Homeschooling with Dyslexia: Best Practices
The Benefits of Homeschooling with Dyslexia | How to Start Homeschooling | How to Build a Dyslexia-Friendly Learning Environment | Homeschool Curriculum for Dyslexia | Challenges of Homeschooling with Dyslexia | Using Forbrain
Having dyslexia can significantly impact a child’s educational outcomes, and some parents may choose homeschooling for their child. Homeschooling a child with dyslexia can provide parents with a unique opportunity to address the child’s specific learning needs.
In this article, we’ll explore the recommended best practices to follow and tips for homeschooling a child with dyslexia.
The Benefits of Homeschooling with Dyslexia
Choosing to homeschool a child with dyslexia offers several advantages. It’s an option that allows parents to tailor their child’s education to fit their needs. Here is a closer look at some of the numerous benefits.
Homeschooling with dyslexia allows parents to provide individualized instruction. Students with dyslexia have unique learning profiles that include deficits in cognitive skills such as reduced attention and difficulty with executive functions. Customized lesson plans can be created to cater to the child’s specific strengths and difficulties.
Flexible Curriculum in Dyslexia Homeschool Programs
Students with dyslexia often struggle with following a traditional school curriculum because it may not align with their learning style. Homeschooling offers a flexible curriculum that can focus on skills Dyslexic students typically struggle with, such as language and phonological processing.
Reduced Peer Pressure in Homeschooling Dyslexic Child
Children with dyslexia can have low self-esteem which may be exacerbated by the peer pressure that often occurs in a traditional school setting. Homeschooling can eliminate this source of anxiety and create a more comfortable, encouraging learning environment that allows the child to learn at their own pace.
A homeschooling environment has a lower level of distractions, which can maximize a Dyslexic student’s learning potential due to their attention difficulties. These attention difficulties can result in a reduced ability to focus on educational material within a traditional classroom.
One-on-One Attention in Dyslexia Homeschooling
Research states that a child with dyslexia needs more careful and intensive support in literacy, and the one-on-one attention offered through homeschooling can provide this. A personalized approach allows parents to ensure that their child’s unique learning needs are addressed effectively.
Positive Family Dynamics
Homeschooling often strengthens family bonds through increased caregiver involvement in a child’s education. This can provide a positive and supportive learning environment, while also accelerating a child’s academic progress.
Homeschooling Dyslexic Child: How to Start
Careful planning and consideration is needed when preparing to homeschool a Dyslexic child due to their unique needs and learning styles. Here are some tips to get started:
Evaluate the Child’s Strengths and Weaknesses
Caregivers should identify and consider the strengths and difficulties of their child’s learning profile in order to know which teaching approaches may be most effective. For example, many children with dyslexia learn best through a multisensory approach.
Reading programs such as the Orton Gillingham method provide this, in which the child engages in activities such as tracing letters with their finger or writing them in sand.
Research Dyslexia Homeschool Programs and Resources
Exploring available resources and dyslexia homeschool programs is vital, as this can guide parents in their approach. Helpful information and material to incorporate into the child’s homeschooling program can be found through websites, support groups, apps, and materials. For example, the Barton System is an evidence-based tutoring system that can effectively help children with dyslexia learn to read, write, and spell.
Identify Your Child’s Learning Style
Consider your child’s learning style (i.e. some children are more visual learners or are kinesthetic/learn best through hands-on activities), and seek out a homeschool curriculum that aligns with this.
Choose an Appropriate Homeschool Curriculum
Selecting a dyslexia-friendly curriculum that best accommodates the unique needs of the child can help ensure that he or she will be engaged in learning activities.
Know Legal Requirements for Homeschooling Dyslexia
Each region has its own legal requirements and regulations for homeschooling. Research the Department of Education for your state to understand and ensure you comply with the guidelines so that you and your child have a smooth homeschooling experience.
How to Build a Dyslexia-Friendly Learning Environment
Creating a dyslexia-friendly learning environment at home can facilitate a successful homeschooling experience. Consider these tips:
- Create a supportive and organized learning space. Having a dedicated, organized learning space helps minimize distractions so a Dyslexic child can focus better.
- Incorporate multi-sensory approaches into daily lessons. Tactile materials, audio resources, and interactive activities that engage multiple senses have been found to be highly effective in helping dyslexic students learn academic material.
- Access to assistive technology in homeschooling dyslexic child. Tools such as text-to-speech software can be instrumental in a dyslexic child’s learning journey because they provide the support a child may need.
- Individualized learning plan. Students with dyslexia have unique needs, and an individualized learning plan can cater to these needs so that the child is set up for success with learning.
- Monitor progress. By regularly assessing your child’s progress, you can adjust your teaching methods as needed. This helps ensure the most appropriate, effective approach is being used for the child.
- Foster social interaction in homeschooling dyslexia. Encouraging social interactions with peers can have positive effects on a child’s overall development and wellness. Seek out local homeschooling networks, join local co-ops, or have your child participate in extracurricular activities to provide them with this time with peers.
Homeschool Curriculum for Dyslexia
Selecting an evidence-based curriculum for homeschooling a Dyslexic child can maximize their progress. Here are some to consider:
- Orton-Gillingham Approach: This is a multisensory, structured approach that is designed specifically for learners with dyslexia.
- Barton Reading and Spelling System: A phonics-based program that is systematic and incorporates Orton-Gillingham methods to improve a child’s reading, writing, and spelling abilities.
- All About Reading and All About Spelling: These programs adapt to an individual’s learning needs by offering multisensory activities.
Challenges of Homeschooling with Dyslexia
While homeschooling a child with dyslexia offers many benefits, there are some challenges to be aware of, including:
- Maintaining a supportive and disciplined approach. Some families may find it difficult to maintain a structured learning routine within the home.
- Use of valid instructional methods. Time and planning is essential to obtain and become familiar with instructional methods for children with dyslexia.
- Deep understanding of a subject. Because parents are the primary educator in homeschooling, they must have a thorough understanding of the subjects being taught in order to provide effective instruction.
- Providing social activities. Homeschooling lacks the opportunities for socialization with peers that is provided in a traditional educational setting. Parents will need to seek these out, as socialization is a vital aspect of a child’s development.
Using Forbrain to Help with Dyslexia
Forbrain, an auditory stimulation headset, can be a valuable tool to use when homeschooling a child with dyslexia. Forbrain allows the child to hear and process the sounds that they produce, louder and better. Some of its potential benefits include:
- Improvement of speech and language skills
- Increased self-monitoring of speech, which can improve articulation
- Enhanced motivation and engagement.
More details on the potential benefits of using Forbrain with Dyslexic students can be found through the Forbrain website.
Homeschooling a child with dyslexia offers a wealth of benefits for the child’s learning needs. Parents, educators, and healthcare professionals should use individualized strategies to help children with dyslexia in their homeschool learning journey.
The ability to create a supportive learning environment and choose a specialized curriculum that best fits the child’s unique needs makes homeschooling a unique and effective approach for a child with dyslexia.
Casserly, A. (2012) The socio-emotional needs of children with dyslexia in different educational settings in Ireland. DOI: https://nasenjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-3802.2011.01227.x
Ferreira, T., et al. (2023) Cognitive and Behavioral Profile in dyslexia: Challenges in Interdisciplinary Assessment. DOI: 10.4236/psych.2023.146056.
McPhillips, T,. et al. (2009). Evaluating the teaching and learning experience for the child with dyslexia in special and mainstream settings in Ireland. DOI: https://nasenjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-9604.2009.01401.x