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EmmaNZ

History for 9 year old dyslexic boy

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Bit funny timing, but we are just about to start our new history year. I will have my oldest 2 (ages 13 and 11) working through History Odyssey Early Modern. My youngest 2 (ages 7 and 5) will do SOTW3 - so same time period, lower expectations.

 

I was all set to have my 9 year old join the younger two, but I know if I do this his output will be minimal. He has a super head for stories and facts. Loves the narrative of history, will happily read grade level (or perhaps slightly lower) history books. But struggles to write, type or even dictate (he misses homophones all the time for example).

 

I'm not sure another year of just listening to SOTW and colouring is 'enough' for him. But I'm not sure how to beef it up without too much effort from me, for not too much gain for him. What do you think? Is there something I could add? Something different I could do? Would you just leave it alone and continue to work on his writing and typing skills?

 

Looking forward to your thoughts! Thank you!

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What are you using to remediate the dyslexia?

 

Is there a way to put him in with the older ones for the input of content but not require so much of the writing output?  Does he have dysgraphia?  Is he learning to type?  Can he use speech to text software for some of the output?  I'm not sure I'm understanding the issue with dictation.  Could you maybe elaborate a bit on that?  Are you saying if you dictate and he writes he messes up homophones?  What about if he dictates what he wants to say and you write it for him then review it with him to make sure it says what he wanted it to say?

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Lots of questions!

 

For the dyslexia we have been working on spelling using AAS, and a bit of Phonetic Zoo because he likes it and I had it). He is learning to type with TTRS (and is on level 2). He has just finished a UK handwriting/spelling course written for dyslexic children. 

 

I don't know if he has dysgraphia for certain (he wasn't tested for it), but I suspect not. He writes extremely slowly (slow processing - this was tested), but neatly and legibly. 

 

He has struggled to use speech to text software - thats what I meant about dictation, sorry for not being clear - but we have only used the app on a Mac/iPad, not a dedicated software programme. I suppose this was on my list of 'things to investigate down the line'.

 

I suppose, if we had reliable speech to text software, then he COULD handle the output that the Pandia Press books require. But I would have to lower some of the reading books, because they will definitely go over his head.

 

Is that clearer? 

 

(I am perpetually in a state of panic that I am doing something wrong with him!)

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My ds likes building legos to go with what he's learning in history. He's really avidly into planes of WWII right now, so he watches documentaries and then has me look up pictures and books so he can build them. He also really enjoys the activities in the SOTW AG. Have you done any of the activities?

 

Really, when kids are narrative thinkers, they're building connections in their heads. I would make sure he's doing *some* kind of sequencing and narrating, simply because it's a really important skill. You might find he's almost ready to have dialect level discussions. That's how my narrative thinker dd was at that age. She was connecting things, contrasting, relating. So you might just discuss with him how things are similar, how they're different, what the causes were, what the effects were, etc.

 

And yes, obviously continue to work on his ability to get things onto screen in some fashion. My dd's typing clicked much later and it's not something we have yet succeeded at with ds. We've worked on it, but we're not functional. 

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Yes, my ds' writing is legible if he only has to write a word or two. He's diagnosed with SLD writing, and it's really not practical for him to write more. 

 

I really wouldn't guilt yourself on curriculum history assignments. Why would you do this? You've got a kid who, by gift, does higher level thinking already. Go for the higher level thinking and discard the trite stuff. If he likes coloring, color and discuss. Act it out with figures. Make little plays or videos. Curriculum is so irrelevant to life and real learning.

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I'm not sure another year of just listening to SOTW and colouring is 'enough' for him. 

 

It's enough. 

 

My 21yo son has dyslexia, and he just listened to history all the way until he was in 9th grade.  Prior to that he would occasionally write about the history we were studying for his writing lessons, but it wasn't something he did for history, if that makes sense.  According to him, he has a far better history education than most of his peers.

Edited by EKS
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Not to point out the obvious, but you TEACH what they need you to teach and you DON'T TEACH what they can teach themselves. 

 

Sometimes we don't realize how unusually strong a dc is in an area until we get the next kid or they go to college. 

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FWIW, there are basically two types of dysgraphia.  One affects the physical output.  Messy letters.  Sizing all over the place.  Spacing is way off.  Writing is physically painful.  etc.  The other kind of dysgraphia is the struggle to get thoughts onto paper.  People can struggle with both.  And dysgraphics can sometimes write VERY legibly when they are putting ALL of their resources into doing so, but the effort is tremendous and leaves very little left over for doing anything else but making those letters look nice.

 

Since writing is an issue, I would suggest that your child very well may have a form of dysgraphia.  History is a content subject.  I would step away from lots of demands for writing output with History and shift to more of an exposure approach.  Lots of discussion as well.  But not a ton of writing while he works on that skill through other resources.

 

As for reducing the level of the books, can he listen to audio books?  You don't want to limit his exposure to written material to only what he can successfully decode.  Decoding and fluency are obviously an issue with a dyslexic.  Intellectually they are usually capable of understanding much more advanced material than what they can read. Work on reading skills separately but if he can understand audio books use those for content subjects whenever possible and keep them at his intellectual level, not his reading level.

 

 

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My ds at 9 was not yet reading remediated. He listened to SOTW audio version, all volumes, multiple times and got a lot out of just that.  I think he also watched a number of history related documentaries.  ( I know he watched a lot of history documentaries, just not sure if that included at age 9, but I think it did.)

 

When he then did a Brave Writer class he wrote on history topic.

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My DS didn't make a mighty reading leap until late 4th grade and into 5th grade.  He jumped multiple reading levels as Dr. Shaywitz described in her book Overcoming Dyslexia.

 

Early Modern is a fun time period to teach.  You could make the experience heavily hands-on with lots of discussions and save the writing instruction until he's reliably typing.  The accommodations for dysgraphia are to scribe, use speech to text sw, and/or type.  My DS never really cared for Dragon speech to text.

 

My DS used HO level 2 for Ancients in 7th grade.  We loved it but heavily adjusted the program.  Son used a digital timeline software, typed everything, and watched documentaries.  It was a great year.

 

 

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if he doesn't like coloring especially, I'd drop that and just let him listen to audio or watch and listen to documentaries.

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