FAQ: Learning Challenges
“Does Timberdoodle have a special needs curriculum?”
Since every student has unique learning differences we don’t have a specific “learning disabilities” curriculum kit. However, we do offer the option of customizing a curriculum kit to best meet your student’s needs. We also offer placement tests for various subjects. This will help you determine the appropriate level for your child in each subject. If you need help building your custom kit please email us with specific information about your situation and we'll be happy to help.
“How can I check to see if my preschooler is developing normally?”
We have found the free Early Intervention Assessment sponsored by Easter Seals to be very helpful to help track development.
“Do you have products that help with speech development?”
While we don’t have a specific speech program, we do target language and communication pretty heavily. Some great products to help with speech development are:
- Lion in My Way
- My Big Wimmelbook - Set of 4
- My Epic Life Word Book
- My First Animals Touch and Feel Picture Cards
- My First Words Touch and Feel Picture Cards
- What’s Going On Here? Conversation Cards
“My child struggles with reading comprehension. What can I do to help?”
It may be appropriate to step back from a formal reading program for a time to target vocabulary comprehension and abstract thinking, then come back to a reading program later. In the meantime, continue to encourage your child to read books at a comfortable level “just for fun” to stay in practice. Reading aloud to your child and discussing what you’ve read is another great way to help with comprehension.
Depending on the age and developmental level of your child some of the products listed above for speech development might be helpful to work on vocabulary comprehension.
Additionally, our friends at All About Learning have shared an article on How to Teach Reading Comprehension that you may find helpful.
“What can I do if my child has a short attention span?”
If your child has a short attention span, break up school time. The beauty of homeschooling is you don’t have to sit down and do school for four hours straight. Do an hour here, half an hour there. Also, feel free to move around. Your child might work on school at different places at different times: at the dining table, on the living room floor, on a blanket in the backyard.
“Is Timberdoodle good for students on the autism spectrum?”
Every child is gifted and challenged in unique ways, and children on the autism spectrum do not often fit into an easy generalization. Yet we would still love to spark your imagination on how to use some of our products with your child, and hopefully point you in some helpful directions.
A few years ago our founder, Deb, and her daughter, Hope, sat down to discuss their experience in helping to mentor a friend’s 8-year-old with autism. The video and transcript of their discussion, as well as links to suggested resources, are available here.
“Is Timberdoodle good for students with dyslexia?”
Generally speaking, although we did not design our curriculum specifically for students with dyslexia, it can be a great fit because so much of the learning is hands-on, with the book work broken into manageable portions. We also offer some components that are shown to work very well for children with dyslexia.
We would encourage you to take advantage of the option of customizing a curriculum kit to best meet your student’s needs. You can add and remove items from the kit using our online customizer.
If you’d like to email us more details such as how old your child is, we’d be happy to answer more specifically, since in the older grades there are fewer hands-on activities but more fantastic resources available that are designed for students with dyslexia.
“Do you have any tips for working with high school students with dyslexia?”
We highly recommend Touch-Type Read and Spell for dyslexic students.
Also, we have been very impressed with a local OVD, a doctor who specializes in vision therapy and addressing some of the root causes of dyslexia and other issues. If this sounds like it might possibly be helpful, you can learn more and locate an OVD local to you here.
“What products do you have that would work well for occupational therapy?”
We have many products that would be great for occupational therapy. It depends on what you want to target with your student. Feel free to email us with more information about your student and your goals and we would be happy to make specific recommendations.
Be sure to check out our Timberdoodle Facebook community for parents of children with special needs for support and encouragement year round!