Each child has a unique learning style and personality.
There are no two children alike...but
Every child can learn!
Summer brings us an opportunity to change bad habits and accelerate learning before our children begin a new school year. Here are three things to think about if your child is struggling in school:
- More of the same isn't better. If your child is struggling in school, summer school is an option...but make sure it isn't "business as usual." I once worked with a school planning a summer school for 9th graders who failed English. Using this principle, we planned for them to gain English credit by reading to elementary school children at a nearby school. The 39 students maintained a B average in English the next year. New and different approaches to building skill seem to jump start the road to success.
- Is your child reading at grade level? If not, use the summer to read! Every grade has a reading list. Reading is foundational for everything else they will do in life. Local organizations, libraries, and community colleges specialize in reading acceleration...or you can take on that task. Choral read with your child (that means you sit beside one another and both read the same thing aloud together) for 15 minutes a day. Within a month you will see a marked improvement.
- Check out physical issues and tackle them over the summer. Below are some that may be overlooked by the school and your doctor:
- Often eye function is the reason children struggle in school. Opthalmologists specialize in eye disease; optometrists specialize in eye function; behavioral optometrists have additional training to specialize in children with learning disorders. Here is a link to a directory: https://www.visiontherapydirectory.com/
- Mild hearing disorders will affect both speech and achievement. Here is a web checklist: https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/hear.html
- Behavioral problems may have many causes. They can be caused by hard to identify allergies. They can be caused by grief. Brain research says that the search for meaning is innate. If children can't see or hear or are reacting to life issues, they may wander around the room because what is going on in the classroom doesn't make sense to them. In reality, they are "searching for meaning," but they are often diagnosed as a form of ADD. According to Dr. Amen, there are 7 types of ADD. Only two need medication to resolve the problem. Here is Dr. Amen's link: https://www.amenclinics.com/conditions/adhd-add/
Every child can learn! Your job, as parents and/or educators, is to find root cause when they struggle in school. When you get to the bottom of the problem, children succeed quickly. If they are allowed to repeat a pattern of failure, they enter a downward spiral instead. Prevention has always been less costly than cure.
You will also find help on our YouTube video: Amp Up for Summer!