When our son was struggling to learn to read, I needed to be purposeful in getting him over his hurtle. I have six things that I did to eliminate learning gaps for our son. I worked on these six things for a full homeschool year. They worked beautifully!
Before you start working on this list, you will want to be sure if you are dealing with learning gaps or behavior issues. Once you have been able to identify if your child is experiencing learning gaps or behavior issues in their studies, it is important to make a plan for how to eliminate them. If the issues are due to learning gaps, these tips will help you eliminate them.
How to Eliminate Learning Gaps
You now believe that your child has learning gaps, but you aren't sure how to actually eliminate them, without putting pressure on the child. Here are ways that I have used that work and give good results quickly.
- Focused Attention to the Gap – If you identified a gap in learning, the best way to overcome it is to give full attention to helping your child over the humps in front of them. Many choose to use tutoring to get them through the gaps, but all tutoring really is, is someone that gives full attention to where a student is struggling. As a homeschooler, you can do this yourself, however a parent of a child who goes to school can also do this in the evening.
- Implement Additional Time in Your Schedule for this Gap – If your child is struggling in reading, spelling or math, add another session or two into the day that will allow for more practice in this gap. You can even add games, as long as there are results in short periods of a few weeks.
- Focus on Speed Verses Quality – Often times, gaps can really ruin a child's self-confidence. Focusing on building the speed of reading, spelling or math before adding higher level work could really be a great activity to eliminating the hardest obstaclse to gaps. Rushing the basics of the foundations of learning can result in a wider gap with a lot of busy and frustrating work.
- Evaluate Often – If a child is focusing on better reading, time a child with a selection of reading and then retime them a few weeks later with the same selection. If your child struggles with spelling, do an evaluation of how many correct words can be spelled from a list, and in the amount of time it takes. Do this same test a few weeks later, focusing on correct spelling and speed to see if there is marked improvement. Practice math facts with time drills to know how their timing improves over a few weeks. Even the smallest of improvements will build a child's self-confidence and give them more excitement for lessons ahead.
- Eliminate Extra Curricular Activity – Gaps in a child's education is very serious when it involves the basics of learning: reading, writing and math. It would be very difficult to fill these gaps without pressure and stress to a child, which can result in more issues than you can imagine, if you don't remove the extras from their schedule. Giving one full year to fill the gaps without extra things to fill your schedule will prove to be one of the best decisions you can make to help your struggling child gain confidence, skills and learning.
- Start NOW – The longer you wait to help fill the gaps the more bad habits are being formed and will be harder to overcome. You need to give full attention to the areas that your child is struggling in to get the best results, but waiting for a better season in your life is not fair to the child or to your own stress level.
When I have a child that exhibits gaps in their learning, these are the steps that I take to help them in their education. I know that these will be just what you need to help your own child.
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