If your child is falling behind in school, you’re probably exploring options both inside and outside the school setting. In order to figure out what’s best, you will have to figure out your child’s issues, his or her learning style, and what is causing the problems. That’s a tall order!
From my three decades in education and helping kids, I tell parents that no matter whether your child is in public school or private school, you will need to advocate for your child relentlessly. You can’t rely totally on the school, the counselors, the tutors to “fix” your child’s issues.
Let’s consider some options:.
Learning center franchises
There are many franchised tutoring corporations. Their focus is helping students work up to grade level or learning special skills such as effective studying. They don’t necessarily specialize in teaching students with dyslexia, as they all have some degree of standardization. However, the teachers are usually certified by the state, and often you will have a choice of how your student is taught: online, over the phone, or in person (usually in small groups).
These learning centers typically test your child to see whether he or she is working at grade level, especially in math and reading. They will prescribe a curriculum to help your child move up to grade level and give you an expected timeline for that to happen. If your child tests at or above grade level, the center will help her progress at her own pace. Your child may also be tested to find his learning style, which will aid in his progress.
You may or may not have the option to have these certified instructors help your child with homework.
While tutoring on the phone or computer can be effective, I personally believe that all dyslexic children need one-on-one teaching from a tutor. Teaching students with dyslexia is best accomplished in person. There is no greater encouragement than a high-five or a big smile with praise, which you can’t get from a computer. When students work with a tutor, they receive the validation and acknowledgement they need to build their self-confidence.
Private tutors come from all walks of life, and you’ll find them all around you. Your neighbor may be a former engineer, so he can help with math. An older sibling understands your child’s learning challenges better than most strangers would. So would an older family member or former teacher.
As with the learning centers, a private tutor may not have much experience in the specifics of teaching students with dyslexia, but they will likely have the patience and the supportive demeanor that are the most important factors in tutoring.
Body/brain based learning and therapies:
Learning doesn’t happen just in our head. The body is very involved in how well the brain functions. If there were biological developmental glitches, reading and math and physical coordination issues may need to be addressed before tutoring. If the problem is in the hardware (the wiring) of a computer, it wouldn’t matter what kind of software (tutoring ) you loaded. First you need to make sure the hardware (the body/brain connections) are working so whatever software (learning programs/ tutoring, etc) can succeed. Perhaps you’ve already considered Occupational Therapy or Vision Therapy. But have you ever tried Books Neural Therapy? This BNT approach looks at what parts of the brain are involved in what subjects and skills. And it helps rewire the signals to the body and brain so that if you still need tutoring or help with spelling rules, the tutoring will be very short and effective….because the body and brain are working together.
3 steps for success:
- Get a body/brain assessment so you’ll know what kind of help your child would benefit from. Books Neural Therapy is well-documented for providing excellent service in this arena.
- Start with the body and brain synchronization. You’ll save yourself a lot of money and time and frustration.
- If you still need tutoring or catch up in some subjects,
a) interview at least three tutors and if possible, check references.
b) If you take your child to a learning center, let your child watch a session. Make sure to involve your child in the decision.
c) If you decide on a learning center, ask that your child have a session with at least three different instructors to see if any are a good fit. If you find one, ask if your child can have that teacher consistently.
d) Schedule tutoring at a time when your child is alert and open to learning. Right after school isn’t necessarily when your child will benefit the most. Kids need to “let down,” and have a nutritious snack before any more learning.
e) If you have a private tutor, watch a session occasionally without your child or the tutor seeing you, if possible. The tutoring should be in a quiet place free from distractions, and the tutor and your child should be engaging each other throughout the session.
If you have questions about finding the right kind of help for your child, please let me know. I’ll be happy to help you determine the best approach for your child. I’m happy to set up a free 15 minute consultation with you to get started. Just call 512 331-0668 or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org