Blog: School Struggles, Learning Disabilities & Other Kid Stuff

  • Friday, December 13, 2013

    The Mom:

    (Coming in to the office for the first time sounding very frantic.)

    “Maybe I am overstressed, but I am starting to lose it. I have three kids.  The first two were on what you called the ‘smooth’ road.’  They started out in kindergarten fine, learned their sight words and then everything started to come together.  They never had any problems.”

  • Thursday, December 5, 2013

    Here’s a little interaction using an approach to writing that I call the “Prompt and Write approach” to teaching writing:

    Writing Prompt:

     “What is something you really wanted,  but an adult would not let you have?”


  • Friday, November 15, 2013

    An article in “Science Daily” caught my eye recently adding to my ever growing “G.I.”  (Grumpiness Index).  The headline said, “Vocabulary Instruction Failing U.S. Students, Experts Say.”

    As noted:

    Vocabulary instruction in the early years is not challenging enough to prepare students for long-term reading comprehension, argues a study led by a Michigan State University education researcher.

  • Thursday, November 7, 2013

    The stress over dyslexia (reading disability) goes on. 

    Two recent examples seen recently exemplify the issues.

    As part of a larger assessment, seventh grader, Justin, read this little piece of text to me, “The orchestra leader tried to organize the musicians.”  Instead, Justin read, “The ostrich leader tried to organize the musicians.”

  • Friday, October 11, 2013

    Story I

    So, second grader, Nicole,  was writing  some things to her mom in class. She started a poem to her mother, “Rosis ar red vilits ar blae, but nan is as swet as you.” 

    She went on to tell her mom that she was having “fune at skal I mise you.”

    Certainly, Nicole would score high sweetness points, but the writing  suggested some “red flag” indicators of concern. 

    Here’s what the teacher said:

  • Friday, September 20, 2013

    I hear stories quite often from parents regarding frustration over a child not receiving what he or she needs because of the child’s IQ.  

  • Wednesday, September 4, 2013

    It’s that time again. That little knot in your stomach is forming with the start of the new school year and you are reading various articles on the top tips for your kid having a great year.

    Here’s my number one tip - resolve to stay calm.

  • Friday, August 9, 2013

    As we go into the school year and that pit in your stomach starts to form there are certain areas of chronic concern, such as homework completion that increase the sense of queasiness.  Usually the difficulty with homework is accompanied by the ongoing sense of disorganization that is typical of a significant number of  boys in the upper elementary to middle school grades.

  • Friday, August 2, 2013

    About 10 or so years ago the big buzz in the field of reading and education was No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and its spin-off, “Reading First.” Tied into these was the landmark study of reading called, The Report of the National Reading Panel.  One of the concepts to come out of the big buzz was the notion that education programs needed to be “Evidenced-Based” or “Research-Based.” Without having such stamps of approval, the product or program was not deemed to be appropriate and would not sell.

  • Friday, July 26, 2013

    Out there in school struggling land there are some common themes that I find myself saying over and over to parents to help them understand their kids better.  Here are a few:

    Smooth Road and Rough Road Kids:

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