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High School Years and Beyond
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Syncletica
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Posted: Feb 18 2016 at 8:30pm | IP Logged Quote Syncletica

My 13 yo son has already been held back a year (in Grade 4) and is struggling with Grade 6/7 work (in certain subjects). He is doing Pre-Algebra in Math-U-See, again; he only finished 14 lessons last year. This year he understood those concepts better, and was able to progress more quickly. However we just discovered that he was having troubles in L. 17 and on. (My children correct their own math work from about Grade 4/5 on.)
I was originally getting him to do Light to the Nations, but it never seemed to get done. (I have 6 students, plus a pre-schooler/K student, plus 2 year old twins, plus a new baby. It's hard for me to see to it that all the work is being accomplished from the older ones while I work on building the foundation for the younger ones.) So I switched to the Seton Gr. 6 history.
My goal was to get him working more independently in prep for OLVS highschool, but I don't think he'll be able to manage the workload when that time comes. Can anyone please share some thoughts on what kind of assignments they might expect from such a student? Those of you who plan a Charlotte Mason education, what do you expect from your teen boys that are slower at understanding concepts? We're sticking with Math-U-See for sure. But any ideas for other subjects would be much appreciated. There's no way he'd be ready to tackle Apologia High School right away. I don't think, anyway. Literature - I'm deathly scared to even think about, lol.
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JodieLyn
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Posted: Feb 18 2016 at 10:55pm | IP Logged Quote JodieLyn

I've found that while we may work on basics.. sometimes it's more important to skip over the hard part. So I have a boy who enjoys literature via audio books. It doesn't mean he doesn't work on reading at other times but sometimes it's more important to get into the literature part without having to fighter the mechanics of reading. I also find that some other video for history can help boost interest and comprehension... it doesn't have to be a full history program but like a documentary on just one thing we're learning about.. it makes a good break and helps draw them in more at times when they're struggling.

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Erica Sanchez
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Posted: Feb 19 2016 at 5:59pm | IP Logged Quote Erica Sanchez

Our now Freshman daughter sounds like your guy. When she was in 7th grade we pulled out of the local charter school (we homeschooled full-time under their umbrella) and did not sign her up with any other program (we were on our own). This was probably the biggest help. For her 8th grade year, English and Math were the most emphasized subjects and she did no history or science at all. She is not a strong reader so I couldn't rely on having her just read for these two subjects. She took a literature class with several girls lead by a local mom. That was fantastic! She did Easy Grammar Plus and some vocabulary and was in the local Toastmasters Jr. club. Anything that would come under English was welcomed and attempted. She kept up with Pre-Algebra and her dance and piano. We felt really about that.

Oh, have to run a kid to baseball...excuse the typos and back later with some resources.

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SeaStar
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Posted: Feb 20 2016 at 11:31am | IP Logged Quote SeaStar

My ds is 13- he is enjoying The Worst Jobs in History (from the BBC; on you tube) right now... I have to admit they are perfect for a 13 yo boy... kind of gross but packed full of interesting history info and nothing unsuitable.

For science, your son might like Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop Channel on youtube. The channel has all her recommended science videos (already pre-screened for young eyes). Some of them are really great. We haven't watched them all (yet), but we are working our way through them. Designed for middle school- your ds could watch them on his own (if you have earphones that hook up to your computer or tablet, that might help him concentrate). BasementWorkshop

I just read a good article about homeschooling with youtube. I will see if I can dig it up for you.


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Aagot
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Posted: Feb 20 2016 at 3:23pm | IP Logged Quote Aagot

Have you had him tested for a learning disability? Has he seen a vision therapist to rule out vision related issues. This is more than checking for 20/20 acuity.
Since he has struggled for so long, this does not seem like typical 13 yr old boy laziness.
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mom2mpr
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Posted: Feb 22 2016 at 9:16am | IP Logged Quote mom2mpr

I agree with Aagot. I just tested dd, also 13, and some LD's really show up in middle school years--though us homeschool mom's have "inklings" when they are younger because we are right there with them. So, it might be worth looking into, I now have some professional insight into her learning--it's not easy but at least I know how to try to help her AND she can potentially get extra time for PSAT and such in a few years.

I also had a boy(now applying to colleges) and we fought incredibly around this age. I think having him outside for some of his learning helped. They are trying to develop some independence, but you have always been there. Maybe a tutor for his worst subject(for dd I hired a math tutor since she is running about a 3rd grade level there ) or a co-op class once a week? It does help in the transition.

I delayed testing for dd for many years and just the past year realized I needed to do SOMETHING. So, was going to self pay for the testing but the doctor stated some insurances would cover the neuro-psych testing. I called and voila, it cost a $35 copayment and then $300 for the academic testing. Much better than the $2500 quoted originally.

Just ideas that seemed to work for us and encouragement. Blessings!!


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Syncletica
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Posted: March 02 2016 at 9:34am | IP Logged Quote Syncletica

Thank you, all!
Yes, I think I should probably look into a learning disability.
Can you tell me, though, is the immediate recourse if there is an LD, a drug? I refuse to drug my children. And, I don't trust the doctors to not pursue it and perhaps get me in trouble with the law if I don't give them drugs.
I spoke to a counselor from our Homeschool Board, and she gave me some strategies to try.
Things like:
Focus - say, for 20 minutes on one thing, then a 5-10 min. break.
I've finally got things in order in that I've given everyone a specific daily checklist of what to do. If the goofing around stops, I'm sure it'll result in some fruit!
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mom2mpr
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Posted: March 02 2016 at 6:11pm | IP Logged Quote mom2mpr

No. Just went through testing with dd and no mention of medications. I would save that discussion for after you get the results. That was how I approached this. Let me see what their consensus and plan are and see if I agree. And honestly, it was a relief and I could actually see the results being spot on. The recommendations were more time for testing and assignments, a math tutor, and a few books for us to read. We also got a diagnosis but she was very nice and discreet when writing it on her findings. It was a secondary diagnosis and that was good because it wasn't a great one.
So far with the math tutor and some changes in how we deal with this child things are a bit better. Most of the changes are hard, so counterintuitive. But, if it works I am offering it up for her future. I sent the tutor a few things I found on the web related to how to teach her, and she has been working out really well. The amount of stuff she can get through with dd would take me a week and a half! So that has been great.
So, no. I don't think medications are first thing on the minds of the doctors. Even with her anxiety they recommended counseling and no mention at all of medication. However, that didn't work out and we are just flying by the seat of our pants with that issue.
And no, the goofing around will probably never stop.

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Aagot
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Posted: March 02 2016 at 9:17pm | IP Logged Quote Aagot

I cannot think of any LD that calls for meds as a treatment. In fact most LDs need a work around. That is where the therapist comes in with exercises and techniques to get past the issue.
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guitarnan
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Posted: March 02 2016 at 9:42pm | IP Logged Quote guitarnan

I agree...most of the time, prescriptions don't help children with learning disabilities. Therapy, learning strategies, alternative ways of presenting materials and assessing mastery are typical alternatives. Doctors aren't likely (at least where I live) to object to any of these options.

I'm less familiar with how things work in Canada, so you will want to consult with local friends/experts to be sure you understand potential legal issues. Having said that, trying recommended strategies can't hurt. If you opt for testing for learning disabilities, you will be able to tell the examining doctors what you have tried and what has/has not worked for you.



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Kristie 4
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Posted: March 08 2016 at 7:26pm | IP Logged Quote Kristie 4

We are in Canada and I found we just had to go private (in MB) for testing. I am not sure what any legal issues would have been- as far as I can see there is no issue with that here. HSing is legal and parents are given fair carte blanche to design their children's education.

One thing I did find is that for the universities to accept the diagnoses (if you want any accomodations- ) the testing has to be fairly recent.

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mom2mpr
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Posted: March 08 2016 at 10:31pm | IP Logged Quote mom2mpr

We are in the US and our testing psychologist also stated my dd would most likely need to update certain testing closer to her PSAT and SAT years to get accommodations if they are still needed.

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