<<I'm also wondering about his writing. The written narrations are quite guided in PHFHG, and for most of the guide they have a length of 1-3 sentences and for the end of the guide of 3-5 sentences. I know you mentioned helping him with this, which is just fine especially at the start, as written narrations are a new skill in PHFHG. But, how is he doing with written narrations now? Can he write the recommended length of sentences, and is his writing shrinking to fit on wide-lined notebook paper? Has he had cursive, and how did that go? What level of grammar is he doing? Does he love you by his side helping all of the time, or is he wanting - and capable of - more independence? Is he doing all of PHFHG or must much of it be modified (i.e. doing the history notebooking assignments step-by-step on paper, doing the science notebooking assignments step-by-step on paper, writing answers to 5 comprehension questions in science, completing all steps of assigned history projects, completing all of the creative writing assignment each week alongside the poetry study, etc.). I guess what I'm trying to get a good read on is if it seems better to go back to Bigger full-speed or to go forward to CTC half-speed based on what he is doing now for PHFHG. If there is a lot of modifying, tweaking, shortening, changing many things that are written to oral, etc. in PHFHG, CTC will only get harder, and BHFHG would be the better placement and would allow you time to focus on reading. But if there is not a lot of modifying, and he is doing well with the bulk of the guide and is close on the level of reading but not quite there and is writing quite well, etc. , then CTC half-speed would be the better placement. Can you share when you get a chance? I'd love to help!>>
Hi, Julie. (I wish there was a way to get "notified" with responses so that I would know to check back! If there is an option...I don't know about it. Please forgive my delayed response!
I really appreciate you asking the questions you asked, and I will do my best to answer them:
He struggles with written narrations. It's not his handwriting or writing size, it's the skill of writing. My son is severely dyslexic. He has to concentrate so hard on how to write a word that his thoughts are generally scrambled. Or, times when he does just write his thoughts, neither of us can decipher what he has written b/c his spelling is just so bad. That is why I have helped him so much on his written narrations. YET - he can orally narrate like a CHAMP. He leaves no detail out, often adding in way more detail than even I would. It's definitely not a comprehension issue; it's his dyslexia that hinders him.
I will say that he is doing GREAT with the science. The books are just such great choices, that he enjoys reading them! I printed out worksheets from Facebook that another mama made to go along with the science. They have the questions already typed out...which is huge for him b/c it keeps him focused without having to go back and forth to the guide for each question. He does very well finding the information in his science reading to answer the questions. I have taught him how to answer in complete sentences so that he can use the words from the text + words from the original questions to form complete sentences.
I would say that he definitely enjoys his independence with science, but he does not balk at having me help him with history. He is my "peace maker" - so he rarely rocks the boat in our home.
We have not started DITHOR. I have had him read books from the 2/3 Level, but we have not done the DITHOR student workbook. As I mentioned before, he can orally narrate like a pro; but that is all he has ever done with his literature readings.
We have tried cursive writing -- and he hates it. It is literally the only area that he has complained profusely about. He can't read cursive, so he does not want to write it. We have used 2 separate cursive writing books (one being Cheerful Cursive), and he has disliked them both. I have read so much about cursive writing helping children with dyslexia -- but we have not seen any benefit. When he has to copy the paragraphs from Draw and Write Through History, I write them on our whiteboard and he copies it from there.
For Grammar: I was a 6th/7th grade Language Arts teacher before I came home with my children. My older kiddos (son who is 11 now, and daughter who is 12) do daily grammar sentences on our whiteboard every morning. I have 1-2 sentences written out that they correct punctuation, misused homophones, capitalization, etc. We do ABC order, writing addresses, dates, etc. And then there is always a sentence that they have to write out and identify every part of speech in the sentence. This has been most of my son's grammar, but we have thrown in some Rod and Staff here and there.
I *think* I have answered all of your questions! I hope that helps in some way.