Encouraging parents to understand their kids with dyslexia is something that I love to do.
I recently had the following exchange with a parent looking for hope teaching her daughter with dyslexia. The question seems like one that many people could likely relate to so I am sharing parts of it here.
I am looking for some hope or encouragement.
Today I feel like a failure, and I hurt for how hard everything is for my 7-year old daughter. Please tell me that there is hope. I have been reading your posts and I’ve ordered the All About Reading and Spelling curriculum for the coming year. I also have a special education degree (which on my good days makes me feel like I can tackle this and on my bad days only compounds my own feelings of failure).
I just would so appreciate any encouragement, wisdom, or advice you might be able to share with me.
Thank you so much for your website and Facebook page.
Did you know that we have 8 kids and that 7 of them are dyslexic? We have 3 high school graduates now and one that will graduate next year. Our 2 oldest kids had very little of the knowledge that I have now – or more like none of it!
Both of them took a year off of school during their junior year of high school (we have always homeschooled) to sail around the world. Our son is the youngest American to sail alone around the world and our daughter (who did not make it all the way around) is the youngest person ever to sail alone around Cape Horn. She even wrote a book about her journey!
I say this not so much to brag about their sailing accomplishments (although I am very proud of them) but to illustrate how they were gifted in that arena and because homeschooling them and letting them learn the way they needed to learn allowed them the freedom to pursue that gift.
Did they go to college? No.
Do their lives look anything like what I thought they would early on? No.
A lot of raising happy kids with dyslexia is learning about dyslexia and learning to appreciate that it really is a learning difference not a disability. I am the first to agree that it LOOKS like a disability when you are trying to teach them to read and spell and do math. However, they learn with the right methods, are very bright and often have unique giftings.
If you can press on each day, working at their reading, writing and math while allowing them to explore things that they are good at and interested in, they will grow into confident and happy young people full of life and the ability to do amazing things.
The fact that you caught this so early is AWESOME! Many people don’t catch it until much later. (Although it is never too late!)
The fact that you are willing and able to homeschool her is FANTASTIC!
Your education in how kids learn is a HUGE asset.
It isn’t easy teaching and parenting kids with dyslexia but it is so worth it.
Our next graduate is profoundly dyslexic. He has had years of tutoring and is a decent reader and speller. Because he has had freedom to explore his interests and lots of real life experience, he already knows what he wants to do with his life. He knows that he can get accommodations in college if he needs to go to college to achieve his goals. He has a very healthy outlook on his future for sure. This is something that is sorely lacking in his public school counterparts these days.
It is a unique path that you are on. Don’t be too concerned about what everyone else is doing. Just do what you believe is right for your child and be faithful with it.
Will you mess up? Yes. Will it be the end of the world? No way.
Just talk it though with your daughter. Help her to know herself, how she learns, what she is good at and where she needs extra help. You are on a journey together!
Hope this helps! Yes, there is hope!