Best curriculum for dyslexic students

Abby Banks

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Nov 13, 2019
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I'm coming to the realization that I can't use the same curriculum with my dyslexic son as I've used with his siblings. So, what's your best curriculum choices to complete for high school credit, while at the same time being flexible enough to work for a dyslexic student?

Thanks in advance! :)
 

DaLynnRmc

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Nov 18, 2019
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We've used a lot of different things but have never really used all the same curriculum for all subjects. I think it really depends on how your student learns best. My 15yo dyslexic son is an auditory learner, so for us that means that he needs the auditory component but also his surroundings need to be quiet. He does best with a cycle-type approach that reviews concepts, especially when it adds in a visual component either in the original presentation or in the review cycle. We do a lot of lifeschooling and Netflix schooling. ;)

What curriculum have you used with the others?

We like the Science 101 DVD series, for starters. I'm liking A+ Tutorsoft for math up to high school and then maybe UnLock Algebra for there up; we also have college textbooks from our local school that we plan to try. We're using Lightning Literature and doing it as a group; there are 4 students including my dyslexic 15yo, his 16yo brother, their 16yo best friend, and his 16yo twin sister who is also dyslexic. It's been going pretty well! That family used Learning Language Arts Through Literature up to this point, and I really think we are going to take my boys through Writing With Ease and Fix It Grammar to catch up on their skills. We love Mystery of History with all its extras... and Grapevine Stick Figure Through the Bible for Bible and the Apologia "What We Believe" series for worldview studies. We do those together with our friends, too, so they get the auditory for it. The Apologia actually offers an auditory CD of their text.

Does any of that help? That's just what we use - after settling on something finally. Just because it worked for us doesn't mean it's for everyone, but there's some to start with. I'm very curious as to what you've used before, though. :)
 

Abby Banks

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Nov 13, 2019
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Thanks for these recommendations. My dyslexic is my 2nd child, so I'm getting used to the fact that I can't use for him what I used with his older brother!

For math, we used to be textbook-based, now with CTC Math & it's going quite well.
Realizing we need to switch from Apologia Biology to something else for second semester. Even though I bought the Apologia audio mp3 of the text, it's still not enough. It think I need something more video based.
 

Moana Mama

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Apr 3, 2020
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I homeschooled my 2e son with maths/reading/handwriting disabilities from 7th grade through hs graduation. He’s about to complete his second year of regional university on a partial academic scholarship. He’s been on the Dean’s list every semester and is working towards a BS in history. Looking back, I feel like teaching son to use academic accommodations made a significant impact on his learning. Ben Foss, the Eides, and Dr. Shaywitz all push the use of accommodations because the underlying cognitive deficits like compromised processing speed and working memory remain after successful reading remediation. I also realized that once my man child left for college/trade school/work, he was responsible for his own learning and advocacy.

I taught him to type when he was in fifth grade. He started using audio books with Learning Ally by maybe 3rd grade. We live in the country and drive quite a bit, so he has been listening to audio books for pleasure his entire life. He progressed to immersion reading with Kindle books and the Voice Dream app with Bookshare by high school. His processing speed is very slow, so he benefits from extra time to complete his work. I always trimmed busywork and reduced writing assignments. Throughout middle and high school, he used Quizlet, Notability, and Inspiration mindmapping software. We basically experimented with tech to discover what helped or didn’t. At university, he uses a smart pen, Grammarly, Evernote, Notability, text to speech, and takes Cornell Notes.

I’m not recommending these courses at all. He took Apologia Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at our homeschool cover with an engineering friend. He started using an Echo smart pen by 10th grade and has always received the extra time accommodation. High school was a tremendous amount of work, but I think it was worth the effort. We followed the WTM history notebook recommendations and added documentaries and field trips. Off the top of my head, he was listening to Homer and Orhan Pamuk in 9th grade. Lastly, if a curriculum simply wasn’t working, we ditched it.
 
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DaLynnRmc

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Nov 18, 2019
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The Science 101 series is going to be your BEST FRIEND if you like video based. It's GREAT. There's a video per chapter, and then use the guidebook. The guidebook has "assignments" that are VERY general, such as "read 3-5 juvenile books on this topic." It leaves so much open for lifeschooling, for whatever you have at home or access to at the library, etc. It assigns an expected amount of time to each thing. Some assignments are writing, but they are short, like 300-500 words. I allow my dyslexic student to sub a 3-5 minute chat OR a 3-5 minute video on the topic. Sometimes I get creative with a video assignment, like do a 3-5 minute infomercial or some nonsense, just to keep them interested. But really. THESE ARE GREAT.

We loved the Veritas Press history and Bible courses for elementary, and I really think they are good enough to use through middle school. That's true especially if you pair it with a worldview curriculum, or with even just reading through the Bible or one of the testaments (old or new) in a year, etc. These have activities instead of worksheets and my dyslexic student LOVED them and learned a ton. The timeline songs are amazing, and even years later both my middle boys can sing these songs from the 3 time periods they used this curriculum. I think for a high school student, if you added historical literature or something like the guidebook in that science program uses above, it would totally be enough for high school credit. I mean, I can't recite a medieval timeline! Can you??

Another Bible suggestion, and I think I already mentioned it, is Grapevine, Stick Figure Through the Bible. The lessons are short, SUPER visual - you draw it on the dry erase board, in color, and they copy it. Plus there are activities weekly for Bible dictionary look-up, Quest pages for older kids using resources like a concordance or a topical Bible, and a lesson review. It works on a timeline so it's fantastic to study history and Bible together. LOVE LOVE LOVE this one. I do assign my big kids to read the actual Bible, assigning chapters as we go along according to what we are studying that week.

Language Arts we still struggle with. I'm enjoying having them do the Writing With Ease. We do it at a faster pace; one week's worth of work in a day, because they are starting on Level 2. (My 9 year olds are doing Level 1, and probably should've started it sooner.) I think that I should've had them do this sooner, even in middle school, so that they could better handle Lightning Literature (which is excellent but IS a lot of reading, which we handle by finding audio books) or even things like... I did a co-op class last fall for NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month. They have a youth program, including workbooks for all three school levels on their website. My teens really enjoyed doing this!

I just want them to be able to handle college entry tests, and do whatever they are interested in doing as a career. My 15yo dyslexic son wants to be a lawyer. Heaven help me - a LAWYER!!! So this is reading and research heavy, and we are working on moving him in a direction where he could handle it. He'll probably major as undergrad in history, because he loves it. He's as much into politics and social debate as I am, and has been for a couple of years now. I introduce him to Rush Limbaugh; he introduced me to Ben Shapiro. Seriously - the kid is into this stuff and he finds YouTubers who are as well. He does have a solid conservative foundation, of which I am SUPER proud tbh. ;) But seriously. My dyslexic teen who tests at 4th grade level math and 5th grade level language arts wants to be a lawyer. He'll be FANTASTIC. He's motivated. It's up to me to figure out how to get him there. Lord, please please help me!!

Sorry, tangent there. ;)

We like CTC math, but it's not this kid's favorite. We like A+ Tutorsoft, and we are looking at Teaching Textbooks. But it sounds like you have Math under control. UnLock Algebra is another video program to put on your brain's list in case you need a change at some point.

What other subjects do you need?
 
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