This article is full of tips that every parent can strive to do to help their child with learning. I write plenty about how reading to your child can make a huge difference, but there are more ways to help your child learn.
How does this help with reading?
This article and the others I have linked here further explain these tips. I have also noticed these practices to be true in my experience as a tutor. It was the student who had a variety experiences with loving care givers that made progress with learning and that were open to learning.
How could you help your child?
- Bring balance to your child’s day. Limit screen time, provide outdoor experiences and exercise.
- Make sure your child is well rested. “Sleep serves to reenergize the body’s cells, clear waste from the brain, and support learning and memory.”
- Do make time for play in your child’s schedule. I can’t stress enough the benefits of play for a child’s overall development.
- Take care of the basics. Give your child healthy food habits. Kids that eat well, learn well. I’ve seen this from early childhood to teens. Be a model for them by eating good greens and fruit daily.
- Learn together. If something makes your child curious, take a moment to take a closer look, Find a book on the topic, a museum exhibit, or an educational website.
Thanks for stopping by.
Thoughts of the week:
Small victories are still victories for kids who struggle with reading and each positive step in the learning process is to be noted and celebrated (in my opinion).
Basically, kids need encouragement and a guide, someone to help them tap into their natural desire to learn. And, this guide can be many people in a child’s life, parent’s of course, teachers, siblings, a nanny, extended family, a grandparent or a friend, and any or all these, but what I’ve decided to be is the tutor in a child’s life. Currently, I’m a reading tutor, but I’ve been thinking of a way to expand my business to fit my ideologies.
What I’m currently chewing on is the idea of becoming a Learning Tutor rather than just focusing only on reading. I’m thinking that helping a child focus on becoming a better learner overall might solve the struggle with reading and other subjects. That is my current theory.
My question(s): Can a struggling student be guided towards the learning behaviors needed to tackle reading, and other subjects?
Can a tutor encourage the learning behaviors ( comfortable with challenge, curiosity, grit)of strong learners to those who struggle and have formed negative behaviors (anxiety, resistance, disinterest)?
Will a change in how a student approaches the learning process make a difference in how new information is learned, faced, interacted with?
I write about my tutoring sessions in order to document observations, share insights with interested parties and to advocate for the early intervention of reading help a.k.a, tutoring. Perhaps tutoring has historically been a term equated with the older student and to tutor a young student makes no sense. But, after a year of observation, I beg to differ. It should be a no brainer. A confident, successful reader will love books and in the process love to learn. The earlier a child can master the task of reading, the more enjoyable their school experience will be.
To be clear, I am not advocating developmentally inappropriate practices, for example forcing a pre-schooler to sit quietly at a desk “pushing papers”. While there is a place for some amount of practice using worksheets or flashcards and such, being taught too early in a style meant for a much older student can do more harm to the learning process than good.
Most children have a natural drive to learn about their world and books can be part of this experience. If books are introduced to children while in the lap of a caregiver, the natural drive of learning will create positive experiences with books. It should be built into the child’s routine to have time to sit in the living room exploring a variety of books while the caregivers are nearby reading themselves. Building a reader can also include taking a child to a fun story-time at a local bookstore, or even just visiting the local library and perusing the various books in the child section.
Have a good week putting books into your daily routine.
When I first begin the journey of tutoring a new student, the first few visits are primarily observations of where exactly the struggle is mixed with observing a student’s particular strengths. My goal is often similar to the parents, the goal of boosting their child’s confidence in reading. I would like to point out one of my other underlying goals for all my students. That is the goal of learning.
As a tutor, I don’t just believe all students can learn, I see it happening before my eyes in subtle ways. It happens when I hesitate, even for a few seconds after a student makes an error, the student then realizes their own error and then corrects it. This is gold to me!
Sometimes, I have to remind myself that the student can become dependent on teachers or other helpers to correct their errors. At first, I do point out errors, but I still try to ask first for the student to re-read a sentence rather than just say, “Oh, that word is _____.”I believe it will help rewire the brain more quickly if the student begins to recognize their own errors.
Another thing I’ve noticed in the students I tutor is fatigue with reading. This manifests in rubbing of eyes, excessive blinking, looking away or the student beginning to talk about subjects other than what is being read.
When I observe these things, (and if there has been sufficient practice) I change activities. Sometimes a quick change of activities can keep the focus on reading without allowing frustration to build. I try to avoid frustration at all costs!!
So, what do I do if the reading has come to a fatigue level? I pull out the white board and we practice writing. Or I play a phonemic awareness game such as clapping out the syllables of words. Or I play spell a word. This is where I make sounds and the student writes the letter forming a word. The point being, learning is continued while fatigue is avoided.
I hope you have a great week. More observations ahead as I continue the journey of tutoring reading for young students.