Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Teaching a Wiggly Ten Year Old Dyslexic Boy

Blissfully Domestic 1

My son has always been a mover and a shaker.  I first felt him move in utero at 16 weeks – a full 4 weeks earlier than I had felt his sister, and about 2 weeks earlier than expected.  And, I don’t think he’s stopped since then.  He’s also dyslexic which means that his brain doesn’t process language normally.  He has trouble with reading and spelling, in particular.

I’m always looking for strategies to help my wiggly boy with his more “schooly” activities.  For the most part, I try to adapt to his best learning style, which is auditory.  I also try to let him move around when possible and talk to himself out loud when he needs to (often requiring that he be in a room separate from his sister who works best in silence or music).  Spelling is one of the hardest subjects for him.  Not only does he have trouble with the subject itself, but it’s a lesson that has to go at my (the teacher’s) pace, not his.  We use All About Spelling, so he does get to use the magnet board and tiles, but it’s still a challenge.

I read a short article about schools using stability balls instead of chairs for students in classrooms.  The claim was that the students were able let out some of their pent up energy through the ball while they still were able to concentrate on lessons.  In addition, the article claimed that the students showed improvement in posture.

SANY1335 So, I tried it.  I have a stability ball that I use for exercise, so I had Wild Man try it for spelling and Explode the Code.  He absolutely loved it today, but I can’t say yet exactly why it is helping.  He did spend some time today singing while rolling around on the ball, but he also sings while goofing off in the chair.  So, maybe it’s just novelty, but I am optimistic that the stability ball will allow him to keep part of his body moving while working his brain.

I already owned the ball, so there was no cost to trying this out.  I’ll give an update in a week or so and report how he’s doing with regular use of the ball instead of a regular chair.

Check out I Am Blissfully Domestic for more great ideas!!  Also, don’t forget to read my book review and leave a comment to get signed up for a book giveaway.

P.S. Yeah, I know I usually post something to do with food on Tuesdays, but I have a headache and we’ve been seriously overwhelmed with Science Fair projects and not doing much exciting with food, so I don’t have any new recipes to share right now.  And I don’t know if that duck is going to get cooked this week.

1 comment:

ohwow said...

This is a great idea. I used a stability ball as a chair when I was pregnant and teaching (not that I sat down all that much). I found it very calming which you wouldn't expect because you are always moving slightly while you are on them.