It has been over a year since my son shared his story of dyslexia on this blog. (See that story here.)
Corban is now another year older, and the improvement in his reading ability is amazing! While he is still below grade level in reading, he has improved a great deal and he now tries to read everything in sight! He especially enjoys standing behind me when I am on the computer in an attempt to read over my shoulder. I don’t know how many times over this past year that I have had to say, “Corban, STOP reading over my shoulder!!!!” – which always ends with him laughing.
I thought it would be fun to post an update on Corban, along with 5 tips for parents and a video of the two of us reading the book we wrote together about his dyslexia. Our hope is that this will encourage other kids who have dyslexia (and their parents). Remember, as Corban says, “You can do anything with God”.
Don’t ever give up!!!!
Hi, this is Corban. Last year I couldn’t read basically at all, and now I can read cause God helped me and I just kept trying, even when I wanted to quit.
I have dyslexia. It can make things hard, and it can make other things easy. It can make reading hard and some people it can make math hard, but for me it makes math easier.
I’ve learned how to read with colors around my words, starting with very easy things and getting harder and harder.
My biggest challenge with dyslexia is reading. I still memorize words and guess. But today I read four verses in church during my Sunday School class with only a little help. I would not have been able to do that last year.
I want to encourage kids who have dyslexia to keep trying. Remember that you can do anything with God!
I want to encourage parents not to worry if their kid has dyslexia because that will just make you worry even more and get upset faster.
Next, here are a few words of encouragement for parents (and, as a bonus, they all happen to start with the letter “R”):
1. Remember what is truly important. Yes, we all want our kids to read, but really, is that the most important thing in life? What is your ultimate goal for your child? My ultimate goal for my child is that he has a relationship with Jesus Christ. I want him to know and understand the love that God has for him and to understand who he is in Christ. I never want learning to read to become more important than learning to love Jesus.
2. Relax. This is important for all of us, not just those of us who have kids with a learning disability. We need to RELAX and enjoy life with our child. These days can seem long, but they will be gone before we know it. I don’t want Corban’s memory of his childhood to consist of an uptight mom trying to force him to learn to read.
3. Research Curriculum and find one specifically for children with dyslexia. As I mentioned earlier, there has been a huge improvement in my son’s reading ability since last year, and I credit most of that to the reading curriculum I use — All About Reading. We spend as much time as needed on each lesson and he is currently on Level 3.
In case you are interested, the rest of our curriculum is as follows:
We use Saxon for math and are currently in Math 5/4. I have noticed with math that Corban learns much differently than I do. He hates writing problems down on paper, and his ability to figure answers out in his head amazes me. He also utilizes very unique logic when figuring out problems – I tell him he has that ability because of his dyslexic brain!
For Science and History, we use Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool. He does these classes along with his older brothers, so there is always someone to help him with the reading. Many of the assignments include videos and online games that he really enjoys as well.
This year for Bible, we will be using the Book of James:A Hands-on Homeschool Curriculum. This is a 35 week curriculum that I wrote which is very hands-on and includes the challenge of memorizing the entire book of James by the end of the year. Corban has always been great at memorizing, so I am looking forward to seeing if he will be able to accomplish this. There are a lot of memory games included to help with this as well. In addition, the curriculum contains several ideas for kids who struggle with reading.
4. Resist the Urge to Compare. You will always find children who read better than your child. You will also always find children who read worse than your child (even if that seems really hard to believe). STOP COMPARING!!!! Love your child right where he is . . . and then help him to move beyond that . . . all without comparing. Comparing only hurts your child and frustrates you!
5. Re-focus your child to his strengths. It is so easy to focus enormous amounts of time and energy on the reading difficulties, but don’t forget that dyslexics have amazing strengths that are just waiting to be cultivated! Find your child’s strengths and then get him involved in activities where he can shine.
And now it is time for Corban to shine. Here is the video of Corban and me reading the book we wrote together, The Boy Who Couldn’t Read (2014 by Ministry Mom).
To buy your own copy of this book, click here
And to those of you raising children with dyslexia, may God bless you and encourage you today . . . you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength!