September 13, 2018
Teacher’s and Parent’s role is very important in slow learners life.
They need to motivate and guide these children to overcome the problem of slow learning. It’s in their duty to create a healthy and suitable environment for the slow learner to study.
Often teachers find it very difficult to cope up with the syllabus when they have slow learners in the class. Parents are also confused about the method to nurture their slow learner child.
A teacher or parent needs to search for lessons and other resources that make it easier to differentiate the methods of teaching and make learning more significant and interesting. They can take help from the special education sites on the internet. These sites also provide various play way methods to teach various concepts to these students. There will never exist a class without slow learners especially in government schools and colleges.
Methods in which Parents can help their slow learner child
Every child has the right to be loved and to excel in their life but this will happen only when the parents are understanding and supportive. This stands true in case of the slow learners as well. Parents of a slow learner need tosupport their child so much that he/she never feels different from other children. They also need to understand that only academics will not help a child to be successful. Having very high expectations from these children might sometimes make them upset. Every child is unique. Just like a clay which can be given any shape the artist desires. Like the clay needs to be shaped to convert it into a masterpiece, Slow learners should also be guided and shaped in order to make the outstanding human beings.
Following are some of the simple ways in which parents can help a slow student:
Accepting the fact that their child is a slow learner is the most difficult and stressful task. The parents need to be aware of the weaknesses and the strengths of their child. It is very important to understand the child does not need too much medical attention but love and care from parents. In 90% of cases, there is no need to enroll the child in a special school. Accepting the child will solve 50% of his problem. The child will also feel comfortable and optimistic to work on his shortcomings. The will never feel burdened with expectations. He/she will grow and develop his/her skills at his/her pace.
2. Give Time to your child
Any parent having a slow learner child should understand that it is very important to spend quality time with their child. As neglect from parents and loved ones is one of the main cause of slow learning. Every child deserves proper love and care from parents. A child will always feel protected and confident in the company of his parents. They need extra time compared to other children to complete the given tasks. When parents dedicate extra time to such children, their rate of improvement is far better. No doubt, it is difficult for the parent to find some extra time from their busy schedule but there is always scope for quality time. Spending time with these children also will help the parents to work on the weakness of the child.
3. Creating a Conducive Environment for learning
It is the duty of the parents to provide their child with an atmosphere that suits and motivates the child to learn. Parents should make the study area peaceful and interesting. It is found that the slow learners are easily distracted and sometimes it is very difficult to hold their attention on one thing. Hence a quiet room for the study is extremely important. Parents can decorate the work area with colourful and attractive pin-ups which contain the summary of their child’s recent study material. They should always keep on changing the pin-up and charts in the child’s study area.
4. Help and guide your child
Parents must accept the fact that their child needs attention and help to study. It does not mean to complete their homework or assignment. It means to guide them to complete their homework and assignments. It also means to help them to understand the concepts that are taught by the teachers. Parents have an extra responsibility to make sure that the child is emotionally and physically sound. This can be done by constantly keeping a watch on the child or by asking them questions about the activities, the child did on that day. They can also motivate the child to maintain a diary in which the child can note his day to day activities. This will help the parents to know their child better.
5. Trust your child
Trust is the most significant factor in any relationship, so is it in the relation of a parent and the slow learner child. If the parents don’t believe in their child, it might have adverse and lifelong effects on the child’s overall performance. Showing faith in the slow learners will help to boost their confidence and will increase their interest in academics. Even if the child commits mistakes in the tasks that he has taken up, make sure to correct him politely. In such a situation, it is also important to trust your child. Constant belief in your child will give him the confidence to work hard and to improve himself.
6. Questioning is must
Parents should question the child continuously about their regular school activities. Questioning is also the best method to help the child in completing his regular homework. Parents can ask questions on the particular topic that was explained in the class and thereby find out if the child has understood the concept. It will also develop the reasoning ability of the child. This is also an effective way to know the activities that your child performed in school. The student needs to work hard to answer the questions based on his syllabus. The child will pay attention in order to answer the questions of his parents.
Parents are the first teachers of a child. The child always learns from the activities that his parents perform. Reading is the best way to gain knowledge. Slow learners generally find difficulty in reading. Hence the habit of reading to your child helps him/her to understand the concept as well as it develops their interest in reading. It will acquaint them with new words and increase their vocabulary. Give as many books as you can to your child. Motivate him/her to read.
8. Appreciate their efforts
Congratulate your child and offer rewards. Even if the achievement is not very noteworthy, appreciate the effort. By prolonging the time limit to complete the given work that a slow learner is unable to complete in the given time limit will make him feel appreciated. At the same time, it is important that the child does not lose his interest and potential to complete the task. This means that the parents must be ready to praise their slow learner child for what they do in school without considering its significance. However small the effort is, parents must always praise them to work hard.
9. Recognize their areas of interests
Children with slow learning skills are easily distracted. Identifying the activities that the child likes and motivating them to participate in such activities at home or at school would greatly improve their performance, confidence and social skills. This will also help them to excel in their lives. Expecting every child to excel in academics is a myth. Only academics will never help students to succeed.
10. Create a timetable chart
Creating a chart that sets the time for various daily activities the child is expected to perform, would give the child a sense of responsibility and participation, encouraging him to complete the tasks on time. This chart should be more pictorial than verbal. As pictures will attract the attention of the child. Such a chart is very helpful for reminding the daily activities of the child. This chart will motivate the child to his regular activities on time.
11. Plan short activity sessions
Since the attention span of a slow student is comparatively less, letting the child work for multiple short sessions instead of a single long session for any activity would offer better results. These small activities will increase the retaining power of the child. Working in small sessions will never be a burden to the child. In this situation, the child will learn as well as remember what he has learned. After every short session or before beginning the next session we can also revise whatever the child has learned earlier.
12. Allow Aids
Allow your child to use aids to learn, such as post-it on the study table, computer desktop, calculators, memo pads, engraved markers and reminder cards. These aids are very important in the teaching-learning process. These will involve the child as an active learner in the learning process.
13. Be Verbal
Be more oral and verbal with your child. Form easy tasks that are in tune with your child’s competence. Talk as much as you can with your child. Ask him about the activities done in the class, Homework assigned to him, the concepts that were discussed in the class. These will not only develop the speaking skills of the child but also improve your understanding and relationship with your child.
14. Practical expectations
As a parent, you expect your child to excel in everything he does. Practically, it is not possible. There’s nothing wrong with expectations, but they should be realistic enough. Having realistic expectations will not overburden the child at the same time it won’t dishearten the parents. It’s very important that the parents understand the limitations and the shortcomings of the child.
15. Continuous contact with the teacher
Teachers play an important role in educating children with slow thinking. One of the main responsibilities of parents is to interact with teachers to understand if there are other areas where their child needs help. Talk to teachers to effectively synchronize them at school and at home. Continuous contact with the teacher will also ease the teaching-learning process of the child.
Patience and Consistency are the key required qualities in the parents of a slow learner. Allow your child to make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t lose patience when a child is not able to retain a concept immediately like other children of his age. Rude behaviour will only reduce the confidence of the child to do certain activities.
17. Motivate your child
Do not allow a slow learner to give up on their work or themselves. Whenever necessary give break to your child as well as yourself. But make sure that to complete the task on the given day. If you don’t build up this feeling in your child, he will never understand the importance of hard work and will learn to give up easily.
18. Avoid Comparison with other children
It’s very human that the parents compare their children to other children. Do not compare the achievements of the other child with your child. The comparison will only lead to disappointment. Not only will the parent lose hope on his child but the child will also lose hope in himself. This will not help the child to progress in any way.
19. Avoid being an overprotective parent
Don’t tell your child that he is incapable of doing certain things. The child will follow and believe that for his whole life and will never try to accomplish it. He will carry the burden and the tag of being a slow learner for his whole life. Instead, help the child to find new ways to do the things that he feels are not within his capability. Even if the child makes mistakes in the initial attempts, motivate him to stick to his attempts.
20. Motivate Sibling affection
Siblings are very important in everyone’s life and the slow learner are no exception. Parents must keep a constant watch on the relationship between their children. They should be very careful while talking to their average child and the slow learner child. In no way, the slow learner should feel offended. If so, there are chances of the rivalry being developed. This will hinder the progress of the slow learner.
21. Provide Best Possible Nutrition
Studies have proved that children who do not get proper nutrition are more likely to become a slow learner. Proper and balanced diet is extremely important for meeting the basic nutrition needs of the child. Proper food and sound sleep are two basic needs of a growing child. Any deficiency in these may lead to enormous physical and mental problems.
There are two methods of incorporating a slow learner in a normal school:
1)Creating a classroom especially for the Slow learners
The Effectiveness of this method lies in the fact that the slow learners feel safe to learn with other children of their caliber. They don’t feel left out or over cared in this kind of classroom. It also becomes easy for the teachers to dedicate extra time to one single class rather than dedicating extra time in every class. However this method has drawbacks also as the student will never get exposure to be in the company of average students, it will be less challenging etc.
2) Creating a mixed classroom where 20% of students are slow learners and others are average
This method is also effective from the student’s point of view. Here he will have to face new challenges every day. Company of average students develops his inter-personal skills. It also gives him the benefit of getting extra attention and care from the teachers. It makes him confident and public. This method also has its own drawbacks. In this method, the teacher faces a lot of difficulties to handle both the category of students at the same time.
Whether you meet slow learners in a regular class or special class, it is extremely challenging to the teacher as well the student. Most important reason for this challenge is the limited attention span of these children compared to others. These students do need of special education and do well outside the classroom and show no evidence of having any problem in understanding. They are only weak in academics and interpersonal skills. Today, a very huge emphasis is given to academic preparation. Thus there is a growing need for remedial teaching to provide these students with excellent opportunities according to the needs of the changing world.
The student must be offered incentives that are appropriate. Depending on the student the best stimuli are those where the family works together on an assignment where the child has to prepare a model or has to attend a game. Through these, the student learns patience and the importance of waiting to be rewarded. A student needs to have a sufficient breakfast period to improve student performance.
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