Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Writing Stategy #1

I've told you a bit about where we are coming from in this world "differences" where language learning is concerned in the earlier post. Today I want you to know what I believe is the MOST important thing any parent can do when teaching or beginning home education with their child where the academics are concerned!  It's so simple, but profound. 

START where your child is ~ or on the level where your child functions. 

There are several ways to find out "what" that level is for your child, but academic testing for an older child is useful, but if you prefer, you can do your own testing.  Do a pretest of basic skills.  Can your child count 1-100 or write all his letters or add and subtract, count by 2,3,4,5,6,...and so on? What is the age of your child? Are you bound by "what is taught when" kinds of thinking? Remember that grades are for the masses and you are not dealing in numbers any larger than your own home!  Grades meaning grade levels, like first, second, fifth, ninth and so on...I in no way am against giving 'grades' for work with objective and subjective criteria for assigning the grades~whoa, this is a whole NUTHER post!

FREE language arts/writing accessments for K-12... Placement Test~Language Arts/Writing
Note there is a link on the upper right for a math placement also...through pre-algebra!

After you have given the test, and be sure to praise your child for his efforts! Don't place undue stress on him for his inabilities! Let him and encourage him to do his best...this is just a tool to measure where he is so you can progress forward.

Testing is only a measurement and not an indictment!
Remember that you want to know your child's level, so you can plan a strategy for teaching and improving the difficulties.  Always remain positive, and I've never shared the test scores and CERTAINLY never compared my children in this way! Each child is God given in their strengths and weaknesses~which are really just needs.  Needs are areas we parents can work on with our children! Remember no matter where your child is or where you think he should be, you now know where to begin TEACHING incramentally what he needs to learn. 

Needing to learn information is one thing, and giving it is a different matter!  I remember feeling quite ill equipped over my son's difficulties.  You may also be feeling the same with your child.  Take heart! God has instilled in each creature of His design a learning meachanism whereby learning occurs! It's our job to figure out how to reach our child with a METHOD that will work for him.

This took trial and error for me.  I don't believe that even if I had been a professional teacher that the effort I expended for him could have been any greater! Mothers want the best and we make a way! I dug and dug looking...I used THREE phonics programs and a fourth was used in professional speech/language pathology classes to remediate disarticulation issues.  But the phonics extended beyond just seeing, recognizing and saying, but also to the connection of all three.  We had to instill the sense of the sound through kinesthetic (movement) means!  Our last recourse was to use an air tracing method from Linda Mood-Bell learning systems. THIS WORKED! We had gotten really far with the others, but somehow this worked!

Don't give up! Keep seeking so that you and your child will find!
Remeber that finding out where he is and then begining to devise and implement strategy for rememdy is the only way!


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