lizdunoon Liz Dunoon

All articles by lizdunoon

 

3 Ways to find your child’s Super Power

(Also, please let us know what your child’s strength is below.)

When your child is struggling to learn, people will often say to you as a parent, find their strengths and it will fix everything, but it doesn’t quite work that way, because first, you have to find them. “Your child’s strengths are a great place to start when you want...
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To Repeat or Not To Repeat? – YOUR FEEDBACK

Thank you to all the people who responded to the 4 questions I asked, about their children changing schools and repeating a year. These responses help me and my team understand your personal experiences surrounding your child repeating a school year or changing schools to access better levels of support....
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I hate homework!

Did you know it’s highly likely your child spends all day struggling through school, comes home mentally exhausted and is then faced with an hour or more of homework? It’s enough to make them cry. I can tell you without a doubt; tears can morph into massive meltdowns as the...
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To repeat or not to repeat?

This week we are asking parents all about their experiences and challenges when it comes to having a child who is struggling to learn at school and may need to repeat a school year. This may be because… You as the parent, think it is the right course of action...
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So What’s Good About Having a School Learning Difficulty?

Firstly we all need to be aware that having a school learning difficulty can and does provide advantages. That’s right I said ‘advantages’. There are skills that some struggling school learners excel in that many others do not. Maybe you can recognise some of these strengths in your own child...
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You Are Not Alone

Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who took the time to email or comment about your number one concern or worry regarding a child or a student with a school learning difficulty. Those who asked specific questions, I will answer those over the next few weeks as I cover...
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10 Reasons why many of the good teachers are leaving teaching in droves

This is a controversial subject! There has been quite a bit in the media lately, even current affairs program 60 Minutes did an exposé on this topic recently here in Australia. Let’s get something straight… Not all the good teachers are leaving. There are many amazing teachers still in our...
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Are you looking for a guaranteed way to help your child to catch up at school?

What is the Speech to Spelling Code™ and The Ten Minute Tutor™? Who created these methods of child-centred learning and why do they work for struggling learners? I did! I’m the smallest child in the photo above. So… let me tell you how it all began. I grew up in...
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7 Steps to get a shutdown learner reading again

Is your child a shutdown learner when it comes to reading? This is the child who has tried and tried to learn to read and has simply given up. These children have decided that it’s not for them and they don’t want to try anymore or feel embarrassed as a...
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3 Points to cover when you talk about anxiety with your kids

We all know that anxiety is an ever-present symptom in children with learning difficulties, disabilities or differences. Children who are struggling to learn at school are often overwhelmed and paralyzed by anxiety, so how can we explain to our children what anxiety is? The topic is complicated, but you can...
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What is the best program for older teens and adults who need fast, effective, literacy support?

This question comes up time and time again: What do I recommend for older teens and adults who need fast effective literacy support? Or sometimes the question is… “My child is about to start high school and is petrified. How can I help them to get ready and cope with...
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3 Steps to overcoming child anxiety

There are three simple steps you can follow to deal with anxiety in children. Anxiety is not uncommon in children with school learning difficulties, disabilities or differences. In fact, I have just successfully gone through this 3-step process with my own daughter, so I thought I would share it with...
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10 Behavioral indicators of a child’s struggle to learn

The problem with having a learning difficulty, disability or difference is that you can’t see it. It’s not like the child or person who has a physical disability, where you can see they are in a wheelchair or on crutches. A child with a learning difficulty won’t look any different...
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What every student needs to know about sentences

Let’s start at the beginning, with the child who is trying to get their thoughts and ideas onto the page in the written form. For children who struggle with literacy, this can be a real challenge. Forget about: nouns, verbs, adverbs or adjectives, to get started children need to know...
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What is Dyslexia? Is it Phonological or Visual?

This question comes up time and time again. Your view on it will most likely be determined by your educational background, your own personal experience and your understanding of dyslexia and learning difficulties. There are two distinct types of dyslexia; one is visual dyslexia and the other is phonological dyslexia....
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How to make your child love punctuation

How do you make your child want to learn about punctuation? How can you make it fun? That’s right I said FUN! Let’s focus on the comma (,) that little pause that goes into sentences when we want the reader to take a tiny break. Full stops or periods (.)...
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The Chatterbox

I have lots of fantastic parents who visit my website and social media platforms and use the resources I create to help their children. This helps their children to get ahead in literacy and to catch up at school as well. It’s so wonderful when they contact me to tell...
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9 Areas of literacy teachers need to focus on

Here are 9 areas of literacy teachers need to focus on when they are teaching. The first one is phonics or the sound, symbol code. Phonics There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, A-Z. These letters combined make 46 sounds; a-, e-, i-, o-, u-, are the way we represent...
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A tribute to my second son

My second son has just graduated from high school and finished year 12. We have just had his valedictory dinner at the Melbourne Museum. It was a magical evening. My school journey isn’t over just yet, I still have my daughter to go and of course, the support I offer...
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How to get a learning assessment for your struggling child

How do you go about getting an assessment or diagnosis for a struggling learner? This is a topic that I cover extensively in my book: Helping Children With Dyslexia. I wrote this book (currently in its 2nd edition) as a direct response to helping my three children who have now...
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6 Reasons why a child may be struggling to learn

There are many reasons why a child may struggle to learn how to read. Most teachers are not trained to recognise the symptoms of a learning difficulty and may miss the signs of a child who is struggling for legitimate reasons. Today, I want to talk to you about the...
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19 ways to help a child remember how to spell sight words

This blog is in response to a question posted on Facebook by Reyna. She asked me how to help one of her students, a boy who is extremely active and is struggling to hold his sight words in his long-term memory. Firstly before we start, what are these sight words...
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Should a child be expected to study a foreign language, when they are already struggling with the English language?

This is a question I get asked all the time. It is also something I faced as a parent of three children diagnosed with dyslexia, who were all expected to learn French. So, here’s my answer. Assess your child’s ability to cope with the second language The first thing you...
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5 Ways to help a child who is struggling with reading

Children of all ages can struggle with reading. Here are 5 ways you can get your child started on the reading process.   1. Determine what is holding them back The first step is to determine what is holding them back. Children in the classroom need to use a variety...
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10 indicators that your child is struggling with reading

It can be hard to understand why your child isn’t focusing on their reading book when you are helping them to learn and practice their reading. You could assume it’s just bad behaviour or maybe even ADHD. You’re probably asking, ‘What’s going on? Why isn’t my child attempting to read?’...
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11 Mistakes teachers make when teaching reading

All children learn at different rates and for some children learning to read is very difficult. How a child is taught to read, can determine how easy the process is for them. Here are the 11 mistakes some teachers make, when teaching reading. If you prefer to watch the video...
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Tim Keller speaking at a conference

This is such great 10 minute talk on having dyslexia. Tim Keller whose formal title, Mayor Keller, didn’t learn to decode or compute using mental math until the age of 27. He has a photographic memory and got into Harvard with his intelligence and wit not his standardised test results...
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Are you a smart bloke who doesn’t like to read?

Are you someone who doesn’t enjoy spending hours tucked up in bed with Big Ted reading a novel from cover to cover? Prefer the pictures to the words? Well, don’t despair; you may be among some of the world’s most gifted and talented people, an amazing problem solver, with a...
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Major parental confusion sets in… here’s why

Major parental confusion sets in… here’s whyAnother FAQ By Liz DunoonBelow is a common example of an email I get from parents. This one is from Barbara* When I was reading this for the first time I thought – I’M CONFUSED… No wonder Barbara is. I find the best way...
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Dyslexia and Art on show

If you have a child or know a student with dyslexia who is good at Art – encourage them. Individuals with dyslexia tend to have an inbuilt aptitude for two directional visual representation and three-dimensional constructs. Individuals with dyslexia generally have very strong visual skills, a vivid imagination, strong practical/manipulative...
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My son was suicidal in Grade 2, unable to read at 11 – What now? asks mum

My son was suicidal in Grade 2, unable to read at 11 – What now? asks mumA FAQ answered by Liz Dunoon Hi Liz,   I need your help. My son is 11 years old. He is severely dyslexic. I pulled him out of 2nd grade because he had become...
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11 Reading terms to know so you can impress your child’s teacher

You’ll never be bamboozled by your child’s teacher again once you learn these 11 reading terms and what they mean. Next time you’re attending a parent-teacher meeting you can nod enthusiastically when the teacher is discussing your child’s reading, because you’ll know exactly what they’re talking about once you get...
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Can you write phonetically? – Your child can

Excerpt from The Australian Newspaper – Mother Imogen Stubbs   Whenever I do a presentation, I show my audience this paragraph from the Australian Newspaper and read it out aloud. By the time I get to the end of it, I have a lump in my throat, my eyes are...
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Why is it that good readers sometimes can’t spell?

Why is it that good readers sometimes can’t spell?A FAQ from Christine answered by Liz Dunoon “Liz, why is it that some children can read fine but have a lot of trouble with spelling? And how can I help with this? A particular child who I am concerned about, is...
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19 Instructions for my teacher

It seems some teachers are easy to learn from and others are not. The South Cumbria Dyslexia Association and the Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) surveyed dyslexic pupils about how teachers made learning easy or difficult. Some of the dyslexic pupil’s comments are listed below. At the start of the lesson...
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A Free Downloadable eBook: Can Teachers Diagnose Dyslexia?

Starting school is a huge life changing event for any child. As parents, we fully anticipate that when we send our child off to school they will learn to recognise numbers and alphabet letters, and within the first 12 months or even less, start to string letters together into simple...
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“It has been a year now and it has helped me a lot. I have been able to move up a couple of reading levels at school. It’s been really helping since last year. Hopefully, I can keep going on with it because it helps me and I really like...
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“The Ten Minute Tutor is short it fun. It has helped me realized why I have been struggling at school and I might take longer to do stuff than others, but never give up.” Bailey’s Story Bailey is a well spoken young man. In Grade 2 at school, he is...
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“I struggle at school. I’ve got dyslexia. It just helps me. I used to be well, well, well below but now I’m only a little below and I’m not even done with TTMT. I’m only half way through. When I do the videos, I don’t just want to do one....
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“The hints help me remember how to spell words. I like getting the monthly bonuses. I have a lot more confidence answering questions in class. I have been enjoying my learning a lot more. I love science and TTMT has helped get better marks in science. I think the program...
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7 ways to make learning to read and spell easy for struggling learners

Break it down. The English language is complicated, so the best way to teach it is in small logical sequential steps. It’s basically a code of symbols with sounds attached, with lots of spelling rules, so we need to teach the steps, one by one, in the correct order and...
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7 ways to support your child at school without being a helicopter parent

Watch your child carefully and listen to them as they begin the school year. As soon as you see them struggling in any area of their schoolwork or homework or they start saying that something is hard. – Watch, listen and record. Go the parent teacher interviews. Ask the teacher...
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5 things your child’s teacher needs to know to ensure your struggling learner has a successful year at school

If your child finds formal learning difficult, the thought of starting a new year at school can cause melt downs. This may mean your child experiences; tantrums, mood swings, anxiety, sleeplessness, lack of appetite and a sore tummy as the new school year approaches. What seems like the opportunity for...
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Why multisensory teaching methods favour all children (especially those with dyslexia)

Schools and teachers that embrace multisensory teaching methods employ a learning style that benefits all students. More importantly, they are providing pathways for children with specific learning disabilities to learn and access age-appropriate curriculums and then demonstrate what they know. A teacher is using multisensory teaching methods when his or...
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Is Your Child Super Clumsy?

Did your child struggle to do a jigsaw puzzle, learn to crawl, walk, skip and hop when they were little and now finds writing with a pencil or pen difficult? Then your child may have dyspraxia. Dyspraxia is also called clumsy child syndrome. Some specialists refer to it as a...
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Do you support children with Learning difficulties?

As you can imagine as the editor of Dyslexia Daily, I receive a lot of emails. Some of those email break my heart. Today I received one such email today from a grandmother whose 14 year old granddaughter was in trouble. I don’t mean she had broken a school rule...
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Soki London on being dyslexic

Soki (Sophie) London is lifestyle blogger based in the UK. With degrees from Warwick and Durham Universities. She currently works as a Management Consultant and a part-time model. She writes about fashion, restaurants and perfume.   But Soki is also dyslexic. Here she talks about how ‘dyslexia’ has impacted her life. Diagnosed at the age of 11, Soki...
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Why kids need to fidget to learn

Everyone fidgets – hair twirling, pencil rolling or pen clicking – we all do something to stay focused, but fidgeting can drive teachers and parents mad and can also have negative effects on our children, if fidgeting becomes self destructive. Meet Squidget. A completely silent fidget tool. It can sit snuggly in...
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7 things I have learnt about Orton-Gillingham

Last week I did an Orton-Gillingham Foundation course with the amazing Canadian, Corey Zylstra as our facilitator. Here is 7 things I learnt about Orton-Gillingham under her amazing tutorage. Orthography is the written system of spelling patterns and correspondences between speech and print. Note: Not be confused with Ornithology which...
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7 Tips to Build a Struggling Learners Confidence

TIP 1 – All children who struggle at school need a champion. A special standout person, who believes in them, understands them, sees their intelligence and will advocate on their behalf. It is not unusual for a successful adult with learning difficulties to identify a champion from their past and...
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