Reading - Students who are NOT big readers

Post Reply
Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Reading - Students who are NOT big readers

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:26 pm

Will my child get bogged down?
NettieK6 wrote:I have a question about the high school program. I have a daughter entering ninth grade in the fall who has some symptoms of ADD. She reads and comprehends well but gets bogged down with a lot of reading. I was wondering if it would be easy to tailor the curriculum to fit her if she is not up to level or if I should just use a lower level.
Thanks
I talked to David about the amount of high school reading at convention. My ds reads fine but he just doesn't like the isolation. So... same question, different reasons behind it.

David told me that their own children as well as the pilot children include all different types of readers.

First of all, he said the expectations would be the same for all children, but the time it took would differ. This is reasonable, since I remember a high school friend who took longer than the rest of us to do the daily reading, but she still had to do it all.

Then we talked about providing options for slower readers etc. He said not to worry since I have used MFW long enough to know that the teacher's manual will give several suggestions based on different experiences with piloting the program. For instance, there may be ideas like audio books, read-alouds, previewing the story through watching a video, etc.

I have decided to trust what I know -- MFW -- until there is reason not to. If you are not a long-time MFW user, you may feel more comfortable if you talk to the office yourself and discussion your concerns.

Best wishes as you make these decisions,
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

Lucy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Re: Will my child get bogged down?

Unread post by Lucy » Thu Jul 10, 2008 2:33 pm

Julie in MN wrote:First of all, he said the expectations would be the same for all children, but the time it took would differ. This is reasonable, since I remember a high school friend who took longer than the rest of us to do the daily reading, but she still had to do it all.
Just wanting to ditto Julie's thoughts here. My daughter did year 1 MFW H. S. this year and I was wondering how she would handle all the reading. She did it and struggled a little with the Iliad mostly because she was not very interested in it.

One thing I also found out from talking with David is that for that first year Marie looked at 6 or 7 different versions of the Iliad and the Odyssey. She chose the one she felt was written in the easiest translation to understand and one that also had an audio recording. She is trying to do that for as many of the books she chooses as possible in the H. S. program for those who will need that kind of help in order to get through the reading required.

Some students have even listened to the Old Testament portions on CD or tape.

Just some thoughts to help you as you decide.
Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

tiffany
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:56 am

High School--Need help!

Unread post by tiffany » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:43 pm

hsmom3 wrote:I am so confused. I had really thought I would use MFW AHL for my son for 9th grade but now I'm getting nervous. He's not a big reader. I'm looking at the list of books and I just don't know if he can handle it. I've looked through the archives and read lots of comments but I still feel unsure. He's my science guy and we use Apologia and it's a great fit. But he doesn't enjoy history. I want a history curriculum that he will enjoy and not dread. I know I'm rambling but I'm just so confused. It seems the more I read the more confused I am. Any help would be much appreciated!!
My daughter loves to read, and she is my only HS student so far. But, for her even, we made some adjustments. We did get the Bible on cd for her to follow along with. She does sometimes read only, but she has used the cd's a lot. I think that really helped her get into the Bible reading at the beginning of the year. She struggled through the Iliad. If I had it to do over, I would probably have bought the cd's for that as well. But, she made it through. We all have those books we disliked in high school. Sometimes finishing a hard task is the goal for those that don't enjoy the assignment. The Odyssey has been much better. She has actually seemed to enjoy that. I think the history is pretty manageable and will not be overly challenging for those with a MFW history background.

As I look ahead at my next two in line, I can see areas of strengths and weaknesses for both of them when it comes to the HS program. Child #2 needs a lot of work on composition over the coming year to be ready. I'm not looking forward to that. Child #3 really can't stand to read for the most part. He's a great reader. There really isn't a subject he loves even though he is a good student. So I'm going to have to figure out how to make it work for him as well. Can't say I love the idea of putting together a program on my own. I'd probably rather tweak, if need be, for each child as they go through.

That said, I'm totally new at this high school thing, and MFW was a real life-saver for us this year. It is very well organized. It did look a little daunting when we opened up the boxes and started stacking the books. But, for the most part, I feel my daughter has risen to the occasion. Praying as I sign off. Let us know how it goes.
Tiffany
Wife to Tim ('88)
Mother to Sophie 16, Jonathan 14, Joey 12, Noah 10, Matthew 8, Eli 4
Have completed MFWK, MFW 1st grade, ECC, CTG, RTR, Exp.-1850,1850-Mod., HS Ancients, HS World
Fall of '11 ECC,HS Ancients, HS U.S. History to 1877

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: High School--Need help!

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Apr 27, 2010 3:00 pm

I have an upcoming high schooler and have my box now, too :) I'm jealous of Crystal, who will be doing it with a reader. Like Tiffany's next child, my son is a great reader but just feels isolated when he reads, as far as I can tell.

Here are some of my plans:

1. I have audios. We like audios at our house. We use them in the car and in the house. We keep an eye out for them at the used bookstore and when traveling. I already have the Bible, Cat of Bubastes, and the Odyssey. Those 3 are pretty easy to find on unabridged audios. The Iliad and Purpose Drive Life are also possibilities on audio. The mythology is a question in my mind but I think it may be available on audio under a different title. Anyways, so far I've been blessed (a garage sale nearby had the Bible) or have spent some time looking around to find discounts. I also have a cassette player, so audios are often very cheap that way. There are pros (easier to find exact spot you left off) and cons (harder to move to a specific segment) of cassettes. But the price is good and cassettes are easier to repair, if needed (just tape the ends together).

2. The Iliad is somewhat "optional" according to the teacher manual. I will weigh that when we get closer, but it's a comfort to know that it could be skipped. And this is consistent with my own experience that the Iliad is indeed far less common of a study compared to the Odyssey, which is studied much more widely for some reason (perhaps because the Iliad overlaps with the Aenid, or because the Iliad is more grim with the war?).

3. The first year of high school has some optional "reading" time. For my non-reader, I can sub in other "language arts" activities, if needed, or other types of literature. I could sub in something else such as a speech class and then maybe rename it "English 9" or something more generic, if I notice he spends less time on literature and more of other parts of language arts.

4. I may do things with my son. We may well do Bible as a family. It's also possible I'll read Notgrass with him. I just don't know yet. I always will have him reading *something* on his own, in order to build up that skill, and I keep an eye on his testing to make sure his reading is going as well as I expected (we're required in MN). But I figure that if Socrates could teach orally, we can succeed with lots of verbal English, too :)

5. I would love to find a partner for him in AHL. He does belong to a boys' book club, so that helps encourage his reading, and I'll probably continue that into high school. I might also "advertise" on local message boards about any AHL partners that might be out there. I've done that with science in the past. It doesn't seem especially likely that I'll find a match that starts when we do, etc., but that's one idea. We'll see what God has planned for him next year, so he isn't all lonely :)

6. I also plan to sit back and watch my son mature. Who knows where another year will take him?! He's matured a lot in 8th grade.

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

hsmom3
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2005 1:27 pm

Re: High School--Need help!

Unread post by hsmom3 » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:26 pm

Thanks for your responses. I just spent the last few hours at a homeschool skate day talking to a fellow homeschooler and she said why not get the books on tape. That's what you guys are saying too. For some reason I thought that would be "cheating". I don't know why I felt that way but now I feel much better about it. We love books on tape in our home and listen often as a family but I guess I thought he'd need to read the books in MFW and not just listen. I did find The Illiad (unabridged) on the bargain table at Borders a few weeks ago for $8.74. The original price was $34.95. What a bargain!!


Blessings,
Susan

cbollin

Re: High School--Need help!

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Apr 27, 2010 4:37 pm

Susan,

Let him have the book in his hand and listen along. That's adjusting for learning styles -- not cheating. One of the reasons that MFW selected some of the books and editions that they did was so that one of their daughters could get them on audio edition too. If the hazells can do it.... you can too.

one idea might also be study guides on books as you go along -- you know, things like spark notes, cliff notes.... those still exist don't they? I used them in high school (and I was college track). Check your library.

-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: High School--Need help!

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:36 pm

hsmom3 wrote: For some reason I thought that would be "cheating". I don't know why I felt that way but now I feel much better about it.
Susan,
I felt a little torn about it, too. But last fall I attended a seminar by Mr. Stobaugh (MFW sells his SAT prep book). Mr. Stobaugh is big on Harvard and scholarly academics and especially literature. Yet he recommends (and sells) audiobooks. He said that they not only help slow readers speed up, but they help fast readers slow down and not skip over the good vocab, proper pronunciation, and full meaning.

I know that between history, science, math, Bible, and English, my son will be reading in high school. I'm just glad that for a boy like him, he won't have to read for hours and hours every day.

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

Leaning toward AHL for 9th Grade

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:57 pm

Lynnae wrote:Hi, I'm Lynnae & I'm new here. I've been homeschooling for 3 years. My oldest is in 8th grade and will be homeschooled through high school. I've been struggling with decisions about high school. My daughter is a very creative thinker. She's gifted musically (and I don't say that lightly!), but struggles academically. She isn't fond of reading and really struggles through science. Her objective in school is to get through the academics, so she can get on to practicing her music.

I came across AHL in the catalog that came in the mail, and I really like the idea of it. I like that it is strong in Bible & worldview, and that's my biggest goal for my daughter. I want her to be strong in her faith, as I wasn't, and I really struggled when I went off to college. Anyway, AHL appeals to me because of the strong biblical emphasis. I'm a little concerned about the academics being too much though. We tried a literature program our first year homeschooling, and we LOVED the printed out schedule (another plus for MFW), and we liked the books, but my daughter was overwhelmed with all the reading.

Is AHL workable with a student who is somewhat weak academically? I should also probably point out that she's always tested borderline for Asperger's. So those are the issues we're dealing with. Even though she's creative, she's a very literal thinker and has a hard time interpreting reading passages beyond the facts.

Help! (Can you tell I'm nervous about high school?) :)
welcome along... My oldest is in 10th grade and I'm still nervous on high school.

Yes, I think AHL can still be done in your situation. You might use some audio versions of some books. You might use a few spark notes to help on some things. and if all else fails? work it backwards.. for example, if something is too abstract on the interpretations, open up the answer key and work with your learner to figure out from the text why that could be the right answer.

In other words... it's not about "getting the answers right", but about learning how to approach literature. I do that a lot with my autism kid and her paragraphs... she doesn't get it.. but I can go back, point out key words, phrases, etc.... but she's not above 1st grade level in her speech yet... so maybe it doesn't apply.

would audio versions of things be helpful along with notes of how to go back and look it up? could AHL literature be a learning tool that way?

I don't know.... I'm just guessing.. . none of my special needs kiddos are in high school levels yet... my oldest has done AHL and WHL and I stay awake at night wondering how middle gal will do AHL and those are some things I consider.

-crystal

Lynnae
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:37 am

Re: Leaning toward AHL for 9th Grade

Unread post by Lynnae » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:06 pm

That's a good idea. I think audio would help a lot. She likes audiobooks more than text books. And working things backwards is always good. We've been doing that for years.

I don't think anything we choose is going to be easy, nor should it be. Perhaps I should just jump in and tweak as necessary. LOL

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Leaning toward AHL for 9th Grade

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:31 pm

I have a son who really doesn't like to read, or to focus on what he's reading (so jealous of Crystal's oldest). I've used the opportunities in AHL and WHL to build on these skills. MFW really starts high school fairly gently, with plenty of times where reading is open choice, and where the Iliad is somewhat optional or abridged, and where there's a break from heavy reading. So you will already have those areas where it is natural to whittle things down if needed. I have an Aspie-type older dd and I know that the total amount of reading needs to be less, simply because she reads so slowly and tries to memorize every detail, in a very concrete way. I'd take advantage of any time the manual says things are optional, to reduce from the start. And go from there.

As for the problems with interpretation, I think AHL starts off fairly gently on that, too. Getting the kids through comprehending what they read is the main task, in more depth with a few books (Gilgamesh, Bulfinch, Odyssey) than with others (Bubastes, Iliad, Liddell), so there's variety. And the interpretation is fairly general apologetics, which is pretty do-able with most kids, with just that added push towards backing it up with specific examples.

I agree that jumping in and trying is the best way to figure out whether you need to intervene or not. And then, if your dd needs help along the way, such as when you come to one of the texts that's really a step up, several of us are happy to share some of the things we've done. One step at a time, and I think these kids will have made quite a bit of progress by graduation :)
Julie
Last edited by Julie in MN on Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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

Lynnae
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:37 am

Re: Leaning toward AHL for 9th Grade

Unread post by Lynnae » Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:11 pm

Thanks, Julie! Gentle is good. I think we'll just try it and see what happens. And it's nice to have a place to ask for help, too!

cbollin

AHL Lit Question

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:53 am

Carina wrote:My oldest is about to start AHL next month. She is an average reader (some mild learning disabilities), but does not love to read. I'm concerned about how she will do with the literature selections for this year. I'm a "recovering" public school English teacher and other than The Odyssey (which is taught in 12th grade), none of these books are ones I would consider average 9th grade reading. Honestly, I would consider them challenging for my 12 grade students. DD has just begun to read a bit in her free time and I'm afraid that struggling through the writing style/vocab of Homer as well as Bulfinch and Gilgamesh may kill any enjoyment (small as it is!) of reading. I also have severe doubts as to her ability to comprehend the selections. I considered audio books, but she is a visual learner and tends to "zone out" with audio books. At this point, I am planning on just creating my own literature assignments using completely different books, but worry a bit about what she may miss out on if we don't go through the Lit Supplement/argumentative essay assignments.

Any and all advice is appreciated from those of you who are already familiar with AHL!
I have some thoughts.

I zone out with audio books UNLESS I have the printed copy in front of me. Then I love to use audio versions. Same with my middle child who has some learning disabilities too, but is a good worker.

You don’t have to do Iliad. There are suggestions in the daily for less rigorous approach for that story.

It is ok to use something like spark notes (even online) to help with comprehension. Or to find vocabulary helps along the way.

If you wish to revamp the English credit, you can still teach argumentative essay. You might have to come up with questions on your own though for books you use, or maybe there are some writing prompts online somewhere. You can use the lessons in the lit/comp guide for essay structure. You can supplement with other lessons. Maybe OWL
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/677/01/

You might consider something like Progeny Press guide so you have the Christian perspective in stories. PP recommends (I think?) to do 4 guides a year for full high school credit.

Imagine for a moment you were in a group school setting (public or private). There would be students in honors English doing materials in honors way. There would be students in regular English doing similar or same materials in regular way. There would be some students doing different materials in other ways. It’s ok to tweak teaching style in AHL to fit the needs of the student.

But I understand the nervousness. I know my youngest with autism will not be able to do MFW in high school. Not going to happen. and no way to make it happen either.

not sure any of that helps at all. Hopefully the good people will come along and help you solve the problem. You might also consider calling MFW's office and asking for one of their high school consultants (who has done the program and has experience with students who aren't perfectly brilliant at college level in 7th grade) and see if they have tips to share with you as well.

-crystal

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: AHL Lit Question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:22 am

I like Crystal's idea of reading along with an audio. That's exactly what I have to do, since I learn almost nothing by just listening. Well, either reading along or writing along - either taking notes, or just writing what I hear, I may never use it but the writing itself is somehow what I need.

I have a son who is odd enough to be a great reader but does not want to read, so it all seems to sound like Charlie Brown's teacher to him, wah wah wah. I was worried about AHL, too. David Hazell actually had to remind me that I had trusted MFW all along to meet his needs, so why would that change :) I did make adaptations as we went along, sometimes according to ideas Marie gave in the manual and sometimes my own ideas, since I had taught a high schooler before. In the end, I'm pleased with my son's progress in 9th, and it was much easier on me than creating my own daily assignments as I did with my older dd using various other high school curriculum.

The first thing I like to point out is that when we moms think that Homer and the like is going to be "really hard" reading, actually those are some of the most basic stories that don't take a ton of maturity to comprehend. Yes, they have a lot of words and are definitely high school level. But really for our culture at least, there isn't as much depth to explore in terms of meaning and application. For instance, my son recently read Animal Farm near the end of WHL. MUCH shorter book, fairly EASY read, but TONS more layers of meaning, at least in our culture today, so really an older student will get more out of it than a younger one. I asked my son (the non-reader) if he agreed. He reminded me that we used an audiobook for Iliad and he likes that. But he did agree that Animal Farm, although it could be read at any age, would be understood at very different levels depending on age, whereas the Iliad was more of just a fun story to him (thankfully he's forgetting some of the pain of bringing him into that book in 9th grade).

Another thing I'd like to mention is that you can adapt and adjust, but still let Marie Hazell do *most* of the work for you. And that work will include making sure your student reads the entire Bible as a high schooler without getting waylaid, learning how to compose whole essays, understanding the background of many of our culture's references, and the chance for your emerging young person to explore their new questions with some good apologetics.

And lastly, I'd encourage you, even if you make alternate plans, to allow room for your child to surprise you and really grow up :) I know my son has made as much progress as he has in the first half of high school because I didn't *always* go with my instinct to shelter him. Sometimes I did, but not always ;)

Here are a few threads where I shared some of the things we did, in case anything helps. Usually if I subbed, I used something very similar rather than going in a completely different direction, such as using some of D'Aulaire's alongside Bulfinch's, and adding my own questions to the mix. I still tried to expose my son to the "real thing" as well, because while D'Aulaire gives some of the cultural references, Bulfinch's gives the true apologetics comparison - with the real emptiness of the myths laid out when you take off the candy coating. I may have had more time to adjust than you do with 4 kids at home, but I'd be happy to share anything that might help.
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 729#p86729
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 266#p85266
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 203#p85203
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 631#p84631
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 340#p76340

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

Carina
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 2:55 pm

Re: AHL Lit Question

Unread post by Carina » Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:50 am

Ladies,

You both are such a wonderful source of advice and encouragement! When I started homeschooling a few years ago, you two "held my hand" several times and reassured me that it was all going to be okay! :) I think I may have made a mistake in not ordering the AHL Lit. supplement, but I will rectify that in a few moments! (I already have Fagles' Iliad and Odyssey thanks to being an English major/teacher!)

Thank you for the ideas on adapting while still using the same core lit. I think I will go ahead with the lit as planned and if it is an absolute disaster, I can always do Progeny Press. However, I am going to assume at this point that it will be doable! My DD is actually a B+ avg student (and I have NOT adapted ANY of her curriculum and/or assignments to date); just worried that those mild learning disabilities could become a bigger challenge now that she is making quite a jump in terms of literature. (Last year the most "challenging" selection she read was The Witch of Blackbird Pond.") ;)

Again, thank you both for your encouragement and good advice! I so appreciate it! (Even though I may come back to you for a little more hand holding throughout the year!) :)
Carina
Wife to David
Mom to Brigit (12th grade), Ian (10th grade), Grant (8th grade) and Colette (2nd grade)

2010-2011: CTG
2011-2012: RTR

2012-2013: AHL & EX1850
2013-2014: WHL & 1850-MOD
2014-2015: AHL & US1
2015-2016: WHL & US2

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest