Tag Archives: dyslexia

Major Breakthrough with Reading

We have been using the EasyRead system with Oxford Learning Solutions.

http://www.easyreadsystem.com/index/index.html

It is really not a cheap option, but we have tried so many other options, and once we tried the free 10 day trial R was hooked.

Parent – Free Trial

The first time something had really clicked for her. It rewires the brain to put in the bit that many dyslexic children miss out… the decoding and breaking down of a word. R was sight reading quite well, but her spelling was not getting any better, she still struggled with small words, and wasn’t ‘sounding’ out anything very well.

R is now reading in a completely different way and can decode words. She is a pretty much fluent reader and reads Harry Potter to herself (and to me) with feeling.

It took 80 lessons for the really big breakthrough but early on her confidence had already increased and her attitude to reading. It is 15 minutes a day (commitment from the parent as well) and R has been KEEN to do it EVERY day! Anyone with a dyslexic child will understand what a big deal that is!

The support from EasyRead staff is fantastic, with regular e-mails, with questions and suggestions for your child, plus phonecalls too.

I haven’t received any discount/payment for this, I am writing it purely from being a delighted parent!

We are only just beginning to see some spelling improvement, but this will no doubt come along as R reads more and also because she is noticing how words are built, which she never had before.

Share this page...

You don’t need GCSEs!!!

Before reading this.. note that I have used the initial ‘I’ for the person we met, I’m aware this makes it a slightly harder read!

A lovely meet up this week with a student from the local Uni. She met our group through a Robogals day our group went to run by students at the uni. I has been home educated right through and even when home ed friends were deciding to do some GCSEs by going to college or doing them at home ed classes, or by themselves, I and her parents decided that actually that didn’t suit her and it there were other options.

We met for ice-cream (Chocolate Brownie, now you ask) and a chat, R and I got on very well and we all had a good chat about how to do things differently, and how not to get dragged into the panic of having to get GCSEs.

I think the GCSE and A Level route is probably an easier route if your brain works that way… because you then have the piece of paper expected and face less of a battle to get to where you want to. But if exams and classes really don’t suit you but you still want to go on further and do something academic, there are ways of achieving this! I that we met did this by studying with the Open University for a year (or two?) and this gave her enough credits (or modules, I’m not sure of the lingo!) to get into University, no GCSEs, no A’Levels.

We didn’t just chat about exams, though it was so good to know that there are other options around. There was a lot of common ground around YouTube and funny science videos, maths, playmobil, all sorts. Lovely to meet a young adult who is such a good advert for home education … especially as it sounds like we are home educating in a very similar way, with self-led learning.

We hope to meet up again, and we’ve already been sent some excellent links to interesting YouTube channels and websites which I will going through and sharing on here too.

Share this page...

First Day of School with a Difference!

Around 9 years ago I took my shy 3 year old to pre-school, she clung to me and didn’t want me to leave. She didn’t make a big fuss, but she was upset. I came home and cried. L did a term at pre-school, she wasn’t herself, she withdrew, she didn’t cause trouble, so the staff kept saying she was fine, but I knew that the quiet child they saw, wasn’t the child I knew and the best thing ever was taking her out and not sending her back.

Today I took my other daughter R who is 10 and who has never been to pre-school or school before, to primary school for a taster day. I was pleased how excited she was this morning. She was ready when I got up and bouncing around. It has taken her a while to decide whether to try a taster day, I think her dyslexia is the main concern for both me and her. It will be very interesting to see how it has gone. We held hands on the way to school, and her grip certainly tightened as we entered the playground, but the office staff were lovely, as was the class teacher, so I expect she’s been fine.

I think it will be a bit of an odd taster as the class has had to be spilt up with the teacher absent, so she’s gone into year 5 with a few of year 6. This may be a good thing as it may take the pressure of the work a bit. We may ask for the chance of another taster day if R wants to, so she can really get to know more of the year 6 kids, who she would be with if she went to Secondary school next September. I think there will be a lot of talking about that!!!

It was as close as I have been to that feeling of leaving L at pre-school though, as R had rather a worried face as I left her…. but dealing with that for both her and me was much easier than when a child is 3 or 4, I know she is more than capable of coping in many different situations, she has been out on day courses without me, so it isn’t the first time away from me or anything, just the first time in an actual school class!!

It has been strange coming home without her and a taste of what it might be like if we end up with both children at school!!!! Sort of an empty nest taster for me! I’m having days where I’m beginning to understand why people (women especially) have such a hard time with empty nest syndrome! Time is going by so fast, and although my children feel more grown up at 12 and 10, and indeed look grown up too, I think as a parent it still seems so recent that they needed you to do so much more for them, and you can still see the young child you knew. I can see how rapidly teenage years are coming and all the excitement that lies beyond!!

The day is going very quickly though, as I knew it would. Time to get a few jobs done, but not much more, then it will be time to go and pick R up from school!!!

See how the day went here!

Share this page...

Getting lost in a book for the first time!!

R got lost in a book this week. We have been reading Wolf Princess together and we take turns to read, usually with me reading a lot and R reading as little as possible, so I’d handed over to her to read a paragraph and she carried on right down the page and over onto the next page and down part of that…. she emerged smiling and said she’d been so involved with the story that she’d forgotten to stop reading!!! YAY!!! Big moment for a dyslexic child!! Her reading is coming on in leaps and bounds which is great. Finally at aged 10. Writing will be the next thing.

Found a great site if you want to get a small taste of being dyslexic…..

Through Your Child’s Eyes

We’ve tried the reading and writing ones… a useful tool!!!

Share this page...

To Wonderland and back again

Half term was a blur, the girls did a two day drama workshop with a performance at the end which was great. We caught up with friends, went to a birthday day in the forest, which was a good mix of old home ed friends, some who now have kids at school, others who are still home ed, and us with one of each!

Went to an Alice in Wonderland event which was fab,

The Red Queen and Alice
The Red Queen and Alice

Caught up with more friends, went out for a walk at Holly Hill.

Out trick or treating with my sister and her boys, what a treasure trove!!

The last day was spent in pj’s having a lazy day which we all needed I think!!

This week we started on Monday with an art session at the library, we made stain glass window pictures, which came out very well indeed. Using gold card and cutting out holes and sticky coloured see-through coloured sheets on the back.

Unicorn
Unicorn

We’ve done some reading. Having had a break R’s reading has yet again improved a lot. She has also had a go at some typing and her spelling is getting better… the attempts at words are much closer now.

More algebra, we both enjoy that using MathsWatchVLE videos. Today we covered Factorisation of some fairly tricky equations.

A local author has asked R to critique some of her new poems, which with the promise of a small recompense R is very excited about doing!! We had a look through, and commented on the first five poems today.

R also had a go at some 11+ Non verbal reasoning quizzes on Education Quizzes which is a great site with lots of different subjects and levels. Worth e-mailing them as they offer free access for teachers and also Home educators. You have to sign up for each subject separately, but well worth it.

I’ve been busy as ever with the local library … which looks like it may well end up closed by the end of March 2016, along with others in the city. We have now written to the Secretary of State asking for an inquiry, especially as all 5 libraries and the mobile library come out in the most deprived quartile of the poverty index. R challenged one of the Cllrs at the Alice in Wonderland event we went to at our local library. He actually blushed when she asked why certain options hadn’t been properly looked at!!

Share this page...

The Reading Discussion

A lazy start, with R having a lovely long bath… a lovely thing to do when it is dark and pouring with rain outside on a Monday morning!

Today we watched some excellent Mathswatchvle videos on probability. There are some sample videos on YouTube. Otherwise you have to subscribe.

I find MathsWatchvle is a really excellent way of learning maths, and R seems to find that too. The clips aren’t too long and you can pause and have a go at questions as you go along, with full explanations after you’ve tried it.

We then had a Mario Kart game or two and lunch,  before a really good reading session.

We are now reading Wolf Princess, which so far seems pretty good. I read a chapter then R reads a page. Her reading is coming on so well, she still only wants to do a small amount and has an amazing way of arguing out of doing too much… I think we have covered human rights and the right to our own decisions rather too well sometimes!!

We usually reach some sort of compromise, else my throat really does give up if I read for so long! She has a total handle on the idea that she might be dyslexic though and I do genuinely think she tires very quickly if reading too much.

Instead of her reading some more of a chapter… which is not an easy book…. (though she does cope very well with it when she does read it) she agreed that she would look at the common word flash cards we haven’t used for ages. A year ago she would have got a fair number right but certainly not all. She breezed through them, which I think pleasantly surprised her…. I don’t think she always believes me when I say how well she is doing, and occasionally it is good to have it actually physically confirmed for her.

The girls both set up the train track yesterday and had a really lovely play together (which is happening slightly less now L especially is getting so grown up), R carried on with the game by herself today too. She talked about how her and L play less than they used to which she misses, but then it is harder now with L at school, and with them both changing as they get that much older. I am happy that they still do manage imagination play together at 12 and 10. I think it is getting less common in kids that age…. which is such a shame.

Poor L came in soaked after school, so a nice warm shower for her… ended up with two girls sat on the sofa watching ‘Friends’ and having their hair brushed through. Love family sofa time.

 

 

Share this page...

The Education Dilemma with a Dyslexic Child

We’ve recently had the letter from the Schools Admissions team for R for next September. I knew it was coming, but it still threw me. It seemed a gradual progression with L when we went through this two years ago, just taking each step as it came and deciding as each option came along.

R has decided that she would like to go into a local primary, just for a 2  day visit, not a permanent place, just to see what it is like. She has been adamant for a long time that she won’t go to secondary school…. but this is where things are now slightly wobbly…. she now is still mostly saying she doesn’t want to, with occasional glimmers of maybe she might try it.

So, now we hit the… do we apply for a place in case?

With L I could see that as the decision came closer that she was ready and happy and wanted the independence of making the decision and has been happy with her decision.

R, I think is beginning to want the independence side of things, and to perhaps widen her social circle further… but in terms of school I am very worried that all the confidence building we have done around her dyslexia could be undone within a week, even if she does just go and try school. Her reading is coming on, and we read teenage level fiction / young adult, she often struggles on small words and is amazing on larger more complicated words! I don’t think she’d have chance to read higher level books at school, it’d be dumbed down…. we’ve seen it with L, where they have to read a certain colour and can’t move up until they’ve passed tests on the lower coloured books.

R’s maths is great, but I generally read out the questions, as she struggles reading, thinking and writing all together.

We are covering some really lovely stuff at the moment… we have had several theatre visits recently, including today when we went to see ‘Lord of the Flies’ at the Mayflower theatre, with questions and answers with the actors afterwards. Although surrounded by school parties of 13/14 and 15 yr olds she asked two very good questions, and we have had such in depth chats about it all before and after.

We’ll go with a couple of days at a local primary and see where we go from there.

Watch this space!

Anyone been through the same with a dyslexic child?

Share this page...

Awards and Film Watching at School

Awards and film watching plus drama and art

L has had a good week for awards. She had a presentation evening at school for being in the Netball team. S went and said there was a lot of high achieving sports, but also the yr 7 netball team, because although they hadn’t won any cups or awards… they had worked very hard and improved, and been reliable too. L was really pleased with her certificate and badge.

L also came home beaming yesterday with a green badge with G on it… which apparently you get if you are put forward by 3 different teachers as gifted in their subjects. She was put forward in Maths, Science and Spanish, and as talented in Metal work.

I am obviously very proud of her (though I don’t need a badge and certificate to make me proud of her.. or to tell me she’s doing very well), and I wasn’t sure about this whole gifted thing at school…. but apparently it is seen as something you work for each year (or term), it isn’t a permanent label, seen as unmoving, which did reassure me. L is certainly working hard, because she wants to and enjoys what she is doing… but she isn’t stressed, or over working… perhaps because she sees it less as work and more as something she has chosen to do.

I was labelled as gifted at school and personally it seemed like an unwelcome pressure. If you do well it is just expected, if you don’t do as well then it is a disappointment…. Not a pressure from parents particularly, just a general feeling.

Read this article recently: Pushing kids to be gifted

The wind down to the summer holidays is well truly under way at school, there are lots of nice things going on and L is having a fab time. The only thing that has bugged me this week is that some teachers are showing the first bit of a film in class as a treat (Ice Age) knowing that there won’t be time to watch the end, with no intention of letting the class see the end on another day. This would bug me! Wouldn’t it bug you? Other teachers have managed to show a whole film over two lessons, or have picked a shorter programme that fits into one lesson… makes more sense to me!!

R is having a good week too. I think she is pleased with the maths we have done this week, especially as L brought home her maths exam paper and R looked through and could do quite a lot of it. (Though she did say that she’d be worried about reading and understanding what the question says. If I read it to her then she totally understood the maths side of it. Such a shame exams don’t allow for this (I haven’t researched this enough… I know some people can get extra time if diagnosed with dyslexia, and possibly a scribe sometimes.. but I’m not sure if you can have someone read the question out loud… it isn’t something I’ve heard of.)

R had her drama performance of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’. It was great, all the kids did really well, you could hear them all clearly, and they were all confident, even the usually more quiet and shy ones. It was on a proper stage, with lighting, back drop with pictures from the book and well chosen music too, with some groovy dancing to ‘Wild Thing’ R loved every minute of it. S came too and also our friend A, with lots of other parents too. Really enjoyed it.

We even did some more maths when we got home…. then R needed a nice break because her brain started melting!!! 🙂

I’ve done some painting today, good relaxation for me.

2015-07-16 17.30.47

 

R has been over to see Granny and Grandpa and Auntie J and Auntie M, she’s played badminton, running Granny round like a mad thing. Then she wrote out care instructions for Auntie M who is having R’s guinea pig when we go away soon.

 

Share this page...

Algebra means less writing

What an excellent way to sell algebra to a dyslexic child!

Instead of writing: Think of any number and then double it, then add five.

You can just write 2x+5.

This appealed enormously to R and we worked through how to write out quite a few expressions. We also worked on simplifying fractions which appealed to her as well.

R finds reading and writing hard work, and as she reads to me I can tell that she is seeing words in a very different way from me, she can recognise some very complex words and then stumble on a word that looks simple to me. Thankfully maths doesn’t produce the same issues, although we do still occasionally have a backwards 3 or 2 and also mixing up of which word means which operation. Sometimes it is just a lack of confidence and she does know, she’s just not sure enough.

It has been confidence building for R to realise that she understands and is capable of much of what L is doing at school (especially in maths).

In school R would struggle so much more though, one-to-one is so beneficial for her – I’ll do the reading while she focusses on the mechanics of the maths problems. It seems that combining too many different skills at once makes it harder – so processing reading, writing and maths all at once is very difficult.

The same with writing things herself, if her brain is concentrating on the content it makes it extremely hard to also concentrate on word formation and spelling, so dictating a story to me helps, or writing practice just for actually writing, rather than content makes it easier for her.

R read some more Secret Seven to me out in the garden with chin-ups on the swing frame as little breaks. I then read more of Ghosthunter, the final book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness by Michelle Paver – R had listened to a CD of it but then wanted me to read it as the CD had been quite intense, with scary mood music, with me reading we can stop and talk about bits. We did both well up a bit as it got quite sad, but it gets happier at the end 🙂 Fantastic series, based around 6000 yrs ago, really exciting stories.

More playmobil playing, some minecraft, chatting, playing with the guinea pig, plus a bit of tidying and cleaning.

R set up a spy game for friends coming round after school, with disguises, walkie talkies and pens and notepaper, we had two lots of two friends round today, one lot after the other, so the kids all had a good play, spies in the garden and Wii U too.

Share this page...