I have a nine year old daughter who is the fifth of my six children whom are all homeschooled. She is dyslexic, with a written expression disorder and has dysgraphia. We have based most of our curriculum on Seton Home study materials. I was told my daughter will not learn well from a workbook. She did learn to read last year with the Lindemood Bell program It is an excellent program but way to expensive for us to continue. I need to find material that I can give to her to work with on her own at her own pace. She is an eager learner but gets frustrated with me when I try to instruct her. I want to homeschool but don't know how to!? Any suggestions you can offer to me is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Very frustrated but a willing heart,
Here is my response to the writer. (Note: I'm not a special needs expert, just a mom sharing personal experience.)
I'm not sure that a dyslexic child could work on her own. My son didn't take off reading until he was ten, after two years of intensive one-on-one, multi-sensory, reading lessons with me. We only spent 20 or so minutes a day as that is as long as I could keep his attention. But we did it every day consistently (including through the summer).
I'm not sure either how you could do it inexpensively. I'm the queen of thrift and I'm also the queen of 'here's a book kids, go learn!' But, with a learning disability that's a difficult approach at best.
I'm not familiar with Seton's structure, but I do understand that they do have good learning disability counseling. And I hear the Lindendwood Bell program is good.
I took a class from someone trained by the Orton Gillingham Society. It cost about $200 for the class and materials. More money than I had to spare, but you do what you have to do.
They are right in saying that dyslexic kids can't learn from workbooks, however, you can supplement with workbooks. I found the MCP phonics workbooks to be horribly useless with my dyslexic children (I also have a daughter who struggled). What I recommend is the Explode the Code workbooks for supplemental material.
It's also good to have lots of very simple readers for practice. You want to keep them simple as you don't want to discourage her. Bob Books are great and you may find them at the library. Also good are the Little Stories for Little Folks from Catholic Heritage Curricula and Little Angel Readers from Stone Tablet Press. We even made our own homemade readers. Plus, the library will have other readers.
If you really can't afford these materials, your last option is looking into services provided by your local public school.
The most important thing to do is to read aloud to your child!!! Since you have older children, get them involved. They can read aloud, give instruction, listen to her read, etc.
I hope this is helpful.
If you have any additional advice for the letter writer, please leave a comment. It's always good to hear from more than one source.