Homework is not always a joyous process for parents and children. For a child with dyslexia, it can be even more frustrating to keep up the pace of academic rigor after the final bell has rung. When homework is seen as a barrier to the rest and relaxation that should be afforded at home, it becomes an agonizing race against the clock to finish up and unwind with some type of recreational activity.
With all that is expected of our students at school these days, it’s no wonder that we are seeing test scores, grade point averages, and student motivation plummet as they struggle to strike a balance between work and play. Kids should be able to play, right? Homework is not soon going away, however, so it becomes necessary to employ some strategies to make time flow smoothly at home for parents and students.
Children with dyslexia have a different way of communicating and relating to peers and family members. They struggle to formulate words into sentences that convey their intended meaning. Conflicts breed the need to develop coping mechanisms that may evolve into anger and resistance as they don’t feel heard. By learning to listen to what they are saying, we remove those frustrating emotions that become barriers to learning in and of themselves, and you form a basis of mutual trust as you sit down together to tackle the books. Here are some other strategies to employ when designing homework time that doesn’t intrude on family time:
- Be empathetic. Look at the challenge of homework from your child’s perspective; they are dealing with learning new material with the limitations of a learning disability. It can be extremely frustrating at times to assimilate new information even without additional processing challenges. Provide opportunities for breaks, and listen to fears and concerns that he has about learning. Many times after a break or some time to explore feelings, he will be ready to try once more.
- Reframe mistakes. Look for teachable moments, and model what it is like to try again after failing. Revel in the successes that your child does have, and build upon that experience by encouraging him to try again. Mistakes are a natural part of life; they are how we learn, and if we can reframe these moments as opportunities for learning and growth, we might come to welcome them.
- Customize study techniques for your child. If you child studies best in the comfort of his bedroom, then let him sprawl out on the floor with his materials. If you feel that this time might go more smoothly if the two of you take up residence at the dining room and take up some table space. Perhaps he can take a break from reading and writing to draw while you dictate some text. Whatever your arrangement, keep the lines of communication open between the two of you so that you can adjust your situation to meet the needs of your learner.
- Come prepared. There is no point in trying to assist your child with homework if you are not familiar with what he is studying. Do your homework ahead of time; ask your child’s teacher for strategies on completing assignments at home, and be prepared to help your child through difficult tasks; it will save both of you valuable time and needless frustration.
- Focus on multi-sensory activities. Kids that struggle to learn are easily bored. Engage his other senses by providing gum to chew, fidgets to work with, and a yoga ball to perch on while studying. Engaging the whole body is engaging the whole child, and perhaps some of these other multi-sensory strategies will take attention off his academic struggles. Move, stretch, listen to music, make up a rhyme as you march around the room reciting information by rote; make it fun by switching activities and employing new techniques that keep your child entertained while learning.
There are a number of techniques that are tried and true to make homework more engaging and fun for children with dyslexia. At My Multiplication Magic, we provide step by step techniques for taking the drudgery out of homework. With our proven system, we take the struggle out of learning and provide fun and engaging activities that will reignite a passion for learning within your child. Visit us today for more information at www.mymultiplicationmagic.com. Your exciting path to learning awaits you!
Bridgman, Sue. “Succeed with My Multiplication Magic.” My Multiplication Magic, www.mymultiplicationmagic.com/.
Witherson, Kris. “8 Tips to Help Your Dyslexic Child With Learning.” WeHaveKids, WeHaveKids, 2017, wehavekids.com/education/dyslexia-in-children-2.
Ziegler, John. “Understanding Dyslexia: 5 Ways to End the Homework Struggle.” Scientific Learning, 6 July 2016, www.scilearn.com/blog/understanding-dyslexia-homework-struggles.