If you’ve been around Abundant Life for any time, you know that most of my kids learn differently because of something called dyslexia. I have had a love/hate relationship with coming to understand this style of learning. On the one hand, dyslexia causes reading, writing and spelling to be so painfully difficult. On the other hand, dyslexia blesses those who are diagnosed with it to have many amazing strengths as well! The following list of books are all books that, not only do I own, but that I read and reread in my quest to really understand dyslexia and to help as I teach my kids to the best of my ability.
Right Brained Children in a Left Brained World by Jeffery Freed and Laurie Parsons
Written by a former teacher and educational therapist, this book explains the unique differences that predominantly right-brained thinkers possess. Contains a checklist to determine whether you and your child are right-brained thinkers and a simple step-by-step program to help these kids learn and excel utilizing their unique strengths.
Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz
When this book came out in 2005, it turned the world of understanding dyslexia upside down. Written by neuroscientist Dr. Sally Shaywitz of Yale University, it chronicles the ground-breaking research using the results from Functional MRIs to trace the cause of dyslexia to a weakness in the language system at the phonological level. Don’t let the terminology scare you. This book is written for the lay person and is a treasure of information well-grounded in science. Includes exercises and techniques for working effectively with your dyslexic child.
Homeschooling the Challenging Child by Christine Field
Written by a former lawyer turned homeschool mother. Chapters address how to deal with issues stemming from various learning disabilities, attention disorders, personality clashes, learning styles, discipline problems, managing stress and discouragement, how to plan a program, and the importance of keeping in mind the tenets of God’s love and forgiveness. Hands-on tips for managing a successful home education program, as well as how to find professional help from support groups.
Unicorns Are Real: A Right-Brained Approach to Learning by Barbara Meister Vitale
Don’t let the title of this book put you off. ”Unicorns are real” was a statement made by a young student of the author that was the catalyst for leading her to begin to better understand the differences between her right-brained students and left-brained students. Written in an easy to understand style and full of real life practical strategies for teaching the predominantly right-brained learner. The book begins with an easily understood, yet surprisingly in-depth description of brain structure and function as it pertains to learning. The book also contains simple, do-at-home procedures for testing your child for brain dominance.
Your Child’s Growing Mind by Dr. Jane Healy
Considered the classic guide to understanding children’s mental development. She explains the building blocks of reading, writing, spelling, and mathematics and shows how to help kids of all ages develop motivation, attention, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. She also looks at learning issues, ADHD, and the influences of electronic media – all through the lens of the science of childhood development.
Brain-Integration Therapy Manual by Dianne Craft
Brain Integration Therapy is a method to enhance brain function are by performing simple physical movements that cross the midline. It has been found to profoundly improve ADD/ADHD/Dyslexic conditions as well as other learning struggles. In a few minutes a day, you can vastly improve your child’s focus, reduce stress and improve school performance. Yes, this works!
Parenting the Struggling Reader by Susan Hall and Dr. Louis Moats
A very comprehensive, practical guide for recognizing, diagnosing and overcoming any childhood reading difficulty. Written by a mother of a struggling reader (who is also on the board of directors of the International Dyslexia Association) and an educational researcher, this book contains both the clinical information a parent needs but also the practical, everyday solutions and tips needed to successfully help your struggling reader.
Contains an extensive explanation of our role as advocate for our children. Sections are as follows:
Determining what instructional approach will be most effective for your child
The Dyslexic Advantage by Brock Eide and Fernette Eide
With inspiring testimonials, this paradigm-shifting book proves that dyslexia doesn’t have to be a detriment, but can often become an asset for success. The struggles as parents of struggling readers are often immense as we work to advocate for them in a society that, more often than not, discards a dyslexic intellect as inferior and unlikely to succeed in life. This wonderful book explains through example after example how the complete opposite is the case. Dyslexic minds may have troubles with conventional ways of “doing things” but it is for that reason that they have been the pivotal forces behind discoveries and innovations that have led our culture forward for centuries. Includes extensive coverage of accommodations (like speech-to-text software and digital books).
Another excellent guide to the realities and methods, including lots of curriculum suggestions, for homeschooling any child with special needs.
Learning Outside the Lines by Jonathan Mooney and David Cole
Written by two young men who both learn differently and who were able to break the pattern of failure in their lives, eventually graduating with honors from Ivy League schools. This book provides incredible insight into the life of someone with dyslexia. Jonathan eloquently provokes us to reconsider what normal is and to appreciate people who learn differently.
Linking up to the iHomeschool Network’s 10 in 10 Blog Hop: