7 Study Tips to Help Grade-Schoolers With Dyslexia
Studying can be extra challenging for grade-schoolers with
dyslexia. But grade school is when they need to build strong study skills and habits before the stakes get higher in middle school. These tips can help make the process easier.
1. Find out what the test format is.
Different types of tests may require different degrees of reading and writing. Knowing in advance whether the test will be multiple choice, fill in the blank or short answer can help your child know how to approach studying. (It can also
reduce test anxiety.) Having that information can give you a better idea of how to help her.
2. Build in extra study time.
If your child struggles with
, it can really slow down her studying. Trouble with
working memory can also create hurdles for kids with dyslexia. Your child may need lots of repetition, over time, to make information stick.
Carve out more time for studying than you might think necessary. If your child has a vocabulary quiz on Friday, for instance, have her start working with those words on Monday rather than waiting until Wednesday.
3. Create a study schedule that fits your child’s pace.
Your child can only study as much and as fast as she’s able to. So if her dyslexia is slowing her down, slow down the entire studying process. Reviewing the material in small batches, rather than in one long stretch, can help relieve frustration and anxiety. So can taking breaks between study sessions.
Create a study schedule that your child feels comfortable with. Maybe she can successfully work on five vocabulary words at a time, for instance. If she can keep going, that’s great. But she’ll know she won’t have to do more than she can reasonably handle at each study session.
4. Ask for study materials well in advance.
Your child’s teacher may already have notes on the information that will be covered on the test, or an actual study guide. He may also have notes on the material the students read.
Ask if you can get a copy of the notes in advance of the quiz, and with enough time to start the studying process early. Even if the teacher gave out study material in class, ask for a second copy for home. The first one may not have made it into
your child’s backpack!
5. Help her make flashcards.
Using flashcards is a quick way for your child to test herself. It can also make it easier for her to access the information (instead of having to read from the text). But it’s not just reviewing the cards that helps. The act of making them is beneficial, too, especially if she includes a picture.
Connecting a visual element to words can boost her memory. Google images can be a great source for artwork—and the process of searching provides even more reinforcement of the concepts she’s learning.
6. Take over some of the reading yourself.
Any chance your child gets to read can help boost her skills. But the point of studying isn’t to work on reading. It’s to help your child learn the material and then show what she knows.
If reading is so difficult or stressful that it gets in the way of her learning, do some of it for her. That way she can focus on content and concepts rather than on decoding. Plus, many kids with dyslexia have an easier time taking in and remembering information when they hear it.
7. Help her understand and follow test directions.
The teacher may write directions for the quiz on the board or on the test itself. But that’s just one more thing your child has to read. So she may ignore or race through it, and then do the wrong thing on the test.
Help her understand that the directions can be the most important thing to read, and that if she skips that part, all her studying may not pay off. Talk to the teacher or
team about giving your child the test instructions in advance so you can go over them together. You can also ask that the directions be read to your child.