Is it Just My Kids, Or...
Does this sound familiar to you…..
Parent: How was your day?
Parent: That’s great! What did you do?
Parent: (Trying a new angle) What did you learn or talk about today?
Parent: (Trying another new angle) What was your favorite part of the day?
This is pretty much how it goes down every single day with my kids. Now, I know their teachers and I know they are doing amazing things in their classroom and intervention groups every single day, so….what gives!? Are my kids not remembering what they did or learned? Are they just trying to avoid my questions?
Or are there so many things that happened in their day that they can become easily overwhelmed in trying to pick just one to tell me about?
This can happen often, especially if your child has ADHD and struggles to narrow down the numerous thoughts that are racing around in their mind.
An easy way to help your child organize their thoughts, focus on pieces of their day, and to find out how school was for them is to not frame your question as open ended. Instead, offer two relevant options for your child to use in their answer:
What did you enjoy the most today, reading or math?
Did you eye read or ear-read in reading group today?
Did you go to art or music today for your specials?
Framing your questions with possible answers narrows what can sometimes feel like an overwhelming amount of information for your child, but also supports their expressive language skills by giving them options for answers.
Most teachers send out weekly emails updating parents about the learning taking place in the classroom each week, and the different content area topics. This is a great tool for parents to use when framing questions for our children, as it gives us an insight into what our child is doing in the classroom and can help us frame these questions at the end of each day.
Here, at Ascend, we greatly value our last 5 minutes of each session as that is our time and opportunity to connect with parents about the intervention session. This is when we can tell parents all about the amazing work their child just did, as well as update them on the specific skill/rule and learning that just took place. This can also help parents frame questions to their child about their intervention work:
Did you learn about a closed syllable rule today or an open syllable rule?
Is the -ch sound always spelled -tch?
Can you tell me about when the letter -c can sound like an -s?
5 easy ways to help make sure your child is generalizing their learning from intervention to their school work and other daily routines:
During writing tasks or homework, remind your child to ‘use their rules’. This refers to the specific decoding and encoding rules they are learning in their intervention group.
When your child is writing, remind them to go back and edit for COPS. This is our simple trick to help them remember to always use Capitals, Organization, Punctuation, and Spelling in their writing. If you haven't read our blog about using anchor charts, specifically COPS to help cement skills, you can find it here.
If your child is struggling with spelling multi-syllable words, remind them to use their Scoop Spelling strategy. This is a simple way of breaking a word into syllable chunks that can help them attack a word one piece at a time rather than attacking a whole, big word which can be overwhelming. Read our blog on Scoop Spelling here!
When sounding out a word is causing frustration, help your child ‘tap’ the sounds. This helps them isolate each individual sound that is heard in a word which can support decoding.
Another tip for decoding a new word is to break the word into syllable chunks for your child. Like Scoop Spelling, this will help them attack one small pieces at a time and makes the word attack much less overwhelming.
A key piece to intervention is helping your child transfer their new skills to everyday tasks and school work. The ability to apply and generalize information they are learning in intervention is a sign that they are internalizing new strategies and cementing this new learning.