Monday, September 22, 2008

Personalized Therapy - Another Reason to Love Homeschooling

Last week I became aware that my daughter has learning disabilities. I had thought so in the past, but as we do our first grade curriculum, it is becoming increasingly evident.
So...I shortened our learning time last week and we made a trip to the local library. I have poured over half a dozen books this weekend about learning disabilities and dyslexia. I have searched many sites and come up with some things to try with my child. The best thing is, since I am her teacher/mother, she won't fall through the cracks. I will know how she's progressing every day. If something works, woo-hoo! If something doesn't work, try something else!
Last week I started freaking out! We are using a very easy curriculum. We have been doing first grade for going on three weeks, but we are still in the first week of the curriculum. Then I prayed about it and put it into perspective. If she were in public school, she would be pushed with the curriculum. It would be frustrating to her and detrimental to her self-esteem. I can make sure she totally gets every concept before going on. I guess what I'm saying is...don't forget that homeschooling is about learning, not getting through the curriculum.
I came across a struggling learner section at HSLDA. This was very useful in assessing what specific learning disability she has. It gave tests that you can do at home and helpful ideas. It also gave links to Dianne Craft's site. On her site I found that many learning disabilities can be helped by supplementation of essential fatty acids in the diet. We are currently trying this idea.
Does anyone else have any ideas or encouragement for struggling learners? If so, please share.


Stacy said...

There is a great spelling program, designed just for dyslexics. I actually used it for my dd, who is not dyslexic, simply because I was impressed with the program. It is called Sequential Spelling. If you keyword that in a google search, it will pop right up for you. The program should really help to build your dd's self-esteem because she will start out spelling little words like "all" and quickly end up spelling words like "installment," without even having to study for it.

I do know of a hs board that has a special forum for special needs. If you are interested, please send me an email.

Jennifer said...

I don't have a lot of advice for you. I have come to accept that not all kids can be advanced. Not all kids can be normal either. So my ds is behind in some areas, he is still progressing and I think doing better all the time. Everyone can't be great at everything. Math is not his strong suit and probably never will be. That is OK. You working with your dd is the best thing for her. I am sure you will figure out what works and she will still make tons of progress. Good luck!