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In the Bight

Language arts help for new homeschooler?

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1 hour ago, In the Bight said:

I'm not sure what words you mean?

Three of his four mistakes were repeating the sounds back in the first place. Like for /o/ /a/ /u/, he said "/o/ /u/ ... /u/ was last. I forget the rest".  For /i/ /e/ /i/, he pulled down three different colours, then realized he'd made a mistake somewhere when he started to "touch and say". After he got it right on the second try, he said it was the hardest one and most of the others were really easy. I asked what other sounds were hard and he said /o/ and /u/. 

Actually I forgot what the test was like. I haven't looked at it since ds was 5. So I just pulled it up, and it has 4 steps, where the first is to repeat the sounds given. It sounds like the task was very challenging for him, and this is specifically why you do the screening, to capture some of these soft skills (vowels, working memory, etc.) and how they come together. Like I said, I suggest you call Barton and actually talk with her. I did and she's lovely. I would just follow her recommend. 

1 hour ago, In the Bight said:

he does read aloud to someone for 20 minutes/day. It took a long time to build up to that, so I think we'll keep that routine until we have something concrete to replace it with.

Sounds wise! 

1 hour ago, In the Bight said:

I'll start reading another novel to him in the next couple days. It probably makes sense to back up to something easier than Number the Stars so he and I can both practice the kind of discussion you're talking about, but maybe it makes sense to back way up and share the reading. 

Do you want to use a novel or picture books? I like both, but I'm just suggesting it's OK to continue to use picture books. Especially when you're not sure where his comprehension is, comprehension books will be fabulous. If you need a list to start with, here's one we just used and really enjoyed. https://www.weareteachers.com/15-must-have-picture-books-for-teaching-social-emotional-skills/  Even if they're young, they're great for SEL (social emotional learning) and fabulous for working on narrative language.

1 hour ago, In the Bight said:

I CC'd the school psych on my email to the school SLP, and he let me know that she's out this week and doesn't have a CTOPP. He's not sure about other language testing, so I'll have to wait on that. Also still waiting on the other SLP. 

The school psych recommended the Phonological Awareness Screening Test and sent it to me in PDF. So my kid is going to be very sick of testing very soon. 😄

Ok, I just googled it. I've seen the PAST before. It doesn't hit some of the areas the CTOPP hits. Here's a pdf exploring the tests https://stars.library.ucf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1832&context=etd

Edited by PeterPan
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I know this isn’t true for all kids, but once my Ds was able to read the High Noon Sound Out Chapter Books fluently, he was then in large part able to pick out what he was ready for both in terms of content and reading difficulty .

Some more difficult books were listened to as read aloud a or audiobooks, but some I was pretty sure he’d want to read I saved as carrots for his own reading as he was able to do so (Harry Potter series, for example).

For him around age 9 as an emerging reader, Magic tTreehouse  was a big help— both fiction books and fact trackers.   Read as him reading them aloud to me.  At the same time as that he was able to start silently read Rick Riordan books.  I think reading aloud is generally harder for a lot of people than silent reading, but was important to make sure he was correctly reading.  He also read some books silently where he clearly skipped difficult, uninteresting or too mature parts (sci fi particularly at around age 11). 

My ds who is dyslexic/ dysgraphia still doesn’t write cursive.  His printing gradually has gotten decent.  

Typing started with Talkingfingers.com and that was a huge help

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Just thought the results of this study were interesting in light of our discussion about how someone could receive years and years of ps intervention and STILL have issues with decoding. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0731948718765207  Just was in a ps summer reading program they only 2/3 of the time was spent on reading and of that only 30% was spent on decoding. The other 70% was spent on comprehension. 

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 vowel sounds can be especially puzzling if reading was based a good bit on sight words or whole language instead of phonics.  Or even with emphasis on the many ways a letter can sound rather than the most common way understood for a short vowel sound or long vowel sound 

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On 5/6/2019 at 8:13 PM, Pen said:

I know this isn’t true for all kids, but once my Ds was able to read the High Noon Sound Out Chapter Books fluently, he was then in large part able to pick out what he was ready for both in terms of content and reading difficulty .

Some more difficult books were listened to as read aloud a or audiobooks, but some I was pretty sure he’d want to read I saved as carrots for his own reading as he was able to do so (Harry Potter series, for example).

For him around age 9 as an emerging reader, Magic tTreehouse  was a big help— both fiction books and fact trackers.   Read as him reading them aloud to me.  At the same time as that he was able to start silently read Rick Riordan books.  I think reading aloud is generally harder for a lot of people than silent reading, but was important to make sure he was correctly reading.  He also read some books silently where he clearly skipped difficult, uninteresting or too mature parts (sci fi particularly at around age 11). 

My ds who is dyslexic/ dysgraphia still doesn’t write cursive.  His printing gradually has gotten decent.  

Typing started with Talkingfingers.com and that was a huge help

 

Magic Treehouse is about the right level for him to read out loud, but Rick Riordan would be too hard for him now even silently. Or at least too intimidating for him to try. I had been planning to do the same thing you did and hold off on reading certain books out loud, but it didn’t feel right when his siblings started reading those books so easily. 

He started learning cursive last year at school, but they dropped it with him pretty quickly to prioritize other things. I'm going to take him through a couple of the Handwriting Without Tears printing books and then see if he’s interested in learning cursive. It’s not required after 3rd grade in our schools, so if he doesn’t want to learn I won’t push it.

 

As an update - I spoke to Susan Barton and the SLP this week and have a tentative plan to finish out this year. Further advice or recommendations are very welcome, even things to look into or come back to next year. Our school year ends on June 28 and I’ve already warned all my kids to expect one hour of school work per day in July. Shopping for “enrichment” materials for the other kids is a nice break.

  

Susan Barton was very kind and answered a bunch of questions I had. She couldn't say for sure that he needed a program as intensive as Barton, but she was sure it would help him. Susan recommended that we skip Foundations in Sound and start Barton Level 1. She said it would be okay for us to do it in shorter sessions, aiming for two 20-minute sessions per day.

The SLP is available to assess him in August. She strongly encouraged us to bring him then, and said it would be very important to test his social language before the psych assessment in October. She’s also able to test his reading and processing skills at that time. I asked what she would recommend we do for now about reading and mentioned that I had been looking at Barton. She said to go ahead with Barton Level 1, but all the Barton levels probably won’t be necessary and she’ll know when she tests him.

 

So, we’ll start Handwriting Without Tears tomorrow (it arrived today and looks perfect) and Barton Level 1 when it gets here. My son asked me to read the book Milkweed to him, so I found a study guide online and will use it to help guide our discussion and gauge his comprehension.

Thanks everyone for your help! I'm sure I'll have plenty more questions and am so glad I found a group of such knowledgeable and thoughtful mentors!

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That sounds like a really good plan! And yes, some kids get through Barton 4 and just take off. I'm so glad you were able to talk with Barton and the SLP and get it sorted out. Your plan sounds really solid now. You'll see this when Barton comes, but the program weaves in some light conceptual grammar. It might be enough to make you feel ok about not doing more till fall.

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19 hours ago, PeterPan said:

That sounds like a really good plan! And yes, some kids get through Barton 4 and just take off. I'm so glad you were able to talk with Barton and the SLP and get it sorted out. Your plan sounds really solid now. You'll see this when Barton comes, but the program weaves in some light conceptual grammar. It might be enough to make you feel ok about not doing more till fall.

Thanks! He's adjusted really well to being home full-time, we both feel good about how his other subjects are going, and we have lots of material to fill out the rest of this year in math, science, health, etc. In that context, I'm okay with not hitting everything in language arts and focusing on a few areas that seem most important. I had him write thank you notes to his teachers this morning and I'll try other little bits of fun/relaxed writing with him so he hopefully won't be too resistant when we start a writing program. He's enjoying the novel we're reading and is asking lots of good questions about the Holocaust and WWII, so a trip the library is on the agenda for tomorrow. We're also reading some non-fiction readers that go with our current science unit, but are technically part of the Grade 4 Language Arts curriculum, so I'm counting them. 

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Your plan sounds good, and it is so positive that he is having a good attitude.

Is he your only? You may have said, but I don't remember.

As you transition to homeschooling, keep in mind that maintaining that positive attitude and willingness to work is a key part of homeschooling success. Can you homeschool a reluctant kids with a poor attitude? Sure, but it is horribly hard and discouraging for everyone.

So as you plan out what you will do academically, try to mix in a lot of fun and keep a priority on maintaining a good relationship with him.

That probably sounds like a light and fluffy bit of advice. But the attitude and relationship problems are what sank homeschooling for my family, so I see it as essential.

 

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1 hour ago, Storygirl said:

Your plan sounds good, and it is so positive that he is having a good attitude.

Is he your only? You may have said, but I don't remember.

As you transition to homeschooling, keep in mind that maintaining that positive attitude and willingness to work is a key part of homeschooling success. Can you homeschool a reluctant kids with a poor attitude? Sure, but it is horribly hard and discouraging for everyone.

So as you plan out what you will do academically, try to mix in a lot of fun and keep a priority on maintaining a good relationship with him.

That probably sounds like a light and fluffy bit of advice. But the attitude and relationship problems are what sank homeschooling for my family, so I see it as essential.

He's the 3rd of 5 kids - 3 are in public school and our youngest starts in September. 

I really do appreciate your advice and sharing your family's experience. Without getting into too much detail, my son's behaviour at school became unmanageable this year, which led to him attending part-time and now homeschooling. His behaviour at home has never reached that level and he responds much better to me, my husband, and my husband's parents than to other adults, but I do fear this will change now that we're homeschooling and I'm asking more of him. I'm also very, very worried about how our relationships will change as he gets older, which is one of the many reasons homeschooling isn't a long-term solution for us.

Right now, he and I have a close relationship and he understands that I'm on his team, so I'm trying hard to maintain that. Mixing fun things in has been tricky, because the school-related things I thought would be fun (science experiments and math games) felt like work to him. We'll still do them, but now that I know they're "work" I think the only thing we can consider "fun" is physical activity. 

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