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Fifteen-year-old improves in reading comprehension, spelling, math, logic skills

Fifteen-year-old improves in reading comprehension, spelling, math, logic skills

One advantage of Edublox is that it can be used for any age group. The cause of an adult’s, teenager’s or child’s reading or learning problem is exactly the same, namely that the skills foundational to reading and learning have not been automatized. Regardless of the age of the person, the exercising of these skills remains the solution.
Mrs. Little in Washington State wrote about her 15-year-old daughter:

My husband and I have always been very concerned about education. We provided our children with a loving, secure, and stimulating environment. All of our children have been homeschooled and both of our eldest children are in college on large scholarships.

Our third child, a girl, seemed bright and normal as a baby and toddler. I always thought of her as a late talker and I remember being concerned about this at the age of three, but as I look back over her baby book, she had a wide vocabulary by 20 months. So, I don’t know which is more accurate, my memory or my records.

I used the same method with her to teach her to read as I did her brothers, but it didn’t work. I tried other methods and they didn’t work either. Each year I would try something new.

At about eight we took her in to have her eyes examined. The doctor said she was still far-sighted and that would make it hard for her to learn to read. He suggested that we not worry about the reading until her eyes balanced out.

I was of the opinion that kids bloom at different times so I wasn’t too concerned. I knew that, according to one homeschooling leader, most children learn to read by the time they are eleven.

When she turned eleven she began to read a little. After she had been reading for about six months I took her to a school for dyslexics and had her tested. She was given a sixth grade test even though I had told them she was only reading at a second grade level. The test was totally above her reading level so obviously she could not complete the test and was diagnosed with dyslexia. The evaluation had little benefit to us, but cost a fortune.

I read everything I could find to try to come up with something that would help my daughter. With my Occupational Therapy training I was surprised that I couldn’t find a way to help her. I had tried vestibular stimulation, gross motor exercises, activities to encourage crossing the midline, etc.

I was also a big proponent of teaching to the learning style of your child. And although this method worked well in giving her a great knowledge of some subjects, such as history, it didn’t work when I applied the principles to teaching her to read. (I felt this had helped her older brother when he didn’t catch on to reading at first but it didn’t help her.)

When she was about twelve, I happened across a book called The Learning Revolution. In it were many ideas for teaching reading, and I chose to try the audio-tape method in which the child chooses a story she likes and then she listens to the same section over and over on tape while reading along with it. The child does this for many days or weeks until she could read the section fluently on her own. The repetition worked! Her reading continued to improve until she was reading at about a sixth grade level, but her other subjects did not show noticeable improvement.

Over the years, I have done a lot of reading to try to discern how best to help her. If the various labels can be of help, it seems that Marie also has other challenges that have affected her ability to learn. She seems to be a “highly sensitive person” and is allergic to many things, but these seem to be decreasing as she heals emotionally. She also seems to be a global learner and uses the intelligence (as described by Gardner) of interpersonal relationships. (This makes teaching math hard. But I used it to my advantage in teaching her to read.) She also falls into the category of VKA (Verbal-Kinesthetic-Auditory) as described by Dawna Markova, which is the smallest group of learners. All these are strikes against her and place her in the minority in many ways. Therefore normal methods of teaching do not seem to work as well for her.

Marie started the Edublox program when she was fifteen. At this point she was a pretty good reader, maybe reading at an eighth grade level, although I am sure her comprehension wasn’t that good. She had a wide vocabulary and she was excellent at composing stories, letters, and reports, but she did not have the spelling skills to write out her own work. Her biggest problems were in spelling and math. On a test preceding our work with Edublox, she tested at second-grade seventh-month for both spelling and math computation.

On Sept. 12, we began the Edublox program using a customized plan. Even on the very first day, Marie noticed an improvement. She said she felt like her brain was being put in order. We were faithful to the program five days per week, even though sometimes it took us an hour and a half or more to complete the exercises because she would tire easily and need many breaks. She was not used to concentrating for long periods of time.

We made adjustments to the program as our advisor recommended them. After three months on the program we took a month off for Christmas break with only a few sessions per week. Prior to our full return to the program in January I once again used the computerized testing program to assess her progress. She had gone up three full grade levels in math computation and one full grade level in spelling! I am thrilled with the results! In addition to the Edublox program we have spent about an hour on math each day using the Math-U-See program and feel that has helped alot, but we have done nothing special for spelling.

Using Edublox has not been hard. In fact Marie and I both enjoy it, but it does take consistency. She is able to sit and do a normal day of schoolwork now. She is able to attend her youth group and participate in the conversation because she understands it now. She can debate with friends because she has developed her logic skills. She even read her first novel, Pride and Prejudice, the other day!

So a lot of progress has been made so far, but we have just begun our journey. I can’t wait to see how much progress she has made when school starts next year.

Mrs. Little
Washington State

Edublox Online Tutor offers multisensory cognitive training that enables learners to overcome learning obstacles and reach their full potential. Over the last 30+ years, the company behind the Online Tutor e-learning platform, Edublox, has helped thousands of children to read, learn and achieve through home kits and learning clinics internationally. Our programs are founded on pedagogical research and more than three decades of experience demonstrating that weak underlying cognitive skills account for the majority of learning difficulties. Specific cognitive exercises can strengthen these weaknesses leading to increased performance in reading, spelling, writing, math and learning.

Edublox Online Tutor February 1, 2008