Tuesday, July 26, 2011

working with an exhausted teen

Monday, the teen that always comes in with an excuse why he is too tired to tutor long was really exhausted.  He had been camping all weekend and looked tired.  I had him lie down and follow the ball with his eyes.  He did not do this well. He usually does this well. On Monday, he was just too tired.  Instead of making things a battle, I chose to do what he had the energy to do.  He also was too tired to stand on the balance board.  He would have been glad to go home and go back to sleep.  I had him play skipbo with me as he needs to remember the order of playing to win.  He also won.  We also read in the book for My side of the Mountain.  I chose activities that took as little physical energy as possible and still had him think. 
This paid off today as he was able to do the regular tutoring and read well for me.  I have some new cards to play word bingo with him. I find these to be very boring for me but they are part of the process for him to develop confidence in his ability to read. He seems to like them. It is fun to say I do not like something so the complaining is on the other side of the tutoring table.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A toddler on the balance board

Dyslexia often runs in families. For this reason, I am encouraging my grandson to stand on the balance board. All the encouragement he needs is access to the board.  At first when he wanted to play on it, I offered my hand for him to hold. Of course, he also needs older children or adults to leave him alone.  Yes, he is too young.  He turned a year old around thanksgiving, so he is 19 to 20 months old now. He likes to play on the balance board. He walks up one side and down the other. For him it is just a toy.  This week, he was balancing on it correctly.  I just stood off to the side and watched him. It was hard not to go see what else he could do on it. We just leave him alone and let him play with it.  We hope he can develop the learning and balancing skills he needs to learn without the learning challenges that run in our family.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The importance of names

Two friends came out to talk about one of them getting her GED. We worked on her math.  She thinks her sister is smarter than she is.  We played frakle.  I told the sister working on her GED that her name was going to be either smart or brilliant.  My name was wonderful and the other sister was going to be loser.  The one I named loser plays on the computer and wins a lot.  As loser she lost.  I was teaching them the importance of what they call themselves. Often when someone has struggled in school they down themselves when they are really smart but just have not had the opportunity to learn easily.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My neck hurts

Today the 15 year old came in and starting telling me his neck was hurting.  This signals me that he is not planning on staying long.  I let him talk for just a minute and then guided him to tutoring.  Since his neck was hurting, I had him lie on a pad and work on his eyes tracking.  I have him follow the ball hanging from the ceiling with his eyes in several different directions.  Then we did the balance board using the scarves.  I constantly say good, look at how well you are balancing.  If he is having a struggle with the balance, I slow down or wait until the board is balanced again.  The entire time I am using encouraging words.  Then I had him work on the balance board while throwing the ball at the number board.  He had good balance and did well staying on task.  Then we read page 226 in the rocket phonics book.  When he hesitated at a word I gave him the vowel sound.  Most of the time he read the word correctly to which I encouraged with the words "good reading".
Next we played word go fish.  When I say no I do not have it he often thinks he has pronounced the word incorrectly.  He is so accustomed to saying the word wrong. I make sentences with the word as I call out the one I want.
We read the second section of My Side of the Mountain.  I compare the things the boy does in the book with the things the 15 year old does in boy scouts. We should start on page 20 tomorrow.  We tutored the entire hour.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

working a child back into tutoring

Today, the 15 year old came back to tutoring.  He went to camp and then we had the 4th of July.  Now how can tutoring be as exciting as firework?.  I knew he would be tired and have to get back into the swing of tutoring.  He was late and did not intend to stay long.  I did not have anyone the next hour so we worked our full hour.  I gently encouraged him. His dad did a great job when he told him he was not swimming if he did not tutor. Go dad.  We started a new book, My Side of the Mountain. When I started reading he followed the words at first.  This is exciting progress.  We mostly reviewed and returned to the structure of tutoring.  I was pleased with the retention he had.  Looking forward to tomorrow.