Questioning homeschooling when your child has dyslexia

As I watch parents try to figure out what to do when their child is struggling to keep up with their school work it makes my heart break because I know they are frustrated and they feel helpless and at a loss for what to do.  

I know they have watched their child cry and deal with all the issues that come with dyslexia (or learning differences such as a learning disability or ADHD).  Their child may refuse to go to school, or they see their child's self esteem drop.  They may be even dealing with their child's physical and emotional health along with the learning concerns. 

As a parent, you know you have to do something.  But what?

I know if you are one of  these parents you are wondering if you have what it takes to help your child. And I know you are wondering what is the best solution for your child (and for you -- as you have to make some changes based on your decision). 

I have to start off by saying you do have what it takes to support your child  In fact, you are the best person to support your child.  But there are no 'cookie-cutter' solutions for parents, as each child is different and has different learning needs.  Just as each school setting is different -- from homeschooling, to private to public.

I have worked in all the different school settings and each one offered something different but to say one was better than another really depended on the setting and the child.  

The point is you have to know what is needed for your child to learn and how to best offer it to them -- within all different school settings -- then you can make your decision. 

Consider these three steps:  

1. You need to know what your child is needing support with when it comes to their learning -- and you can't just say 'reading or writing or math' as this is not specific enough.  You need to know what parts are slowing down your child's learning progress and what parts are your child's strengths when it comes to reading/writing/math and why are they having difficulties tapping into them!   

Let me explain by looking at reading:  

If your child has difficulties 'sounding out words' which interferes with their ability to read and understand what they are reading then this is the area they need support with (weaknesses). However, you may find that your child can understand something that is read to them.  This is their area of strength that they have difficulties tapping into because if they can't read well enough to understand what is read they can't move forward. And this is frustrating! 

So you need to get really clear about what is needed to help your child move forward. In other words, you need to determine how they can be supported -- not just in the area they need to get better in but in the areas they are already doing well in!! (Such as understanding what is read to them).  

2. If you have #1 mastered then making your choice of what setting fits them the best is much easier.  You will know what your child needs for each subject and will be able to see what supports are offered in a private school setting or a public school setting and what you need to set up for homeschooling!  You now can determine what roles others will play in supporting your child no matter what setting they are in (pretty cool right!!!) 

3. Finally when you are able to be really clear on what is needed for your child's learning (yes, I'm back on #1) then your child starts to really understand how they learn and what they need to learn -- and from there they can rebuild their self-confidence, self-esteem and become the advocate for their learning needs which allows them to request support in various settings.  (this is where the magic comes into the whole picture!!).  Because this is what you want your child to walk away with -- the ability to accept how they learn and overall accept who they are. 

You can learn how to complete these three steps in the Invincible Mama Program.   And once you learn how to walk through these steps, you can use them for each new grade level and for each child.  It's an investment in you as a parent and for your child or children, that will repay you over and over again. 

Susan