Special Needs - Success with MFW & Dyslexia, ADHD, More

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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:12 am

Special Needs - Success with MFW & Dyslexia, ADHD, More

Unread post by txquiltmommy »


Here's the blessing that I want my MFW family to know.........The Dyslexia tester for my son was a Christian and was a very sincere woman, but I wasn't sure what her opinion of homeschool was. She has spent 30 years in public education and seemed at first to be in great favor of mainstreaming children with "learning differences".

I gave her the notebook that we are compiling during our study with Adventures for her to review. She couldn't stop praising this curriculum!!! She shared numerous specific things with me that she loved about MFW Adventures and said that this "multi-sensory approach" was the best possible thing I could be doing with my son. She was so pleased with his notebook. She told my husband and I that she ccould not imagine a better environment that would more adequately meet his specific needs than MFW homeschool. WOW!

I prayed so hard about what curriculum to use and I felt a strong confirmation that Adventures was a good fit for us. To hear that confirmed by Mrs. Education PhD was an exciting blessing for me.

My son is going to start seeing a Certified Language Therpist to help with the reading, and I am going to happily continue experiencing, exploring, and growing with Adventures. I feel more thankful than ever for this program!

Thanks for allowing me to share!
dd (14)
ds(9) - ECC
ds(8) - ECC
and one on the way in December!

Unread post by cbollin »


Thank you for sharing. It is always an encouragement to those of us who have struggling learners to hear good stuff from professionals about our curriculum choices and homeschooling in general. We've been down that road twice.

This summer's evaluation with our youngest had an interesting twist in it. Her developmental pediatrician told us that next year she might not be able to function in a regular classroom setting and get much educational value out of it (he was looking at meds to give her for that). All I could think was: then why wouldn't I homeschool?

I told him about MFW K -- short lessons, multi sensory, hands on, unit studies, low amounts of worksheets. This doctor looks back at me saying Sounds like a good plan!

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Unread post by tkbbrl6 »


Thank you for sharing. I too have dc with Learning Disabilities - two of them are Dyslexic. Our regular pediatrician and my parents were encouraging us to put our one ds that is the most severely LD and into private or public school bec school was such a battle and frustration - I just didn't feel that was the right thing to do - I felt like God had allowed me to get the education in the Special Needs field and then given me kids with special needs for a reason.

I asked the Dr, who is very well respected in the field Internationally as well as locally, what he thought about our hsing - he said it was the best thing we could do for our ds and he really wished more parents with dc like mine would consider it. Although we are using a combo of other curriculums added to MFW - the MFW ECC materials are the ones my ds loves the most and doesn't complain about doing (okay - other than the geography notecards!) and he's learning sooo much.
Wife to dh for 13 years
Mom to ds (19) Sophmore at USC; dd(11) Level 7 USAG gymnast; ds(9) Green belt in Karate; ds (4)Still waiting for a pet buffalo or lion
Using RTR
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Unread post by Tina »

Brooke: I appreciate your sharing too.

My son's language pathologist agrees also that Jacob is in the best environment for his particular issues. At home he doesn't have the distraction of "other" noise (auditory integration and memory/recall a huge issue with him)

I'm grateful for our homeschool. I'm grateful for this curriculum that gives our children the multi-sensory approach to education. We don't have to "put them in a box". Thanks for sharing. Your testimony is encouraging.
Tina, homeschooling mother of Laura (1996), Jacob (1998) and Tucker (2003) In MO
"One of the greatest blessings of heaven is the appreciation of heaven on earth. He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."--JIM ELLIOT
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:12 am

Unread post by txquiltmommy »

Thank you all for your kind feedback. It is so nice to know I'm not alone in some of my struggles. I appreciate you all very much!
dd (14)
ds(9) - ECC
ds(8) - ECC
and one on the way in December!
Posts: 37
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 1:03 pm

Unread post by kfrench »

Hi we have had the same reading struggles with my daughter. She actually ended up having some eye issues with tracking and one eye going ahead of the other and seeing the last letter of the word. She had vision therapy for 9 months and most of her dyslexia sysmptoms are gone. She has 20/20 vision and her regular eye doctor could see nothing wrong but she really improved dramatically after eye therapy.

She still can only read about 15 minute before her eye's get tired and she starts sounding out things wrong (she still says was for saw and saw for was but sometime she catches it). But now she is actually reading and she can remember words that she read earlier in the story. We ended up doing MFW1 for second grade and that really was a good fit for her.

It might be something you want to check out since it has the same symptoms of dyslexia because it is hard to focus to read. Here doctor said that many kids diagnosed with dyslexia turn out to have the vision and tracking problems and he has seen a lot of sucess.
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Unread post by RuthinFL »

Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:36 pm

I am going to be using Adventures for my 8yo and my 12yo (who is dyslexic). I had some fears that it would be too"babyish" the 12 yo, but I knew she was not ready for the older set.

Anyway, after I received my manual and books, I find that it is going to be easy to enhance this so she gets a little more challenging work out of it. That means I will require a little more reading from her, a little more details in her maps and a few book reports here and there.

I am confident that my girls are going to have a wonderful year of "Adventures" and that it will in no way be too babyish! The books are wonderful, the activities are interesting.....I cannot say enough good things about My Father's World!!

Ruth in FL
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 10:23 am


Unread post by mamaofredheads »

Donna wrote:I am strongly leaning toward MFW for next year and have a question. My DS (8) has ADHD. Has anyone on here used MFW with an ADHD child? Any suggestions?
Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:39 pm

I think MFW is great for an ADHD child (or just boys with lots of energy :)because the items chosen make the lessons short yet effective. We schedule our day so that we go back & forth between "bookwork" and other things like read alouds, art, music, science, etc. We also do some things orally (like much of PLL or ILL). We are finishing our 5th year with MFW and love it!

Unread post by TurnOurHearts »

Posted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:51 pm

One of my favorite things about MFW is that because of the Charlotte Mason influence, you don't spend too long on any one subject. Each one gets 15-30 minutes tops! Plus, if you follow the MFW suggestions for LA & math, those are also short lessons with the twaddle left out! As someone else said, you can design your day to move subjects around however it best suits you & your child. I certainly think this is beneficial for any child, but I can see where this design would be particularly helpful when ADHD is a factor.

Here's hoping you have a wonderful year! :)
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Unread post by mgardenh »

Posted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:29 pm

I have a dd with aspergers, sensory integration, and adhd (actually all part of Aspergers).

The lessons are short but you can help your child keep them short by setting a timer. You have 10 minutes to do this (or whatever time you think is reasonable) then you can reward them with 10 minutes of playtime or whatever. My dd gets so distracted so easily the timer helps.

MFW works really well for kids with different issues.

Homeschool and autism

Unread post by cbollin »

Dorothysodeep wrote:Hello there everyone! I started mfw kindergarted with my 4 yr old 7 weeks ago and it is going great! (It took me 4 years of convincing, but now i'm hooked)

I really want to homeschool all of my children and my 3yr old son was just diagnosed with autism so I was wondering if anyone has suggestions?? Does mfw have a special curriculum or anything like that??
First, many (((hugs))) on the recent diagnosis of your son. I remember how I felt when hearing the dx on my kid. Allow yourself the time to grieve if needed and remember that the name of Jesus is above all names including those of autism.

My youngest is 6.5 years old and is autistic.

I am using MFW K with her with some adjustments. One of the things I am coming to appreciate more and more about schooling with autism is that MFW works because God is awesome!! I have been leaving little ideas here and there on the Kindy Ideas Forum of the things we do differently.

In a nutshell we use more audio visual helps (movies, dvd, websites). I use simple books for the science information day instead of trying encyclopedia style of books. We sing and dance a lot because that is part of our “floortime” routine. (I'll talk more about the whole floortime thing later. It's not a curriculum. It's a style of at home play based therapy.)

One of the biggest pieces of advice that I can share right now is to not officially start Kindy until a year after their Kindy age starts. In other words, an extra year of preschool is ok. Work on language skills and playing and all of that. MFW's pre school package has a great way of using toys for developmental play/skill development.

In addition to doing MFW K, we also continued with speech and occupational therapy. My daughter has been in individual therapy since right before she turned 2 years old. I also had her in special ed preschool classes through local university speech department as well as a regular preschool at a church. I’ll be honest. I needed the extra help in those years. (Just to make sure of something. My dd is homeschool full time now and not attending outside preschools. She’s too old for that now.)

She is more high functioning now than she was at age 3. Lots and lots of changes happen from age 3 to age 6 with all children and our kids on the spectrum are no different in that regard.


Posted by cbollin » Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:41 pm
I linked to some recent entries on my blog with how some things were working with neat lessons in the MFW K Bible activities. Here are those links
This link is a blog entry I wrote yesterday about the goat lesson
This one is from a few weeks ago.
I hope that some of those encourage you a bit that yes, you can use MFW with autistic child even if it is a few years away from that

Lots of things we've done in the preschool years to help her a bit:
play starfall dot com
use subtitles on DVD's to hear and see language
Various library videos about language: Bilingual Baby, Baby Bumblebee series. and So Smart! series

For engaging in interactive play, we use a lot of the "floortime" ideas.
Floortime is a term by a secular guy out there, Stanley I. Greenspan. He has several books out there, The Child with Special Needs, and then a book that was more recent that was specific to autism and floortime, called Engaging Autism: using floortime approach to help children relate, communicate and think.

His books helped me to get ideas how to turn that delayed echolalia (the repeating of scripts) into a tool to use to get her into our world. Developing pretend play and learning to engage with us was a major goal in the preschool years.

The MFW Pre K toys and booklet -- good stuff for therapy at home too.

and check a website called
lots of how to homeschool with special needs on that site.
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Unread post by mgardenh »

I can help you with high functioning but do not know much about low functioning autism. My daughter has aspergers (very, very high functioning according to experts. I would personally call her very high functioning Autism- very bright and smart like Asbergers but has very high sensory issues, and doesn't deal with change or emotion well).

What I do know MFW is great for my Kid. Short lessons, gentle approach, very doable with my life. (I work 20-30 hours, homeschool, and my youngest has medical issues, plus I do most of the cooking and cleaning).

So just to say with MFW and having an autistic child with others you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!.
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR
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is MFW a good choice for kids with Asperger's?

Unread post by TracyLee01026 »

meljohnson wrote:Do any of you have children on the autism spectrum who are successfully using MFW? A heavy emphasis on readers and read-alouds doesn't fit well with my 6yo son's lack of attention (possibly ADD) and need for visual learning. He seems very stereotypically "Aspie" in his love for machines (computers) versus people (teachers, like me!). I am having trouble figuring out whether I should purchase a curriculum and augment it with content from the Web or try to cobble some sort of Web-based curriculum together on my own. I don't have a ton of time to do the latter but I can't really seem to find it if it exists. I also don't want to put him in front of the computer for the entire duration of his school day.

I have two more: my 4-year old will soon turn 5 and thus will start kindergarten at home in the fall (our soon to be 3 year old will attend a local church preschool then). My plan has been to teach them together so I just need to know 1) whether MFW sounds like it could be a good fit for my Aspie son and 2) which curricula to purchase? The kindergarten one and Adventures in My Father's World for my rising 2nd grader? Thanks in advance,
I chose MFW with my 12 yo Aspie son in mind. He is very visual and LOVES world geography and foreign languages esp. Hebrew. We are using ECC this year and he has been very enthusiastic and involved. He already knew world geography really well as he studied it on his own prior to this year, but he did not know a lot of the cultural aspects we have been learning. I think it is a great program for Aspie kids and all kids. My oldest is named Melanie, she is 14 and I have a 9 yo dd as well. I highly recommend MFW.
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Re: is MFW a good choice for kids with Asperger's?

Unread post by mgardenh »

I have a second grader who is an aspie using Adventures(I'm Mike the one they were talking about). MFW is great. The short lessons are great for the distractedness. Here are some tips. Every aspie is different but here is what working for us.

1. Bible time I do just like they say dd enjoys the activities (The bible is throughout but you also have Bible time)

2. Read aloud. I let dd bounce on the ball, bed play with a toy or whatever while I read to her she listens a lot better this way. (I don't let her read something else). Sometimes I have her read the chapter to me (advanced reader).

3. Foriegn language- she does on the computer this really helps her get that more interested in computer then people need.
4. English we use PLL it is great. MY dd really struggles with writing. So I turn off the spelling and grammer check and she does the writing parts of PLL on microsoft word (pll is not all writing, a lot of oral to that we do). Using the computer for this has helped significantly. She was writing by hand.

4. History we read the story or she reads to me and we do whatever activities here. She also narrates (spelling?).

5. DD does not get enough science but she loves it, reads, it narrates it. One caution her if the experiment involves something being different then what it looks like be prepared for meltdown or flip out. Example DD put water in a glass and was to hold the glass at an angle she would not and could not believe that the water was level and not tilted. She told me that I was lying and that I was teasing and tricking her. I'm still not sure we got that worked out yet! :-)

6. Math- I use math-u-see. DD loves watching Mr Demme teach on the DVD. She has a really hard time transitioning from one problem type to another. So I usually point out the change and it really helps.

7. Book basket-she loves to do and reads all the time. I have to help her do something else sometimes.

8. Spelling we use spelling by sound and structure. That is about the only physical writing I have her do. It's not to much and she does it. The spelling test we do on the computer just don't forget to turn off the spell check :-)

9. Art is hit or miss-meaning I don't always get to it.

10. A timer works wonders. Set the timer ask them to focus for 10 minutes or whatever-this has been a life saver.

11. School year round this helps with keeping a schedule the same and makes transitioning easier. We don't do school on fridays or on mommies day off. We have lots of medical appointments so we take off some weeks do to that. Or somedays just don't work to do school because of sensory issues or what not. We also take two weeks off at christmas and in the summer. But schooling year round has relieved a lot of stress on the whole family.

You probably got more then you wanted. Sorry this was so long!
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:29 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Re: is MFW a good choice for kids with Asperger's?

Unread post by momma2boys »

In a word - YES!!! MFW is the first curriculum that fit with my Aspie. He loves it and so do I.

As an aside - for handwriting, I use Handwriting without Tears and it is excellent. My son's writing wasn't readable until we started on this a couple of years ago... and we've only gone through the first book in that amount of time... but you can now read his writing and he isn't so frustrated about it. He even enjoys practicing his letters now. :-)
Anna (CO)

Still married to the love of my life
Mom to two boys, 13 and 11 - both adopted and with their own unique special needs

We've done ADV, ECC, CTG, RTR and on to EXPL-1850 this year!
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Is it possible to use MFW with children with FAS & ADHD?

Unread post by BHelf »

lccooper46 wrote:I am considering using MFW with my 11-yr-old dd and ds who both have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and severe ADHD-type symptoms. I would love to hear from any MFW families who have children with similar conditions -- I would like to hear successes, pros, and cons, if possible. MFW looks wonderful, I just need to know if it is for our situation or not. Thanks so much! :-)

LC in Georgia
We hosted a boy (4) who had those same issues and I think MFW would've worked for him because it is flexible in the sense that they don't have to sit down all day to do school and there is a lot of different learning styles incorporated into it to cover how everyone learns.
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
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Re: Is it possible to use MFW with children with FAS & ADHD?

Unread post by my3boys »

My oldest has ADHD and MFW has been a good fit for him because of the Charlotte Mason style - many subjects and short lessons in each.
Mom to 3 busy boys ages 11, 8, and 6
finished K, First, ECC, and CtG - currently using RtR
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Placement for 6 kids using MFW

Unread post by jasntas »

funwith7 wrote:I did just pit a call in to MFW and they will be calling me back. I'm curious though if anyone else has used the program in a similar situation. I have the following:

16 DS with global learning delays, dyslexia, just isn't ready for the materials HS requires
13 DD with dyslexia and some LD
12 DS who is always advanced and loves to read
9 DS with high functioning autism
5 DS who we will only be starting with in the coming sy
3 DS I'd love to at least have sit in possibly with the 5 yr old?

In PS my oldest was basically getting passed along, and the day they told me he would never read is the day at age 8 I withdrew him. I wasn't ready to give up! It took almost 3 years. One day I walked in his room and he had built a scale model of our house!! He still sometimes gets frustrated, but he is now reading at a 6th grade level. For us it is huge. When it comes to paper... Let's just say we don't go there as often as we probably should.

We have done other programs with a lot of reworking by me to meet the many learning styles and delays I'm working with. Both of these require so much work for me that I am already burned out. The thoughts of doing yet another core and reworking it with a newborn in tow when I also need to do a K program next year just makes me feel ill and overwhelmed and I'm not even there yet!

Thanks for any input!
I only have 2 and we are not even close to HS but my oldest is dyslexic and I am starting to believe my youngest is too so here is my very limited experience.

We have LOVED MFW. It is very hands on and the teacher/parent reads a lot of the materials but at the same time to all the dc. Not to each child individually. I have had to tweak it a little to fit our needs but it has been very doable.

My ds came from PS (1st & 2nd) where he cried every day before school to now making comments that he actually likes 'most' of school now.

Other than language arts, math, and adding lapbooks, because he really enjoys the hands on, we pretty much use all of the MFW program. I think it is probably the easiest program to modify and it is very enjoyable for everyone. Parents and kids.

I hope that helps, at least a little. :)

Posted Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:50 pm by jasntas
My two are in 6th and 3rd and both are dyslexic in addition to other learning challenges. I have loved MFW and so have they. I believe it has been the right balance for them and their learning challenges and has been easy to modify, if needed. And I also like that I can use my own math and LA.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.
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Re: Placement for 6 kids using MFW

Unread post by jhagberg »

Mary, I'm probably too late to jump in here, but I'll post anyway! ;) In public school, every course taken/passed is given credit. Some courses are honors level or AP level, most are general, and some are "base level" (not recommended for college-bound students). It seems to me that a high school student with learning delays could stay in the MFW family cycle for history and Bible (with math, science, language arts, and electives at his ability level) and he would still be getting a good education. In many states, the minimum requirements for graduation are very general: "4 years of language arts, 3 years of math (including Algebra 1), 2 years of science, 2 years of social studies (including U.S. History), 1 year of art, music, foreign language, sign language, or vocational education."

Obviously, these "base level" requirements can easily be accomplished in the MFW family cycle as long as the student completes Algebra 1 before graduation. Again, I would only consider this plan for a student who is not ABLE to handle the regular high school course of study. It is my firm belief that a student should be placed at a level where he can perform!

Did you hear back from MFW yet? What did they recommend?

I am the mother of 4 boys, and I've been using MFW since 2010. :-)
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Really Worried.

Unread post by TriciaMR »

tabrett wrote:I desperately want to do ADV next year with my to be 3rd, 2nd and K'er, but I am worried how long my day is going to be! My biggest problem is that my oldest child is dyslexic. It takes her so long to do anything and I have to sit by her to keep her focused on her work. Also, I can't have both dc working at the same time. If they are, they start to compete and then it starts whining and complaining.

Here is what is taking 2 hours for my dd:
1. Reading one lesson in R&S grade 2 reader (no workbook)
2. Doing one lesson orally in R&S 2 Grammar (this is pretty quick and painless)
3. One page in Cheerful Cursive
4. One lesson in Classical Writing Primer (the copywork portion takes her forever and her handwriting is horrible)
5. One page from Apples & Pears Spelling
6. One front and back sheet in MUS
7. Work on Awana verses and lessons.

I feel like all we do is LA, LA, LA...no music....no art....no history.....no science. But it seems to be only way to keep my dd barely on grade level.

I think the sample lesson for ADV is lovely, then I know I have to add the above and my heart sinks. She will be done with cursive this this year so that can be dropped and CWP will be replaced with PLL. She still has to do reading and is no where ready to read independently. She makes way to many mistakes and really needs my help. I hate to drop R&S grammar especially since we do it orally and it only takes about 5-10 mins. Apple & Pears spelling has been the best spelling program for a dyslexic I have ever encountered, so I won't drop it. She would have to do a spelling program anyway. Math will still need to be done. Please tell me PLL doesn't take so long and that I will be able to get it all done.
I have 2 of 3 that are dyslexic, so I get having to "sit with them" to get the work done. Now, my oldest is 6th grade, so it may work out different for you...

For each subject that I need to work with one child one-on-one, the other two have independent things to do that are NOT the same. Here's an example

Bible - all together
For Spelling, each child gets 15 minutes, looks like this:

child 1 - Spelling; child 2 - Math drill (at fun4thebrain dot com); Child 3 - listens to AWANA verses on MP3 player (15 minutes)
child 1 - AWANA; child 2 - Spelling; Child 3 - math drill
child 1 - math drill; child - AWANA; Child 3 - Spelling

For some subjects, we have time limits (like for reading - I have each read to me for just 10 minutes); for others (Math) I'm open ended. And here are my time limits: 15 minutes for Spelling; 10-15 for English; 10 for reading: open ended for Math.

Some ideas for "independent work" while you work with another child.

AWANA - CD player or MP3 players (the new Sparks books should have CD's)
Math Drill - games on the iTouch, fun4thebrain, Math-U-See has online drill; math wrap-ups
Book Basket - when you use MFW, there are lists of books to get from the library, one can read/look at books while you work with the other.
Wii Fit (we use this during math since I don't put time limits on how long it takes to do math)
Handwriting - we use Handwriting Without Tears - this really helped my dyslexic dd correct her b/d reversals.
Rosetta Stone

You could potentially keep both at the table with you, just have them doing different things. You might want to consider setting time limits and just continue on a lesson the next day. For example, we use All-About-Spelling (has been wonderful for my dyslexics), and they way it is set up I just do a "review time," and then continue on with the lesson where we left off. I made a sheet in word for certain things to keep track of, then I laminated it and then I use a wet-erase marker to "fill in" those things. When the timer goes off, you're done with that subject.

I know we like to finish books and lessons in a year, but perhaps if your dd knows she only has to write for 10 or 15 minutes (my dd had real struggles writing way back in 2nd/3rd grade) then it wouldn't be so agonizing to her. Tell her, "You can do anything for 15 minutes and it won't kill you." Sometimes dyslexics get so upset about the amount of writing that they can't focus on the quality. You just want good handwriting for 10 minutes. And copywork is a killer for dyslexics at that age, seriously. I ended up buying StartWrite software so my kids could copy stuff directly beneath each line, rather than having to copy from a book. This has saved many tears. Also, teach her to keyboard as soon as possible so handwriting isn't an issue.

Most days it takes me all morning to do those subjects with 3 kids (from 8:30 - 12:00). Then, after lunch we do History, Science, Art/Music and Piano. I did have one day last week where my children all worked hard and we were done with EVERYTHING (except Art/Music) by noon, but that was pretty much a miracle.

Oh, and because I do all this, my husband and kids go to AWANA on Sunday nights and that's my 2.5 hours to prep for the week. I read through the lessons, looking for trouble spots, make worksheets, etc. So, ask your husband for time to sit down and prep for the week, if that's an option.

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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far above rubies
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Re: Really Worried.

Unread post by far above rubies »

I have a child who is on the autism spectrum and is dysgraphic. Yes, I have to sit right next to him during lessons, and we do set a timer. He can get so bogged down with the details that it'd take him forever. So for him, he may have "homework." It doesn't happen a lot, but some days he just needs extra practice than others and this is fine. It also helps him, too, because then he doesn't feel as though he's responsible for holding back the lessons and gives him the one-on-one attention he needs, but later in the day, when school is over. And it usually boils down to an extra 15 minutes in the evening.
K (2007-2008, 2011-2012), ADV (2010-2011), ECC (2011-2012)
2012-2013: CtG [dd (5th), ds (3rd), dd (1st), ds (3), and ds (1) ]
Julie in MN
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Re: Really Worried.

Unread post by Julie in MN »

tabrett wrote:Here is what is taking 2 hours for my dd:
1. Reading one lesson in R&S grade 2 reader (no workbook)
2. Doing one lesson orally in R&S 2 Grammar (this is pretty quick and painless)
3. One page in Cheerful Cursive
4. One lesson in Classical Writing Primer (the copywork portion takes her forever and her handwriting is horrible)
5. One page from Apples & Pears Spelling
6. One front and back sheet in MUS
7. Work on Awana verses and lessons.
Is there any way you can combine some of these together, or combine them with other things? Marie's MFW manuals are genius in taking care of many goals painlessly. For instance, Bible copywork -- that's Bible, handwriting, even a bit of spelling & grammar in there. History notebooking takes care of some parts of writing lessons. Would anything like that work?

P.S. Links to more conversations about Special Needs viewtopic.php?f=8&t=1737
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
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Re: Really Worried.

Unread post by abrightmom »

If it was taking my kiddo two hours for that list of school work I'd want to cut back. You either have to cut back what you are doing or accept the 2 hour block of time. Here are some ways to cut back and some additional questions:
Don't do Cheerful Cursive and CWP daily because the writing is so difficult. Is she writing manuscript or cursive in the primer? What is the purpose of using the primer in addition to R&S English and CC? Either do CWP and CC every other day or drop one of them. Or, set a time limit for how long she writes and don't worry about how far she gets. Slow and steady wins the race.

It sounds like spelling is an important keeper as is MUS (that's Math U See, right?).
English 2 is probably fine. It is easy to use orally (we do this) and it is gentle.
How much writing is involved in the Awana lessons? Is this just memory work?
How long does the reading in the reader take?
Can you alternate days for a couple of subjects? Perhaps do spelling one day, oral reading the next? Or alternate spelling with R&S English?
Have you considered "looping" through these subjects? I'd do math and Awana memory work daily. But all of those other subjects don't need daily attention. Put cursive, CWP, English 2, R&S reader, and spelling on a loop. Devote a specified period of time for LA for the day. Get as far through the loop as you can and pick up the next day. Or devote a certain block of time to each subject and when the timer rings put it down and pick up with the next one until you've hit a reasonable time limit for LA for the day. Again, I'd definitely not do CWP and CC daily. You can hit 3 out of 5 of those subjects each day and really cut back your time.

For the record, we loved loved loved Adventures. Our best school year to date. Why I ever stopped using MFW is beyond me. We had our 2 best school years when we used MFW 1st and then Adventures. :-)

DS15, DS14, DD12, DS8
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Re: Really Worried.

Unread post by tabrett »

abrightmom wrote:How much writing is involved in the Awana lessons? Is this just memory work? I read a section in their book twice a week and the other days are memory work.
How long does the reading in the reader take? I have never timed it. Some days she does pretty good and then there are bad days where she can't remember simple words and it takes forever, so it seems.
We only do half a lesson in spelling, so I don't want to cut back or we will not finish the book. She hasn't learned all the letters in cursive yet, so CWP is done in print. I suppose what I am really asking is- how long does it take to do PLL? Do you do it everyday? Do you do copywork everyday and written narriations? How long are the copywork passages? I am trying to figure out exactly how the LA portions of ADV works. The sample grid just leaves a blank and doesn't give any instructions as to what you actually do on a weekly basis except for the books that are used. I wish they would show sample lesson plans for a week of PLL.

I am terrified of using a timer or doing a loop schedule. If my dc we're on task, I wouldn't mind it so much, but many times they will just sit and stare even though I am saying their name and point at what they are to be doing. I am afraid that if I used a timer, they would happily sit there until the time is up. I don't have the time in the evenings to sit with them again to try to get them to do "homework". I need do make sure everything is completed by dinner. And, I am afraid of them getting behind.

So, what is a weeks doing PLL look like?
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Re: Really Worried.

Unread post by TriciaMR »

PLL is scheduled 3 days a week - Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Spelling is scheduled 4 or 5 days a week. Most dictation we do as copywork as we already have dictation in our spelling program. And I usually only have 2 or 3 sentences copied. Copywork and dictation are not daily. You do them as they come up in the book. So the first lesson might be a picture study, the second a "conversation", and the third a discussion of when to use "a" vs. "an." I have spread a lesson over 2 or more days if my kids need more time to process it. I would not do written narrations with a dyslexic at this age. In 3rd grade we started doing double dictation - my dd would say her narration, and I would write it, and then she would copy it. We did double dictation through most of 5th grade. Even now, some subjects, we do this way. If she has to write what she's thinking, her hand can't keep up, and it is not worth the tears and time.

I know you are "afraid" of getting behind. I have 2 that are behind - one of my 2nd graders is just now on his last 1st grade Abeka reader, and my oldest is "behind" in math - probably by about 1/2 a year. That's just where they are, and pushing to "keep up" isn't worth it, IMHO. Yes, I'm required to either do standardized testing or have a professional evaluation done on my kids in 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 grade. Perfect love casts out fear. Take your fears to God, He'll know what to do and give you wisdom for it.

My suggestion is that if they don't stay focused for the length of time, have consequences: no computer, more chores, etc. And, on the flip side, if they do stay focused for 10 or 15 minutes, have a reward: 10 minutes extra of computer/video, etc. Maybe if they are good for a week, they get to go out for ice cream with Dad on Sunday.

Also, I encourage you to look into something called Brain Gym - there are physical exercises that can help kids focus. Or go to Dianne Craft's website - she has lots of ideas to help with dyslexics. One of my favorite exercises to help the kids focus: The kids stand up with their legs crossed. Have them stick arms out straight, with palms facing outside. Cross the arms and have the hands grasp each other. Now turn the arms under and in toward the chest. Next, they press their tongue to the roof of their mouth and then stare at a point (or picture) on the wall for 1 minute. I was having lots of trouble with my youngest dyslexic focusing during spelling, and we started doing this exercise right before spelling, and it goes much better now - I get at least a good 10 minutes of focus and less tears.

On the AWANA's sections - I read those to the kids at bedtime. Usually on Sunday night (and Monday night if we're going to do more than one section) - our AWANA club meets on Sunday afternoon. Then we review their verses right before bed. This really seems to help the verses stick better. I just have them listen to the verses during the day so I don't have to be involved
tabrett wrote:Ok, so PLL is scheduled 3 days a week. I think I will have to do the dictation as copywork. A&P spelling also has dictation, so that sounds like a good plan. How often does dictation occure in PLL. How often do you do the notebooking for ADV? Do you have PLL dictation and ADV notebooking on the same day?
If we had a day where notebooking was heavy and we had copywork/dictation, then I would have my dd dictate, and I would write for her, and then she would draw the picture for the notebook page. You've still captured her thoughts.

Another thought I had on the "focus" issue. One thing that Charlotte Mason recommended was as soon as you see your child dawdling, it's time to move on to the next subject. Basically, you don't let them dawdle. So, say she does the first line of handwriting, and then begins to slow down way too much halfway through the second line, switch to something COMPLETELY different, like math or reading (reading or English is probably better because she's not writing), then come back to the writing. Take a minute to stand up and stretch and wiggle, and then go to something else. I know even when I was working as a programmer, I would need a break every so often in order not to get brain freeze.

Praying that God gives you wisdom on how to handle all this.

Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
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2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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