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Myth Busting Dyslexia

If you or someone you love has the gift of dyslexia, you’re aware that these highly accomplished individuals think, learn and process information differently than non-dyslexics.

So too, did Michael Faraday, Pierre Curie,  Pablo Picasso, General George Patton and many many more in a  diversity of fields.

It’s key, of course, that kids who’ve been diagnosed with dyslexia realize this as they struggle through day to day tasks that those of us non-dyslexics take for granted.

As the Mom of a very bright, articulate, literate, artistic, theatrical kid who thinks sooooo far out of the box,

I have found that many many people are still plagued by myths. And sadly, that there is still an extreme stigma attached to dyslexia. He faces it among his peers and even among family members.

What are some of the signs associated with dyslexia? My son exhibits ( ed) only about half of these as symptoms vary from individual to individual and day to day

  • Trouble learning letters and sounds
  • Difficulty learning to speak
  • Difficulty organizing written and spoken language  (expressive )
  • Trouble memorizing number facts
  • Difficulty reading quickly enough to comprehend
  • Trouble persisting with and comprehending longer reading assignments
  • Difficulty spelling
  • Trouble learning a foreign language

Difficulty with math operationsMany still falsely believe that dyslexics are slow learners or, even worse, are  behavior “problems.”Nothing could be farther from the truth. And in fact, dyslexia affects people of all intellectual backgrounds. AND dyslexic symptoms, though they are very hard to specifically diagnose, are exhibited by 1 in 7 people.

Many still falsely believe that dyslexics are slow learners or, even worse, are  behavior “problems.”Nothing could be farther from the truth. And in fact, dyslexia affects people of all intellectual backgrounds. AND dyslexic symptoms, though they are very hard to specifically diagnose, are exhibited by 1 in 7 people.

Way back when  I was a reading teacher turned classroom teacher for a total of 13 years in city and suburban schools before becoming a  Mommy….turned homeschooler. We’re now in our fourteenth year of home educating our kids with a 16  and a 14-year-old and every day I learn more and more about the learning process. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but through the years I’ve picked up much in the way or research. I’d love to  share with you a little about “What dyslexia is not:”

Many still falsely believe that dyslexics are slow learners or, even worse, are behavior "problems." Here are some myths about dyslexia.

Dyslexia is not the reading and writing of letters backward.

Writing letters backwards is something that many kids do when they’re first learning to write,  whether they have dyslexia or not.  Even among educators–including university faculty, special education teachers, and speech therapists—70 percent believe that reversing the order of letters is a defining feature of dyslexia. Rather, dyslexia is marked by, among other things, difficulties in the processing of written language.

Dyslexia does not occur in any one type of learner, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic background IQ level.

Rather, dyslexic symptoms manifest themselves in all people in every walk of life. In fact, conservative estimates suggest that 5 to 10 % of the entire population may be dyslexic.

Dyslexia is not accompanied by behavioral and attention issues.

Dyslexia is a severe reading problem of neurological origin. There are no physical, medical, or psychological conditions which account for the language processing deficits. Of course, if a dyslexic child is inattentive in class, I maintain that this is due to his inability to focus on the concept being taught due to the limitations placed on him because of the dyslexia. Sort of the chicken or the egg syndrome? However, you might find interesting that dyslexia is a registered disability under the Chronically Sick & Disabled Persons’  Act of 1970, Education Act of 1993 and the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995.

Dyslexia is not a condition which affects “slow learners.”

In fact, dyslexia indications are found within students of average and above average intelligence.

Dyslexia is not caused by “bad” or neglectful parenting.

No indeed…..The  dyslexic person uses his right brain hemisphere instead of his left to process language, thus requiring the use of different neural pathways ( “detours” if you will ) than the non-dyslexic person. Additionally, dyslexia is thought to be genetic and occurring in families.

Dyslexia is not “curable.”

Dyslexia is not a disease. There is no “cure.” However, with appropriate and early diagnosis and suitable remediation, intervention, patience, love, encouragement, support from teachers, family and other individuals in roles of guidance, dyslexics can thrive in school and beyond, even achieving high levels of success.

Don’t forget that fellows such as Pierre Curie, Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell and good ole Tom Jefferson were dyslexics……

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that my son wears his dyslexia as a badge of honor. BUT he is no longer as uncomfortable about it when situations arise and it is apparent to many that he has a language issue. He is in fact, thrilled to be in the company of many accomplished individuals throughout history. He’s also pretty happy to hear that Captain Jack Sparrow ( Johnny Depp) is dyslexic as well. But chagrined to find that his favorite Founding Father, John Adams, by all accounts,  was not. Ah well. Can’t win ’em all.

 

For more info, please consult the International Dyslexia Association (  https://dyslexiaida.org/ )


Author Bio:Chris Capolino

A bit about me?   Wife, mom, writer, teacher, traveler, party giver, encourager.  I’m a freelance writer who contributes  to a variety of digital and print media. And   I love blogging  all things family,  faith, travel,  homeschool, crafts at  my home on the web, Campfires and Cleats

If you’d  like to contact me, you can do that right here~ campfiresandcleats@gmail.com.

 

 

 

How to Teach States and Capitals

I remember learning the states and capitals in school. I think it was around 4th grade? We were given a paper map and expected to fill it in while under a time constraint.

Not exactly fun learning is it?

I knew when it came time to teach my homeschoolers their states and capitals I wanted to do it in a different way. I wanted it to be FUN. Not dry and boring.

Here are ways to make that happen!

When it came time to teach my homeschoolers their states and capitals I wanted it to be FUN. Not dry and boring. Here are some ways I made that happen!

Unit Studies

Pick a state that your child wants to learn about, and create a fun unit study. Check out books from the library on that state. Learn it’s capital, bird, flag, and other features that make it stand out from the others. What are some great geographical locations to visit while there? What makes that state a good tourist attraction? What famous people live there or came from there? You can study one state a week for a full year, or choose one state a day for a month or two.

Repetition

The goal, of course, is to learn the states and capitals. This may require DAILY practice. Once the skill is mastered you will want to continue having your children practice the skill on a weekly basis.

Just like learning the multiplication tables and other skills, repetition is a MUST if you want your children to MASTER the ability to identify all 50 states and capitals.

The key though is making the repetition FUN.

Fun Games and Apps

One way we have made the repetition needed to learn the 50 states and capitals fun is by using computer games and apps.  I am listing some of these resources below. Our children are growing up in a tech-based world. It is no wonder why they will learn their states and capitals better using technology.  For about 15 minutes a day have your kids play one of these games. Keep at it for a few weeks and you will be amazed what they learn with little to no instruction from you.

Hands-on Resources 

In addition to fun games and apps, it is important to have hands-on resources to reinforce the lessons they are learning. You can do this through board games, lego activities, books, maps, puzzles or other resources you can find or create.

Having hands-on resources to help your children learn their states and capitals puts something tangible in front of them.  While technology is a wonderful tool, it doesn’t replace REAL books, maps, or manipulatives.

If you have been wondering HOW to teach the 50 states and capitals I hope this post has given you some great ideas. Our children do not have to learn their states and capitals in the same dry way we did in school. We can make it fun and interactive for them. Kids learn best when the repetition is FUN. Let’s make that happen!

 

Resources that can help:

Computer Games

Apps

Hands on Games and Activities 

Videos

Board Games and Books

The Georgia Civil War Commission

The Georgia Civil War Commission was created by the 1993 Georgia General Assembly. Its mandate, as spelled out in Senate Resolution 21, is to coordinate planning, preservation, and promotion of structures, buildings, sites, and battlefields associated with this significant period of our common heritage. The Commission is to develop a State of Georgia Civil War Sites Heritage plan. The plan will promote heritage tourism and provide incentives to local landowners and local governments to preserve Civil War battlefields and historic sites. The Commission is to acquire or provide funds for the acquisition of Civil War battlefields, cemeteries, and other historic properties. Currently the Commission is focusing on supporting traditional and non traditional teachers by providing tools that allow the student to be engaged.

National Society of High School Scholars

The National Society of High School Scholars recognizes and rewards academic excellence by connecting high-achieving students with opportunities to develop their strengths and pursue their passions. We invite outstanding students to join our society for access to member-exclusive scholarships, college admissions counsel and advanced networking opportunities. NSHSS connects members with over $1.5 million in scholarships annually, as well as resources to help with the transition from high school to college, and college to career.

Ben the Rooster

Ben the Rooster is a pen pal for children ages 3-8. Twice each month, he sends a postcard about his life on the farm. The cards tell a story and then prompt Ben’s pen pals to reply. Replying to Ben is super easy because each of his cards comes in an envelope with a specially designed, pre-stamped card meant for replies. Ben uses the excitement of receiving mail to encourage reading, writing, and creativity!

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