Even gifted kids can have trouble with spelling and phonics

If you have a high ability child, don’t expect the academic road to always be smooth and straight. Dyslexia may keep a brilliant mind from understanding phonics and spelling rules.

This young man is as smart as he is handsome, but spelling rules were frustrating for him. Too many homework hours were spent trying to memorize a list of words in isolation. What was missing was the “why” of phonics patterns. More than once he complained that spelling made “no sense.”

When I was a classroom teacher, I told a series of stories that I made up about the Vowels, giving them human characteristics and a “voice” which represented either the long or short vowel sounds. I created a character named Mighty Magic E, complete with a red super hero cape, who helped Vowels say their name (the long sound), instead of their scared sound (the short sign) when they are followed by a consonant.

I recently sat with this young man and used my second book of stories to help him read words with R controlled Vowels. In addition, we went back to the first book and reviewed Mighty Magic E and how it changes the vowel sound. Until he read the book with me and acted out the interactions between vowels and other letters, he didn’t know what sounds the combinations of letters made.

These books are not intended for a child to read alone.

Each story in just a few pages. They can be acted out like a conversation between a vowel and a consonant who meet on a road. The stories reinforce reading from left to right, which I call a “one way street”.

It was rewarding to watch this young man learn the phonetic rules and begin to accurately predict the sounds that letters make in different combinations.?

Does your child struggle to spell or sound out words? These books can help beginning readers make the connection between letters and the sounds they make.

You can order them here!

Why Do Vowels Make Different Sounds? (Beginning Phonics) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1728660394/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_BXPNCb5RDGFX3

More Vowel Stories for Beginning Readers (Beginning Phonics) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1790725259/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_PYPNCbEPA1FJM

The Power of Learning

I am speaking in Colorado today to gifted educators from across the state. Although our topic is Giftedness in Poverty, many are also parents of gifted children. I hope I can encourage them to join us as we discover our willingness as parents and as educators to learn and grow in our understanding of Giftedness. I hope we will support each other to become better supporters of the gifted children whose lives we touch.

A Woman Who is a Mother is a Teacher and a Friend

I have spent the last couple of days sorting through antique photos from my grandmother, who passed away in 1966. She attended Huntsville Normal College, a teacher college that later turned into Sam Houston State University. Before she married, she taught in little towns like Sherwood, Texas.

This photo was a gift to her on August 10, 1905, from her best friend, Rosalie. Looking at Rosalie, whose last name was not included, it looks like it was taken just a few years ago, not over 100 years. She is so young and pretty, it made me wish I knew more of her story, as well as my grandmother’s.

It was so rare at the turn of the century for a woman to be educated. It was even more rare for a woman to ever work outside the home once she married.

Rosalie and my grandmother, Myrtle, once were young, ambitious, and has convictions.

I only knew my grandmother as a withered old woman with a body humped over with osteoporosis and a life of relative hardship as a rancher’s wife in West Texas.

Think today about the young women you know. Appreciate their potential and help them celebrate their friendships with other women who also strive and dream. Women support each other and grow stronger.

These women were teachers. In the classroom and in their homes, they helped children become better people.

Be a teacher. Live your dreams, and help other women dream big too.