Tips for Homeschooling a Child with Dyslexia

Taken from http://www.hsclassroom.net/tips-for-homeschooling-a-child-with-dyslexia/

Tips for homeschooling a child with dyslexia

The following is a post from contributing writer, Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

This post contains affiliate links.

Homeschooling a child with dyslexia can be challenging – for you and for them. I don’t mean “challenging” in a way that suggests it’s a horrible thing because dyslexic kids have many amazing strengths. It can be challenging, though, in letting go of your vision of what school “should” look like and providing a learning-rich environment for a kid who doesn’t learn in typical ways.

The tips I’ll be sharing are from the perspective of a mom teaching dyslexic high school and middle school students, so some of them may work better for older-elementary students and up.

As he was finishing the Lexercise online dyslexia therapy program and we were preparing to embark on “life after therapy,” my son’s dyslexia tutor told me that, as a homeschooling mom, I was in the unique position to give my son exactly what he needed most – one-on-one teaching.

Some of the tips I’ll share with you are things she suggested, going forward, and some are things I’d been doing naturally anyway.

Assistive Technology

In today’s computer driven world, there are many great options available to unleash the creativity of the dyslexic mind. You may be surprised at the amazing stories that are in a dyslexic kid’s mind once the hurdle of getting thoughts on paper is out of the way. Allowing a child to type his work in word processing software where spelling and grammar can be checked and corrected is a great way to remove the stress and labor of getting his ideas in written form.

Another wonderful option is Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software, which translates the spoken word into written work with surprising accuracy.

Audio Books

Audio books are a fantastic way to allow a dyslexic student to experience books that might otherwise be too cumbersome for her to read herself. The best choices for audio books are those that are read by a person, rather than computer-generated speaking voices. Most libraries offer a wide variety of audio books, as do many curriculum publishers.

I strongly suggest making sure a child has both the print copy and the audio version of a book. This allows him to follow along in the print copy while listening to the audio version, which helps increase word recognition and reading fluency. Of course, just listening to a book is great sometimes, too. He is still being exposed to a higher level of vocabulary than he might be able to read on his own.

Learning Ally is a subscription service that is great source of audio books, including a wide selection of textbooks.

Online Dictionary or Thesaurus

An online dictionary or thesaurus can be a great resource for a person with dyslexia for several reasons. First, when the user starts typing in the word, a list of suggestions is usually offered. This helps eliminate the problem of not being able to find a word because it’s being spelled incorrectly.

Second, many online dictionaries offer pronunciation recordings, so the child can hear how the word is pronounced. Finally, related words or words in the definition that may be unfamiliar are often hyper-linked so that they are easily defined, as well.

Videos

Videos often make an excellent resource for students who don’t process information well through text. Watching a recorded lecture, science experiment, or demonstration can make for a much better learning experience for visual, big-picture learners.

Provide Modifications

Read the directions to him. Transcribe her oral narrations. Explain things that are unclear.  Allow for more time on tests.

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