Should I take my dyslexic DS out of school and home educate him?

(17 Posts)
StuntNun Mon 02-Jun-14 18:25:42

DS is coming to the end of year 2; he has recently been diagnosed with Specific Learning Difficulties (basically dyslexia) and is currently working at Reception level in literacy but keeping up with the class in numeracy. DH and I knew he was struggling with literacy but hadn't realised just how far behind he is. (The school was giving him easier homework than the rest of the class so he seemed to us to be doing better than he actually was.)

His school want to keep him back with the year below so he can consolidate his work at this level but don't seem to have a plan for how he can catch up with the rest of his year. They have said that he can't have one-to-one reading support until at least year 4. DH thinks we should try to transfer him to another school that may be more supportive of his special needs. But I'm worried that it has reached the point where he would not be able to catch up. AIBU to think it might be better to pull him out of school and home educate him myself so he can work at his own pace?

WeirdCatLady Mon 02-Jun-14 18:30:44

Hello again! Home ed can be a fantastic, fulfilling experience for both you and your child. Only you know whether it would work for you. Do you work? How does your dh feel about home ed?
We took dd out after yr4 and it was the best decision we ever made. We can learn at HER pace and she can rest when she needs to (she has CFS).

HPparent Mon 02-Jun-14 18:35:26

I think if he is doing well in numeracy they should leave him with his peer group and provide specialist teaching for literacy. My DD got an afternoon off a week to go to Dyslexia Action. Not ideal and expensive, but the school refused her help as she was not two years behind. I would be wary of holding him back a year. By all means look for another school if you can find one that supports dyslexic children.
By the way my daughter was 7.5 when she was diagnosed and unable to read. She was in the top set on starting secondary school.

bronya Mon 02-Jun-14 18:38:24

I would either home ed or get a tutor. And find out what EXACTLY is the cause of the learning difficulty. Is it a processing problem, memory problem, visual difficulty (i.e. needing coloured overlays) etc. If you can pinpoint the cause, you can develop strategies with your DS to overcome his difficulties so he can catch up. Simply repeating the work won't do it. Sometimes children need to repeat the R/Y1 work more slowly with more consolidation, because their memories cannot work without plenty of reinforcement. Sometimes they just need the correctly coloured overlay and then to be taught again, now that they can actually see the letters correctly. The remedy is specifically linked to the root cause.

A good tutor with experience teaching dyslexic children will have encountered each type many times, and will be able to give you an idea of what to do, if the cost of a private Ed Psych (pricey!) is too much. Then you can either take their advice and use it yourself, or get them to come once a week to teach and advise you on what you're doing at home.

StuntNun Mon 02-Jun-14 18:55:16

We have an extremely thorough private ed psych report describing his issues and with a detailed set of recommendations. Unfortunately the school have said three children are higher priority than him so he won't be able to see the school's ed psych until September 2015 and only then if no other children are prioritised above him. Without the go ahead from the school's ed psych they can't apply for funding for one-to-one literacy support so it would be up to his teacher to manage everything.

bronya Mon 02-Jun-14 19:10:34

They are extremely unlikely to get the funding (the voice of bitter experience here!). If you/a tutor were to work with him twice a week, for an hour, following those recommendations and teaching him what he has missed, he could catch up while remaining in school. I've done exactly that in the past when I tutored. It takes on average a year for them to catch up to where they should be, with 2x a week tutoring and school doing whatever they would normally do. If they are bright, they will be working at age related expectations within six months. If you leave it, even with school's maximum input, it will likely be a TA not a teacher, and progress will be much, much slower.

You could always take him out and HE him for a year, then put him back in (if they have a space). You don't have to though - extra input from home would be enough. It does need to be led by someone who has experience though, so money spent on a specialist tutor even once every few weeks would mean you were progressing faster. I used to produce resources and reading materials specifically for each child until the end of phase 5.

ommmward Mon 02-Jun-14 19:40:59

I would take him out, myself, because I'm a hardened home educator. Children whose confidence has been totally knocked by not being on the "normal" curve completely blossom once they have recovered, out of the school environment, and are being able to learn in their own way, at their own pace, and without constant comparisons (implicit or explicit) with exactly what everyone else their age can do already.

If he catches up in a year and wants to go back in - well and good.

Is there a good HE network in your area? That's quite important - for a social network as well as moral support from other people swimming against the tide.

bobbysgirlfirst Tue 03-Jun-14 14:39:28

We educated three who all have dyslexia, we took them out of school as soon as we found out that HE is a legal viable option. Didn't look back, no regrets at all-other than wishing we'd never sent them! Ours chose to go on to college and then university level, and have far FAR outstripped all of the predictions that their schools said they would achieve.
And ours are not unusual- we see the same very frequently for children who have SEN who are home educated. HE allows one to one support, whether you do so in a structured way or completely informally as we did- and frankly it's a million times easier than supporting and sending an unhappy child to school!

if you are on FB then you would be very welcome to join us on the 'Mumsnet Home Education' group, and the 'Home educating our special needs children' group. Sorry can't do the links from my phone but they should be easy enough to find. Please do send a message to the admins there or here (me) on applying to join though.

StuntNun Tue 03-Jun-14 15:40:37

Thanks Bobby tbh I'm a bit daunted on how to get started. I would envisage doing quite formal teaching with him but a lot of home educators seem to use a completely different method of learning.

ommmward Tue 03-Jun-14 16:02:55

People do a right old mix.

Get yourself onto the forum A little bit of structure You'll find kindred spirits there :-)

jomidmum Thu 05-Jun-14 13:18:50

Hi, it sounds like your DS has a similar diagnosis to my DD when she was 7 yo. She was getting inadequate support at school and was deeply unhappy there. We started home ed and her happiness and self-confidence dramatically changed over the next few days!
We did the Toe by Toe to start her reading learning from the start again, and 2 and a half years later she has finished that and she is reading confidently. We did the reading plan most days for 10 minutes and also a maths programme, and then she just learnt what she wanted to learn, mostly projects, child-led. Her older brother started home ed a couple of months after she left school.
We wouldn't change anything.....it's been the most amazing journey as a family. They never want to return to school. They have loads of friends and are so happy, free and thriving.
If you do decide to home ed, at least you know your child will be much more likely to get the support they need. The pressure is off and they can learn at their own pace.
All the best.

merrymouse Thu 05-Jun-14 13:27:50

Even if you do choose to do things quite formally, that still leaves a lot of time for home ed groups, day trips, special interest projects etc. etc. etc. Also, within families taking an 'unschooling' approach there will be children who like to work through a particular course or attend classes in a particular subject.

StuntNun Thu 05-Jun-14 16:53:56

Thanks for the replies. We have started doing some work with him but haven't decided about taking him out of school yet. I think I'll see how things go over the summer first.

hmc Thu 05-Jun-14 16:58:54

Unless you really actively want to home ed I would leave him in school - and supplement with a tutor; that worked for us

morethanpotatoprints Sun 08-Jun-14 18:47:19

Hello OP, I wouldn't hesitate in your case, unless of course H.ed wasn't really viable for us.
My dd struggles although wasn't given a formal assessment I'm pretty sure its dyslexia as I am severely dyslexic.
Working at her own pace and finding strategies to overcome difficulties has really worked well for her and she is now working at y4 level in y5.
There is no way this would have been the case had she stayed in school.

This wasn't the main reason we decided to H.ed though, but it has been one of the huge advantages we have found.

merrymouse Mon 09-Jun-14 19:53:26

I think one of the problems dyslexics find in schools is that although they have a specific problem with reading, the nature of schools is that the teaching and assessment of all subjects is done through reading and writing so a child who is otherwise intelligent decides they can't do anything because they can't communicate on paper.

If you home ed you are more able to e.g. learn about history by reading to your child/sharing audiobooks/field trips and if they need to put ideas on paper you can take dictation. It is more possible to treat their difficulties with reading and writing as a discrete problem that impinges on other subjects rather than being something that defines their abilities.

Nothing is perfect, and Home Ed won't magically remove the problems of dyslexia but if you are making a list of pros and cons I think that is a significant pro.

maggi Mon 09-Jun-14 22:55:26

My ds got so stressed by the limitations of his dyslexia in yr7 that we decided to HE. It is brilliant. After years of comparing himself to others in the class, he now just compares himself to him. He is so relaxed (in comparison to school) and he has achieved so much. He has not miraculously written a novel. But he will uncomplainingly write a page where as he used to stress at writing 3 lines. He, as Merrymouse explains, is otherwise intelligent and excels in all but writing and reading aloud. He is regaining confidence in himself slowly but measurably. It's lovely.

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