Self-discovery: I have a learning disability!

Lexie and Mommy in pink

After teaching for over 30 years, I was diagnosed with two learning disabilities.  What?  How can that be?  I have two degrees, have written five textbooks, do curriculum work, and teach 20 different subjects.

I was in a class to learn about disabilities and the teacher gave us a little test.  It was a simple test, but it certainly opened my eyes. The test measures the student’s ability to learn in four parameters:  hearing,visually, reading, and tactile.

I scored a 0 in hearing, a 1 in reading, and did evenly in visual and tactile.  I could that be?  I am a major in English language and literature!  I have taken all my master classes at the university and received A’s.

My teacher said usually the best teachers are the ones who had to overcome some obstacle in order to learn.  She was right about that.  I had a tough time in high school and in college.  I could not memorize, I could not just sit and listen to the teacher and learn anything, and when I read, I had to reread, reread, and reread.

Eventually I overcame the disability of hearing and learning and reading and learning by studying the only way I could learn.  I would take copious notes, underline the text, make up quizzes to take, reread, and outline the tough parts.  By doing this, I learned to pass the tests.

It took me longer to learn than anyone else, but in the end, I really knew what I had learned.  I felt stupid and didn’t know why everything was so hard for me.  Somehow, I muddled through high school.

College classes were also difficult because of my disabilities, but no one noticed.  I took many notes, bought used texts that had answers written in the margins or footnotes, reread each assignment several times, made up my own quizzes, etc.  I had roommates who would ask me questions about the work.  That also helped.

I’m writing about this today in hopes that someone out there who is struggling with the learning process understands that not all is lost.  There is hope for you, too.  Over compensate.  Over read.  Take lots of notes, etc.  You can become your own teacher!

If you are a parent, make sure your child can understand what he/she reads.  Also check the hearing and learning by telling the child something to do, put something in order, etc. and see how much he/she struggles with that.  Stand up lecturing is not good for that type of learner.  Unfortunately, many classes are taught in that manner.  See what else is available.

No one caught my two disabilities and I went all the way through graduate school.  Don’t make your child struggle if he/she doesn’t have to do so.  Help with homework.  Question the teacher about your child’s learning style.  There are instruments that test this in our children.

Finally, be an alert parent.  Seek help when needed for your child.  Be informed, and be on top of your child’s progress in school.


Five Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in School


I taught in public education for over 38 years and have dealt with all kinds of students and parents.  In this blog, I want to share some ideas with you that will help your child succeed in school.

  1.  Always be interested in what your child has done in school.  Look over any papers brought home, any grades written on the papers, etc.  This single ACT of interest will create a bond between you and the child.  Do not criticize the work.  Just acknowledge the work was done and received a grade or a star, etc.  Many of my students have said, “Why try to get better grades!  My parents don’t even look at my work.!”
  2.  Show up at school meetings, introductions, etc.  This shows the teacher that YOU really are concerned In the student’s welfare. It also reassures the child that you ARE interested.
  3. Make a chart (make it attractive) and hang it in child’s room. Every time the child makes a grade better than the last, put it on the chart and add some sticker or star to show it off.  Let the child have pride in doing better…Don’t expect A’s right away, either.  Give the child PRAISE.
  4. Get down on your child’s level.  For elementary school aged children, sit down on the floor with them.  Don’t hover above them.  Older children need you  to sit beside them as you talk and look at their work.  If you had a particular issue in school, tell the child in order to communicate your feelings.  However, don’t let them get discouraged by your failure…tell them it got better!
  5.   Take a determined interest in helping your child LIKE the education process.  Talk about the teacher and the classroom.  Is the child afraid of something? Is he/she being embarrassed by something?  Does your child have an undiagnosed learning disability?  I want you to make sure your child CAN learn.  It may not be as fast as the others, but most children, given enough time and attention can LEARN.  In today’s world, the biggest problem is HOW your child learns.  Perhaps he/she has a reading disability or a hearing disability. Maybe your child cannot see clearly or sits back too far from the teacher and the board.  This is your time to PLAY detective.  Find out with the teacher’s help HOW you can help.

In future blogs, I will be adding some other suggestions.  If you have a question for me, just leave a comment.

God Bless!

The Ramblings of an old lady!


July 30, 2015

Yesterday, I spent the entire afternoon on the computer and the phone doing some research about how to get a doctorate degree. Yes, at 71, I am considering a doctorate!

I spoke with two universities about their online programs that would lead to either a D. Ed. (Doctorate of Education) or a PH. D.  (Doctorate of Philosophy in Psychology/Education).  Since I love research and creative endeavors, I have been doing a lot of thinking and writing.(Including my memoir Grace for Gypsy Girls, under my pen name Ann Naedele)

My question to myself is this:  At my age do I need this degree for some higher purpose, or do I need this degree to satisfy ego for the lifelong work I have done in education over 38 years of teaching?

My answer:  If I could effect change in our approach and implementation of a new educational system by any other means than acquiring a doctorate, I would feel fulfilled in life.

In conclusion, a doctorate degree costs between $42,000 and $100,000 which I do not have nor know how to acquire.  Therefore, I am going to use my blog and eventually a scholarly book to prove that the educational system of today can be better for all children under my plan.

So readers, be prepared.  My blog is going to take on a new topic soon.  I know there are tons of retired educators out there that have great ideas about this issue.  Perhaps with some collaboration and creativity we can set the world on fire with a new philosophy of education.  My first blog will give you my mission state.

Please feel free to share or comment.


July in Vero Beach


One word describes July in Vero Beach:  HOT!  I guess all of you know about HOT.  The country has been dealing with the heat, storms, floods, and tornadoes for months.  I can only imagine what August will bring.  Personally, I am hoping for the “rapture”…can’t wait to see my heavenly home, shed this body for a new one, and maybe become a blond…I’ve asked but haven’t heard back on that request!  I did ask for God to let me bring along my Chihuahuas!  I think he’ll give me that one.

Sorry I haven’t posted lately.  I have been reformatting my eBook for paperback copy.  It is DONE!  You can now get a real book from!  Our memoir, Grace for Gypsy Girls, is a great read about all the adventures and misadventures of RonnAnn, my daughter, and me.  We’ve lived in lots of different states and have had to deal with a lot of adversity over the years, but in spite of it all, she managed to marry and become a doctor.  With all the hype about single parent families, I think we came out on top, not the bottom.  I managed to hold a job in teaching most of the time and kept us out of harm’s way.

You’ll enjoy the ride, so please read it and let me know what you think about my writing style.  I also have a young adult short read available.  If you have teens, I would love for you to let them read it and rate it for me.  I want to be sure it is something they would enjoy.  It’s called Milligan Mayhem by Ann Naedele…my author names are different, but it’s mine!

Coming soon:  I am going to post some more articles about education; schools will be starting soon and I hope you are ready for all the things your children will be facing this year.  I am going to address gender and sexual orientation.  Stay tuned!


Seven Good Reasons to Home School


my classroom

Homeschooling your child will:

1.  Protect your child from ideas that do not conform to your religious beliefs.

2.  Better monitor how your child is doing in his/her studies on a daily basis.

3.  Give immediate feedback on the work being done.

4.  Allow for individualized instruction.

5.  Provide a quiet environment for studies.

6.  Offer protection from the violence being seen in public schools.

7. Censor new cultural mores that do not follow traditional family values.

The biggest objection to home schooling has been the lack of socialization; however, keeping your family involved in church activities, sporting events, and neighborhood centers will offer this socialization.

As a public school teacher for over 38 years, I have recently opened my mind to home schooling after all the unusual and conflicting ideas on gender identity and sexual rituals.  I feel I would want to protect my child from these new outlooks.