Early intervention is key for smart but struggling readers. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, “When intervention is delayed, it takes four times as long to intervene in fourth grade as it does in late Kindergarten because of brain development and because of the increase in content for students to learn as they grow older.”
Here is what YOU need to know:
1. Students receive reading instruction in Kindergarten-Second Grades.
2. Third grade students and up, are expected to know how to read. They are expected to be able to read and comprehend grade level material in order to learn and master new content such as; science, social studies, math word problems, etc.
3. Reading skills such as comprehension and fluency might be continuously developed, however there is no more explicit instruction on how to decode language.
4. Smart students who struggle to read often slip through the cracks because they have developed many compensatory skills. Most teachers are not trained to notice the signs and/or didn’t notice the signs of a less obvious but very real reading struggle.
5. So many struggling readers hit the “Third/Fourth Grade Wall” because their compensatory skills can no longer balance out their inability to read on level.
6. If a child is a year or more behind in reading, you must take action and you must do it as soon as possible.
SUMMER IS THE BEST TIME to remediate smart but struggling readers’ skills! A typical learner loses 30% of what they learn during the school year over their summer break. A child with a reading struggle is at risk of falling even further behind. During the summer break, there is no exposure to new grade level material, there is no homework, there is no stress of school expectations. There is a solid chunk of uninterrupted time, and this is the BEST time to close severe learning gaps. Yes, it will take dedication. You might miss vacation time, your child may miss camp or morning tennis lessons. But what they can gain will never compare to the peace of mind you and your student will experience when the school year starts again. You will be moving forward with a new sense of normal that includes more confidence, less stress and many tools to succeed in school. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy but it is simple: One SMART Summer can change a lifetime.
We are not saying, we can cure a reading disability in six weeks. We are saying, proper reading intervention is a marathon and summer is the best time to train for that marathon and get a strong head start. When a child is one or more years behind in reading, they must have time to be able to dedicate to intense, individualized, instruction. This is the time for cognitive training. This is the time for closing learning gaps. This is the time to empower and to teach them how to confidently manage their struggles. This is the time to hone in on missing skills and reteach them the way that their brain will efficiently adopt literacy skills.
The educational therapists at The Learning Lab have been on the fore front of how neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology impacts learning and literacy for more than 20 years. Let this summer be the summer that you reacquaint yourself with your fun loving child. It can only happen when their learning needs are met.