Where Do I Start?


I have 2 sons still at school at home.  The elder of the 2 is 14 y/o.  His reading is still very limited, but is really wanting to read.  I would say his level is about gd 2-3.  He has had major speech problems in his early years.  Even now he does not trust his words to tell us exactly what he is meaning.
I am sure you know the problem of wanting to read, but not wanting baby stories.
I was wondering if I could suggest the best way that I could help him.  I was looking at your keyboarding lessons.  Our son finds Mavis Beacon too hard.  I have been using an old typing book that I had when I went to school. (remember typewriters?)  He finds this better.  Your typing method while teaching reading seems to be good.
I do need spelling books and was wondering what else you would suggest.  I am trying to do it with a limited budget and would like to spend money wisely.
Certainly the Individualized Keyboarding will help your son a great deal both in learning the keyboard and in learning the patterns of English spelling.
If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me To Do It will give him a rather fast boost in self-confidence.  The first seven lessons are on the website.
Word Families in Sentence Context is a great little method of learning all kinds of things about reading while concentrating on specific patterns.  The sentences may check out on a computer grade level as between 2nd and 3rd grade, but they are anything but babyish. 
You might want to spend 15 minutes to a half hour a day, having him practice reading aloud for expression.  The purpose will be to prepare him for either babysitting kids or being ready to read to his own kids after he gets married.  Make these books FUN rhyming books such as Green Eggs and Ham or Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends or A Light in the Attic.  With these, you should model for him.  You read a line or a page with great expression and changing voices.  He then either repeats what you read or reads the next.  Playing with the voice, with the tone of voice, the pitch and the speed is really important for the meaning!  And for enjoyment!  Teach him to have FUN, FUN, FUN.
You might also want to have him practice his handwriting for fifteen minutes a day.  I would recommend using the freebie on our website, Starting at Square One.  The important thing is that he is never just to copy letters that are in words.  He must know the word he is copying, even if it is only for the moment he knows it because you told him what the word is.
Dear Mr. McCabe
I have been looking at your website and I just don't know where to begin.
My daughter has been tested and found to be severely dyslexic. She is almost 10 and can sound out small words. We homeschool our older children and want to continue to homeschool our youngest.  There are no tutors in our area, that we have found to help us. Someone referred me to your website but I just don't know where to begin. Could you point me in the right direction?
Thank you for any help.
1.  If your child cannot print and write quickly and smoothly, I would recommend working with her handwriting, four fifteen minute periods scattered throughout the day.  I would recommend the Let's Write Right series including the Rhymes and More Rhymes companion book.  If you can't afford that, you might want to work with what is on the website and is free, Starting at Square One.
2.  If you child has access to a computer, she should learn the proper keyboarding techniques.  Her reading and spelling can improve with Individualized Keyboarding because it teaches spelling patterns AS she learns the keyboard.  Make sure you order the freebie that goes along with it that gives explicit instructions on how to help a dyslexic.
3.  I highly recommend If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me To Do It.   The first seven lessons are on the website.

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