Jul 102013

Do You have a child who has been in public school for a few years, but still can’t read?

Are you considering overcoming dyslexia through homeschooling? WE DID! YOU CAN TOO!

My son was going into fifth grade and still couldn’t read and his school said they were doing all they could. They weren’t and that became abundantly clear when I began homeschooling a child with dyslexia, my son.

A WHOLE LOT was missing from my son’s program, so I set out to design a program that would help him learn to read in spite of his severe dyslexia. I researched WHAT WORKS and implemented it!

If you need to figure out what’s missing from your child’s program, you may be able to glean insights from the programs and methods we used for overcoming dyslexia through homeschooling.

We overcame our boys reading problems associated with dyslexia through phonemic awareness programs, Orton-Gillingham reading programs and software, vision therapy, reading aloud, and home schooling.

My oldest child’s reading level jumped from being anon-reader to a college-level grade equivalent in our first three years of homeschooling. Our outcomes far surpassed my expectations, and definitively blasted away the low expectations our school had when they told me, “He may never read well.”

The question I am asked most often is:

“How did you overcome dyslexia through homeschooling?”

If you’d like to know about our history and situation when we started homeschooling to overcome dyslexia, skip over the three links below, read to the bottom of the page, and there is a link there to take you to our first year’s plan. If you’d like comprehensive help with your child, check out The Dyslexia Help Handbook for Parents that I wrote.

If you want to go straight to the programs we used for overcoming dyslexia through homeschooling, here are the links to pages detailing our first three years:Overcoming Dyslexia through Homeschooling

Overcoming Dyslexia through Homeschooling: Our First Year

Overcoming Dyslexia through Homeschooling: Our Second Year

Overcoming Dyslexia through Homeschooling: Our Third Year

Below, I’ll give you a little background so you will understand how severe our challenges were. You may relate our challenges to your child’s challenges.

My child, who has severe dyslexia, had been in public school for five years. He received special education services for much of that time. After five years in public school, his latest Stanford-9 scores placed his reading score at a first grade, ninth month (1.9) grade equivalent. Private neuropsychological testing placed my son’s reading level at 0.9 GE, which is a kindergarten level.

Before we began home schooling, while our son was in second grade, he had the Lindamood-Bell LiPS program for a year at our local Scottish Rite center. That instruction took him from a non-reader to a 2.3 reading level, but his reading skills rapidly regressed during his third grade year in public school.

Because our son was regressing with a poorly provided Reading Resource program at school, we felt we HAD to begin home schooling if our son was ever going to succeed academically. After all, he wanted to go to college.

Given that my child was going into the fifth grade as a virtual non-reader, we could not see continuing in public school. Our son was receiving special education services, yet the services were totally ineffective. So, we began home schooling.  We used an Orton-Gillingham based reading program as well as a variety of other programs carefully selected to match my boys’ learning styles.

At the end of our first year of home schooling, my oldest son’s reading level tested at a sixth grade, second month (6.2) grade equivalent. At the end of our second year home schooling, our son’s reading level tested at a tenth grade (10.0) equivalent. This means he read the sixth grade test as well as a tenth grader. Our results were an astounding 8.1 grade-level increase in just two years.

By the end of our third year of homeschooling, when my son was in the seventh grade, he took the College Entrance ACT exam and scored better than 70% of high school graduates who took the exam. His reading level was at a 13+ grade equivalent, which meant he was able to read his grade-level texts as well as a college student.

Steps we Took Overcoming Dyslexia through Homeschooling:

First, we had a comprehensive evaluation showing our son had significant difficulty with phonemic awareness, ADHD, short-term working memory, a slow processing speed and executive functioning disorder. My son is also a highly visual learner and 3-dimensional thinker.

As a disclosure, if your child does not have a similar learning style (highly visual and secondarily kinesthetic) and a similar basis for his/her reading difficulties, the programs we used may or may not work for your child.  Please consider your child’s individual needs and only take from this page those elements that will be likely to work for your child.  As always, it is best if you have a comprehensive evaluation to determine your child’s specific learning disabilities.

NEXT –> See HOW we overcame dyslexia through homeschooling by looking at OUR FIRST YEAR’s programs and methods.


Overcoming Dyslexia through Homeschooling