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Conquer Learning Challenges - Successful Homeschooling, Issue #20
March 02, 2010
Learning challenges can be a source of frustration and discouragement for both parent and child. However, there are many resources available that can help you successfully homeschool children who have special needs.
In this Issue:
Reading challenges are a common concern among homeschool parents. In the following article, my friend Christi discusses the challenges she faced while homeschooling a child with dyslexia:
My heart sank as I read,“the advntshurs uv Buz Lityeer”. I wasn’t disappointed that my six-year-old son couldn’t spell. I was disappointed that, like some cryptic code requiring a secret decoder ring, I had to hold the paper up to a mirror in order to read it. That secret decoder ring revealed what I had already known in my heart to be true; just like my husband, it was quite likely that my little boy struggled with dyslexia.
Symptoms of Dyslexia
In the early elementary years it can be quite difficult for a parent to distinguish normal development from symptoms of a problem. Any child may scramble some letters or use some creative spelling, but dyslexic children may also:
However, parents need to recognize that dyslexia does not equal unintelligent. In fact, dyslexics tend to have higher than average IQs. That can add to the frustration of parents who are homeschooling children with dyslexia. How can a child with a genius level IQ be struggling to read?
Dyslexia Testing in the Homeschool
If you are homeschooling children with dyslexia, seek professional testing. We officially began the process of having our son diagnosed at the end of his second grade year. Prior to then, it’s simply too common for a child to invert, scramble or even write letters in mirror image. In fact, many places will not test until a child is seven years old.
Some homeschoolers contact their local public school systems to inquire about testing or seek referrals from a pediatrician. I took my son to our pediatric ophthalmologist and he referred us to a college of optometry that performs dyslexia testing.
Just as there is not one simple place to go to have your child tested, there is not one simple test. My son underwent a battery of fairly intense tests over the course of weeks. The tests examined reading, writing and auditory skills. Because dyslexia comes in varying degrees, it is important to know exactly where your child’s struggles lay.
I was told that my son had the most severe case of dyslexia they had ever seen, and that it was doubtful that he would ever read. Yes, I was actually told that.
To find out how Christi proved the experts wrong, read the rest the account of her adventures in homeschooling children with dyslexia, and learn more about treatment options for children who face learning challenges.
Homeschooling Children with Special Needs - This article is a transcript of my interview with C.J. Rezac of Little Giant Steps, in which she shares information about diagnosing learning challenges and the benefits of neurodevelopmental therapy.
NATHHAN - The National Challenged Homeschoolers Associated Network is a support group for families who are homeschooling children with special needs. NATHHAN's website features informational articles about a variety of learning difficulties, a semi-annual newsletter and a discussion board for member families.
Learning Abled Kids - LAKids was started by a homeschool mom whose children struggled with dyslexia, dysgraphia and ADHD. Her goal is to point you to the best tools and resources for homeschooling your special needs child.
One our plans for the near future is to use video to answer reader questions. If you have questions you'd like me to consider answering for this segment of our website, please send me your questions.
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Enjoy the journey,
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