7 Tips for Transitioning Back to in-Person Learning

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Advice for parents of kids learning in a physical classroom 

Key takeaways:

  1. Establish your new routine
  2. Put your child to bed earlier
  3. Re-establish a morning routine
  4. Lay out school clothes the night before
  5. Meet your child’s teachers
  6. Set up 504 and IEP plan meeting  if needed
  7. Get learning support from the Learning Lab 

We can all admit that the last 1.5 years have been difficult for everyone, particularly students. Some students have been out of the physical classroom since March 2020 while others have been in some sort of hybrid model. This year, all schools in Florida are conducting in-person learning. While this has benefits for students and parents, it may be a difficult adjustment, particularly for children with learning differences such as dyslexia, ADHD, or a diagnosed specific learning disability (SLD). 

How can parents help their kids continue to transition to in-person learning and where can they go to get tutoring for subjects where kids might be struggling? This back-to-school guide provides seven tips for parents, with specific advice for parents of children with learning challenges.

Tip 1: Keep up the new (old) routine

The pandemic disrupted everything, including normal routines and schedules. All children, especially those with learning or behavioral differences, often do better when they have a routine to follow. Remote learning meant coming up with a new routine at home. 

Now that we’re transitioning back to in-person learning, your child’s routine has been disrupted again. Remote learning allowed for more flexibility with schedules but schools can’t function that way. There will be an adjustment period but keep up with a new routine now. Explain how the day will go and what will be expected in school every morning until your student has adjusted. 

Tip 2: Adjust your evenings

During the pandemic, and especially over summer, your child might have stayed up later. Now, he or she is getting up earlier so adjust bedtimes to ensure your child gets enough sleep. Remember that sleep is just as important to a child’s development as food and exercise. Children with learning differences will do better if they get enough rest, just like every other child.

How much sleep do children need?

  • Pre-school (3-5 years) = 10-13 hours
  • School-aged (6-13 years) = 9-11 hours
  • Teens (14-17 years) = 8-10 hours 

Tip 3: Adjust your mornings

School days generally start early. Getting up at the same time every day will make things easier for everyone. If your child requires extra time to get ready in the morning, make sure to allow for enough time to get out the door. 

Tip 4: Lay out clothes the night before

Searching for a lost shoe or a dirty uniform can throw the whole morning routine off. It’s easier to lay out everyone’s clothes the night before, right down to shoes and socks. This will help you avoid confusion. It’s a good idea to practice morning expectations a few times, particularly if your child struggles with planning or following complex steps. 

Meet with your child’s teachers

If you have the opportunity, make sure you meet with your child’s teachers on parent-teacher conference days. This is the time to discuss your child’s learning differences. You will also want to discuss any specific accommodations or extra support that your child will need. 

Tip 6: Set up 504 or IEP plans to get extra help

Children with certain learning differences are often entitled to special school services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). There are two types of services: 504 Plans and IEPs.

504 Plans

504 Plans spell out specific accommodations and support that will be provided to students with physical, cognitive, developmental, or behavioral challenges. These plans cover a range of diagnosed conditions, including dyslexia, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), and other SLDs. 

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)

IEPs include the specific goals that have been set for a student as well as any extra support or specialized devices that can help the child achieve them.

Tip 7: Don’t be afraid to ask for learning support

If your child needs support in school because of learning differences such as dyslexia, ADHD, or other diagnosed differences, the Learning Lab can be your partner. We offer support for students who need help in subjects like reading, writing, and math. Our goal is to prepare your child for a lifetime of learning while helping to close academic gaps. 

We offer several learning support services. They include: 

Homework Lab

Our Homework Lab will teach your child executive functioning skills (such as time management, planning, and organization) while providing academic support. 

What we do:

  • Reteach challenging material
  • Coach on organization, focus, and executive functioning skills
  • Test prep and study skills
  • Individualized Homework Management 

I3 Lab (Intense, individualized, instruction) 

Our one-on-one individualized tutoring sessions with certified teachers remediate and close learning gaps.  

Based on a placement screening, one (or a combination of) our evidence-based curricula will be implemented to help your child in specific areas. 

Reading/writing curriculum:

  • Barton Reading and Spelling System©
  • Fast ForWord®
  • Foundation in Sounds™
  • IEW© (Institute for Excellence in Writing) 
  • Reading Assistant Plus™
  • Seeing Stars®
  • Visualizing and Verbalizing Multi-Sensory Language-Based Programming®
  • Wilson Just Words® (4th grade+)
  • Winston Grammar©

Math curriculum:

  • DreamBox Math©
  • Multi-sensory Math Remediation
  • TouchMath©

Academic software

Our adaptive and intuitive reading software uses a brain-based approach to help students with dyslexia, CAPD, and ADHD catch up and master reading and writing skills. Our main focus is on helping students build the necessary cognitive skills that impact reading and learning, such as Focus, Attention, Memory, Processing, and Sequencing.

We help students build…

  • Grammar
  • Phonemic awareness 
  • Phonics 
  • Reading comprehension and fluency
  • Semantics and mechanics
  • Vocabulary

The Learning Lab recently expanded our Davie location to provide enhanced learning support to families throughout Broward County, including Davie, Cooper City, Plantation, and Fort Lauderdale. 

Contact us today for more information.

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