Have a good playlist

No deep thoughts today!  And nothing about dyslexia!  Sometimes its good to take a break, and what better way than listening to music.  Below is the playlist that my running partner made for me which turned out to be the secret to my success for the Twin Cities Marathon.  While I was typing each song I could remember the smile on my face and my deep feeling of contentment.  I also enjoyed hearing the secret messages and the overall theme of run to the beat I knew my running partner would insert.  Hope some of you can find a new song or two to add to your playlist for running, cleaning, driving, completing Excel spreadsheets, dance parties, etc.

  1. Easy — The Commodores
  2. Bright Morning Stars — Abigail Washburn
  3. The Book of Love — The Magnetic Fields
  4. Hide and Seek — Imogen Heap
  5. Blue Mind — Alexi Murdoch
  6. Whenever God Shines His Light — Van Morrison
  7. Mandolin Rain — Bruce Hornsby
  8. Seasons of Love — Original Broadway Cast
  9. Keep Your Head Up — Ben Howard
  10. Hard Way Home — Brandi Carlie
  11. Ants Marching (Live) — Dave Matthews Band
  12. Just Say Yes — Snow Patrol
  13. Wake Me Up — Avicii
  14. Cruise (Remix) — Florida Georgia Line
  15. Come on Eileen — Dexy’s Midnight Runners
  16. Girl on Fire (Inferno Version) — Alicia Keys
  17. Hey Brother — Avicii
  18. Love Story — Taylor Swift
  19. After School Special — Jurassic 5
  20. Suga Mama — Beyonce
  21. The Distance — Cake
  22. Follow Your Arrow — Kacey Musgraves
  23. Ladies Love Chest Rockwell — Lovage
  24. I Gotta Feeling — The Black Eyed Peas
  25. Have you Got It In You? — Imogen Heap
  26. Blister in the Sun — Violent Femmes
  27. Raise Hell — Brandi Carlile
  28. Altrevete — Calle 13
  29. Tangerine Speedo — Caviar
  30. Awake My Soul — Mumford & Sons
  31. Merry Go ‘Round — Kacey Musgraves
  32. 1 Goddess — Soho
  33. All This Time — Sting
  34. Real Fine Love — John Hiatt
  35. Calabria — Enur
  36. DotA (Radio Edit) — Basshunter
  37. Fit But You Know It — The Streets
  38. Sweet Child O’ Mine — Guns N’ Roses
  39. Forget you — Cee Lo Green
  40. Wagon Wheel — Old Crow Medicine Show
  41. Echoes (Radio Edit) — Hennik B, Niklas Gustavsson & Peter Johansson
  42. Lover of the Light — Mumford & Sons
  43. Empire State of Mind — Jay-Z
  44. Don’t Stop Believin’ — Journey
  45. Firework — Katy Perry
  46. Nothing Compares 2 U — Prince
  47. Can’t Hold Us — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  48. Shadows of the Night — Pat Benatar
  49. The Rockafeller Skank — Fatboy Slim
  50. Without You — David Guetta & Usher
  51. Love Somebody — Maroon 5
  52. Move (If You Wanna) — Mims
  53. Stay Loose — Jimmy Smith
  54. Thickfreakness — The Black Keys
  55. Less Talk More Rokk — Freezepop
  56. Heart of A Champion — Nelly
  57. Hall of Fame — The Script
  58. Kids — MGMT
  59. Get Up On It Like This – The Chemical Brothers
  60. Desire — U2
  61. Baba O’Riley — The Who

©Running Partner, October 2013

And I’m still wondering what this guy was thinking.

Did he lose a bet?

Think this was hilarious last week….and then he hit mile 4?

.Chewy 1

Hopefully he also had a good playlist.

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Make cookies

On Friday afternoons we take a break from traditional academia in homeschool land.  Sometimes it’s time to watch a documentary, other times we go skiing or on a bike ride.  #2’s favorite is a cooking project.

He loves to make cookies.  #4 helps too.  He reads the recipe, does the math (when we double a recipe), follows directions, plans ahead (when he gets out all the ingredients before he starts…something I’m guilty of failing to do very often!) and cleans up.  All valuable life skills.

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My favorite cookie is chocolate chip.  I like this recipe so much because when I get up too late before an early morning run to have breakfast, which is always, I can shove 2 of them in my mouth and call it nutritious because of the oatmeal.  Right?

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Chocolate Chip Cookies (my grandma’s recipe)

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon hot water
1 package chocolate chips
2 cups oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugars.  Add eggs.  Dissolve soda in water and add.  Add vanilla.  Add flour and salt, and then fold in the rest of the ingredients.

Grease cookie sheets and warm them.  Roll dough balls, place on cookie sheets.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes (they will still look a little raw) .  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

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Bob Books

#3 is ending his kindergarten career in a couple weeks. He is beginning to decode words, however, he has a hard time finding books at his reading level. He needs VERY EASY books that are phonetic.  Emphasis on the VERY EASY!

So often I find Level 1 reading books at the library like this:

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Score!  This is going to be great! High interest in this house! Motivation will not be a problem.  Then my beginning reader tries to decode the words and the pages are like this:

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Frustrating! This book is called 3rd grade reading in our house! Soldier? Capture? This is not for a beginning reader…especially a dyslexic one!  Sure they could look at the pictures and figure out something about the Death Star, but we want them reading….not guessing.

When #2 was in second grade I discovered Bob books.

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They are short, phonetic, with controlled text, and the different levels move through phonetic skills sequentially.

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With coaching, even severely dyslexic readers can find success with these books when they are just entering the world of reading.  #3 can read a couple of these books independently now, which grows his confidence and encourages him to read more.  This creates a positive reinforcement loop with reading.

If others have suggestions for great books for children to practice beginning reading skills with, please post them in the comments so we can learn from you.  I know I’m always looking for new suggestions!  (There is really only so much of Cat and Sam and Mat sitting on each other that I can take.) And remember…emphasis on VERY EASY!

Typing

Teach your kids to type and  provide a lot of time (years?) to practice.  Many children with dyslexia also have dysgraphia, which is a specific learning difficulty in handwriting.  For some reason dysgraphia does not effect drawing, violin playing, building with legos or typing.  Another one of those things that I suppose I should read about, but at this point I’m just going with what works.

My kids use the program Typing Instructor.  I like that I can manage the words per minute goal to give them a sense of accomplishment and prevent frustration.

And when frustration rears its ugly head, tell them stories about your typing class in high school….with real, actual typewriters.  They will look at you like you landed here from another planet when you describe the white-out sheet you had to use when you made a mistake.  It will make them quickly appreciate typing on a computer.

Kindle

If your child is having difficulty with reading, and you can afford it, get a Kindle, or other e-reader.

reading kindle

Not only will your child become more engaged and motivated with their new gadget, but with the Kindle you can make the font bigger and spacing between lines wider. This change makes complicated text (usually with a smaller font) look more like a beginning chapter book.  By changing the size of the font, it is easier for the reader to track the words, aiding with reading fluency.  (There is a reason those easy readers have a large font and fewer words on the page.)

Looking up vocabulary words is also instantaneously accomplished with a couple clicks.  If you want to see something laborious, ask a profoundly dyslexic student to find a word in a dictionary!  A deep vocabulary is one of the keys to reading comprehension.  Because of the ease, barriers are lifted and the child is no longer guessing about unknown words.

And it doesn’t hurt to be able to buy a book instantly.

Pencils

On Fridays I hope to have a very brief post with a quick tip that I’ve discovered.  Today….pencils.

#2 was also diagnosed with dysgraphia, which is a difficult with writing.  At the beginning of 3rd grade just making letters was still quite difficult.  I discovered these big pencils at Target and Lakeshore Learning Store.

pencils

I’m sure there is some science behind why writing became easier with these bigger pencils, but sometimes I just go with it and move on.  If your child is having a hard time with letter formation and writing endurance, try them!