Does your child remember spellings for tests but then forgets them the next day? Is reading like forcing a horse to water? Dyslexia is the most common cause of reading, writing, and spelling difficulties. At least 1 in ten people have dyslexia and many remain undiagnosed.
The good news is that, even though you may not feel it, as a parent/guardian, you can play a crucial part in dealing with dyslexia at home. Small doses of home learning is a great way to boost your child’s confidence with reading, writing and spelling back at school. Here are some tips to try at home with your child.
Coping with spelling
If your child is getting a set of weekly spellings and you find he/she remembers them for the test but is unable to apply them in writing or retain them, think about a different approach.
Spellings can be practised using moveable letters, in cursive using heat (a free app on the iPad), or on a whiteboard with colourful pens. Keep exercises short and varied and throw in some creativity, it makes it more fun. We love using spelling Jenga and underwater word finding games in the summer.
If your child doesn’t learn spellings automatically, try using multi-sensory techniques e.g., finger writing in coloured sand or Play-Doh and sounding out the word. If the spelling pattern is the problem, Lego spelling is great or learning word families can be helpful (e.g. tch – hutch, latch, match). Make it fun and ask your child to draw a picture around the word or use a spelling wheel.
If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or 2, and they appear to be making no progress with reading, have a look at the school books they are reading. They may well be very phonic based, where your child is sounding out most words. Try different kinds of books, e.g. PM books or Rapid books, where your child can build up a bank of high frequency words and use the context to help them read. This then makes reading more enjoyable and so your child wants to read and they progress! Barrington Stoke books are also great for reluctant readers.
Just add listening
The more senses you can engage, the better attention you’re going to get. Reading a bedtime story is a little like putting money into the bank and watching it grow. Reading plus listening is a winning formula for reluctant readers. Let’s be realistic – sometimes the days are just not long enough so don’t be scared to find a good audiobook resource to read aloud for you. There are plenty of free audiobooks out there but you can start with audible. A great entertainment tool for those long car journeys too!
Communicate with your school
Chat to your child’s teacher at school and find out how your child is learning at school. Is the technique or approach right for your child? What reading material are they using? What science, history or geography topics are they learning about? Go to the library and choose some books about these topics to build a home/school connection.
With spellings, it may be more beneficial to shorten the list of words or introduce a few at a time. This way your child gets a chance to practise more challenging words over a few weeks which will help him/her to remember them better.
Use fun apps to help Dyslexia/ Spelling
There are many fun apps out there which can assist you with teaching at home
- Phonics Genius
- Intro to Letters
- Starfall ABCs
- Special Words
- First Words: Deluxe
Help at home
If you think your child may have a challenge with spelling and reading, or they have been diagnosed with dyslexia, our fun and engaging expert English tutors in London can help. It’s FREE and quick to register with SENsational Tutors Ltd. We can match you to someone who has the skills and personality that suits you and your child’s learning challenges.