Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

School is Going...

The kids have been steadily working away on their school.  I have found that M learns best when she hears things.  She has great auditory processing skills.  We have discovered books on CD at the library and she LOVES them.  She has listened to a few American Girl books and a Nancy Drew mystery so far.  Her ability to comprehend what she hears is amazing.  She can read on a 1st grade level, but she can comprehend around 5th grade.  She also likes to get educational dvds from the library to watch as part of her school.  We get Math, Art lessons, dancing, Magic School bus, Word World, Jamestown, nature dvds, space dvds… you name it, she will watch it.  Her favorite recently has been "The Body."  She was so obsessed with the inner workings of organs that she kept watching it over and over and over.

W and Wy have been doing SO INCREDIBLY WELL with reading.  I am so blown away.  They have jumped several grade levels in reading.  W has read all of the Diary of a Wimpy kid books, all of the Origami Yoda books, and is working on The Boxcar Children Series.  Wy has read some of The Little House on the Prairie, Tornado, Hatchet, and some of the Origami Yoda books as well.  I am so pleased with both of them!

W is progressing well on Teaching Textbooks math.  He is right on grade level with math now even though he has an incredibly low frustration tolerance.  I allow him to take breaks whenever he wants, but he gets SO ANGRY when he gets things wrong.  

Wy took the placement test for Teaching Textbooks and was able to start on the 3rd grade level.  He is about halfway through that right now.  Keep in mind that my littlest guy is still only 7.  His teacher and principal suggested retaining him in first grade at the end of last year.  I cannot fathom how bored he would be if we had kept him in school and followed their suggestion.  Wy spends the least amount of structured time doing school and has made an incredible amount of progress.  Little boys were never meant to sit for hours doing seat work!

E has been continuing with private speech, making great progress.  He is still reading at a K level, but a lot of his anxiety about it has disappeared making it easier for him to concentrate.  We do a lot of supplemental work with him.  He has flash cards and fun activity books to work on.  He is nearing being able to start on TT Math 3 and actually made it through the first few lessons, but quickly struggles as soon as new material is introduced.  His auditory processing skills are so deficient because he has CAPD.

V is doing well on TT Math 4.  Math is a strength for him.  He struggled with the months of the year and days of the week.  He also struggles with the concept of "obtuse" "right" and "acute" angles.  The numerical computations are not a problem for him.  Its word problems.  I had him memorize the months of the year and explained the dd/mm/yyyy format.  For some reason that was a struggle, but he seems to have it now.  If the kids fail a math lesson, I simply delete it and have them repeat the lecture and the problems.  Usually V gets it the second time around with no issues.

D has continued with Brain Integration Therapy.  It is supposed to remove the issues that cause dyslexia and receptive/expressive language disorder, and make it possible for him to learn to read and retain information in a typical way.  I was able to get insurance to cover this therapy so we will be doing this with the other kids as time allows.  The jury is still out on how much it has helped because it gives him the ability to learn, therefore it takes time to see how well he is able to learn new material now.  The struggle with him recently has been his complete lack of effort and interest in learning.  He honestly would be happy to do nothing but watch movies all day.  He acts like I am punishing him by expecting him to put a good effort into reading for a certain amount of time each day and even working on his Dyslexia Games books.  I try to keep things fun and geared to his "right brain" learning style with word searches, picture hunts,  puzzles, and mazes.  Really we do not do any traditional "seat work."  Everything I have him doing has a dual purpose of engaged the artistic side of his brain with the logic side.  I am just so frustrated at his lack of effort and the tendency to act like I am being mean by expecting things of him.  We shall see how this progresses as I have pulled out my stern voice and quit allowing him to get away with not following directions.  I caught him lying to me several times in a row last week about completing work.  When I checked the work, he had not done it and then tried to even talk his way out of it much like a toddler caught with chocolate on their face denies getting in the cookie jar.  He does not typically lie to me, and his emotional development is severely delayed.  I told him that I was under no circumstances tolerating lying and he had to complete the work before he was allowed to go to his grandmother's with the other kids for Spring Break.  I am afraid that this is partly my fault because I have been so lenient and tolerant and tried so very hard to modify things to how he learns and have accepted less than his best for fear of hurting his feelings.  

So that's a not so brief summary.  I like to be able to look back at home certain kids were doing at certain points in time.  Hopefully they will all continue to make progress.


Emily said...

My 11-year-old daughter is severely dyslexic and even though she is in 5th grade, she reads at barely a 1st grade level. This year she qualified for assistive technology and it has made a huge difference for her. One of accommodations she receives is a subscription to Learning Ally. They have 160,000 audio and voice-text books available. The app reads the books aloud to her, but she also follows along on her tablet. The app highlights the sentence and/or paragraph that is being read to make it easier for her eyes to follow along. She can change so many things about the book...the font, the size and color of the font, the color of the highlight, etc. The best thing, though, is that she can change the speed of the voice that is reading the book. She typically slows it down to .6, which is the speed at which her eyes can keep up. She started using this program in January, and since then, has read 4 times more books than she has in the last three school years combined. Like your M, she has a listening comprehension that is much higher than her reading level. This app has opened new worlds to her. Instead of fighting me on reading, she willingly reads for hours. It used to be a battle to get her reading log to 75 minutes per week (which was a modified time due to her disabilities). Last week she logged 240 minutes...because she wanted to. If you're able to prove that your child has a learning disability, which I know you are, you will qualify for a membership. It's only $119/year. TOTALLY WORTH IT! We're moving, and if our new school doesn't provide this app, I'll be purchasing it for K. It might be something your kids would really benefit from.

Mom to Mine said...

Thank you so much Emily. I have contacted Learning Ally today and am in the process of getting this app for my kids!

Emily said...

Oh, I'm so excited for you!!! You're going to just LOVE IT!!!

manho valentine said...

I'll be purchasing it for K. It might be something your kids would really benefit from.


We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson