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Everything posted by halibecs

  1. Thank you both for the feedback. Yes, part of our decision to go back to school was because of figuring out the LD piece (although we didn't get the official diagnosis until April). We thought maybe the parts of school he is good at and really likes: friends, PE, Art, Garden, Botany were even more important to him as we address the areas that are hard for him and the responsibility of homeschooling a child with learning disabilities made me feel even more out of my depth. My husband really wants him to attend the same academically competitive middle/high school he attended and the confidence I felt having a well qualified homeschooling child apply withered when I realized many parts of his application may be less strong (the testing). His attributes: his work ethic, his empathy, ability to get along with others etc. are real strengths but somehow I thought it would sound more believable in a recommendation coming from someone other than his mom. The other piece was that my husband wasn't completely comfortable with homeschooling, was traveling a lot, and wanted no part of teaching or reinforcing material with the children, which was upsetting to me since I was working from home 20-30 hours a week. So marital harmony trumped homeschooling for now. However, the perfect fit for him would be a program that let us work at home and just go to "school" for sports, art, playtime a few times a week. We unfortunately don't have a COVD where we live. I found some vision training apps and we've used Reading Plus that does some VT, but we haven't been to a COVD. We have also considered this: http://www.brightstar-learning.com/programs/brightstar-reader/. I completely hear you on the phonics...I was totally sold on doing just phonics last year when I pulled him out and Dancing Bears definitely helped; however, I know I have many dyslexic traits, had zero knowledge of phonics until about 5 years ago and I'm an excellent reader. My younger child COULD NOT do Dancing Bears and he can read beautifully and can spell better than the older boy. I'm wondering if I passed on some crazy brain pattern to both of my kids where prediction and limited visual sampling are the right path to developing reading fluency and then we can come back through with Apples and Pears to learn spelling. But I don't want to waste a summer if Read Right is a mistake so I decided we are going to do 8 tutoring sessions before school gets out and see if it seems to be helping in a dramatic way (they swear it will). I listened in on the first tutoring session today and it is a lot about reading fluency and pacing (they reread the same sentences over and over trying to develop a concept of what "excellent" reading sounds like and he did get very fluid). The reading level of the material seems to be around 2nd grade. It is not sight word memorization as a big part of LMB Seeing Stars is (and these are all words he "knows" fast anyway because the reading level is so low). The OG tutor we were going to use has decided not to tutor this summer, but I bet a I could find another one. Worse case, 1 week into summer I'll go with the plan of High Noon Reading 2, multi-syllable word work, choral reading, Lexia (O/G) and Reading Plus. I will share our Read Right results (or lack of results) in a couple of weeks. Thanks!
  2. Has anyone done Read Right tutoring online? This is a bit of a Hail Mary, but we are thinking of trying it. It is totally opposite of all the synthetic phonics and Spaulding work we've done. It's all about reading for meaning, anticipating words and just using visual sampling to confirm your prediction about the text. Anyone tried it? www.readright.com
  3. We are about to try getting books from BookShare and using VoiceDream app on ipad to read text aloud to child while text being read is highlighted. We haven't done it yet, but voices are supposed to be really good with VoiceDream. Also, while still not as nice to listen to as professional audio books, it is free after you buy the app if you get bookshare. I've read you can also experiment with improving "ear reading" speed by increasing the speed of the speaker. For some kids, getting good at listening fast will be an important skill (Ben Foss ear reads at 300-400 words a minute).
  4. My almost 9-year-old has recently been given a formal diagnosis of a specific learning disability in reading and in written expression and a provisional diagnosis of a learning disability in math. Last fall we completed Dancing Bears FastTrack AB and C. We also did some Read Naturally readings. I ordered High Noon Reading 2, but we ended up putting him back in school this spring and we haven't been able to do homework+extra work (we have been doing choral reading together some, reading to him A LOT). He definitely improved in his reading ability through the Dancing Bears work and is now at low-average or average levels, but his verbal IQ is at the 99th percentile so there is a problem there. His multi-syllable word attack is still poor, he still reads words out of order, syllables out of order, skips little words, cuts off word endings and does not like to read aloud. He also still miscalls a lot of words or reads them backwards (one/on, was/saw, no/on etc.). We were told by 2 tutors that he has problems with saccadic eye movements based on his performance on a Developmental Eye Movement test and a Visagraph exam. We tried Reading Plus (that has eye training plus silent reading flucency) and Lexia (OG online program) for 3 weeks and it was manageable to implement. I just don't know if it's enough on its own. His dyslexia is primarily visual. He scored well on the WJ Sound Awareness subtest (7.7 grade level) and at the 84th percentile on the NEPSY-II Phonological Processing subtest). On the WJ Spelling subtest, he scored at the 2nd grade level; however, on the Spelling of Sounds subtest that only used phonetically regular nonsense or low-frequency words he scored at the 5th grade level. He will still spell words he should know incorrectly (wuz for was, cum for come, fone for phone) Summer is almost here and I have been so excited for him to have more time to work on reading; however, I am burned out trying to work with him. He is extremely resistant to doing reading work and I think it will take a lot of pressure off me to put him in a formal remediation program so that I can just focus with him on program homework and reading together with him. I had thought we'd put him in Lindamood Bell Seeing Stars but 2 weeks ago they decided to not open a summer learning center on our island after all so I am now searching for alternatives. Here's what I've come up with: 1. Read Right tutoring: opposite of everything I've done with Dancing Bears, etc. Program focuses on reading for meaning not reading accuracy. Has anyone tried this? www.readright.com. They want us to stop all OG based work while we do the program. This makes me nervous that we'll lose time where we could try to make progress with OG over the summer. But neither my husband nor I learned anything about phonics or syllable types until we have tried to help our son; I didn't even know the correct letter sound for Q until I volunteered at an elementary school 10 years ago and we are both good readers (and I am a horrible speller!), so maybe there is a different approach that might work for a kid with our genes? 2. Hire a local teacher who has had Lindamood Bell Seeing Stars training do the program 3 hours a week with him (1 hour/3days). She is nice but has never worked in a center and I'm worried we'll miss the massed practice aspect of LMB. 3. Have him work with an OG tutor 2 hours a week plus Reading Plus and Lexia online. 4. Have him work with Seeing Stars teacher and OG tutor for a total of 5 tutoring sessions a week ( I'd have to bribe this kid that just wants to be outside all day). 5. Rally and do High Noon 2 and multi-syllable work with him myself plus choral readings, Reading Plus and Lexia 5. Going to stay with relatives in continental US and do a LMB program. But very crowded accommodations, expense of program plus tickets plus rental car etc. Disruption to kids of being away from dad etc. I'm frankly overwhelmed at this point with the competing methodologies and claims of the programs. My husband is completely distancing himself from the diagnosis, any home-based work on reading, and the decision about what to do. I am so discouraged and I honestly don't know what to do. Any advice out there? Thank you!
  5. Thanks, I will check out these resources. We do have a lot of the High Noon chapter books and we are practicing with them. r is resistant about doing repeated readings, but I am getting him to pick one paragraph to perfect. Baby steps :)
  6. Thanks to you all for your thoughtful input and providing the Dancing Bears C excerpt. My son was a little rocky through Dancing Bears C. For example, on one of the last pages, out of 76 words he missed 6: anchor, nephew, character, distraction, aviation, schedule. But he read caution, foundation, partition, chemistry, conversation etc. There were 2 mastery tests that he should have failed (you were only allowed one mistake on whole page and he made two), but I let him keep going and just kept reviewing those skills. He could read the story pretty well towards the end, except for his reoccurring problem of missing little words, dropping word endings, occasionally skipping an entire line, problems we think may relate to eye saccadic movements. Also, he continues to sound choppy/run through periods. I think the reason I am so torn is that I never explicitly learned the 7 syllabification rules and I find so many exceptions to them that I'm not sure how helpful they will be. High Noon definitely does explicit syllabification and maybe that's okay and I can just explain that they help sometimes. For example I think the double consonant or marker endings are a great thing to look for to know to try the short/1st sound first. But as for teaching open/closed, see study below... http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED277985&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED277985 I really would love a book that systematically focuses on common affixes and word chunks with word lists to practice. Something harder than Reading Pathways and with as little writing as possible.
  7. Thanks so much for this...I will check out Abecedarian C as well (I think there web site is down right now?)
  8. I am currently debating between Rewards Intermediate or High Noon Level 2 (trying to avoid a lot of writing and it seems like Megawords has more)... What did you end up using? How did it go? We just finished Dancing Bears C. I noticed a reference in this thread to a different High Noon book focused on multi-syllable words. What book is this? Also, does anyone have a Rewards Intermediate or High Noon set they'd like to sell?
  9. Thanks I figured. Anyone have a used set they want to sell? Having trouble finding the right teacher's manual except through the publisher.
  10. My always easy-going son turned 6 and became a handful....I laughed when I found "Your 6 Year Old, Loving and Defiant" at the library. I had had the same confusion over my 8 year old 2 years earlier, the book made me feel better at that time, too and then I had mommy brain and forgot about the stage and book's subtitle. I think it's developmental/holding it together at school than falling apart for someone who's safe and the more positive attention you can give the better. I am trying to make myself look at any piece of his behavior or choice I can praise and when I actually succeed at this (I'm far from perfect at this) he is so much more helpful, charming and fun that it's easy to keep going with it. Success begets success. Then the other piece is identifying the behavior you want to see, communicating this to her and then set up a lot of short term praise and rewards to try to cement the behavior. Loved this book: http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Parenting-Toolkit-Step-Step/dp/0547985541/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_y
  11. Does it matter if I get the older Rewards Intermediate or do I need to get the newer 2nd edition? It looks like I need the teacher's guide, can anyone confirm? It seems like this or High Noon Level 2 would be pretty open and go... Also, if we do go back to Apples and Pears, is that enough help for reading? it seems to be so heavily spelling focused...I think I would have to do that plus something else. Thank you!
  12. We just finished Dancing Bears C and the program worked well. We are also 2 lessons from finishing Apples and Pears A. Loved it also--it really worked. What should I go to next? My son is being evaluated for a range of cognitive functions right now (reading, processing, executive function) but I won't have the results for another month or so. Tentative results show dyseidetic dyslexia and visual motor problems that make handwriting exhausting (and we are back in school so he is having to do a lot of writing each day) so we are taking a break before starting Apples and Pears B because it is so writing intensive. However, I want to continue to work on reading. What program takes a similar morpheme based approach and develops multisyllable word strategies? Are there any programs similar to Apples and Pears without as much writing? I am not convinced explicit syllable rules are going to work well for him. Considering: Reading Pathways Rewards Intermediate Megawords High Noon Level 2 We are also beginning some at-home hacked vision therapy because he has problems with saccadic eye movements. Thank you!
  13. We just finished Dancing Bears C and the program worked well. We are also 2 lessons from finishing Apples and Pears A. Loved it also--it really worked. What should I go to next? My son is being evaluated for a range of cognitive functions right now (reading, processing, executive function) but I won't have the results for another month or so. Tentative results show dyseidetic dyslexia and visual motor problems that make handwriting exhausting (and we are back in school so he is having to do a lot of writing each day) so we are taking a break before starting Apples and Pears B because it is so writing intensive. However, I want to continue to work on reading. What program takes a similar morpheme based approach and develops multisyllable word strategies? Are there any programs similar to Apples and Pears without as much writing? I am not convinced explicit syllable rules are going to work well for him. We are also beginning some at home hacked vision therapy because he has problems with saccadic eye movements. Thank you!
  14. Thanks, I appreciate it. I have heard that it's really important to check parent references for vision therapy providers. Have you by any chance used of the above?
  15. Has anyone had an exceptional experience with a developmental optometrist who was able to do an assessment and then an intense period of work with a child and then provide follow up work to be completed at home? We live on a Hawaiian island with no VT or developmental optometrists so to do this we will have to go for an extended stay in the mainland United States or on Oahu (but there doesn't seem to be a very well established practice there either.) Particularly interested in recommendations for California, Colorado and Arkansas where we could stay with family. Neuro-psych thinks my sons saccadic eye movements could be part of the problem (the Diagnostic Eye Movement test showed his rapid naming was slow (15%) and his saccadic movements even slower (5%). Thank you!
  16. Does anyone have a good recommendation for songs to learn multiplication facts and/or addition facts? My VSL/dyslexic 8 year old needs all the help he can get.
  17. Thanks for the comparison and the advice...I will give him a few more days off from it and see if he's willing to restart at a pointbefore it got tricky. The irony is that my 6 year old sounds like a much better reader than my 8 year old when reading a book outloud (he does a lot of effective guessing :)
  18. Another update and question: My 8 year old is almost done with Dancing Bears FastTrack and he is reading the stories in it really well (and is very proud). We have also started Apples and Pears and it seems like he is retaining the spellings. However, my 6 year old is struggling with FastTrack (tears, missing a lot of words). He made it halfway through the book. Do you think I should try Dancing Bears B? When I look at it online it seems to have much of the same content as FastTrack. Has anyone used both?
  19. As a quick update for people trying to decide on a reading curriculum, we are 50 pages into Dancing Bears and my son's accuracy is really improving. He still hates the cursor. Will post again in another few weeks with an update.
  20. oh wait,I was thinking Wilson, not Davis. I mean the similarity is still reassuring but since I am an inherent skeptic who's having to become less so because of my son, I got excited for some connection to a really mainstream reading program.
  21. Thanks everybody for sharing your experience. The Davis similarity is really interesting and reassuring. A little part of me is still worried about using the cursor because his teachers have discouraged any tracking mechanism (finger pointing, ruler, etc.)so if Davis does something similar it provides a little brand name validation. The second and third lessons went much better. He didn't love it, but we stayed on the same team and powered through.
  22. Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate it. I will speed up the cursor to be slightly more anticipatory. I think just having to keep doing the line the next day if you miss any sound will slow him down for Dancing Bears. I totally agree on the reading level. The danger of averages...he only tests about 6 months behind (mid second grade) for fluency because they average the really fast speed and the terrible accuracy. The accuracy mistakes are sometimes miscalled nouns that are similar but often small words and word endings (plurals, -ed versus -ing). He then compounds his mistakes because for example if he leaves off the plural -s he will then change the verb to agree with the subject. The problem is that he can get very far off track and his eyes don't signal to him that he's made a mistake. I'll see how today's lesson goes...
  23. Yes, the instantly strong reaction was hard, but I'm just going to try to stay positive and consistent and see if it gets less painful. Thanks for the answers, I'll try speeding up the cursor a little. Apples and Pears looks great, too. Thanks! Has anyone had a kid who strongly disliked the cursor but came around to it?
  24. We went with Dancing Bears FastTrack AB. It arrived yesterday and we did our first lesson today. My older son really, really disliked it, especially the cursor. My 6-year old was okay with it. To my great surprise, neither of them got all the rows on the first page. The 8-year old would guess the word wrong based on the first two sounds because he was impatient with the cursor speed. I'm pretty sure he could have read the whole page correctly without the cursor (the words he most often misses are on, it etc.) The 6-year old made some b/d mistakes (you really have to know the letter shape without the context of the word to guide you), added sounds etc. Two questions: 1. How fast should I be moving the cursor? Wait to hear him say the first sound and then move, or move in anticipation because my 8-year-old really read fast (4th grade speed, K accuracy). 2. After they say all the sounds, do they blend and say the whole word? As a side note, I ended up going with Dancing Bears because I thought it would address the guessing issue because of the cursor. I didn't let the boys choose between it and High Noon. I kind of knew going into this that my spirited, very independent, clearly using lots of clues other than the sound to read kid wouldn't like the cursor. However, I thought the novelty of it would allow us to make it farther than literally two words in without him announcing it was the worst day of his life and he did not want to homeschool if this was reading. Wow. I will obviously stick with it to see if it gets easier. Perhaps because it's really forcing him to do the thing that is hardest for him, he dislikes it. This may be a situation requiring bribery. Also, because I know others are probably reading this thread to help make their decision, the High Noon Tom and Ricky mystery books are a huge hit with the 8-year-old. He has gone from saying he hates to read to begging me to buy him another one (available on Amazon via Kindle; comprehension questions on the Web for this newly revised version). We will continue to do Dancing Bears but also will let him read interesting books that are 1st grade level and read aloud a lot and see how it goes...I'll keep you posted. I'm also going to add in repeated readings once we incorporate Dancing Bears into our routine.
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