How Homeschooled Dyslexics Compare to Public Schooled Dyslexics in Therapy
One of the hardest things to do when teaching dyslexics is to build their self esteem. Why is that? Is it because they have experienced so much failure that they don’t care anymore? No! Are they incapable of learning? No! What is it? Do you agree with the lesson “you get out of it what you put into it”. Well sure you do…dyslexic students and regular students for that matter have not internalized this valuable lesson.
Students see school as something they have to do. Something they are being forced to do. Therefore learning cannot be joyful. It does not matter how much planning and excitement you put into a lesson. If a student is not open to learning you will never reach them. Students become helpless. Unable to trust that they can learn, they just haven’t discovered what works for them.
Desire to Learn
Believe it or not there is a huge difference between homeschooled kids and public school kids when it comes to learning or should I say their desire to learn. Home schooled students that come to me enjoy being in class. They practice outside of class. They never complain and get excited when they do well. My public school kids come into class with a scowl on their face, they complain during class, they have an attitude, sometimes you can tell they have been crying, and they always want to know how much time is left.
Now the key to understanding what I am saying comes from whether these behaviors were noticed from the first day of class. In the beginning, my home school students were very much like my public school students…they were scared, afraid to try, and doubtful of their abilities. As time went on and the students became more confident, all their attitudes began changing.
The home school students became confident and eager to learn more. One home schooled student in particular was placed with a public school student for class and he has decided he really does not like the public school students lethargic attitude about the class. He wants to learn as much as he can while he’s in class, while the other student struggles with attentiveness. How do I know this? He has begun complaining with groans and sighs.
The public school student also groans and complains, but for very different reasons. They do not want to be there. They come to class with defiant behaviors or will try anything to get you off topic. That’s the master mind of my older students…to deflect.
You could chalk it up to bad behavior, home training, or anything other thing you want to blame, but I have my own theories as to why I experience these behaviors on a daily basis.
Recently, I decided to take my public school dyslexic third grader out of the public school system and homeschool her. I began giving her therapy after school when she was in the first grade. In the beginning she loved it. Towards the later part of that year she was more confident and was reading on grade level. I gave her therapy throughout the summer and she started second grade reading on a third grade level. This was a huge boost to her self esteem. Of course, she believed she didn’t need therapy anymore and the attitude took over. She complained about having class and would sometimes be very uncooperative. Second grade was a struggle to keep her in therapy, but I consistently made her go even with the attitude. Suddenly her grades began to fall, her personality changed, and I got one sassy little girl. It turns out she was being bullied and was bored with what she was learning at school. She would complain that they never do anything fun. At the end of second grade, she asked me if I would home school her if third grade was more of the same. I told her let’s give it 30 days and see what happens. Within two days of school starting she already said class was boring, we only got five minutes of recess, her teacher was mean, and the kids who had bullied her the previous year were in her class again.. She begged me to take her out, so after only two days I took her out of the public school system. Being an ex-public school teacher, I had my own qualms with Common Core and other instructional methods of the public school system and felt that what was best for my child was to homeschool her.
Deciding to Homeschool
We have been homeschooling now for about a month. All I can say is wow! The last month has been a huge eye opener for me and I started taking notice of all the things I have discussed so far. I began to analyze what I had been experiencing all along.
My daughter appears happier now that she does not attend public school; even her Grandparents have taken notice in her change. She never complains about therapy anymore and actually likes deck review to be her daily motivator to get the day going. She has therapy, math, and bible daily. We typically do two days in a row of science and then two days of social studies. Friday is our field trip/make up day. I think I will stick with one thematic unit at a time. Finish it and start a new one in the future. I believe we can go deeper in less time teaching in this matter.
I believe the biggest factors in her change of attitude is that she got to choose what she wanted to learn in Science and Social Studies. Plus with our field trips we always do some type of assignment that makes her think about what she’s learning. Inquiry based learning has a lot to do with motivation. She is currently writing a narrative about when we went skating and she learned to skate. She has not complained once and she has written a lot of words. This is a task that is usually excruciating for her…more so when she has to copy things because she doesn’t spell well and has to look at every letter in order to transfer the material. Another reason for the change in attitude would be lack of competition, student attitude transference, and hours spent at school.
Public School Dyslexic Kids
Public school dyslexic kids are exhausted by time they get to me. They are mentally frustrated from not being taught how they learn, most do not have recess, music or art. How are they supposed feel success if the academic subject areas are not their strong points? How are they suppose to learn how to communicate effectively if they do not have recess? They are told to be quiet, they do not choose what they want to learn, and they are forced to be there because they need to learn. Attitude will ensue because they are frustrated and made to feel they have no say in their education.
Not everyone is capable of homeschooling their children. Many are frustrated because they see this attitude in their child. They know they are frustrated, but don’t know what to do about it. I wish I had the magic answer, but I pray that by reading this you realize you are not alone. You must do what you feel in your heart is the best thing for your child.