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How to Help Your Child Finish the School Year Strong

Jul 18, 2019
 
 

“My teacher hates me!” James exclaimed as he threw his backpack onto the kitchen floor. “She always yells at me for talking or not paying attention, but I am paying attention!”

 

For parents, it can be disheartening to hear that your child feels disliked or disrespected by his teacher — even if you wonder if he’s exaggerating and maybe things in the classroom aren’t as contentious as he makes them seem.

 

By this point in the school year, most classrooms have established a rhythm, and it may feel like your child’s personality or learning style just doesn’t mesh well with his teacher’s.  But what can be done?

 

  • Ask your child for examples of what happens at school while acknowledging his feelings. “It sounds like you had a rough day at school. I’m sorry to hear that. Help me picture what happened. What did Mrs. Haggerty say? What was happening right before that?”

 

  • Use imagery language to help your child picture what he could do differently, based on what the issue may be. “I know you were so excited about going to the movies over the weekend. When do you picture is the best time to tell your friends? During homeroom announcements or during recess?” Offering choices can make it easier for students who have difficulty verbalizing their thoughts or are hesitant to talk about how school is going.

 

  • Check in with the teacher. Because tone can often be misinterpreted, it may be best to meet in person. Sending a brief email to set up a time to chat may be helpful. Keeping a positive and respectful tone may help keep things productive: “James seems to be having a tough time meeting the classroom expectations lately. I would love to meet one day to discuss what I can do to help support him.”

James’s mother, Christine, took all of the aforementioned steps: she asked James what was happening and took notes while he was talking so he would know she took his concerns seriously. She met with Mrs. Haggerty and remained neutral despite feeling angry and hurt that James felt disliked and disrespected. Mrs. Haggerty reported that James was disruptive in class, didn’t follow her directions and wasted time instead of completing assignments. They decided that Mrs. Haggerty would send home a note each day reporting on James’s behavior.

 

Christine sat James down and they talked about what he could do to be a good listener and a good friend in the classroom. They practiced examples at home and Christine scoured Pinterest for ideas about motivators and sticker charts she could use to help make James have more fun at school.

 

Despite everyone’s efforts, James came home crying again a few weeks later. “Mrs. Haggerty gets mad at me for not turning to the right page but she says everything too fast. I can’t read the big words in the Social Studies textbook, so I ask to use the bathroom or make jokes about whoever is sitting next to me. Then Mrs. Haggerty yells at me, and I feel so sad because I was trying my best but I just can’t remember what she said to do!”

 

James’ stresses come pouring out between sobs.

 

For students like James, behaviors often begin in the classroom when the workload becomes too hard or when they realize they aren’t able to read as well or as quickly as their peers. They know they can’t always do the assignments presented to them, so it becomes easier to find new and clever ways to avoid tasks. James has a high IQ, so it’s often assumed that he should be able to read and comprehend as well as anyone — and if he can’t, it must be because he’s being lazy or doesn’t care. James’ self-esteem slowly started to plummet as he noticed more and more how much easier reading was for his peers.

 

But if the foundational sensory-cognitive skills for reading are not in place, students may struggle to reach their learning potential. A cause of difficulty in establishing sight words and contextual fluency is difficulty in visualizing letters in words. This is called weak symbol imagery. A primary cause of language comprehension problems is difficulty creating an imagined gestalt. This is called weak concept imagery. This weakness causes individuals to get only “parts” of information they read or hear, but not the whole.

 

Signs of weak symbol imagery can be easier to spot (slow, labored reading, difficulty with spelling) than those of weak concept imagery (difficulty with following directions, answering open-ended questions, grasping humor, mental mapping).

 

Watch the video below to hear a mother describe how Lindamood-Bell instruction helped unlock her daughter’s reading potential. Like James, she was struggling to read despite being extremely bright.

 

 

To learn more, contact your local Learning Center

 

Double Bay (02) 9328 7119 | Chatswood (02) 9410 1006

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Help your child start the new school year on the right foot! Students can catch up or get ahead in reading, comprehension, or math in a matter of weeks at Lindamood-Bell. Get info! Follow the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial
Lindamood-Bell helps schools raise literacy & math achievement! 
Our INSERVICE WORKSHOPS provide dynamic, engaging professional learning in evidence-based interventions. Our founders' programs are appropriate for many students, including early learners, EL, SPED, and dyslexia. Get info and request a quote for your school or district! Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Happy Independence Day! 🇺🇸
We hope your 4th of July weekend is filled with friends, family, and loved ones—enjoy a safe celebration! 🎆 🌭 🍔 🍉
At Lindamood-Bell Academy, we have a recognized curriculum, personalized education plans, and engaging, effective instruction. The imagery-language foundation is at the core of everything we do. Let's talk about Lindamood-Bell Academy and your student's learning journey! Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Let’s make this summer incredible! Lindamood-Bell Learning Center instruction helps students make years of gains in a matter of weeks. Your child can catch up in reading, comprehension, or math and go back to school with confidence—
ready to tackle the new year. Get started! Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Lindamood-Bell summer instruction helps students make years of improvement—in reading, comprehension, or math—in a matter of weeks. Your child can go back to school with confidence. Get started! 
Follow the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial
At Lindamood-Bell Academy, we develop the imagery-language foundation to help each student learn to their potential. Get info about limited-time offers for the 2022-23 school year. Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Lauren recently graduated from high school with honors and will start college in the fall as a psychology major. She’s come a long way since her elementary school days as a struggling reader who was the target of bullying.
Watch her entire inspiring story at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial. 
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Lindamood-Bell summer instruction can change a student's life in a matter of weeks. Our learning centers around the world are still enrolling. Hurry to save your child's spot.
Do you know the story of Juneteenth? Learn more and join in the celebration. Visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture website. Online resources include a free download for educators and families, "Understanding and Celebrating Juneteenth." Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
Now hiring! 
Work as a Tutor (Clinician) in a Lindamood-Bell Learning Center! Join us as we teach students of all ages to read and comprehend to their potential. Paid training.
Locations and details are at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
It's not too late to enroll! Lindamood-Bell summer instruction will give your child the help they need to catch up or get ahead in reading, comprehension, or math. Students make extraordinary progress in a matter of weeks. Get started! Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
At Lindamood-Bell Academy, we develop the imagery-language foundation to help each student learn to their potential. Get info about limited-time offers for the 2022-23 school year. Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial.
New Podcast Episode! 
Former Lindamood-Bell student, Lauren, recently graduated from high school with honors and will start college in the fall at a university where she will major in psychology. She's come a long way since her elementary school days when she was a struggling reader and the target of bullying. Lauren and her mother, Donna, join us on the podcast to share their story—listen and subscribe at the link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial
Imagine your child returning to school in the fall with better skills and increased confidence, ready to tackle the new year.💪
Our summer instruction helps students make years of improvement—in reading, comprehension, and math—in a matter of weeks. Get info about Lindamood-Bell summer learning. Link in bio, @lindamoodbellofficial
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