School is out, and maybe the year didn't go quite like you and your child had hoped. Summer break is a great time to reflect with your student and determine how you can work together to have a better year when school resumes. The first thing to consider is that your child's struggles may be due to a vision based learning problem. Before you begin to revamp everything, schedule them for a learning related vision exam to ensure there are no hidden vision disorders. If that checks out as normal then here are three quick tips to get you started down the road to starting a successful school year in the fall:
Tip 1: Create an Action Plan
This action plan includes strategies and activities you can do at home to assist your child in one or more areas of academic deficiency. As part of the plan, designate a timeframe at which you will communicate with the teacher to discuss the progress at home. Everyone is strapped for time, but a quick email can work wonders. The more specific this plan is the easier the follow-up communication will be. Even if your child needs a lot of help, focusing on just a few areas for at-home improvement can make a huge difference. It also helps the teacher feel he or she is not going to be alone on this journey.
Did you know that many learning problems come from undiagnosed vision based learning problems? TAKE THE QUIZ
Tip 2: Know the Academic Standards
Teachers can direct you to the standards for each subject that designate what objectives and skills your child is expected to master for the year. Depending on the district, the teacher may even be able to share a pacing guide with you that designates which objectives are taught each term. It is important to know that a teacher is touching on these subjects, but mastery will come from parent at-home involvement. Getting this information now can help you set up some great summer learning moments. Consider asking an older sibling to do something very specific with your younger child which in line with these academic standards.
Tip 3: Get Involved
Toward the end of the summer make an appointment with your child's school administrator. A school is an organization that thrives on volunteers. Even if you work full-time and your time is limited, there are probably many projects you can help with either after hours or some weekends. Ask how your involvement could be related to learning goals for the classroom. Not many teachers would pass up a parent volunteering to take a small reading circle once every other month. That small hour investment only three times in the year is manageable for the busy parent and can make a huge impact on the teacher's ability to offer students one-on-one time. This also gives you a great window into your child's day and learning environment so you can better understand his or her progress. Getting this planned before the new school year starts will make that great idea become a reality.
Don't let your child struggle through another school year. Be sure their struggles are not vision related and then use these tips to take action to ensure they experience success. We are committed to our communities and to "Improving Lives Through Vision." Contact our office with any question you may have.