Home educating dyslexic children.

Heleyna is certainly dyslexic. I am not going to have her diagnosed as there isn’t any reason to while she’s being home educated. She has been doing some free writing over Easter, because she enjoys it, and it’s fairly obvious that she is going to have a tough time ahead as she learns to read and write properly. At the moment she writes from right to left (she’s right handed) with all letters revered and no spaces between the words. This is very much how Iona wrote at that age. She can’t differentiate between b and d, m and n and u p and q and y and g. She has forgotten the names and sounds of a lot of the letters we learned before Easter.

Thankfully Heleyna is the kind of child willing to work at anything and do so cheerfully. She does get frustrated at times but she is so advanced with other areas of learning that she can turn to drawing, maths and geometry when other stuff gets her down.

We are going to have to make sure she reads every day, bit by bit and give lots of encouragement.  I am going to use more Elkonin boxes with her. I am in the process of designing some for her to use for better phoneme recognition. I remember they worked well for Avila when she struggled with reading – but her problems were nowhere near as broad as Heleyna’s in reading and writing.

There are adjustable Elkonin box worksheets on more.starfall which we;ve been using a lot. It’s a method used by Montessori teachers as well from what I can see.

Repetition, word building using the movable alphabet and memory games will continue.

The FREE DOWNLOADS from HEIDISONGS which I’ve only just discovered look useful too.

Also free printables from the American Dyslexia Association

There’s some good ideas on DYSLEXIX LEARNERS too.

I am also going to read this on a Montessori approach to dyslexia (pdf)

I am hoping to design some stuff for Heleyna to use and if I do – and it’s any good- I’ll make sure I send them to Kalei for posting.

One other decision I think I need to make soon is whether to get her learning cursive writing pretty soon. It’s reported to be better for dyslexic children. But I have also read that keyboard skills are much better for dyslexic children. I am not so sure as I think even in the computer age we still need to be able to write.

This site has some cursive worksheets

I am going to make some cursive cards for her with THIS FREE TEMPLATE from Montessori Materials

I’ve been through all this before with the older two and I thought I was going to have more problems with Miss Avila than we’ve had. She is now fluent reading and writing with only a few issues around spelling.

I know Heleyna can overcome things so long as she’s allowed to find the best way of learning for her.

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3 responses to “Home educating dyslexic children.

  1. Yes, kids need to know how to WRITE!!!!! Otherwise their first employer will look at them with disgust if the new young adult can’t make out the written note left for him/her. Cursive writing is actually quicker than printing. Can’t abide printing myself. As to keyboarding? I wonder if starting them BEFORE their fingers can comfortably learn to touch type doesn’t induce bad habits. 10 years after I graduated High School, a survey came around which asked us which were the classes we liked the most, and also which we found a useful skill to have. Virtually EVERYONE said the typing (which we were all required to take back in the early 70s) was a useful thing to know. I left the class typing 44 words a minute after 1 semester. My current typing speed is in the low 60s, when I typing at a comfortable rate. Good luck with the dyslexia. Even though you are homeschooling you might consider getting Heleyna diagnosed. As they may be able to offer specific aids to help with her particular problems. Best wishes.

    • I think it’s the curse of the expert. They always say things that fit what they perceive to be “modern” but never back it up with research Going by what I’ve seen of handwriting from schooled children, standards of writing are pretty dreadful.
      I think handwriing effects thought as well so I really want them to write well.
      Since my right hand doesn’t work so well, I have to type more – and it’s just not the same.

  2. Oh, and — you have a lot of useful links here. Perhaps others may find them useful in future and you may want to put a pointer to this post on your sidebar for future reference,.

    [BTW, Nelson Rockefeller, the Veep under President Ford, was also dyslexic.]

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