One of things I struggle with sometimes is finding curriculum that will work with my special needs son. I have tried many different products for language but never found anything that meshed really well with my son until now. Institute of Excellence in Writing has a real heart for special needs kids and has programs that work well with various challenges. We received the Primary Arts of Language: Reading Complete Package and Primary Arts of Language: Writing Complete Package for Review. I have to say I am totally in love with these programs and would highly recommend them. What I received is for special needs children who are a struggling reader/write who is below grade 2.
My son has high functioning autism and a cognitive delay. His reading is actually at a grade 3 level. His writing and language is below a 2nd grade level. The reading package we used as a way to review what he already knows, but the writing package is going to be a great fit for him. Since they came together we worked on both of them. It was nice working on them both. I highly recommend using both at the same time as they work hand in hand. My son was doing great in grammar for the longest time but has regressed. The problem he struggles with is writing sentences. He forgets punctuation and his sentences are fragments. He does remember some of the basic grammar.
The Primary Arts of Language: Reading Complete Package is a blended sound-sight approach. Each lesson works with a poem. You use the poem for a few lessons before going to a new one. You might have an activity to do with them poem of some phonics you have learned. There are also file folder games that you use each day. Each day you learn something new so you add onto the file folder games you have created. You can find letter stories in the beginning. (This goes hand in hand with the writing package). There is a work period that the child will complete their lessons worksheets. Phonetic Farm where you add stickers of what you have learned. This serves as a great reference material as you work your way through the book as well. It does work great for review as well.
This package includes:
- Primary Art of Language: Reading Teacher’s Manual
- Primary Art of Language: Reading DVD ROM
- Primary Art of Language: Phonetic Games
- Primary Art of Language: Phonetic Farm Folder With Stickers
Now the DVD Rom has an instructional video, the student workbook that you print out, and there are 4 MP3s that you can listen to that will help you teach and understand the program better.
The Primary Arts of Language: Writing Complete Package teaches your child to learn to print as well as writing up one to three paragraphs compositions and structure styles. In each lesson we start off writing in our class journal. My son writes the date at the top and then he has to write 2 – 3 sentences about something that has happened in his day or something he is interested in. My son knows his letters and most of the sounds but this has been practice for him as his fine motor is really bad and his letters are sloppy. Each day you read an Aesop Fable and go over the characters, problem, climax, and the clincher. Then we do our worksheets that go with the lesson and do our spelling tests which have been of the letters. I give him the sounds and he writes the letters. We are just now starting Part 2. I had extended a couple of the lessons as he needed some work on his letters. In Part 2 you continue with the class journals but we get into the All About Spelling and copy work that is added to what you are all ready doing.
This program is divided into three parts printing, copy work, and composition.
This package includes:
- Primary Art of Language: Writing Teacher’s Manual
- Primary Art of Language: Writing DVD ROM
- All About Spelling Basic Interactive Kit
- All About Spelling Level 1
The Writing DVD ROM has a instructional video that explains the program, 5 MP3 audio talks that help you with teaching and understanding the program, and the students writing workbook that you print out.
HOW WE USED THIS:
We used this daily as Reading/Language is something we use daily. If we didn’t have a field trip we used this program 5 days a week. We did a lesson a day. Most days the lessons went quick only because so far my son knows his letters and letter sounds. We did take a couple extra days to spend some time on certain letters that my son struggles with in writing. On those days we did an extra Aesop fable and writing. The reason I did this was so that the lessons could stay hand in hand. Even though the reading program has been easy for my son I still plan on using this hand in hand with the writing as it is great review for him.
I found that my son actually enjoyed doing the work versus giving me a hard time. For me this is a good thing because if he doesn’t like something it is hard to work through. We didn’t have to make to many modifications with this as right now it’s just review for him.
I want to tell you what I really liked about this program. On the DVD ROMs the instructional videos were long but they were definitely worth watching. The writing one is longer then the reading though. They are important as they talk about the program and how to use it. The MP3s were also great as it gave me a better understanding of certain things. I highly suggest watching and listening before even starting the program. The book covers how the program works but you actually get the visual. I really appreciated the time that it took to make these as it was above and beyond most programs we have used. You can tell that IEW really wants a child to succeed. At least that is the impression I got.
A really good suggestion is making sure to read over the lessons the night before so you can have everything ready and printed. Unless you plan ahead you will already do this. It is much easier when you have the file folder games made ahead of time as that way your not taking away time from other things.
My son did really enjoy the file folder games. Like I said because his reading level is a little higher this has been easier for him and a great review. I think the file folder games are a great addition to add a little fun into the subject as well. It is something that you can use again and again and for review later on down the road as well.
I look forward to finishing out this program with my son. I honestly wish I would have known about these products sooner. I feel blessed that we have finally found something that really enjoys and one we can continue building off.
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