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Melissa in Australia

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:grouphug: 

 

It sounds like he has such profound deficits in written language that any writing program for a neurotypical child is just not going to help him right now, especially since he is so down on himself.  On the flip side it sounds like he has some real gifts as well. Unfortunately, he is not recognizing those gifts.  Since he has no other kids to compare himself to (since siblings are apparently also really good at these things) he has no outside source to help him become more aware of just how gifted he is in his areas of strength.  That's a tough position to be in, then couple that with everything else going on and I know this is a tough place to be, for both of you.  I'm sending huge buckets of sympathy and understanding.

 

Personally, I would drop the writing part for now.  I would focus every ounce of energy into finding ways to support and expand on his strengths.  His mental health is critical. 

 

It is exceedingly difficult to stay motivated to work on profound areas of weakness, especially weaknesses that are neurologically based, when you can't find anything within yourself or the world around you that gives you true joy and confidence and genuine purpose.  My own son taught me that.  He actually TOLD me that, even if it wasn't exactly the same wording.  DS, too, has trouble with certain aspects of written language and because of our location and specific circumstances he ended up isolated for quite a while.  His weaknesses were impeding his ability to do things he wanted to do and many of the initial materials we were using were not actually helping.  He stopped seeing his strengths despite my best efforts.  He only saw his weaknesses.  Teenage hormones compounded the issue.  His depression increased exponentially.  As depression increased, desire/motivation to try anything hard dropped like a stone.  He already felt bad.  He didn't have the mental energy to keep beating his head against a wall.  Why try when you know it won't work and only reminds you of what a failure you are? 

 

What is slowly turning things around is that I dumped the really hard stuff for quite a while as I worked even harder to tap into his areas of strength.   And because of his age (tween to early teen) I started working HARD to provide him with any opportunity to be with peers in settings where his weak areas are not relevant.  That including inviting people over and scheduling social events at our house.  We dropped formal writing lessons altogether for a long time while I worked to help him find his strengths again.   Now that he can tap into his strengths again and has others outside of this house acknowledging his strengths and a good (if very small as in 2) group of friends to be with, his motivation has taken an uptick and he willingly engages with lessons in even his weak areas most of the time.  He is also sleeping better and eating better.

 

I know you have a lot on your plate and you probably feel like you have done everything you can locally to help him.  What about on-line resources?  Maybe something like Outschool classes?  In areas he is interested/good at.

 

As for engaging materials for science specifically, would an on-line hands on class help?  Or the Conceptual Science materials?

https://conceptualacademy.com/

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

 

 

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What if he were to teach a hands on class in basic mechanics to kids that might live within driving distance?  Nothing written.  

 

 

other kids would be needed and most importantly that would involve talking  to others - something that he is avoiding at all costs.

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other kids would be needed and most importantly that would involve talking  to others - something that he is avoiding at all costs.

DS started avoiding people at all cost, too.  He just felt too bad inside to engage with others.  He met a boy that is older than he is through his sister (sister and the boy were in the same extra-curricular for a while but it unfortunately ceased to exist).  I offered to teach some lessons to the boy and DD to help out the boy's mom.  Eventually DS and the boy started talking and became tentative friends (it took time).  That boy had another friend who is actually a young adult who started coming over (I was inviting them over).  We then started doing board games together, movies together and Dungeons and Dragons.  It turned so much around.  The boys are both older but accept DS and respect his gifts.  It meant so incredibly much to his mental health to have these two young men listen to him and admire his strengths and WANT to hang out with him.  That in turn gave him confidence to once in a while meet with other people who are friends with these two people.

 

I'm just thinking if there is NO one living anywhere near where you are (wasn't sure how isolated) then maybe taking on-line classes might give your son a chance to tap into his strengths and get positive feedback from an outside adult and possibly other students.

 

Honestly,  DD has made some good friends on-line through on-line classes and she is an introvert.  

 

Not sure what else to suggest.  I'm so sorry I don't have better ideas.

 

:grouphug:

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his favorite subject was Science. He loved science especially when we worked through all of the Readers Digest How the series over several years. BUt then they were all done. We are now doing Apologia BIology _ He insisted on doing this book as his older siblings did it. His love of science is completely destroyed now. It is all just words words words ( that have to read aloud to him as his reading is not up to it) and not any experiments......I don't know any other curriculum for higher grades science. So I did what I have always done and fallen back to recommendations in WTM. I have bought him every science kit that I come across that I think he might be interested in. but he finds them silly and childish. I got him a Raspberry Pi - but I don't know what to do with it. We have been working through the tutorials that came with it but so far it isn't very fascinating to either of us - seems at the moment to be just like one of the silly science kits...............

 

 

Editid to add

 good suggestion I will post on highschool thread suggestions for a different science curriculum

 

I haven't looked at the other responses, but my first thought was to try to do a key word outline based on a "how to fix___".  First do some brainstorming on a white board. What do you know how to fix?  Okay, let's talk about the who?what?when?where?how? best?worst? Problems? solutions? questions for that (this is really the Unit 7 inventive, but it will at least help you with key word outlining). So you write down the stuff he tells you in answer to those questions, and you talk about how you could arrange the information. For example, maybe all the things that have to do with problems with fixing item X.  Then show him how to put those things into a key word outline and write from that.  ETA: Maybe consider doing all the scribing. Let this be an oral exercise. Take pictures of the white board. 

 

 

On the science, have you looked at either How Things Work on Coursera or the actual college lectures by the same author?  See links below:

 

https://www.coursera.org/learn/how-things-work

 

http://rabi.phys.virginia.edu/1050/2014/schedule.html

 

http://rabi.phys.virginia.edu/1060/2015/schedule.html

 

I have watched most of the lectures from UVA and they are really good.  I am not a physics oriented person but the way he explains the concepts really helps me to understand them.  I think this might be something worth trying. I also have an older text that goes with this course (the newer one is pricey!).

Edited by cintinative
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I'm not totally sure of the background - is he learning challenged or dyslexic at all? It sounds like sorting the depression might be the most critical starting point. Is he seeing non family people at least once a week, getting enough exercise outdoors and sleep? Three healthy meals? If that stuffs in place and the depression isn't budging can you go through the medical stuff to make sure there's no vitamin deficiencies etc and look at treating the depression?

 

I have some suggestions for writing strategies but I think sorting mental health is more critical.

 

Also this kid is a teen right? Just asking because with younger kids I have absolutely no issues with insisting that they do certain school things even if there's no interest. Often the boost to self esteem when they've managed is so helpful. But with a teen you need different strategies obviously as that's more likely to backfire.

 

As one other suggestion how would he be at creating a YouTube channel videoing how to fix stuff. They are really helpful to other people and getting hits etc might help give him a bit more confidence? Plenty of them aren't super professional so it wouldn't need to be too fancy.

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Also if you haven't consider doing a free Myers Briggs testing - helping him understand his personality type might help him appreciate his strengths more and help him feel better knowing that others share the weaknesses. You could administer it verbally and fill it in for him if his literacy level isn't there. It might help identify forward paths/ career options to work toward that harness his strengths.

 

Also I know you other guys are forestry fire fighters? Can you get him into cadets or something?

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I'm so sorry with everything Melissa- I just saw your update on the other thread too. I don't have any advice that could hold a candle to what others have given you here. But I do want to say I'm praying for you and your family. I can only imagine what a load you're under across the board.  I wish you guys could go off on a glorious vacation and get away for a few weeks and just be. And breathe. Hugs and prayers to you and your whole family. 

 

 

:grouphug:

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I'm so sorry with everything Melissa- I just saw your update on the other thread too. I don't have any advice that could hold a candle to what others have given you here. But I do want to say I'm praying for you and your family. I can only imagine what a load you're under across the board.  I wish you guys could go off on a glorious vacation and get away for a few weeks and just be. And breathe. Hugs and prayers to you and your whole family. 

 

 

:grouphug:

My sentiments exactly.

 

:grouphug:

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thank you so much for all your advice everyone. You have given me some very constructive advice regarding Science. something that I should have thought of, but was so bogged down that I didn't see the obvious . We will be switching immediately  to experiment based science. Ds14 was so pleased when I suggested it to him and told me that he thought that the whole point of science was to do stuff and observe what happens. ( He spoke above the normal  two word sentences)

 

I was going to continue to demonstrate IEW to him today and he said he is sick of just watching and DID THE OUTLINE HIMSELF  :svengo:  he did have more than 3 words per spot ( what he did extra words  :svengo: )  and seemed mighty pleased with himself. I know that there is strictly not meant to be more than 3 words, but I am not going to make him redo it. I am tentatively hoping that this program will work.

 

 

Words cannot express how grateful I am for all the help and advice I have received from this thread 

 

THANK YOU  :wub:

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Well done. Symbols and numbers don't count in the 3 words so he can use them where he can.

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Great up date. Also symbols are free (don't count on the three words and any symbol you can draw quicker than you write the word counts.

 

Seems to appeal to my writing averse boy.

 

Or I should say former writing averse boy! Thx to IEW we get full page essays occasionally now!!!

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For biology, if you need to refer to a text you might look at Guest Hollow's free biology text (based on CK-12's free text).  It has lots of pictures and embedded videos that might be helpful.  

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I haven’t read whole thread but I have the previous edition of TWSS if you are interested Melissa. I’m not at home right now to check but I think I have the discs and binder. I’m in Perth by the way so postage would be a lot cheaper. If you are interested feel free to pm me

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update, 

ds is currently doing a key word outline 4 days a week. He has completed one paragraph from one of the key word outlines. We have been using both the SWI B and the Rockets theme book for extra practice for the key word outlining section. He is struggling to only have 3 words- especially as he knows that he is meant to be making the key word outline into paragraphs. He thinks that the more words he does now the less when he does the paragraph. I am seeing slow progress over the last 2 weeks which is good, but don't want to frighten him completely by  moving too fast. I am finding that the books don't have enough practice lessons. I have used up all the lessons for the first section in both books and we still need more practice before moving onto the next section.

 

 

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Yay for progress!!!   :hurray:  :hurray:  :hurray:

 

You could look through books you have at home for an appropriate paragraph to pull out for him to KWO.  Also, (maybe you're doing this....)  when he doesn't re-write from the KWO, I would still have him "tell" me his paragraph orally from the KWO.  

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