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About SandyKC

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    Author Bee
  • Birthday April 25

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    Author, Webmaster, Learning Success Coach

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  1. That is so awesome!! I absolutely love hearing that a lot of a child's behaviors clear up when homeschooling starts. It took a couple of years for my son to gain back some of his self confidence. He was never quite as bubbly and outgoing as he was when we sent him off to public school, but I was just thankful to see him become happy again. Homeschooling truly can be transformational! When we started homeschooling, we planned to homeschool for just a couple of years. We had planned to put our boys back into public school once my son could read. By time we got to that point, NONE of us had any interest in going back to the public school model. We loved homeschooling SO MUCH! :-D So, I ended up homeschooling right on through to high school graduation. It was awesome.. not always easy, but awesome. THANK YOU for sharing your news!! It will be an encouragement to others who are going through the same sorts of things with their learning abled kids. ;-) HUGS!
  2. OhElizabeth said so much so directly, that I don't feel like I need to add a lot. I will say, "AMEN!" to everything OhElizabeth said. It sounds like there are issues and you KNOW there are issues. There is nothing keeping you from testing other than "uncertainty".. about what? I guess I'm not really sure why there is any question about whether testing would help you figure out what your DD needs. I'd agree whole-heartedly with you that private testing is the route to go. As OhE said, it can be really easy.. find a neuropsychologist, make an appointment, and go. When you get your evaluation report, you don't even have to share it with ANYONE. You can read it, gain insight into your DD's cognition, and then work with her exactly where she is and provide her exactly what she needs. I copied your questions and thought I'd answer them: Is it worth it for us to get her tested? DEFINITELY. Without testing, you don't REALLY know what's going on. You can make guesses, but you won't have accurate answers without a comprehensive evaluation. Knowing our sons' diagnoses was critical for meeting their individual needs. They had some similar symptoms, but the root causes of their LD issues were quite different, which required totally different approaches with each of them. You just don't know exactly what's going on without testing. Do we keep her in PS (which she does love) even though we have a tenuous relationship with her current teacher and know that she is having significant downtime. Not unless you don't mind "The Matthew Effect" where a child's achievement across all subject areas falls year after year for as long as the child's academic needs are not met. For example, my oldest son scored in the 80th & 90th percentiles when he entered public school. EVERY year his achievement test scores fell for the five years he was in public school. By time we pulled him out in fifth grade, ALL but one of his achievement sub-test scores was below the 50th percentile except for one score that was in the 60th percentile range. Did my son get dumber?? NO! That was "The Matthew Effect" in effect. When we started homeschooling, his scores started going up year-by-year again. When he took the ACT exam, he scored in the 92nd-99th percentile range other than on one subtest (can't remember what it was right now, but I know it was above the 60th percentile) Do we pull her out mid-year, deschool for a while and then homeschool for 3rd grade? You could do that. You could bring her home and work on areas you know she needs to work on using some fun programs, or let her delve into Watch, Know, Learn and learn whatever she wants to learn. You could leave her in school while you line up and get an evaluation, but I'm not sure what benefit there would be in leaving her there. Truthfully, being in 2nd grade, it isn't going to set her back to pull her out mid-year and if school "ends" for break, unless you tell her or remind her, she may not even notice when school starts back after the break. If she's involved in learning and activities at home, it could just be a natural transition if you pull her out over the holidays. I've got a mom who did that with her child, and it was exceptionally easy--I think it is always easier when they are younger. SO, in many ways, the sooner, the better, especially if you do it at a natural breakpoint, like a major school holiday break. ;-) I know it's a gut-wrenching decision at times, but I'll tell you--my only regret was waiting and sticking with public school for as long as we did. We were always hopeful things would get better, but they never did and they reached a point of devastation for my son's self-esteem. You can read our story at: Yep.. My only regret was not homeschooling sooner!!
  3. The Orton-Gillingham method was developed by Samuel Orton and Anna Gillingham back in the 1930's.. NINETEEN THIRTIES!! Can you imagine? And people still act as though we don't know how to teach kids with dyslexia to read!! The Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators is a "certifying" organization, so to speak. They are the most well-known and have stringent requirements for certifying candidates as Orton-Gillingham practitioners. Any training offered by an Orton-Gillingham Fellow certified by this organization is likely to be a "good OG training program." That is not to say there aren't plenty of other people who are qualified or even highly qualified to teach the OG Method, but if you're going to drop some big bucks on training, going with an OG Fellow will give you some level of assurance that the person doing the training is well-trained in the methodology. For training not offered by a certified OG Fellow, I'd suggest doing your research to find reviews and information about the trainer to make sure she has some practical, hands-on experience and is effective in using the method. A LOT of the schools for kids with dyslexia offer OG training in the summer time. I know the Schenk School here in Atlanta offers training. If you want to get familiarized with the method, don't have the money for a hands-on course, and don't mind reading a textbook.. look at: The Gillingham Manual: Remedial Training for Students With Specific Disability in Reading, Spelling, and Penmanship. The book was co-authored by Anna Gillingham and it will give you a good grasp on the whys and hows. It's not quite the same thing as gaining hands-on instruction in the method, but it works well if you can't / aren't able to get training otherwise. A lot of libraries have the book on hand too, so you might want to check it out there before buying it, then buy it if the book works for you. ;-)
  4. YES, I completed an OG training class offered by Rotter and Becker Educational Consultants in Roswell, GA, taught by Claire Pearson, an OG Fellow. They generally only offer this in the summertime, and OG methods are learned more effectively with hands-on, face-to-face practice. The class was EXCELLENT and it allowed me to understand how to work with my son, not just in his reading instruction, but with all of his learning. When you understand the whys and hows, it really does help you work with your child in creative ways that support his learning. OG Training IS expensive, especially if you end up traveling to a location for the training. The course I took was two full weeks long, and cost several hundred bucks. I've THOUGHT about developing an inexpensive online class--not sure it would do the OG method "justice" and I'm not sure of the usage/licensure issues that might be involved in teaching OG methods. Still, I DO feel there is a need for an inexpensive, overview kind of course that will give parents insight to the method so they can effectively teach their kids! I think OG training is useful no matter what program you use. Having training enabled me to use a very inexpensive program (The Language Tool Kit) while adding on my own multisensory activities and not needing scripting (which Barton provides). If you're going to do Barton, you may not "need" OG training, but I'm virtually certain having training would enable you to more effectively use the program and to carry over the OG methods to math and other subjects too, as needed. Obtaining training for yourself is one of the best, long-term investments I think a parent can make in their child's education. It's cheaper to get trained than to hire a tutor, to pay for expensive programs, etc. and it enabled me to help my DS rather inexpensively at home. Those are my thoughts based upon my experience, FWIW. Hope that helps! :-D
  5. Since you say your son has developmental eye issues, that will make reading more difficult (tiring and possibly painful) if he doesn't have corrective vision therapy. I don't know if you can find a COVD doctor near you, but you might want to check on their website to see if you can find one. My thoughts, based upon the little I know here and personal experience, would lean towards option number 3 for a light-weight approach, and your FIRST number 5 option for an intense program that is likely to bring about measureable benefit over the summer. Whichever way you go, I would highly recommend addressing the saccadic eye movements during the summer because it can affect your son's ability to maintain his place, easily sweep his eyes for reading, etc. My DS had vision therapy and intensive remediation. It's a lot of work, but the intensity of a program is what ultimately pays off. Something like option number 2 is not likely to bring about much meaningful and lasting benefit as listed. Your DS would likely need daily instruction and more than an hour per day in order to make meaningful progress. Beishan mentions "Seeing Stars".. It IS doable at home. However, I'm not sure if that would be your best choice. I agree that REWARD intermediate would be great for the multi-syllable word attack, but you would have to gauge that with your DS' basic reading ability. Rewards is usually used after a child has the ability to read one and two syllable words. Working AFTER a day at school is very difficult because your son is already tired from spending a full day doing what is hard for him. It is both mentally and physically draining, so it is no surprise that you wouldn't be able to manage homework and extra work. Summer is an ideal time to work on intense remediation as much as possible.. Two hours per day each and every week day throughout the summer can bring about some progress... It will also prevent learning regression in your son, and that will keep his learning moving forward. May I ask if you put your son back into school this spring because of his LD issues and uncertainty about how to work with him? If so, and if you'd like to regroup and consider working with him at home, it can be a good way to meet his needs given you have a solid plan of attack. Do you have a comprehensive report from his diagnostic evaluation? If so, that can provide a lot of insight into how to meet your DS' needs.
  6. I wholeheartedly agree with this. I had no clue it costs that much either!! (Which is good to know because I was considering putting a forum on my own site.. definitely going to have to rethink that!). That said, I"m with Mom31257 that I have no problem seeing advertising--especially if it won't include annoying pop-ups or pop-outs (the kind that fill part of the screen when you accidentally mouse over them).
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