When Your Kids Need Help With Reading

We’ve been homeschooling for a few years now. Going from just getting our feet wet…

to full-blown, jumping in and getting dirty with the learning at home. It’s been so much fun with all the freedom and snuggles, science and math exploration, but the subject I love the most, reading, was not coming along as easily, and I needed some ways to help my children reach their full potential.

With a background in Special Education, I know that all kids learn differently and at a different pace (not that you need a teaching degree to homeschool), so I relaxed our timeline of learning to read and focused on keeping the love of reading alive in our children. I read aloud from a chapter book everyday at bedtime to make sure to immerse them in great literature that is above grade level. We have subscriptions for magazines they are interested in, books on bookshelves and in baskets all over the house, and I’ve even utilized Minecraft’s chat feature to sneak in some reading and writing practice with my kids.

We practice sight words with flash cards and an app on their Kindle Fires. The flash cards are great to shuffle out and try to make sentences. I also love using Dr. Seuss and similar style books for making sight words fun and engaging, and encouraging our kids to read out loud with me to gain confidence in reading. It’s not always easy though and we’ve had many times a child will give up when stumbling over words becomes too much. Again I back off and try again at a later time.

I love having the kids do a bit of copywork everyday if we can, and actually found that cursive writing helped a lot to keep my frustrated writer happy and able to finish a sentence or two without giving up. The kids each have a Funschooling Journal from The Thinking Tree (based on Minecraft of course!) and baskets of books for all of our school subjects. The kids pick a page that interests them, and research the information needed based on what they see when we play outside, find in a book, or on Google Earth. I also sit down with my Mom’s Funschooling Journal and use some time to relax and color or plan my day. So, since we love the Funschool journals so much, it was easy for me to select the Dyslexia Games books when I began to notice that letter reversals and other signs of dyslexia seemed to be persistent in our schoolwork.

The books are beautiful and engaging. The pages of Art First are filled with cute drawings to duplicate and patterns to repeat. We’ve paused all other writing activities and I only ask for one page to be completed when we sit down, but usually there are two to three pages done by the time we are getting up for break. I love seeing the joy on my child’s face from being proud of each drawing. Just yesterday, I was told that, “I like my drawing better than the one I had to copy.” This melted my heart!

From seeing our child struggle and want to give up, to being excited about learning to read has been such a joy for all of us! I plan to use these books with all of my children to give them the best opportunity to learn to read and overcome any obstacles that may be in their way!

We are only a week into Dyslexia Games workbooks, but when the difference is that big, you know you have found something special! We are jumping all in and are excited to finish our school year with kids who are happy about learning to read!

Have a great day and a happy school year!

Jessica

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