When Reading is a Struggle: How to Help Your Child
Each child differs from the next in how they learn, what their strengths are, and what they prefer as they learn. When a child is struggling, we believe in looking at the child first and uncovering the beauty of their design. Next, we believe in tailoring instruction to them.
Reading Comprehension: How to Use Visualization to Help Your Child
If a person reads and does not remember what they read or doesn’t understand what they read, then they have not comprehended. They might come to believe that “reading” means correctly calling out words or correctly sounding out words. They might need to be told that words carry meaning and tell us lots of things.
7 Strategies for Helping Struggling Readers Catch Up
Say you have two children who are struggling with reading, one in kindergarten and one in sixth grade. Logic would dictate that the further behind the child is, the longer it will take them to catch up, but in my experience, it takes about the same amount of time for children in various grades.
Who We Are And What We Believe
Our mission is to empower children to learn from a position of strength, with an approach that works in harmony with their unique wiring. Our goal specifically is to reach the children who are struggling or failing, because their natural strengths do not match their learning environment.
65% of Students are Reading Below Grade Level
According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, in 2019, 31% of 4th graders tested at NAEP Basic, indicating only partial mastery of basic reading skills. Another 34% tested Below Basic. 26% tested NAEP Proficient and 9% tested at NAEP Advanced. We have a crisis involving a majority of our students. Let's learn who these students are, how they learn best, and what we can do to help them.
Strategies that Work for Children with Learning Challenges
Over the past ten years, I have learned about a whole array of classifications for disabilities. There are so many! One could get the impression that children are getting more and more broken, and we are developing more and more detailed labels for describing them.
My Child Struggles to Recognize Letters in Different Fonts
By exposing children to different fonts while they are learning to read, we are teaching them to recognize the pattern of each letter. We want them to be prepared to read and recognize letters in every font.
Help! My Child is Struggling with Math
If your child is a kinesthetic learner who struggles with math, it is very likely that there is a mismatch between the child’s learning strengths and the approach being used to teach math. When this is the case, it is actually great news because the teaching approach can be changed.
Help! My Child is Struggling with Reading
Reading is hard for kinesthetic children primarily because they learn by moving and because they think in pictures. And let’s face it: the way we teach reading requires children to sit still and try to make sense of a bunch of symbols.
Help! My Child Has Behavior Issues
Believe it or not, most children don’t misbehave because they are “bad” kids. Most often, there are underlying emotions that they just don’t have the tools to cope with. Here are some feelings underlying bad behavior at school.
Understanding Children Who Struggle In School
All children fall somewhere on a spectrum from left-brained dominant to right-brained dominant in how their brains are wired to learn. It will benefit both children and teachers to understand the child’s unique wiring.
What to do When Your Child Has Given Up, Part 1
When a child has given up, it is because he has failed frequently enough that he will fight doing anything that might produce another failure. The resulting behaviors should not be our focus. We must zero in on the underlying sense of discouragement and helplessness and purpose to do anything in our power to help.
What to do When Your Child Has Given Up, Part 2
When at first we don't succeed with a child, we must NOT try and try again using techniques that have already failed to bring good results! Instead, try some radically different approaches, and thus avoid bringing renewed failure to the child. What follows are some ideas on how to take a different approach.
What to do When Your Child Has Given Up, Part 3
If we can get a child who has failed repeatedly to try one more time, it is supremely important that he achieve success with the new approaches to learning you are using. What follows are some suggestions for ensuring success for your discouraged child.
Why It's So Important to Know What Kind of Learner Your Child Is
We often speak about children as “smart,” “struggling,” or “learning disabled.” The problem with this is that there is room for a whole lot of error, and when we have subconsciously determined what group a child falls into, we may not make the effort to find out what exactly is causing a lack of success.
What to do When Bright Children Struggle With Reading
The minute you discover that your child is struggling with reading, ACT. Please don’t assume it will just get better the older she gets. Don’t assume that her teacher will know what to do to help. Don’t even assume that the special needs team will know what to do. You know your child better than anyone does.
Help! My Child Struggles with Reading, Spelling, Phonics, and Writing!
In our day and age, we have become very specialized in the labels we assign our children who cannot successfully learn to read, write, and spell. For some children, one particular aspect of reading gives them more trouble, while for other kids some other part of that linear process (see above) is the sticking point.
What is it About Learning to Read that is Hard for Some Kids?
When a child cannot learn to read, is the issue the child or the teaching approach? Some children have no trouble at all learning to read, write, and spell inside traditional classrooms or using a traditional language arts curriculum, but others struggle miserably.
10 Traits of Struggling Readers & How You Can Help
It helps to understand ahead of time what will be hard for struggling readers. After working with struggling readers for several years and taking the time to consider what they have in common, I have come up with a list of skills that are hard for them.
So, They’re Telling You Your Kindergartner is Failing
So really, the business of kindergarten is playing – role playing being real people in this world – and growing into a sense of value and self-worth as a competent member of the group. This is what young children are supposed to be doing.
10 Rules for Success when Teaching Struggling Learners
Learn to distinguish between effective lessons and busy work.
Much of what filled our day in the classroom (yes, when I was teaching) was busy work with minimal gains made by the child. You can tell which activities fall into this category because the child is simply not enjoying it and is not engaged.
What Struggling Learners Don’t Need
What was true about how children develop 20 years ago is still true today. If children are failing it is because we have not adapted our teaching materials or our teaching style to what we have learned about kids.
How to Make School a Better Place for Struggling Learners
The most exciting outcome of these years spent with my eyes three feet off the ground is that I have seen scores of children go from failing to way above grade level expectation. That is what happens when we get it right. When we teach in a way that we have learned from our kids, miracles happen.
Does Your Child Find it Hard to Just Memorize?
What if we promised to react to a struggling child by looking FIRST at what we are doing to see if it might need changing? We could transform the world for many children! There is a better way; there is a more child-friendly way to teach.
Do’s and Don’ts: When Learning Doesn’t Stick
ALL learning begins with sensory input. But all input is not created equal, my dears. Teaching and learning can involve talking and listening, but those things are some of the least effective ways to make learning happen.
How to Spot Early Signs of Learning Struggles and What to Do About Them
As parent and teachers, we are always learning from our children as we teach them. We learn what is easy for them and what is hard for them. Because the brain is wired for learning – that is what it DOES – when a child has trouble learning or remembering something, we need to sit up and pay attention.
Infographic: How My Belief About Failure Impacts My Students
The stakes are too high for our children to continue on in a way that is not working for the majority of learners. If we believe deep down in our hearts that children are wired to learn, our actions will follow that belief and then we will give our children their futures.
My Child Can't Read: 10 Strategies That Will Work For Struggling Readers
If you only have time to teach it once, how do you teach so that a variety of learners can learn? In a previous blog, we discussed the various gaps in understanding children experience when they are taught to read in the traditional way. Can we teach one time but include various strategies that will reach all children?
Why It Pays to Break from Tradition When Teaching Struggling Kids
However, the idea has been so ingrained that the ONLY way to teach is the approved way that it is nearly impossible, feels dangerous and risky, and is scary to venture out and teach using pictures, etc.
Help! My Child Can't Remember Words
Now, over a decade later, I wouldn’t dream of teaching young kids to read without, from the beginning, involving all the strategies I have found to work for the very young and for struggling readers. You can tell which strategies each particular child needs based on what they rely on as they are reading.
9 Tips for Encouraging Struggling Readers
This topic reaches out and grabs me in the heart every time. I'm passionate about helping people who are struggling to find solutions, and when it comes to kids, the pull becomes even stronger. Because reading is the subject that is foundational to every other discipline, this is where my focus has been.