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.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Handling homework meltdowns

It's seven o'clock. You are preparing the evening meal when your child reveals that they have homework. Your initial response is one of irritation; why didn't they tell you earlier? You stop what you are doing and sit down with them to try to work out what they have got to do. It looks pretty straightforward but when you discuss what needs to be done with your child, you are met with resistance, confusion and tears. 

From time to time, all children will experience homework that they don't like or understand, but for children with dyslexia, perplexing and time consuming homework is the norm. Many will try avoidance tactics, putting it off till the last minute or persuade you to tell them what to write. Others will really want to do it to the best of their ability and will spend hours on a homework designed to take twenty minutes. 

One mum recently told me that their valuable family time at the weekend was "ruined" by her dyslexic son's desire to get his spelling right in his homework. "It takes him hours," she said. "It makes me cry when I see all the effort he puts into something that is only supposed to take 30 minutes."

So, what can you do to help? Well, here are a few tips collected from my pupils and their families.

  • Ask your child if they have homework as soon as you get home so that there is plenty of time to complete it.
  • Break the task down into manageable chunks; if you can, do a little bit over several days. If you only have one evening to complete the work then set a timer and take regular breaks.
  • Read the questions to your child and ensure they understand the task before you begin.
  • Agree a time limit and have something fun lined up for when the work is finished e.g playing a game or watching a favourite programme on their tablet.
  • Talk to the class teacher if homework is taking over your life, taking too long or unduly upsetting your child; discuss strategies to reduce the stress on your child.
If dyslexia has not yet been identified or help and support in the school is inadequate then contact a specialist dyslexia tutor. Tuition will help your child  learn strategies to help them cope with homework as well as improving their general literacy.

Many schools, once they know a child is dyslexic, will allow pupils to complete homework more tailored to their needs, so consider dyslexia screening to help you and your child's school to understand where your child needs support.

Most importantly of all, don't let homework become a battleground. Remind yourself and your child that it isn't the most important thing in the world and if you think you have spent long enough on it, then put the books away and do something else. 

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

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