ADVICE NEEDED! Extra Help In A Home Schooling Fashion
Real Moms Sharing Their Experiences and Advice
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Question: My son is 7…. He is intellectually disabled and struggles big time with ‘book smarts’ as we call it…. He switched schools after spring break this year and is improving so much more than we could’ve ever imagined…. But its almost summer time here and last summer he lost A LOT of information and I know thats pretty normal but this summer I would like to have some kind of ‘home schooling’ type environment…. Or something…. I dont really know what to do or how to do it…. Any advice on how his Father and I can help him work on his letters, rote counting, colors (he is doing great on all of these but is still very behind), math, etc….. We have put to use all of our ideas and he is officially very bored with our activities…….. unsure emoticon
Nicole M: I may be going against the grain here….but I think I would find what he is “smart” in (you said not “book smart”, but what he LOVES)
I remember one parent said their child was obsessed with bees and bugs…
She started everyday creating opportunities for him to learn math by including bugs….reading about bugs…
writing reports and essays about bees and bugs.
And then she said….My son may never be an accountant. He may never be a journalist. He may never be a historian.
He loves bees.
So we are teaching him to be the best Entomologist he can be!
Guess my point is…everybody can be somebody if their “do” and their “who” are linked up.
My best advice….find out what your child DOES know. What they love. What they want to do.
And link that up to WHO they are.
Cultivate that as part of his identity.
If it’s legos, do Lego math. Create legos. Learn who invented them. Write facts about the history of legos. Ask, “how could you change the world with legos?”.
Let your child identify with his strengths as opposed to subjects.
Who knows. He could become the next Steve Jobs, or Temple Grandin, or Stephen Hawking, or C.S. Lewis.
I encourage you to spend less time teaching your fish to climb a tree, and more time turning the tree into an ocean.
Deb R: Please take time to give him opportunities for development, exploration and growth in areas besides basic academics. I am a sp. ed. teacher and I see so many kids who do less than they should because of poor behavior, lack of social skills and lack of ability to follow through on directions. They need experiences to excite them about the world and to give them a reason to learn basic academics. Families spend way too much money on Kumon and way too little on making a fun journal from a trip to the zoo.
Aimee H: Does he have an iep? If so, call his case manager and ask about ESY.
Emily J: https://www.abcmouse.com/ABCmouse.comGive your child a head start with ABCmouse.com’s full online preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten…ABCMOUSE.COM
Rebecca M: I’m a retired principal of a wonderfully diverse NYC public school. I agree with everyone who has said, “find what his passion(s) are!” I’m not sure where you live, but there are tons of cool things you can do as a family without making it “school”. Your relationship as a mom & son is soooooo important. If you can, give him a cheap digital camera. Let him be the photographer. Then every day at 4:00 (for example), it’s time to Edit! Find the funniest picture, the grossest, the weirdest, etc. Make up the categories with him – I’d recommend starting with GROSSEST (a very popular concept). If his passion is his dog, then dog poop will probably win the first day as grossest.Get a sketch book (no lines!) He can print the picture, cut it out, glue it and then he can make “notes”.
Notes don’t have to be whole words. If he has the picture of a pile of poop in the grass, he can use a green crayon and draw an arrow to the grass (if he can get the first Letter then he can write g______ and draw a line for the “reen” part of green. If something stinks he can draw a picture of a his face when he smelled something stinky. If his passion is his dog, then it will naturally happen that the word D O G is needed a lot, then write that one word for him and he can use it in his scrapbook/journal/newspaper (whatever you wanna call it).
With math and numeracy – the concepts of numbers are soooooo important. I can’t tell you how many “gifted” 5 year olds I’ve met who can recite their times tables from 1 to 10 but if you ask them if they want 27 jellybeans or 2, they’ll pick two. Go for meaning. Real life stuff:
– make a recipe book then he can read the book and make pudding, etc. (No cook pudding is great – it’s fairly cheap and you have to measure a cup of milk: You’ve got directions, fine and gross motor, measuring and using a number for a real and tangible concept. If you go to a summer BBQ he can make the pudding, a copy of the directions (with pictures/colors- how ever you and be write it so he can re-read it) and give the Recipe to the neighbors house with the pudding.
If you share with us what his passions are, I’m sure people will have some great ideas.
Most important – make sure he “catches you reading and writing” AND “working on your passion”
Always make a grocery list (you can ask him to write it for you – he can draw pictures or write the first letter of the word. Don’t worry about the whole world. He can write how many juice boxes you need and the number of everything else.
And switch places – ask him what he would like to do this summer and YOU write the list using the first letter and a picture.
Does he tend to like books with photographs or drawings / paintings?
If his passion is cars – ask you car mechanic if you could stop by one afternoon for ten minutes so He could take pictures. He can video tape the adventure so he has the visual and auditory version of his adventures. If you can, get him a real but cheap set of tools. Let him practice putting the nuts on the bolts or mKing his own car with stuff HE finds around the house.
How’s his imagination ? That’s soooooo important.
If you send me a little bit more specific info, I’d be happy to help you come up with other ideas
Making, creating and coming up with theories are more important than memorizing colors. Red will have a lot more meaning if he goes with you to the car lot and takes pictures of all the red cars. Or all the cars that look fast.
You can give him a huge gift: having an opinion, creating a story, imagination and re-telling a story. When he stArts more traditional writing in school – you want him to have lots of ideas and experiences. The saddest thing is a person who won’t answer because they are afraid to be wrong. Grow his imagination. Encourage him to make up theories on things – the most I important is not he answers correctly – but that he is happy to try.
Nancy L: It is not a matter of whether or not the school offers ESY. If he qualifies, somewhere in the school system they have to have it. And it varies. My daughter just needed three weeks of math and typing skills one year.
Carole C: My kids get a lot out of the internet. Sites like Starfall.com,sesamestreet.org and brainpopjr.com make learning so fun, they don’t even notice.Starfall: Learn to Read with Phonics, Learn MathematicsStarfall.com opened in September of 2002 as a free…STARFALL.COM
Judy M: every day different, but sit down with him to work on whatever areas he needs improvement on and make it so he gets some kind of an award for trying and learning more. Go to the library and have him check out a book he likes and sit with him and read together. Bring him to the zoo, park, aquarium, or other fun places that also offer learning while there. Make flash cards, have him write his letters, numbers, words. If you have access to a printer and paper there are lots of things you can print and have him practice on the internet. Take him for swimming lessons, ride bikes together or whatever he likes to do too. Everything is a learning experience. Best of luck to all of you.
Patti Munroe Westman My two autistic Kids go to summer school at there regular schools from the beginning of June to middle of July. They still get a little time off to have some fun
Elin H: Try to make it fun do a building project ( birdhouse, trivet, game board, jewel box ) use that for math get a fun with science book do some simple experiments you can use this to tie in writing
Christina Q: Fun writing activities. Take a stuck and practice letters in sand at the beach or a shallow pan filled with salt. Or color shaving cream in shallow dish and practice letters in that.
Angie W: As a children’s librarian, my advice is to participate in your local library summer reading program. Letting him pick out books he really wants to read, even if it’s just a book with facts about sharks, will motivate him to continue learning over the summer. Plus, there will probably be prizes.
Courtney D. S: I am an educational consultant with Discovery Toys. We have some great games that are lots of fun and are fabulous for continuing learning without it feeling like school. If you are interested in seeing what we have or want suggestions, feel free to message me!
Holly H: I was going to say Esy also. I don’t see why he wouldn’t qualify.
Rachel L: My sons school usually provides a bag of stuff to keep him practicing–books to read, worksheets, things like that. He goes to a charter school and they budget for summer bags for all students. Maybe ask the teachers for some recommendations or if they have materials they can send home?
Parthena W: My child has special needs as well and we do as much outdoor experiences that they can’t do during the winter school months. We also do the local library’s reading program. He finds lots of books to keep him interested in reading. In math believe it or not the grocery store is where he gets to put math skills at work. Adding up how many things we bought. How much would two lbs. of bannas cost. Everyday math. Going to the dollar store to buy a new toy with his money. Does he have enough. I’m not saying it’s perfect but it’s enjoyable and fun.
Kerrie M: If he regressed last summer, then he’s entitled to Extended Summer Services.
Robin B: Curtin We had summer tutoring written into her IEP because she would regress. The tutor was an angel in her life, tutored her for 5 summers & my daughter took off with her reading & language skills. You should not have to do this alone & try to be a teacher for the summer. I would call an IEP meeting, give them proof of all the info he lost last summer & demand summer schooling or tutoring, good luck!
Barbara N: Meet with the teachers he has now, ask what they are doing, then copy it. It helps to start with something he really loves to do, and end with it, so he will be encouraged to continue. With my grandson (who is high end special needs) we have used the computer, or made numbers with spaghetti noodles on the table (cause he loves noodles, but not math). There is probably something special and unique to your child that he will respond to no matter what, Good luck and God Bless.
Cheryl S: Ask his teacher about ESL
(Extended school year). ESL is a summer program for special Ed students to extend the school year so they don’t lose what they learned during the school year. There is usually a two week break before it starts and after it ends. My son went T W & Th
from 9-1 or maybe 2. It might be a little different in your state. If you have to, call for an IEP meeting before school gets out and put in the IEP that your son needs to go to ESL to keep from losing his progress from this school year.ADVICE NEEDED for Special Mom shared from Facebook post #psnmoo947
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