Handwriting - Ideas for b/d reversals, dysgraphia, dyslexia

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
Caryn
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 4:12 pm
Location: MA
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Re: Finished K and still not writing properly

Unread post by Caryn »

Thank you so much for all that insight and encouragement (and the reminder to be gentle %| ) I do SO appreciate you ladies!

I think we will just keep plugging away at it, and I definitely need to introduce more of the tactile resources. I'll give it another year before I start to wonder if I need to take him for assessments ;)
Caryn
==============================================
dd9, ds8, and ds3 (Speech therapy and pre-k)
Pre-k (twice), K (twice), 1st (twice), Adventures, ECC and currently CtG
My blog: Considering Wildflowers
jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Finished K and still not writing properly

Unread post by jasntas »

Caryn wrote:We've used the trick of holding your hands open, palms towards each other, and then making a circle with the pointing finger and the thumb on the left to make a b which comes first in the alphabet, and a circle with the pointing finger and thumb on the right hand to make a d which comes after b. So "reading" your hands left to right you have b then d.
I think I just read that trick in the manual for MFW's 1st . Another good one. :)

We have lots of lefties in our family (on my dad's side). I always wondered if it was hereditary. Lefties do seem to need that extra time. I think that HWT is suppose to be good for lefties as well as righties and may be a good fit here. :)

Take care,
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.
BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by BHelf »

Okay, so here I am again with spelling issues. And I don't know yet if I have an actual question or just want to get feedback but I guess I'll figure that out while writing. :~ This turned out to be really long and probably jumbled as I've been interrupted about a million and 1 times....
My DD is 8 and in 3rd grade. I know she's a young 3rd grader. That being said, she's always been extremely bright and ahead of the curve until...not sure when exactly. (I'm NOT pushing her with spelling or handwriting and I just want to make that clear. I bend over backwards to try to make things as stress-free as possible and meet her where she is.) I know I haven't done well with school a lot due to different life things and trying to avoid fights and tears (mostly mine) but this year has been different. Her attitude is mostly very good and obedient when doing school. We're doing Adventures this year and using PLL and Spelling Power for language arts stuff. We finally found a math program that works well and that she loves and she is getting lots out of. But this spelling thing is just causing me to want to scream or cry or both.
I don't think it's the program, necessarily, although I do think Spelling Power can be confusing in the way it teaches "rules" but maybe that's just me. But she doesn't seem to grasp how to spell much of anything--she really struggles with it. She has always struggled with writing--not in knowing how to do it (although she routinely mixes up b and d) but in just the act of writing. (She will draw all day though without any issues.) I've been noticing different things with her handwriting, like using capitals at the beginning of a word that doesn't need a capital or using capitals in the middle of a word or end of a word when she has written the rest in lower case letters. She does know the rules for capitals. Also, the letter sizes she uses are very mixed up--some are appropriate but then she might make a lower case r that takes up the space from the top line to the bottom and this occurs in just about every word she writes.
We do most of PLL orally. Any other writing we do for Adventures is done by copy work. In other words, no dictation as that would cause fits of panic and rage. Her copy work is mostly neat although the letter sizes she uses are still an issue and sometimes capitals. She also sometimes ignores any punctuation. But she will do it....she does complain some, especially if it's more than one or two short sentences--and I mean short. If it is something longer, I will break it up either throughout the day or over a couple of days.
I decided that when we start a new Flow List in Spelling Power that I would instead write the words in her notebook and have her copy them and study them the first day. Then we'd do the test the next day and whichever ones she gets wrong will be the ones we work on. But then today came a day for a review test over words she's already had before. She got all but 2 of them wrong and just getting her to do it caused anger, tears, frustration, walking away, saying she hated spelling and didn't want to do anything ever that involved it.
After she had calmed down, we had a talk and she says it's hard to concentrate because my other two kids make noises. Sometimes, this is true but other times, they are away playing quietly. I've thought about using headphones with classical music or noise canceling headphones but considering that's the part where she has to be able to hear me say a word, that obviously won't work. Then she said that if she gets something wrong that she feels like a dummy and a loser. So I asked who knows when she gets something wrong and her answer was Mommy and Daddy. I asked if she thought we thought those things about her and she said no but she still does anyway. She said she feels like there's something wrong with her brain and something isn't working right. Sigh...
I tried letting her type a spelling word to see if maybe she knew how to spell it but the act of writing was just making it difficult--that wasn't the case. Also I tried seeing if she could just spell the word out loud without writing and that didn't work either.
I started looking up different things I've heard about before that were in the back of my brain, mainly dysgraphia. I feel like it describes her a lot! I did some searches on this board about it which led to searches about Handwriting Without Tears. But I wanted some sort of advice from others. Anyone who has experience with dysgraphia--does any of what I've described sound like that to you? If so and even if not, how exactly does HWT help? How do I know where to start? I feel like I should start with 2nd grade print but she's just begging to learn cursive so I feel confused on that matter. How do I help her with spelling and retaining or at least thinking through the word and sounds of the words?
I'm really at a loss and feeling....I'm not sure what exactly--maybe incapable? I want to help her learn and I want her to enjoy learning. I also want to avoid any embarrassment she feels when faced with writing something at church or in front of other family members. I know one girl at church made her cry because she wrote something wrong and I know some family members have made comments about the spelling thing.
And for what it's worth--her reading is great. She enjoys reading very much and does well. If she comes to a word she is having trouble with, she will ask for help and try to sound it out and does a good job.
Sorry this is so long-winded and choppy!
Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com
jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by jasntas »

BHelf wrote:My DD is 8 and in 3rd grade. I know she's a young 3rd grader. That being said, she's always been extremely bright and ahead of the curve until...not sure when exactly. (I'm NOT pushing her. I bend over backwards to try to make things as stress-free as possible and meet her where she is.) This year, her attitude is mostly very good and obedient when doing school. We're doing Adventures this year and using PLL and Spelling Power for language arts stuff. We finally found a math program that works well. But this spelling thing is just causing me to want to scream or cry or both.

I don't think it's the program, necessarily. But she doesn't seem to grasp how to spell much of anything--she really struggles with it. She has always struggled with the act of writing. (She will draw all day though without any issues.) I've been noticing different things, like using capitals at the beginning of a word that doesn't need a capital or using capitals in the middle of a word or end of a word when she has written the rest in lower case letters. She does know the rules for capitals. Also, the letter sizes she uses are very mixed up in just about every word she writes.

We do most of PLL orally. Any other writing we do for Adventures is done by copy work. In other words, no dictation as that would cause panic. Her copy work is mostly neat although the letter sizes, capitals, and punctuation are still an issue. But she will do it....she does complain some, especially if it's more than one or two short sentences--and I mean short. If it is something longer, I will break it up either throughout the day or over a couple of days.

I decided that when we start a new Flow List in Spelling Power that I would instead write the words in her notebook and have her copy them and study them the first day. Then we'd do the test the next day and whichever ones she gets wrong will be the ones we work on. But then today came a day for a review test over words she's already had before. She got all but 2 of them wrong and it caused frustration, saying she hated spelling and didn't want to do anything ever that involved it.

After she had calmed down, we had a talk and she says it's hard to concentrate because my other two kids make noises. Sometimes, this is true but other times, they are away playing quietly. I've thought about using headphones with classical music or noise canceling headphones but considering that's the part where she has to be able to hear me say a word, that obviously won't work. Then she said that if she gets something wrong that she feels like a dummy. So I asked who knows when she gets something wrong and her answer was Mommy and Daddy. I asked if she thought we thought those things about her and she said no. I know one girl at church made her cry because she wrote something wrong and I know some family members have made comments about the spelling thing. She said she feels like there's something wrong with her brain and something isn't working right. Sigh...

I tried letting her type a spelling word to see if the act of writing was just making it difficult--that wasn't the case. Also I tried seeing if she could just spell the word out loud without writing and that didn't work either.

I started looking up different things I've heard about before that were in the back of my brain, mainly dysgraphia. I feel like it describes her a lot! I did some searches on this board which led to searches about Handwriting Without Tears. But I wanted some sort of advice from others. Anyone who has experience with dysgraphia--does any of what I've described sound like that to you? If so and even if not, how exactly does HWT help? I feel like I should start with 2nd grade print but she's just begging to learn cursive. How do I help her with spelling and retaining or at least thinking through the word and sounds of the words?

And for what it's worth--her reading is great. She enjoys reading very much and does well. If she comes to a word she is having trouble with, she will ask for help and try to sound it out and does a good job.
Sorry this is so long-winded and choppy!
Brooke
((HUGS)) I wanted to maybe give you something to start with while waiting on other comments.

It sounds like it could be dyslexia but I'm no expert. My ds does a lot of the same things you described except the reading. A lot of people with dyslexia actually memorize the words so it doesn't appear that they struggle with reading.

You could look up bartonreading dot com. There is a little quiz there that you can check off. If you check more than 3, you might want to look into dyslexia further.

When at bartonreading.com, go to dyslexia on the top left. When the window pops up, click on warning signs. Then click where it says click here for a complete list of warning signs. It will take you to the check list.

My ds has not been diagnosed but I use a lot of the accommodations that would be used in the classroom. We have also started using the Barton Reading and Spelling program with him and it really seems to be helping.

Also, in the archival posts, look up RachelT. Her ds has been diagnosed with both dyslexia and dysgraphia. If you don't know how to do this, just ask. :)

I should add that dyslexia and dysgraphia usually go hand in hand. My ds probably has both. He has symptoms for both.

I could be way off base. Sorry if I am. :~ HTH for now. :)
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.
TriciaMR
Posts: 986
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Brooke,

{Hugs} - I hated days like that. I had "spelling issues" today, too, so I'm right there with you. Sigh, and more cyber-hugs.

I don't have an official diagnosis. My dd struggled with learning to read, bug comprehension hasn't been a problem, ever (whew!). Writing has been an issue. Mixing capitals, not punctuating (at ALL), etc. (Although, sometimes she can spell out loud, but not when she writes...)

My dd learned cursive in 1st grade (Abeka), and she still spelled poorly. So, cursive vs. print won't make a difference in the act of spelling.

Last year (she would have been 4th), I realized she couldn't print very neatly, so I got her the HWT 5th grade printing book. Just a page or two a day. And, that has really helped her reversing letters and neater printing. I think about halfway through last year she FINALLY began to realize when she was writing d for b and vice versa (she will still write a capital B sometimes, just because she can't remember which way to make the b (she seems to default to d), and then she remembers that B and b face the same way, so she erases the top loop, because that's faster than trying to remember which way and then forgetting what word she wants to write). But, I will say this last year I've seen huge improvements in her printing - it's much neater now.

As for not capitalizing and using punctuation at the end of a sentence... Well, HWT had this thing called a "Sentence Check." That means, at the end of a sentence you go back and check that you capitalized the first letter and used the right punctuation at the end. So, rather than saying all that, you just say "Sentence Check" at the end of a sentence. It took about 4 weeks of doing that, and it finally became more automatic (I still have to say it every now and then).

As for mixing capitals... I think I just kept saying, "We only capitalize names, names of places, months, days of week, holidays. So, go back and see if you used capitals in the wrong place." Probably just should have called that "Capital check." Anyway, after fixing her mistakes a lot, she finally doesn't mix case too much anymore - except for that nefarious B/b thing.

My dd never really had a problem with size and placement of letters. My boys (1st grade) struggle with it a little, but I am using HWT with them, and they are getting better. The hardest thing for them is b/d/p/q/g - remembering if it is a line first or "magic c" first, and whether to start the line up high or at the midpoint.

For spelling, it's really about being able to hear the distinct sounds. I don't know if your dd was an early reader or struggled, but my dd really struggles with hearing each sound in a word. AAS has some steps in Level 1 and/or 2 where you get out tokens, and you say a word and the student pulls down a token for each sound. So, an example, you say "snow" and your dd says /s/ and pulls down a token, /n/ and pulls down a token, then /long o/ and pulls down a token (you could use poker chips or some other round, flat disk). This is something you might want to do on the day you are introducing the new flow list to your dd. The first day you go through each word, and show her how to hear each sound in the word, saying the sound and pulling down the token. The next day, have her do it. The third day have her write the words, saying the SOUNDS as she writes the letters (not the letter names), and then on the 4th day do the test. Then, as your child gets really good at breaking down the sounds, you change it to breaking it up by syllable.

Sigh. I think HWT is a great suggestion for improving your dd's handwriting. I would say you'll do printing this year, and promise that if she gets neater, you'll do cursive next year. Spelling, AAS has been a big help for dd, though spelling is still her big nemesis.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
Wendy B.
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:27 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by Wendy B. »

My ds is the same age and does the exact same things as your DD. My ds is a former speech therapy kid who was dx with a speech motor problem. I was expecting him to have issues with reading, spelling, handwriting and writing.

HWT has been a huge help with his handwriting. We use the HWT paper for all his writing. We also do a "sentence check" and a "capital check" as Tricia described. Concentrating on these particular issues really made a difference. Anytime I notice something like your DD's large lower case R's I just add in a "r check" at the end of each sentence.

We also make sure we do copywork daily. Lots and lots of practice.

I also second the recommendation of AAS. I didn't even try SP with my 8yo. SP was a great program with my oldest ds but SP is not for everyone. My youngest ds is successful with AAS and we are taking our time working through it so we can concentrate on each step and do all the dictation.

Hang in there mama! There are plenty of kids in the same boat. Break everything down to each individual step and do lots of practice.
Wendy B.
Graduated ds '08 & dd '09
Homeschooling ds 11 & dd 8 using RtR
completed: MFW 1, ADV, ECC & CtG.
BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by BHelf »

jasntas wrote:I could be way off base. Sorry if I am. :~
Okay I want to cry. My first instinct was, "no, she doesn't have that. She can read well." I wasn't a bit offended at the suggestion. I went to the website and she has many of the "warning signs." Not all of them, definitely more than 3. I haven't read tons, but obviously dyslexia is not what I had always thought it was. I feel so ill-equipped to handle teaching a child who is having these struggles. Learning always came so easy to me and to my husband as well.

I watched my brother have many difficulties in school and nowhere was he offered help. He just thought he was dumb. (Of course, he now loves to read and he has a job making more money than my college-degreed husband, but isn't that how it works. lol) But I want to cry because it hurts me so much that my daughter thinks she's dumb when it comes to this type of stuff and I don't want her to feel that way. I want her self-esteem to be good and I want her to love school and not hate it the way my brother did. (I have often thought it was some type of LD.)

I am open to hearing anyone else's suggestions for help as well. I don't know that we'll get her officially tested, but suggestions of things we could do to help her would be appreciated. Thanks for all that has been suggested so far. Pray for me as we figure out what to do.

Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com
cbollin

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by cbollin »

Brooke,
(((hugs))) I'll pray.

Having gone through "labeling" twice with 2 kids, I remember all too well the initial stages of shock with it. I wanted to cry too. There are times I know my middle gal knows that she isn't as sharp or smart as others. There are times I still push it all aside when I wonder "what's going to happen to youngest?" you summed it up well of how I feel often "I feel so ill-equipped to handle teaching a child who is having these struggles"

Then, I remember the day in church when one mom had received the official diagnosis of her daughter's issues. Out of my pain all I could say to both of us was "Jesus is the Name above ALL names and that means even the name of this struggle."

and slowly, I've watch as HE teaches them.

I am still so sad that others were making fun of her. I want to hug and cry with you. (((((Hugs))))
but...
all of the other issues aside a minute. Wanted to talk about spelling and what I've learned over the years. I had a few years of struggling with Spelling Power. I've had a few years of good stuff with SP. I've had a fun year using levels 1-4 of All About Spelling and went back to SP with that teaching knowledge. I joke sometimes saying that I wish it was All About Spelling Power!


All About Spelling is good stuff too.

At age 8, set down Spelling Power for now, or definitely modify it as directed for use with younger students. That applies to age 8. Day 1 would be study day. Day 2 should be study day too. No need to test on it. You can even model and give hints of rules that she knows but is drawing a blank on.

What did you use for phonics? do you still have it around to teach phonograms? Some people don't even worry about formal spelling until age 10. So if you need to pause for a little while, it's ok. (I dont' wait until 10 personally, but just saying....)
oh, by the way, what level in SP are you using with her? I tend to tell others not to go more than B (C at the most) with ages 8 or 9. And using level A can sometimes take out the frustration. If you are in level A, it's ok by the way. Please ask out loud for any of the flow list in SP that seem to confuse on rules or when words don't seem to fit the list. It's ok to do that. I think SP works better when you have your phonics books in front of you to go back and look it up to see what helped them learn to read it. But still, SP might not work for everyone as Wendy said.

definitely agreeing with what Trish has said about segmenting each word for individual sounds, and then also listening for syllables. I used pennies for the tokens.

I use dry erase boards for practicing spelling in all of the programs and levels I've used. takes the stress out of it all.
I like using tiles (color coded was good from AAS) to practice.

When it comes to multiple right spellings for a certain sound (such as long A): it is okay to break up the list into smaller list and focus on one sub grouping at a time. It is ok to make a chart of the right spellings of that phonogram and sort the words into the chart ---- even if you have to model the word or call it out and tell her which column to put it in.

I wouldn't "test" spelling right now at age 8 with everything else going on.

I sympathize with the mIxEd uPPEr cAsE and lower cAse. That totally describes my youngest who just doesn't like to slow down to make some of the harder lower case. But it is fun to look at her when she is really motivated to write a grocery list: CAKE, CHOCOLATE MILK, MILK, ICE CREAMS
yes, she made it all caps and made it plural because she wanted 2 flavors.

HWT is good. I've used cursive one and it might help.
-crystal
cbollin

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by cbollin »

BHelf wrote:thanks Crystal!! That means so much! I look forward to your next reply and while I'm waiting I have another question. I tried talking with my DH about this and he sorta got irritated with me (always second-guessing myself and researching and such) and asked why don't I just go get her tested? I tried explaining why I don't want to do that (her self-esteem if she knows she's being "labeled", etc) but I think he wants me to do it. So....where do I go for something like that? Who does that type of testing?
I'm not sure. I do hope Rachel T gets some time to see this thread and can offer the help on those specifics. With our labeling, it was autism and language delays, so we went through pediatrician and got started that way. So I don't know on that.

Advantages of getting tested means you can get the right kind of help. I totally understand what you are feeling though. I was terrified to get help for my depression and anxiety disorder. I didn't want that label. But once I got it named, then, well... I found out that no one was making fun of me ,and there was help. Surprisingly, my view of my self became easier to see the way God sees me. oh well, too much information!

Maybe your daughter will like to know that dysgraphia means that she isn't dumb at all! It just means some part of her brain switches some things around.

(((hugs)))

You might ask your DH to help you find out how to get her tested to help take that stress load from you for a while. Maybe he'd like to help that way and make the appointment or be able to join you and take her to the appointment. Sounds like it would be good if y'all went together. I know I appreciated it a lot when John went to the children's hospital all day testing with me for our youngest.


and Mike (mgardenh) is an adult with dyslexia and struggles with spelling. He's not dumb either. ugh... I forgot to chime on his thread about handwriting....

-crystal
BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by BHelf »

cbollin wrote:What did you use for phonics? do you still have it around to teach phonograms? Some people don't even worry about formal spelling until age 10. So if you need to pause for a little while, it's ok. (I dont' wait until 10 personally, but just saying....)
oh, by the way, what level in SP are you using with her? I tend to tell others not to go more than B (C at the most) with ages 8 or 9. And using level A can sometimes take out the frustration. If you are in level A, it's ok by the way. Please ask out loud for any of the flow list in SP that seem to confuse on rules or when words don't seem to fit the list. It's ok to do that. I think SP works better when you have your phonics books in front of you to go back and look it up to see what helped them learn to read it. But still, SP might not work for everyone as Wendy said.
She was in public school for PreK and K so I don't know what they did. (I do know a lot of sight words were sent home each week for her to study. I used MFW 1st for 1st grade.

We started Spelling Power at the very first group in level A. That was what it said she needed based on the pre-testing and it was right. Sigh...And I would ask out loud when something doesn't seem to fit the rule(s) they are learning. I do break up the list into the words that fit one rule at a time, but sometimes it's only 1 word.

And anyways, none of it seems to be sticking because she can't remember how to spell anything a few days later that she could spell right a few days in a row. I don't think she ever "got" phonics. And if dyslexia is the right diagnosis, from what I'm reading, that makes sense.

This is sort of throwing me for a loop. She has always been ahead of the curve. People--random people and teachers--would call her a genius. When she was really little, before 2 and at 2, everyone thought she was at least 4 because of all that she knew. In PreK, her teacher told me that she was the youngest in the class and also academically at the top of the class. In K, (she had the same teacher) I was told she was the youngest in the class but academically in the middle. Then we began homeschooling for 1st grade. Then 2nd grade was really rough and school was hit or miss because of the kids I was babysitting and because of me not wanting to argue with her about school when I already had so much stress from those 2 kids I babysat.

So part of me feels like she just needs more practice, more work, more...something. Like maybe it's my fault as the teacher. I try not to think in terms of being behind and ahead but it's really difficult. She is "behind" others her age. She has to take a standardized test at the end of this year (don't have to turn in scores but it's required that she take it) and I know it will be a struggle and it will point out that she's not at the level she "should" be and that even if no one else finds out about it, my husband will and he won't like it. (Please know that he is very supportive of homeschooling and I KNOW that I couldn't ask for a better husband and father for our kids but he very much wants her to be on level with others her age if not ahead.)
I just went on and on...not sure why. Needed to talk, I guess.
Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com
TriciaMR
Posts: 986
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by TriciaMR »

Brooke,

Don't feel bad - it's not *your* fault. Mike is my brother. He's dyslexic, I'm not. Go figure. It's just the way we are. The good thing is you caught it now, and not like in 10th grade.

My dd did K - 2nd in Abeka phonics. It is very intensive, lots of review, lots of worksheets. She "got phonics" she just couldn't do the reverse - make sounds into letters. I think that's the biggest thing with our poor spellers - they really have a hard time recalling the letters that make the sounds.

We started level 5 of AAS 3 weeks ago. Spent a week reviewing sounds - and she still has 4 that are giving her trouble. And then there's the, "What are 4 ways to spell the sound of /long i/?" questions. She usually remembers the i, and i-consonant-e, and igh, but can't remember that y also makes the long i sound. And we've been working on that one for 3 weeks. Sigh.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog
cbollin

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by cbollin »

BHelf wrote: We started Spelling Power at the very first group in level A. That was what it said she needed based on the pre-testing and it was right. Sigh...And I would ask out loud when something doesn't seem to fit the rule(s) they are learning. I do break up the list into the words that fit one rule at a time, but sometimes it's only 1 word.
There are definitely some good things I learned from using All About Spelling that helped me explain the rules better.

I learned that the letter S has 2 sounds /s/ and /z/.
I learned that Z says /z/, but it is more common in English words for the letter S to make the Z sound at end of a word. (has, is, churches) words like buzz do end in z, but it is more common to use S at the end (mostly because of all of the plurals....)

I re-learned in AAS (I think it is in mfw 1st grade too), that the /k/ sound can be spelled with 2 letters /ck/ right after a "short vowel" sound. So that's helpful for words (there's that /z/ sound with an S) like Back, Duck, sick.

I learned that there are several kinds of syllables. Open syllables have a long vowel sound, closed syllables have short or other sound. and there were other things with those open and closed syllables that help with correct spelling of a word. Interestingly enough today in SP, level E group 9 with my middle gal, we were using that open/closed syllable knowledge to be able to group our long /o/ words better.

so, I don't have tons of answers. I know that if you still have the MFW 1st grade Reading Chart, you might keep that out to have a way to point to possible sounds to try when spelling. oh, how I long and pray that when Marie has the time to update 1st grade that she'll highlight the spelling/phonics rules in the program to make it easier to find and remember to refer to.

It's going to be ok. She is ahead of other her own age -- she's been on missions trips already.

hang in there.... you know how pregnancy hormones can be. You know.... when I was 40 weeks pregnant with my youngest was the week I got back the results of middle gal's speech/language evaluation. May I kindly suggest that you don't do what Crystal did. Crystal went into the hospital clinic to get speech therapy appointments set up for middle gal while I was having early contractions. Fortunately, the senior speech pathologist told me "you know.... we'll just schedule this for about 8 weeks from now. It can wait. It's not that bad."

ok... so I was so wound up that my labor stopped for 2 days, then finally had youngest. I was so nervous, Brooke. I was scared that middle child had something big time wrong and it might be called autism. How was I going to handle that? My oldest was K or 1st age. and then, there I was having a baby. I felt so inadequate. I couldn't even teach my own child how to speak her native language.

It's easier to deal with after the baby comes.

((((hugs)))))


-crystal
dhudson
Posts: 320
Joined: Thu May 10, 2007 5:46 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by dhudson »

Brooke,

I didn't read everything previously written but I wanted to tell you that I had the same thoughts about my dd. I spoke to a specialist (who fortunately lives next door) about my dd and they told me to give it some time because her reading level was high and that dysgraphia and dyslexia go hand and hand and would likely affect her reading. The specialist had Caileigh write some things and read to her and finally just told me to keep working with her on her writing ( she continually mixed up letters (b & d) and numbers, wrote them backwards and had atrocious penmenship and can't spell to save her life. I moved her to HWOT and went back over the phonics rules pretty diligently and within the last 6 months have seen drastic improvement. I do expect her to test but I am okay with her not scoring perfectly and have created a "Caileigh's Dictionary" with words she continually misspells and for phonics rules. Her dictionary is very rarely far from her when she is writing. I expect her to do her work to the best of her ability with a good attitude and maintain self-control but I understand when she is sad because her brother got a better score. (Drat that twin thing sometimes) The specialist also recommended waiting until she was nine or so before we did formal testing to see if some of these things would work.

I know that in some cases that's not a good idea so that you can work with them earlier but it has for Caileigh. She is writing much better, rarely flips her numbers and letters and only missed 2 on her spelling test which was awesome compared to the 9 or 10 she missed last year.

Either way, it's great that you are catching these things now so that you can work on them.
God Bless,
Dawn
http://www.shiningexamples.blogspot.com
blessed Mom of three - 16, 13 & 13
happy user of MFW since 2002
jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by jasntas »

I'm so sorry for causing you stress. I remember just a few short months ago when we realized there was a bigger issue with my ds than that he was just a little behind his peers. (And I wasn't pregnant.) ((HUGS))

Dyslexics, btw, are usually highly intelligent, outside of the box thinkers. Do a search for famous people with dyslexia and you will be shocked. For my ds, he thinks its a cool thing that he may be dyslexic. He loves science and his heroes right now are Edison and Einstein. Both of which are thought to have been dyslexic. Edison struggled in school and ended up essentially being homeschooled by his mom. He had a lab in his room at 14 when his mom made him go out and get a job b/c she was tired of the smells that would come from his room. That is so my ds.

There are also lots of other famous people; actors, politicians, ministers, etc. Another example, Tom Cruise is dyslexic.

Oh, there is also an Arthur episode on PBS that deals with dyslexia. The character, George is diagnosed with dyslexia in that episode. My ds had recently seen that episode when we brought up to him that he may be dyslexic so, again, to him it was not a negative. I think knowing that he may be dyslexic actually helped him to understand a little better why he is like he is.

BTW, I'm the one who usually stresses about my ds not being up to grade level. I totally relate to the feelings your dh has. I think I tend to even put more pressure on myself because I'm his teacher.

We used 2 levels of AAS last year. I loved the program but ds still just wasn't getting it. He would pass the words, then later totally forget the rule and the words he previously learned. I understand, though that AAS is usually pretty successful with mild dyslexics. Apparently mine is not mild. :~

We have just begun using the Barton Reading and Spelling program so I can't really tell you how successful it is. It is a bit pricey though. For dyslexia testing you can contact Susan Barton at the site I gave you earlier and ask for a list of certified testers in your area. I will warn you, the testers are not cheap and insurance doesn't cover it. The school system doesn't normally test for it either. Mainly because most kids with dyslexia tend to average out on their testing because they are usually very strong in some areas but very weak in others.

I am going to pray for peace and guidance for you now.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.
BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by BHelf »

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and kind words. They really do mean a lot. Of course, adding anything isn't really affordable. I am praying about it and trying to see where to go from here. I wish I knew someone who had them and wasn't using it so I could borrow them.

I was doing some research on testing for dyslexia last night and when I read about all the different areas and ways they test, I just about had a panic attack for my DD's sake. She'd flip out and not make it through much of any of it! I know it would cause her (and therefore me) all kinds of stress.

I think while I wait, I am going to work on handwriting with her on my own, and go easy on the spelling while trying the pulling down the sounds in the words with pennies. Also, I'll have her read to me and me read to her from some of the dual reader books I have now. Snuggle time on the couch while reading has at least one benefit. :)

With the Barton system, is it something you use everyday? How long per day does it take?
jasntas wrote:I'm so sorry for causing you stress. I remember just a few short months ago when we realized there was a bigger issue with my ds than that he was just a little behind his peers. (And I wasn't pregnant.) ((HUGS))
You didn't cause me stress. I'm actually glad now that you suggested it because I never would've looked into it on my own. I obviously have been given a wrong definition of dyslexia because I always thought it meant that you couldn't read and that you saw everything backwards. After reading about it last night, I now know that is wrong.

Before starting this thread yesterday, as my DD was giving me her thoughts about spelling and trying to figure out a job that didn't involve writing and spelling (she said, "I just want to be a mom." I assured her she needed to know how to spell in order to do that, too. lol) I remembered a book I recently found at a thrift store and read to her so we talked about that. It's by Patricia Polacco and it's called "Thank You, Mr. Falker." If you don't know her, she's a wonderful children's author and I know MFW has some of her books in book basket in some years. Anyways, it's her story...of her childhood growing up and not being able to read. She didn't see letters and numbers the same as others, all the kids made fun of her and called her names and no one figured out there was a problem until her (I think) 5th grade teacher in a new town paid attention and figured out what was going on and he and another specialist at that school tutored her. At the end of the book she states that she ran into that teacher at a wedding many years later and thanked him profusely for helping her and believing in her and when he asked what she now did for a living, she proudly told him that she writes books for children. (Yes, I cried when I read it and this was BEFORE I really thought a ton about all the issues my DD has been having...about to cry just typing it out on here! HORMONES!) She never stated exactly what the problem was but it seems similar except that my daughter can read but now I don't know if she's really just memorizing patterns and such and guessing or what.

I heard her reading out of a Bible story book last night to her brother and sister (while they were supposed to be going to sleep, but did I stop them? Absolutely not, lol) and I just listened to her.

And Crystal, thanks for the advice about waiting on testing and such (if we go that route) until after the baby. I definitely don't need that stress between now and (almost!) 7 weeks from now.

BTW--I just want to say, that out of all the message boards I am a member of, this is by far the most amazing and supportive group of people out there! I rarely post things anywhere else. Even the other Christian message boards can be so...well, the opposite of uplifting and helpful. :~ I'm glad I can come here and even though I don't "know" any of you, you all care by giving of your time and prayers to help out! Thank you!!

Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com
mgardenh
Posts: 174
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2007 4:55 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by mgardenh »

Bhef,
Since I was talked about some here :-) (It's ok to talk about me). I thought I say hello! I was never diagnosed with dyslexia but I have been told by many people that I am. I fit the profile almost to a tea. So, I declare that I am. You can see it in my posts. I am about the worst speller in the world (thank God for spell check) and have the worst handwriting in the world. I sometimes can't read my own handwriting. I struggled in school especially in the early elementary years.

I think I only passed because of my intelligence. No one caught that I was dyslexic.

Your dd is in a much better place then I was. She has a loving mom (I had a loving mom) who wants to help her and see her succeed. She has Jesus at her side and yours. It won't be easy but you and your dd will get through it. But dyslexia wasn't on the radar when I was a child in school and so much more is known about it.

I literally can't "see" that I have spelled the word wrong. It "looks" right to me. Even if I go back over it I still can't get it. I have to memorize every word to spell it write (made it very difficult in school). I still can't pronounce a word I've never seen. My dd or wife have to say the word for me then I don't every forget. I just can't figure it out how to say it phonetically.

I will say some things that have helped me or I've heard help. For writing assignments and spelling try colored paper (I know there are certain colors that are supposed to help better then others). Other thing is unless your doing spelling I would just have her type up her written assignments and let her use spell check. In my case and probably in your dd case some people just can't do it without assistance. That's ok.

Now a word about the labeling thing. I know all the stuff that is out about oh how bad it is to be labeled because it limits our dc abilities. I know it is hard to have to put a label on your dd. I have two with a label. One on the Autism spectrum and one speech and allergy, asthma. How I view it is my dc are not ruled by their label. They don't fit the label because I don't make them the label. They were created by God with there special needs in order to glorify Him. But being able to understand what the problem is by the label we are able to get our dds the help they need. Now that we know what the problems are we are able to help them. That is what a "label" has helped us with. That is how we approach it with our children. We tell them that they are very loving, smart and intelligent children. They have struggles and what the testing does is help us understand there struggles so we can help them be all that God wants them to be. We are not ashamed of there labels.

The other thing is if your dd want's to go to college if she is diagnosed with something the College has to provide reasonable accommodations for your dd. So whatever your dd needs (tests on colored paper, copy of professor notes, etc) the school helps. They also provide free tutoring in areas that your dd struggles with. So it's not all bad to be labeled.

May Jesus help you and bless because of the unique way that he made your dd to glorify Him!
Mike
DH to Laurel
SAHD (mostly) to
Julia - 10 years old, Explorations to 1850
Alexis-7 years old, Explorations to1850 see her story at
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/alexisg
Have used MFW, k, 1st, Adventures, and ECC, CTG, RtR
BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by BHelf »

Mike,
Thanks for your input! It is very helpful to hear from you. I especially want to thank you for the comment you made about getting a diagnosis for college purposes. I have no idea what God's plans are for her in that area, but I know that I would like her to go to college if she wants to. So knowing that she would receive help depending on what the results of testing are is a big thing for me to consider. I don't think we could afford to get her tested now. I mainly just want to start where I can with helping her. I've considered calling our school to see if, by some miracle, they do test for dyslexia even though most schools don't. I may still do that.

Anyway, thank you again!!!

Brooke

PS--I know I'm not alone in thinking you are a "way cool, awesome" dad for HSing your kids!! My husband would love to be the sole teacher if it wasn't for that pesky full time job that gets in the way. :-) (Oh and that pesky wife that really loves being the teacher and wouldn't let him do it all.) LOL. He does do Bible and history at night with the kids, though. :)
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com
Julie in MN
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by Julie in MN »

Hi Brooke,
What a helpful thread you have started, eh? I've been reading through it and thinking about the kids I have worked with at the place I tutor. They range from extreme special needs through extreme giftedness. And there are kids with spelling challenges at all those levels. I have to find that book you mentioned and maybe put it in our library there!

You have many issues spinning through your head. I think it is helpful in my brain to separate them out and look at them each differently. I think that also helps prevent labeling the whole child, rather than labeling a specific issue.

Handwriting
I do think HWT is helpful. If she wants to begin with cursive, that's where my ds started HWT. I like their method of starting with the "magic C" to form many of the letters. This helped my son get over the "write it however I want" type of thinking, because he just had to do the C first. It made his letters much more legible.

With kids I tutor, I often will choose a letter that is especially confusing me. Maybe their "n" looks like an "h" or "a" looks like "u." I will just work on that for a while and ask them to watch that particular letter at home and we'll look for it next week. I think it helps a bit. At home, you could write the letter on a marker board or other prominent spot as a reminder. But I do think some folks are just never going to have beauteous handwriting. Many kids we tutor are from India, where lovely italic handwriting is stressed from age 3. Most of the kids have lovely handwriting at least while they are young, so constantly stressing it probably does help. But even with all that work on it, there will be a child now and then who just writes big or otherwise isn't neat. And it tends to go downhill as they get older and do more typing. But be comforted that handwriting is rarely on standardized tests!

Consistent letter size is probably just a part of the handwriting issue, but my son used dotted lines up into about 5th grade. There are smaller sized lines for older kids. I got mine at convention from the Grammar Works guy. Oh, and ds didn't write with a pencil much; it took him a week to do his Bible verse until about 8th grade, and shhh but we never did dictation.

Punctuation & caps
Forgetting punctuation and caps is widespread in this generation and again either takes a mountainous amount of work to have them write a lot and correct their work a lot, or you can wait until they are actually writing enough that a lack of punctuation makes it hard to understand (happened to my son around 7th grade). Two things I can think of that helped him a little:
- I wrote a sentence on the marker board with errors and had him find the errors. We did this for about 6 weeks I think, and it did help him without making him feel bad.
- I tell all my students that "we only capitalize if we have a REASON. Do we have a reason to use a capital letter here? Is it the beginning of a sentence? Is it the "name" of something? No? Then should we use a cap? No!" My rule is "no random caps" :)

Spelling
Spelling is one of those things that is just a challenge for some folks. I don't know about specific labels -- many of the kids I work with probably have a label & that's why their family sought out a tutoring service, but I can work with them without knowing that. If it's a young child (say under 10), we just keep working on it. We like to stay where the child is at and not rush them ahead. Often if the child misspelled a word many times, they will enjoy having a little "spelling test" at the end of their lesson, and they will get the word right. Or they will copy the word three times. Then I will ask them orally how they are going to remember to spell that word, and have them spell it aloud. Then the next week, hopefully we will get to talk about it again.

Spelling for older kids becomes a definite obvious issue. They know they are bad spellers because people tell them or they just compare themselves with others. It's probably easier for me because I'm an outsider, but I just call a spade a spade and tell them that it looks like spelling is their challenge in life. They know it, and so now it's out in the open. Very often, they are wonderful oral readers and I praise them for that. Oral reading is equally something kids can be very embarrassed by in public, so at least they have one area they can be proud of in a group. I know a lot of great readers/writers/spellers who don't read aloud well because they're used to skimming over things so quickly. Anyways, I tell the good oral readers that we won't have to work much on that(!), so we will be spending more time on spelling.

Often, knowing some of the rules (such as Crystal mentioned) helps them clear the fog and start to see that there are real patterns in English. I try to only mention one rule or rule group per week, so as not to overwhelm these already overwhelmed kids. I suppose most programs do this, too, although I think chatting about it helps kids, too. So we might work on the e,i,y following C and G for a while, or the i before e & exceptions. I also try to make sure I start by telling them that they made a very good guess. For example, if they wrote "ferst," I might tell them that they spelled the "er" sound with the most common way to spell it, e-r, and that was a great guess. If they choose that spelling, they will be right lots of times. "But some words spell "er" in other ways. Do you remember how the "er" is spelled in "thirsty"?" It seems to help to see there is a "group" of words with that spelling. Often these kids seem to end up memorizing spellings, and memorizing groups of words is probably easier.

Well, hopefully something in there isn't a repeat of all the other great ideas you've received,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002+)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs
BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by BHelf »

We did the pulling down tokens today to the sounds in 3 spelling words. She loved it! We used pennies and she then took them and made a store with her toys and used the pennies to buy her own toys! :)
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com
TrustingHim
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:04 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by TrustingHim »

BHelf wrote:This is sort of throwing me for a loop. She has always been ahead of the curve. People--random people and teachers--would call her a genius.
Brooke,
Dianne Craft calls that "gifted with a glitch." She has helped us immensely over the years, both in person and just through her materials (our dd is dysgraphic). You might be able to help your daughter by following her advice on her website. I have a friend whose daughter has the same problems you're describing, and has never had her tested. Simply following Dianne's suggestions have seen them through.

http://www.dianecraft.org/

Blessings!
Dorinda
Wife to an exceptional DH for 17 years
Mother to 2 Girls; 14 and 11
Used: EX-1850 & 1850-MOD both with the 2nd/3rd grade go-alongs and ECC with 7th/8th grade go alongs
2014/15: Ex-1850 & AHL
Psalm 118:24
jasntas
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:10 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by jasntas »

BHelf wrote:Thanks everyone for your suggestions and kind words. They really do mean a lot. Of course, adding anything isn't really affordable. I am praying about it and trying to see where to go from here.
Even the resale value on this program is high. Usually around $50 less than the new price. But it’s good for you because if you can buy it, you can easily sell it and make back most of your money. Barton isn't the only program out there but seems to be the most parent friendly and effective on the market. It is based on a system called Orton/Gillingham.

BTW, I understand that AAS is loosely based on the O/G system.
BHelf wrote:I was doing some research on testing for dyslexia last night and when I read about all the different areas and ways they test, I just about had a panic attack for my DD's sake. She'd flip out and not make it through much of any of it! I know it would cause her (and therefore me) all kinds of stress.
If you did have her tested, she may surprise you. My ds was actually disappointed when he found out he wasn't going to be tested. Sometimes knowing that you may be able to find a way to make things easier for her may be motivation enough.
BHelf wrote:With the Barton system, is it something you use everyday? How long per day does it take?
The suggestion is that 2 hours a week is spent on the program. It can be broken down into 30 minutes a day for 4 days a week.

There is a Yahoo group that may be helpful to you. I'll send you a pm with that info.
BHelf wrote:BTW--I just want to say, that out of all the message boards I am a member of, this is by far the most amazing and supportive group of people out there! I rarely post things anywhere else. Even the other Christian message boards can be so...well, the opposite of uplifting and helpful. :~ I'm glad I can come here and even though I don't "know" any of you, you all care by giving of your time and prayers to help out! Thank you!!
Ditto!!! :-) :-) :-)

Sorry my answers are not more detailed. It's been a long day and it's late. I hope you are able to find the answers you are looking for.
Tammie - Wife to James for 27 years
Mom to Justin (15) and Carissa (12)
ADV & K 2009-2010 . . . RTR (again) & WHL 2016-2017
http://tammiestime.blogspot.com/
The days of a mother are long but the years are short.
BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by BHelf »

Thanks everyone for the information! After getting over the initial disbelief I now feel armed with lots of new information and pray that I can tackle whatever comes our way! We did some gentle things with handwriting and phonics with her spelling words and we read together and the day went much smoother. :) I look forward to reading all the links everyone has sent me and hopefully I'll be purchasing HWT and Barton Reading and Spelling soon....but today, I'm going to push all that to the back of my mind and learn to crochet some warm winter items for needy families in Latvia. :)

Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com
RachelT
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by RachelT »

Hi Brooke! I haven't seen this post until just now (Sat.) and you have already gotten several responses and I'm kind of reading them as I type here. (I might be "the lady that has use Barton for awhile.") I do want to add that you need to separate the act of spelling words (using a code to symbolize sounds) from the act of writing. Letter placement, different sized letters, capitals, etc. all have to do with handwriting (dysgraphia), while knowing how to spell words may be a specific reading disability like dyslexia. There may be more than one thing going on here and your daughter has given you information, but she can't explain exactly what is going on and that is okay. It looks like others have already explained a lot of things and are making great recommendations. I just want to give you some information about our journey and what is helping us.

My son is my oldest child, so I had not had the experience of having a child learn to read "easily" or "naturally". But he did well with reading in K and was doing okay in 1st grade with reading until a certain point. It became more difficult then and in 2nd grade we were doing ADV and using Spelling by Sound & Structure (MFW rec.) and spelling was completely impossible for him. Even now, he can read much more easily than spell words, because his brain learns to read the sounds symbols first and later it is more steps to take words or thoughts and choose the correct symbols for them in writing (spelling). My son had memorized lots of "sight words" but couldn't sound out words he had never seen before. He was diagnosed by a professional later in 2nd grade with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and inattentive ADHD.

Handwriting was hard for him all along. If your daughter draws, that is great! He hated any drawing, coloring, crafts, or art. He still doesn't "like" those types of activities, but has made great improvements over the last four years. We LOVE MFW, but found that we needed the explicit instruction of Handwriting Without Tears and the simplified lines that they use. Their products have helped my son learn to write and my children are both learning cursive with HWT. We just do a page each day at the beginning of the day, before they do any other writing and I ask them to do their best handwriting here. I also had my son use a computer program to learn to type last year twice a week and now he can type short dictations. Before using Barton, he couldn't dictate anything and had to copy everything written except 3 letter CVC words or his name. Again, I LOVE MFW, but we found that our son needed a more explicit type of phonics program designed for his style of learning. I had tried lots of things and then when we got his official diagnosis we found out about Barton on another message board. It is hard work, but it is designed for the way he thinks and he is learning to read AND spell! :)
mgardenh wrote:Bhef,
Since I was talked about some here :-) (It's ok to talk about me). I thought I say hello! I was never diagnosed with dyslexia but I have been told by many people that I am.
TrustingHim wrote:
BHelf wrote:This is sort of throwing me for a loop. She has always been ahead of the curve. People--random people and teachers--would call her a genius.
Brooke,
Dianne Craft calls that "gifted with a glitch."
I really appreciate Mike's thoughts on this subject. My son is very bright and others think that he is really intelligent, especially when he was 4 or 5 and knew everything that there was to know about penguins.

I agree with Dorinda and what Dianne says, "gifted with a glitch". Others have written about this and call these children "twice exceptional". They are highly intelligent and yet have some real challenges all at the same time. I think that if my son had been in a different school setting, he may not have been tested because I have seen other cases of a smart kid who can figure out ways to get around their "learning challenges" and the system doesn't think they are doing poorly enough to get tested and get extra help. If you can get testing done, it is so helpful because it can give you specific information about how your child thinks, specifically what they need help with, and then recommendations on modifications or accommodations and like Mike said, this document can help them later in life if they ever attend another school setting.

Even if you choose not to do any testing for whatever reason, Mrs. Barton is really supportive and you can even talk to her on the phone about your child. I looked at All About Spelling, too. It is based on Orton Gillingham methods, like Barton. They are both good programs. For us we needed help in reading and spelling, so we went with Barton. The yahoo group "Heart of Reading" has been very helpful to me. It is a group of other homeschoolers and private tutors who work with children who have reading and writing challenges. Oh, I just read more of your questions. Yes, I "tutor" my son in the Barton program 4 days each week and that is also his reading and spelling. Doing 30 minute sessions four times each week adds up to the 2 hours that Mrs. Barton says is necessary. She also told me on the phone that breaking it into 15 min. sessions is okay if we need to. My son would not be able to do it longer than 30 min. because it is hard work for his brain! I also let him type and use a white board. We hardly use paper and pencil during Barton.
BHelf wrote:Okay I want to cry. My first instinct was, "no, she doesn't have that. She can read well." I wasn't a bit offended at the suggestion. I went to the website and she has many of the "warning signs." Not all of them, definitely more than 3. I haven't read tons, but obviously dyslexia is not what I had always thought it was. I feel so ill-equipped to handle teaching a child who is having these struggles. Learning always came so easy to me and to my husband as well. I watched my brother have many difficulties in school and nowhere was he offered help.
I am sorry! I really do understand how you feel and went around feeling this way for a long time! I had a cousin who sounds just like your brother. He was finally diagnosed with dyslexia in 5th or 6th grade and by then his image of himself was shaped and he still makes jokes about it. He actually was able to get a master's degree and is now a high school teacher and coach! I did not want my son to go through all of that and I feel so blessed that I can teach him at home and help him to have the kind of teaching that he needs. He understand more about it now, too and knows that he is smart, but that he has to work harder than other kids at certain things. He does not think he is dumb!

Ok, I just saw your questions to Crystal about testing...too much to write here, but private message me about it and I can write more later.

Spelling Power - it is a good program for certain types of learners. I would have done well with it and my daughter is doing well with it. It will not work for a dyslexic student because they need a different type of instruction. I would stop using Spelling Power right now until you get testing done or choose another type of spelling program.
TriciaMR wrote: Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:33 pmDon't feel bad - it's not *your* fault. Mike is my brother. He's dyslexic, I'm not. Go figure. It's just the way we are. The good thing is you caught it now, and not like in 10th grade
I really agree with Tricia! This is not your fault, not your teaching ability or mothering. This is more about finding out how your child can learn in a way that works for her! This is about how her brain is wired and God already has you homeschooling and you have been able to figure out that something more is needed now instead of years later!

If I think of more, I will write more later!! Hugs to you! You can do this because He will lead you through it! Crystal is right, Jesus is really teaching my children AND me every day!! :-)
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/
BHelf
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:58 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by BHelf »

Thanks so much Rachel for responding to me! Your advice is much appreciated. It's all a lot to process and work through but I feel so much better having written this post and having received so much direction from everyone and glad that it sent me researching things I wouldn't have researched on my own.

Yes, I am so glad we are homeschooling so that I can see where she is struggling and have the one-on-one time to work with her instead of her sitting in a classroom learning how to get around her struggles and constantly having to wonder why she can't do it like someone else. She has sort of been an emotional basket case since the day she told me she thinks she's dumb when she can't spell things. We haven't talked about her struggles after that but maybe it's in the back of her mind.

Anyhow, thank you for everything! I'm sure I'll have more questions soon.
Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com
RachelT
Posts: 350
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 2:45 pm

Re: Spelling, dysgraphia? pouring my thoughts out on "paper"

Unread post by RachelT »

Have you ever heard of the Hank Zipzer books? Henry Winkler aka "the Fonz" from Happy Days is dyslexic. He now authors children's books about a kid named "Hank" who is very much like himself. We have listened to some of them on cd in the car and the first couple of books are about Hank's challenges in school and finally figuring out what was going on with the help of some really supportive people at his school. The stories are really funny and it's fun to listen to Henry Winkler read them himself! Very entertaining, yet they gave my son another person who could identify with his struggles in school. Hank also finds out that he really is smart, he just needs some extra and different kinds of help in certain academic areas. The stories are very positive.

We found them at the library, but here is a link to the website:
http://www.hankzipzer.com/

Even if your dd doesn't have this learning disability, it might help her feel more at ease with some of what she is dealing with and help here to find laughter again!

:)
Rachel, wife to Doug ~ 1995, mom to J (17) and B (15)
MFW K (twice), 1st (twice), Adv., ECC, & CtG 2006-2010,
Classical Conversations 2010-2016,
ECC/AHL 2016-17, eclectic 2017-18, WHL & US1 2018-19

http://rachelsreflections-rachelt.blogspot.com/
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