Thursday, May 30, 2013

~School year in focus~

I am a very pleased mom!!!
Caleb finished 7th grade at First Baptist Academy (FBA), with an A/B Honor Roll through all 4 quarters.   :)  :)
He also had zero days absent & zero days tardy- all year long!
 
As you know, this was our son's first year at First Baptist Academy, after home schooling since his 1st grade year [he attended another school in grades K & 4th].
Richard & I were concerned about Caleb's inability to concentrate and focus with most tasks (not just school work).
We knew his school work would increasingly become more difficult, and we couldn't imagine him patiently reading through his stack of homework. Penciling a book report was torture for him.
It was monumental for him to produce a couple of paragraphs without painful effort. :)
We soon learned about Interactive Metronome (click to read more) from a friend at our church, a certified IM provider.  IM is an "assessment and treatment tool that also helps to improve cognitive and motor skills". I've also heard it described as, "Brain Core Therapy". In my own words, the exercises help to develop lesser used areas in one's brain. With work and concentration, the weaker areas become stronger.

 
Last August & September, our friend came to our house 2 times a week for about 6 weeks. Caleb would don headphones, and listen for cow bell sounds.
Focusing on the sounds from the headphones, he would concentrate on clapping, stepping, or swinging his arms to the time. The goal was for him to be "on time" with the cow bell.
A computer device attached to his hand, recorded the time and accuracy in detail.
During the 6 weeks of IM, I could increasingly tell a difference in Caleb's ability to focus. He could finally REALLY study for tests, instead of handing his notes back to me after only a brief scan (not having absorbed the info).
Caleb looked forward to his IM sessions, and set goals for himself. He worked hard, and was often worn out after an hour (sometimes more) of concentration. :)
 
Caleb will never be an avid reader or writer, and will always need to work hard in English. That said, I'm pleased with the book reports and papers he's written this past school year.
My jaw dropped when I recently discovered he wrote an eight-paged paper for English class!!!
 Yes, IM may sound a bit crazy and draw skepticism, but it has certainly helped Caleb  better concentrate!! [most likely the eight-paged paper was to please his teacher ... but he used focus to write it!! :)  ]
 
 If you struggle with children who hate writing and reading- it's ok.   :)
It likely has little to do with the school curriculum (get rid of the guilt).
 There may be issues with concentration & focus, and yes- things can improve!  :)
There is HOPE!  :)

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