I've also learned throughout my years of homeschooling that any time I can tweak a program to make it uniquely ours, the kids will benefit. The reason being, I know my kids best. I know what parts of the program they'll like and what parts will make them grumpy. I know what will hold their interest. I know when I'll have to perform a dog and pony show to entice them to want to keep trying. (How many infinitives can be in one sentence?)
The one area I've found that needs a little tweaking is the use of Fluency Practice pages. Lesson 6 Fluency Practice includes 93 words plus sentences on the back. There is no way I could or would expect Joseph to sit and read each word in one sitting. Not because he has Down syndrome, but simply because I want to keep reading fun and rewarding for him. Reading is hard work. He gets very tired after 12 minutes of reading. After 15 minutes, he pretty much checks out.
Once we get to the Fluency Practice part of the lesson we slow way down. I have Joseph read a line of words. After each line he gets to put a sticker. This little break relaxes his eyes and busies his fingers, then we begin with the next line. He typically reads 2 or 3 lines a day.
Then I give him a highlighter and I say a word, he finds it and highlights it. He really enjoys this. Sometimes I say an easy word, sometimes one he struggled with. It's great practice skimming for a beginning sound. It's also a chance for him to practice his pencil grip on the highlighter.
We spend about 6-7 school days working on the Fluency Practice page, new and mixed words sections. If you're a little bored with simply reading through the list, try these methods to add some interest to the lesson.
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