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Scheduling of Specials? Please don't be harsh


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I am possibly going to need some surgery soon. I am looking over our workday, in case I need to set down my homeschool schedule in a very concrete way for the sake of my husband and any possible helpers.  I usually lay out a rough plan in my planner- but that covers what I want to teach not "when" it gets taught.  We have really struggled to find a flow that works for us, but we are finally kind of getting in our groove and getting all I want to do accomplished. We are sometimes having long days to get this accomplished.

 

But just now,  looking back at what we have been doing and I am suddenly realized all the "fun- artsy" stuff has kind of fallen off the map. Partly because we have a lot of therapy stuff we have to incorporate into the day  ( speech and language work, social skills, self-regulation, etc.)  But also all the fun stuff seemed to stop being fun.  He complained that math games were too hard.   We stopped doing art because he was getting all caught up in his work looking perfect and kept crumpling up his papers and really losing it.  He got frustrated with music ( playing recorder) again because he wasn't learning his songs fast enough to make the progress he wanted.  For some reason, he seems to be drifting away during cooking ( which used to be a favourite.)  I am determined to get gym back into our schedule ( which seemed to fall off once winter hit here) 

 

But it is partially often my fault, we often skip it because it is a choice between art and one of our hard-core subjects-- I pick our hard-core stuff.  Otherwise our day is super-long.  Can I schedule the other stuff after supper?   Except then it feels like we homeschool forever and we are never done.  Especially because they are topics he is not enjoying that much.  His preference is simply to play lego and video games  - which he is definitely getting too much of at the end of the day.  But I don't want to feel like the entire day is me making him do stuff.  At some point, we both need to be "off the clock".

 

 

So far we are doing:

Literature- read and narration - maybe 30 minutes

Poetry- read and discuss- 10-15 minutes

History - read spine and timeline, map or summarize - 20- 30  minutes?

Bible- read and discuss- 15 minutes

Social skills and/ or self regulation work-- 15-20  minutes

Grammar and Speech work-- 20 minutes

Writing- 20- 25 minutes

Math- 30-45 minutes

Math games- 15-20 minutes 

Science - 30 minutes

Barton-- 30 - 45 minutes

Various therapy ass. - 20 minute

 

i want gym back in-- will probably take at least 45 -60 minutes if we drive either to arena to ice skate or pool to swim.  He is not too interested in just going for a nature walk which would be my preference, but may not be too doable if I have to have the surgery.  

 

I was trying to do rod and staff grammar but have dropped it to make room for the speech stuff assigned which has become very grammary.  

I used to alternate grammar and writing but then it felt like writing wasn't getting covered enough and it is a real weakness of his.  I was alternating science and history but it felt like we weren't getting enough done, plus both those are the fun stuff that we both enjoy.  

 

at least once a week we have an hour of counselling

We also usually have an hour of speech

sometimes we have medical appointments or caseworker appointments that can easily take 1-2 hours ( easily once every 3 weeks- can be more often- some weeks might even have 2 on top of everything else)  

 

We share the car with my husband, so i may lose 30 minutes back and forth at lunch, then again at 3;00 where husband switches work locations, then again at supper time at 5:00 to get my husband there and back. 

 

 

He has ADHD, and has been recently diagnosed MID, and we are waiting to find out if he will be approved for assessment for ASD. 

Can you give me any ideas on how you handle this situation? Please be kind.  I really want to do this right.  I live in a province with no real restrictions/ requirements, but he is in foster-care ( long-term-- since he was about 18 months), so I have to be a little more mindful of how things look.  I am definitely not unschooly, nor is that a realistic option considering his temperment and our situation.    

 

But I feel like all the fun is getting lost and school has become a grind.  I don't mind some grind,  but I would like there to be more fun in the day.  Not sure how to do that-- it may be that I am more of an art-loving kind of mom and he is more of a techy kid so what I think is fun is not his idea of fun?? I have gotten him a kids coding book for Christmas, so I am hoping he may like that and it could become some of our fun.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

foster son - 11 years old

various curriculum

 

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You are doing a ton of language arts. I wonder if a loop schedule for those items might be better? Or drop what isn't absolutely necessary NOW while you work through intensive stuff like a Barton.

 

I have an 11 year old with ASD and Dysgraphia. I have to keep things short and sweet with him. He's been doing a writing workbook, but if his grammar includes writing one day, I skip the writing workbook. In January, we're going to start a literature based history program that incorporates various narration ideas. I plan to use that as our writing to streamline things a bit and make writing a little bit less of a chore.

 

When we were doing speech therapy, I cut out grammar completely for a while. That's certainly a subject that doesn't need to be done every day or every week.

 

Maybe you could prioritize subjects. High priority would be your therapies and things like Barton. Medium priority could be your basic core subjects like math, history, science, literature. Low priority could be things like poetry (or put poetry into the literature slot and do a day or two or three of poetry between each literature book you read) and grammar. You can play around with the priorities based on your own thoughts. You don't have to use my suggestions. ;) But anyway, have high priority on the schedule every day. Then have medium priority in a slot that has a loop schedule. Maybe each of those subjects get done 4 days per week his the loop. Then the low priority could have a slot for one subject per day, and you loop through those. If poetry or art get done once a week, that's fine.

 

Are some of the therapies going to end this year or next? If so, you could save some things for when those therapies are done.

 

Just some ideas. :)

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You have a lot on your shoulders! Don't be too hard on yourself.

 

One idea as I read. Do you utilize the time you have in the car? Math facts, listen to variety of music and point out things, listen to audio books, memory work. You might even get a tray for the car for some art.

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I think this is a problem a lot of us have even without all the difficulties of medical and case worker appointments. It's always the fun stuff that gets pushed out when things get busy.  Here are some things I've done to try and build fun back in:

 

1) Field trips centered around history or science. Even if these aren't as educational as working through books, they are memorable and fun. 

 

2) Prioritize PE. I put exercise on a par with math and writing in terms of importance. Now that my DS is 11 he likes to do more mature exercises like pushups, jump roping, walking lunges, etc. I think everything goes more smoothly when boys get tons of exercise.

 

3) Outsouce music and art if you can. Or drop it altogether if he's not interested and just do some music appreciation. 

 

4) I agree about making use of car time. We love listening to the Grammar Girl podcast or NPR Science Friday. It sparks a lot of interesting discussion.

 

5) Swap out video games for board games.

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We do "school" 4 days /week and do core subjects only for about 5-6 hours/day with a big break (2 hours) in the middle of the day to recharge. We are still usually done by 5pm in time for me to make supper and have our evenings free. We don't have outside commitments those days unless we really can't help it.

 

On the 5th day is our specials day. We do some kind of fun math games, music, art, and go to a PE class. I also try to schedule any appointments that day.

 

This schedule still allows us to get all of our core work done in 36 weeks.

 

Good luck, you've got a lot on your plate! :)

 

Sent from my Z988 using Tapatalk

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We do "school" 4 days /week and do core subjects only for about 5-6 hours/day with a big break (2 hours) in the middle of the day to recharge. We are still usually done by 5pm in time for me to make supper and have our evenings free. We don't have outside commitments those days unless we really can't help it.

 

On the 5th day is our specials day. We do some kind of fun math games, music, art, and go to a PE class. I also try to schedule any appointments that day.

 

This schedule still allows us to get all of our core work done in 36 weeks.

 

Good luck, you've got a lot on your plate! :)

 

Sent from my Z988 using Tapatalk

We do something similar. My two middle kids get their specials at a weekly all-day co-op. We do a little bit of art and music appreciation during morning time as well. We do also attend a PE class once a week, but it's late afternoon, so generally after we're already done with school. 

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So I regrouped your activities:

 

English

Literature- read and narration - maybe 30 minutes

>Poetry- read and discuss- 10-15 minutes

Grammar and Speech work-- 20 minutes

Writing- 20- 25 minutes

Barton-- 30 - 45 minutes

 

History
read spine and timeline, map or summarize - 20- 30  minutes?

 

Bible
read and discuss- 15 minutes

 

Social skills and/ or self regulation work
15-20  minutes

 

Math

30-45 minutes

Math games- 15-20 minutes 

 

Science
30 minutes

 

Various therapy ass.
20 minute

 

 

That's a lot of work for an 11yo person. :-)

 

Poetry is a subset of literature; surely you can alternate those. And in classroom-based schools, grammar/comp is often alternated with literature. To do all of that, plus Barton, daily seems as if it might be too much.

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:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug: 

 

I can't recall but what level are you in Barton?  Barton is supposed to replace all other Language arts until after Level 4 so maybe just doing speech work and Barton would be better for now.  Depends on what level you are in (sorry I can't recall).

 

Also, it sounds like the "fun" stuff is actually causing anxiety.  Perfectionism/anxiety are often tied together as two sides of the same coin.  The anxiety/perfectionism can end up being truly crippling as he gets older.  I would be focusing on trying to help him with coping mechanisms right now, while he is still young.  That can take a lot of time and effort and some outside support but it is absolutely something I would focus on more than individual academics.  Resilience, flexibility, patience and adaptability are important skills and will actually be more important in holding down a job than any specific knowledge he is gaining right now.

 

But for your situation with your specific questions/concerns I would like to know where you are in Barton before I make recommendations.  I may have some suggestions that might help.  I just need that info first.

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O.k. I just went back and checked previous posts.  It appears that you are either in Level 2 or very beginning of Level 3 in Barton.  Meaning he has just really started his journey in remediation of reading/writing/grammar/spelling.  I assume since you are using Barton that he is dyslexic.  I also know that you had some concerns about possible developmental vision issues.  He has ADHD.  He may have ASD.  I don't really know what MID is.  Here is what I am seeing...

 

1.  Your child is dealing with many challenges that require a great deal of his brain and body power.

2.  Your child and you are working on multiple remediations/therapies.

3.  You are trying to cover tons of different areas of academics, too.

4.  You are also potentially facing surgery.

 

I know you want to prepare him for High School but overwhelming both of you won't do that very effectively and it may have the opposite effect.  It will probably tick up the anxiety and the stress and may trigger depression.  To get joy back in you need to slow this roller coaster down a bit and streamline.  Hang in there.  Cut back.  Slow down.  He has time.

 

I will post with the next post on specifics I would suggest...

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As I mentioned up thread, you and your child have a tremendous amount going on right now that is taking up a lot of mental and physical resources.  Those things are important.  Don't underestimate how much energy your child needs to get through those things.  My recommendations based on the OP and other posts you have made:

 

1.  For now drop all Language arts except fun read alouds, audio books, and Barton.  Seriously.  Stop everything else while you work through assessments and therapies and your possible surgery.  Wait until he is at least mostly through Level 3 to add anything else in for Language arts.  Only schedule Barton 4 days a week and keep sessions relatively short.  Maybe 30-40 minutes tops.  Don't stress over writing output while he is still in the early levels of Barton.  There is time to work on output later.  Work on letter formation (if that is an issue) through the Barton lessons.  Keep it short and simple.  I promise you there is time to work on writing when he is further along in other areas.  

2.  Don't stress over history and science.  If you both enjoy these subjects, though, then maybe do a week of science then a week of history, or a day of science and a day of history or a little of each daily or whatever, but only 2-3 days a week and keep lessons pretty short.  Maybe do these Friday through Sunday, and do Barton M-Th so they aren't on the same days.  These two subjects in particular are fractal.  There is always more to learn.  There is no way to learn it all.  He is 11.  Keep lessons short and fun.  Make this your relief subjects since you both enjoy them.  Every High School science course will start from ground one so don't fret that you aren't preparing him.  He will be better served if he has a love of learning, an inquiring mind, and a willingness to ask questions and make mistakes while seeking answers than trying to rush through a set curriculum.  

3.  Math - if the math games are too hard then play math games behind where he is in math curriculum to solidify already acquired skills, not test new ones.  Or drop the games and just focus on short, positive math lessons.  Work on a dry erase board if writing everything down is stressful.  Remember that right now his mental and physical energy is being spread through a lot of areas.  He may not have much left over for math games.

4.  Schedule "gym" (whatever that ends up being) as when you have to go get your husband to his next location if you can.  I agree, physical activity is going to be important and if you think he will do better with an outside source then definitely make that a priority.  Since you have to leave several times during the day anyway, you will already be out.  Listen to an audio book in the car or play fun math games or something during that time but get him to some place where he can get some exercise in a pleasant format. 

5.  Try to improve your driving schedule.  Sit down and brainstorm a better way to handle things if you can.  It sounds like you are doing a LOT of driving back and forth.  Would it work better if you had the car in the morning and your husband had the car in the afternoon?  Or maybe pick a day each week where, instead of driving back and forth at lunch for your husband then again at 3 and again at 5 you try to schedule time at the gym, time at the library (where you could maybe get through something academic), maybe time for a field trip, listening to an audio book either between lunch and 3pm or 3pm and 5.  Don't go back home.  Could you just get stuff done near where your husband is at during that time?  

6.  Don't force art or music on him right now if he isn't up to it.  You don't want him to end up hating those things.  And by force I mean don't even bring them up again right now or act sad or stressed or whatever regarding dropping those subjects.  Kids can pick up on things even when we don't say something.  He may feel like he failed you in some way.  You can try adding them back in again later, when things aren't so stressful.

7.  Maybe just find something, anything, interesting that the two of you can do for fun together but NOT in a "we need to practice this to improve" or "this will be great for your academics" approach even if you never say those things.  Just let him do something of interest to him and keep it very, very light for now.  Or maybe he needs some sort of repetitive movement where he can just sit and think each day.  DD does better if she can take some time to just go outside and swing and listen to music.  It helps her mental health and physical well being.

 

And if you do have to have surgery then I would streamline even more.  Keep to whatever therapies are possible with the other caregiver(s) and just whatever Barton lessons can be covered (if that means just practice pages and Barton games and readers until you are back on your feet that is fine.  Reviewing for a bit before moving forward can be a huge help, actually.  And if he is at least halfway through Level 3 he may need to review a bit anyway.)

 

Hugs. I know you want to do this "right" but you really do have time and he has a LOT going on.  So do you.  He is only 11.  Deep breaths.  Focus on your child as a whole.  Academics will come with time.

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"So far we are doing:


Literature- read and narration - maybe 30 minutes


Poetry- read and discuss- 10-15 minutes


History - read spine and timeline, map or summarize - 20- 30  minutes?


Bible- read and discuss- 15 minutes


Social skills and/ or self regulation work-- 15-20  minutes


Grammar and Speech work-- 20 minutes


Writing- 20- 25 minutes


Math- 30-45 minutes


Math games- 15-20 minutes 


Science - 30 minutes


Barton-- 30 - 45 minutes


Various therapy ass. - 20 minute


 


i want gym back in-"  Yes!  Make sure he gets physical exercise.


 


 


I'd start by cutting down something like as follows:


 


1) Listen to audio history especially in car while travelling to appointments


watch history related documentaries ~3x/week at home--can be in the evening.  Better IMO than video games.


No history reading etc. until some other problems are more remediated.


 


2) Barton daily as is--or a whole hour in several shorter segments, but no other "English" at same time unless that is recommended by Barton.  Except that if he enjoys poetry, keep the poetry.


 


3) Listen to audiobooks daily in place of literature--a couple hours or more, can be at the same time as Legos, cooking or other things.  Try to find things at his level that he is engaged in so he will actually listen.


 


4) Math 1 hour per day maximum including games.  If he hates the games part, drop that.


 


5) Keep therapy, speech, and social skills and regulation and related as needed.


 


6) Keep Bible if that is important to your family.


 


7) Possibly switch science to documentaries on some evenings. And hands-on demos or kits of various types on other days--perhaps a long session of a science kit on a time when there is no therapy to go to.  Or maybe he'd like something like snap-circuits and learn from that in place of Legos just used as a toy.


 


 


I would not push for art or music unless DS likes it--but you could have music playing when it is okay to have it so that he hears music even if he is not playing an instrument.  Or maybe the instrument and not getting frustrated can be part of self-regulation therapy.


 


Then ADD IN:


 


 


DAILY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY of some type. Gym, or running, or jumping rope, or ice skating....   SOMETHING  ... every single day unless sickness, injury, or something like that prevents.  If not possible to go somewhere, have him do exercises in the house.  Alternating seat learning and physical activity might be a help.

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So I regrouped your activities:

 

English

Literature- read and narration - maybe 30 minutes

>Poetry- read and discuss- 10-15 minutes

Grammar and Speech work-- 20 minutes

Writing- 20- 25 minutes

Barton-- 30 - 45 minutes

 

History

read spine and timeline, map or summarize - 20- 30  minutes?

 

Bible

read and discuss- 15 minutes

 

Social skills and/ or self regulation work

15-20  minutes

 

Math

30-45 minutes

Math games- 15-20 minutes 

 

Science

30 minutes

 

Various therapy ass.

20 minute

 

 

That's a lot of work for an 11yo person. :-)

 

Poetry is a subset of literature; surely you can alternate those. And in classroom-based schools, grammar/comp is often alternated with literature. To do all of that, plus Barton, daily seems as if it might be too much.

 

Thank-you!  I hadn't "seen" it this way before. I think with my language arts background and with the language issues he has, I have maybe over-compensated with language arts curriculum.  I think it is a bit much right now.  Maybe poetry drops out for a bit.  

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O.k. I just went back and checked previous posts.  It appears that you are either in Level 2 or very beginning of Level 3 in Barton.  Meaning he has just really started his journey in remediation of reading/writing/grammar/spelling.  I assume since you are using Barton that he is dyslexic.  I also know that you had some concerns about possible developmental vision issues.  He has ADHD.  He may have ASD.  I don't really know what MID is.  Here is what I am seeing...

 

1.  Your child is dealing with many challenges that require a great deal of his brain and body power.

2.  Your child and you are working on multiple remediations/therapies.

3.  You are trying to cover tons of different areas of academics, too.

4.  You are also potentially facing surgery.

 

I know you want to prepare him for High School but overwhelming both of you won't do that very effectively and it may have the opposite effect.  It will probably tick up the anxiety and the stress and may trigger depression.  To get joy back in you need to slow this roller coaster down a bit and streamline.  Hang in there.  Cut back.  Slow down.  He has time.

 

I will post with the next post on specifics I would suggest...

MID is Mild Intellectual Disability.  He is at the tail end of Level 2. We are working on Lesson 4, but have not really mastered it.  Level 3 is on order.  ( I have no definite diagnosis of dyslexia, but all attempts to get various professionals to test for it have been stonewalled. It seems to be not a "thing" here.  It is technically not a separate category for funding at the school, it is just considered more generically a "learning disability".   I simply went with Barton as we had already tried AAR and AAS, and was met with a lot of tears that it was too hard, so I went with something that seemed to move a lot slower. Also in reading these boards, it seemed like a lot of people found it successful where other programs were not.    ) 

I am definitely feeling overwhelmed, by the prospect of surgery, in part because he has made so much progress already.  I don't want to lose our momentum.  But I find it a bit hard to explain what we are doing to other people in a way that will keep improving his work quality and understanding.  Back in August he could only handle about 5-10 minutes of math before he was "done".  Now we could often go for about 30 minutes, sometimes longer if I switch topics, add in hands-on, etc.   His retelling has gone from a sentence or two about the end,  to detailed narrations that still need a lot of work with transitions, and clarity, but are a lot more useful. But it has taken a lot of prompting to get there.  If I just let him say whatever he wanted, he would probably still just tell me a sentence or two about the end. 

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As I mentioned up thread, you and your child have a tremendous amount going on right now that is taking up a lot of mental and physical resources.  Those things are important.  Don't underestimate how much energy your child needs to get through those things.  My recommendations based on the OP and other posts you have made:

 

1.  For now drop all Language arts except fun read alouds, audio books, and Barton.  Seriously.  Stop everything else while you work through assessments and therapies and your possible surgery.  Wait until he is at least mostly through Level 3 to add anything else in for Language arts.  Only schedule Barton 4 days a week and keep sessions relatively short.  Maybe 30-40 minutes tops.  Don't stress over writing output while he is still in the early levels of Barton.  There is time to work on output later.  Work on letter formation (if that is an issue) through the Barton lessons.  Keep it short and simple.  I promise you there is time to work on writing when he is further along in other areas.  

2.  Don't stress over history and science.  If you both enjoy these subjects, though, then maybe do a week of science then a week of history, or a day of science and a day of history or a little of each daily or whatever, but only 2-3 days a week and keep lessons pretty short.  Maybe do these Friday through Sunday, and do Barton M-Th so they aren't on the same days.  These two subjects in particular are fractal.  There is always more to learn.  There is no way to learn it all.  He is 11.  Keep lessons short and fun.  Make this your relief subjects since you both enjoy them.  Every High School science course will start from ground one so don't fret that you aren't preparing him.  He will be better served if he has a love of learning, an inquiring mind, and a willingness to ask questions and make mistakes while seeking answers than trying to rush through a set curriculum.  

3.  Math - if the math games are too hard then play math games behind where he is in math curriculum to solidify already acquired skills, not test new ones.  Or drop the games and just focus on short, positive math lessons.  Work on a dry erase board if writing everything down is stressful.  Remember that right now his mental and physical energy is being spread through a lot of areas.  He may not have much left over for math games.

4.  Schedule "gym" (whatever that ends up being) as when you have to go get your husband to his next location if you can.  I agree, physical activity is going to be important and if you think he will do better with an outside source then definitely make that a priority.  Since you have to leave several times during the day anyway, you will already be out.  Listen to an audio book in the car or play fun math games or something during that time but get him to some place where he can get some exercise in a pleasant format. 

5.  Try to improve your driving schedule.  Sit down and brainstorm a better way to handle things if you can.  It sounds like you are doing a LOT of driving back and forth.  Would it work better if you had the car in the morning and your husband had the car in the afternoon?  Or maybe pick a day each week where, instead of driving back and forth at lunch for your husband then again at 3 and again at 5 you try to schedule time at the gym, time at the library (where you could maybe get through something academic), maybe time for a field trip, listening to an audio book either between lunch and 3pm or 3pm and 5.  Don't go back home.  Could you just get stuff done near where your husband is at during that time?  

6.  Don't force art or music on him right now if he isn't up to it.  You don't want him to end up hating those things.  And by force I mean don't even bring them up again right now or act sad or stressed or whatever regarding dropping those subjects.  Kids can pick up on things even when we don't say something.  He may feel like he failed you in some way.  You can try adding them back in again later, when things aren't so stressful.

7.  Maybe just find something, anything, interesting that the two of you can do for fun together but NOT in a "we need to practice this to improve" or "this will be great for your academics" approach even if you never say those things.  Just let him do something of interest to him and keep it very, very light for now.  Or maybe he needs some sort of repetitive movement where he can just sit and think each day.  DD does better if she can take some time to just go outside and swing and listen to music.  It helps her mental health and physical well being.

 

And if you do have to have surgery then I would streamline even more.  Keep to whatever therapies are possible with the other caregiver(s) and just whatever Barton lessons can be covered (if that means just practice pages and Barton games and readers until you are back on your feet that is fine.  Reviewing for a bit before moving forward can be a huge help, actually.  And if he is at least halfway through Level 3 he may need to review a bit anyway.)

 

Hugs. I know you want to do this "right" but you really do have time and he has a LOT going on.  So do you.  He is only 11.  Deep breaths.  Focus on your child as a whole.  Academics will come with time.

 

Thank-you, I had been wondering about audio books, especially was thinking about SOTW to replace history for right now, as we can just listen.  I was not sure what the activity book that goes with it islike, but he is a pretty good listener- he seems to learn pretty well this way.

 

#1 I am struggling with this one.  I know Barton says it is complete.  But at level 2, it really is not.  But the speech-language stuff we are doing is all about using conjunctions and transition words and remembering to use names, plus we are supposed to be working on idioms, sequencing workpages, and  figurative workpages.  It has been a lot and is sort of edging out our normal work right now.  So that is taking over grammar I guess.  Writing we have been using google docs speech to text program.  He doesn't actually have to spell or anything. Just compose.   But maybe we give that a break for a few weeks too?

 

#2 I like this idea of alternating schedules.  Maybe science gets done with dad on his days off as he has a funky 4 days on, 5 days off schedule.    

 

#3 Yeah, I probably need to cut back math a little bit.  Sometimes I think the games have been easy , but turned out to be hard in his eyes.  

 

# 5-- i was thinking after we drop dh off at work, we might go swimming or go to arena for the lunch skate on T, TH, and F.  I won't be able to swim though if i get the surgery.  But maybe husband could take him after work instead.  DS has a tendency to get sedentary ( especially in winter)  if I am not careful and gently push him to stay involved in activities. 

 

#6 makes me sad but i think you are right.   

 

#7 he really only wants to play with his legos based on his 2 favourite tv shows. I play a lot of lego.  I am terrible at it.  I can build like crazy but i am no good at the various war stories he wants to act out.  I am not sure what else he might get interested in.  This is where I am hoping the coding book might seem like fun to him.  

 

Hang on-- impatient son next to me needing attention.  I will write more later.

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I'd start by cutting down something like as follows:

 

1) Listen to audio history especially in car while travelling to appointments

watch history related documentaries ~3x/week at home--can be in the evening.  Better IMO than video games.

No history reading etc. until some other problems are more remediated.

 

2) Barton daily as is--or a whole hour in several shorter segments, but no other "English" at same time unless that is recommended by Barton.  Except that if he enjoys poetry, keep the poetry.

 

3) Listen to audiobooks daily in place of literature--a couple hours or more, can be at the same time as Legos, cooking or other things.  Try to find things at his level that he is engaged in so he will actually listen.

 

4) Math 1 hour per day maximum including games.  If he hates the games part, drop that.

 

5) Keep therapy, speech, and social skills and regulation and related as needed.

 

6) Keep Bible if that is important to your family.

 

7) Possibly switch science to documentaries on some evenings. And hands-on demos or kits of various types on other days--perhaps a long session of a science kit on a time when there is no therapy to go to.  Or maybe he'd like something like snap-circuits and learn from that in place of Legos just used as a toy.

 

 

I would not push for art or music unless DS likes it--but you could have music playing when it is okay to have it so that he hears music even if he is not playing an instrument.  Or maybe the instrument and not getting frustrated can be part of self-regulation therapy.

 

Then ADD IN:

 

 

DAILY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY of some type. Gym, or running, or jumping rope, or ice skating....   SOMETHING  ... every single day unless sickness, injury, or something like that prevents.  If not possible to go somewhere, have him do exercises in the house.  Alternating seat learning and physical activity might be a help.

 

 

Thank-you Pen for these ideas. He does love documentaries, and we definitely don't watch enough. We have some snap- circuits and we could work through some of the different ideas.  We have done a lot of them but not all of them. We also got a kid's burgler alarm kit and a  dragon robot kit I am hoping to work through with him.

 

 I like the idea of music and self-regulation therapy.  He enjoyed learning how to play the recorder. It was fairly quick to learn how to play a nice song that sounded good, but was actually pretty easy.  He just got frustrated because he wanted to move up a level right away( like the first day)  and I felt he needed to spend a little more time learning the first song.  Maybe I need to loosen up.

 

I think the daily physical activity is crucial-- but is one of the hardest things to encourage as he is very self-conscious that he is not always as skilled as other kids.  The perfectionist thing shows up here too. It doesn't help that the meds he is on kind of slow him down and make it very easy to gain weight.  I wish it wasn't so cold out. It makes it a lot harder to get him interested in going outside.   I have been debating about getting an exercise cycle. Just not sure if he would use it.  He would probably rather have a real bike. But then we got to find a snow bike, and  I have to trail along behind- not sure that will work with surgery recovery.  Unless I get dad to do it on his days off?  My husband is super non-athletic unfortunately.   Still thinking what I can get him to actually do, as he can be super stubborn on this one. 

 

Just to clarify-- I am not making him read anything-- I am doing all the reading.  He usually plays Legos at the same time. 

 

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Thank-you, I had been wondering about audio books, especially was thinking about SOTW to replace history for right now, as we can just listen.  I was not sure what the activity book that goes with it islike, but he is a pretty good listener- he seems to learn pretty well this way.

 

#1 I am struggling with this one.  I know Barton says it is complete.  But at level 2, it really is not.  But the speech-language stuff we are doing is all about using conjunctions and transition words and remembering to use names, plus we are supposed to be working on idioms, sequencing workpages, and  figurative workpages.  It has been a lot and is sort of edging out our normal work right now.  So that is taking over grammar I guess.  Writing we have been using google docs speech to text program.  He doesn't actually have to spell or anything. Just compose.   But maybe we give that a break for a few weeks too?

 

#2 I like this idea of alternating schedules.  Maybe science gets done with dad on his days off as he has a funky 4 days on, 5 days off schedule.    

 

#3 Yeah, I probably need to cut back math a little bit.  Sometimes I think the games have been easy , but turned out to be hard in his eyes.  

 

# 5-- i was thinking after we drop dh off at work, we might go swimming or go to arena for the lunch skate on T, TH, and F.  I won't be able to swim though if i get the surgery.  But maybe husband could take him after work instead.  DS has a tendency to get sedentary ( especially in winter)  if I am not careful and gently push him to stay involved in activities. 

 

#6 makes me sad but i think you are right.   

 

#7 he really only wants to play with his legos based on his 2 favourite tv shows. I play a lot of lego.  I am terrible at it.  I can build like crazy but i am no good at the various war stories he wants to act out.  I am not sure what else he might get interested in.  This is where I am hoping the coding book might seem like fun to him.  

 

Hang on-- impatient son next to me needing attention.  I will write more later.

I know that Barton at level 1 and Level 2 is very light on a lot of the things that go into language arts. THERE IS A REASON FOR THAT.  Your child is having to learn a lot of processes that are hard.  That don't come intuitively.  That don't merge smoothly.  This takes time and building layers.  Tossing in a ton of outside resources right at the beginning of the program makes it harder.  It can make the whole process glitchy and slower.  It can make getting those layers in place take a LOT longer than it has to.  Wait on formal grammar for now.  Seriously.  Add it in later.  Barton will be adding in grammar as you go as well.  Level 3 will increase exponentially from Level 2.  And Level 4 will increase exponentially from Level 3.  (Level 4 is actually quite often the hardest level and can take a LOT of effort to get through).

 

I understand where you are coming from.  I was frankly very underwhelmed at the idea of Barton being a complete Language Arts program when I first used it.  What I failed to see was that it is deliberately constructed that way and each level adds to what came before.  Each lesson, each level, is building critical layers in a very systematic way and it will increase those layers, building more and more onto that critical foundation.  Level 1 and 2 are the shortest by far (and can usually be covered pretty quickly) but they are critical for most kids who need this program.  The student needs to focus on solidifying those basic skill sets before adding in other resources.  You don't want to distract from or trip up that process.  Once the foundation is laid then you can add in more. 

 

By the time we had gotten through most of Level 4 I realized just how much it was covering.  At that point we were adding in more from outside sources but that is when you are supposed to add in more.  At that point your child should have a really solid foundation in reading/writing/spelling.

 

I'm not sure what to do about the speech-language stuff because it sounds like the language arts expectations are coming in before he is ready from the Barton side of things but I am unsure.  I don't really know what you are using.  Is this something through a SLP?  Therapist?  

 

Your ideas sound good.  I think you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself that isn't healthy right now, though, so try to see the bigger picture.  There is time.  You and your son have a lot going on.  

 

:grouphug:

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I'm not sure what to do about the speech-language stuff because it sounds like the language arts expectations are coming in before he is ready from the Barton side of things but I am unsure.  I don't really know what you are using.  Is this something through a SLP?  Therapist?  

 

Your ideas sound good.  I think you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself that isn't healthy right now, though, so try to see the bigger picture.  There is time.  You and your son have a lot going on.  

 

:grouphug:

 

Thank-you.  The language arts are assignments from the SLP.  One of his issues is explaining things clearly.  Everything comes out sort of garbled and confused.  It made it especially difficult when he was having problems at school getting bullied.  His version of events didn't make a lot of sense-- not in a blame-y way but just in a simple,  "I have no clue what you are trying to say happened kind of thing"  Sometimes his clarity is okay, but other times it is just dreadful. 

 

 It happened the other day actually in front of the SLP.  He was trying ( essentially) to tell me,  "Hey mom, one of the kids from karate, whose name I can't remember, was also at ice skating.  We talked about such and such a topic. " But his version was so garbled I was having to ask a lot of questions just to understand a very simple story.  So the SLP is having us working on a lot of re-telling events, sequencing, using sequencing words, using character names  ( instead of just "he" for everyone).  It is a lot of work, and possibly more ambitious than we are ready for.  I could just slow it way down and tell her that is the pace we need right now-- some things he has made quick improvement on ( like retelling from a story book)  But work on idiom and figurative language not so much.  He really struggles to remember people's names.  I also don't want to pre-teach him on stuff he might get tested on and have him look higher than he actually is. 

 

Essentially she is working with me on "holes" we see while we are waiting to see if he meets approval to get assessed for ASD.  She did the SLDT with him and some sort of parent screener and the Edmonton Narrative Test.  She feels it warrants further assessment  ( like the ADOS) but it has to get referred to someone else who acts as kind of a "gatekeeper" .  If they also feel it warrants more assessment, AND if his worker approves it, THEN we can get assessed. 

 

Thank-you for explaining how Barton will slowly increase the grammar expectations.  Right now, there is just the occasional  lesson on subject and predicate essentially.  It definitely feels pretty light to me. 

 

I think the surgery thing just has me feeling a bit panicky all way round.  DS is being a bit difficult with all the excitement of Christmas, my husband is at work for 12 hours, and I am having to move very slow and take lots of breaks to try not to trigger my pain.  I keep wanting to get all my little curriculum ducks in a row in case I suddenly end up at the emergency room.  Bleagh!!   Add to all that we are in a new town and have not really got all the friends and family we would have back home and I just feel a lot of pressure.  Thank-you for the encouragement. 

 

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Thank-you.  The language arts are assignments from the SLP.  One of his issues is explaining things clearly.  Everything comes out sort of garbled and confused.  It made it especially difficult when he was having problems at school getting bullied.  His version of events didn't make a lot of sense-- not in a blame-y way but just in a simple,  "I have no clue what you are trying to say happened kind of thing"  Sometimes his clarity is okay, but other times it is just dreadful. 

 

 It happened the other day actually in front of the SLP.  He was trying ( essentially) to tell me,  "Hey mom, one of the kids from karate, whose name I can't remember, was also at ice skating.  We talked about such and such a topic. " But his version was so garbled I was having to ask a lot of questions just to understand a very simple story.  So the SLP is having us working on a lot of re-telling events, sequencing, using sequencing words, using character names  ( instead of just "he" for everyone).  It is a lot of work, and possibly more ambitious than we are ready for.  I could just slow it way down and tell her that is the pace we need right now-- some things he has made quick improvement on ( like retelling from a story book)  But work on idiom and figurative language not so much.  He really struggles to remember people's names.  I also don't want to pre-teach him on stuff he might get tested on and have him look higher than he actually is. 

 

Essentially she is working with me on "holes" we see while we are waiting to see if he meets approval to get assessed for ASD.  She did the SLDT with him and some sort of parent screener and the Edmonton Narrative Test.  She feels it warrants further assessment  ( like the ADOS) but it has to get referred to someone else who acts as kind of a "gatekeeper" .  If they also feel it warrants more assessment, AND if his worker approves it, THEN we can get assessed. 

 

Thank-you for explaining how Barton will slowly increase the grammar expectations.  Right now, there is just the occasional  lesson on subject and predicate essentially.  It definitely feels pretty light to me. 

 

I think the surgery thing just has me feeling a bit panicky all way round.  DS is being a bit difficult with all the excitement of Christmas, my husband is at work for 12 hours, and I am having to move very slow and take lots of breaks to try not to trigger my pain.  I keep wanting to get all my little curriculum ducks in a row in case I suddenly end up at the emergency room.  Bleagh!!   Add to all that we are in a new town and have not really got all the friends and family we would have back home and I just feel a lot of pressure.  Thank-you for the encouragement. 

 

:grouphug:

 

O.k. lets just brainstorm for a minute on what you could implement quickly if you were to need surgery.

 

1. If you have the money you might buy the Spelling Success cards that are specifically designed for Barton.  They would be good for review and keeping skills up and someone else could use them even if you could not continue Barton lessons right away.   https://www.spellingsuccess.com/

 

2.  If you really don't want him to stop moving forward in Barton you might contact Susan Barton for the master list of on-lne tutors.  If you have Skype capability your son could be skyping with a tutor while you recover.  Not as effective IMHO but would keep him moving forward and you wouldn't have to leave the house.

 

3.  Print out the extra practice pages and the fluency pages from the Barton website.  Put them in non-glare protective sleeves.  He can do the practice pages to keep up and they are good for practice, for doing in place of a lesson on tough days and would be helpful to have available if someone else needs to work with him besides you.  If you need more help with setting up notebooks for Barton let me know.

 

4.  Set up a math notebook that includes a ruler, a pouch with writing instruments, a math reference chart, some math fact practice pages, some math concept pages, some fun logic puzzle pages, etc.  If you aren't in good shape someone can grab that and work with your son.

 

5.  Make a list of documentaries and shows tied to science and history.  Start gathering ways to access those resources.  Either streaming from Netflix or discs from the library or whatever.  Have the ones you own ready to go in one location with a master list that includes a brief description of each.  Have the others that can be accessed by streaming or through the library also on that list so people know where to get them.  Much easier to tell someone where they are if you already have a list made.

 

6.  If you don't have one already, consider a Kindle that can do audio books (Whisper sync links the text to the audio and the audio book is cheaper if you already own the kindle print version so a person can be reading while listening.  The words being read are highlighted.).  Get a fairly small one with wireless headsets, not earbuds (which can damage hearing).  Your child could be listening to books above his decoding fluency level without you needing to read to him.  It gives him exposure to more advanced vocabulary/grammar/content.  DS loved his because it was portable.  And he could be listening to a book while he played but wasn't bothering anybody.  Kindles are on sale right now.  I realize that the price can still be too much but sometimes the sales make them accessible.

 

7.  Look at the possibility of a personal trainer that could come to your home and work with your son on physical activities.  This may not be as expensive as it sounds.  Sometimes college kids needing some extra money can do this for not much and kids tend to respond well to young adults.  Check with something like Wyzant where they run background checks.  The person could come once a week but leave instructions for your son on things he could be doing in between sessions.  Fun things but good for physical health.  It might get you both through your recovery with him still getting good physical activity but you not having to drive your son.

 

If I think of anything else I will post.  Good luck.

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Since you mentioned Karate, one of the things we use to keep our kids active inside is one of those punching bag things. They practice kicks/punches and it helps keep them active. There are also a ton of exercise/dance/Zumba videos online. A mini-tramp might help. We have a 7 foot trampoline in the basement- it probably wouldn't be a great investment for you- it's designed for younger kids, but my 10 year old boy still jumps on it. I don't schedule or exactly, but my kids have to do 45 minutes of exercise before any screen time happens. They have several things to pick from.

Also, I would plan on trying not to leave the house most of the time, so your husband can just have the car. I'd only take him to work if there was somewhere we HAD to be. Especially when you are recovering. We get so much more done when we don't leave the house.

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:grouphug:

 

O.k. lets just brainstorm for a minute on what you could implement quickly if you were to need surgery.

 

1. If you have the money you might buy the Spelling Success cards that are specifically designed for Barton.  They would be good for review and keeping skills up and someone else could use them even if you could not continue Barton lessons right away.   https://www.spellingsuccess.com/

 

2.  If you really don't want him to stop moving forward in Barton you might contact Susan Barton for the master list of on-lne tutors.  If you have Skype capability your son could be skyping with a tutor while you recover.  Not as effective IMHO but would keep him moving forward and you wouldn't have to leave the house.

 

3.  Print out the extra practice pages and the fluency pages from the Barton website.  Put them in non-glare protective sleeves.  He can do the practice pages to keep up and they are good for practice, for doing in place of a lesson on tough days and would be helpful to have available if someone else needs to work with him besides you.  If you need more help with setting up notebooks for Barton let me know.

 

4.  Set up a math notebook that includes a ruler, a pouch with writing instruments, a math reference chart, some math fact practice pages, some math concept pages, some fun logic puzzle pages, etc.  If you aren't in good shape someone can grab that and work with your son.

 

5.  Make a list of documentaries and shows tied to science and history.  Start gathering ways to access those resources.  Either streaming from Netflix or discs from the library or whatever.  Have the ones you own ready to go in one location with a master list that includes a brief description of each.  Have the others that can be accessed by streaming or through the library also on that list so people know where to get them.  Much easier to tell someone where they are if you already have a list made.

 

6.  If you don't have one already, consider a Kindle that can do audio books (Whisper sync links the text to the audio and the audio book is cheaper if you already own the kindle print version so a person can be reading while listening.  The words being read are highlighted.).  Get a fairly small one with wireless headsets, not earbuds (which can damage hearing).  Your child could be listening to books above his decoding fluency level without you needing to read to him.  It gives him exposure to more advanced vocabulary/grammar/content.  DS loved his because it was portable.  And he could be listening to a book while he played but wasn't bothering anybody.  Kindles are on sale right now.  I realize that the price can still be too much but sometimes the sales make them accessible.

 

7.  Look at the possibility of a personal trainer that could come to your home and work with your son on physical activities.  This may not be as expensive as it sounds.  Sometimes college kids needing some extra money can do this for not much and kids tend to respond well to young adults.  Check with something like Wyzant where they run background checks.  The person could come once a week but leave instructions for your son on things he could be doing in between sessions.  Fun things but good for physical health.  It might get you both through your recovery with him still getting good physical activity but you not having to drive your son.

 

If I think of anything else I will post.  Good luck.

 

Thank- you for all these ideas.  It gives me a place to start.  I  appreciate all the help.

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Thank- you for all these ideas.  It gives me a place to start.  I  appreciate all the help.

It can be tough to see where to go when life throws curve balls.  I keep thinking about this thread.  I know that a lot of stuff people suggest may not work but some things will hopefully help.  There have been many times over the years when a post or a collection of posts will contain some nuggets that really worked for me and my particular situation.  I love the HIVE.  I'm hoping something in one of the responses will truly help you out.  To that end I will let this thread percolate in my brain and if I think of other things I will post, just in case.  

 

Hugs and best wishes.

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Thanks a million OneStep ( and everybody else who has contributed ideas). This has been super helpful ,even today, realizing I need to start a more condensed homeschool immediately,  in order to conserve energy and see how the changes work for him as he can get so stubborn about things being different.   This last week has been nutty and today threw me for a curve ball.  I have an appointment to see the doctor on the 4th.  I think I am beginning to come out of panic mode and into planning mode. 

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Thanks a million OneStep ( and everybody else who has contributed ideas). This has been super helpful ,even today, realizing I need to start a more condensed homeschool immediately,  in order to conserve energy and see how the changes work for him as he can get so stubborn about things being different.   This last week has been nutty and today threw me for a curve ball.  I have an appointment to see the doctor on the 4th.  I think I am beginning to come out of panic mode and into planning mode. 

Oh, good.  Planning mode works so much better (I hate when I am in panic mode).  

 

FWIW, my son does not adapt well to change either.  The hardest part is getting things to shift.  Once the new routine has been established things smooth out, mostly.  Starting a new routine now may benefit all of you.  Good luck.  

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I am the mother of a dyslexic/dysgraphic/adhd/2e kid about the same age as your kiddo, and that is a lot for any boy but one with learning issues especially. We are doing Barton (finishing level 4) and let me just say it gets more complex and they start building sentences properly, and it gets much more complex. Do not second guess the ease of it right now. This year we added in Fix-It Grammar which is his favorite subject, oddly enough. And then he has literature but that includes following along with learning ally audiobooks. Then we have math, history and science. I do all or most of his reading for him. I am not going to worry about college at all—he has no desire and I don’t care if he doesn’t go, but I want to enable a love for learning as much as possible. And if he changes his mind, his grades are good enough for community college anyway.

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1)  I like the idea of music and self-regulation therapy.  He enjoyed learning how to play the recorder. It was fairly quick to learn how to play a nice song that sounded good, but was actually pretty easy.  He just got frustrated because he wanted to move up a level right away( like the first day)  and I felt he needed to spend a little more time learning the first song.  Maybe I need to loosen up.

 

2) I think the daily physical activity is crucial-- but is one of the hardest things to encourage as he is very self-conscious that he is not always as skilled as other kids.  The perfectionist thing shows up here too. It doesn't help that the meds he is on kind of slow him down and make it very easy to gain weight.  I wish it wasn't so cold out. It makes it a lot harder to get him interested in going outside.   I have been debating about getting an exercise cycle. Just not sure if he would use it.  He would probably rather have a real bike. But then we got to find a snow bike, and  I have to trail along behind- not sure that will work with surgery recovery.  Unless I get dad to do it on his days off?  My husband is super non-athletic unfortunately.   Still thinking what I can get him to actually do, as he can be super stubborn on this one. 

 

3) Just to clarify-- I am not making him read anything-- I am doing all the reading.  He usually plays Legos at the same time. 

 

 

 

1)  I think loosen up = good idea.  If he enjoys trying something on the recorder, let him.  He'll be learning about sound in any case.

 

2)  I wonder if there are real bikes that can be put on a stand indoors in the winter and used more like an exer-cycle?  Sit ups, push ups, jumping jacks, jump rope, chin ups if you got a chin up bar could all possibly be done inside.  Or an exercise video to follow along with?  Maybe at times that you are up to it  regarding your own health for both of you to do?  (I've been liking T-Tapp.  I have T-Tapp Rehab Program due to chronic health issues of my own.  It isn't meant for kids, but kids can do it.) Would there be affordable skating lessons?  A hill to sled down where exercise would be from walking up?  Maybe if everyone does what he or she can taking into account surgery, work, weather, etc, and puts a priority on physical exercise some things will be found that will work.

 

3)  Even if he is not doing the reading himself aside from Barton, I think it would help if you use audio books so that you yourself don't have to use as much energy reading aloud.  Even if you are not needing or recovering from surgery doing all the reading aloud can be really tiring. Similar for documentaries where possible.  Although active learning may be preferable, a lot can be learned from documentaries, and a lot also from audio books.  Btw, my ds loved SOTW in its audio form.  

 

There are good documentaries about art.  I think even the Bible is supposed to have some good audio versions available, if that would help.  Does your area have a good library or interlibrary loan? If so, you might start putting in requests for both some serious documentaries and audio books that might work at his level for history and science and maybe art, and also fun fiction books to listen to.  Also, movie adaptations of classic books that he would be capable of understanding could be useful. Or multi-part versions made for TV which sometimes follow the originals fairly faithfully.  We saw a lot  of Shakespeare movies, BBC versions of Dickens books and so on.

 

Particularly in the time where you may be dealing with surgery, I'd try to cut the active learning parts  where your involvement  (or someone in your place) is needed down to reading, writing, and required therapies.  And maybe some of the "fun" can come back in by letting him have time where he can play with the recorder or art supplies or easy science kits in a not so structured way.

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1)  I think loosen up = good idea.  If he enjoys trying something on the recorder, let him.  He'll be learning about sound in any case.

 

2)  I wonder if there are real bikes that can be put on a stand indoors in the winter and used more like an exer-cycle?  Sit ups, push ups, jumping jacks, jump rope, chin ups if you got a chin up bar could all possibly be done inside.  Or an exercise video to follow along with?  Maybe at times that you are up to it  regarding your own health for both of you to do?  (I've been liking T-Tapp.  I have T-Tapp Rehab Program due to chronic health issues of my own.  It isn't meant for kids, but kids can do it.) Would there be affordable skating lessons?  A hill to sled down where exercise would be from walking up?  Maybe if everyone does what he or she can taking into account surgery, work, weather, etc, and puts a priority on physical exercise some things will be found that will work.

 

3)  Even if he is not doing the reading himself aside from Barton, I think it would help if you use audio books so that you yourself don't have to use as much energy reading aloud.  Even if you are not needing or recovering from surgery doing all the reading aloud can be really tiring. Similar for documentaries where possible.  Although active learning may be preferable, a lot can be learned from documentaries, and a lot also from audio books.  Btw, my ds loved SOTW in its audio form.  

 

There are good documentaries about art.  I think even the Bible is supposed to have some good audio versions available, if that would help.  Does your area have a good library or interlibrary loan? If so, you might start putting in requests for both some serious documentaries and audio books that might work at his level for history and science and maybe art, and also fun fiction books to listen to.  Also, movie adaptations of classic books that he would be capable of understanding could be useful. Or multi-part versions made for TV which sometimes follow the originals fairly faithfully.  We saw a lot  of Shakespeare movies, BBC versions of Dickens books and so on.

 

Particularly in the time where you may be dealing with surgery, I'd try to cut the active learning parts  where your involvement  (or someone in your place) is needed down to reading, writing, and required therapies.  And maybe some of the "fun" can come back in by letting him have time where he can play with the recorder or art supplies or easy science kits in a not so structured way.

 

We have been trying to work on the exercise thing.  My husband is trying to help get us out to the trails at lunch and has been taking him swimming after work.  DS nixed skating lessons, but there is a free skate 3 times during the week. He has just been very resistent to going.  He will often go on weekends with some of the boys from church- just trying to get him there during the week as well.  I love the idea of a bike that just needed a stand - that would be perfect.  I will see what we can hunt up.  

 

I am still getting to know our new library.  I hadn't thought about interlibrary loans and such yet.  Movie adaptions of books would be wonderful.  He is, I think, just getting to the age where he might enjoy them rather than be bored them.  I would love to start listening to audio books.  I haven't really understood the technology for audio books, so I have not really used them.  

 

I am not really teaching art right now-- I can,  I would love to,  but he is obsessed with drawing his favourite cartoon characters perfectly.  We actually spent about 3 weeks of our counselling time trying to think of ways to help him be less stressed out about art because it is all self-driven. Like I can literally be telling him not to do art ( because I know how upset he will get)  and he will insist on doing it, while getting more and more upset about it because he has made some tiny "mistake" and it doesn't look exactly like the character.  ( By upset I mean throwing the paper, calling himself names, stomping around.)   Lego is really his big fun these days. We are working on playing with it more. ( Building it is really his thing.Following the instructions exactly.) I love the idea of loose unstructured play but he is very resistant to it. Not sure how to help him with that.  

 

Thank you for all the suggestions!

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Our library has audiobooks on CD's and if you have a CD player that is a pretty easy technology to start with.  Every so often I buy things on CD, including SOTW.

 

We also have things like "library2go" and "hoopla" and others which might or might not be available in Canada, but where you download an app to a cell phone and can then "borrow" virtual books.  This works well for my ds who has an iPhone and is technically minded.  It won't work well for me due to only having an Alcatel tracfone device with limited storage space.

 

For purchased audio books my ds uses Audible a lot, and a year membership for him is a part of his Christmas present this year. Audible works better on my limited Alcatel than the library digital audiobooks systems do.

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My ds has to have exercise. He’s a regular bear anyway but with exercise he’s enough better we can tolerate him. He swims twice a week and wrestling season is around the corner and he’s very good at a competitive level. I heard a saying once about puppies—the only good puppy is a tired puppy. Well, we use that for our son! But he loves sports so much it’s excellent incentive for grades. Our rule is he has to maintain a B average (he is more than capable with the adaptations we make) in order to participate.

 

Look into Learning Ally. It’s freed up my time in a huge way! I was getting really frustrated because I didn’t have any time for myself, but it has also given him independence. He can read whenever he wants!

 

I also have a language arts background and I think there is the reckoning that has to happen. I somehow assumed all my kids would be college bound and then God gave me my husband and then my son, and I realized that success doesn’t have to require college. I have a degree I don’t use and my husband does too. But he is VERY successful as an entrepreneur and I suspect his dyslexia has been an asset to him. I feel like if we can make it past high school without damage to his self esteem, he will find success.

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You need to settle on your priorities.  If there is something that isn't getting done that you want to get done, put it first.  We did this with violin practice for many years.

 

As for getting rid of other things you are doing, I'd think of the therapy homework as a separate thing while realizing that it needs to take the place of schoolwork in terms of time.  I've highlighted the therapy stuff in blue and the stuff I'd get rid of in red.  Then I'd do a rotation schedule for specials first in the day (so for example, you might do gym one day, art the next day, and music that day after that, and then back to gym) as well as for literature, history, and science, so your school schedule might look something like this:

 

"Special" rotation 30 min

Barton 30-45 min

Math 30-45 min

Writing 20-25 min (you could loop grammar in here as well)

Literature/history/science rotation 20-30 minutes

 

 

Literature- read and narration - maybe 30 minutes

Poetry- read and discuss- 10-15 minutes

History - read spine and timeline, map or summarize - 20- 30  minutes?

Bible- read and discuss- 15 minutes

Social skills and/ or self regulation work-- 15-20  minutes

Grammar and Speech work-- 20 minutes

Writing- 20- 25 minutes

Math- 30-45 minutes

Math games- 15-20 minutes 

Science - 30 minutes

Barton-- 30 - 45 minutes

Various therapy ass. - 20 minute

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