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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all... I need advice,

DD is in Sped. Ed for reading and a slight speech problem (twuck, twee,) She knows her basics but just isn't getting it to 'click'. We also hired a special tutor once a week.

I feel as if she is being pulled out of classes too often. I was assured that she would ONLY be pulled out of class to go to the Spec Ed teacher when her class is doing independant or verbal reading (whereas she can't read sentences yet, but she is starting to get flashcards).

The school is talking about keeping her back and repeating the first grade... she is smart as a tack in math, science, art, music, etc. It's just that reading bump. I am afraid if we DO hold her in the first grade, she is going to be bored when it comes time to do the subjects she is already advanced in. If we place her in second grade (schools can't hold them back in this state, they can suggest, but it's parental rights) we are afraid she is going to be in over her head because again...that reading bump.

Money is rather tight right now so I don't have a lot to spend on books that may not work for us. Can anyone suggest a site where I can print out lessons etc?

My plan is to home school the remainder of this school year in ADDITION to her regular school and home school over the summer in hopes she will be ready for second grade.

My DD is already towering above the other kids in her class and does seems to have issues with controlling her body (not a bully, but doesnt realize how strong she is because of her size when it comes time to play tag etc) and I am afraid that if she does repeat first grade because I wasn't able to get her caught up over the summer, that with her being a lot older and bigger than the incoming first-graders that some child will be seriously hurt.

I just really need some help.
 

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That is a very tough position to be in. I do homeschool and thankful that I do because my oldest daughter (age 7, would be in 1st grade here) does lag in her reading. I am working out of 3rd & 4th grade science & history books to keep up with her there, and she is just about finished with her 2nd grade math text - but just tonight she finally finished the Kindergarten workbook for Hooked on Phonics which is our third 'reading' program after giving up on doing it ourselves. I am just now starting to see the beginnings of the reading 'click' for her.

Researchers have found that children do learn to read at different ages - they ways the eyes have to track and memory recall are all different developmental things and they just happen at different ages for kids. If kids are not made to feel like they are different or LD about their reading, often once the click happens they move very quickly to level and beyond.
Public schools are so dependent on having everyone reading independently by certain grades it is often difficult for kids who develop later and do not have 'true' vision or disability problems. My dh was held back in 2nd grade for this very reason - and he is very smart.

I want to advise you to not push too hard and require too many hours with the reading as it may burn her out or turn her off from reading altogether. I have found my dh makes the biggest jumps after we take small breaks in her reading practice. I know you want her to be on level, but her time may not be right now. Two months from now she may be flying through early chapter books.

If it is a speech thing, then that needs to be differentiated from reading. I was a very early reader and read all the time - but had speech problems that required therapy until 4th grade. It was often difficult to get the teachers to understand that I actually could read - just not aloud very well. She may do better reading to herself and then telling you what happens, rather than concentrating on getting the sounds out just right. Also with me phonics was such a difficult way to learn to read because of the speech problem - I really learned in what is called now "Whole Language" which really is memorization. This is learning a group of words and then reading stories with those words, then learning another group of words and reading stories with the words from group 1 and 2 in them. This is Dick & Jane type of reading books.

Check your library for "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" or "Pathways to Phonics" thos are two possibilities. Someone on your local Freecycle may have "Hooked on Phonics" that they are ready to pass on.


A couple of websites are:

Starfall - www.starfall.com this is an interactive website starting with the alphabet and going into fluent reader skills. My children enjoy playing on this site.

Education Resources Information Center or ERIC - this is a site that in addition to having abstracts of education books also has activities and even books you can download as PDFs. I just downloaded 4 workbooks in phonics at various levels for my 4yr old and 7 year old. Search for PHONICS.

Search for cheap or computer programs people are giving away such as Reader Rabbit, Jumpstart and other early elementary level educational programs.

At discount stores you can sometimes find Activity Coloring Books - these look like they are just for fun, but do have alot of activities that help with reading development (eye tracking, memory skills, word and letter recognition).

If they haven't found an organic reason why her reading lags then it may just take time and not stressing her about it. I don't have any idea what to say about holding her back versus promotion - they both have good and bad sides to it. How early do you have to make the call? Can you make the decision after she has the summer?

Good Luck
 

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I want to thank you for your post... and in answer to your question as to when we need to decide... Monday. We are meeting with her teachers to discuss next years IEP (Individual Education Plan) and want to know if they are planning it for first or second grade.

It's hard being in this rock/hard place right now...

I've seen the assignments for second grade already.... 90% of the classroom work is written or out-loud group reading. As I said, she is great with math and sciences and can give you verbal answers to any comprehension questions... but she can not read or write the answers herself. She can not answer the math word questions herself, although she knows the answer if you made it just a math problem.

Argh... I would like to home school her myself, so she is in a positive envirnoment where she doesnt feel as if she is in competition with the others or made to feel 'different' by being removed from the classes all the time.

She is already doing basic algebra, as long as it's in numerics... but still reading at an mid/late kindergarten. We tried Montesori... it wasn't for her, it was lacking structure, her teachers were VERY lazy, not at all what Montesori was meant to be... there is a difference in self-paced learning and sipping coffee and watching the kids struggle... not all Montesorri was like this one... this particular school was AWEFUL!

But, I do have a question... how many of you who do/have/will home school do not teach Bible as well?
 

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I think if you are wanting to work with her in addition to regular school for the rest of the year that you might have better luck with something that is fun and relaxed rather than structured lessons or intense work. They get so burned out being in school all day. I am trying to work with my 14 year old after school and she has nothing left by the end of the day, I would imagine it would be even more exhausting for a 6 year old.

Can you plan for second grade Monday, then change it if she isn't ready in September? Maybe after homeschooling her for the summer, you will just decide to keep going with it and Monday's decisions won't matter anyway.

I am planning to homeschool my two youngest. I expect to discuss the Bible as part of understanding history and international relations, but I won't be teaching the Bible - although they would be free to read it if they were interested of course. There are lots of secular resources and support groups for homeschoolers. I know that non-Christian homeschoolers sometimes feel isolated, but homeschooling is gaining popularity across the board, so there are plenty of inclusive support groups.
 

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But, I do have a question... how many of you who do/have/will home school do not teach Bible as well?
We homeschool our two kids (ages 11 and 13). Due to the laws regarding homeschooling in our state we are required to have an umbrella or cover school. Our cover school requires that a form of Bible be taught. I do not teach them a class in Bible, instead their Sunday school classes, Wednesday night church services and other youth group functions serve as their Bible class. I checked with the administrator of our cover school and she said many families do the same thing. Since there is learning taking place and that learning is Bible based it is completely acceptable.
 

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We do not teach the Bible or religion as a subject in our lessons. We go to church and sunday school which they love. Occassionally when something else touches on a story in the bible I will read it to them out of the children's Bible we have.

In our state we have a choice when we set up our homeschool to set it up as secular or religious. The only difference is that if it is religious you can count the hours you spend in a specific religious study as part of you hours of schooling each day. We are a secular homeschool. I also belong to a local support group that is inclusive, not religiously affliated. We have Christians (of various denominations), Jewish, Muslim, Bhuddist, Hindus and some that are Secular in beliefs. Most do not homeschool for religious reasons in this group.

It is becoming easier and easier to find curriculum that is not published by christian groups, but some of their materials are still really high quality and may be worth a look even if one might have to edit.
 

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Here are a couple of other sites that have curriculum that you can download/print out. There's also a book that many libraries have called "Homeschool Your Child For Free" ... while I find the title a bit extreme, it does have some good ideas on how to keep costs down.

www oldfashionededucation com
Uses a lot of old (19th century) schoolbooks that are in the public domain and downloadable for free. A very classical education, the curriculum has a strong Evangelical Christian bent in Bible, sometimes science and history, that doesn't always fit our beliefs but we just pick and choose.

www amblesideonline com
Follows the teachings of Charlotte Mason, who took a very natural approach that often works well for later readers. Also uses a lot of older books that can either be found online or inexpensively.
 

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We homeschool and we do not teach "bible". One of my 9 year olds isn't reading yet. He has a few developmental delays. He just started recognizing letters last year and so we aren't pushing too hard for the reading thing. We have the "teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons" book. He is working through that book (slowly, very slowly).
 

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Hi there, we've been schooling my dd since preschool...we used hooked on phonics...she was reading along in the readers at 4...but that is just her. As we all know they all have such different abilities and learn differently and at different times so why then are we labeling her LD (school system). I strongly believe in homeschooling for sooooooooooooooo many reasons!!!! If you have the time, can put out the effort and so on then it is a super way to go!!!! I at one time had foster children...with IEP's...I am so unimpressed with the school system and what they had to offer my kids!!! They still let the kids fall through the cracks with next to nothing to show for improvement as far as working at grade level or even close to grade level for that matter!! Our school systems are truly cookie cutter as well as set up for stamping out students in bulk...Sorry for the negative tone...we had a bad school district to deal with!!! Anyway, homeschooling is great as you can get done what you need to do with your child...and you will see them progress!!! There are homeschool groups all over now with plenty of socialization that is quality time spent.
We do a bible study with our church called children's quizzing (set up game style and a blast). I use both secular and Abeka christian books...I like to plant good seed (morals,values,ethics) without spoon feeding it....and since this is homeschooling you can do it ANY way you please!! There is no right or wrong in your own home...pace your self and let the magic happen!! All the best to you and your daughter!! Take care, Katy
 
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