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Home education for year 1

(34 Posts)
someoneoutthere Tue 14-Jun-11 08:35:07

Hi, I am thinking about home educating my DS who is nearly 6 and has been going to a special need school, he has asd. He is summer born, so technically should be in year 2, but I want to start with year one curriculum. I can't find a school that is wiling to take him on (we are in the U.A.E) and he has kind of outgrown the need to go to a special need school. I mean he still has speech delay, so he will need to continue seeing a speech therapist, but he is behaviourally alright. The school he is going to at present mainly does behavioural intervention and all the children there have severe autism, most being non-verbal. Unfortunately DS has started copying their behaviour and it has now come to the point that it's doing him more harm than good socially. Also they don't follow a national curriculum, so although DS has no learning difficulties, he is educationally falling behind. For example, he has learnt his phonics sounds when he was 2 and half, after nearly 3 years of not doing any educational staffs, he is forgetting his phonics.

I am completely new to home education, have no idea how to go about it and need to start from scratch. I need guidance and hand holding about how to go about setting up a home education programme for DS. Where do I start, what to I need?

Thanks in advance for all your help.

FionaJNicholson Tue 14-Jun-11 08:59:15

Is UAE the United Arab Emirates?

someoneoutthere Tue 14-Jun-11 09:17:18

yes, it is United Arab Emirates, we are hoping to move back to the UK next year.

lilyfire Tue 14-Jun-11 23:20:42

There are quite a lot of websites that you might find helpful if you'd like to do some phonic stuff and get an idea of what he'd be doing under the national curriculum. I have a nearly 5 yo and a 7 yo and we've used - reading eggs, starfall, education city, funbrain maths, mathletics and bbc bitesize at different times, depending on what they felt like. Other than that we read lots of stories together, cook things, play with dirt and water and generally pootle about. You might want to get one of the books suggested on the thread in home ed, to learn a bit more about how children learn at home.

someoneoutthere Thu 16-Jun-11 10:27:33

Thank you lilyfire, I have been doing starfall and headsprout with DS, have not heard about the other websites you mentioned. We do do a lot of swimming, bike riding etc. I will look into the books on the home ed thread. Maths is something we are very behind at, we can only recognise upto 20, so will have to focus on that a lot, once again many thanks.

wordsmithsforever Fri 17-Jun-11 15:07:11

I home ed my DD (10) and DS (7) and with my DS I mostly just focus on the three R's: For Maths we have used a bit of Math U See. He likes the DVDs and the blocks but I know people also recommend the GCP textbooks for Maths - see GCP. For reading we have used Starfall and these phonic readers Both have free phonic books available. For writing I try to get him to do a sentence in a scrap book about stuff he is interested in (rocks, robots, etc).

For all the other stuff we just follow what my older DD is doing. So at the moment she is doing nutrition and food groups in Science so he goes along with that as much as he is interested and he does seem to absorb quite a bit. I like quite a structured approach but especially at this age it isn't even be necessary to buy any curriculum. There is loads of free stuff available and just in normal life, eg baking with him (reading recipes and working out quantities) and getting books out the library (though not sure what is available in UAE in this line), you can achieve a lot.

someoneoutthere Thu 23-Jun-11 08:47:48

Thank you for the recommendation. He has amazed me by starting to read sight words within a week of starting. He is having trouble with the phonics though, just not getting how to connect, but we just started, so fingers crossed.Also really good idea about writing, we are still trying to write alphabets. We have not even considered doing other staffs like science. But I feel really positive, he is picking up first with reading and writing, hopefully we can structure other subjects into his day when summer holiday starts (he is finishing mid july from the special need school).

FionaJNicholson Thu 23-Jun-11 09:18:32

The problem for the relentlessly logical with learning to read and write English using phonics is that many/most of the common words in English are exceptions to the rules for spelling because English is sooo not a phonetic language and this can make the ASD person think (quite reasonably!) that the rules are A LIE.

wordsmithsforever Fri 24-Jun-11 11:08:04

The beauty of home ed of course is that you can respond to your DS's learning preferences so if he seems to be doing well with with sight words then I'd go for it. (You can also still illustrate phonic principles on words which are classified as sight words by sounding them out.) What I say to my DC about words that are exceptions to phonics rules is: the phonics will offer a clue, often a good clue, and then you can figure the word out using the context, pics, etc in addition. The Starfall site is very child friendly and not pressurised in terms of requiring performance from a child which I like.

The other thing I've found useful for my DS with the Maths is using lots of concrete stuff - so buttons or dried beans for counters, lego blocks, etc. We also play Maths with two dice and the beans/blocks. He'll throw the two dice and add his beans, then I'll do the same and we'll see who has the biggest answer each time. More fun than pages of bond worksheets. I'm sure he's going to learn loads one on one with you!

wordsmithsforever Fri 24-Jun-11 11:11:27

Oh by the way, for the scrap books, I often write the sentence for my DS. He gets put off if he senses there's going to be too much writing involved! My dear Mum (who lives with us) also sometimes acts as his scribe and writes down his imaginary games and he seems to like this too.

someoneoutthere Mon 27-Jun-11 08:19:21

Thank you once again wordsmithsforever. We are doing really well with sight words (DS has mastered all the 52 common sight words listed in Fun with phonics, cbeebies book). We are also trying to sound out words with phonics although DS has long way to go. I am wondering how I move him onto sentences? Do I write down sentences with sight words he has mastered? I don't remember how I learnt, but at the time we did not have phonics. He has also learnt to draw the usual shapes like triangle and circle and is loving his drawing sessions!! You are so right about him learing loads, I am so proud!!!

I have not started maths yet, he can count objects really well upto 20, but starts meddling up after 25/26. I will try the dried beans idea, it will be hard for him to resist throwing them though (his ASD brain!!). I am so glad that I have made the decision to home school him, he is such bright soul, just not getting enough stimulation at his SS school.

wordsmithsforever Tue 28-Jun-11 08:29:26

I'm sure you could write down sentences for him with sight words that he has mastered and I don't think it would do any harm but maybe it would be more fun for him if you wrote down sentences about stuff that he really cares about. If he is loving drawing lessons, then perhaps add a sentence under each shape he does, eg "Littlesomeoneouttthere drew a super red triangle." Or: "Today we went to the market." (If markets are the thing in the UAE - not sure?)

There's so much debate about this whole learning to read stage and I am fascinated by it all. I think the 4 methods are look and say (sight words), phonics (sounds), the language experience approach (where we'd write personal sentences in our DS's scrapbooks) and the context support method (where you choose books with lots of good pictures on a subject your DS likes, hopefully with not too complex text and using his interest in the subject, the pictures and your help, he gradually starts to figure out the words).

I think they all have merits and I don't think it's necessary to pick one method although we probably put most effort into phonics I suppose. Thinking about it, I do all of those with my DS, depending on his mood, interests for the day, etc. It's a lovely stage though - I can't think of a more important skill to teach than reading.

someoneoutthere Tue 28-Jun-11 10:27:22

Wordsmithsforever, I have to share this with you as it's you who gave me the idea about writing. We have been trying to do alphabet writing and tracing with Ds for at least few months now and he does one or two right and then loses interest and start messing around. But today I took your advice and wrote down 'I love cats' and he copied the whole sentence and was loving doing it. He actually did it over and over. Thank you, Thank you , Thank you for such brilliant and fun idea.

We are doing three of the four ways you mentioned about reading. I have not done the language experience approach, I will include that as of today. It's great idea about writing down things of interest. I bet he will be pretty interested in things like 'on Friday we will go to the water park'.

wordsmithsforever Tue 28-Jun-11 15:04:40

Yay! It's such fun when they enjoy their learning!

someoneoutthere Wed 13-Jul-11 08:11:22

just wondering if anybody got any suggestions about how I can approach science and geography with DS. He is doing very well with reading and writing, now knows over 100 words and can write words if I ask him to. I just can't think about a way of explaining 'planet or bodies' etc to him as it seems so abstract for his understanding level atm.

bumbleymummy Wed 13-Jul-11 10:11:16

We have a big map in DSs room and he loves looking at different countries on it and we play games about finding countries beginning with different letters etc. We have jigsaws of Europe/US/UK and the world too. We've looked at different flags and had fun drawing them and colouring in on paper and on the computer. They Might Be Giants have a Here Comes Science CD and DVD which is quite fun - lots of songs about various science things just to start a bit of thinking and conversations! smile Usborne have some great 'See Inside' books about planet earth and space etc. Trip to the museum maybe as well maybe?

SDeuchars Wed 13-Jul-11 12:34:10

SOT: ^ I just can't think about a way of explaining 'planet or bodies' etc to him as it seems so abstract for his understanding level atm.^

You don't need to explain those things specifically. You could wait until he shows an interest and it is relevant (e.g. if you are visiting a museum or an opportunity arises to look through a telescope).

How about looking at "science" and "geography" at his current level? For example, is he interested in animals - my DS at the same age was word-perfect on "Walking with Dinosaurs". Kitchen chemistry is great fun (vinegar and bicarb volcanoes are a perennial favourite). In fact, IME, it is almost impossible to avoid "science" with small children. Geography means talking about journeys, looking on a map to see where East Africa is or where family members live.

someoneoutthere Thu 14-Jul-11 16:04:50

Thank you again. This is going to be tricky bumbleymummy, he will be more interested in tearing the map than actually looking, jigsaws are really good idea, as he loves doing them. I think he will also enjoy drawing different flags. Usborne books are just his level, so will pop into the book shop this weekend to see if there are any on the subject. Museum would not work, he would just want to run, whenever we went to the zoo, or any art exhibition, he showed no interest whatsoever, all he wanted to do was run around. So I have to carefully think about how to make him interested first.

SDeuchars, he loves animals and he will be interested about where they come from, although not sure whether he will understand a different country. He will say 'granpa lives in London', but I don't know if he can picture London or imagine that it's a different place (his expressive language is very delayed, so it's hard to tell if he is understanding or not), it is easier with reading and writing as I can see what he can do.

ommmward Fri 15-Jul-11 09:28:54

Are there any of those petting farm style places near you? They often have soft play rooms and outdoor playroom and tractors you can clamber all over. Oh, and by the way, there's a field of goats.

And then you get a season ticket and go there to run around on a regular basis and, at some point, the animals may become interesting as well as the haring around opportunity.

someoneoutthere Sun 17-Jul-11 12:23:11

no, we don't have any petting farm near us, but does have a mini zoo within an hour's drive where they have some sheep and cows. Ds is interested in animals, he loves playing with his toy animals (he has all the ELC collection of toys and knows the name of all of them). We do a lot of where they live type of talk and he knows about most of them. I have been linking questions like 'where do you live' followed by where the animals live. I think he understands that concept and he will know a farm when he sees one (although all our visits to petting farms were when he was between two and three).

Tinuviel Mon 18-Jul-11 11:26:00

I know someone who used the Usborne World Jigsaw Atlas as a starter for a geography project. Each jigsaw piece has a picture of something on it relevant to that area. She created an activity for each jigsaw piece (did one continent at a time). She put all the jigsaw pieces into a bag, DC picked one out and they did that activity. It sounded like a really good way of finding out about countries.

We signed up with schoolexpress for their email newsletter, which includes a link to a free downloadable booklet. Some of these are geography and science - we just download the ones we want and use those with DD. It might be worth signing up and saving them. Then when your DS expresses an interest in something, you may have a booklet ready! I think it's 'Alligators' this week.

estland Sun 31-Jul-11 08:16:32

Dr Michael Levin "Reading Lesson" is the best if you want consistent approach and excellent end results (smooth progress to learning correct spelling and grammatically correct writting).

www.readinglesson.com/
They sell books on Amazon and on eBay.
shop.ebay.co.uk/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p5197.m570.l1313&_nkw=Levin+reading+lesson&_sacat=See-All-Categories

Child will learn phonics rules and will quickly progress to read whole sentences. Child will know how to read unfamiliar words from this teaching method. It is in a way a classical (old fashioned) way of teaching to read.

This method is completely against current modern ("quickie") method that they use nowdays in primary schools across UK ("Chip & Biff" Oxford tree learning) where virtually no rules are explained and silly memorising of words is encouraged. Children will end up not knowing how to spell correctly

notatschool Sun 31-Jul-11 10:59:19

someoneoutthere, I think it sounds like you and your son are doing brilliantly. Please don't worry too much about getting all the subjects covered - he's only young still.

I really like browsing through the Sonlight and Ambleside curriculum websites to get ideas for great books to read with them on each subject.

And I don't agree with estland, there's no "best" way to teach anything, it depends on the child, and if you get on with the ORT books then go for it smile

notatschool Sun 31-Jul-11 11:00:25

Dammit, wrong link. AMBLESIDE

Sorry.

flussymummy Fri 05-Aug-11 22:33:08

Hi! Re geography and tearing maps- we have a big inflatable globe which can happily be thrown around- it'd be enough of a geography lesson I reckon to point out UAE and the UK fairly regularly and how different the climate is! Then, when you make the move, it'll be really relevant and you can relate any other journeys to this distance.

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