Saturday, August 07, 2010


I'm getting everything together for the new school year.  I have just about everything for AO Yr 3 - W's 4th grade.  I have one more book order to make and the total for that is about $65.  I cleaned out my whole china cabinet and the bookshelf in my bedroom.  I have 4 knee-high piles of books to give away.  I have to get them out of here.  I hold on to books way too long.  I'm just going to post it to my homeschool groups that they will be laid out tomorrow on my porch and they're free for the taking.

My china cabinet has been the best place for me to keep all my homeschooling stuff.  I got rid of the good dishes long ago (good dishes? hahaha) and replaced them with a huge array of novels, workbooks, reference books, and supplies.   Here's what it looks like with the doors open.  In the second picture, I labeled what's what:

This is in my dining room.  Since W does everything either on the couch or at the dining room table, This is also a prime location.  Going through every bookshelf in the apartment (there are 4 more, lol), I found I have almost all the books for AO Years 4-6 as well (thankfully, many books carry over to the next year). 

W has camp until August 27th.  It's so much fun for him that I'm ok with putting off what we didn't finish from AO Yr 2.  Actually, we are doing some stuff on the weekends, but I'm going to try and squeeze in more wherever I can.  Last night he read to me - the first few pages of Superfudge.   This book is right on grade level for him and he breezed through it.  I was stunned.  He hasn't done any formal reading with me all summer and he just read better than he has all year.  He finds the book really funny so far, so we'll keep with it...twaddle or not, lol.   I say it's because he's been doing a lot of read-to-me all year from the AO living books.  And of course my flawless collaboration of flash cards, phonics workbooks, and the HoP Master Reader.  But who knows.  Maybe it all just clicked for him.   The following dyslexia symptoms were in full bloom at the start of the last school year. 
  • can read a word on one page, but won't recognize it on the next page.
  • knows phonics, but can't—or won't—sound out an unknown word.
  • slow, labored, inaccurate reading of single words in isolation (when there is no story line or pictures to provide clues)
      When they misread, they often say a word that has the same first and last letters, and the same shape, such as form-from or trial-trail. they may insert or leave out letters, such as could-cold or star-stair. they may say a word that has the same letters, but in a different sequence, such as who-how, lots-lost, saw-was, or girl-grill.
  • when reading aloud, reads in a slow, choppy cadence (not in smooth phrases), and often ignores punctuation
  • becomes visibly tired after reading for only a short time
  • reading comprehension may be low due to spending so much energy trying to figure out the words. Listening comprehension is usually significantly higher than reading comprehension.
  • directionality confusion shows up when reading and when writing
      b-d confusion is a classic warning sign. One points to the left, the other points to the right, and they are left-right confused. b-p, n-u, or m-w confusion. One points up, the other points down. That's also directionality confusion.
  • Substitutes similar-looking words, even if it changes the meaning of the sentence, such as sunrise for surprise, house for horse, while for white, wanting for walking
  • When reading a story or a sentence, substitutes a word that means the same thing but doesn't look at all similar, such as trip for journey, fast for speed, or cry for weep
  • Misreads, omits, or even adds small function words, such as an, a, from, the, to, were, are, of
  • Omits or changes suffixes, saying need for needed, talks for talking, or late for lately.
  • Their spelling is far worse than their reading. They sometimes flunk inventive spelling. They have extreme difficulty with vowel sounds, and often leave them out.
  • With enormous effort, they may be able to "memorize" Monday's spelling list long enough to pass Friday's spelling test, but they can't spell those very same words two hours later when writing those words in sentences.
  • Continually misspells high frequency sight words (nonphonetic but very common words) such as they, what, where, does and because—despite extensive practice.
  • Misspells even when copying something from the board or from a book.
  • Written work shows signs of spelling uncertainty--numerous erasures, cross outs, etc.
He still exhibits all of these - but now it's way less frequently.  He has learned to stop and catch himself most of the time.  This does slows him down a smidge, but he seems to have full comprehension.  Interestingly enough, he has no dyslexia symptoms in the other categories listed on the site:  handwriting, directionality, sequencing steps in a task, rote memory, telling time, math, or attention span.  Only reading and spelling.  The site lists some particular strengths in dyslexic people and W has all of these:
  • artistic skill
  • athletic ability
  • musical ability
  • mechanical ability
  • people skills
  • 3-D visual-spatial skills
  • vivid imagination
  • intuition
  • creative, global thinking
  • curiosity   
Well, the main thing is that each month he is becoming a better reader.  It's good that he still loves AO, because I really love it, too.  I know it has helped W not only with his reading, but it has really fostered his love of learning and boosted his confidence in himself. 

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