Educational Concerns

Dyslexia–What Is It?

Dyslexia–What Is It?

If your child is struggling with reading, you have probably wondered if he or she has dyslexia. Like many others, you might be thinking of dyslexia as “seeing things backwards.” That is a common misperception. In reality, dyslexia may have less to do with how you see letters than with how you hear sounds. The word dyslexia simply means limited reading ability. This can have several cau ...[Read More]

Tools: Use Number Charts to Teach Early Number Awareness

Tools:  Use Number Charts to Teach Early Number Awareness

Your child has learned to count to ten, and is able to count up to five objects with one-to-one correspondence. If that is the case, a good foundation has been laid. But how about associating each of the numbers with its visual image? Number awareness involves three distinct elements. The child must be able to name numbers in sequence, count objects, and recognize the written numbers and the quant ...[Read More]

Tools: Help Your Young Child Develop Number Sense

Tools: Help Your Young Child Develop Number Sense

Number sense involves more than just counting. It requires understanding quantities and comparison concepts like more/less, larger/smaller. Your child only gradually acquires these skills through the preschool years. (See my article, Is Math and Number Sense a Language Skill?) But you can start very early to lay a foundation for your child developing number sense. Lay a Foundation for Number Sense ...[Read More]

Are Math and Number Sense Language Skills?

Are Math and Number Sense Language Skills?

Is your child struggling with math tasks in the early grades? It could be an effect of language-processing difficulties. I currently see several third grade students in a language group. They all have language-processing difficulties of one kind or another, and all have very significant word retrieval difficulties. When I asked each of them individually what they found the hardest in school, they ...[Read More]

Impacts of Word Retrieval Difficulties

Impacts of Word Retrieval Difficulties

Is your child having trouble using words effectively or remembering numbers, letters or math facts? It could be that significant word retrieval difficulties are impacting your child’s learning as well as communication. Word retrieval difficulties are common and occur at all degrees of severity. They include the normal “tip of the tongue” experience we all have occasionally. But they can also be se ...[Read More]

Failing Kindergarten?

Failing Kindergarten?

New requirements are pushing academics into preschool and Kindergarten. Are we expecting too much of our young children? We have all heard of four-year-olds learning to read, but does that mean that most children that age could do the same? There are programs that claim to be able to accomplish just that, but is it really the right thing for the children? Some years ago, my daughter conducted a da ...[Read More]

Preschool Graduation–A Troubling Announcement

Preschool Graduation–A Troubling Announcement

The preschool graduation was a longstanding tradition at our school. I had attended all but two for the past 12 years, and I wasn’t about to miss this one. As in previous years, the school auditorium was filled to capacity. Everyone watched, listened and clapped, as the children did the Chicken Dance and sang their hearts out to their parents, grandparents and siblings. One by one, these fou ...[Read More]

Tools: Alphabet Chart for Learning Letter Names

Tools: Alphabet Chart for Learning Letter Names

Most of us can rattle off the alphabet without having to think. This is a useful skill we rely on to look up a word in a dictionary or a name in a phonebook. Someone created the alphabet song to help us teach it to our children. But naming the letters in order does not automatically teach the child which letter name goes with which visual image. Naming individual letters is a skill that requires m ...[Read More]

Structured vs. Random Practice—Are Flashcards the Right Strategy?

Structured vs. Random Practice—Are Flashcards the Right Strategy?

Is your child having difficulty learning letter names, numbers, or sight words? The teacher is likely to send home a packet of flashcards for practice. But is this an effective strategy for your child? It is true that the fluent reader will automatically call up common words from memory. There is no need to stop and think about them or sound them out. The same goes for such things as letter names ...[Read More]

What Are Word Retrieval Difficulties?

What Are Word Retrieval Difficulties?

Surely, you have sometimes had a word seemingly right at the tip of your tongue without being able to get it out. You might be on the phone and trying to relay information quickly. Perhaps you are in a stressful situation such as a job interview, or you are simply tired or upset. That name you know so well or that perfect word for what you are trying to say just slips away.You know that word is in ...[Read More]