I know that the school year technically has not started yet and maybe nobody wants to think about school right now, but with the crazy year we’ve had we are still working on finishing up. Plus, when it comes to a child with dyslexia, there is no rest for the weary…taking time off from reading in the summer is the kiss of death for a struggling reader. If we do nothing else, we have to keep up on the reading!
The good news is, Youngest has come an amazing distance in her reading this year! It is nothing short of a miracle. We started the year with her reading specialist gently cautioning me that some children just never really are able to overcome their difficulties entirely, but we are ending the year with my little trooper almost caught up to grade level! I don’t think any of us really expected the amazing progress she has made. It’s been nothing short of a healing from God! And it has also been a lot of hard, hard work on the part of Youngest, her reading tutor, and myself.
If you have a child who is dyslexic and struggling in school and you don’t yet homeschool or you are are unsure if you can handle homeschooling a child with a special learning need…..please consider doing it! I know many of us feel at our core that we may be not-quite-up to the task of homeschooling our kids in general, the added issue of a learning disability can really compound those feelings of inadequacy. Can I really handle this? Or given this special need, should I leave it up to the experts at the public schools? I can’t begin to tell you how much difference teaching them at home makes. I have never been so glad that we homeschool! Youngest knows she struggles with reading, but her self esteem has not taken a beating. On the contrary, she is proud and happy with how far she has come, she is delighted with being able to read at the level she now reads, and she has suffered very little because of the fact that dyslexia happens to be a part of who she is. It does not in any way define her, it has just made her stronger.
Homeschooling has allowed Youngest to grow at her own pace, to not be frustrated by her abilities, and to celebrate who she is. Homeschooling has also allowed us to keep her going with the things she excels at…Math, Art, History, Science…by reading instructions and books aloud to her and helping her learn without the obstacle of the reading struggle getting in her way. We have been able to focus intensely on the reading, one-on-one and with a tutor, every day, for as long as she can handle it. In a school setting, she would have had a very short appointment with a reading teacher a few times a week, she would have spent most of her time lost during much of the day in school, and she would have suffered with the label of “different” or “slow” despite the fact that she is a firecracker of a girl, so smart and so sweet and loving.
As a homeschooler, rather than having dyslexia be a problem that takes away from her value as a person (not that it ever really does, but it’s seen that way by teachers, students, and others), we have been able to see that dyslexia is a struggle that can be overcome, and can give you something special in the process. I am convinced that this is true whether your dyslexic child ever really learns to read on grade level or not…there are things you learn in the process that other people miss out on. There are ways to excel even if you don’t do so in the same way that “everyone else” does. Having to work as hard as she has to accomplish what she’s done this year has changed Youngest for the better…and it’s given both of us a profound sense of appreciation and joy for the skills she has fought so hard to learn.
Is she reading at the level of other kids her age yet? No. But I have confidence that she will be before too long. She is getting very close. And in the meantime…she’s reading! And she likes it. And she’s really proud of how hard she’s worked and how far she’s come in a year’s time.
And you know what?
I’m proud of her too!