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    #230063 - 05/02/16 01:12 PM Mild homeschooling woes
    fjzh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/12/16
    Posts: 63
    My daughter (freshly 7, also freshly assessed as "moderately gifted" via WISC-IV and Kaufman Educational Achievement II)...she scoffs at pretty much anything that resembles curriculum. I can never tell if it's because the material is too easy, too hard, too repetitive, or too...something else entirely. Or maybe it's that *I've* never pushed through hard enough, long enough, for it to be formed into a habit.

    I try having heart to heart conversations about what learning means and why it's important, but I don't know how to get her to open up and articulate what exactly is so bothersome about more formal work. Maybe I'm expecting too much for a 7 year old? Or maybe I've never expected enough and now she's spoiled? Maybe school would have served to show her what this type of work is like? She's never experienced a school environment. We've always been pretty relaxed homeschoolers--just creating a learning environment where she can listen to history audiobooks all day long, draw, dance, play violin, participate in local homeschool enrichment classes regularly, etc.

    She's on track as far as I can tell academically (capable of 2 grade levels ahead for math/reading comprehension per the Kaufman evaluation), but I want to begin some work with writing/grammar, more difficult math, etc.. Her WISC-IV revealed her verbal comprehension is high compared to her lower working memory, with processing speed and perceptual reasoning falling in between. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with all of this, too, and it could, but either way I still feel stuck and stumped.

    I'm still awaiting the full written report from her evaluation and am hoping that will maybe shed some light on this. I also know it's impossible for strangers on the internet to be able to fully assess this given the information I've supplied, but I'd love any commiseration or advice. Is it just always going to be a whiny grump fest for working on lessons at home?

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    #230067 - 05/02/16 02:00 PM Re: Mild homeschooling woes [Re: fjzh]
    fjzh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/12/16
    Posts: 63
    Portia, maybe? The psychologist said she didn't see any concerns for 2e, but I am a little worried about the gap between VC (142) and WM (116). I'm still awaiting the full report to hopefully answer more. And so far just about any curriculum has been rejected, and she's starting to get wise to me when I use games for math practice, haha.

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    #230074 - 05/02/16 06:52 PM Re: Mild homeschooling woes [Re: fjzh]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3799
    I had some push-back, too, with our dysgraphic-ky child, (who is also the passionate, hypersensitive one) in the early years. In our case, I think it was a combination of 2e, temperament, and my learning process as a homeschooling parent. We are a few more years into it now, and the whiny grump fest does still emerge, on occasion, usually when adults haven't been disciplined enough about basic needs (too many late nights is often the culprit), but it's reduced considerably.

    A few strategies that helped:

    1. Don't plan too far in advance. A week is more than enough. Parental frustration at not "accomplishing" something is more or less inevitable, if we set ourselves up with overly-ambitious plans.

    2. Accommodate weaknesses, and challenge strengths. For example, math is a strength for us, but writing is a weakness. For many years, I scribed any math work that needed to be done on paper (such as multi-step problems or diagrams), or had DC complete it orally. Rarely, I still do, mainly to get through tough days.

    3. Corollary to #2: de-couple skills, reasoning, and content. DC's math and science work is completed and assessed based purely on content-specific criteria. Written math is a bit easier these days, but scientific explanations still include a little more writing than comes fluently. So work products for science can be generated orally, using speech-to-text, by typed response, with a diagram, etc., and are never graded based on spelling, as long as they are intelligible. (E.g., "nucleose" gets credit as the "organial" where DNA is located.) Simultaneously, spelling might be at fourth grade, written expression/composition at fifth grade, literature at sixth grade, and social studies at seventh grade.

    4. Prioritize developing a love of learning, and a collaborative relationship between parent and child, ahead of completing formal curriculum. Sporadically, I have to remind myself that nurturing a whole human being with healthy relationships is our overarching purpose in home schooling (or any other form of parenting!). If we are partners in curiosity, growing together in all dimensions of the human experience, then academics will come on their own.

    5. Corollary to #4: model various forms and aspects of learning. Be a novice at something. Make mistakes. Put effort into a skill, and show progress. Openly narrate the questions, challenges, setbacks, determination, perseverance, and payoffs of grappling with a new skill, concept, body of knowledge, or area of character growth.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #230083 - 05/03/16 06:28 AM Re: Mild homeschooling woes [Re: fjzh]
    fjzh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/12/16
    Posts: 63
    Portia and aeh, thank you for your insight. Just now I asked her how she wants to practice some math today and gave some options (online, worksheet, board game, etc.) and let her choose. She also likes the idea of buying a ton of workbooks from Amazon to see if any look good and returning the rest...that was my best idea for getting to see the widest selection. Writing is a weakness for her too. How do you strike the balance of still encouraging writing practice without causing frustration?

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    #230131 - 05/03/16 06:18 PM Re: Mild homeschooling woes [Re: fjzh]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3799
    For writing, we do short, focused, well-defined writing assignments. For example, I've been using the Evan-Moor Daily Six Traits Writing workbooks, that target one writing and one mechanics skill each week, in daily 10-15 minute assignments (three days of narrowly-focused skill work, one day of drafting using a graphic organizer, one day of using the graphic organizer to complete a brief written product, ranging from a sentence or two, at the lowest grade levels, up to a paragraph or two, at the middle school level). This is about as much as my DC can handle of actual writing work.

    Separately, we do a few 20-minute sessions a week of All About Spelling, which includes explicit OG-based instruction in phonetic spelling strategies, word-level spelling on paper, and sentence-level dictation. The key for us, I think, is that all of the writing activities are short, focused, and at instructional level, which minimizes frustration. Progress in spelling and writing runs completely independently of other subjects, even ones that are closely related to writing, so they don't hold other skills back.

    With AAS, our sessions are timed. We stop wherever we are when 20 minutes are up. It's also errorless. There are no assessments or grades. Just a growing stash of mastered word cards. If a word is spelled correctly, I show the correct spelling, or give DC a chance to find the error. Then we fix it and move on.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #230147 - 05/03/16 09:15 PM Re: Mild homeschooling woes [Re: fjzh]
    fjzh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/12/16
    Posts: 63
    Barnes and Noble or Lakeshore Learning Store are the only two places I can think of to look at in person. Our biggest local homeschool convention didn't have a vendor hall last year and the whole thing has folded for this year. Bummer. I'll be looking up all of the mentioned titles here to see if anything might click with her! For now it'll be Mad Libs and math games, which isn't SO bad smile

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    #230198 - 05/04/16 11:07 AM Re: Mild homeschooling woes [Re: fjzh]
    fjzh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/12/16
    Posts: 63
    So in your opinion, should I move onto more interesting math concepts, even though she hasn't fully mastered the stuff that "comes before" them? For example, she's solid with addition/subtraction of double/triple/whatever digit equations without any carrying/borrowing, but if it involves the latter she doesn't always remember the steps to solve them correctly, or makes mistakes when she mentally "groups" the numbers instead. Per her evaluation this all makes perfect sense, so I'm unsure what mastery will look like for her.

    During her evaluation she was able to do things relating to fractions, measurement, time, and graphs, all <3.3 grade level and she's shown me she understands what multiplication is, though very early in that understanding. Do I just move on and not worry about mastering the carrying/borrowing stuff for now?

    I feel like Iím answering myself now that I type it all out, haha.

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    #230223 - 05/05/16 08:14 AM Re: Mild homeschooling woes [Re: fjzh]
    Platypus101 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/01/14
    Posts: 673
    Loc: Canada
    I would also agree that separating the conceptual stuff from the computation can be very helpful for some kids who are at different levels in the two. Keep working on the basic arithmetic by all means, but let her move ahead in parallel, at her own comfortable pace, with the conceptual stuff as well.

    You may find, as we have have, that she actually does a lot better learning/ memorizing the basics when they are part of more substantive and complex problem solving, rather than isolated factoids. For us, for example, the best way to learn times tables was to use them incessantly in simplifying fractions and equations, and finding common multiples, divisors, prime factors, etc.

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    #230231 - 05/05/16 11:31 AM Re: Mild homeschooling woes [Re: fjzh]
    blackcat Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    We have issues with work resistance as well, and really, the only thing that works is bribery, and then making it a habit. For instance, no screen time until you do A, B, and C. Give choices when possible, for instance allow the child to choose 2 of the 3 of either A, B, or C. If A involves writing a story, another choice might be to type it, or handwrite it (both of my kids, who are also "dysgraphic-ky" do better with written expression when they keyboard). DD in particular has some executive functioning issues and has problems with organizing, planning, initiating tasks, etc. So with a child like that, graphic organizers can help w/ writing as well as breaking everything down into small steps when possible.

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    #230525 - 05/11/16 08:13 PM Re: Mild homeschooling woes [Re: fjzh]
    fjzh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/12/16
    Posts: 63
    I wanted to come back and say that, while there's still some grumping, my daughter has been a bit more compliant this week after I skipped ahead in the math we were working on (I still can't believe I thought she was only capable of grade-level stuff for math...whoops). She's also been nailing the regrouping that I didn't think she was doing well with. After pouring over the full written report from her eval I've shifted my expectations and it seems like things are going well so far. Fingers crossed for this continued upward trend!

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