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Biracial girl sitting next to her posters on internet safety as she prepares for her quizzes on internet safety

Learning from Home with a Child with a Learning Difference

“Yea, I’m dyslexic so it’s hard for me to read some things.”

I overheard my 9-year-old daughter talking on a video chat with her friend. Casually throwing out the fact that she’s dyslexic. Moments later her friend mentioned her own anxiety. I smiled at how confident these girls were in owning who they are without shame or embarrassment.

Each of my kids has strengths and weaknesses… all of us do. This time at home together is challenging because we were thrust into it without much of a warning. But a positive side is it’s giving me a chance to learn more about each of them, their learning styles, and how they learn best.

We learned Jayda was dyslexic a few years ago. I took some time to learn about what this meant and how I could help her with reading in a way that works for her. I used to push reading at all costs. But now, seeing how she has a different way of processing, I’m not worrying about how fast she’s progressing in that subject. Instead, we’re focusing on her strengths.

Why focus on your weaknesses when you have so many strengths? She’s extremely good at visual interpretations, and design. She’s very creative and has a great eye for photography and videography. She’s a good gymnast, and her comprehension skills are also impressive. So I do give her a regular workload with math and listening to stories, but I’m not pushing so hard on the phonetics right now.

School is officially out for the year in our district. But I haven’t informed my kids. Yea, we decided we’re just going to keep learning from home all summer. Mainly for the sake of keeping a routine going, and to help the kids continue to learn at their own pace.

Thankfully one of her dyslexia teachers is offering tutoring this summer via Zoom, so she can keep working with her and we can focus on some of her other interests. Allowing her to do that has boosted her confidence.

And I thought my son would do better in a classroom with a teacher instructing him. And while he does behave better outside of the home, he needs a little more one-on-one attention to grasp the lesson happening in the classroom. I’ve basically restarted teaching him first grade math, and we’re filling in the gaps where he didn’t feel confident. Same with reading.

Tomato from a backyard garden

The Evolution of My Backyard Garden Part 1

I thought I online shopped a lot before we were all staying at home but now things have gone to a whole new level.

At least most of my shopping has been for food (hello hungry kids!) or a home project. Most of our projects have involved being outside. The biggest one we’ve been working on is the backyard and garden area. We have a lot of space, and with the pools and things being closed out here, we wanted to beef up the area here so the kids could play, and while we were at it, I decided to take up gardening.

black people holding hands

18 Organizations Uplifting Black Lives and Bridging the Police Divide

Throughout the year I try to donate to organizations and causes close to us. Our church, the BYU Black Alumni Association, and Partnerships for Children are a few of our regulars. But this year I’ve wanted to branch out a little more and contribute to relevant causes that can help our current climate.

I think it’s really important to donate to organizations you truly believe in and that you feel will go to a good cause. Passionate about LGBTQ rights? Find a cause that fits the bill. Passionate about mental health? What nonprofits speak to that cause? Did a mentor program shape you while you were growing up? How could you get involved to pay it forward?

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