Monday, June 30, 2014

Just When You Think You Have it All Figured Out

Back at the end of January I had written about how we were taking a pause from Teaching Textbooks and doing things differently than we had planned, with every intention of returning to Teaching Textbooks. Well, that did not happen as ds was quite adamant that he did not want to use that program ever again. So much for that experiment of letting him pick the program. We will not do that again - for a while anyway.

Since that time I also began to realize that we had hit a wall with reading and he was not improving and was struggling with comprehension when he read things himself. So I asked a simple question on my favorite homeschool forum about how to help with reading comprehension, one thing led to another, and next thing I knew I was researching dyslexia and how to have him tested for it. Thankfully Texas does recognize dyslexia (many states do not) and our school district does test specifically for that. He did a great job at the assessment and the tester was very complimentary (proud parent moment, there). But yes, he does have dyslexia.

Needless to say, those plans for middle school I thought I had all nailed down have changed a bit. But not too much, really. We are just doing something different for English and math. Thankfully the reading I've done about dyslexia has given me a better idea of what may work for him with math. We will be trying something completely different this next year. Which is such a relief, as math has really been almost torture for us. I have also learned that there is a specific type of program that works well for dyslexic students to learn/improve their reading, spelling, grammar and writing (Orton-Gillingham), and we have several options available as homeschoolers.

I will do a middle school overview and year 6 specifics in separate posts. Before I leave this one, though, I want to give a link that I found very helpful in understanding better what, exactly, dyslexia is. I really didn't have a clue. But this website helped to improved my understanding:

There are also several books on the subject that are on my list to read. I am currently reading The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain, by Brock L. Eide, M.D., M.A. and Fernette F. Eide, M.D. Its an easy read and quite fascinating. Next up (both from my local library) is Overcoming Dyslexia: A New and Complete Science-Based Program for Reading Problems at Any Level, by Sally Shaywitz, M.D. Definitely a good start on my personal learning adventure.

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