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  1. #1
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    Default Please HELP!~Homeschool curriculum and struggling readers: Levels? Eclectic?

    My 10 year old son struggles with Reading and Math Concepts. He's below grade level in these areas. Every year, I have difficulty choosing just one curriculum I feel will work for us, in all areas, so I use the eclectic approach. This Year, I chose Abeka Language 2, Abeka World History grade 5, ACE Paces Math 4, and ACE Paces Science grade 4. I have a friend who is a seasoned homeschooler, and has always used Calvert Curriculum. She doesn't seem to care for any of the curriculum I've chosen. While I see all of her points, I also wanted to get additional opinions...

    Does anyone else have a child whose levels vary like this?
    Have you used these curriculums for these subjects?
    Did you use the grade the child should be in, or go by the level he's working at?
    Did you modify the curriculum? If so, how?
    Do you have any suggestions for me?
    Have you used these curriculums, and if so, what did you think about them?
    Any opinions on Calvert? Any suggestions on curriculum I haven't tried?
    What are your thoughts on mixing curriculums?

    I know, I've thrown a ton of questions out there, but I'm so frustrated, and feel lost right now. Last week, I had a plan, what I thought was a good curriculum, and this week I feel like I'm way back yt square one. I'd love to hear your feedback. Please be brutally honest, yet gentle.

    Thanks,
    Stacey

  2. #2
    Senior Member Wmoon's Avatar
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    Hi, Stacey! Deep breaths you will see the light!

    Does anyone else have a child whose levels vary like this?
    My 10 yo was also behind in a few things. Reading being one of them, but something clicked with her like 2 months ago. Just keep enforcing the reading and help along he will get it.

    Did you modify the curriculum? If so, how?
    I modify by helping her doing the reading myself. It may not always be the best approach for every family but it is what works for us. She doesn't feel so threaten and helps her self esteem build up.

    Did you use the grade the child should be in, or go by the level he's working at?
    Yes, I started with the grade she was in, but again I helped her out a lot. If I felt she wasn't getting it she would do it over the next day.

    What are your thoughts on mixing curriculums?
    Mixing curriculums I think is totally up to you. I have different work books for mine. You have to do what is best for your child and what makes him productive.


    Getting advise from friends is the best, but just remember you pluke out the advise that works for you and find your own niche. Evolving in homeschooling is such a must.


    Any opinions on Calvert? Any suggestions on curriculum I haven't tried?
    I used Calvert for about 3 yrs and love it. But when it came to my little one starting school it was hard for her. That is when I found T4L. The animation kept in interest and her interactive with the activities.
    *~*Carol*~*
    The potential for happiness is all around you.
    You just have to dip a toe in.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jpenn's Avatar
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    Hi Stacey,

    My now 13 year old daughter didn't really click with reading until this year!! She finally found books she was interested in reading. It is still hard for her, but her comprehension is excellent. Have you tried online readers? There are several that are free to download. My daughter doesn't like them, so we don't use them any longer. As for Abeka, I use to teach it in private school. I really don't care for it at all. It is not well suited to most learning styles--way too much in the way of worksheets, focuses on too much drill and memorization (hard for kiddos who can't memorize well), and can be quite boring. The elem. history is fine and the math is o.k. My DD is 13. We use T4L for our core curriculum and supplement math with Teaching Textbooks, which she LOVES
    Joyfully,
    Jackie

  4. #4
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    I am glad to have read this. My son is the same way. He completed G1 & 2 with pretty good grades but it was more fun to him. During the summer we did Geography, Health, Spelling and Reading in addition to Math Review but on a smaller scale. I have to really take things day at a time with him. This year however with T4L G3 I am finding he loves it, craves it, eager to do it only the grades reflect otherwise. This is especially true on Social Studies. Oh my we did Vikings and while he liked it and would talk about it the grades were much like a thermometer on a Winters Day

    I stuck with Teaching Textbooks for Math as I really like the constant review and lessons that go with it.

    I am hoping it is the focus mixed with reading that is hindering us as well. While, like you, I keep second guessing what to do - I also keep swimming!
    Year Round - Homeschooling - Disney Freak of a Mom to two Wonderfully Smart Autistic Kiddos!

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jpenn's Avatar
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    When you quiz him orally, does he get the answers correct? That is the most important way to tell if he is getting the info down inside. He may not be a good test taker or he may be more distracted this year. I tend to quiz orally if the lessons are anything but reading. I am not concerned with my ddaughter's reading skills on a say, geography or science lesson. I am interested in knowing if she actually learned something versus did she read the geography or science lesson well. Hope this makes sense.
    Joyfully,
    Jackie

  6. #6
    Member Syele's Avatar
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    Does anyone else have a child whose levels vary like this?

    My Daughters levels are odd as well. When people ask what grade she is in, she gets confused trying to work it out.

    Have you used these curriculums for these subjects?

    I havent used those, but I use a variety of different things. Kids all learn differently, if you have something he does well with, stick with it! That is the beauty of homeschooling, you can pick what curriculum your kids learn most easily with and run with it.

    Did you use the grade the child should be in, or go by the level he's working at?
    Definitely use the level the child is working at. Starting too high a grade level will be frustrating to him and too low will leave him bored. If you aren't sure where he is working at, Google for "5th grade placement test Reading" or whichever grade you *think* he probably is. This will work for all subjects not only reading. There are lots of free ones, usually geared to a particular curriculum but any one will give you a rough starting place.


    Did you modify the curriculum? If so, how?
    Sometimes i modify curricula to fit my kid. One example is math. If she has to work 50 problems she gets frustrated and overwhelmed, but if I make her study how to do it and then do 3 or four of the hardest of that math problem type, she does way better and can afterwards do that type of problem in her head too! So modification is about how your kid learns. Some kids need to do all 50 practice problems and then an extra page of them to "get it." The more they do the higher chance of them recalling it later. The key is knowing and figuring out which type of kid you have.

    Do you have any suggestions for me?
    If you see he is really struggling with a subject, make sure he is studying the right grade level for his current knowledge, then if it's still a struggle try something with a very different approach. It will give you a clearer idea how he learns. Also read up on learning styles so you can pick curriculum that fits him best more easily. Look for used curriculum.. its cheaper especially when you aren't sure if its the right one for you yet. Plus sell the ones that didn't work, it's right for someones kid out there.


    What are your thoughts on mixing curriculums?
    If a boxed set fits your kids learning style and comes in all subjects and is in your budget, then by all means get it fast. I can't use them because my daughter is at different grade levels on different subjects and handles math so differently form reading that one style does not work for her on both. Mixed curricula are required for us!


    momto2: Jackie hit the nail on the head. He might be a bad test taker, try just chatting with him about say the vikings and see if he can wow you with Viking lore. You might be really surprised to find his grades are not reflecting his knowledge as they are meant to do.

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