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Hi everyone! I am new here. I am a single mom of 2, I work full time out of the home and just looking to help fill in some gaps in my kids knowledge that are becoming more noticeable. Plus, I'm not 100% on board with what the school chooses to teach.

I have a DS who is 9 years old and going into 4th grade, and a DD who is 7 years old and going into 2nd grade. Both at public school. I share custody with ex-husband and my DD, so I would only be able to do work with her a few days a week.

So I am looking at trying to assess where they are now, so for Math I am thinking about looking at Math Mammoth since they have so many different options. I am still kind of lost at how to implement it.

But I am pretty lost as to where to start with language arts. Both of my kids are OK readers, my DD struggled throughout first grade but she made a lot of progress. According to what the school provided us, DD was just below the recommended level to start second grade, and I do not know where my DS's current level is.

DD's handwriting needs help, she struggles a lot with reversals on several of her letters and numbers. My son can write decent when he focuses. He was not taught cursive, so I was thinking about beginning cursive practice with him. I was looking at Zaner Bloser, because it seemed relatively straight forward. I was thinking of starting my DS at 2C. For my daughter, I was wondering if Handwriting without Tears might be more appropriate for her.

Am I looking at too much? I'm not looking to pile on a lot of work, just add a little supplement to help their understanding (especially since I think they are behind in several areas).

Thank you!

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  These are the books that we like and are using for few yrs now and my DD is 9 yrs and in 4th grade.

    Language arts -First language lessons, book is very good.It doesn't require any writing for level 2.

   Writing with ease - My Kid just listens to the stories and answer the questions orally,We don't use the workbook/handwriting part at the end of the book.

   For reading comprehension -Reading Detective from Critical thinking and Evan moor daily reading comprehension.


   Singapore Math Standard Edition -We use both textbook and workbook.There are loads of Singapore Math books apart from text book and workbook.And they are good supplements too.Personally, I like Singapore Math because I don't have to break my head to think what will come next ,everything is grade wise ,with simple explanation.In public school we get  one page of homework daily (either Math or English)and with that I don't whether they are covering every concept.

   This is the third yr we are using singapore math.When we started I bought Math mammoth  to compare and see how it is ,but I didnt like math mammoth.

   You can teach them when they are with you and give them supplements to work independently when they are not.For all the books sample pages are available in Rainbow resource website. I also use commomcoresheets website for free math worksheets and they are awesome.

Pick and choose what works for you and your kids.I would first work on the subject or concept that I think they are finding it difficult ,since time is limited.

All the best.


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  • 2 weeks later...

So, if b/d reversals are a problem, Handwriting Without Tears might help her because while it's similar to the traditional manuscript taught in schools, the b and d are written differently, which helps with reversals.   Their "a" is sort of like a cursive a, and their d starts like an a, so it's helpful to remind my son that "d" starts like an a.  It's helped a lot with reversals.   

ProgressivePhonics.com and PrintPath  both have  a font very similar to HWT.   Progressive phonics handwriting printables are free and they have a few pages directly addressing  b/d reversals.   (The main difference between PrintPath/ProgressivePhonics and HWT is that the uses three-lined paper in stead of the special lined paper HWT uses).    I used those for my son who homeschooled after completing KG, because it was a little cheaper and allowed me to just focus on what he needed work on.

PrintPath's free sampler contains practice pages for both the a and d. 


Print Path also has a set specifically designed for reversals (they recently added it so I haven't tried it, but have used various other things by them and they are always good quality):  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/REVERSAL-REPAIR-Reading-Writing-Multisensory-Interventions-1773515

They also have several things designed to help children who have already learned to write to address other problems.   I've used parts of the following two to help my older son correct some issues with his handwriting (things like "floating letters, spacing, making sure things like g and y rest on the line, etc"):

This one is for 2nd Grade, to address any problems children may have with their writing:


This one is designed to help a child move from 3 lines to one lines, while addressing any writing problems they may have along the way:



Another exercise that helped us with reversals was driving a cut out paper car (flat...just a picture of a car cut out) along the line until it hit the b or d and seeing that it could climb the "hill" on the d before hitting the wall, while on the b it hit the wall first.  Tracing in sand is suggested too, but didn't help my son.



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  • 2 weeks later...

We use Math Mammoth for our boys.  We have them do 10-15 minutes or 2-3 pages of it a day year round.   We skip it on days that they have math homework from school.   I just start them in their current grade level and then we do extra practice if things are getting hard.   For our family it works really well.   On occasion I will slip in things like logic puzzles or games just to break things up.

For handwriting we used Spelling you See for a long time and it worked really well.  It helped with both spelling and letter formation.   (I may have to start them back up on this)

For extra reading we used the McGuffy Readers for a long time.   I had them read me one lesson a night repeating ones that were hard for them.   

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