We're using Landmark's Freedom Baptist Literature curriculum, keyed to the McGuffey's Third Eclectic Reader. (samples here!) Technically, that means we're doing third grade alllll over again. But we're really advancing in a different way. We got to the point where the children were beginning to diagram sentences (a little) and could tell you parts of speech, but they genuinely have difficulty with reading comprehension. This should be a step in the right direction.
They also have a LOT of trouble editing their own writing, so I am incorporating Language drills and Spectrum vocabulary. I can't blame it all on autism as Emperor has difficulty in this area as well. The exercises they tend to bomb on are questions like, "What do Milky Way, Snickers, Almond Joy and Baby Ruth have in common?" I got the answer, "They are all sneakers," written on the answer line, because I explained to a small Elf that Reeboks were sneakers earlier in the day when he had trouble with a different question.
I swear I feed these kids and they have shoes, I swear it! I'm thinking that they generalized the "strange names for things must be sneakers" message.
What I'm doing is presenting material that is truly somewhere between highly unlikely to be accomplished well and totally impossible to be accomplished at all. YET, I could tell you that a million other tiny people could complete these exercises without difficulty. Emperor was wearing a shirt with "GAP" on it and explained to someone who asked (I think, jokingly, looking for an, "Oh, you are so silly... it's a brand name!" response) that his shirt meant that there is a space somewhere LOL. Or maybe it's a homeschool thing, being brand name ignorant.
This year, at least, I'm going to focus on some of these areas of struggle in English. I believe in focusing and developing talents as well, but... well, I'm the mom here as well as the teacher and we're just going to keep working with this and see how it goes. If we run into a crying jag every morning I may have to change things a bit.
I also have found that Elf is getting attached to his previous curriculum. I don't know if other parents have seen this in their children, but Elf thinks that if Bob Jones has printed it, God has spoken it. And I'm not *quite* that dogmatic about it. (Wait a minute... maybe my children aren't brand-name ignorant after all!)
Emperor is ok with whatever we want to study, but the McGuffeys don't have the colourful pictures or pretty things in the workbooks, and that is a big deal to him. He loves clever drawings; they cheer his day. Perhaps I need to just draw in the margins or something, or pop the occasional sticker onto his work.
Funny how sometimes writing this out and trying to explain what you're doing gives you new ideas about things you should actually do...