My Top Dyslexia Curriculum Reviews
I wanted to quickly get this out there: If you are homeschooling or considering homeschooling and your child/children are dyslexic, YOU CAN DO THIS! Please, be encouraged today that this is not an impossible task. The key is knowing where to begin. Here is a list of my favorite homeschooling curriculum to use for kids who are struggling to read, write, and spell.
Phonetic Zoo – This is a program from IEW. I love everything I’ve used from IEW. Phonetic Zoo is no exception. It is a program that is completely independent for the student and it is on CD. My son is learning to be more independent and this curriculum is definitely helping. I have very little involvement with him as he uses this. When I remind him it is spelling time, he is able to put on his headphones, grab his notebook, and take his spelling test. He works at his own pace. The goal is to get 100% right two days in a row before moving on to the next lesson. This is perfect for auditory learners. He is not a visual learner. Most kids ARE visual learners when it comes to spelling, so this auditory style is very important for NON-visual learners. This is the only program I have seen like this. This is the only spelling program that hasn’t produced major frustration in our house for our child with dyslexia. I’ve seen a huge improvement in his spelling since beginning this program.
All About Spelling – We used Level 1 of All About Spelling. We have not gone back (yet). We may try again when our younger kids are at the point of needing a spelling curriculum. It is an Orton-Gillingham based spelling program. There are a lot of rules and that made it very challenging for my son with dyslexia. There are also a lot of small (physical) pieces that come with the program, and in a house with many small children, the chances of keeping those pieces altogether is very low. However, it is a solid program and a lot of people have great success with it.
Grammar (paper/workbook based):
PAL – Reading and Writing – PAL-R and PAL-W, also known as Primary Arts of Language Reading and Writing is phenomenal! I went through many programs before I found one that worked for my dyslexic and dysgraphic son. This makes learning to read and write fun – it incorporates many games. It uses the sound-site program to learn to read. From IEW’s website: “By combining phonics with some sight words, your child can begin to read quickly and with ease while building a solid foundation for the future. Games, activities, and stickers add interest for the child…” I used this for two children to learn to read. One was not quite 5 (non-dyslexic child) and one was 7.5 (dyslexic) and it has worked well for both.
Logic of English – This is a wonderful curriculum that follows the Orton-Gillingham model of teaching phonics. It covers both reading, grammar and spelling. From LOE’s website: “The Logic of English® Essentials curriculum uses proven, research-based methods to teach students ages 7 to adult to read, spell, and write successfully.” This curriculum is teacher intensive and is fun, but heavy. I think it is a great curriculum but just a disclaimer – we didn’t finish it in it’s entirety.
ABeCeDarian – This is a curriculum based on the phono-graphix method, which helps fill in the gaps of a late reader. It is entirely workbook based but it is a good, solid program. I would use this program after completing PAL-R (if your child is less than 8.5 because PAL might appear too young for older children). We started with book B-2.
Grammar (online/app based):
Reading Horizons At Home – There are two online programs available for this program and both are based on the Orton-Gilligham approach. One is for ages 4-9 and the other for 10 to adult. It is an amazing program. We used this for a full year and it did a good job at phonics, grammar rules, and some spelling. I loved that it tracks the student’s progress and is completely hands off for the teacher.
Read Naturally – This is an awesome reading fluency program. It is completely online. I use it as an app on the iPad. One Minute Reader is an iPad app which works for kids on a 1st-5th grade reading level. It first tests their reading level. Once you know your child’s level it allows them to pick from 12 stories that each take 1 minute to read. Everyday, my son completes one of these lessons. There are 24 lessons per grade level (for instance 3.0 has 24 lessons, 3.5 another 24). There are a series of comprehension questions to complete with each lesson. They have a “cold-timing” that is done at the beginning of the lesson and a “hot-timing” which is done at the end. The goal is to meet their pre-determined reading pace. If they do not meet that pace, they do not pass the lesson. There is plenty of practice time. Overall, this is about 30 minutes a day of reading practice.