Wednesday, December 19, 2007


So I had a LONG discussion with Micheal Maloney this morning about one of my children's spelling skills. The discussion of skills itself I thought was pretty interesting and is making me think of how this applies to everything in life. If someone lacks the skills to spell they need to be taught the skill to achieve it. There are people who feel that a certain age has to be reached in order for the ability to be acquired but I DON'T AGREE. If the child can not do the task, such as reading without being taught how to use the tools of reading to be able to read, they are not just going to suddenly wake up and understand. It is an actual skill to be able to understand how to read. The best thing he EVER said to me is that some kids need to hear the rules 10,000 times before they understand and that is true. I have seen it and experienced it. The good news is that skill can be learned and the child can succeed when given the right tools. He also said something I found VERY interesting. For all the labels that are given kids, ADD, ADHD, etc., that these labels do nothing towards teaching them skills. They are treated differently and not always taught in a way that helps them acquire the skills they need. Sure, some kids just click and then they read, but that is NOT true of every kid. My child who had the reading difficulties, would 'learn' the reading skill and understand it that day but would then forget a week later. That was because the skill was not ingrained in him. He understood the skill but couldn't retain it. Then, when given the instruction literally 1000 plus times (or maybe 10,000) he then retained it and hasn't forgotten it. It works.

So.....I was talking to Mr. Maloney about life skills and following directions. Same thing. Ask the child to tell you what is required to do the skill - clean the dishes - step by step to completion. Take the time to teach the skill. Have them repeat it every time for a long time so they retain it. How do you do the completion. This method would apply to all kids. Definitely like catechises. Say it outloud, over, and over...and over. Read it over and over and over. You will own it. You will understand because it is ingrained on your mind and heart. It works.

It was a good talk. I probably have now tortured the rest of my kids with going over the skill of cleaning the kitchen. They know the answers. They told me what needs to be done and if we repeat it orally over and over till they can tackle the task without having it explained then they will own it. They do know what needs to be done. They just need to be walked through it verbally over and over again and perhaps the wicked mommy of the west will go away.

Sigh......back to the kitchen.

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