The Dyslexic Advantage

aldj.jpg

I was intrigued by this book, because I am dyslexic.  I still struggle with telling certain letters apart, if they are not in the context of a word.  I also have difficulty figuring out which side is my right and which is my left.  Over the years, I developed little tricks that allow me to overcome these problems.

The book gives a brief overview of dyslexia and how the brain of dyslexics processes things differently.  Those differences can create problems in certain areas; however, they also allow people with dyslexia to thrive in other areas.

The advantages or abilities discussed in this book are not in spite of dyslexia.  These advantages are a direct result of dyslexia.

  • People with dyslexia tend to be excellent story tellers and are extremely creative.
  • People with dyslexia have a greater ability to process 3-D images in their brain and determine how those images will function in the real world.
  • People with dyslexia often see patterns, relationships, and associations that are missed by those without dyslexia.
  • People with dyslexia have greater long-term memory abilities, especially when dealing with events or things in a story format.
  • People with dyslexia often have a greater ability to predict future outcomes, based on cause and effect processing.

The authors of the book also questioned labeling dyslexics as having a learning disability.  In reality, those with dyslexia tend to be highly intelligent.  They just process information differently.

The authors also believe our education system is doing a great disservice to dyslexics by trying to force them to learn in the same manner as those without dyslexia.

What is it about books?

What is it about books?  All my life, I have felt drawn to them.  When I walk into a library or a bookstore, I stare with wide eyed amazement.  It makes my soul happy to see all those books.

I enjoy reading fiction.  There are so many stories waiting to be read.  Books are full of adventure, mystery, joy, and even sadness.  The characters become my friends.  It’s as if they are sitting right in front of me and telling me their stories.

I also enjoy reading non-fiction.  Books are full of wisdom and knowledge.  They are waiting to impart that wisdom and knowledge to me.

There are so many wonderful books.  I want to read them all.  What’s a bibliophile to do?

Blogging Makes You Smarter

IMG_6852.JPG

I bought this t-shirt from Amazon, because I enjoy blogging and I agree with the message.  Blogging is a great way to develop new skills and it can even make you smarter.

  • Blogging increases creativity, since you are always on the look out for new material, stories, artwork, or photography to share with your followers.
  • Blogging improves your writing skills and each post must be edited for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Blogging requires a certain amount of computer skills.
  • Blogging also results in the need to conduct research and increases knowledge on various topics.

There are a lot of benefits to blogging.  If you have others to add to my list, let me know in the comment section.

Owl Art and Wisdom Quotes

Owls appeal to me, because they have been used to symbolize wisdom for centuries.

The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.  (Benjamin Franklin)

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.  (Thomas Jefferson)

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.  (Socrates)

 

Thoughts on Homeschooling

Homeschooling can be a good thing for the child or it can be a disaster.  I know several people that were homeschooled and I have seen the end results.

In some cases, the parents put everything they had into the child’s education.  They hired tutors for subjects they were not qualified to teach.  They signed the kids up for all sorts of educational community programs.  These children were able to attend universities and became successful adults.

In some cases, the parents expected the child to complete assignments and learn the information on their own.  The parents put in little to no effort and the children suffered later in life.  They struggled in the workforce, since they did not have a basic education and failed to complete required training programs for their job.

I understand why people feel the government should not be involved in how parents educate their children.  I understand parents want to have the freedom to do what is best for their child, without having to answer to a stranger that knows nothing about that child or the family.

However, I still believe the government should have some kind of system or regulation that allows them to ensure that children being homeschooled are indeed being educated by their parents.  That these children are at the very least learning basic information that they will need to survive in the adult world.

I also fear some of these children are living in abusive households and keeping them away from public schools prevents other adults from noticing suspicious behaviors or injuries.  This allows the abusive parent to continue without ever being investigated by the local authorities.  Without any government agency to check on the child, they will be trapped in that abusive home.

What are your thoughts on homeschooling?  Should it be regulated or should parents be allowed to educate their children without any government interference?

new-piktochart_23516102_7154a487173d87ccb8b5bdf984d53e1fa632c9ce.jpeg

Kids Can Benefit From Having a Dog

Dogs are amazing animals and wonderful pets.  Children that grow up with dogs, benefit from their companionship.

  • Having a pet teaches responsibility.  Children can help with taking care of the dog and learn new skills as they grow older.
  • Children also learn compassion and the importance of putting the needs of a loved one above their wants.  There will be times when the dog needs to go to the bathroom; however, the child is busy having fun.  This is an excellent way to teach the child about needs vs wants, putting others first, and compassion.
  • Dog training classes actually teach the owner how to teach the dog.  The child will learn concepts like behavior modification; positive reinforcement; as well as how to meet the physical, emotional, and intellectual needs of the dog.
  • Having a dog can make science fun.  Here is one example:  The dog has about 200 million more olfactory receptors in the nose than a human.  However, that is only part of the reason why they have such a phenomenal sense of smell.  The design of their outer nose, allows more smells to enter the nasal cavity.  That small slit on the side of the dog’s nose, actually does serve a purpose.  The olfactory system in the brain of a dog is 40 times larger than that of a human.  This allows the dog to process and remember all those wonderful smells.
  • Children that grow up with dogs have a stronger immune system, because they are exposed to a wider variety of bacteria.  They also have a lower risk of developing allergies.
  • When a child has a dog, it opens up a whole new world for them.  They will interact with veterinarians, trainers, and groomers.  They will be able to visit dog parks.  They will learn how to play games that involve their furry friend.  Also, they will always have a best friend that loves them and wants to be their constant companion.

Untold Secrets of Planet Earth: Dire Dragons by Vance Nelson

FullSizeRender.jpg

Vance Nelson starts the book by talking a little bit about the history of paleontology.  Until the 1840’s, dinosaurs were referred to as dragons.  At the natural history museum, founded by Sir Richard Owen, dinosaur remains were labeled as sea dragons.

Next, the author writes about the age of dinosaur bones and evidence relating to their date of extinction.  He uses scientific studies and discovers to prove the dinosaur extinction happen much more recently than is commonly believed.

  • Carbon Dating can be used to determine the age of fossil remains.  Living creatures have a set ratio of carbon 14 and carbon 12 inside of them.  After death, the levels of carbon 14 dissipates, but the levels of carbon 12 remain consistent.  Carbon dating test done on dinosaur bones show they are 20,000 to 40,000 years old.
  • Dr Mary Schweitzer discovered soft tissue (with blood vessels and blood cells) inside a femur belonging to a T. Rex.  Since we know how fast tissue degrades, it calls into question the age of that dinosaur.
  • Dinosaur fossils are unearthed next to fossils belonging to creatures that are still living today, such as crocodiles, alligators, and soft shelled turtles.  If a catastrophic event caused the dinosaurs to become extinct millions of years ago, then why are these creators still living today?
  • Discoveries of animals previously believed to be extinct have occurred.  Scientist thought the Coelacanth (a type of fish) went extinct millions of years ago.  However, a living Coelacanth was found in 1938, off the coast of South Africa.
  • Dinosaur like creatures have been depicted in ancient artwork.  These drawings and ceramic pieces have a striking resemblance to dinosaurs.  How did ancient people learn about dinosaurs?