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.

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.

Dyslexia is Confusing

From an educating point of view, dyslexia can be confusing. There is no doubt that these kids are smart. They just do not learn the way most other people learn. For this very reason, dyslexic students tend to struggle majorly with the cookie cutter, traditional textbook teaching approach 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 DyslexicAdvantage.com, have 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 inherent in 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.

The Reality of Dyslexia in the Public 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.

Dyslexia accounts for 80-90% of learning problems that our school-aged children face. Yet our public school system does not test for dyslexia nor do they treat dyslexia with any of the researched-based methods that have been proven to work. In fact, most schools won’t even test for any learning ‘issue’ 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.

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.

Homeschooling 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 mulit-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 – with a little help. {grin} 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 thier 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 new, free resource to help you get started.  This 50-page ebook is full of information to help you find confidence you need as you homeschool or get started homeschooling.

 

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