Struggling Learner: Back to School

If you took some time off for the summer with your student, you are no doubt making plans to get ready to go back to school here soon. As a parent of a struggling learner, there are some extra things to consider as you prepare curriculum and your child for another great school year.

1.  Set Schedule. Many struggling learners need a set schedule and they don’t handle changes in that schedule very well. So, you may want to start now to transition them into a new schedule. By adjusting their bedtime or their wake up time now, they can get used to the time change before school starts.

2.  Emotional Preparation. My struggling learners tend to get very anxious about starting a new school year. It feels daunting to them. So, we talk about it: What their day will look like, what their courses will be, what they will be covering. I particularly talk about the fun things that they will be doing, such as field trips or various other activities that appeal to them.

In addition to talking about it, you may even want to early start with one or two classes before the official school year starts so you ease your child into the full school year – start with some easier classes or play some familiar math card games. When I have done this in the past with my kids, I usually end the day by saying, “See, that wasn’t that bad!”

Go shopping for brand new school supplies and let them pick out what they want. There have been times when my kids have picked out items I know they don’t need, but somehow they get a little excited about having that Avenger’s lunch box or the Wonder Woman backpack. Even though they don’t need it, I will concede to help them get excited about a new school year.

3.  School Room Environment. Do you have a school room that needs to be updated or cleaned out? Have your struggling learner help set it up. Let them help make decisions on where to put her books or how to arrange his desk. Let your child thumb through some of the books she will be reading. Some kids tend to fear the unknown. By letting them look through and see the material, it helps them feel a little more secure.

4.  Medication. If your child is using a special medication that helps them focus, now is the time to take your child to the doctor to be sure they are on the right dosage. If you prefer a more natural type of healthcare, you might want to stock up on focus oils or candles so you are ready to go for the first week or so of school.

5.  Enjoy the rest of the summer days. Make the memories and enjoy every last day at the pool or at the park. Have fun and be sure to include lots of laughter!

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