Studying can be a challenging task for most children but for children with learning difficulties, the challenges are usually harder. To study, besides motivation, one needs to develop skills which can help you to study more productively. Thus, it is important that children are guided so that they learn ways that can help them to study and retain information more efficiently. By being supported whilst studying, children can feel more empowered and develop their confidence that they can make it and be successful. The following are a few study tips to help children with learning difficulties.
- Learning styles – Everyone has their preferred way of learning information, understand concepts and memorise information. These learning styles are: visual (seeing), auditory (hearing) and kinaesthetic (learning by doing). Understand how the child learns best and present information in that mode.
- Concentration – For children who struggle to remain attentive, removing distractions as much as possible will help them to sustain their focus for a longer period. Studying in a room where it is quiet and where there is not much going on, will eliminate extraneous stimuli in their environment that can otherwise act as a distraction.
- Study space – Children who are hyperactive will usually struggle to remain seated for a long time. To study one does not have to be seated all the time. Allow the child to stand up whilst studying or to make use of a bouncy ball. Moving will stimulate their brain and likely to help them remain focused for a longer period and to be more motivated.
- Repetition – Children who have a below average general cognitive functioning tend to learn at a slower rate than peers and therefore they will require repetition to consolidate learning. Revise previously taught concepts as this will help them to remember information by being exposed to the material several times.
- Spelling – For children with spelling difficulties, help them find strategies to memorise the correct spelling of words. The following are some examples: look, cover, say, write and check method; staircase spelling (e.g. W Wr Wri Writ Write); fill in the missing letters; flashcards; writing different letters/syllables in different colours to remember the word visually.
- Memory strategies – To remember information more efficiently help the child to develop strategies which aid their memory. Such strategies can include: chunking of information (e.g. creating lists and chunking them into similar sections), mnemonics (e.g. to remember the rainbow colours saying Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain), creating a song with the information to remember.
- Perseverance – Finally, children with learning difficulties may frequently experience failure when it comes to exams. Encourage them to practise and not to give up, as long as they try their best this is what matters.
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Dr Marilyn Muscat is registered as an Educational Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom where she trained. She works with children, adolescents and their families to understand more about educational, social and emotional well-being concerns that they have and to help them improve upon their difficulties. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.