That’s it, another summer holidays have come to an end. Whilst we might breathe a small sigh of relief and look forward to enjoying a cup of tea before it goes cold, our parental concerns start to shift towards how we can best prepare our children for another successful year at school.
In this blog we’ll take you through some key tips to help prepare your dyslexic child for the return to school.
For children, the school holidays are the best thing since sliced bread. All day at home, with no early start, its heaven. But as we approach the back-to-school date it’s important to bring a bit more structure back into their day to acclimatise your child ready for school life. Routine is important for dyslexic learners and introducing this before they return to school will help ease any anxiety they might be feeling about going back.
It is best to gradually transition to a school-year routine, implementing consistent sleep and mealtimes, to help your child adapt smoothly.
During the school holidays, reading might be the last thing on a child’s mind, especially with all the entertainment options they have access to these days. But keeping that momentum going, especially for a dyslexic individual, is essential.
Try encouraging summer reading and continue it into the school year, selecting books of interest at an appropriate reading level.
‘Dad, where’s my pencil sharpener?’ Let us be honest, every year your child might need some support getting some new stationery, for some of us it is a weekly occurrence. Either way, helping them get organised for back to school is important.
Assist your child in organising school supplies for easy access, promoting efficient notetaking, and studying.
Calendars and Planners:
For any child, organising workloads can be an intimidating task. If a child is moving from primary school to secondary school, the large leap in workload can feel especially daunting. This is exactly why helping your child develop their organisational skills is so valuable.
Consider introducing the use of calendars or planners to help your child track assignments and manage time effectively. Breaking tasks into small chunks is a good idea too as dyslexic learners can often struggle with time management.
Last year we wrote a blog on word games that dyslexic children can play at home, which is a great for dyslexic learners to understand how to interpret words and letters over the summer holidays. There are a great range of options from reading games, to matching word games.
Engage your child in memory-boosting activities or games to enhance recall skills before school starts.
Finally, and more important than any other tip, is being there for your child. Create a time and space where your child can talk openly about any worries they might have (this is often easiest done whilst carrying out a shared activity, such as baking a cake).
Dyslexic or not, all children will feel some level of worry about going into a new school year. Help your child to understand that it’s completely normal to feel worried and that you are there to help them practically and emotionally.
Back to school is a big event in the yearly calendar. For dyslexic learners, who are more likely to feel worried and anxious about the return, there are lots of easy, practical steps you can take to support them. Getting into a good routine, keeping up reading practice, playing memory games, and supporting your child both practically and emotionally will help them grow and develop into the dyslexic superhero they were born to be.
About Dyslexia First
At Dyslexia First we want to help those who are living with dyslexia to enjoy life and the opportunities it brings. We are relentlessly positive about dyslexia.
If you would like to talk further about dyslexia and discuss assessment for children or adults, please get in touch.
Getting assessed by a qualified practitioner is crucial to getting the correct diagnosis and accessing the help and support you need for your child. Always check an assessor’s qualifications at: SpLD Assessment Standards Committee website.