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  1. #1
    twinmami01 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default need help here...

    I also posted this in the special needs section...here goes....

    Hi! I am currently homeschooling 7 year old twins. We are doing 1st grade right now and this is our 2nd year of homeschooling. They both have epilepsy, severe speech delays, as well as auditory processing issues.

    We've been using t4l for about a week now and my boys love it. I do have to sit with them to assist b/c of the processing issues, but besides that, its been great.

    Here's my concern...we are supplementing with unit studies and I use handwriting without tears. We've already completed the workbook and I'm at a loss as to what to do next. T4l doesn't really incorporate any handwriting, and my boys are unable to put sentences together on their own. They struggle with the reading, mainly retention-they know something one minute, but not the next. Am I making sense to anyone? Is this something I should be concerned about. We don't do spelling, b/c I'm trying to get them to read first...does anyone have any suggestions? I guess my concern is them being able to put sentences together....should I be concerned about this right now???

    I'd also like to know if anyone out there supplements t4l with anything else, such as starfall. I considered using starfall b/c of the writing that is incorporated. Does anyone use this along with t4l or handwriting without tears with t4l? Any other 1st grade level parents out there?

  2. #2
    hearthstone_academy's Avatar
    hearthstone_academy is offline Administrator
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    I use Handwriting Without Tears with my six-year-old daughter. I've used it with my older kids, too. I pulled out all the stops this year and bought all of the "fun" stuff: the Roll-a-Dough tray, the Stamp'n'See Screen, and the wood pieces. We use the slate every day, and then she gets to choose one of the other manipulatives to practice with after she has done her workbook.

    If your boys are finished with the workbook and you want them to have more handwriting practice, you might consider using the HWT manipulatives and some of their blank practice paper or a blank journal.

    Sentence structure is a different skill than penmanship. If penmanship is still difficult for your sons, they can practice putting sentences together verbally. Show them an object and have them tell you a story about it. A recorder works well for this exercise, because children love to listen to their own voices.

    If they need focus for this ativity, show them something (for example, a ball) and ask them to describe it. Give them examples: What shape is it? What color? What does it feel like?

    It isn't unusual for seven-year-olds to have trouble putting complete sentences together. Often, it just takes practice. Unit studies are great, because these frequently involve listening to the parent read aloud. This gives them a chance to hear many examples of proper sentence structure.

    You can also write words on index cards (illustrated, if necessary) and have them line the cards up to make sentences.

    Mom of six . . . current students and homeschool graduates. Enjoying using Time4Learning since 2006!

  3. #3
    Carla is offline Member Regular
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    Because of your sons' speech delay, sentence formation will take a lot of time and effort on the whole family. Are your sons speaking in phrases? Repeat their phrase, adding to it to make a sentence. Example: If they say "what that?" You say, "What is that, please?" Stressing the words they omit. Then have them say it correctly.
    Find some interesting, fun pictures. Calendars are great for this. Ask a question that can be answered by looking at the picture. When your sons give an answer repeat it, but put it in a sentence. Have them again repeat it correctly.
    Here is also a list of things I have used to help strengthen hand muscles to improve handwriting:
    play-dough, make lots of fun shapes, roll snakes, make snowmen and animals
    tracing around plastic cups, cookie cutters and then cutting out the shapes
    white boards with dry erase markers
    chop sticks, pick up mini-marshmellows or raisins
    popping "bubble paper" using only the index finger and thumb
    chalking on the driveway or patio
    watercolor paints
    finger paints
    I also recommend incorporating spelling into their reading by using their reading vocabulary list. Start with three letter words that have a short vowel. Spelling the word will help their reading. You do not have to give formal spelling tests, just practice at spelling will help both reading and spelling skills. They can also use clay to form the letters of the reading/spelling word.

  4. #4
    adelenpaul is offline Member Regular
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    Have you considered copywork? Notebooking.com defines copywork. Copywork is copying a piece of well-written work, from any variety of sources, onto paper or into a notebook. The student copies from a written selection using his best penmanship to create a “perfect copy” that is properly spaced and includes all proper capitalization and punctuation marks. It is a method, that when used consistently in your homeschooling studies, will improve your child’s penmanship, grammar, and punctuation skills as well as expose him to a variety of writing styles, structures, and techniques.

    Here is that link if you're interested: http://www.notebookingpages.com/index.p ... s-Copywork

    We don't require the "perfect copy" but try and balance that with their frustration level and ability. You can have the same sentence or two to copy for the whole week. Or you can break it up into small bite-size pieces so they're finished by the end of the week.

    We used handwriting without tears as well. All you need to do is make copies of blank lined pages. I believe you can even find them free online. Here is a link for free HWT font for your computer to make your own copy sheets for your students to work from. http://www.educationalfontware.com/EFI_home_page.html

    It is also easy enough to make your own blank handwriting sheet. I simply measured the distance between the lines, put some lined tabs into Word, and then adjusted the space after/before lines until it was the distance I needed for that age. I may even still have a file on it so feel free to email me and I'll see if I can forward it to you as an attachment.

    Once the kids get older, you can vary the copywork: have them copy it the first day and then they can listen to you read it the second day and write from what they hear/remember. Lots of options.

    From Amblesideonline.com one mom says: Finely crafted, well written sentences are the best sources. In our home we have a different selection each day of the week. One day is poetry, another Bible, another from their history, another from Science, and one from their literature selection. A copywork selection from the foreign language being studied is also good. Hymns may also be used.

    Just some ideas. I would mostly suggest making it short and as painless as possible to begin with.

    Blessings as you research,
    Adele

  5. #5
    gingersnap is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Maybe you should try to teach them spelling also.
    I tried a game called Bookworm Adventures to help him learn to spell. You help Lex the worm fight numerous characters and through different levels in each world to save the Princess. They earn gems and get to pick powers to help them on their journey. By the end of the game my son was learning to add prefixes and suffixes to his words because the bigger the word the quicker you defeat your enemy. It may help with the reading by building up their confidence in their ability to create words. You can also click on the definition of the word. My son finally quit playing the game once he beat it for the 9th time!

    My son doesn't like to read (even though he is 2-3 years above his grade level in reading). I found that if I provide him with books that he likes he will read for 1-2 hours, right now he is into the Nintendo magazine. For a year he read the Childrens Almanac and has practically memorized the whole book, the pictures and factual tidbits are great.

    gingersnap

  6. #6
    Lucia von Narnia is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    I agree with the copywork idea. It doesn't have to be drudgery. If they struggle with writing, do a word a day, until they can do a phrase, and then a sentence. My son can now copy a paragraph, as well as write his own paragraph or letter.
    Let them have a place above the writing on the page where they can draw the word, or if drawing is hard, just do colors that remind them of the word or "inspire them" in some way. My son had terrible ability to draw images, words, or translate anything onto a written page. I had him draw his sentence after he wrote it, and it eventually turned into pretty cool art. He also got how to make shapes on a page represent meaning, and his animals looked like animals and so forth.

    We put them in a binder and they are nice to revisit.

    Letters to relatives are usually fun, too. If writing is a terrible chore, a nice "I love you" with XX OO will bring a smile to any grandparent or auntie or elderly neighbor.

    Also, I let my son draw to music. He would copy things he saw from art history books or animal books. Within a few months he really enjoyed it and would put captions on everything -- he was writing on his own, and it wasn't work. Keep it short and fun!

  7. #7
    gingersnap is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Default magnetic board

    I have used a magnetic board (also has the dry erase feature) and purchased a set of word magnetic strips which lets them arrange the words into sentences. It helped with the sentence structure without taking alot of time. Maybe you could use this idea and then let them copy and write the sentence that they have created on paper or use the magnetic dry erase board to rewrite the sentence.
    The word strips come with an activity sheet and the words are color coded for parts of a sentence and include phrases like "once apon a time".
    The website for the magnetic words is: http://www.magneticpoetry.com
    Good luck!
    gingersnap

  8. #8
    Lucia von Narnia is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    I forgot, we did magnetic poetry and sentences on the fridge for a while, too....
    he could stand there and make sentences while I cooked supper.

    They have larger strips for younger kids.
    That is a good idea, Gingersnap.

  9. #9
    twinmami01 is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    Oh!!! I love the idea of the magnetic poetry! I had never thought of that!!! Thanks so much for everyone's suggestions.

  10. #10
    Lucia von Narnia is offline Junior Member Newbie
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    It can pricey, but watch for sales or go to your local education supply store and use your homeschooling/teacher discount.

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