Dyslexia Games: The “Brass Tacks”

Three Series of Dyslexia Games

Anna was young when I created Dyslexia Games. Older kids with Dyslexia felt the games I’d created were too easy. I set to work at creating more advanced games. These were helpful both for Anna as she grew and for older children.

Series A is best for children ages 5-8. It can also be used by older children who are profoundly Dyslexic. This series is primarily art-based and introduces a bit of writing and spelling. 

Series B for children aged 8-12. The art-based games become more advanced and more reading skills are required. We also include spelling and copywork in this series.

Series C is for ages 10+. We continue with intricate art-based games, add in some math, and work on cursive writing skills. 

Not Only for Dyslexic Kids

Families began introducing their early readers to series A- regardless of if they showed signs of Dyslexia. Parents realized they made learning to read fun and engaging and that children thrived. Older kids saw Dyslexic siblings working on series B and C and wanted to try them out. It became apparent these games were not only helpful for Dyslexic kids. 

We’ve heard from thousands of families who share remarkable stories about the benefits of Dyslexia Games in their homes. Parents have used Dyslexia Games with:

  • ADHD/ADD kids to help them focus and relax
  • Asperger’s 
  • Autism 
  • Dysgraphia 
  • Dyspraxia 
  • Non-Verbal learning disabilities
  • Visual Processing Disorders
  • As “brain breaks” before working on a more focused/difficult task
  • To de-stress and relax a kid when they were frustrated
  • For relief from Brian Fog
  • To help develop executive functioning skills 
  • Memory support 
  • And more!! 


This was certainly not something I ever expected. At this point, we think we’ve had about as many non-Dyslexic kids use Dyslexia Games as those with Dyslexia. Especially series A for new readers. I began to incorporate pages from these games into some of our Fun-Schooling journals and students have loved having them there.

Click here to continue reading.

All About Dyslexia Games!

“She’s almost 9, why can’t she read yet?” After yet another day of watching my daughter Anna struggle to read, I expressed my frustration to my husband. We would eventually come to discover she was Dyslexic. I watched the light go out of her eyes and her love of learning begin to die out. This was something I knew I couldn’t let happen. The journey to help my daughter with Dyslexia would end up helping thousands of adults and children. 

Dyslexia Statistics

Dyslexia is not a struggle unique to Anna. An estimated 20% of children are Dyslexic. The numbers seem to be growing. It’s hard to know if this is because of more awareness or another reason. Regardless, you know and interact with many people who have Dyslexia. Some children will “outgrow” Dyslexia while others will be lifelong Dyslexics.

Dyslexia Games Creation

My quest to help my daughter kept ending at dead ends. None of the products for Dyslexia worked for her or fit our family. I began to think about how Anna noticed b/d/p/q looked exactly the same. As I thought through ways to help her, I turned to her passion- art.

I was homeschooled myself and struggled in school. It’s likely I would have received an Asperger’s diagnosis myself. Awareness of Asperger’s was much lower when I was growing up than it is now so I was overlooked. One of the gifts of Asperger’s is the ability to think outside the box and be creative. Nobody knows their child better than their mother. I knew the answer to helping my daughter learn to read was one I could find.

One afternoon I sat down and started to draw. As I drew, I incorporated letters and words into my artwork. I wanted to see how Anna would respond to words and letters if they were presented as art instead of as a bunch of words on a page. I created puzzles for her to complete and pictures to copy. After I had a few done, I handed them over to her.

Anna loved them and eagerly completed them. But would they help her Dyslexia? After completing several more, she began to read! I made an entire set with different games and activities. Her reading ability increased and she was soon an avid reader who loved to read. Plus she no longer had any symptoms of Dyslexia.

We began selling the PDF version to print at home on our website DyslexiaGames.com and had physical copies printed and shipped by a local print shop at first. When we published Dyslexia Games Series C we switched from the local Print Shop to CreateSpace to drop-ship our books for us.  We also listed the books on Amazon as well. Thus, Dyslexia Games was born. 

Today Dyslexia Games have been used by thousands of children worldwide. We have families on every continent (except Antarctica!) and in dozens of countries. Dyslexia tutors, therapy centers, and schools are using the games with results unlike anything else out there. 

With this post, the journey began…

The Fun-Schooling Story: The Thinking Tree Grows!

The Thinking Tree Grows

At first, we weren’t sure any of “this” would catch on beyond our circle of friends. As we were contacted by families asking for journals with different themes, we knew something special had come. I got to work creating more journals. Each was based on the same concept with different covers and interior artwork to appeal to kids’ interests. These core journals became the foundational journal for Fun-Schooling families.

 

We named our new company The Thinking Tree when we published Dyslexia Games. My kids got involved in creating journals based on themes they were interested in and subjects they wanted to cover. I created smaller journals to use as an in-depth study on a single topic.

A Facebook page and group were started. We got the attention of a few Mom Bloggers who shared our journals with their audience. I added in Math and Spelling journals. Thinking Tree was invited to homeschool conferences. A few of our journals became available through Barnes and Noble. I created a series of Mom School journals so moms could pursue their interests and be a good example. Word kept spreading about our Fun-Schooling journals and I became an unintentional entrepreneur! 

The Thinking Tree grew by leaps and bounds during the Covid 19 lockdowns…read about it in this post!

Read the beginning of the story here!

Is Fun-Schooling for You?

Fun-Schooling wasn’t designed to work for every family.

So, who does it work for?

Who does it NOT work well for?

Instead of having to give it a try and discover it was a waste of time and money, let’s first get a few things out of the way.

1. Fun-Schooling is not for parents who love testing, grading and correcting their child’s schoolwork in order to make sure their child is standardized.

2. Fun-Schooling is not for parents who believe that education is all about discipline and perfection, all work and no play.

3. Fun-Schooling is not for parents who feel that children should not be allowed to follow their own interests but must study a formal curriculum designed by professionals. If you believe that your child will never be able to teach himself and needs to be taught through rigorous memorization of facts, maybe Fun-Schooling will be a disappointment to you.

4. Fun-Schooling is not for parents who want to play the roles of “teacher and student” rather than “parent and child”. If you want to teach your child every lesson and recreate school at home, maybe Fun-Schooling will not be a good match unless you and your child are both “friend learners or followers”.

5. Fun-Schooling is not usually a good match for parents who plan out every minute of every day to make sure the child stays on task. If giving your child freedom (balanced with responsibility) scares you, don’t Fun-School. You won’t be comfortable.

6. Fun-Schooling doesn’t work well for parents who love teacher’s keys and multiple choice workbooks with answers in the back. Our journals are very open ended and there are no answers keys or teacher’s guides. Why? Because the books are based on research and curiosity so one page in a Fun-Schooling Journal will be one-of-a-kind when a child completes the activities. For example the Journal may prompt them to choose their favorite extinct animal and write down four interesting things about it. Trust me. An answer key would not be helpful because your child’s answer is completely unpredictable.

7. Fun-Schooling is not for parents who do not appreciate creativity, imagination and fun. Seriously there are zillions of parents and teachers who work hard to keep schooling serious. If you are this kind of parent/teacher don’t waste your hard earned money and precious time on Thinking Tree books.

Was this helpful? Is Fun-Schooling for you? Click here to learn more about How to Flip to Fun-Schooling!

Dyslexia Games FAQs

 

Dyslexia Games Level A

What are Dyslexia Games?

Dyslexia Games is a method of dyslexia therapy created by Sarah Janisse Brown to help children who struggle with symptoms of dyslexia, as well as ADHD, ASD, and other learning issues. The books use art and logic to “reprogram the brain” by gradually helping children shift from using the right side to the left to process letters, numbers, and finally, words.

 Which Series of Dyslexia Games should I order?

Choose the correct series based on your child’s age and reading level:

Series A: Ages 5-8 (for new and non-readers)
Series B: Ages 8-12 (for struggling readers)
Series C: Ages 10-adult (for spelling, speed, focus, and comprehension)

**For more details, please see the “Order” page at www.dyslexiagames.com

 Does my child need to do the books in order?

Yes. It’s important to start with Book 1 of the Series your child is using and to finish each book before starting the next.

 Can my child skip around in the book?

No. The pages should be done in the order in which they appear in the book as they “build on” the previous page.

 How many pages should my child do every day?

Your child should complete 2-4 pages a day. Start with 2-3 pages and add a 4th if they request it. Cut back if they become visually overstimulated.

 What should my child use to complete the puzzles?

It’s recommended that your child use a smooth, black pen, preferably a gel pen, to create a smooth transition between the printed logic puzzle and the child’s work.

 How does my child complete the puzzles?

Your child will use logic to determine what’s missing in each puzzle, then use a gel pen to draw in the missing parts or complete the patterns.

 Should I point out mistakes my child makes while working the puzzles?

Yes. Ask your child to look over the page carefully and see if they notice anything that needs to be done differently. This will encourage your child to look for their own mistakes. If they don’t seem to recognize that the puzzle(s) are incorrect, gently correct them by asking, “Do you think you should try doing it this way instead?” or something similar. If possible, print out a copy of the puzzle to work yourself (two if your child wants to redo theirs) and have your child follow your example.

 My child wants to erase and correct mistakes. How do they do this using a gel pen?

There are erasable gel pens now if there are concerns that your child will want to erase and correct mistakes. 5B pencils also work well.

 Should my child color the puzzles?

Once the puzzles are completed and missing parts are drawn, your child can color them if they would like.

 When should my child do Dyslexia Games?

While Dyslexia Games can be completed at any point during the day, many parents have their children do the games before beginning other school work as the puzzles help with focus and concentration.

 What subject is Dyslexia Games?

Language Arts primarily. It also includes art, math, creative thinking, problem-solving, and handwriting. 

 Should my child continue their current Language Arts curriculum while using Dyslexia Games?

If your child is using Series A, it is recommended they discontinue using all other Language Arts materials, including reading. Parents should read to their children often and if the child wants to try to read, allow them, but stop if it’s causing any stress or anxiety. 

If your child is using Series B, stop other Language Arts curriculum, but they may read for other subjects as necessary. With Series C there is no need to stop other curricula; however, since Spelling is included in each series, there is no need for any additional Spelling curriculum.

 If I purchase the printed books, do I also receive the PDFs?

No, PDFs should be purchased separately.

 Are there printed instructions?

Basic instructions are printed near the front of every book and PDF.

 Will I need to help my child with Dyslexia Games?

Sit with your child and give guidance for the first few pages if necessary. After that, your child should be able to easily complete the pages on their own as they tap into their creativity and problem solving skills. The puzzles are logic based, intuitive, and creative, so most children are able to work on them independently.

 What do I do if my child resists doing Dyslexia Games?

One of the best ways to get children to cooperate with school work is to be an example. Print out your own copies of the puzzles and sit down beside your child to work the pages with them.

 Are Dyslexia Games only for children with dyslexia?

Dyslexia Games are great for children of all ages (and adults) with dyslexia, ADHD, ASD, and other learning issues, as well as those without. We’ve had thousands of children with all kinds of educational needs use Dyslexia Games. 

 What skills does Dyslexia Games help with?

Dyslexia Games help with multiple skills including: letter recognition; reading; tracking; distinguishing left, right, up, and down; memory; focus; attention to detail; problem-solving; handwriting and fine motor skills; spelling; art; logic; and help to “wake up the brain.”

 How does my child complete the Word Hunt book?

Your child will go on a “scavenger hunt” and look through books, magazines, or around the house on cereal boxes, etc., to find words with the specified number of letters. If your child is struggling to find words or needs more creative ways to hunt for words, try taking the book along as you go for a walk, in the car, or to the grocery store or other shopping excursions!

How Your Child Thinks: The Inventors (Part 3)

visual thinkers inventors creators

The visual thinkers of the world were created to be the designers, inventors, the artists, the musicians, the sailors and explorers. We say they have a problem with obedience and respect or we call it Dyslexia, Asperger’s Syndrome or ADHD. We try to tame them. Honestly, we have failed them . If a child is failing in his classroom, it is the classroom that failed the child. The child is not the one with a problem just because he learns differently.

The child must be set free to be the inventor, the artist, the dancer. So who will teach the inventor? Who will train the artist? The child must become his own teacher, and his parents and teachers must become his students, to learn from him, to understand him, to realize that he has within him the power to become great. We need to discover how to help him become who he was meant to be. We must accept that it may never happen in a desk, in a classroom and behind a pile of textbooks, even if you give the child medication and take away his crayons. Do you want to be the one to take away Albert’s compass, Benjamin’s kite, or Leonardo’s paintbrush or little Thomas Edison’s mirrors?

What is the solution for the child who fails in the classroom? Set him free from the classroom. Ask the child what he wants to learn about. Ask the child what he wants to do. Take the child to the book store, take the child to the art store, take the child to the beach, the forest, the ruins of a castle. Give him pets and let him catch lizards. Read to him until he learns to read to himself. Search for learning materials that captivate the visual mind–things like compasses, clay, mirrors, and paintbrushes. Let him sail, play instruments, and dig in the dirt. Let him take things apart and give him colored pencils. Let him watch people at work doing all different things in the world, take him to the kitchen, take him to an art studio, take him into factories and show him how to use sewing machines, instruments, scroll-saws, and tools. Let her dance. (to continue reading click here)

A Fun-Filled Homeschooling Plan for Busy Parents and Active Kids

My Real-Life, Home-Learning Plan that is simple for parents and delightful to kids! Created by me, a mom who is currently Homeschooling 10 of her 15 Kids!

1. Logic Games2. Read Favorite Books
3. YouTube Tutorials
4. Nature Time
5. Online Math Games or Serious Stuff
6. Kitchen Time
7. Spelling Games
8. Complete 5 Workbook Pages or 5 Fun-Schooling Journal Pages
9. Play Outside
10 Art & Drawing
11. Just Dance
12. Chores
13. Online Games (a reward for chores and school)
14. Family Time and Board Games
15. Movie Time
16. Music Practice
17. Games for Dyslexia: DyslexiaGames.com
18. Fun Homeschooling Curriculum: FunSchooling.com
You can do these activities in any order, but Movies and Online Games should be close to last.

Dyslexia

(This series of blog posts is excerpted from Sarah’s book, Windows to Our World: Sarah’s Journal – Growing Up, Crossing Oceans, Finding Love & Giving Life to 10 Children)

Anna is the author of “Heroes & Villains of History” and “Writer’s Fun-Schooling Journal”

Isaac started reading at age three. Back then, I thought homeschooling was going to be easy. Anna, our second child, was born dancing, drawing, and dreaming, but at age nine she was still reversing letters and forgetting how to sound out three-letter words. She continued to struggle with pencil and paper, and I didn’t know why. I had started both children with the same reading program, but Anna wasn’t learning to read.

I tried several reading programs over the years, but nothing helped. Nothing interested her. Reading was exhausting and confusing. I really began to feel like there was something wrong with her, and because we were homeschooling, I blamed myself. I was afraid to talk to anyone about Anna’s problem with reading. I never suspected dyslexia. I just thought I was a bad teacher until Estera, our third, taught herself to read and write at age five. She would always play school with the workbooks that Anna couldn’t use. By then, we had dozens of them.

One fall day a couple of years earlier, Anna and I were sitting under the big tree in the backyard working on reading lesson number one for the 30th time. I was still trying to help her see the difference between b and d. We were making a new set of colorful flash cards but seeing no progress.

She looked at me with tears in her eyes. “Mom, there is NO difference! I will never read!” she said. “Can’t I just be an artist and a mommy when I grow up?” I remembered having the same dream when I was a little girl and the same struggles. I had blamed the school system for my problems with reading, but Anna was being homeschooled, how could the same thing be happening to her?

I looked up into the sky and asked God to show me how to help my child. The first thing I realized was that I didn’t have what it takes to help her and needed to seek out a professional. I had to get over my own fear and pride and ask for help. The first reading tutor we hired was mystified by Anna’s problem too, but we eventually found a specialist who understood Anna. The teacher evaluated Anna and revealed that she had dyslexia. (click here to continue reading)

Happy Homeschooling

(This series of blog posts is excerpted from Sarah’s book, Windows to Our World: Sarah’s Journal – Growing Up, Crossing Oceans, Finding Love & Giving Life to 10 Children)

My family and grandma Marian, I’m the littlest.

I really enjoyed fifth and sixth grades at my new school in Ohio. The old historic school buildings were in the center of beautiful Victorian neighborhoods. The classrooms were bright with high ceilings, wood trim and big windows. I could see the snow fall and the leaves change from my window. My little sister and I loved the walks to and from school, and often we would save our milk money for ice cream on the way home. I even had teachers who saw my artistic talent and encouraged me to add art to all my book reports and let me help decorate the classrooms.

School was no longer something I dreaded. One of my teachers started each day with a brain game or logic puzzle on the chalk board, and I was always so proud to be the first student to solve the puzzle, even though I had to wear my glasses to see the board. I had a friend or two and got into a fight or two—once a bully was making fun of my little sister and me, so I showed her my fist. She ran home crying with a bloody nose and decided to be my friend after that. For my seventh grade year, my sisters and I were moved to a new school district—one of the “better” schools by reputation. I had always gone to small town schools before, but this middle school was one of the big city schools, and it was frightening. The fact that it had no windows didn’t even compare to the behavior of rowdy boys and bullies. I was grabbed and teased. I walked into the “tattoo parlor” in the girl’s bathroom, supplied with razors and permanent marker.

While waiting in the lunch line, I was offered a “good” deal on any kind of drug I’d like to try. Four girls in my middle school were pregnant. And I’d often get lost in the maze of halls and stairways between classes. My report cards also suffered. There were no art classes or logic games on the blackboard, and I felt myself failing socially and academically. This may have been a normal educational experience for most American teens back in the early 90s, but it was a shocking change to me. That same year, my mom began homeschooling Heather for health reasons. That left me waiting at the bus stop alone each morning while Heather sat at the dining room table with a pile of workbooks, a big globe, and a pack of colored pencils. And popsicles. My mom rarely forgot to hand out the popsicles. Sometimes she even sat outside under the dogwood tree to do her schoolwork or played during school hours! Homeschooling was rare back then. I hadn’t heard of it before. I was jealous.

Mom started getting homeschooling magazines in the mail, and I looked through big piles of them with her, their covers adorned with families, most with a dozen or so children all in matching hand-sewn clothing. I didn’t know what that was all about—I didn’t want to wear homemade dresses to match my mom and sisters—but the situation was becoming harder to handle at school, and I wanted to come home and stay home. One day I came home after a very bad day at school and basically demanded to be homeschooled. I finally revealed to my parents exactly what was happening at school each day, and understandably, they were shocked. They quickly agreed that homeschooling would probably be a better option and arranged to take me out of school. So after Christmas break, I didn’t go back. (click here to continue reading)

Work or Play? Why not BOTH?

Whenever my kids are playing hard and having the BIGGEST fun doing whatever kids do, when no one is telling them what to do I always ask them, “What are you working on?”  I use the word “WORKING”.  I call their activity a PROJECT.   They never say “Nothing, I’m just playing.”  No, they go into a detailed description of something amazing, that starts with: “I’m trying to build a… I’m figuring out how to… I am making a…  I’m taking this thing apart… I’m putting together a new!”

When they are playing they are often doing work that is very meaningful and important in their eyes.  I have a daughter who was always very, very busy, I was always trying to pull her away from her “play” as if it were a waste of time, because I didn’t yet see the value of play. After all, she was 9 and should be doing things that look like school. She knew how to read and write, and she was always in her own world.

One day it was raining outside and she was looking out the window.  She had been there for a long time. She was supposed to be in the school room with her science book.  I was about to tell her to stop sitting around and get back to work.  Then I noticed she had a notebook with all these strange little marks, pictures, checks and numbers.  So I asked, “What are you doing?”

“Oh, I was just charting the storm, timing the lighting and the thunder and measuring sound and distance.  I’ve been charting the weather for about a month.”

I started unschooling that child on that day, and at that point I began to ask my kids what they are working on when they seem to be playing or busy.  They always amaze me with their answers.I couldn’t find anything in the 3rd grade school books that could have been more educational and meaningful than the research our daughter had been doing on her own. I just began to ask more often what she was working on and then I began doing everything I could to support those interests. She is the one who recently gave me the ideas for the 10- and 12-Subject Portfolios! I think it is funny that my unschooled child would be the one to want to design such a structured subject-by-subject learning plan for herself!

She has learned so much about so many subjects over the years and now she wants to put all her knowledge together in a Portfolio that is well organized. 

All of my children need differing amounts of structure, motivation, instruction, teaching, guidance, assignments, evaluation, and follow-up with their learning.  They are all unique.  My dyslexics need a lot of my help and investment when it comes to learning to read, write, and spell.  Dyslexia Games makes it easy, now that it exists. (continue reading by clicking Page 2 below)