I Could Not Recognize My Child. I Felt Tremendous Relief. I Had Renewed Hope…

Email received on 10 January 2019:   


I would like to share our story with you.

Our journey with Mickayla has not been an easy one. We moved from PTA to JHB when Mickayla was 3 years old. Trying to find an Afrikaans pre-school was near impossible. We had to place her in an English pre-school. This caused a lot of confusion for the poor child. She started mixing up her languages. This caused some serious problems with her language development.

Through hard work and a lot of help from the pre-school, Mickayla started catching up but the language confusion was ever present.

As you might be aware, finding a place in a school or high school, especially in Fourways, is also a mammoth task on its own. We had entries on more than 4 waiting lists. We were ecstatic when we got a call from a school notifying us that they had space for her. We made a visit to the school and, to our dismay, found out that they could only help Mickayla in our home language, Afrikaans, as this was a department policy.

We were assured at the time that she will be fine and that she will be speaking without issues in less than 6 months. After 2 years, countless hours of therapy and a lot of money spent, she was still struggling.

We moved back to Pretoria so that we could place Mickayla in Transvalia, as we were informed that she had special schooling needs. At Transvalia she repeated grade 1 and was advanced to grade 2 due to her age. At the end of grade 2 we had a meeting with the teachers. Mickayla showed a lot of progress during her time there but it was just not enough. We had several options but at that point it seemed like she would never be able to function academically. Her prospects for reading also seemed dismal. She could not add 2 and 2 together on her own… And the ever present language confusion was still a big issue.

If you are a parent, and you feel like you have lost hope. You might have given up. You might be depressed and anxious about your child’s future. Don’t be discouraged. Do not lose hope. Contact the Edublox team. They will help and they will make a difference.

I spent a lot of nights worrying, restless and sleepless. As parents, it felt like we have failed. We did everything we possibly could think of to try and help her. And we knew she just required the correct type of help to make a difference. She is an exceptionally bright child that got held back in her development due to unnecessary bureaucracy and lack of public resources.

One night, while I was lying in bed unable to sleep, I prayed to the Lord for guidance. The Spirit moved me as I felt an urge to look for help. I started a google search. I cannot remember what I search for but I will never forget the results. The very first result was a video on YouTube. The video showed how the Edublox reading classes helped a little boy (Zwi) go from being unable to read, to being able to read both English and Afrikaans words.

This was the help Mickayla needed and the answer to my prayers.

I found Mareli’s contact details on the website and phone her first thing that next morning. We made an appointment to go and see her about additional reading classes for Mickayla. When we arrived, she did a small assessment on her. Afterwards we discussed her history. Then Mareli told us about the EASY programme. I immediately made the decision to move her into the EASY programme. I have made a lot of decisions in my life… and this was the BEST decision I could have ever made.

In the first 2 weeks I started noticing the difference. By the end of the first term I was blown away. Mickayla was able to do maths on her own. Her speech improved tremendously. Her entire demeanor also changed as she had friends who didn’t bully or tease her.

By the end of the year, I could not recognize my child. She has changed and grew so much, and for the first time in years… I felt tremendous relief. I had renewed hope. My daughter, who could not add 2 + 2, could now do multiplication problems on her own. She could speak on a level where others could also understand her and she could read basic words. She also, for the first time in 3 years, passed her grade without having to be advanced due to age. To add to her achievement she was also named student of the year for her grade!!!!

I will never be able to stop saying thank you to Mareli and her team. Megan, the after school teacher, made such a difference in her life that we also cannot express the end of our gratitude for what she did for our child. We have received many blessings from the Lord but none come close to the blessing He gave us when he lead us to Mareli. Mareli, may the Lord bless you and your team so that you can continue to make a difference in the lives of children who desperately need you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. My one regret is that I could not leave her with you for another year. If you could make such a big difference in one year, I can only imagine what you could do in two or three. 😊

If you are a parent, and you feel like you have lost hope. You might have given up. You might be depressed and anxious about your child’s future. Don’t be discouraged. Do not lose hope. Contact the Edublox team. They will help and they will make a difference.

Thank you again.


Gustaf van der Nest

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Gustaf van der Nest Mickayla's father

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