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450 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Lillian J
I wanted to post an update. I haven't been around the boards in a while. I started homeschooling our daughter mid January. Deschooled a bit. I bought a curriculum but use it very loosely.

My main concern thus far pertains to why we pulled her out. I'm fairly confident to say that dd is dyslexic. She'll be nine in May. What we thought would clear up, isn't. Learning in the traditional way is extremely frustrating for her. I have just started her in counseling to help her sort her feelings, she is still quite fractured from her public school experience. Even though she liked school in general, the academics (mainly math and reading) really did her in.

I'm using some of the sensory techniques I learned from her (Orton Gillingham) tutor. Writing her spelling words in sand or shaving cream. Math is a struggle because she reverses the numbers. She puts words in her reading that are not there ('a' and 'the' mostly), she loses her place alot. We have found that large print seems to be better. In spelling there is weak phonemic awareness. For instance, she will spell without any vowels, or forget the end letters like T or D.

So far things are going okay. It certainly is challanging though. I think homeschooling would be challanging anyway though, but it's rewarding as well. Dd loves to homeschool and has told me 'there is no school in the WORLD that is right for me!'

I hope I can stick with it, somedays are really tough.
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Maybe you need to deschool a bit more? She's only 8. Schooling convinced her that math and reading are "hard". Maybe she needs to discover on her own timetable or in her own way that they are not.

Maybe she needs time concentrating on her strengths, or discovering exactly what they are.

Do you think you guys deschooled enough? I've heard, as a general rule, one month for every year in school.

Despite the challenges, I'm sure you and she can figure it out. How wonderful for her that she loves homeschooling.
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No, we have not deschooled enough IMO, but my dh is pressuring me to get her to work more, he thinks because she was so behind in ps that she NEEDS to not deschool, but try harder and work more.

Needless to say, all of this 'stuff' this school and now HS stuff has caused us to fight more. Things are really not very good here

He doesn't understand even though I've read all the HS books (for years) and about deschooling, and how she IS learning stuff just by playing and doing things with me (cooking, etc)

But he thinks sit down book work is what is going to get it done.

But, that's another thread!!
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It sounds like you have a great understanding of your daughter's needs and good ideas for different approaches that fit her style. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job. Your daughter is happy to be home with you, and very lucky.

I'd say, that instead of calling it "deschooling" you could switch to "child-led learning," a great buzz word that educators use, and do the same things you've been doing! You could fit any activity into a school subject category (nature walk truly is science; cooking is science, reading, math; read aloud time is any subject, plus modeling reading; games are math, social skills; etc.). Maybe that would give your dh peace of mind and still give your dd what she needs right now.

I've been hs for nearly 2 years, after a traumatic school experience for my ds, and it has taken time to start learning. It doesn't happen overnight, but it does happen when the child is feeling better emotionally.

I've had many discouraging days. It can be very overwhelming when your child learns differently and may have learning "disabilities," like my children do. But, it has been sooooooo good for the entire family. And the children have really learned and grown--it took a lot of time, though. Just know that you do have lots of time, and that bit by bit all of the things that you and your dd do will add up. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen. Hang in there!

Hilary PS On a practical note, I've gotten some good specific ideas from and to help my kids. Good luck, and know that you have lots of support here!
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Thanks for your kind note

I think Dh will come around. I've told him over and over, you cannot force a child to learn. Gee, if that were true, wouldn't she have done better in school where things were more structured and expected?

She does have some real difficulties, but I think keeping things low keyed are the best, like you said. YES...I am showing her how to cook, measure and she is getting better at counting money and telling time too.

We live on a lake and are surrounded by woods and nature here, we're very fortunate that we're close to all of these things right in our backyard. Even my dh will go for hikes and showed us what a deer rub was, how they rub their antlers on the low trees.

I'm trying to relax, so she will too
I need to spend time deschooling because schools can make you feel worried when your child isn't up to 'par' for THEIR course. We're on our own course now!
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Originally Posted by HilMama
I'd say, that instead of calling it "deschooling" you could switch to "child-led learning," a great buzz word that educators use, and do the same things you've been doing!
Unfortunately, that term is also a problem for some people - "The very idea that a child would know what she has to learn! Hmph!"

Kelli, you might take a look at these two articles, one on dyslexia as seen by Ron Davis, who is himself dyslexic, and one on visions skills. They're based on experiences our family had:

Dyslexia - A Gift?

Taking a Look at Vision Skills

And I agree that she might very well not be quite ready for reading yet, even though she does have some specific problems. I know a young woman who's a star student at Amherst College right now, but was not able to read till she was nine. The eldest of the well known Colfax boys who got scholarships to Harvard after homeschooling on their goat farm/homestead (as described in Homeschooling for Excellence and Hard Times in Paradise by David and Micki Colfax) graduated from Harvard's medical school on the Dean's List, and he hadn't been able to read till he was nine. But remember that "nine" can mean anywhere from exactly 9 to almost 10, so it's hard to know what that means.

Best wishes to you all. I think your husband could use some good reading on these things. i understand and appreciate his concerns, but those anxieties, as you know, are not going to help.
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