How to Find Homeschool Curriculum for Your Dyslexic Child

by | Jul 21, 2014 | Resources | 9 comments

One of the main reasons why many parents choose to homeschool their dyslexic kids is because the methods used at school just weren’t working. This post will walk you through how to find a good homeschool curriculum for your dyslexic kids.

One of the main reasons why many parents choose to homeschool their dyslexic kids is because the methods used at school just weren’t working. This post will walk you through how to find a good homeschool curriculum for your dyslexic kids.

We all tend to go with what we are familiar with and because most of us parents attended traditional schools ourselves, it is more likely that the traditional textbook/workbook method will appeal to us.  I know that that was true for me when I began homeschooling 100 years ago.  (Ahem, actually, more like 20 years ago – it just seems like 100 years!)

I bought the complete curriculum with 7 subjects for my 2nd grader (before I knew he was dyslexic) and even splurged on the extra ‘seatwork’ books for the little guy.  I loved the idea of checking off those neat little boxes when each assignment was finished.  The trouble was that I wasn’t able to check off many boxes – at all.

I’ll just cut to the chase without the gory details to let you know that that situation did NOT end well.

Understanding How Dyslexic Students Learn

Functional MRI technology has shown that brains of dyslexic people process the written word differently.  We now know that dyslexia is caused by this processing difference or glitch.

We also know that dyslexics tend to have more right-brain type strengths.  Everybody uses both hemispheres of their brain, but we all tend to prefer one over the other.  Dyslexics tend to be right-brain dominant.

This means that they tend to be more artistic, visual, and big picture oriented.  This explains why detail oriented learning can be a struggle for them.  For more information on brain dominance and what this means for how a dyslexic learns, please read How Dyslexics Learn.

Dyslexics tend to dislike part to whole learning, detail oriented work (spelling anyone?), rote memory work,  and monotonous tasks that have no deeper meaning.

Dyslexics tend to like looking at the big picture and seeing where the pieces fit, and participating in imaginative, interactive and creative tasks.

An Example of Tapping in to the Dyslexic Strengths

Since we know that our dyslexic kids don’t learn best with traditional methods, we need to be looking for workarounds to help them.  Here is an example of what I mean.

I’m going to start really simply here.  Younger dyslexic students are not generally going to pick up a book and read for pleasure.  Reading is just a lot of HARD work.  I think we all know this, but just in case you’re new to the dyslexia world, I thought I’d mention it.

You may have noticed, however, that dyslexic kids LOVE to be read to.  Even myy older kids will come sit nearby when I am reading the simplest of stories to our younger kids.  Can’t help themselves. They love, love, love a good story.

The Power of Audio Resources

So reading out loud is going to be a workaround for your dyslexic kids.  Now because there is only one mom and mom cannot be reading out loud all day long, it is going to be important to find resources for audio-based learning for your kids.  After you have borrowed all of your friends audio books and everything decent from the library check some of these sites for more audiobooks.

Choosing Homeschool Curriculum for Your Dyslexic Kids

I get a lot of questions about what curricula work well with dyslexic learners.

Click the titles below to read more about finding the best homeschool curriculum for each subject.

Choosing a Reading Curriculum for Kids With Dyslexia  Over my 20 years of homeschooling kids with dyslexia, I’ve tried and failed with many reading curricula.  There was nothing inherently wrong with those programs.  They would have worked for 80% of kids learning to read.  But not with my kids.  For my kids, and 20% of the population with dyslexia, it doesn’t matter how many songs, games or brightly colored readers accompany a reading program – they just won’t work.

Choosing a Writing Curriculum for Kids With Dyslexia  Dyslexia is known as a reading disability but it also impacts writing ability.  There is often a huge difference between what the dyslexic student wants to say and what he or she actually writes.  Learn some tips for making writing more manageable including useful assistive technology and writing curriculum choices from K – 12.

Choosing a Spelling Curriculum for Kids With Dyslexia  If you have been parenting or teaching kids with dyslexia (or been married to a dyslexic) for any amount of time, you are part of an elite group that grapples with this most perplexing phenomenon. Teaching spelling to someone with dyslexia. It often seems that no matter what we do, no matter how well they read and no matter what curriculum or method we use, spelling is an issue. Tips for teaching spelling and our top picks for spelling curriculum that really work with the dyslexic student.

Choosing a Math Curriculum for Kids With Dyslexia  Like with teaching a dyslexic student to read, any math program that you use, needs to be multi-sensory with lots of review. What works for one family may not work for all families.  This post includes loads of math teaching tips, assistive technology and homeschool math curriculum suggestions.

Curriculum Choices by Grade

The following are posts with teaching tips and curriculum choices by grade:

Preschool Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Grades 1-3 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Grade 4 Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Middle School Homeschool Curriculum Choices

High School Homeschool Curriculum Choices

Take a Course

If you are looking to get educated about dyslexia and how to educate, encourage and empower your kids with dyslexia, you have come to the right place.

For more information on getting started homeschooling your child with dyslexia, consider downloading my free ebook, Homeschooling With Dyslexia 101, that covers things like understanding learning styles and teaching methods, how to create a positive learning environment and schedule, or how to set goals and get it all done.

For more information on specific strategies to teach your dyslexic child the way he or she learns, consider taking one of our Parent Dyslexia Classes.  Classes now available are:

Understanding Dyslexia

Teaching Them How They Learn

Teaching Reading:  Methods That Work

Teaching Spelling

Building Fluency and Comprehension

Or buy all 5 classes in our Foundation Bundle and receive a free download of my book, Dyslexia 101:  Truths, Myths and What Really Works.

Connect With Us!

This site was created to be a place for families who chose to homeschool their dyslexic kids to share there successes and failures and to offer encouragement to one another.  Please consider dropping by the Homeschooling With Dyslexia Facebook Page and being a part of our community!

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9 Comments

  1. Cindy

    Came over to your site after hearing your podcast with Pam Barnhill. Loved your podcast and LOVE this site! We just informally diagnosed our son; he also has ADHD and we have two children on the autism spectrum so we are very familiar with “alternative” homeschooling ;). I look forward to reading more!

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Welcome Cindy! 🙂

      Reply
  2. ---HomeschoolMom

    “Homeschooling with Dyslexia”
    This title, weather for a book, lecturer at a conference, or a article online, it always gets me.
    I am the Dyslexic one. Can you imagine teaching someone to read when the written word doesn’t have meaning? Or reading allowed when the words are little more than shapes and lines? I have yet to find an article about how to teach others when you are Dyslexic. If anyone has seen one Please pass it along!

    *also I want to note how great it is that dyslexic students are spotted early and receive such good help.

    Reply
  3. Nathalie

    I love your website! Thanks for all the resources. Do you have advice for this problem: I have used many creative methods and incredible hands on curricula (think: Right Start Math, etc). But the problem with methods like that is that my 8 yr old son gets very distracted by the manipulatives and fidgets with them all the time and he can not focus on what is being taught. I have yet to find a method that keeps him engaged but not overly stimulated.

    Reply
    • Marianne

      Hmmm, not knowing that exact situation, I would only allow the manipulatives that are needed for the lesson, ask questions that relate to the lesson or concept, ask about the manipulative itself – what properties it has etc., allow him time to play with them for a time (even if you don’t get a lesson done for a day or two), and then…set limits. You can play with them after a lesson. Or model, show him how he is supposed to use the manipulative to solve a problem and cheer (loudly) when he follows the procedure correctly!

      Reply
      • Nathalie

        Thank you for your time! I tried these methods. Even when used correctly, things fall out of his hands or -suddenly 😉 – become a car or trebuchet with fitting sound effects. Reward systems, cheering and the like all is not helping for this -otherwise- very easy going and cooperative child. We will keep trucking along … Thanks!

        Reply
  4. Shawntel

    Thank you for the information and thank you for being transparent and sharing your heart. I am new to all of this:) It is comforting for me to read your thoughts and ideas that are delivered in a very genuine way. I am gathering all the information I can to help my son that was just recently diagnosed with dyslexia. The diagnosis answers questions, but now I have so many more questions. His self confidence is at an all time low and I need to do something to further help him. He is in the 4th grade and I am looking at a few of the curriculum options that you have recommended because he is not succeeding in public education… even after reading remediation and in class allowances that have been made.

    I have heard about Phono Graphix. Have you heard of this training for reading and if so what is your opinion?

    I am definitely built more to left brain and want the boxes to check. I am finding this process a bit overwhelming, but will push through:)

    Reply
    • Cheri

      I have an eight year old who is struggling in the public school setting. Even after three years of reading intervention, she is a grade level behind her peers. All other subjects are suffering because of her reading struggles. Her confidence and self esteem are at an all time low. I started investigating her issues and keep coming back to dyslexia. The school district evaluated her and says she has no learning issues, it’s absurd! What process did you go through for a diagnosis?

      Reply
      • Marianne

        I’m sorry to hear about your daughter’s struggles. You are not alone! Here is a post I wrote on when and how to get a dyslexia diagnosis. https://homeschoolingwithdyslexia.com/homeschooling-with-dyslexia-get-testing/

        I don’t write a ton on dealing with the public schools. I know it can be a difficult thing. If the school won’t test, you can get private testing. You may want to search out a dyslexia advocacy group like that found at Dyslexia Training Institute. They can also help you deal with the school.

        Reply

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