Hi all, Flexi-Schooling is going amazingly well and we are seeing massive improvements in my daughter. She can now read a book (so far 3 TO THE END - something I NEVER thought would happen a few months ago!), spell 100 out of the 300 most used words, knows her 3&4 times tables fluently, has improved her handwriting no end and has bundles more confidence & a joy for learning which had been rapidly disappearing before I started all this. BUT......
Sequencing - this has always been a problem! Days of the week, Time, Times tables, and MONTHS OF THE YEAR. My daughter had just about mastered days of the week, and is getting much better at time & timestables (helped massively by numicon - but that is something for another Blog!), but Months? At 9 years old, she still didn't have a clue.
This bothered me, after all - how could the seasons be truly appreciated and understood, without a sense of how the month names fitted with them? So I tackled the situation. It was a bit of a trial - but amazingly, after struggling for years, it only took about an hour to rectify!
1) I set out the 1-12 numicon shapes (but you could just have bits of paper labelled 1-12) on the table.
2) I then got my daughter to write all the names of the months that she could remember, in whatever order. We then added any she had missed.
3) Then I asked my daughter to stick the months on the correct numicon shape, e.g January on 1, March on 3 etc, if she looked like she was going to go wrong, I put her right.
4) We then talked through the months, using any 'memory tricks' that we could think of, e.g 'Your birthday is in November, the 2nd to last month,' 'Christmas is in December, the last month', 'August is great, it's in the middle, & it's your Summer hols!' We also separated the months into seasons,
Winter - Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb and discussed that it gets cold in November (when our birthday's are) and then we have Christmas. Then the New Year starts & often it's even colder & sometimes even snows! Then in February it is still cold for St Valentines Day.
Spring - Mar/Apr/May - it gets warmer in March, the mad March hare hops out & all the flowers start to spring up! In April we have April showers, but it doesn't last long because May is always lovely & a special month as it's our Anniversary.
Summer - June/July August - June is the beginning of the Summer Term and in July we are really in Summer for your cousin's birthday, August is the BEST month as it's when the school holidays occur!
Autumn - Sep/Oct - We go back to start a New School Year in September, with brand new uniform, shoes & a new teacher! Shortly after is October, and Halloween & Trick or Treat!
5) After talking about all this for some time, including vivid descriptions including colours, feelings, likes/dislikes, images etc, I removed the stickers with the months on & stuck them on the edge of the table in a random fashion.
6) I then asked my daughter to stick them back on again, in order.
7) She did this a few times, and then I packed everything away & asked her to recite the months in order 3 x.
8) She could do it! And ever since she has been able to not only know the months in order, but also whether it is the 6th, 8th or 12th month! Last night, she worked out how many months it had been since she had had her ears pierced to see whether she could now leave them out without the holes closing! Independant thought! I never thought I would see the day when she didn't ask me these things.....
If your child is struggling with sequencing months - try this method. It only takes an hour - and it works! (I have now tried it on other dyslexic children too, with the same results).
As an aside - I have finally had the Auditory Processing test done & it is true - my daughter cannot hear a 2nd instruction as her brain is too busy processing the first! Equally, she gets very easily distracted as her brain hones in on periphery noise (birds tweating, people whispering, horns beeping in the distance) rather than a person talking directly to her! So if your child consistently gets comments like 'lacks concentration,', 'needs to listen carefully to instructions,' 'needs to stop putting their hand up,' etc etc on their reports, BUT you know they are not a naughty child - get them tested! They get more time for exams if they have this issue - so it's worth it.
Ah well - onwards & upwards! There is still a lot to do, but we are getting there. Please let me know if you use my 'Months Method' & any results you have - I would be most interested to hear your experiences :)