Children who read more typically do better in school, develop better reading skills and have a greater love of reading. Encouraging your child to appreciate books will not only enrich their lives but will prepare them to succeed in the classroom and in their future careers.
Steps to Take at School
Get to know your child’s teacher. Attend open houses and volunteer at your child’s school. Make it a point to greet the teacher when you pick up your child and drop them off. Having a face to the name does wonders when you need to communicate a difficulty.
Work as a team. Collaborate with the teacher and other school officials. Listen to their suggestions with an open mind and be respectful but persistent in getting the support you need. Ask the teacher for recommendations for reading materials, especially during the summer and other breaks.
Stay in touch. Consult the teacher for the best way to stay in touch with them, whether by email, phone or conferences. Maintain a regular schedule of progress reports. This is especially helpful if school boards have mandated only two formal report cards a year. Always remember; being in front of the classroom is a very challenging position to be in, and your child is one of many students a teacher is responsible for.
Screen for learning disabilities. Early testing is critical to identify learning disabilities and arrange special instruction if your child struggles with reading. You may be pleased to know that Engaged Educators offers free, no-obligation dyslexia and reading screens to students in the Calgary area. (Please note: A diagnosis of a learning disability must be made by a registered psychologist and Engaged Educators can certainly refer you to some of the best.) Your pediatrician can also help rule out health- related issues that could affect learning, like hearing or vision problems.
Ask for additional support. Remember, your child’s teacher has many students. If you need more assistance than the teacher can provide, schedule a meeting with the principal. In most cases, your child will have to be coded to access further supports. Literacy is one of the most precious gifts you can share with your child. Help them discover the pleasures of reading, so they’ll have a more prosperous life.