Many people have told me the best part of homeschooling is the freedom it gives your child. When your child has a special need like dyslexia, that freedom can be the answer to your prayers.
That freedom to let your child grow and learn at their own pace is what made homeschooling a nonnegotiable for my son with dyslexia. I knew that at home we could provide what he needed. I also knew that I was going to need some help. What I didn’t think about though was his own sense of freedom when it came to school work.
Realistic Homeschool Planning
When I sit down to plan our school year each summer, my first concern is content; second is required time. Teaching multiple ages means I need to be organized and realistic in what I can provide for them. I have to consider the effort and energy it takes, not only on my part, but also for my children.
When a child has special educational needs it makes these considerations even that much more important. What looks good on paper might not be what’s best in reality. I must remind myself not only how much time, but how much energy and effort each task will require of my family.
Dyslexia and Independence
Right now every single subject is done with me sitting right there next to my children. This takes effort and time on my part. And while I am thankful that I am able to give them the custom education that they need to thrive and grow, it can be overwhelming for all of us. Being involved and hands-on is extremely important to me- but I also want to give the opportunity for independence.
Most curricula are not made with children who have dyslexia in mind. Even though an estimated 1 in 5 children are dyslexic, curricula assume by a certain age most reading will be done independently by the student.
This can prevent me from providing an opportunity for my son to practice independence and take ownership in his education. My family needed something with strong and solid content that also gave us an opportunity for independent study. Each year as my son grew older he naturally craved that independence.
When I found Claritas’ online musical memory work on the Cross Seven website I was able to fulfill that need in a way we were both comfortable with!
How Cross Seven Works for Us
The website is laid out in a dyslexic-friendly manner. Each subject is laid out with bold titles and images. The text is well-spaced and laid out in a clear pattern. While Cross Seven’s musical memory work website was not created for children with special learning needs, it is one of the best resources I have found for our homeschool days.
My son enjoys having a resource that is easy to use but is not singling him out from his siblings and peers. It has allowed my son to have ownership over his studies. Cross Seven allowed me as a parent to take a breath!
Homeschooling With Struggling Readers
When your child struggles with reading it can make e-v-e-r-y subject a struggle. Suddenly, each task is a hurdle that must be jumped before even beginning.
For example, I can’t simply hand my child an “assignment list”, because reading the list is a task in itself for him. I can’t say “please read this by yourself and let me check when you are done” because reading the instructions takes so much effort that his brain is overwhelmed before he starts the assignment.
What I can do though is sit and read, and help and guide through each step as his independent skills grow. When I need to step back I can provide a resource to continue the education without my help.
Help for Parents and Students With Special Needs
Since he can use it on his own, Cross Seven is that resource that allows me to step back.
Claritas memory work provides our family with a great educational foundation. Using Cross Seven along with Claritas gives our family homeschooling freedom – and my son the independence he needs.
Cate Nichols is a homeschool mom of two and teaches a children’s literature class for k-3 at Arrow Classical Academy. She loves to share creative and fun ways to implement a classical education at home on her Instagram account, @creativelyclassical.