|Bad photo I tried to salvage.|
My 2013 plans for Aidan are here. They haven't changed too much, except that there are a few things we put aside for a time, and I added Memoria Press readers and number books. I thought he would prefer a reader that he could write in, and indeed it has worked out well. After we finish the MP readers I think I will copy out bits of whatever readers we use next so that he can write. The interaction makes all the difference in the world. Funny that I spent so much time cutting down on writing-work with my older set and with Aidan I'm looking for ways to maximize it.
School with Aidan is very simple. He has a box of workbooks of various sorts. The main two are the Memoria Press ones, and then there are a lot of Kumon workbooks, ranging from mazes to cutting-out to folding to dot-to-dot, as well as some math and phonics topics. He loves to color so it's good that MP has coloring pages dotted throughout the books.
Aidan is actually well past kindergarten level in his cognition, but my thought when planning out his school was that he learns best from writing, which I already mentioned, and he likes things he can do on his own, and also, I want to see where he is in his academics and what he is missing. Sometimes I'm astonished by what he does know and other times I am surprised but what he doesn't know. He finds these books comfortable to do and I have noticed progress in understanding and confidence.
The rest of the day he does all kinds of things like work on chores around the house (usually volunteered), work on his Mario Kart scrapbook, draw cars, look through books, make up jokes .... he is a great guy who rarely shows reluctance to try anything.
I let Aidan write in crayon. I think the stronger input he gets from the colors and boldness of the crayon makes up for .... well, using crayon. It also forces him to use a good tripod grip. This was something his OT taught me. I will phase to pencil eventually.
Just this year he has made great improvement in neatness of writing, but he goes in cycles. Some days he goes all over the page, so this is another reason why I think the easy level of the work is good for him.
Memoria Press has a Kindergarten enrichment program and a Literature program that looks pretty nice. Many of the books I already have. I haven't yet gotten organized enough to try reading some of these to Aidan. It's difficult with him because though his cognitive level may be younger, he is in many ways a young teenager. He wants to do adult things as much as possible. He craves work to do around the house. Whatever we are doing. But he is very concrete, so he doesn't particularly enjoy sitting listening to a fairy tale or something like that.
What I've been doing recently is to use Memoria Press's Core Recitation for Kindergarten and expanding on some of the ideas using Enchanted Learning and pictures and the like. For example, Memoria has the Kindergarteners memorize the planets of the solar system, which Aidan has always been interested in. So I can get printables at Enchanted Learning (I have a membership) and then he can color and write about the solar system.. I think this approach will allow me to use a modified Memoria Press with him at least for a while -- I don't know for how long, but Aidan will be with us for the foreseeable future, and there is no reason why he has to graduate when he is 18. I find it hard to imagine that milestone, yet it is only 4 years away!