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How this course helps those with special needs
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The Order of Progression
Appealing to the Senses
Overlearning
About the Course Designer
How this course helps those with special needs

Many reading courses teach children the alphabet in one sitting - a b c d and so on.

A few also teach the upper case at the same time - ABC  - further confusing the child.

A very few make the even worse mistake of telling the child that the letter a which is also printed as A can say a (can) or ay (cake). No wonder many kids give up on reading, get restless and become behavior problems. We have made the task too hard.

 

Even kids with no learning challenges find reading English difficult when it is presented in the above way. What is needed is to simplify simplify so that reading is appraoched in small steps.

First we slow the pace right down so we only teach one thing per lesson.

We only teach one concept at a time - so we focus on lower case letters only (since books are after all written in lower now upper case) and we ignore upper case for a while.

 

We only teach the sound the letter makes not its name. In that way a child does not have to learn two messages for one shape. The child need not learn h is aytch but says hh.. We move the child directly to the sound the letter makes - we call it hhhhh. 

 

Third we teach the shape of the letter in a little story that is logical. There is a REASON the letter is h.  For every letter we invent this story and it has airtight logic for the child. The shape of h is like a HOUSE with  chimney and that is why it looks like it does. The shape of ss is a snake and that is why it says sss.  The shape of www is waves on the water.  In this way a child can see the letter, remember the story and remember the name of the object and the sound the letter makes all logically.

 

For children with special needs we also shift our goals.  We realize that such children are often very honest, trusting, extremely logical and very literal about commands. So we adjust the course to the material that is literal, learning only names of objects that can be touched, illustrating only concepts that are concrete. We focus on the practical, sign-reading, essential reading.

 

For children with special needs we make our goals more modest. We do not aim to read long words, only short ones given the short attention span. We do not aim to read words in upper case, only words in lower case.   But we keep to the logical instruction method so that sounds combine very naturally to make those words we can read.

We make each page easy so that success is natural. We give lots of praise.

Flying Geese

We believe in the dignity of every learner.
 
We realize that even with special needs, the child has a logical mind and wants to make sense of the world. We enter into the child's approach, be it through food, through music, through large physical activities, or through touch -  and we teach.
Through short daily sessions we want the child to enjoy the experience.

Illustration: Tropical vacation

We set sail gently. There is no rush.

Sail Boats

For children with special needs, we simplify even more. 

The lesson is very short - only one page per day, possibly five minutes.

The font is very large so the child has to focus directly on one large object or letter.

Most often children with special needs have poorly developed fine motor skills so no printing is required, just pointing, or if that is not possible, just clapping hands when the teacher points at the correct letter.

There is a lot of repetition worked into each concept so the child 'overlearns' an idea before moving on.  In this way the sound of a letter is associated with its shape by many many links in the child's mind.  We appeal to nearly all senses for each letter.  We deal with one concept briefly per day, but we readdress it for many days.

The course has built-in reviews in it.

Anchors and Sails is designed by Bev Jaremko
521-18 A St. NW Calgary Ab Canada T2N2H3