I believe that the reason there is such a flood of kindergartners being sent up for evaluation is because of their age and their level of development. They are not able at this age to do the traditional left-brained type of learning that schools often require and they shouldn’t have to do it.
As parents, you have the opportunity to be an advocate for your children and what they need in order to succeed in school. Once determining the way that your child naturally learns, you can speak to the teacher, school and district to make sure that your child’s needs are being met. You can also teach your children to be their own best help once they understand what comes naturally to them and what they may struggle with a little more.
So apart from advocating for your children at school, what can you do at home to help them out and prevent the discouragement of failure? The minute you discover that your child is struggling with reading, ACT. Please don’t assume it will get better the older she gets or that her teacher will know what to do to help. You know your child better than anyone does, and if you observe that she is smart and capable outside the classroom, yet she is failing IN the classroom, please don’t rush into testing her for learning disabilities (although it might be helpful to get her eyes checked in order to rule out vision problems.) The first two actions I’d recommend taking are to try something radically different to see if she responds positively (does she learn quickly using a different approach?) and at the same time, direct her attention to her giftedness and away from her failure.
Another comment we hear often from parents is that their children are struggling with spelling and grammar. If this describes your child, I’d recommend The Illustrated Book of Sounds and Their Spelling Patterns. This is another resource that you can pick up for a few minutes each day to keep learning stress-free while ensuring that your child receives a solid spelling/phonics base.
All sounds are taught with all of their possible spellings to prevent confusion, to maximize vocabulary acquisition, and enhance the students' abilities to read unknown words. The book includes 55 units on varying levels of difficulty and all the units are taught through cartoons and humorous sentences that tie related words together.
This book will start at the very beginning with counting, laying a very tactile and visual background for computation. Number sense is a big focus. By the time your child finishes with this book, he/she will know fluently all facts to 10. Time to move on to Right-Brained Place Value - Addition & Subtraction with numbers over 10.
This book picks up where the orange book left off: adding and subtracting numbers over 10. Once your child is very fluent with facts to 10, this book will base all further work on those facts. The approach is very visual and hands-on, making it simple for the child to learn facts, but also to understand what is going on as they work.
Those dreaded tables become friendly when your child is able to learn the facts using stories and images to help provide hooks for learning and remembering.
Understanding fractions and knowing how to solve fraction problems has never been so easy. Again, the book takes a kid-friendly approach with plenty of hooks for learning and remembering.
Browse the categories to find any other topics we might not have covered here. Also, on the homepage, you will find orange buttons that help you pinpoint, based on the age of your child and skills needed, exactly what you could use to help them at home. Please, also, email us if you have questions about your child and any particular concepts he/she is struggling with.