Jan 032015
 

Other than answering the dreaded socialization question, teaching reading at home may be the scariest thing for a new homeschooler. This week’s Virtual Curriculum Fair topic is Loving Language Arts and is co-hosted by  Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds and Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses. You can read other posts about reading as well as other language arts topics.

What if I mess it up and ruin my child’s life forever?

This is our 12th year of homeschooling, and I have 5 children ranging from 4 to 16 years old. So far, I have taught 4 children to read and each one was different. Not surprisingly, each one is still different both in his or her ability and enjoyment of reading. I don’t have one of those stories about the kid who learned to read at 12, but was reading War and Peace at age 13.

There is no magic formula for raising readers.

David, my 16 year old, began reading at 4 years old. (Some of that may have been over eager homeschool parents, but he was ready to read.) He read a lot when he was young – both fiction and non-fiction. I also read books aloud to him from his infancy until he was about 12. My husband and I read for pleasure frequently and our house is filled with books. We did everything “right” and guess what. He doesn’t like to read. He especially doesn’t like fiction. He’s a “just the facts” kind of kid. Maybe his long-time use of the computer has turned him into a scanner. Since he especially doesn’t like literature, I have had him take an outside class for that. He’s infinitely more motivated to read books when he’s in a class with a fixed schedule and accountability. To help himself pay attention, he often listens to the audio while he reads.

Teaching Reading at Home

Sometimes a child is too young to learn to read.

Anna is almost 15. We started trying to teach her to read when she was 5, probably closer to 5-1/2. She wanted to learn to read so badly. It was almost comical trying to teach her to blend sounds. She just couldn’t get it until after she turned 6. Then it sort of clicked and she took off with it. She also listened to read-alouds frequently and had essentially the same learning environment as her older brother, but unlike her brother, she loves to read, especially historical fiction. She’s also much happier to read from a textbook and has good comprehension.

If you think there is something wrong, check it out. People will tell you to relax and wait, but you know your child.

William is almost 13. He has been diagnosed with ASD. He has many learning issues that may (or may not) be related to ASD. He is my only child that I actually had to teach letters. My other children all picked them up naturally around 3 years old or younger, from alphabet books, letter toys and puzzles. At 4-1/2, I decided I needed to teach William his letters. He was able to learn them fairly quickly. I used the Handwriting without Tears Wood pieces and cards.

Reading continued to be a struggle for William. I tried various phonics programs. He couldn’t read c-v-c words consistently. I started a couple of new things with him that finally seemed to help reading click for him. I used both Brain Integration Therapy by Dianne Craft and All About Spelling. I don’t know if it was either of those programs, the passage of time, or some combination of all three that finally enabled him to begin reading. But there was no sudden burst of speed or rapid improvement in skills allowing him to catch up to grade level. Instead, it’s been more like plodding. He can decode pretty well and his spelling is pretty good too. (I love All About Spelling!), but his comprehension is almost non-existent, and his inflection is bad. We’re trying immersion reading on the Kindle Fire to see if that will help with comprehension. We also do dictation with All About Spelling and use the repeating of the sentence to work on inflection. (The problem is not just with reading, it’s with his speech in general.)

Some children love to read. Others don’t.

Lizzie is 8. I honestly don’t remember teaching her to read. She didn’t exactly teach herself to read, but I think she learned using a combination of computer programs like Reading Kingdom and Reading Eggs plus her older brother and sister showing her things. She is a voracious reader and loves to curl up with a book and read it. She even reads aloud to her little brother, Andrew. She is using the Memoria Press Literature Guides, among other things, and we like those a lot.

Teaching Reading at Home

Find time to read to your little ones.

Finally there is Andrew. He just turned 4 and is not reading yet. He does love to listen to books and he has known his letters for a long time. I feel hopeful, that it won’t be a struggle for him to learn to read. I still want to spend some time using Before Five in a Row with him.

Virtual Curriculum Fair

Photo credit http://www.mymemories.com/store/designers/StoryRock

This post is part of the 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair and is also linked to House to Home at I Choose Joy.

I Choose Joy!

 

See my previous Playing with Words posts at:

It Starts with the Alphabet

Loving Language Arts

Don’t miss these great posts!

Building a Foundation of Words by Susan @ Homeschooling Hearts & Minds

Language Arts for 2015 by Chareen @ Every Bed of Roses

Bible-Based Language Arts Resources by Tauna M @ Proverbial Homemaker

Relaxed Homeschooling: Language Arts in the Early Elementary Years by Brittney @ Mom’s Heart

Loving Books and Words by Sarah@Delivering Grace

5 Language Arts Resources We Love by Becky @ Milo & Oats

Teaching Reading at Home: A Tale of 5 Readers by Kristen H. @ Sunrise to Sunset

A More Simplistic Approach to 7th Grade Language Arts by Christy @ Unexpected Homeschool

Language Arts Reading for Delight-Directed Learning by Susan @ The Every Day of Education

How To: Spelling Dictation by Heather @ Only Passionate Curiosity

The World of Words in our Homeschool by Joelle @ Homeschooling for His Glory

Unschooling and Words, Words, Words by Nicole @ Schooling in the Sun

Learning With Literature and Language Arts Resources by Leah @ As We Walk Along the Road

Words and More Words! by Michele @ FamilyFaithandFridays

Language Arts in Our Homeschool (2014 ñ 2015) by Laura O @ Day by Day in Our World

Our curriculum choices ~ Language Arts by Renata @ Sunnyside Farm Fun

The 2015 Virtual Curriculum Fair ~ Language Arts in Our Homeschool by Jennifer @ A Glimpse of Our Life

Loaded Pistols: Virtual Curriculum Fair Playing with Words by Lisa @ Golden Grasses

A Renewed Focus on Reading Aloud by Debra @Footprints in the Butter

Language Arts in our Classical / Charlotte Mason Homeschool by Sharra @ The Homeschool Marm

Logic of English Foundations: The Grand Prize Winner of Phonics by Chelli @ The Planted Trees

A Sentence a Day Teaches Grammar the Fun Way by Amy A @ One Blessed Mamma

Tackling Language Arts by Jacquelin @ A Stable Beginning

Middle School Monday – Lightning Literature and Composition by Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break

The Great Grammar Discovery by Laura @ Four Little Penguins

Dec 192014
 
Photo credit - akemp42

Once upon a time, I posted weekly updates on our homeschool. And there were some pretty fun projects to mention.

We made lapbooks,

models,

P1070572

and lots of other creative projects.

 

All that was before Pinterest.

Photo credit - akemp42 Photo credit  – akemp42

Now our homeschool is not very pinnable. And as a result, I’ve felt it was not very bloggable.

 

Sometimes I feel guilty because I don’t do as many projects with my younger children as I did with my older ones.  But then I have to be realistic.

 

I am homeschooling 4 children plus an almost 4 year old thrown in the mix. Two of them are in high school. True, my high school students work mainly independently. But they are in outside classes which requires extra driving around. Plus, David especially has to bounce ideas off of me for special projects (which he does a lot.) Then there’s the grading. (Does anyone have any magical grading machines?)

But the biggest issue is William. He’s dealing with multiple learning difficulties, and just getting him through what I consider the bare minimum of core subjects leaves me exhausted and completely unmotivated for anything extra.

Maybe I need to rethink what I consider the “bare minimum” of core subjects for William. I want my younger children to have the experiences of making things and read-alouds that my older ones did, and I’m just not finding it possible in our current situation.

Today is the last day before we start our Christmas vacation. I’m sure I’ll be doing thinking about what we need to do differently in the new year. I’m especially interested in any suggestions for helping highly distractible students work independently.

How do you make time for projects?

Jul 102013
 

A month ago I shared my evaluation of 1st grade with Lizzie.

Today I’m moving on to the next oldest student, William.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Fifth Grade CurriculumWilliam is 11 years old. He is finishing what I am calling the 4th grade, though technically, according to his age, he should be finishing 5th grade. And according to his achievement tests, he should be somewhere below the 4th grade. But one of the benefits of homeschooling is that I can tailor his subjects, to meet his particular learning challenges.

This year the focus was on math. All the previous years, the focus had been reading. Not that we hadn’t done any math, but what we had done, really hadn’t stuck. So this year I went a new direction in math. I am a fan of conceptual, mastery based math programs. But with William, that just does not work. He would “learn” borrowing, but then the next day it would be brand new. Finally it would seem like he got it, but then when we’d revisit the topic in a couple of weeks, it would be completely forgotten. So that’s why I tried a spiral program this year. I choose Christian Light because of the workbook format and uncluttered pages.

I told about it in The post where I admit I was wrong.

The results were even better than I expected. Since he had to practice some adding, some subtracting, and math facts every single day, they finally “stuck”. This program wasn’t fun and it wasn’t easy, but I am sold on this method for William. Next year for math, it’s Christian Light again!

Another curriculum that I love for William is All About Spelling. I attribute most of William’s reading success to this program, so it’s definitely on the slate for next year too! (Although, I think another big factor was Brain Integration Therapy from Dianne Craft.)

One big weakness that I’ve noticed this year is reading comprehension. I saw it in his math word problems. I noticed it when he read books for book club. So while he is finally able to read in a fairly fluent manner, the meaning of what he is reading is not really getting to his brain. Obviously this is a problem.

I’m floundering a bit with what to do about this. One thing I’m going to work on is narration. We’ve been using the Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers for reading practice. I am going to continue with these, but not stress so much over getting through the whole reading, but instead we’ll stop every paragraph and have him tell me what he just read.

Another resource I’m going to try is Reading Detective. I haven’t tried this yet, so I don’t know if it will be helpful or not, but I have been pleased with other resources from Critical Thinking Company.

Handwriting is also an issue for William. He is able to write neatly, but still struggles with putting the letters on the correct positions above and below the lines. We did some cursive with Handwriting without Tears last year. His cursive looked very nice, but he was unable to write in cursive without a model. He could copy cursive writing, but he couldn’t remember how to form letters without looking. This year I have purchased a Westminster Catechism copybook. My plan is for him to copy, then read what he copied. Hopefully that will help him with learning how to write directly in cursive.

You have probably noticed that I am leaving out content subjects with William. That is because we really are focusing on the 3R’s in formal school time. His history, geography, and science learning comes from his reading various books and watching documentaries. (Though his ability to learn through reading has been limited as I mentioned.) I do hope to include some formal history and science this year, but once again the focus will be on building the foundational skills.

 

Mar 202013
 

Blogging Through the Alphabet Here I go on a brand new meme. I love to read other people’s alphabet blogging posts so why not join in? (Other than the small problem that the last time I tried I think I made only 1 or 2 posts…)

But when I said A is for Alphabet, I didn’t mean Blogging through the Alphabet. I meant the actual alphabet. I have a 2 year old who absolutely adores the alphabet. Actually his name is Andrew. He finds letters everywhere, because there are letters everywhere! It is so fun seeing the excitement in a child that is learning!

As I was thinking about this, I realized something. I think that one of the reasons he is so excited about learning and finding letters is that we are all excited with him and for him. When he runs to the TV while we’re watching Jeopardy and starts pointing to a B and yelling, “B! B! B!” none of us are angry. We all applaud him and tell him he’s right.

He knows all the letters now, but we’re still quizzing him on them. I have never caught myself thinking, “Shouldn’t he have this down now? Do I really need to review?”

Then I started thinking about my attitude in teaching my 2 year old Andrew compared to my almost 11 year old, William. There’s a big difference. In my defense, William wouldn’t want me to act really excited when he remembers how to borrow correctly in a subtraction problem. But I’m sure he would appreciate a little more praise. And I bet he’d appreciate more patience too.

I never get mad at Andrew if he says an M is a W. But I am often disappointed when William doesn’t remember something that I think he should. Usually I am good about not saying something negative, but he knows when I’m frustrated.

I need to remember that everyone learns differently and at different rates. God has given William to us for many reasons. One of those reasons might just be to teach me a thing or two (or two thousand.)

I’m so thankful that God is a gracious God. He gently corrects me when I make the same mistakes OVER and OVER AGAIN. I’ll bet He’s excited when I get things right, just like I’m excited to see Andrew learn his letters. I pray I can remember the alphabet the next time I’m frustrated about showing William how to do something that he “should” already know how to do.

What do you think? Do you struggle with finding the positive like I do?

Oct 252012
 

My son William had a lot of trouble learning to read. I read all the advice that said not to worry about it.

“It will come.”

“Some kids are just late readers.”

It was helpful advice when he was 6. It was a little less helpful at 7. After he was 8 and even 9, the late reader testimonials really didn’t calm my fears much at all. One of the things that he really struggled with was focusing on the page. He couldn’t keep his eyes on the right line, and he just seemed distracted. He has never been officially diagnosed with dyslexia, but he displays most of the signs.

One of the things that we tried to help keep his eyes on the right place on the page were color-overlays. I noticed a definite improvement in his ability to keep his place in on the page. Moving the overlay himself was an issue at that time though.

Eye Level Reading RulersI was recently given a set of Eye Level Reading Rulers from Crossbow Education to review. They are designed to assist people who suffer from either visual stress or dyslexia. These rulers have 2 sizes of color-strips on each ruler. There is a thin strip that can be used for reading 1 line of text at a time or a thick strip that can highlight a whole paragraph at a time. This allows for more fluent reading. The rulers have both a glossy side and a matte side. They also come in 10 different colors so that you can test which color works best for you.

I really like these rulers. I especially like the matte finish side because I struggle some with glare. Maybe it’s from my constant use of the computer. I also like having the selection of colors to choose from. I find it interesting how some of the colors just don’t work at all, while others make the text seem clearer to me. They make a handy bookmark and are great for keeping your place when correcting student papers.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get William to give them a very good trial. Thankfully, he is reading much better now, and he seems to think that using the ruler is a step backwards. I did force him to try them out anyway, and he preferred the orange. The biggest problem with them for him is that that are a little too large for many books. If I could convince William to use one,  I would purchase a pack of 1 color and cut them in different sizes so they are easier to hold in a small book.

If you suspect that your child (or you) might be dyslexic or suffering from visual strain I would definitely recommend trying out the Eye Level Reading Ruler. They are available in the multi-color 10 pack for only $16.95, that’s a very small investment for something that could provide such a great benefit. You can visit Crossbow Education to order the Eye Level Reading Ruler and many other learning tools.

Disclosure: I received a 10 pack of Eye Level Reading Rulers in order to complete this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Jul 242012
 

Do you know a child who has trouble following directions? Or one who can’t remember things he hears?

I do!

William, my 10 year old, has many learning difficulties. One of them seems to be related to auditory processing. (I do not have an official diagnosis of auditory processing disorder, but he is definitely weak in this area.) When I heard about HearBuilder Auditory Memory Software from Super Duper Publications, I was very interested in trying out the program with him.

The program is a game that helps children gradually increase their auditory memory and listening skills. The game involves the player as a secret agent who has to perform various activities in order to stop the villain.

The program is divided into 5 areas. They are:

  • Numbers
  • Words
  • Details
  • Closure
  • WH Info

After starting the game and clicking his name, the student sees the following screen.

HearBuilder

From this, he can choose to go to any of the activities or check his progress in Agent Status. After all the levels of a game are completed, a badge will appear on this screen as well.

 

In the number game, the player is required to listen to a list of numbers, then type them in as the combination. It begins with a sequence of 3 and gets progressively more difficult.

HearBuilder

 

 

The words game is similar to the numbers game. A sequence of words is read, and the player must click on the corresponding pictures in the same order.

HearBuilder

 

The other games are more challenging and require higher level thinking skills. The details game asks players to select one of the people based on certain facts about them. For example, in the following picture the student might be asked to select the boy that is not wearing a backpack. (This picture is from the first level. They do get more difficult! The instructions are all auditory, of course.)

HearBuilder

Another interesting game is closure. In it, the player has to fill in the missing word. It might say “Peanut butter and j..” or “Ring around the r…” The student is given choices and must select the right one.

HearBuilder

The last game is the most difficult of all. In WH Info, there is a short factual “case” that is given. The player then has to answer a question about the case. The questions are all WH questions: who, what, when, where, or why.

HearBuilder

We had a very good experience with this game. The software ran smoothly with no bugs. The games are engaging. After 6 correct responses in the main games, the player gets to play a reward game that is more fun and less educational.

My son who has difficulty with auditory memory doesn’t love the game, but he definitely likes it better than any of his schoolwork! Lizzie, my 5-1/2 year old, really likes the game and has asked to play it many times. Although this game was designed with the special needs student in mind, it is one that can be beneficial to any student. Neither of my children are anywhere close to completing the entire program. The games become progressively more challenging and higher levels even add in background noise.

You can purchase HearBuilder Auditory Memory Software from Super Duper Publications. The home edition is $69.95.

Disclosure: I received a copy of HearBuilder Home Edition in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Nov 182011
 

I’ve shared some about the difficulties my middle son (9years old) has had with reading, among other things. Because of his difficulties, I’ve done a fair amount of research on dyslexia. Since he displays many of the classic signs of dyslexia, I’ve been trying to implement strategies used in teaching reading to dyslexics. One important method is repeated reading of a passage. This repeated reading increases the reader’s fluency, allowing for greater reading comprehension and better vocal expression. Repeated reading is one of the strategies that I had not yet tried, but I had planned to in the future.

About Read Live–

When members of the Homeschool Crew were given the opportunity to review Read Live, an on-line reading program developed by Read Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. (I may have even begged.) The Read Naturally strategy consists of 3 main elements: Teacher Modeling, Repeated Reading, and Progress Monitoring. Read Naturally is a proven company that is celebrating 20 years of business this year. Read Live is a more recent, on-line version of their proven program and can be used with struggling students of all ages; from first grade through adult. The on-line version allows the student to listen to the passage being read and practice reading the passage without constant teacher interaction. The program is designed for classroom use, and I can see how it would be a tremendous help in providing differentiated instruction to students with varying needs.

As a homeschooler, I’m already differentiating instruction for all my students. But it is very difficult at times to attend to the needs of all my children. I’m often being pulled, quite literally, in 5 directions. So an on-line program helps me by providing instruction that doesn’t have to come directly from me.

I placed my son in the Sequenced Series which focuses on fluency development, vocabulary, and comprehension. There is also a Phonics Series which also improves fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension in addition to working on decoding, but I felt that he is getting plenty of practice with phonics and chose to focus on the other aspects of reading right now.

Upon logging in, the student sees a screen like this one.

After selecting the story, he first is given key words to learn.

Then the student reads the passage, and the program records the reading speed. This is the Cold Timing Step.

The student must listen to the story being read and read along for a minimum of 3 times. After that, the student reads the story again while being timed. Each time he reads it, he marks how far he read in the allotted time by clicking on the last word read. When the pre-determined reading rate goal is reached, the student is allowed to continue. Then there is a brief quiz to check for comprehension, as well as a section to retell the story. Finally, the teacher is required to view the student’s work and makes the decision to pass the student allowing him to choose another story, or continue working on the current story.

What we think–

As I mentioned, this program is designed for classroom use. Setting up the account was a bit cumbersome for one student. I am the school administrator. I also had to make myself the teacher with another user id and password and then assign my student to my class.  Read Naturally did provide thorough instructions to guide me through the process as well as additional help and video tutorials on-line. I was still confused for a while, but after the initial set-up I haven’t had any more difficulties.

Using the program itself is simple. My son was able to figure out what he was supposed to do with little input from me. We didn’t experience any technical difficulties with the program either.

The story selections consist of various science and history topics. My son has completed stories about the sun and polar bears. The history/biography selections are rather politically correct: Elizabeth Blackwell, Amelia Earhart, George Washington Carver, and Susan B. Anthony are the only ones available on my son’s level. I guess that’s to be expected in a program designed for use in the public schools.

The voice reading the stories may be annoying to some. It bothered my older son, but that was solved by using headphones so he didn’t have to hear it. (I should note that just about everything bothers my older son.)

I didn’t like that the quiz required at least one answer to be typed in by the student, nor did I like the retelling portion of the program for my son. I do see the value at more advanced levels. But I discovered that these can be skipped by just typing a word or two in the space and moving on. The teacher gets to decide whether or not to pass my student. So I can choose to skip the retelling, or have him orally narrate to me while I type.

My son does not like doing the lessons. However, I do not choose curriculum based solely on what my children like. I love seeing his reading speed increase as he practices the stories! I am also seeing improvement in his reading outside the program, both fluency and comprehension. It’s impossible to say how much of the credit for his reading improvement is due to Read Live. It could be a total coincidence, but I doubt it.

Will I continue with Read Live? Probably not now because of the expense. But the program has helped me to see the benefit of repeated reading. If I am unable to implement repeated reading in another manner, I would definitely consider this option.

You can read more reviews of Read Live at the Homeschool Crew blog. Read Naturally Live also offers a 60 day free trial. A 12-month subscription for one child is $149.

PhotobucketDisclosure: As a member of the Homeschool Crew,  I received a trial of Read Live in order to write this review. I was not compensated for this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Jun 072011
 

Last weekend I went to the NC Home Educators conference. While I was there, I purchased a resource that I have had my eye on for quite a while. It’s the Brain Integration Therapy Manual by Dianne Craft.

Brain ModelI listened to Dianne Craft at the Schoolhouse EXPO last fall. She talked about the 4 learning gates: Visual Processing, Visual/Motor (writing), Auditory Processing, and Attention/Focusing/Behavior. Each of these gates can be blocked, making it much harder for a child to learn. As she described the signs of each of these blocked learning gates, I sat with my mouth hanging open and almost in tears. In describing those who had these gates blocked, she was describing my 9 year old son.

But I didn’t purchase the Brain Integration Therapy book then. There were several reasons. Though the book is inexpensive compared to therapy, $58 is not what I consider inexpensive. Especially when the whole concept seemed a bit, well, odd. But I bookmarked Dianne Craft’s site and I didn’t forget about Brain Integration Therapy.

My son definitely made some progress this year. He is reading better, but I can see that his eyes are all over the page and he can’t remember sight words. He loses his place frequently. His writing has also improved, but he still struggles with making his letters the correct sizes and spacing them correctly on the page. We’ve been doing dictation this year. Once again, there has been improvement with practice but he still struggles to remember a short sentence long enough to write it down.

My husband has seen enough of these problems that he was willing to let me try the therapy. The therapy consists of 6 daily exercises and one weekly therapy session. We started last week learning the exercises. We’ve been adding in a new exercise every day. We will learn the last new exercise tomorrow and we will do our first brain training session on Friday.

So far I’m pleased. My son is basically cooperating. I’m not going to lie and say he loves it, but he’s tolerating it. One thing I have noticed is that these simple exercises are difficult for him. He has a very hard time keeping his eyes on his thumb as we move it in the pattern described in the manual. Hopefully that means that this training is going to be helpful for him!

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Feb 262011
 

The Homeschool Mother's Journal In my life this week…

I had some emotional ups and downs. I think that I’ve got some definite post-partum hormonal adjustments going on.

In our homeschool this week…

I got the results of my middle son’s Woodcock-Johnson test. That was definitely one of the downs. I haven’t pulled out last year’s test to compare the raw scores, but we’re definitely dealing with some sort of learning disability. And more likely multiple disabilities.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This afternoon is my daughter’s family birthday party. She turned 11 yesterday. My parents will be here in about an hour and will stay the night. It’s been about a month since I’ve seen them. I hope to have a good visit.

My favorite thing this week was…

A night out with my birthday girl! She got her ears pierced and we enjoyed a strawberry milkshake from Chick-fil-A.

What’s working/not working for us…

I haven’t figured out how to teach everyone and how to provide enough learning activities for everyone when I’m not teaching. My daughter admitted she’s been bored lately with our lighter school schedule. She was reading a lot, but she read so much that now she’s not in the mood for it.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…

Where do I find testing for my son? I’ve got to figure out what we’re dealing with and how to proceed. I’ve got to get my husband on board too. I spoke to our doctor on Thursday and I will be preparing a packet for her to review BEFORE his physical next month. She happens to be a friend outside of being a doctor which I’m finding to be a really great experience.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…

Here is my daughter with her new haircut on Thursday. (Please excuse the poor picture quality. I took it with an iPod camera.)

Apr 212010
 

Last week was standardized testing in our home. The next day I accidentally discovered something that has been very helpful to my younger son (8 years old) who has difficulty concentrating on his assignments.

I had left the stopwatch sitting on the table, and my son picked it up while he was doing his math. He said “Go!’ pressed the start button and proceeded to do the 2 math problems that were in the first box. (He uses Math Mammoth and there are lots of boxes around groups of problems.) When he finished, he said “Stop!” and stopped the time. He sat there for a second, said “Go!” and repeated the process.

I stood there with my mouth hanging open. He was able to complete his math in record time and he only missed 1!

Letting him use the stopwatch definitely Works for Me!