A Fun Way to Support Phonological Awareness at Home

Research is very clear that Phonological Awareness is a foundational strategy for students to obtain the necessary literacy skills to read and spell effectively and efficiently. However, teaching older students phonological awareness skills can be difficult because many of the resources out there are geared towards younger students and the images, worksheets, and resources can be insulting to older students.

So, as a parent, what can you do to support your dyslexic student in learning the necessary phonological awareness skills to be successful? This answer may surprise you.

The Best Strategy When Spelling Words Aren't Sticking...

As a parent, it can be incredibly frustrating to watch your child struggle through the weekly spelling word lists. Depending on what type of list is coming home this can be pure torture.

Hopefully your child is receiving a patterned list that follows one concrete pattern like "Magic E" in which you might get a list including words such as take, home, sale, date, note, etc. or words that follow more complex patterns like night, sight, sleigh, neighbor in which "igh" says I and "eigh" says A. In the best scenario, this pattern of words has been systematically designed and well-thought out. These types of lists are the best in order to use strategies that actually work to help your child begin to generalize the spelling rules of the English language.

5 Signs the Homework Battle is Actually Something More

If you are fighting over homework every night - it's time to figure out what is going on. Often well meaning parents and teachers attribute a student's difficulty finishing or completing work to laziness, but the reality is that is just rarely ever the case. It's important that parents don't lose out on a more positive relationship with their child and get to the bottom of the homework struggle as quickly as possible. Often this struggle is caused by an unidentified learning disability - by identifying the core cause of the difficulties and outlining a plan you could change the future for your child.

Everything Was Fine Until 3rd Grade

A common theme that we hear from many of the parents we work with is, “everything was fine until third grade.”

Parents often wonder, what happened!? My child wasn’t struggling in class, the teacher didn’t express any concerns, their reading was on grade-level or close to it, and then suddenly in third grade everything fell apart. What happened!?

For all students, third grade is a big year that brings about significant change to their educational journey. For dyslexic students, this is typically the year that dyslexia makes its presence known or becomes more obvious.

5 Things Every Child with Dyslexia Needs in the Classroom

Students with dyslexia need to be taught in the way that their brains learn best. As teachers, it is our responsibility to learn how to meet the needs of this unique and special learning style. Research tells us that people with dyslexia often have average to above-average IQ’s. 

The reason that they struggle in the school setting is not that they lack the intelligence it’s because people with dyslexia learn differently. It’s important to remember that what we call “advantages” and “disadvantages” have meaning only in the context of the task that needs to be performed.

4 Things Every Teacher Needs to Know About Dyslexia

There are many misconceptions around dyslexia and unfortunately teachers went through a lot of training in college through their teacher training programs and yet still never received formal instruction in specific learning disabilities. We are here to dispel many popular misconceptions and we have a free printable!

Executive Functioning: Perseverance

I want you to take a second and think about your life.  What big challenges have you faced?  How did you overcome them?  What goal were you trying to reach?  

We all have our own struggles and challenges in life that we have to work through in order to reach the goals that we have set for ourselves.  The ability to stick with something, even when challenges arise and it is tough, is called perseverance.

Executive Functioning: Flexibility

Flexibility, in terms of Executive Functioning, means to be able to deal with changes and accommodate for problems that come up.  This is crucial.  Out of all ten of the EF skills, one could argue that this is the one that is the most necessary to get through life.  Things change, and if we cannot adapt to those changes, we cannot be successful. Here are some tips on dealing with change.

She'll Catch Up

“Oh, she’ll catch up,” is what Jane recalled her daughter Susan’s teachers saying throughout first and second grades. Susan, now 12, was in the lowest reading group in her classroom but teachers assured Jane that Susan was very bright and would catch up shortly.

In truth, Susan wasn’t catching up. As peers began moving past her in reading, Jane became more anxious and worried. Their collective frustration levels — both Susan’s and her parents—soon reached a breaking point, especially after they’d hired a tutor to help improve her reading in the fall of second grade.

How Can I Help My Child Pay Attention? EF: Sustained Attention

Have you ever experienced a time where your child is looking directly at you while you give them a direction, but they can’t remember or follow what you said?  Maybe even more frustrating, have you ever had a time where your child is doing everything but looking at you while you are talking to them, but when you tell them to pay attention, they can repeat back everything you just told them, verbatim?

My Child is Struggling, But Everyone Says He is On Grade-Level...

Is your child in the gray area?

“She has trouble spelling and reading fluently, but she’s doing okay for the most part

“He’s about a year behind, but don’t worry, it will click soon…”

“She has a hard time with reading grade level text, but she is fine compared to other kids in her class who struggle so much more…”

“I understand he has a diagnosis of dyslexia, but he’s not that far behind…”

8 Tips For Talking To Your Child About Dyslexia

Talking to your child about dyslexia can be anxiety-provoking. On the one hand you want them to understand why learning has been so difficult but on the other hand - you don't want to worry them or have them think anything is wrong. Using these 8 tips you will be well on your way to empowering your child to understand more about dyslexia.

Executive Functioning: Self-Control

Self-control is the ability to regulate your thoughts, emotions and actions.  It is something we always expect kids to have, but never explicitly teach.  We may tell kids "use your inside voice" or "this is how you should sit on the carpet in the classroom" or "keep your hands to yourself,"  but what about in the instances where self-control is hard to practice?  

Executive Functioning: Task Initiation

Have you ever sat down to work, and realized it took you a while to get started?  Or, have you ever asked your child to do something and came back 30 minutes later and nothing you had asked for has been done?  These are instances that have happened to all of us in one form or another and refer to the Executive Functioning skill, Task Initiation.