Saturday, May 29, 2010

Educational Games to Play Outdoors

Here in this dyslexia blog are some ideas about educational games to play outdoors in the summer :

Schools in Turkey will soon start the long 3 month summer holiday .In the summer kids will naturally spend more of their time outdoors playing. Dyslexic kids certainly benefit from a break from school; however in order not too forget skills learnt ;it is important that children undertake some learning activities on a regular basis.

One interesting approach, is to practice maths and literacy skills outside, through physical games . This approach encourages both sides of the brain to work, as the one side focuses on the physical movements and the other side has to come up with the answers. Also adding movement makes learning seem like more fun.

Running games
Carol Goodrow, who was trained as an Orton Gillingham Tutor, specializing in learning disabilities ,has an interesting site called Kids It includes outlines of a number of different educational running games children can play such as :

Get even
Sight word scramble
Run to Spell

Also she suggests cutting up maths worksheets and clipping them onto clipboards.Kids then run to the clipboard and do the problem after finally running back with their finished work to have it checked. You could test grammar,spellings etc using the same approach.

The games are designed for whole classes to do but you could adapt them .

Ball Games
You can shout out an adjective to your child while throwing a ball to them .Your child will then give the correct synonym or antonym and throw back the ball .
You could adapt this game to practice all sorts of grammar points eg different tenses, It could also be used to test maths skills eg multiplication , addition etc.The options are endless.

Pavement Chalk Maths
Get your child to solve problems on the pavement instead of on paper to make it more fun.

Maths hopscotch.
Put numbers into hopscotch squares. Call out a problem in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division etc and have your child hop to the two numbers in the problem and then the answer. ( NB :make sure numbers are accessible to each other).

Times Table Aerobics
Choose a times table you want to practice with your son or daughter .Decide with your child on some aerobics movements to do eg jogging on the spot , touching toes , twisting from side to side etc.
After your child can chant their tables while completing the aerobics moves.

Maths Twister
Adapt your twister game by putting numbers on your Twister board. After you can make up problems for your child to solve eg 5x 8, 5+ 8 etc
Make it harder or easier depending on the age or level of your child .

If you don’t have Twister you could make your own from 20 A4 pages joined together with the numbers 1-20 clearly written on them (place them in 4 rows of 5).The children are then told instructions such as " Put your left foot on the answer of 3 add 5" and so on Repeat until the child has 2 feet and hands on the numbers.

Flash card games -Make up two different sets of coloured flash cards to make a matching card game eg opposites, fractions and decimals etc etc.
Tie some string strategically around your garden. After use clothes pegs to attach the flash cards to the string. Have your child find the matching cards.

Make up a treasure hunt – write some problems on cards for your child to solve and also explain where the next clue can be find – If you child gets the right answers give a small reward or treat in the end.

On the Wirral Learning Grid there is a very useful booklet giving suggestions of maths games “Some Activities for the Kinaesthetic Learner in Primary Education
It is geared for classroom use but some of the games could be adapted.

Here are some other sites which give practical ideas for teachers to integrate physical activity into lessons:

This site is from the North Carolina Physical Education Dept - It contains Primary and Middle School Energizers.

For some Kinesthetic Language Learning ideas from
Susan Kramer : Learning Disabilities Site : Bella Online go to :

In Turkey lessons are generally conducted in a traditional manner.Children are required to sit still in their seats for long hours. It would be good however if teachers could in-corporate some physical activity into their lessons in order to re-vitalize students and aid learning. Many of the approaches good for kids with learning disabilities are also beneficial to ALL kids.... We drastically need a change in attitude towards learning in Turkish schools ............

Parents and teachers be creative and make up your own ideas !!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sentence Expansion

Here in this dyslexia blog article are some tips on how to help your child improve their sentence writing.

Usually dyslexic children have problems with writing.They often find it hard and can’t write much.

Here is a way to help your child improve their sentence writing so that the sentences they write are more complexed and interesting.

First of all make up a number of simple or 'kernel' sentences which have a subject,verb and object

Eg The cat sat on the mat.

After, you can get your child to practise expanding these sentences systematically, by adding adjectives, adverbs, prepositional phrases and, clauses etc . ( not forgetting punctuation). Children in the end can build extremely long, yet well-formed sentences.

Kernel sentence:

The woman ran into the building.

Ask some prompt questions such as :

What kind of woman was she ?

What kind of building was it ?

How did she run into the building ?

Can you give some more information about the woman?

Why was she running into the building?

Expanded sentence:

The tall, well- dressed woman ran into the modern office building.

The tall, well-dressed woman ran hurriedly into the modern Office building.

The tall,well-dressed woman from the fourth floor,ran hurriedly into the modern office building.

The tall,well-dressed woman from the fourth floor,ran hurriedly into the modern office building, because she was late for a meeting.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Dyslexia can affect the whole of the family, including siblings.

As we have mentioned in an earlier dyslexia blog article dyslexia can often run in families. Research indicates that where one child in the family has been diagnosed with dyslexia, there is also a strong possibility that their sibling will also have difficulties – about 40%. As a result parents need to watch closely for any indicators of dyslexia in their other children and act accordingly to get them help if required.

In some families dyslexia can produce sibling rivalry.The child (or children) who isn’t dyslexic may often feel jealous of the dyslexic child, who gets the majority of the parents’ attention, time and money.They can feel angry and resentful. They may think incorrectly that the parents favour or love best the sibling with a learning disability.

Additionally, siblings are often asked by parents to undertake extra chores while parents are helping their dyslexic child with reading or homework. Some siblings may accept these extra duties willingly, but many may resent them and feel anger towards their parents and siblings.

Of course each child's personality and temperament play an important role in their response toward a sibling, including one with a learning disability. As a family, it is important to openly discuss dyslexia and its effects on individual family members and also try to resolve problems which it may produce.

The age of a sibling will be a factor which can affect their perception and reaction to their siblings’ dyslexia. An older sibling (especially girls) will often be more protective over a younger child with dyslexia. Siblings may feel the need to compensate for the child with the learning disability and to make up for that child's limitations. Siblings in many cases can assist their dyslexic brother/sister with school work and can be a useful source of help.

On the other hand younger kids will lack the intellectual understanding to understand everything about dyslexia. With younger children it might be useful to read a book about dyslexia to them .Their are many books available in English about dyslexia geared for children .One such book in Turkish is “Bende Disleksi Var”. ( Tubitak )

On the positive side siblings may gain from having a brother and sister with dyslexia .It may make them a more empathetic person with an increased tolerance for differences as well as a greater sense of maturity and responsibility,

Please remember a dyslexic child may resent their sibling(s) who do not have to struggle at school like themselves. It may affect their self- esteem when their brothers and sisters always come home with the high marks. As a result it is important for parents to help to try to develop interests and hobbies where their dyslexic child can feel proud of his or her achievements. Parents should also avoid comparing children and ensure they accept them for what they are. Parents should remember that each child is a unique person with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Emotional Strain on Parents with Dyslexic Children

Happy Mothers Day to everyone ,especially those with dyslexic children !!

Parents , especially mothers can often be affected quite profoundly and emotionally by the fact that their child has dyslexia.

Parents may face many difficulties due to their child’s dyslexia, which can result in producing very strong emotions….

Initially mothers and fathers may feel confusion about the nature of dyslexia and find it difficult to comprehend. Especially in Turkey, good information about dyslexia is limited.

Parents may suffer guilt as they can feel that they must have done something wrong which “made” their child have dyslexia.. Especially, if they are dyslexic themselves they could feel guilty that they have passed on dyslexia to their child.

Mothers and fathers will feel great concern about what the future will hold for their son or daughter .They may worry about whether their child will be be successful in crucial exams and achieve their full potential.. They may be frightened that if their child is unsuccessful at school their child may be drawn to other undesirable directions ie crime , drugs etc..

They may feel anger at the child’s school because they are unable to get teachers to understand and appreciate their child’s problems. They may also show anger towards other family members ,if they feel they are not helping enough or do not appreciate the problem fully.Very often the bulk of the work to support the child falls on the shoulders of the mother...

They may suffer frustration due to feelings of helplessness because they are unable to get their voice heard at school.They may also suffer frustration if they feel that they are inadequate to help their child

They may feel anxiety when they see they child’s distress ,anger and frustration over events that have happened to them.

They may exhibit over- protectiveness towards their child due to a result of watching their child’s daily struggle with dyslexia.

They may suffer stress on a daily basis even during activities such as helping their child with homework tasks..etc. They could also suffer from stress due to the economical factors of paying for professional help for their child.

They can suffer exasperation because it is sometimes hard to convince professionals that they know their child well and often understand how dyslexia affects their child better than anyone else.

They may feel despair if they can’t obtain the appropriate help for their child and get their voice heard and also if they do not see any improvement in regards to their child's situation.

Dyslexia can also lead to arguments between family members which can produce great tension and upset.

Teachers and professionals need to be aware of these factors and act sympathically when dealing with parents.