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Help for teens - literacy - Page 2

post #21 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
Well then, it sounds as if the OP needs to send her children to school full-time. According to her past posts, her children prefer "slobbing on the sofa watching comedy or playing on pc games most of the time." They are not motivated to do anything else and the OP is unwilling or unable to motivate them herself. After years of this, they are now functionally illiterate teenagers. What's going to become of them?
I agree that some more random resources are not likely going to help the situation which seem to have deep roots and many facets. I agree that it may be time to take a hard look at school as an option as this version of education doesn't seem to be helping the children reach their goals or potential.

Rainbowmum surely with the internet there are online courses that she could take - like Bravewriter programs for example. Perhaps you could barter for a tutor, perhaps within your homeschool group? Are there programs at the library or community centre on creative writing or adult literacy supports?
It sounds like both you and your children need some outside accountablility to provide them with the kind of education that will allow them to become the kinds of adults they want to be. It takes more than believing in oneself to get into college. Children need to have basic literacy and numeracy skills and if their natural curiousity and engagement in the world isn't facilitating that,I would be looking at other ways to ensure they can fully function as adults.

good luck.
Karen
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DharmaDisciple View Post
Hi Tessie
are you in the UK? It's just that over here schools won't let you attend part time for classes, and colleges will only let you attend often after 16, so there is little in the support of more formal help for literacy unless you send your children full time to school. I am just wondering if one-one tuition with their mum on their struggles will help them get where they need to be.
I am in the UK and it is sometimes possible for children to attend school or other educational centres on a part-time basis if there are specific needs and I'd say that these kids fall into this category.
post #23 of 37
There are so many night courses available in the UK for adults, couldn't she go to one of those? They're mostly run through colleges or universities, but I don't think there are pre-qualification. I've seen entire books (like, 200+ pages) for sale in newsagents about courses available in London, but I know that similar courses are offered throughout the country.

Honestly, going back and reading through many of your posts it sounds like unschooling just doesn't work for her, and hasn't for a long time. I would be very concerned that she reads at a 1st grade level. You say that she doesn't enjoy reading, which means that her reading isn't even going to improve. Homeschooling isn't for every child: it might be time to try to put her in school. She'll have a very, very rough year ahead of her playing an incredible amount of catchup, and may have to spend an extra year prepping for her GCSEs, but she may surprise you and thrive in an intensive environment with high external expectations. Many kids do.

Otherwise, I'm not really sure what her options are. Without so much as GCSEs, she will not be able to get a job as an adult. For people in this discussion who are in the US, that's the equivalent of finishing 10th grade. In England, "college" is equivalent to the last two years of high school, and then university is what we call college here in the US. And you have to take and pass a certain number of subject-specific GCSEs, and while I believe you can choose which subjects to take, it's still something like 8 or 10 different subjects that you are expected to take and pass. But if she can't even read, she's not going to be able to pass any of them. And this isn't a matter of her going to a US-version of college at age 16: this is about her passing 10th grade.
post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
There are so many night courses available in the UK for adults, couldn't she go to one of those? They're mostly run through colleges or universities, but I don't think there are pre-qualification. I've seen entire books (like, 200+ pages) for sale in newsagents about courses available in London, but I know that similar courses are offered throughout the country.

Honestly, going back and reading through many of your posts it sounds like unschooling just doesn't work for her, and hasn't for a long time. I would be very concerned that she reads at a 1st grade level. You say that she doesn't enjoy reading, which means that her reading isn't even going to improve. Homeschooling isn't for every child: it might be time to try to put her in school. She'll have a very, very rough year ahead of her playing an incredible amount of catchup, and may have to spend an extra year prepping for her GCSEs, but she may surprise you and thrive in an intensive environment with high external expectations. Many kids do.

Otherwise, I'm not really sure what her options are. Without so much as GCSEs, she will not be able to get a job as an adult. For people in this discussion who are in the US, that's the equivalent of finishing 10th grade. In England, "college" is equivalent to the last two years of high school, and then university is what we call college here in the US. And you have to take and pass a certain number of subject-specific GCSEs, and while I believe you can choose which subjects to take, it's still something like 8 or 10 different subjects that you are expected to take and pass. But if she can't even read, she's not going to be able to pass any of them. And this isn't a matter of her going to a US-version of college at age 16: this is about her passing 10th grade.
And as I recall (my experience is really old; the 16+ was only just being experimented with), the tests are very writing-intensive. Unless a lot has changed, the tests are NOT multiple choice and you are expected to be able to express yourself in writing. In the UK (at least when I lived there), a kid who is a science whiz isn't going to get particularly good scores if they can't write somewhat decently (maths was the only subject that really had no writing requirement).

(I'd be interested to know if that has changed)
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
And as I recall (my experience is really old; the 16+ was only just being experimented with), the tests are very writing-intensive. Unless a lot has changed, the tests are NOT multiple choice and you are expected to be able to express yourself in writing. In the UK (at least when I lived there), a kid who is a science whiz isn't going to get particularly good scores if they can't write somewhat decently (maths was the only subject that really had no writing requirement).

(I'd be interested to know if that has changed)
No, I think you're right. There is a multiple choice section, but most of it is short answers (they want a paragraph) and long essays.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that there's a GED equivalent in the UK. In other words, no alternate route to getting some sort of certification that you have a basic level of education. It's GCSE or nothing. And it used to be that most people left school after they finished their GCSEs (though back then they were called something else: O levels I think?) and went to technical school or got a job immediately, and the only people who went on to college to work on their A levels were those who intended to go to University. And going to University wasn't nearly as common as in the US, because it was only a requirement for a very specific niche of jobs. Now it's much more like the US where most kids are expected to go to University and far more people have BAs, meaning that BAs are required for far more jobs than they used to be. And a GCSE is just the first step towards going to University.

All this is a way of saying that if OP's daughter reads and writes at a first grade level, it's a pretty dire situation that really needs to be fixed as soon as possible. IMO school is the best place for her at this point. Her being able to support herself as an adult probably depends on the next year or so of her life.
post #26 of 37
I don't think suggestions to put a 15 or 16 year old in school are realistic or appropriate if she does not want to be there. This is not a 7 year old we are talking about - but a near adult who should make her own decisions.

There are other reaons going to highschool for one year does not make sense. If she goes in there is bound to be a steep learning curve. Marks, at this point in the game, count. It could hinder her getting into college.

If college and highschools work the same way they do in Canada, she will have a lot more say in course selection in college. If she is going to struggle, she may very well be more motivated if he is at least taking classes she likes (unlike high school where many classes are chosen out for you).


OP....Does your oldest want to work on her writing skills?
Is she willing to start college a little late (like a year) so she can have more time to practice without being overwhelmed?

Unless there is a learning disability at play (and I think dyslexia was mentionned upthread???), I genuinely believe most writing skills can be learned fairly quickly if the student is motivated. She does need to buckle down, and she does need to practice, practice, practice.

If you believe she has a LD - are there any resource centres who could advise you on the best way to help her?
post #27 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I don't think suggestions to put a 15 or 16 year old in school are realistic or appropriate if she does not want to be there. This is not a 7 year old we are talking about - but a near adult who should make her own decisions.

There are other reaons going to highschool for one year does not make sense. If she goes in there is bound to be a steep learning curve. Marks, at this point in the game, count. It could hinder her getting into college.

If college and highschools work the same way they do in Canada, she will have a lot more say in course selection in college. If she is going to struggle, she may very well be more motivated if he is at least taking classes she likes (unlike high school where many classes are chosen out for you).


OP....Does your oldest want to work on her writing skills?
Is she willing to start college a little late (like a year) so she can have more time to practice without being overwhelmed?

Unless there is a learning disability at play (and I think dyslexia was mentionned upthread???), I genuinely believe most writing skills can be learned fairly quickly if the student is motivated. She does need to buckle down, and she does need to practice, practice, practice.

If you believe she has a LD - are there any resource centres who could advise you on the best way to help her?

Hi Kathy

I think the OP mentioned she is planning on waiting for the schools to provide services for her child's dyslexia which is why I suggested getting her in now. The history of these posts would suggest that the daughter is not motivated, either because of lack of interest or because the work is too challenging due to disabilities.
I honestly don't think waiting and hoping things will change are in her best interests. It sounds as if she needs far more help than what the OP can provide in order to get to the stage where she can get into the school she wants. I agree with you completely that it will be an uphill battle for this girl but if she wants it, I don't know that there's another way given the current circumstances. I think that the mother needs to be brutally honest with her daughter and herself at this point.
post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post
I don't think suggestions to put a 15 or 16 year old in school are realistic or appropriate if she does not want to be there. This is not a 7 year old we are talking about - but a near adult who should make her own decisions.

There are other reaons going to highschool for one year does not make sense. If she goes in there is bound to be a steep learning curve. Marks, at this point in the game, count. It could hinder her getting into college.

If college and highschools work the same way they do in Canada, she will have a lot more say in course selection in college. If she is going to struggle, she may very well be more motivated if he is at least taking classes she likes (unlike high school where many classes are chosen out for you).
I don't know how it works in Canada: I thought it was more like in the US? But I could be wrong.

OP doesn't say whether her child wants to go to school this year, but if she does want to go to college than school is probably her only bet to get up to speed to pass the GCSEs. She can't go to college (the US equivalent of 11th grade) until she passes an awful lot of GCSEs, and she can't do that while functionally illiterate.

It's not like college/university in the US where some schools will overlook your lack of transcript if your SATs are high enough, or offer you an SAT dispensation if you have an amazing portfolio. You NEED to complete your 8 or 10 GCSEs in order to get into college (11th grade) in England. You NEED 2 years of college and then to take your A Levels to get into university. There's no way around it.

If OP's DD can't pass her GCSEs and be able to show them to an employer, it means she can't show an employer that she completed 10th grade. No one will hire her. And yes, they actually do ask about your test scores on job applications! I was amazed when I came across that. LOL I wrote down my SAT scores because that was all I could think of.
post #29 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
I honestly don't think waiting and hoping things will change are in her best interests. It sounds as if she needs far more help than what the OP can provide in order to get to the stage where she can get into the school she wants. I agree with you completely that it will be an uphill battle for this girl but if she wants it, I don't know that there's another way given the current circumstances. I think that her mother needs to be brutally honest with her daughter and herself at this point.
I agree with this entirely.

I think a lot of this discussion, and previous threads with this OP, have been muddied by the different meanings of the word "college" on both sides of the pond. This situation, based on what I've read, sounds pretty serious and I can't agree with Karen's last sentence more.
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
No, I think you're right. There is a multiple choice section, but most of it is short answers (they want a paragraph) and long essays.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that there's a GED equivalent in the UK. In other words, no alternate route to getting some sort of certification that you have a basic level of education. It's GCSE or nothing. And it used to be that most people left school after they finished their GCSEs (though back then they were called something else: O levels I think?) and went to technical school or got a job immediately, and the only people who went on to college to work on their A levels were those who intended to go to University. And going to University wasn't nearly as common as in the US, because it was only a requirement for a very specific niche of jobs. Now it's much more like the US where most kids are expected to go to University and far more people have BAs, meaning that BAs are required for far more jobs than they used to be. And a GCSE is just the first step towards going to University.

All this is a way of saying that if OP's daughter reads and writes at a first grade level, it's a pretty dire situation that really needs to be fixed as soon as possible. IMO school is the best place for her at this point. Her being able to support herself as an adult probably depends on the next year or so of her life.
When I was there, there were GCSEs, O-levels, and 16-plus (which were graded in two tiers; lower grades were the GCSE grades, upper ones were O-levels).

To continue with education, you need a certain number of exam results at a certain level. Most kids in the school I was in were signed up for 6 or 8 subjects - a language, English, Maths, and then either a sciency track or a non-sciencey track.

At any rate, I wasn't aware, at the time, that there were many paths *into* education at 16, and the system as I understood it did not have a lot of room for remediation for kids older than 16. However, as I said, my info is pretty old.
post #31 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
When I was there, there were GCSEs, O-levels, and 16-plus (which were graded in two tiers; lower grades were the GCSE grades, upper ones were O-levels).

To continue with education, you need a certain number of exam results at a certain level. Most kids in the school I was in were signed up for 6 or 8 subjects - a language, English, Maths, and then either a sciency track or a non-sciencey track.

At any rate, I wasn't aware, at the time, that there were many paths *into* education at 16, and the system as I understood it did not have a lot of room for remediation for kids older than 16. However, as I said, my info is pretty old.
I know that they've changed the tests and the way things work. I think they streamlined it and got rid of the two tiers and maybe changed some other stuff? I'm American so never did this, but my husband is English (and tried to come to the US to go to University here with only GCSEs in tow... was really surprised college didn't mean the same thing here and all the US colleges he applied to told him to finish high school first, please), and lived in England as an adult. So I'm a little hazy on most of the details.
post #32 of 37
I'm sort of inserting myself here, so sorry, but as a mom w/a child with dyslexia, *I* think it's very important to find the right kind of assistance. It's very common for kids w/ld's such as dyslexia to look unmotivated, resistant and even, eventually defeated or oppositional. It's incredibly demoralizing to have trouble learning to read or write, esp. in an atmosphere of 'kids will pick it up when they are ready". Not so for dyslexics.

Once kids are the age of the OP's you're running into the actual challenge of learning, along with emotional and behavioral pieces. Are there not specialists who deal with older kids with dyslexia where you are OP? Your kids need the help of specialized remediation, not tips from a book. There are many, many success stories of adults w/dyslexia learning to read and write, so it can absolutely be done. But frankly, it sounds like you need to take yourself out of the mix, recognize that as barely literate young adults your kids are at serious risk, and do some real parenting and organizing to help them. It's unacceptable in this day and age that, when we know so much about how to help, that such help is not sought.

And, I know personally, that it is hard to push your child into an uncomfortable place, esp. when they are happy and complacent where they are, ie busy and happy days. But sometimes this is what we do as parents.
post #33 of 37
For anyone interested, the English & Welsh (Scotland has a different system) education system is as follows:

School year you turn 16 (Year 11) you take GCSEs. Usually you take 8 to 10 subjects including English & Maths. However study commences in the school year you turn 15 (Year 10) and subjects often require extensive coursework so often you can't just rock up and take the exam.

GCSEs replaced the old two tier system of O levels and CSEs a good while back. I took mine in '93 so probably the late eighties?

School year you turn 17 (Year 12) you can commence either a two year A level course or a vocational course. If you want to attend university you will usually need 3 good A levels. (The entrance requirements are usually different for mature students.) However, to be able to take A levels you will need a number of good GCSE passes. The requirements are usually less for vocational courses but a reasonable standard of education will still be required.

There is no equivalent to the GED.

Most job application forms require you to list your GSCEs and A levels. If, an 18 year old, you don't have any qualifications or experience you will be unlikely to get any job outside of a factory or labouring of some kind.
post #34 of 37
I'm not sure where all this dyslexia talk is coming from. Just because a person has been allowed to watch TV for years instead of getting an education (at home or wherever) doesn't mean he or she has a learning disability. Although it is true that these kids are going to work very hard, very fast to achieve the goal of college (finishing HS) that the OP says they want.
post #35 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I'm not sure where all this dyslexia talk is coming from. Just because a person has been allowed to watch TV for years instead of getting an education (at home or wherever) doesn't mean he or she has a learning disability. Although it is true that these kids are going to work very hard, very fast to achieve the goal of college (finishing HS) that the OP says they want.
Post #10, by the OP, in which she states that she thinks her two oldest may have dyslexia.
post #36 of 37
Yeah...but what I'm saying is, I'm not sure why she would think that, given that by her own admission she hasn't really tried to teach them anything.

For example, back in 2005 the OP stated:

For me I unschool because I never thought about having to provide an education - I didn't want to hand my kids over to someone else to raise. I just carried on having my kids with me, living with them, doing stuff together, having fun

And that same year, about her daughter:

She blames me for not having "taught" her.
So I do feel guilty. Maybe if I had home-schooled instead of unschooled, she wouldn't feel so bad about herself.


So the idea that her kids are this way because they're dsylexic sounds a bit thin to me. Although, who knows, they could be.
post #37 of 37
Yes, I get it, I think. How does she know what's actually going on? I'm not up on the history, so just going from the OP's comments in this thread..
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