Guest Post :: You Can Homeschool Your Child with Dyslexia

As we go through our investigation of some possible reading challenges with one of our sons, I’m trying to learn all that I can.  When my friend and fellow blogger Marianne Sunderland released her new e-book, I knew it was on my “must read” list.  I’m happy that she is here to share more about their Dyslexia journey.

As a parent of a school-aged child, one of the most exciting milestones in their little lives is witnessing them learn to read.  The ability to read opens up a world of amusement, learning, and joy by stimulating the imagination to think and dream about all manner of subjects. 

On the other hand, the inability to read as a young child can be one of the most alarming experiences a parent may face during their young child’s life.  Many parents of struggling readers experience everything from confusion and frustration to exasperation and fear that their child will never learn to read, write or spell well.  

The tendency for parents is to run to the schools, after all, they are the experts right?  After my experience raising and successfully homeschooling our 6 dyslexic kids over the past 17 years (and counting!) I can safely say that the school is no better equipped to help your child than a well-meaning and well-informed parent.  

Shocking, you say?  Read on…

All public schools are required by federal law to have a plan in place to “identify, locate and evaluate” children who may have a disability and need special education.  However, teachers and schools are dealing with large numbers of children with a wide variety of individual needs both physical and academic. Though their heart may be to help kids and the system is set up (legally) to support them, managing each individual with specific needs is going to be necessarily difficult as evidenced by the enormous body of laws surrounding the entire special education process.

The bottom line in all of this is that regular, credentialed schoolroom teachers have had
little to no training on learning disabilities; what the warning signs are or how they are
best treated.

Talk to any parent of a public-schooled child with a learning disability and the story is nearly always the same.  The schools are just not providing the kids of research-based, early intervention that science clearly shows is necessary for overcoming dyslexia.  

So what about homeschooling?

According to the International Dyslexia Association, “dyslexic students need direct,
systematic and individual instruction in reading and spelling and traditional schools do
not always provide adequate levels of service“.

Benefits to Homeschooling a Child With Dyslexia

Besides allowing your child the freedom to learn at their own pace and using the
methods best suited to their learning styles, there are other reasons why
homeschooling is a better environment for educating your child who learns differently.

• Allows for the necessary individualized instruction in all subject areas: reading,
spelling, composition and comprehension.

• Allows for kids to focus on areas of interest and for lessons to be planned around
those interests.

• Allows for freedom from being measured against peers, day in and day out, with no
learning difficulties.

• Allows for your child to work at their own pace using resources that
work best with their individual strengths.

• Homeschooling also necessarily avoids the rigid scheduling and standardized testing
{and the practice of teaching to the test} that is required in the public schools.

There is no one who knows, or cares for, your child like you do. The resources are out there. It can be done.

Do you have a child who is bright, yet struggles with reading?  He or she may have dyslexia.  It is estimated that 20% of the population has dyslexia.  Dyslexia is characterized by:

  • slow, inaccurate reading
  • terrible spelling
  • difficulty with penmanship
  • difficulty expressing self
  • inattentiveness, distractibility
  • dreads going to school

For more information on Dyslexia, you may be interested in my ebook Dyslexia 101:  Truths, Myths and What Really Works.   Chapters Include:

  • What is Dyslexia?
  • How to Know if You or Your Child Has Dyslexia
  • Everything You Need to Know About Testing
  • Reading Instruction That Works
  • Navigating the Public School System
  • Everything you Need to Know to Start Homeschooling Your Dyslexic Child
  • When to Hire an Educational Therapist
  • Dyslexia in High School and College
  • Encouragement for Parents
  • Tips for Teachers
  • Hope for Students

PLUS an exhaustive list of resources, including:

  • books
  • web sites
  • blogs
  • apps
  • compensatory technology
  • links to reputable national and international dyslexia organizations

Available for PDF download or via Amazon Kindle.  

Marianne Sunderland is a homeschooling mother of eight lively children ages 2 to 21, including adventurous and homeschooled sailors, Zac and Abby Sunderland, known for their world-record setting around the world sailing campaigns. Marianne is passionate about encouraging families to discover and nuture their children’s God-given gifts and talents, in and outside of the classroom.  Her varied experiences homeschooling through difficult times and with kids who learn differently has taught her much about stepping outside the box in her own homeschool. Marianne’s blog, Abundant Life, provides weekly articles on faith, family and homeschooling that will bless and encourage you:


  1. Lori_KeepingItSimple says

    As soon as I saw this come through on FB this morning, I was hoping to get to the computer and read it. (my 50 yo eyes just don’t read blogs on the phone!) I ordered a copy and am looking forward to reading it tonight. I am sure that through our own journey much of it will be familiar information, but I know I will learn something as well. I am particularly looking forward to reading about high school and college with dyslexia. Thanks!

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  3. Elian tucker says

    Children with dyslexia often face several challenges in their school life. Dyslexia is physical disorder which causes metal and speech language disabilities in a child. Although there is no such cure of this disease, but extra affection and care can improve the condition of a dyslexic. There are so many organizations which are working for these dyslexic people. Cluas provides special help and treatment for the people having dyslexia.

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