Special Needs - Ideas for using 1st

Learning God's Story
Post Reply
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:23 pm

Special Needs - Ideas for using 1st

Unread post by Heidi »

This is a little long, but hope it helps.

I learned about this at the special needs section of HSLDA where Dianne Craft is a consultant. Then I found her website and bought some of her materials.

Just to touch on a few that I have been able to incorporate for my auditory processing delayed dd who really struggles with memory recall of facts; i.e. names, dates, phonics rules, math facts, numbers, - all the stuff that the so-called "grammar stage" is supposed to excell at for a knowledge base. My daughter is kinetic and visual - definitely not an oral learner.

MFW-1 reading - here is how we do "right brain" phonics: First, I had her draw and color the picture from the MFW-1 reading chart onto a flashcard with the new sound we were learning (kinetic). Then, I had her hold it up so that her eyes (not her head) have to look up at it until she can close her eyes and tell me the mental picture she sees in her mind by her describing the picture to me in full detail of color with the phonics rule - this supposedly bypasses the auditory process and enters the information visually into the right brain as opposed to simply looking at it and repeating it aloud from the left brain. Each one was re- learned this way (this was near toward the end of MFW-1 we started all this when I realized she was not able to apply the rules I knew she knew and after all the research I did), the old ones were reviewed this way. She still struggles to recall and apply them - but doing much better after a year of this and her reading is much smoother with 50-60% percent less guessing at the big words.

Math facts: For her flashcards, she draws a triangle. At the top is the sum or subtrahend in one color, at the bottom sides are the addends (minuend and difference) in a different color. In the center is the addition sign in the same color as the addends and the subtraction sign in the same color as the sum or subtrahend. On the back she neatly writes the addition and subtraction equations: 1+8=9, 8+1=9; 9-1=8, 9-8=1. Do you follow me so far? I have her sit, hold the card up straight up so she must look up with her eyes (not her head). Again, she continues to look and close her eyes until she can tell me the color and position of each number - then she tells me the equations. I added in her moving her arms to all the positions of the numbers as she calls them out since she is so kinetic. This is working. She can now do the addition windows speed drill with 78 correct in under 15 minutes.

I have not emphasized spelling yet - she is 7 3/4. For all vocabulary: She draws and colors the definition, then writes the definition.

History facts - we are not there yet. But, the VHS and book say that color, humor and stories are the key to her memory recall - not oral or written repetition.

What is so funny about all this is, I am the same way and she is adopted not biological! I once had US history one quarter in high school and learned nothing, got a C (I can read and remember what I read unlike my daughter). The next quarter I had an economics philosophy course and got an A+ and the teacher asked me why. I did not have an answer. I do now - he used funny stories and drew pictures on the chalk board, and I barely had to study to remember what he said. That I was a good girl and did my homework each night was the rest.
FL Mommy of 3 "sensational" kids
Homeschooling since Fall 2004
Child 1: Blue LLATL/MFW 1, Adventures, ECC
Chld 2: MFW-K, MFW-1+ joined Adv, ECC
Child 3: MFW-PK, MFW-K + joined ECC
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:55 pm

Thanks MFW!

Unread post by mgardenh »

Posted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:01 pm
As some of you know I have 2 special needs children. And we switched to MFW from a diff curriculum. We have an average of 5 appointments a week for doctors, speech therapy, ot, and others. This week we have 6 appointments. One of the reasons we switched curriculums was because our previous one had 3 manuals and lots of books. So it was not very portable and on days that we had appointments, we would either not do school or only part of what was supposed to be done. From July 4-october 25 we only had 6 weeks done.

I have been able to take the curriculum with us for some of the appointments but the amazing thing is we have gotten everything done for each day and have not had to skip a day. I am so pleased because maybe we will finish the first grade before the summer of 08 is over. I was not even close to being hopeful for that with our previous.

The bonus part is my daughter is enjoying it more. She won't admit it but you can tell. I am so thankful to Jesus for this. I know we won't do school every day that were supposed to but were on a much better track.

Also all of you are so wonderful and share so much. I have learned a lot and just want to say thanks.

Posted: Tue Fib 05, 2008 5:15 pm
I do MFW 1st with special needs daughter and it takes 2-2.5 hours a day with lots of breaks. Very easy and I know others do not take nearly that long. Read this board go through the archives.

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 9:44 pm
My dd finishing up 1st is an Asp. I love MFW as does dd. The black and white stuff is great for dd (not an issue for all aspie but my dd does not like brite pages or to color).

I love that the lessons are short, great for lots of reasons but particularly with aspie added. I set a timer for each thing she is to do so she has a concentrate idea of what is to be done rather than an ambiguous "do your math" or whatever.

Social Skills

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 7:30 am
One thing that is popular around here is to use a tailor made book to teach social rules and skills. That is basically a story (told almost in flow chart style) that helps a child to know not only what to do, but Why it is important. In some cases it helps the child to understand the other person’s feelings – something not always easy for all kids. A quick page from my 5 y.o’s book from about a year ago at one of her schools: When Miss Ellen says to go to Circle Time, it is my job to sit on my green carpet square. Then Miss Ellen will know that I am ready to sing. That’s a fun part of Circle Time. (And then the picture with it is a picture of my daughter sitting on her little square with her clinician, and Miss Ellen smiling and ready to sing.)

So in my daughter’s case it was helping to establish her job along with One (not all) age appropriate reasons to do the job, as well as helping her to transition from play time to structured group time. Oh those transition times between activities. Hang in there, it will get better.

I’m not sure if I know a perfect tool out there for making a book for all possible situations. There are pre made books out there. Software available to personalize it. My dd’s OT and ST just make them for us, but you’re not with an OT right now. The preschool just made their own based on what was needed. We used a digital camera and construction paper. A researcher named Carol Gray trademarked the term “social stories” ™ to describe these kinds of things. She has a book (maybe your library carries it) called The New Social Stories Book. I think Target might carry it too. And the original book was called My Social Stories Book, by Carol Gray.

With my child, I found the advantage was that she could read it (or have it read to her) many times so that the routine was established in her head and then it became easier to follow.
Another idea is getting involved in an adapted PE class in your community. You said that regular gym classes were not working for her. Maybe your city parks and rec center or YMCA has a phys ed class for special kids?? Some times those classes will be organized differently or provide more predictable structure to help ease into the class. Your daughter may not have been ready for chaos of a preschool gym class. It’s hard on our kids. And then the parents in these adapted classes end up sitting around talking with each other and toss around real life ideas from the been there side of it. It’s nice not having to explain anything to the other parents.
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:55 pm

Re: Social Skills

Unread post by mgardenh »

Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 10:23 pm
My daughter has Aspergers. What seems as rude is really due to sensory issues or unwareness of non verbal social cues.

A good read is Temple Grandons thinking in pictures -- if your daughter thinks in pictures will give great insite as it has for ours.

Also the book "Pretending to be normal" I think that is the name. That was like "wow" you have gotten into my daughters head.

I am not saying your daughter has asburgers but she describes how sensory issues combined with unawareness of social things made her come off rude and disrespectful. For example if someones voice is irratating to my DD she will tell them. We are working on it.

Tony Attwood is big name in Autism world and has books on it and Aspergers.
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:23 pm

a couple of freebie/cheap phonics review ideas

Unread post by Heidi »

Being on a very tight budget, and yet needing to do a year of remedial reading phonics reivew with my dd (now nearly 8 1/2 and reading at 3rd grade level) who last year struggled with her mild dyslexia, auditory processing deficts, ADD, etc. - here is what worked for us.

1. We took the reading chart including with MFW-1 and made our own "right brain phonics"cards.

a)What are they? They are cheap enough at www.dianecraft.org - but we could not afford them. She is kinetic and loves to draw. We happened to have blank flash card stock. So, we took our time and made a card for each sound on the reading chart. She copied the picture from the reading chart by drawing it herself, then colored it. She took a ruler and made writing lines with a pen. Then in the writing lines she printed neatly the letter/phonics combination that made that sound. Once made, we learned them "right brain" style.

b)What is that? Simply holding it up above her forehead forcing her eyes to look up at it (this puts the picture and the letters that make the phonics sound together into her right brain bypassing her left brain for now - where her auditory processing deficits are), she closes her eyes until she can see the picture and letters together in her mental mind taking a photo of it . She repeats this until she can recall them both (letter combination and picutre complete with all color details) by looking only at the letter combination (which puts it into her left brain also - and creates a new and correct connection between her left and right brain so she can see and retrieve).

2. McGuffey readers, primary then first - free at the library and very much filled with character building stories if you can find the orignal ones (we did).

3. Dr. Seuss first reader books - free at the library and very funny - making reading very motivational

4. I also had on hand the first grade readers from the blue TLP.
5. I, then, let her read to her toddler brother all his very simple board books and all she had completed in above while I worked with big brother on his language arts stuff.
FL Mommy of 3 "sensational" kids
Homeschooling since Fall 2004
Child 1: Blue LLATL/MFW 1, Adventures, ECC
Chld 2: MFW-K, MFW-1+ joined Adv, ECC
Child 3: MFW-PK, MFW-K + joined ECC
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Jul 07, 2007 8:14 am

Burn-out from dyslexia, dysgraphia, visual-motor proc. def.,

Unread post by Mommyto2 »

Heidi wrote:I have taught my mildly dyslexic, dysgraphic, ADD and auditory processing deficit child to read using MFW fairly painlessly - though we are still working out spelling and math facts (she has the "dys" for numbers too whatever it is called) - she is also extremely bright, artistic and musical. I have discovered some math games and fun story math fact cards via Melinda Boring and finally broke down and got some - we have a very limited budget. I have yet to solve her spelling dilemma and still am overwhelmed by how much is out there that looks good.

I have had no difficulty teaching K to my dysgraphic, visual-motor processing deficit, ADHD, sensory integration deficits - yet extremely bright, verbally gifted, reading short vowel words in K - nearly 5 1/2 year old!

And though I have done MFW-1 successfully 2x - and have figured out how to easily adapt the blue phonics workbook dictation by letting him trace the letters like we have done all throughout K as there is very little writing in this book - mostly marking to learn the all important phonics! This is visual and will work great! I can skip the proverbs writing and timeline coloring and do these orally - no biggie. He can read the Bible reader and will easily narrate it back.

But, what do I do about the beautiful Bible notebook? He cannot write or draw! He cannot color. He uses scissors still with great difficulty. He hates touching glue! Do I just skip this for now? I have read others that let the child dictate and you as the parent write the Bible notebook - but, what do you do for the drawings and illustrations?

Between my lack of sleep, being overwhelmed with my kids needs lately - and our financial strappedness - I am burned out. Please pray. I can see that I am making mountains out of mole hills and I know it will all work out. But my mind won't quit til it solves what to do about spelling and math for my middle child, and reading for my youngest.
Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008

I want to send you a big hug. I only have one dc with a mild learning disability and nothing compared to the challenges you seem to be facing with a smile most days.

How about using tracing paper for the pictures? Do you have a good illustrated children's bible that he could trace some appropriate pictures? Or how about using a coloring book picture? Even if he doesn't color it. It will still make the point.

It's not about drawing the picture but about getting the lesson and letting the picture be fun and reinforce the lesson. Maybe yours could more of a scrap book. If drawing isn't fun and is painful and laborious, I would look at it in a different way and see what he can and likes to do and make it work for him?

Does he like to act things out? Maybe you could take photos of him acting out the lesson and then he would be in the book and you could put captions underneath to clarify.

I pray an answer will come to you that you know will be just right for your family.

mom to ds in Adv and dd in K

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:05 pm

Your question got me to thinking a bit about how I’ll handle that when my youngest is there. Our kids are different in their labels, but the notebook will still be hard for my youngest.

Here is something that was rattling around in my head while cooking supper.

What if you had 2 or 3 pictures available from which to choose to show an important part of the story? And have your child select the picture that matches the right story and even tell you why it matches. Then use tape to tape it on the notebook instead of using glue. You could work on a lot of targeted language skills that way. Cover up the original picture in the reader if needed.

If your child can't trace at all, you could trace the ones in the reader, or find something else to use that might be appropriate.
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Unread post by dhudson »

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 6:39 pm

Wow! I am really impressed at what you have accomplished with your children. Drawing the pictures is probably the least important part of the Bible Notebook but what about stickers? With all the scrapbooking stuff available you could make a 'sticker box' and allow your child to design the pictures with stickers. You can find stickers at a very reasonable price at www.orientaltrading.com. I use them all the time.

You can also fin clip art on the internet and just let your child glue pictures on.

God Bless,
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 8:29 pm

Unread post by caod »

Posted: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:22 pm

I sure do wish you well. I love the tracing idea and if needed you could easily do it and let him cut it out in circle around the perimeter and tape it in the notebook. The snapshots are a great idea too. I don't really have anything to add except that I understand needing to have an answer. It will come.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2906
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Wed Apr 23, 2008 12:03 pm

Hugs and prayers from me as well. Bless you for your efforts.

Many creative moms around here have worked on this issue. You're not alone with children who struggle with the pencil etc. Maybe something here will be just the thing?!

We also have a tight budget, but I use Walgreen's service for photos & find it is reasonable. I upload my photos from my camera, and choose one from each project to print. Takes a bit of time, but I can get 6 or 7 prints for a dollar. I order from home & pick up when I'm going to Walgreen's for a prescription or something.
Posts: 66
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 10:23 pm

thank you and praise to God

Unread post by Heidi »

Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:37 am

What a refreshment coming to this message board! I do not know any of you by face - but, love you any way!

You get it! You get that we are addressing the "missing arm"; but, that one would not teach to the "missing arm", but to the ones they have. His "missing arm" is the missing connections in his brain pathways between left and right and front and back - and that these are being re-trained and re-formed through therapies - and only God knows how much will reform - but eventually all will merge into his beautiful self.

You do not judge! You pray! You encourage! You have great ideas too!

My Caleb can not trace. He can not color. He hates glue. Cutting is laborious. These things are all being addressed in therapy though.

But, he does love to act. The pictures of his acting being taped into the notebook is a great idea! But, this will get expensive as we do not have a camcorder - it broke. I do have a digital camera - but, we do not develop the pictures because of our budget these days - but I could put them on a CD disk and we could watch them.

I like the sticker pictures idea - my husband and I thought of this one too. So this is two ideas that will at least give some variety to choose from.

Any other great ideas?

We are addressing burn out too. We actually took this week off to pray and regroup. We have re-addressed and re-focused on our home school's basic foundations of Christ-like character and habits development. And began today and for the whole of one more week for the purpose of re-establishing them from a positive rewards motive basis combining our Accountable Kids ticket system with the Pearable Blessing chart. We took down the If-Then chart.

My husband even caught the spirit - it is amazing and wonderful and answer to many prayers to see. I was so proud of him this morning and told him so several times! We all hugged and kissed and giggled about it all! Already we feel much lighter, merry of heart, and joyful. He still looks to me and told me this week how proud he is of all my ideas and research and as primary teacher - but, I am so glad I finally let go of being the one in control! God is doing a might work of restoration here! And it is no small miracle!
FL Mommy of 3 "sensational" kids
Homeschooling since Fall 2004
Child 1: Blue LLATL/MFW 1, Adventures, ECC
Chld 2: MFW-K, MFW-1+ joined Adv, ECC
Child 3: MFW-PK, MFW-K + joined ECC
Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 542
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) »

Posted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:41 pm

We, too, had a dismal failure with an If/Then chart and have had wonderful success and happiness with a Reward Chart! Giving positive goals even helps us to be more positive in our language while disciplining.
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:42 pm

first repeated?

Unread post by hollybygolly »

kayben wrote:Last year I attempted MFW K with my DD and switched to first. She went back to PS mid year for testing and IEP services. I put her back in K even though they fought me and after she was in class for one day, I was told she was absolutely where she needed to be and would not be doing so well if she hadn't been homeschooled. Anyway. My question is this. I am going to keep her home. I LOVE the idea of the program, but there is a lot of writing. And wondering if anyone else ever stopped and then went back. I wonder if she would have negative feelings connected to it or if she wouldn't even remember much. She did like the marking letters.
Hi Rebecca~

I, too, have special needs kids and I have to modify a bit here and there. One of my twins gets easily fatigued with writing as well, and her PT gave me a few hints. For 1st grade, there is nothing wrong with decreasing the writing for a bit with the goal of getting stronger. One thing to try is to buy a soft ball (tennis ball size) or play-doh and have her squeeze this each day before school (just for a few minutes). This is a great way to increase the strength in those little hand muscles. We also did what Crystal did and had her trace the Proverbs for a bit, and we broke it up into 2 days. For the Bible journal, there are ways to get around drawing. Maybe she can draw a part of the picture and add stickers or stamps?

I compromised with my daughter about the summaries...she would write every other one, and would dicatate to me every other one while I wrote it. Towards the end of the year, she was writing them on her own, but I was okay with just 1 really good sentence!

The blessing of homeschooling is that we can really meet our kiddos where they are, and I think that individual attention will be the biggest and longest lasting help to them. I hope that helps you in your decision~bless you for your work with your daughter! Also, just to add: the 1st grade program is WONDERFUL just because of the survey of the Bible alone, and the hands-on math was such a skill builder for my girls! Holly
Have a blessed day loving our Savior-Holly
Mommy to: Annie and Lynne (11), Maely (8), Gracie (6) and one precious one waiting in Heaven
Completed: MFW K; 1st Grade; Adventures; ECC
Currently using~MFW 1st grade (again!); Rome to Reformation
Post Reply