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Having to backtrack after starting our homeschooling...

Posted by on Aug. 15, 2014 at 2:31 PM
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1 mom liked this

DSD is in 3rd grade this year. She is very bright, she comprehends things incredibly well, and has been reading chapter books since the end of 1st grade. She is fantastic at Math and loves to do it, and is very interested in all things science. She has always loved school, and her grades seemed to show it. She's always made the highest level grades possible, and in her public school last year she was put into an advance class for second grade because she was breezing through everything so quickly the year before, her teacher recommended her for advance placement. Her Mom passed away in April, and before that she was with us on weekends and sometimes on weekdays if her Mom needed to do something, but it wasn't full time, so her Mom was usually the one there for homework help and such. Since her Mom passed away and she's moved in with us full time, we've noticed a lot of areas where she is lacking that we hadn't noticed before with her not living with us 24/7. 

Examples-I gave her a journal to write down her dreams when she has them (Her mom was murdered with her in the home, so she's been having a lot of nightmares and strange dreams.) She went to write down a dream and wanted to write the date out in number form (7/26/2014) but didn't know what number July should be. I told her to just write down all of the months in order and number them 1-12 and whatever number it was would be the number she uses in the date. She said she didn't learn her months of the year...Wow, so now I am having to teach a 3rd grader her Months of the year when this should have been taught in Kindergarten or before. 

Another...When she's reading, even though she's reading on a higher level a lot of times than other kids her age and comprehends it well, she's not always reading the words correctly. We are reading The Dream Stealer right now, and having her read 2 chapters a day out loud, then write a couple paragraphs about what she read. We've noticed that she doesn't understand phonics. If it's a word she doesn't know, she won't try to read it, she'll read the first couple letters and pick any word that sounds close to it. We've also begun to notice it in other areas as well. Example after hearing of Robin Williams passing, we've gone on a Robin Williams movie spree and we were watching Jumanjii a few days ago, when the title of the movie came up, she read it "Jafar." We paused the movie and asked her if there was an F or an R anywhere in the word she was looking at, she said No, and we worked on how to sound it out. 

My question is, how much of this is to be blamed on the public school setting, and how much is to be blamed on her just not paying attention? I know that either way there is nothing that can be done about it now except to backtrack and make sure that she is learning these things the right way, but it's incredibly frustrating! 


by on Aug. 15, 2014 at 2:31 PM
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Jinx-Troublex3
by Jinx on Aug. 15, 2014 at 3:45 PM

 I would make as little fuss abou tthe mistakes as possibly, just work into correcting them. You might look into All About Spelling and go through that with her. It will fix most of those reading issues.

aurora.dove
by Member on Aug. 15, 2014 at 4:31 PM
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I just did a little phonics work with her and showed her how to break down a word into syllables. Apparently at school they were taught sight words and word recognition and memorizing as opposed to how to actually read the word, so new words that she is coming across she is just reading them as the similar word she already recognizes. I wrote down some pretty big words for her, including a few of the difficult to pronounce ones on the back of shampoo and soap bottles and showed her how to break them into syllables and read the word. It only took a few minutes of showing her what to do before she was able to read very large words that way, so we just let her know that we know she's been taught to recognize and memorize before, but we would like for her to start reading words she doesn't recognize one syllable at a time to figure out what the word is as opposed to guessing because it looks similar. 

Quoting Jinx-Troublex3:

 I would make as little fuss abou tthe mistakes as possibly, just work into correcting them. You might look into All About Spelling and go through that with her. It will fix most of those reading issues.


Bluecalm
by Bronze Member on Aug. 15, 2014 at 6:47 PM
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I'm wondering if she has PTSD. Is she getting counseling?
JadeTigr7
by Member on Aug. 15, 2014 at 7:11 PM
Quoting Bluecalm: I'm wondering if she has PTSD. Is she getting counseling?


This. This type of thing screams PTSD to me.


~Crystal~

Homeschooling Mama to James, Jade, Steven, Willow and Katara
Wifey to Michael since 3-30-05

 

aurora.dove
by Member on Aug. 15, 2014 at 7:21 PM
She is in therapy and has been every 2 weeks since it happened. The nightmares just started about a month and a half ago though, her therapist has started seeing her every week for now because of them. Though the phonics issue and not sounding things out started before her mom died. I thought it was just her learning how to read and taking time to learn things, but after talking with her about a lot and how things worked in school to kind of try to stay along a familiar pathway, they seem to be teaching things in very odd ways. Her teacher from last year and Kindergarten have kept in touch over the summer, so I may see if one of them is willing to meet with me to talk about what teaching methods they use. As far as the months go, I don't know that I've ever heard her say them all out loud or seen her write them down anywhere thinking back on things.

Quoting Bluecalm: I'm wondering if she has PTSD. Is she getting counseling?
Bluecalm
by Bronze Member on Aug. 15, 2014 at 8:59 PM
That's great she's in therapy. I was thinking maybe she was distracted and having memory problems because of what she's been through. Maybe you could try something like Starfall with her to work on phonics.

Quoting aurora.dove: She is in therapy and has been every 2 weeks since it happened. The nightmares just started about a month and a half ago though, her therapist has started seeing her every week for now because of them. Though the phonics issue and not sounding things out started before her mom died. I thought it was just her learning how to read and taking time to learn things, but after talking with her about a lot and how things worked in school to kind of try to stay along a familiar pathway, they seem to be teaching things in very odd ways. Her teacher from last year and Kindergarten have kept in touch over the summer, so I may see if one of them is willing to meet with me to talk about what teaching methods they use. As far as the months go, I don't know that I've ever heard her say them all out loud or seen her write them down anywhere thinking back on things.

Quoting Bluecalm: I'm wondering if she has PTSD. Is she getting counseling?
sarah_beth
by Member on Aug. 16, 2014 at 12:12 PM

You know, it could be either of those, or she could just be regressing for a while after such a horrific event. If you stress, that's just going to stress her more and cause her to regress further or shut down completely.  Just be supportive of where she's at.  Is homeschooling the best option right now? Or could it be too much change at one time?

aurora.dove
by Member on Aug. 16, 2014 at 12:51 PM
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She begged to not have to go back to the school she was in, which wasn't an issue because we live in a different school district than her Mom. However where we live, and we didn't know this when we bought the house because we are in one town, but in a part of the town that is in a different county than the rest of the town is she would be in a different school district than the rest of the town. Her school would be almost an hour away from us and in a high crime area. It's a place that I wouldn't be willing to go without being armed with some sort of protection myself. We live in the country and the only private schools around us are faith based and require you to sign a statement of faith for a religion that we do not follow. She has a major distrust for people right now, the man who murdered her mother was her soon to be step father. He'd been in her life for nearly 3 years, there were no other major issues. He was always a bit jealous, and possessive, but her Mom was very strong willed and kept it at bay. He just snapped one day, they had an argument over a pair of shoes she bought because the shoes had heels and he was already self conscious about her being slightly taller than he was. She told him she couldn't deal with him acting like that and asked him to leave, he did but came back that night during his lunch break at work, they started arguing, and he grabbed a rifle and shot her 11 times then went outside and put the gun in his mouth and shot himself as well. DSD and her little sister were both upstairs and heard the whole argument, the gunshots, she came downstairs after she heard silence for a while and found her Mom lying there, she turned her over, tried to do CPR but it was too late, she'd lost too much blood and he'd severed her spine at the neck. This man was someone she loved and trusted to take care of her and he killed her Mom, she's gone through a few phases since her death, but right now she is clinging to her father and I, she is seeing visions and having flashbacks in the middle of the day, she will be sitting in her bedroom reading and see visions of people coming through her bedroom window and killing everyone in our home. Or that these all black shadowy figures are coming at her, from closets, under the bed, any open space. Sometimes she sees them in broad daylight, and she will start screaming. Her dad and I, as well as her therapist are working on these issues extensively, but we are people that she trusts. Teachers at a public school, especially someone that she has not gotten a chance to know yet would not be equipped to help her in a situation like this and would probably only add to her fear if they tried to comfort her. DH and I both work from home and can be here with her all the time, the exception being occasional travel for work, but our job is pretty relaxed and the kids can come with us. Her Therapist knows we are homeschooling and agrees that so long as we are making sure she has ample opportunity to socialize that it is the absolute best route for her right now. Any way it goes there would have to me a major change because we are not in the same school district as her Mom lived, and she begged to not have to go back to the school she was in because it's a small town and people talk. Her Mom's fiance's family still believe even after all investigations that he couldn't have possibly done that and have spread a lot of lies around town that have gotten back to her through other kids overhearing their parents gossiping about it. Throwing her to a completely new school, with new students, new teachers, in a new city that isn't all that safe anyway would be counterproductive in helping her learn how to trust people again. 

As far as regression goes, I'm sure some of it probably is regression, but the bad spelling has always been an issue. I don't know why, we could call out the words to her at home and she could spell them out loud, or write them down on paper with no issue yet was still missing them on spelling tests at school. We've talked about some things she's learned and how they taught it at school, we talked about breaking words into syllables and she said they only ever learned how to do their names in class and no other words. We're not making a major deal over it or stressing about it, we just let her know we're teaching her a way to help her make sure she is reading the correct words and why it's important to read the correct words instead of assuming it's one word when it should be another. We gave her examples of how in every day life grabbing one thing that looks like another and assuming might be bad, for example grabbing the salt while baking a cake instead of the sugar because they look similar would make the cake taste terrible, or when taking medications that not reading the proper word can cause you to buy or take the wrong medication at the wrong time and make you sick.  

While it's incredibly frustrating for us, we aren't projecting that onto her, just merely letting her know we are teaching her a different way do do things. 


Quoting sarah_beth:

You know, it could be either of those, or she could just be regressing for a while after such a horrific event. If you stress, that's just going to stress her more and cause her to regress further or shut down completely.  Just be supportive of where she's at.  Is homeschooling the best option right now? Or could it be too much change at one time?


kirbymom
by Sonja on Aug. 16, 2014 at 11:55 PM
Wow. You seem to have some ideas on what needs to be done. You have a difficult road to travel but again I see you already going in the right direction. I think that at this point you may be ahead if you focused this learning time with her as a more in-depth way to learn while you figure out whether she needs to "re learn " how to focus to study and learn. And whether the teacher is to blame for her lack of skills or not is a moot point at this time since she will be learning in a completely different manner and style than before her mother's passing. You and your family have my sympathies, thoughts and prayers.
aurora.dove
by Member on Aug. 17, 2014 at 10:55 AM
1 mom liked this

Thank you very much, It's definitely been difficult and I know some of the hardest days are still ahead of us. We are working thruogh everything a day at a time though and that's really all that we can do. My only concern with if it's how she learned it from the teacher because it was taught that way, or how she's doing it is that there's a good possibility that she will eventually go back to public school. Definitely not this year, and probably not until at least middle school, but I just don't want it to be a standard of teaching that we are totally oblivious to because chances are it could end up happening again in the future, as well as with our younger DS when he starts school if we don't decide to homeschool him. 

Quoting kirbymom: Wow. You seem to have some ideas on what needs to be done. You have a difficult road to travel but again I see you already going in the right direction. I think that at this point you may be ahead if you focused this learning time with her as a more in-depth way to learn while you figure out whether she needs to "re learn " how to focus to study and learn. And whether the teacher is to blame for her lack of skills or not is a moot point at this time since she will be learning in a completely different manner and style than before her mother's passing. You and your family have my sympathies, thoughts and prayers.


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