My First Ever Blog

8th October 2020

Please stick with me as I learn how to do this, any comments or advice would be much appreciated. We can learn together!

Now, if you have read my “little introduction” you will have a brief idea as to who I am and why I have decided to start this mad adventure into the techno world at a ‘later stage’ in my life. 

Whilst we are in these weird times of nothing seeming normal I can’t go into school as a volunteer so here I am ‘volunteering’ in this space. 

Hopefully being read by someone out there either at home or out on the move (if that’s allowed?). I hope to be informative but also positive to boost that all important self esteem. 

Thats me, on holiday by the sea in the sun. Oh, how I would love to be able to go there now. Next year!

Thats enough about me, lets talk about you and why you are reading this. It’s either because you know me and are reading this to be kind to me or you have dealings with dyslexia; either yourself, your child or supporting a student?

Hello! I would like to start off with asking you a question. Do you really think you know the real you? 

  • Your strengths, your weaknesses
  • What you enjoy, what you find boring
  • How best you learn, the type of person you are?

As I supported children in Primary School I always tried to get to know the individual as a priority. Teaching them the way they find easier to learn, making it fun and accessible at their level and for their interests. Now, those interests could vary from say lego, dancing, sport, art and yes the computer games. But they will want to learn to read it if the subject matter is of interest! 

Every person is different, whether they have a special learning difference or not. 

  • Half the battle is finding out about yourself, gaining that understanding and nurturing your gifts. 
  • Also a big part of the battle is tackling lack of self confidence and belief.

I strongly believe the earlier you identify a problem and provide the support and reassurance the better. The longer a child goes on feeling a failure compared to their peers, the gap only gets wider and their self belief gets lower. Any dyslexic teen or adult out there, do you agree? 

– askideas.com

If Albert Einstein thought he had no talents, what talents could you be hiding?

I thought I would share this recent research with you and see what you think?

Providing Instruction Based on Students’ Learning Style Preference does not improve learningFront. Psychol., 14 February 2020 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00164

Basically saying that for years educators have been, or not been, following the “teach the way they learn’ style. But doing this, they say, without proper grounding in evidence. In their final discussion they say:

“A main effect found that 5th graders with a preferred visual learning style performed significantly better than those with an auditory learning style on both listening and reading comprehension measures.”

“That is, both 5th graders and adults with a visual learning style had superior comprehension, regardless of instruction, while those with an auditory learning style scored significantly below their peers on both comprehension measures, regardless of instruction.”

“By 5th grade and beyond, an individual’s preference for auditory learning may reflect difficulty in learning to read or failure to become proficient.”

 “This would suggest that to achieve superior comprehension, which is vital for classroom learning, all students need as much opportunity as possible to build strong reading skills.”

 “Thus, contrary to the learning style hypothesis, it may be particularly important to focus on strengthening reading skills in all students, especially for auditory learners. “

“That is, auditory learners may actually benefit more from additional instruction in their non-preferred modality. “

“This is opposite to the specific recommendation prescribed by Rundle and Dunn to auditory learners: “Reading manuals, textbooks, articles, or documents is not your strength. You are strongly encouraged to utilize your strengths when learning new and difficult information” (Learning Styles, 2014).”

It seems they say auditory readers just need to read more! Although I do agree that someone that finds learning to read and write difficult is going to have to work harder than others to which it comes easier. 

I am sure you will agree that dyslexics work very hard every day. And that ethic of working hard will probably be an advantage in their working life. 

However, even if science is trying to argue against it, I do think a knowledge of who you are, how you learn and your strengths and weaknesses can help. How do you “strengthen reading skills”?  Some benefit from repetition and a structured scheme of work. They also need to develop personal strategies that help them as an individual. 

There are many strategies to try and see if they work, I will touch on that during a future post. 

There are many learning style questionnaires available on the internet for free if you so wish to give them a go. I actually tried two which placed me as a visual learner. But I do think I am a combination of a few styles (probably like a lot of you) with one overriding winner. I don’t think you need to spend a lot of time on this but as an introduction it helps to get to know you.  Basically there are 3 different learning styles: 

Visual                         Auditory                        Kinaesthetic 

To see                         To hear                        to do                                      

Some say there are 4, including a ‘logical’ category. Some say there are up to 7! but that’s for another day perhaps. 

I will revert back to my first question “ Do you really think you know the real you?” Spend sometime thinking about it.

I would like to move away from the negative label sometimes given to dyslexia and celebrate the advantages of each individual.

Some dyslexic people have gone on to excel due to the advantages of dyslexia. And if you are an adult reading this and think you haven’t, there’s still time …

Will leave you with a little list of some of the advantages of dyslexia:

  • Seeing the big picture, holistic, don’t get lost in details
  • Creativity
  • 3D thinking
  • Curious (like Einstein, and if you don’t know who he is  – look him up)
  • imaginative
  • See patterns and connections
  • Not following the crowd
  • Can think out of the box and see things differently to others, big ideas, entrepreneurs

Dare to be different and embrace it!

2 thoughts on “My First Ever Blog

  1. Debbie this is incredible work and an outstanding blog, a thought provoking article every week since last September!! I’m so proud of you and I’m sure it will be supporting so many to understand themselves, their family, their students or their work colleagues….😀👍

    Liked by 1 person

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