If you are wondering how to homeschool your child with auditory processing, you’ve come to the right place. In today’s post, I am going to help you on your path to a positive homeschooling with auditory processing experience!
Use Phonemic Awareness Activities
Use lots and lots of phonemic awareness activities. What does this mean? Phonemic awareness is the ability to identify and manipulate the individual speech sounds into spoken words. For example the word bag has three sounds – /b/, /a/ and /g/. The word last has four sounds – /l/, /a/, /s/, /t/. Kids with auditory processing often drop or add sounds when spelling or reading words so it is really important for your child to isolate each individual sound. Here are some phonemic activities you can do with the kiddos when homeschooling with auditory processing:
Identify rhymes – “tell me all of the words you know that rhyme with the word “cot.”
Listening for sounds – “close your eyes as I read some words to you. When you hear the “s ” sound, raise your hand.
Manipulating sounds in words by adding, deleting or substituting – “in the word NEST, change the N to B. (best). Or… Say the word dash. Can you change the /a/ to /i/? (dish)
Separate syllables – “how many syllables does the word candy have? Say each syllable.”
Listening for beginning, middle and ending sounds – “What sound do you hear at the end of the word sail?”(l)
Teach with Multisensory Techniques
Multisensory means having your child hear it, say it, touch it and move during every lesson. Why is this so effective for your child? Kids with auditory processing need to learn in a different way. By using multisensory materials and activities you are giving your child an opportunity for the information you are teaching them to “stick.” Using all of your child’s senses, engages their entire body along with their brain. This way they make a memory that lasts and stays with them. The more senses you have your child use, the stronger this memory will be. Here are a few multisensory strategies that you can try out:
- Have your child write words with a squeeze-style ketchup bottle, shaving cream or chocolate pudding (ooh messy fun).
- Use trays filled with salt or sand and have your child write words or skills in these.
- Build words with wooden letters, blocks, legos or puzzle pieces.
- Have your child write on their palm, use arm tapping, or you can have your child spell words while at the same time doing a jumping jack or bouncing a ball.
- Take a walk in the neighborhood and read the world. There are letters and signs everywhere.
- Go to the grocery store and read the entire store.
- When teaching specific skills, use letter tiles and flashcards.
Use the Right Curriculum
While there are many really great reading and phonics programs in the homeschool market, most of these are not geared towards children with auditory processing. The best choice is an Orton-Gillingham program. Orton-Gillingham is a really structured, step-by-step, repetitive and multisensory approach. This means that when the kids are learning to read, they learn each skill individually. They see it, say it, hear it and move with it. They also practice it over and over again until it really “sticks.” Orton-Gillingham is proven in research to be the most effective reading program out there for children with auditory processing. Here are the best Orton-Gillingham homeschool curriculums that are heavily scripted out so that you will not need any formal Orton-Gillingham training and you can just follow the script:
Use a Lot of Practice and Repetition
This is the best part about homeschooling with auditory processing because your child is going to get to take their time, work through the programs slowly and at their own rate and accomplish what they need – which is a lot of repetition and practice. I really can’t stress this enough. A child with auditory processing requires overlearning to achieve mastery. If you are using one of the heavily scripted out Orton-Gillingham reading programs I mentioned above, then you will practice this repetition with your child. Let’s use an example. You are teaching the letter combination ea that makes a long a sound like in the word steak:
- Your child will see a picture of a steak and the child will say “ea –long a – steak.”
- Your child will write the ea in the air 3 times while saying it aloud.
- Your child will practice at least 3 phonemic activities with the ea (like the ones I mentioned above).
- Your child will arm tap, palm write, write the ea in shaving cream, sand, etc.
- Your child will write 10 words with the ea that you dictate to them (great, break, wear, bear, etc.).
- Your child will read a list of words with ea and underline the ea as they read.
- Your child will read sentences with the ea.
- Your child will read an entire decodable text highlighting the ea.
This could take 3-4 days of you teaching just this one skill!!!
After all this, when your child finally goes to the next skill in Orton-Gillingham (which is the ar skill), you still get to keep repeating and reviewing the ea.
Ok, so does this sound to you like overlearning? Yes, I know that it does, but all I can say is that it works.
Work on Listening Comprehension Skills
Ask your child a lot of questions like, “What happened first, next, then, last?” Teach your child transition words in telling a story and writing one too. Use graphic organizers. Being able to sequence and also summarize is a big part of building listening comprehension skills. When my daughter was younger we always had a bedtime ritual of where she would tell me everything she did that day from morning to evening. Then she would tell me what was the best part of the day and what was a little bit “icky.” I always learned a lot from that daily summary and it really built up her listening comprehension skills. You can also watch movies together and read books together, and ask your child questions along the way and eventually build it up to telling you an entire summary.
Read and Learn about Auditory Processing
You will be able to homeschool your child the best if you do your research. This means learning about auditory processing, what it is and how best to help your child. My favorite websites to visit are Auditory Processing Disorder Foundation, Inc., and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).
My favorite book to read is, When the Brain Can’t Hear: Unraveling the Mystery of Auditory Processing Disorder by Dr. Teri James Bellis.
Because your child needs to learn a different way and needs much more individualized attention, practice and repetition, homeschooling is really the best option. You just need to make sure when homeschooling with auditory processing that you teach phonemic awareness, use lots of multisensory materials and multisensory activities in your teaching, use the right curriculum, be patient and take your time, and offer lots of positive encouragement and support. Good luck and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about homeschooling with auditory processing.
Thank you for reading my post today!
Karina Richland, M.A., is the author of the PRIDE Reading Program, a multisensory Orton-Gillingham reading, writing and comprehension curriculum that is available worldwide for parents, tutors, teachers and homeschoolers of struggling readers. Karina has an extensive background in working with students of all ages and various learning modalities. She has spent many years researching learning differences and differentiated teaching practices. You can reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.pridereadingprogram.com