Exactly what my daughter with dyslexia needs.
When we started homeschooling – which was an overnight decision – I had no idea the depth of my daughter’s struggles. I didn’t start homeschooling because of dyslexia or that she was struggling in school, educationally, that is.
Sadly, I started because of bullies. But that’s another story. In fact, when we started homeschooling, we didn’t have a diagnosis. You don’t need a diagnosis to know homeschooling will help your child! In the school system, a diagnosis is required, along with an IEP and all kinds of other hoops.
One of the surprising facts I’ve learned about dyslexia is that it presents itself differently in every child. Dyslexia is more than transposing, flipping, or backwards letters.
Dyslexia is a complex cognitive challenge that typically also has strengths. Under the umbrella of dyslexia are other challenges such as reading comprehension, language processing, memory issues, and possibly auditory or visual processing issues.
Many children with dyslexia have great struggle in multiple areas and strength is other areas. For example, a child might struggle with comprehension and phonetics, but have a high processing speed and visual memory.
Another child with dyslexia might struggle with visual memory but their comprehension is well above grade level. How does this translate to homeschool?
Homeschooling is exactly what my daughter with dyslexia needs because it is individualized, flexible, and modifiable.
Homeschooling is individualized.
You can hand pick curriculum and classes for your child. Classes be created to fit their strengths and interests. It’s also individualized with when and where. They don’t necessarily have to sit through a lesson, where they sit – or stand – or lay – or squirm for it is an individual choice!
Homeschooling is flexible.
Where you homeschool changes from family to family or even day to day! Many students do school in the car, at the park, or at Grandma’s house.
You can school anywhere! That’s not just external locations, in the home, it can be in any room, on any piece of furniture, or in any position.
You can modify each curriculum to help meet your child where they are. This isn’t just for the material. You can modify the:
Some children need more think time before they answer, this is processing speed. Length of time to sit through a lesson is also an accommodation many benefit from in homeschooling. Other students need extra time before turning in an assignment. These are all easily done in homeschooling.
There are so many ways to modify an assignment! We often only do the even or odds of some worksheets. In spelling, instead of 20 words, we might do 15. If there is a lot of reading, we will find it on audio or even video. There are so many apps that help with modifications!
The content matter of the curriculum can be modified as well. We often replace historical texts with videos. My daughter now will advocate for herself and if she struggles with a concept will find an alternative resource to help her through it.
One day I walked in to her school area as she was watching YouTube. Before I began the whole lecture on doing school during school time and not watching videos, she proudly informed me that the book she was reading was difficult, so she found an audio version on YouTube to help her.
For parents who homeschool a child with dyslexia, it’s important to know exactly where the struggles and strengths are in order to fully help them. One of my resources for helping students with reading comprehension struggles is using Bloom’s Taxonomy.
I wrote an eBook containing all of my secrets that I use in the Thinking and Learning Center for students who struggle with comprehension. For a limited time, you can download it for free!
Kimberly A. Vogel is an educational therapist and homeschool mom who ispassionate about encouraging families and educating struggling learners. She is also the founder of Thinking and Learning Center, an educational therapy and testing service. You can find her at kimberlyavogel.com.
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