Kim shares why she chose homeschooling for her children with dyslexia and learning differences.
Part of our series: 10 Great Reasons to Homeschool
This parenting gig is hard. This homeschool parenting gig is not playing around either. We came to homeschool because we had exhausted our other options.
I loved school. I’m a teacher, my M-I-L is a teacher. Our oldest went all the way through public school. I still believe in public education, but it isn’t a good fit for everyone.
Why homeschooling became an option.
When my older son was about 3 I started to see he wasn’t going to fit the mold of public school. I had lots of people tell me it wasn’t true and I was over-reacting, but I knew something was wrong.
What was wrong? He has moderate to severe dyslexia and executive functioning issues.
For those kids with the invisible learning disabilities, the sentence parents here over and over is “he is smart, but…”. That is what we kept hearing.
After years of speech and preschool, the foundational pieces of colors, numbers, letters, and sight words were NOT solidifying by the time he was getting ready for Kindergarten I had seen little to no improvement in the last two years. So we homeschooled him.
He was an amazing puzzle solver and builder. He naturally progressed into enjoying lots of hands-on learning, especially science. After that year, we decided to give public school a try.
We had a great first-grade experience, but in second grade it became apparent that the school wasn’t going to provide the additional support he needed. Kids with dyslexia often fall through the crack in public school. So we returned to homeschooling.
Try Try Again.
In the meantime, he wasn’t our only child. Our younger son was getting bigger and also showing significant issues with modulating emotions and understanding language. He was enrolled in the local special ed program for preschoolers and did VERY well. So when it was time for him to go to the Kindergarten class I was about 75% confident.
He had a good Kindergarten experience but was pushed out of special services at the end of the year. In first grade, I felt like he was falling through the cracks as well. We pulled him to start homeschooling in second grade.
Homeschooling isn’t the easy choice.
Homeschooling has special challenges and sometimes these feel multiplied by learning differences. It can feel like walking a tightrope to figure out whether this is a time to push or back off. I don’t always make the right choice.
After years of struggle, my kids are doing things that they may have never done in public school. My right brain thinkers are building cities and creating video for school projects that are beyond impressive. They are learning to express themselves and communicate what they have learned and what they are interested in learning in the future.
The key for us.
The key for us is lots of hands-on learning and discussion. We listen to audiobooks and talk about them. We look up interesting facts about history and play games and eat meals focused on the time period.
Science is where the kids really shine. A few years ago, I changed my mindset about how to execute science lessons. I was taught to use the hands-on component as the end to look forward to (and sometimes hold over their heads). When we started doing hands-on science from day 1 of a unit, I saw my kids blossom.
We incorporate movement into our lessons and if we can’t be hands-on with our topic (like the African Savanna) we have interactive lessons (like games and mock conferences) where they spend time digging deep into the material and making sense of it for themselves. With these simple changes, they have become more confident and are always looking forward to our science lessons.
My kids don’t always love doing schoolwork, but they love moments. They are growing and improving. The best part is that light that was starting to dim when we left public school is now visible in their eyes again.
Homeschooling isn’t the easy choice, but it’s the right choice for us.
About the Author:
Kim believes you can be the creative, enthusiastic, hands-on science teacher you wish you had and still be incredibly effective! You can check out more at The Learning Hypothesis.
Read more from the Series: I homeschool because…
- 10 Reasons to Homeschool; What’s Yours?
- Pros and Cons of Homeschool – Finding What’s Best for Your Family by Ashley
- My Children have Dyslexia and Learning Differences by Kim
- I Don’t Agree with Common Core or Standardized Testing by Katrina
- We Wanted More Time as a Family by Kirstee
- My Children are Twice Exceptional by Ginny
- Unrealistic Expectations Caused Stress and Anxiety in my child by Heather
- I Want a Simplified Life – Minimalist Homeschool by June
- My Public School Experience Sucked by Erin
- I Want an Individualized Education for my Kids by Amber (June 29)