Countrymom9

Advice needed for ds16

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Countrymom9

Ds16 is dyslexic and has been dx'd with slow processing speed. Other than that, he is intellectually normal. He is a great, responsible kid with a few ADHD overtones (kind of a clown).

 

He is doing GREAT in math this year (Algebra 2 and Catchup math so two maths at a time). He's trying pretty hard to get all his schoolwork done, but still having to finish some up on weekends for Monday co-op. I do schedule it so that he can get it all done during the week, but something always slides by, though he works like crazy.

 

The biggest problem is tests. In no subject other than math is he doing well on tests. It doesn't seem to matter whether it's material I read to him or material he reads and takes notes on himself; he just doesn't do well. I think he tries to work too fast and misses what the question is asking. I would just let that slide except that he will have to take tests IRL and he needs to be able to pass them.

 

He hopes to go into engineering or some related field. I often think we should just steer him into one of the trades as he's great with his hands, but he has resisted that so far. However, I know (because dh has many trade licenses) that you still have to pass tests in order to get certified, licensed, etc., in order to make a decent living, so even that would not eliminate the need for tests.

 

The psychologist who tested him this summer said he needs to "overlearn" material. Any ideas?

 

I'd love to have input on all this.

 

 

 

 

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Hunny

Use the tests to teach him how to take one. Literally.

Walk him through an essay test and how to answer the questions. Teach him to slow down and think about it. Show him how to use his notes to study. Let him do a test open book or open notes and show him how to find the answers.

I recommend getting something like Super Star Student from Great Courses that teaches study skills, test taking, time management, etc. It's expensive, but if you wait for a sale you can get it for $30. Check your library too. Our library has some of the courses we can borrow for free.

As he gets better with these skills you can ease up and let him do the tests on his own again.

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Countrymom9

Use the tests to teach him how to take one. Literally.

Walk him through an essay test and how to answer the questions. Teach him to slow down and think about it. Show him how to use his notes to study. Let him do a test open book or open notes and show him how to find the answers.

I recommend getting something like Super Star Student from Great Courses that teaches study skills, test taking, time management, etc. It's expensive, but if you wait for a sale you can get it for $30. Check your library too. Our library has some of the courses we can borrow for free.

As he gets better with these skills you can ease up and let him do the tests on his own again.

 

 

I like the idea of using a test to teach him to take them. I will definitely try that. I do let him take his biology tests (for co-op) open book. (The teacher says it's fine to do it.) He still messes up on them, and using them as a teaching tool may open my eyes, too, as to why he's having a problem. He even fails his tests in Notgrass Economics, and Notgrass's tests, IMO, are downright easy.

 

We watched Superstar Student a couple of years ago, but could do with a review. It was excellent and the kids enjoyed it, for a wonder.  I will check it out of the library again.

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Sandwich in Wi

You also have to teach them how and what to study.  My 8th grade son is figuring all that out this year, and it's not easy!  It came very naturally to me (taking tests and studying) so I'm a little at a loss as to how to teach him HOW to study.  We started with looking at what he failed on the test and thinking back to what would have helped him, had he studied it.  We decided that he hadn't looked at and memorized the vocabulary, so when they asked him to find the Lowest Common Denominator, for example, he couldn't remember what the LCD was and didn't know what to do.  He also determined that working the example problems from the lesson again was helpful.  This is for math.  For science, he had a handle on memorizing the vocab, but he really wasn't understanding the concepts very well. He'd read through the explanation, but was letting his mind glaze over all the information in the text, because it's too much.  We discovered from looking at the test questions, that the diagrams in the book really explained the concepts of the chapter and that they were an important element to study and understand (plus then you get the visual example, rather than just the words).  I also showed him that the study guide, which he fills out each chapter, basically covers the whole test and if he understood the study guide, he'd do well on the test.  The last thing we talked about was answering what the question asked.  For example, one problem asked for the number of atoms in a molecule (total), but the next question asked for the number of each KIND of atom.  He answered both the same way after reading the first few words in the question and got one of them wrong.

 

So for us, analyzing his mistakes on the test have been helpful.  I really encouraged him to study this time around and he got A's on both tests rather than two F's like last week.

 

Oh, one other thing that I discovered in college was that an open book test is really only useful if you already know the material.  It's not a pass to not study, thinking you'll be able to look it up.  If you don't know what or where you're looking up, you only waste the time you have trying to find it.

 

Good luck!

 

Blessings,

Sandwich

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Countrymom9

You also have to teach them how and what to study.  My 8th grade son is figuring all that out this year, and it's not easy!  It came very naturally to me (taking tests and studying) so I'm a little at a loss as to how to teach him HOW to study.  We started with looking at what he failed on the test and thinking back to what would have helped him, had he studied it.  We decided that he hadn't looked at and memorized the vocabulary, so when they asked him to find the Lowest Common Denominator, for example, he couldn't remember what the LCD was and didn't know what to do.  He also determined that working the example problems from the lesson again was helpful.  This is for math.  For science, he had a handle on memorizing the vocab, but he really wasn't understanding the concepts very well. He'd read through the explanation, but was letting his mind glaze over all the information in the text, because it's too much.  We discovered from looking at the test questions, that the diagrams in the book really explained the concepts of the chapter and that they were an important element to study and understand (plus then you get the visual example, rather than just the words).  I also showed him that the study guide, which he fills out each chapter, basically covers the whole test and if he understood the study guide, he'd do well on the test.  The last thing we talked about was answering what the question asked.  For example, one problem asked for the number of atoms in a molecule (total), but the next question asked for the number of each KIND of atom.  He answered both the same way after reading the first few words in the question and got one of them wrong.

 

So for us, analyzing his mistakes on the test have been helpful.  I really encouraged him to study this time around and he got A's on both tests rather than two F's like last week.

 

Oh, one other thing that I discovered in college was that an open book test is really only useful if you already know the material.  It's not a pass to not study, thinking you'll be able to look it up.  If you don't know what or where you're looking up, you only waste the time you have trying to find it.

 

Good luck!

 

Blessings,

Sandwich

 

 

This is really helpful. Thanks!

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Suzanne HD in FL

It might help to get the test study manual from the library which goes with some craft he has some background with and let him see the types of tests he will face.  I knew a young man who had reading difficulties but he studied the electrician test information and by the time he could manage the testing he had improved his reading.

 

I can understand difficulty with multiple choice tests.  Can he cross off on the test the answers that are wrong?

When I taught Alpha Omega curriculum there were alternate tests to take if you missed the first on.  The students became willing to make and study practice cards with the answers on the back or I typed a sheet with term on one side and definition or question and answer in two columns.  They could cover the second column and move the cover sheet down to check themselves as they studied.  This is helpful if the test is answering specific facts.  What have you found so far that helps?

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