This guest post is part of our 30 Days of Homeschool: The Good, The Bad & The In-Between Blog Series
Are you Homeschooling a child with Dyslexia? You will want to learn the secret challenges of homeschooling your child with dyslexia that no one ever talks about.
Bullying Goes Hand In Hand When You Have a Child With Dyslexia
As parents we all know our children will grow up and go to school, just like we did as children. Most of us never dream that we will become our child’s teacher for one reason or another. We aren’t prepared to homeschool and like me, you may not think you can do it. The day may come a day when you have no choice but to Homeschool your child for one reason or another. As a parent you take on this challenge or journey with fear and trepidation that you will stumble and fall and you might even fail. The stakes seem higher, especially if your child has special needs like Charlie who has Dyslexia and is also diagnosed with ADD not ADHD. To top it off, bullying Goes hand in hand when a child has Special Needs like Dyslexia.
Our Decision to Homeschool
For my family, there were several factors that went into the decision to omeschooli our son. The main reason was Charlie was was being bullied in school and he ended up getting hurt. Once the teacher brushed it off and didn’t call us and we ended up in the ER with a child who later began to have nightmares and was afraid for us to be out of his sight. I knew it was time to do something. My husband then went and pulled my son out of school.
Before you ask if he did this without me, he didn’t: we had discussed it but I didn’t think it would happen that soon. Although I am glad he did, because once our son was home with us he was able to sleep through the night and he began to laugh again. I could see my son as a child again who didn’t cower at everything. The next step was telling our family and yes, we received a lot of negativity and questions about socialization.
As a family we answered them as well as we could and moved forward into schooling Charlie. Now, I didn’t have any formal training, and I didn’t know what curriculum to use, so I just searched on Google for classes for Charlie to take. Then we picked up workbooks at the store and begin our journey. For a while it worked and I thought, wow this is easy why didn’t I do this sooner? Then Charlie just quit doing his work and he wouldn’t talk to us.
Finding Resources That Will Work For You
Charlie’s change in behavior caused me to feel like a failure, not only as a parent, but also as a teacher to my child. We started to question whether or not we should put Charlie back into school. We had tried twice and both times he was bullied, so the answer was always, no. I sat at the computer and thought, I am the worst parent ever. I didn’t know what to do, so I searched Facebook for Homeschool moms and found groups I could join. I begin to ask questions and they all let me know I wasn’t a failure. They had the same problems with their children at times. We weren’t alone.
They taught me how to find things Charlie was interested in and encouraged me to teach those things. If he struggles with something, find a new way to teach it, they said. Use audio books, videos and movies. They encouraged me to play board games with Charlie, as long as he was learning. I finally sat down and I looked through all the workbooks I had and as I did I knew if I had to use them everyday that I would also have become bored and not wanted to do school either!
Working at Your Child’s Pace
Charlie and I sat down and we talked and I was able to get to know my son better. Through Charlie’s love of sports and wrestling, we have been able to get more done.. We also take lots of field trips. Charlie goes grocery shopping with me and he helps me cook dinner. As we do these things Charlie is learning and he isn’t bored. On a day he doesn’t want to do work we may take the day off and just veg out on the couch.
Now, I know that no school day is going to be perfect and there is no, right or wrong way. What I can say is Charlie is happier and so am I. I know I am not a perfect teacher, and I struggle each and every day. Charlie may not be learning everything he would learn in a regular school. But we are learning as a family, and we are spending a lot more time together and we go over things at Charlies pace.
He doesn’t feel stressed all the time and I haven’t had to put him on medicine for ADD like the school wanted. Charlie has been able to help his dad and other children learn to read. We volunteer with older people in nursing homes and Charlie is building life skills. When Charlie struggles with things we can go slower and he doesn’t feel pushed. If he hates something we set it aside and go back to it later.
Honesty & What Matters
Now, I am going to be honest with you and say homeschooling isn’t for everyone and there are days when I just want to throw in the towel and send Charlie back to school. Then we will do something or we watch the news and there is another school shooting and I take a step back thanking God that I am able to teach my son at home. I grab a movie or the soccer equipment and we head outside for a bit.
I take some deep breaths and I list the pros and cons of public school versus homeschool and it always comes back to homeschooling. It is the only way for us to go at this time. Even thought it may not be the right answer for my husband and I, and might be difficult and inconvenient, it is right for Charlie and as a parent, that is all that matters. So I just stumble along and pray I am not harming my son as I work to teach Charlie the things he needs to learn.
Glenda Cates is a mom, wife and so much more.She blogs through the eyes of a family who struggles and laughs a lot as they learn to homeschool their 5th grade son. Visit them at http://www.TheMommiesReviews.com