Dyslexia and homeschooling: making the most of your child’s abilities

homeschoolWhen a child has language-learning problems, parents often feel they want to ask every question at once: What’s wrong with our child? What should we do? Where do we turn? Who do we believe? What’s right for our child? These are enormous questions and there are very few one-size-fits-all answers.

Before long, as they wade through their options, parents may ask, Should we homeschool our child? This, too, is a huge question, again without one answer that works for everyone. While we are not experts on homeschooling, we are knowledgeable about the needs of children with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and other language-processing disorders and one of our observations is that homeschooled kids often benefit from individualized, focused instruction they simply cannot get in the public schools. Free from the pressures and distractions of peers and the classroom and the strict boundaries of grade-level curriculum, homeschooled children, given adequate support, can bloom into skilled and confident readers, writers, and spellers.

When parents are considering the homeschool option, we often refer them to the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) informational flier entitled Why Homeschool a Student with Dyslexia. The fact sheet looks at both the advantages and the challenges of homeschooling a student with dyslexia and makes a number of suggestions, including the important point: “When planning instruction, start the same way any good teacher, tutor, or therapist would begin: with a thorough understanding of your child’s reading, spelling, writing, and comprehension abilities.”

What that means is that your child’s abilities should be assessed in a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified professional, such as a psychologist, speech-language pathologist, or clinical educator. The results of the test are collected in a report that includes a diagnosis and a plan for intervention outlining recommended steps for treatment. With that report in hand, parents are much better equipped to decide whether they can manage their child’s schooling at home or whether they should seek other options. For more information on testing, see the IDA Fact Sheet Testing and Evaluation and see an extensive list of other free IDA Fact Sheets here.

To read what some homeschool bloggers have to say about their experience with Lexercise, visit Kris at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers (to see other posts, type Lexercise in the search field, which is in the right sidebar on the WUH blog) or read comments by Maureen Spell at Spell Out Loud.

If your child is struggling with words, Lexercise can help. If you are considering homeschooling your dyslexic child, Lexercise can provide the skilled support you need. We offer online, research-based services to help struggling readers, writers, and spellers — no matter where they live! Take a look at our Online Dyslexia Testing and Treatment page or contact us at Info@Lexercise.com or 1-919-747-4557.

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Sandie Barrie Blackley, MA/CCC

MA/CCC - Cofounder and CKO

Sandie is a speech-language pathologist with more than 30 years of experience in the private practice sector. She is Visiting Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders at University of North Carolina Greensboro, and founder/owner of the Language & Learning Clinic, PLLC, a private practice in Elkin, NC, and Greensboro, NC, specializing in communication disorders, including disorders of reading and written language.