As a parent, there are many ways that you can support and help your child with their learning. It doesn’t need to be complex and can be as simple as a quick game. Keeping it fun is the key and it helps your child enjoy their learning. They may at times, feel frustrated, but be positive and praise their successes and encourage them when times are challenging. It’s important you see this as a journey and both parents or even older children in the family can assist you with.
- Be prepared
- Keep it short and flexible
- Make it fun and be involved
- Praise and positive
- Children learn in different ways
- Where to start – sounds
- Computer programs
Meet with your child’s teacher, with their assessment to work out a plan for both school and home. Request that your child be placed on an Individual Learning Plan to list the accommodations your child needs from their assessment and the setting of goals to be reviewed regularly. Communicate with the teacher and school frequently, so you can work together to support your child. Read regularly with your child and assist them with their homework.
Homework can be a challenge at times, as they are often tired from concentrating all day at school. They may feel frustrated because they don’t understand what to do. Allow your child time to relax and eat after school before starting homework and remind them that you will be helping them.
In my family,we always plan to start homework just before dinner, as after that, it is time to get organised for the next day and they start to become tired. Communicate with them so they know when it is homework time.
I say to my son, “In five minutes it will be homework time (or after this show)”. Time helps them prepare themselves rather than it being ‘sprung’ on them. Remember homework is not for the parent to complete. Communicate with your child’s teacher if they are unable to finish homework or negotiate longer time or a different task.
Professional tutors are available if you wish to have additional support in your home. They can often assist you with a plan and work with your child to focus on their key needs, while you work with your child the rest of the week.
Have a quiet place, where the child can concentrate without any disruptions. No TV, games, computers, phones or other children playing noisily nearby. When reading with my son, we sit on the couch, as it fosters the experience of reading as an enjoyable time together. Being relaxed as a parent helps you empathise and enjoy the experience of reading with your child.
Have a basket of resources such as pencils, erasers, rulers, paper etc for homework time, as time is often wasted finding things or frustration sets in when they can’t be found.
Sometimes it is worth having a short productive time (5-15 minutes) than one, which is long and causes distress for both parent and child. Gage on how it is going and stop if there are other distractions or you have time restraints. Organise another time, which suits you and your child. Setting a timer can help the child. A reward can be offered at the end, which could be a quick game or computer program they like.
Make visual timetables of what is happening during the week so they can prepare themselves each day. Morning and evening routine charts are also useful. Laminate it and put on the fridge so the child can tick off when they complete the task.
By using different games and activities, it makes it fun and engages the child in their learning. Giving them a choice enables them to feel as if they are taking part in their learning. When practising their words, give them two choices in which they want to practise it. For example, do they want to write them on the whiteboard or use the letter tiles to spell out their words?
Encourage and praise your child when they are doing well or having a try. Help them if they are struggling or give them a clue. Remaining positive, patient and calm during the whole experience will create a good energy for your child.
When working with dyslexic children it is good to provide activities that involve the senses of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste. Which means having an activity, which is hands on and this help when retaining information. If they enjoy a particular story or game continue doing it.
When a child first starts to learn to read, they learn the letters and sounds of the alphabet and then the combination of letters to make other sounds. They then learn to blend them together to make words. This also assists them to learn to spell and write. Schools and teachers may use a variety of sound programmes such as Letterland™, Jolly Phonics™ or Thrass™ or the teacher’s own programme.
These definitions may help you when understanding what names and sounds mean.
The Alphabet – when you sing the alphabet song, they are called the names of the letters. The sounds of the alphabet are different than their names. When teaching a child to read we sound out a word, we use the sounds e.g. c-a-t.
There are some sounds that have 2 or more letters and can be at the beginning, the end or in the middle of a word. These can be called word families. E.g. sh ch spl ck ai (train) ou (shout) eigh (sleigh) etc.
There are however, some sounds that make the same sound but are spelt differently e.g. ai (rain) ay (hay) a-e (cake).
These sounds are blended together to make words e.g. spl a sh- splash. This helps when working out words children don’t know when reading or writing.
- Does your child know the alphabet? (which are names of the letters.)
- Do they know the letter sounds, which are blended together to make words?
- Practise words that the teacher may give them, which may have a particular sound in common e.g. all sh words or words with ea in them. Practise using them in sentences, games and stories.
- Practise sight words, which are common words that we use in our reading and writing such as I, can, do, said. (Depending on the age of your child, your teacher can help you with these).
Here are some apps that can support your child’s learning.
Other Apps include:-