Struggling Learner: Check Please!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE checking things off my list. I love to schedule and create lists. For me, lists motivate and inspire me to get things done. Sometimes I make a list just so I can check things off!

However, I must admit, not being able to check items off the list causes me stress and frustration. So when my struggling learner is unable to keep up with “my” schedule, I tend to push too hard. My child gets frustrated, doesn’t learn, and, dare I say, tears flow from both of us.

Now that we are all coming to the end of the school year and are trying to get everything *on our list* done, let me give you a few thoughts to consider as we all try to cross things off our home school lists AND help our children learn.

First of all, are you nearing the end of the school year, but have way too many lessons left in your lessons manual? That’s OK! Actually, that’s wonderful because you are teaching to the speed that your struggling learner can learn.

This means you are not moving through the curriculum so fast to get everything done that your child is not learning. No one says that your child MUST complete a RightStart Math level a year.

For many struggling learners, they simply need more time than eight months a year of math education. So relax a little and give yourself permission to not complete a level a year!

Next, consider having math lessons throughout the summer months. The average learner forgets so much of what they learned when they take a summer off. Studies show that children who do not continue some form of math and reading education during the summer months lose about two months of their previous year’s learning! So how much progress might your struggling learner lose during the summer break?

How about teaching two or three lessons a week during the summer months to help maintain their progress? With consistent exposure, your child will keep learning (and not forgetting!), AND you get closer to your original schedule!

Finally, celebrate the ending of the winter and the coming summer with your struggling learner. Even though the lesson manual may not be completed, have a celebration of what your child HAS learned over the past year. This will encourage both you and your child!

Take your child outside to a park, the porch, or front steps and play a math card game while soaking up some sun. Ask your child what they have enjoyed learning this year. Ask what their favorite math activity or math card game was. Remind them of what they didn’t know at the beginning of the year and what they know now!

Celebrate with your child. You may want to even have your child “check off” another school year done well!



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