The Way Home
Past Issues

Volume 13.14
June 26, 2009

Volume 13.13
June 19, 2009

Volume 13.12
June 12, 2009

Volume 13.11
May 15, 2009

Volume 13.10
May 1, 2009

Volume 13.9
April 24, 2009

Volume 13.8
April 10, 2009

Volume 13.7
April 3, 2009

Volume 13.6
March 27, 2009

Volume 13.5
March 20, 2009

Volume 13.4
March 13, 2009

Volume 13.3
February 20, 2009

Volume 13.2
January 30, 2009

Volume 13.1
January 15, 2009

Volume 12.3
December 19, 2008

Volume 12.2
December 12, 2008

Volume 12.1
December 5, 2008

Volume 11.4
November 26, 2008

Drama Edition
November 18, 2008

Holiday 07 Iss. 1
November 9, 2007

Vol. 2, Iss. 11
October 16, 2007

Vol. 2, Iss. 9
August 21 , 2007

Special Vol. 1, Iss. 1
August 14, 2007

Special Edition
August 4, 2007

Homeschooling Events
Special Issue
September 20, 2007

Vol. 2, Iss. 10
September 18, 2007

Coupon Issue
September 25, 2007

Choosing Direction for the Struggling Reader
by Mira Halpert of 3D Learner

How do we know which therapy (Orton Gillingham, vision therapy, neurodevelopmental, Barton, Davis etc.) is right for our child who is struggling with reading?

I know that as parents we want to do the right things for our children, and with so many different programs available it is hard to figure out what the best ones are. Every “expert” seems to have their own answer. As a Mom of four children — all who learned differently —  but two of whom really struggled with reading, I sympathize with your confusion!! I bought “Hooked on Phonics” did tutoring, testing, vision training, auditory training, you name it!! In the end, the thing I found that worked the best was recognizing what my child’s abilities were, and realizing I had to change my thought process first to teach my child the way s/he learned best!!!

NO single program is a magic bullet!! It is also not possible to isolate just one problem, which is why an integrated approach to working with you child is vital!! I’ll be hones, I was not into testing as much as I was into DOING something that would help!!! Yes we need to rule out hearing and vision issues, but beyond that the educational testing has not been all that helpful in WHAT TO TEACH!!

As a home school Mom, you have a unique opportunity to be able to approach working with your child with an integrated program.  If your child is having a difficult time learning to read, which I suspect is what got you thinking there was a problem, there is more to reading than just sounding out words. If you begin teaching with a reading program that only deals with phonics (breaking up words and learning the individual rules for sounds), this may NOT be terribly successful.

So many home school Moms have contacted me because they felt that they were not doing a good job of teaching their child to read; they felt THEY were failing their child in some way. As Moms we tend to take on the blame for the difficulties our children face. This couldn’t be further from the truth! It just happens our children learn differently than we do and WE have to find the approach that will work best for them.

Before a child can learn to read, a lot of mind-body connections need to be present that are not addressed at all in reading programs! These include vision therapy, sensory integration and auditory processing.

My education included a traditional “teaching of reading” program, as well as the Davis Program.  After many years of teaching students, I finally realized that in order for children to be successful learners - including reading - a lot of other issues needed to be mastered. That is precisely how 3D Learner came into being!! Over the past 14 years, I have developed an assessment that is meant to help parents recognize certain abilities their child has, as well as areas that need to be developed.

One of the most interesting findings I discovered was that these students DO learn best when they see and experience information, but they do not have the tools to know HOW to remember material. As parents-and primary teacher, we need to develop strategies that translate into ACTION LEARNING.  Reading needs to become an active activity that is relevant to them. Learning words is a combination of remembering the order in which the letters are presented along with what the “picture, feeling, and personal experience” of what the word means. It sounds complicated, but once mastered your child knows that word or concept forever.

Let’s try it: The word is friend. Trying to remember if the ‘i’ comes before the “e” is difficult, and forget whatever rule there is regarding the sound.  I think to myself: “Why would an “i” be in this word?” What does the word friend mean to you? What do you picture? Let your child come up with a story/picture of what comes to mind when they see that word. “How can you remember that pattern?” You might be surprised at the answer. “There is an I – and that’s me, and an e –that’s my friend Sarah, and we are between “fr”  and “nd”.”  If you let your child discover the pattern, s/he is more likely to remember it than if you point it out.

The important lesson here is discovering what your child knows and what experience they are bringing to the lesson. We need to understand where they are coming from—they may have a completely different perspective and it is important that we honor and encourage their creative thinking…  THEN, we can move forward to know how to help them succeed. 

For more information on learning about HOW your child learns best, and how you can help, please contact me at or visit our website at