Imagine a child struggling to read aloud, sitting in a classroom with other children. As if his nervousness were not enough, the snickering in the background only increases his anxiety and frustration. Unable to continue, the child gazes up at the teacher with tear-filled eyes as if to say, “Please, no more.” The teacher finally moves on to the next child, but for the struggling reader, the battle doesn’t end here. It carries over into recess, where the laughing and ridicule make each new school day a dreaded one. In the end, it carries over into adulthood with low self-esteem and other issues.
Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately, this is the reality for many dyslexic children. Not only is their learning disability a challenge academically, but just surviving the school day with a healthy outlook or self-image is difficult. For this reason, numerous parents have chosen to teach their children at home. A significant percentage of homeschooling families have special needs children. And these kids are responding–positively.
There are big advantages to using a homeschool curriculum specifically for children with dyslexia, or even creating one of your own. One of the biggest includes the freedom to learn at an individualized pace with no pressure or ridicule from others. Reading aloud no longer creates apprehension for the struggling reader. With the one-on-one guidance, love, and patience of a parent, dyslexic children feel more at ease and sure of themselves.
In addition, the lessons and sequence of instruction of a dyslexia-specific homeschool curriculum can be tailor-made to focus more closely on the areas or topics in which these kids struggle the most. Often times, other educational settings either cannot or simply will not do this.
Homeschooling also allows parents of dyslexic children to teach at the level their minds need. Instruction is more relaxed while still structured and systematic. There are more resources available, many focusing on multiple senses. Kids learn a myriad of life lessons and use hands-on activities. Not only can they read aloud using fun picture books and flash cards, but they can also listen to many of these books on tape or even listen in on the lessons of their older siblings.
Another beneficial aspect of homeschooling is learning the value of hard work. Lessons at home provide different life learning opportunities than they might have in a traditional setting. Day after day, week after week, no matter how long it takes to get through each lesson, dyslexic children are learning more than just the subject being taught. They are learning about dedication and patience. They are learning about perseverance and triumph.
When the struggling reader looks up at her teaching parent, there is excitement in her eyes, not tears. There is hope, not despair. Instead of being afraid to go on, the dyslexic homeschooled child desires to learn and do more.