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Reading at Grade Level After 5 Months

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When she tried to teach her son to read, Janey Nieboer discovered that Alex would frequently reverse his letters and numbers. Alex made significant gains after five months of Edublox tutoring, and is now reading at grade level. Reading at grade level means you can read at the same level as an average person in your grade. Janey, homeschooling mom and former qualified teacher, shares their journey.

As a mother, it is difficult to watch your child become so frustrated with school and then become so very angry when he just can’t seem to perform well, even though you know he is a bright youngster. However, after just a few short months following the Edublox program, we have a young man that has made great gains!

Ambidextrous after an accident

Let me start at the beginning by giving you a picture of Alex. Alex is all boy! Alex fell and broke his left arm when he was around three years old. Before then, I was sure he would be left-handed, but with his arm in a cast, he quickly learned how to eat with his right hand.

Even now, at eleven, he interchanges his hands depending on the tasks, although he writes with his right hand. Initially, Alex seemed confused as to whether or not he was right-handed. However, he is more set in his handedness than before after Edublox.

Alex reverses letters and numbers

Even before he started school, I knew that Alex had above-average intelligence. However, when I tried to teach him to read, I discovered that he would frequently reverse his letters and numbers. He showed confusion and often frustration when he couldn’t get it right and often wanted to quit and go play.

He had difficulties with some sounds too. Having been dyslexic, I knew we would experience some frustration until the learning process would one day click for him. Still, I hoped that he would outgrow this reading difficulty very quickly.

Phonic programs, glasses, and reading camps fail to help

I home-school Alex, and he learned well with one-on-one attention. I knew how to motivate him to learn. He was a verbal learner and could pick things up easily. However, I knew he would not have survived in a traditional school because of his reading problem. I tried many phonic programs thinking that would help him. However, he was still consistently reversing his letters and numbers, reading extra words, and missing others.

At this point, I had his eyes checked to make sure that he could see properly. He needed glasses, but that didn’t help him see the directions of the letters and numbers correctly. Reading was a chore to him, and he hated having to read. By the third grade, although verbally, his skills were above average, he could not read at a first-grade level. We worked harder, and I sent him to reading camp in the summer of the third grade. Still, not very much progress.

He was also falling behind in his math facts, and I was more than a little concerned.

Researching dyslexia brings hope

In fourth grade, I was seeing very little progress. By the middle of the fourth grade, I started researching dyslexia. I knew I needed help because all I tried to do for Alex was not producing much progress. I knew that I didn’t want to send him to a traditional school for help because I was afraid he would get labeled as slow and would not be challenged intellectually.

As a former certified teacher, I knew that teachers had to deal with too many students to make an accurate individual assessment of their needs and put a proper plan of action in place. Therefore, I started to do research on dyslexia. While doing this research, I ran across Edublox, and hope was given!

Improvement in school work

In mid-April, toward the end of fourth grade, we started Edublox. After reading The Right to Read, I knew I had made the right decision! He experienced quick success in doing the blocks, which encouraged him, especially when he could beat his dad and me in remembering the patterns. He liked marching with the directional chart. Unbelievably, I could already see a difference in his schoolwork after only a couple of weeks. He was calmer, finished his work quicker, and had a greater attention span. He didn’t seem as frustrated.

Before beginning Edublox, we had him tested, and he was reading between the 2nd and 3rd-grade levels. After a month into the program, I was tempted to test him again as I was convinced his reading had improved greatly! I only didn’t because he doesn’t do the testing well, feeling frustrated. He usually reacts by getting up a million times to go to the bathroom! I didn’t want to put him through the testing again so soon. So, we continued with the Edublox until July even though school was out, and then the cares of the summer got in the way.

Restarting the program

School started back in August, but as we were hit with the hurricanes in Florida, Edublox got put away until January. I was tempted not to start it with him again, as I knew he was really different, and I felt that he had improved enough to survive in school. He was reading The Boxcar Children by now on his own, and he liked to read. However, I suspected he was not quite on grade level as he was having difficulties reading The Hardy Boys independently.

I knew that he may now survive in a traditional school, but I also knew that he wouldn’t thrive. I felt we could make more gains, so I decided to start Edublox up again. By January, my husband and my schedule had settled enough so that we could begin Edublox again. We do an hour a day in two 30-minute sections. It works well with my husband doing the first 30 minutes before he goes to work, and then I do the rest sometime during the day.

Able to do school work independently

Alex is taking his achievement tests this week and I know that there will be a great deal of gain. I hope he will be off the charts! He is now able to do much of his school work independently of me, and he can do several days of school work in one day, especially if he knows that he can have the rest of the week off! *grin* (We have had the opportunity to go on short field trips if his work is done first, so he works for long periods of time to get two days of school into one!)

He is now reading The Boxcar Children in one day’s sitting (in just a couple of hours! It is amazing that he will even sit still to read a book in one sitting!) He can almost read The Hardy Boys on his own, having trouble with only a few archaic words. He if far more fluent in his oral reading too!

He actually loves math too and does well “seeing” the math.

A different young man

As I mentioned, Alex is taking his achievement tests this week, which are no big deal to him. He feels good about them. He has finished all of them before the time (except spelling, which we haven’t started yet with the Edublox system). He has had the opportunity to go back and check his work and has felt very pleased with himself. Most importantly, he hasn’t asked to get up a million times to go to the bathroom, either!

He is a different young man now, and I am so thankful for what Edublox has done for him! It is worth it to continue the program for at least a year!

Janey Nieboer
St. Cloud,

Reading at grade level, test scores show

Below are Alex’s achievement test scores, after doing Edublox for 5 months. He is now reading at grade level and doing math at grade level. Alex and his mom are now working on spelling.

Reading at grade level

Edublox offers live online tutoring to students with reading and math learning disabilities. Our students are in the United States, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere. Book a free consultation to discuss your child’s learning needs, followed by an assessment to determine if your child is reading at grade level.