Friday, October 30, 2015

Just Might Work

To finish off the current math level, Ry was tasked with six pages of long division of decimal numbers last week.  It doesn't help that his mother/teacher doesn't remember long division from the first time around.  (I was of the memorize-for-the-test-then-forget-it set.) 

Thankfully, we were at my mom's house.  Sometime between when I was in school and my kids being in school, she learned a very nice, simple way of doing long division.  (Something to do with homeschooling 2 kids in the meantime...)  So she taught both of us!  Good thing I'm such a humble, teachable person right?

Ry got the concept, and was doing not too bad but complained how much his eyes hurt from concentrating so hard and that the numbers weren't staying still on the page.  Which jogged my memory.  Another mom who happened to be an Occupational Therapist before having a special learning needs son of her own, told me something very interesting... 

She said that our eyes and brains work better when the background is black and the writing is light. However, black ink on white paper is much easier for publishers as you can imagine.  So people have adapted to black on white.  BUT when someone has a hard time processing visual input (like when you are dyslexic or like me and Ry, have dyscalculia) it becomes a huge obstacle.  My mom-friend has gotten around the difficulty by purchasing a gadget for her kids called a Boogie Board, basically a glorified LED black-background slate. 

Well, my mom happened to have a well-used black chalkboard laying around complete with white and yellow chalk.  Guess what - it worked!  Ry did the rest of his work that day on the blackboard and was much less overwhelmed.  

I just wonder how much extra difficulty kids face in school when schools switched from green or blackboards to whiteboards...  I would love to hear your comments on this!