Homeschool 2.0

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Happy New Year!

Over the break I read a helpful book by Ben Foss, The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan. He is a super successful entrepreneur and advocate for dyslexics, like himself. Reading has always been a challenge for him, as it is for most dyslexics, and he shares what helped him to learn and live his dreams. He stresses that it’s about finding those strengths within our children and focusing on what they do well and even better than kids without LDs. We live in a world that places a high value on the written word and an educational system that tends to will exclude those who struggle with reading. He gives a lot of practical insight into how parents can be supportive and how to technology helps our kids to learn.

I also thought it was  cool that both of Ben’s parents were in the Peace Corps, as both my husband and I are returned Peace Corps Volunteers as well.  He mentioned how having parents that didn’t quite fit in themselves, helped them to relate to their son and understand his point of view and how that made a difference in how he viewed himself.

With all that in mind, this next half of the year we’re going to shift the focus from remediation to accommodations/compensations, especially using technology when we can. We know that there will be a steep learning curve, but the technology will  give her access to the learning materials that hopefully she will use beyond her schooling, in life.

Learning Ally (Text-to-speech)

I had already been planning to get this, but after reading the book I was I was so ready to set up her account and download the app onto her brand new tablet so she can get audiobooks anytime, anywhere.  Well…I’m still excited about doing this, but we were one of those super lucky customers that got stuck in glitchville and are awaiting to hear from IT because their system will not let us log in.  I am not happy about this delay, but I’ve waited a long time for this and I’m not giving up.  Eventually, Kate will have thousands of books to choose from that will help her read to learn, while she continues to learn to read.

Speech-to-Text

Over the break my older child, our little techie, showed me a free way to get Kate writing on the computer using the dictation feature on MS Word. We started to practice it over the break, because it’s not perfect. But I still wanted her to become familiar with it because I’m hoping this will be a way to get her to express her ideas while her ability to write and spell come along. While still doing daily handwriting practice, she started using this for her daily journaling. I need her to know that she can express her ideas on paper, in her own way.

What else we’re working on for January.

  • Science- studying ecosystems , which will include a read aloud by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Alligator Crossing and a trip to the Everglades at the end of the month.
  • Adding Spanish lessons using Skype with Homeschool Spanish Academy
  • Completing golf lessons- it’s been wonderful for her.
  • Taking her first online class through Minecraft Homeschool– She started her first lesson today,  as part of an intro course.  We thought it would be a good way to use her interest in gaming to learn.
  • Continuing to work toward completing level 1 one of All About Reading!
  • Keep growing our vegetable garden- tomatoes did okay and kale is very abundant.

Now I’m  ready for 2015 and the second half of the school year. Taking a break is exactly what I needed to feel energized and recharged for homeschooling again. Here we go…

 

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