Special Needs - User experiences with MFW Language Arts

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
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bunnytracks
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Special Needs - User experiences with MFW Language Arts

Unread post by bunnytracks »

Ready for Writing Strands?
my3boys wrote:My ds is 10 going into fifth grade - he has a learning disorder of written expression, which basically means that it is hard for him to get his thoughts on paper due to the multitasking that is involved (thinking about letter formation and spacing, punctuation, spelling, etc.). I'm wondering if I should leave writing strands until he is older. If I start the series at level 3 in seventh grade he would be able to finish it by the time he graduated highschool. Has anyone used these with older kids and is this good idea? I'm just afraid that it may all go over his head this year or worse that he will be distressed over it. We will be doing ILL this year.
You could try it and see?? My children did good with level 3 at that age but level 4 got shelved and we will try again this year on it. It starts out pretty easy. The writing is directed to your child and is kinda "dorky" but they liked it. The first week you are assigned to write a simple 2 word sentence. MFW actually breaks it up to an even easier chunk at a time in TM.
Proud wife 14 years to my Air Force man.
Homeschooling mom of 5 (4 boys and 1 girl)
I have used MFW ADV, ECC, and K
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: writing strands question

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I agree that trying it might be your best course. It's not a big investment, and you can still restart it later or spread it out over time, even.

MFW's goals are to get through Writing Strands 4 before you have your son do high school level writing. And if you don't start WS until 8th grade, you can start right in WS-4. So that basically means you could do one year of WS and be okay.

But I'm thinking that your son needs lots of writing work before he's ready for high school? Writing Strands can meet him where he's at and build his skills gradually -- if you use it that way. The author really wants kids to just work with language and build skills in "strands" until they are strong. And I think he does this in very manageable, purposeful chunks. The problem is that writing is hard to "teach" and often we loving parents want to over-teach and over-discipline kids into following the book to the letter. Or, we get busy & we under-teach & leave our kids to learn something on their own that they really can't. That's my take on it, anyways.

WS is a tool, and if it might help your son, I might try it. Each lesson has a point and tells your son what skill he's to work on. (Handwriting & letter spacing are not those skills, though. Maybe he could type, or dictate while you type, or even do it orally.) And once you both read the skill and the lesson plan, you can shorten or change or merge the assignment with something else he's doing.

For example, during my son's last lesson (he's a 7th grader in Writing Strands 5), he was to find a spot in a book and create a dialogue to insert in that spot, but never say who was speaking. He and a parent would each define their character & write a part, and then another person would listen to see if he could find where our new dialogue came in. However, my son decided he wanted to use characters from two different books & do all the dialogue himself, and it really couldn't be inserted into either story. The details of the assignment were changed quite a bit, but ds did learn about controlling dialogue without constantly saying "he said," and dad enjoyed listening to his creation (after I explained!) which further encouraged ds.

So all that is just to agree that you can use WS as a tool if it helps, and drop it until later if it doesn't help. You will still have opportunities to work on composition skills in your other MFW work.
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
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RJ's Momma
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Re: writing strands question

Unread post by RJ's Momma »

I just wanted to add that trying it might be a good idea. My dd is 10 as well and writing is something she struggles with quite a lot. She also has a problem with the ideas/then writing/spelling/remembering grammar, etc. Last year, when I was at the conference, I asked Mr. Hazel about all this and whether or not we should wait. He recommended giving it a shot, going slowly and seeing where we could get with it. I'm so glad that I took that advise as she has really improved in her writing this year.

We started out with me writing EVERYTHING that she wanted for the assignment. I would show her how to make the sentences correctly, paragraphs, indenting - EVERYTHING that she needed to know. I even helped with wording when she got stuck or was repeting herself. Then I would hand her what had been written and she would copy it, sometimes by hand, sometimes on the computer. We also would take as many days as we needed to finish a lesson, and at the end of this year we just finished lesson 8, but that means we will have finished WS 3 by the middle of next year instead of the end or even later.

At this point I'm doing less and less of the writing for her. She is getting much better, but we still do the lessons together. I am mostly helping with ideas and making sure the grammar and sentence structure are correct.

I was ready to throw the book out in the middle of the year. I was frustrated, and dd was frustrated, but I'm really glad we kept at it as she doesn't hate it anymore and has grown in her writing quite a bit:)

Hope that helps some in your desision.

Shannon
Wife to dh 12 years, Momma to 'RJ' 10 years old
CtG - July 2009 (5th grade) ECC-4th grade Adventures-3rd grade
Used ABeka for 1st and 2nd grade MFW-K
http://www.aroundthehomestead.blogspot.com
cbollin

Re: writing strands question

Unread post by cbollin »

and remember to ask out loud over here for ideas on a specific lesson if something doesn't make sense. Several of us have ok ideas to try to help or at least say what we did in the lesson.

-crystal
RachelT
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Writing; Have any of you tried Writing Strands 2?

Unread post by RachelT »

Thank you for the responses!
tiffany wrote:We did a couple of lessons and gave it away actually. Seemed a bit silly at the time. That has been awhile though, and I don't feel the same about Levels 3 & 4 which we use. Seems that the Level 2 subjects are better covered elsewhere in the curriculum.
Tiffany, it is good to know that I'm probably already covering the same things that are in Level 2 with the curriculum as a whole! Maybe I need to stop stressing about it, I just don't know if he will be able to actually do the Level 3 assignments next fall, but that is still a whole 6 months away!

Julie, you hit the nail right on the head, although I didn't realize this -
Julie in MN wrote:It must be hard for you to separate out your son's own unique needs from the normal issues with writing that some kids have.
I think of everything that is hard as being part of his diagnosed learning disabilities, not as "normal". Especially since the only other child I have to compare him to is his younger sister who writes and reads beautifully, although she is two years younger! Thank you for separating the skills out a little bit and helping me to realize that maybe he is not so "behind" as I had thought.

Crystal, thank you for your ideas, too about a how to manage all of this.
cbollin wrote:There is nothing wrong with focusing on rich, oral language arts right now given his age and his needs. and if he needs to type, it's ok.
Your son is still dealing with a lot of real physical issues to the time it takes to write everything. Don't add to the frustration. Work on what needs to be worked on at his level.
I guess the reason I posted this thread was because I wasn't sure if he is doing enough of the work that needs to be done at this level if we are doing so much of it orally. So I guess my answer from you is that "oral" is still brain-work (for lack of a better term) even when it's not written. I just want to make sure that he can write someday. I love to write!! It's hard for me to understand. :)

Rachel
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

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RachelT
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: Writing; Have any of you tried Writing Strands 2?

Unread post by RachelT »

I wanted to add to this post because I was just able to look at Writing Strands 2 at our state convention. The Writing Strands website says that Book 1 is all oral, in preparation for writing. Writing Strands 3 looks like it moves to writing a descriptive paragraph very quickly, but Writing Strands 2 moves more slowly. It works on skills but starts with a student who can write a short sentence, which is more at my son's composition and spelling level right now. I went ahead and bought it because we can use it and if we move through it quickly we can go on to Writing Strands 3. If it takes all of his 4th gr. year to do Writing Strands 2, then he would still be able to complete books 3-6 by 8th grade if he does one each year. I think this looks like a good option for a student with who is still working on language arts skills that may be below his grade level because of something like dysgraphia or dyslexia, like my son.

Rachel
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/
club190
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:12 am

modifying Language Arts for a dysgraphic student

Unread post by club190 »

RachelT wrote:Hello everyone! I am still trying to decide how to do Language Arts with my son this year in 4th grade. He is dyslexic/dysgraphic and is coming along with writing and spelling, but it's been slow. For those of you that don't know dysgraphia is another word for a writing disability. Handwriting has been difficult, even with occupational therapy, but HWT has helped. We've been doing lots of things for two years to build his large and small motor skills.

My ds has already gone through Primary Language Lessons over the last two years, doing most of it orally with me. Sometimes we would use a white board or I would type things on the computer as he dictated them aloud to me. With his dysgraphia, I would say that his writing is really at a beginning 2nd grade level.

What I am really trying to decide now, is since we have gone through PLL orally, should I go on to ILL and begin adding in more writing or should we go through PLL again and add in more writing this time? Verbal/oral expression is NO problem for him! :) I"m worried that if he hasn't been able to do the dictations or composition from PLL on paper/computer that he won't be able to do the work required in ILL. What do you all think? I think he would be bored with doing a lot of PLL over again. He enjoyed doing it orally and it was not a problem, unless he had to write.

I ordered the workbook formats. I like it that he would get more writing done than if I have to get out paper and have him try to look at the little book and write on a separate piece of paper. For ILL outlines or compositions I could begin to have him type them, since I had him do typing lessons on the computer all last school year.

I feel like dysgraphia is hard to figure out because I can't expect him to do writing by hand in all of his subjects on one day. He just can't write that much yet. I have to decide what he needs to write and what I need to modify. We use the Barton system which is designed for dyslexic students and Mrs. Barton says to use the white board and computer if that is more comfortable. She also says not to begin language arts instruction or composition until after completing Level 4 of her program. We are in Level 4 right now. My plan is to continue the HWT cursive instruction that we began last spring for handwriting and to get him to start writing more for English/LA. I'm just trying to figure out how to do that! It's hard to push him to do more and not frustrate him. I have to find a balance between the two. Any ideas would be appreciated!
Rachel
Hi Rachel,

I'm there in the trenches with you except my student with these needs is 14. Go on into ILL with him, he'll be able to do the oral work, then gradually add some of the dictations, making sure that you're not overwhelming him with writing each day. For us, I schedule dictation into our English time but only two days a week and I schedule it so that he's doing dictation on the thing he did for copywork the day before. [editor's note: Bible verse copywork and dictation is scheduled in the lesson plans.] I used the Grammar & Composition planner that Donna Young has on her website, the one that has three columns for each week, and then I use the assignment sheet from Home School High School & Beyond to elaborate on the writing assignment for each day. It breaks the work into five lines and offers a simple point value rubric to grade the whole week's assignment. At this point, I'm trying to stretch him to be able to physically write for more than one subject area per day, but he's older than your son. He's getting closer and closer to "grade-level" performance and I'm so thankful for that! Remember to go at his speed. There's such a fine line between challenging students and stretching them beyond the breaking point! Keep your plans in pencil, and things will go well. You are already attuned to him and helping him so much with his learning needs, just keep on keeping on!

We're only just now getting to the point where my son can write for more than one subject area a day. He's been writing poetry for fun, on his own time, all this past year, and that's helped immensely (and Wow, is it good! Just a little brag there on my boy) but maturity has also been doing its work as well. He can write short answers (like for the ECC World Geography book) and do copywork OR dictation and spelling and do written work on ONE composition each day, plus write what he needs to for math, but that's pushing to the ragged edge of his limits. He continues to write poetry before he goes to bed at night plus he has cyber-friends he IMs during his free time each day. (Remember, he's quite a bit older than your son. The Internet can be a dangerous place.) It's my hope that at some point this term we'll be able to add working on a second composition each day. SO, I guess this ramble was originally meant to remind you not to push too hard too soon, but to also give you hope that there is definitely progress and light at the end of the tunnel!

Blessings,
Chris
Wife to Jim since '91
Mom to:
Matthew, 18, Ursinus College student
Andrew, 14, ECC 7/8 + a few extras to make it "official" for high school credit
Daniel, 5, wanting to "do school" but still not really ready
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: modifying Language Arts for a dysgraphic student

Unread post by Julie in MN »

club190 wrote: Go on into ILL with him, he'll be able to do the oral work, then gradually add some of the dictations, making sure that you're not overwhelming him with writing each day.

Remember to go at his speed. There's such a fine line between challenging students and stretching them beyond the breaking point!
I agree with Chris. Even my youngest, who is not dysgraphic, continued to do most of ILL orally. He responded well to conversationally discussing language. He worked on handwriting in only one area -- Bible copywork. He worked on composition and writing by doing Writing Strands lessons on the typewriter, and like you, I sometimes did the typing if ds had put in a good effort. It could also be done on a marker board or in some cases orally.

Around 5th or 6th grade, I told my son he had to "write" something every day (or type) -- but it was usually only one thing. And he has done well -- gets good scores on standardized tests and in an outside writing class he took. So you're doing great!

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
RachelT
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: modifying Language Arts for a dysgraphic student

Unread post by RachelT »

Thanks Chris for your thoughts! I am going to also look at your planner and assignment sheets that you found!

Julie - thanks for the encouragement and for giving me "permission" to continue to do ILL orally. I think I will keep the workbook format so that he can fill in blanks for some of the simpler exercises and some of the poems might be a little easier to read on the larger pages. We will keep typing or scribing for things that he still needs that assistance on.

It's good to know that both your sons are progressing well with writing!
cbollin wrote:You'll get plenty of opportunities in CTG for simple notebooking summaries on ancient history.
-crystal
Well, I didn't think of that Crystal, but that makes sense. Duh! Of course we will have writing assignments in CtG. I just didn't make him write much for those notebook summaries in ECC, but I do remember helping him more in Adv. and 1st Grade with that... We will keep working on it! :)

Once again, MFW really packs a lot of LA into the unit studies so I don't have to add lots of other things. I think I will go with ILL and Writing Strands 2. And I know that placing oral ILL on Writing Strands days helps. Maybe that is enough for her. I'm just thinking/rambling out loud here! Thanks for the helpful comments!

Rachel
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/
cbollin

PLL - Using with language delayed kiddos...

Unread post by cbollin »

Chrystal in TX wrote:I've been revisiting PLL and looking at it for use with my 6yo with receptive/expresssive disorder. His language continues to develop but he still struggles to "learn" English slowly, as if he is using a foreign language. Some of the exercises in PLL I do not anticipate him having a problem with. We _______ (is, are) going to the store. Fill in the blank is usually pretty simple. But opened ended questions such as the ones used in the Observation/Conversation Lessons are another story.

Do you have any suggestions for using these with a language delayed kiddo?

I already know that I will have to adjust some of the content from the lessons that are *dated*. My son barely can discuss snow much less frost. He gets things that he has experienced first hand - touched, tasted, smelled, and SEEN (very visual). So I know that I have to adjust content.

But even for snow, for example, his ability to answer open ended questions is very delayed and short of typing up multiple choice answers for him to work from ( a lot of extra work) I'm not sure what else to do for him.

I used FLL for my older son (8yo) as we preferred the language, poetry, and stories being more up to date but I think we are hitting a wall with it with the level of abstract grammar expected to be understood at this age. But especially because FLL tends to rely on auditory processing ("repeat this after me") I am revisiting PLL for everyone but especially questioning how to use it for 6yo language delayed son.
Like your child, my little gal (age 9) needs to have it tangibly in front of her to talk about it. So with Observation Lessons (like the frost one) - I make it tangible. I opened the freezer and we looked at the ice cream. LOL. it's frost. no?

Other observation lessons -- change it and walk outside. Look at the clouds. look at how pathetic I was about the garden (then of course, she gets distracted and runs in the house and gets the Miracle Grow and watering can. Or the hose and all of a sudden she made mud pies.

So, I guess I began to see the Observation Lessons as a time to talk out loud with as many prompts as needed (and man o man, does my youngest need prompts) to talk about something and use our senses.

Other lessons, like the dated ones, I’m not worrying about really. She has her homework from speech language therapy. And I look at the big idea of the lesson and adjust anyway. Like the one with the farrier in it – that’s lesson 53. Well that job still exists today but it’s not part of our daily lives. So, I turn that into two things: talk about the art work.
And time to do a “jobs in town” vs. “jobs in the city” or whatever. I’m just so sick of those worksheets on that from speech therapy homework. other outdated stuff like "decoration day", I just rewrite it as "memorial day".

But mostly, I see those lessons as a great time to teach language skills that my daughter lacks. I don’t worry on the cool part of social studies like I would have with middle daughter. Middle Daughter was not on autism spectrum, but just mix receptive/expressive disorder. Anyway Little Gal (who isn’t so little anymore) needs to work on Verbs and action words. What does so and so DO? I gave her the words “the man is the picture has a job. He is a farrier. He puts shoes on the horse. What does he do?” and then I gave her options because of course she struggles on actions. It’s annoying and frustrating. On her speech homework this week she is supposed to list 5 actions in sequence to brushing teeth. She’ll say “toothbrush.” What do you do with toothbrush “teeth”. Do you hear a loud thud from this part of the Mid South? I thought so.

Writing lessons in PLL:
Youngest (aka little gal) just recently really got into wanting to use a pencil or marker to write. So, she likes trying to copy a sentence here and there. Well, ok, she really just likes to write junk food grocery lists. But, she likes to write something. So, I can get her to copy one sentence. I don’t bother with dictation. But she has got it.. if I write one sentence, then I get to run in circles with my oldest sister. (first, write sentence. Then, more chase the sister.)

Now, here’s the thing….. I had to wait until she was at 2nd grade level in most speech therapy homework until we were ready for PLL. Yes, it’s embarrassing to admit it out loud. My 9 year old is in PLL and we didn’t start until recently!) Yes, she is supposed to be in the 4th grade age wise, but we call it 3rd grade and sadly, she's barely in 2nd grade for most stuff except cooking where she is ahead of her brainaic perfect little 8 y.o precocious cousin. ha! My little gal can cook and bake better than oldest kiddo at this age. (little mommy pride there)

Middle gal, on the other hand, just needed slight prompts and more time and used the book in 2nd grade and 3rd grade. middle gal was my "mixed receptive/expression delayed" non autism.

But youngest, definitely needing prompts, multiple choice, more time, more context sometimes. Autism really makes me scream at times and always baffles my brain.
Try this one
Lesson 56 with the “fill in ideas for Why”… get this, I tell her a backstory with those things. Open up to lesson 56. I make up a quick story for it. otherwise what I'm writing does make sense, you know what I mean?

#1 One day, James rode his bike to school. He was on time until the train came. He safely stopped for the train to cross and waited and waited. Then he went to school. (now the sentence from the PLL book) James was late to school because ________

and she said “the train!”

I’ll take it!. Yes, I’d prefer that she say it as a dependent clause of “because he stopped for a train.” But, we’ll get there, one of these years? She understood Why! You should have seen the happy dance I did for that kid. She thought I was off my rockers. My middle gal said "mom. you've gone loopy again." Oldest said "good thing I didn't have my phone camera going, I'd put it on facebook."

Anyway, that’s how it’s going over here with extreme delays in language due to autism. My middle gal needed less tweaking, and maybe just a few prompts to give her time to think.

But with a 6 y.o in PLL – I’d just wait another year if possible and start at age 7. Work on "speech therapy" goals with it all. Talk a lot. use real pictures - like the Come Look with Me series. oh yeah, those books would be good for language arts.

blessings,
-crystal
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Expressive Language

Unread post by Julie in MN »

mamakathy wrote:Hi all! My 10 yr old 4th grader has had a hard time with language lessons in our homeschool. We began HSing him last year when he was a 3rd grader. He has struggled last yr and is still struggling with the MFW language recommendations this year. This past week has been particularly bad when he couldn't come up with a simple sentence ("The insect looked at the spider." was the WS example, I think) I gave him a few more examples and it was just like a mental block. He could not do it. This wasn't even the lesson, we needed to get a simple sentence down so that we could add to it.....

Anyway Ive evaluated what's changed in the last few weeks, since this week has been particularly hard... and I realized we started allowing gluten back in after having taken it out of his diet for a while. And I have not been as adamant that he takes his omegas which I know help his language so I will work on those two things.

Finally, some background: He was non verbal (silent - didn't even cry) until he was about 2.5 yo. At 1.5 he was evaluated and started receiving ST and PT. He graduated out of the early intervention program having "caught up" by kinder.

I am considering taking him back to the developmental pediatrician we saw when he was little. In the mean time, I was hoping to read a book or do something to give myself more tools to help him. An amazon keyword search for "expressive language" came up with 350 options. So, I'm just looking for some guidance. Does anyone have experience with expressive language issues? Do you have any resources that you recommend?

Thanks,
Kathy
I'm sure that you will get a lot of wise advice about the technical aspects of your question.

I just wanted to add some small ideas from a mom and grandma of a family full of very late talkers (but they cried and laughed right off the bat, and usually started talking a little by 3 and a lot by 5).

1. Kids in a classroom can avoid raising their hand to answer questions all day long. They get to watch dozens of other kids answer and they can get a very good idea of the lesson from that. So don't be afraid to give your child dozens of examples if needed, compose together on a marker board, or just let him listen for a long time (as long as his eyes are open!). Then maybe stop before the last word and see if he starts getting comfortable just adding one word at the end of a sentence you started, and try to get him to be more and more creative with just that piece for a while?

2. My theory (I have lots of my own theories ;) ) is that my late talkers had developed their own "language of thinking" -- they were thinking and learning just as much as any other kid (maybe in pictures or feelings, I dont know), but hadn't chosen to merge that into the English language until it became really, really useful to their little minds. So I look at it almost as if they had learned to think by creating their own foreign language and I am teaching them English as a Second Language. I tried not to be like one of those folks who thinks ESL kids don't know how to think, but instead focus on clearly translating what they are thinking, seeing, or doing into English.

3. A good method with my grandson was lots and lots of role-playing type play. We have a little dollhouse type thing and we'd do boy type things like knock at the door and surprise someone, or climb up on the roof and accidentally fall off LOL, but I taught him the "usual" things people say (and the words they think) and saw him imitating me carefully for a long time before he really started thinking spontaneously in English. I know dollhouses might not appeal to a 10yo boy, but my kids still accepted puppet play at 10, or sometimes action figures or Legos or funny skits or whatever appeals to the particular child, in order to get him narrating and composing, and generally trying out language in ways that are new to him.


HTH,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
cbollin

Re: Expressive Language

Unread post by cbollin »

My youngest has autism. So, yes, expressive language is absolutely something that has to be taught in my house, not caught. and I feel like a failure on a daily basis, or at least each month when I have to pay the speech therapy bills...

Middle gal? something doesn't work within normal parameters in her brain on expressive language. she graduated out of speech therapy at age 9, but at age 13, she doesn't talk normally at all. Julie has it.. it's like English is not a first language, but it is her first language..... only one really...

I agree with the ideas that Julie said about more input and using play time therapy.

I'd recommend taking a look on Super Duper Inc's website for anything speech therapy related. I would not recommend Writing Strands to be honest. oops. what I mean... is I think it would be better to shelve writing strands for a semester or year. I would look into the possibility of book 1 of "igniting your writing". That will give a lot of practice in word play and expanding. Igniting your Writing has a lot of word play and you are encouraged to give them more input as you go along. work on scratch paper etc....

You can help build and expand sentences with a child with expressive language issues in many ways. Here is one idea that works over here..
for an assignment like in WS where they have a core sentence and build on it...
build sentences from word banks
use them in columns..
Have a list of nouns on paper or in a chart on dry erase
next column will have action words.
then a column of "where phrases" (in the kitchen, next to the car)
and when phrases (yesterday, during swimming class)

now... ask your child to pick one in each column. Some of the sentences might have some non sense going on, or not. it's ok to have it be silly.


question to you: are you seeing regression of skills in expressive language outside of "writing time". in other words. has he gone silent again during meal time, or play time? or is it just a matter of during English class lessons? many children who do not have diagnosed expressive language disorders struggle with getting it from "thought" to written word. So, it could be something in the normal range of experiences of writing for a 10 y.o so you might look into some of those ideas about double dictation... more modeling for a year, etc. It is not cheating to give more inputs before asking for output. He may just be needing another year of "model and copywork" and word play practice. Give options... multiple choice options that make sense... and some that are silly. If the silly ones don't really make sense, it can be ok, as long as you know it's silly.

but if you are seeing it in other places... then talk to the dev. pediatrician about regression of skills.

not sure what helps there.. I'm looking over at my autism kid who is lost in a loop of delayed echolalia.... but she loves to do pull down menus of options of words and phrases to build a sentence..... and loves to borrow and adapt from tv shows to express her thoughts... "Caillou was sad. He really wanted to go to the store and buy peanut butter for more cookies." in my daughter's world that means "Mom.. can you take me to the store? We're out of peanut butter."


-crystal
Ohmomjacquie
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Re: Expressive Language

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie »

Oh I know expressive delay all too well. My oldest didn't talk until 4.5 after surgery to fix an anatomical problem. She would try but only got vowel sounds.

It has taken a lot of learning on my part with how to remember her pasted and accommodate her with school things. She has a hats time giving summaries after we read and dictation was reply rough when we started this year.

If your son is having a hard time writing help him as much as he help needs for a while and eventually things will get better over time. It has taken me two years to figure this out though and learn to be sensitive to her needs. I ask her first but if she is having a difficult time I suggest ideas. Sometimes she used then others it's no and she thinks of her item word.
Jacquie
2012-13 Adventures
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Mom to:
Chelsea (9) Hunter (5) Natalie (4) & Alison July 2013
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mamakathy
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Re: Expressive Language

Unread post by mamakathy »

cbollin wrote:question to you: are you seeing regression of skills in expressive language outside of "writing time". in other words. has he gone silent again during meal time, or play time? or is it just a matter of during English class lessons?
No, there is not an obvious regression. Anyone that knows him would probably wonder why I am concerned - he does seem like a typical 10 yo boy (a bit sullen/serious - but he's just like that, we call him our Eeyore). Anyway, the only time I wonder if there is still some kind of disconnect is when he is asked to express something during a language lesson. He's intelligent, and I know its in there, but he just cannot put it into words sometimes.
Julie in MN wrote:I tried not to be like one of those folks who thinks ESL kids don't know how to think, but instead focus on clearly translating what they are thinking, seeing, or doing into English.
Super analogy. This is exactly how I feel. These are the "tools" I am looking for.... he's thinking but how do I help him translate those thoughts into English? Thanks for the ideas so far, ladies. I have already tried a couple of the examples you gave and I appreciate your time in answering my question!
Blessings,
Kathy
Married to Jason since 1999
Mama to Gavin (10), Ryenn (8) and Carter (5)
2012-13 MFW K & ECC
cbollin

Re: Expressive Language

Unread post by cbollin »

hoping it keeps going well. sounds like it's a normal side of the writing process! yeah!

I've been reading a book recently called The Game of My Life. A true story of challenge, triumph and growing up autistic. written by Jason J Mac McElwain with help from Daniel Paisner.

you can look up J Mac's claim of fame as the autistic kid at the basketball game in feb. 2006 who shot 20 points in under 4 minutes.... 6 shots were from three point land. the other 2, well, his foot was on the line. but yes... .last game, senior year.. the team manager got to play for 4 minutes.. and he showed he was as hot as a pistol.. anyway.. .fame leads to book signing.... for a young man with autism... ok...

anyway.... I think this should encourage you... p. 50 of that book....
I usually know what I want to say, but I can't always find the words, so I have to practice, and writing is like practice. I'm talking about writing the way I'm writing this book. Talking about something over and over and then reading it back and fixing it up and making it just right. ....sometimes I can't find the words at all, and other times I just can't find them quick enough. And then there are other times when someone might help me find the word I'm looking for and I just agree to it. Like I said, I'm slow. And Simple.

I wonder if it is like that for most of us.....

-crystal
hsm
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Spelling question

Unread post by hsm »

kw4blessings wrote:We have been using MFW's recommendations for spelling so far, SS&S this year and I'd love to know if anyone has used SP with a child with dysgraphia? My dd is an excellent reader, so she often knows when a word "looks" right or not when she spells it. But if she doesn't spell it right the first time (which happens a lot), she gets really frustrated and tries all kinds of variations to find the "right" spelling! Combine this with the fact that she hates to write in general and I'm scared to move on. :~

I've been looking into All About Spelling and I've heard folks on here who have mentioned using that program. The website mentions it is a good program for children struggling with issues such as dyslexia or dysgraphia. I love the look of AAS's approach to actually teach the rules and when to use "ay, ey, aigh" etc. That's where she struggles. Does SP do that too, or is it more of a memory program?

I like that SP is less expensive and really simple (or so I've heard once you figure it out) and I'm typically thrilled with MFW's recommendations, but I want to choose something that will work for us. With SS&S right now, she will get about 3/4 of the words correct on her test on the first try, then she and I work through the wrong ones in a "does that look right to you?" method.

Any thoughts or help? Thanks!
I will try to answer based on my experience using it with my "writing-challenged" daughter (8 year old). I admit at first I didn't like SP at all. It took me a looooong time to understand it and make it work for us. But, it actually seems to be working now. I don't think I follow the program exactly how I am *supposed* to. This is how we use it here for my daughter with handwriting difficulties.

I start with whatever list we are on. I state the rule at the top of the list. Usually she copies the rule down. Sometimes I write the rule on the white board for her to copy. To be honest, I don't think this is very helpful. I will get to that later. As far as testing goes I set the timer for 5 minutes. I read the word to her, use it in a sentence, and repeat the word. She writes the word down and repeats the word to me. I then read the correct spelling to her while she checks the word. I do this after every word. If she misses it, she crosses it off and writes the correct spelling on the other half of the paper (to the right). We fold the notebook page in half vertically to have a visible crease. We continue this process until she misses 3 words or the timer is up, whichever comes first. She gets very overwhelmed if she misses too many words, so I have found that 3 is a good number for her. Once this is done, she completes the 10 step spelling practice. This has helped her tremendously. She knows how to do it now and can do it fairly independently at this point.

Watch the dvd (if you have it), it helped me understand the 10 step practice better. If you need more clarification, let me know and I will explain better. When we first started SP she always missed the first 3 words. :~ But, now she can get through a whole list most of the time and miss only 1-3 words in the whole list. She is doing well with it. And, I do see some carryover in her other writing although not as much as I would like. I think if we stick with it though that will get even better as well.

What I like about SP is that it is multi-sensory. The child speaks the word and spelling out loud, mentally visualizes it, physically traces the word in the air, on a table, salt tray, etc. This is why it is working for her in my opinion.

You asked about AAS and rule teaching. SP has a rule at the top of each spelling list. As I mentioned, the child is supposed to copy it at the top of their paper. I will explain the rule further for her but honestly I don't think it helps her much. For me personally, memorizing all those rules would be overkill but I know it helps some students. We tried AAS very briefly. I don't feel qualified to give a review on it. It was too teacher intensive and time intensive and my dd didn't like using the tiles. Since SP seems to be working here, we will stick with it. Hopefully Tricia will chime in. I am pretty sure she uses AAS for her dc.

Hope this helped some!
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6
TriciaMR
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Re: Spelling question

Unread post by TriciaMR »

We use AAS. I like it because it has the explicit instruction that SP lacks. I like that for my son, who hated writing when we first started, I could let him use the letter tiles. Now he writes on paper. He has had a lot harder time with spelling than my oldest, even using AAS. Both my kids who are dyslexic need to see the words first, otherwise they'll write them wrong forever (or almost forever). My oldest often copies them once, which helps. My younger one doesn't like to write so he just looks at them. I personally think AAS is a great program. I know it is much pricier, but I figure I am spreading the cost out over time. AAS also has built-in dictation, limited to the rules/words you have learned thus far in the program.

I don't think the rules in SP are that great. They might say "The long-e sound is spelled e, e-consonant-e, ee, ey, ie, ei, ea, i, y" in SP. (There are 9 ways to spell long-e!) In AAS, you work on ONE of those ways at a time. So, you work on open-syllable words (he, she) for long e. Then e-consonant-e words (lots of those). Then "ee" words, and so on. I like that AAS breaks it down this way. Gives my kids time to focus on it. AAS also uses word banks to build up visual memory. So, when you are doing e-consonant-e words, she has lists of words that follow that rule, that you have the kids read. I like that AAS makes you think about how to apply rules, and I like how it addresses only ONE way at a time to spell a sound. Of course, eventually you'll have sentences that have words spelled with long-e many different ways, but the kids seem to catch onto it better this way.

I think AAS has a money back guarantee (for like a year or something?), so you could try it. I'm also using AAS with my non-dyslexic kid, and think it is really good for him, too.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
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hsm
Posts: 146
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Re: Spelling question

Unread post by hsm »

TriciaMR wrote:I don't think the rules in SP are that great. They might say "The long-e sound is spelled e, e-consonant-e, ee, ey, ie, ei, ea, i, y" in SP. (There are 9 ways to spell long-e!) In AAS, you work on ONE of those ways at a time.
I completely agree with this. The rules in SP are not helpful in my opinion. I don't really drill the rules into their heads because as Tricia mentioned, they list all 9 rules at once. It is overwhelming.

We just go through the lists and briefly go over the rules. I think the reason it is working for her is that she is practicing it in different ways (auditory, tactile, visual, etc) and forming a visual of the word in her brain. If you want a more rule based program, I would definitely look at AAS. I wanted to like it and I would have if it didn't feel so time intensive. But, time intensive may be a necessity in some situations. Spelling sometimes needs more attention. I am hoping SP will continue to work for us the way we do it now.
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
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kw4blessings
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Re: Spelling question

Unread post by kw4blessings »

Thanks Lori and Tricia,
That's just what I needed to know. I think I will go ahead and try AAS at first (love that $ back guarantee!). Being more time intensive makes me a bit nervous, but if that's what we need to do, so be it.

I'll keep SP for a while and can always try that if AAS doesn't work for us. It's so true that every family and situation is different. I'm all about if something is working, keep going, but if it isn't, change it up!
Kelly, blessed mama to
sweet girl 10, busy boys 8, 6, 3
Finished K, 1st, Adventures, ECC
2016-17 CTG, K, and All Aboard!
TriciaMR
Posts: 987
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Re: Spelling question

Unread post by TriciaMR »

kw4blessings wrote:One more question: How is AAS with teaching multiple children? I'm considering joining my (will be) 6 year old in on Level 1 with my (will be) 8 year old. I love the idea of combining, but don't know if it will work in this situation? I am sure my 8yo will move much more quickly through the lessons than my 6yo (who will just begin MFW 1st at that time). I guess it's worth a try from the beginning, huh? Any thoughts?
I teach my twin boys separately. They each have their own magnetic white board, set of cards, letter tiles, etc. I set a timer for 15 minutes and we work through as far as we can. Then, the next day, I start with reviewing any cards i the review sections, and any from the mastered section to add up to a total of 5 cards. (If there are more than 5 cards in the review section, I don't use any mastered cards, and just do the review cards.) I mark with a pencils on the edge of the cards if they can recall right away, Three days I a row of automatic recall and I put the card in the masted section (though with one of my kids I'm going to have to go with 5 days). If they miss a day, I erase the marks and start over. After reviewing the cards, we just pick up wherever we are in the lesson. (A lot of that will make more sense once you have the product in your hands.)

Send me a PM if you want to talk more about it.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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Julie in MN
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Re: Spelling question

Unread post by Julie in MN »

For now, while you just have access to SP right now, if you just want "better rules to write at the top of the page," these are some lists that I used a lot:
http://archive.lewrockwell.com/taylor/taylor143.html
http://www.dyslexia.org/spelling_rules.shtml

If you have the 1st grade phonics chart, you could also keep that up as long as needed, so she has a reference to help her think through the ways a sound can be spelled.

Spelling is, of course, the opposite of phonics, since you have the sound and need to generate the letters. I think at some point spelling becomes less about rules and more about just memorizing groups of words. I mean, unless you dig into the countries of origin and historical pronunciations and such, it's hard to have a rule that tells you which spelling to use -- why isn't boat spelled bote?

First, the child should know the various ways to spell a long o sound, then she should probably know the most common way (bote) and if that doesn't look right then the next most common way (boat). I do think it also helps to sort-of memorize the oa words in a group so they click in the mind when you see one of them later, like I think AAS does, so some folks have separated the Spelling Power lists into those groups and practiced each group separately.

HTH,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
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Julie - Staff
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Choosing the correct langauge lessons for today

Unread post by Julie - Staff »

ashleye wrote:
Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:57 am
Any help choosing the correct language lessons for today for special needs kids who are not at grade level?
Hi Ashleye,

Language Lessons can be done orally for students who learn better that way.

Or, it's possible your son needs to be placed at the grade level that matches his abilities rather than his age, so that all the components of his education can work together and proceed to where he needs to be for high school and beyond. I'm not sure which levels you are considering, but have you looked at the sample pages? You can compare the topics in the table of contents as well as comparing a similar lesson, to see where your son might be at: http://www.mfwbooks.com/wps/portal/c/samples

Here is a conversation from the Archives that I thought was useful, as well. It is a long conversation, but there are several different types of situations that are shared: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7820&p=101361#p101350

We like to refer families to HSLDA, also, for special needs consultation. They are great. (MFW has a discounted membership, too!)

Julie
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