I owe you a report on my son’s progress, since I was fortunate to win the English version of the ANDAC reading program.
A few times I had attempted to enroll Joshua, our now 12 Year old son, into mainstream schooling. We were turned away each time, as he just could not pass the testing. So once I had been informed of winning your competition, and initiated him on the program (along with his younger brother) I had high expectations.
I had also managed to find a school in our area which was not “nervous” on embarking on the journey with myself and Joshua. It was slow going at first as mostly Joshua needed to overcome the mindset that he was “stupid” and would “never be able to learn to read”.
Today, after an 18 month trip, I have an entirely different child. All of the teachers at his school keep telling me what a wonderful boy Joshua is and how far he has come on this road. He is now in Grade 4, coping with the learning and reading material and brings me a consistent 80% average on all his subjects. His confidence levels have peaked, even to the point where he is not afraid to lead dances/singing solos in class – or for that matter at the year end ceremony in front of all the parents, scholars and teachers.
I cannot express how proud and pleased I am at this beautiful spirited child of mine. Joshua has been reborn and found in himself that he is an intelligent and useful part of his peer group, participating eagerly with his education. He is well loved, where before he was shunned. He has many friends now, where before he used to sit alone at breaks. His social skills and leadership skills have finally been released, and this is purely due to him becoming confident and knowing that he never was “stupid” and that he CAN read.
Likewise Jesse (his younger brother, now 8 years old – although I never had the same learning problems as with Joshua) on the other hand would be a disruption in class and could not complete tasks, as he was easily distracted. His teacher and I decided to also encourage him with additional reading and the lessons on the ANDAC Program required his focus.
Although his time spent on the program was shorter and more sporadic, this year his teacher has seen a vast improvement. Jesse pays attention in class, and because he is able to read, he moves ahead of his class peers, because he has THAT tool. He is actually highly intelligent, and with the least effort (and I really mean the least effort he reads through his spelling list only once) he gets a consistent 100% on all his spelling tests. Jesse is now thriving in his school work, and because he is now more settled in class, he enjoys learning and his peers now integrate more with him. (Once a child is seen by his peers as “naughty” or “lazy” or “slow” they start to ostracize that child, which is so damaging to their confidence.)
Jesse and Joshua, now that they are able to read, have developed a love for books, including The Bible (for teens) and have devoured all the story books I had collected over the years from their older siblings and the ones I had bought for them for when they were able to read. Jesse religiously reads bedtime stories to his 6 year old brother Liam every night.
I am so excited by the changes in both my boys that I have started Liam on the program too and will focus on this daily as of next year.
My sincere thanks once again Heidi!!!