From the first step a child takes into their kindergarten class one sunny September morning, their journey into the world of academic achievement begins. There are those who zoom through the grades with flying colors and others who seem to be struggling no matter how hard or how much they try.
For most children, a new school year is a promise, of new friends, new learning experiences, and a new adventure in to the world of knowledge. But for some, the picture is quite different; the promise is of a daunting learning experiences, more disappointments and greater struggles.
As school experience differs greatly from one child to another, it is up to us parents and educators to make it as enriching and enjoyable as possible, so let’s take a step back and understand how learning happens inside our children’s brains.
To talk about learning, we must talk about cognitive skills, the tools that enable the child to learn, think, process information and do every task they do, at school and outside, like playing sports, music, doing art and all other activities.
Cognitive skills such as attention skills, memory, processing speed, visual and auditory processing, and logic and reasoning are the foundation of all learning, at any age and any stage. They work together in coherence to make learning possible.
When reading for instance, a child uses auditory processing which is essential for decoding, visual processing, memory, speed and logic, that are essential for comprehension, not forgetting a key skill, attention, or the ability to focus for a certain duration without getting distracted or side tracked, all these skills work together to achieve reading fluency.
It is therefore vital for these skills to be strong for your child to learn and think easily and efficiently.
Research has sown that roughly 80% of learning difficulties are a direct result of cognitive skills weakness. Difficulties in reading, writing, comprehension, math, slow work, poor memory, lack of focus, or low motivation, are only symptoms of weak cognitive skills.
Here are a more signs that, if they exist in child or student, you might want to investigate, into their source and find a permanent solution to deal with the problems causing these symptoms, if your child:
- Avoids hard or complicated work
- Continuously reverses letters and words
- Has difficulties sounding out words and spelling
- Struggles to understand or comprehend what was read
- Is always one of the last kids to complete a task at school or at home
- It takes them forever to get started on their homework and eventually finish doing it
- Is disorganized and frustrated when studying
- Has problems creating mental pictures from a word math problem
- Has trouble paying attention/staying on task
- Forgets instructions or what was said or read earlier
- Keeps making the same careless errors without realizing it
- Does things that don’t seem to make sense
- Lacks confidence, especially in new and unfamiliar situations
- Has problems making or keeping friends
Many parents turn to tutoring as an answer to their children’s academic struggles. While tutoring can help a child pass an exam or get their homework done, it is only a short term solution to a long term problem, if you think of it, tutoring is re- teaching what should have been learnt in the first place, but wasn’t because of poor skills,
For years it was thought that success or struggle, stamp a child’s learning journey for good, but new advances in science is telling us otherwise, they’re providing us with tools to measure your child’s skills, to pinpoint the underlying causes of why the struggle exists in the first place, and with a scientific, proven approach that helps your child overcome struggles once and for all.
Sahar Riad, Managing Partner of The Brain Workshop