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high school..with a kid who doesn’t know how to do hs level work


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DD14 is in 9th grade.  She is probably mildly dyslexic and we’ve done quite a bit of dyslexia remediation in the past.  Her core subjects are Friendly Biology, CLE Algebra I, Beautiful Feet Ancient History, and IEW Following Narnia vol 2 for writing.  She is not good at school, doesn’t like, and doesn’t put much effort into it.  

She’s doing ok with BF (though I'm having her do all the writing assignment orally as discussions).  IEW...not so much.  My goal with IEW is to get her to the point where she can do hs level writing.  She has no clue how to do anything more than a single paragraph and I feel like IEW isn’t getting her past that.  There are things I like about IEW and things I find really frustrating (like the story sequence chart).  It’s supposed to be a good program for dyslexic kids so that's why we’re using it.  She already did SWI-B and part of SICC-B.  It didn’t seem to help her much to watch the IEW videos so I switched to one of their self-contained programs this year.

She has no clue how to study for tests.  On the first two tests in Friendly Biology (there’s one per lesson), she got a 67 and 60...and they’re all multiple choice questions.  She also doesn’t understand Algebra.  She’s struggling through the first workbook (out of 10) in CLE Algebra and it’s only getting harder from here.  Last year she did all the Keys to...for Percents, Decimals, and Fractions and then worked through a lot of Khan Academy pre-algebra (after I realized she wasn’t understanding Teaching Textbooks pre-algebra).

I don’t have hours every day to walk her through all this in teeny tiny steps.  I don’t know how else to get her through this work.  

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My recommendation would be to stop a writing program temporarily and work with her on taking notes.  My dyslexic 9th grader is the weakest student of all of my kids.  Last yr I really worked with her on note-taking.  She prefers Cornell Notes bc they really help her visualize what she is trying to remember and they force her to organize her thoughts.   At the bottom of her notes, she writes at least 1 paragraph summarizing what she read.  

These notes have really helped her take what she has read, know how to study, and get them into her long-term memory.  Since note-taking forces them to organize their thoughts in a logical way plus writing the summaries, it has equally impacted her writing. (She wasn't a bad writer, but it made her writing that much better.)

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You might look at Mathusee Algebra and see if that will be a good fit.

About studying for tests: after the first test, sit down with her and go through each question and find the question/answer in the book and highlight it.  Note if it is in a sentence with a bolded word, or if it was one of the end of section questions, or in the review at the end of each chapter (this is general advice.  I'm not familiar with Friendly Biology.)  This will help to make a plan for the next chapter.  Maybe she needs to make flashcards of vocabulary words (using pictures or colorful gel pens if that will help).  Maybe she needs to highlight while she is reading the chapter (we have every color of highlighter known to man).  Maybe she needs to highlight and then copy in a notebook what she highlighted.  Figure out what works best for her.

My dd was not dyslexic, but she was highly visual spatial, and we had success with Seton's Composition book https://setonbooks.com/english/1456-composition-for-young-catholics-key-in-book.html

and Jensen's Format Writing https://www.amazon.com/Jensens-Format-Writing-Frode-Jensen/dp/0890519927/ref=pd_bxgy_2/144-2629379-8128765?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0890519927&pd_rd_r=06a7fae5-461c-43e3-96cb-433c25276bdb&pd_rd_w=cZNcA&pd_rd_wg=IXk3H&pf_rd_p=ce6c479b-ef53-49a6-845b-bbbf35c28dd3&pf_rd_r=JX22ZNRZFJRVSP19XRZK&psc=1&refRID=JX22ZNRZFJRVSP19XRZK

 We also always used the burger visual for how to write paragraphs or papers.  Something similar to this:  https://www.halfahundredacrewood.com/presentation-prep-skills-ideas-and-the-hamburger-model/?mc_cid=73c8c657ce&mc_eid=68b273338d

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Agree with 8FillTheHeart about working on note-taking and study skills first. BYU has an online Study Skills class for high school students -- unfortunately, it looks like it's self-paced and computer-driven. What might work better for accountability is a live tutor or a live class online to walk her through techniques and have her practice in the class. ETA: Oo! Just found these Outschool Middle/Early High School and High school Study Skills classes -- 8 weeks, starts Oct. 19, includes class & teacher interactions via forum discussion (not live class).

From there:

1. I'd outsource writing and math.
Esp. for writing, many students work harder (and meet deadlines) for someone else other than for mom. And depending on how you outsource, the teacher (or individual tutor) would have more ability to walk her through the process and hold her accountable. I'd look at Lantern Writing ($60 for 8-week course, with feedback), or even better, a good local tutor.

And for the math, since you need her to be more independent, but she needs more individualized instruction, I'd outsource that, too. Consider WTMer Jann in TX's My Homeschool Math class -- she provides a lot of extra time with students who need it. She also offers year-round Boot Camps to prep for the higher maths. I'd start with a Boot Camp, and also ask if it's possible to get into an Algebra 1 class right now -- it looks like classes started just 3 weeks ago, so it might still be possible to jump in. 


2. I'd start discussing the future with DD, and incorporate possibilities into your homeschooling.
The point is to start her doing some career exploration now, so that she can see the point to working on some of these school subjects as relevant to possible future job of interest, OR, to use high school to prepare her for an alternative sort of career.

High school is the time to both explore, but also to prepare for the future. Since DD's not fond of school and formal academics, then you might start discussing the future, and what kinds of jobs do not require higher educational, and how she can start preparing and training for that as Electives and extracurricular activities to try out those.

- What options are there at the local community college as far as certificates or trades?
- What kinds of vocational-tech areas might she be interested in?
- Does the community college offer free vo-tech classes to high school students?

For example, high school students in our city (homeschool or public school) can take (for free) all of the classes and hours needed to then take the cosmetology license and be a licensed hair stylist/hair cutter anywhere in the state -- a program that would cost $25,000-$30,000 if going through one of the local beauty colleges. Welding is another great program that doesn't require the upper maths & sciences, but is a skilled trade that earns decent money.

Also, I'd. have her start looking around at jobs with on-the-job training that allow for working your way up into the company and a higher-paid position -- things like Geico Insurance, or Costco, or UPS/Fedx. Or fast food or coffee place and work up to manager.. Or What about short-term specialized skill training certification, such as fork-lift operator, locksmith, pet grooming, etc.


3. Include one elective of high interest to her.
Help keep school more interesting by having the "carrot" of getting to work on something of high interest *to her* after the academic subjects are completed to your satisfaction each day. Cooking? Hand crafts? Artwork? Digital design? Music? Gardening? Wood working? Jewelry making? Filmmaking? Interior design/faux finish painting? Clothing design and construction? Electronics (soldering)? Working with animals?

She needs something to bring joy to balance the large parts of the day that have to be spent on things she doesn't like and that don't come easily to her. And spending time on those high interest areas might open up a future career for her.

Edited by Lori D.
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Lantern English Essay Basics will walk her through writing a standard 5 paragraph essay in 8 weeks.  They start with how to write a proper paragraph and cover writing a thesis statement, planning and outlining, and intro/body/conclusion paragraphs.  My DD took it last year in 8th grade and it was really perfect for her.  

As for math, it sounds like she needs pre-algebra for a bit first.  Maybe MUS Pre-A and then MUS Algebra.  My DD is doing CLE Algebra 1 right now and I think if she had not spend the last two years doing CLE 700 and 800, she would be struggling.  Unfortunately, they cover Pre-A over two years so you can't really back up just one year with CLE. 

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55 minutes ago, Lori D. said:



2. I'd start discussing the future with DD, and incorporate possibilities into your homeschooling.
High school is the time to both explore, but also to prepare for the future. Since DD's not fond of school and formal academics, then you might start discussing the future, and what kinds of jobs do not require higher educational, and how she can start preparing and training for that as Electives and extracurricular activities to try out those.

- What options are there at the local community college as far as certificates or trades?
- What kinds of vocational-tech areas might she be interested in?
- Does the community college offer free vo-tech classes to high school students?

For example, high school students in our city (homeschool or public school) can take (for free) all of the classes and hours needed to then take the cosmetology license and be a licensed hair stylist/hair cutter anywhere in the state -- a program that would cost $25,000-$30,000 if going through one of the local beauty colleges. Welding is another great program that doesn't require the upper maths & sciences, but is a skilled trade that earns decent money.

Also, I'd. have her start looking around at jobs with on-the-job training that allow for working your way up into the company and a higher-paid position -- things like Geico Insurance, or Costco, or UPS/Fedx. Or fast food or coffee place and work up to manager.. Or What about short-term. specialized skill training certification, such as fork-lift operator, 

The point is to start her doing some career exploration now, so that she can see the point to working on some of these school subjects as relevant to possible future job of interest, OR, to use high school to prepare her for an alternative sort of career.

 

She wants to something with digital art and go to an art school.  I don’t see this as being realistic.  I don’t know how o tell her that.  She’s not an exceptional artist.  She spends a lot of time drawing, but she’s probably an average artist.  

The local community college basically offers medical-related degrees and general degrees.  She’s not interested in anything medical.  The only vo-tech programs they offer are welding and industrial systems.  I don’t see her being at all interested in either.

She doesn’t really want to put much effort into anything other than drawing and writing fan fiction.  She doesn’t want to be a writer.  Honestly, I just see her working in retail because I don’t see her being willing to put in the effort to do anything more. Maybe after several years of adulting she’ll be motivated to do more.

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You will probably be surprised how much she matures in the next couple of years. 

What about graphic design?  I’m sure you could find some type of digital art class for her to try out now.

For study skills, I agree with the others. I usually hold a study session and review the chapter with my kids. I make sure we cover what’s on the test. Reviewing with me helps them see what they know and what they need to study.  I’ve found Quizlet is good for biology vocabulary.

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25 minutes ago, caedmyn said:

She wants to something with digital art and go to an art school.  I don’t see this as being realistic.  I don’t know how o tell her that.  She’s not an exceptional artist.  She spends a lot of time drawing, but she’s probably an average artist.  

The local community college basically offers medical-related degrees and general degrees.  She’s not interested in anything medical.  The only vo-tech programs they offer are welding and industrial systems.  I don’t see her being at all interested in either.

She doesn’t really want to put much effort into anything other than drawing and writing fan fiction.  She doesn’t want to be a writer.  Honestly, I just see her working in retail because I don’t see her being willing to put in the effort to do anything more. Maybe after several years of adulting she’ll be motivated to do more.

Gently, you seem to be very negative about her. She's a 9th grader. Most 9th graders are average artists. I'll bet Judy Chicago's 14 yo art was mildly cruddy. Graphic design is also a much wider field than art. There are community colleges that have graphic design degrees. Art schools do not usually require testing or high academic achievement. They do require a portfolio and to get a decent one, you need to be given a chance and work with an outside teacher and mentor. And there are lots of art adjacent careers that might interest her. In addition to being meh artists, most 9th graders aren't really sure what they want to do and have trouble getting motivated to do it.

I second a lot of the above advice about slowing down, teaching study skills and note taking very explicitly, and getting her some outside teachers for core subjects like math and science since you don't seem to have the time or capacity to really work with her on the level she needs. It's high school - you can outsource and take a back seat if that's the role that will work better for the both of you.

However, I doubt that anything will be successful unless you find a way to nurture her as a person. She does have an interest that motivates her. Maybe it will turn out to be a childhood pipe dream. But if you're this shut down around her prospects all the way around, then she's going to be like an unwatered flower. She's young. She has lots of time to find that motivation in other areas. Working toward a goal, even if she doesn't achieve it, can be good for learning how to work toward goals in general. And broadening her understanding of design adjacent careers will be a good thing for her in general.

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40 minutes ago, caedmyn said:

She wants to something with digital art and go to an art school.  I don’t see this as being realistic.  I don’t know how o tell her that.  She’s not an exceptional artist.  She spends a lot of time drawing, but she’s probably an average artist.  

The local community college basically offers medical-related degrees and general degrees.  She’s not interested in anything medical.  The only vo-tech programs they offer are welding and industrial systems.  I don’t see her being at all interested in either.

She doesn’t really want to put much effort into anything other than drawing and writing fan fiction.  She doesn’t want to be a writer.  Honestly, I just see her working in retail because I don’t see her being willing to put in the effort to do anything more. Maybe after several years of adulting she’ll be motivated to do more.

Digital Art does not necessarily require being an exceptional artist. There are some good-paying jobs for those who are good at working with Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and other image manipulation software, or animation software. Photography studios and graphic designers need people who can do post-production work on photographs or work with digital images. The film industry uses a lot of people who can do digital color correction and other digital work (not to mention animators).

She's still young, so I wouldn't expect her to have a career path in mind already. What I meant in my post is to *start talking about* careers and how high school subjects are a path towards the future education and/or training needed for many careers. And to start doing some career exploration, so she can start connecting the dots for herself (i.e, need to work on certain subjects/skills in high school as stepping stone into future field of interest).


I do totally get having a child who dislikes anything "school like" and who has no idea of what they want to do as a job. That was our DS#2 -- mild LDs in math, writing, and spelling (probably stealth dyslexia + extremely visual-spatial learner). But... I was able to pour a ton of time into pushing/prodding/encouraging/tutoring him all the way through homeschooling, as I did not have 5 younger children. That's why I recommend as much as you can outsourcing to good hand-holding resources, and, while you don't want to beat it to death, do keep coming back to some career exploration every so often all through high school. Just seeing that there are a lot of options out there and many paths for getting there can help a child not feel worthless or defeated before even getting through high school.

Wishing you both all the BEST in your high school journey! Warmest regards, Lori D.


ETA --PS
Also, strongly encourage you to find some help and support for YOU, as you sound very weary. (((hugs)))

Edited by Lori D.
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We used a program called "How to be a Superstar Student" that was great for teaching notetaking, study skills, etc.  I highly recommend it.  It is a DVD series, that could probably be covered in about 2 weeks if youd like.  Maybe you could take a pause and do a program like that? 

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This book changed my thinking on studying quite a bit.  I read it over the summer with my son who just entered college this fall.  I took copious notes on this book and wish I had known this stuff all along.  I realize that I never really knew how to study before reading this book and now I know.

I would recommend getting it and reading it for yourself and taking lots of notes and helping your daughter implement the study tactics described in there. 

My son and I read it for his math/English class, so he hasn’t even used a lot of the stuff in the book, but what he is using is so helpful.  

It’s kinda expensive new, but the used books are very cheap:  https://smile.amazon.com/How-Study-Science-Frederick-Drewes/dp/0072346930/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2315HY0PVXTR7&dchild=1&keywords=how+to+study+science&qid=1601394870&sprefix=how+to+study+science%2Caps%2C162&sr=8-2

I think the biggest take away I had from the book, is that every single time you interact with the material, that is studying.  So, before you even do a lesson on a math chapter, if you carefully read the title or look at the pictures in the book or read a box on the side of the page, that counts as “studying.”  The author comes up with lots of different ways for a person to interact with the material over and over, so that you are always exposing yourself to it and are therefore studying it, even if it’s not a “study session” before a test. (But he talks about how to do those, too.)

Edited by Garga
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For writing, my oldest son struggled greatly with writing all throughout his schooling.  I homeschooled him from 1st - 11th and I got him pretty far in writing. 

In his 12th grade year, he went to a cyberschool and they used a technique called RACES and that really helped him to understand what to include in his paragraphs.

RACES is used when you’re answering a question in writing and need to cite information from it.  Here’s a link to someone who explains the whole process:  https://jenniferfindley.com/tips-for-teaching-race-constructed-response-strategy/

Ih the above link, she does RACE and leaves off the S.  In my son’s school, they included the S.

R-restate the question

A-answer the question

C-cite evidence

E-explain the evidence (THIS IS THE KEY STEP)

S-summarize

An example:

Why does the wicked witch of the west want the ruby slippers?

R-Restate the question as a statement—this is crazy easy:

The wicked witch of the west wants the ruby slippers.

A-Answer why she wants them:

She wants them because they are powerful.

C- How do you know that?

When she tries to take them from Dorothy they zap her with sparks of electricity and when Dorothy needs to travel to back to Kansas all she has to do is click the heels of the slippers together.

E- This is the part where the student has to think for themselves. Use your own brain to explain the above. 

Powers to protect the wearers with zaps of electricity and powers to travel anywhere instantaneously would be desirable to most people. It’s not a surprise that the witch wants this powers.  Most people would.

S- Summarize what the paragraph is about:

The witch wants to add to her powers by owning the ruby slippers.

 

Ok—I just made that up on the fly.  For my struggling writer, he could grasp this structure pretty quickly. The article I linked had a few tips from the writer if the student struggles with any of the steps.  

The biggest thing my struggling writer has trouble with (and even now in his ENG 101 class at college), is the E part—explaining.  I tell him that whenever he states a fact, he has to give a cheesy comment behind it. Even if he thinks a fact stands alone, that doesn’t matter—he always has to add a cheesy statement to follow it up.  Always. 

If he’s writing about why cats are better than dogs and writes, “A cat’s fur is softer than a dog’s.” That can’t stand alone.  You must say something cheesy about the fluffy fur. Sure, you reader probably knows that soft is better than rough fur, but you have to say it, no matter how cheesy it is:

Statement: A cat’s fur is softer than a dog’s. Cheesy followup: People like to touch soft things, so they like to touch cats more than dogs.

 

My son did IEW for 2 years and The Lost Tools of Writing and The Lively Art of Writing.  But RACES seemed to bring it all home.  I don’t know if he’d have had to go through all the others for RACES to make sense, but if I could do it over again I’d start with RACES and see if that worked and once he got a structure down, then I’d add some of the other bells and whistles (like lists of strong verbs or adjectives, etc, that IEW has.)

 

ETA: Yes, it’s very formulaic. Natural writers will want to deviate from this. Someone who is not a natural writer needs this level of structure. And even for natural writers, if they follow this structure, they can embellish and extend the steps. My other son is a natural writer and he uses RACES and embellishes all the time until it sounds natural and flows easily. The oldest is still a little stilted, but he’s getting the job done.

RACES can be used for more than one paragraph in an entire essay.  You can either string a bunch of RACES paragraphs together, or you can have a few paragraphs of just the CE steps in a row.

Edited by Garga
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Flashcards.

For algebra, any time your daughter learns a new formula, have her put it not on an index card, but put it smack in the middle of a piece of printer paper—as if the printer paper is a huge flashcard.  (Paper in landscape orientation.)  Make a 4x6 space in the middle of the page and put the formula in there.

Then, as she’s learning about the formula, she has all sorts of room on the sides of the formula to add notes and examples.  

Show her how to figure out how her particular book presents formulas.   In lots of books they’re in a special box on the page.  

Before she is taught the formula, have her write it on her page.  Then, as she’s being taught it in the book, she can add her notes/arrows/examples to what she’s already written.

By first writing it down before it’s explained, then adding to her “card” while she’s learning it, is a form of studying.  She’s now exposed herself to the formula a couple of times.

Or she could do it the other way—learn about it and then write the card and then add examples to it.  

But always have her write a card. That’s a way to remember algebra.  Same with definitions of terms in algebra. Kids read over them and think they’ll remember them...but they don’t.  The act of writing it down can help you remember it, but if you don’t, then you can go back and quiz yourself with the card.  

My youngest learned alg 1 last year and his teacher didn’t have them make cards explicitly. I think she figured they were doing it.  My son wasn’t until I showed him when to make cards. He had to be shown in his book how that book drew attention to formulas and definitions, and whenever he saw that certain box on the page, he had to make a card of it.

Later when he would do his work, he could refer back to the card with his notes and examples on it.  

 

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19 hours ago, kristin0713 said:

My DD is doing CLE Algebra 1 right now and I think if she had not spend the last two years doing CLE 700 and 800, she would be struggling.  Unfortunately, they cover Pre-A over two years so you can't really back up just one year with CLE. 

You can knock out a number of lessons with CLE if you skip the quizzes and tests.  I can’t remember exactly how many lessons there are per book, but if there are 17 lessons in a book, you can skip the 2 quizzes and a test and only do 14 lessons in the book. (Those numbers aren’t quite accurate, I don’t have my CLE stuff nearby.)  That’s 3 day’s of work knocked off for each book right there.  Some people will have the student skip some of the review work and do 2 lessons in one day (maybe not every day, but from time to time.)  

My son was behind in math and I got him through 2 years of CLE in one year by having him skip quizzes and tests, sometimes doubling up on easier lessons (on those days, he’d skip some of the We Remember problems), and working on math on non-school days (into the summer, etc.)

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17 minutes ago, Garga said:

You can knock out a number of lessons with CLE if you skip the quizzes and tests.  I can’t remember exactly how many lessons there are per book, but if there are 17 lessons in a book, you can skip the 2 quizzes and a test and only do 14 lessons in the book. (Those numbers aren’t quite accurate, I don’t have my CLE stuff nearby.)  That’s 3 day’s of work knocked off for each book right there.  Some people will have the student skip some of the review work and do 2 lessons in one day (maybe not every day, but from time to time.)  

My son was behind in math and I got him through 2 years of CLE in one year by having him skip quizzes and tests, sometimes doubling up on easier lessons (on those days, he’d skip some of the We Remember problems), and working on math on non-school days (into the summer, etc.)

Those are great tips on how to move more quickly through CLE. 😄 

The only thing I would caution is to NOT double up and skip through any math program *if the student is struggling to understand the concepts.* Math builds by understanding previous concepts, and trying to blast through Pre-Algebra or Algebra to "catch up" can backfire later on, if moving too quickly creates a shaky foundation for the higher maths.

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Some days I feel the same way- I am taking notes of the How to Study books!  That said, high school is 4 years long and has big jumps in ability.  Her abilities at 14 are not the way they will be at 18... and even if they are, there are even more jumps between 18 and 20!  I think you need to stop and go through what your goals are for the year- just like you would any other year.  Don't treat high school any differently than you would another grade.  Your goal is to move forward.  Trust me when I say that my DD has lots of kids in her DE college classes- all high schoolers- and half of them cannot write a coherent paragraph!  When she first started, she was so shocked at the writing levels ( and she's not the best writer either)- lots of fragments, run on sentences, paragraphs that ramble and have no clear point.  

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27 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

Those are great tips on how to move more quickly through CLE. 😄 

The only thing I would caution is to NOT double up and skip through any math program *if the student is struggling to understand the concepts.* Math builds by understanding previous concepts, and trying to blast through Pre-Algebra or Algebra to "catch up" can backfire later on, if moving too quickly creates a shaky foundation for the higher maths.

Good point. We rarely doubled up on my son’s lessons. It was mostly skipping quizzes and tests and working on math more than the usual 180 school days a year.  Like we used to take off 3 weeks for Christmas, and he would still do math during those three weeks, except for the 25th and 26th.  

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1 minute ago, Garga said:

Good point. We rarely doubled up on my son’s lessons. It was mostly skipping quizzes and tests and working on math more than the usual 180 school days a year.  Like we used to take off 3 weeks for Christmas, and he would still do math during those three weeks, except for the 25th and 26th.  

Totally understand. We had to work through 2 summers, and had to keep backing up and re-doing lessons in Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 for DS#2 who struggled so hard with math. Couldn't move forward until he got it, and that was often at a much slower than the average student rate. 😞

 

And... I forgot to make it clear in my post above that I know that *Garga* knows her son well and what works/doesn't work for him. 😄 That above comment was not about Garga -- it was just meant as a general caution. 😉 

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Another tip I have scene here was to break Algebra 1 into 2 years if necessary- calling them Algebra 1A and Algebra 1B.  I have not had to do that, but it was an option I have considered.  If your DD is a slower math kid, maybe knowing you have extra time will help.  You might also want to look at the local college options and see their math requirements.  Many only need 3 math credits- Algebra 1, 2 and Geometry.  It isnt' necessary to get to Calculus if you kid isn't so inclined.  My goal for my math struggler is to have her ready to pass College Algebra hopefully by 12th grade.  If college is not in the plan, you can spend a year on real life math.

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Ditto Lori and 8's posts.

 

It is easy to get discouraged with a non-academic kid in high school because so much of their life is school. Actually, it isn't even just academics but specifically reading and writing type of academics.

My DS with dyslexia went nuts with IEW. We tried but it was a major bomb. I only caved because I was told over and over that it was THE program for kids with dyslexia. The good things about it I took with me as we moved on with life so that is a lesson for me that every kid is different.

 

If you don't have time I would outsource at least one important skill or two if your budget allows. Preferably, a tailored class, tutor, or one below grade level. I say this because you need to be able to work on some skills with your DD and not end up helping her get through specific assignments  for this outsourced class. Often when I outsource a class, it takes more time for me as a parent to guide a kid through if they don't have the neccessary pre-requisites including understanding what the teacher actually wants.

If she is writing fan fiction then encourage it. Kids need an outlet and it will help with fluency even if you don't use it for school. The same with drawing or as mentioned above, graphic design.  Mostly, give hope. A kid can get depressed if always just told to focus on school. Most teens try out a number of things and you never know what will stick. Plus, even if they don't stick, they will have learned how to try new things and gain adaptation and learning skills in the process. 

Then pick a study skill to get down. One thing at a time. Note taking would be a great place to start then outlining, summarizing, reviewing. Teach how to study specifically using any of the subjects you haven't outsourced. Each skill can take as long as it takes. When starting a new skill the student will still be using the old skill.

Edited by frogger
My own dyslexia was coming out. :)
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I just want to comment on the inability to do HS writing. You've gotten some great advice in this thread (I plan to use some of it for my exchange student, actually). I came here 6 or 7 years ago looking for similar advice on one of my kid's writing. She could not write her way out of a paper bag. She is not dyslexic, but she has something going on that made writing very difficult for her. I tried IEW and hated it, although I understand the appeal. I tried all sorts of things. She is now a junior in college and doing fine, so I'll share the best things we did:

(1) Focus on grammar. Her grammar was and is excellent. Whatever she ends up doing, if she can write grammatically correct sentences, she'll be light years ahead of most of her peers. My kid still cannot write her way out of a paper bag, but she is the go-to teammate when her non-native English speaking teammates need help with their college writing. One of her teammates had my daughter edit every single one of her English papers and was asked, after the class, to be a TA for the class the next semester. The teammate wisely declined! My daughter can write coherent and grammatically correct emails, case summaries, lab reports, that kind of thing. She's managed As in her college writing classes because of her grammar and ability to follow directions, but she is not ever going into a field that will require her write essays or articles or short stories.  She will write emails, maybe the occasional letter, notes to charts (she wants to be an OT); if she can write clear instructions for making a smoothie (or whatever), she will be fine in real life. I get that writing is important! But I could not make her a prize-winning essay writer. What I could do was make her a good-enough writer of regular stuff. (Speaking of instructions for writing a smoothie, learning to write instructions for something she knew how to do was an incredibly useful exercise for her. It forced her to put steps into a logical order and was just the sort of no-frills writing she needed to master for real life.) One of my daughter's college English professors told her last year, her sophomore year, that she was not doing college-level writing. No kidding, Sherlock. But you know what? She still got an A in that class. 

(2) Quit. Trying to teach her to write was interfering with our relationship. I did zero writing instruction her eighth grade year, although we did, and had always done, tons of grammar, and enrolled her in a private, and then public, high school. The school didn't do a better job than I could have, but as she matured from eighth grade to college, she did get better. We were both happier when I was her cheerleader, rather than her coach.

(3) Lower the bar. Work with the student you have. 

Edited by plansrme
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I would definitely check to see if the community college has graphic design. If they have computer courses, they probably do. In my state, you could get an associates degree with no out of pocket tuition cost if your teen meets with a mentor once a month and does some volunteer work. My DD is doing the first graphic design class as her elective this fall and honestly, a big part of it is clarity and organization. How to put materials in a design, whether it is for a business card, ad, webpage header, etc so they can be clearly seen and understood, while also being eye catching. I actually think it would have been a useful course to have earlier in high school because DD has been turning academic material into visual material for years, and this would have helped her create doodle notes that are easier to study from.  

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You have loads of good advice here.  One other thing I’d add if you aren’t already really work on getting her listening to some good audiobooks.  Hearing well structured written sentences and high quality language will really help eventually when the other parts click.  

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Does she have to be in 9th grade this year? Can you call it 8th grade and use this year to get her ready? 

If she is 14, she will graduate at either 18 or 19; giving her an extra year to grow and mature might make a huge difference. 

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20 minutes ago, lmrich said:

Does she have to be in 9th grade this year? Can you call it 8th grade and use this year to get her ready? 

If she is 14, she will graduate at either 18 or 19; giving her an extra year to grow and mature might make a huge difference. 

Also, just because she does 8th grade work this year doesn't mean that she can't graduate on time. Unless you are in a state with strict requirements for homeschoolers or you are trying to get accepted to a 4 year university with specific requirements, you have a lot of freedom to plan her course of study. She doesn't have to cover everything in the same way that it is done in public school. 

Susan in TX

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Honestly, I just don’t want to homeschool any more.  It’s just too much trying to teach four dyslexic, adhd kids plus wrangle a toddler and a tornado 4 yo.  Most of them aren’t particularly cooperative or obedient and I spend a lot of time trying to get compliance.  DD is kind of avoidant of anything she doesn’t want to do and I’m tired of putting so much energy into trying to get her to actually do the parts of her schoolwork that she doesn’t want to do (which is quite a lot of it this year).  By the time we’re done with school, I have nothing left to be mom.  I am usually stressed out and depressed all week and then I recover on the weekend and start the cycle again on Monday.  I want to put the older three in the Christian school that our church runs, at least for this year.  DH doesn’t want them to go and his solution was for him to spend two hours each morning doing school with DD and DS11.  Which is great and all, but they often only get math and maybe one other subject done because DH wants them to be able to explain every single step of everything and wants to explain anything they don’t understand in exhaustive detail.  Also work is his real priority, and at least one day a week out of the four he agreed to help them he decides he needs to work instead. This week it was three days out of five.  So I’m still the the one who ultimately has to make sure their school work gets done.

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15 minutes ago, perky said:

Sounds like it's time to have a meeting with the hubby and put in your two weeks notice.  

 

1 minute ago, Farrar said:

Send them to school. Or, if they must stay home, shift them to online based options for classes.

Yup. No shame in being done.

I homeschooled the oldest from K-11th, and then in the 12 grade year stopped. 🙂

Youngest was from K-8th.  He’s currently a 10th grader in a cyber school right now.

When it’s time to be done, it’s time to be done.  It’s ok to need to be done.

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Your mental and physical health needs to take priority. If you go under, you are not able to take care of anyone else.

It's like the airline safety talk just before take-off: if the cabin de-pressurizes and the oxygen masks drop down, you take care of getting your own mask on FIRST, and THEN turn and help a child or elderly or disabled person next to you. If you don't, then you BOTH pass out and are BOTH now at risk.

Agreeing with previous posters -- it is time to talk with your husband, and it's time to go with the educational option that will help all of you in the family to move forward.  From your past posts -- you guys have been trying different ideas for the last year or two (mother's helper, housework helper, and now DH overseeing 2 DC for 2 hours 3-4x/week), and that's wonderful. But it is not providing what is needed for you all right now. That is okay -- it is NOT your fault, or anyone's fault. It just means that for now, is time for a different solution.

We wouldn't expect someone with torn ligaments to heal and get strong by making them continue to do the heavy lifting or work that caused the original injury. Gently, please, give yourself that same grace and don't expect that things will get better if you force yourself to keep doing the things that are causing you stress and depression.



If the following does not apply, please disregard. The following is meant in all kindness and gentleness:

Gently, it sounds like DH is perhaps not understanding the situation clearly as to the damaging effect homeschooling is having on your mental and physical health. Or perhaps he feels it would reflect as "failure" on HIM if your family stopped homeschooling, a choice that he made? In either case, it is vital to make it clear to DH that homeschooling is damaging your mental and physical health and you cannot continue to do it.

Also, am I recalling correctly that your family is Christian? I know some Christian families apply the idea of the leadership/headship role of the husband to be that the husband has the final say in all situations. In that situation, it is absolutely critical for the husband to make Ephesians 5:25, 28-29 the foundation for every single decision he makes that affects his wife: 

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her... In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. Indeed, no one ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church." -- Eph. 5:25, 28-29

In this situation, the wife has many responsibilities. Some are absolutely needful -- role as wife and mom of many; wrangling high energy pre-schoolers; doing meal planning / shopping / cooking / cleaning / laundry to keep the whole family afloat. Some responsibilities are optional -- homeschooling. Homeschooling is optional because the education of the children could happen in other ways (public school, charter school, private school, boarding school, private tutor, etc.).

Since it is the optional responsibility of homeschooling that is causing the wife mental and physical stress and damage, it is the husband's role and responsibility to put his wife's needs above his own -- to acknowledge that homeschooling is damaging her, and to nourish and cherish his wife by making the decision to remove the optional responsibility of homeschooling from the wife's plate so that the wife can heal -- and ultimately become better able to do the non-optional roles of wife and mother. As a benefit, the children continue to be educated -- just through a different option that does not require throwing the wife under the bus.


Hoping you and DH can have a good heart-to-heart discussion, and find good alternatives to homeschooling for your children, and that you are quickly able to heal and recover. Wishing you and your family all the very BEST! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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1 hour ago, caedmyn said:

Honestly, I just don’t want to homeschool any more.  It’s just too much trying to teach four dyslexic, adhd kids plus wrangle a toddler and a tornado 4 yo.  Most of them aren’t particularly cooperative or obedient and I spend a lot of time trying to get compliance.  DD is kind of avoidant of anything she doesn’t want to do and I’m tired of putting so much energy into trying to get her to actually do the parts of her schoolwork that she doesn’t want to do (which is quite a lot of it this year).  By the time we’re done with school, I have nothing left to be mom.  I am usually stressed out and depressed all week and then I recover on the weekend and start the cycle again on Monday.  I want to put the older three in the Christian school that our church runs, at least for this year.  DH doesn’t want them to go and his solution was for him to spend two hours each morning doing school with DD and DS11.  Which is great and all, but they often only get math and maybe one other subject done because DH wants them to be able to explain every single step of everything and wants to explain anything they don’t understand in exhaustive detail.  Also work is his real priority, and at least one day a week out of the four he agreed to help them he decides he needs to work instead. This week it was three days out of five.  So I’m still the the one who ultimately has to make sure their school work gets done.

I can empathize. There are so many times I've wanted to be just mom! 

 There is absolutly nothing wrong with sending them to the Christian school or whichever school you think is best and no one will know better than you and your DH what that is and sounds like your DH is ready to step in and help but might need to recognize his limitations.

My only concern is that they may not do much better in school. Some kids who are ADHD or dyslexic thrive with structure and school and have teachers that can work with them. Some fall apart. If the school is a good fit, I hope that your DH may see it as a good option.  Has the school worked with many special needs students?

My one word of caution is I have often found lightening my load by outsourcing turns into more work for me. It turns into me attempting to bring my child's reading and writing up to the school standards or deal with a completely flustered student in tears about a assignment that might be perfectly fine for others but impossible for him. Sometimes it adds stress so check with the school and see how that will work. I'd hate to see you trade the stress of homeschooling for the stress of school schedules and parent teacher meetings with a struggling child.

You need to take yourself out of the equation entirely. I have found it works better for me to hire a tutor to do that. I set it up at the begining of the year and the tutor adapts, explains etc. This takes less stress than me helping my kid adapt to a class. If you can't afford a full time tutor, maybe just an English tutor that comes 2 or 3 times a week and leaves appropriate homework for the other days. If DH has only math every morning that might work. Other subjects can just be Switched on School House or something that will just check the box. Maybe not what you originally dreamed of but hey, this is real life. Then on Saturday DH can just make sure they are doing the program and their chores. 

 

I haven't seen your other posts but this is just based on my experience with an active kid with dyslexia.

I do hope you can find some relief in some way.

 

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49 minutes ago, frogger said:

 

My only concern is that they may not do much better in school. Some kids who are ADHD or dyslexic thrive with structure and school and have teachers that can work with them. Some fall apart. If the school is a good fit, I hope that your DH may see it as a good option.  Has the school worked with many special needs students?

My one word of caution is I have often found lightening my load by outsourcing turns into more work for me. It turns into me attempting to bring my child's reading and writing up to the school standards or deal with a completely flustered student in tears about a assignment that might be perfectly fine for others but impossible for him. Sometimes it adds stress so check with the school and see how that will work. I'd hate to see you trade the stress of homeschooling for the stress of school schedules and parent teacher meetings with a struggling child.

This is definitely a concern of mine and one of the reasons why I’ve continued homeschooling.  I don’t think DD will do any worse than she does here.  My boys, especially the very adhd one...I don’t know.  The school uses a pre-packaged curriculum (something like Christian Light Education but a different publisher) and any work not completed in school is expected to be done as homework (it’s a half day school).  Kids can have 3-4 hrs a day of homework if they don’t get much done at school.  I’m not willing to spend hours each day dragging them through homework after they spent all morning at school.  A reasonable amount of time like an hour a day for DS11 and DS9, sure.  DH thinks they need to do all their homework every day no matter how long it takes.

My parents are planning on moving here in a few months and then my mom would come help with my littles while I do school with the others.  Idk if I should try to hold out until then or not.  It would help, but I’m not sure it would solve the problem of how draining school is for me, even with the littles out of the picture.  I would definitely need to find some solution for getting DD’s work done other than me spending all day nagging/reminding her about it.

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16 minutes ago, caedmyn said:

This is definitely a concern of mine and one of the reasons why I’ve continued homeschooling.  I don’t think DD will do any worse than she does here.  My boys, especially the very adhd one...I don’t know.  The school uses a pre-packaged curriculum (something like Christian Light Education but a different publisher) and any work not completed in school is expected to be done as homework (it’s a half day school).  Kids can have 3-4 hrs a day of homework if they don’t get much done at school.  I’m not willing to spend hours each day dragging them through homework after they spent all morning at school.  A reasonable amount of time like an hour a day for DS11 and DS9, sure.  DH thinks they need to do all their homework every day no matter how long it takes.

My parents are planning on moving here in a few months and then my mom would come help with my littles while I do school with the others.  Idk if I should try to hold out until then or not.  It would help, but I’m not sure it would solve the problem of how draining school is for me, even with the littles out of the picture.  I would definitely need to find some solution for getting DD’s work done other than me spending all day nagging/reminding her about it.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I know people who have one kid in school and another is homeschooled. Perhaps put the oldest in school, homeschool the next group, and let your mom watch the littles.  

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1 hour ago, caedmyn said:

This is definitely a concern of mine and one of the reasons why I’ve continued homeschooling.  I don’t think DD will do any worse than she does here.  My boys, especially the very adhd one...I don’t know.  The school uses a pre-packaged curriculum (something like Christian Light Education but a different publisher) and any work not completed in school is expected to be done as homework (it’s a half day school).  Kids can have 3-4 hrs a day of homework if they don’t get much done at school.  I’m not willing to spend hours each day dragging them through homework after they spent all morning at school.  A reasonable amount of time like an hour a day for DS11 and DS9, sure.  DH thinks they need to do all their homework every day no matter how long it takes.

My parents are planning on moving here in a few months and then my mom would come help with my littles while I do school with the others.  Idk if I should try to hold out until then or not.  It would help, but I’m not sure it would solve the problem of how draining school is for me, even with the littles out of the picture.  I would definitely need to find some solution for getting DD’s work done other than me spending all day nagging/reminding her about it.

I think the most draining thing for me is the stress and worry about finishing everything or doing enough. So if you can take a deep breath and remind yourself that God made your daughter and she is in His hands and clear your head. Well, it's a start. I find the worry gets me more than then the actual work. When you have finished your task for the day say to yourself," That is enough." Now I will take the 4 year old to the park or fold laundry or have a cup a tea. I have done my part. I'm done. Period. 😉 I know that is harder than it seems but if you can master it, it will make a huge difference in your energy. We can't be stressed all the time about something or we will break down. 

The second thing that saps my energy is the pushing. You need her to fulfill her end without pushing. So the question is why isn't she. I know that seems obvious but we sometimes don't nail it down. Is it just focusing, is it too hard, is it rebellion, is she just too easily distracted? We can't fix the problem if we don't know what the problem is. And this sounds like it will be a problem even if she goes to school. Even if she does only one subject like math with your DH until your mom gets here, if you solve that problem, it will make her more productive later and be worth it.

The third thing is just having more than I can possibly do. I remember a wise homeschooling mom (about a decade ago 😳) told me she focused on one thing at a time. Not that the kids only did one thing but that she did her one thing with them well and that was that. For you that may be just checking up on Beautiful Feet orally once a week or maybe your one thing is finding out how to help her focus and that's it or working on how to take notes.  Just find that one thing. That one thing could just be your relationship with your daughter! Don't let yourself even think about the other stuff. 

Let DH take care of just math and if she does the other stuff on her own. Great! If not then there is always summer or next year or after your mom gets there or simply after she learns some study skills or how to focus. If you have to drop a lot of subjects that is ok if in the end you end up more productive.

The one thing I'd reccommend is a writing tutor if you can afford it and especially if she struggles with language. The stress that will take off you! I have one that I know has experience with students from a variety of writing backgrounds. My son with dyslexia is currently taking a class from her online and she also does one on one tutoring. She is currently working via Zoom and Google classroom so location doesn't matter but someone who could sit down with your DD in person once or twice a week might be better. You can request no homework too from a tutor. You don't need to deal with more homework. 

 

Edited by frogger
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@caedmyn I so sympathize with you. I reached an extreme level of burn out when I was homeschooling my four kids, among whom there are multiple learning disabilities -- dylsexia, math, writing --  ADHD, ASD, ODD, and just academic weaknesses. I was burned out not only with the need to juggle all of the academic needs, and figuring out interventions, but also with poor attitudes among the kids, and I used up all of my internal resources, until I felt that I had nothing left and was getting through by hanging on a thread. And then I homeschooled for a few more years after that.

It was a big burden, in addition to being mom and wife and homemaker. I so totally get how you feel.

I love many of the other responses, and I pray that your husband will open his heart to Ephesians 5, as Lori so graciously wrote, because I think it would make a big difference for you.

The main reason I am writing now, in addition to offering some empathy, is to suggest that you look further into vocational options in your area. You mention that the CC does not offer many programs. But what about the vocational career center that the public high schoolers attend? Have you looked into what programs they offer?

Homeschoolers should be able to apply to vocational high school for the 11th and 12th grades, but the application process happens during 10th grade, so it's something to look into and think about now. Our local vocational school has a very popular digital design program, and I think your daughter would probably love something like that. We went to a presentation about our program last year, because we thought it would interest our sons, and the instructors said that often their students get offered jobs at graduation, because they do work for real companies for some of their projects.

I think vocational school during high school is offered pretty much everywhere. Look beyond what your community college offers.

And lots of hugs.

 

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22 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

@caedmyn I so sympathize with you. I reached an extreme level of burn out when I was homeschooling my four kids, among whom there are multiple learning disabilities -- dylsexia, math, writing --  ADHD, ASD, ODD, and just academic weaknesses. I was burned out not only with the need to juggle all of the academic needs, and figuring out interventions, but also with poor attitudes among the kids, and I used up all of my internal resources, until I felt that I had nothing left and was getting through by hanging on a thread. And then I homeschooled for a few more years after that.

It was a big burden, in addition to being mom and wife and homemaker. I so totally get how you feel.

I love many of the other responses, and I pray that your husband will open his heart to Ephesians 5, as Lori so graciously wrote, because I think it would make a big difference for you.

The main reason I am writing now, in addition to offering some empathy, is to suggest that you look further into vocational options in your area. You mention that the CC does not offer many programs. But what about the vocational career center that the public high schoolers attend? Have you looked into what programs they offer?

Homeschoolers should be able to apply to vocational high school for the 11th and 12th grades, but the application process happens during 10th grade, so it's something to look into and think about now. Our local vocational school has a very popular digital design program, and I think your daughter would probably love something like that. We went to a presentation about our program last year, because we thought it would interest our sons, and the instructors said that often their students get offered jobs at graduation, because they do work for real companies for some of their projects.

I think vocational school during high school is offered pretty much everywhere. Look beyond what your community college offers.

And lots of hugs.

 

^Seconding this.   My suck the life out of me um, challenging child does 1/2 days at a technical high school, and 1/2 days with me at home; it has been a lifesaver for the whole family.    🙂

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  • 3 weeks later...

And here I am regretting putting my son in a class way below grade level as I help him sentence by sentence. 😒  The pain is real with outsourcing when a kid has a learning disability. 

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On 10/1/2020 at 1:06 PM, Susan in TX said:

Also, just because she does 8th grade work this year doesn't mean that she can't graduate on time. Unless you are in a state with strict requirements for homeschoolers or you are trying to get accepted to a 4 year university with specific requirements, you have a lot of freedom to plan her course of study. She doesn't have to cover everything in the same way that it is done in public school. 

Susan in TX

I agree with this. My dyslexic child at this point still plans on college. She may need to start in junior college. Our state has a scholarship program that pays for instate tuition for students that qualify based on income and basic curriculum requirements and ACT score. She has prequalified based on our income. She has to get through Alg. 2 in math to qualify among other things. She is a junior and is still finishing up her Alg. 1. She still has to get through geometry and Alg. 2 by their requirements to qualify for the program. But it took us this long to solidify the basics, and I am ok with that. She will score better on that ACT with the solid grounding that she now has in basic preAlgebra skills  that took us a long time to cement. And she has through her senior year to get the score they require. So we just keep working slowly and surely at her pace.  We will start her geometry after Christmas and work through the summer to finish it and get her into Alg.2 her senior year.  I think she is finally getting it and moving at a regular pace in math, even though it has taken us 9th, 10th, and half of 11th grade to get that foundation of a preAlgebra and an Algebra course fully accomplished.  

As for the rest- mine has trouble with spelling. That also carries over into her grammar not being the best, but we have always focused on that, so it is not as bad as I have seen coming from public schools. If she is hand writing, she still forgets capital letters at the beginning of sentences and such, just part of the dyslexia. But her typing is pretty good, and spellcheck helps a lot. 

Studying for tests isn't her best thing either. We haven't used anything formal. But I do have her take notes from each chapter and go over them to help her learn as others have said. It is just an ongoing project with her. Lots of review.  She is getting ready for her driver's permit test. That is important to her, so it is a good place to work on those skills. 

And like others said with the carrot- we do a lot of her curriculum through things she loves. She is an artist, loves history, big projects, etc. We found a unit study fully planned out around the History of Fashion last year. It was amazing. It combined teaching computer skills in 'Word which she needed, history projects around each decade as they studied the fashion and the reasons behind fashion changes. We took this one semester unit study and made a full year out of it. She read a history textbook alongside it for her history, doing the mapwork and projects from the unit study for her written work. I bought her a Thinking Tree fashion journal for her final projec.t. For each decade it had her research a first lady's gown, do a written paper on a something that happened in that decade, and design her own gowns and to watch a movie from each decade to see the fashion. We chose movies by decade that were from famous literature or about important historical events.  I included a book on historical costuming for her to read alongside as well. It included some historical handicrafts and had them plan a tea party and do recipes from the time periods. So she got some English projects from this, all of her history, lots of art and hands on, lots of exposure to literature and stories from the watching the movies. 

I try to have at least one class going at a time like this that she really enjoys and that includes things she loves, but that also covers necessary subjects, This year she wanted to do another play. The community theater group she danced with in the past isn't doing much because of COVID, so we joined a co-op that is doing a play. I signed her up for some Master Classes on theater and speech to go along with it. 

 

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