For many students, back-to-school season comes with the promise of a fresh start and another fun and successful year of learning. They eagerly fill their backpacks with sharpened pencils and new notebooks for each subject. But, students who struggle in school may instead be preoccupied with waning self-confidence as another tough school year looms on the horizon.
Why Isn’t My Child Excited About School?
It can be frustrating for both parents and for students when conversations about school dissolve into tears. Discussions at the dinner table can end in arguments as your child insists “there’s no need for help practicing spelling words!” Or, maybe your son or daughter is able to talk about a favorite topic with ease but freezes up on written assignments. While these struggles may have been “buried under the sand” during the school holiday, they are likely to surface as you transition back into the school-year routine.
When searching for ways to help support your student, one of the best things you can do is be proactive about providing tools needed for success.
Help Make Homework Easier for Your Child
Kids with learning issues can have a tough time with homework, no matter how hard they try. As parents, you know the importance of your students completing homework and developing strong study skills. But it can be hard to know how to be supportive without doing too much for them. Students should get the learning benefit from an assignment while feeling successful in the process. Start the school year strong with our guide, Help Your Child with Homework.
Increase Communication with School
Take advantage of the lighter homework load in the beginning of the school year to gather information and get organized.
1) Empty your child’s backpack every day.
These slips and newsletters are sent home by your child’s teacher deliberately, to start the ball rolling on a structured, communicative relationship with you, as well as to keep you informed.
2) Get proactive about scheduling school communication.
Most schools will provide parents with an idea of when planned parent/teacher evenings will be scheduled, where and how frequently newsletters will be sent, the school term dates, and more. Add these dates and details to your own schedule planner. Email may be the easiest way to reach out to your child’s teacher — set up a time (even before Back-to-School Night) to discuss expectations for the school year and to learn about recommendations she may have for supplemental materials or other educators. You can also share information about your student’s strengths and strategies that have previously worked well for him or her in the classroom.
Getting Help for a Struggling Student
As the school year continues, it may be that your student is struggling to keep up.
A student with “choppy” paragraph reading or who has trouble recognizing sight words may have a weakness in symbol imagery (the ability to visualize letters and sounds within words). Weak symbol imagery will cause difficulty in establishing sight words, contextual fluency, and spelling. Read about symbol imagery weakness here.
A student who has trouble following directions, comprehending a text, or organizing his or her time may have challenges with concept imagery, or the ability to image a gestalt (whole). He or she may be able to read quickly and accurately but struggle to understand and describe what has been read or answer critical thinking questions about a given text. Read about concept imagery weakness here.
Hear from one of our students! He describes what it’s like to have dyslexia and tells all about his experience learning to read at Lindamood-Bell. His mother gives her perspective, too!
Learn more about how Lindamood-Bell instruction can help your student have a successful school year. An accurate Learning Ability Evaluation is the first step in teaching individuals to learn to their potential. Click here to find a Learning Center near you.