Excitement is all around. Please join The Reading League Minnesota’s inaugural board and Andrea Setmeyer, National Chapter Coordinator of The Reading League, to hear about the upcoming launch of The Reading League MN. Registrar at https://bit.ly/TRLMNinfo; this is a live event and will not be recorded. If you can’t attend and would like more information, please email Deb Dwyer [email protected] or Sarah Carlson-Wallrath [email protected].
These past few weeks have looked considerably different than at the beginning of the school year. Tutoring Duluth has spent the week doing on-line tutoring sessions with much better success than we even hoped for. We have great families and students with tremendous patience, as we all learn new skills. The students have been fantastic!!! If your child had a tutoring session with us this week, we would like to have an end of the week treat bag on the front porch. For those in the neighborhood, it can be a great reason to get outside and walk to get it. If your child will be stopping by, please text us at 218-340-7393, so we can prepare a treat bag. Take the brown bag with your name on it and ring the bell as a signal that you’ve been here. Each treat bag will have a name on it, so please only touch those with your name. Thanks for your support over this challenging time.
We are attempting to post interesting activities, blogs, and video links on Tutoring Duluth’s facebook page daily for families for both parents and students.
~ May we all be safe ~
~ May we all be healthy ~
~ May we all be happy ~
~ May we all be safe. ~
Learn more about this opportunity for additional Summer reading education at the link below!
From Emily Gibbons at The Literacy Nest.
Seven Summer Reading Tips for Struggling Readers
When I think of summer vacation, I have visions of popsicles, playing in the sprinkler, lemonade stands, long summer evenings and lazy days reading in a hammock. As an educator, I know that for struggling readers, reading is often the last thing on their mind when they think of relaxation. But, I also worry about summer learning loss or “the summer slide”. On average, students lose one month of school learning during the summer vacation. For students with dyslexia, the loss is likely even greater and will be more time consuming for them to regain than their peers. However, children with dyslexia have worked very hard all school year long and should definitely make time for fun and play. Striking a balance is key.
Here are a few tips for keeping reading a part of a balanced summer:
1: Don’t stop tutoring
It is tempting to “take the summer off” from tutoring, but in many cases, summer is a good opportunity to increase the amount of one-on-one tutoring your child is getting in order help them take a leap forward. Work with your tutor to schedule a time that allows your child to do activities important to them. Perhaps first thing in the morning is easiest, so they don’t feel interrupted. Or maybe early evening after day camp is a better time. If they need a break, consider taking a week at the end of the school year and a week before the new school year starts to recharge, but continue tutoring during the rest of the summer.
2. Make friends with your Librarian
Your local library is one of the best summer resources around. Most have a summer reading incentive program and special summer programming with crafts and special guests. Work with your children’s librarian on helping your child reach their reading goal. Reading to them, listening to audiobooks (ear reading) and reading on their own should all be able to count toward the goal. Set aside a day each week to visit and check out books.
3. Make a routine
Make daily reading a part of your family’s routine. Reading to your child, having them read to you or having “Family Reading Time” (everyone puts down their phones and picks up a book at a certain time each day) all help to ensure that reading doesn’t fall by the wayside on busy summer days.
4. Anything counts
Don’t hesitate if your child wants to read easy books, comic books, or listen to audiobooks. All of these are going to help their development as a reader in different ways, and they all have value. Podcasts are another great way to expand vocabulary and broaden your child’s knowledge about different topics.
5. Go Thematic
One way to make reading a bit more exciting for summer is to tie in books to summer vacation plans. Are you going on a boating adventure? Read books about boating and pirates. Are you going hiking or camping? Wilderness and adventure stories might be just your cup of tea. Keeping busy in the garden? Dive into some nonfiction books about insects and plants. Traveling to Prince Edward Island? Anne of Green Gables would make a perfect accompaniment to your travels. If you are extra creative, you can even tie in games and activities for lots of thematic summer fun.
6: Write with a purpose
It isn’t just reading that benefits from practice over the summer. Writing and spelling need an opportunity to stay fresh as well. Making a grocery list, sending postcards or letters to friends and family, and keeping a journal of summer adventures are all good ways of writing with a genuine reason.
7: Use technology.
Apps like Nessy for phonics games, or Epic for audiobooks are fun literacy reinforcements that kids of many ages can enjoy. Epic offers a special deal for signing up in the summer, so be sure to check that out!
I hope you will make a place for books and reading this summer and keep your child’s learning fresh, so they can hit the ground running when a new school year begins. Along the way, I hope you have a lot of fun sharing books and making memories. Don’t forget to have a popsicle and play in the sprinkler! After all, that’s what summer’s all about for kids (of all ages)!
If you’re working on taxes and you’ve paid a tutor to help your child learn to read, you might be eligible for the MN Reading Credit. This credit is currently available only for the 2014 tax year. The following is directly from the Department of Revenue form:
Who is Eligible?
You may be able to receive a refundable credit for non-reimbursed expenses you paid to assist your qualifying child with meeting state-required academic standards. To be eligible for this credit, you must meet the following criteria:
- Your child has been evaluated for an Individualized Education Program(IEP) and does not qualify;
- Your qualifying child does not meet standards for reading competency;
- You paid a qualifying instructor to tutor your child in order to meet state academic standards in certain areas of study; and
- The expenses you paid to the instructor meet the criteria identified below.
The following is a link to the form,
Although this article is about children with Dyslexia, it has good information for parents of children with many different types of learning challenges.
Since discovering that my children have dyslexia, I have been absorbing all of the information about dyslexia that I can possibly find. In the process, I’ve learned so much.
I’d like to help others understand the 1 in 5 kids who have dyslexia as well.
So, without further ado, here are the top 10 things a parent to a child with dyslexia wishes you understood:
10. Grammar police, please stop.
Example: “Your dog is LAYING next to you?? What’s he laying? An egg?”
Why this is an issue: Dyslexia is a learning difference in processing language. It is much harder for someone with dyslexia to read, write and spell. Your gift may be in grammar, but someone with dyslexia may be gifted in science or music or inventing new products. Think before you judge, and think before you type that judgment into someone’s comment section. Would you like us to follow you around pointing out your un-athletic abilities or your deficiency in art? Didn’t think so.
9. Not all reading programs are equal.
Example: “I used XYZ early reading program/book/movie/device with my child, and he was reading full sentences by age 3. You should try that!”
Why this is an issue: Children with dyslexia learn in different ways. While these programs are just fine for non-dyslexics, a child with dyslexia needs a program built around multi-sensory explicit instruction in phonemic awareness. Orton-Gillingham, Wilson, and Barton are some of the methods with proven track records to help children with dyslexia. If you are not in the dyslexia community, it may not be helpful to give advice. We know it’s well meaning, but our children learn differently, and different reading programs match up with different kids.
Example: “You should read to your kid at least 20 minutes a day. You know, I read to my kid since he was in the womb, and he caught right on!”
Why this is an issue: Okay, we are not discouraging reading to your child. We think it’s a great thing to do! Please, keep it up! Here’s the thing, though ….we DO actually read to our children as well! Every single day! We have read to them since birth. We have loads of books in our home. We have library cards, and we go weekly.
Reading to our children builds vocabulary, helps them learn about different cultures, and fosters imagination. It will not, however, magically teach them how to decode words. Please don’t assume that dyslexia is caused by a lack of early reading.
Example: “I kept him in from recess because he was lazy and not finishing his work.” or “He is not following directions, I told him to close his book, put up his backpack, and sit on the carpet. He just stayed by the backpack area.”
Why this is an issue: Dyslexia does not solely affect reading. While no two dyslexics are alike, many children with dyslexia struggle with processing speed. This includes processing both written and spoken language. Due to the slower processing speed, it will take them longer to do a worksheet. They may even yawn because so much effort is being put into decoding the words on the page. They are not being lazy. They are using so much brain-power that they are exhausted! Please, don’t hold them in from recess. They are spending their entire day working hard in a written world, and their brains need that break.
Also, multi-step directions may be a problem for many children with dyslexia. They are working hard to process the very first direction, and thus they may literally not hear the last step. They are not ignoring you. Repeat your directions, and most will say “oh!” and get busy doing whatever you said.
Example: “Oh, that must be so hard to be dyslexic. What will he do in life?” This is usually followed by a very sad face.
Why this is an issue: Many people consider their dyslexia to be a gift! Yes, it makes processing language more difficult. However, other areas soar! A large number of people with dyslexia are inventors, scientists, athletes or actors. People with dyslexia tend to be very successful after graduation. As Dr. Sally Shaywitz from Yale often says, “dyslexia is an island of weakness surrounded by a sea of strengths!”
5. Accommodations are not cheating!
Example: “I can’t allow Johnny extra time on that test. It wouldn’t be fair to the rest of the class.”
Why this is an issue: Accommodations level the playing field for Johnny. They don’t give him an unfair advantage. Think of it like this, would providing a ramp up a set of stairs for a child in a wheelchair be “unfair?” What about a child who needs glasses? Is allowing him to use his glasses in class “unfair?” Just because you can’t see the difference in the brain does not mean it is not there.
Example: “Oh, he’s listening to a book? That’s sweet. What has he actually read though?”
Why this is an issue: Ear reading is our word for audio books. This is important because reading, however you do it, helps to raise vocabulary, introduces you to different cultures, and gives you background knowledge you would not otherwise acquire.
For children with dyslexia, their IQ level is usually much higher than their actual reading level. As technology has advanced, we now have a way for our kids to read, independently, on their actual IQ level. My own son has seen such benefit from audio books via our Learning Ally membership! He listens daily. This allows him to not only build his vocabulary, but to also discuss books with his peers like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Harry Potter, or Freckle Juice. It allows him a way to fit in, and to not feel so different.
Why would anyone want to discourage that?
We do still practice eye reading nightly as well. We work on it. It is equally important.
3. Help in school is not automatic.
Example: “Why are you upset? He gets all that help in school now.”
Why this is an issue: When you are the parent to a child with dyslexia, it’s an uphill battle. First, you need to secure a diagnosis. Most schools will evaluate a child for special education services, but not necessarily for dyslexia. A specific diagnosis is important because it helps parents and educators know which type of reading program to provide. If your child does qualify for special education services in school (not all dyslexics meet the qualifications), there is no guarantee that the program provided will be one that is research based specifically for dyslexia. That’s because most schools do not test for dyslexia. And we go round and round.
So, what do parents do? If we can afford it, we hire private dyslexia tutors, who are specialized beyond most reading tutors. See point number 9.
Example: “Your child is dyslexic? That means he can’t read, right? It must be hard since he sees everything backwards.”
Why this is a problem: Our kids can, in fact, learn to read, and some will even read well! They just need to have access to a research based reading program made specifically for dyslexia. Also, kids with dyslexia do not “see” backwards. They see just like everyone else. Sometimes you will see them reverse letters, but that is because many have struggles with left vs right and orthographic processing. It has nothing to do with how they see.
1. My child is one of the smartest kids in the class.
Example: “Slow readers are clearly …well …slow.”
Why is this an issue: The reading circuit in the brain is totally separate from intelligence. If our school system was set up in a way where everyone learned via musicals, then the people who don’t sing well would be considered “slow.” Reading is just one area where some people excel, and some do not. It is not a sign of intelligence. Actually, the majority of people with dyslexia have average to above average IQ levels. All upper level thinking skills are there. Our kids can do grade level work (and sometimes above grade level work), but many will need to acquire the information in some format aside from written text. This is where audiobooks really benefit our children! They are just as smart as all of the other kids in class, and sometimes they are even the smartest child in class. Reading text is not the best way to measure intelligence.
Parents Advocating for Student Success in EDucation (PASSED)
Monthly Lunch Gathering
Bixby’s Bagels (Mount Royal Shopping Center)
Wednesday, May 21st
11:45 ish to 1:00 ish
The movie “Journey into Dyslexia” will have two showings:
Monday, May 19th @ 6:30pm @ Cloquet Gospel Tabernacle
Thursday, May 22nd @ 6:30 @ Myers-Wilkins School (old Grant)
Questions call 340-7393 or email [email protected]