Friday, October 14, 2011

Weekly Accomplishments and Update - Speech and Homeschooling.

Just a quick breakdown of some accomplishments we've celebrated this week!

Speech:

Luke has mastered a couple of new words. On, Out and Down are all coming out very clear! He still struggles with Up. Up, On and Out have been a challenge for him because they require you to start with an open mouth position when you say the word (go ahead, try it). Words like Down are a bit easier for him, because it starts with a closed mouth position. That is an example of what apraxia does. The motor planning involved with opening the mouth to say the word is difficult for him. It's not that he can't do it.  It just takes extra concentration for him. I occasionally have to tell him to open his mouth when he says one of those words, because if he doesn't concentrate on it, the words come out "duh" for up, "non" for on, etc. So for him to be able to say these words without prompting, is huge!  Very exciting progress.

Luke continues with the school system's "therapy".  I put it that way because he's not receiving speech therapy.  I'm not really sure what to call it.  A resource teacher comes out and basically gives him toys to play with, and observes him.  Now, Luke has been thoroughly evaluated by both the county (Early Intervention) and the private speech therapist, but never by Child Find (his current program with the school).  My feeling is that the resource teacher, up until today, was in the belief that Luke  had some kind of intellectual disability.  She asked me last week if his speech had ever been evaluated (um, what?).  She offered me cards with pictures to show him what I needed him to do (pick up toys, brush teeth, eat lunch, etc).  The cards really got me going, because it made me realize that she thinks he doesn't understand us when we talk to him.  Do these people even read the child's file??  Today she commented that his receptive language is fine.  Yes, and she should have known that from day one.  It's aggravating to know that someone, who's not even a speech therapist, is coming to our house weekly and doesn't even know WHY she's coming.  My dealings with Child Find through our county has helped confirm my decision to homeschool.


Homeschooling:

Cody is picking up reading very well now that we've found a program that suits his level The Reading Lesson: Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons

This past week Cody has caught on to sight words and word groups, and read a BOB Books: Sight Words: Kindergarten book on his own! I had tears the first time he read it out loud for me. So very proud of him, and I'll admit, a bit proud of myself for teaching him.  Definitely a rewarding moment. 

I highly recommend The Reading Lesson if your child already knows the letters and letter sounds.  We started out with 100 Easy Lessons and then The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading, both of which start out with letter sounds.  Cody was bored with both programs, and so was I.  We're on lesson #3 with The Reading Lesson, and he's already reading.  The book suggests doing 2-3 pages per day in each lesson (there's about 10 pages per lesson) for Cody's age group.  I leave it up to Cody though, and for the last 2 days, we've covered an entire lesson in one sitting.  Yesterday he was begging me to do lesson #4 after finishing lesson #3! 

I'm not knocking either of the other two programs.  They seem like very solid programs.  It's an example though that not every program, no matter how popular it is or how well it's designed, is made for every child.

The biggest piece of advice I can give is to check your library for curriculum books first.  I was lucky in that our library had both 100 Easy Lessons and The Ordinary Parent's Guide, so we were able to try each for a couple weeks.  The library didn't have The Reading Lesson, but I too the plunge and purchased it, because my instinct was that it would work for us.


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