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5 things about learning, dyslexia & fractions

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

I don't know about you but this year has bought a lot of challenges to our household...generally 2020 has been a write-off worldwide with lockdowns forcing families to homeschool, out of work and into a whole different situation than they were anticipating.

I know that during our initial lockdown, with both my husband and I fortunate enough to be working from home at that time, we really had to be strict about routines in order to make sure that school work was completed.

With Master 10 being both dyslexic and ADHD, we couldn't leave him to work through any tasks assigned because he has difficulty with executive functioning as well.

Things that we learned that were effective in home schooling were:

  1. Having lists is absolutely crucial to work to. With the school work being assigned in Google Classroom, we were able to review what tasks were due and when. This really made a huge difference in helping him determine what to work on first. If you don't have google classroom, make a list manually and leave it within easy reach. This way your child can know what is coming up and feels more accomplished as you cross things off the list.

  2. Get your child started on a task and check in about 10 minutes later to see if they are okay. I found that Master 10 would not ask for help when stuck, because he wasn't sure where he was stuck. By checking in with him, we were able to determine if he had grasped the concept of the work correctly and if not, then we could work with him to reinforce the correct work to be done.

  3. Take things right back to basics. Sometimes, modern teaching methods really play havoc with the dyslexic student. Generally dyslexic people think in pictures rather than words. If you can take something back to a graphic representation it will work so much better for them. An example of this is with multiplication. Instead of saying: "What is 5x 5?" Ask the question as "I have 5 groups with 5 items in each group. How much would you have in total?" This way, they can picture each group of 5 individually and figure it out from there.

  4. Make sure that you give consistent breaks. We found it highly beneficial to allow Master 10 to complete the first task and then take a few minutes to regroup before starting the next task. Sure this slowed things down a bit, but in terms of effectiveness and accuracy, he was so much more on point with the breaks allowed in between. This is because his brain had a chance to move on from the previous task and the instructions for each task didn't get muddled up.

  5. Tie the classwork into something that your child loves. We are lucky that Master 10 loves cooking and really loves the pancake art challenges online. Because of this, I was able to hold his attention long enough to explain that fractions are simply individual items broken up into pieces. The bigger the number was on the bottom of the fraction means that the pieces are even smaller. If the number was smaller on the bottom half, then the pieces were bigger. This really helped him visualise things and put them together in a practical way that meant something to him.

I have put together a worksheet specifically on fractions which really helped him, which you can download below if you are stuck.

Understanding Fractions_Worksheet
Download PDF • 100KB

We experienced some real momentum for what felt like the first time this year, using the tips provided. I really hope they help you too.

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