Homeschooling Is Never An Easy Decision
I don’t believe anyone makes the choice to homeschool lightly. There are so many hoops to jump through, red tape and especially that nagging feeling for parents if they are doing the right thing by their child – or even by themselves. Will my child be worse off when I take them out of school? Am I the right person to teach them?
And if they have a learning difficulty like dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, dyscalculia or dysgraphia or any other difficulty, there is the additional question: How do I teach them to read, write or do maths?
How do I help them to even sit still, focus and learn?
And for parents asking “Should I homeschool my dyslexic child?” the pain, anxiety and challenges their child or children are going through at school usually results in the decision being made as a last resort. After seeing such challenges, they will often decide to do what it takes to try to create a positive change.
The Challenge of Homeschooling a Child With Dyslexia
I had the privilege to support a lot of mums who did an amazing job at homeschooling their child, but when it came to teaching them to read, they needed a bit of help. When schools and trained teachers are struggling to help a dyslexic child, how should mums know what to do?
Some parents had a bit of a taste of schooling from home, which of course was due to Covid-19 restrictions from March 2020 onwards and had no resemblance to a traditional homeschooling environment.
Some four million children in Australia had months of distance learning – or facilitating their children’s education from home, as it’s also called.
I am sure it hasn’t been all bad and many children may have enjoyed the break, especially if they could still stay in touch with friends one way or another. The social interaction, play and outdoor activities are such a cornerstone to still keeping children actively involved – as learning without some fun and play isn’t easily hooked into our memory banks.
I know that mainly from having worked with dyslexic individuals for almost twenty years.
Helping Children With Dyslexia Learn
They remember events and information when it happened in an environment of an emotional or visual high. Their focus and presence needs to be triggered to lock their mind onto learning. We can also facilitate them to get their focus back at will, but again it ought to be pleasurable and especially to start with, for a shorter time span.
Focusing is actually a cornerstone of learning to read and it would be my first recommendation for a mum who is homeschooling her child. Too often information is given to a child when their attention is elsewhere and often the signals are missed. For a teacher, who is trying to hold the focus of an entire class, it will be a challenge to make sure every student is paying attention.
As parents, we are not really trained to pay attention to our child’s focus either. What are their eyes doing? How is their skin tone? Is there restlessness going on with hands or feet? How are they breathing? What does presence look like?
Having a visual or tactile learner at home creates a different need, a need to teach using tactile props and visual tools. I often use visualisations to open a zone of relaxation, grounding and focus. There is a free example of it at the One Year School ‘Focus and Read’ Course.
With it had the intention to give parents a short template on getting their child to read.
Let me give you an example.
Monica was struggling to find help, couldn’t come for an assessment and homeschooling her 9-year old daughter Sonja from rural outback Australia has proven to be a big challenge and a source of frustration for both mother and daughter. Sonja couldn’t spell, was reading very poorly (at Year 2 level) and found writing very painful and laborious.
When Monica came across the free 5-steps course to ‘Focus and Read’, she thought there wasn’t any harm to check it out. The assessment showed that Sonja was a visual learner (dyslexic) and absolutely loved the visualisation meditation, that helped her to focus and calm down. They bought all the materials needed to start with the fun and I was delighted when they wrote to me that Sonja now can’t wait to do her words… she is creating them in clay and the meaning with clay figures she loves to make. Monica couldn’t believe what a transformation she saw and how quickly Sonja started reading books at her age level.
According to Monica, Sonja can’t put down the Amulet series she started reading and it got her into the world of books.
For my son, it had been the Harry Potter series and I know the power of good books to get the reading bug.
But first things first…let’s figure out why they struggle to read!
And you can access my free audio course ‘Focus and Read’ here which may help you on your homeschooling journey.