Homeschooling a Child with Dyslexia or Dysgraphia


From Cheryl Swope | December 30, 2019 | For Special Needs, Teaching Resources

Tips for Homeschooling a Student with Dyslexia or Dysgraphia

1. Provide Therapies
Begin or continue any necessary or prescribed therapies, such as occupational therapy for dysgraphia.

2. Make Adaptations
Give yourself permission to adapt standard teaching resources, such as those from Memoria Press:
a. Use discussion rather than required writing and accept oral responses to questions in the student guides.
b. Relax the pace as needed to provide additional review before marching on.
c. Conduct more pre-reading help, such as identifying difficult words to decode or reading comprehension questions ahead of the text.

3. Teach Study Skills
Teach study skills as its own subject: learning how to study, take notes, identify main ideas, highlight important information, make flash cards, prepare for tests, and review cumulative knowledge.

4. Enjoy Audio Books or Read Alouds
Obtain high quality audio versions of texts too difficult to read, in part to save your own voice if you are accustomed to reading for or with him. Encourage him to follow along in the text with the audio version, if that helps him. If he needs to replay any difficult section, he can do so with an audio version. If he struggles with auditory processing or attention difficulties on his own, consider read-alouds.

5. Streamline Days and Years
Teach fewer subjects at once. Consider trimesters or two standard semesters and a lighter summer course.

6. Tutor One-on-One with Proven Methods
Identify his weaker academic areas and intensify instruction in them. Usually this includes writing, spelling, and reading. Rather than merely accommodate for weak areas, use the advantages of 1:1 or small group instruction within homeschooling (or hire a tutor) to give him the skills and knowledge he will need in these key areas. Unsure how to teach? See our Simply Classical resources in writing, spelling, Latin, or complete full-year packages as needed.

7. Teach from Both Lower Levels and Higher Levels
Use slightly lower levels of materials whenever needed to teach writing, reading, or spelling. Do not worry about the “grade” assigned to any resource. Choose higher levels of materials if he can manage them, and then adapt for his specific learning disabilities as described above. Whatever he needs — tutorial writing, higher science, math, or history; and slightly lower literature, perhaps — can become his full course of study.

8. Encourage His Gifts
Identify his true talents, gifts, and interests, whether within academics or in other areas (not video games). Nurture and support these when studies are completed. Homeschooling allows the freedom for this! Give him with time for nature, hiking, photography, art, mechanical or musical pursuits through outside courses, practice, time for independent study, or all of the above.

Your student with dyslexia and/or dysgraphia must grapple with the difficult areas of reading, writing, and spelling to build knowledge, skills, and discipline. But also encourage him in the areas in which he truly shines.

Voted #1 for Special Learners through the OldSchoolhouse Magazine in 2019 for the fourth year, the Simply Classical Curriculum is ready to serve you.


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