Children are not born with instruction manuals and each child you parent comes with their unique set of challenges. One of those challenges can impact academics: dyslexia.
There are a variety of signs of dyslexia and many of those signs can depend on the age of the child. Chances are if you are reading this blog, you have sought out testing or may have seen some signs during your homeschool journey. If you are interested in learning more about the signs of dyslexia this article from Yale would be helpful. Many counties offer screening services for dyslexia and there are a plethora of private educational companies who do as well. A simple place to begin is Lexercise. Locally you may be able to find a reading specialist who offers screenings.
Before I dive into my top four choices for curriculum, I want to say the following. Dyslexia does not mean your child will hate to read or will not progress academically. With the right tools, a strong foundation in phonics, exposure to a variety of texts on a regular basis, and encouragement your child will be on the path to success (and will have a love for reading). There will be hard moments and no matter what program you choose, you may have to pause and spiral back. I am here to remind you that is OK. It's a marathon not a sprint.
Today, I am here to share a few curriculum choices that could greatly benefit your child with (or without dyslexia). My three favorites below are all based on the Orton-Gillingham method, which means it is rooted in phonics, spelling rules, and multi-sensory teaching. Want to learn more about the Orton-Gillingham approach? Click here!
First up (and perhaps my favorite resource): Type Touch Read Spell. I absolutely love this program for several reasons. It allows a child to practice their typing skills while focusing on spelling and reading. It is founded in the Orton Gillingham approach and is completely independent. It is great as as stand-alone program or to strengthen spelling and reading skills. Children who are not dyslexic still benefit from the phonetic foundation and Alpha to Omega word lists. Use the code 10PC to receive 10% off at checkout!
Next up: Logic of English. We love this program, as it is open and go and colorful! It does not feel boring or repetitive. Foundations consists of four levels, each of which include spelling, handwriting, phonics and reading comprehension. Essentials moves forward to focus on writing. There is even a terrific Game Book you buy! We spend about 20 - 40 minutes a day implementing this curriculum (30 - 40 minutes if we are including games). I highly recommend this program for all levels and types of learners!
If you don't want to purchase the entire curriculum and would just like to supplement what you are doing at home or reinforce phonetic skills, I recommend buying the Game Book. It is a great resource even on its own. The expanded pack is ideal if you do not already have the cards.
All About Reading and All About Spelling is a well structured curriculum with a hands-on
component. It is extremely thorough and will definitely get your child from point a to point b. It was a little dry for my household but I have MANY friends whose children have benefited a great deal from the curriculum. There are four levels plus a pre-reading option. The implementation of this curriculum is open and go with little prep work. It is a scripted program, so it would be a great fit for those who are not confident in teaching reading or have multiple children to attend to. It takes anywhere from 20 - 40 minutes a day depending on your child. It will cover phonics, reading comprehension and vocabulary. This is an excellent choice for any child, but especially for those with dysgraphia or dyslexia.
Heggerty is a program that has just recently been opened up to the public. It is an easy to implement program that focuses on phonemic awareness. You can implement it in 10 - 20 minutes a day. I really like the ease of it and the fact that there is an online component (sold separately). I am still learning more about this curriculum as we continue to explore it but from what I have seen so far, I'm impressed. I will update this review as the year progresses.
A few other simple resources you can include to supplement are:
Khan Academy for Kids (you can assign books)
Teach Your Monster to Read
Starfall (they will read stories with the child and then the child can turn off that feature and read on their own)
Those are just a couple of our favorites.
The biggest thing I want to impress on you, mom or dad, is that there are resources to help you. Dyslexia does not mean you cannot homeschool or that you cannot instill a passion for reading in your child.
Something to remember: dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder that affects the development of both decoding (written word pronunciation) and encoding (spelling).dyslexia is a problem with reading and spelling words, but not a problem my Art problem in reading comprehension.
A great resource for parents homeschooling a child with dyslexia is linked below!