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Simple Strategies

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    Simple Strategies

    Most of us know techniques to assist our struggling child. Sometimes it helps just to be reminded.

    Below please find some simple strategies. Feel free to add to this list. Often we'll think of others to help our own situations when we read of strategies others have used successfully.

    Organization and Predictability

    Post a daily and weekly schedule. Begin each day with a brief overview of the day's and week's activities. (For non-readers, display photos at eye level. For younger or more immature children, consider half-day overviews.)

    Visual Processing
    In the car, turn off the DVD -- or have the child "earn" it with successful completion of activities. Provide a bin or travel pocket of puzzles, Car Bingo, mazes, coloring books, or word searches for short and long car trips.

    Often children who struggle with visual processing will not enjoy such activities as much as other children do, so you can link successful completion to an occasional incentive. (Example:
    We'll stop for ice cream after our errands, if you have found all of the 30 words in your search.)

    Auditory Processing
    Play rhyming games. With a ball to bounce on each word, begin with a word. (Example:
    "Car." Bounce the ball. The child bounces it back when he thinks of a word. "Star." "Far." Continue until stumped. Then begin with a new word, such as "Night." "Bright.")

    Read children's poetry. Have the child guess the anticipated rhyming word at the end of a line of poetry.

    English Vocabulary
    Purchase a recipe box or index card holder. Have the child write his English derivatives from Latin class on index cards and alphabetize by Latin word. (Example: Pater -- paternal: fatherly) This can help organize his learning, provide an easy means of review, and encourage him when he sees how many words he has learned.

    Play audio CD's in the car to assist memory and promote learning. Consider Include the beautiful Lingua Angelica CD and audio CD's available to review Latin memory work.

    Have young children memorize often and abundantly. Teach nursery rhymes, simple Scripture verses, letters, numbers, poetry.

    Purchase paper with raised lines to provide more "feedback" as he writes. Or simply create such paper with a crayon line at the base of each row.

    Teach and encourage a proper pencil grip from the earliest days. Have the child practice a proper grip with all writing, coloring, and drawing.

    Consider Drawing with Children as a supplement to your child's school day or to weekend leisure time. Create large sketchbooks with designs from this technique, and allow the child to copy the designs in his free time.

    Provide a box with stencils, quality colored pencils, stickers, and good paper for free time enjoyment while listening to classical music. Set a timer for 30 minutes, and see what he can create. Reward beautiful work with posting on a board or giving as a gift.

    Flash Cards

    Use a stopwatch to time the child's performance on a stack of flash cards. Chart his progress. Uses -- music theory note names, math facts, Latin words, etc. As he sees his times improve, he will be encouraged.

    Begin a nature notebook with the child, even in his preschool years. Record with your own (or the child's) simple sketches an insect, spider, leaf, or other item found on quiet walks. Have the child write or dictate the actions of a pet or a creature in the wild. Even a caterpillar counts!

    Help the child settle himself into the tasks of observing and recording. Take this notebook on walks to the pond, creek, or simply down the street. Each day, record a new item with the date discovered. This little notebook may become a treasured possession in the child's later years and can help cultivate quiet self-control through the discoveries and beauty found in nature.