Vision Therapy

Do you remember when you started to read?  Did it come easy?  Was it hard?  Do you remember those “stupid” timed reading tests in school? You know the ones where you had to see how many words you could read in a minute or so.  I vividly remember being tested on that in first grade.  I remember our elementary school principal sitting next to us individually with a timer.  Ready. Set. Go. Read.

(I also have some great first grade memories of getting sick at school. LOL!)

Anyway, back to Kory.

Kory has struggled with reading since mid-first grade when the words got bigger and the sentences got longer. His initial timed reading “test” at the end of first grade wasn’t that great. Since we homeschool through a virtual charter school, Kory gets to be a part of these types of tests and assessments. We worked with him over the summer to try to improve the score.  His timed reading tests at the beginning of second grade showed he was still behind on his reading level.  Of course, as a homeschool mom, you wonder, “Is it me? Am I teaching him properly.”

Kory’s “real” teacher has been wonderful through all this figuring out of Kory’s reading.  She has been his teacher since Kindergarten.  One of the things she did after his fall testing was get him access to an online reading program called Reading Eggs to help increase his reading.  He has loved this online reading program, and will frequently play it over the weekend.  “This doesn’t count as school, right!?” he will ask. 😉

In the fall, we also had Kory’s eyes checked at our eye doctor.  His testing showed that medically his eyes were fine. No glasses.  Yet the testing also showed  he was behind level with his focus and tracking.  The recommendation: vision therapy testing to confirm the results.   Because of schedules and such, we weren’t able to have his vision therapy testing done until February.

In January, Kory had his mid-school year testing for reading. While his scores increased greatly, his  hard work and online programs weren’t enough. Sigh. He was still behind where he should have been with his reading.  Yes – I know every child progresses differently when reading – but this was more than just different progressions.

I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure about vision therapy.  I mean, have you heard of it?! 🙂  I started to research and found it very fascinating about vision therapy. What I found most fascinating was the “checklist” of items.  Once I saw this checklist, I started to realize how things and actions we saw at home were directly related to his reading progression.

We went ahead with the vision therapy testing, and the results showed that indeed his eye tracking and focus were not at the right levels. Thankfully, the testing also showed where he is way beyond expected levels for certain aspects. Since I don’t have the report in front of me, I can’t remember those. 🙂   We actually got a really nice document from the eye doctor with the “technical” wording and testing levels.  All of it very fascinating. All of it backed up things we notice at home. All of it backed up his virtual school testing results.

And that is how we got to vision therapy twice a week for the next six months. A total of 48 sessions. And there will be four days of 20 minutes worth of vision therapy homework each week – all documented.  All with the eye doctor re-testing Kory at three intervals within the 48 sessions. All with the goal of re-training these eye muscles of Kory’s to work properly.

We just finished Kory’s first two sessions.  I’m impressed.  Impressed with the eye doctor’s office. Impressed with Kory and his “mommy, it was just like playing a bunch of games.”  Impressed with Cade’s patience to play in the lobby’s toy area.  Impressed with the tokens each of the boys get when we leave to “spend” in the little toy vending machine.  Yes, Cade needs to get a token too, the lady at the front desk told me.

I’m excited to see the progress of how we can make Kory a better and stronger reader for life!

The Capture – Student Writing

The Capture

by  Drankuohos Lusch

Hi Wassup!  I’m Bilbo.  My story isn’t exactly a happy one.  It started out Monday morning after waking up to a full diaper. My Mumum came in, and there that feels better.  After that, I ate breakfast and went to sleep again. When I awoke, I found myself in a sack. It was the kind of sack in which you would hold a hostage. It was rough and smelled like a dead animal.  There was silence. Then all of a sudden the bag opened, and I saw light.

“Hello there baby!  My name’s JoJo!  How are you!  Stewie, this baby smells stink!  Get him out of of here!”

“Yes, Boss!”

The bag closed, and off I went.  Later that night, JoJo and Stewie planned what to do with the baby.

“Hey Boss?” said Stewie.  “Tell me again what we’re doing with the baby?”

“You’re so stupid, Stewie,” said JoJo.  “We’re gonna keep the baby and train him to be our evil sidekick.”

Now the whole time they were talking, I was listening in on their conversation.  It was a good plan, but I was smart enough not to fall for it.

All the while, the police, SWAT team, and Air Force were outside Bilbo’s house. His mom was worried sick. She needed her baby back soon “or else!”

At the same time, Bilbo was getting adjusted to being held captive. It was a nice change. Instead of eating baby food, he was fed ice cream and potato chips. Instead of taking naps all day, he was trained to defend himself from flying monkeys.

The day came when it was time for Bilbo’s first real test.  They got in the van and drove away. They drove and drove and drove. Once they were in town, they stopped in front of Subway.

“Get out,” yelled JoJo.

They got out and went into the alley next to the store.

“Get in, grab the grub and get out all in five minutes. Then we’ll see if your training paid off,” said JoJo.

So off went Bilbo on his first test. He opened the door and went in. As soon as he went in, he was greeted by an employee.

“How may I help you little baby,” said the worker.

Bilbo pulled out a handgun.

“Gooogoo gaga!” yelled Bilbo.

“Okay baby, put down the gun, and I’ll give you a lollipop.”

“Give me the grub!” yelled Bilbo.

“You can talk?”

“Heck yeah I can. Now stop stalling ’cause this gun is loaded!”

The worker made three subs, one 6-inch for Bilbo, one foot-long for JoJO, and five five-foot-longs for Stewie.  He put it in a bag and handed it to Bilbo. Bilbo took it and left, just as promised. Once he got in the van, they went to the hideout. Once there, they gave Bilbo his own AK-47 and medal saying he was an honorary “Chubie Brother.” In the end, Bilbo’s mom died looking for him, and Bilbo grew up to run his own gang.

My name is Drankuohos Lusch. If this were my real name, you might be able to track me down. All I can tell you that is true is that I’m in seventh grade.

(Untitled) – Student Writing


by  Danny

Tyler fell from the sky and grabbed the rope. He then grabbed a branch for safety.  The branch broke, and he fell into the pool of guns. He said it was heaven, and he spent the rest of his life killing people.

One day Tyler saw an ad for a reward to who could kill the most people in a year, and he signed up. He won the competition. He was then granted by the lord of guns the privilege of constructing the new shock wave shooter.  He was given some men to help him.

Unfortunately, it blew up the world. They were able to evacuate to Mars. They had the time of their life.  Then then had fun slowly destroying the planet. Tyler finally died of lack of air.

My name is Danny. I am in sixth grade and homeschooled.

Keeping my focus in yoga and in life…

The other night I started back into yoga.  During the school year, it is my weekly hour escape from my responsibilities.

I’m not the most flexible. And I’m sure many of my poses look awkward, but the feeling when I leave is worth it all.

My first night back, I ended up running a bit late. Well actually I got to the class on time but that meant all the “good” spots were taken. My favorite spot is against the wall so my view is the huge windows looking outside.  While I am working through the poses, I can focus outside on the birds, trees, or whatever else catches my eye.

But this night, I ended up in the back of the class room.  My view was … the wall, the exercise balls at the top of the shelves and the door leading to the hallway. Yep. What a view for yoga.

Since I hadn’t been in yoga for about three months, it was a bit harder to get into different poses.  My muscles just didn’t want to go where they needed to be at times.

We were in one pose where we had to look straight ahead on the floor “with your eyes open” the instructor said.  I focused right on the carpet in front of me. As long as I focused on that one spot, I was fine.  Then the instructor said “oh, so and so, you are holding the pose wonderfully.”  What did I do?  I looked up.  I stopped focusing.  I stopped looking at the one spot that was helping me hold my muscles the right way and my pose in the correct form.

My body lost its balance for a quick second, but I was able to quickly recover and focus back on the carpet. Focus on the spot that held me in place.

And that’s when it hit me. How often do we look up to see what someone else has accomplished?  Do we look up to see what is going on around us?  That’s when we lose it. Our balance. our confidence. Our peace. Our contentment.  When all we really need to do is focus. Focus on that one spot that keeps us centered.

For me, it’s my faith.  If I keep myself in the right pose and focused on the right aspect of God, nothing else matters. It doesn’t matter what someone else has accomplished. It doesn’t matter what is happening all around me. Who has what. What I don’t have.   I am grounded into that spot on the carpet of my faith. And allowing myself to be content, be at peace, be in confidence, and in the right balance.

All because I focus on that “carpet” of my life.

I had written this draft a few months ago and had “forgotten” about it until I started using my blog more regularly to post student writing from a homeschool co-op class I taught this fall. This blog post was exactly what I needed as I look to go back to yoga tonight after a month off because of traveling and holidays. 🙂

Super Bowl Party (student writing)

Super Bowl Party

by Reilly

This crazy family watching the Super Bowl thinks they have to scream to the football players. While their dog, Tucker, is thinking, “Who are these crazy people!”  Mary, the sleepyhead, says, “Be Quite, You’re nuts!”

They love watching the super bowl. Lori is screaming, pointing and telling a football player to go get sprayed by a skunk.  Bryan said, “We in the third quarter. Score already!”  Tori is screaming, “Get off my tv screen.”

Painting (student writing)


by Noah

Kelly, John, Bob and Billy are painting a house with a G.M.C. 2500 truck.  The little boy is getting a paint can for the painters. The truck is for getting the paint from the store to the house.  The house belongs to needy people. The painters are volunteering because the needy people can’t pay them because they are poor.  The owner is John. He is a Christian, so he was okay with that. His wife is Kelly. She is a Christian too. Their son is there too. When they keep in touch with them after the job is done, they learn that the truck got a flat tire on the way home. It got towed back home, so they can fix it at home.

Murder Land (student writing)

Murder Land

by Octavian

Leeroy leaned over in the pool of urine with his good friend Gilda. Leeroy was not wearing a shirt because he was dropped on his head as a baby. The pool was full of urine because Leeroy was holding it in for 14 years.  The reason he was holding it in was that the nearest bathroom was in Japan. He traveled there from Australia on foot. He peed as soon as he got to Japan. He filled up a public pool with urine drowning everyone in the pool.  Leeroy swam in urine with his friend Gilda.  Quaid saw all the murder. He shot Gilda with a sniper rifle from a mile away. Leeroy got scared and died of malnutrition. Quaid put sunglasses on and walked away.

Octavian is in 7th grade and spends all his time on the computer plotting world domination.

Checkers of Glory (student writing)

Checkers of Glory

by Justin

Feona and Noah are playing ground checkers outside on the concrete. They are at a restaurant waiting for a table.  While waiting for their table, they decide who will be red or black by playing Rock, Paper, Scissors, Shoot.  Feona won, so she got to choose her color first. She picked red. Feona and Noah’s parents are there with them. They are all on vacation. Noah was sad because he wanted to be red. He asked Feona nicely if he could be red. She said okay to letting him be red this time.  Once they started playing, their parents told them their table was ready, so they went inside to eat.

After they were finished eating, their parents told them, “we are going outside to talk to our friends so behave.”

Feone and Noah said, “ok, we will behave. We are going back outside to continue playing checkers.”

Feona and Noah went back outside and started playing their game of checkers again until their parents said it was time to leave. They were sad because no one won the game of checkers. They were happy when they decided that instead of saying no one won they would call it a draw. As they went to get in their cars to go home, they were telling their parents all about their game of ground checkers and how the game board was REALLY BIG!  Once they got home, they called their friends, Sunny and Molly, to ask them if they wanted to play hopscotch.  They said yes and to meet them at the park in an hour. Noah was so happy to hang out with friends.

Justin lives in Pennsylvania and enjoys playing all types of games.

The Rodeo (student writing)

The Rodeo

by David

Bibl showed up for an inside radio because he felt like it. He finds out it is a bull that is insane and killed a person by bucking him into a fence. He felt scared. It was forever waiting for his turn. No one was on longer than 6 seconds. His turn finally came. The gate opened and immediately he started bucking…. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 seconds. He won. They pulled the bull back into the gate. He got his trophy and went home satisfied.

David plays video games.

Fun Hiking Day (student writing)

Fun Hiking Day

by Joy

Once there were four people. They went hiking up the biggest mountain. Their names are Amy, John, Selena and baby Maria.  It was snowy on the mountain but sunny.

My name is Selena, and my baby is Maria. As I am hiking, I am really cold, but I am having fun. My family and I have been hiking for about two days so far. We are hiking because we needed a vacation from work. This is our second time hiking on this mountain. We are staying overnight. I hope it goes well.

I am in a tent sleeping in a sleeping bag, and it’s really cold. Also, I am hungry.  I’m going to make some s’mores.

While we were going to make s’mores, we heard a lot of wild animals like skunks, owls, snakes and tons of more animals. We started a fire, and then we sat down and started to melt our marshmallows. Next, while we were sitting, we started to sing a campfire song. Then we all got tired and decided to go to bed. While we slept, a skunk came into my tent and sprayed my baby and me.  I woke up screaming because I smelt so horrible. It was 4:30 in the morning, and I had to go and wash up.

Joy is in 7th grade and loves to play soccer and dance.