HomeschoolThis Dyslexic Student’s Trick to College Reading

I’m a reader. I’ve always enjoyed it, even if I do have to go slowly. Still, I love reading. Literacy is one of my passions and one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been fortunate to receive.

Two books, Research Strategies and Bless Me, Ultima, with a Kindle reader with the info for the book, It Can't Happen Here, by Upton Sinclair in front.

That said, college reading can still be incredibly intimidating. The volume alone can make even the most seasoned readers cringe. This week, for example, I have 18 chapters to read among all my classes. It’s overwhelming to think about, and seems impossible to achieve, especially when your brain’s already reeling from other obligations.

So, how does a dyslexic college student cope?

My solution?

Prioritizing and Pacing

I already know that sitting down and attempting to get it all done in one go won’t work. I’ll have no idea of what I just read, wear myself out and put a huge strain on my mental health. So, I break everything I need to do into smaller steps, and tackle those one at a time.

A couple of things must be taken into account when planning out how much I’ll do every day:

  1. The volume of text per class
  2. Due dates

Generally speaking, the more I have to read per period of time, the more I aim to read of the piece per day.

For instance, I have 6.5 chapters left to read for one class that’s due by Thursday. In this particular book, that’s 63 pages. So, tonight, I’m aiming for about half of that, and then tomorrow/tomorrow night, I’ll finish the assigned reading and complete the associated assignment.

Another class requires 8 chapters, due by Sunday. That means only a chapter and a half per day. Since that book is an ebook, and I can’t figure out how to switch to page count instead of location, I’m not sure how long those chapters are. That said, I’ll probably just aim for 2 chapters a day, because that’s easier to remember.

That leaves just the one chapter from my last class, due Sunday. I’ll probably just tack that one on to my workload on Friday or Saturday, unless I can find time sooner.

Granted, that’s still a lot of reading per day, but it is more manageable. It’s important to note that I don’t do all of it in one sitting, either. My attention absolutely wanders, but one way to use that to my advantage is to read during breaks from other activities.

That way, I let my mental squirrels get their exercise while accomplishing needed tasks.

Really, that’s my (not so) big secret to getting a large amount of work done on time. Yes, I absolutely still need to work on my time management skills, but being able to break big obligations down into smaller steps is what allows an avoidance of outright panic.

As a quick side-note, I eye-read, since my auditory recall is so poor. If you have a lot of ear reading to do, the same technique might work, but that depends on your personal methodology and technology. Since I don’t use them, I don’t know what’s available in terms of audiobook players and screen reading programs.


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