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Help for children who are struggling at school

Children can struggle at school for lots of different reasons.  If your child is struggling with writing, reading or spelling, here are some ideas to help them with their studies.

Does your child dread reading and find it hard to concentrate on the words and what they mean?

It can help if you encourage your child to take their time and read each word carefully before moving on to the next word.  The opportunity to read or be read to on a daily basis can be beneficial.

Access to a Kindle can also be beneficial as they have the facility to read stories aloud.

Does your child find it hard to write in class?

It might be that they have lots of ideas but find it hard to write these down on paper.  Organising thoughts can be difficult so encourage them to try and draw mind maps for brainstorming ideas and visualising their connections to a common theme.

Software such as Kidspiration uses the spider diagram technique electronically and converts the ideas into a writing frame which can be added to and printed off as a record of work.  Use of a program such as this may help a child to further develop their independent recording skills and rate of recording.

Does your child find it uncomfortable to write for a long time? 

This might be down to the way they hold their pen or pencil.  The use of a triangular pen grip or a Yoropen may facilitate the development of good pen control, grip and fluency.

Does your child struggle to learn new spellings? 

It might be that your child finds it hard to remember the order of the letters in a word.  Practising common words by writing them over and over may be beneficial to ensure that they have the opportunity to overlearn spelling patterns in a range of words.

Using touch typing techniques with the appropriate finger placement can also help a child with letter patterns.  BBC Dance Mat is a very good starter for touch typing.

Does your child get distracted easily? 

This may be a sign of working memory difficulties.  Try and be sensitive to signs of ‘overload’ and provide opportunities for breaks in order to accommodate this.  Setting one task at a time may prove to be more successful.

Special Direct has many resources available to buy to aid with concentration such as reading windows and skills cards.

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