We are a family who has used Saxon since the beginning. I didn't want to quit Saxon, thinking the program would work for us if I kept trucking along. I also thought it was too late to switch. Presently, my boys (including myself) dread math. It's no fun (not that math is supposed to always be fun) and there tend to be lots of tears with some complaining. Well I have definitely decided to make the switch to Singapore. I have already contacted the MFW office. In fact Mr. Hazell called me himself. What a blessing! I am placing my order early this week. BTW I'm switching from Rod and Staff English to PLL and ILL. I think these are all going to be great changes for us.
Anyone used Singapore with a special needs learner?
My 10 year old has a speech/language disorder. He has some autistic tendencies although he has never been diagnosed officially. How do most special needs kids do with the mental component of Singapore? How can I expect Singapore to help him be less stressed concerning math? I would like to add I am starting him at 1A. I want him to understand the wording of Singapore since it is very different from Saxon. Initially I was worried about starting him at that level but I am at peace with it now.
We will just work on math 1 hr. / 5 days a week. We're already used to 1 1/2- 2 hours on math anyway so that will be a breath of fresh air! LOL As for my 8 yr. old, he is not a special needs learner. Once in a while he displays some dyslexic signs but I am not overly concerned. He can think math out in his brain rather well. He develops his little shortcuts without my help. Singapore will probably be an excellent fit for him. After taking the Singapore placement test he commented on how he would like to do that type of math sheet all the time.
I have two special needs learners. As you know our kids are unique. I can talk about mine and how it worked.
Middle gal, currently age 12, just starting 7th grade. She used MFW K and 1st for math, then in 2nd grade started 1A... she finished 5B a few weeks ago!. yeah! we did it. I want a hi five please?! if y'all only knew... I'm happy dancing!
Her delays and special needs are in the category of language delays, receptive/expressive delays. not on the autism spectrum. (her younger sister is very much on the spectrum and let's just say dh as plenty of aspie related stuff).
Singapore worked well with her because I did not rush the program. We used the bar diagrams a lot. We used hands on teaching. I found a chart to use to help with the language of word problems. She clicked with that because she likes "mysteries" and wanted to find the key clue in the problem. So, we took the time needed with flowcharts (if it says how many more than.... what does that mean? how is than seen? ) We used the language in Singapore "do we know the whole thing? do we know one part? what do we do now?"
so, it was very logically presented in small enough increments that I am just sitting here on the other side looking back from 2006 and thinking.... wow God! how can my child have done this?
She is not quick in Singapore, but is diligent in Singapore. She still gets stuck on some math facts/number bonds and has to think, or count. I'm still doing math drills with her. I'm at the point on some things with it that I'm accepting that part of her brain isn't retaining a fact as fast as needed. So, as she started into SAxon 87 about 3 days ago, I decided that she is allowed to use calculator to make it faster on some calculations. She has not used a calculator to this point. But, a mom older than me with kids older than mine and they are on the autism spectrum told me -- if his brain can't hold that bizarre factoid, why create the stress in his life that shuts him down. So, I'm going to try that for a little while, until I can get my middle gal faster in drills while doing Saxon.
overall, I was really incredibly happy that with Singapore and not rushing her that I saw huge jumps in her ability to think, process, and grow in language skills. Oh yeah, I forgot.. she was in speech/language therapy from age 3-9 when she tested out of the need and it couldn't be justified (or afforded).
so, on the mental math -- I saw over time, that she was doing more in her head (even though it was out loud from her math) and less having to be done on paper. One key element in the mental math process in Singapore -- mental math, means thinking about the problem and process, but does not always mean you never use paper. Mental math with a special learner like mine also means, it is not silent in her head, but comes from her mouth. Over the years, it got faster and quieter. But sometimes her brain is so distracted she writes stuff down.
use manipulatives. draw and trace the geometry figures as needed. talk out loud.....
Youngest gal - age 9, autism (pdd nos side of the spectrum), high functioning. math progression has been a lower priority with us this year as we had more language development in mind, and life skills. Most math was from real life in grocery store (yes, you can this ice cream.. You only have $10 dollars to spend on your special treats this week. You bought cup cakes for $5 and the ice cream is only $3.) Let me tell you. over this past year of what we know call Kroger Math, my little autie learned that you can get cupcakes on the Oops wrack for $2, one brand of ice cream for $3, and get a smaller container of milk with a 99 cent label, and still be able to get a package of muffin mix. and none of it had to go back to the shelf. alright... we have the concepts down now.)
so, surprise surprise surprise to me last night..... She took some base ten blocks and her little 1A singpaore book and was doing single digit addition. Ok.... knowing what I know about the whole singpaore elementary sequence, I do anticipate that as her language and critical thinking continues to develop, she will be able to do some more, not all of the challenge problems. But I think the visual and hands on with Singapore along with the demands of having to grow in higher language skills will be good to use. She has the cognitive ability to progress in higher language (such as how many more than). so using very strong materials, even if I have to tweak and all of that... well... I'm staying with it for a bit more. Granted, it's very embarrassing to have a 9. y.o being called 3rd grade (already a year behind) using 1A and it being a struggle to proceed... but I'll get over it. Now I get to go today to hear the latest eval on this kid and be told how little she changed over the year during speech therapy. wish me happy happy joy joy...
I don't know how it will go for you..... that's just where we are today.