View Full Version : At a crossroads - remediate or accomodate?

03-24-2016, 11:03 AM
My son will be 13 in June and I pulled him out of public school in February because the school system (which he was in for 7.5 years) had utterly failed in teaching him to read, write, or spell. We did remedial work at home but it just wasn't enough - he was so tired from school he just didn't have enough energy to do much after school. We were making progress but it was S-L-O-W because it often countered what the school was doing and we would spend half our tutoring time (and still spend a small portion of our home school time) arguing about what his teachers were doing as opposed to what I was doing.

DS is an intuitive learner and so has often taught himself whatever method works best for him, either because it's faster and/or easier, or because he simply didn't understand his method of instruction. He does not read phonetically at all. His private educational testing in reading and comprehension was all over the map... stronger but still not age level in some areas, years behind in others. His spontaneous spelling is very poor and he often cannot read what he has written later, even if it is typed. His spontaneous writing is also very poor. On top of all of this he has ADHD and jumps to conclusions before a whole question is read, resists going back over his work to make sure it is right, and argues constantly that his teachers accepted minimal effort from him so he doesn't see why he has to do more now. He has a very hard time doing the work and unless I am literally standing over him he will to everything halfway and put forth the absolute minimum effort in any independent work. Then of course when he's supposed to be getting direct instruction from me after work, instead we spend a lot of time doing the work he was supposed to be doing by himself while I was working.

To top it all off, I have given him numerous technological resources to fill in gaps such as spelling (use Siri or word prediction software) but he refuses to use them, saying that his teachers in school never cared about spelling.

There are only so many hours in a day and he is honestly taking up a lot of time being resistant. We have done so much spelling remediation at home, and none of it seems to be sticking. He can spell the words during the lessons, and maybe even afterwards, but does not extend that beyond the scope of the lesson. So outside of spelling lessons he just guesses the spellings of words and doesn't even bother using the spelling rules. Because his sight reading level is decent (about 6th grade) he feels that is sufficient and puts forward no effort to decode words outside of reading lessons. He feels the All About Reading Level 1 is stupid because he can sight read most of the words, but he still misses more than 10 words in a very basic reading practice exercise because he speeds through and doesn't try to slow down or read carefully.

Essentially at the age of almost 13, I feel we are at a crossroads. Either I need to accept that he is not going to learn to read phonetically and spell spontaneously and instead focus on teaching him to use technology to cover those gaps, or we keep using our time to continue to try to learn these skills even though we are both frustrated.

I honestly don't know what to do. I work full time and home school full time. I have no help. Since I can't do direct instruction while I'm working, that has to be done when I finish work so he tries to speed through it because he wants to do other things. I would really like him to go back to school at some point in HS so that he can graduate from public HS with a diploma but I'm realizing now that may not be an option. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

03-24-2016, 11:12 AM
Welcome back!

Remember that whole deschooling thread.... trying to jump in and catch him up academically right away isnt the strategy that works best for most people.

Yes, he can learn to read, yes he can learn to spell. Yes, he will be able to go back to public school.

But first things are first - you have to reset his school mentality. Deschool.
No worksheets, no assignments, no testing to see if he is getting better, no arguing with him about his spelling.

Think of it as taking your summer break early, if you have to.

Right now it seems you are just stressing yourself out trying to make everything work just right. The first year of learning how to homeschool your kid is tough enough, figuring out what sort of *work products* he can produce.

I suggest you take the wisdom of the elders, and deschool.
I deschool from time to time, when things arent going well. Its just a time to relax and regroup.

With spelling, youre saying hes doing work, its not sticking, and hes resisting. That means, in homeschool terms, that you need to try something different. Hold off on spending more money until hes in a better state to do work.

03-24-2016, 12:18 PM
Well we did take an extended spring break for about a month because I had too much going on to do direct teaching. So he got a long break (for us). Even when he was in public school we never took a break, he was tutored consistently all summer to make sure his skills didn't fall behind.

As for the reading and spelling, I told myself when we started All About Reading that this was my last ditch effort to try to teach phonetic reading to him. We have done numerous phonics based reading programs and he never took to any of them. Because he is having success with All About Spelling (at least during the lessons) we have stuck with that program and will likely finish it because we are more than halfway there.

We are definitely taking things slowly and figuring out what the most expedient work product for him is at this point that shows he has internalized the material. He resists any kind of worksheet or report so I mainly have him writing down a certain number of facts from whatever he is watching that day (I use a lot of educational videos).

Because of his learning difficulties it is not good for him to take extended breaks from any kind of school work. I have been teaching him at home since he was in first grade, although this is the first year we have done full time home school.

We have to keep up with the literacy skills on a fairly regular basis or he loses them quickly. He's really enjoying computer programming and science (as long as he doesn't have to do any sort of written report). Other stuff I can take or leave, and often give him a pass on most of the other subjects.

03-24-2016, 12:35 PM
I agree with alexsmom. It sounds like a good time to step back and take a break.

I would stop working on spelling, there is an ebb and flow to learning and stopping to focus on it can help ideas solidify in his mind. It sounds like he needs more patience than lessons. But at 13, patience is in short supply. :)

I would encourage generalized learning. Watch videos, go on mini-adventures on the weekends to the museums. Let him follow some interests, read. What is he interested in?

I would use this time between now and August, to evaluate what you and he wants to do to fill the gaps. Consider his learning style. How does he want to learn.

This is a version of what I have done in the past: I let my DS spend the time taking a break until summer Just as alexsmom says, start summer vacation early. I told him that this break is until summer. Then in May or June I talked with him that I wanted to figure out what would be the best way to learn. I asked what he wants to learn, tell him what my hopes were and had him help come up with an idea about how he wanted to learn. With my kid, I have found when he has a say, there is more willingness to go along with it. Then in August I would started putting the plan into place. I let him spend the summer at various camps, doing fun activities. (Generally with so many fun learning camps, like robotics, art and others, he would be learning all summer.

Now I will note that in general I don't use any specific curriculum, I have been very eclectic in my methods ranging from an unschoolingish style, to using workbooks or a science curriculum. So I we are all over the place. But getting a buy-in from my kid was the best part of the whole thing.

And I just saw your post - we were writing at the same time. :)

So can he just focus on reading and writing in subjects?

03-24-2016, 12:36 PM
Wow....that's a lot to unpack. I had to go back and find the Intro thread you posted and play "catch up".

First off, parenting is hard enough......parenting and being solely responsible for a child's education can be extremely difficult. It really isn't a good fit for everyone. I'm not saying give up, but maybe take a different look at it, if you choose to carry on.

I have a couple of questions though. You just pulled him out in February.....it's March now. How much progress did you expect? You said the PS system "had utterly failed in teaching him to read, write, or spell.", yet further on you said, "Because his sight reading level is decent (about 6th grade)" To me, that sounds as if they've taught him something, no? My point is, that we love our kids so much that there is a lot of emotion tied up there, and sometimes it's hard for us to keep our perspective when we are feeling overwhelmed and emotional.....which by the way, is perfectly normal. :) Try and think positive! Don't let HIM see your disappointment. Celebrate small victories!

I agree with taking a step back and deschool. Or unschool for a bit. I'm not saying hand him the remote and walk away. What I'm suggesting is even harder.....you have to take a hard look at him and who he is. Know what his interests are...learn what makes him tick......facilitate and encourage.

What does he enjoy doing that can remotely appease your nerves and be considered learning that he can just run with for a while? Art? Music? Building things? Cooking? Documentaries? Use his interests to encourage and find opportunities for him to READ, without it being an assignment.

I'd say he needs to feel ownership. Graphic novels? Instructions for something he wants to know how to do? Even video games (like Mario and Luigi type) helped my youngest with fluency early on. It's a start and you have to start somewhere. It sounds like he's indifferent, and at 12yo what boy thinks reading and writing might someday be important to them? Reassess a bit later when you see a little spark going on.

So to answer your question..... Remediate AND Accommodate! Just not at the same time. :)

My philosophy is that it is my job to give my kids the tools they need to have as many options open to them as possible, but at the same time I need to really take an objective look at who they are and help them cultivate that, not what I want them to be. There path is their own eventually.

Going back to PS? Why not take it one step at a time right now? That may or may not happen.....just let it go for now and don't stress yourself out more thinking about it :)

ETA: LOL! Me too, Mariam!

03-24-2016, 02:53 PM
Of course, I know nothing about teaching 13yo boys....but, after reading all of the posts just out of curiosity, I see a homeschooling conflict. Staurofilax wants to take her son out for just a year, remediate as much as possible, bring him up to the grade level in as much as possible, and send him back to school. So she is feeling this terrible pressure of time - to do as much as possible in those short 16-18 months that he is going to be home with her, kind of cramming in. On the other hand, our more experienced and long-term!! homeschoolers are telling her to deschool, relax, let go, follow his interests....All great for long-term homeschoolers, but are they even feasible for such a short term? I do not know...and I can see why staurofilax is not keen on taking 'the wisdom of the elders'.

03-24-2016, 03:40 PM
Maybe there's not a middle ground. If the school has been working with him during the year, and mom over every summer - then maybe the expectation of catching him up within a short time frame is unrealistic.

Did the school have interventions in place for his learning goals - beyond accommodating the ADHD? Does he have any other learning differences? Saying that he loses literacy skills stuck out to me along with never understanding phonics - could be flags for dyslexia or other differences that may have hidden behind the ADHD. Just something to consider.

I understand frustrations with a school district, really I do. Especially the attitude that a lot of administrators have that once a kid is behind they will always be behind. Certainly not the case. However, as you probably know from working with him in the summers, if a kid is say a year behind you can't expect him to make two years of progress by doubling his workload the following year, now what I mean? So, I think, that's where people are coming from here.

If the goal is to make two years of progress in the next year, maybe it's time to reevaluate your goals. My guess is that is a similar goal to what the school district wanted - extra work, extra pressure, keep chugging along. You pulled him out because that was not working, right? So now you gotta figure out what does work. And leave the rest.

03-24-2016, 04:31 PM
TFZ and Oksana both.... excellent points.

I suppose my point is that the original poster, in my opinion, is being unrealistic. She has established for herself what isn't working (public school, by her estimation) but wants to cram now (with the magic pill -that isn't- of homeschooling) so that she can put him back in once he's caught up. Why would a person do that? If that's the desire....maybe put him back in now and let the structure that is already in place continue on.....which, honestly, is fine too. Or consider that this homeschooling thing may need to be more open-ended than previously thought.

On another point.....I've never used AAR, but isn't that written for early years (K - 2) or something like that? Similarly to all kid literacy programs? If it is...and I was a 12 (almost 13) year old.....I'd be resistant too.....feeling like I'm being talked down to. KWIM?

03-24-2016, 05:18 PM
I don't think homeschooling is going to "fix" this problem. My understanding is that he has learning differences. I am intimately familiar with this, through working with my own child. He learns differently and at a different pace. Some things come fast and easy and he tears through them. Others (like math, in our case), take breaking things apart in unusual ways for him to learn, and much, much more time and practice to really stick. That being said, if for whatever reason, he isn't (developmentally?) ready yet to learn something, it just isn't going to happen. Period. My child is "behind" in math. He would be if he were in public school, too. But, he'd be failing his current grade in math, and never have caught up. I am allowing him the time and methods for him to move through math as he needs to master the material. But - I have the luxury of doing that. He isn't going to PS and I'm a full time stay at home parent. I know that is a luxury not every one has. I understand that.

One thing I DO know after homeschooling for the past 7 years is this: there is no way I could make my DS learn his area of struggle any faster to "catch up" over the past few years. First of all, he needed two kinds of therapy to even attempt to learn what was being expected of him (vision therapy and working memory therapy.) Second, in addition to having the capacity, he's ready developmentally to learn concepts he struggled with previously. And because of that part - he can learn them now with ease, quickly, and they stick. His timeline for learning math isn't meshing with timeline that math is typically taught these days. As a homeschooler, that's not a problem. But if he had to go PS next year? Then we'd have a problem and I know I'd feel desperate, too.

I think what people are trying to say is that homeschooling, unless you plan on continuing it, can't be the solution for this "problem." As a homeschooler, it wouldn't even be a problem. It's just how your kid learns and you adjust accordingly and by the time they graduate it all comes out in the end, catches up, they find they're strengths, and they're fine. In the homeschooling world, the "problem" is the unrealistic expectations being put on your child from a school system that is failing him, and the fact that this kid doesn't see learning as something exciting.

I don't have a solution or advice. I do understand you are in a tough situation and trying very hard to do what is best for your son. (((Hugs)))

My only suggestions are as follows, and I don't know if any of these are feasible for you:

-hire an educational advocate to go to the school ASAP and try to get them to pay for private school for your child's learning issues. In my experience, you generally need to have an attorney on retainer and actually threaten to file legal action for them to follow through on this.

-find a private school on your own that would be best for your child's learning issues and explore every avenue to make it work to send him there.

-Look into online schooling (cyber school) either free through your state (like K12) or enroll in one of the many options out through privately (you must pay for this, but it's often significantly more affordable than private school. They will have teachers and IEP's and all and help you, without your child having to return to the less than helpful public school he attended previously.

-Create your own path - find a homeschool graduate who is taking a gap year and see if they'll board with you and work with your son during the day as a homeschooler. Or see if a local college student studying learning differences will work with your DS on the subjects he struggles with and you do the rest of homeschool on the fun, easy subjects for him. Evenings and weekends are plenty of time to homeschool if it's going well. Or come up with a whole other idea. Find a homeschooling mom/family looking for something you have to offer and explore how to make that work.

I hope you find something that works for you and your DS.

03-24-2016, 06:17 PM
I'm not sure it is the ADHD causing him not want to recheck work and jumping to conclusions. My guys do it and they don't have ADHD. My 14 year old and I consistently bump heads on this.

And as for spelling, lots of people make mistakes on the first draft. It is completely normal. It is different than giving a spelling test.

And as for the work my 14 year does when I have to be away...... Ha, ha, ha!

He may "read" or work on art or do a computer assignment.

I have to stand over him and consistently remind him to work.

03-25-2016, 08:49 PM
Staurofilax, I hear you that you feel he will lose the skills if you don't keep it up... but you're basically saying he's never had a break. Even your month off wasn't a full break - it sounds like it was only a half break from some things. Breaks help us process and learn. They help us pause and turn around. Not taking breaks hasn't worked. I think you're afraid to stop and change gears - you've invested a huge amount of teaching into this child and it's hard to say maybe a different approach is needed because it probably makes it feel like you wasted time - which, by the way, I absolutely don't think is true, but my guess is that may be a fear you have.

In other words, I think you need to deschool.

I agree with the wise words above, especially that homeschooling isn't going to fix these issues, at least not totally.

For the reading... Have you ever looked into getting him a professional tutor - someone who's certified to use Barton or Lindamood Bell or something along those lines? I do totally agree that there comes a time when you have to say, okay, this isn't getting better, we need to focus on accommodations and technology. However, when you talk about him missing AAR level 1 words, that's really, really easy stuff. It's implying to me that he can't spell CVC words consistently at 13. And I get that you're saying some of it is inability maybe and much of it is carelessness made worse by ADHD, but I would be deeply concerned about his ability to make any technology really bridge the gap. If you can't spell well enough for spellcheck then it only does so much good, even if you're using something like Dragon Dictation. It still takes a minimum level.

But it sounds like much of the problem is the attitude, not the reading and writing. It sounds like... he's 13, honestly. Middle schoolers are hard beasts. But that's why I think you need to deschool for awhile. And work on the relationship. It's all very well and good to decide, let's focus on phonics or technology... but if he hasn't bought in, it's not going to go anywhere much. What can you do to get him to buy in more and fight less? I think that's the key question.

03-26-2016, 10:06 AM
Just throwing this out there in case, but what about a Gap Year? People usually do it after high school, to try to get enough free experience of real life through travel, work experience, and/or volunteering, to wash away the thrall of school and lifelong habit of passivity in a bid for some authentic self-knowledge before making major decisions about their future.

For those same purposes, a Gap Year of volunteer work and real-life experience might be helpful. People who don't know what they want out of life are unhappy people, and emerging adolescents hunger for a chance to do something real, something that matters, but most of the time find themselves blocked off from opportunities for that, and also have not the slightest clue who they are or who they want to be, let alone how to get there.

My older two, right about the same time they first started getting armpit odor and 12-year-old molars, developed an intense wish to BUILD, to DO, not by passive following of directions or assembling a prefabricated project, but for real, themselves, independently, and from scratch.

I think it's a natural part of their development, needing to move in a meaningful and real way, toward independence. The hard part is finding opportunities in our society today, in which anyone under 18 (and increasingly, under 25!) is treated like an infant and bubble-wrapped away from any authentic opportunities to do meaningful work.
But 13 is also the arbitrarily designated Magic Age at which you can volunteer at the Humane Society, have a Youtube account, and take Coursera courses online.
So that opens up a lot for your son!

My son at 8, can certainly learn to swing a hammer and use a handsaw, and be given the chance to make a pair of sawhorses, and if he does it all himself, from the research of how sawhorses are constructed online, to planning it on graph paper, to the purchasing of lumber, to the actual building (with adult supervision), that in itself is more education than any worksheet could hold for him, and he will benefit in so many more ways than just the math.

So that's my idea: seems like at or around armpit odor, they need to Do Real Things. But the good news is, anyone thrives working on projects they value personally, and the necessary skills may come much more easily when internally motivated that way.

Just a jumble of ideas that you may or may not find worth considering, but threw it out there. :)

Free Thinker
03-27-2016, 12:17 AM
Hello- one of my kids does not read phonetically. Neither does my sister. It happens :) I agree that you need to just stop for a while and let yourself adjust, then start slowly and really watch how your son does learn- is he a visual person? Can he listen to a lecture and understand it? Does he need small incremental steps, or does he prefer to see the overall big picture before he can maks sense of each small step? Does he like to watch a YouTube video, and then tell you about it? Can he remember most of it? Does he need to repeat things several times to get the steps down? Does he need a list of the steps? DOes he need to physically SEE (as in move manipulatives) for whatever you are teaching? Does he do better with short lessons, then a break, then another short lesson? What is the true length of his attention span and what time of day does he learn best? How often does he need to eat, move, or stop lessons to keep his attention span?

You probably don't know those answers right now, but this (IME) is what the real value of HSing is.

PS- my kids hated AAS, that was probably a poor choice for a 7th grader (sorry). We all make curriculum mistakes- that was the best piece of advice I got before starting to HS- that I will make some curriculum mistakes, acknowledge it's not a good fit and try something else. You are not married to it!

04-05-2016, 01:29 PM
Wanted to come back and update this a bit, since people were making a lot of outside assumptions based on old posts and I wanted to clarify some things. After doing about 4 weeks of school time in the last 8 weeks I have learned a lot about my kid, his needs and wants, and my needs and wants. I had already decided that he will need to be out of school until 10th grade at minimum and so it will now be the summer of 2018 before we make any decision about further schooling for him.

If he and I don't feel that he is ready to start public school in 10th grade, I have created a fall back plan that uses mostly online schooling for classes like French, social studies, etc (taking some pressure off of me). There are two private schools in the area that support part time home schooled students. He will go there for science classes (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) starting his 10th grade year, and in his senior year will also attend calculus there (possibly AP Calc AB if we feel he is ready). I definitely don't have the chops to teach calculus. Since I can teach both computer science and English (including grammar/writing/spelling) I will just finish that up through HS graduation. The 5 private school classes are $$$ but I think we can swing it without further destroying my retirement account. I have planned out a high school curriculum that is lock-step with the local high school (except I'm subbing art/music appreciation for the fine arts credit). If we feel like the community college is an alternative he can take some courses through there as well. It all depends on standardized test scores, though, and we will likely be starting ACT study in freshman year regardless. So there is a fall back plan if I don't think he's ready for public school in 10th grade. I've decided 10th grade is basically the cut-off year where we either fish or cut bait. I think going in for just 11th and 12th grade would be too stressful.

Given that he and I had made these decisions, we talked about continuing trying to learn phonics or just going with supportive technology to help him read. He said that he was very frustrated by the phonics program and didn't see that his mind would change. He likes the spelling program and we both agreed he's doing well with that. So we will finish All About Spelling and send back All About Reading.

For those of you that are sure I am chaining my child to a desk day after day and never giving him a break, please lighten up. We take lots of breaks, and since I'm switching to online classes for social studies, he is getting that subject off completely until September as soon as he finishes up a unit study on Antarctica. He and his dad are taking their annual vacation (which lasts 3-4 weeks) in May and since his birthday is in June, we probably won't start grammar/writing/spelling back up until July at the earliest. Maybe not even until August/September, I haven't decided yet.

In conclusion, I've decided not to continue with phonics, and to accommodate instead.

04-06-2016, 09:42 AM
I read all the great responses on this thread and didn't want to read and run.

It sounds like you have gotten lots of great advice here from folks who have been homeschooling for a long time!

I'm glad you've arrived at a decision -- good luck on your homeschooling adventure!

04-06-2016, 01:22 PM
Well, I can only speak for myself, but I would have never assumed that anyone would chain their child to a desk. So I don't see that my comment or suggestions need lightening up. You couldn't have possibly been talking to me :)

I do believe that it is quite premature (with a 12 or 13 year old) to be planning out a high school curriculum that is "lock step" with the local public high school. Heck, even the kids in public school, at your son's age, are not already locked into a high school plan. A child's development is too fluid. Interests change, taper off, and grow in another direction.

My point is, that you clearly have a son that is not travelling a path in lock-step motion with the average public school students. The title of this thread confirms that.

This can be a wonderful opportunity. Be open-minded to what the possibilities are. However, I do understand that not everyone is comfortable with such freedom and choose to see it as ambiguity instead.

04-13-2016, 03:50 PM
I personally disagree that planning for high school for a rising 8th grader, especially one with issues like mine has, especially if he is possibly returning to public school in a couple of years. When I said my plan was "lock-step" with the public high school I was referring to the TX state "distinguished achievement program" which, if completed, would guarantee him automatic acceptance to TX state colleges. This is what colleges look for from homeschooled students. So my plan is similar to the distinguished diploma program taught in all public high schools in the area.

04-13-2016, 05:17 PM
A little less contentious, I hope - but I am in some remedial need of a roast potato recipe. I dont like potatoes, and DH has decided he likes roast potatoes.
Right now I just quarter baby potatoes, put olive oil, salt, and pepper on them, and stick em in the oven for about an hour, shaking up twice along the way.

Is there a better way? Am I missing some secret, like boiling them first?

04-13-2016, 06:23 PM
Personally disagreeing is very welcome around here :) I guess I'm just trying to understand how a post goes from, essentially, "my son is almost 13 and can't read phonetically or write" to "I plan to get him into the "distinguished achievement program" which, if completed, would guarantee him automatic acceptance to TX state colleges" KWIM?

I'm not saying that it can't be done. I'm sure your son has every potential to reach that goal if that's what he wants. I'm merely saying that taking things one step at a time might help you reach a resolution to your thread query. That IS what you asked for help with.....was it not?

AM, roasting at a high enough temp?

04-13-2016, 06:50 PM
Good points, ML. Its great to begin with the end in mind, but gotta start with where you really are, not where you want everything to be. For me, the goal would first be reading fluency. Thats more important IMHO than streamlining into college. A person can always get a degree by starting at the community colleges. They take everyone.

I was cooking the potatoes at 400F.
Skrinks recipe which Im trying tonight is 420 for two sessions of 40 mins.
Greek Potatoes Oven-Roasted And Delicious!) Recipe - Food.com (http://www.food.com/recipe/greek-potatoes-oven-roasted-and-delicious-87782?photo=44914)

I also see other recipes where the little things are cooked for only about a half hour.
Even the smell of raw (or cooked) potatoes revolts me so I aint gonna try eating them myself.

So Im fumbling around, not knowing what Im doing. Hoping it comes out right. Trusting that you guys know what youre talking about.

04-13-2016, 10:21 PM
Hi Staurofilax - apologies if these have already been mentioned:

Barton - program designed for teaching kids with dyslexia to read:
Bright Solutions for Dyslexia | Home (http://www.dys-add.com/)

Website has lots of useful stuff, in addition to curriculum.

Logic of English Essentials - a reading program designed for remediation - older kids/adults:


I'm thinking working on the reading might mean finding materials aimed at older students/adults. Imho most 13-yo boys would likely reject the materials (AAR/AAS) aimed at 7/8 yos.

BTW, there are avenues for re-selling curriculum:


Also, AAR/AAS is a pretty responsive company - you might just contact them and get a refund, if need be.

Just tossing these thoughts/resources out there in case they're helpful.

People with older kids often come to homeschooling via crisis/trauma - so folks on this forum are often pretty upfront about putting out alternative ideas for folks who might never have thought about homeschooling/education - there are many ways to approach education and school refugees often benefit from hearing from others say - 'learning doesn't have to look like school!' So if I were you - I'd take peoples replies as meant to be helpful - not judgmental.

04-13-2016, 10:52 PM
Every time I see this post title in my feed, I get the INXS song "Mediate" stuck in my head.

04-13-2016, 10:58 PM
Lololololololololol that's so funny. I'm going to wake up DH because I'm laughing silently and the bed is moving. Ahahaha

04-13-2016, 11:12 PM
About the potato debate...

The struggle is real, yo...

04-13-2016, 11:22 PM
Oh me too about that INXS song! Yay for another INXS fan, too.

04-14-2016, 12:54 PM
In all seriousness, does your child HAVE to go to college? What about a skilled trade that does not rely heavily on reading? Where I live in Texas, electricians and HVAC people are as scarce as hen's teeth. My HVAC guy makes boatload of cash, for what it's worth.

Is it your child's goal to attend college, or yours?

04-14-2016, 03:02 PM
If your goal is college, you could contact a few potential colleges directly, and ask them what they look for in a homeschooled applicant. Sometimes it's even listed on their website. There have been plenty of unschooled students who have been accepted to colleges, so using a curriculum that is in line with public school standards is not necessarily required. (I'm not necessarily advocating for unschooling, just using it as an example.)

There's a yahoo group that might help you: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/homeschool2college/info It's still active, though less than it used to be, but there are a lot of resources in the files. Many members have experience with successfully enrolling their homeschooler into college. It's not strictly secular, but not overtly religious either.

Free Thinker
04-14-2016, 05:48 PM
I posted earlier, about having a child who doesn't read phonetically. Have you looked at the program Apples and Pears Spelling? It is UK based, but I have noticed a huge leap in spelling since we started it at the end of last year (we are at mid book C). If you want to continue spelling lessons, this is the one I would recommend to a child that was not doing well w/ phonics. It takes 15 minutes per day, and is pretty painless, no tests, you can do one lesson per day or spread it out further (some lessons are a bit longer than others). We have done the end of book A, book B and are more than 1/2 way done w/ book C. When we finish book D, I will most likely move to MegaWords since it is set up the same way. It works by breaking words into morphemes (chunks w/ meaning). There is a lot of breaking words apart: pre + vent + ing= preventing/ scale + ing= scaling/ shine + y = shiny/ plan + ing= planning/ with focus on putting those parts together correctly (where a LOT of misspellings happen), some homophones, contractions, and daily dictation. It is a very visual program, lots of repetition (not just a set of words per week), and a variety of exercises each day (spell 8 words, write 4 sentences by dictation, morphemes, crosswords, ect.). The #1 thing you need to work on is adding endings, words like scarring and scaring or their and there, that won't be picked up on via a word program. This is why I recommend this program, it really focuses on those types of spelling rules, and continues them for a long time with a lot of different words, not just a week of this rule, a week of that rule.

I have also noticed that when I require things typed, she notices the misspellings b/c our word program underlines them. The last paper she typed, the only word she couldn't figure out was 'berries' because she spelled it 'baries'- and it didn't give any appropriate suggestions ;) If you do think your child is college-bound, I'd make time for a typing program. He will have fewer spelling errors, and possibly even correct some on his own!

Free Thinker
04-14-2016, 11:36 PM
Apples & Pears - Sound Foundations Books (http://www.soundfoundations.co.uk/en_US/product-category/apples-pears-en_us/)

This is the program I am using, you can see the complete books before you buy, so you can see what I am talking about with morpheme analysis and how it's taught.

04-15-2016, 10:21 AM
Apples & Pears - Sound Foundations Books (http://www.soundfoundations.co.uk/en_US/product-category/apples-pears-en_us/)

This is the program I am using, you can see the complete books before you buy, so you can see what I am talking about with morpheme analysis and how it's taught.

Since this is UK based, is the spelling the British spelling or do they modify it for American spelling?

I already have a kid, who thanks to Stampy speaks with a British accent at times, and uses British slang!

Free Thinker
04-15-2016, 03:55 PM
Brittish! It also has nice little Brittish phrases like "My socks are beginning to pong." "Please pass the rubber." I had one a few weeks ago, something like "My mother drank seven glasses of wine." I love it! I think they also interchange soda with beer, so kids can drink beer, and I know the word Keg was used frequently for a while :) THis is not a program for the super-conservative! I do have her use the American spelling, but we talk about the Brittish spelling, and the different word usage (they also use the word persons instead of people in some sentences- she likes writing persons ;) ). My sister is living in the UK, so for us, it's a fun program. Even if you don't like Brittish things, you can modify them or take them out, the program is still the best thing I have found for a kid who struggles w/ the typical spelling programs- mine would memorize the words, get 100% on the test, and forget them the next week. She does not do that with this program!

04-15-2016, 09:29 PM
Oh, I think I love it. Though I really do think I need it. :)

04-16-2016, 11:17 PM
Okay, read the beginning, and skipped a bunch, so sorry if this has already been said.

He likes to program. He doesn't like to do the work you assign during the day while you are gone. (Very typical 13 year old!)

Okay, do the work in the evening, when you are home. In return, let him, tell him he has to, play Minecraft. If you have family/friends/server you trust he can play with while you are at work, let him do it. DO NOT let him use a microphone or Skype. Get an old computer for him to use if you must, that does not have a microphone. I can pretty much tell you...he WILL learn to spell.

All of that said...have you had him evaluated for learning disability? Or had his eyes checked by a developmental optometrist? Knowing if he has a reading difference will help you target with a good reading program. It will also keep him from feeling like he is dumb. My youngest is dyslexic. He does a lot of audio books. Older son had vision issues...he couldn't get his eyes to track together without lots of effort. Vision therapy helped immensely. And...once he could focus his eyes properly, he stopped seeing in double vision and really jumped in his reading level. He didn't know he wasn't seeing properly, it was normal to him, it was how he had always seen so he thought it was normal. And if he did have an IEP with the school, did he have a diagnosis? Many schools won't give you a diagnosis, but it does help to know.