Self-esteem: Who Gets the Most Attention?

two-children-homeworkDear Dr. Linda,
My sister has two wonderful kids. Cole is 12 and Samantha is 9. From the day Cole was born, it was “Cole did this” and “Cole did that.” Even after Samantha was born, it was all about Cole.

Once they started school, it got worse. Cole does very well, but Samantha is an average student. He receives one award after another, is in advanced classes, on the honor roll, etc. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great kid, and I love him, but I feel for Samantha.

As my sister talks and talks about Cole, Sammy just sits and listens. I mentioned this once to my sister, and she replied. “I pay just as much attention to Samantha. She’s good at art and I always put her art work up. I can’t help it if Cole is so smart.” Isn’t this going to affect Sammy’s self-esteem? Aunt Lisa
Dear Lisa,
What you’re describing happens in many homes. Parents, usually without [Read more…]

Having Fun with Learning Phonics

Learning phonics from a book can prove to be both difficult and overwhelming to a non-reader of any age, especially one with dyslexia or other learning challenges. Having fun with learning phonics is a great way to reduce the stress and have fun in the process.

Learning Phonics with Games that Keep Building on the Basics

Learning phonics is more than the 26 letters of the alphabet. Within our complex language, there are vowel blends, vowel digraphs, vowel-consonant blends, special rules that change the normal sounds of the familiar sounds of the alphabet and so much more.

[Read more…]

Strategies for Dysgraphia:

Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 1.57.01 PMTips to Turning a Struggling Writer into a Happy Writer

A struggling writer doesn’t necessarily mean that they are unable to write, but it can mean that with the right assistance they can become a happy writer. And not all struggling writers think like a dysgraphic mind will have you thinking. But struggling is no fun either way. So here are some strategies for dysgraphia or anyone who just doesn’t enjoy writing.

No matter where you begin, fun should be the main objective. The idea is to turn the assignment into a game by sparking the imagination. Some children will need more than a spark to get the writing juices going, but the important aspect is giving as many aids until it clicks.

Here are a few strategies for dysgraphia to help you in providing the sparks that will turn that struggling writer into a happy writer. [Read more…]

Home School Curriculum: Reading can be fun!

There are so many Home School Curriculum Reading Programs, but most don’t address the issue of fun. Some kids just don’t like to read and trying to make them read just makes it worse.

reading-for-homeschoolingThe worst part is. . . that’s why you homeschooled in the first place. You wanted to provide a relevant, superior and “fun” experience for your kids. But reading book after book, writing report after report just isn’t that.

One of the ways we really work with our students (including those learning to operate with dyslexia) is by injecting fun in the lessons. For instance, as you may have read earlier, some of our students play darts and games like it to improve their math skills. That might seem odd, but have you ever seen someone frowning while playing darts? [Read more…]

Getting a math tutor for your child

homework-tips-sign-upOne of the reasons people consider getting a math tutor is  because their child needs individualized help. As a tutoring company, we recognize that more than anyone and do our best to fit the right math tutor with student. In fact, if the relationship isn’t gelling or the styles of learning don’t mesh – we get you working with another right away.

Does it have to be perfect the first time? Definitely not. And why would it? Just like neighbors, co-workers and friends there are some people we just totally connect with right away. So make sure when you’re getting a math tutor for your child you get comfortable with the company because your child may want to meet one or two tutors to make a perfect match.  [Read more…]

Our new dyslexia games and activities

We are so excited to tell you we’ve completed our dyslexia games and activities e-store. We’ve been working on it for months and months and finally have it open.

If you’re looking for fun ways to stimulate your brain in a way your brain can understand, we’ve got what you’re looking for. Dyslexia isn’t a disease, it’s a word. It’s a word that describes the way your brain processes information. That’s all.

[Read more…]

Improve SAT Scores

raise-sat-scoreThere’s one sure-fire way to improve SAT scores. Go to an expert SAT prep tutor that will teach you proven techniques on how to answer the different types of questions and help you in areas in which you need to improve. It doesn’t get much more basic and real than that.

An expert SAT prep tutor will also help you become comfortable with the format of the various test sections. As we do, they will show you how to approach answering the questions on the critical reading section, review and practice different types of math questions, and show you how to write a great essay. Even small advances here will improve SAT scores.

When considering different SAT prep tutors, think about whether you want to be tutored privately or if you want to be part of a group. If you work one-to-one you it may not be any more costly than in a group because you probably will not need as many sessions since each session will be specifically designed around your needs.

However, if you would rather be part of a group SAT program, try to find a small group setting and be sure that the group matches your ability. This way all the students in the group are similar in ability to you and you won’t have to worry that the class will move too fast or too slow.

Also, to improve your test scores, take at least one official practice test, under timed conditions. This helps you learn how to pace yourself. But don’t let this rattle your nerves. Most students do not do that well on these tests because they don’t know how to answer the questions and they run out of time.

Don’t Panic! If you are working with an expert SAT tutor, you’ll be taught the strategies and concepts to help you raise your score when you take the real SAT.

Finally, stay calm. Think about it. If you don’t get the score you want, you have options. You can retake the test at another date. Even though this is not your first choice, remember that when you retake the test, you will be more aware of how to answer the questions.

And remember, colleges don’t only look at SAT scores when they are selecting their freshman class. They consider the whole child and see if it’s a good match for their school. And that’s also your goal, to find a good match for you.

Overcoming Adult Dyscalculia

Hoping to become a psychologist, a 28 year old friend of ours asked for our advice in overcoming adult dyscalculia. Her worry was the math section of the GRE exam sheadult-dyscalculia would have to pass to get into a good graduate school. Her worry certainly isn’t unwarranted, but there are ways to get around adult dyscalculia.

Fortunately, there are many paths to take to reach the goal of graduate school (or anything else for that matter). Here are a few suggestions:

  • Taking the GRE math course isn’t going to be easy, but first give it a try by taking a prep course or hire a qualified math tutor who can teach strategies and sufficient math skills in order to pass. However, that certainly won’t guarantee a good score on the exam.
  • Before going through all the anguish and expense of a course or private tutoring, contact the colleges of interest and explain the situation. They help solve problems like this, and likely will be interested in helping overcome adult dyscalculia as well. When calling, speak to an admissions counselor, or the chair of the Psychology Department or the dean of the graduate school in psychology.
  • Whether it’s psychology or a managerial position at work, what have you got to lose? On the flip side, think of what you have to gain by initiating an open discussion with folks? (Not every one understands how quirky the brain can be about learning certain things, so use discretion if awareness of the issue would negatively impact the situation long term. There are yet other options, first.)Before taking the GRE or even preparing for it, research graduate schools and their requirements. Some universities may not require the GRE. Research thoroughly because they have many other requirements that are similar. Many wonderful opportunities are out there, so keep researching.

Finally, remember that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. It’s important in life to find your own strengths and go with them. Don’t ruin your life with sadness or pity by dwelling on the weakness. If there is no way around math think of other options.

What’s often hard for people to budge from is the vision they’ve created for themselves at a certain school or in a certain job. But the fact is there are always ways to be doing what you love with a different title or address. Sometimes the process of overcoming adult dyscalculia means those of us who have it must dig a bit deeper to find the gold.

As an example, licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) can have very similar careers as psychologists including private practice work as psychotherapists. Often the requirements are less stringent for this degree. Many other helping careers may not require math. Make an appointment with a career counselor privately or at a nearby college to explore your options. There’s more than one path to take to find the right career.

Henry Winkler is Honored with OBE

Henry Winkler, most famously known as “the Fonz” from Happy Days was awarded an honorary OBE from the Queen of England for his work raising awareness of dyslexia in the U.K. British ambassador Nigel Sheinwald presented the OBE during a ceremony at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. [Read more…]

Adult Learning Disability

adult-learning-disorderIs it possible you have an adult learning disability? The answer is a resounding yes for sure. And in most cases the adult has known it since they were a child and have learned how to adapt to overcome it. But for many the frustration it causes is just. . . well. . .downright frustrating. Fortunately, that can go away. [Read more…]