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17/10/2013

Homeschooling with Dyslexia

 

Many children who have experienced failure or embarrassment at school may try to hide their difficulties for fear of being misunderstood or stigmatised. Homeschooling with dyslexia, however, provides an excellent opportunity for families to nurture dyslexic learners and encourage academic and emotional stability – particularly when aided by good Tutors and learning support specialists.

 

Effects of dyslexia on learning

 

Screening and assessment with a qualified psychologist can ascertain whether your child has a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia. However, most children with dyslexia will exhibit some or all of the following tendencies, which may affect the way they learn and can make the traditional classroom setting stressful:

 

Reading

 

  • Difficulty reading for meaning – may need to reread several times;
  • Slow reading speed;
  • Tendency to misread;
  • Frequent loss of the place when reading;
  • Unable to skim read;
  • Easily distracted by background noise when reading;
  • Words may seem to float off the page, blur or run together;
  • Uncomfortable with glare from white paper or whiteboards;
  • Confusion with letters/ numbers/ signs;
  • Confuses letters such as b and d / p and b.

 

Writing, note taking, and other work

 

  • Inaccurate copying;
  • Poor note taking skills;
  • Poor working memory;
  • Difficulties in learning or retaining sequences (e.g. the alphabet);
  • Difficulty in learning new terms;
  • Difficulty with spelling;
  • Confusion of small words such as which/with, on/of, on/no;
  • Omission of words or ends of words, especially when under pressure;
  • Awkward handwriting;
  • Slow writing speed, so it takes longer to complete a piece of work;
  • Slow processing speed – may take some time to consider a question, to formulate an answer or a comment, or to digest information;
  • May reverse or miscopy numbers in mathematical computations.

 

Organisation

 

  • Difficulties with organising ideas and concepts (e.g. to produce an essay plan) and written work;
  • Poor concept of time;
  • Poor spatial awareness;
  • Short concentration span.

 

Emotional effects of dyslexia

 

Students’ reactions to a diagnosis of dyslexia are as varied as their experiences of it. Some are diagnosed early and benefit from good support. These children often have a clear understanding of their areas of weakness, and have developed strategies to cope. Others may experience negative emotions such as panic, stress, anxiety and low self-esteem. In either case, however, fatigue and frustration may occur, together with a lack of confidence.

 

In spite of frustration, children with dyslexia should not be encouraged to use their condition as an excuse for not engaging with their studies. It’s particularly important to actively support good organisation skills, and there are many other ways to ensure that homeschooling with dyslexia doesn’t negatively affect your child’s relationship with learning.

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