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  1. #11

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    If this were my friend....has this been happening all along? That is, it takes him a little longer to learn things than the other kids?

    Overall, I would suggest an evaluation to see if there is some kind of learning issue going on. Maybe he does have deficits with long or short term memory. If that is the case, when he is in the real work world, he will find ways around it, like using his phone to look up information that he needs to do his job. It should be the same in school. If there is a documented issue, he can get a 504 plan to help deal with it.

    I suggest having the parent read the book "A Mind at a Time." It is not going to diagnose, but it will say how relieved the kids were that they knew that they didn't just need to try harder when they were already trying their hardest.

    Some books on executive function may also be good, again, not specific, but helping to be organized so that he can make the most of the time studying and such to be the most effective.

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  3. #12
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    I'm sort of a mix between auditory and visual and do well with silly little rhymes like "Lefty loosey, righty tighty" and "I is for input, O is for output" so I don't accidentally wipe my whole hard drive instead of creating a bootable USB stick.

    Hyperbole helps too, especially if it's silly. "Every time you pluralize with an apostrophe, God kills a kitten" works better for me and ds9 than "don't pluralize with an apostrophe" or even "Every time you pluralize with an apostrophe, someone thinks I'm a bad teacher, homeschooling should be illegal, and you aren't very smart".

    If it's just for a test, then it's fine to leave it at "In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue" level imnsho, but of course you want a deeper understanding to retain anything that has real life value.

    Also, just a heads up, but a friend who has been tutoring low income kids for many years says that some of these tests have "dog whistles" and "secret handshakes" in them that have nothing to do with real education, for example, in this year's test "friendship" is not an acceptable theme for fourth grade. It was in last year's test. That's how they sort out the poor kids who couldn't afford this year's test prep booklet and used last year's instead so that they can ridicule and shame them and make them believe that it is their own faults that they didn't tug harder on their bootstraps.

    You don't really want your cleaning lady or the guy who delivers your pizza to know you're underpaying them, yanno?

    /unrepentant anticapitalista

  4. #13

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    Overall, things that she can do to help....get the books, relate things back to what they know. Family history for history, maybe a movie they watched, ("remember that scene with the rebels?") if it is literature, look up the authors on Wikipedia and see when and where they lived. See if she can find Cliff Notes for novels. Discuss the books, what they mean individually, what they might have done instead if they were the character...

  5. #14

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    I'm just going to say that I definitely believe there is something to the types of learners. My ODD can read and retain pretty much everything- dates, people, specifics. DD2 is not capable of that. If she wants to remember something, she needs a gimmick- she learns most from visuals and hands-on. She is much more likely to remember if she draws a picture, labels parts of something (as opposed to answering questions), poems or rhymes, watching a video, or doing a physical activity that lets her see it. This applies in all subjects and was a source of frustration. In math, we make up colorful notes and flow charts, I have every upper-level manipulative you can think of- and she uses them- and eventually it will click. In history and science, we make interactive notebooks. For some reason English is easy for her- except for spelling. I did make flow charts for adding endings to words, but after 3 years I have concluded that there are too many rules, exceptions to those rules, and she will not pay enough careful attention to care. In part, I think ADD tendencies cause part of this. She also has a slight auditory processing issue that makes listening to instructions very hard to follow- particularly when people talk in several steps at a time. SHe can follow words, flow charts, visual ques much better.

    I would recommend your friend try some different things to see how her son does remember. Ask him what helps him to remember. Try some different visuals- for history or something with dates, make a colorful timeline with pictures of the people- name, date- just the very few facts he may need to remember. For science, have her try making some labeling activities or something visual. Even color-coding notes helps! Repetition may help- a list of people, dates, events- and he reviews them so many times per day until he knows them.

    Other thoughts- the classroom may be distracting, other kids may be making noises that distract him, the teaher may not do a good job holding his attention, they may just be using a smart-board instead of a book- I think this is bad b/c it's hard for all kids to follow along, some do better with their own book to follow with, the content may just be ultra-boring, he may be lost on a previously learned skill that is making it harder to build on, he may not be understanding exactly what the teacher is asking him to do, comprehending the questions correctly, he may just be speeding along and not reading it entirely. It may be the timing of the day- some kids focus better at certain times of the day, or he may be needing a physical break from a previous lesson- say he's done math for an hour, and is now being asked to pay attention to spelling- maybe that's too long for him to focus without a physical break.

    My first thought would be to talk to the teacher, ask if she thinks he needs any testing done. Figure out the schedule and what classes are the hardest, look at the material used and how ti's being taught. THat would tell you a lot right there.
    Mom to 5 great kids~

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    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyGooseLady View Post
    I suggest having the parent read the book "A Mind at a Time." It is not going to diagnose, but it will say how relieved the kids were that they knew that they didn't just need to try harder when they were already trying their hardest.
    Funny! I let her borrow that one!! (great minds and all)


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    Quote Originally Posted by Free Thinker View Post
    he may be lost on a previously learned skill that is making it harder to build on, he may not be understanding exactly what the teacher is asking him to do, comprehending the questions correctly, he may just be speeding along and not reading it entirely.
    this got me thinking about my own experience. I remember so well feeling completely lost if there was any kind of "gap" in my instruction. Like, for instance, if I missed a single day's instruction in Algebra, it might take me 3 weeks to really catch up because in Algebra it seemed like every thing you learned built on the thing you learned just before it, and so on. So frustrating!!


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