Are you homeschooling a child who has dyslexia or other reading challenge? Are you looking for effective scaffolding resources and remediation methodologies that will assist your child across subject matter as well as build a strong reading base? Great, let’s begin.
Reading is a human made invention that is arbitrary and challenging on multiple levels. If one of those areas isn’t functioning fluidly, it can throw off the entire system. In order to comprehend text, an emergent aka a beginner reader needs to be able to read it (decode) quickly and accurately without having to think about it. When a child is first beginning to sound out words and then sentences, the amount of time and effort to read it does not equate to comprehension. When a child has to use all of their mental energy decoding there isn’t a lot of energy left for comprehending. Having the time to help a child with dyslexia is a gift. They need that 1:1 or small group instruction in order to learn to break down a word by phoneme, mastering phonemes while learning to connect them to letters while developing decoding and fluency skills.. Programs like Wilson, Orton Gillingham, Great Leaps, Fundamentals, and Explode the Code can help children with dyslexia learn to read fluently by improving their decoding skills so that they can switch to reading to learn. These multi sensory programs are available virtually and in book-teacher/parent form.
I love Handwriting without Tears for teaching print, cursive and keyboarding. It’s multi-sensory and includes grammar naturally into the lessons while reinforcing phoneme and letter connections. I think learning cursive is especially important for children with dyslexia because it will help them read cursive as well. For language arts curriculums WriteShop Junior or All Things Fun and Fascinating are a good fit for children with dyslexia and an intro to IEW writing in higher grades. Barton Reading is also good. It’s a scripted program which makes it easy to use and very parent or teacher friendly and it is Orton Gillingham based.
Did you know that listening to a book is as cognitively beneficial as reading it with your eyes? Here’s a good read about this. https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/listening-to-audiobooks-is-just-as-good-as-reading-if-not-better-so-back-the-hell-off
Audible, Epic, and your local library are great resources for listening to books. Audible is free for kids during Covid. It’s also incredibly beneficial for kids who have a high level of comprehension but their reading level doesnt match it to have access to a huge number of high quality fiction and nonfiction titles..
Listening to books read-aloud by an adult or choose your favorite listening method, provides access to content knowledge while your child works on the mechanics of reading. My son loves Epic, which has a read to me option, books on audio and access to an incredible range of high quality kid’s books. There are also nonfiction songs and videos related to academics that he loves on there. Learning Ally is another excellent resource for listening to books while on a tablet or device.
WriteShop Junior, All Things Fun and Fascinating, Barton Reading and Reading Horizons are great fits for language arts instruction in grades K-3 and it is uses the same methodology as Orton, a proven dyslexia intervention.
I used Singapore Math with my kids but I supplemented a lot because math opportunities are literally everywhere. I like it because it teaches multiple strategies and focuses initially on concrete hands on learning. It progresses to visual then mental math. While, I don’t use the following, I’ve looked through them and think Teaching Textbooks, Math-U-See and Right Start Math and Singapore or similar multi sensory hands on programs are good for children with dyslexia and for typical readers. Right start uses an abacus and is very hands on. I also use Khan Academy, a free and fantastic online educational program, as a supplement and math board games.
For history, I used the Story of the World Series with my kids by Susan Bauer. Each book has a CD or mp3 download. I read the books with them initially and then had them listen and follow along to the cd and sometimes they just listen in the car. I also included a lot of additional content and resources.
I also recommend getting graphic novels for science and history since there is a lot of visual support to get meaning and it helps with decoding and overall comprehension. Educational field trips benefit all children and reinforce what is being learned. Trips can be as simply noticing a local trail name and it’s connection to a Native American tribe to traveling to spend a few days at Almanzo’s homestead in Malone, NY after reading The Little House on the Prairie series.