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While preparing to school my children at home, I devoured numerous homeschool mom must-reads. Each book offered thoughtful guidance, but I was most profoundly affected by the educational practice of Charlotte Mason, a 19th Century British educator. In Parent’s Review she writes:

“Children come into the world with a natural [appetite] for, and affinity with, all the material of knowledge; for interest in the heroic past and in the age of myths; for a desire to know about everything that moves and lives, about strange places and strange peoples; for a wish to handle material and to make; a desire…

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One of my students capably divides words into syllables but often struggles to say the sounds embedded within them. One morning, after accurately decoding the word “monopoly,” he said,

“Mon-op, mon-op, mon-op-plee, mon-op-plee-uh.”

As I headed out the door following tutoring, his mom touched me gently on the sleeve and said, “It was so hard to hear him struggle to say ‘Monopoly.’ It’s his favorite game.”

Dyslexia is a language processing disorder. While a dyslexic child can typically hear sound effectively, his brain cannot detect the difference between spoken sounds. For this reason, most dyslexic students struggle to learn to…

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My favorite book is Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. It’s been with me through the best of times and the worst of times (different book, I know). It has shaped who I am, and it’s probably the reason I write for a living.

There’s just one small catch.

I’ve never read it. Probably never will.

Okay, to be clear, it has been read to me — but, for many people, that’s not the same thing. Have you ever noticed that people tend to add a lot of qualifiers when they talk about books they’ve listened to? …

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In my work as a dyslexia specialist, I get a lot of calls from homeschool parents — usually of 8–12 year old students — and all saying the same thing:

“I taught my child to read, but I’m not sure I did a very good job. He reads very slowly, guesses at a lot of words and it takes him forever to finish his schoolwork every day. What am I doing wrong?”

First off: you haven’t done anything wrong. To understand why your child might be having trouble learning, we first have to understand what your child is learning.


Kathy Kamibayashi

Kathy is a dyslexia specialist and educational consultant based in Franklin, TN.

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