Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Both the girls are in school this year. Madeline is in 3rd grade of a 3/4 combo class and Gabrielle is doing 3-4 full days of preschool. It has been interesting. Madeline's teacher is wonderful and is working hard to get to know Madeline and all her issues. It has been a little rocky though. She spent the last two years with the same teacher who watched her go from being able to recognize only a few letters to reading at grade level. This year has been harder because by all appearances, Madeline looks to be normal. she can pass for it most of the time, and is at grade level. It isn't until you really dive into a subject that you realize that she is just compensating and has no clue what she is actually doing. She can read!! I still find that amazing, she reads books and can understand them. Reading is not fun for her, and it isn't something she will do of her own free will. I ask her to read for an hour a week and other then that we don't force her. I just want her to be able to do it but I doubt that it will be a passion of hers.

Up until 3rd grade she was able to process material quicker, as the work becomes harder, she is struggling to keep up. It takes A LOT of effort of our part to make sure that she actually understands what is going on. We spent hours a week alone working on math. Because she is dyslexic, she starts out at a disadvantage and then we have to work 3 times as hard at everything. Everything is a challenge and I do not say that lightly. Reading on the computer is harder for her to comprehend then reading off paper so I have to read it to her. She can't do math in her head while looking at the screen or take what is on the screen and put it on paper easily so I write it out for her and then she can do the problem. And then we have to try and put the answer back on the computer.

Madeline has two penpals. She only writes in cursive so she doesn't reverse her letters, they can not read cursive so I type out her letters for her. Testing is huge. We elect out of all standardized testing. It isn't an issue, she is either sent to the 1/2 classroom to be a helper or I keep her home. In 3rd grade they start regular tests, like a science test every other week. Many many tears because she takes weeks to learn new concepts with her memory issues. We might of finally got the testing figured out because she actually passed the last one. She doesn't know that she had been failing all of them. Her teacher, her therapist, and I work together to find what does work and what does not, lots of trial and error. Her teacher has been wonderful about assisting us in anything we need to do differently for her.

I did ask at one point if she wanted to homeschool again, she absolutely did not want to. I really work at keeping her self esteem up. She is never the only dyslexic child in her class, there is one above her and one below her so there is always one with her and several more children with learning issues in her class of 15. We bring her to school at 8:15, school starts at 8:30, she works from 8:15 to 9:15 every day with her therapist there. In the summer, she comes to our house first thing in the morning, 7:30! We do an session with a tutor for math for an hour on Mondays after school before she goes to gymnastics. He is amazing and volunteers for free to help her. She can do math but it takes her longer then the other kids that he is helping her learn short cuts and teaching her extra rules that she really needs. I started the tutoring thinking it was be a one time thing to get her over a hump we were having but then quickly realized that it was very helpful for her to learn all these extra tricks that he has, any little advantage goes so far with her. Last year I was starting to believe that Madeline would not struggle her entire life, that we had caught the dyslexia so early, she had done years of reading therapy, she would go on and it would not hold her back. I now know just how much it affects every aspect of her learning, that it will truly be a life long struggle but hopefully we can provide her with enough tools to work around it.

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