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From: Dorothy (
Subject:         Re: Please help...sooooo discouraged
Date: August 4, 2010 at 12:25 pm PST

In Reply to: Please help...sooooo discouraged posted by Candace on August 2, 2010 at 8:21 am:

First of all, from one whose suffered from depression and lived with another who did, you've GOT to help yourself with the depression. Have you had a physical to see if there are chemical imbalances that are causing it? Whether or not the answer is yes, you'll need to take steps (choices) to get through and survive and come out the other side of your own depression. Consciously look for the joy in the day...did one child help another find a lost shoe? did you see a baby smile? look for it, note it, repeat it often. Pray, if you don't know how or don't believe in it, just try it anyway. It won't hurt. Play music that makes you feel good every day. Sit in the sun. I know these are small things, but do enough small things and you'll make progress.

Secondly, yes, you can make up the academic stuff, but break it into manageable steps; don't try to climb the mountain this week. I speak from 18 years of homeschooling experience, k-12, 7 kids.

It sounds like you're worried about spelling. I would suggest using Spelling Power. It's one program for all the kids. You test each one to see where they are, and what problems they have.There are remedial exercises and helps in the back. Texting is going to slow down the process because it uses misspellings all the time. I'm sure you already know it's got to be limited, even if the phone has to be in your possession until school is over.
Problems reading? Read aloud to them, chapter books. These are wonderful bonding times as you share the adventure together. Hearing good books read will help them understand what good reading sounds like and make it easier for them to read to themselves. Use voices for the characters. And, yes, I've read to high schoolers, many times. Have them read aloud to each other or to you. Make them read quietly to themselves and then tell you in 3 sentences (or 5 or 7) what they read. Ask them questions such as "why did he act that way?" or "what do you think she felt when that happened?" If you need ideas to get you started, use the booklists at for classics and lesser-known works. Also, Winston Grammar is a great way to teach grammar, although it's weak on punctuation rules. It's still the best I've found.

Math, for those who struggle, I've found Miquon Math (although that is for grades 1-3) really helpful in understanding the concepts before they write them on paper. I think Math-u-see is very similar. I've also used the Key to ______ series with good results.
They should be writing a paragraph every day in a journal, 3-5 sentences. Worry only about capitals at the beginning and correct punctuation and whether it stays on the lines. They can write about the weather or the basketball game or whatever, it's just the idea that they can put thoughts on paper. (Keep these, some day you'll enjoy reading what happened!)
I would concentrate on "schoolwork" this year in math and English only. Let your read-alouds be in history, biography, science fiction, etc. Add in household chores (home ec) and phys. ed (biking, bowling, whatever you like), and some sort of social events occasionally and you'll be fine. Once they can read and write and understand math concepts they can learn all the rest over a lifetime.

Blessings on you, I hope this helps.

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