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Can someone evaluate our progress???

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 10:50 am
by TXmomof4
I've been homeschooling my 6 yr old for almost a year. I'm struggling to know if we are doing ok or if I need to change the curriculum I'm using or if I'm just not really cut out for this.

He is using the "Explode the Code" workbook series to learn phonics and I'm finding that though he is making progress he does miserably on the tests. Are the tests too hard? Are we going to fast? Is he not progressing like he should?

He is resisting doing phonics work and we darn near fight over it. He is so completely self motivated to do science work. He loves eletronics and mechanics and physics and all that is "engineering." But he also LOVES me to read to him. He really got a kick out "Moby -CENSORED-."

I just don't know what to think about his struggles.

BTW, I'll put the results of the last test in this post if you want to see his work.


Re: Can someone evaluate our progress???

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 3:11 pm
by Theodore
Is it that he doesn't understand the concepts, or that he doesn't retain them long enough to score well on the tests? Also, how much of an audio component is there to his phonics program? Workbooks are good for many things, but I'm not sure phonics is one of them. What you need is a series of readers (Bob Books?) that you can go through with him, and perhaps a more audio-based phonics program.

May as well show us the test results so we can get an idea of the sorts of things he's being tested on.

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 4:35 pm
by TXmomof4
Here is the test. I was to read him these sentences and he was supposed to write them. Note: 1) He is in kindergarten. 2) His homework and lessons have no dictation. The most it requires of him is to spell single words at a time. (And there is usually a theme to them which makes it easier.)

The sentences:

Tony had a tantrum when his trombone got bent.
When it rains on a sunny day, you may see a rainbow.
The reptile has a dimple when it smiles.
The smoky volcano may erupt.
My playmate is ticklish under her chin.

Here are his answers as best as I can duplicate them:
toenee Hadatant rum wen Hestrumbam got bent.
We et rains on a sunny bay uoy ma see a rainbow.
The reptalle has a denple wen he smiles. (backward s at the end)
the smoikey volcanoema erupt.
miy playmait si ticlessi unber her hcin

He does pretty well, I'd say B+ on his lessons but I'd give him a D or F on the tests. They just seem so much harder than the lessons.

We do read books such as Bob books though we don't really like them. We have found similar books that we like better. Mostly they are just more durable and they have stickers that the kids like. Very much the same otherwise.

I read to him huge amounts. Novels, picture books, technical books, even car manuals (he loves those!) He reads to his sisters. But the phonics workbooks are incredibly gruelling to him and they are just not that hard (except the tests.) It takes about 15min to do his work though some days it takes more. I always sit with him to get him started and then I try to leave him to do his work independently IF he is not having too much trouble.

Getting him to start his work almost takes an act of God. He can come up with more excuses!!!! And this behavior pattern is spreading to his math tasks and his household chores and even to just getting dressed in the morning. Even my 4yr old is starting to pick up on the behavior. I'm just losing control and it feels like the phonics is the origin of the problem.

Any advice would help.

The tests in their current form are obviously too complex...

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:18 pm
by Theodore
He seems to be having problems putting adjacent letters in proper order, and separating one word from another. I'd personally chuck the tests and start out with dictating words separately, then in sequences of two or three, and gradually build up the complexity of the words and the sequence length until he's doing reasonably well with full sentences. The tests in their current form are obviously too complex.

dont worry

Posted: Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:08 pm
by momo3boys
My 6 year old, would give me the same thing if I tested him like that. It is age appropriate for boys to be a little slower, let him go at his own level, do what Theodore suggested about making it easier, and let him do some great unit studies in science. He'll catch up before you know it.

You are doing fine!

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:37 pm
by easyhomeschooling
You are doing a great job! :D He has a LOT Of years to learn to read and improve his writing. Ease up and bit and just enjoy the flow… he will achieve mastery in all subject and he will read fluently and spell well! Give it time! Congratulations!