This month our focus is on getting early access to help or interventions. Far too often we see children, and even adults, who have struggled for years before getting help. Our goal is that by getting children help sooner, we can limit the emotional toll, stop developing behavior issues, and prevent negative attitudes toward school. It’s tough to get excited about going to school when school leaves you feeling like a failure.
The Breakthroughs in Learning Blog
One of the questions we hear on a regular basis is "How do I know if my child needs help?" Today we are going to start answering that question for the early years. Over the next few weeks we will specifically look at older children as well. When looking at children in the Preschool and Junior Kindergarten level, these are some of the areas that could raise concern:
This month's focus is on Homework: The Great Debate! If we conducted a survey asking teachers, parents and students the pros and cons of homework, I'm sure the answers would vary greatly, even within each group. I've been involved in the field of education for over 40 years. During that time I've watched philosophical cycles come and go. At this point in history homework is fairly common even in the early grades!
How often have you heard these words when homework time rolls around? This month, we’re talking about homework and why children often try to avoid it. Check out our other blogs on homework avoidance and other reasons children dodge homework. The underlying cause for homework avoidance I want to share with you today is: lack of success at school. Spending more time facing that failure is not very motivational.
Now before you start looking for pitch forks and torches, let me explain: this is not my personal belief but rather something I hear from my clients on a regular basis. At Breakthroughs in Learning we work with children and adults who struggle to learn, so it’s little surprise that homework is not usually an area of celebration for them. However, my clients aren’t the only ones. I hear from parents fairly frequently that their children are constantly trying to dodge homework. This marks the start of a series of blogs looking at some of the reasons your children or students may be avoiding homework.
Has your child or student ever been ready to just give up? Today was one of those days…
I hear “My child just isn’t interested in reading” all too often.
I guarantee you can find something they’re interested in reading. If not, there are deeper issues that need to be examined and we'll look at many of those in later posts. I’ve seen children whose parents can’t get them to read a thing, yet they pour over a new video game manual cover to cover! The key is finding something that interests them. There’s a book on it somewhere! Bugs, rocks, Barbie’s, video games, mummies, knights, space, animals, you name it, it’s out there. Want help? Below you can download a short interest inventory which will help give you ideas of content your children will be interested in reading!
“Parents [or teachers] of a child with a memory for information deficit are often convinced the child is irresponsible, lazy or stubborn..." (Barbara Arrowsmith-Young)
We all respond and make decisions from belief systems often operating at the unconscious level. We look at situations in life through our belief systems, just like a pair of sunglasses. When we stop to examine the implications of this, it can be almost frightening. Where have I made assumptions or judgment calls unconsciously which have then clouded my future interactions with others? If we only look at behaviours, it’s easy to label a child with laziness, acting out, ignoring, bullying, fidgeting and distractibility as character traits. These labels do us and the child a great disservice by keeping us focused on the symptoms instead of looking for the root causes.
I think reading was perhaps one of the most liberating experiences of my childhood so I am troubled by how many children struggle with reading.
A recent survey by Canadian Living Magazine (May 2012) of Ontario’s grade 6 students revealed that ½ of them don’t like to read. Reading was always an area of strength for me, but I have worked with many children who struggle with reading for a wide variety of reasons. I believe that if you are good at something, then in most cases you will enjoy it. For 50% of grade 6 students to not enjoy reading there is something seriously wrong.
I sent my daughters off to their first day of school this week, what a wide array of emotions I experienced! I was excited, nervous, proud, unsure, confident and nostalgic too.
Do you remember your first day of school? My senses were overwhelmed with the feeling of new shoes and the weight of a back pack on my shoulders, the smell of the classroom, new books and paper, the bright colours of the new clothes. I can remember the nervous butterflies in my belly wanting so desperately to do well this year. Not just "Krystal well" but you know the recognized, "you did so well your classmates will think you are one of the smart ones" well. I remember the desire to fit in to the crowd, to feel like I mattered and to make a positive impact in the lives of those around me.