A new approach

After two and a half years with LAVCA and K12, we have decided (for many reasons) to stop and go back to our more traditional homeschooling approach. So, we have been pulling out other homeschool material again and Zelie picked up Emma Serl’s Primary Language Lessons. This little grammar primer happens to be one of my favorites, but neither of my older kids had ever really gotten into it.
Zelie not only picked it up, but began to read it! I think because of it’s little size and short lessons, it was not intimidating to her at all! She has begun to do one lesson per day completely on her own! I know that she is not only learning grammar and practicing her reading, but she is also building confidence! Love it! Thank you 1910 primers! :)

Taking Notes!

So, Zelie, who just turned 8 now, has started to take notes! Totally on her own! She has a notebook and as she listens to her classes (which are mostly online), she writes down certain words. Then, when I am doing her workbook pages with her, she will look up words in her notebook. I am not 100% sure how she decides which words to write down – or even how she knows which page she wrote it on (because the words are in all directions on all pages). It looks very random, but clearly it works for her!
It is exciting that even though she is only eight, she is already figuring out what methods of studying work for her!
(And since she does not really have dysgraphia, her words are all legible – except some letters are turned around sometimes – but she can still read it fine.)
So much better than the beginning of the year!!!
Praise God!!! :)

More Piano

So, today’s piano lesson was interesting. First, Zelie told me that she can’t play, so I had to sit in with her. Then, her piano teacher and I noticed that as quickly as she could, she memorized the piece and then played from memory – kind of the way she reads (she tries to memorize the word as soon as possible).
I know that piano is not the easiest for those with dyslexia, but we are going to keep trying until the end of the year, at least. I told her that she could ask her Nana to teach her guitar, as well, and maybe we’ll switch at the end of the year.
I did notice that it is just like reading where, by the end of the half hour lesson, she is exhausted and ready for a nap (which she is now taking).
Maybe I’m wrong (please tell me if I am!) but it seems that practicing reading something like music and recalling it can help her in her reading skills (or at least help her figure out what tricks she needs sooner rather than later). However, I am open to input – what do you think?

Piano for dyslexics?!

So, I’ve been told that guitar is a much easier instrument for someone with dyslexia to learn to play, but we don’t have a guitar. We have a piano and all of our kids take piano lessons. So that means that Zelie must take piano lessons, too!
The first problem we encountered was curving her hands – well, that’s not dyslexia-related – whew!
However, today her piano teacher and she told me that she was having difficulty remembering which notes were where and which fingers were suppose to play them. So, we decided, “Zelie can do anything anyone else can do – only the process may be different!”
So, Zelie and I decided to mark her knuckles with the note letters. At first, we tried her nails (we had already done this with her toes – she only paints her right toenails so that she knows which foot she is suppose to point in gymnastics), but then she couldn’t curve her fingers and see the letters. So, we wrote the standard C position on her knuckles.
Then, I found a nice chart online: http://theclasspiano.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/normal-piano-key-labels.pdf
Super easy to print and slip behind the keys of any piano!
Now she can play this week’s songs! yea!!!
Of course, we’re not sure what we’ll do when she moves to just the notes, but for now it works. :)

“Mermaids” and Clues of Dyslexia

Zelie has started acrobatics and loves it! :)  The other day, she came home telling me that they were learning how to do “Mermaids.”  It took me a little while and watching what she was talking about to realize that she meant “ariels”  (the cartwheels with no hands)! 

With dyslexia, she has a very visual memory – she thinks in pictures.  So, when she was introduced to the new word “ariel,” she associated it with Disney’s Little Mermaid.  Some might think this is a natural association for kids, which may be true.  However, she still cannot always remember if the word she wants is “mermaid” or “ariel” when talking about acrobatics.  This is because there is still an image, not a word!  Both words have the same image for her.

This can be a clue for dyslexia – not including “senior” moments of forgetfulness!   It is helpful to understand it in this way so that we as parents or teachers do not get upset or frustrated with children.  Similarly, someone with dyslexia might read “little” when she sees the word “small.”  For those of us who think and read words instead of pictures, it seems crazy and like they are not paying attention!  However, I have learned to just say the correct word and keep going, because they do mean the same thing.

So, next time you watch gymnastics, look for those “mermaids” on the balance beam! ;)

This entry was posted on October 2, 2012. 1 Comment

Speak It!

Wow! We just found a new app for Google Chrome called Speak It! It allows Zelie to highlight text on any website and the computer lady reads it to her. This is really helpful since our schooling is an online program. Now, instead of her having to wait for me to do history, math, art, or science, she can easily go to the subject and ask the computer to read it to her! K12 already has “reading rooms with audio” for history, but not for other subjects.

The reading program (Mark12) is all audio enhanced already, so that is covered, too. But the new freedom she has with her other subjects is wonderful! Right now, she is learning about the scientific method WITHOUT ME!!! :)

Oh, and did I mention that it is free? :)

What a wonderful discovery! Praise God!!
(I’m adding the link on the sidebar.)