One of the chief benefits of home schooling is the individualised attention a child receives from his or her parent (or tutor, or grandparent, etc.) which is usually in contrast to a school environment with twenty or more students in a class and a low teacher or teaching assistant ratio. This individualised attention can be of special benefit to children with learning difficulties such as dyslexia. This article looks at the overall ways that home education can especially impact children with dyslexia.
Issues Surrounding Self Confidence
For children studying school who are having a lot of difficulties with reading and therefore usually most lessons, school can feel like a negative experience with issues of competitiveness damaging their education. Bullying can be more likely if a child is struggling with school work, and this can make emotional and behavioural problems may likely occur – all these tensions are one reason that dyslexic children’s families might start to consider home schooling.
Within the home learning environment children are more likely to feel like they are learning within a safe environment, in part because it is their home, but in part because their individualised attention is likely to speed up their progress at an activity such as reading, which then generally feeds into all studies.
Within the home it is far less likely for children to feel a fear of bullying, so they may become more confidence if they were previously struggling at school. Some home schooling families also note that the general organisational problems that dyslexic children often struggle to overcome as well as problems with activities such as reading can be more easily tackled with sympathy and individual attention within the home environment.
Different Schooling Methods
Since home schooling parents are not obliged to follow the National Curriculum, or indeed any formalised timetable, a child’s education while learning at home can be particularised to their own needs, and tailored to his or her own special interests. Maths, for example, could focus on examples from the football statistics if that helps a child to tackle numbers (excuse the pun!). Parents can track down the teaching methods and suitable resource materials that work best for their child, including specialist dyslexic focused textbooks, which are available online, from libraries and book stores. This is usually particularly valid for teaching dyslexic children to read, since this may take longer or occur in a different way to mainstream education.
Remotivating a Dyslexic Home Schooler
Dyslexic children might feel demotivated about education if they have experienced a bad time at school, or feel ‘stupid’ when struggling with reading. It’s therefore especially important to make learning fun for newly home schooled dyslexic children – avoid blackboard and sitting behind a desk, start reading outside or spread out on the floor, visit a museum or gallery – but don’t feel like everything has to be turned into a lesson, let your child make their own impressions of events to reawaken their natural curiosity and desire to learn.