Helping Dyslexics Help Themselves
We have six children, and as of this writing we just completed our 13th year of homeschooling, which recently culminated in the graduation of our oldest son. When one of our younger sons was diagnosed with dyslexia, I began researching learning methods which would allow him to work independently while still getting core content at or above grade level.
I have long realized the benefits children gain by listening to books read aloud. They are quite capable of understanding books which they are not yet able to read independently. Whether nestled together on the couch while a parent reads or listening to an exciting book on tape, children enjoy being read to.
We have always made use of audio books and read-aloud time in our homeschool. But with my son’s diagnosis I realized that audio books were no longer a luxury for us, but a necessity. As he grew older, his books got longer and more challenging. I didn’t have time to read to him for several hours a day, yet it took him way too long to read his own grade-level work.
Dyslexic children are often compelled to work below grade-level in core content areas such as history and science, simply because they are unable to read a grade-level text independently. Yet most dyslexics are quite capable of working above grade level if the visual reading component is removed.
My son is no exception. When tested he was one grade level behind in reading, but 7 grade levels ahead in his comprehension. Should he have to work out of simplified texts when he is capable of so much more? I wanted to find a way for him to study in a language-rich environment, yet to also give him the independence and ownership over his education that should naturally come with age.
A learning disability can keep an intelligent child from working up to his or her potential unless the child can learn ways to self-accommodate. It is both frustrating and boring for these children to be forced to learn only what they, themselves, can read independently. Equally aggravating is waiting around for a parent or teacher to help them when they simply want to get on with the task at hand.
Excellent audio content in a child-friendly format allows a child with print disabilities to take control over his own educational destiny. All of a sudden, the child is on an even playing field with his peers, and he can access the same challenging content present in a language-rich education.
My Audio School is great for all children, but it was designed with the dyslexic child in mind. Each book is broken down chapter by chapter, allowing children to complete individual assignments all on their own. In creating My Audio School, I wanted to provide a safe and attractive site where my own dyslexic child can “read” the material he needs to learn for school.
My Audio School has given him a sense of empowerment, as he can now take responsibility for completing grade-level reading assignments independently for the first time ever. He can listen to individual chapters to complete a given day’s assignment, or books can be burned to CD or downloaded to Mp3 for learning on-the-go.