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8/12/2010 9:47:13 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
HSLDA's Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner Newsletter--August 2010

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HSLDA's Homeschooling Your Struggling Learner Newsletter
August 2010 -- A Powerful "Classroom" Exercise
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by Dianne Craft, MA,CNHP
HSLDA Special Needs Coordinator

We know that God has wonderful plans for our children, because His
word in Jeremiah 29:11 says so. But sometimes, as we work with a
child who has a learning disability, a physical handicap, one with
autism, or sensory processing problems, a child who has emotional
outbursts or attention issues, or just a child who consistently is a
struggling learner, we feel bereft of ideas. These children work so
hard each day to learn and retain the material that seems so easy for
their siblings that we can feel discouraged, and at times even
desperate, as to what we can do to help them. Our heart aches with
the desire to make things easier for them. We would like to do more,
but don't know what to do. We are using all the good "programs" for
them.

Well, I want you to know that God hears your cry, and has a very
powerful exercise that you can do with your children, struggling or
not, to bring God on the scene every day. You may be doing something
like this already. This will just encourage you then, and help
clarify your thoughts.

Pastor Joe Jordan tells of the daily practice of a teacher who was
instructing children with learning disabilities in a Christian school.
One of the mothers who had a child in this teacher's classroom related
this information to him. Each day, as this teacher began a different
class period, (such as reading, math, etc.) she would read five
verses from the Bible that had to do specifically with healing. After
each Bible verse, she would have the children repeat it after her.
Then she made a few statements of faith, such as, "Thank you, Jesus,
for bringing your word to pass in our lives." Then, at the beginning
of the next class, she would follow the same procedure. The whole
thing probably didn't take over three or four minutes. Often it
seemed like the children were just doing this mindlessly, not paying
any attention to what they were saying.

In three weeks time, so much had happened that the mother of one of
the students said to Pastor Jordan, "I want you to know that a miracle
is happening in that classroom. So many children have been so
dramatically changed that parents who don't even know of the teacher's
approach have called in and told the principal that their child is so
improved, and they attribute it to the expert handling and training of
the teacher. A beautiful thing is happening in that classroom as the
word is going forth. And my child is included in the blessings!"

Shortly after hearing that story, another teacher from a Christian
school came to Pastor Jordan and spoke to him. After hearing the
above testimony, she approached him after the service and said, "I was
so excited when you gave that testimony last evening. I've been doing
the same thing without realizing it. I start each day with scriptures
on a variety of subjects, and have the children repeat them after me.
Although I don't continue it through the day, I repeat it each
morning. I have noticed that many of the more struggling learners, who
were so slow in their work, have so improved that there are very few I
would even label struggling learners, or slow learners anymore. It's
the first year I've had this kind of success. It must be God's word!"

This is something any parent can institute at home. After all, God
says in Proverbs 4:20, "My son (or daughter), attend to my words. Let
them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your
heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing and
health to all their flesh." (Amplified text) The word "health" is
better translated from the Hebrew language as "medicine." Therefore,
if we take that in context, we could think about the fact that God's
word becomes medicine to our flesh.

There are many scriptures that you can choose from. You likely have
your own favorites. However, if you would like the exact scriptures
that the first teacher used for her students, here they are:

> Proverbs 4:20-22
> Isaiah 53:5
> Matthew 8:17
> I Peter 2:24
> Psalm 107:20

On a personal note, after I had finished homeschooling my son, I went
into the public school and taught in a classroom with children who
were diagnosed with learning disabilities, behavior/attention
problems, or just struggling learners who were considerably behind in
their academics. I soon learned that, even with my special education
degrees in this area, I needed help.

I called on God each day for wisdom in teaching these wonderful
children. I prayed for them at home, by name. However, in the
classroom I also had them say daily "faith" statements aloud at the
beginning of each class. These were middle schoolers, and this was a
public school, so I didn't feel I could have them quote scriptures,
but we got the concept of God's word as much as possible, without
giving chapter and verse.

Did it work? All I know is from the very first year I taught, I was
given such good ideas from God, that these children almost always made
a two-year growth in reading and writing. In fact, towards the end of
my third year of teaching, the director of special education visited
the principal and said that she thought that, "Mrs. Craft may be
teaching the children the Woodcock/Johnson Test, since we don't see
any other schools with these test results at the end of just one year.
She has more children staffing out of special education than anybody
else."

This was cleared up, of course, since we gladly gave permission for
the students to be tested by another examiner, using alternative
tests. All was vindicated when the test results were the same as
mine, and better in some cases.

God is so faithful to watch over His word and perform it (Jeremiah
1:12). We know this. No matter what results we see, whether it is
everything we are looking for or not, speaking God's powerful word
with our children daily increases our faith and brings God's peace
and presence to the day.

For these testimonies, see Pastor Joe Jordan's Living Faith series.


HSLDA's special needs coordinators are available to help you with any
questions you have, as you work with your struggling learner or
special need child at home. You may contact them by calling
540-338-5600 or emailing: specialneeds@hslda.org There are many
ideas on www.hslda.org/strugglinglearner also.
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More reasons to join HSLDA...
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