to your math, and have him do your together math then give him his page of independent math. But maybe his independent math is TOTALLY DIFFERENT and carefully selected to be truly independent, kwim? Like some daily warm-ups pages a grade or two lower or something that uses multiple choice for the answers instead of lots of writing. He'd be reading the word problems, doing the math independently, with you there, and he'd get some momentum going.

Edited by OhElizabeth
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

:grouphug:

 

Maybe set up Kahn Academy for some independent math work daily, do 15 minutes a day. That could get a bit more math in in a non punitive way. Then, it will be easy to take a few weeks off next summer and the add in Kahn Academy a few times a week for the rest of the summer to prevent catch up next year.

Edited by ElizabethB
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

To accommodate all that we do two things:  

 

1.  We only take off two weeks at the beginning of summer and 2-3 weeks at the end of summer.  

 

2.   During the summer we work 4 days a week, we keep academics light and short, and it is basically trying to maintain what was already acquired in math.  Some forward progress is possible but it really helps to keep things from just falling out of her head and having to start over in the fall.  For other things (Grammar for one) we just do the next thing because the lessons are so short and it helps keep us in a routine.  DD learns best with a routine that is also flexible.  She picks when to do her grammar lesson, we do it collaboratively so she corrects as we go, and it is done for the day within minutes.

 

 

Not sure any of that helped or not.  Hugs and good luck.

 

I will not be taking summer off again.  We had something between 10-12 weeks off.  I just felt, for myself, I needed to switch things up at home and focus on organizing, my health, etc.

 

I'm trying to incorporate a few minutes daily of things we need to focus or practice on, instead of marathon sessions to work through lessons.  Usually it's for retention, but sometimes if a concept is known but the work is long, I will continue and just go back and practice.

 

You post helped me see how things may be from DS's perspective.  :)

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another thought about math I keep forgetting: the neuropsych testing (which we had recently and was "supposed" to test everything, didn't test for dyscalculia because she messed up the test.  So there may be another LD we don't know about (and other issues she didn't test either).  So I know some of the math issues have to do with not knowing facts fluently.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

What is hard is -- do you know which one you have?

 

And then the second thing is, do you know when you have a child who *could* be doing better if you pushed them, had high expectations, didn't take emotional outbursts personally, etc.  I think my older son's personality at a certain point just includes a certain amount of moodiness, storminess, complaining, etc, and those aren't signs of a problem for me to solve or a sign to lessen expectations.  He is going to tend that way *regardless.*  I'm not going to change that about him.  He is better in a lot of ways as he is older and I can have some expectations and some "hey that's not acceptable behavior" and some boundaries and "if you do that then this is the consequence," but I'm not going to make him an easy child who has no attitude or storminess or moodiness. 

 

I think your son comes across that way.  But at the same time, maybe abstract stuff is getting harder for him, hard to say. 

 

I think the concepts are still easily within reach, but he's still young so I guess we'll see.  And knowing when to push expectations and how to address that is hard.  DS LOVES a challenge, but then gets super frustrated with losing anything.  So we work on fun games just to practice that.  Or else I'd challenge him with school work.  He does best with just encouragement but I also need some independence, so I know that takes time to develop.  

 

He is pretty intense, but a little less so now that he's older!  

Edited by displace
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is there a test for dyslexia? Around here they were just looking at achievement and discrepancy.

 

Family Pastimes makes cooperative games where you all lose or maybe you partially lose. Gives you a way to experience losing more often because the games are brief. 

Edited by OhElizabeth
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We start school next week, and I know the first few weeks will feel like punishment for taking so much time off this summer. Dh believes strongly in taking breaks from school work, and I enjoy lazy mornings and afternoons at the pool just enough to give in. 

 

Getting Ds7 through a year's worth of curriculum in a year is not a consideration for us (except in math, which seems to work out that way on its own). I know we're "behind" in the general sense, but putting the extra, artificial pressure of finishing a curriculum by a certain date would drive me a little crazier than I already am.    

 

 

Another thought about math I keep forgetting: the neuropsych testing (which we had recently and was "supposed" to test everything, didn't test for dyscalculia because she messed up the test.  So there may be another LD we don't know about (and other issues she didn't test either).  So I know some of the math issues have to do with not knowing facts fluently.  

Is there a test for dyslexia? Around here they were just looking at achievement and discrepancy.

 

Family Pastimes makes cooperative games where you all lose or maybe you partially lose. Gives you a way to experience losing more often because the games are brief. 

Do you mean dyslexia or dyscalculia? My understanding is that neither can be diagnosed using a single test. Both are assessed using a battery of cognitive and academic measures, along with information gathered from the parents and teachers. There are several popular and reliable tests available for each area, so messing up the administration of one test should not mean they can't assess for an LD. Unless they ran out of time? Or the neuropsych felt they wouldn't get accurate results from a different test for some reason? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With the reading, DS jumped multiple grade levels and beyond by 5th grade. He kept up with his grade level reading in the mean time by using audio and practicing vocab with an online program called freerice.org.

 

We combined handwriting practice with spelling and I picked one font. There is no way I'd waste 20+ minutes on handwriting. Math was 30 minutes tops, and I sat there the entire time working beside him. We each used a dry erase board and calculated problems together.

 

With my younger child, she used an LOE handwriting board through 3rd grade, and we settled on cursive. She worked with an OT and PT for a couple of months. Prior to getting cursive to automaticity, I scribed for her and then used handwriting sw to make copy work sheets. With the software, I adjusted the font size to one that she was most comfortable with. The copy work sheets served as handwriting practice and were based upon what my DD spoke and I scribed. I think HWT sells a similar software for creating handwriting sheets.

 

Typing helped speed DS up, but I don't know whether relying on typing is reasonable as a 4th grader. For writing assignments, you could play with Siri or Android speech to text. My DD's writing at the moment consists of kwos, summaries of story, and sentences.

 

Try to keep your child and his learning in perspective. You are providing consistent O-G based reading instruction with him and have done so for at least 2 years now. Pace yourself and dig deep because the payoff will be surprising. My reading "Aha" moment sank in by early 5th grade.

 

Lastly, DS started typing all of his work by 6th grade. He only picks up a pencil for math. Last April, his CBT mentioned that DS will likely lose his SLD dysgraphia diagnosis. My student hasn't purposefully copied anything by hand in years, so after the CBT appointment, I sat DS down at the kitchen table and handed him a book and a sheet of paper. He copied the entire paragraph and it was legible. Apparently, my son's dysgraphia is more sequencing based than motor based. Direct, composition based remediation with DS typing and me scribing improved his ability to produce written output. It must have because DH hasn't completed purposeful handwriting practice in 5 or more years. Obviously, a DCD type diagnosis is a motor based SLD, but the accommodation is to either scribe, type, or use speech to text. I guess I'm typing this to say that handwriting practice at 20-40 min for the sake of handwriting in the 4th grade is too long. Maybe have him practice handwriting for 10 minutes with a pop tart at the end and call it good.

 

Lastly, DS was not assigned homework until high school.

Edited by Heathermomster
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am trying to figure this out myself this school year. We also took the summer off which was a little unplanned. Now we are back at it slowly at first trying to get back to a normal schedule and I am homeschooling 3 this year. I am having trouble fitting it all in and not letting my slow poke get our day completely off track and get what we need to get accomplished but I have not been successful yet. My estimates based on last year are off for this year because it is worse with lots of just not getting and staying on task and dragging things on much longer then it should. I hope things improve.

Edited by MistyMountain
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have great answers for you, OP. Slowness is a problem here, too. I always felt that we were behind when homeschooling, because we could not get through the things I hoped to.

 

About homework... I think Lecka is right that if he is slow during the school day, he is also going to be slow in the evenings. And he will still need support from you, so the homework would not be able to be any more independent than the daytime work.

 

DD12 has dyslexia and goes to a private school for dyslexic children. She has a lot of trouble with math, too, even though she has not been diagnosed with math SLD. She has trouble with math computations and with remembering the steps for completing problems, but she has good understanding of math concepts. Her school takes a very nontraditional approach to math instruction. They don't work their way through a set curriculum but instead work to master conceptual understanding of the key components. She also has a large folder of math tools (multiplication charts, laminated sheets with reminders about how to approach multi-step problems, etc.), and she is told to use her tools every time she does math. They have a 90 minute math block daily, where they explore math concepts, listen to a lesson presented by the teacher, work in small groups to solve interesting problems, and rotate through math stations. Occasionally they play a math game at the end. Sometimes they do math worksheets at their desk, but not daily (according to DD).

 

It's very nontraditional, and I would have a hard time replicating that at home (which is why she goes to school). They do not expect that this kind of intervention and instruction will result in higher standardized test scores, because it does not completely align with what public schools do in each grade. In fact, the students are exempt from state standardized testing until high school.

 

She has not had math homework assigned yet this year. Last year (5th grade), she had homework about twice a week, and it was done through a computer program, which was fun. She was supposed to work for 20 minutes, and if she completed the activity before then, she could stop. If she got to 20 minutes and was not done, she could stop.

 

The general guidelines for homework are that any subject can only have a maximum of 20 minutes per night. If they work diligently for that time, and the homework is not completed, they are still done with the homework. (They do have a sheet to fill out to turn in to the teacher to explain why it is not done. And they do have a homework assist study hall during recess time that they can sign in to any time. Or they can be assigned to go there to complete their incomplete homework. Not as a punishment, but as a way to provide teacher support.)

 

So, in theory, they could have 20 minutes of reading assigned, plus 20 minutes of math, plus 20 minutes of science, etc. So far, though, she has never had much. It may ramp up a bit as the school year goes on.

 

This level of homework is nowhere near what she was assigned in fourth grade at the first school she attended. She was overwhelmed in homework that year, and it was extremely hard for her and stressful. The homework from the disability school is totally different. It is just to practice things that she has already learned in the classroom.

 

It's a really different approach than traditional schoolwork.

 

You may find that you can use your chosen curricula as tools instead of as dictators. Meaning, pick, choose, change, edit, delete, scribe, skip, and add other things in as necessary. Don't feel compelled to work your way from beginning to end.

 

Of course, I say that, but I was terrible at it. I wanted to be that kind of teacher, but I didn't have it in me to meet all the needs of all four of my kids individually like that, so I didn't adapt things like I wanted to. So I'm giving you advice I couldn't follow!!

 

Edited by Storygirl
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

DD12 has dyslexia and goes to a private school for dyslexic children. She has a lot of trouble with math, too, even though she has not been diagnosed with math SLD. She has trouble with math computations and with remembering the steps for completing problems, but she has good understanding of math concepts. Her school takes a very nontraditional approach to math instruction. They don't work their way through a set curriculum but instead work to master conceptual understanding of the key components. She also has a large folder of math tools (multiplication charts, laminated sheets with reminders about how to approach multi-step problems, etc.), and she is told to use her tools every time she does math. They have a 90 minute math block daily, where they explore math concepts, listen to a lesson presented by the teacher, work in small groups to solve interesting problems, and rotate through math stations. Occasionally they play a math game at the end. Sometimes they do math worksheets at their desk, but not daily (according to DD).

 

Story, thank you for sharing that!!! It's a lot like what we're doing. Ds doesn't do 90 minutes a day, mercy, but we do maybe 30-40, broken over a target of 3 sessions. I usually have a couple topics we're working on for the week (this week it was time and money) and we work on them a bunch of ways, with all our tools present. So really, that's kind of cool that we're on-track with what is recommended best practice for this population! 

 

Ds right now, well I don't know how he'll test. We have the state testing soon. I don't care, in a way, because he's sort of all over the board. What I care about is that our understanding is very REAL. Like he really, really gets why the math works, how to visualize it, how to apply it to new situations. 

 

So it can be done, but it would be really challenging with a lot of kids and things going on. I have one kid. Just one kid that I'm teaching at home. With that one kid I sweat, gripe, plan, lay out, sweat, endeavor, and keep over. Times a lot more like you had, all at different levels, it would be really hard, really hard.

 

It would be cool if ds could go there someday if he were zen enough. I don't know. For now, I plod.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

...The general guidelines for homework are that any subject can only have a maximum of 20 minutes per night. If they work diligently for that time, and the homework is not completed, they are still done with the homework. (They do have a sheet to fill out to turn in to the teacher to explain why it is not done. And they do have a homework assist study hall during recess time that they can sign in to any time. Or they can be assigned to go there to complete their incomplete homework. Not as a punishment, but as a way to provide teacher support.)

 

So, in theory, they could have 20 minutes of reading assigned, plus 20 minutes of math, plus 20 minutes of science, etc. So far, though, she has never had much. It may ramp up a bit as the school year goes on.

 

This level of homework is nowhere near what she was assigned in fourth grade at the first school she attended. She was overwhelmed in homework that year, and it was extremely hard for her and stressful. The homework from the disability school is totally different. It is just to practice things that she has already learned in the classroom.

 

It's a really different approach than traditional schoolwork.

 

You may find that you can use your chosen curricula as tools instead of as dictators. Meaning, pick, choose, change, edit, delete, scribe, skip, and add other things in as necessary. Don't feel compelled to work your way from beginning to end.

 

Of course, I say that, but I was terrible at it. I wanted to be that kind of teacher, but I didn't have it in me to meet all the needs of all four of my kids individually like that, so I didn't adapt things like I wanted to. So I'm giving you advice I couldn't follow!!

 

Think about the brilliance of what they've done here. They've taken someone who was stressed, whose stress was SHUTTING DOWN LEARNING, and they've totally changed the dynamic. You can't learn you're stressed. It messes up the hormones of learning. 

 

So I guess as a mom maybe it feels worrisome, like you know she's happy but is it as much as she could be doing, etc. On the other hand, with that stress level DOWN, she's probably learning MORE than she ever was before!!

 

That's the thing with us. I want a few minutes with him where he's really calm and totally engaged. If I get that, I can move mountains. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the main reasons I pulled DS from school mid-year 5th grade was homework and lack of accommodation. The homework killed us. Between keeping up with school and Wilson reading 3 times per week, my boy was wilting. I pulled DS mid year and reduced work. We stopped school at 2 or 3 pm...Don't recall exactly, but son's scores jumped 3-5 grades and maxed with reading comp and vocab.

 

Compromised working memory limits these kids. My boy needed short lessons and frequent breaks. He was spent by the end of the day, so no homework when we started homeschooling.

Edited by Heathermomster
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I can't even describe how stressed DD was over homework that fourth grade year. Screaming, crying fits.

 

It's so much better now. :001_smile: I feel confident that she is learning and growing in the classroom. After 90 minutes of math and 90 minutes of language arts intervention per day, I don't think she needs much extra at home.

 

I don't worry about standardized test scores, either. My two kids with SLD have produced some abysmally low scores when they have been tested. It's interesting for me to see them, because the scores give me information, but I'm not concerned. Okay, I should say that I wish they were higher, of course, but I know they did their best and that testing will always be hard for them and highlight their weaknesses more than their strengths, so I accept it.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I can't even describe how stressed DD was over homework that fourth grade year. Screaming, crying fits.

 

It's so much better now. :001_smile: I feel confident that she is learning and growing in the classroom. After 90 minutes of math and 90 minutes of language arts intervention per day, I don't think she needs much extra at home.

 

I don't worry about standardized test scores, either. My two kids with SLD have produced some abysmally low scores when they have been tested. It's interesting for me to see them, because the scores give me information, but I'm not concerned. Okay, I should say that I wish they were higher, of course, but I know they did their best and that testing will always be hard for them and highlight their weaknesses more than their strengths, so I accept it.

The scores helped me as I could guage if what we were doing was effective. They also helped me to tell local haters to back off. It felt weird only spending 20 min on math, quitting spelling, and giving up handwriting practice. Those days were lonely.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...