Monday, January 12, 2009

Dyslexia isn't an end to home education!

I have been homeschooling my children for ever is seams and we deal with the same issues. I have 9 children. All of them have different learning styles. Some are way more difficult to adapt to than others. The bad news is that nothing will fix this. I hate that we use the term "diagnosed". We are not talking about an illness here, medicine will not make it better. We are really talking about a way of thinking. The brain is working differently for these individuals than for others, and that isn't a bad thing. That was the hardest thing for me to understand.

What really helped with that was reading a book called "The Gift of Dyslexia" (click on the title and it will take you to a visual of the book). The book is in two parts. The first part is wonderful and lovingly explains the mind and how it works for a dyslexic. I felt like I could once again understand my children. It was worded so positively and not too technical. Very good read. Ignore the second half of the book. It is an odd approach to try to "fix" it. I found that part goofy at best.

Math U See is wonderful for this situation. I switched programs for younger children and had my then high school freshman want to retake all math. She had never understood it even though she was doing well. She worked her way through each book her freshmen year. It was the best investment of money for me and time for her. I love Math U See. I have heard some people complain about how it prepares one for the SAT though, or I should say doesn't. BUT we haven't experienced that issue ourselves yet. The other children are making progress as well.

Please do not stress about this. You have discovered your child in a way at a very young age and there are many things that you can do to help that child adapt to school world. Please do not run out and buy tons of new programs to help. They are all very costly and often not very effective. You will to do lots of reading aloud. Get audio books from the library, etc, etc.

There are many cognitive training programs out there that will help with processing speeds and such. Some are a little too advanced for a 7 year old. Looking back I wish I had stressed less and spent more time with hands on stuff. My children thrive with art, living history, science projects etc.etc. When you can afford it I would recommend looking into the PACE program. It will be costly but worth it. A friend of mine runs a business in the Woodlands with this program. She teaching/trains with the PACE program out of her home. Her business is called The Woodlands Learning Center. http://www.thewoodl andslearningcent html

There is another home version of the same type of program. I have listened to talks and have a few products from Little Giant Steps. I have not used their new complete program or had my children evaluated, so I can not say the true value but it looks good. And in Theory I agree with the approach and philosophy behind these programs. http://www.littlegi antsteps. com/index. php

We love our timeline approach to history and it really seams to help this type of leaner. We pick a time frame and read book that are suggested by Designing your own Classical Curriculum. We then read together many of these books and add pictures from the Internet to our homemade time lines. We like to look at our time lines as photo albums for His family. We include saints, science, politicians.

As your son gets a tad older. I would recommend Apologia science. They have a younger program that starts about 4Th grade. We do them all together as a read aloud. I love them. I do "take notes" on the board and make them copy them. Not many but a few.

Please remember. This is not a problem. It is wonderful that God has given you an insight into how your child thinks. Your child is not broken or damaged or different. This is just how it is. The world needs people that think in pictures. They are the ones that give us ideas and hope. It can be a tad different but wonderful. It is a challenge to discover how to teach someone that learns differently but I have learned so much with them.

Just enjoy this learning, it is God sent. Dyslexia

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