Everyone learns differently. What works for one child may not produce the same results for the next. There are, however, several language tools and techniques that parents can try at home when working with their dyslexic children, whether they are homeschooling full-time or just working with them after school. Most of them can be used in conjunction with multisensory teaching methods.
It is often helpful for parents of a child with dyslexia to focus on the right-to-left phonemic technique. This is an ideal way to show children how to break down and manipulate sounds in words. Children learn that sounds are represented by letters of the alphabet. Phonics combines the sounds of the alphabet into different spellings. Phonograms, which show patterns of word families, can be used to help with reading fluency. Sight words are great for this learning concept.
A multisensory approach meets the needs of dyslexic learners and enhances understanding of the language concepts being presented. Use multisensory tools such as vivid books and audio tapes to help teach language and reading. Spelling words and vocabulary can be introduced to children by handing them the actual item or a picture depicting the words: ball, shoe, fruit, and so on. Additionally, you can have them write the words in the air, in sand, or let them finger paint while reading them aloud.
Acronyms and rhymes are other language tools to help children with dyslexia. These techniques can be a great way for struggling learners to remember the rules being taught. Games are another great learning tool. There are endless games that can be adapted to fit a lesson and your child’s learning style. Anything from puzzles and role playing to playing bingo or matching games can help your child grasp and remember words.
Since many dyslexic children have difficulty reading on white backgrounds, try using flash cards or other materials on off-white paper. Even better, use color-coding when teaching language concepts by using background colors like blue, green, orange, pale yellow, and cream.
Dyslexia may be one of the most common learning disabilities in children, but it doesn’t have to become a limitation. When it comes to teaching your child, whether through homeschooling or just reinforcing concepts learned at school, there are plenty of tools that can be used with a multisensory approach that will not only help her grasp the ideas or rules being taught but will also be fun. Remember, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ method for learning to read. Explore different techniques with your child and allow her to lead the way until you find something that works for your unique situation and learning style.