Sunday, January 9, 2011

Learning to Learn

Snow has come to Texas.  I must admit that that I am not a big fan of the snow.  I much prefer hot weather, and I think that snow is overrated.  I prefer vacations on the beach to mountains and snow skiing.   The great thing about living in Texas is that cold weather is short lived.  It will be cold for a couple of months, then cool,  and then hot for a long time. 

Cold weather does give me the opportunity to stay indoors and be grateful for a nice, warm house.  It also affords me the opportunity to get homework and research done. At present, I am taking a Literacy class.  I am also researching ways to help my son, Jesse, with his reading and writing challenges.  I am certain that the timing of this class is providential.  I don't believe in coincidences.  Substitute teaching is also placing me in the path of teachers who are wise about reading and writing.  I am learning so much, and am hopeful that the information that I am gaining will be to Jesse's benefit. 

Right now, I am looking into dyslexia and dysgraphia.  Jesse is slightly behind in reading, but is making progress, which is good.  He is gaining confidence, which is great. Spelling and writing in general are a much greater challenge to Jesse.  His writing is illegible, though he has lots of ideas and is very creative.  I believe that his challenges may be traced to a learning disability called dysgraphia, but I will not know for sure until he is properly tested.  We have asked for a consult from a school psychologist.  He'll come in the next few weeks to observe Jesse and give strategies to his teachers and Brian and I to use in helping him to improve in reading and writing.  It has been suggested that he may have a 'focus issue', but I think that this is secondary to his reading/writing challenges.  We'll see.  His other grades are good, and he does not have any behavioral challenges in school.  I've ordered books on dyslexia and dysgraphia, and have plans to purchase writing paper with raised lines to help him 'feel' the lines when he is writing.  We also plan to purchase dictation software in the next week or so to help give Jesse some success in writing stories.  He is very bright, but he has a lot of difficulty expressing his ideas.  I want to foster in him a sense of success in writing so that he will not avoid the subject altogether.  It will be at least another three months before he is evaluated by the district--if the psychologist feels that he qualifies for assessment--so I want to go ahead and try some strategies to help him in the event that he is diagnosed with a learning disability. If he is not learning disabled, then it can't hurt.  Fortunately, his teacher is open to helping Jesse succeed.  She is looking into strategies to help him in class, so I don't feel like I'm working against the system, so to speak.

Provided that all of this slushy mess doesn't freeze overnight and make the roads dangerous, I'll be working tomorrow afternoon in a Kindergarten class.  I'm booked for Wednesday, as well; also Kindergarten.  One great thing about Kindergarteners: They know how to greet you--with big hugs!  It should be a fun, busy week.  I'm curious to learn more about literacy, so I find myself looking forward to my classes this week.  Before, I looked at my education classes as preparation for my career.  Now, I look at them as a way to gain useful knowledge for my son. 

Many blessings,


1 comment:

  1. Interesting. All 3 of our kids have been evaluated for dyslexia and it was suggested that Darian was borderline dysgraphic (but at that time, we did not have many resources available to understand it). It's great to hear of your interest and research to this and it will be a great asset to whatever school system you get to bless.

    Great job!