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Calvin and Hobbes, Book Club Kits, Dyslexia Help

By Heather Idoni

Added Monday, March 22, 2010
Vol. 11 No. 17, March 22, 2010, ISSN: 1536-2035
© 2010, Heather Idoni - www.FamilyClassroom.net

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Notes from Heather
-- Calvin and Hobbes Feedback
Helpful Tip
-- Make Your Own "Reading Club"
Winning Website
-- Purpose Games
Reader Question
-- High School & Dyslexia?
Additional Notes
-- Newsletter Archives
-- Sponsorship Information
-- Reprint Information
-- Subscriber Information

Notes from Heather

Feedback from Our Readers on Calvin and Hobbes


"Heather -- I am a mom to a house full of boys.  My eldest son
had difficulty with reading and we were convinced he would never
read.  Tutoring by a very patient Orton-Gillingham instructor
and Calvin and Hobbes books were our ticket to literacy for him.
I discovered that there is a book called Teaching with Calvin and
.  The book was out-of-print but a quick Google search led
me to an author's email.  I emailed her about our story (she is a
special education teacher) and she was able to sell me an author's
copy.  It's lovely for vocabulary and comprehension.  Calvin
definitely has some personality quirks that I don't want imitated
but... he also has some creative qualities that I want my children
to embrace.  I definitely think that Calvin and Hobbes has a place
in the homeschooler's library.  For reluctant readers it can
increase vocabulary and make things interesting enough to guide
the reader to bigger and better things.
Thanks for your articles and inspirations." -- Lee Ann


"Heather -- Did you know that Sonlight curriculum used to (and
maybe still does) recommend Calvin and Hobbes for reluctant readers?
Calvin, while hardly a role model, captures the attention.  Readers
do not even realize the incredible vocabulary they are being exposed
to in this comic strip.  Thanks for your interesting newsletter."
-- Lori

Heather's note:  I didn't know that, Lori!  :-)


Do you have comments to share? Please do!
Send your emails to: mailto:heather@familyclassroom.net


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Helpful Tip

Homemade Book Club Subscription Kits!


One of the members of our Homeschooling Girls email group had
enrolled her young daughter in a book club for girls based on
some pony stories.  She was very pleased with the fun box kits
that arrived with each new book in the series, but not as happy
with the books themselves, due to more mature themes she was
not ready to have her daughter exposed to (ie: boyfriend/girlfriend
stuff).  She got a brilliant idea to replace the club with her own
"kits" to match a book series she was more comfortable with!

She writes...

"I found some really cool things, and wrote out a plan, and
designed stationery and bookmarks for each package.  My husband
took the bookmarks and had them laminated for me, and today the
last item I ordered came!  I was able to stick it in the box,
print out her welcome letter, and present her with the NEW 'book
club'... First I told her we were going to cancel [the other book
club], and her face fell.  Then I handed her the box and told her
it was her NEW club, and her face lit up.

She was thrilled with all the things I got to go with her first
book.  I may have gone a little overboard, but I really wanted
her to be pleased and I did not want her to miss [the other book
club].  She told me she liked this "club" better!  I do not believe
she realizes that I put the package together myself, though it
probably will not take her very long.  I don't mind if she knows,
but I wanted to tell her when I gave her the very last package in
December.  I have the second package all done too, and only have
to print out the letter to stick in the box.  I am really pleased
and excited that she is enjoying her new 'club'."


Do you have an idea, experience, or tip to share? Please write!
Send to: mailto:HN-ideas@familyclassroom.net

Winning Website

Purpose Games -- www.purposegames.com
Fun with a purpose! This site hosts educational quiz and trivia games
created by its members.  Choose from thousands of games, or create
your own.  The games aren't fancy, but they do serve a their purpose
which is to allow students to learn and/or review facts from different
subject areas.

Cindy Prechtel, www.HomeschoolingFromTheHeart.com

Last Issue's Reader Question

"Our 15 year old son has decided that he wants to be homeschooled
along with his 16, 5, and 4 year old brothers.  We are planning on
beginning in the fall, but I am already trying to find out what to
use with him.  He is dyslexic and has problems with processing the
information as he is reading it.  Do any of you know of a curriculum
that is aimed at teens with dyslexia?  Thank you for any tips you
can give me." -- Lacey

Our Readers' Responses

"Dear Lacey -- I watched a movie just last night that was awesome,
and I believe it was based on a true story.  I don't know the name
of it, but Della Reese (I think that's her name, she plays Tess on
Touched by an Angel) played an older woman who was blind.  A boy,
who was dyslexic to the point that his teacher told his mother that
he was 'slow', heard the teacher, and got the idea that he was
mentally retarded.

Anyway, the older woman and this boy became friends.  The boy wanted
to help her learn to get around because she was missing out on life.
In exchange, she wanted to teach him Braille, knowing he was having
trouble reading.

I've heard sighted people have a hard time learning Braille, but
it can be done.  If you could get someone who is blind to take an
interest in helping without charging an arm and a leg, this may help.
Seeing words typed out is hard for anyone with dyslexia, but feeling
the bumps on the paper makes it much easier because the brain isn't
mixing things up.

Anything is worth a try.  I know a woman who is blind that lives in
St. Louis.  She loves teaching and she loves children, but doesn't
have any of her own.  I know there are others in many cities across
the United States.  Find a local chapter of the National Association
of the Blind and you stand a chance in finding someone.  I hope your
son won't balk at the idea of learning to read through his fingers!" -- Jan A.


"My husband suffers from severe dyslexia.  When I need him to read
something such as a note or an article, I always write it on the
lined paper kindergarteners use.  I space each letter a finger's
width from the other.  I have found that by doing this not only can
my husband read what I wrote, but he can also comprehend much better.
It’s a lot of work for me, especially when I have to copy important
paperwork, but in just a year my husband’s reading and comprehension
has greatly improved and I am now using college ruled paper."


Editor's Note:  Lacey, I have heard of miraculous results just using
a kelly-green colored transparent overlay over any page a dyslexic
student is reading.  It is a simple fix -- and something that is not
too much trouble for a dyslexic child to get used to.  Just a plastic
sheet that is tinted bright green.  Give it a try!  Don't be surprised
if his first reaction is "Wow, Mom!  The words aren't jumping around
anymore!"  You can even do this with a math book. :-)

As for curriculum specifically for high school, I think you'd do best
to learn from other parents who have homeschooled a dyslexic student
through graduation.  Do a search on Google for "homeschooling high
school with dyslexia" to look for support communities.

One BIG help would be to do ALL literature via audio CDs/cassettes.
They get the whole literature experience -- and even get something
visual readers don't -- the pronunciation of words.  Immerse your
son in audio books.  He can even listen while playing video games. ;-)

Also -- here is an encouraging article you might enjoy reading:


Blessings to you! -- Heather

P.S. to our readers...

Thursday (3/25) is a special high school issue -- I'd love to be able to
share some more specific curriculum ideas with Lacey in that newsletter.

Please write in!  Thanks.

Answer our NEW Question

Notebooking in High School


"Hi -- I have a question about using notebooking in high school.
I would like to have my child read from history and science textbooks
and give a summary in notebooking format after each reading.  She
would then complete any experiments required, but no chapter tests.
My daughter does very well summarizing as she used this last year
in her science.
I am a little afraid not to give her tests for fear it will not train her
adequately for college if that is the path she takes after graduation.
My question is this: Has anyone done this with their students and how
happy were they with the results?  And also how do you give a grade
for notebooking?" -- Doreen in Florida


Would you like to respond to Doreen's question?

Your answer will appear in Thursday's special high school edition!

Please send your email to: mailto:HN-answers@familyclassroom.net

Ask YOUR Question

Do you have a question you would like our readers to answer?

Send it to mailto:HN-questions@familyclassroom.net and we'll see
if we can help you out in a future issue!

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and let them know that Heather sent you!

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ear and encouragement.


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