So I have been homeschooling my now 13 yr old DD for three years. We decided to pull her out of her PS when she finished 4th grade because they basically weren't doing enough in my opinion. The first year was very difficult and experimental, but I finally learned her learning style and now I come up with new and different ways to teach her and keep her engaged and happy. I have seen some great changes happening, but we still have our "days".
Does anyone have any tips for how to approach or work with our children that have to deal with dyslexia?
Hi Dawn. My son (12) is also dyslexic and we've been homechooling for about 7 years. I had a suspicion when he was 8 and still having a hard time reading since both his older sisters learned to read at 3 & 4. I did some research and since testing was really expensice (over $3000 for a full battery of tests, not covered by insurance) I just tailored the academics as if he did have dyslexia. Luckily, when he was 11, a research hospital nearby was offering free neuro-psychological dyslexia testing if the kids would participate in some research for them. Ds loved the idea (they paid him over $150 for it). A month or so later, I got the report. He has orthographic (visual/dyseidetic) dylexia and processing speed issues.
Thankfully I've been teaching him the right way. He is on or above grade level in all subjects except writing and spelling. What works for us is a lot of Charlotte Mason techniques: short lessons (15-30 minutes each), copywork, dictation exercises, narrations, hands on study, etc. Some curriculum I'm finding really effective is: Sequential Spelling, Wordly Wise 3000 (vocab), Wordsmith Apprentice (writing), Hake Grammar & Writing, & Saxon Math. We also use Apologia General Science and K12 Human Odyssey (history). Next year I'm going to try a writing program called "Killgallon", a lit program called Lightning Literature, & a new math program called AoPS math. Everything else I currently use for spelling, vocabulary, history & science, we're sticking with.
Some tips would be: Patience, Sticking with a math subject until she REALLY understands it, Making your day mostly child-led (have her make the daily schedule), Keep the academics quick, thorough, and fun. Ds does his spelling and math on a dry-erase board with colored markers. Patience. We try and go on as many field trips as we can. A couple of "extra-curriculars" are a very good idea. Ds is part of a teen theater group and will start basketball (or soccer) in the fall. Oh, and did I mention Patience? It's so hard not to get frustrated when something simple for us is so difficult for them.
I don't know much, but here's a few tips you may have heard.
1. Have them dictate to you when you want the learning based on something other than writing/reading. For example, do a lot of read aloud stuff and hands on stuff for science, and then have the child dictate you a few sentences about what they learned and they can add their own scrap booking pages to stuff.
2. Lots of books on tape from the library. You can sometimes find study guides with them online or something. Great for comprehension.
3. When reading, use two pieces of paper, one above the line or group of lines they are working on, and one below. Isolate the lines so that the eyes can focus on JUST the line of text (or short group of lines) that the child is working with. A thick ruler works, too.
What kinds of tips do you need? Are you talking about remediating the dyslexia itself? If so, I can recommend http://lexiaforhome.com/ and the Earobics program (we did Earobics first, then Lexia). If you need tips for assistive technology, it's helpful to get an audio version of each textbook you use in core subjects like science, social studies, and literature, until your DD is a proficient reader. We used a Franklin Speller for handwritten work, and Dragon Naturally Speaking is great for dictating compositions. Ginger Software is the best predictive spell-checker for people with dyslexia who are typically very phonetic with their spelling.
I'm not sure if that is the kind of information or help you are looking for, so let me know if you have other specific questions. We've been down this homeschooling road and it has been a GREAT choice! A bit of creativity and out of the box thinking can go a long way towards learning success!