Private testing showed us two things. One it identified that our daughter had dyslexia and was struggling with middle sounds. She does not comprehend phonics as a learning method. We learned that our visual daughter needed to be able to use the strengths she had that were visual and tactile to learn. And second we learned our daughter was very intelligent and highly motivated. A traditional classroom setting did not offer her enough time spent in the areas where she needed it and too much time in other areas — it wasn’t the right balance for her.
Changing to a public virtual charter school has been the answer we needed. When learning to read, we worked on coping skills to defeat the dyslexia. We learned that if she could memorize — phonics carried less weight and she could learn to read through memorization. Georgia Cyber Academy gave us the flexibility for her to learn at the rate she needed to learn and also gave us the ability to adapt her lessons to her style. In a traditional classroom you have to teach the best practice for reaching the majority of the students in a class. With the Cyber Academy, I only have to worry about my one child.
With all of the brouhaha of who is going to benefit from the Charter School Amendment, I think we are all forgetting the one who is benefitting most — the individual child. This is not about local control — it is about how the individual child can learn. I am hoping that for the sake of our children, we can put our politics and biases aside and pass this amendment that ensures that children like mine will have access to programs that bend traditional teaching methods so that those non-traditional students can be reached.
Soon the child who cried when trying to read became an avid reader and began scoring at the top in her reading skills. Now we struggle to get her focus off of literature and into math…. I honestly think we are heading to an English Lit major in college.