Famous Dyslexics: Third man on the moon, Pete Conrad

NASA astronaut Pete Conrad was the third man to walk on the moon. He was known as a guy who could fix anything… but he flunked out of high school because of his dyslexia.

Conrad is on the left

 Conrad is on the left

Conrad grew up in Pennsylvania and struggled with his schoolwork from a young age. In 11th grade, he failed most of his exams and was expelled from his private school. His mother refused to give up on his education and found a school in New York that used a different learning approach and would accept Conrad. He agreed to give it a try, and after only 2 years at the school, he had excelled so much that he gained a place at Princeton University on a Navy ROTC scholarship.

He’d always loved fixing things, and he became known in his teens as a talented tinkerer. When he was 16, he drove several hours away to help a flight instructor who had been forced to make an emergency landing. Conrad repaired the plane single-handedly. The instructor was so impressed that he agreed to help Conrad pass his pilot’s license test before graduating from high school!

After time as a fighter pilot in the US Navy, he was invited to join a NASA superteam of astronauts. Despite a rocky start, he was eventually selected for the Apollo 12 mission to the moon. After Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11, Conrad was the third man to step out of the spacecraft onto the lunar surface.

In an interview a few days later, he was quoted as joking: “Whoopie! That might have been a small [step] for Neil, but that’s a long one for me!”

DSCN0462Sarah Forrest is a Literacy Specialist for the Easyread System, an online program for children with dyslexia, reading and spelling difficulties, auditory processing problems

and more. Get a free 10 lesson trial from www.oxfordlearningsolutions.com

Share this with your friends!

Enthusiasm for reading is returning

Jamison is responding very well to the program. His enthusiasm for reading is returning and while he hasn’t officially “taken off” he is now trying to read everywhere we go. Out of frustration, he had stopped trying but now his renewed confidence keeps him going even through the trouble spots.

He really enjoys the story and the games. I believe the eye tracking exercises have improved his ability to read the sentences.

Share this with your friends!

It’s Toby here…

Hi David,
it’s Toby here. I’m just writing to let you know that now I’m on level 4 I’m more confident with my reading. even though it’s still hard sometimes I’m not as nervous reading in class. and i also like reading books now. I’m reading the Sun Sword Trilogy now.

Share this with your friends!

Cognitive-Based Techniques for Exam Revision

Why creative links between subject content could be just one of the keys to success.

Exercise, a healthy diet and a good night’s sleep are things which we all know to be crucial when studying for important tests and exams.  We are all also familiar – either as a student, parent or teacher – with the feelings of anxiety and stress that come hand in hand with this time of year. A big part of the exam period when I was teaching came down to managing students’ anxiety and fear of failure – letting them know that it is normal to a degree and encouraging them to communicate about how they feel with people they trust.

Appropriate study spaces, a good and realistic revision timetable, and the use of past practice questions also play a key part of course (more on these via the links below).  Yet, reading Benedict Carey’s article below in the New York Times a few years ago reminded me of a strategy I’d used previously that really motivated students when revising for their English exams: making creative links between English-related subject content and seemingly irrelevant and unrelated objects, pictures and songs of their choice. Some truly amazing links were made between Lady Macbeth and The Beatle’s Octopus’s Garden! (The basis of a students’ GCSE music project at the time.)

Carey highlights cognitive research which suggests, “Varying the type of material studied in a single sitting — alternating, for example, among vocabulary, reading and speaking in a new language — seems to leave a deeper impression on the brain than does concentrating on just one skill at a time.” He goes on to report how researchers have found that we are better able to distinguish the painting styles of 12 unfamiliar artists after viewing mixed collections rather than immersing ourselves in the work of just one. Seeing the deeper patterns and trends between the different styles helps us remember and reapply what we have learned more effectively and is often done subconsciously whilst making links.

It also provides much more fun and upbeat revision lesson alternatives to intersperse between the also important more traditional methods.

Useful links




rachel headshotRachel Wallace is a former English teacher and KS3/4 Leader. Easyread is an online intervention for children with reading difficulties, dyslexia, auditory processing problems and more. www.easyreadsystem.com

Share this with your friends!

I would recommend to other parents

First of I want to say Thank You for the great communication that you provide. Sarah, from Easyread was amazing. When I had a question it was answered quickly and completely.
My son has shown improvement in his reading with this program and I feel that he will keep improving as long as we continue to read everyday.
I one thing we would have liked is if the program was compatible with a Tablet or an Ipad,so we could take it with us where ever we went.
Overall it was a great program and I would recommend it to other parents who’s child is struggling with reading.

Share this with your friends!

First day I truly noticed marked improvement

Just a quick note to tell you Finn really enjoy his lesson today, it went super quickly and he didn’t have any trouble with it at all. Today was the first day I truly felt I could say I have noticed a marked improvement in his reading. Playing Pinball, he decoded ‘was’, a word that has always confused him, and a few others that I know he might have guessed incorrectly before. He was sure of his reading too, rather than reading words with a question mark in his voice. I love it!

Many thanks for your excellent programme.

Share this with your friends!

So excited I just had to write in!

I am so excited I just had to write a note to update you on Allison’s progress (she suggested I do that :) ). I have been so worried about Allison being recommended for summer school because of her reading. On Friday we just received the results of her end of year (second grade) reading testing. She tested out exactly on grade level! At the beginning of this school year, her reading test scores showed results more towards the beginning of a first grade level. Even her mid-year testing results weren’t that great which is what prompted me to begin looking earnestly online for something to help her. I am so thankful that God led me to find Easyread! We will be doing it all summer and I’m excited for her to start third grade with that many more lessons under her belt! Thank you!

Share this with your friends!