Do you wonder why your student struggles with reading? I have spent much of my forty years of teach searching for ways to help student learn. Teaching reading has consumed most of those efforts. As you probably realize, many of our students today are missing developmental pieces and cognitive skills.
I have found that children are so very different and learning challenges do not always respond to the same interventions. However, educators across the country help students achieve success in reading and language using two Scientific Learning programs: Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant
These programs provide us with 3 ways to help our students:
- Build students’ cognitive skills. Cognitive (learning) skills addressed by Fast ForWord products: memory, attention, processing rate and sequencing Reading Skills addressed: phonological & phonemic (sound) awareness, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, decoding (sound out words), working memory (remembering long enough to do something with), syntax and grammar (structure of our language)
2. Prepare students’ brains to hear English. Once we fill in the missing pieces of development in the brain, a child can read and use the English language.
3. Have students practice reading aloud, with support. Finally, we can provide opportunity for the children to read aloud – to other people and with Reading Assistant to the computer which provides timely correction.
You can read a blogger / inservice provider’s experience: 3 Ways to Help Struggling Readers and English Language Learners http://inservice.ascd.org/3-ways-to-help-struggling-readers-and-english-language-learners/
Over 250 studies show that Fast ForWord and Reading Assistance provides all of this for children across the country. www.scientificlearning.com/results
To learn how more about Fast ForWord / Reading Assistant and how we use it with our students watch this video: https://youtu.be/5BmNPJ9KdSo Be sure and watch to the end for the special offers.
Many homeschooling families use annual assessments to guide you in choosing curriculum for the next year. As you begin your search for a math curriculum that works for your elementary aged child, you need to remember that there are three areas of math to cover: facts, computation and concepts. If math has already become a struggle for your child, then you will especially want to break math down into these three areas. Spread math over the course of the day with short sessions covering these areas in separate sessions.
1. Math Facts – Math facts are primarily a function of auditory memory so be sure you present this new information to your child auditorily as well visually. Whether you have a full math curriculum or find materials that cover the different parts, you must include this in your child’s day.
My Best Recommendation for Learning Math Facts: Rapid Recall System
2. Math Computation – At a different time of the day work on computation skills. Computation is primarily a function of visual memory so I recommend 75% visual instruction. That is you do three problems for your child as he watches. You say only a few words to identify steps as you go along. Then your child does the fourth one. Repeat for the duration of the session of say, 10 minutes. You start with simple addition and work up to long division, fractions etc. If the child doesn’t remember a math fact, tell them so that the process of computation is learned without interruption. You work on the math facts during a separate time. You can get the computation problems from any math book, but if you just want to pay for the computation problems, get a book that has only those problems in it.
My Best Recommenation for Learning Math Computation: Straight Forward Math and Keys to Fractions (Decimals, Percents, Measurement)
3. 3. Math Concepts – The first two items are the nuts and bolts of math. Concepts are how the basics are applied to real life. If you want a regular curriculum, look into Math U See, Singapore Math and Right Start Mathematics. They cover the whole spectrum of math in a fresh way, but it makes it harder to separate out the three parts and concentrate on one at a time. There are a host of math games available that apply these math concepts in an interesting way. You can spend big bucks. Perhaps a better way is a book of games that you can play as a family. My best recommendation is actually a series of books, but the original is the best overall for K-8 math games. Family Math arranges the games in sections according to the different math concepts. Each game has an objective, instructions and sometimes a page that serves as a game board. You may need to add some household items for game pieces. Each game is labeled for one or more of the three age groups within K-8.
My Best Recommendation for Learning Math Concepts: Family Math
Bonus Recommendation for Mental Math / Auditory Skills: The Verbal Math Lesson Level 1 and 2 for early learners or those who struggle. http://www.mathlesson.com/
For some learners, Life of Fred provides math instruction in a story format.
Since math skills build on each other, home educators find it helpful to use a “Scope and Sequence” for navigating through math. Downloadable lists of skills can be found on the Internet. By including math facts, computation and concepts you can prepare your children for Algebra, Geometry and beyond.
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Many of our graduates have gone to college or have gone into a trade. We will feature Jered today. While in high school we attended his Eagle Scout celebration. During high school he wrote a novel (Learn to Write the Novel Way) for class: Guns at Aparri. At one point, he stated that he had received an “atta boy” for his writing skills in a report for work.
After high school, he earned a degree in criminal justice and served in the U.S. Army Reserves. Since then he has worked for the Department of Homeland Security. Thank you, Jered for your service to our country.
Prior to 2004, the Jiles family lived in Olympia, Washington. They drove to Lakewood, Washington to attend Academy Northwest classes at our learning center. Then the dad’s work took them to Georgia. There they met the Robinson family. I worked with the Jiles family and Tim Robinson. Later the Jiles moved to Spokane and the Robinson family moved to Texas. I continued to work with them via long distance and these students graduated. Also around that time, Ariel from New Jersey worked with me and graduated early from ANW. She has gone on for graduate work. I never met Tim and Ariel in person. Our use of the internet and the phone was problematic, but we were able to get the job done. Further, my learning center students in Lakewood posted assignments and responded in a closed Yahoo group.
Much has happened since that time. For one thing, we access virtually (no pun intended) all of our students online. Thankfully, our access to the internet is exceptional by comparison. Video conferencing provides a great video and audio experience with minimal problems most of the time. We can access many of these services for free or at least a minimal charge. Some do cost more. For that reason, our students can access one or more of the following as appropriate: http://www.SpellingCity.com, Scientific Learning’s Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant, www.hearbuilder.com, Structure of Intellect assessments, and G-Suite for Education. I would rate simultaneous correction of writing assignments on Google Drive as my newest favorite tool.
WHO Convention 2000 and 2013
Through the years we had booths at the different homeschool conventions, most often the Washington Homeschool Organization’s convention which basically happened in our back yard. We went to others in the Puget Sound Area, as well as one time in Portland and one time in Spokane. As our work developed to what it is now, we have operated as: Master Enterprises Learning Center and Amazing Grace Christian Literature, Center for Neuro Development and finally Unlocking Learning Potential. During this time we have been affiliated with Family Academy along with its affiliate school, Academy Northwest. We also have helped in the development of Family Academy Online. Further, we are affiliated with the International Christian Association of Neurodevelopmentalists. While living in Western Washington, we sold Christian books, homeschooling curriculum and neurodevelopmental supplies as well as providing services to homeschooling families. Now, in Oklahoma, we work with students online and only sell a few physical products. We are building our digital product line – e-books:
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” Psalm 116:15
Often when a younger person dies, we hear comments like, “She died before her time.” From our perspective it may seem true, but from God’s point of view, NO ONE dies before his or her time. This week our family gathered to say, “See you later,” to Patty Garrett. To be clear I must call her a sister-in-law, but she has been a part of our family for nearly 35 years so “Sister” seems more appropriate, both in family terms and in the Body of Christ.
Both the time of our birth and the time of our death remains in the hands of Our Sovereign God. On March 15 our church family welcomed a new member to our family. We rejoiced (and continue to) with the young Mom and Dad and first time grandparents, aunts and uncles!
On March 17, I received a call from my older sister who at age 70 is our 92 year old mom’s caregiver. Beginning the call she said she had bad news. Even though Patty (almost 57) had battled breast cancer years ago and for several months had been receiving chemo for its return as Stage 4, my thoughts did not go to her. My thoughts went to older members of my family. On March 20, Ronnie and I traveled to Wichita to visit Patty in the hospital. They had begun radiation treatments. While the cancer had metastasized to the brain and paralyzed her left side, she still smiled! Patty’s doctor had been out of town so they didn’t consult with him until Tuesday. At that point, they learned that neither chemo nor radiation would help. On Wednesday, they transported her home and set up hospice. Many family members from all over visited Patty during those last days of her life on this earth. Medical professionals can only guess as to how long a person will survive. Patty’s hospice nurse told the family that it could be hours or days. Early on April 1, Patty breathed her last breath. Untypical of Patty, she left an unsmiling shell that no longer served her as she is now in the gracious presence of our Sovereign Lord and Savior. We rejoice with her, but will miss her much. We gathered in Dodge City on April 5 to celebrate the life God gave her. Though Patty is now out of our sight, she will always be in our hearts and mind until such a time as we join her in Glory!! We pray for her immediate family as they seek to find their new normal without Patty. Much of Patty remains in the home she maintained. One wall decoration says, “God Is Good All of the Time.” We pray for members of the extended family who do not trust Our Sovereign Lord.
Thankful, that we now live close enough to make these trips.
During Academy Northwest graduations, graduates give speeches and perform musically. This year, one of our students played the harp. Overall, ANW graduates do well academically and go on to college having earned scholarships. In our learning center we offered a customized program depending on the needs of the students. Many have gone on to earn undergraduate and some graduate degrees. Some go into to trade school or join the work force. Education is not one size fits all. We enjoy hearing the Grad bios as they stand on the top, center step learning about the graduates from other learning centers. Hearing of their hopes and dreams encourages to keep working with these students. I love to to see their families grow on Facebook even though we live far from most of them.
by Maggie Dail, M.A.
We are excited to announce that we have a new website:
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Rounding the Bases – Chris Learns to Read
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