he can read a lot better; thank you Dianne Craft

September 14, 2008 at 1:12 pm 7 comments

I am so very pleased at Caleb’s progress in reading.  To read the specific problems he had been having, go here.

Today he read the first 13 pages of Nate the Great.  And he read it at a nice pace and never got lost on the page.  After that, he started to slow down and seemed tired, so I read the remainder of the book to him. The only word he hesitated on was “telephone.”  I saw it coming and knew he probably wouldn’t know the “ph” sound because we haven’t gotten that far in our Phonics Pathways.

I told him that when you see “ph” together is says, “ffff.”

You mean like “f?”  Caleb responded.  Then he said “telephone.”

He had 2 main problems that was holding up his reading–the inability for his eyes to track smoothly across a page and the inability to distinguish between the letters b,d,p,q, and g. He contemplated every word. Reading was tedious.

Now his eyes track and he seems to only pause when there is a letter b.

There are four factors that I believe have made the big difference in his reading.

Doing “crossing the midline” exercises

We’ve been doing exercises from the  Brain Integration Therapy Manual that help with hand eye coordination.  The most helpful has been “the writing eight” exercises that he does four times a week.  By writing the letters each day and doing the broad figure 8 strokes, he can now distinguish between letters in a way that he has never been able to do. As Dianne Craft puts it, we’re “retraining” the brain.

Doing eye tracking exercises.

The first day, Caleb could not do them. He got dizzy after a couple of seconds and lost his balance. Even with me holding onto his shoulder and then guiding his hands, he got dizzy.   I did the same exercise with my 9 year old and 3 year old. They had no problems.  This is when I discovered that Caleb must have an eye tracking problem.  This was later confirmed by an ophthalmologist who also prescribed reading glasses. For the first few weeks, he continued to get dizzy everyday and I would stop the exercise. Now he can complete the exercise on his own without my arm to steady him. Practice makes perfect. We are definitely making progress.  Thank you Dianne Craft.

Getting him Bob books.

This may seem silly.  But giving him a set of Bob books (a box of fun, super simple books that I knew he wouldn’t have a problem reading) helped him gain confidence. I gave him set 2 when we were on a long roadtrip. He read them to his little sister in the back seat.  Over and over again,  he read them.  Not just paging through them, but reading them. He was thrilled.  Then I added set 3 and 4. I have the last set waiting for him.

Doing Sequential Spelling with him.

This is another blog post but I did want to mention that this is a great spelling curriculum to use for struggling readers and those with dyslexia.

For more information, you can page down to the bottom of my last blog post on this subject for resources about dyslexia, dysgraphia, visual spatial, right brain dominant.


Entry filed under: education, homeschooling, kids. Tags: , , , .

collected thoughts…sarah as modern day deborah my favorite Sarah Palin items sold at cafe press

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Karla  |  September 15, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    I’m so happy for you and for Caleb. Way to go, Mom!

  • 2. Dee  |  September 16, 2008 at 1:11 am

    I looooooooove Bob books. I’m still working with my youngest (4th) son on reading. He has tracking problems as well and has vision therapy with the Eye Dr. Right now I am trying Hooked on Phonics hoping we can make some progress that way. When I have a chance I’ll have to look at some of the specific things you are using with your son. They may be helpful for me.

    I have 2 daughters and 2 sons and both of the boys have had a harder time with the reading thing.

  • 3. Mel  |  October 1, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Thanks for this. I am using the Right Brain Phonics by Dianne Craft and have a seen a huge improvement. I just ordered the Therapy Manual as I feel we are just missing something, it is so encouraging to read positive feedback.

  • 4. Eileen  |  October 18, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    My 9 y.o. son sounds very similar to yours! I am looking into using Dianne Craft programs to help him with his dyslexia, dysgraphia and his tracking & convergence issuses. We are currently using Prism Therapy to help with his vision issues. Did you do any other vision therapy besides the Brain Integration Therapy by Dianne Craft?

    No, I didn’t do anything else, but it sure has worked!!

  • 5. Ann  |  August 18, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    As I also use TOG, HWT, PP, and MUS, I am very interested to read of your experience with the figure 8 exercises. I might need to get the Dianne Craft book. We also will be starting Sequential Spelling.

  • 6. Gwynne  |  March 6, 2011 at 7:27 pm


    I’ve been struggling now for 5 years with my daughter! She is now is 5th grade and doing 2nd grade reading and math. I have just now found Dianne Craft’s resources. I bought the Brain Integration Therapy Manual. I am wondering about the Right Brain Phonics. I know it is lists of words. But how do you use it? Just by shear pushing and many tears and a tutor, she is now reading on the second grade level. Before I found this information, I knew our relationship was being damaged by all of this. I had her evaluated twice and was told there are no learning disabilities. She is a extremely bright child. So that too is why I put it all off as behavior. But that then meant, if there were no learning disabilities, then I have failed as her teacher. But I think a mother’s heart knows. After MUCH research, she fits all the criteria for dysgraghic and calculia. Please please, can someone point me in the right direction. We cannot afford a tutor and from what I’m reading, I don’t know that it is helpful anyway.


  • 7. Jen  |  February 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Wow, our journeys are sooo similar! So nice to know I’m not alone! =)
    Sooo glad Caleb (and you) are experiencing success!!!
    Almost everything you listed also worked for me and my son!


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Welcome to my personal blog about my life as a wife and homeschooling mother of a few energetic children! You'll find my favorite recipes, all kinds of reviews, the occasional rant, and whatever else I feel like writing about.

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