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My dyslexic son feels like his mom is always treating him like a baby. And the truth is, there are times where I necessarily have to.
His struggle to read effects his interactions in the world every single day. And I am the one that has been filling in the gap.
Although he is only ten, and barely reading at all, he is however completing the same coursework in Science and Geography as his 13 year old brother. He loves the challenge. He is able to keep up.
The only problem is that I am the one reading every single thing to him.
For all of it, I act as a reading interpreter. And he seriously dislikes it.
Conversely, my reading out loud also drives my oldest son completely bonkers. He is a fast and effective reader. He says I slow him down. He wants to get ahead of me, but can’t as I drone on with his brother.
The truth is, I had just about given up on completing any schoolwork with both of them together. The frustration of trying to meet both of their exceptional, but very different learning needs, was getting to be just too much – for all three of us.
And then we began using North Star Geography.
You already know how much I admire the curriculum. (Anything that uses real life and everyday practicalities to teach is right up my boys’ alley!)
The curriculum itself has been amazing for my kids. But the delivery was a little rough. My reading every lesson was getting tedious for all of us.
I realized that North Star has an audio version of the textbook available for download. To say I was enthusiastic about trying it, is an understatement.
We have never used an audio textbook. Strangely, the thought never even occurred to me before using Northstar.
But I know how much my boys respond to audio learning. We use audio books almost exclusively for read-alouds and language arts these days. Why not try a text book as well?
I am so glad we did.
The Benefits of Using An Audio Textbook With My Struggling Learner
My son is thrilled that he can follow along in the textbook on his own now, without having his mom sit next to him and read everything. He has said on several occasions that he looks like he is in college now. And the truth is, his learning independently means a much needed break for me. Using headphones mean his older brother is thrilled, to not hear my voice droning on and on anymore. Win-Win-Win.
Increasing independence is also bringing on an increased confidence in my youngest learner. Because he is now “in charge” and succeeding in a subject that is actually well above his current grade level, he is much more confident in his overall ability to learn. The sneakiest part of dyslexia is how much is erodes his own perception of how intelligent he really is. Using North Star’s audio text is helping him realize his capabilities – independent from me. This has been a huge confidence builder!
This one is a given. Because my child is an audio learner, he needs to hear it out loud to help retain the information. Moreover, hearing someone other than his mom, makes it much more interesting and “advanced” in his mind. His overall retention of this material has been excellent.
More Fun And Engaged Learning
This is the most beneficial part of our move to North Star Geography. Because the curriculum is well written and engaging, and because we have found a successful way to deliver the information using the audio format, my sons are enjoying the learning.
Overall, using North Star Geography’s audio textbook has been a huge win for us and our learning.
Have you ever used an audio textbook? What has your experience been? I am thinking we may expand this to other subjects as well in the upcoming school year, and would love to hear your thoughts!
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.