Sunday, December 28, 2008

Currently Reading: The Motivation Breakthrough by Richard Lavoie

I have been reading the paperback nonfiction book "The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Tuning in the Tuned Out Child" by Richard Lavoie. I requested it through the Amazon Vine reviewer program that I am a member of.

This book is about ALL children and it is also about children with learning disabilities.

There are parts of the book that specifically deal with children who have learning disabilities. It is the first book I have read which is a guide for PARENTS to generally living with and helping their children deal with and progress forward in their lives and in their education (schooling). (Repeat, this is the first book I have read on this topic, I have no clue how many general parenting books that were previously published for parents of kids with learning disabilities.)

This book is not a book about specific learning disorders.

The book is a perfect fit for parents of children in school (after all 99% or 98% of American kids do attend school of some kind). I can see plainly that a number of the issues that parents deal with are 'school issues' and that the same child in a different class, with a different teacher, or getting some different education program may have the majority of their challenges instantly eradicated.

I am finding a number of useful insights as a parent of a homeschooled child. There are things I'm learning that are already helping me be just a parent to my child and there are things that are making sense that I can use when I homeschool my child.

If you are a parent of a child with a learning disability there is something here to help you.

The book, as I said, is for parents. So it does not have information about directly teaching the kids, well it does have some tips but so far I'd say it is not for teachers. I believe there are plenty of other books on the market for teachers working in schools.

A major gap we have is that there are no books for homeschooling parents about homeschooling a child with a learning disability, the topic in general like this book does. If you know of a book that you think fits what I am describing that I must not know about please do leave me a comment and share the title and author.

The first chapter hit me hard as it had a fantastic explantion of why the notion that kids must deal with garbage and negativity because 'it is a dog eat dog world out there' and the notion of 'kids need to be competitive in school to learn to get along well as an adult in the workplace'.

I also was touched deeply by the section on learned helplessness and Lavoie really explains why kids lose their interal drive to do well in school (and in learning), especially due to the things they deal with if they have a learning disability.

The book underscored for me why it is good that my child with a learning disability IS at home getting a customized education that is free of some of the things that LD kids struggle severely with at school, testing, timed testing, homework, dealing with inconsistent performance, including being tested on 'bad days', and so forth. Another sad fact is that public schools don't directly teach to children's learning styles while homeschoolers can do that to a certain extent especially in the elementary and middle grades, and see big changes in performance and ease of learning when doing so.

I am skipping around chapters. Today I finished four chapters, when I woke up early and the rest of the family was still sleeping I chose to read instead of turning on the computer, checking email or going on the Internet.

I plan to do a full book review when I am finished.

I wanted to tell you about this today because the hardcover book is normally full retail $24.95 but Amazon has some bargain books available in hardcover for $6.99, which is (drumroll please) 72% off! The book is also out in paperback for full retail $16.00 and today Amazon has that paperback for $10.88.

I myself have not read anything else by Richard Lavoie but two parents of learning disabled kids told me that anything he writes or says is golden in their eyes.

Bargain book link:

Paperback book link:


Kathy said...

Just found your blog, so bear with me commenting on old posts ;)

We LOVE Richard Lavoie. Absolutely, I agree anything he puts out there will be golden :)

A video put out by PBS (but old, so it's very hard to find) is a workshop done by Lavoie called: "How Difficult Can This Be? The F.A.T. City Workshop" (be sure to find the original, not the sequel) This is an amazing video that shows you (and I mean shows you!) the difficulty of learning something while having a learning disbility.

I wish every teacher & parent in America could have a copy!!

Kathy D.

christinemm said...

Hi Kathy D. Thanks for leaving your thoughts. About a year ago I was in another town's library and found that video the FAT City workshop it was from the 1980s or early 1990s. It gave teachers some activities to show what it was like in school with the way they talk and do things as seen by kids with LDs. It was good!