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amathis229

'bought finished with senior's college apps, need advice for 9th grader

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Having read through the thread regarding average children and college, I've seen where many of you have children with varying academic strengths and weaknesses. I started following this forum in the fall as my ds was applying to colleges. Wish I had started following years ago - it definitely would have affected some decisions we made. With that said, I am trying to wrap my mind around how to apply "lessons learned" to my profoundly dyslexic dd (9th grader, has a current assessment from an educational psychologist). It's going to be a whole different ball of wax with her.

 

1) More focus on ACT prep to get that 1-2 point bump

Problem: Dd would have to have the test read to her. At this point, I don't believe she would have the endurance to sit through 6 hours (I'm guessing here) of oral testing. I'm looking at test-optional schools for her, but the best financial deal for would be for her to go in-state/public (Georgia).

 

2) Satisfy at least one unit from each category of the University System of Georgia requirements through accredited options: DE, AP

4 Carnegie units of college preparatory English

4 Carnegie units of college preparatory mathematics

4 Carnegie units of college preparatory science

3 Carnegie units of college preparatory social science

2 Carnegie units of the same foreign language 

OR 

2 units of American Sign Language OR 

2 units of computer science3

Problem: So far, ds has gotten into every school he's applied to, but they all have been in more homeschool-friendly states. He did get into a smaller Georgia school with a high admit rate, but we are waiting to hear how the flagships play out. I feel like admittance as a homeschooler for him has been based on strong ACT scores and some accredited, economical state-funded DE and AP coursework. This plan won't work for ds unless I can get her enrolled in our local tech school's DE program. 

 

3) Look hard at smaller, private LACs

Problem: Cost! I'm seeing there is lots of money out there for high achievers, but that's not going to be dd. Definitely will consider spending the money for her, but I would love to be able to send her in-state. Dd and I recently attended the International Dyslexia Association's Annual Conference and met with a rep from Landmark College in Vermont for students with Learning Disabilities. I would love for dd to do a bridge year there, but it costs $75,000 a year! Beacon College in Florida is less expensive but still a lot (@ $45,000?).

 

4) Consider other curricula choices

Problem: We have been doing Classical Conversations since 2011; a variety of curricula prior to that. I'm sure there are some more suitable choices for my dd, but meeting weekly with her peer group has done a lot to motivate this low-energy kid! She has to have an option that has built-in accountability. Due to years of struggling through interventions and tutoring for her dyslexia, we are about OVER each other! Add in perimenopausal years for me and adolescent years for her...I often wonder how we'll make it through high school! I've been reading through the curricula choices many of you list in your signature. Looks like some amazing choices out there. Considering problem #2, I'm thinking some accredited coursework might be of benefit if applying to state schools in Georgia.

 

5) Finding a school that fits your student's parameters

Problem: Parameters include a) smaller student body size b) excellent LD support c) majors related to students current strengths (costume design, fashion design, theater make-up design) but with enough options to allow for exploration of other careers d) in-state if possible but will consider private school if we can swing it e) test optional f) homeschool-friendly

 

Please, if you have advice to share, I will most gratefully receive it! 

 

Cheers!

April

 

 
 
 

 

 

Edited by amathis229

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I posted this list on another thread recently, but applies here, too. If you click on the school name it goes to he home page of their learning support services.

 

http://www.collegetransitions.com/colleges-for-students-with-learning-disabilities

 

You can wander around the websites for admissions and net price calculators as well.

 

Re: 6 hours of testing. Getting accommodations to spread testing over two days is a thing.

 

The biggest thing to remember when dealing with kids with LDs - they become independent college students on their own schedule which may not be the same as "the usual" schedule.

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First, students grow and mature a LOT over the high school years, and what your current 9th grader is not capable of right now, may be much more capable of doing in the fall or spring of 12th grade, 3 years from now.

 

 

1) More focus on ACT prep to get that 1-2 point bump

Problem: Dd would have to have the test read to her. At this point, I don't believe she would have the endurance to sit through 6 hours (I'm guessing here) of oral testing. I'm looking at test-optional schools for her, but the best financial deal for would be for her to go in-state/public (Georgia).

 

Absolutely possible to wait and test in 12th grade, when your student has had more time to mature into dealing with LDs or even begin to "grow out of" LDs.

 

Definitely get an official diagnosis now (if you don't already have one) to start a paper trail to prove the need for accommodations, both for testing in high school AND to be eligible to receive free accommodations offered by a possible future college.

 

Here is the info for testing accommodations for the ACT and SAT tests.

 

And then practice test-taking for the next few years on a regular basis to slowly build endurance. Start off doing one test section for 15 minutes. Build up to the full time period. Do that for each different test section, until familiar with all the different test sections. Take al of 9th grade and in to 10th grade to do that. Then start stretching the length of time and practice doing 2 test sections. Etc. Slowly build up those "attention span muscles", and combined with feeling very familiar with the test sections will help make it easier for your student to sit for the full length test by 12th grade.

 

 

2) Satisfy ... University System of Georgia requirements through accredited options...

 

You are lucky! For accreditation, Georgia is the ONE state in which you as a homeschooler can jump through the hoops and become accredited. See these past threads for more info:

 

Accreditation (how to become an accredited homeschool in GA)

Bev in B'ville: about your accreditation  (how to become an accredited homeschool in GA)

 

 

2) Satisfy at least one unit from each category of the University System of Georgia requirements through accredited options: DE, AP

4 Carnegie units of college preparatory English

4 Carnegie units of college preparatory mathematics

4 Carnegie units of college preparatory science

3 Carnegie units of college preparatory social science

2 Carnegie units of the same foreign language 

OR 

2 units of American Sign Language OR 

2 units of computer science3

Problem: So far, ds has gotten into every school he's applied to, but they all have been in more homeschool-friendly states. He did get into a smaller Georgia school with a high admit rate, but we are waiting to hear how the flagships play out. I feel like admittance as a homeschooler for him has been based on strong ACT scores and some accredited, economical state-funded DE and AP coursework. This plan won't work for ds unless I can get her enrolled in our local tech school's DE program. 

 

If you go through the accreditation process, then, looking at your requirements, it sounds like you'll be fine.

 

And that would allow you to choose the materials that would be the best fit for your student struggling with dyslexia. Then you can take things at your 9th grader's pace.  A minimum of 5 high school credits per year easily meet these requirements, and would probably be a do-able amount of work for a student with special needs. :)

 

4) Consider other curricula choices

...We have been doing Classical Conversations... meeting weekly with her peer group has done a lot to motivate this low-energy kid! She has to have an option that has built-in accountability... Considering problem #2, I'm thinking some accredited coursework might be of benefit if applying to state schools in Georgia.

 

You might also look into self-paced, outsourced courses and materials.

 

Note: *coursework* is not accredited -- it is the *cover school or organization* that is accredited, and that then okays or dismisses materials as meeting their accreditation policies. So if you don't go the route of seeking accreditation for your homeschool, you might also look in to an online accredited cover school that is flexible about choices of materials so that you could use some self-paced, outsourced options.

 

 

3) Look hard at smaller, private LACs

Problem: Cost! I'm seeing there is lots of money out there for high achievers, but that's not going to be dd...

 

9th grade is very early to already be deciding whether or not a particular college will work for your student or not. In fact, it's very early to already be deciding that THIS particular student NEEDS or WANTS to attend a 4-year school after graduation. Rather than focusing on college choices in 9th grade, I'd gently recommend spending the next 2 years working on exploring your student's INTERESTS and STRENGTHS through extracurricular activities and through some Elective credits. That may help you uncover a previously-hidden gift or strength that would be your student's dream job, and best prepared for through a 2-year Associate's degree or on-the-job training, rather than a 4-year LAC or state public university. ;)

 

And, if at this time in 2 years when your student is halfway through 11th grade, you discover a 4-year degree IS what will best serve the student's needs, you will also probably have a much clearer idea of the student's interests so you can research colleges with that degree field and look specifically at those with good merit aid.

 

Also, there are options other than merit aid or need-based aid for paying for college, such as

- tuition-free schools and work-for-tuition schools

- companies that you can work for part-time and they contribute towards your tuition

- knocking out 2 years at a much cheaper community college and transferring to a university and only needing 2 years at the more expensive university to complete the 4-year university.

 

There are even options for possibly reducing room and board costs -- for example a few elder-care homes around the country that are experimenting with programs that offer free room and board to college students to live at the elder-care home, in exchange for 10-15 hours a week of time with the residents.

 

More ideas on alternative/out-of-the-box ways of funding college in these past threads:

"s/o: Cautionary Tale: High Cost of College -- a brainstorm $$ ideas thread!"

"How are YOU managing to pay for college?"

 

 

5) Finding a school that fits your student's parameters

Problem: Parameters include a) smaller student body size b) excellent LD support c) majors related to students current strengths (costume design, fashion design, theater make-up design) but with enough options to allow for exploration of other careers d) in-state if possible but will consider private school if we can swing it e) test optional f) homeschool-friendly

 

Gently, and just my opinion, but I think you are perhaps looking too far ahead right now. Again, pointing you to my first statement -- the 9th grader you see in front of you will be a very different student than when in 12th grade and approaching college admission, so some of these needs may not be a concern in 3 years.

 

Again, JMO, but I think that the next 2 years would be best spent in working your way through the required credits in order to be college prep, and working on whatever remediation will best help your student jump the dyslexia hurdle. At 9th grade, I would guess your student is around 14yo -- which is right about the time that many students with LDs begin to make the start of a break-through on their LDs or are beginning to figure out "work-arounds" in dealing with the LDs.

 

You mention costume design, fashion design, and theater make-up as this student's current strengths. I'd suggest strongly capitalizing on those interests/strengths with as many hands-on and class opportunities as possibly right now, as well as some possible support coursework that would double-dip as English or Social Studies courses (for example: study Classic Plays for an English credit, or History of the Theater as a Social Studies credit).

 

Involvement in these activities might lead to some great networking to open up on-the-job-training career occupations, or may lead to networking with people in the industry who suggest a school that is the perfect fit for your student.

 

 

Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth. BEST of luck to you and your student as you homeschool high school! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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2) Satisfy at least one unit from each category of the University System of Georgia requirements through accredited options: DE, AP

4 Carnegie units of college preparatory English

4 Carnegie units of college preparatory mathematics

4 Carnegie units of college preparatory science

3 Carnegie units of college preparatory social science

2 Carnegie units of the same foreign language 

OR 

2 units of American Sign Language OR 

2 units of computer science3

Problem: So far, ds has gotten into every school he's applied to, but they all have been in more homeschool-friendly states. He did get into a smaller Georgia school with a high admit rate, but we are waiting to hear how the flagships play out. I feel like admittance as a homeschooler for him has been based on strong ACT scores and some accredited, economical state-funded DE and AP coursework. This plan won't work for ds unless I can get her enrolled in our local tech school's DE program. 

one Carnegie unit is a standard year high school class (180 days or so) OR equivalent

No need to take APs but maybe use some DEs (Does Georgia recognize one semester = one HS year if not then avoid this route)

There are a fair number of accredited courses available for home schoolers (mostly online) if that is required.

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I posted this list on another thread recently, but applies here, too. If you click on the school name it goes to he home page of their learning support services.

 

http://www.collegetransitions.com/colleges-for-students-with-learning-disabilities

 

You can wander around the websites for admissions and net price calculators as well.

 

Re: 6 hours of testing. Getting accommodations to spread testing over two days is a thing.

 

The biggest thing to remember when dealing with kids with LDs - they become independent college students on their own schedule which may not be the same as "the usual" schedule.

 

Thank you for the link! Can't wait to delve in! That is good to know that it is possible to spread the testing out. Could make things doable! Your last piece of advice...thank you...I need to hear that. I have to keep reminding myself that life, in general and especially with a LD child, is not a checklist. 

 

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First, students grow and mature a LOT over the high school years, and what your current 9th grader is not capable of right now, may be much more capable of doing in the fall or spring of 12th grade, 4 years from now.

 

 

 

Absolutely possible to wait and test in 12th grade, when your student has had more time to mature into dealing with LDs or even begin to "grow out of" LDs.

 

Definitely get an official diagnosis now (if you don't already have one) to start a paper trail to prove the need for accommodations, both for testing in high school AND to be eligible to receive free accommodations offered by a possible future college.

 

Here is the info for testing accommodations for the ACT and SAT tests.

 

And then practice test-taking for the next few years on a regular basis to slowly build endurance. Start off doing one test section for 15 minutes. Build up to the full time period. Do that for each different test section, until familiar with all the different test sections. Take al of 9th grade and in to 10th grade to do that. Then start stretching the length of time and practice doing 2 test sections. Etc. Slowly build up those "attention span muscles", and combined with feeling very familiar with the test sections will help make it easier for your student to sit for the full length test by 12th grade.

 

 

 

You are lucky! For accreditation, Georgia is the ONE state in which you as a homeschooler can jump through the hoops and become accredited. See these past threads for more info:

 

Accreditation (how to become an accredited homeschool in GA)

Bev in B'ville: about your accreditation  (how to become an accredited homeschool in GA)

 

 

 

If you go through the accreditation process, then, looking at your requirements, it sounds like you'll be fine.

 

And that would allow you to choose the materials that would be the best fit for your student struggling with dyslexia. Then you can take things at your 9th grader's pace.  A minimum of 5 high school credits per year easily meet these requirements, and would probably be a do-able amount of work for a student with special needs. :)

 

 

You might also look into self-paced, outsourced courses and materials.

 

Note: *coursework* is not accredited -- it is the *cover school or organization* that is accredited, and that then okays or dismisses materials as meeting their accreditation policies. So if you don't go the route of seeking accreditation for your homeschool, you might also look in to an online accredited cover school that is flexible about choices of materials so that you could use some self-paced, outsourced options.

 

 

 

9th grade is very early to already be deciding whether or not a particular college will work for your student or not. In fact, it's very early to already be deciding that THIS particular student NEEDS or WANTS to attend a 4-year school after graduation. Rather than focusing on college choices in 9th grade, I'd gently recommend spending the next 2 years working on exploring your student's INTERESTS and STRENGTHS through extracurricular activities and through some Elective credits. That may help you uncover a previously-hidden gift or strength that would be your student's dream job, and best prepared for through a 2-year Associate's degree or on-the-job training, rather than a 4-year LAC or state public university. ;)

 

And, if at this time in 2 years when your student is halfway through 11th grade, you discover a 4-year degree IS what will best serve the student's needs, you will also probably have a much clearer idea of the student's interests so you can research colleges with that degree field and look specifically at those with good merit aid.

 

Also, there are options other than merit aid or need-based aid for paying for college, such as

- tuition-free schools and work-for-tuition schools

- companies that you can work for part-time and they contribute towards your tuition

- knocking out 2 years at a much cheaper community college and transferring to a university and only needing 2 years at the more expensive university to complete the 4-year university.

 

There are even options for possibly reducing room and board costs -- for example a few elder-care homes around the country that are experimenting with programs that offer free room and board to college students to live at the elder-care home, in exchange for 10-15 hours a week of time with the residents.

 

More ideas on alternative/out-of-the-box ways of funding college in these past threads:

"s/o: Cautionary Tale: High Cost of College -- a brainstorm $$ ideas thread!"

"How are YOU managing to pay for college?"

 

 

 

Gently, and just my opinion, but I think you are perhaps looking too far ahead right now. Again, pointing you to my first statement -- the 9th grader you see in front of you will be a very different student than when in 12th grade and approaching college admission, so some of these needs may not be a concern in 3 years.

 

Again, JMO, but I think that the next 2 years would be best spent in working your way through the required credits in order to be college prep, and working on whatever remediation will best help your student jump the dyslexia hurdle. At 9th grade, I would guess your student is around 14yo -- which is right about the time that many students with LDs begin to make the start of a break-through on their LDs or are beginning to figure out "work-arounds" in dealing with the LDs.

 

You mention costume design, fashion design, and theater make-up as this student's current strengths. I'd suggest strongly capitalizing on those interests/strengths with as many hands-on and class opportunities as possibly right now, as well as some possible support coursework that would double-dip as English or Social Studies courses (for example: study Classic Plays for an English credit, or History of the Theater as a Social Studies credit).

 

Involvement in these activities might lead to some great networking to open up on-the-job-training career occupations, or may lead to networking with people in the industry who suggest a school that is the perfect fit for your student.

 

 

Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth. BEST of luck to you and your student as you homeschool high school! :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

Lori,

 

I truly appreciate the thought you put into your responses to my specific concerns. I do so badly want to allow her to explore her passions more. She just has such low energy and it seems like every little bit she has is getting sucked up by her academics. I love, though, your suggestions of tailoring some of her coursework to her interests. It would mean moving outside the Classical Conversations umbrella, but it might be time for that.

 

One of her biggest energy drains is her Barton intervention. She is meeting with a Barton tutor one hour a day, 4 days a week. For the first time in her life, she is reading!!! But, it's soooo hard! We had started with Barton when she was first diagnosed as a 6-year-old, but after a year and a half, she started to shut down. Tried multiple different interventions along with breaks in the interim. I was starting to believe she would never be able to read. She is now fifteen years old (October bday). She started back with Barton this summer. I am so thankful that she is making some breakthroughs. Like you said, I've got to keep reminding myself that next year probably won't be as hard as this year and leaps may be made as she progresses over time. 

 

Your specific recommendations regarding testing: thank you for breaking it down for me. I think she will be excited to work on it in small increments as you suggested. We have been documenting with professional evaluations, so accomodations shouldn't be a problem.

 

I did not know that about accreditation in Georgia. How did I not know that??? I will definitely be checking out the resources you provided.

 

Great suggestions regarding financing college. 

 

I am such an "in-the-box" person and my daughter really needs me to step outside the box to work with the her. I just need some outside eyes to "gently" point me in the right direction. I will step back, first, and reassess how best to explore and engage her interests. Thank you for getting me started! 

 

Best,

April

 
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one Carnegie unit is a standard year high school class (180 days or so) OR equivalent

No need to take APs but maybe use some DEs (Does Georgia recognize one semester = one HS year if not then avoid this route)

There are a fair number of accredited courses available for home schoolers (mostly online) if that is required.

 

Thank you, Mark, for the information! I am going to look into the accreditation route as mentioned by Lori. Georgia does recognize one DE semester as one high school credit so that might possibly work as well. I am guessing I can search the high school forum for suggestions of online accredited courses for homeschoolers. It's nice to have options!

 

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You might also post on the Learning Challenges board for additional suggestions, both about high school classwork and remediation and college options.

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You might also post on the Learning Challenges board for additional suggestions, both about high school classwork and remediation and college options.

 

Thank you - I will do that!

 
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Yesterday, I purchased and downloaded The Art of Self-Directed Learning for my daughter, husband, and me to listen to on the way home from visiting family. It was a quick listen - 2 hours. It really gave us something to chew on. My older sister has made a big push over the last couple of days for my daughter to come visit her in China and if I'm going to consider it, I'm going to have to think about "school" a little differently. After listening to the book, I realized that my son, the more traditional learner, needs to listen to the book before heading to college in the fall. The book kinda summed up what I thought I would be doing when I chose to homeschool 12 years ago but just didn't have the courage or energy to do. We aren't going to rush into anything, but your thoughtful responses to my inquiry sure have revealed some exciting possibilities for us. Thank you!  :)

 

 

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As a Barton tutor who also lives in Georgia who also is getting a kid off to college next fall and who also has a dyslexic kid that will be entering the ninth grade next fall, I am interested in your journey. 

 

Out of curiosity, where is your daughter with her Barton program right now? What level is she in? My son completed levels 1-9 before middle school. I think he and I are going to  go back and re-do parts of level 9 and complete 10 this year. Previously, he was too young for the grammar of those levels but he is ready for it now. He is an avid reader thanks to Barton but his speed is an issue. So that is something that he and I are going to really work on. The one aspect of dyslexia that has been super helpful is that when he does not succeed, he is not defeated, he just sees it as a challenge. Thank goodness! So we plod along. 

 

How is your daughter's executive functioning skills? We struggle with that because of the co-morbid ADHD that we are choosing not to medicate. It is a challenge and I joke that when he goes off to college that *I* am getting a senior trip. 

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Hi @Chanley! I am interested in your journey, too! It's been a little lonely here in South Georgia.  :001_smile: My dd just started back with Barton the end of June. She will begin level 5 next week.  :hurray: Her executive function skills have improved over the last 2 years, but she struggles with recall and low energy. Similarly, we also have some ADHD issues (inattention) that we choose not to medicate. I did try medication with her when she was younger. Her focus visibly improved (she could actually look at a page), but I did not feel like it was helping her to assimilate information. She has asked to go back on it, but her diet is crap, and I told her she has to try cutting back on the carbs and sugars, first, to see if that helps. 

 

I love that your son views setbacks as a challenge! With or without dyslexia, life is a challenge, right?!! Our little darlings are certainly developing copious amounts of that highly sought after characteristic: grit! That is wonderful that your son is an avid reader! My daughter has become an avid "ear reader." Hopefully, after completing Barton, she won't struggle so much and can enjoy "eye" reading, too! 

 

What about curriculum choices? What's worked for you?

 

 

 

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There is usually a bump in ability after level 4 and then another big one after 6. I think I would just be gentle with her until she is further along. Lots of ear reading is key!

 

As far as curriculum, IEW has been the absolute best fit for writing. Susan Barton recommends that one but I tried a few others before taking her advice and wish I would not have wasted the time. We are currently using AOPS for math but it is text heavy, so that may not be the best fit for a kid who is profoundly dyslexic. 

 

Diet...I have a kid with Celiacs Disease and I can tell you, it is a big part of cognitive skills. We notice a difference when our diet is mostly paleo. Have you had your dd checked for anemia? 

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I wish we were still doing IEW! With the CC curriculum, you move onto Lost Tools of Writing in 7th grade. I'm having her tutored in it, so it's going okay, but I may switch her back to IEW for next year.

 

I haven't had bloodwork done on her in several years. Wouldn't be a bad idea to check a CBC. I know her energy level and focus would get a huge boost if she would change her diet. It's done wonders for mine. I tried gluten-free with her for several years, but she won't eat veggies. I feel like it's almost a dyslexia-related textural thing. Makes finding good food choices very difficult!

 

 

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I am using the IEW online classes, I much prefer being the wingman rather than the teacher. It just seems to work better for both of us. 

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