fbpx

Posts Tagged ‘leapfrog’

Since the beginning of our homeschool adventures we’ve learned so many different subjects, had a bunch of field trips and discovered new interests. One thing that’s been consistent through all this is my least favorite subject to teach: Reading.

We made great strides in our phonics curriculum and looking from where we started a year and a half ago to now, there have been great improvements. But I still wasn’t sure if she was where she needs to be.

It’s hard because we’ve never raised a seven year old before. On one hand I’m trying really hard not to compare my kids to other kids but on the other hand, if something is off, early detection can be really helpful.

This year I asked for local suggestions and found a reading tutor to help me where I was struggling. The teacher specializes in tutoring kids with dyslexia but she also helps kids who are struggling with reading. She got to know my daughter really well and after a while suggested I get her tested for a reading difference.

Let me tell you I was in complete denial. I mean, I think I had been for years. Lil’ J is so smart and ok so she sometimes gets her bs and ds backwards, but so do many kids her age, and based on some things I’d read, it didn’t seem to make or break it for being dyslexic. She has issues decoding words despite being able to explain the rules of decoding to me and seemingly able to understand the process for sounding out a word. To me she was guessing, being lazy, and just not trying hard enough.

The first neurologist I called quoted me more than $3000 for an intensive screening process and review. Umm. No thanks. I mean, I wanted to know but I didn’t think it was going to be that expensiveAnother friend recommended another specialist who quoted $75-$200 depending on what workup we wanted afterwards. Sold!

We went in for the screening and the specialist was so nice. Asking my daughter what her favorite subjects and books were. My daughter said reading, but I’m still not certain she meant it. She probably felt like that was the right thing to say in the circumstance we were in. After explaining her processes a little bit she took my daughter back and gave her a series of tests. I could hear a little bit of it in the other room and fully expected them to come back saying something like “well, she’s a little behind but doing totally fine…”

Instead with a concerned smile on her face the dyslexia therapist looked at me and said “yea, you should definitely get her tested.” My stomach dropped. Then she pointed out the tests she gave her and explained how she was looking at letter processing compared to numbers and how my daughter’s brain responded to different questions.

All the signs pointed to dyslexia and an official screening (we’re looking at taking her to a children’s hospital in Dallas that offers free testing) will provide her with the documentation she needs for college admissions and things for special assistance programs. The more the specialist explained the more I felt my anxiety rising and the worse I felt.

How did I not see this? Where did this come from? How will this effect her life?

I lost it.

My daughter was playing in the other room but I think she heard me failing to holding back tears because she came in to check on me, which of course made me feel even worse.

When I called my husband and told him the news he wasn’t surprised. He told me he had a feeling and that it was better we knew now. I was still feeling distraught. Partly because of the realization itself and partly for all of my unnecessary pushing and pushing over time.

My daughter overheard me talking to her dad about dyslexia and chimed in.

“I’M DYSLEXIC?!” She asked. “COOL! I’m like Percy Jackson!” She said. We’d just finished the entire first series together. So this girl was well aware of the term.

“Does this mean I can read Greek?!” She asked. That gave me a much-needed laugh.

It’s been about a month since we found out and there are a few things I’m noticing I’m doing differently.

Learning about dyslexia

I’m listening to the Dyslexic Advantage book and some other podcasts about raising children with dyslexia. Understanding how her brain works and processes things differently. For instance her tutor started teaching Lil’ J how to write in cursive and her handwriting is way better in cursive. She seems to enjoy it better and I’ve read it’s easier for her brain to understand and write that way because she’s not having to pick up her pencil as much. I’m learning how there are advantages and strengths of being a different kind of thinker.  I haven’t really been able to totally dive into it yet, just taking the information in a little at a time.

Patience

I’m way more patient. I would get so frustrated when we’d practice phonics and she’d struggle with words or sounds I thought we’d already mastered. Now that I understand it’s not a lack of effort, I have the patience to work with her on things that she’s stumbling over. On her LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition tablet she’ll play spelling and reading word games and instead of setting her off to play on her own I’ll sometimes sit and show her how to replay the question so she can hear the question or words better. In the games she plays in LeapFrog Academy, I can monitor her progress in the parent dashboard and see what progress she’s making or where she may be giving up on an activity then help her with those.

It’s a challenge, but a fun one, and a nice break from some of the reading activities we’ll do on paper.

Getting help

More tutoring. We’ve upped her tutoring to four days a week instead of two and instead of just getting help with reading she’s working with a dyslexic specific curriculum. Right now I’m taking some of the pressure off myself to teach reading and focusing on other subjects, her good comprehension, and reading aloud from books she loves.

Keeping reading fun

I think one of the most important things I can do right now is make sure I keep reading and books inspiring and fun. I’ll drop what I’m doing a couple times a day when she asks me to read more from a novel. I’ll pause to ask comprehension questions or ask her to make predictions about what may happen next–If she doesn’t already offer through one of her random excited outbursts.

We’ll play reading games on her tablet together, or she’ll show me something she’s discovered on her own. That’s one thing I love so much about it. LeapSearch has given her the freedom to access the Internet while I feel at ease knowing that only kid-safe content is accessible. It’s safe and intuitive, so she’ll stumble upon new learning activities (the other day she showed me what she was learning about organs in the human body in The Human Body: Captain Plasma’s Adventure game) and come back and tell me some random facts she’s learned. For Christmas I want to load some new learning games on there for her from the LeapFrog App Center and watch her take it and run.

She loves to learn. Reading hasn’t come easy to her, but I know she’ll get it, and once she does I have a feeling it’ll be hard to get her to stop.


I’m passionate about getting my children excited about learning. That’s why I’ve partnered with LeapFrog for 2017, to share our journey to making learning fun and inspiring my kids to be the best they can be.  The LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition is a great gift for kids ages 3-9 that love to learn and have fun all at once. New customers also save 25% and get an extended free trial of LeapFrog AcademyTM when they register their LeapFrog EpicTM Academy Edition. Purchase a LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition tablet and signup for a 3-month free trial of LeapFrog Academy, $5.99 per month after the trial period ends. LeapFrog Academy guides kids on a variety of fun Learning Adventures that explore a blend of math, reading, science, creativity, problem solving and social-emotional skills, You can learn more about the program and sign up for a free trial here.

When people ask about my plans to homeschool my son I can never give a straight answer. “He doesn’t really listen to me,” I usually say at one point. He doesn’t like to sit and draw, or follow my direction. My daughter LOVED to draw when she was four. She loved to cut and create art and she’d work on any project I’d give her. My son just is not that way. But you know what? He surprised me this week. I grabbed a new workbook I’d had on the shelf for months. It’s a guide to teach your kids to read allegedly in just 100 lessons.

I sat down on a bunch of pillows and asked him to come sit on my lap. I turned to the first lesson and began, half expecting him to run away before I finished the first question. But, he stayed and listened and participated. Halfway through he grabbed his stuffed shark to practice with us. And he asked me to talk in a “shark voice” while we finished. But he was all in. Focused, saying letter sounds and even grasping the concept of following multiple letters and saying their sounds. A skill my daughter didn’t have at that age.

I don’t like to compare them but I think to some degree it’s natural. My daughter is bright, inquisitive, creative and talkative. My son is detail-oriented, playful and extremely silly. One thing I’ve loved about homeschooling is finding out what excites my kids and gets them enthusiastic about learning then tailoring the way I teach to that.

My daughter has shown a big interest in mythology since we’ve been reading the Percy Jackson series. This month my daughter and I have been doing a lot of our lessons surrounding Greek mythology. We tie in spelling words, language arts, hand writing and even science and math. With my son I help teach him letter sounds and addition and subtraction using snacks and his little Cars characters.

On their LeapFrog Epic they both love using their their LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition tablet for entirely different reasons. On her profile my daughter loves to play all of the games that increase in difficulty and adapt to her level as she goes. We don’t have a video game system so all of these new apps are so fun for her. I don’t think she even realizes they are learning games, or if she does, it doesn’t keep her from wanting to play them.

My son though, using the exact same tablet, on his profile plays with it differently. He isn’t as into games yet, or at least hasn’t found one he wants to keep playing over and over. However, he loves the LeapFrog Factory videos. Especially the one with a shark that looses his teeth and they sing and count how many he needs. And another that goes through all of the letter sounds. He’s always enjoyed learning through music. I should make some time to snag it from my kids and play some of the games myself so I can find some I think he would like and set them to the top of the navigation menu on his profile.

Big T is 4 and Lil’ J is 7 and they learn and play in different ways, so it’s not always easy to find a gift both of them love. They both consider the LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition a winner and I’m pretty thrilled about that. Now I just have to decide if should add another to the Christmas list or if I continue to let them master the art of sharing.


I’m passionate about getting my children excited about learning. That’s why I’ve partnered with LeapFrog for 2017, to share our journey to making learning fun and inspiring my kids to be the best they can be.  The LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition is a great gift for kids ages 3-9 that love to learn and have fun all at once. New customers also save 25% and get an extended free trial of LeapFrog AcademyTM when they register their LeapFrog EpicTM Academy Edition. Purchase a LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition tablet and signup for a 3-month free trial of LeapFrog Academy, $5.99 per month after the trial period ends. LeapFrog Academy guides kids on a variety of fun Learning Adventures that explore a blend of math, reading, science, creativity, problem solving and social-emotional skills, You can learn more about the program and sign up for a free trial here.

LeapFrog Epic Tablet Academy Edition is the one of the best tablets for young kids. Here's why...

I feel like I know my kids pretty well but they always surprise me. Like when our new LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition arrived I totally expected my son to be the one to hog it and not want to share. He was really excited to open it and take it for a spin, but my daughter is the one who goes to grab it instead of her iPad.

Why? There’s a lot of really cool stuff on it and we’re still figuring it out. But she did sit down to point out a handful of her favorite features on it.

So first watch what she had to say and for those without volume, I’ll break it down below. But first, let me tell you what I’m finding so epic about this LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition so far.

1. ENDLESS EDUCATIONAL COMPONENTS

Easily my favorite part of this tablet is the fact that almost everything on it has an educational component. Not only is LeapFrog Academy pre-loaded onto the device, (so my kids can continue their learning adventure there without having to use the iPads with other tempting apps). But even the most basic games that seem purely fun for my daughter have some learning involved. Such as that Stretch Monkey game she loves. She’s also practicing her spelling. Another cool feature is how LeapFrog®, Just for MeTM learning technology personalizes select games to adjust to her learning level.

2. NO MORE INTERCHANGEABLE CARTRIDGES

We’ve been big fans of LeapFrog for a long time, so I was really excited to see that the Epic doesn’t need interchangeable game cartridges to work. It is pre-loaded with dozens of activities and it has Wi-Fi so you can just go to the LeapFrog® Learning Library, and get access to hundreds of games, apps, videos, and music – without having to keep track of all of those game cartridges.

3. KID-SAFE (AND KID-PROOF)

Ok how many phones/tablets have fallen victim to broken screens thanks to a child handler? In our house there have been plenty. The LeapFrog Epic has a shatter-safe LCD screen and protective bumper for everyday bumps.

Ok now back to the things my daughter loves, in case you didn’t already get enough of her adorable review.

1. STRETCH MONKEY 2

Stretch Monkey 2 is a fun game where you pull the monkey back then watch it fling across the screen, and catch different fruits while climbing up buildings. That’s her favorite part. The feature I love is the fact that between each level it gives her a handful of spelling words to practice. This seems to be one of her favorite games so far.

2. Customizable home screen

Immediately my daughter realized she could change around her home screen, move the apps around where she likes and customize her profile. She’s been pretty proud of that and likes to tweak it every now and then re-arranging some of her favorite apps at the top.

3. Story Spinner

Kind of like a verbal version of mad gab where you answer questions asking for different nouns, verbs, sounds etc. Then it plugs all of your responses into a silly story. My daughter and I played this together and we got plenty of laughs.

4. Word of the Day

Just as it sounds, this app reveals a new word every day, and gives you the word in a sentence to give her a little context. There’s also a reward system set up so that each time you get a new word it adds on to a story rewarding you for checking back frequently. I like challenging her to use the word she learns again in a sentence during the day.

There are a few more apps she’s really enjoying right now and if you watch her video you can see what they are!

So there’s that for now. I’m sure over the next couple of months we’re going to discover so much more we love about this tablet. So stay tuned for more updates and some more trial runs with my son as well.

New customers also save 25% and get an extended free trial of LeapFrog AcademyTM with their EpicTMAcademy Edition tablet. They can try LeapFrog Academy TM free for 3 months and continue the learning fun for just $5.99 a month. Purchase a LeapFrog Epic Academy Edition tablet and signup for a 3-month free trial of LeapFrog Academy, $5.99 per month after the trial period ends.


I’m passionate about getting my children excited about learning. That’s why I’ve partnered with LeapFrog for 2017, to share our journey to making learning fun and inspiring my kids to be the best they can be. LeapFrog Academy takes kids on Learning Adventures that guide children around the islands in My World to explore eBooks, games, puzzles, videos, music, and art activities. Adventures focus on specific subjects and have titles like Get Ready for Preschool; Letters, Sounds, and Rhymes; Math and Science; and Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. You can learn more about the program and sign up for a free trial here.

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

headshot

I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

My Photography Course

My Photography Course

Featured Posts

diy-onsie-cardigan-tutorial

adventures-in-homeschooling

30-things-my-kids-should-know-about-me

Aurora-tutu-dress-tutorial-3

kid-movie-reviews

disney-family-travel

photo-backup-tutorial


as-seen-on-button
I’m a 2017 Iris Awards Winner

watch @jenniferborget on

Inspiring Moments Positive Parenting Spreading Joy
How My Husband Inspires Me to Give Back
Here’s a Fun Way to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth
I’ve Been Trying to Drink More Water for Years and Now I Finally Am
Family Travel Food & Culture Homeschooling
Here’s What’s New at Toy Story Land
From Homeschool to Public School – We Made It!
Tips for visiting Walt Disney World with an Infant, a happy baby riding a Walt Disney World ride.
Don’t Wait to Take Your Infant to Walt Disney World
Creating With Kids (DIY) Disney Motherhood Pregnancy & Baby
best live action disney movies ranked
Disney Live Action Movies Ranked and a Free Printable Checklist
5 Reasons to Take Your Kids to a Farmers Market
Biracial baby girl eating a birthday cupcake
You’re ONE! A Love Letter to Lee Lee
Interracial Marriage Multiracial Parenting Our Family History Photography & Videos
This is How We Saved for Our Dream House
Ariel is Black and People are MAD but Here’s Why We are Here for it!
Mother and daughter Disney bound Dumbo as Timothy Mama Jumbo and Dumbo
Why I Let My Kids Watch Dumbo Even Though it’s Pretty Racist