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Targeting weak writing skills, dyslexia.

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Back story: We homeschooled from the start until this school year. My younger children are easily earning A's. Phew!  However, my oldest is my dyslexic, and he is struggling. Spelling has always been his biggest hurdle, and his writing at school is suffering because of that. He is undergoing a series of tests through the school to get an IEP in place.

 

Meanwhile...

 

If we were homeschooling, I would have him doing daily studied dictations, lots of copywork, plenty of oral narration, and daily written narrations (I don't care if it is spelled wrong. Write the words you are thinking.) 

 

He is not on board with a full LA schedule after a long day at school. He is 14yo, so if he isn't on board with this, it will not work even if I find a way to *make* him sit at the table.

 

I am helping him by scribing some of his schoolwork, with the teachers' cooperation. I am seeing his oral composition skills backslide through the course of the year. (I would have him do DAILY oral work.)

 

 

I suppose I am looking for advice on talking to a 14yo who needs afterschool tutoring from Mom, and tips on streamlining the work to fit into 30min per day.

 

 

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Maybe introduce him to speech to text software and typing so that he can take ownership and complete his own work.  It would be nice if his IEP and 504 allowed for an iPad with keyboard for in class assignments.  Most phones and devices come with a speech to text feature.  With a program like Evernote, he could sync his devices and work across platforms if need be.  By 14 yo, my dyslexic was done with spelling.  We moved over to typing and using a word processor.  

 

Maybe look at the Echo SmartPen for in-class notes and mind mapping software such as Inspiration.  My DS started to be resistant to tech by about 8th grade, so I learned the software first and then introduced it to him.  My DS has to see the value in the accommodations or he won't use them.  While sitting in a classroom and life really, he will need to learn to self-advocate.  Not sure I really answered your questions.  My DS came home in the 7th grade and now attends classes outside the home 2-3 days per week.

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I don't have advice on the writing, but would it help to replace his out-of-school reading requirements with audiobooks?  My kids and I listen in the car while we're going from one activity to another.  It means my slower reader can meet her independent reading goals without using any "homework" time to do it.  That frees us up to do other work when we are at home.  Aside from saving time, of course it has many benefits relating to LA.

 

I think you may be able to get some textbooks in audio format also.  I would look into it.  He could listen while doing physical chores, exercise, drawing, or any other mundane activity he'd be doing anyway.

 

If he can type his writing assignments, spell check might help.  You could work on spelling more intensively on weekends / in the summer.

 

Is there any online writing tutoring program?  I have found that my kids work better for the online teachers than for me these days.  :)

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Back story: We homeschooled from the start until this school year. My younger children are easily earning A's. Phew!  However, my oldest is my dyslexic, and he is struggling. Spelling has always been his biggest hurdle, and his writing at school is suffering because of that. He is undergoing a series of tests through the school to get an IEP in place.

 

I suppose I am looking for advice on talking to a 14yo who needs afterschool tutoring from Mom, and tips on streamlining the work to fit into 30min per day.

Since he's aware of the problem, does he want to bring his grades up?

 

As annoying as it is for their parents, many 14yos don't care about schoolwork. They're okay getting low but passing grades. If he's content with his (barely passing) grades, then it'd be a lot harder to have a productive talk with him.

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