When Learning Doesn't Come Easy

From the moment we find out we are expecting a child, our minds and hearts overflow with hopes and dreams for them. My child will be the most beautiful, brilliant, talented little person to ever walk the Earth, right? And they are that to each of us!

But sometimes, we discover there is a "problem." The last thing we want to admit is there is something different or wrong with our child. It's a hard thing to do. Not that we love them any less! But let's be honest, we would rather sit around other moms and share how our 4 year old can read a chapter book, do multiplication at age 6 and paint like Rembrandt by age 7. Not to mention, they are also on their way to the Olympics in two different sports. Or at least it seems that way when you are the one quietly listening to all the achievements of other people's children!

So, let's get a few things straight... Most likely those other moms are exaggerating a wee bit! And there is nothing wrong with your child! Even if your child has a learning disability. She or he simply learns differently than the mainstream! And really, that is kind of cool!

I didn't always feel that way though. After struggling to teach my daughter to read for 3 years with little progress I was getting pretty frustrated and so was she. Each school session ended in tears and some days started in tears with the mere mention of reading. She had always loved books and being read to and was excited to learn how to read by herself. So, why was it such a struggle? Was I just a bad teacher? Was she too easily distracted and not self motivated enough?

We finally decided to get testing done at age 7. I had noticed a lot of letter and word reversal while reading and writing as well as in math. She complained of her head and eyes hurting when reading (and a vision test found her to have 20/20 eyesight). I needed to know what was holding us back. I knew she was extremely intelligent in so many ways but we were hitting a brick wall. Since we homeschool, we decided to have her tested with a private therapist. It took 4 hours to complete and when finished we were told she had visual and auditory processing disorders.

I then went into mom research mode! And as I read and searched the internet and library, I became more and more confused and overwhelmed! There did not seem to be any truly helpful book or website and those I found seemed to tell me different things! We did decide to go to vision therapy, which of course is not covered by insurance, are any of us surprised? But we felt it was worth a try and worth the money. In therapy, she worked on re-learning phonics using A Time for Phonics. We also did assigned therapy at home. After 6 months she finished and I could definitely see a huge improvement! We did not do auditory therapy with the therapist because of cost, but I did use a program called Earobics for at home. I also found the book, The Out of Sync Child and When the Brain Can't Hear very helpful.

My search continued to find other ways to help her learn in a way that fit her learning styles. You see, processing disorders and dyslexia do not have to be a roadblock! There are so many ways to learn. The point where I realized this was when I happened to find a book by Ben Foss, The Dyslexia Empowerment Plan. I encourage everyone to read it! Check out his website also! I kind of hate the word accommodations. It makes it sound like you need extra or special help, sort of like you are being allowed to cheat. There should be no shame in learning differently. Figure out what your child's strengths are and harness those skills. Don't focus on the standard way most kids are taught to read. I have been so incredibly thankful that we chose to homeschool because my daughter did not have to compare herself to others or be labeled in any way. But even if your child is in public or private school, remember your child is not broken, but the system may be. Advocate for your child to have the resources they need to excel and feel connected.

What resources can you use? Oh, there are so many! This is where I got overwhelmed! I am going to list some of the resources I felt were the best. But look around more and explore the options available!

-Audiobooks are your friend! Don't get behind learning because you can't read the material fast enough! If your child learns well by listening, give Audible a try. Amazon has audiobooks as well and so does your local library.
-A reading focus card. You can make your own or buy one. Also try printing your pages on yellow paper, or try other colors other than the usual white.
-Use a text-to-speech app such as Speak It or Talk to Me, and also a speech-to-text app such as Dragon Dictation. Another helpful app is Prizmo, users can scan in any kind of text document and have the program read it out loud, which can be a big help to those who struggle with reading.
-I love Snapwords for learning sitewords! There is also an app for Snapwords now!
-Fonts and background colors: Software that is regularly used in schools, such as Microsoft Word, is a good resource for fonts and background colors. Changing the background color to green, for example, can help with reading as can wearing green glasses. Fonts can also enable reading and understanding; teachers can download free specialist fonts, such as OpenDyslexic, which are free and can run on Microsoft software.
-All About Spelling, this curriculum is great for all children but the multi-sensory approach based on the Orton-Gillingham methods clicked with my daughter! We have not tried All About Reading but I would bet it is a good option.
-We used Rocket Phonics after we had finished vision therapy. It was developed by a dyslexic man, and it is fun! There are many games involved and interesting stories to read, not the usual boring books that are your typical easy reading.
-Math has been a struggle for us as well as reading. Memorizing facts is a challenge. I found a math program that uses learning by association, employing fact and process mnemonics called Semple Math.
-Get HANDS ON! Use clay, paints, blocks, magnets, etc. to practice letters, spelling, and sounds. Learn to write letters correctly first in sand with index finger, then move to writing with a pencil. Make it FUN! Use all the senses!
-Play games! Some we have used and enjoy are Sum Swamp, What's Gnu?, Scrabble, Very Silly Sentences, Boggle Jr. even card games like addition war (lay down two cards each and add together), or Alphabet Go Fish (you have to say the letter sounds), search Pinterest and the internet for fun games to practice math facts and letter sounds or spelling and sight words. Even if your child is older, there are hands on ideas that are fun and multi-sensory

Moms (and Dads), my point in writing this is to give you some starting points. And to let you know that you are not alone! I know it can be disappointing at first to learn your child is struggling in some way. But it can also feel like a weight has been lifted to know how your child learns and that there are ways to help and empower your little one. I know if you are in a school setting, you will have to explain to your child why they may go to a special class or take tests differently than the other kids. You have to trust yourself to know how to talk to your child. There are books for kids that talk about dyslexia and learning issues in a positive light such as, Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco, The Alphabet War by Diane Robb, and for older children May B by Caroline Rose or Niagra Falls, Or Does It? By Henry Winkler (yes, Fonzie from Happy Days!)

Try to emphasize his/her strengths and affinities and do not simply focus on his/her weaknesses and difficulties. Remind your child that he/she can, indeed, learn but that he/she learns in a unique way, and that is OK! We all are unique and have our own strengths and weaknesses. Love your child for who they are and hopefully, they will find the right tools to make learning soar!

I never thought I would see the day when my daughter's favorite activity was to read! Chin up, keep plugging away, lighten up and make it fun, and love them no matter what!

http://www.hardlifeforthefarmwife.wordpress.com

Renewing A Student Visa

There are lots of things to consider when you are going to study in another country. Quite apart from the practical considerations involved with planning where you will live for the duration of your stay, you will also need to pay proper attention to legal matters, including the need to make sure your passport and visa are fully up to date.

It is quite common for a student visa to expire during your stay abroad, especially if your course is running for a year or more, so it can be a good move to find out in advance what you need to do when it does. This is likely to vary from country to country so the best idea is often to go to the relevant source of information for the country you will be staying in to make sure you know what to do and when you need to do it.

You can meet with problems if you forget to get a new visa and you suddenly find your old one has expired; while you won't automatically be sent home you will have to seek advice as soon as possible in order to try and solve the matter. You can see why getting some information well in advance is clearly the best solution.

Some countries, including the UK, offer a service which is designed to deal especially with student visas. This type of service ensures that a renewal happens in the fastest possible time with the minimum of hassle for the student. The USA is different again; their visa allows entry into the United States but nothing else. You will need other documentation in addition to this which is known as your 'Duration of Status'.

The best way forward is to check what you need before you go and apply for your visa in plenty of time. Make sure you are aware of exactly how far in advance you need to start the renewal process - it may be a very simple procedure or it may be best to allow a couple of weeks or more to complete it. Find out what will apply in the country you are visiting - the institution you are studying at should be able to tell you what to do and when. Most importantly visit your country's immigration department situated in your city to discuss and find out the best approach for renewal.

You should also find out whether the renewing authorities need to see any other documentation. For example in Spain you will have to provide a valid residence permit too. Passport photos and an application form are also required in many countries.

Remember though that in the end it is your sole responsibility to renew your student visa at the right time in order to be able to remain in the country and carry on studying. Forgetting to renew your visa is not generally viewed as a mere oversight; it is usually a criminal offence and as such you can be sent home. Forgetfulness is not an excuse to cover not having a valid visa, and if you are careful and you know in advance what to do and when, you shouldn't have any problems at all.

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How to Get University Scholarship

The opportunity for scholarship has always been life time ambition of many students. A lot of folks have been trying fruitlessly for loans to study but their effort has always been in opposite direction.

First of all you must have access to information which is a problem for many students; because many do not have access to information that will enable them have access to grant for their studies. But thank for internet; anybody can get the information now. To apply for the University of your choice. The University will then ask you to either fax, or scan and mail your credentials to them.

These are some of the Universities you can apply to for scholarship:- We have commonwealth foundation, we have Ford foundation that gives 100,000 Dollars to students, there is the University of Edinburgh that offers free Master program online.

There are very many others like the Africa Development Bank, Desmund Tutu's Masters, Edinburgh Global Master, Gordon Meculloch(MBA), Indian Government Scholarship Scheme for Africa. Commonwealth Scholarship, PhD fellowship for Developing Countries, Ford foundation Scholarship, Eric Bluemink Scholarship, Deroty Hodgkin PHD scholarship.

Other are Hubert Humphrey fellowship, International Fulbright service, PhD Scholarship from developing Countries at the ICCD, ACLS fellowships, Talent for governance Triangle etc.

It is the University that recommends you to these Organizations for sponsor. Like the one of Desmond Tutu, which is managed by a University in London. So all you need to do is to contact the University of your choice to process your application.

Their course duration is usually four years for undergraduate and a year or two for Masters. These Universities are mostly in UK. But we also have some in the U.S.A.

If you are oversea student, Educational studies provide you an opportunity to travel and study abroad for free without worry about visa and traveling expenses. Even at Embassy, they do not request for many documents because you are a student. Once you present your admission letter, they stamp your visa, and your visa is free.

Basically, what is required to qualify to study for degree programs is College education or their equivalent, while for Master Degree, you need a BSC.

So Watch out when these Universities will open their Scholarship position, so that you will apply. Do not forget somebody is paying all the bills including your accommodation, feeding, flight ticket, etc. Thanks, God bless.

He is the CEO, Zion Mensula International, an Entrepreneur, Internet Business Pioneer, He is earning a living from legitimate internet business opportunities, and he has trained lots of people on how to make a living online. He is making a difference being useful to his community.

How to Change Status From Student F1 Visa to H1B Visa?

F1 Visa is non-immigrant student's visa. To attend college and universities in U.S.A., international students would need F1 Visa to enter U.S.A.

H1B Visa is non-immigrant temporary work visa. Employers in U.S.A. can hire foreign workers who meet minimum requirements set by United Stated Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Minimum Requirements are further divided into two categories

  • Employer Job Requirements
  • Employee Requirements

Employer's job requirements should must Bachelors degree or higher. Employee should have completed at least Bachelor degree in U.S. or equivalent foreign degree.

Students can apply for specialty occupations. If student is hired, employer will typically apply for H1B Visa. Application process for the employer will be usually handled by Employer's Immigration attorney.

Before applying for H1B Visa, one has to ensure H1B quota is still available. USCIS have total of 65,000 H1B Cap under General category and 20,000 exclusive for students who obtained Masters or higher degree from U.S. Universities.

USCIS accepts H1B visa application starting April 1st every year for the next Fiscal Year. It will take 15 days to few months for USCIS to approve the H1B Visa application. Fiscal year for USCIS started October 1 of each year and runs till September 30 of next year.

Student can start working for the employer with approved Employment Authorization Card. Visa application can be then submitted to USCIS. After H1B approval, F1 status will change to H1B from the start date in approval document.

In most cases, it's not required to get H1B Visa stamping to start working, if the student is already residing in U.S.A.

Visit Happy Schools Blog to know if USCIS is still accepting H1B Visa 2011 applications and why it takes over 4 months get approval notice.

US: Why Should You Choose to Study There

As per a survey conducted named "The Value of Education Foundations for the future" by HSBC, Indian parents have the USA as the most preferred educational destination. The average fee of tuition for a student is almost 33,215 US dollars per year. The parents are equally eager to send their students to foreign destinations for education so that their wards could benefit from international exposure and getting an education in the most reputed of universities. But parents are also worried about their child getting homesick in a foreign environment.

The students also have the option of pursuing their education along with part-time earning opportunities. These part time earning opportunities are available to the student under OPT (optional practical training). The students can work up to a duration of a year if they are from a non-science background. But when they are pursuing a degree in the science, engineering, technical and mechanical backgrounds, they are eligible to pursue an OPT of up to 36 months. The students get different benefits like becoming a part of a culture that is different than their own. Apart from that, they also mingle with students from different backgrounds, which also, helps in developing essential life skills.

The USA has the most top notch universities in the world like University of Harvard. The country also allows complete flexibility to its students. They don't need to pursue the entire 4 years in the same institution. They can change after pursuing two years of academic education in a single university.

For pursuing the rest two years of their academic degree, they can shift to a different university. Every course in the US has a certain number of credit hours associated with it. A single credit hour is associated with 12 and a half hours with a teacher in a class over 15 weeks. It also includes a minimum number of 25 hours devoted by students to student work outside the class distributed over a 15 week time period. Every subject has 3 credits which, implies devoting 37 hours in a teacher's class over a 15 weeks time and 75 hours during the same time span. So, this requires students on a US student visa to expend at least 2 ½ hours per week in a 15-week time span and 5 hours in additional work outside the class during the same time.

The students need to devote hours as per the number of credits linked to their subjects. Some subjects have more credits linked with them like 4 or 5. They have to devote 1 hour extra over the 15-year time span in class.

Visa House can help you in getting a US student visa. Nancy Damon is a freelance visa consultant and author. She can offer complete guidance on various issues like F1 visa.

Getting an F1 Visa Is a Dream-Come True for Students

Getting an "F1" visa has become a primary requirement for students who want to stay in the US for the purpose of their education.

The student can obtain a F1 visa after applying with the I-20 form received from the school into which his admission gets approved. The F1 visa also allows the students to leave the US, but they can return back if they have the valid I-20 form with them.

With a F1 visa, a student can only get into the US a month prior, to the beginning of his classes at the chosen university or college.

It's important that with a F1 visa, the students only stay in the US till the duration of their course also specified on their I-20 form. The students can extend their stay for not more than a period of 60 days from the time at which their course ends. However, they can extend their stay if they have been approved for an optional practical training (OPT) in the US.

The benefit of doing a 1 year OPT is allowed to all those students, who have devoted at least 9 months towards their degrees. They can opt for this training either after completing their degree or during pursuing it only.

During the pursuance of their course, the students can also do the OPT, which will make them eligible to get a sponsorship visa (H-1B visa) from any good company in the US after completing their graduation.

However, there is another privilege for students who hail from the engineering, science, mechanical and technical educational backgrounds which is that they can opt for 3 years of optional practical training.

The students also get the liberty for doing OPT during the pursuance of their degree. When they are pursuing graduation, they can get the freedom to work for 40 hours during college breaks but lesser than that during classes.

Pre-completion OPT is defined as the working condition under which a student can work during the time of his classes. Since they are already pursuing a degree, they need permissions to carry on with that kind of OPT. During the classes, they can work part time but during vacations, they can work for a full-time shift.

Another condition is post-completion OPT, under which a student can work for more than 20 hours in a week because this kind of OPT is allowed after the completion of the degree. All the months devoted by a student to a post-completion OPT are calculated, after deducting those devoted to a pre-completion OPT.

So, students who are opting for a student visa to the USA have nothing to lose. They can use their OPT experience to get good jobs in America and convert their F1 visa into an H-1B visa.

Nancy Damon is a freelance visa consultant. Currently she handles all kinds of cases in immigration, work and study visas to Europe, Asia, Australia and USA. You can get more information about study abroad from her. Contact her at http://www.visahouse.in

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