Are you ready for an unusual review? It's not a book. It's not a toy. But it will help children who struggle to focus when reading, especially those children diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.
"What are these things?" my daughter mused, as she and my son examined the contents of my latest package of materials to review for the TOS Crew.
"I have no idea," I admitted to them and quickly looked through the package for an explanation! "Here it is! They are Heads Up Frames and Heads Up Readers!"
"Excuse me?" my daughter queried politely.
"I have no idea," I admitted a second time. "Let me read this material and get back to you."
Now, after reading through the material from Heads Up Now, a company specializing in providing information and products for struggling learners, I understand our gift a little better. Heads Up Now not only provides help for homeschooling parents, but occupational therapists, speech therapists, teachers, and other specialists who work with children who have developmental delays, learning disabilities, autism, or other special needs. God has not given me the privilege to homeschool a special needs child, but I have great admiration for parents who do! I have to say right up front that I was impressed by their catalog.
Now, let's get back to the frames and readers that arrived at my house to be reviewed. Here is a picture of the reader frames, especially helpful for students with dyslexia. They come in a rainbow of colors. They are quite simple to use and allow the reader to block out nonessential information and pay closer attention to the material at hand. They come in different sizes for different sized reading material. The square ones are perfect for highlighting math problems.
The use of color draws the child's attention away from everything else to the subject matter at hand. I don't know why certain colors work better for certain students. I did my own non-scientific survey with my own children and their friends. I had them use each color to read with and then decide which color was the easiest to use and was the most difficult to use. Here were my results for easiest color to use: Cody--yellow; Josh--light blue; Jimmy--yellow; Cassie--green, Phoebe--orange; and Shine--blue. Here were my results for hardest colors to use: Cody--blue; Josh--pink; Jimmy--red; Cassie--red and blue; Phoebe--pink and blue; and Shine--orange. I couldn't figure out any rhyme or reason that colors were any easier or harder for people to use. It must be personal preference or something unique to each child.
For my children and me, these were just fun things to play around with, but I decided to show them to my friend, Mary. Her daughter has dyslexia and reading is a challenge. When she saw my collection of reading frames her face lit up, as did her daughter's when she was using the reading frames. What a difference they make to students who need them!
Be sure to check outHead's Up Now to get an idea of all they offer. I was intrigued by some of the things that offer for kids with ADD and ADHD. They have neat squishy toys that kids can hold while they do school, big balls (like the exercise balls) that they can sit on for movement while they wo rk, and "weighted" blankets and toy snakes that help your ADD/ADHD students by allowing them to get the "wigglies" out so they can do their schoolwork. Quite interesting!
There are so many books available on all kinds of topics, includingautismandAsperger's Syndrome. There are also speech and language programs to do speech therapy at home with your child. There are also many teaching games available. Neat stuff here! If you have a special needs child, please check out this company. It may have just what you are looking for. The reading frames are available for $1.00 a piece.
A word of caution. The books and materials are from "professional" educators and doctors for the most part. There is no mention of God or Jesus in the entire catalog. Realize that anytime you glean information from a secular source, you must be VERY discerning! All children need to be raised in the fear and instruction of the Lord! Look for wisdom in the Lord in this area by contacting NATHAN: National Challenged Homeschoolers Associat ed Network. They seek to equip Christian fam ilies to raise c hallenged children in ways that honor and glorify the Lord! Here is a list of books that NATHAN recommends!
I know of one more Christian company for homeschooling children with special needs, Grace Bound Books.Teaching Jeremiah by Tara Bertic is a complete curriculum for teaching special needs children in pre-school and early elementary school. The Bertic family a lso has a blog, Teaching Jeremiah where they share their adventures homeschooling their son, Jeremiah, who has Asperger's Syndrome. Here is another avenue to chec k out for some Christ-ce ntered wisdom on schooling special nee ds children.
If you can offer more Christ-centered options for homeschooling families with special needs children, please leave a comment on this review with a link to their site. Blessings to everyone!