View Full Version : Weekly Poll: Homeschooling and LD?

01-19-2012, 09:52 AM
I'm on the final leg of an ebook I've been working on for about a year aimed at parents who are homeschooling a child with dyslexia. This is one I feel like I've EARNED, since I've basically gotten my "masters" in special education over the last 10 years with our younger son.

I'm always interested in how different homeschooling families whose children have learning differences approach their issues. I know some who have completely outsourced the remediation-type work to reading therapists and tutors. Others, like us, who never really had the money for professional input, have simply done the best we can (read: researched until our brains rattled) to help their kiddos meet the distinct challenges of dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, etc.

In our case, the effort was definitely worthwhile. We recognize that our son (now a sophomore) will never be a world-class speller, but thanks to the millions of spell-checkers available, he is successfully writing well-crafted essays, reading at college-level, and impressing even his online writing teachers with his ability to express himself. That's success in my book.

So, if you are homeschooling a child with a learning difference - - even a severe one - - I want you to feel hopeful today. It CAN be done. Not just that, but your child will often far surpass your original goals for him or her. Hang in there and believe in yourself and your child....homeschooling WORKS!

01-19-2012, 02:33 PM
Thanks for the vote of confidence Topsy! Wonderful to hear about your ds!

I don't know if my dd has an actual LD. I know our ps district was heading for a diagnosis of one (they kept pointing out things that are straight out of the 'dyslexia' handbook, and pushed us to put her in remedial reading), but I remain convinced that it was a wrong-type-of-instruction issue. Dd is VERY auditory, and a really concrete learner- both of which seem pretty typical for some kids. But the translation in our ps was that she couldn't learn sight words, that 'discovery education' was a waste of time, and that ps has too many new-fangled ideas for teaching to understand my auditory, rules-based girl. (I teach in a much more old-fashioned manner, more based on the ps I went to than on current theories, and based on the fact that only one student in my elementary school class needed extra help- they obviously did something right).

I've told her story here a billion times ;) so I won't replay it again. But reading has been one small step at a time for us. In my most exhausted moments, it's hard to imagine her ever reading a novel on her own... heck I'd be happy with a decent chapter book. There are days when short vowel sounds still trip her up, even a year and a half into this. Yet she can spell like crazy, has a natural gift for playing with words in her writing, and is so determined to learn to read- and read well. You certainly can't fault her understanding of language!

(btw- the ps also thought she had a problem with her math. It turned out to be low confidence from reading bleeding into other areas of ps, and again an inability to 'create' her own rules. Once she was home and I addressed those issues, her math skyrocketed. This girl has certainly opened my eyes to a lot of things- both about ps pedagogies, and about ourselves.)

Accidental Homeschooler
01-19-2012, 02:48 PM
I am sure that my dd6 has something going on and we have an evaluation for learning/developmental disabilities scheduled for the summer. I am thinking nonverbal learning disorder/disability, but whatever it is I am really hoping that we get some answers that will lead to specific things we can do to making learning easier for her.

01-19-2012, 08:29 PM
All I can say is that in Special Education in PS, they can get away with your child not learning. At home, we just don't do that. Even if he's home figuring out how to create some mod in MineCraft, he is learning more than the crap he was learning parked in that classroom. With my guy, we know about a is processing speed LD which is a descrapancy with his verbal IQ. What that means is he's really smart but takes a long time to process the info. It requires that you go at his speed or he misses all of it and that's super frustrating. For him to finish alllllll of the work the other kids in a class would have to do would be torture because it takes FOREVER, but once he has it, he has it. He doesn't need all of those dreaded problems.

01-19-2012, 11:08 PM
I could write a book on Julia but the short version is ADD with Asperger's characteristics, possible bipolar, dyslexic/dysgraphic, and a moderate SPD. She was in PS until this year(through 3rd grade). I've chosen not to outsource anything when it comes to her education. We endured 4 years of conferences, evaluations, and IEP meetings. I would make recommendations based on what I saw and knew to be true and I might as well have been telling my dog for all the good it did me. Last year, really did me in. FWIW, I hate Everyday Math!!! Talk about a confused child. At her IEP meeting in April, I informed everyone that Julia would never return to PS. I would teach her at home. I have huge trust issues when it comes to her education and feel I'm the best one for the job. It's a job I willingly accept.

Then there's Sarah! I gave her the option of staying in PS or homeschooling with us. Naturally, she chose homeschool and I'm glad she did. Sarah may also be mildly dyslexic but she most definitely is ADHD. She also has chronic ITP. I didn't realize just how bad the ADHD was until the child chose to stay home with me all day. She's soooo smart it's scary. But, she's at grade level because her behavior gets in her way. In first grade she brought home F's in art (really???). Turns out every F was due to her turning her assignments in 2 and sometimes 3 weeks late. They were absolutely beautiful drawings but she failed due to time constraints. Completely ridiculous. I realize the importance of teaching time management but to a 1st grader with some real talent?? Talk about robbing her spirit. Anyway, the saga continues. Sarah goes for an evaluation the first week in February. Not because I can't manage her behavior but because I want to make sure I'm not missing anything. Again, I'll not outsource anything outside of art/music lessons when she's older.

Topsy,thanks so much for the extra encouragement! I know I'm doing right by my girls and our first year ,so far, has been one hell of a ride. Some days, without the support on this forum (even if I'm just reading the posts), I think I would completely feel alienated, misunderstood, and defeated.

01-20-2012, 05:14 AM
I ticked the last box; Unsure if one or more have LD's

One for sure. In fact we have two conformations on Short term memory and ASD.
We are also in the middle of him being tested for Dyslexia which in my oppinion really is a given, but trying to do the right thing by having him tested.

Since he has been home it's been a hard slog. Having to deal with the whole "learning is bad" attitude, trying to assure him he is "not dumb or stupid" and that he "CAN learn" and is actully "rather intelligent" he just learns a different way than the school was teaching him.

We have tackled the reading issue with a return to phonics which has been a huge removal from the sight word approach that he was taught in school. We have been having success all be it slowly.
I have found when it comes to reading and spelling the best approach for him is movement. AAS works well for him.
Although Maths and History have not been a problem for him as he is particularly interested in them.
His handwriting was dreadful when he first came home, but we work on that every day and truly it's 1000% what it was and now as a benifit I can read it, well all but the interesting spelling. The spelling leaves me guessing.
Some days are a huge struggle even now three years on just to sit and do lessons but we are getting there SLOWLY.

DD has ADHD and our main struggle is her ability to "sit" and "stay on the chair" and keeping her focus on each task.

01-20-2012, 01:30 PM
I would make recommendations based on what I saw and knew to be true and I might as well have been telling my dog for all the good it did me.

This is SOOOO what happened to us as well (although my dog is more responsive ;) )! I found it incredibly insulting. I had hoped parents of kids with more profound LDs would have had more understanding from the schools than we did. clearly that wasn't true for you guys.

01-20-2012, 07:32 PM
Since he has been home it's been a hard slog. Having to deal with the whole "learning is bad" attitude, trying to assure him he is "not dumb or stupid" and that he "CAN learn" and is actully "rather intelligent" he just learns a different way than the school was teaching him.

Even with a child who has never been to school, this can be a challenge. Our older son was a very "traditional" learner and my younger son always tended to compare himself to his older brother. Even without EVER hearing the d-word mentioned or intimated in any way, my LD kiddo went through periods of thinking he was defective in some way. It made me SO sad. That's a big part of the ebook...helping our kiddos understand that learning DIFFERENCE is very different from a learning DISABILITY. Right-brained and visual learners, like my son, have such incredible strengths to celebrate if parents can help them tap into them early on.