Special Needs - Success with ECC

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Posts: 67
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Special Needs - Success with ECC

Unread post by Heidi »

I finally realized that ECC was so much easier than I had made it out to be when I realized I could do much of the written stuff orally, or let them draw their compositions more than write them for my mildly dysgraphic older two. The secret came when I realized that just because they are excellent artists and have lovely fine motor skills, did not mean they were not dysgraphic and perfectionist writers and I had to back off much of the writing for them. Once I got this, and could easily adapt for them.
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Special needs sibling....need advice!

Unread post by TriciaMR »

dorenekimberly wrote:I have a nine year old son and a 13 year old daughter. My daughter has special needs. Last year I did Adventures with both of them, and it went fairly well (both kids really enjoyed it). Because of the multi-level aspect of MFW, I felt this was a great fit for us (both doing their own math and language arts separately). It helped me out tremendously with them both doing many of the same subjects together.

We've been doing ECC now for about two weeks, and I'm getting a little nervous. My daughter with the special needs is struggling with even the concept of South vs. North (it took her a while to learn left versus right). Math is soooo difficult for her, as well as writing. My questions for anyone:

1. I know that certain concepts such as longitude and latitude will be way too much for her. Can I get away with skipping certain things such as these? I would love for her to become familiar with the world map, where the various continents are, simple map concepts, etc., but also know that there are certain concepts that will be over her head. Has anyone else skipped things with one child while teaching to another? I'm trying to figure out how to tactfully do this without making her feel bad. She loves history and was quite good at it last year, but I'm thinking this year's geography might be a bit hard for her.

2. Writing and drawing is also very tough for her. Writing in her own words (or copying from a page) for the Science Notebook is taking such a long time. Also, sketching in a Nature Notebook is difficult as well. We haven't even begun the Geography Box yet where she is supposed to copy geographical definitions. Any recommendations?

My daughter has been soooo excited to start ECC this year, as she loved last year's Adventures. I want to approach this in the right manner not to discourage her. She in the past did not like school (still doesn't like math or reading), but at least she's been excited about learning about different countries, etc. I'd appreciate anything anyone might be able to share with me!
Idea for science notebook (this is what I've been doing with my dd): Have her narrate to you and you type it in then print it out, then draw in the open space. Maybe have her use tracing paper to trace something and then cut it out andput it on the paper. Maybe you can get a Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia, and find the same topic (the pictures are just a little bigger) and trace from them. Or, perhaps your library has online access to World Book, or you have an encyclopedia on CD and you can print out a picture, and have her cut it out and glue it on the page. Covers the same topic, just not so much drawing and writing.

For the nature notebook, how about taking a digital camera with you, take a picture of something she really likes, then print it out, glue it to a page, and then write what it is below it or something? Perhaps do rubbings instead of drawings?

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Unread post by Hmschooling »

My dd has writing issues as well. For our nature notebook we skip most of the writing. If she wants to draw or write, that's fine. We save the writing practice for other areas. What we've done to maintain a notebook though is make leaf rubbings and also take a camera with us to take pics. I take the pics and we post them on our online nature notebook blog. The link is in my signature below. Once, (you'll see on our blog) we even used an ink pad to stamp our cat and kittens' paw prints into our notebook to look at the shape of the print as well as talk about why God made them with the pads on their feet. The point of the nature notebook in our house is pure discovery of God's creation...how we document it is just an idividual thing. Sometimes, we don't document at all and just learn to enjoy getting up close and personal with God's world.

On another note, I've got a K'er taking part in ECC with my dd. Forthe many things that go over his head, I jump simplify a LOT. Like for longitude (Long and Tall-- up and down tall lines) and latitude (l-A-titude goes Across or Latitude has an attitude and sits on the side-- side to side lines), explain it like normal then have her trace longitude lines with one color and latitude lines with another all while your other child is doing something more in line with the actual lesson. You could do it on two seperate pages, with one map labled Lat. with lat. lines traced and the same with long. I have also had him trace what he dictates to me rather than rewrite it himself.

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Unread post by cbollin »

Just some other ideas....
1. I know that certain concepts such as longitude and latitude will be way too much for her. Can I get away with skipping certain things such as these?
What if you just had her learn either latitude or longitude but not both at the same time? Start with latitude.

You can skip it if needed. But start with one. Use lots of hands on teaching time with directional concepts in natural settings – put the forks on the left side of the dinner plate.

Put N S E W labels on the walls of your house. But just focus one at a time between north and south, while gently exposing her to the other words.
Has anyone else skipped things with one child while teaching to another?
You can leave out things that will be hard for her. I teach differently to my kids.
2. We haven't even begun the Geography Box yet where she is supposed to copy geographical definitions. Any recommendations?
Trace the pictures or make some copies of the pictures to cut out and paste on a card (or print something from computer). Maybe trace the outlines of those pictures with glitter glue or something??? outline with yarn?

Can she type?

Keep the learning as much fun as possible with lots of hands on stuff in the program.
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Unread post by mgardenh »

Would learning to type for your daughter be hard? Maybe teaching her to type then she doesn't have to write. But if it is a physical problem with her hands typing may not work. Star small having her type a short amount and you type the rest.

Does your dd receive ot or pt? One of those people can help with handwriting and strengthening her hands to write more.

Is your dd dyslexic. I ask because I am and left, right and any sort of directional learning is very difficult for me. I still have to hold my hands up and see the L in my left hand to get left and right. There is therapy that can be done to help with those things if you can afford it or want to go with the schools for help.
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Intro and special needs question

Unread post by jasntas »

One of each wrote:Hi, I'm Sharon. I have an 11 yo ds (5th grade) and a 7 yo dd (2nd grade). I had been praying about how to add Science and History and combine my two when I came across the MFW website a few weeks ago. I am so excited to find this curriculum - I don't know how I overlooked it all these years. I was especially encouraged to discover Marie Hazell's SLP background. My son has CAPD (central auditory processing disorder) and therefore has expressive and receptive language delays.

Now that both my children are on their way with reading and writing, it's time to give more attention to History and Science. I thought I was going to start with Exp to 1850 because I feel so behind in history and I want him to have American History before High School, but after reading the recommendations to start with ECC, I'm going to start there. I think we need a faith building year.

Also for those of you with struggling learners, how has MFW worked for you? Do you modify or are you able to get through most of the curriculum? Mostly I'm wondering about the amount of daily writing scheduled in the student pages and World Geography pages in addition to Writing Strands and ILL? About how long does it take to get through it on a daily basis?

Thanks for your help!

Well we have a 10 y.o. ds with dyslexia and a 7 y.o. dd possibly with dyslexia as well. MFW has been a real blessing to us. I started out not modifying any of it until I knew what I needed to modify. It was very easy to modify when needed. We are just about to finish ECC this year and it has been a wonderful year. The only real change I made was to add lapbooks. I dropped the World Geography book because it was just too much for my ds. The science reading out of the Properties of Ecosystems book is sometimes a bit much as well but the lapbooks I added seem to fill in the gaps for us. I still read POE and we do most of the experiments and activities in it as well. We usually do a one page lapbook for the country and at least two pages for the science. I can't think of any other real changes we've made.

If I know there is a lot of writing I break it up or condense it. At the beginning of this year I would give my ds at least two days to copy the memory verse. I still do if it is particularly long. We don't do the dictation due to his major spelling issues.

I just started a blog about a month ago. It has some of our latest ECC projects if you'd like to take a look. The link is in my signature line below.

A typical day around here is about 4-5 hours. It could be a lot shorter but we take lots of needed breaks.

There are others here, including Crystal, that will hopefully get a chance to chime in as well. Keep posting your questions and/or comments. I look forward to hearing how your year goes! :)

P.S. I just remembered that one of the reasons I started doing the country page was because my two did not want to color the 'flag page' after coloring the 'country John 3:16' page which also included a flag. They were willing to color the smaller version I found at homeschoolshare.com. They also didn't mind doing the 'Where in the World is...' lapbook piece. Then I would give them a few clip art pics to choose from (instruments or famous structures for instance) or a couple of other easy lapbook pieces and we had our page. A good source for clip art ideas were from the 'Look What Came From' book series. We usually did the country page in one day.
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Re: Intro and special needs question

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Hi Sharon,
If you found Marie's post about her training, then maybe you saw the post at the end of that thread with all the links to threads where people share how they've used MFW with special needs kids. But just in case you didn't notice it, here's the link:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 737#p43714

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Re: Intro and special needs question

Unread post by gratitude »

Hi Sharon,

I just wanted to say hello! My youngest has Trisomy 21. Since she is two I don't have experience yet of using MFW with her special needs. I have used MFW K though, and it seems like of all the K programs out there - if any would work with her it would be MFW K. I am hopeful that whenever she is ready, at whatever age, that she will be able to work through the K program.

I am sure Cyrstal will come back to post later. She has immense experience with special needs & MFW and I am sure can give you a lot of great insights.


Re: Intro and special needs question

Unread post by cbollin »

Hi Sharon,
wanted to welcome along!

Oldest: just adhd and ocd
middle gal: was in speech and lang therapy from age 3-9 and is currently 12 y.o. only used mfw
youngest - pdd nos. 2nd grade

I agree with your decision to start with ECC. Then, you can do EX1850 and 1850MOD after that if needed.

Daily writing we adjust as needed for our children. My middle gal is the one who had the mixed receptive/expression issues and was in ST for 6 years. She’s still kinda slow in that area.

We used a lot of the student sheets to give her a visual to help with processing. We would read together from books and have our pages in front of us and learn how to go back and read information and record it. Sometimes I would help her with writing it down or copying a sentence from text as needed.

She really liked the World Geography pages. She liked to be able to look up information and record it. Or guess. One of the nice things in those pages is that an elementary student does not have to complete all of the pages. I found them useful with a language delayed child because we could use them in conjunction with various speech/language goals.

WS: teaching writing can be a tough skill to teach. So, we work together on it. There are times where we don’t do WS and ILL in one week just because we can’t. I’m not too embarrassed to say that. So, WS gets some summer treatment. Plenty of ILL we did orally when needed.

Overall, we tend to practice it out loud together with as much prompting as needed and wean from that as needed. Then, I’ll write down what she said, and she can copy her own words.

I guess we do school time for about 3-4 hours a day (just not all in one stretch!) to cover much information.

With books like Illustrated World Atlas in ECC, sometimes that book became more of a decoration at the kitchen table to browse during breakfast and let the children see what other places look like. Then, with my middle gal, she’d take several days to process what was on the maps and charts and then sometimes mention “you know, the United States has a lot of interstates and other countries don’t. How do they get around to visit each other?" so then it would spark some conversations of everything we were learning. It just wasn't always as fast as other children might get it. Of course, one of my favorite moments in mfw with her was when she connected a bunch of dots in 1850MOD as the younger sister in the program. We had been praying for various people groups around the world via religious groups. Oldest kiddo (first born genius) and I were talking about post WWII China and USSR and all of that. So, I send middle gal (the expressive/receptive delay one) off with "book basket" to just enjoy some pictures and basics about China: the People (Bobbie kalman book). Anyway, she comes back "mom.. China is a beautiful place with beautiful people. Can I go there someday?" a few nights later "mom... how many Muslims are in China?" (we had been praying for Muslims several weeks before that) "I want to pray for them and want them to know that Jesus loves them."

So, overall, MFW has been an answer to prayer for us. We teach from it in ways that fit our needs. :)

My youngest has PDD NOS. severe language delays. She did MFW K and 1st. and then this year, we focused more on language therapy and cooking skills. So, either I got lazy or realized that a year off of history and science lessons wouldn’t hurt. But she is at the point now, that I know we’ll able to make our own notebooking and help her pull some information from the texts and books.

Add in some fun videos, and things like that. opps.. youngest just went outside and the neighbors dogs are barking.. hm..... that's probably connected. I should go be mom now.
oh well, she came back inside. must be the mosquitos. got to love the flooding in memphis..

anyway. We had some other cool moments in MFW with youngest. During the ECC year when oldest was 7th grade and middle gal was 4th, my youngest was doing MFW K. So it was fun to watch youngest enjoy things from ECC (flags, food, songs) with older sisters. and then when older sisters would do memory verses from ECC, youngest would run to her MFW K memory verses and read them to us.

ok... back outside.... back inside. that's my life.... with a child on the autism spectrum. at least today it doesn't involve rose bushes over the fence or her hair covered in vegetable shortening.. hmm....

oh yeah, that was also from an ECC moment. WE did this easy easy demo to explain how penguins and other animals can deal with extreme cold temps. I didn't put the shortening away immediately and well.. We had this cheap vinyl floor in the kitchen that they tried to ice skate on it with the shortening. then that didn't work, so they just danced. and that was ok. I thought, you know... get a squeeze-che and clean it up after. try a few experiments with and without flipflops on feet.

8[] 8[] 8[]

One of each
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Re: Intro and special needs question

Unread post by One of each »

Thank you for all your replies and welcome!

Crystal, your story about the penguin experiment made me laugh. It reminded me of last summer when my son asked me if he could do the volcano experiment that we'd done earlier in the week. Sure, just take it to the back deck. I got distracted and a while later I came to check on him and found he'd dumped the whole box of baking soda on the table and a whole gallon jug of vinegar on it! And then left it to go play! :-) I can laugh about it now, but I didn't then!

Thank you for telling me how you do the writing with your children. Teaching writing intimidates me, but I like what I saw of the WS sample. Seems it breaks the thought processes into doable parts. I like the fact that ILL can be done orally. We just started using CM methods in January and my kids really are liking it. So far. :) Like you, I don't think I'll be doing both ILL and WS in the same week. Nothing embarrassing about it. It's just the way we roll. :)

@ gratitude, thank you for your encouragement. You're smart to be looking ahead for your dd. I was in denial for a while with my ds.

@ Tammie, my kids love lapbooks. I just get lazy about doing them sometimes. :) I never thought of just keeping it to one page per topic - that's a great idea. I showed my children all the fun your children are having with ECC and they can't wait to get started and neither can I. Thanks for sharing. :)

@ Julie, no I hadn't noticed the additional info from Marie - I'll check that out.

Thanks again.

Update: Posted Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:56 am by One of each
Yesterday we started ECC. I don't have their student sheets in binders, I don't have notebooks for English or all the craft/science supplies for the week. But we started anyway because we needed to get routine back into our day. It was so liberating being able to open the TM and go. In the past, I procrastinated starting school because of all the decision making. Yesterday, I didn't have to second guess my materials or wonder if it was going to be enough for the day. Looking forward to delving in further today. Oh and I hung up the world map. It fit perfectly on my dining room wall where my buffet used to be. Haven't moved the buffet in 5 years. It's nice to have the room look different and new. :)
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ECC questions (newbie will be switching from TOG)

Unread post by Julie in MN »

classicalmom wrote:I have a 12 yr old daughter who has Learning Disabilities and HFA. She is currently: reading 4th grade level, in 2nd math (MUS Beta), Writing with Ease 1, First Language Lessons 2, Exploring Creation Zoology 1 author is Fulbright, was doing TOG lower grammar yr 3 unit 3 but I stopped. I am considering putting her in ECC. I am a bit confused though....This level has a wide age range so I am assuming I am not getting the boxed package if that is the case????

I have an 8th grade son who will be a freshman this fall. If I have both in ECC (I hope my boy will complete in 6months as he works really fast much faster than my daughter would)...Would both be using the same books? If so that may pose a problem for my 8th grader. Thanks!!

Hi Holly <waving smilie>,
See how quiet the boards get when chatty Julie & chatty Crystal are both at convention weekend !!

Yes, ECC can be used from grades 2 or 3, through 8th grade. Ordinarily, you add more to it for grades 7&8 (Apologia science, Saxon math, grammar, 2 book studies, country reports).

So my main point is that you can tailor ECC to your child's level. You might want to get the complete set, you might want to add the 7-8th grade supplement, or you may want to piece together what you need for her various levels. I would say that when my son was in 8th grade, we did pretty much all of it, but did spend much less time on some things than we had in when my son did ECC in 3rd grade (the songs, the vocab A-Z book, global art, Hero Tales) and still we spent time on some of the materials that might look young but had good learning in them (flag sticker book, A Trip Around the World, God Speaks Numanggang, Maps & Globes).

Not sure if I answered your question. Keep asking :)

For your current 8th grader, is there a reason you would choose ECC over AHL? AHL is perfect for a 9th grader, who begins to "own" his own cycle, and starts to have his own questions about how his faith fits with the rest of the world (science, archaeology, other ancient literature), but isn't totally ready for a small print textbook and tons of quizzes and such. It's also got a good writing foundation in the argumentative essay. So I'd be interested in your thinking about using AHL.
classicalmom wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:01 am
<waving back>

I was going by a message post somewhere on these board that ECC gives a good foundation before high school. If I can have my soon to be 9th grader to do AHL that would be great. :)

Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Re: ECC questions (newbie will be switching from TOG)

Unread post by cbollin »

hi holly..

julie's right... crystal is tired. *I* was at Memphis. I live here these days. Julie was in, well, MN. They had their convention the same weekend.

I know you're in some time pressure to get everything lined up for Cincy. I know (((hugs)))) you're not forgotten. I know you'll get some answers...

I would not try to do ECC before starting high school in your situation with 2nd child. If that student were going into 8th grade, yes... but going into 9th? nah.. It's not a pre requisite to do ECC before high school. It's cool when you can. and I'm glad I got to. I know a friend of mine started homeschooling in the middle of 10th grade and was a pilot family of MFW's for high school. never did ECC. and he's doing very well in college.

The older child can benefit from being around the ECC stuff and even incorporating sections of it to get more geography credit in high school.

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