Monday, September 12, 2011

Day One

Today, we started off to the craft store for some sculpting clay. I got some for Ella too, since I figured I might as well do the same things with her. It certainly can't hurt her, and will keep her from being bored while I work w/ Kate.

Here's a summary of what we did from another home schooler's blog:

We began with the alphabet.  Yes, regardless of the age of the student/person, Mr. Davis recommends to start from the beginning.  I made some play dough and printed off the alphabet strips given in the book.  With a little encouragement, both of my children agreed to try the exercise.  They began building our 26 letters in their capital form.
Mr. Davis explains that most people with dyslexia do not know the alphabet.  They know the song, and the song knows the alphabet.  So, they sing the song anytime they have to look up a name in the phone book.
Some lower case letters in reverse order.
Some lower case letters in reverse order.
Building the letters out of play dough helps them remember the shape of the letter, the correct direction of the letter, etc.  The alphabet becomes their alphabet because they made it with their own hands.  Once they can create the letters correctly from a mound of clay.  We work on reciting the letters in order.  Without any hint of the alphabet song, they say the letters from A-Z and then from Z-A.  He wants them to know the alphabet backwards and forwards.
Next, you randomly call out a letter.  They have to tell you which letters are immediately before and after the letter.  For example, the letter I give you is B.  So, the answer is A and C.  It is not as easy as it sounds.  Being part of this process, I can honestly say that I have never known our alphabet so well.
You build both the capital and lowercase letters.  While looking at the letters you can discuss which letters are the most alike.  There are several letters that are almost the exact opposite of another.  For example, b’s and d’s can be confusing.  Talking about them, touching them, and building them seems to help in letter recognition.
The whole point of the exercise is to create mental pictures of each letter.  When you have to recall the letter, you can see in your head the letter you created as well as its position in the alphabet. 

She was pretty good at this task, it didn't seem to trip her up at all. She has a harder time with her lower case letters though, so tomorrow might be a bit harder for her.

The girls picked out clay that came in 4 different colors, and Kate made all her vowels red, because she likes red. Emily said color coding the vowels would help her remember them, and to do it on all her spelling words as well.

After clay time, we read. I picked out some Kindergarten-1st grade level books that she knew 90% of the words already, and she read 3 books to me. Happily! That in and of itself is reason to cheer. Reading with her has always been a fight.

After she finished reading -- about 15 min., I read to her from a 2nd grade level book, to keep her listening comprehension on the level it should be at. She choose Magic Treehouse, and I used a bookmark, and told her to follow along with her eyes. At first she balked, preferring just to listen, but she did it. I hope this will help her with her tracking. We discussed what we'd read after, to make sure she comprehended everything. She has very good auditory comprehension, so that's not something we'll have to work on at least.

I was going to do balance board exercises with her, but time was short and Ella still needed her reading lesson, so Kate was in charge of babysitting Zeke while I worked with Ella.

Then we all walked to school. Tomorrow, the two of them will just go up together, and I won't have to drive/walk Ella anymore. That-- is a definite bonus for me.

Pretty good day. Only one incident of her being uncooperative, but it was quickly handled with, "You can go to your room, until you're ready to work." After that, she was pleasant as punch!

We had fun today. All of us. It was a good start.


  1. Yaaaaaaa
    This is great.
    I'm happy it went so well.
    Good luck tomorrow.

  2. Sounds like a long road that you are getting a great start to. I'm impressed at how quickly you have been able to come up with all this information and get it into progress. You are a SUPPER MOMMA! Kate is lucky to have you. I hope that she can feel good about herself and get to a point where she is reading like Chris, with ease! I cry thinking about how hard it is to have other kids make fun of you about school. I cry thinking about how being pulled out of class makes you different. I cry thinking aobut Kate going through all this. I still have a very tender spot thinking about school and not being successful when in Kindergarten. I HOPE she comes out better than I did. She has a great mother who loves her to death and will do anything to help her. What a lucky little girl. Loves all around...