Oct 012013
 

Bestselling, In Demand Children’s Reading Software:

Reading for Literacy v2 Bundle [Download]

Designed to develop your child’s key reading skills. The reading ages and focus of the activities progress from title to title moving from literal to inferred meanings, simple vocabulary to complex, and word recognition to comprehension.

This Reading Software bundle contains 810 activities arranged in 162 sequenced units of work, with every level complementing the rest in the series to create a sequenced learning package. Each unit explores a specific text type.

The educational content has been developed by experienced educators and is based on the curriculum for your child’s school.

  • Ages 5-12
  • Contains 810 activities arranged in 162 sequenced units of work that complement each level in the series to create a sequenced learning package
  • Over 90 hours of interactive learning
  • Each unit explores a specific text type
  • Includes a cool picture puzzle game!
  • Based on the curricula for Australia, UK, ROI, and NZ
  • Printable progress reports, lessons and certificates

BRAINtastic v2 Reading Success Bundle Mac [Download]

Reading Software This Reading Software bundle contains over 2,900 carefully-sequenced learning activities that build vital language skills and develops and consolidates practical literacy proficiencies. Suitable for ages 4 to 15+.  BRAINtastic is the reward-based learning system, where the work is almost as much fun as the games!

Build essential reading skills to unlock life’s treasures for your child.

  • Ages 4 to 15+ depending on the needs of your child
  • Starts with sound support and integrated speech and progresses to help children think the words they are reading
  • Four cool Reward Games: Toy Storm, ReBop, Face Maker Guys and Face Maker Girls
  • This bundle contains over 2,900 carefully-sequenced learning activities
  • Pre-reading activities
  • Phonemic awareness: learning to listen
  • Grapheme (letter) & phoneme (sound) correspondences
  • Experiencing text

Reader Rabbit 1st Grade Capers On Cloud Nine Reading Software

Reading Software What’s up with the weather? Fly up to Cloud Nine with Reader Rabbit and friends to discover why it’s raining umbrellas, raincoats, and galoshes! Your skills in reading, math, science, problem solving, and more will help you discover places like the Raingear Forest and meet colorful characters like the Cloud Queen. Explore seven fun-filled activities where you will also meet Irvin the Inventor and his unpredictable throwing machine. Will he be able to solve this crazy rainfall problem? Only with your help! With Capers on Cloud Nine, your forecast calls for a 100% chance of learning fun!

Ages 5 to 7.  Discover core skills in Reader Rabbit 1st Grade Reading Software:


• Adding with counters
• Subtracting with counters
• Creating equivalent equations
• Recognizing and using coins
• Adding coins to reach a target amount
• Spelling
• Building vocabulary
• Developing vocabulary
• Developing phonic skills
o Sound/letter relationships
o Letter blends
o Digraphs
• Developing phonemic awareness
o Word families
o Onsets and rhymes

Reader Rabbit Learn to Read With Phonics (Preschool & Kindergarten) Reading Software

Join Reader Rabbit on a joyful journey to build reading confidence and success! Develop essential reading skills while exploring 26 Letter Lands filled with fun phonics activities and engaging storybooks. Practice language arts skills while playing with four fabulous word-making machines at the Word Factory. From letters and sounds, to words, and spelling, and on to reading comprehension.

  • Build Reading Skills through Fun Activities & Interactive Storybooks.
  • Practice specific skills or learn while following the adventure.
  • Key Skills: Phonics & Decoding; Phonemic Awareness; Sentences; Vocabulary; Spelling; Comprehension
  • Track success with progress reports. User-friendly program help.
  • Mac OS 8.6 – 9.2/OS X 10.1.5, Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP

Funnix Beginning Reading and Funnix 2 Program

220 complete lessons taking children from non-readers to reading at a beginning third grade level. The Funnix DVD package include 4 installers and 5 special-use files for all lessons and print material.

  • Funnix provides everthing the research says an effective reading program must have.
  • Funnix teaches explicit phonics and phonemic awareness.
  • Funnix systematically introduces decoding, word recognition and spelling.
  • Funnix stories are entertaining and their text is 100% decodable.
  • Funnix provides explicit instruction in comprehension.

Bestselling, In Demand Children’s Math Software

Ultimate Math Invaders v2 [Download]

Use rapid-fire tables and number facts to defend the planet from waves of invading math problems! Get started straight out of the box, or take advantage of the powerful diagnostic and reporting capabilities to zero in on your child’s learning needs. They will master addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, percentages, numeration, counting, squares, square roots, powers and directed numbers.  Ages 5 to 15+

  • Compelling rapid-fire math – 100s of questions in minutes
  • Monitor progress at a glance or drill down to detailed printable reports
  • Simple, kid-friendly animated interface that enhances self-directed learning

Math Made Easy v2 Bundle [Download]

Master mathematics with Math Made Easy! Watch the animated lessons and demonstrations then conquer the cool range of activities and engaging single/multiplayer games! Suitable for ages 5-12. Building confident Math minds!

  • Ages 5-12
  • This bundle contains all six Math Made Easy v2 titles
  • Contains at least 24 units of work and 96 lessons per title
  • Features a cool range of engaging single/multiplayer games
  • Includes extra times table activities, from numbers 2 to 13!
  • Based on the curricula for Australia, UK, ROI, and NZ
  • Printable progress reports, lessons and certificates

Math Missions: The Amazing Arcade Adventure – Grades 3-5


Save Spectacle City by disrupting Randall Underling’s plan to drive all the stores out of business and take over the city. The citizens are counting on you to solve real world math challenges in the uniquely entertaining stores and make them successful again. For your help, you’ll earn money to open your own arcade where you’ll choose a name, pick arcade games to play, set prices and more! Free Inside! Snap It Up! A fun, fast-paced card game that builds identification, counting, addition, and subtraction. Includes 85 cards!

Math Missions: The Race to Spectacle City Arcade with Card Game Kindergarten-2nd Grade [Old Version]

When real-world math meets real-life fun, kids can’t help but learn! This action-packed adventure combines challenging plot-based math activities with irresistible arcade-style games. A memorable–and valuable–math experience.

From the bus to the ferry to the toy store and beyond, Math Missions: The Race to Spectacle City Arcade leads youngsters on a stimulating learning journey of discoveries and rewards. A fun, urban environment sets the stage for 12 exciting activities like sorting toys and counting candy. Each accomplishment yields cash kids can use for still more fun at the virtual arcade!

  • Explore 12 activities with three levels of challenge
  • Tackle thousands of tough math puzzles and word problems
  • Learn fast–the level of challenge automatically increases to match your progress
  • Use handy hints to get through tough spots without frustration
  • Celebrate your accomplishments with motivating progress reports
  • Math Missions supports the educational standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Manic Math Totally Mental Bundle Mac [Download]


A crazy-fun collection of high quality, highly entertaining games that will have your kids hooked and learning Math without even realising it!  Suitable for ages 5-12.

Math up your brain! For quality Math activities and a huge barrel of laughs, you can’t go past Manic Math!

Manic Math is a crazy-fun collection of high-quality, highly-entertaining Math games that will have your kids hooked and learning Math without them realizing it.  A crazy-fun collection of high quality, highly entertaining games that will have your kids hooked and learning Math without even realising it!

  • Ages 5-12
  • Contains 29 interactive, quality educational games
  • Combines a huge range of challenging activities with frantically furious fun.

Manic Math uses animated demonstrations, visual and verbal feedback, hint systems and a bunch of friendly characters to help develop concrete Math skills.

BRAINtastic v2 Math Bundle [Download]


Curriculum linked activities with motivational reward games from BRAINtastic Math: Prep-Kindergarten, Lower Primary, Middle Primary, Upper Primary, & Lower Secondary that build your child’s mathematical understanding and skills and go beyond number crunching! Ages 5 to 15+.

  • Three cool Reward Games: BugWhack!, Galactic Retrieval Squad and Extreme Fashion
  • Fully correlated with mathematics curricula of each Australian state and New Zealand
  • This title contains over 11,200 carefully-sequenced learning activities that build your child’s mathematical understanding and skills and go beyond number crunching!
Aug 022013
 

Return to Questions

Q: I’ve heard the Lindamood Bell is good, but it is so expensive. Is it worth the money? Can you provide a Lindamood Bell review?

The Lindamood Bell platform is a well-respected set of programs that help kids with learning disabilities learn to read, comprehend, and do math (depending upon the program used). The Lindamood Bell programs have proven research behind them to document their effectiveness.

SO, Let me share with you my experiences with Lindamood Bell in this Lindamood Bell Review for you. My answer to the question is part Lindamood Bell Review, part personal experience, and partly an answer to the question about the cost/worth of the program.

Lindamood Bell Review : Our Evaluation Experience:


We had our child evaluated by the Lindamood Bell Center near us. We looked at the possibility of enrolling our son in the program. The environment was very friendly and the center director was quite knowledgeable. I actually LOVED the Lindamood Bell center and would have placed my son there without hesitation.

We paid a fee to have our son evaluated by the center. The results were clearly explained, and specific programs were recommended based upon the Lindamood Bell review of my son’s learning needs. I had no complaints about the evaluation and results explanation whatsoever. All of that was very professionally done.

Unfortunately, the cost of the program was well over $10,000 dollars and I felt somewhat like I was in a “hard sell” situation as they tried to convince me the program was worth the cost.

It’s not that my child’s learning needs wouldn’t be WORTH the money. His learning needs were priceless. Rather the price was far out of our reach. It was suggested we could take out a second mortgage on our home. Um. No. They do offer a financing program too, which is good because most ordinary families would have to finance the program.

There were also no guarantees that the Lindamood Bell programs would work for our child in the average time frame. If it took longer, that would cost more. SIGH.

Any individual child’s timeframe could be shorter than average, or it could be longer and cost more. There is no real way to gauge ahead of time how long it will take your child to complete the program. Again, the programs do have solid research behind them, so it could be worth the money if you have enough to pay for the program.

My Lindamood Bell Review Surprise:

I was also going to college at the time, getting my Master’s Degree in Instructional Design. That same summer, I saw a job posting on the college’s job board for an opening at the Lindamood Bell Learning Center. I went to check it out.

The job was temporary summer employment. The training was for 7-10 days. Then the new hires begin working with kids in the center. One week of training and you’re ready to teach kids. Somehow, I thought the people working with my child would have more experience than that. I didn’t expect there might be a college student who had been trained for a week providing a $10,000+ program for my child.

The Lindamood Bell centers do have people who work there year-round. They are no doubt highly knowledgeable and excellent at implementing the programs. If your child was placed with a well-experienced person, that person could probably provide excellent results in a shorter period of time.

In any case, when I read the notification and researched the job, I lost all interest in paying the hefty fees for someone at the Lindamood Bell center to work with my son. I figured I could get the instructor’s manuals and figure the programs out myself.

For your reading and Lindamood Bell review, I took a screenshot of this year’s similar job announcement. They have openings all over the country. You can read the announcement and decide for yourself whether you would meet the job criteria–In other words, could you learn how to use the program and implement it?

lindamood bell review

CLICK to see larger image.

Lindamood Bell review – My Personal Revelation:

If you wonder whether you can handle implementing the Lindamood Bell programs yourself: I’d say, “If you can read and follow directions, you can probably provide the program(s) to your own child.” 😉

With what I knew at that point, we decided to take a Do-It-Ourself approach with the Lindamood Bell programs my son needed. They have teacher’s guides.. So I bought a couple of them!!

I ordered Lindamood Bell Teacher’s Guides and Program Materials and implemented some of the programs at home. We also used materials from the Seeing Stars, LiPS, and Visualizing & Verbalizing programs.

LiPS and Visualizing & Verbalizing were the Lindamood Bell programs we used most heavily. We had good success with them. Some moms have had difficulty with the LiPS program. That generally seems to happen when the parent and child have difficulty working with each other. In such a case, paying a private tutor or the Lindamood Bell center might be a more effective solution.

I will also be totally transparent and let you know, I had already had Orton-Gillingham training. If you feel like you need training, Lindamood Bell does offer training, and it might help you to take their training. The training is a lot cheaper than the full-fledged program. Plus, if you get trained, you can make money working with other people’s children too. 

If you think you might like to arm yourself with their training, go to the Lindamood website and get on their mailing list.  They will send you brochures about upcoming training events as well as a catalog of their products. As I mentioned, you can order Lindamood Bell Teacher’s Guides and Program Materials online.

Trust me, using the Lindamood Bell programs and materials based on the Teacher’s Manuals works well enough if you can’t afford their first-hand services. The programs are not rocket science. If you can read and follow directions, you can probably provide the program for your child.

I’m sure the quality of our drill and practice wasn’t as intense as it would have been provided at the Lindamood Bell center. However, it was a WHOLE LOT cheaper for me to work with my own boys. We had good success using the programs.

Lindamood Bell Review Summary

I WOULD definitely recommend the Lindamood Bell programs to anyone. I am particularly fond of the LiPS program for any child who struggles with phonemic awareness. I continue to recommend LiPS and other Lindamood Bell programs to other moms for home use. I would give a positive Lindamood Bell review for any of their programs.

That’s my Lindamood Bell review based upon our experiences. Truly, I believe the Lindamood Bell programs are well worth the at-home cost if you have the time and ability to work with your own child. In terms of a child’s lifetime, even the center’s cost could be “worth it.” However, If you can’t afford the center’s program, don’t let that stop you from providing a Lindamood Bell program to your child!

I hope this Lindamood Bell review is helpful to you in making decisions on behalf of your child. If you’d like to leave a Lindamood Bell review of your own, feel free to leave a comment below. If you post a review, please be aware you are responsible for your own Lindamood Bell review content. Please remain FACTUAL, respectful, and maintain the privacy of individuals. 😉

Best Wishes,
Sandy

Return to Questions

Jul 312013
 

Learning Sciences help us understand how we learn.

learning sciences

Learning sciences is a fascinating topic to study. Learning about how we learn can help your child problem solve learning difficulties when learning is hard. Understanding learning helps kids feel more confident about their own brains and learning too.

BBC’s Becoming A Better Learner and How We Learn – Information about our brains, health, learning processes and intelligence are shared on this educational learning sciences site. The site allows students to explore different learning styles and to find out how to make themselves better learners. This is an excellent site for learning about learning without getting into lots of technical theory.

Funderstanding – Learning theory, terminology, intelligence, and factors in learning sciences. This is a great research site for students wanting to know more about learning. While there aren’t interactive elements and the site is text-based, the content is extensive. This site is suitable for upper middle school, high school, or college students.

Pfizer’s Brain: The World Inside Your Head – A “virtual tour” of the brain contains facts, figures, and concepts relating to the human brain’s physiology. The tour is navigated through linear “next” links which walk students through a logical sequence of learning. Teachers’ guides are also available which provide activities for building understanding of concepts such as memory, reflexes, sleep, etc.

James Cook University’s Learning Styles program – This site is listed for the resources and explanations you can use to help determine your child’s learning style. They have a quiz in which the level is high enough that it will probably work better if you read the questions for your child (and even modify them when they don’t pertain directly to a child) and enter the answers. There is information about learning styles, but the gem is in the resource–brain.exe.

Open College’s Your Brain Map – This is a cool, interactive graphic of the regions of the brain that helps your child understand other aspects of learning sciences. Your child can click on the different dots on the brain to see the function of that region of the brain. It’s fun to play around and look at the 3-D brain image.  This Brain Map is great for a visual learner!

Homeschool Science Unit Studies Page

Be sure to check out our MAIN Science Page for a list of many additional science topics for kids. Each topic page has links to interactive, audio-visual websites and optional resources to help you with your homeschool science.


Jul 232013
 

Homeschool Math Curriculum for kids with Dyscalculia or Math Dyslexia

– Math can be a significant remediation challenge for a home schooling parent, especially if your child has dyscalculia or memory-based difficulties with math. However, there are viable homeschool math curriculum for helping your child learn mathematics.



As you go through the resource pages below, pay close attention to the grade-levels of the homeschool math curriculum you’re considering buying. You don’t want to buy a remedial program designed for elementary kids if your child is in high school. 😉

I point that out because sometimes it isn’t easy to tell if the homeschool math curriculum is appropriate for young kids, older kids, or all ages. Some older kids don’t mind cartoon graphics though. In such cases, feel free to choose whatever you think your child will like and use!

Free Homeschool Curriculum Online for math that is helpful for homeschooling kids with ADHD or dyslexia.

This page has homeschool math curriculum you can use for free online. There are programs for reading and math. Scroll down towards the lower end of the page for the multisensory homeschool math curriculum options.

Homeschool Math Curriculum

If a child has difficulty with math proficiency, these homeschool math programs involve manipulatives and/or sequential, direct instruction. These specific programs will help a child with dyscalculia or math dyslexia acquire math skills. Even if your child does NOT have dyscalculia, using a homeschool math curriculum designed for that purpose is likely to work well for you and your child.


Assistive Technology for Math or Dyscalculia

When you are working with your child to overcome his specific learning disability in math (or dyscalculia), you can help him understand math concepts and work with numbers in a variety of ways. Using assistive technology for math or dyscalculia is a great way to help your child bypass computation or conception problems. The target page contains information about tools you can use for teaching math concepts. The info will help your child work around difficulties with math facts. You would use the assistive technology for math in addition to your regular homeschool math curriculum.


What is Dyscalculia?

This page provides information about dyscalculia or “Math Dyslexia.” It gives you a definition of dyscalculia and explains how is it related to dyslexia. A child who struggles with math facts, reverses numbers, and has difficulty acquiring math facts may have dyscalculia. If this is your child, visiting the pages that list homeschool math curriculum for kids with dyscalculia will be of great help to you.

Q&A: Does my Child Have “Math Dyslexia” or Dyscalculia?

If you’re wondering whether your child has dyscalculia, the target page contains the basics about what is dyscalculia. Again, if the profile fits your child, using homeschool math curriculum specifically for kids with dyscalculia will be helpful to you.


Memorizing Math Facts

Homeschool math curriculum doesn’t always provide enough practice for kids with memory problems to learn their math facts. This memorization method is helpful for many children who have difficulty memorizing math facts due to memory deficits. It’s a method our neuropsychologist suggested. It worked well for us!

Multisensory Math Instruction


homeschool math curriculum

FUN math games and alternatives! Look at some of the GREAT Games that are available on Amazon, like “Sum Swamp” pictured to the right. Click on the Sum Swamp picture to learn more about this highly rated, fun game! While these games are not a complete homeschool math curriculum, they are a GREAT way to get your child to practice math facts. If you have difficulty getting your child to practice math facts, perhaps one of these fun math games will work for you.

Making Math More Fun – Math Games Package

(The Making Math More Fun link takes you OFF Learning AbledKids’ website) Fun Math Games For School Or Homeschool Education – The package at the above link includes Printable Board Games, Card Games And Game Sheets For Children. Educational Games Ready For The Classroom Or Home. The materials make Math Fun And Easy. Teachers And Parents Love These Fun Math Games. Parents use them to supplement their homeschool math curriculum.


Math Riddle Worksheet Book

Math Puzzle Worksheets That Help Kids Learn Math: Teaches Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, And Division. Again, this would be a supplement to your regular homeschool math curriculum.

Mathematics Resources for K-12 Schooling at Home

This is another webpage within the Learning Abled Kids’ website that provides information about homeschool math curriculum choices that suit learning abled kids.


High School Algebra

Multi-sensory, hands-on and visual homeschool math curriculum. It is commonly used to teach children with dyscalculia high school Algebra skills.


High School Geometry

Multi-sensory, hands-on and visual homeschool math curriculum. It is commonly used to teach children with dyscalculia high school Geometry skills.


Thanks be to God for all my blessings on Earth.

Jul 232013
 

Do you need some fun, entertaining, interactive ways to engage your child with math?  There are a number of math homeschool curriculum and resources you can use to improve your child’s math fluency without drilling with flashcards.

If you’re specifically looking for High school curriculum, I have pages dedicated To:

Elementary & Middle School Math,
Algebra and
Geometry.

Math Homeschool Curriculum and Resources:

Here’s a math homeschool resource that you might like.. Making Math Fun  – Fun Math Games, printable board games, card games and game sheets for children. These educational games will help make Math fun. They will help you with multisensory teaching too. Kids, Teachers And Parents Love These Fun Math Games.

The Math Board Games Book – Printable Math Games – These are printable Math Board Games to help make math practice FUN. It will also help you teach your child the basic math skills through a multisensory means.
math homeschool curriculum
Times Tales – This is a fun way for your child to learn multiplication facts in story form.  This math homeschool curriculum is ideal for a visual learner or a child who has a narrative style of learning.

**Homeschool Math – A comprehensive math resource site for home schooling parents. You’ll find free worksheets and math ebooks for elementary grades. There is an extensive link list of games. You’ll also find a homeschool math curriculum guide, interactive tutorials & quizzes, and teaching tips articles. The resources focus on understanding of concepts instead of just mechanical memorization of rules.” For children with specific learning disabilities, the interactive nature of the games on this site is very helpful.

**CoolMath4kids – An amusement park of math and more. It is especially designed for kids. They think it is a FUN, FUN, FUN place to play with math!

**CoolMathAlgebra– Coolmath Algebra has hundreds of really easy to follow lessons and examples. This site can help your child become a successful algebra student.

**Coolmath.com/graphit/ – Coolmath’s Graphing Calculator.

**Purplemath – A website focused totally on giving students help with Algebra. The lessons emphasize the practicalities rather than the technicalities. The videos demonstrate dependable techniques. Purple Math also warns of likely “trick” questions. The site also points out common mistakes.


**mathforum.org – A community digital library that supports the use and development of software for mathematics education.

**NCTM.org – National Council of Teachers of Mathematics – Contains extensive information about mathematical understanding, knowledge, and skills that students should acquire from Pre-K through grade 12.

**Henri Picciotto’s Math Education Page – Contains lesson plans, explanations, and help for Algebra and Geometry students.

**Videotext – Complete, easy-to-understand Algebra and Geometry courses on DVDs. You can easily use these for your math homeschool curriculum. You get Video Lessons, Course Notes, WorkTexts, Solutions Manuals, Progress Tests, and Instructor’s Guides. They also provide unlimited Toll-Free Telephone Support.

**Hands on Equations – Algebra for elementary and middle school students. Young students are fascinated by this math homeschool curriculum. They are impressed with their ability to solve algebraic linear equations in a game-like manner. The “legal moves” provide students with a sound, intuitive understanding of algebra properties.

**Lialalgebra.com -This Web site is designed to support the Lial/Hornsby Algebra textbook series. The site provides quizzes, tutorials, exercises, and information as a great supplement to this math homeschool curriculum. This is a fabulous resource for anyone using the Lial algebra books.

**Heymath – #1 E-Learning math homeschool curriculum for Math in Singapore – a country that has been ranked #1 for math proficiency globally in a recent study conducted by the American Institutes of Research. Over half the highest performing students in Singapore use HeyMath! as their core instructional technology resource for middle-high school math.

**Figurethis  – Helping families enjoy mathematics outside school through a series of fun and engaging, high-quality challenges. Today’s kids need more than basic computation and rote mathematical skills. They must master the higher-level concepts and approaches to problem solving that are key to success in work and everyday life. Figure This! demonstrates challenging middle school mathematics and emphasizes the importance of high-quality math education for all students. Funding for the project was provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Education.

**The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives (NLVM) – an NSF supported project that began in 1999 to develop a library of uniquely interactive, web-based virtual manipulatives or concept tutorials. The interactive items are mostly in the form of Java applets. This site is great for mathematics instruction (K-12 emphasis) including geometric / geometry and algebraic / algebra concepts.

**Base 10 Blocks – Base 10 Blocks can help your child understand math concepts being taught in your math homeschool curriculum. We used them for studying multiplication in particular. They’re great for exploring Whole numbers, Decimal Numbers and Place Value.

**GoMath.com – A FREE on-line mathematics site designed to assist students from K-12 and their parents. The site is dedicated to helping and encouraging students.

Learning Abled Kids has FREE Math Grid Paper you can download and print. Using this paper with your math homeschool curriculum will help your child line up his math problems for more accurate calculations. The free paper is available in a small, medium, or large grid and comes in either a Word document or PDF format.

Free Small Grid Math Paper (PDF File)

Free Medium Grid Math Paper (PDF File)

Free Large Grid Math Paper (PDF File)

Jul 232013
 

DO you need a Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia?
Do you need a visual and/or hands-on method for teaching math?

Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia – Options

Using multisensory teaching methods is most effective for teaching children who are diagnosed with a math learning disability or dyscalculia. Multisensory teaching is a proven method that is effective for children with learning disabilities.


Multisensory Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia (math learning disability) Remediation

The Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia listed below are either fully multisensory or partially multisensory. The ones near the top include hands-on teaching along with visuals. Since these Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia include aspects of touching, seeing, and hearing, they are fully multisensory.

As you go down the page, you will find Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia that is more audio-visual in nature. Some of the programs do not use hands-on manipulatives. Those programs are great programs for kids who are auditory or visual learners. However, they won’t be the best choice if your child is a kinesthetic or tactile learner.

As with all choices, pick the Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia that you think will work best for your individual child. What works for someone else’s child may not work for your child at all. Therefore, you probably don’t want to go by what is popular. Pick a Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia based upon your child’s learning style and learning needs.

**TouchMath – This Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia is multi-sensory, research driven math program specifically designed to help children with dyscalculia and highly recommended by parents of children who have dyscalculia.  It is ideal for visual and kinesthetic/tactile learners. The program is worth a try with any child who may be struggling with math computation skills.

Ronit Bird – Ronit Bird is specifically designed as a multisensory Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia. It focuses on hands-on math understanding rather than on memorization. The program uses one of our favorites, Cuisenaire Rods, along with games. It incorporates many other hands-on and visual tools. This program is rapidly becoming THE favorite among Learning Abled Kids’ moms.

**Shiller Math – ShillerMath is a solid multi-sensory math learning program that is well-suited to kinesthetic/tactile learners. It’s also effective for any learning style.  ShillerMath uses all of the senses. It addresses every possible learning style when teaching each math concept.  The ShillerMath Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia includes diagnostic tests to pinpoint a student’s precise math understanding. The program is well-suited for homeschooling. This program is specifically designed to help children with dyscalculia. It’s highly recommended by parents of children who have dyscalculia.opt-freesampledownload-185x195
Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia
Times Tales program with DVD – The publisher sent us a review copy of this program. This is not a complete curriculum. However, if your child is struggling to learn their multiplication tables, particularly the 6, 7, 8, and 9s, Times Tales is a great Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia students who are visual learners. It also works well for learners who remember mnemonics well. This is an inexpensive, easy-to-use product that helped solidify the times facts for my son. The program consists of a Times Tales Spiral Bound Book and an associated New Times Tales DVD. Combined together, the book and DVD make an effective unit study on multiplication facts that is helpful as a multi-sensory teaching tool. They have a Times Tales Video you can watch as well to get a better idea of what the program is like.

**Reflex Math – For younger children (elementary and middle school) with dyscalculia, many members of the Learning Abled Kids’ homeschool support group are using Reflex Math. They’re having success with their children gaining fluency with math facts. The program uses adaptive and individualized instruction. It has engaging games that keep students coming back for more. It also includes intuitive and powerful reporting for educators. Reflex Math is ideal for children who prefer audio-visual learning. It is not a comprehensive Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia. However, it is a great program for practicing math fluency, particularly with math facts.

**Dynamomaths – For younger children (elementary and middle school) with dyscalculia. This program provides computer-based, visual representations of math concepts in form that is easier for children with learning disabilities to understand. You can enter any math problem. When you do, you’ll see the visual representations for better understanding. This helps you teach your child, especially if he’s a visual learner.  The DynamoMaths program “230+ remediation modules in small cumulative steps, grouped into Dynamo 1, Dynamo 2, Dynamo 3 and Dynamo 4 that seamlessly moves the child’s learning from the Number sense to numeracy proficiency with concrete to a pictorial representation using models and images. The models and images help your child visualize mathematical relationships.” This is a great supplement to any Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia when you have a child who is a highly visual learner.

**Carnegie Learning – Cognitive Tutor Software – For older children (high school) who have dyscalculia. The Cognitive Tutor software helps students understand the relationships between mathematical representations as they explore linear functions. Students work with various representations of functions including tables, graphs, algebraic expressions, and text descriptions. They translate functions from one representation to the other. This helps students learn to understand how these representations are interconnected. The Cognitive Tutor courses are complete, higher mathematics courses with texts available to homeschools.  Again, this Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia is best for students who prefer visual learning.

Math Curriculum for Dyscalculia Packages Which May be More Effective than Standard Math Programs

These programs below are not specifically developed for kids with dyscalculia. However, they are multisensory in the same ways as the programs above. The first program listed here, Math U See, worked particularly well for my boys.

**Math-U-See – This is a great comprehensive math program using manipulatives. It allows your child to see and experience mathematical concepts from the very basics of number concepts and counting up through calculus.  The Math-U-See website has placement tests there you can use to see which unit would be best to place your child into. Math-U-See is great for visual learners. It also has manipulatives that can help kinesthetic/tactile learners as well.  This program was THE mainstay for us through all elementary and some of middle school. The Math-U-See manipulatives were instrumental in helping our sons with their math learning. The only reason we stopped using it when we approached high school is because of program requirements we had at the time. My sons wanted to take some of their high school maths as joint enrollment courses. They did very well in joint enrollment, partly due to the foundation laid by Math-U-See. This is not specifically a math curriculum for dyscalculia. However, it is fully multisensory and can easily be used as a math curriculum for dyscalculia.

Catchup Math – If your child is in middle school or high school and struggling with math, this program is a mastery-based program. It will review basic concepts with your child as needed. The program provides progress through mastery of high school-level math. “Catchup Math covers Grade 6 Math up through Geometry, Algebra 2 and College Developmental Math, drilling down to elementary school topics as needed.” Even if a child isn’t struggling, this program is a great, comprehensive math program for teaching your child math concepts! They have a free trial option, so I suggest letting your child use the program for awhile to see if he likes it. You can use the trial to determine if you think the program will work for your child in the longer term.

**Thinkwell – For high school mathematics (except Geometry) – Thinkwell uses multimedia instructional videos to teach concepts. I really like their teaching videos because the video clips are highly focused. They eliminate any unnecessary distractions. This is particularly helpful for any child with ADHD / ADD. Most of the time, the videos show only the teacher’s hands and the white board where he’s working the problem. The instructors talk directly to the student. There is no other students that serve as a distraction (as there is in the A Beka and Bob Jones DVD courses). Thinkwell has online exercises. They are automatically graded for immediate feedback. The feedback gives an explanation for why the student was correct or incorrect. Each math course also have books available. The books mostly contain the same content taught in the video. For a child who does not need a lot of repetitive practice, but needs focused, undistracted teaching, the Thinkwell programs are an excellent choice. There is no hands-on component to this program, so it isn’t the best math curriculum for dyscalculia if your child is a kinesthetic or tactile learner.

**ALEKS Math – For any grade level – “ALEKS is a web-based, artificially intelligent assessment and learning system. ALEKS uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine exactly what a student knows and doesn’t know. ALEKS then instructs the student on the topics she is most ready to learn. As a student works through a course, ALEKS periodically reassesses the student to ensure that topics learned are also retained. ALEKS courses are very complete in their topic coverage. The ALEKS program also avoids multiple choice questions. A student who shows a high level of mastery of an ALEKS course will be successful in the actual course she is taking.” We find the ALEKS program to be an ideal reinforcement to our math learning. However it can easily serve as a complete, stand-alone program. The perfect thing about ALEKS is that it tirelessly provides ongoing review as many times as a child requires it. The program moves on just as soon as a child has mastered a concept. It is what I consider a “nearly perfect” progression of learning. The main limitation I’ve found in the program is the reiteration of lessons in exactly the same way–If your child does not get a concept the way the program is presenting the lesson, your child may require additional explanation from you. We used it as our lesson reinforcement to insure mastery of learned concepts. However, we relied on other math curriculum for dyscalculia for additional ways of presenting math concepts.

**Switched On Schoolhouse Math – S.O.S. Math is taught through an interactive, visual software program. The S.O.S. programs provide instant feedback. This is often essential for children with learning disabilities. Additionally, the S.O.S. software provides visual and auditory reinforcement. The S.O.S. programs are available for all grades up through Pre-Algebra (8th), Algebra I (9th), Algebra II (11th), Geometry(10th), and Pre-Calculus (12th) in High School.  This program is not highly interactive. If your child needs a more interactive format, one of the preceding math curriculum for dyscalculia may be a better choice.

**Saxon Math – Many children benefit from the detailed step-by-step program that Saxon offers. This math program builds upon itself with plenty of repetitive practice. It helps cement the concepts cognitively for your child. The Saxon program uses standard textbooks, so the main benefit is in the incremental progression of teaching with lots of practice. This program is not really multisensory, but there are teaching CDs you can use to make this more functional as a math curriculum for dyscalculia.
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Supplemental Programs and Materials for Deeper Math Understanding

Standard Deviants School Math – We LOVE these DVD programs. The programs are high energy, dynamic, and uses a lot of visuals and graphics. The DVDs are interactive allowing students to answer quiz questions with the remote control to check for understanding. The programs also come in video form. There are worksheets that go along with Standard Deviants’ School programs, which are available on Teachers’ CD-Roms or in workbooks at the Standard Deviants’ website. This Edutainment is a ‘fun’ way to present math concepts to a child.

ETA Hand2mind (Formerly Cuisenaire) – These mathematical manipulatives are terrific. We used them and they have been instrumental in developing our kids’ understanding of complex mathematical concepts. We used the “Everything is Coming Up Fractions” unit study book written to be used with the Cuisenaire Rods. My boys LOVED the blocks. They couldn’t wait to work on the fraction concepts with them. They built towers out of the blocks as a reward when we were done studying the lesson. These blocks are used in conjunction with the Ronit Bird math curriculum for dyscalculia. The blocks can be used with *any* other math curriculum for dyscalculia as well.
Buy Rods & Books at ChristianBook.com

Base Ten Math – This is a great math program using manipulative blocks, rods, and cubes. It is one my child gives rave reviews. The markings on the cubes and rods help with concepts and counting. The Base Ten blocks are a bit different than the Cuisenaire Rods, but they have similar books to use with the blocks. We had a set of Base Ten blocks that we used for some concepts. It was particularly helpful for teaching and understanding the decimal system. These blocks can be used as a resource with any math curriculum for dyscalculia.
Buy Rods & Books at Christianbook.com

Jul 232013
 

GEOMETRY EQUALS FUN FOR HOMESCHOOLERS!

You can choose from a variety of great traditional, hands-on, or visually-based Geometry Homeschool Curriculum for your child.

If you’re looking for interactive Geometry FUN, check out our page: Homeschooling Geometry Videos, Apps, and Tools for great geometry videos for kids, free geometry apps, and other tools that will make learning Geometry fun for your child!


The Geometry curricula below are selected for their visual and/or hands-on teaching methods, for detailed teaching, for strong practice with immediate feedback, and other teaching benefits. Many geometry homeschool curriculum options provide DVD teaching presentations to enhance your child’s understanding of Geometry.

Special Note About Geometry Homeschool Curriculum Options:

Before diving into available geometry homeschool curriculum, I wanted to let you know about two great resources we used when my guys got stuck on geometry proofs and a couple of concepts that I had difficulty explaining to them.

We used both Purple Math and Khan Academy videos to supplement our regular Geometry curriculum.

For whatever geometry concept your homeschooler is having trouble understanding, you will probably be able to find an alternate explanation on Purple Math or Khan Academy that will make more sense to your child.

Geometry Homeschool Curriculum Options:

Geometry Homeschool Curriculum** Schaum’s Outline of Geometry, 5th Edition: 665 Solved Problems + 25 Videos (Schaum’s Outline Series) – You CAN’T BEAT IT for the price!  I used Shaum’s for Trigonometry and I LOVED it!  The teaching is concise – no fluff or long-winded explanations.  I highly recommend Shaum’s if your child is inclined towards math and learns relatively quickly.  There are a number of practice problems. but I wouldn’t classify it as a “lot” of problems, so this program wouldn’t be the best choice if your child has memory difficulties and requires a lot of repetitive practice.

**Math-U-See – This is a great hands-on geometry homeschool curriculum and the explanatory DVDs are great. The texts are plain, which can be beneficial for a child with ADHD or one who is distracted by a visually complex text. The printing is all black and white, uncluttered, and very straightforward. These texts may be the best of the lot for those wanting simple presentation for a child who does not require visual graphics to understand the content. The teaching DVD sessions are SHORT, which is particularly beneficial for children with ADHD who need a short lesson each day. The program introduces one concept at a time, so it tends to provide less confusion and distraction than a lot of geometry homeschool curriculum choices. If you need in depth explanation or visual diagrams, you will likely find the program falls short as a standalone program. However, it can be awesome when combined with some of the Homeschooling Geometry Videos, Apps, and Tools. We loved Math-U-See and it is very popular among the Learning Abled Kids’ support group members.

Geometry Teaching Textbook – The direct instruction approach used in Teaching Textbooks is well-liked and effective for MANY of the Learning Abled Kids’ support group members’ kids. Teaching Textbooks takes a step-by-step, explicit instruction approach to teaching each level of math, including Geometry. When using Teaching Textbooks, students can read the lesson, watch teaching video, work practice problems, watch the explanations of the practice problems, have the assignment graded for immediate feedback. Of particular benefit is the immediate ability to watch solutions for any problems the student missed. The level of review in the Teaching Textbook Geometry homeschool curriculum is helpful for a lot of kids.

**Thinkwell – Thinkwell has algebra, geometry, and higher math programs.  Thinkwell primarily provides teaching video content with a human instructor teaching through white-board technology.  The content is very similar to what a student would receive in a classroom, but the videos can be watched anytime, anywhere, in an isolated, undistracting setting.  They can also be watched over and over so a child can take as much time as needed to learn about Geometry.  We used Thinkwell for Pre-Algebra, and will use it for Algebra.

Catchup Math – If your child has a difficult time with math, this program is a mastery-based program that will review basic concepts with your child as needed. “Catchup Math covers Grade 6 Math up through Geometry, Algebra 2 and College Developmental Math, drilling down to elementary school topics as needed.” Because the program goes back and reviews basic concepts as needed, it can help fill in the learning gaps for your child as he works on Geometry. The main thing to be aware of is that this program covers MORE than Geometry. If you select this program and use it through completion, your child will have covered concepts for Algebra 1 and 2 as well as Geometry. Be sure to check out the free trial before buying to see if this geometry homeschool curriculum suits your child.

**A Beka Academy DVD Program – This geometry homeschool curriculum is provided at a college preparatory level. It has a lot of neat elements, like having the DVD instructor show the word “parenthesis” when she introduces parenthesis. This helps a 2e child see how the word is spelled, hear what it sounds like, and to see what parenthesis look like at the time of introduction. The book is colorful, with many visual drawings & diagrams to demonstrate concepts, and presented in a clear, concise manner. While this geometry homeschool curriculum is pricey, I think it will be worth the money for any college-bound student needing to learn Geometry. The only downfall of Abeka’s teaching DVDs is using a real classroom setting.. Sometimes the showing of other students can be a distraction to the viewer. This is particularly true when a student in the video works a problem incorrectly, it can be confusing to a child who is watching the DVD even though the errors are corrected by the teacher.

**Saxon Math and D.I.V.E. DVDs – Many children benefit from the detailed step-by-step geometry homeschool curriculum that Saxon offers. This math program builds upon itself with plenty of repetitive practice, cementing the concepts cognitively. The Geometry texts are plain. Little in the way of visual content is provided. While the program provides in-depth explanations and spiral teaching of concepts, the lack of visuals may be an issue for highly visual learners. Saxon’s D.I.V.E. CDs have each step in solving a geometry problem appear on the screen and the steps are explained by the instructor. When the problem step pops onto the screen, it isn’t always evident exactly which term the instructor is discussing in the explanation, yet advanced homeschool students often find this method provides a quicker pace and they are fine with it. There are several parents in the Learning Abled Kids’ support group who find this geometry homeschool curriculum helpful for their kids too.
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**Switched On Schoolhouse Geometry – We switched to the S.O.S. Math programs after difficulty with careless errors in a large number of traditional text-based problems. S.O.S. provides immediate feedback by giving a “correct” or “try again” response to the student in the interactive problems. S.O.S. is a visual software program which provides the instant feedback that is often essential for children with learning disabilities. Additonally, the S.O.S. software provides visual and auditory reinforcement through teaching text, text-to-speech features, and teaching video clips. The S.O.S. geometry homeschool curriculum is available in the 10th grade level.

**ALEKS Math – We used S.O.S. as our primary geometry homeschool curriculum and used ALEKS Math for a spiral, comprehensive, practice program. ALEKS is an intelligent learning system that adjusts instruction to the mastery level of the student. Periodically reassessments are given to the child to check for retention.  If a child has forgotten content previously mastered, the content is presented again.  This program is a fabulous geometry homeschool curriculum for insuring a child has comprehensive mastery of all content.

Chalkdust Geometry – Chalkdust teaches through a combination of DVD teaching and the textbook like several of the geometry homeschool curriculum above. When learning Pre-Algebra, we initially selected Chalkdust as our program of choice because this geometry homeschool curriculum is colorful and the teaching DVDs were important. The teaching is very traditional in nature with an instructor at a chalkboard, teaching and explaining Geometry. This geometry homeschool curriculum is a solid choice and good for a child who learns well through the traditional classroom instruction model.

Be sure to check out our great Homeschooling Geometry Videos, Apps, and Tools!

Jul 232013
 

ALGEBRA! Perhaps the most feared subject by homeschooling moms in general.

Fear NOT, for behold–Here are algebra homeschool curriculum options with features to help your learning abled kid learn algebra.

These algebra homeschool curriculum are selected for their visual and/or hands-on methods for teaching high school students and are commonly used in homeschooling.  Some sites are provided for their “FUN” math enrichment, allowing students to explore, play, and enhance their understanding of algebraic concepts. Other sites are complete algebra courses for high school level homeschooling.

Brief Aside for Fearful Parents

Before we talk about algebra homeschool curriculum for your high school student, I wanted to talk to you briefly about your options. If you are apprehensive about teaching your child high school algebra because you don’t remember much from algebra or you doubt your own abilities, you might want to consider a refresher course for yourself. If you plan to teach your child directly, it could save you time to have a review first. For review, Parents Learn Algebra is designed specifically for parents. I have not personally used the Parents Learn Algebra program, so let me know if it is helpful for you or not. 😉 ALSO, the Practical Algebra, Self-Teaching Guide is a very well-liked option. 😉

Resources to Use as or in Addition to Your Algebra Homeschool Curriculum

Many of the algebra homeschool curriculum below include math teaching videos. Your high schooler may be able to learn the algebra more easily through the audio-visual teaching. Sometimes a student gets “stuck,” and the explanation being used doesn’t make sense, so some of the resources can be really helpful.

When my guys got stuck with their algebra homeschool curriculum and I wasn’t sure how to explain the concepts to them we used Purple Math’s and Khan Academy’s free teaching videos online.  It is fairly easy to locate videos that teach whatever math concept your child is having trouble understanding through one of these resources or via YouTube videos.  We sometimes used one or the other, and sometimes both!

High School Algebra Homeschool Curriculum Choices:

Algebra Homeschool Curriculum

Hands-on Equations is a great multi-sensory program that helps kids conceptualize and understand equations. Since equations are at the very heart of Algebra, Hands-On Equations is an excellent program to use as you transition from division and fractions into equations. While we have pre-calculus programs, one of the biggest math conception jumps actually occurs with the transition from simple computation into application and reasoning using equations. Therefore, I think of Hands-On Equations as a “pre-Algebra” program that will benefit any child who is struggling to make the transition from elementary-middle school math into high school math.

**Coolmath Algebra – hundreds of really easy to follow lessons and examples that can help your child be successful in learning algebra.

**Coolmath’s Graphing Calculator – this is a tool that can help make Algebra visual. It’s not really an algebra homeschool curriculum.

**Math-U-See – A great homeschool curriculum at the elementary levels, but somewhat less rigorous at the upper math levels. The explanatory DVDs and Videos are great. The texts are plain. The printing is all black and white, uncluttered, and very straightforward. This algebra homeschool curriculum may be the best of the lot for those wanting simple presentation where the child does not require visual graphics to understand the content. If you need in depth explanation or visual diagrams, you will likely find the program falls short of your needs.

Catchup Math – If your child is struggling with high school math, this math and algebra homeschool curriculum is a mastery-based program that will review basic concepts with your child as needed, and progress through mastery of high school-level math. “Catchup Math covers Grade 6 Math up through Geometry, Algebra 2 and College Developmental Math, drilling down to elementary school topics as needed.” This program is a good overall math program, but is especially good for kids who are struggling with Algebra. Because the program goes back and reviews basic concepts as needed, it can help fill in the learning gaps for your child as he works on Algebra. The main thing to be aware of is that the program includes both Algebra 1 and 2 as well as Geometry, so it isn’t “just” an Algebra program. Be sure to check out the free trial before buying to see if the program suits your child.


**A Beka Academy DVD Program – This algebra homeschool curriculum is provided at a college preparatory level and is my favorite of the Algebra I & II video-based programs. It has a lot of neat elements, like having the DVD instructor show the word “parenthesis” when she introduces parenthesis. This helps a 2e child see how the word is spelled, hear what it sounds like, and to see what parenthesis look like at the time of introduction. The book is colorful, with many visual drawings & diagrams to demonstrate concepts, and presented in a clear, concise manner. I did not, however, care for the Pre-Algebra (as of May 2005), as the text was black-and-white with few visual aids. While the program is pricey, I think it will be worth the money for any college-bound student needing to learn Algebra. The only downfall of Abeka’s teaching DVDs is using a real classroom setting.. Sometimes the showing of other students can be a distraction to the viewer. This is particularly true when a student in the video works a problem incorrectly. This can be confusing to a child who is watching the DVD even though the errors are corrected by the teacher. Therefore, you’ll want to consider how much of a problem this may be for your learning abled kid before selecting this algebra homeschool curriculum.

**Chalkdust Algebra – Larson, Roland, & Hostetler – Chalkdust videos and most texts provide excellent presentation of Algebra. The Pre-Algebra is, in my opinion, better than A Beka’s Pre-Algebra, and the Chalkdust Algebra is equal to A Beka’s. Chalkdust uses accredited Houghton-Mifflin textbooks and primarily provides the accompanying teaching videos. The videos feature an instructor who works through the samples step-by-step and the videos focus solely on the instructor and problem being solved. There are no “distractions” in the Chalkdust videos, but students using this algebra homeschool curriculum have complained of always seeing the back of the instructor’s head. The price of this program is also a hindrance to many parents, but it is well worth the money if you can manage it.
Chalkdust PreAlgebra Books- Aufmann, Barker, & Lockwood
Great Chalkdust Video Demos and Reviews
See the Algebra textbooks by Larson, Roland, & Hostetler 

**Addison-Wesley Algebra – Hornsby, Lial, & McGinnis – An excellent option that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, this algebra homeschool curriculum is provided at a college preparatory level. Some of the college level texts have horrible reviews, but the Beginning Algebra and other High School level courses have excellent reviews. The teaching DVD set is available for less than fifty dollars. Even though the textbook itself is pricey, the low price of the DVDs make this an affordable option for those seeking a “traditional” text book with thorough explanations and teaching DVDs. You’ll pay about half as much for the text, solutions, and teaching DVDs for Lial’s mathematics than you will for Chalkdust or Abeka. In comparison, the DVDs are equal in quality, but the text is slightly less appealing, visually speaking. The print is small and there is a lot of text packed on each page. There are a reasonable number of visual diagrams and other visual elements.
Lial Introductory Algebra Video Sample
Or see Margaret Lial’s Algebra Books Listed

**Saxon Math and D.I.V.E. DVDs – Many children benefit from the detailed step-by-step algebra homeschool curriculum that Saxon offers. This math program builds upon itself with plenty of repetitive practice, cementing the concepts cognitively. The Algebra texts are plain. Little in the way of visual content is provided. While the program provides in-depth explanations and spiral teaching of concepts, the lack of visuals may be an issue for highly visual learners.
Buy through ChristianBook.com
Saxon Math on Amazon.com

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Uncle Dan’s Algebra – Dan sent me home-copied DVDs of his algebra homeschool curriculum to view, as well as a link to his downloadable workbook. If you are looking for a low-cost, complete, Algebra solution, “Uncle Dan’s Algebra” may suit your needs. The program costs a fraction of the price of many other programs with teaching videos and text. This program uses incremental steps that are well explained by Dan in the videos. His slow speech provides ample processing time for kids who process information slowly, particularly those with auditory processing issues. Instructions are specific on the videos, leaving no doubt about when to stop the tape to work problems. The (Workbook and Solution Key) texts are “print-it-yourself” documents on CD and are straightforward and uncluttered, providing practice problems, quizzes, and tests. Dan will send anyone a FREE copy of the Algebra Workbook file via email attachment. You get video lessons that are as good as any. It’s a good package for the money, but nothing fancy at all. “Uncle Dan’s Algebra” is definitely “Homespun”, not a commercially published program in that there is no fancy packaging or DVD labels, etc. Dan copies the DVD’s himself, labels them, and ships them, keeping the price low. It’s a one-man operation. Dan will answer your questions about his algebra homeschool curriculum by e-mail, making him one of the more reachable producers of such a package.

Switched On Schoolhouse Math – We switched to the S.O.S. Math programs after difficulty with careless errors in a large number of traditional text-based problems. S.O.S. provides immediate feedback by giving a “correct” or “try again” response to the student in the interactive problems. S.O.S. is a visual software program which provides the instant feedback that is often essential for children with learning disabilities. Additonally, the S.O.S. algebra homeschool curriculum provides visual and auditory reinforcement through teaching text, text-to-speech features, and teaching video clips. The S.O.S. programs are available for all grades up through Pre-Algebra (8th), Algebra I (9th), Algebra II (11th), Geometry(10th), and Pre-Calculus (12th) in High School.

CurrClick


Jul 102013
 

Learning Handwriting For A Child with Dysgraphia.

If your child has dysgraphia, you know teaching your child to write legibly is difficult.

Even when your child works hard learning handwriting, progress can seem minimal.

Writing a readable composition is affected by two components of dysgraphia:

One is handwriting and the other is the organization and planning of good writing.


If your child has difficulty in either handwriting or organizing the writing, he will have difficulty writing. This is true even when your child is writing short stories or compositions. 

If your child’s difficulty is with learning handwriting, he may have difficulty with visual-motor integration, fine motor skills, etc. This page will focus on methods and curriculum for children who have difficulty with the physical task of learning handwriting.

First, let’s talk briefly about dysgraphia causing difficulty with organization skills and planning. When writing is badly spaced and sized, there can be a problem area like a deficit in executive functioning disorder. Executive functioning affects organization skills, sequencing, planning, etc. 

If your child needs help with the content of his writing, then it will be helpful for you to refer to the Recommended composition writing curriculum for homeschooling children with learning disabilities.

NOW, let’s talk about the isolated task of learning handwriting and how a child with dysgraphia can be helped more effectively.

Children with dysgraphia often hate writing by time they are diagnosed. Because of this, it is often a good idea to separate writing essays from learning handwriting. Find other fun ways of working on writing skills without actually having your child handwriting the essay. Let your child dictate to you, record an essay in a digital recorder, or use other assistive technology for dysgraphia.

In order to work on your child’s physical skills, starting with large format maze puzzles can be more fun than actually learning handwriting. If you start with large formats, your child can see how to get through the maze easily. Slowly move towards smaller, more difficult and complex mazes. This will help your child make progress in the skill areas necessary for handwriting without forcing the issue of learning handwriting. Most kids don’t even know working mazes is a way of working on learning handwriting!

Given your child’s needs to learn fine muscle control, using a pen or pencil to work through mazes can give your child lots of practice in a fun format. This type of practice is almost always more effective for kids who “hate to write”.

To build handwriting dexterity, I recommend starting with books like these:
Kindergarten Mazes: Simple Mazes For Kids

As your child’s ability to use a pencil improves, you may want to switch to books that provide more precise practice like these:
Maze Books for Kids

Another method for learning handwriting skills is through Multisensory activities. Handwriting with soap on a large flat pan, with a finger on velvet, with gross body movements with a large chalkboard, in a sand tray, etc. are all fun ways for learning handwriting.

If you have your child work on drawing in a pan with his finger, you can work on spelling through multi-sensory activities at the same time. You can help with both handwriting and spelling simultaneously.

Try to think of creative ways to let your child “play” with his school work. Building fun into learning handwriting will make the task of overcoming LD issues more rewarding along the way.

Learning Handwriting Separately from Writing

For any child with dysgraphia, learning handwriting and composition is very effortful. It takes a lot of brain processing to hold a written composition in your mind while figuring out what you want to say, organizing it, recalling the spelling, and writing each word, word-by-word, until you get the whole composition placed beautifully on a piece of paper.

For a child who has dysgraphia, there are often difficulties with working memory, phonemic awareness, graphomotor abilities, or other critical skills. Therefore, expecting great handwriting in written compositions is often unrealistic.

For best results, separating learning handwriting completely from writing compositions (written expression) usually enables the child to have better outcomes in each task. Using keyboarding, copying tasks, or a handwriting program is usually the best option for improving a child’s ability to get his thoughts onto paper in a legible fashion.

Written expression, or composition writing, should be addressed totally separately from learning handwriting. Check out the Written Expression Woes and What To Do About Them page for ideas about teaching written expression to a child with dysgraphia or handwriting difficulties.

Handwriting Programs for Kids Who Struggle

**Handwriting for Kids – This website provides printable guides for children learning to print or write cursive. The handwriting practice materials at this site are ‘traditional’ and not designed specifically for a child with learning disabilities. If you are looking for an inexpensive handwriting curriculum, this site is a great resource. However, it does not provide materials specific to teaching a child who is having difficulty with letter and number formation.

**Handwriting Help for Kidslearning handwriting – This program provides visual and verbal strategies for learning handwriting. The program was created by occupational therapists, so it is well-suited for kids who have difficulty with their grapho-motor (handwriting) skills. Children “swim, surf, and sail” their way through learning cursive writing. This program is a great way to allow your child to have fun while learning to write.

**Handwriting Without Tearslearning handwriting – This is the main program we used in the beginning. With this program, my child who HATES writing said that Cursive Writing was his favorite subject! Handwriting Without Tears is simple and very easy to follow. The directions are clear and the children can easily determine what to do. Handwriting Without Tears is successful because it simplifies learning handwriting. It builds on basic pencil strokes in order to form letters, and the program keeps the writing style simple.

**Italic Handwriting Books – We used this program as well. The Handwriting Without Tears program was great for getting started, but didn’t provide enough practice to actually overcome the issues with grapho-motor difficulties. The Italic series is easy to use because the letter formation is relatively simple (without much in the way of ornate decorative elements). It is easier for a child with handwriting difficulties to copy the letters than it is with some forms of handwriting that are more ornate.

**Audiblox – This is a program that addresses some of the underlying issues that contribute to dysgraphia. While this is not a program for learning handwriting, many of the skill deficits addressed through the program can help make a child’s writing more legible. This program will help with sequential planning (as needed in spelling), letter size, letter spacing, focus, etc.

You may want to check out these Free Downloadable Workbooks:

Spelling for Writing Workbooks – Downloadable from http://www.eric.ed.gov/ by entering the document number into the search box.

These workbooks begin with learning handwriting in conjunction with simple spelling exercises.

Spelling for Writing: Student Activity Book. Level 1. (ED451543) – document number ED451543
Spelling for Writing: Student Activity Book. Level 2. (ED451545) – document number ED451545
Spelling for Writing: Student Activity Book. Level 3. (ED451547) – document number ED451547
Spelling for Writing: Student Activity Book. Level 4. (ED451548) – document number ED451548
Spelling for Writing: Student Activity Book. Level 5. (ED451549) – document number ED451549
ED451542 – Spelling for Writing: A Guidebook for Parents and Teachers. Level 1. (ED451542)
ED451544 – Spelling for Writing: A Guidebook for Parents and Teachers. Level 2. (ED451544)
ED451546 – Spelling for Writing: A Guidebook for Parents and Teachers. Level 3. (ED451546)
ED448460 – Spelling for Writing: Instructional Strategies. (ED448460)