The complexity of working with strugging learners can be a challenge for parents. It can also be frustrating for parents and their children in learning how to communicate effectively in not just getting the “assignments” done , but it can frustrating in assuring that the actual process was understood long term. There’s hope for parents with strugging learners. I have two children that are struggling learners,and I have twin toddlers with developmental delays from being micro premature babies. My oldest daughter has made so many improvements; she has grown to be an independent learner. My son who has a processing disorder along with ADHD has made strives that only years ago we could have imagined. Stay motivated and don’t give up! Here are a few tips to consider in not being frustrated, staying motivated, and more importantly seeing the academic advancement for your learner to consider.
- Identify your child’s learning styles. Teachers have so many students to focus on within a classroom,so they have to teach from a general prospective. However as parents we can take more time to enjoy the flexibility in studying learning styles beyond the general prospective . There are four types of learners visual, adutiory, kinesthetic, and read and write. Do your own research on each to expand your knowledge and understanding of the different learning styles.
- Have patience. It takes time to grasp an understanding of various techniques and strategies for struggling learners. It can be a greater challenge for learners with processing or attention deficit disorders. Learn how to adjust in allowing you and your learner to work at a pace that best fits. Give it time. Try not to put unrealistic expectations on yourself or your learner.
- Give grace. Working with strugging learners is all about granting grace for yourself and your learner. Simple and common mistakes may happen when giving a solution to a problem with a strugging learner. Don’t say mean words to discourage your learner or make them feel ill-equipped. Use this as a time to build their confidence, and not to break their spirit. Give yourself grace as well if you see you’re feeling overwhelmed. It’s okay to take a break, and the two of you can come back to solve a problem. You’re allowed to regroup to come back to an assignment. Don’t get discouraged, and try not to discourage your learner.
- Be creative. No one said that you have to stick to a certain way or style in working with your learner. Be creative as possible in helping them process the information giving. Use a variety of books, manipulatives, tools, and approaches to help them with their learning journey.
- Be flexible. Children have to follow specific guidelines within the classroom and school system. You can enjoy the flexibility of your home environment, family schedule, add family field trips, work on a lower level for better understanding, modify home assignments, and tap into the times that work best for your learner to be better focused. We actually had an afternoon learner with my son. I discovered when we homeschooled that he worked best following lunch at noon. My children and I did bi-weekly field trips in various areas we were studying.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to try other alternatives if you see your learner is not making progress. If you know fully as a parent that you have utilized all the resources and effort that you can don’t be ashamed to search for other alternatives. This doesn’t mean that you have failed as a parent; this doesn’t mean that your learner is a failure. Have a open communication with teachers, your learner, and tutors in addressing your child’s needs. Check all affordable resources and options. Talk to your pediatrician if you believe there is something underlying. Find out if there is a need for any additional testing to rule out dyslexia, dyscalculia, or other that maybe effecting their comprehension in learning.
Know that there is hope in this whole challenging process of working with a strugging learner that ensures that you all succeed. Take it day by day. Celebrate mini milestones of achievements. Stay positive as possible, and don’t be afraid to reach out if needed for additional help.