Updated: Jan 6
Dyslexia is a common learning difference that presents parents and students with challenges as well as advantages. It is estimated that up to 10% of the population has dyslexia, and it is not related to intelligence or motivation.
Dyslexia is known to affect language arts learning like:
decoding - breaking down words into their individual sounds
encoding - putting sounds together to form words.
Congratulations on your Homeschooling Decision!
Homeschooling language arts can be a great option for children with dyslexia, as it allows for a more personalized and flexible approach to learning. However, it is important for parents to be aware of the specific challenges and considerations that may arise when homeschooling a child with dyslexia especially when teaching reading and writing.
Support and Accommodations
In Canada, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that public schools provide accommodations and support for students with dyslexia. However, not all school divisions provide these resources in a homeschool setting. It is important for parents to seek out resources and support for their child, such as a dyslexia tutor or online programs that cater to children with dyslexia.
Never be afraid to advocate for your child.
Reading and Writing Skills
USE A MULTI-SENSORY APPROACH INSTEAD OF PHONICS
Dyslexia may cause children to struggle with phonemic awareness, or the ability to manipulate and recognize individual sounds in words. This can make it difficult for them to learn phonics or the relationship between sounds and written letters. It is important for parents to use multisensory and structured literacy approaches, such as the Orton-Gillingham method, which has been shown to be effective for children with dyslexia.
Dyslexia causes people to see things in a different way and it makes reading and decoding extremely difficult. For some people, every word they see looks like the word Dyslexia in the picture. Now imagine being 3 years old!
PROVIDE EXTRA ENCOURAGEMENT AND INCENTIVES
It is also important for parents to be patient and supportive of their child's learning process. Children with dyslexia may become frustrated or discouraged when they struggle with reading and writing tasks. It is important for parents to encourage their children and celebrate their progress, rather than focusing on their weaknesses.
You Are Your Child's Best Advocate
Advocacy may involve working with schools or other educational institutions you use in your homeschool journey to ensure that the child is receiving the support and accommodations they need.
It may also involve advocating for dyslexia-specific resources and support within the homeschool community.
The Benefits of Dyslexia
Yes - benefits! Your child has a learning difference that also has positive sides including:
Creativity: Dyslexic individuals may have an enhanced ability to think creatively and "outside the box" (source: "Dyslexia, Creativity and Innovation" by the British Dyslexia Association).
Problem-solving skills: Dyslexia may lead to the development of strong problem-solving and adaptive thinking skills
Strong verbal skills: Some dyslexic individuals may have excellent verbal skills, such as the ability to think on their feet, speak persuasively, and excel at public speaking
3-Dimensional thinking: Dyslexia may be associated with the ability to think in 3-dimensional terms, which can be beneficial in fields such as architecture and engineering
Empathy: Dyslexic individuals may have a heightened ability to understand and empathize with the feelings of others (source: "The Upside of Dyslexia" by Harnessing Strengths).
A few dyslexia resources to explore:
"Dyslexia, Creativity and Innovation" by the British Dyslexia Association
"Dyslexia." Learning Disabilities Association of Canada. https://www.ldac-taac.ca/understanding-learning-disabilities/dyslexia
"The Dyslexic Advantage" by Brock L. Eide and Fernette F. Eide
"Homeschooling and Children with Disabilities." Government of Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/documents/help-centre/education/homeschooling-children-disabilities.html
"Orton-Gillingham." International Dyslexia Association. https://dyslexiaida.org/orton-gillingham/
"The Upside of Dyslexia" by Harnessing Strengths)