Thursday, December 17, 2009

Never Give Up!

We are in our eleventh year of home education.
There have been highs and lows.

We began this journey as what we thought would
be a "catch-up" year for our eldest son, Jonathan,
for third grade. It was our intention to give him
intensive intervention and then put him back in
the very "wonderful" public school he was in.

Well, those plans certainly were changed.
There were many factors in that decision.

However, this post is a success story.
One that was all of these years in the making.

You see, Jonathan is dyslexic, and has
processing delays. Those are the titles
he wears. He has an extremely high I.Q.
and is a very smart young man with certain
undeniable challenges that make learning
harder for him than some.

Over the years we have done vision therapy,
tutoring, many unique programs. I have
visited special schools to see if they could
teach him better, we have cried together and
very often laughed together. We have prayed,
studied and I have read aloud for hours and

It has been quite a journey.
I would do it all again....
no questions asked!!!!

This year we discovered the Dragon
Speech Recognition Software.

You see, for all of the difficulties
Jonathan has with reading he absolutely
loves books! He loves many kinds of books.

Somewhere along the line we received some
excellent advice...Don't let Jonathan's
physical ability to read stop his progress
in the books he is exposed to. So...we
didn't. Through my reading to him and the
depth of availability of Books on Tape or CD
Jonathan has continued to progress with his
interests without hesitation. He loves to
visit new libraries as he has exhausted our
library of new, to him, material.

At the end of last year, Jonathan mentioned
that he would like to write a book but the
process of using pen and paper or typing is
just stifling. He has to think so very hard
about the processes involved in writing and
typing that he loses his thoughts and gives up.

So...we investigated speech recognition software.


Jonathan has written chapters in his new novel.
There is a sequel forming in his head...
and a second series that he wants to begin in
between this book and it's sequel.

Do you know what else?

The Dragon Software sometimes messes up and Jonathan
has begun to override it and type first and speak
second. He is consumed. He will type as long as
he knows the words and now just uses the software
for those big words that he wants to use but is
clueless to spell.

Maybe one day you will know his name as a published
author, maybe not. But what I know is that he is
finding satisfaction in the one area that we never
would have guessed he would.

So...people, please be encouraged. Everything you
do in an effort to assist your children pays off.
It may take years...eleven maybe...but it is not


Becky K.


Beth said...

What a wonderful post! When my daughter who is now 16 was just a little girl, we homeschooled. She was going to have a display at our local church for a kind of "year end" celebration along with other children. She learned so much that year about Native Americans in a unit study that we did but she just couldn't get it down on paper. She would just get so frustated with spelling and such. So I had her dictate and I wrote her words down on the computer word for word. She was really able to express complete sentences and thoughts. She was really showing what she learned but wasn't stifled by her yet growing abilities to write. It was wonderful! I love it when we "think outside the box" when it comes to educating our kids!

Beth said...

I'm sorry to be leaving another comment but I have a question for one of you. My sophomore daughter attended a public school last year and just loved her "child development" class. She took two semesters and excelled in it. I would like to continue in giving her credit this year, mostly next semester but I'm not quite sure how to do it. She has so much "hands on" work with her baby niece and she does lots of research on her own. (She wants to be a midwife so she reads and researches a LOT!)
Do you have any ideas how I could continue with that for her? I thought about buying her a Child Development book...College level...for her. What do you think? I also thought I could have her do projects and research papers...I just don't know as this is my first time having a high schooler be home schooled.
Any help you could offer...advice...would be extremely appreciated!
I have already ordered her a medical terminology book for next year for her to start learning from. I'm not sure where that will fit in with her "diploma" and credits but I'll figure it out somehow!

Becky K. said...

Oh Beth, That is so exciting. See you know her passion! You can help her go so far way before she even graduates from high school.

For now, what you are thinking sounds great and Chelsea is doing some childcare for a large local Ladies Bible Study once a week. This is a paid position and is more than just daycare. There are teachers and music as well as playtime and snacks. Maybe your daughter could look for a situations such as this to gain practical experience and items for her portfolio.

I also would recommend finding biographies of Christians who have specialized in child development. I am not sure how you would go about finding them but here are so many resources out there.

Our Jonathan enjoyed a birth order book that we maybe looking through Christian Psychology books could offer some help.

Beth said...

Thank you Becky, for your answer! I forgot to add that my Jennie girl wants to work in Africa as a midwife and help mommies and their young children. I talked to my husband a little while ago and the office building that he works in also has a childcare acredidation group and she might be able to start classes right now online to get some of her college classes underway! That's exciting!!
I really appreciate your suggestions, especially in finding CHRISTIAN child specialists. I am finding, as I search the internet, that there are a LOT of philosophies that I don't want in her life!!
Thanks so much!

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

What an encouraging post. Homeschooling has been a blessing to our family, and I see it has been to yours too. I'm sure he'll complete this book, and write more after that.

Kelly said...

Way to go, Jonathan! Books are wonderful. They can take you places you may never get to go in life and allow you to experience adventure and many other things through the characters. I love reading too. I used to love to write as well and had a dream of being a published author one day, and one day, I still might.

I think it's totally awesome how much ability and confidence Jonathan has gained in using this software. Isn't it wonderful to see our children excel?