Children with dyslexia require direct and individual attention that public schools cannot always provide. Through homeschooling, parents can provide individualized remedial lessons to improve the student’s reading and spelling skills and see the progress directly. Some parents choose homeschooling as a supplementary lesson in addition to the student’s regular school. Either full-time or part-time, homeschooling children with special needs have many advantages, including the freedom to teach at each student’s own pace with no time constraint or pressure from others. Dyslexic students feel more confident and at ease with the direct, systematized, individual instruction and love and patience of the parents.
Prior to any lesson planning, have a complete evaluation by a professional reading specialist to objectively assess your student’s strengths and weaknesses. Once you know exactly where your student stands, create a support system by listening to their feelings. Dyslexic children can often experience anxiety, frustration and depression especially since their language problems make it difficult for them to express those feelings. It is important to communicate with the child to provide the support they need to succeed academically and to become a happy, confident adult.
If you decided to homeschool your dyslexic child full-time, it is important to familiarize yourself with state regulations pertaining to homeschooling and make sure you comply with the specific homeschool laws in your state. If you are unsure about the laws and regulations in your jurisdiction, contact a local homeschool support group or the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Joining a local homeschool support group can also help you find tips and resources provided by experienced homeschool parents.
Then research what resources are available to you: state-funded special services or reading programs for homeschoolers with special needs. There is no single best curriculum for dyslexia that works for all children because individualization is the key to successfully homeschooling dyslexic children. Dyslexia affects learning in many different ways and thus requires a systematic yet individualized approach to language remediation. Make sure to research a number of curricula and programs that employ different methods and formats to find the ones that cater to your student's needs. For example, Dyslexia Gold starts training students with vision training games to help recognize phonics, then move on to fun, interactive games to associate sounds with words based on lessons and exercises in just 15 minutes a day. So if you're looking for a program to help your student lay the foundation for reading and phonic skills on a daily basis, Dyslexia Gold might be a good fit for you. Other programs, like Nessy, incorporates reading comprehension elements in Reading, Math, Typing, and Memory & Learning lessons to provide more fun, versatile learning experience. There are also more personalized, interactive programs that focus on providing the individualized support and assistant your student might need; Reading Assistant Plus "listens" to the student read the text on the computer screen into a microphone, provides immediate feedback on errors and works like the student's very own reading tutor.
Check out the Co-op to find an array of reading programs for dyslexic students at the lowest price possible!
Learning disabilities can be frustrating to both the student and teacher. It is important to remember that no matter how small or big, every step is part of the learning process. If you persevere with your emotional and academic support, your child can become an adept reader and maybe even a best-selling author one day -- just like our newest member Tim Tebow!