Special Needs - K over 2 years & other adaptations

God's Creation From A to Z: A Complete Kindergarten Curriculum
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705emily
Posts: 92
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:52 pm

Special Needs - K over 2 years & other adaptations

Unread post by 705emily » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:48 pm

ssjcjensen wrote:Hi all, My name is Shawn married to Scott 12 years. We have 3 kids dd10 and ds 8 who will be doing CTG this next school year.

I also have a ds6 who is developmentally delayed(roughly works at a 4yo level), has some processing delays, and he is in speech through the school system(making great strides). He doesn't know any of his letters, he finally seems to know his colors (eg. i will say hand me the red crayon and he can however if I ask what color is this he can some times tell me and sometimes not), and I think he recognizes number 1 and 2 but that is it. I am going ahead with Kindergarten this year because dh says I need to. My questions are
1. How do I use the program with out the writing?
2. Should I do two years in a row and add writing the 2nd if he finally gets the writing?
3. How do I stretch the program so he really gets the letters and numbers
4. How do I help him increase his processing?

Shawn Jensen
Hi Shawn,
As to doing K over 2 years--that's definitely doable. I did it that way with my young 5 year-old. I just did school 3 days a week instead of 5 and took 2 weeks to do each unit. The neat thing about K is that there are so many ways built into the program to reinforce the learning.

About the writing--for the first year--you can have him practice writing letters in sand, or salt on a tray--or in the tub--with tub crayons. Or on a big white board. Then the next year or as his motor skills improve--you could try writing on paper. Sing the songs with him--and he'll learn that way too. The 'math' part of K is very hands on-counting beans into a jar--every day one bean. The toys that MFW recommends for preschool and K would also be great for your child--as they are tactile 'learning toys' that can be used in many, many ways to lay the groundwork for reading/math.

The K program is very gentle, but full of wonderful lessons about God and his world. I think you and your son would love it--and I think he would blossom using it.

Blessings!
Irmi Gaut
MFW K, MFW 1, Adventures, ECC this year!

'And my God shall supply ALL your needs according to his riches in Glory!'

my3boys
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:50 pm

Re: MFWK with developmentally delayed

Unread post by my3boys » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:14 pm

My ds was 7 in Jan. and just finished MFWK. He knew quite a few letters when we started, but could not read. He has a motor disability (we think) and processing issues, possibly among other things. He had lots of trouble with the writing, but I just had him write a couple letters as best as he could instead of writing a whole page (he is now getting OT as well). There is not a whole lot of writing and the program could definitely be done with out it. There is some cut and paste, but you could help him with that too if he is unable to cut. My ds will now be moving on to First and can read CVC words, so it was successful for us.
Alison
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR

jasntas
Posts: 471
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Re: MFWK with developmentally delayed

Unread post by jasntas » Sat Jun 20, 2009 8:21 pm

Other ideas for writing practice in addition to sand or salt in a tray could also include:
rice poured into a baking pan
"Feely" fabrics such as burlap, velvet, or corduroy
A sheet of very fine sandpaper
plush carpet square

The following items can be put into a sealed plastic baggie for no mess and still allow your child to use his finger by writing through the bag:
Shaving cream
Pudding (Could be eaten after lesson)
Liquid Soap
Glue

These ideas came from the All About Spelling program.

Another idea that might help with colors and numbers might be a video. My dd always liked the "Rock N Learn - Colors, Shapes and Counting" dvd. I introduced it to my kids when my dd was about 2 and ds was about 5. My dd still knows the "Red, Yellow, Blue" primary colors song and some of the more complicated shapes introduced in the video.

There is also a video series by Preschool Prep. Some of the videos in the series include "Meet the Colors", "Meet the Numbers", "Meet the Letters". I haven't seen any of these but we do have the one Called "Meet the Sight Words 1". My dd enjoys that one as well. You can read reviews about these dvd's on Amazon or other book stores. You may even be able to request these at your library. I don't know if you can get many of the Preschool Prep videos through the library because I believe they are fairly new. The library is how we were introduced to a lot of the "Rock N Learn" videos though. Some are better than others.

A word of caution about the "Rock N Learn" videos though. They use all kinds of music including rock and they are fast paced. I also don't think many of them can be watched in one setting as they might be too over stimulating. The Preschool Prep videos seem to be much more subtle.

I don't have any other ideas for you but I hth.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.

michelle S.
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:02 am

Re: MFWK with developmentally delayed

Unread post by michelle S. » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:22 am

Welcome,
My daughter will be 6 in July. She has expressive/receptive language delay and possibly some other issues she also is working at about a 4 1/2 yr old level. It sounds by what you described that our kids are about at the same stage of learning.

Last yr we started MFWK and after about 5 weeks we had her speech and language evaluation because it was clear to me she was having some abnormal learning difficulty. The therapist said to just put away the kindergarten and try it again this yr. She also said if she still can't manage it to wait a little longer and just play games, talk, read , and do informal readiness activities with her until she's ready. That's what we've been doing this yr as well as therapy once a week and kindermusic last semester.

Also, one of my daughter's favorite things to do is after bath when I put lotion on her is for me to "draw" letters on her back or on the bottom of her feet and she tries to guess what they are . Then she "draws" on my hand and I try to guess.

She has made a lot of progress in the last few months and we plan to start MFWK again in in Sept. and just take it at her pace. We will also be doing CTG with my 5th grade son and PK/K with my 4 yr old.

I just wanted to encourage you. It's O.K to simply work at your child's level. You're not "Behind". My daughter's speech therapist said it's perfectly O.K. to do kindergarten at 6 or 7 yrs old. She told me that if Abby was in school they would Just hold her back in Kindergarten. In her opinion it is better to wait till the child is ready to learn to read before beginning formal instruction and just "play" until then.

I know the worry of having a child who's having difficulties. I pray blessings and peace for you. The most important thing I learned this yr. was the educational value of simply being a mom. Spend more one on one time, cook, bake, clean, play, shop , talk together. Pray, sing, dance, together. This yr. I've grown so much closer to my daughter and to think I considered putting her in school last yr because I didn't think I could do a good enough job educating her with her learning difficulties.
God is good.

cbollin

Re: MFWK with developmentally delayed

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:54 pm

Lots of ideas already for continuing the tactile writing that is used in MFW K.

My middle gal was in speech therapy for many years.

My youngest is autistic and used MFW K this year.

(((hugs))) to you.

Just know ahead of the time that some of the themes in MFW K will take longer to sink in. That's ok. Repetition is good.

I'd encourage you to look on the Kindy Ideas forum, maybe with advanced search feature in each unit with the key word autism, and author of "cbollin". I know you aren't dealing with the same things I am, but I tried to leave some ideas in general for struggling learners.

We found that using library DVD's helped with some of the science topics. Or using very simple text for facts in science.

Starfall dot com
and various Pre School and Kindy level computer games (Reader Rabbit, Jumpstart, for examples) were helpful for my daughter.

I'd encourage you to look at a company called HeadsUpNow dot com. Great homeschooling company for helping parents with special kids. They have lots of resources for helping with speech therapies. (Melinda Boring's company. She's great!) She has a heart for helping homeschoolers with kids with speech, sensory stuff, etc.

You might consider called HSLDA and checking in with their special needs dept to ask specifically for homeschool friendly speech therapy options. I know years ago they were trying to build a database for that. I used a children's clinic at local hospital for private speech. covered by insurance and they also had scholarship.

How to increase receptive abiltity in processing? Are you using any kind of visual helps for it and lots of hands on stuff? Were you able to observe how the therapists work with your child and carry any of that over to home? Some therapists let mom/dad sit in or have an observation room. That's how I learned what to do - I watched them in action. And the other thing was that my daughter (now age 7) was big with computer games to help build processing.

I was very glad we waited a year to do Kindy when she was 6. Developmental in language and social and other stuff, she's delayed - mostly because of language.

-crystal

ssjcjensen
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 7:35 pm

Re: MFWK with developmentally delayed

Unread post by ssjcjensen » Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:56 am

Thank you to all who have responded to my questions and anxiety. It helps to know that I have such a great community to come to when I am stuck. Thank you Crystal, I will be checking those websites.

Poohbee
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: North Dakota

Kindergarten altered for special needs

Unread post by Poohbee » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:08 pm

hsm wrote:We are wrapping up the O o octopus unit this week. We have been going very slowly through the program. At our OT appointment this week, the OT strongly recommended I not have him do any writing or pencil/crayon tasks right now unless he wants to do it for fun. His fine motor delay is too significant for him to be able to do it. We are tackling other issues that are more pressing first. She does not want to overwhelm him with too many things. We do plan to continue with tactile letter activities. He hates doing any of the hands on projects ;( . I am guessing because it is often just too hard and frustrating for him so he has decided he won't like any of it. So, my question is, do you think that I can still use the program effectively without the crafts or any pencil/paper activities. For example he cannot do the blend ladder worksheets, drawing pages, math pages, etc. He simply doesn't have the fine motor skills and motor planning skills yet. Any thoughts or tips?

I do want to add that even with the speech articulation disorder and hearing impairment, he has been blending with the blend ladder! He tries so hard and really puts the effort in when I can get him to focus ;) I wish there was a happy dance button. :-) So, I am seeing the phonics working but without the pencil tasks to solidify that, I am worried. Also, when he is blending the words don't always sound *right* but that is because of the articulation issue. I have been pressing on though because I know his brain knows what he is trying to say and I can see him physically trying to make it sound right. Do you think that is going to be counterproductive in the long run?

I am actually pleased with our progress even if we are limited, but he is the only child I have had to teach to read and I just want to make sure we do this right.
Hi Lori!
A couple of ideas came to my mind as I read your post. Perhaps you are doing these things already, but as you mentioned, just keep on with the tactile letter activities. Substitute a pencil/paper activity with a tactile activity. When he needs to write something, instead of paper and pencil, let him write with his finger in a salt or sand tray or in pudding spread on a platter. Also, you can put colored hair gel or tempera paint in a plastic ziploc bag, seal the bag well and spread it out flat, and let him use his finger to write on the bag. One thing I did with my girls when they were younger was to let them "write" with water on a chalkboard. I had a decent-sized chalkboard from my childhood. They would dip a paintbrush in water and write their spelling words on the chalkboard. It would involve larger movements with the hand rather than the smaller movements required in writing. They loved doing it!

For the math and drawing activities, perhaps your son could use stickers, rubber stamps, small toys or other such things. Just keep it hands-on and let him keep learning. The fine motor and writing will come in time.

I have some of your same questions about teaching a child to read when he can't make the sounds correctly. It is the same with my son. He has a significant speech delay, and while he talks quite a bit, it is difficult to understand him. There are many sounds he just cannot make correctly. Though he is making progress, it might be a little while before he can make some of the sounds. I have decided that I don't want to hold him back in his learning. My son loves the alphabet. He knows all of us upper and lower case letters. So, I am starting to teach him the sounds the letters make. He can't make some of the sounds, but like your son, I think he knows in his head how it should sound, and he tries so hard. He just doesn't have the motor planning ability to make the sound correctly at this time.

So, I don't really have advice for you. I can only tell you that I am pressing on with my son. I adjust things to his abilities, but I am pressing on in teaching him his letters and sounds. The knowledge will be there when he is able to correctly make the sound. I don't think it will be counterproductive to continue to teach your son how to read, despite his articulation difficulties, especially since he tries so hard and works so hard at blending sounds. :-) With my son, I just take him where he is at, and we do what we can do.

One of my primary goals for my son is his spiritual training. Even though he does not sit still very long to hear stories read aloud to him, I press on and continue to read short Bible stories to him. Last week, he not only learned the sound that "j" makes, he also learned that "J is for Jesus." He walks around the house saying "J is for Jesus." To me, that is the most important thing. :-)

Postby Poohbee » Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:46 pm
My son, who is autistic, is doing very well with MFW K! He LOVED the Creation unit and loves to re-read his Creation book and review the 7 days of Creation with his Creation numbers. He is doing okay with the sun unit. I have to adapt for him a bit, because his attention span and fine motor skills aren't quite where they need to be yet, but he knows that the sun gives us heat and light and that Jesus is the Light of the World. That's good enough for me! (He knows his numbers into the hundreds and knows all of his letters, so that part is easy for him). :-)

Post by Poohbee » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:41 pm
My 7yo son took 1 1/2 years for kindergarten (MFW K), and we are taking 1 1/2 years for 1st grade. He has autism and delays in some areas, so we are taking a bit of extra time with him in these formative years. He started Learning God's Story (MFW 1st) in February, and he will continue that in the fall and finish that at the end of this next school year. I'm hoping he'll join my 6th grader for some ECC activities, but he has a short attention span for formal learning, so we'll see what he's willing to join in on after he finishes his 1st grade work for the day.
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: Kindergarten altered for special needs

Unread post by hsm » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:16 am

Hi Jen,

I was hoping you would chime in! I love those ideas! We do some tactile stuff like the salt tray or sometimes I use cornmeal. I have also used the paint bag idea but I like the idea of the hair gel better-less smelly and cheaper. My favorite idea you mentioned was "painting" the chalkboard! I love that! We don't have a huge chalkboard but it is decent sized and on an easel. I think he would really love that. I had thought about the same idea on our fence but it is too cold for that right now LOL! I think I need to make a trip to the dollar store for some stickers and stamps ;)

I am going to keep pressing on too. It is hard to see them struggle so much to form a proper sound isn't it? But, it's there in their sweet little minds, so yes, I most definitely will press on. And, like you, the spiritual aspect is a huge deal for me. I love how it is taught in the K program...so simple yet full. We were watching a show last night and the boy asked his mom what perservere means (he stumbled on the word trying to pronounce it). My son piped up...it means you keep trying even when it's hard. Don't give up. And, you know something? He can say the word perservere like nobody's business! :-)
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

Poohbee
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: North Dakota

Re: Kindergarten altered for special needs

Unread post by Poohbee » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:02 am

Oh, Lori, that made me smile...that your son can "say the word persevere like nobody's business." How precious! When you have a child that struggles with something, you just rejoice when they can finally make the right sound or say the word correctly. Oh, how we cheer when when my son says a sound or word correctly. I think we took ease of learning for granted with my girls, because they tend to pick up things and learn fairly easily. But, with my son, who struggles, we no longer take ease of learning for granted. We appreciate and celebrate each milestone and each accomplishment...with all of the kids. :-) Thanks for giving me a smile today.
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

kw4blessings
Posts: 166
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: Kindergarten altered for special needs

Unread post by kw4blessings » Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:11 pm

Don't know if this would be helpful or not, but could you continue along slowly with K and "be his secretary"? I know Julie has mentioned that several times about her youngest. My oldest struggles with writing, like she'd rather do anything else in the world, so I often do the writing in Adv. for her.

I'm thinking for the blend ladder pages, you could read each word and he can tell you where to put it (a,e,i,o,u) then tell you which consonants you need to start and end the word. You can write it, but he's still getting the reading aspect. Sounds like he's ready to do that, just not the writing. Same with the math, could he tell you which number to write and where? IMO, he's still learning it, just differently. :-) The tactile abilities will come eventually, but he could hopefully still learn the phonics and math?

I wouldn't worry about the crafts. We're skipping most of those in K mainly for the time factor and although I know they would be such a rich addition, I know the Bible, phonics, math, is the "meat" of MFW K!
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: Kindergarten altered for special needs

Unread post by hsm » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:46 pm

Jen- yes, we definitely took for granted the ease of learning for my girls especially my oldest. When he blended the first time, we jumped and celebrated, got all crazy. The girls joined in...it was great! Then, we went to the store and bought sundae fixin's! Over the top? Maybe, but we definitely treasure milestones for everyone now :-)

Kelly- I love that! Me being the "secretary". I did that off and on at the beginning but I think I will do it more often now that I know he truly struggles and isn't just being difficult. I agree, he is still learning that way, just differently. And, thank you for saying you don't do all the crafts! I was really bumming out that we weren't doing them. Glad to know we are not alone. I still think they add so much to the program and they reinforce skills and concepts but right now, we can only focus on the "meat" of the program.
Last edited by hsm on Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

MelissaB
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Re: Kindergarten altered for special needs

Unread post by MelissaB » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:11 pm

Hi, Lori,

Your story made me smile, too.

We faced those same obstacles with our youngest amazing dd (speech and OT delay). I didn't "see" her progress through the year b/c our sweet girl, like your son, couldn't give feedback, neither by writing nor verbally very well. I didn't know how much she was actually learning. . . . we just "persevered." :-)

To our amazement, our courageous girl was reading the MFW K little books by the end of the curriculum. !!

Like the other Moms recommended, I just want to encourage you:
- Focus on the activities he can do well
- Keep the activities short

He'll be reading soon! You're doing a great job. Keep persevering. ;)
Melissa B. (Arkansas)
Girls ages 16 & 13
Completed K, 1st, and Investigate {ECC; CTG; RTR; Expl.-1850; and 1850-Mod. Times}
"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,.." Titus 2:4

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: Kindergarten altered for special needs

Unread post by hsm » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:55 pm

This turned out to be an encouraging post :-) I love all these responses...thanks ladies!
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Should we wait longer to start K?

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:48 am

mshanson3121 wrote:
Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:03 am
I'm feeling discouraged, and honestly wondering if we started too soon. DD is 5.5 with high-functioning autism and health issues (long health history that includes heart disease, a slew of "little" things, and currently undiagnosed bowel issues). We really started lessons with her just a few weeks ago, doing MFW K, we're on L.

Overall, she likes the program. But, every day there's battles. She still has a horrible attention span and focus, and she is so extremely controlling and if she doesn't want to do it, it's a meltdown. It seems like every single day, we have a meltdown during lessons because she doesn't want to listen or pay attention or because she can't make her letter right or because she can't play instead or because she had a rough morning or the sky is blue... (you get the idea). She wears herself out with the meltdowns and normally needs a nap after.

I'm starting to wonder if I should just forget it for this year. Just let her work through some workbooks on her own for fun (she loves workbooks). Everything is a battle with her right now - trying to get her to take her medicine, eat enough food (both part of her health issues), controlling issues and then trying to do lessons on top of it. Part of me wonders if there's just too much going on in her life right now - we've had 14 appointments in 12 weeks, not including a hospitalization for her. Two more appointments next week. More after Christmas. Many of them require 3 hours traveling there/back. Deep down, I think how she feels physically is playing into all her controlling and disobedient issues.

Also, developmentally, the psych tests put her at roughly 18-24 months delayed socially/emotionally, so she's really only at about a 4 year old level, tops that way.

But then, part of me wonders if that will only hurt down the road. I mean, then again, what if she's not any less controlling next year? She has to do lessons sometime. Maybe we should just start now? She enjoys them when she's in the mood for it and when everything is going well. Advice please.
I rarely come on this board anymore, and I am glad I looked this morning to see your post. Perhaps, my having a youngest with special needs will help you?

If she is 18- 24 months delayed then she is somewhere between 3.5 - 4? Right? Too young for K?

I think the hardest part about children with health issues and learning delays is accepting them for where they are at rather then trying to make them their chronological age. At least in my experience that was the hardest part for me. It took me about 3 years, and now I think of my youngest at her developmental age and chronological age at the same time since they both impact her. For example, at age 6 1/2 she remembers last Christmas and has memory that a 2 - 3 year old wouldn't have. She though is very 2 - 3 developmentally. She is in the 18 - 36 month room at our Friday morning homeschool coops. She isn't ready for the preschool room. I would like her to be with the 3 - 4 year olds. I tried it and it did NOT work at all! She can't sit and cut and paste. She can though sit beautifully with 2 year olds and play with play-doh and eat a snack. Is this making sense? I don't put her in the preschool because she can't do it at age 6 1/2. I started reading good books of literature with her this fall, and she is getting it like a 2 year old would get it. They have to be books my three older ones loved at 2 or 3, but she can also do a few for age 6 since she is 6. Mostly though I have to stay with books best for a 2 - 3 year old. I wanted to start pre-school with her this fall at home, but scribbling and reading some good books for toddlers is much more where she is at even though she is 6 1/2. The beauty of home schooling though is I can help her learn as she is ready, and someday (I am hoping for age 9 or 10 :) ), I am hoping and planning to do MFWK with her. MFWK will be perfect for her learning challenges! :-) It won't be perfect though until she is ready.

Your daughter with autism is obviously much more advanced then mine is with down syndrome. I hope something I wrote though with my processing through these issues will help you. We have been dealing with this since I was 20 weeks pregnant with her, so after 7 years I feel like I have some understanding of it...at least a little. When she was 3 I was still very clueless.

The health issues are real and do take a toll on them. In fact my dd6 has her cardiology appointments today to see how her heart is doing. It is her annual appointment since her early surgeries. She was hospitalized a year ago for a few days and then had two weeks recovery. It definitely wipes them out. Even today will leave her tired. I cannot imagine trying to do school with her with 14 appointments in 12 weeks. It was hard enough last fall trying to keep up with schooling my 3 healthy bright elementary children with 12 appointments in one month and one hospital stay! I really do know where you are coming from.

I found MFWK perfect for 5.5 and MFW1 fabulous for 6.5. I would wait until she is 5 or 5.5 developmentally to start MFWK; thus, around age 7 if she continues being around 1 1/2 - 2 years delayed. I know that is difficult to hear, and perhaps she will reach the developmental age of 5.5 sooner then 7. They can only do though what they can do as they are ready to do it; at least that is what I am finding. I wouldn't worry about waiting, since it is a wise choice for your daughter. When she is ready my guess is you will find her behavior much better since she will be able to do the work without the stress of not being ready.

God knows what he is doing. It really is OK that she isn't ready. He created your beautiful daughter, just as He created mine. I find God frequently gives us more then we can handle so we learn to lean 100% on Him and Trust 100% in Him. He promises to never allow us more temptation then we can handle without a way out from underneath it. In life though I find He often gives us more then we can handle so we keep our eyes on our Savior. I will be praying for you.

In Christ,

mshanson3121
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: Should we wait longer to start K?

Unread post by mshanson3121 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:01 am

gratitude wrote: I think the hardest part about children with health issues and learning delays is accepting them for where they are at rather then trying to make them their chronological age.
Thank you so much. I think you, for the first time for me, really put it plainly for me to see what the problem is. I AM trying to make her her actual age, instead of her developmental age. You're right, if her actual age were in line with her developmental age - no, she would not be in K. And her attention span and controlling issues and tantrums would also still be a bit more age-appropriate.

I think for me, for us - her cognitive abilities really make it difficult for us, if that makes any sense. She is high functioning, she is SMART, especially mathematically (the other night for "fun", she sat down and wrote out six copies of the 100 chart..hehe, she is a typical "Aspie" in that she loves all things that are repetitive, or have routine, pattern, rhythm to them!). She knows all her letter sounds, she is starting to be able to blend some words etc... So... academically, she's ready for K. But I realize now that, that's all I've been looking at - academics. Meanwhile, I've been ignoring everything else - that comprehension-wise, she is still definitely younger, she can still really only "get" things put very simply, in concrete, black and white, literal forms. She is getting better, but today, after we read a story and she had to answer a comprehension question, while she had the answer in her head, it was very hard for her to get it out - and it took 4 or 5 tries. She gets confused easily when trying to express answers like that. It's actually only been this year that she'll even listen to stories, period. She has speech delay (mild articulation/phonological process issues, but then more significant with social speech). She has very little self-control, and has very low tolerance for mistakes. She finds printing practice hard to do and that can throw her into meltdown mode very quickly.

We have so much to still work on behavior wise, OT and ST wise. Not to mention the health issues to tackle. We're just starting the diagnosis process with a GI, so it's all uncertain, and while we pray not, there is the possibility of invasive testing, biopsies, possible surgeries within the next year. If nothing else we know she has another dental surgery coming up next spring for ongoing dental enamel issues. She's developing anxiety from all the appointments and tests. They have tried so many medications and different diets with her, trying to get her bowels working better, that eating in general is becoming a very real struggle, let alone trying to get meds into her. Every day is a meltdown over that at some point. She's in chronic pain every day from her bowels and stomach. Really, it's no wonder the poor kid is trying to control everything - I can only imagine how overwhelmed and out of control she must feel.

It's funny, originally, in my heart, I knew we needed to take this year off. I knew we needed to focus on other things, to give her time to catch up. And yet... I let her academic-readiness dictate, and win. I figured, she's ready academically, what's the harm? It doesn't help that everyone else in the family looks at her and sees how smart she is, so figures she should be doing "school".

I definitely have some praying to do about this, now. Thank you.

Poohbee
Posts: 394
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:38 pm
Location: North Dakota

Re: Should we wait longer to start K?

Unread post by Poohbee » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:20 pm

Hi! ((Hugs))
I'm sorry you are feeling discouraged. I certainly understand. I am currently working through MFW K with my 6-year-old autistic son. We started in Aug. 2014, did his K work 3 days a week through the school year, took a break during the summer, and continued with it this school year, doing it 4 days a week. He will finish K at the end of January and start 1st at the beginning of February. I am planning for him to take 1 1/2 years for K and 1 1/2 years for 1st and see where he is after that. My son has ST and OT from a private therapy provider, and we do not do school with him on his therapy days.

That being said, our focus with his K work has been a bit different than it was with my 2 older daughters, and I "tweak" it to fit his needs. My son, like your daughter, is very smart academically. He taught himself to read, he knew the letters and sounds before he even started K, he knows numbers into the thousands, etc. So, academically, K is not a challenge for him. Things that ARE a challenge for him are sitting still and focusing for a period of time, listening to and following directions, handwriting, making some of the letter sounds (speech delay), formulating answers to questions, sitting and listening to stories read to him, etc. So, my focus for him this year have been the Bible/character lessons (learning his Words to Remember and learning about Jesus), learning to sit for a period of time and gradually lengthening that time that he can sit, learning to write his letters and gradually writing whole words, sitting and listening to a story read aloud to him each day, etc. Those are just a few things.

When you do feel your daughter is ready for K, here are some suggestions I have for you. Just take her where she is. Eliminate some things from the K schedule if the day gets too long. You don't have to do everything. My son is not an artsy kid and hates getting his hands messy, so we skip much of the art and coloring activities, but I've been working with him on cutting and pasting and getting used to having glue on his fingers without him having a meltdown about it. He's come a long way with this! :-) Decide what your focus is for your dd, what you desire for her, and work on those things. For handwriting, we spent at least the first half or 3/4 of the school year last year just writing his letters in a salt tray and not using pencil and paper at all. I ordered the program Handwriting Without Tears for him, and now he writes his letters first in a salt tray and then on a chalkboard. Eventually he does it on paper with a pencil. But it took us quite awhile to work up to using paper and pencil, and that's okay. He certainly has not yet written a complete sentence...just letters and words. To start, I had him only sit for maybe 10 min. at a time and then he got up to take a movement/active break...jumping on his mini trampoline or running around a bit...doing something active...and then I called him back to the table to work on more seat work. Gradually increase the time you require your dd to sit and attend to the task at hand.

I had debated waiting to start K with my son until he was 6 (that would have been the beginning of this school year), but my dh and I decided to start him last school year, when he turned 5, because cognitively, he was ready, even though he was delayed in speech and fine motor skills, among other things. I didn't want to hold him back. I wanted to take him where he was at and work with him there. It turned out to be a good thing to start him when we did and just work through it at his pace.

So, again, when you feel like your dd is ready, choose 2-3 goals for her and you can use the K materials to achieve those goals. My son's K experience is completely different from the experiences my 2 older daughters had, but that's okay. I need to work with him where he is at and not force him to do too much before he's ready. Definitely take the time you need to work through her health issues and behavior issues, but you can certainly use the K curriculum to help you with some of that. The character lessons/Words to Remember/Bible lessons are great for some of those behavioral issues. The K materials/activities are great for teaching them to focus and follow directions. Don't feel bad about tweaking it to fit your daughters needs.

Hang in there! You can do this!
Jen
happily married to Vince (19 yrs)
blessed by MFW since 2006
have used every year K-1850MOD
2018-2019: Adventures with 9yo boy

mshanson3121
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: Should we wait longer to start K?

Unread post by mshanson3121 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:48 pm

Poohbee wrote:That being said, our focus with his K work has been a bit different than it was with my 2 older daughters, and I "tweak" it to fit his needs. My son, like your daughter, is very smart academically. He taught himself to read, he knew the letters and sounds before he even started K, he knows numbers into the thousands, etc. So, academically, K is not a challenge for him. Things that ARE a challenge for him are sitting still and focusing for a period of time, listening to and following directions, handwriting, making some of the letter sounds (speech delay), formulating answers to questions, sitting and listening to stories read to him, etc. So, my focus for him this year have been the Bible/character lessons (learning his Words to Remember and learning about Jesus), learning to sit for a period of time and gradually lengthening that time that he can sit, learning to write his letters and gradually writing whole words, sitting and listening to a story read aloud to him each day, etc. Those are just a few things.
This sounds a lot like DD. Now, DD is not as advanced as your son. Math is her strong point for sure - I could probably be easily working her on grade 1 math, but LA is her weakness. She is still struggling with some phonological stuff like word boundaries, auditory discrimination etc... She knows all letter sounds, but like your son, can't pronounce them all correctly. And she can't blend yet. Well, she sort of can, we've done a few, but... I'm honestly not sure if she's ready for blending - some days she can do a bit, in fact, I've had her read sentences such as "The fat cat sat on the mat"... but I admit, it was mostly through me forcing, and it was hard and stressed her out (so I backed off). She has no word recognition yet either - she could sound out "sat" and then see sat on every single page, and think it's a different word every time, kwim? I find as soon as anything is hard for her, she shuts down and loses it.

So I just really don't know what to think. I think I felt I could go ahead because she knew all her letter sounds and I should be "challenging" her. And now I'm really second guessing all of that. What she really loves are her CLE Kindergarten workbooks - cutting, pasting, coloring, matching, rhymes, finger plays, action songs etc...

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: Should we wait longer to start K?

Unread post by gratitude » Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:07 pm

A wise K teacher encouraged me to start my summer Birthday boy at age 6 for K. Her reasoning, after 30 plus years of teaching, was his high energy, his emotionally not being ready for sit down work, and his lack of interest in pencil learning. She was aware that he had figured out 5 letter word reading on his own at age 3. He had no delays. I took her advice and waited until age 6 to start homeschool curriculum with him, and I have never regretted it for a moment. Her real reason though was she said emotional readiness matters much more for K work then academic readiness.

Does that help?

I am a better late then pushing early mom though. So it largely depends on what style of mom you are. I believe emotional readiness helps in entering the adult years. I also researched the 'reasons' behind dropping the school age to 5. Not so long ago in America it was age 9. The reasons behind the drop to age 5 I disagree with so I never felt pushed to even start my gifted kid that young.

I would encourage prayer with your DH so together with the LORD you will know what to do. My DH has been my biggest homeschool help since he knows our children. When I involve him and we pray we usually can come to the conclusion best for them.

Prayers for your decisions.

mshanson3121
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: Should we wait longer to start K?

Unread post by mshanson3121 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:54 pm

gratitude wrote:A wise K teacher encouraged me to start my summer Birthday boy at age 6 for K. Her reasoning, after 30 plus years of teaching, was his high energy, his emotionally not being ready for sit down work, and his lack of interest in pencil learning. She was aware that he had figured out 5 letter word reading on his own at age 3. He had no delays. I took her advice and waited until age 6 to start homeschool curriculum with him, and I have never regretted it for a moment. Her real reason though was she said emotional readiness matters much more for K work then academic readiness.

Does that help?

I am a better late then pushing early mom though. So it largely depends on what style of mom you are. I believe emotional readiness helps in entering the adult years. I also researched the 'reasons' behind dropping the school age to 5. Not so long ago in America it was age 9. The reasons behind the drop to age 5 I disagree with so I never felt pushed to even start my gifted kid that young.

I would encourage prayer with your DH so together with the LORD you will know what to do. My DH has been my biggest homeschool help since he knows our children. When I involve him and we pray we usually can come to the conclusion best for them.

Prayers for your decisions.
Thank you. I appreciate all the responses I've been getting. The funny thing is, I've ready all the studies on better late than early, and I truly believe them. I do! And yet, I'm so stuck in the "follow the public school" box, kwim? I really do think we would be better off just letting go for a bit. I think I need the Lord's help though, to show me how to do that, to allow me to trust in the decision. It's so out of my comfort zone.

ruthamelia
Posts: 57
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:34 pm

Re: Should we wait longer to start K?

Unread post by ruthamelia » Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:01 pm

Hi- thanks so much for sharing your story and struggles! Somehow it helps to hear what others' struggles and challenges are.

I can't relate to all you are experiencing, but wanted to throw in one thought about the high functioning autism/ aspie side of things. My oldest nephew (12) fits that category, and I have found that I can be clearest about goals and expectations with school when I just look at him, no numbers at all. No ages, grades, etc, just him. What are his strengths and weaknesses? What does he enjoy and not enjoy? What is challenging to him and will wear him down, and what is he capable of without getting worn down? This helps us not to hold him back in areas where he is capable, and to expect steady but slow progress in areas that challenge him most. For example, he's very strong in math, and enjoys it, although he won't admit it. So I forget age and grade, and just keep moving through material at a pace he can manage. For a long time handwriting was an issue- common for sensory issues- so we just expected steady progress but didn't push it. Just this year his handwriting has finally dramatically improved. Also, I try to let him learn in a way that is comfortable for him and fits aspie preferences for lots of structure and repetition. Not necessarily my philosophy, but this is about him! At 5 or 6, he did nearly all workbooks and loved it. It allowed him to soak in all the knowledge his brain was ready for without pushing him into things he wasn't ready for. It also eliminated a lot of the social interaction of schooling- even homeschooling is high on social interaction for autism- so he could learn without that added stress. He didn't do lots of projects or activities- it just wouldn't have suited his learning style. Now that he is older, he has a lot more tolerance for these types of things, although it is still challenging. But he still prefers the structure of workbooks! A few weeks into this school year he found a few unused geography workbooks on the shelf and asked me to schedule them into his schoolwork. It goes against my grain to do a lot of fill in the blank and multiple choice bubbles, but he loves it, and remembers what he learns!

I hope something in my story is helpful. I think you've gotten great advice and it seems like waiting might be a sound choice. I just wanted to give you some things to consider about kids who need to learn a different way than we might want them to, and ways to not hold kids back when they are ready to learn because we have preset notions on what that should be and how it gets delivered. Follow her lead and she will probably surprise you someday!
Kids in school: 15, 13, 11, 8, 6, 4, 4
We have used: K, First, all Investigate years
2018-2019: First, ECC, AHL

mshanson3121
Posts: 28
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 7:05 pm

Re: Should we wait longer to start K?

Unread post by mshanson3121 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:14 pm

ruthamelia wrote:I hope something in my story is helpful. I think you've gotten great advice and it seems like waiting might be a sound choice. I just wanted to give you some things to consider about kids who need to learn a different way than we might want them to, and ways to not hold kids back when they are ready to learn because we have preset notions on what that should be and how it gets delivered. Follow her lead and she will probably surprise you someday!
Thank you. This is great. And definitely something I need to do. Yes, DD does far better with a workbook approach, too. She loves them in fact.

manyblessings
Posts: 137
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:24 pm
Location: Nevada
Contact:

Re: Should we wait longer to start K?

Unread post by manyblessings » Tue Dec 22, 2015 1:25 am

Just an additional suggestion here, how about also using MFW Preschool or PreK to meet your daughter at her developmental age? The new Preschool (for ages 2 to 3) in particular has such a gentle yet comforting structure built in, so you and your child know what to expect every day. There is a lot of building of large and fine motor sills, as well as training to self-regulate, character stories, age-appropriate Bible and other books, and introduction/reinforcement of typical preschool concepts. You could still let her do workbooks in addition if she craves that. The current Pre-K (ages 3 to 5) only has a schedule card to go with the books and learning toys with activity cards, but I expect the new one that is coming out this summer will be similar in structure to the new Preschool. I hope that also gives you some food for thought on your options.
Lourdes
Mom of 4 adults, 1 daughter-in-law, 1 son-in-law, 1 in 1st, and
3 in heaven 8/11/06, 8/18/10, and 9/13/13
Married to my soul mate since 6/20/09
Past: MFW K, ECC, AAAT, VOD, GCA
2018-2019 LGS

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