I have discovered over the years of homeschooling that each child has their own unique bent to learning.
Struggling reader, reluctant writer, and even the over-zealous learner (trust me, that is just as much a challenge as anything else at times).
Andrew is consistent. That part is nice… no surprises. =)
He overall has 2 challenges he faces with Asperger Syndrome:
1. He has sensory sensitivity. Think that sounds, lights, textures, and yes, even feelings are all magnified in his world.
2. He is consistently 2 years behind; academically, emotionally, socially, and somewhat physically.
Andrew is currently 8 yrs old which with a late birthday would place him in 2nd grade (if he were in public school). Gratefully, he is homeschooled and can work at his own level (which is currently more at a 1st grade status).
What works for Andrew?
consistency & repetition… and lots of it!
Not much has changed (except improvement) from what he was doing 2 yrs ago in Kindergarten.
Reading: 20 min. per day of phonic lessons
We get to celebrate Andrew’s 100 reading lesson of this school year. Literally we are having a party for him tomorrow.
So what has he read? We started out with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. btw, yes, this was our 3rd attempt at it. This time worked. So his 1st 50 reading lessons were out of this book. Then we repeated McGuffey Primer (yes, the very same one as listed on his Kindergarten schedule 2 years ago.) I did mention lots of repetition for this child of mine, right? *wink*
Andrew has currently done 18 lessons of The Phonetic Reader by Charles W Deane.
wRiting: 10 min of copywork per day
Usually a sentence or two from his reading lesson. He is still weak in this area. He no longer has the monkey grip we battled with 2 years ago, but still has weak muscle control. Some letters are still difficult to form, but his willingness is significantly improved. We will break down basic penmanship over the summer, as he is now capable of tracing letters. Up til now he uses no lines or tracing (absolutely could not track it; just to free hand has helped him process the letters properly in his mind. Now I am noticing he can focus on the tracing/smaller font print.
Here is an example of his copywork from earlier this year:
aRithmetic: 20 min per day plus flashcards
He is doing Abeka Arithmetic 1. It seems to flow quite naturally for him. His brain processes it easily but can be limited only to his own limited reading skills. I, admittedly, often read the directions to him, and he doesn’t miss a beat to the correct answers. Abeka gives him plenty of repetition, plus we are working on flashcards to get his addition facts memorized this year.
This summer we will use Ray’s Primary Arithmetic for fun to practice Andrew’s reading and math skills both.
Andrew also practices telling time and counting money… for fun. =)
Read alouds: 20 min per day
Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturdays-
We take turns reading the sentences, slowly moving to taking turns per each paragraph, then full pages each.
Science: 20 min
Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays-
Christian Liberty Nature Reader
5 min backyard nature studies, and Friday Nature Walks.
Montessori Manipulatives: 20 min per day
Sensory bins, play dough, lincoln logs, clothes-pins, puppets, etc…
basically, open-ended play creativity… often done alongside the Pre-K kids.
Andrew LOVES tag. Maybe he will be a long distance runner when he grows up?
Swimming is on Mondays & Wednesdays.
Walks around the block, riding his bike, and playdates at the playground also keep him active!
and for those days where attention and focus seem to be “off”, we have a mini-trampoline to help get the wiggles out.
Do you have any kids with learning challenges? How do you approach it?