Though difficult to determine, it is believed that 15-20% of our entire population has some symptom of dyslexia. Often, this is a learning struggle that schools refuse to even call by name because it affects such a large percentage of their student population. So parents sometimes remove their dyslexic child from school and proceed with homeschooling.
Why is this such an issue for schools?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to provide accommodations to dyslexic students such as tutoring and books on tape. However, with such a potentially sizeable dyslexic population and the need for expensive interventions, schools often refuse to accept or identify a diagnosis of dyslexia because it will cost them time and money.
When faced with their children falling further and further behind due to an identifiable issue that the school is ignoring, many parents take charge and choose to homeschool so their children can receive the individual attention they require.
So what are some ways to make homeschooling the dyslexic child a success?
Allocate Time for Individualized Instruction
Dyslexic children often need individualized instruction, free from distraction. Whether they receive this instruction from the parent or a private tutor, it will go a long way towards them becoming a more competent user of language.
Dyslexia is never “cured,” but with focused instruction, their skills improve, and they are better able to complete language-based tasks.
Use Assistive Technologies
Our technological world is a strange environment for dyslexics. On the one hand, we’ve become so language focused it can be difficult for a dyslexic child to navigate all the written information they encounter. However, technology has also given dyslexics the gift of assistive technologies.
Assistive technologies are frowned upon by schools as “cheating,” but they can be exceptionally supportive to a child with dyslexia.
What technology can help your child and you as a homeschooling parent?
- Speech to text function for writing
- Speech recognition software
- Smartpens that transcribe notes
- Various grammar and spelling support software
The goal is for your child to learn and not be restricted by their dyslexia, so include assistive technologies in your homeschool to allow them to flourish.
Follow their Interests
Any child, but especially a dyslexic child, is more engaged in learning when it is a subject that holds their interest. So ask your child what they would like to learn and dive deep into those interests.
It’s okay to follow their interests and not adhere to the strict scheduling of school. When they want to know more, they will use all the skills needed for any subject and enjoy doing so.
Consider Online Classes
Online classes can be hugely beneficial for the dyslexic child. The interactive format and the visual delivery of information naturally appeals to them, and they aren’t overwhelmed by a dense textbook.
Classes delivered online also allows them not to be distracted by other students, nor feel constant comparison with others, which will enable them to comprehend the information better.
Adjust Their Learning Pace
Dyslexic children work at a different pace, and this is why they struggle in a classroom environment. Fortunately, by homeschooling you allow them to proceed at a pace that supports their learning and not the school schedule.
Homeschooling the dyslexic child allows for remediation and a pace of learning at which they will feel successful. No longer is learning a string of endless day where they feel as though they will never measure up.
Making Homeschool Work for the Dyslexic Child
Not only is it possible to homeschool a dyslexic child, but it may also very well be preferable. Schools have yet to adapt to the requirements of children with language-based learning disorders, and often fail to meet their unique learning needs.
The wealth of resources and assistive technologies available, as well as the individualized approach to learning, make homeschooling the perfect option for may dyslexic children.
It’s possible to find ways to help homeschool your dyslexic child, and a loving parent is the best possible teacher.