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  1. #1

    Default Curriculum for 3rd grade dyslexic kid

    Thanks to everyone who chimed in on my post about my 7th grader .... your ideas really helped me think through what I wanted for him ... and I'm pretty sure I've settled on MBtP, which I'd never heard of before your comments, so thanks!

    Now I need to figure out what to use for my rising 3rd grader. He has a mild case of dyslexia, which the school refused to acknowledge or address because he had all A's--even though he tested in the 25th percentile. Then he was placed in a 2nd grade class that had a long-term sub and it took them until Halloween to realize that there was no teaching taking place in the classroom. At the first of the year, I decided to pull him out just to get his reading and math caught up. After trying several things, we finally hit the jackpot with Primary Mathematics (Singapore), All About Reading, and Edublox (to improve audio comprehension, sequencing, and working memory). I put a lower priority on Sci and SS because I figured that my goal was to strengthen his foundation. For Sci and SS, we watch Wild Kratts and read Little House on the Prairie. I was planning on sending him back next fall.

    We are enjoying it so much, we are thinking that we will keep going (and the rising 7th grader has convinced me to let him join--1st and 5th graders are still happy where they are, thank goodness!) But I feel that there are huge gaps that can't continue. I'm not quite as concerned with content as I am with skill development. So I'm looking for curriculum suggestions. I'm going to use AAR for phonics (hopefully we'll be done by Halloween next year), AAS for Spelling, Singapore Math, and Building Blocks for Science unless I use a curriculum that integrates science.

    So my first priority is a strong Language Arts program with direct instruction of language skills. If it integrates Social Studies and/or science, even better!

    First, I have to say that I need structure, for my own sanity. I need to know that if we follow the program, he will develop the skills he needs to be successful whether he chooses to continue at home or go back ... I need to have something that has been developed in a methodical way, and within reason, avoids gaps (I know that's impossible to do completely).

    By skills, I mean reading comprehension, grammar, writing, problem solving, etc. The Educational Psychologist that tested him said that things like how to solve math problems needed to be broken down into small steps and presented similar to a recipe. I think that's why AAR has been so successful. I wonder if writing or comprehension are the same. I have a hard time getting him to write anything. He just sits there and looks at the pencil and then writes the bare minimum. I hate to even say this word, but it could be just that he's lazy, but I think it's more of an anxiety and overwhelm issue. He just looks at a blank page and gives up and gets really emotional. He had a meltdown just doing the 7-9 age group placement test (he'll be almost 9 when we start)--and didn't get more than a sentence written for the written question.

    So I'm concerned about MBtP for the same reason that I like it for my older one. ... Lots of higher order thinking, writing, etc, and I'm not sure if there is much lower-level knowledge base development. I can't find much in the samples. Please help! I've spent way too much time trying to figure this all out!

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  3. #2


    Dont feel bad about skipping on a formal social studies / science curriculum! Watch documentaries, get a couple sciencey activity books (we loved Paper Models that Move, and an Usborne “gardening” book), and focus on the reading stuff.
    If youre using AAR (which uses OG, the preferred way to deal with dyslexia) and AAS, what else is it that you want? If you want a general Language Arts workbook, Critical Thinking Company makes a variety, from individual topics to their “Language Smarts” workbooks, which integrate the materials from their individual workbooks. If you want literature, and his reading is up to it, why not let him pick what to read? There will be plenty of years where you have long lists of books to get through, taking out all opportunity for pleasure reading.... not a bad idea to encourage a liking of the activity before that!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.


    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #3


    That gap between his testing and his performance is the most classic learning disability sign of all time. Shame on them for not providing testing or services right from the get go.

    I think you're right that MBtP is probably wrong for him. There are a lot of grammar programs, but I'm trying to think of what is comprehensive that you might like. Look at IEW for sure. And at Essentials in Writing as well. You might also look at Writing and Rhetoric - the press is Christian, but I understand that W&R is very close to secular. You might like classical writing materials in general - like using First Language Lessons along with Writing With Ease. You might even like the Saxon grammar books. You could also look at more basic grammar programs like Easy Grammar or Growing With Grammar.

    I agree with Alexsmom about ditching the guilt about not having a formal history or science program though. He's a kid you're trying to get up to speed on language and math issues. Watch some Bill Nye and Liberty's Kids. Choose a read aloud that's historical or science-centered. And then, once you're settled in with all the math and language resources after homeschooling for a couple of months or more and then revisit the question once you know what your routine looks like.
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  5. #4


    I suggest Pattern Based Writing for the small steps. Got it for my 7th grader with dyslexia and he is doing SO much better. Finally something that explains what I know intuitively...concretely. It is a download, about $40. Developed for 3rd graders who had subs all year like your son.

    I would take it slow, do extra practice....we did a lot of the A,B, C sentences in the car. It starts with writing sentences...moves up to essays and longer reports for older kids. If it is not giving you results next year...wait a year and try again. Or...if spelling is holding things back, do it with a tablet or phone with google docs or such....just to get stuff down on paper and get the thinking going on how to use the patterns to write pretty much anything that he might need in the coming years.

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Curriculum for 3rd grade dyslexic kid