Sunday, January 20, 2013

Should I worry about dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder which affects the brain’s ability to turn letters, or phonemes, into sounds. It’s actually not at all uncommon, and you’ll find dyslexics in all walks of life, from doctors and lawyers to teachers and scientists. Dyslexics must make some accommodations and learn to read using a different part of their brain, but they can definitely learn to read.
The earlier dyslexia is diagnosed, the easier it is for a child to accommodate for. Some signs of dyslexia include trouble with reading and writing, reading slower than one’s peers, and difficulty with rhyming words too. Though kids can compensate to a degree, these signs are often apparent to the trained eye by elementary school. Dyslexia often occurs with one or more other learning disabilities, with dysgraphia (difficulty with handwriting) being one of the more common. Some kids may also have learning difficulties with math, or in some other developmental area.
The resources, books, and websites available to help kids with dyslexia, and their parents, are too numerous to list. A quick scan of your library’s card catalog, or a quick web search, will turn up lots of valuable information for you if you suspect your child may have dyslexia.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Is your 4th grader gifted?

Each family has their own reasons for choosing to homeschool, but for many parents of gifted kids, homeschooling is an excellent option.  Public schools are stretched with tight budgets and overcrowded classrooms, and even those with programs just for gifted kids have likely had their budgets cut in recent years.

Besides that, gifted programs in public schools are limited by what the school district considers appropriate materials to teach, and curious, intellectual children may want to explore something completely different. Instead of pushing a child in a certain direction, as happens in public school, homeschooling allows a gifted child to explore their interests in depth. As we all know, kids learn best when the material is interesting to them! So try keeping them connected by finding their passion, whether it be foreign languages or homeschool nutrition lessons or spearheading a community service project, gifted kids excel when they are empowered to learn about what interests them.