I am homeschooling my eight year old son who has dyslexia and adhd. Seems like all I ever do is worry about how to help him get ahead.
I would love to make schooling him more enjoyable for the both of us, but learning is very difficult for him since he stuggles with the dyslexia.
Do you have any suggestions as to how I can make teaching a child who seems to hate to learn, to enjoy learning?
Hi Amy I haven't had to cope with dyslexia or adhd so you may need to excuse the parts of my answer that don't take this into account!
My first thought would be that learning takes place in lots of ways - not just the written word. My son wasn't really reading until he hit 10 - so I never relied on that as a way of teaching him things. Even now, my children rarely write anything down (unless they want to).
What ways of learning does your son enjoy? Videos? Outings? Hands-on building? It seems to me that if you are putting emphasis on reading - when he obviously struggles with this - then he is bound to feel resentful and dislike learning. But if you separate reading into 'one skill he will need to learn over time' - then 'learning' becomes something different, something he can do with pleasure.
Take a look at Sizzlebop and what she has to say about 'distractable' children. She says
In our homeschool, I threw out all the traditional educational wisdom regarding how children should learn and instead, through experimentation, found out how my child did learn. And learn he did, at a rapid rate. I found that if I included some form of motion in every learning activity, my son would not only absorb material just fine, but he’d do it quickly and permanently.
I am guessing that with the ADHD you need to do things in short bursts and with lots of motion. I read to my children a lot, and we listen to audiobooks. We do lots and lots of craft activities. We go on trips. I try not to do anything 'overly educational' - we just see it as having a good time together. And it is amazing what they pick up around our activities - even stuff that I didn't know!
I am sure your son is interested in something! That is your trigger. Use it, encourage him in it, build on it. It is your way into building up his knowledge and skills.
Stop seeing him as someone you have to 'help to get ahead'. Even with dyslexia and adhd I am sure he has unique skills and abilities and passions that are the basis for his future. Even if you can't see now how he can possibly make any future out of them - encouraging him in what he IS good at, will give him a foundation to build on.
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