877 914 4366
0 Items

Parenting a Struggling Learner – Tips and Resources

Written By Geoff Nixon . January 12, 2024

Current Parenting Trends and Related Articles

Available resources, attitudes and advice on parenting a struggling learner has evolved over time, reflecting a better understanding of learning differences, and changing education pressures – as follows:

  1. Recognition of Learning Differences:  Struggling learners were stigmatized or mislabeled as lazy or unintelligent. Today, conditions like dyslexia, ADHD, and autism as well as newer concerns, OCD and social anxiety are seen as neurological variations rather than shortcomings.
  2. Social and Learning Anxiety:  Child anxiety since Covid and with the rise of social media is more pronounced – underminingg learning confidence and self esteem – which of course adds to the parenting challenge.
  3. Early Intervention: Advances in learning science have led to an emphasis on early intervention.
  4. Changing School Priorities: There has been a (too?) slow evolution of thinking in education, away from memorization (and knowledge) and towards critical thinking and creativity. Parents need to adapt to these changing school goals.
  5. Inclusion and Accessibility:  Schools are working to create environments that accommodate diverse learners. This includes accommodations and accessibility measures. This can lead to more surprising interactions for children during the day, that might require parent input at night.
  6. Parental Advocacy: Parents of struggling learners are more informed and more likely to become advocates for their children. They engage with schools to protect their child’s love of learning or to push for more help via an IEP  or other resources.
  7. Holistic Approach: Factors like mental health, emotional well-being, and socio-emotional learning are considered integral to a child’s success in school.

While attitudes have evolved, parenting a struggling learner is still a challenge, particularly making sure your child learners receives the right support.  Access to resources, adequate funding for special education programs, and reducing disparities in education remain concerns.

Parenting Trends & An Expanding Toolkit

Covid 19 lockdowns accelerated a trend toward homeschooling – we wrote this article for parents new to teaching from home,and provided advice on counteracting the impact of lockdowns on reading scores.

State scholarships in a growing number of states are opening up after-school funding to help the parenting of a struggling learner.   Gemm Learning is an approved provider in a number of state programs.

There has been an evolution in thinking also around disciplining your child – tips on discipling your child here.

Twice exceptional is new term in learning. Tips on how to help your twice-exceptional child here.

As the content curriculum has expanded and moved into lower grades that were previously all about reading, writing and math basics.  That means parents of struggling learners are having to spend more time helping their children in the fundamentals – including building writing skills and getting a child excited about reading.

Parenting a struggling learner has become more strategic, as the ingredients to academic success are changing.  A common theme is to build reading skills by participating in text-heavy interests, e.g., joining a drama program, using music and even karaoke!

The cost of an IEP or 504 plan for schools has become prohibitive, and so schools are pushing back on dyslexia and other diagnoses. If your child has a learning delay, the onus more and more falls on the parent to resolve – read more about this here.

In terms of resources, so more is now known about nutrition ideas, brain food for children.

Another tool available to parents now are leveled books, that use words in narrow bands of difficulty – to help children avoid frustration.

And of course, there are tests for dyslexia  and tests for APD as well as other issues.. And so parents really do have the tools these days to identify issues as a precursor to taking action.

Parenting Resources Related to Reading

A lot of parenting of a struggling learner comes down to managing the learning to read process, and then getting your child into a reading routine.  Summer is a tough time for children who labor over reading. Here is our advice on stress-free summer reading and create ways to include reading in a summer vacation.

Here is an article written about a staff member’s personal experience with school report card anxiety, not an new worry, but it seems every year the stakes get a little higher. Parent teacher conferences are another thing that have not changed that much – here are our thoughts on parent teacher conferences and how to prepare.

No doubt, the frustration and humiliation that children experience with learning delays is timeless. These videos had a profound effect on my attitudes about parenting a struggling learner – and led to the founding of Gemm Learning.

Gemm Learning uses Fast ForWord software at home to build essential language processing and pre-reading skills, and then reading comprehension.

Related Posts

  • providing a learning diagnosis
    5 Surprising Facts About Diagnosing Learning
    Your child is not keeping up.  What to do? Getting a learning diagnosis is traumatic. The terms are scary and it feels insanely complicated. You have friends who have done it, only to come back with an impossibly long list…
    Read More
  • 9 Surprising Consequences of Auditory Processing Disorder
    Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is an umbrella term to describe a number of different auditory processing problems and difficulties synthesizing auditory information. While most children with learning difficulties are not formally diagnosed with APD, because it impacts language mastery and…
    Read More
  • Homework battles
    Is Homework Taking the Joy Out of Parenting?
    If you dread homework time, you are not alone.  Learning difficulties and homework battles go hand in hand. Stress, arguments, standoffs and general frustration play out in homes every school night all over the globe.  For a very good reason.…
    Read More
Send this to a friend