Homeschooling a child with dyslexia is challenging for both the parent and the child. HSLDA Special Needs Coordinator Dianne Craft explains several methods for teaching a dyslexic child on today’s Home School Heartbeat with HSLDA President Mike Smith.
Dianne, I’ve heard you say that it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive to use alternative methods for teaching a dyslexic child. How can a homeschooling parent get past their child’s learning “block” of dyslexia?
Well, children with dyslexia need a totally different approach to learning. Dyslexic children need a two-pronged approach: Number one, they need specific motor therapy to help them connect both hemispheres of the brain for improved eye tracking and writing. This can be done through occupational therapy, vision therapy, or a home therapy called brain integration therapy. Number two, they need specific teaching techniques designed to help the child use their right brain hemisphere, bypassing the weaker auditory hemisphere. Intensive phonics helps a great deal, especially when the phonics units are presented in color, with pictures to remind them of the sounds. Showing a child how to use his photographic memory to take pictures of spelling words eliminates the need for him to memorize all those spelling rules. We’ve seen many dyslexic children read and write above grade level by eighth grade, when specific therapies and teaching techniques are used when remediating them. These therapies do not have to be expensive. They can be done at home. Go to www.hslda.org and click on “Struggling Learners” to find resources for teaching children with dyslexia at home, successfully.
Thanks again, Dianne, for this very helpful advice. And until next time, I’m Mike Smith.