Can I Really Homeschool my Child With Dyslexia?

by | Feb 17, 2020 | Encouragement | 11 comments

Can parents teach their kids with dyslexia? Teaching a child with dyslexia to read, write, and spell is a challenge, yes, but with the individualized attention that is inherent in the homeschool environment, not only is it possible, it can actually be the best path you can take.

Homeschooling kids with dyslexia, can parents do it? Teaching a child with dyslexia to read, write and spell is a challenge, yes, but with the individualized attention that is inherent in the homeschool environment, not only is it possible, it is actually the best path you can take.

Teaching Kids With Dyslexia

From an educational point of view, dyslexia can be confusing. There is no doubt that people with dyslexia are smart. One of the hallmark signs of dyslexia is having average to above-average intelligence so that struggling with reading and spelling is unexpected. The truth is, people with dyslexia just do not learn the way most other people learn. And it is for this very reason dyslexic students tend to struggle majorly with the traditional textbook style of teaching found in most public and private schools.

Interestingly, researchers have found that as many as 35% of entrepreneurs are dyslexic. Do the names Richard Branson and Charles Schwab sound familiar? Other researchers, like Drs Fernette and Brook Eide from The Dyslexic Advantage, found that dyslexics have amazing creative intelligence in areas like material and mechanical reasoning, interconnected reasoning (finding subtle connections), story-based reasoning, and predictive reasoning.

Teaching a child with dyslexia to read, write and spell is a challenge, yes, but with the individualized attention that is a natural part of the homeschool environment, not only is it possible, it is actually the best path you can take.

Interest-led learning, using subjects of interest to learn what I call the ‘exercises of learning’ – reading, writing, and spelling – give the naturally curious dyslexic learner the motivation to press through their learning difficulties so they can gain knowledge that they are truly interested in.

Dyslexia in a Traditional School

I do not doubt the good intentions of the public schools. They are filled with many good people who sincerely desire to help kids learn. However, from my research into the special education programs within the public school, I can honestly say that the institution is simply too big to be able to handle the individual educational needs of children with dyslexia and other learning differences, including giftedness.

I talk to concerned parents every week who testify to this. This is even often the case in expensive, private schools that specialize in dyslexia and other language-based learning difficulties.

Dyslexia accounts for 80-90% of the learning problems that our school-aged children face. Yet most of our public schools do not test for dyslexia nor do they treat dyslexia with any of the researched-based methods that have been proven to work.

Most schools won’t even test a struggling learner until 3rd grade despite the fact that research has shown that early intervention is a key to avoid falling behind and suffering the frustrating and embarrassing situation of being unable to read in 3rd, 4th, 5th grade or above.

By the time a student is eligible for testing in 3rd grade (or later) and the school holds the child back a year (absolutely proven not to help) we have a child who is significantly behind his or her peers, who is still not getting the help that they need, and has often internalized their struggles to learn as a lack of intelligence.

A Simple Lack of Education

This indeed is an unfortunate truth about dyslexia. The truth of the matter is that teachers simply have never been given the tools to be able to help these kids. Reading specialists receive one semester of instruction in their teacher training on all learning differences that covers everything from autism to giftedness. Hardly adequate training to recognize symptoms in their students, understand what needs to be done and do it.  Regularly credentialed teachers receive no instruction on learning differences or disabilities. This is beginning to change as grassroots organizations like Decoding Dyslexia fight for the rights of our kids but the progress is slow.

Homeschooling Kids With Dyslexia Works

With a fraction of the knowledge I have now, we homeschooled our oldest two dyslexic kids. We didn’t know much about research-based reading programs or multi-sensory learning but we knew our kids. We knew what they liked and how they learned best and we made our best attempt to do those things.

We practiced the exercises of learning, but we also spent large amounts of time outside, exploring, traveling, learning from the world around us and from the lives of those who have gone before us through good literature.

Both kids took a year off from high school to pursue their passions with sailing. One is the youngest American to sail solo around the world. Although I confess, he still can’t spell very well. The other also pursued her passion for sailing and even wrote a book on it. If we can do it – you can do it too!

You can read more of Our Dyslexia Journey here.

Benefits to Homeschooling a Child With Dyslexia

  • Allows for the necessary individualized instruction in all subject areas: reading, spelling, composition, and comprehension.
  • Allows for kids to focus on areas of interest and for lessons to be planned around those interests.
  • Allows for freedom from being measured against peers, day in and day out, with no learning difficulties.
  • Allows for your child to work at their own pace using resources that work best with their individual strengths.
  • Homeschooling necessarily avoids the rigid scheduling and standardized testing {and the practice of teaching to the test} that is required in the public schools.

What Makes a Good Teacher?

“Good teachers are motivated teachers. Good teachers are self-educating. The parents I hang around with are both.”
Debra Bell, The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens

I know this to be true. I have seen it over and over again. Motivation will propel parents to search until they find the right class or curriculum or tutor to make the homeschool experience a success. Do not underestimate this. That is why this site was created; to educate and empower you, the parent, to educate and inspire your creative, intelligent, and dyslexic children.

A Free Resource for Parents Homeschooling (or wanting to homeschool)  Their Kids With Dyslexia

If you or someone you know is interested in homeschooling a child with dyslexia, we have a free resource to help you get started.  This 50-page ebook is full of information to help you find the confidence you need as you homeschool or get started homeschooling.

Click here to subscribe

What do you think?  Are parents qualified to teach their kids with dyslexia?



  1. Melissa

    Yes, parents are absolutely qualified to teach their dyslexic kiddos!…and there are many benefits, including one on one instruction, ability to modify and teach the child where they’re at, less distractions for student, and no peer pressure, a.k.a. bullying.

    Thanks for the encouragement,

    • Griselda

      Hello, I have a 9 yr old daughter Who is dyslexic and has ADHD. School wants to retain her in 3rd grade. I know they can’t because of IEP but she is definitely not ready for 4th grade. For us this pandemic has kind of benefited us because I can do so much more one on one. As well as help her get where she needs to be or if not close. Just like Maria, I need help finding a program/resources that will be a better fit for my daughter. I have heard of Wilson not not sure?

  2. Anna

    Absolutely! I am a dyslexic parent who with the help of my husband, homeschools both of our dyslexic children ages 19 (graduated) & 13 now. Thinking and learning outside of the box is by far the most rewarding part of getting to homeschool. Constant one on one learning is certainly the advantage point you do not receive in public schools. Homeschooling isn’t for everyone but for a dyslexic child, to be able to jump ahead or move slow until a concept is mastered is priceless. Great article!!

  3. Luqman Michel

    I have taught more than 70 so-called dyslexic kids on a one on one basis since 2004.

    Parents with kids who they think are dyslexic are welcome to write to me.

    • Maria Cooper

      Hello, with this Pandemic going on and working closer with my daughter using schoology from home has been difficult. This has made me think that working with her at home with a system that will benefit her would be ideal. I need help or advise on resources and programs

      • Marianne

        Hi Maria. How old is your daughter?

      • Kemy

        Hello I am trying to make the switch to homeschooling for my 11 year old daughter but I feel so lost. Can someone recommend a program that covers multiple subjects for
        My dyslexic daughter. I don’t want to spend $200 just on a reading program. Thanks in advance.

  4. Teresa Skaggs

    My son is in 4th grade and has been remote all year. Now they are trying to make all remote students go back to school 1day before Staar test. What is the best homeschool program ? please help. What can I do?

    • Marianne

      Hi Teresa. Look for the curriculum guide on the home page. It’s free and has TONS of ideas!

  5. Carol Holsey

    Hello – is it feasible to homeschool a 15 year old freshman? He has been in the public school system and “hates school”. He says, “I just want to learn to read”. I am a recently retired RN and find myself with time to help my grandson. I am just concerned that it is too late – I hope it’s not. Do you have a high school curriculum?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *