My Child is Swimming with Flippers

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Swimming With Flippers

Remember the first time you swam with flippers?

In the previous blog, I told you about how we saw our daughter sinking and then crash into exams.

My first reaction to seeing my child sinking in a sea of exam work was to blame someone. But who? Is it the school’s fault? Her fault? The exams? Our fault? Heck, the dogs fault! Dare I admit it, maybe it was a little bit of each? Except the dog of course! I understood our school was really trying its best but, I realized I had to step up and help her from my experience as a dyslexic going through high school.

flippers

Thankfully a window of opportunity opened up. She was now willing to learn how to learn. I wasn’t sure how long it would last. Days? Weeks? Months?  I sat at her messy table to teach her “How to Study”. We naively thought it would be done and dusted in a day or two.

When I asked her to get her Biology folder out, I knew it would be an uphill climb. All her papers were crammed randomly. The rest were in piles underneath her clothes. My heart went out to her. I knew this was dyslexia and she just didn’t have the skills to compensate for her organisational weaknesses. She had tried, but the note taking, bubble diagrams, spider diagrams, flash cards just did not work efficiently for her. She couldn’t ‘swim’ efficiently that way. I knew there was hope because I had been through this phase of dyslexia.

flippers

Finding your flippers

I showed her how to do a real Mind Map, the style that got me through a law degree. She started to light up. She started having ‘aha’ moments when I explained what the benefits of different techniques were. It was like seeing your child go swimming with a set of flippers.

mapped one module of Biology. I’ll never forget that evening. It was the turning point. The next day she did a Biology test and got a ‘B’. I asked if it was what we mapped, but it wasn’t exactly. 

flippers

“Strangely enough”, she explained, “I think it helped sort out my brain and the other Biology in there.” The mapping was even helping things she didn’t map! We got off to a good start. I’d like to say over the next few days she became a study skills master. But some unexpected dyslexia roadblocks got in our way which led to an unexpected solution.

In the next blog, I’ll tell you how she encountered unexpected dyslexia roadblocks along the way. If you haven’t subscribe to our email list yet, please subscribe now. We’ll send you valuable videos on Study Skills, mind mapping, dyslexia and high school, free.

I’ve done a little 4 minute video that goes a little deeper into this: Finding Solution” 

We’d really love to hear from you so please take a moment to share your thoughts or any ways we could help you on your journey with dyslexia. Subscribe to our newsletter for more articles and videos.

Did you enjoy the video? Watch more animated Mind Map videos and find out more about Mindmapping and Dyslexia at our Blogs

 

PARENT’S GUIDE TO MINDMAPPING

Looking for practical strategies for Dyslexia in the teenage years? We have a whole range of resources and videos to help you as a parent. Please subscribe to our notification list and we’ll send you valuable videos on Study Skills, mindmapping, dyslexia and highschool, free, each week.

As a thank you for joining our email list we’ll send you 4 inspiring study skills videos on mind mapping. You may be wondering “can study skills videos be inspiring?” Have a look at this one.

Darius Namdaran

Darius Namdaran

Darius is a teacher and MD of BulletMap™ Studio. He's passionate about helping dyslexic children, and their parents, get through High School with their confidence intact. From his own experience with dyslexia and raising children with dyslexia he has developed an online training business designed to equip and encourage dyslexic teenagers in their journey through High School.
His company produces Mindmap videos full of tips and encouragement to help understand dyslexia and to thrive in High School.
He is the designer and senior tutor of the first Mind mapping course for Dyslexic Teenagers called the BulletMap Method.

How to maintain study motivation with a dyslexic teen

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maintain study motivation

maintain study motivation

How to maintain study motivation with a dyslexic teen

Last time, I told you how I made training videos for my daughter. It worked for a while but keeping a dyslexic teen motivated needs more. Their brains are like wild horses. When they hit a challenge it can be like watching them being thrown off a horse. Part of you just wants to say “school doesn’t matter. You’ll find your way. Stop the pain.”

We just want a nice tame horse for them to make life easier and less painful. Taming their brains may not be an option but respecting how their brains work and learning to ride bareback is definitely doable. Your dyslexic teen will need to learn a way of riding that allows a balance between freedom and control. This is what proper use of the mind mapping does.

The biggest challenge is keeping motivated to get back on the horse for the 10th time. There’s one simple magic answer: Watching others get back on a wild horse.

The Power of Study Group

This led to the next unexpected breakthrough in this journey which was the power of a study group. There’s nothing more inspiring than watching another child or teenager like you struggling, get thrown off, dust themselves off and get back on and keep riding that bucking bronco. It makes you hungry to try again.

I’ve seen that moment time and again. Where someone who has been mind mapping for only 3 weeks explains an experimental map they did about an English essay to the group. Another child sees it and lights up with possibilities and thinks “I could do that!”. It’s priceless. That moment can carry you for years. It could unlock a lifetime of possibilities. Solo tutoring doesn’t do this. Dyslexics are often very social creatures. We need each other.

I could do that!

Band of Wild Horse Riders

maintain study motivation

At BulletMap Studio we put a huge effort into creating online study groups via video conference. We bring together bands of fellow wild horse owners and journey together. Something special happens each time. It’s more than just learning to ride through the land of exams. You realise that other people of all ages ride wild horses and now you can go places together.

I’d like to invite you on one of these expeditions with another band of wild horse riders. It won’t always be easy. But I can assure you it will be fun, fast and very fruitful. If you haven’t subscribe to our email list yet, please subscribe now. We’ll send you valuable videos on Study Skills, mind mapping, dyslexia and high school, free.

Can I give you a glimpse into the joy of a study group? This video is 4 minutes of parents and children talking spontaneously about how the course literally transformed whole parts of their family lives for the better.

Next time, I’ll show you what a dyslexic child’s school day with study skills might look like by redrawing the “Day in the life of John” but this time with a map in his hand 🙂

We’d really love to hear from you so please take a moment to share your thoughts or any ways we could help you on your journey with dyslexia. Subscribe to our newsletter for more articles and videos.

Did you enjoy the video? Watch more animated Mind Map videos and find out more about Mindmapping and Dyslexia at our Blogs

 

PARENT’S GUIDE TO MIND MAPPING

Looking for practical strategies for Dyslexia in the teenage years? We have a whole range of resources and videos to help you as a parent. Please subscribe to our notification list and we’ll send you valuable videos on Study Skills, mindmapping, dyslexia and highschool, free, each week.

As a thank you for joining our email list we’ll send you 4 inspiring study skills videos on mind mapping. You may be wondering “can study skills videos be inspiring?” Have a look at this one.

Darius Namdaran

Darius Namdaran

Darius is a teacher and MD of BulletMap™ Studio. He's passionate about helping dyslexic children, and their parents, get through High School with their confidence intact. From his own experience with dyslexia and raising children with dyslexia he has developed an online training business designed to equip and encourage dyslexic teenagers in their journey through High School.
His company produces Mindmap videos full of tips and encouragement to help understand dyslexia and to thrive in High School.
He is the designer and senior tutor of the first Mind mapping course for Dyslexic Teenagers called the BulletMap Method.

Studying with a dyslexic mind is like riding a wild horse

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riding wild horses

wild horse

Studying with a dyslexic mind is like riding a wild horse

The last time, I told you about our breakthrough moment with study skills. The window of willingness had opened up. But some unexpected dyslexia roadblocks got in our way.

What is it with us dyslexics? We can have huge capacity to work one day, then the next we are overwhelmed after 10 mins. For my stressed teenage daughter, this came out in different ways. 5 mins into a study skills session she would get very agitated. Neither of us understood it at the time. She thought I was being overbearing, I thought she was being evasive. Now we realise her brain was full. More accurately, she had filled up her working memory.

wild horse

We came to a deal. When it got too much I would stop helping her map out her revision, no questions asked. Even if it was 5 minutes into a 30 minute session. This kept the peace but it made our progress very erratic.

wild horse

Highly recommended study technique

What was the answer? I had a brainwave- videos! I explained it that it would be like Khan Academy do and I’d find her a course we could watch together. She could pick it up when the stress had passed.

I hunted in Youtube. I can’t tell you how gutted and saddened I was only find superficial summaries of Tony Buzan’s “mind mapping principles: central images, branches, keywords, colours and images”. People who were saying the same basics over and over again. I knew what kind of mapping was needed to reliably pass a Law degree. “How can the most highly recommended study technique at the top universities be so scantily taught?” The main teaching work over the last 20 years was geared to businesses and mind map programs but I knew from experience that written maps were my secret weapon for exam revision.

I found a course on Udemy and bought it  but quickly realised that there’s no way my daughter would sit through hours of theory and long winded demonstrations. I actually started to get a little angry.

“Why are people not teaching dyslexic teens this incredibly helpful and practical skill?” Surely some teachers must have got their degrees by mind mapping?

Training videos

wild horse

Finally I thought, “I’ll do it! I’ll record her the videos she needs.” I did and that’s where my training videos were born. My obsession was how to get 1 hour of instruction into a fun, fast 12 minute video.

I’d like to say it was ‘job done’. But trying to study with a dyslexic mind is like riding a wild horse bareback. You can make huge advances rapidly, but get thrown off violently and quickly. My daughter now had the core skills to mind map, but there was something missing. We needed her to be inspired to pick herself up when she was thrown off track by the wild horse. She needed to see others riding wild horses.

In the next blog, I’ll tell you how to ride the wild horses. If you haven’t subscribe to our email list yet, please subscribe now and find out how my daughter learnt how to ride the wild horse. We’ll send you valuable videos on Study Skills, mind mapping, dyslexia and high school, free.

I’ve done a little video here about the seven challenges I see dyslexic teens face in High school and some solutions.

We’d really love to hear from you so please take a moment to share your thoughts or any ways we could help you on your journey with dyslexia. Subscribe to our newsletter for more articles and videos.

Did you enjoy the video? Watch more animated Mind Map videos and find out more about Mindmapping and Dyslexia at our Blogs

 

PARENT’S GUIDE TO MIND MAPPING

Looking for practical strategies for Dyslexia in the teenage years? We have a whole range of resources and videos to help you as a parent. Please subscribe to our notification list and we’ll send you valuable videos on Study Skills, mindmapping, dyslexia and highschool, free, each week.

As a thank you for joining our email list we’ll send you 4 inspiring study skills videos on mind mapping. You may be wondering “can study skills videos be inspiring?” Have a look at this one.

Darius Namdaran

Darius Namdaran

Darius is a teacher and MD of BulletMap™ Studio. He's passionate about helping dyslexic children, and their parents, get through High School with their confidence intact. From his own experience with dyslexia and raising children with dyslexia he has developed an online training business designed to equip and encourage dyslexic teenagers in their journey through High School.
His company produces Mindmap videos full of tips and encouragement to help understand dyslexia and to thrive in High School.
He is the designer and senior tutor of the first Mind mapping course for Dyslexic Teenagers called the BulletMap Method.

My Child is Sinking

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My Child is Sinking in
high school

The day I noticed My Child was Sinking in high school

I’d like to tell you a story over the next few blogs as the build up to opening registrations for our next tutorial group registration. Where did this passion to help families take control of their study skills all begin? It began when my daughter started sinking.

sinking

I remember the day we noticed our daughter sinking in High School. She said her English teacher was commenting that she wasn’t trying hard enough. My daughter was an ‘A’ student until then. She had had some challenges in junior school but a small private school and an expert teacher had sorted those. Or so we thought.

sinking

No one told us how disorganisation is the next challenge of dyslexia in High School and how it can be like walking with your shoelaces tied to each other. You constantly trip over and live in chaos. If you’re a parent of a creative or dyslexic child you’ll know it’s not just normal teenage mess. Its extreme randomness in discussions, in essays and in homework planning.

Exams were looming and we could see that she wasn’t quite managing to keep her head above water. She refused to admit it. I would gently enquire if she was being taught study skills like mind mapping, because I knew how crucial it had been to successfully completing my Law degree with dyslexia. She snapped, “Of course Dad!” (She wasn’t)

We made it clear to her that we didn’t want to be those parents who put unspoken expectations of high grades on her. We were getting her ready for impact, because she refused our help and insisted everything was fine. She just worked harder for longer but with diminishing results.

We saw it coming. It was like watching a slow motion crash. We could see she was going to hit the exams like a boat being pushed onto rocks.

It happened. She failed some of her favorite subjects. It was very painful. It didn’t help that my wife was also going through stage 2 cancer. My daughter didn’t want to be a bother but she was in a hole and she didn’t know how to get out. She only had months to the final exams.

In the next blog, I’ll tell you how she learnt to “swim” in a new way. If you haven’t subscribe to our email list yet, please subscribe now and find out how my daughter learnt how to swim. We’ll send you valuable videos on Study Skills, mind mapping, dyslexia and high school, free.

Have you seen this little animation of “Dear John: A Day in the life of a Dyslexic teenager in High school?” People find it powerful.

We’d really love to hear from you so please take a moment to share your thoughts or any ways we could help you on your journey with dyslexia. Subscribe to our newsletter for more articles and videos.

Did you enjoy the video? Watch more animated Mind Map videos and find out more about Mindmapping and Dyslexia at our Blogs

 

PARENT’S GUIDE TO MIND MAPPING

Looking for practical strategies for Dyslexia in the teenage years? We have a whole range of resources and videos to help you as a parent. Please subscribe to our notification list and we’ll send you valuable videos on Study Skills, mindmapping, dyslexia and highschool, free, each week.

As a thank you for joining our email list we’ll send you 4 inspiring study skills videos on mind mapping. You may be wondering “can study skills videos be inspiring?” Have a look at this one.

Darius Namdaran

Darius Namdaran

Darius is a teacher and MD of BulletMap™ Studio. He's passionate about helping dyslexic children, and their parents, get through High School with their confidence intact. From his own experience with dyslexia and raising children with dyslexia he has developed an online training business designed to equip and encourage dyslexic teenagers in their journey through High School.
His company produces Mindmap videos full of tips and encouragement to help understand dyslexia and to thrive in High School.
He is the designer and senior tutor of the first Mind mapping course for Dyslexic Teenagers called the BulletMap Method.