Home education can be a very successful choice for those children with Dyslexia.
Dyslexia is a confusing difficulty with much controversy surrounding it, identifying itself in a multitude of symptoms. It particularly affects the way in which children read and process words and symbols. In a class setting, with much of the work revolving around written words and reading early, children’s learning progress can be severely inhibited if they have Dyslexia.
It has been largely assumed that Dyslexia was linked to eyesight and vision differences and these partially caused reading problems. But a recent study which examined the link to vision has found that this is not the case, even though many dyslexics report that coloured overlays and lenses were a help when looking at print.
Understanding and research about dyslexia are constantly developing. It’s an emotive subject and parents are understandably concerned when children don’t develop their reading skills in line with their contemporaries. In a school setting this can result in extreme pressure and anxiety and many families with Dyslexic children turn to home education.
Home educating gives families the opportunity to approach learning in a variety of other ways not always through the printed word or reading based. These approaches can include experiential and practical activities – where the child is physically engaged, visual learning – so many images available now or instructional films on YouTube, outings and workshops, conversation – providing the opportunity to question, discuss, observe, learn and understand through talking.
In an out-of-school setting, with the pressure taken off the child to read at a certain age, then reading skills can be developed more organically through other general activities and over a longer period of time without intensity.
Most children want to read. But once pressurised into it or made to feel uncomfortable about it or a failure, the pleasure they get from reading is destroyed and they can be put off for life. When home educating, parents can read to their child as long as they want to, the child can read anything, at any time, anywhere, as little as needs be, gradually building skills and strategies in line with their needs.
Several families we met whilst home educating had children who were dyslexic. The parents found that by not forcing reading upon their child too young (some never read a whole book till in their teens) by not making it a chore that had to be undertaken, by encouraging incidental reading (through gaming or texting for example), by allowing the children to develop maturity and other skills, they avoided the danger of putting their child off reading and developed reading success in their own time frames. These children, although reading much later than many of their school contemporaries, were able to undertake exams and go onto Uni along with their school peers.
There are all sorts of ways to learn. Home educating a Dyslexic child gives parents an opportunity to address their learning differences by approaching it in individual ways and turn difficulty into success.