Helping children to learn under the current circumstances
We are all currently living through very difficult times and many parents are having to manage their children’s learning at home.
It can be challenging enough when trying to juggle home learning with your own work and other commitments, but this can be even more difficult for parents of children with dyslexia, who normally receive extra targeted support at school.
The earlier the age that your child starts to receive help to manage his or her dyslexia the better, so it is important to keep-up as much support at home as possible. If your child has a specific programme to follow, then you should try to continue to work on this at home if your circumstances mean that you have the time.
We understand the current difficulties but there are a number of things that you can do at home that will help:
Take care of your child’s emotional wellbeing
This is probably the most important aspect to focus-on at the moment.
Children react in very different ways, some will be happy to be at home and not too concerned, others are likely to feel worried and anxious that the world seems scary and routines have changed.
Often the best way to manage emotionally difficult situations with children is to answer direct questions, but not spend lots of time explaining in detail what is happening as this can make matters worse.
Instead, keep a general eye on your child’s wellbeing, check-in every day and if they seem sad or worried, try to do something fun and comforting to distract them.
Give frequent praise
Children with dyslexia can sometimes compare themselves negatively to their peers and experience low self esteem if they feel that they are not doing as well as others with their schoolwork.
Use frequent praise to encourage them and reassure your child that he or she is doing their absolute best.
Talk to your child’s school
Most schools are providing work to do at home at the moment and it may feel like it is difficult to keep-up with school activities from a distance.
If your child with dyslexia is struggling or worried, speak to his or her school about what type of learning is best for them to do at home and any online resources that are available.
Your school SenCo will be available to discuss your child’s progress as most key staff remain working at school.
How to help at home
As the parent of a child with dyslexia, you are probably well aware of activities that you can do at home to help them.
However, here is a reminder of what the NHS recommends:
Read to your child
Regular reading helps to build vocabulary and instil a love of stories and books.
Read together and talk about the story, language and characters.
Repetition of stories and activities will help to reinforce understanding.
Encourage your child to read to him/herself.
Make reading fun
Encourage your child to read what he/she enjoys and make this a fun activity.
If you need access to more books – don’t forget to check the web page of your local library as many books are being made available online.
Many children are currently doing less exercise than normal. Government advice at the time of writing is that people can go outside for one exercise session a day so if this is suitable for your family, try to get out of the house for a walk and fresh air.
If you can’t get out, then design an ‘inside exercise routine’ or find an online exercise programme for children which they will enjoy.
Parents who have the time available are getting really creative with their children at home. Some of the most common activities are drawing and painting, crafts, cooking, singing and other musical activities.
Learning is about much more than just reading/writing and maths so the current set of circumstances can provide a great opportunity to try something new or if your child is a budding cook, artist or musician, to let them do more of the activities that they really enjoy.
Don’t be too hard on yourself!
And don’t forget, there are many reasons why people are struggling at the moment so your top priority as a parent is to keep your child healthy and happy. This will ensure that they are in the best possible place for when they return to school.
Need more information?
If you need any more information about Dyslexia – or help and advice, please get in touch with us.
We look forward to hearing from you!