After the last two years, early elementary school students are the ones bearing the brunt of the pandemic learning gap. The early grades are essential in building reading fundamentals. All other subjects – apart from gym, art, and recess – are built on the ability to read. A child who can read well has the means for academic success. If reading is delayed or shaky, it affects academic success in all subjects. I discussed in this post – Look at the Forest not the Trees: Abysmal Literacy Curriculum Failure – how the lack of phonics instruction has led to a scathing Ontario Human Rights Commission report which found that 26% of all grade 3 students, and 19% of all grade 6 students in fall short of provincial standards; note that these a pre-pandemic numbers.
If your child is a struggling reader, don’t wait. The longer you wait, the more discouragement will grow and can lead to conflated academic issues. In order to help your child read all you need is a structured phonics approach, patience, and consistency. This is true even, or especially if, your child has been labelled with a learning disability. Jesse Wise, author of The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading, states, “If you have been told that your child has a learning disability, teach him yourself before you give up on him. I have taught many children who had been given a disability label. They all learned to read. I believe that in each case there was a teaching disability in the child’s educational history – usually a faulty method of teaching reading.” With the interrupted, online, scattered schooling experience of students over the last two years, challenges in reading development are not surprising. Taking a structured phonics approach to reading can help your child fill any gaps and develop reading confidence. Teaching to read starts out with just 10 minutes a day and simply requires patience, frequency, and consistency. Two great books to help you along are The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading or Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
How to Survive Middle School – A Do-It Yourself Study Guide
Students who are moving into high school this fall may feel uncertain about whether they have all their subject bases covered. Did they learn all the fundamentals in math, science, English, and history that will be built upon in high school? Random House seems to have picked up on this pandemic schooling uncertainty and has just published a series entitled “How to Survive Middle School” with separate books for each of these subject areas. The texts are a visually attractive, hybrid-homeschool, self-study series designed for students age 10-14. They are a combination of reference guide, practice exercises, and answer key wrapped into an affordable price. The instructional language used in the books corresponds to how concepts are taught at school and help solidify main ideas. What I find especially appealing is that these are self-study workbooks that are tangible which allows for undistracted study; students can write into them, take notes, and carry them about.
Here a closer inside look at How to Survive Middle School – Math. Concepts covered include
Fractions and Decimals, Ratio and Proportions, Positive and Negative, Integers, The Pythagorean Theorem, Solving Equations and Inequalities, Linear Relationships, Graphing Systems, Functions, Statistics and Probability, Area and Volume, and more!