Homeschool Reading Programs
Making Reading Easier By Treating Causes, Not Symptoms
- Is your homeschool child a struggling reader?
Homeschool can be wonderful experience for both parent and child. And yes, if your child is a struggling reader or learner, the less distracting environment at home and the added attention can do wonders. However, there’s a challenge. Most homeschool reading programs and curriculum are geared towards children on a healthy reading track. They risk frustrating your child even more as the faster pace exposes her shortcomings.
Homeschool reading programs serve healthy readers because reading interventions tend to require in-person professional attention — either in a center or clinic or in a school Resource Room. While many states have public resources for homeschool families, this off-site approach does not mesh well with the homeschool setup.
Struggling Readers Need More Than Just Practice
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Forcing a struggling reader to read aloud day after day as a way to improve reading fits this definition. While practice makes perfect, to break a negative reading cycle your child first needs to develop the phonological and cognitive skills that make reading easier, more automatic.
If your child is still struggling with reading by the age of 7 or 8, then he is probably not going to develop reading automaticity and fluency naturally. And practice won’t be much help. Neither will generic reading software.
A reading intervention is probably your best course of action. Until the underlying causes of reading difficulty and dyslexia are addressed, your child’s reading problems will likely persist. Sure, most children do progress each year. However, all that is really happening is that the signs of difficulty are changing. Early phonics and fluency difficulties morph into weak reading comprehension or an unwillingness to read.
The sooner these issues are dealt with, the sooner your homeschooled child can get onto a healthy reading trajectory.
Find Out If Your Homeschool Child Needs More Help
It is worth noting that many children struggle with reading early on. Slow, choppy and/or monotone reading — a lack of reading fluency — in early grades is not that uncommon. Spelling difficulty, a lack of interest in reading or reading comprehension difficulties are not uncommon in later grades. In small doses, these issues are normal.
The key is separating a perfectly normal slow start to reading with a more serious reading difficulty that will not likely resolve itself. Many homeschool families may know their child is behind. But they are not sure by how much. If the reading gap is more than a grade, then there is possible grounds for changing your approach, trying an intervention.
Gemm Learning has a free online reading test that can give you a good idea of where your child stands. It takes about 30 minutes. After the assessment, we will call to go over the results. Request a Free Reading Assessment here.
An Online Reading Intervention For Homeschool Families
If your child does need a homeschool reading program that is more intervention than reading practice, Gemm Learning is a possible solution. Our self-paced software means your child never gets stuck because it’s too hard or bored because it is too easy. In addition, we provide constant oversight to keep your child on a positive track.
- We make reading easier — by targeting the impediments to reading
- We build reading comprehension — your child can learn to love reading
- Students average 1-2 years of reading gain in 4-6 months
Our point of difference is that we focus first on the underlying cognitive delays that cause of reading difficulty and then build reading skills one by one. By treating the cause of the reading difficulty, rather than managing the symptoms, our reading programs can make lasting improvements. Once reading is easier, your child will read for longer periods. Reading practice is the path to virtuoso reading.
Individualized Protocols Vary By Age and Need
While the underlying exercises are many and varied, all students start with the cognitive skill exercises at the bottom of the table.
Gemm Learning then creates an individualized protocol using your child’s progress in the various exercises, a baseline reading assessment and a behavioral survey.
Because it works at a cognitive level our software improves a broad range of reading and learning skills.
These reading programs suit homeschool families because the software is adaptive. The exercises adjust to your child’s responses, always trying to push ahead, but always at your child’s own pace. This reduces the chance of boredom (because the content is too easy) or frustration (because it is too hard).
How Gemm Learning Helps Early Reading and Phonics
Rather than using a phonics program or spending hours with flash cards — all intended to work around an underlying cognitive weakness — our program works on phonological and language processing. It helps students process more quickly and more accurately, making them more phonics aware, reading-enabled.
Our goal is to provide a reading makeover that will prepare your child for learning phonics and reading. Without this fundamental cognitive improvement, reading will always be a challenge.
How Gemm Learning Helps Reading Comprehension
Most reading comprehension difficulties are caused by inefficient decoding (reading). The reader is concentrating so hard on reading the text, there is little available mind-space for extracting meaning (comprehension). Gemm Learning has a two-step program:
- Make decoding automatic. If a student is able to decode effortlessly, subconsciously, like riding a bike, his or her brain is able to fully focus on comprehension. Our program removes the cognitive impediments to reading automaticity.
- Reading comprehension. Once our program has improved reading fluency our homeschool reading programs focus on reading comprehension and accuracy — undoing prior bad reading habits, instruction on language structure, vocabulary and syntax, and practice in reading comprehension, both literal and inferential.
We vary our homeschool supplemental reading programs by age and according to the needs of each child.