Back To School
Being back to school is hectic for all of us. Gone are the lazy mornings, spur of the moment plans and relaxed conversations. Instead we’re worrying about school clothes, supplies and making sure the alarm clock is set. We’re hoping our child has a great school year and thinking about how we can help them succeed.
Planning For Academic Success
Success doesn’t happen by accident. Planning for success can benefit all children and it’s even more important if your child has previously struggled in school. Planning for success now means your prepared to gauge your child’s progress and know when (or if) additional resources are needed.
1. Be a Detective: Identify Your Child’s Learning Profile – If your child struggled during the last school year and these struggles are popping up again this year, don’t wait. Consider having your child evaluated as quickly as possible. The evaluation can be done privately or through the school and should be conducted by a professional specifically trained such as a psychologist, speech-pathologist, or educational diagnostician. The earlier your child’s learning profile is identified, the sooner teachers and parents can map out an effective academic plan and help your child reach their full learning potential.
2. Get Connected and Stay in Touch – Reach out to your school and get to know your child’s teaching team. If your child has a history of struggling in school do this during the first few weeks of school. If you want to ensure everyone on your child’s teaching team is aware of your child’s strengths and weaknesses, make the call and set up a meeting. Together with the teaching team, make an academic plan that sets up supports before frustration or failure sets in. If your child works with a tutor outside of school, set up a communication system between the teacher and tutor to maximize effectiveness. Let the school team know you are a supportive member of your child’s teaching team, and that you’re ready to work closely with them to help your child succeed.
3. Advocate for Your Child – If you believe your child has more ability or should be doing better in school than their grades reflect, push for an evaluation and academic plan. Do not take no for an answer! Getting your child the resources they need to succeed could be the difference between your child dropping out of school and attending a university of their choice! One more thought…many kids with learning differences struggle at some point with low self-esteem. Play an active role in identifying a learning environment that recognizes your child’s strengths and the ways in which they can be successful.
4. Open Up the Lines of Communication with Your Child – Talk, listen and most of all, help your child build the skills that make for the long-term success in life like open-mindedness, flexibility, respect, persistence, and a positive attitude. It’s hard for our children to make sense of a lot of the things going on in the world (close to home and beyond). Engage with them and be part of the conversation.
5. Get Excited About the New School Year – We know children follow their parent’s lead. Express your excitement about the new school year and the exciting opportunities and activities that wait.
The beginning of the school year is always hectic even under the best of circumstances. It brings with it “newness” and the hope that your child will flourish – academically, emotionally, socially. It’s important to plan. If you have a child with learning challenges then this planning is all the more important. Working together, parents, children, teachers and other professionals can help make sure the new school year is filled with progress, achievement and the wonder of learning. Let’s make it a year of celebrating successes, for every child.
About The Summit School
The Summit School was founded to exclusively serve children, grades 1-8, with dyslexia and related learning differences. Now in its 30th year, Summit has an incredible record of helping children become successful learners. The core of Summit’s program incorporates: highly trained teachers, evidence based instruction, hands-on, multi-sensory learning environments and small class sizes. For more information about The Summit School and Summit Resource Center please visit www.thesummitschool.org.