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New homeschoolers 2nd grade remedial reader

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I need to figure out how I can do this. I want to pursue a classical education for my 3 kids, 2, 4 and 7. The 7 year old can barely read, Im 99% sure she is dyslexic! How should I begin with them? I am thinking I should focus on only phonics for the 7 year old and after making it through half OPGTTR then slowly add in writing w/ease and then adding in arithmetic later and so on. Any thoughts?



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If your 7 year old may be dyslexic, then I would recommend getting an evaluation through a neuropsychologist if you possibly can.  Frequently kids with dyslexia are very bright and have some great strengths but they very often have co-morbid issues that mask those strengths and make it harder to remediate the phonological processing issues (dyslexia).  If you have solid answers for the whole picture of your child (strengths and weaknesses) you have a better chance of really helping them thrive, not just survive, and not just in the realm of academics.


Barring an evaluation, the first thing I would do is give your child the Barton student screening to determine if they are hearing the sounds correctly (linked below).  The screening is free and painless.  You will need to take the tutor screening first (also free and painless and is NOT testing your knowledge, only your ability to discriminate sounds).  Sometimes even a very articulate child with great hearing is actually not processing certain sounds correctly, which makes using any standard reading program problematic and can even make using a program targeted specifically to dyslexics problematic until they have gotten very targeted help with the sound issue.  Here is the link to the student screening page on Barton.  I highly encourage you to do the screening.  It is a free diagnostic tool that can give you a piece of your child's puzzle without a ton of effort from you.  Just make sure you are both rested, able to focus, will not be interrupted (takes about 10-15 minutes), are not rushed and can do it in a quiet place (no distracting noises).




If your student does not pass that screening, don't stress.  There is a way for you to help your child.  There are two good programs for struggles with sounds for dyslexics.  LiPS by Lindamood Bell is tried and true and has been around a while but is not that easy for a layman to implement.  Foundations in Sound is newer but is supposed to be MUCH easier for a layman with no training to implement.  You would need to use one of those programs first, before trying to implement a reading program.


Edited by OneStepAtATime
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Also, I have never used OPGTTR, but if your child is dyslexic they may need a program that breaks up the phonics into even smaller pieces and does not make huge leaps.  Dyslexics frequently need to go back to more basics than a standard phonics program as well.


Some programs that tend to work well, depending on the child, the teacher and the severity of the dyslexia, as well as any comorbid issues:

All About Reading (Orton Gillingham based but NOT specifically for dyslexics)

Barton Reading and Spelling (for dyslexics and designed for a layman with no dyslexia training to implement)


Lindamood Bell (created different programs for different needs)


I would not incorporate a separate writing program until reading was much improved.  With the Barton system, Barton covers ALL language arts through Level 4 (there are 10 levels) because dyslexics frequently do better if they are not having poor decoding/fluency skills reinforced with other language arts programs while they are trying to master the critical basic skills necessary to successfully progress in reading/spelling/writing.


Hopefully others will respond soon with more information.


Hugs and good luck.  Your child is very young.  There is ample time to help them.  Hang in there.  :)


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Like Onestep is saying, the standard in dyslexia intervention is Orton-Gillingham based instruction.  OPGTR isn't what you want.  Barton is your most open and go choice, and you'll end up using it for all your kids probably.  Do the pre-test on the Barton website and see if she passes.  If she doesn't, you'll need to do FiS first.


In the meantime, start using LOTS OF AUDIOBOOKS and ignore most of what WTM says.  It will only guilt trip you.  If bits of it inspire you, fine.  Your kids are likely to be MORE creative, need MORE time, need MORE breakdown for skills, need MORE diversion with interest-based learning...  But lots of audiobooks, can't go wrong there.  


If you get evals, they'll help you identify additional things going on (more SLDs, ADHD, EF and working memory issues, etc.), that could affect how you teach.  It will also qualify you for some of the dyslexia services like Bookshare and the NLS.  Actually, buying Barton does too for Learning Ally I think.  But really, a psych eval can be a very wise step if you can make it happen.  Also, some states have disability scholarships to help fund tutors, etc.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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It could be problems from sight words, a phonological processing problem, or a vision problem, different fixes for different problems. Here is how to try to sort it out with free and cheap resources before spending a lot of money on expensive evaluations or expensive programs you may or may not need.



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