19Aug/13Off

Leaving Cert results 2013, A year later – the transformation of The Homework Club to Confidence Club

So it is one year on - our first state exams results since transforming The Homework Club into Confidence Club and I have been asking myself what are the real results?

In the past I found myself dancing around the real issues with students - as parents and students alike thought they were attending some form of "grind school" we spent more time by stealth in the background getting to the real reasons behind what was going on ... it was often a case of me waiting for an opportunity in the hall to chat casually to a student or waiting for the chance when a parent collected their charge.

Now it is all a lot more straight forward and upfront - which means less time waiting for the chance to talk about what is really happening. All too often the maths result or other challenge is just a factor in what is really happening in a young persons life.

This means a year later I can say that we have worked with real people, real problems and in record time. Many of the students I have met have required no more help from me or my team after the initial hour and a half meeting. Their whole lives have improved not just the "maths problem" or the "english essay rows". The time my team have spent in peoples house has been less that we would have needed in the school for greater return.

All round as what we do is not conventional in anyway it didn't make sense to continue with a conventional school model. I felt often that we had a revolving door as we got results too quickly and now we get them even quicker with a wider spectrum of people.

Another change for me is that I have often felt that we work with students that everyone else has washed their hands of - now we work with the really outside the box stories that no one has thought of! I truly enjoy the challenge and nothing has ever shocked me. I think there is no way now we can be seen as a simple "grind school".

I'm looking forward to what this year brings and all the amazing young people I will meet along the way.

Dr. Naoisé

Expression Developist™

16Aug/13Off

Confidence in Reading while using e-readers, ibooks and Kindle – the pros & cons and advice for dyslexic readers

 

I have been thinking about the question -  is using eReaders better or worse for your reading when you are dyslexic? - it's a personal dilemma for me as I can read much faster and more accurately with the setting on a device set to white text on black but then one of the reasons I read so much is because I have proven the more I read the better I can read!

So it's a big trade off - the new setting on the devices where you can pick your own font preference, text size and especially the colour make a vast difference to dyslexic readers and I recommend to all my students to play with their settings. You are looking for short lines of text - use two columns, use the black background or the sepia in the sun and a font which is curly rather than square text - oh and don't be afraid to make it bigger too! All these simple changes will give you so much more confidence reading your books - you read faster and take in more information.

However let's go back to the other side of the debate - the more you read as a dyslexic the better you can read. People on the dyslexic spectrum or with ADD/ADHD don't naturally read well. It's all about practice! So if we make it so much easier as we do with eReaders we lose some of the practice element when we go back to white pages and black text! I wish book publishers would choose their fonts and paper better but until then we have to find ways to cope.

A few months ago I was distressed to realise my reading out - especially of menus was decreasing in ability despite the fact that I read so much (usually up to 7 books at a time so I don't get bored). But I was reading these all on my Kindle or iPad.

So now I read at least one paperback fiction book and the more hard core work texts I read online with all my fancy settings makes it easier.

This way I'm still reading quickly for work and accurately but I'm still practicing for restaurant menus!

 

Dr. Naoisé  Expression Developist™

   

Introduction

Welcome to the Confidence Club

One step closer to fulfilling a personal dream of mine - "to make school a happier, creative, more successful and enjoyable place for all students, regardless of their differences"... Dr. Naoisé O'Reilly

There is always a balance between making long term changes in education and supporting those people currently in the system!

One of the many reasons why Students attending The Homework Club become so successful is because of the awareness they have of their own Potential, Personality and Learning Style and how these effect their own educational success. Every Student at The Homework Club is set-up to work to their best abilities within the environment through an initial interview.

The Confidence Club now offers this service to everybody, especially those restricted through distance and who aren't able to attend our classes at The Homework Club.

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