As I mentioned in my last post, reading is my favorite subject to teach. As a reading tutor, I have worked with a few children who have dyslexia. The reading program that I use was specifically designed for children who are diagnosed with learning difficulties or dyslexia. A few years ago our daughter, who has Down syndrome, was struggling with her reading. In my search for a reading program for her, I came across Phono-Graphix. Using this reading program I was able to teach her that letters are pictures of sounds. So rather than teach her the names of letters and then the sounds, she learned the sounds of individual letters. Children learn to speak before they learn to read, so they know sounds already. We then moved on to teaching her to recognize that some sound pictures can be made up of more than one letter. For example, oe, oa, ough, o, and ow all are sound pictures which we read with the 'o' sound when we see them in a word. There are a few other concepts, but we were able to move quickly through this program and within months her reading had improved dramatically. Giving her spelling lists by grade and creating our own lists for her to study vocabulary helps reinforce these concepts of the different sound pictures in words and also helps to increase her reading comprehension.
To homeschool dyslexia or a child with learning difficulties can be a challenge for parent as well as the child. Which is why I was so excited when I found this reading program, and when I discovered Time4Learning. It's not easy to find curriculum that makes learning fun for my daughter. When learning can be a challenge, finding programs and curriculum that motivates her is always exciting. There are so many different curricula available to homeschoolers, but not many that are created with our children in mind who have special educational needs. So when I come across something that works, I want to share it with the world...especially the world of families with special needs!!