Dyslexia, Emerging Reader - Preparing???

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aecastleberry
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:35 pm

Dyslexia, Emerging Reader - Preparing???

Post by aecastleberry » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:42 pm

My son is almost 9, and we are half-way through Bigger. He was diagnosed with Dyslexia about two years ago, and he continues to STRUGGLE with reading. I have already gone through Preparing with my DD (and absolutely loved it!!) - however, I am starting to stress about it for my son. As of right now, there is no way he could do any of the independent work simply because he cannot read well enough. We are still working through the Emerging Readers at a steady pace as well as recently moving into AAR, level 2.

Can anyone help me think through how to prepare him for Preparing? Obviously, I can do things with him such as writing out his written narrations as he orally narrates them, but reading aloud everything is going to be a challenge. I will have my youngest in Little Hearts next year who will require even more of my full attention.

Do we put a halt on everything right now and just concentrate on Reading and Math? --Math is also a struggle b/c he cannot read his word problems!-- Reading is just so vital to everything, but it is not coming easily for my DS. I don't know what to do to help him thrive and to prepare him to move forward.

Thank you in advance!
Amber
It's hard to be discontent when you count your blessings.
Amber - Amazed by Grace, Wife to Scott, Mama to 3, Teacher, Photographer, Writer
daughter, 13 MtMM
son, 11 Preparing
son, 7 Bigger

StephanieU
Posts: 1555
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: Dyslexia, Emerging Reader - Preparing???

Post by StephanieU » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:18 am

With a diagnosis like that, I wouldn't hold him back for his reading. One option would be to record the books and put the audio files on an old phone or mp3 player. That would allow him to "read" independently. You would still probably have to go over instructions with him, but it would be more independent.
Mom to 4
DD (13) MtMM (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, CtC, RtR, and Rev2Rev)
DS (11) RtR (completed LHFHG, Beyond, Bigger, Preparing, and CtC plus some of LHTH)
DD (9) Preparing (completed LHTH, LHFHG, Beyond, and Bigger)
DS (4) LHTH

my3sons
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Location: South Dakota

Re: Dyslexia, Emerging Reader - Preparing???

Post by my3sons » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:07 am

Once a diagnosis is made, often times progress can be made more easily. I just want to encourage you we have many families using HOD successfully with kiddos who have dyslexia. I'd not put a halt to BHFHG and only focus on reading. Reading is the tough subject right now, and it's never good to halt all the rest of the subjects to only do what's hard. It removes the balance that is vital to overall growth and just enjoyment of learning (think of the school subject you disliked the most or struggled with the most, and then imagine only doing that all day for months on end). How is BHFHG going? Is he able to do all he is asked to in that guide, or are you modifying things? In general, it's good to go full-speed if a child is doing ALL that is planned in the guide successfully without modifications. If that is the case, I'd keep going full-speed with BHFHG and also use this time to work on reading as much as possible. Then, I'd slow down PHFHG next year if needed. If you are doing some modifications and BHFHG is just harder overall, I'd slow it to half-speed and work on reading alongside it too, with a goal to complete BHFHG and PHFHG within 3 years instead of 2 years, making changes to that goal if needed.

No matter what, one of the very best things you can do to improve reading is have your son listen to audio books on tape/cd/ipod/etc. while following along in a book. The following along in the book is vital. This has been proven to increase reading level, improve vocabulary skills, and improve reading fluency several grade levels. Daily listening for 15-20 minutes while following along is a good goal. You can get BHFHG's Storytime Books on audio used inexpensively many places (I did this myself), and you can just get the ones you have left. That brings me to StephanieU's awesome idea - recording PHFHG's Basic Package books. I'd start doing this now if I were you, and I'd enlist help. We have done this before. My dad, my mom, my other sons, me, etc. all read different books on tape, just one chapter a day, each of us just a few books, and wah-la! It wasn't long before we had lots of books on tape. Now that my dad has passed away, these recordings are especially treasured. Anyway, you'd be surprised how quickly 15 minutes a day of a collective effort like this can help you out in the day to day of homeschooling next year! I would also begin recording your read-alouds for CTC right now. That is something you are doing anyway with your older dd, and you will be glad to have them recorded when your son reaches that guide later, so you can read any other portions necessary at that time instead if needed.

I hope something here helps, but I think you're all going to navigate this just fine! Praising God your son is homeschooled by his loving mama - such a better way to approach him getting the most out of every day with the best encouragement and love possible!!!

In Christ,
Julie
Enjoyed LHTH to USII
Currently using USII, MTMM
Wife to Rich for 25 years
Mother to 3 sons, ages 20, 17, and 13
Author of Women's Devotional https://www.ebay.com/itm/293355757184
Blogger https://my3sons-julie.blogspot.com/
Sister to Carrie

jenn in nc
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:36 am

Re: Dyslexia, Emerging Reader - Preparing???

Post by jenn in nc » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:43 am

Hi Amber,

I'm hardly ever on the board, but I noticed your post and wanted to take a second to encourage you that HOD is a great choice for a family dealing with dyslexia. I have eight kids and two of mine are dyslexic, and we use HOD at every level.

You've gotten some really great advice already. I agree that audio books will be your best friend! They free up time for you and they are good for your son. Not only will they help with his reading skills but they will also increase his feeling that he can successfully navigate his day as independently as possible. Our dyslexic kids can sometimes feel burdened if they know they are taking up an inordinate amount of our time and anything that makes him feel that he is able to successfully complete tasks on his own is great! There are a lot of books on audio already available, and having family members help record them is a great idea.

Some of the written work can be tweaked and done orally instead. That's important since writing skills usually lag behind reading skills for a while. Also, you might find that going half-speed through Preparing rather than full speed is be a good option for him.

You said he is almost nine? That's young yet - you and he have a lot of time still to work at his pace and gradually make progress.

Like I said, I'm not on the board much, but I've successfully used HOD for several years now with all my kids including both of my dyslexics. Please feel free to ask questions!

Warmly,
Jenn
Jenn, mom to 9
Two sons graduated
DS 18 US2
DD 16 World Geo
DD 14 learning delays, doing well in CTC
DS 11 learning delays, doing well in Bigger
DD 9 enjoying Bigger with DS 11
DS 6 beginning Little Hearts soon
DS 2 chief meddler adored by us all :)

aecastleberry
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:35 pm

Re: Dyslexia, Emerging Reader - Preparing???

Post by aecastleberry » Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:41 pm

Thank you, ladies. I am sure that much of my anxiety stems from having a very advanced daughter, so there are many times when I just feel at a loss of how to truly help my dyslexic son. My DD has never had to struggle at much (which poses its own set of issues :wink: ) so to have my son, who is just a year younger than his sister, struggle so greatly really throws me for a loop.

As far as Bigger, he is doing pretty well - but of course I read everything out loud. I've had to modify much of the history choices because they were just way over his head - he had a very difficult time listening to A First Book in American History. We could read a section three times and he'd still give me blank stares. :shock: I guess I'm just worried that I will have to keep modifying so much that continuing with HOD will be too difficult for him. It was also an added and unexpected expense to have to supplement so much this year in order to find some history selections that were engaging and on his level with the same time period that is studied in Bigger. ((Before you ask...our library isn't the best. And I was having to be put on wait lists for so long that purchasing books were necessary to stay on track.))

Anyway, looking ahead I will continue to just work with him as he progresses. Watching one child struggle while another soars is tough, especially when it's been this way for their entire lives. But, God is teaching our DS and me about perseverance, no doubt.
It's hard to be discontent when you count your blessings.
Amber - Amazed by Grace, Wife to Scott, Mama to 3, Teacher, Photographer, Writer
daughter, 13 MtMM
son, 11 Preparing
son, 7 Bigger

jenn in nc
Posts: 165
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 9:36 am

Re: Dyslexia, Emerging Reader - Preparing???

Post by jenn in nc » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:57 pm

aecastleberry wrote:Watching one child struggle while another soars is tough, especially when it's been this way for their entire lives.
My heart really goes out to you on this, I know *exactly* what you are talking about. We've been through this and are still going through it. It's enough to break a mama's heart. I don't have any easy answers, just wanted to reach out to you and tell you that I understand.

Your son has his special place in the world, and you are the privileged one chosen to help him find it. ((Hugs)) and sincere prayers that God will show both of us mama's the way as we walk this tough path with our children.

~Jenn
Jenn, mom to 9
Two sons graduated
DS 18 US2
DD 16 World Geo
DD 14 learning delays, doing well in CTC
DS 11 learning delays, doing well in Bigger
DD 9 enjoying Bigger with DS 11
DS 6 beginning Little Hearts soon
DS 2 chief meddler adored by us all :)

Carrie
Site Admin
Posts: 8062
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: Dyslexia, Emerging Reader - Preparing???

Post by Carrie » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:24 pm

Amber,

Since it sounds like your son is having a tough time with A First Book in American History, I am just wondering whether your son ever had a chance to do Beyond? The stories in Beyond are easier to listen to and to process and are a great stepping stone to the more difficult books used in Bigger. Doing Beyond instead of Bigger would give your son shorter more accessible readings to listen to, less writing, and a shorter school day as he grows into his reading skills.

If he has already done Beyond, did he do it pretty much as written? Also, is he currently doing Bigger pretty much as written or are you having to omit, skip, and downsize things? The reason I ask is that it is so helpful for us if we can wrap our head around what your son is currently able to do from the guide and what he is struggling with or just not able to do in order to advise you better.

If you get a chance to pop back and share whether he has ever done Beyond that would be great! :)

Blessings,
Carrie

aecastleberry
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:35 pm

Re: Dyslexia, Emerging Reader - Preparing???

Post by aecastleberry » Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:31 am

Hi, Carrie.

Yes, my son did do Beyond last year. He really liked it because it was fun and engaging. Of course, the books for history in Beyond that were used had a lot of pictures! My son uses pictures a great deal to help him understand the content. With the First Book in American History and Stories of Great Americans, there are not many pictures at all; and the pictures that are there are black and white and very small. So him having to rely solely on listening to the content (which is quite dry at times), was very difficult for him this year. I have been supplementing with many D'Aulaire books with Bigger for history simply to keep his interest.

The only thing that we really needed to adjust with Beyond was the spelling. While I thought it would help him with his reading to do the spelling lists, they proved to be difficult for him. It was too much for him to handle to learn to read the words and learn to spell at the same time.

Since we are still doing our phonics program, we are continuing to work on reading a great deal. This year in Bigger, I have added the spelling lists and he is doing better with them.

Other than supplementing history with different books, we are doing Bigger as written. His favorite part is the Storytime box. I was worried about some of the books being too long, but I got the Boy Interest set and he has enjoyed them a great deal. We are currently finishing The Indian in the Cupboard, and he likes it the best so far!

Having done Preparing already with my daughter, I am not worried about the content being dry or my son being disinterested - Preparing is what made me become an HOD mama for life!! :D It is just that I do not see him being able to do anything independently because he cannot read well enough. We have just moved into compound words in All About Reading, and they have proven difficult. Even with most of the compound words being CVC-CVC, the words are hard for him to decode on their own. However...again...with the Emerging Readers Set, he is able to read better because he uses the pictures to help him decode. We are reading Wagon Wheels right now, and he is doing pretty well figuring out difficult words by relying on the pictures to help. However, it is going to take a great deal of work to get him to be able to read Sarah Noble!

I hope this has given you more information. Thank you for reaching out!
Amber
It's hard to be discontent when you count your blessings.
Amber - Amazed by Grace, Wife to Scott, Mama to 3, Teacher, Photographer, Writer
daughter, 13 MtMM
son, 11 Preparing
son, 7 Bigger

Carrie
Site Admin
Posts: 8062
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 8:39 pm

Re: Dyslexia, Emerging Reader - Preparing???

Post by Carrie » Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:58 am

Amber,

Thanks so much for taking time to share about your son. It is so helpful to gain a better picture of what he is able to do so that we can advise you better! :D

Reading issues aside, it isn't uncommon for kiddos to find Bigger to be a step up in listening content and in writing. This is because Bigger is purposefully meant to move kiddos toward listening to higher level books with fewer to no pictures, so they can practice the skills of comprehending without the aid of the illustrations. This is a process that takes time, and kiddos often are not good at this skill right away. Their attention can wander as listeners, and they may struggle in being able to remember much from the readings at first. However, as time passes, they get better and better at this important skill. It is encouraging that your son enjoys the storytime read-aloud. This means he is headed in the right direction listening-wise!

As a general rule, history books that are more factual (like the history read-alouds) are quite a bit more difficult than the storytime read alouds. So, I would encourage you at this point to move away from adding picture-style books to Bigger's history and instead use the history read aloud books as scheduled... knowing this is another level of a skill that will take time to develop in your son but that it is a necessary stepping stone as he matures even further as a listener (and comprehension-wise). :D

One thing I am wondering is how your son was able to make the connections with doing the history activities, timeline, vocabulary cards, art projects, poetry, etc. in Bigger if you weren't reading aloud the history spines? Since everything on the left side of the Bigger Hearts plans each day goes with the history reading I would think that would be very confusing not to have read the corresponding history reading which sets up the activities. Did your son do all of the activities on the left side of Bigger each day, or were you picking and choosing as you went? The reason I ask is because so many skills are wound into the activities on the left side of the guide, so if you were regularly omitting things then in going forward it will be important to do everything that is in the plans each day in order for him to gain the skills he will need for Preparing Hearts. :D Many of the skills your son will be gaining are not reading-related, so in spite of his reading issues he will still need the skills wound within the Bigger plans. In fact, with his reading challenges in mind his listening skills will become all the more important!

You also mentioned additional cost for needed books as being a factor in doing Bigger this year, which I am also trying to understand as the Bigger Hearts packages contain all needed books for the year at a reasonable cost. If this additional cost is from supplementation, then I would encourage you to stop the urge to supplement and do Bigger as written. Give it at least 18 weeks to work on its own. Bigger is designed to build a huge array of skills that take time for kiddos to gain. Having done Bigger Hearts 3 times now with three very different sons, I can say that it is a slow burn that brings big results over time. You will see the fruit from Bigger in Preparing Hearts. It just takes time to reap what you sow. :D

As far as your son's reading goes, it sounds like you are progressing in this area! It is not uncommon for kiddos to have difficulty when decoding multi-syllable words or for kiddos to struggle as they move to more words on a page and fewer pictures. So, take heart that your son is making good, steady progress. Often it is true that if you have an older sibling who was a natural reader first, then when a younger one struggles it seems all the more pronounced. We had this very scenario at our own house!! Also, remember that the difference between when boys and girls mature as readers and writers is also a factor. :wink: So, in looking at your son just try to focus on the forward motion he is making, even if it is in baby steps. Be sure that both his hearing and his vision have been tested in the past year, just to rule out any problems in either of those areas. Then, keep steadily plugging along with what is working for him in reading. :D For your son's free reading time, be sure to allow him to read easier books with many pictures. This will build his confidence and his enjoyment of reading. :D Kids often free read at a level or two below what they can really read, as they don't want to work so hard to gain meaning.

On a sidenote, as far as the math story problems go, I would just read those aloud to your son. Since math is a time to be thinking about mathematical concepts, there is nothing wrong with reading the story problems aloud for him to aid in that process. I often read the math story problems aloud to my younger boys, so they can focus on the math rather than on decoding the words before even getting to the problem. :D

Last, I'll share that if you need to move to half-speed Bigger for awhile in order to do everything in the plans as written I would suggest that you do so. Just make it a goal not to move onto the next day of plans until you've done everything from the day before. Bigger is such a key teaching and learning year, it can be hard to make up for missing the rich set of skills wound within every box of plans if you fast forward past them. :D It will also be important that your son do as much of the writing as he can that is in Bigger each day. So, if you have to slow down in order for him to do the written portions than I would definitely do so. Otherwise, if you rush forward without taking time for your son to gain needed skills, then each subsequent guide will have to be modified more and more until all you have left is a reading aloud program because the rest of the skills will all be too difficult.

As far as writing goes, if you can share a bit more about what he is able to do in this area that will help too. For example, is your son able to copy words or sentences? If you write a sentence on paper, is he able to copy the same sentence below your writing? If so, you can write a sentence of the copy work and have him write his own version right below yours. Then, you could do the rest of the copying for him with the goal of having him copy more as he is able. Is he able to copy any of the poetry in Bigger, possibly one short line at a time? If he can, then it would work to have you copy a line from the poem each day with your son copying the same line below yours. He could eventually move toward copying more as he is able. Is he currently writing any of the science lab each week or doing any writing of the vocabulary card? If not, perhaps you could move toward having your son do a small portion of the writing in these areas and work up to eventually doing more. I ask these questions so that we can figure out how to move forward from where he is at in writing too.

If you can keep in mind that you are meant to be helping him with every part of Bigger and also that you are meant to be doing all the reading aloud, then you can rest easier knowing you are doing exactly what you need to do by helping him along the way. With just a couple of tweaks that I mentioned above, you can move forward in Bigger knowing you will be preparing your son for the next step up. Our own fourth son struggled with reading too and has had slow but steady progress in this area. He is halfway through Preparing now and gaining. We did do Preparing at half-speed the last half of last year to help him grow into the guide before going full-speed with it this year. Remember that in Preparing, you are still reading aloud the history. It is just the Deluxe Package and science books that the child is reading.

If you get a chance to share a bit more about your son's writing or any other thoughts or info you think would be helpful, feel free to pop back and share. :D

Blessings,
Carrie

aecastleberry
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:35 pm

Re: Dyslexia, Emerging Reader - Preparing???

Post by aecastleberry » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:43 pm

Carrie,
Please forgive the delayed response...life, school break, Christmas, snow - it all added up. :wink:

For the last semester in Bigger, I was simply supplementing a different book for each "topic" that came up in the history section. We did a great many D'Aulaire books for as many of the topics/history figures that we could. Because of that, it was not difficult to do the Geo/Timeline/Vocab/Art/Bible boxes since we were covering the same information.

As far as going forward with the left section of the guide, I am going to heed your advice and switch back to using HOD as written. The "Stories of Great Americans" is actually quite enjoyable, and my son "gets it" more. He is also closing in on 9 years of age, so I know his maturity is growing as well. Since I have so many D'Aulaire books and other picture books, I am going to have him read them "for fun." He likes to read in bed at night with a head-lamp, so I think these books will be good. He will struggle to read them, but if we have already covered the material I think he will be able to enjoy them that way. I am also getting as many books with an audio CD as possible as Julie suggested. This is something we have done before, and now I'm working on making our own recordings for books that do not have audio CDs at the library.

Writing - he is a paradox in this area! He *rarely* complains about writing, but he is painfully s-l-o-w. He can do manuscript copy work with the best of them, but it will take 5 times longer than anyone else! We are halfway through the Cheerful Cursive book. At first, he was excited about learning to write in cursive (since that is all his sister has ever done), but as he has moved into writing words and phrases, he is struggling. For one, he cannot read what he's supposed to be writing b/c it's in cursive - this frustrates him a LOT. He also writes some of the letters backwards (f,g,j, q - the more difficult letters). I don't know if it would be better right now to work on print copy work only, or if we should continue to go through Cheerful Cursive. If it is in print, he can copy a short paragraph; it will just take him 30+ minutes. :shock: He is unable to write complete sentences on his own, though he does try. His lack of confidence in himself holds him back, and then if he does need to be corrected he feels so disappointed in himself. I truly hate it for him :cry: Especially since his sister (who is only 1 year older than him) has never struggled with anything academic in her entire life. Sometimes he will write his own hypothesis on the science sheet, but most of the time he will dictate it and I will write it. He likes to draw the experiment, and I will have him copy the "Key Idea" as the conclusion on the science lab sheet.

We start back full-swing tomorrow. The two bigger kiddos did lots of projects and fun learning activities together during our Christmas break, so I am hoping that getting back into gear will be an easy transition. My son does have a good attitude about school, and I love it about him. :D ((It's my daughter who struggles with her brother getting so much attention since she can do everything on her own. She doesn't "need" me academically, but she wants me.))

I hope that provides more helpful information!
Blessings,
Amber
It's hard to be discontent when you count your blessings.
Amber - Amazed by Grace, Wife to Scott, Mama to 3, Teacher, Photographer, Writer
daughter, 13 MtMM
son, 11 Preparing
son, 7 Bigger

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