Archive for the ‘Dyslexia’ Category


When you are the mother of 5 sons, inevitably, the question is asked, “Do you want any more children. . . . maybe a girl?”

The anwer?  I have taught all my sons to read and swim.  If I had one more, he/she would be illiterate and drown. 

Still, school is starting.  My White Board Calendar is expanding its usage this year: the place for my high school students to record their academic assignments.  Hopefully, that will create a more organized, focused work ethic.

The dog days of summer lead to full backpacks, lunchboxes filled with mama’s love, pens, pencils, paper, binders, and homework.  School has the potential to be so much more than the tools of school.

Why is it the addage, “Oh, honey, just do your best,” sounds like “Aw, I realize you really can’t do better, so you don’t have to try so hard.” Listen the next time someone says that.  Are they really promoting someone doing their best work?

I realize different children have different gifts.  I realize not every gift turns into an Einstein, Margaret Thatcher, Steve Jobs, Emeril, Mother Teresa, or Billy Graham.   However, we are called to be all that Christ has called us to be:

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

 15 My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be”(Psalm 139: 14-16)

Each of us arrive in the world with a plan, designed for joy and fulfillment, a job, a tool box with God-designed tools to help us in our journey, and one awesome safety net.  However, a couch-potato-mentality can interfere with God’s plan for our lives and our children’s lives.

Taking God out of education takes holistic purpose out of education.  When your job is just a job, where’s the nobleness, the drive.  When your job is God-inspired, your talent God-given, and your success a result of God Faith, your job becomes more than a job.

An engineer doesn’t just create cars or iPods for entertainment.  An engineer creates jobs that give families the means to feed, clothe, support, and grow secure families.  If you only see yourself as the engineer, you don’t see God’s plan for you.  If you see the effect of a job well done, then you start getting the idea.

Neither me nor my children have to be an Einstein, Margaret Thatcher, Mother Teresa, or Billy Graham to impact others. Someone who helps just one person is just as noble as the one who  helps one thousand. However, we are to fully use the gifts God placed in us to the fullest of our abilities.

Disappointingly, what I have seen in the classroom and, at times, in my own children is a take-for-granted attitude about who they are in Christ and how that affects them in the classroom.  They are willing to talk the talk but not walk the talk.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Ecc 9:10) is the motto I hope to instill in my children. 

In my college classroom, Christian students enter, itching for an opportunity to evangelize the radical left faculty.  Sadly, their witness leaves them open for derision and tags of hypocrisy.  When a Christian student comes to class habitually late,  comes un-prepared for in-class work, doesn’t spell-check, or follow directions, that behavior erodes the strength of their witness. 

Work ethic is a reflection of Christ in you.  Maybe you don’t have the skill to write an A essay, but you do have the skill to come on time, prepared, and the work ethic to learn.  I would rather have a student with a strong work ethic in my class than a student with tremendous ability.  Work ethic trumps ability any time.

My oldest son struggled with pre-calculus. “I’m just not good at it anymore,” he bemoaned.  The excuse sounded great, but that is what it was–an excuse to back down from the challenge.

God gives us gifts.  In our strength areas, our gift areas, those gifts carry us for a certain amount of time.  For some, math might be easy early on, or reading, or language; however, at some point, the gift no longer carries. In order to take that gift to the next level, work ethic needs to be applied.

Yes, whatever you do, do it with all your might = work ethic for the successful.

Frustration, the spice of motherhood!  Some of the boys chose to work hard.  Some needed to be prodded.  Some needed help learning how to work hard. Frustration is an inward signal, a warning sign that modification needs to be made.  Frustration prompts me to look for alternate solutions to challenges.  We would just sail right on, not realizing our children needed adjustment or that we need to adjust ourselves.

100_2157Seed planting is how I look at it.  Hopefully, those seeds will grow and one day blossom to a healthy harvest.  Healthy Harvests are so incredibily beautiful.

Work Ethic is the key to success.  Work Ethic dedicated to God unlocks blessing, growing good things within our souls.

Blessings on the start of your school year!

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Noah Webster’s 18 28 Dictionary provides the quintessential defintion of education.  Sadly, it probably wouldn’t be allowed reading in public schools today.

“EDUCA’TION, n. [L. educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties(http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/education).

This is true holistic education!  What do you think?

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This is the story of a boy called Faithful. Not because in the beginning he was, but because God told me so, to call him so, He would make him so.

03-08-2009 03;39;49PMMy son’s science fair project one year was to determine whether 1 out of 4 children will have the recessive eye gene.  Both sides of the family tree have groups of 4 or more, so off we went to collect data.  Now keep in mind, science fair projects are 3rd grade projects where we live.

I bought a paint brush, a sponge, and red apple stickers.  My son painted the tree trunk and the appropriate amount of branches with the paint brush.  He used the sponge to create the green, leafy area of the tree.  He took the collected data and labeled each apple brown, blue or green, green being the recessive color.  Our family tree proves that one out of 4 children will have the recessive gene.

If  you study families with 4 + groupings, you can start determining birth order personalities.  It’s easy to see in families of either all boy or all girl children..  For example, there are 12 grandsons in my husband’s family—no granddaughters.  

benscbbeachThen I noticed  Biblical birth order personalities reflected the same traits, especially with the first and second born.

Esau knew how to please his father: “ Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau”(Genesis 25).

The older son in the story of the Prodigal son, was always with his father and knew how to please him.  “’My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me” (Luke 15:31) ‘The first born had worked hard for his father, never disobeying his orders (Luke 15:29)

That is so like my first born.  It’s so easy to go by the rules.  Being compassionate is different.  That’s hard for the first born.

The second born sons, wrestle with obedience, rules, and right choices.  Jacob was forever trying to go around the rules.  Because of that, he had to run away from home, married 2 wives—one he didn’t want and one he did.  Someone tricked  him just as he tricked his brother.

The Prodigal son was the same way.  He shunned the rules, ignored his father’s heartache, and rebelled in any way he could.

Do any of you have a son like that?  One that wants to skirt the rules?

benclow3My son, Faithful, is like that.  All  my boys have spirit names: Perceiverof Truth, Joyful, Fire and Power of the Holy Spirit, Love – and this son, Faithful.I remember asking God, “Why Faithful?  I’m not seeing that.”  And God answered me in the quiet, in the confusion, “Because he’s going to witness about my faithfulness to him, how I never abandoned nor forsook him.”

What hope!

I’ve noticed that children diagnosed late, 2nd and 3rd grade with dyslexia or Central Auditory Processing Disorder(CAPD), spend years breaking patterns of frustration.  These patterns of frustration develop when a child sits in the classroom, doing what everyone else is doing, but doesn’t understand why he’s doing so poorly.  

Children with dyslexia don’t realize they’re seeing words differently.  My son has CAPD.  He hears perfectly, until you add background noise.  Then his ability to hear goes down to 25%.  In 3rd grade he was hearing 2 out of 3 words correctly. Guess which word you don’t hear with “Don’t do that!”

Often, people with CAPD have difficulty learning grammar and math.  They don’t recognize patterns right off the bat.  I determined that if you don’t recognize patterns in math and grammar, then you probably don’t recognize patterns of behavior.  We discovered that with a slow pace in math and grammar and lots of repetition, a CAPD student can be just as successful as any other math student.  It just takes more time.

He doesn’t hear tone.  If you can’t hear tone, you can’t hear those subtle warning signs in a voice that says, “Hey, you need to stop or you’ll be in time out.”

If you can’t hear tone, it’s more difficult to determine what someone really means when they say, “You’re such a pig.”  Boys show affection with wrestling words.  What a quandary—friend words or fighting words?  We spent years practicing in the car how to respond:  “Wow!  See that zit on your nose.  That’s bigger than Mount Everest; Is Dumbo standing behind you or are those your ears?”  We gradually moved to more sensitive issues—issues that dealt with self-esteem, like how to handle peer ribbing when you answer a question in class.  It could be a great answer.  It’s just that someone’s going to tease you about it.  We learned how to handle that, too.

I really don’t consider it a disorder.  I think people just hear differently, and this is just one of the different ways people hear.  When God sent every away from the Tower of Babel, it makes sense that not only would he change the languages they spoke but how they people hear language.  After all, God is multi-dimensional.

Let’s go back to our stories, though, for a minute—let’s get back to God’s Faithfulness.  The prodigal son finally realized rebellion wasn’t a good choice.  The result?  His father welcomed him home with open arms.  Jacob repented to his brother, told him what he did was wrong, and offered to pay back what he had stolen.  The result?  Peace was restored.  He was blessed.  You never heard another word about any real trials in his life from that point.

I’ve seen the second born in so many instances display the personality traits listed above.  Then I see them become the most in-control, go-by-the rules young men and women, with hearts full of compassion because they understand the struggle.  They’ve lived it.  Through God’s faithfulness, He brought them out of it.

100_27_0110God created personalities.  He knows exactly what is in each of my sons and why.  He takes the blinders off my eyes to see the amazing things he put in each of them.  Each son struggles in his own way, with his own challenges.  It’s up to me as a mom to not be blinded by the response to those challenges.  It’s up to me to teach them about the wonderful things in them and help them see those same things.  Sadly, on some days, that can be a huge challenge to me, too.

I might falter, but I keep reminding myself of God’s promises to me and my children:

“For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

 15 My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be”(Psalm 139:13-16)

There are moments in raising children, that we love by faith alone. There are moments of great failure that we hope by faith alone. The greatest inheritance I can give my children is Faith, not only that they have great faith within them, but that God has the greater faith – and when they feel like giving up, like they have failed too much – that He has more than enough for both of them. All it takes is reaching out and falling into Him.



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