As we approach the middle of Term 1, now is the perfect time to put an action plan in place to deal with any struggles that your child may be experiencing at school. Your action plan should ensure that your child receives the support needed, inside and outside of school, in order to have a positive, productive and happy school year.
What you can do
- Help with homework
- Meet with the teacher
- Seek specialist information
- Work with your child
Help with homework
Helping your child with homework gives you the perfect opportunity to assess how your child is coping with schoolwork. If you notice that your child finds homework, such as reading, difficult, it is a good indication that some difficulties may be being experienced in the classroom. If you feel that your child is struggling, seek the teacher’s advice immediately. The sooner an action plan can be put in place, the better.
Meet the teacher
Your first point of help will be your child’s teacher. In many cases, teachers may request a meeting with you before you realise that your child is experiencing some difficulties. When meeting with your child’s teacher, discuss specific skills that your child is struggling to grasp and ways in which you can help to develop those skills.
The teacher may suggest that your child work on an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This simply means that throughout the term, your child will be focusing on developing a few specific skills that are essential to their progress. An IEP is an excellent way of working towards your child’s individual goals.
If the services are available, the teacher may also suggest meeting with other in school experts, such as a school psychologist. This is a perfect opportunity to screen for specific learning challenges such as dyslexia, visual and auditory processing disorders, attention deficit disorder and more. The information gained from these specialists can be crucial in developing a successful action plan for your child.
Seek specialist information
If your child’s school is unable to offer access to in school specialists, seek professional advice independently after discussing potential issues with the teacher. Your family doctor will be the best place to start.
After meeting with school specialists, or your family doctor, you may be referred to a more specific specialist such as an optometrist. Even if you disagree with the initial suggestion, it is worthwhile exploring every possibility in order to identify or eliminate causes of your child’s struggles. The roots of many learning issues are tricky to pinpoint but once correctly diagnosed can be easily addressed.
Work with your child
After identifying the learning issues affecting your child’s progress, start working with your child at home to develop their areas of weakness. Your child’s teacher, and any specialists whom are working with your child, will be able to offer you some suggestions.
Working with your child at home will help to develop skills and confidence. Look for programs to use at home that focus on building early literacy skills in conjunction with memory, concentration and processing skills. Programs such as those offered by Little Learning Planet are designed to effectively teach early literacy skills as well as essential cognitive skills. The programs are based on practices currently used in exemplary schools and support different learning styles and abilities. Members of Little Learning Planet also have access to a teacher for extra guidance.
It can feel quite overwhelming when your child is experiencing difficulties at school. However, by tackling the issues quickly, and supporting your child at home, you can proactively help your child to overcome their learning issues and find success at school. Get started now by talking to your child’s teacher and engaging your child in fun learning experiences at home. Above all, build your child’s confidence by encouraging and praising their efforts and helping to make learning achievable and fun.