Teaching your child to read is a huge milestone, but kids with dyslexia struggle, leading to frustration. When kids struggle to read, they drag their feet and hate the lessons. We want to raise kids who love to read not dread it!
If your child is struggling to read, his teacher may notice the signs of dyslexia. If you homeschool as we do, you will notice reading doesn't come quite as easy. Speak to your pediatrician. Getting an evaluation is easy and best done earlier!
Here are some tips to help teach your dyslexic child to read.
1. Understand How Dyslexic Child Learn
Traditional methods won't work for your child. Instead, the approach must be individualized. What works for one child may not work for another. Reading instruction should include all the senses - seeing, hearing, feeling, and motion.
Everything is explained to the child, such as why they need to learn it. Don't assume your child will understand why it's a necessity. Tasks should move from simple to complex after mastery. Your child should not have words he can't sound out because he doesn't know the rules yet.
2. Repetition is Key
Your child needs to repeat everything several times to help his short-term memory. Try to have your child write the letters down as well. Writing in salt is always fun!
Always remember to connect new skills to previously learned ones. Refresh his memory first before starting a new skill. Dyslexic children learn better if they can associate it what they already know.
3. Reinforce, Reinforce
Don't be afraid to reinforce concepts. Actually, reinforcement is one of the keys to learning how to read. Go over the sounds of each letter each day, even if they "have" it. Continuing to use that skill will help them not forget the sounds, and it helps their confidence level!
Remember that dyslexic kids often feel "stupid" compared to their peers. Use these reinforcement times to help boost their confidence. "Buddy, you know so many of your letter sounds!." "You sounded out those words so quickly. I'm proud of you."
Soak in that positiveness to help his confidence and self-esteem!
4. Try Some Memory Aids
Memory aids are great tools for hard sounds or words that your child is struggling to understand. He can pretend to bite an apple for the short A sound. Come up with rhymes or motions that your child can use to jog his memory.
Try an alphabet song that uses all of the letter sounds.
5. Make a Word Wall
Here is another way to build his self-esteem. When your child masters a word, he gets to add it to his word wall. Then, he can use this wall for spelling practice and assignments. Your child can write directly on the wall or tape index cards to it.