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Help for Homeschoolers


Welcome to Nessy’s page for homeschooling families! I am Marianne Sunderland. I’ve been homeschooling my own kids with dyslexia for over 20 years and am a huge fan of Nessy’s products and materials for kids. Not only do the people at Nessy have a heart to help families teaching kids with dyslexia, their reading intervention programs and apps are research-based and effective. Oh, and did I mention that Nessy is fun? My kids with dyslexia love Nessy!


Marianne’s Tips for Homeschooling a Child With Dyslexia:

  • Let go of the idea of school-at-home and look for ways to teach your child in a fun and engaging way. You don’t need to sit at a desk for 6 hours!
  • Use an evidence-based reading program based on the Orton-Gillingham approach to teaching (like Nessy!)
  • Don’t be afraid of allowing your child to use accommodations such as listening to audio books, using speech-to-text apps for writing, or referencing math fact sheets for multiplication facts during longer math problems. These help your child perform at their intellectual ability.
  • Look for your child’s areas of strength and find opportunities for them to explore and grow in those areas.
  • Remind your kids that they are smart! Dyslexia is a processing difference that makes learning to read and write difficult. They will learn to read and, with your help, will find their purpose and place in life just like every other kid.



Nessy’s Homeschooling Journey
Where to Begin
Understanding Dyslexia
Obtaining a Diagnosis
The Next Step: Intervention
Nessy Parent Pack
Why Choose Nessy?
Join our Homeschooler’s Club
Nessy Blog
Other Homeschooling Resources


“I’m glad you’ve created a place specifically for homeschoolers. It would have been beneficial to me last year when I started my homeschooling journey and used Nessy Reading and Spelling to boost my son’s reading. He completed all the islands in a little over a year and he now reads at grade level. We also used Nessy Numbers. I recommend your programs anytime I get a chance. Keep up the great work!”

– Gayla Pollock Brasel, homeschooler



Nessy’s Homeschooling Journey

Pat Jones, Co-founder of Nessy & Director of Bristol Dyslexia Centre shares her story of homeschooling Mike, her son:

“At age 7 Mike couldn’t write his name or read. Seeing a bright child like him struggle was disheartening and I knew something wasn’t right. In those days nothing was really known about dyslexia but resolute, I pressurised the school until they got an educational psychologist to assesses him. The psychologist believed Mike was displaying signs of dyslexia and advised that he needed specialist help.”

“Already a teacher, I was determined to help him where school hadn’t. I trained with the new Dyslexia Institute in Bath and then went over to US and looked at the Orton-Gillingham method – proven to be effective for children with dyslexia. Seeing that it was a far superior method of teaching, I learned it myself.”

“I came back, read avidly and took my children out of school because they were so unhappy and were becoming disillusioned with education. I taught Mike for 6 months using games employing the O-G method, and we finally saw results – with my new method he picked up concepts he’d been struggling with for years quickly. Relieved and triumphant, after seeing such incredible progress I put them back into school and set up a dyslexia unit for others as well, helping until they turned 18. It’s hard throughout school for someone with dyslexia, even once strategies are learned, but everyone can succeed if they’re given the right tools to learn. This began a 40-year journey, and I’m still teaching today. The most important lesson I learned was learning happens when it’s fun!”


dyslexic help
Mike Jones, Founder and CEO of Nessy shares his homeschooling story:

“When I was 9 years old I couldn’t spell my own name. I was bottom of the class and it felt terrible. I was disruptive so they sent me home. I was so unhappy but I was also angry because I knew I wasn’t stupid. My mum was a maths teacher and she home schooled me. She realised that to make things stick the teacher has to be inventive. You have to develop strategies. So that’s exactly what she did, she created a bunch of strategies to help me learn.”

“Two years later I went back into mainstream education but instead of being bottom of the class I was at the top and guess what? Using my mums strategies I stayed at the top. When it was time for me to leave school the head teacher happened to ask me what I was planning to do and I said I was considering law. He said I wasn’t clever enough. Four years later I had a law degree.”


Where do I begin?

Nessy believes there are 3 key steps to understanding dyslexia and helping your child:

1. Understanding Dyslexia

2. Obtaining a Dyslexia Diagnosis

3. Intervention



1. Dyslexia Explained

Most people are unaware that there are many different types of dyslexia, all affecting different things. Dyslexia is far more varied and affects more than the generally accepted reading and spelling difficulties.

dyslexia explained
Dyslexia Explained is our free ebook that explains the types of dyslexia, their strengths, weaknesses and effective strategies that help those with it. This book is designed to be read with your child to help them understand their dyslexia and feel reassured that they’re not alone.

You can also purchase a print copy here.



2. Assessment

If you are in a position where you can obtain a formal diagnosis, Nessy recommends contacting your local dyslexia centre or an educational psychologist in order to do this. If you are unsure how to obtain this information, the BDA (British Dyslexia Association) will be able to help with this.

If your child is between 5-7 years of age you can try our free dyslexia questionnaire as the first step on your identification journey.


Screening Tools

If you are unable to obtain a formal diagnosis then an online screening tool can be invaluable in helping you to understand the areas in which your child is struggling.

am i dyslexic
Nessy, in collaboration with the Bristol Dyslexia Centre, dyslexia specialists and professionals in the field have created our own online dyslexia screener.

Dyslexia Quest screens 6 areas of working and learning ability, creating a detailed report that displays indicators of dyslexia and an assessment of the child’s strengths and weaknesses.

More information can be found on our product page.



3. The Next Step

Once you’ve established whether your child has dyslexia or indicators of it the next step is to get them the help they need, the employment of effective memory, reading and spelling strategies will change how your child learns and help them to better retain information in a way they understand.



Nessy believes that the very best help for a student with dyslexia is an inspirational tutor that is experienced and qualified.

But the correct intervention can require many years of teaching and cost thousands. Not everyone can afford a tutor or has access to one in their local area.  Computer programs designed to help dyslexia can be an effective alternative to a tutor and provide a solid foundation of strategies and techniques a child can use throughout their life.


Nessy Reading & Spelling

Help dyslexic kids
Nessy Reading & Spelling is an ideal intervention tool for kids aged 5-12, consisting of 10 islands with 100 lessons, it teaches through multisensory, proven Orton-Gillingham methodology, building the essential foundations needed for a child to learn to read and spell.

Our program is now in its 16th year and is used worldwide by thousands of schools, showing results in just a few weeks. You can read more about Nessy Reading & Spelling here or take a free trial here.



Writing Beach

learn sentence structure parts of speech
Writing Beach is a great accompaniment to Nessy Reading & Spelling. Once the foundations of reading and spelling have been established you can use Writing Beach to start utilising these new-found techniques. The purpose of Writing Beach is to teach tricky to grasp concepts such as punctuation, grammar, parts of speech, sentence structure and more.

You can read more about Writing Beach here.



Homeschoolers Pack

Nessy has just launched our very own Dyslexia Home Pack! Get all the products listed above plus Nessy Numbers and ‘Dyslexia Explained’ for one child for just £110 + VAT!

Visit our program page to read more about this great offer for homeschoolers.


Why Choose Nessy?

    1. Nessy is by far one of the most comprehensive tools out there and all our programs have been developed at a specialist centre for dyslexia by a team of experienced tutors and psychologists.
    2. Cost effective – for a few pounds a month you can get the right help.
    3. Learn at any time – dyslexia causes children to forget so they need frequent revision. Being online means learning can be reinforced every day.
    4. Any place – as long as you have the Internet and a computer (Smartphone or tablet) then you can use Nessy.


“I have been using Nessy Reading and Writing for almost a year. My two children love it and have stayed engaged longer than with any other reading app. They love that it has daily targets and they often continue after they have achieved them.
– Joy, homeschooler



Nessy Blog

Nessy has just started our own blog! Subscribe to get the latest in dyslexia news, Nessy promotions, stories and tips and strategies to apply at home to help with learning. You can get involved too! Share your dyslexia story with us and get a chance to feature and receive a free Nessy product for your contribution.




Other Homeschooling Sites

The Literacy Nest

What is Dyslexia?

1 in 10 people in the UK have dyslexia. These are 5 facts everyone should know about dyslexia, what it's like to have it and ways to help.


6 Ways Parents Can Help

Having dyslexia can be challenging, particularly to a young child or teenager, these 6 tips will help you understand their dyslexia and how to help.


Supporting Struggling Readers

Guest post by Julie Gilbert giving some valuable homeschooling tips and ways to help your children learn to read!