The first few months of homeschooling consisted of her decompressing from the stress of school. She cried daily – not because of anything homeschool related, but as she told me stories about school or when she couldn’t do schoolwork- and I realized how low her self esteem dipped. School did not feel safe for her and bullies found her an easy target. People in her class told her frequently she was stupid and she believed them. The good news – she has no memory of this time. After a few years the memories dissolved and she knows she was bullied, but does not remember the specifics. I think allowing the tears then brought healing. Well, and lots of prayer too!
Dyslexia was hard before we knew it was dyslexia
We withdrew her the end of her first grade year, so I tried starting with second grade material. When I taught school, I taught second and because the school received new books, I took a whole set of second grade curriculum home. It was a bit dated, but it gave me confidence that I had material to homeschool her with. The problem quickly surfaced that she could not do the second grade material. In fact, I had to go back to Kindergarten and letter recognition.
Sometimes you have to go back to move forward
Each year in homeschooling, the pace seemed to move slower and she showed more and more signs of learning differences. Her third grade year I started researching what to do. I found prices on testing and we started saving money. She would show great strides in her learning, so I would back off of testing and use the money for curriculum that would help. In her fourth grade year, I knew couldn’t put it off any longer. We did some initial testing – but not IQ or cognitive testing and when we got the results, it was more of an entrance to their program testing than giving us real information. I decided that particular program wasn’t for us (they claimed they could “fix” her in six to nine months and I knew there was not a quick “fix” and that she wasn’t broken… just struggling) and my research began again.
This is the time I realized I had taken my daughter’s education as far as I could. I couldn’t do anymore without help.
The statement that changed everything
I’ll never forget the day a dyslexia therapist stood in my schoolroom and offered to do an IEP and parent teacher conferences. I thought she was kidding, since I homeschool. She ended up offending me and my daughter and I knew we would not hire her for any therapy. She did give me some information that changed my life. She told me I could get trained as a dyslexia therapist. Back to research mode!
I found the organization NILD (National Institute of Learning Development) through a friend. I loved the foundations of how they do therapy, but they were based out of Virginia. Just when I was about to give up on the idea, I found out that they added a class in Houston!
What happened next? Stay tuned! Part three coming next!