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What do they want to do/learn? There are many trade schools and hands on type post highschool education programs that might be a great fit for that type of learner.

 

I was hoping someone would speak up and tell me about their child and how their child was prepped to attend a 4 year accredited college.

Edited by Heathermomster
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I was hoping someone would speak up and tell me about their child and how their child was prepped to attend a 4 year accredited college.

 

Well, I don't exactly have a formula to share. The first time I read your message, my main thought was...and still is...that your son is only 12 years old. He will grow and change A LOT over the next few years. If you continue to build his oral and written language skills and not let that languish while you feed his strengths, he'll get there, if he has the cognitive ability to do college. Whether he'll want to if he truly has a strong preference for kinesthetic, hands-on activities is a different story.

 

Here are some things that we did for my middle child who is defnitely a kinesthetic, visual/spatial learner:

 

-lots and lots of vocabulary building

-lots and lots of sentence-building & practical grammar & usage work

-lots of reading aloud (to the student) into the high school years; audiobooks or text-to-speech could help, too, but we are a read aloud family

-co-op classes were a lower stress way to begin to adapt to classroom academics than a regular classroom

-by mid-high school we used Teaching Company DVDs to practice listening to lecture presentations and to practice taking notes.

 

 

The TC DVDs worked out well. We could go back and play a section again if attention lapsed and an important point was missed, the student couldn't get the notes down, or she needed to hear it again to really absorb what was being said. We started using the DVDs without requiring notetaking. She could develop the skill of listening first w/o having to capture the info on paper. We would discuss the lecture to help strengthen her listening skills. Then we added the additional step of taking notes.

 

The main thing is doing it all in small bites daily so the student isn't trying to drink from a firehose of oral and written language and being pushed to develop those skills on the same timeline as other students.

Edited by Tokyomarie
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Well I can tell you what we're doing, similar but not exactly the same situation. One, I'm talking with the college people at dd's preferred choice to find out exactly what resources will be available to her and how it will play out at that school. (accredited, 4 year university) Two, we've looked through the course bulletin to work out some scenarios that would involve low course loads (14-16) hours. I took 20 hours of classes and worked 20 hours a week. That won't be her reality. She can't process that quickly, so she's going to have to have time. That means to graduate in 4 years she needs to work backwards and get some of those freshman classes done in high school. So that's our third thing, picking those classes we want to do as dual enrollment and getting a game plan now that will get us there.

 

Four, we're looking realistically at the *skills* she'll need and getting honest about it. She likes to learn via video and engaging lessons. That's all cool, but the reality is college isn't going to be like that. So I'm trying to pick some things (not a ton, just one or two) that push that toward the realistic reading and learning via reading that HAS to be done for college. So whatever will be your dc's method of dealing with textbook learning, make a plan. You'll notice posts by people like Nan in Mass who said they gently started working on those skills TOGETHER, a little bit each year, so they knew they'd be where they needed to be by the end.

 

Five, we're putting our mental energy into writing. Content is gravy. It doesn't matter a flying fig about the specifics she learns in history, but it sure matters if she can get her thoughts out coherently and think in an orderly logical fashion, create an outline, outline material, write from her outline, etc. I'm not saying I'm killing her with writing. I'm just saying it's where I'm putting my focus, and it means I'll let other things go squishy or interest-driven to let the time *I* have to work with her go there.

 

So yeah, just lots of reality checks and working backward, that's what we're doing. I'm trying balance that out with this internal "Are we losing our joy in the process?" question. I don't want to freak out or ruin our last years together over it or lose sight of the unconventional ways to approach things. Just trying to create that balance of lots of pleasure and a little bit of well-considered effort on those skills to build toward where I know she needs to be.

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Ditto on what OhE said. I am focusing on writing skills. That's where DS has the most trouble.

 

Teaching Company is a fabulous resource. I think with a dyslexic it is important to find your child's strengths and focus on thos while persistently remediating things that are frustrations. DS absolutely loves TC lectures. I toyed around with him taking notes this year. It ultimately fell to the wayside. He tends to remember it all. Still when he hits a certain level he will need to write things down. I know this because when he was at mathcamp he had such an experience. This was great because now he sees why taking notes is an important skill. DS has such great N strengths that he tends to remember almost everything from the TC lectures. They are strongly narrative in their teaching.

 

This would look different with a hands on dyslexic (my guy is extremely cerebral). Have you seen Dyslexic Advantage?

 

My youngest is more like what you describe. I haven't thought that far ahead yet so I am interested in what others might have to say.

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Be sure that you have your child evaluated early on--before high school--to establish the ongoing presence of LDs and need for accommodations. You need this to get College Board accommodations, which will be important for college admissions (and AP tests and so forth) as well as accommodations in college itself.

 

My son is not in college yet, but plans to go, and is currently attending a private IB school. I homeschooled him through the middle of 10th grade, and he has been very successful in his current school. My philosophy is that he needed more instruction and more practice than a person without dyslexia. So I had him write *a lot*. I am only now realizing how much more writing I was requiring than a regular school. But now he is a fairly competent writer and he wouldnt' have been if he had been writing just a few things each semester (as they do in his school). I also required him to read *lots* of books that were hard for him--again, apparently way more than his current school requires.

 

I had him watch Teaching Company lectures but didn't have him take notes, as they go way too fast for that. For note taking, Derek Owens math classes are excellent as he gives students the time they need to write things down.

 

It has been a long haul, and he still has a long way to go, mostly with organization, planning, that sort of thing. But I do see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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My philosophy is that he needed more instruction and more practice than a person without dyslexia. So I had him write *a lot*. I am only now realizing how much more writing I was requiring than a regular school. But now he is a fairly competent writer and he wouldnt' have been if he had been writing just a few things each semester (as they do in his school). I also required him to read *lots* of books that were hard for him--again, apparently way more than his current school requires.

 

EKS, this is my philosophy and it stood me in good stead with my middle child. By the time she took her SAT/ACT exams she actually handled the demand with absolute flying colors WITHOUT accommodations, though she should have had extended time for the essay component, which is the only place her score fell behind her cognitive ability. She experienced the same thing in college: she did fine on multiple choice & short answer tests, but timed essay tests were her bugaboo. One semester, she had a music history class that required a lot of writing and a project or two. The students were to develop a portfolio of their work throughout the semester for a final grade. The tests were heavy on essays. She got an A on her portfolio, but her exams were consistantly low B to C because she never had enough time to finish writing her essays even though she knew the answers. Basic point, though, for college prep is that lots of classic reading and lots of writing- in small increments- is what got her to that point.

 

Now, on the school requiring far less reading and writing than you required in your homeschool, I AM RIGHT THERE WITH YOU! That has been my biggest disappointment with the school we enrolled my son in this year. It was advertised as challenging, the kids will have to work hard, yada, yada. I took that to mean a challenging amount of reading and writing. My son compared notes with the other formerly homeschooled students and they all agreed that they had much more assigned reading at home than they have had this year at this school.

 

Landmark School materials and other professionals writing about how to manage development of writing skills for students with language-based LDs, especially dyslexia, talk about explicit, structured, sequential instruction, taking small incremental steps in increasing difficulty level, and lots and lots of practice with consistant feedback from an instructor. A SLP who recently did a full language & literacy eval recommended exactly this for my son. Lather, rinse, repeat is the phrase she used to talk about the amount of writing he needs to be doing and the amount of practice at one skill level. We have so far experienced the exact opposite and it has become frustrating because he is not ready to have writing instruction that is nebulous, takes too many leaps in skill level at once, or is simply insufficient in volume.

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Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you...

 

I will take a peak at the Teaching Company, increase read alouds, work gently on teaching new skills, consider co-op classes, ensure LDs testing prior to high school, and work on systematic, explicit writing instruction in small increments.

 

I know you gals think I'm crazy and yes, DS will be 13 in Nov. I just don't want the kid to be held back by my lack of, or too much, action.

 

Blessings, Heather

Edited by Heathermomster
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A few things no one has mentioned yet:

 

Many, many courses, particularly math and science but a number of others as well, are set up so that students have access to professors' lecture notes and problem-solving sets and solutions. I'm trying to remember what kinds of subjects I saw available last time I walked by: I think economics, some psychology and anthropology were also available. At our local branch of the University of California, you buy these sets of lecture notes as you need them. I would assume that at some point all this will go on-line.

 

Students frequently record lectures and re-listen as needed. Smart pens, which record while the student is taking notes, are getting more and more sophisticated. I haven't used one, but my understanding -- which I'm sure someone will correct if I'm wrong -- is that they interface with a laptop or other computer so you can search by the phrases you've used in your notes to access the related audio recording section.

 

The last time I taught undergrads, which was about eight years ago, students were already bringing laptops into the classroom and typing their notes. I can only assume this has gotten more common. If your child types faster than he writes, this may be the way to practice note-taking at home as well.

 

If your child has a documented disability, depending on the college and its willingness to accommodate various learning differences, he may be able to get services such as:

 

--a designated note-taker

--some oral exams in lieu of written ones

--extended time on essay tests or other tests

--special tutors

--an advisor who checks up on the student regularly, helps with organizational issues, talks through issues, is an advocate for the student

 

Some people simply do not need to take written notes. Believe it or not, but there it is. There are some kids with auditory memories that work like photographic visual memories, and they simply do not need notes. Dh went all the way through a PhD without annotating a single book or writing down anything other than math problems. DD 16 only takes notes for science -- nothing else.

 

Other kids may take notes in a completely different, visual fashion. I've read about this in many places, the most recently in a new book about creativity and education: a kid needed to doodle and draw rather than take written, sequential notes. Once he did this in his own way, he was off and running, doing stellar work. And this was for math and physics.

 

The point is: do not assume your child necessarily needs formal, sequential outline skills or note-taking ability. Experiment with lots of different ways and see which one helps him remember and recall best. Experiment with different methods of generating and mapping/webbing ideas for essays rather than a linear-sequential conventional model.

 

And finally, I've heard from parents of SN kids is that perhaps the most important thing you can do is teach your child to ask for help when he needs it. In the final years of high school, the more situations you can find that allow a child to practice this vital skill, the better. Some kids have no problem with this, while others are deeply, deeply reticent. But they need to learn how to do it, to feel comfortable doing it, and to realize how beneficial it is for everybody involved.

 

I've heard about the pen you mentioned. I will look at mind mapping. DS was encouraged to take picture notes when he was younger....DS does not like asking for help.

 

Thank-you. Your comments have been incredibly insightful.

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I know you gals think I'm crazy and yes, DS will be 13 in Nov. I just don't want the kid to be held back by my lack of, or too much, action.

 

Blessings, Heather

 

Hey, I don't think you're crazy, I'm over here looking into a 504 plan for a 2nd grader so he can get extended time on the SAT in 9 years. These paper trails for accommodations are an insane set of hoops!

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I know you gals think I'm crazy and yes, DS will be 13 in Nov. I just don't want the kid to be held back by my lack of, or too much, action.

 

 

 

I don't think you're crazy at all; I think you're being smart. Homeschooling high school is a big deal and it is a much bigger deal if you're homeschooling a kid with LDs whose goal is a selective (or even not so selective) four year college.

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Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you...

 

I will take a peak at the Teaching Company, increase read alouds, work gently on teaching new skills, consider co-op classes, ensure LDs testing prior to high school, and work on systematic, explicit writing instruction in small increments.

 

I know you gals think I'm crazy and yes, DS will be 13 in Nov. I just don't want the kid to be held back by my lack of, or too much, action.

 

Blessings, Heather

 

I agree with FairProspects & EKS. You are not crazy! My comments about the amount of change there will be in a few years was meant to help you realize that what you see today is not what you will see at age 17 or 18, provided you keep doing all the good stuff that produces growth! Also, that you can relax & not feel like you have to get there by tomorrow or next week!

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If your child has a documented disability, depending on the college and its willingness to accommodate various learning differences, he may be able to get services such as:

 

--a designated note-taker

--some oral exams in lieu of written ones

--extended time on essay tests or other tests

--special tutors

--an advisor who checks up on the student regularly, helps with organizational issues, talks through issues, is an advocate for the student

 

 

Was this specified in your neuropsych write-up or something you've read about kids getting? I can't remember if that exact wording was in our report, but that's absolutely what would benefit her. I remember he talked about asking services. I'm just wondering if that exact wording needs to be there or if it was an accommodation that particular school developed.

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What I'm perplexed about is a complete disconnect between what several of you are saying -- that your dyslexic children need to write much MORE than goes on in typical schools or with typical curricula -- and what experts like the Eides say, which is, "Most dyslexic children should have their writing requirements reduced to at most one-third of the normally expected amount." The Eides go on to encourage other forms of response, such as graphic presentations, oral reports/debate, and other projects. Tony Attwood says much the same thing about Asperger's children (his speciality) with dysgraphia. Jeffrey Freed (Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World) says that much resistance to writing in kids like this (his speciality is VSL and ADD kids) comes from their lag in eye-hand coordination and their perfectionism; they want to do things perfectly and they often are overwhelmed with a writing task because they can't get it perfect the first time. His technique is similar to Peggy Kaye's approach in Games For Writing -- to take pressure off not by backing away from writing, but by making it social, companionable, and like a game for young kids. With older children, Freed talks about continuing "social" or "join" writing -- parents join in their children's assignments, at first doing nearly all the work, then handing over teeny bits and pieces to their children, over time; this can happen even in high school. Onelmichele's neuropsych recommended decreasing the written workload for her ADHD child. All these people who work with dyslexic, VSL, dysgraphic, or otherwise writing-reluctant kids share a very similar stance. I've also found these approaches (joint writing, family writing, and games for a young child; Freed's approach for older ones) to be right on the spot for my own dd.

 

I have also read a number of posts over time by homeschooling parents who say that their writing-challenged VSL, dyslexic, Aspie, or dysgraphic kids experienced a huge developmental growth spurt in mid-adolescence, and that their writing abilities (everything from stamina to legibility to ability to put together a coherent essay) took a quantum leap forward then. This is indeed what happened to my own child, at around age 14. I can understand gradually increasing the writing load to what is typical once a child undergoes this neurological maturation; but it seems it would be counterproductive to do so, much less to up it even further, before that stage.

 

Thank you so much for this post! This is exactly what our neuropsych report says and I've been thinking about the amount of writing as well.

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I haven't reviewed the posts again from this thread, but when I talk about writing, I don't talk about greater volume in number of words or pages. I have talked about writing A LOT, my meaning is consistent daily composition at the student's skill level. If the student is a 6th grader and can only write fluently at a sentence level, don't try to get a whole page or more. Write daily at their fluency level and gradually bump up the expectation. If necessary, accommodate their handwriting & by scribing, keyboarding, or dictation software.

 

So not MORE writing, but consistant writing in slowly increasing increments.

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Thank you Doodler.

 

A traditional approach to writing works every weakness that someone with low executive functioning has. Our NP not only recommended decreasing the written workload, but also using alternative educational methods to practice those skills.

 

Verbal skills are a pre-cursor to written communication. Talk to your kids and listen to them. Encourage them to question and challenge things. Work on those speech and debate skills. Play word games, listen to audiobooks, watch documentaries together, talk about events, read together, and discuss, discuss, discuss. This gives them practice with wording and clarity with no strings attached. The learn to adapt to their audience and purpose.

 

While doing this, they can be writing lists, thank you cards, letters to companies, their favorite athlete (my son was surprised by an autographed picture in return), my son did a compare and contrast on Thinking Putty vs Silly Putty, my other son loves to make home videos demonstrating something, both like to sketch and label or explain their complicated designs, we have family show and tell where they share what they’ve self-educated with the rest of the family, they have even prepared quizzes to make sure we are paying attention or turned it into a game show, they have written pro’s/con’s lists, we all set and share personal written goals which are displayed for all to see (keeps us accountable), they have written compelling letters when they feel a rule should be changed or they’d really like such and such. All of this is perfectly valid forms of writing and is helping them find their voice. None of this was assigned.

 

No doubt, all of these forms of writing are valid for a homeschooler. I started this thread asking mothers who had children that were successfully prepped for college. How many of your highly visual, hands-on learners are attending an accredited 4 year university?

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No doubt, all of these forms of writing are valid for a homeschooler. I started this thread asking mothers who had children that were successfully prepped for college. How many of your highly visual, hands-on learners are attending an accredited 4 year university?

 

My middle child graduated from university last year. She is highly visual & hands-on. Her visual & kinesthetic gifts are in art, crafts, and music. She majored in music. However, she currently is self-employed (with her husband) in a leather working business. They design & make their own leather products, as well as manage the business side of the work. In addition to their leather work, her visual talents are also used in some of the photography for their website.

 

We worked consistently and slowly on building her language skills. With all the language-building work we did combined, it was intensive. Still, homeschooling afforded her plenty of time to play her fiddle and work on her art.

Edited by Tokyomarie
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If you only want to hear from people with college students or grads, that eliminates all of us except Tokyo Marie. There tend not to be many people still frequenting the SN board whose homeschooled kids are now in college -- unless perhaps they still have young children still at home. We all try to pitch in with what we've observed in our own kids, heard from others, researched, etc. Maybe you'd find more specifically what you're looking for on the college board?

 

No, it helps to hear from people who have actually taught at a university too. Profs and their grad students grade the papers and teach the classes.

 

Thank-you for your input Ladies. Blessings, Heather

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My middle child graduated from university last year. She is highly visual & hands-on. Her visual & kinesthetic gifts are in art, crafts, and music. She majored in music. However, she currently is self-employed (with her husband) in a leather working business. They design & make their own leather products, as well as manage the business side of the work. In addition to their leather work, her visual talents are also used in some of the photography for their website.

 

We worked consistently and slowly on building her language skills. With all the language-building work we did combined, it was intensive. Still, homeschooling afforded her plenty of time to play her fiddle and work on her art.

 

Your DD's success is awesome and you gives me hope. Thank-you.

Edited by Heathermomster
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Late to the party here....:party: Busy, busy week!

 

Ds is 7th grade and college has always been on my radar. There are two huge areas of I have concentrated on:

 

1-Assistive Technology

Both around reading and writing. For example, for reading, Ds has used Kurzweil to create outlines from textbooks. We have used Kurzweil or other text-to-speech to allow ds to keep pace with a high reading volume, and so that he is not dependent on another human. For writing, we have used the gamut to develop a well supported workflow.

 

2-Writing

Ds is regularly writing A LOT. I want him to be fully competent in his own writing. He is writing several 5 paragraph essays per week, along with his literature and history work.

 

A very new area for us this year is having ds take standardized state tests using accommodations as I predict that he will need these for the SAT. But who knows, many of the things that I have been putting in place ds is developing out of....

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2-Writing

Ds is regularly writing A LOT. I want him to be fully competent in his own writing. He is writing several 5 paragraph essays per week, along with his literature and history work.

 

 

But IIRC, didn't you ramp this up around the logic stage? For those of us with younger kids listening in, when did you really start to encourage a lot of writing?

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My children are not college age yet, however I was that highly visual, dyslexic hands-on learner.

 

Ottakee had a valid point in asking what it is that THEY want to do and pointing out there may very well be options that permit that hands-on learning. Your reply to her was curt.

 

I was forced to go to college directly out of high school. I had a horrible public school experience and wanted to take a gap year or two. I did awful at college, eventually showed up less and less, and dropped out. I didn't want to be there and hadn't decided what I wanted to do. I found forced formal learning quite distasteful. My head needed to be cleared and de-formal schooled first.

 

A couple years later I went back, not only on my own dime, but also while working full time. I had a goal in mind and was on the Dean's list every semester. When the student has that goal and wants something so badly they can taste it, they figure out a way of learning that works for them. It's so individualized.

 

There have also been posts here about SN's children who have graduated high school and are book smart, yet lack the life skills to function independently in the real world. This is the SN's board, there is a lot to balance along with academics.

 

I'm sorry if you felt my response was curt. I know my child's mind because he tells me. DS is 12yo and would love to play on his PS3 all day. While not on the ps3, he tells me that he wants to be a US Naval Historian or a constitutional attorney. Neither of those goals may be achieved at trade school. The suggestions provided throughout the thread have been brilliant.

 

Over the last two weeks, I have spoken with 3 O-G tutors and the mother of a dyslexic teen that hold views about teaching writing that run totally counter to your writing approach. Because of that difference, I wanted to know whether any of your children were in college. If the methods work for you, bless you. We are all working with kids that struggle and are doing absolutely the best that we can.

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I'm sorry if you felt my response was curt. I know my child's mind because he tells me. DS is 12yo and would love to play on his PS3 all day. While not on the ps3, he tells me that he wants to be a US Naval Historian or a constitutional attorney. Neither of those goals may be achieved at trade school. The suggestions provided throughout the thread have been brilliant.

 

Over the last two weeks, I have spoken with 3 O-G tutors and the mother of a dyslexic teen that hold views about teaching writing that run totally counter to your writing approach. Because of that difference, I wanted to know whether any of your children were in college. If the methods work for you, bless you. We are all working with kids that struggle and are doing absolutely the best that we can.

 

 

Dyslexia tends to run in families, and there may be a lot of knowledge that would be useful from biological relatives of your son who may also have dyslexia etc.. If there are any who have similar issues and have been able to manage college, how they did so, and what they wished they had known or had as help, could be useful to you now. Others of us parents, though we may be less similar to your son than a close relative, are adults who may have somewhat similar issues, and some of us ourselves have college or doctoral level degrees. Some of us only realize we had struggled with these things once we discover it in our children.

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Dyslexia tends to run in families, and there may be a lot of knowledge that would be useful from biological relatives of your son who may also have dyslexia etc.. If there are any who have similar issues and have been able to manage college, how they did so, and what they wished they had known or had as help, could be useful to you now. Others of us parents, though we may be less similar to your son than a close relative, are adults who may have somewhat similar issues, and some of us ourselves have college or doctoral level degrees. Some of us only realize we had struggled with these things once we discover it in our children.

 

Thank-you. There's no one really to speak with. BIL (dyspraxia) and DS(dyslexia/dysgraphia/dyscalculia and 2e) are the only diagnosed LDs in our family. BIL is the most financially successful of our family, working in banking/investments in NYC. MIL told me about BIL. To be honest with you, I'm not even certain BIL even knows or cares that he has dyspraxia. If he knows, the diagnosis wasn't an impediment.

 

We are exploring the mindmapping activities and continuing with reading comprehension, vocabulary, and gentle writing. Doodler mentioned the book about right brained learners. DS has ramped up with his use of assistive technologies. IF DS makes it to college, I expect it will be in a department like New College, where he may be afforded some flexibility with his course of study.

 

Blessings, Heather

Edited by Heathermomster
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I hesitate about asking this because I don't want to sound critical or argumentative, so please read it in the spirit in which it is intended, which is a desire to understand.

 

What I'm perplexed about is a complete disconnect between what several of you are saying -- that your dyslexic children need to write much MORE than goes on in typical schools or with typical curricula -- and what experts like the Eides say, which is, "Most dyslexic children should have their writing requirements reduced to at most one-third of the normally expected amount." The Eides go on to encourage other forms of response, such as graphic presentations, oral reports/debate, and other projects. Tony Attwood says much the same thing about Asperger's children (his speciality) with dysgraphia. Jeffrey Freed (Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World) says that much resistance to writing in kids like this (his speciality is VSL and ADD kids) comes from their lag in eye-hand coordination and their perfectionism; they want to do things perfectly and they often are overwhelmed with a writing task because they can't get it perfect the first time. His technique is similar to Peggy Kaye's approach in Games For Writing -- to take pressure off not by backing away from writing, but by making it social, companionable, and like a game for young kids. With older children, Freed talks about continuing "social" or "join" writing -- parents join in their children's assignments, at first doing nearly all the work, then handing over teeny bits and pieces to their children, over time; this can happen even in high school. Onelmichele's neuropsych recommended decreasing the written workload for her ADHD child. All these people who work with dyslexic, VSL, dysgraphic, or otherwise writing-reluctant kids share a very similar stance. I've also found these approaches (joint writing, family writing, and games for a young child; Freed's approach for older ones) to be right on the spot for my own dd.

 

I have also read a number of posts over time by homeschooling parents who say that their writing-challenged VSL, dyslexic, Aspie, or dysgraphic kids experienced a huge developmental growth spurt in mid-adolescence, and that their writing abilities (everything from stamina to legibility to ability to put together a coherent essay) took a quantum leap forward then. This is indeed what happened to my own child, at around age 14. I can understand gradually increasing the writing load to what is typical once a child undergoes this neurological maturation; but it seems it would be counterproductive to do so, much less to up it even further, before that stage.

 

My son is not in college, but he definitely plans to go to college and graduate school.

 

I was fairly surprised to read the replies of increased writing demands also.

We had very low writing requirements until recently. Around age 13-14 DS's academic output capabilities changed dramatically. Before then we kept an active learning lifestyle with a variety of input sources (audio and video mainly although he had already become a strong reader as well). But his written output, even for math, was still a struggle. Kids can still develop critical thinking skills and techniques for processing and synthesizing info without writing about it. I do not think anyone was saying not to help him further his learning and education and let him play on PS3 all day.

 

As DS went through puberty his writing and math abilities grew by leaps and bounds in a way I honestly never imagined possible. Last year he completed prealgebra and algebra in one year and this year he is doing geometry and alg 2 simultaneously, of his own initiative. Mid year he started an honors LA class at the ps (he also takes Honors Chemistry and Engineering at the ps) and the writing requirements IMO, are fairly high. As a comparison, previously he did Oak Meadow LA (not your most rigorous program, but still an established program) which includes a study of To Kill a Mockingbird. In ps they are now reading the same novel and the amount of writing he has to do is far more than the OM program. DS does write slower than many, but not so slow that he is a huge outlier and he is not overwhelmed by his workload.

 

Along the lines of what others said as well, having a child who WANTS to go to college is hugely important in their motivation in preparing for college. Age 12 is right around when my kids first started to get really interested in exactly how college degrees work, what was the difference between an AA, BS, Ph.D and the different educations one might pursue for different careers. Prior to that they played a lot of the board game Life and it is funny now how they bring up the different options and compare it to the board game. :lol:

 

My younger son is 13 now and he is just on the brink of being pretty sure he wants to go to college (probably into engineering). Older son, now 15, is considering beginning college classes next year (DH is a professor at the local state U and both he and I feel confident that DS is prepared well enough to take a class at the U). If DS does not take classes at the U (this may mostly be a scheduling problem) he will take at least a 3 AP classes at the public high school. He is definitely ready for AP classes and his current teacher at the ps has recommended them strongly for him.

 

I see my kids as being well on their way to being prepared for college. I know we all follow a variety of paths and educations for our kids, just wanted to chime in with our story of how my kids reached what I consider to be a high level of writing proficiency without a lot of drilling.

 

Warmest wishes in your homeschooling. :)

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"Thank-you. There's no one really to speak with. BIL (dyspraxia) and DS(dyslexia/dysgraphia/dyscalculia and 2e) are the only diagnosed LDs in our family. BIL is the most financially successful of our family, working in banking/investments in NYC. MIL told me about BIL. To be honest with you, I'm not even certain BIL even knows or cares that he has dyspraxia. If he knows, the diagnosis wasn't an impediment.

 

We are exploring the mindmapping activities and continuing with reading comprehension, vocabulary, and gentle writing. Doodler mentioned the book about right brained learners. DS has ramped up with his use of assistive technologies. IF DS makes it to college, I expect it will be in a department like New College, where he may be afforded some flexibility with his course of study."

 

Hmmm. And I take it DS has not expressed interest in areas similar to BIL's.

 

I cannot say anything about going into US Naval History, but possibly can offer some suggestions related to Constitutional law (I am a lawyer, so is my brother. My bro. was known to be dyslexic, I now think I was too, but not realized.). For the latter he will need a lot of reading and writing. You might want to start on some learning related to constitutional areas so that they come easier later on. I was a first generation lawyer, there is no doubt in my mind that law school was easier for students whose parents were lawyers and who knew a good bit before they started. In retrospect I wish I had at least done things like sit in on real court cases before hand.

 

Theater and Debate might be useful if available to him. Anything to help work on public speaking, making up your own moot (mock) court situations and working on that could help toward that goal in a way that would suit DS. There are quite a number of dyslexic lawyers. It is not at all an impossible goal if his basic abilities are there. I'm not sure what one does with US Naval History, but if it might involve becoming a professor, probably once again, some public speaking would be useful, as well as getting an early handle on the terminology that will be encountered.

 

Law is, in part,very much like logic puzzles, and work with things to develop logic can be very helpful.

 

Study of philosophy and human rights issues and the history of the Constitution would also be very useful. Study of comparative systems in other countries, and international justice systems could also be.

 

Possibly little bits of writing toward a goal like that would work better than writing on things he has no interest in.

 

Good luck!

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Thank-you both. I never considered public speaking or drama. I can see where the study of Court cases, philosophy, and logic would be very helpful. I can see where familiarizing him with Court cases and mock trials would be helpful.

 

DS struggles with basic arithmetic due to dyscalculia, but has sound fluid reasoning. He's very much a top down, global thinker. He's never once expressed an interest in growing up and being like his uncle.

 

These insights have been wonderful. DS doesn't understand the amount of scholarship required to pursue these goals. It will be interesting to see how all of this pans out. Thank-you, Heather

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I'm sorry if you felt my response was curt. I know my child's mind because he tells me. DS is 12yo and would love to play on his PS3 all day. While not on the ps3, he tells me that he wants to be a US Naval Historian or a constitutional attorney. Neither of those goals may be achieved at trade school. The suggestions provided throughout the thread have been brilliant.

 

Over the last two weeks, I have spoken with 3 O-G tutors and the mother of a dyslexic teen that hold views about teaching writing that run totally counter to your writing approach. Because of that difference, I wanted to know whether any of your children were in college. If the methods work for you, bless you. We are all working with kids that struggle and are doing absolutely the best that we can.

 

Couple comments here. One, I think you're missing the *context* of Michele's comments that would make them more interesting to you. Her boys are particularly motivated and go-getters (not sitting on the couch playing PS3 all day), and it's BECAUSE she has found ways to back-off, regroup, and get something that engages them. I'm not faulting you that your ds is at this couch potato place in life, but I think you ought to see that context and where Michele is coming from. And with her boys it's probably a happy mix of personality, COMPETITION (3 boys, go faster so you can play!), and her approach. But I think it might inspire you or make you wonder if there *are* some things you could do to help your ds through this couch potato stage. Sorry to call it that, you probably don't perceive it that way, whatever.

 

When I read your comments about your ds's career ideas, to me they were him blowing you off and saying the things he thinks you want to hear. I'm sorry, but that was my take. I'm not skilled in people, but I've got a 12 yo who will answer similarly, saying things that aren't really her HEART but are the things she thinks she's supposed to say. That's where you have to back way up and ask if you've opened THEM up yet, or if you're pouring onto them this jello to fit them in the mold you've created.

 

How to back up?? First, I'd ask why in the world you're so set on him going to college. They just had a thread on the hs board about how kids who go to college are going into debt for degrees that aren't getting them anywhere. There has always been this current of people who pursue alternative paths but now, with the economy bad, it's even moreso an option. Put that together with Michele's thing of helping them find their soul and their passion, and my question is: what would happen if you ditched the college question and just started asking what would make him blossom AS A PERSON *now*? I honestly think that the college question will resolve itself if he spends the next 5-6 years blooming and growing into who he's meant to be, finding something he's good at, anything. Then he'll know what he wants to do.

 

Does he have something he does with his hands NOW? Sounds like it's PS3, hehe. If that's his love, then he needs to get inspired about computer programming. My dd, who wouldn't normally be into that, went to a workshop on programming and writing games at the homeschool convention and came back all abuzz. If it's not his thing, then hook him up with a man so he can do some MANUAL LABOR once or twice a week, kwim? We have a construction business, and when the boys are old enough to tag along they do. My dh says that when he went to engineering school it was a huge advantage, because he knew WHY they were learning what they were doing. He should be into something hands-on NOW. And I think the college degree will sort itself out later.

 

If your kid is motivated and upbeat and happy, he's probably going to stretch a bit for you and do the writing people are talking about. If he's sitting on the couch playing games, bored out of his skull, he's gonna balk. MAKING him write more then won't help. I think the quantity at that point is less important than his state of mind. At that point anything is unpleasant.

 

I know that's not a popular answer. You want to put him on a right track and give him these skills so he can have a great life. Reality is, you can't GIVE him his life. You can only help him FIND it.

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Thank-you both. I never considered public speaking or drama. I can see where the study of Court cases, philosophy, and logic would be very helpful. I can see where familiarizing him with Court cases and mock trials would be helpful.

 

DS struggles with basic arithmetic due to dyscalculia, but has sound fluid reasoning. He's very much a top down, global thinker. He's never once expressed an interest in growing up and being like his uncle.

 

These insights have been wonderful. DS doesn't understand the amount of scholarship required to pursue these goals. It will be interesting to see how all of this pans out. Thank-you, Heather

 

It's only a tiny fraction of 12 year olds who do understand the amount of scholarship required for pursuing goals like medicine, law, engineering, or(insert your favorite occupation that requires advanced academic knowledge). Elizabeth uses strong language, but in a softer way, I will say that leaving the college question in the back of your mind for the next 2-3 years, and focusing on activities here and now that will ignite some passion would be a good shorter term goal. Once you've got a fire for life lit again, then you can begin to imagine where that passion might ultimately take him.

 

I say this with compassion, and as a mom who has fought the same demons with her own son. If they've fallen into a video game rut (or any similar rut) because they have lost a sense of competence in other areas of life, it can be hard to get things turned around. We found that we could not eliminate games, but we had to eliminate the option to play them so many hours a day that it interfered with development of other skills. For us, it was one consideration in having our son go to school this year, at age 16, now 17yo. Not the only consideration, and I wouldn't have done it for middle school, but the idea was to give him fewer hours/day where he was even close enough to a video game for it to be a temptation (and this is for a guy who may ultimately become a game programmer).

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...because they have lost a sense of competence in other areas of life...

 

That's really profound. It's something I find really challenging in my planning, balancing competence, where the options will put her as a human, in her perception of herself, in her motivation with what I think we need to get done or could get done. Constant challenge. I think up something, pull back, think up something, rethink. Very hard.

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Thank-you both. I never considered public speaking or drama. I can see where the study of Court cases, philosophy, and logic would be very helpful. I can see where familiarizing him with Court cases and mock trials would be helpful.

 

DS struggles with basic arithmetic due to dyscalculia, but has sound fluid reasoning. He's very much a top down, global thinker. He's never once expressed an interest in growing up and being like his uncle.

 

These insights have been wonderful. DS doesn't understand the amount of scholarship required to pursue these goals. It will be interesting to see how all of this pans out. Thank-you, Heather

 

Top down global thinking is probably useful both to history and law. Getting a good grasp of science and environmental issues would be important to law, but can be in an overview sort of way. (Movies like James Burke's Connections 1, Iain Stewart's Earth, books like Bite Size Science, Joy Hakim's science series, etc.) The most important area of math for most lawyers tends to be statistics, because a lot of "proof" comes down to probabilities, as do policy decisions. A broad sense of humanity and ethics is needed. Despite most lawyer jokes to the contrary, many many lawyers are deeply committed to ideas of justice and making the world a better place.

 

Somehow, you will need to bring to him te understanding that if these are goals, then the time to begin to pursue them is now. He will not suddenly become an adult and poof become an anything. You can help provide guidance and opportunities, you can also restrict activities that are non productive like the ps3 whatever a ps3 is--but he will have to provide the drive and the will and the effort to make something a goal which he is in active determined pursuit of, rather than just a wish, a dream, a fantasy. Nothing about dyslexia makes it impossible, but these are areas that take tremendous work and applying oneself to what must be studied and learned and accomplished. And no one else can apply themselves for him. College is a stepping stone to such areas of professional life, it is not an end in itself. If he is moving toward such end goals, college will probably not be such a big hurdle as it now seems, and even if he doesn't reach those end goals, he will probably get somewhere.

 

There may be books about careers and what various ones take that would be helpful, or studying the bios of people doing what he thinks he wants to do. If it turns out it isn't really what he wants to do, then figuring out what that is and working toward that seems to be needed. 12 is not very old, but the years pass quickly.

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It's only a tiny fraction of 12 year olds who do understand the amount of scholarship required for pursuing goals like medicine, law, engineering, or(insert your favorite occupation that requires advanced academic knowledge). Elizabeth uses strong language, but in a softer way, I will say that leaving the college question in the back of your mind for the next 2-3 years, and focusing on activities here and now that will ignite some passion would be a good shorter term goal. Once you've got a fire for life lit again, then you can begin to imagine where that passion might ultimately take him.

 

I say this with compassion, and as a mom who has fought the same demons with her own son. If they've fallen into a video game rut (or any similar rut) because they have lost a sense of competence in other areas of life, it can be hard to get things turned around. We found that we could not eliminate games, but we had to eliminate the option to play them so many hours a day that it interfered with development of other skills. For us, it was one consideration in having our son go to school this year, at age 16, now 17yo. Not the only consideration, and I wouldn't have done it for middle school, but the idea was to give him fewer hours/day where he was even close enough to a video game for it to be a temptation (and this is for a guy who may ultimately become a game programmer).

 

Thank-you Elizabeth and Marie...I started this thread to develop a long term and realistic homeschool strategy. DS will come home permanently in the Fall. I can see that I must deal with DS is a loving way and appeal to his interests while teaching new concepts gently. I get that.

 

I'm very sorry if I disrespected my child by implying that he was a couch potato. Just because he's wants to play video games doesn't mean that he's allowed to. We own one old TV that sits in the living room. DS is severely limited with his playing.

 

DS sits is a regular 6th grade classroom. My son's hours are spent doing homework once he gets home from school. Half of his grades are 85% while the other half are 95%. We are exhausted keeping up with the school. DS requested to come home, which is a big deal as he's been in class with these students since pre-K.

 

He works very, very hard for his grades. He mows grass and helps with chores around the house. He's a great kid.

 

Now the IPOD.....He has recently started listening to the MP3 player and I can see the IPOD becoming a problem; however, I have absolutely no problems with taking any of that stuff away.

 

Thank-you. I appreciate all of the input.

Edited by Heathermomster
I can't spell...
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While we as parents, of course, want to give our children the best tools that we have to help them manage their difficulties, I think that one of the most effective is that we nurture their sense of themselves as learners, people who achieve their own goals and answer their own questions. There are some wonderful posters on this board who not only know a great deal about instructional strategies and various therapies, but who understand how to nurture their children's strengths, to use that understanding as a springboard not just for learning, but also for helping them, as OhElizabeth says, blossom as a person. That sort of preparation is every bit as important—indeed, far MORE important—to helping your child succeed in college and in life than helping your child master the timed five-paragraph essay.

This is superb! Thank-you..

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Top down global thinking is probably useful both to history and law. Getting a good grasp of science and environmental issues would be important to law, but can be in an overview sort of way. (Movies like James Burke's Connections 1, Iain Stewart's Earth, books like Bite Size Science, Joy Hakim's science series, etc.) The most important area of math for most lawyers tends to be statistics, because a lot of "proof" comes down to probabilities, as do policy decisions. A broad sense of humanity and ethics is needed. Despite most lawyer jokes to the contrary, many many lawyers are deeply committed to ideas of justice and making the world a better place.

 

Somehow, you will need to bring to him te understanding that if these are goals, then the time to begin to pursue them is now. He will not suddenly become an adult and poof become an anything. You can help provide guidance and opportunities, you can also restrict activities that are non productive like the ps3 whatever a ps3 is--but he will have to provide the drive and the will and the effort to make something a goal which he is in active determined pursuit of, rather than just a wish, a dream, a fantasy. Nothing about dyslexia makes it impossible, but these are areas that take tremendous work and applying oneself to what must be studied and learned and accomplished. And no one else can apply themselves for him. College is a stepping stone to such areas of professional life, it is not an end in itself. If he is moving toward such end goals, college will probably not be such a big hurdle as it now seems, and even if he doesn't reach those end goals, he will probably get somewhere.

 

There may be books about careers and what various ones take that would be helpful, or studying the bios of people doing what he thinks he wants to do. If it turns out it isn't really what he wants to do, then figuring out what that is and working toward that seems to be needed. 12 is not very old, but the years pass quickly.

 

Thank-you. I will look into these resources. You are terrific...

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