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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Learning In Spite of Labels

This is a review.

Do you think it is possible? 

Can you learn in spite of the labels you have been given...either by yourself....or others?

Author, Joyce Herzog, tackles this issue and gives real-life tips to make it possible, in her book Learning In Spite of Labels.

I will be honest, when I received this book, I was surprised that the book was really intended to be used with special education or learning disabled learners....somehow, in my researching this book, that little fact escaped me.  Emoji

 But, Joyce Herzog explains that we are all learning disabled in some way or another.

For example, I am disabled in my learning of algebra and gardening without killing everything, and,  Rainman is learning disabled in the art of fixing little girls hair and music.

I really enjoyed this book even though none of my children are learning disabled in the traditional sense of that terminology.

I mean, I took 4 pages of notes as I read this book....and I honestly don't have any kids that would traditionally be considered learning disabled.

If you have a child who you have been told has some sort of learning disability this book is for you.

If you have a child......this book is for you.


I found so many little gems of ideas in this book.  Some common sense.  Like, only have as many rules as you are willing to enforce.  Or, stop if it isn't working.  Genius, right?

Some just plain creative.  Put smiley faces on the inside arch of shoes....if shoes are on the correct feet, the smiley faces will kiss each other.  Or, putting a green dot in the left margin of a piece of paper and a red dot in the right means that is the side of the paper you start on.

Ms. Herzog has experience and numerous degrees under her belt, but talks like a regular person.....who loves kids and wants them to succeed beyond their wildest imagination.

We all want the best for our kids and she gives us real, easy to follow examples for helping them on the road to success academically and, really just in plain, old, life. 

Who knew that I was a "love 'em and shove 'em" parent?  I didn't.  But, I am and Ms. Herzog explains why it is a good thing. 

In general, I think Ms. Herzog makes teaching your learning challenged child - doable.  She takes things in small steps that starts with simply loving them.  What is the first subject to teach them about?  God.  The rest will come.  Plain and simple.

Again, even though none of my kids have traditional learning disabilities, I took a lot of notes and got a lot of ideas and goals.  Like, from her Twenty-Five Teaching Techniques That Work - #22 - I will stop thinking grade levels and grades and begin to think in terms of learning and progress.  I fall into this trap too often with my kids.  I need to let them master a subject.  Period.  The move on, irregardless of where we are in the school year.

I loved the whole Teeny Tiny Tip section, which is just general living life ideas so you can have less drama in your day.

I loved Chapter 11 - which is titled:  A Person, Not A Problem!  I can't even fully explain why this chapter touched me.  Just the switch in perspective it showed me...and I don't usually think of my children as a "problem".  (It really made me think about all those aborted babies that people think of as a problem...not a person.)

She has chapters on the law, learning styles in addition to the information I have already mentioned.  Chapter 14 has mini-biographies on people in history who struggled with various learning problems.  People like:

Michael Faraday
Thomas Edison
Helen Keller
Ben Carson
Chris Burke
Chuck Yeager

(The links are to a Wikipedia page, in case you aren't familiar with who they are and perhaps, with what area/areas they struggled.)

She has a section on ADD/ADHD and I agreed with most of her opinions.  She also has a section about what is considered "normal" in child development.

Like I said, I found lots of stuff I could use with my kids. Lots of stuff.  I highly recommend this book if you homeschool.  I also highly recommend this book if you don't homeschool and your child has been labeled as having some sort of learning disability.

I loved this book.  It really was filled with practical teaching tips and a Christian perspective of the subtitle said.  If I haven't convinced you yet, go download a free sample portion of the book. 

You can get a copy of Learning In Spite of Labels for $15.00

Joyce Herzog has a ton of other offers available on her website and the TOS crew got a chance to choose which of her books they wanted to review.  Go take a look and see what they thought