• Ways That Parents Can Help Their Children With Learning Disabilities & Homework Tips

    .        Learn more about your child's learning disability - Find out what problems your child has with learning and where it affects them most (subject areas, tasks, etc.).  Find resources to help you and your child.

    .        Become an unobtrusive detective - Look for clues to tell you how your child learns best. Is it looking, listening, touching, doing?  Figure out what their learning style is.  Also look at their interest, talents and skills.  This information will help you to motivate and foster your child's learning.

    .        Teach through your child's areas of strength - Work with them using their particular dominant learning style.  If they learn better through visuals, combine verbal instructions with visual aides.

    .        Respect and challenge your child's natural intelligence - Learning takes place in many ways. Most children with learning disabilities have average to above average intelligence and that can be engaged and challenged through a multi-sensory approach.

    .        Remember that mistakes do not equal failure - Share with your child that mistakes can be useful often leading us to the correct answers, or new solutions.  Mistakes should be viewed as stepping stones, not something to be embarrassed about or to see as a failure. If you make a mistake, it means that you tried.

    .        Recognize and accept that there may be things that your child won't be able to do or that they may have lifelong trouble with - Help your child to realize that this does not mean that they are a failure.  Everyone has things that they can not do, or that they have trouble with. Focus on and emphasize the things that they can do.

    .        Be aware that struggling with your child over reading, writing, and homework can draw you into an adversarial position with your child - This will only create anger and frustration between the two of you. Participate in and be active about, your child's IEP.  Share your insights about your child with their teachers and help them to provide the supports your child needs to be and feel successful.

    .        Use television creatively - Television, or DVDs can be a good medium for learning.   They may help a child to better focus, sustain attention, listen carefully, increase vocabulary and see how the parts fit together to make a whole.  You can help with the learning process by monitoring what is being watched and asking comprehension questions about what was seen and discussing what was seen with your child.

    .        Make sure reading materials are at your child's reading level Most children with learning disabilities read below grade level. In order for them to experience success at reading, it's important to make sure they are reading books on their reading level.  Encourage interest in reading by finding reading materials of interest to your child, or by reading to them. Also let your child choose the books they read with your guidance to assure appropriateness and reading level.


    Homework Tips For Parents:  The primary purpose of homework is to reinforce the information and skills your child learns at school.
    .        Use checklists - Help your child get into the habit of using checklist for keeping track of homework assignments. Once an assignment/project is completed it gets checked off the list.  This also helps them to feel a sense of accomplishment.  Some students will use a calendar or even an electron device to keep track of their assignments. It doesn't matter what form it takes as long as it's a checklist of some sort.
    .        Prioritize homework assignments - Before beginning homework, encourage your child to number them in the order they would be best completed.  They may want to do the difficult assignments first and save the easier ones for last or vice versa.  Tell them to set realist goals and check in with them frequently to see how they are progressing.
    .        Set a designated study space - Children often find it helpful to study in the same place each day/night.  Needed supplies should be close by.  The study space should be a quiet, well lit area with little or no distractions. Television should be off, and if music is played, it should not be loud.
    .        Set a designated study time - Children should know that a certain time every day is set aside for study/homework. The best time is after a child has had some time to unwind from school. The child should be part of the decision of what would be a good study time after they have had their time to "unwind."  Even if your child has no homework, they should still take this time each day to; review their notes and daily lessons, to work on upcoming school projects, or just to read for pleasure.
    .        Show interest in your child's assignments - Ask them about the subject and the work to be accomplished.  Try to relate their homework to their everyday life to help them see real life applications of what they are learning.
    .        Be a role model - Take the opportunity to read a book or newspaper while your child studies.  Reading together helps encourage a life-long love of learning for your child.
    .        Check over homework assignments - Take time to go over your child's homework with them, but make sure you are not doing it for them.  Point out mistakes and help them to correct them (first check with their teachers on this, they may prefer that you do not correct mistakes so that they can see where the student is having trouble). Being familiar with your child's work will help you to know where their strengths and challenge.
    .        Meet with your child's teachers - Be sure you understand the goals that the teacher has for the class.  See yourself as a partner with your child's teacher.  Also be sure you understand the teaching methods being used by the teacher.
    .        Take your child's struggles seriously - When you see your child struggling with assignments, be sure to discuss it with their teacher. Catching these things early will help to save them from feeling overwhelmed and falling behind.
    .        Give praise - Celebrate your child's successes.  If they complete homework, praise them. If they make progress, praise them.  It is more the effort put in that counts, not just the final outcome. Praise for effort, not just outcome. Nothing builds a child's self-esteem and confidence like praise from a parent.

Last Modified on December 12, 2011