Updated: Sep 3, 2020
"Max is reading 1 year behind his classmates.”
“I have concerns about Charlotte in the classroom. Charlotte struggles to answer questions about what she has just read.”
“Ethan struggles with understanding what is being said, spelling, and pronouncing unfamiliar words.”
This may be your experience right now. Your son’s or daughter’s teacher has informed you that they are concerned and would like to meet with you. I know of parents who knew their child was struggling but felt overwhelmed and confused on how to help them. There are also parents who were not informed properly during the time their child had difficulties. Than problems became larger and it felt almost hopeless.
However, due to the current status of what is going on in our nation and others has forced many schools to choose another option.
Prior to this I struggled with raising children while keeping our home running. I work from home but I still have household chores and projects to tend to. Kids need to be taken to/from school, extracurricular activities, homework to complete, events to attend, and so on.
I must make sure 3 human beings are fed, get enough sleep, physically active, create good habits, have some fun, and do well in school. Let’s not forget feeling pressured to raise resilient and productive world citizens who have great logical reasoning skills while growing a heart to help others. Trying to raise children while even maintaining your sanity seems to be the never ending marathon. It’s like laundry.
What I know for sure is that if you are reading this post then you love your child whether you are the parent, uncle, grandma, or older sister. You love this child and it pains to think they are struggling.
Now with schools closed or going online there is a concern of what would be like the summer reading slide. Except instead of 2-3 months it's possible for a 4-5 month gap. This concerns most educations and parents. This concerns me both as a parent and tutor.
Let me tell you from a parent to another parent. As parents we may feel like the school or teacher does not approach the situation with compassion and efficiency. There is probably truth to that statement. However, we are in a time where we can help our kids thrive and not just survive.
You can help your child read well and enjoy it. You don't need special credentials beind your name. All you need is intentional attitude, a plan, resources, and support when your need it. I know this sounds like bit crazy right now. You can help your child succeed by zoning in on the area/s of struggle. All you have to do is leverage what is available to you. If it’s not available then request it.
When it comes to reading a child may struggle in one or more areas:
Areas of Reading
Reasons for Reading Struggles:
Hearing impairment, language or speech problems, or medical issue that impacts the brain areas
A family member/s with similar experience
Processing difficulties, memory issues, ADHD, or other learning disabilities
Negative attitude toward reading
Negative mindset of their own abilities
Poor or inadequate reading instruction
Limited language skills (if English is not his or her first language) and support it not provided
Family or situational major event like death, moving, parent in the military, and ect.
Learning Disabilities and Disorders
I understand that this can be a sensitive subject for any parent. There is still a negative connotation stuck to this process. Kids may be labeled because they truly have a certain type of difficulty, due to poor teaching ability of the main teacher, or lack of insight on how to help the child. If you are open to seeing if there might be another reason for their struggles then I highly suggest that you consider requesting the school to have him or her tested.
If you want a guide to help parents with a child who has learning disabilities I highly suggest the book Thinking Differently by David Flink. The author was diagnose with ADHD and dyslexia at the age of nine. David talks about his struggles and how he found a way to help him with the way he thought. This is a guide for parents and guardians. However, I found this book important for educators and tutors as well.
If your child is in a public school you can request your school to have them tested without any payment from you. If your student attends a private school, I would talk to the school counselor for your options. It also does not hurt to seek an outside opinion for a second evaluation. This may come in handy when advocating for your child if they need services.
Regardless of the results your child can learn how to read.
This will take just an adjustment in your academic journey.
Every child will be different and this is reflected in their paths.
I am always interested to hear from parents and guardians.
What is the most overwhelming part in helping your child read well and enjoy the process?