One in every ten children is dyslexic and many more struggle with reading and writing. Early intervention and a structured multi-sensory teaching programme can make all the difference. As a qualified teacher and member of the British Dyslexia Association, I have taught countless children to read and will help your child to become a confident and competent reader as well as helping them find ways to improve their writing and spelling.

Contact me today to find out how I can help you and your child.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

What is Dyscalculia?

Which of these numbers is the biggest? 21 or 25? This may seem obvious but it isn't if you are dyscalculic. So, what is Dyscalculia? Dyscalculia is often described as being like dyslexia for numbers. Children with dyscalculia just 'don't get' numbers so if you ask them which number is higher or greater or larger, they will often just guess. Give them a simple sum like 8 plus 3 and you'll probably see them using their fingers - even when they are seven or eight and past the 'using fingers' stage.

A number of the dyslexic children I teach are also dyscalculic and finding ways to help them understand the value of numbers can present a challenge. I use a variety of methods to show the children what numbers mean, often going back and re-visiting those early mathematical skills that many children acquire in reception classes. 

Whilst children with dyscalculia need specialist support, there are lots of things you can do at home to help them and Christmas provides some great opportunities.

First, there is the advent calendar. Advent calendars tend to have the numbers arranged randomly. For a lot of children with dyscalculia, this randomness makes no more or less sense than the correct number order. You see, if you don't understand than 2 is one more than 1 then it is not clear why you would put them next to one another in a number line or on a calendar.

You can help your child by making or printing out a number line with the numbers up to 25 - there's a link on my resources page if you want to print one out. Each time you open a calendar door, go back over the sequence, pointing at the numbers on the calendar and then on the number line. Explain that today is, for example, the 19th day of December. Talk about what day was yesterday and what day will come tomorrow. Children also love to do countdowns to the big day, so use your number line to count back from 25.

Secondly, when buying presents, encourage your child to handle the money and examine it. Talk about what the coin or note represents e.g £1 is made up of 100 lots of 1p. This may seem obvious to you but to children who struggle to understand value, it is a mystery. If you have the time, get out some 1p coins and try showing your child how to make 5 or 10p.

Thirdly, with holidays coming up, keep them busy with Christmas themed dot to dots which will help your child to correctly sequence numbers. Let your child keep a number line next to them whilst they join the dots to make sure they join them in the right order and succeed in creating their Christmas picture.You'll find a link on my resources page. Merry Christmas all.

If your child is struggling with understanding numbers then contact me today to get them the help and support they need to succeed.