Do you find that you’re telling all your parents the same thing every time you have a new student start tutoring? Would you like a “script” that you can just copy and paste to share with them?
Read the blog below (reposted from NOCO Dyslexia Center) to find out what parents should be doing so that tutoring can be more effective!
And follow our Facebook page HERE to join us on Facebook Live in January and February where I will discuss each of these items in more detail and you can ask questions live!
Parents, save time and money and help your child be more successful! Here’s how:
If your child is about age 7 or older and already “sort of” reading, please have them limit reading time only during tutoring time and at home with decodable books that only have words that have been mastered in tutoring. Check with your child’s tutor about what level they are currently at. Yes! This also includes reading at school. Ask your child’s teacher if your child can use audiobooks or other text-to-speech technology to have any print read aloud to them. If your child is required to read for 20 minutes per night, see if they can use tutoring time to meet these requirements and/or read ALOUD to your child or use audiobooks. During this time, please try to expose your child to grade level material or even above grade level material so they get time with rich vocabulary and they learn that books are fun and interesting. ***Just because your child CAN read does not mean they SHOULD be reading. The logic behind this will be further discussed in a Facebook Live. Follow us HERE!
Similar to the first item, please have your child limit writing to only during tutoring time. We are teaching them how to decode and use the rules of the English language. If they are required to write at “grade level” then they will rush through just to get the assignment done and they will not be focusing on the concepts they are learning in tutoring. Once they repeat and practice these concepts in tutoring enough over time, it will become more automatic and not take so much cognitive effort. And then they can return to “regular” writing again. This typically takes about a year of tutoring though, so be patient and allow your child to voice dictate with technology like Google Docs voice typing (Under “Tools”) or simply have the child say whatever they want to say and you write or type it. Check with your child’s teacher about how this will look in the classroom.
Please only use one intervention program whenever possible. This means that if your child is getting a structured literacy Orton-Gillingham type program at school, and at least 2 hours per week, they should not also be getting a different program from a tutor. Research shows that it is most effective when a student can have a multisensory, structured, SYSTEMATIC way of teaching. Systematic means “methodical” and following a “system.” It doesn’t mean that your child will not learn if they are getting 2 or 3 different programs, but they WILL master concepts at a slower rate this way. Yes this is counterintuitive to what we usually hear. Often, the classroom teacher or intervention teacher will tell you that they are trying all different programs to see what will “stick.” This is opposite of what research shows us that works for someone with dyslexia!
It is important that a student receive at least 2 hours of tutoring per week, with 3-4 hours per week being ideal. Sometimes we think it will be too demanding or tiring for our child to have to focus on literacy for that much time every week. However, it is quite the opposite. Think about this: if your child has learned about when to use TION compared to SION on Thursday, do you think it will be easier for them to remember the rules on Friday for their next session, or the following Tuesday? Yes, of course it will be easier if there is less time that has passed. We want them to be applying the rules to their reading and writing, and if they have forgotten, they will try to guess, which is opposite of what we want them to be doing. Once they practice and have repetition enough times with a certain concept, then they will retain it in their memory. Practicing more times per week will always be more effective and actually be easier for the student to learn.
As mentioned before, these will be most effective if done both at home and in the classroom, so make sure you know what accommodations are taking place at school. Usually these are written up on a 504 plan. If your child does not yet have this, please email your child’s school (so it is documented and written down) and ask to start the process of creating a 504 plan. Include any reports from outside testing done, like if your child was diagnosed with dyslexia. If your child gets any types of accommodations currently but it’s not documented, make sure that these are all put onto the 504 plan. This way you have a paper trail and record of the type of help your child receives so that you can use that information from year to year and even later on when it’s time to take the SAT/ACT and you request accommodations .
Common accommodations for someone with dyslexia include the following: text-to-speech, speech-to-text, extended time, allowing spell checkers, getting copy of teacher’s notes to limit the writing the student has to do, allowing a device in the classroom so the child can take a picture of the board instead of writing the notes, allowing a device for audiobooks, preferential seating, allowing fidgets, and more.