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Red Flags for Home Learning

 
It’s back to home learning for the foreseeable future. Cue the collective groan.

Yes, there are downsides to online school, but there are some benefits as well. One of them is that parents gain an unimpeded view of their child’s behavior and abilities.

According to Amber Foster, the BFDC’s Assessment Coordinator, parents should watch out for the following red flags that may signal that a child has a specific learning disorder (SLD) such as dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia.
 

Lower primary students (5-8 years)

  • has trouble learning simple rhymes
  • has difficulty associating sounds with letters, and sequencing and ordering sounds
  • has difficulty learning to read, including sounding out new words and counting the number of syllables in a word
  • has difficulty following directions
  • has difficulty with short words, repeating or leaving out words like and, the, but
  • has trouble differentiating left from right
  • struggles to recognize patterns, like smallest to largest or tallest to shortest
  • has a poor sense of numbers and estimating
  • has difficulty counting backwards
  • has weak mental arithmetic skills

Middle and Upper Primary Students (8-11 years)

  • continues to reverse letters and numbers when reading after the age of 8 years
  • struggles to take notes, including copying down words from the board/online slides
  • difficulty spelling familiar works, often spelling them phonetically , ex. cmpt instead of camped
  • lack of fluency reading, continuing to read slowly
  • avoids reading out loud
  • shows signs of fatigue when reading, reading with great effort
  • is slow to perform mathematical calculations
  • difficulty grasping or remembering more complex mathematical procedures, such as long division 
  • defaults to simpler style of calculation, most often addition
  • struggles to understand information on charts and graphs
  • has trouble measuring items like ingredients in a simple recipe or liquids in a bottle
  • has trouble keeping score in sports or games
  • displays high mathematics anxiety

 

Behavioral Issues

Some children may have no trouble with the cognitive aspects of learning. Rather, behavioral issues may trip up their ability to fully engage with online schoolwork. Check if your child regularly behaves in the following manner:

  • seems to have a short attention span and is easily distracted
  • makes careless mistake in schoolwork
  • appears forgetful and loses things often
  • is unable to stick to tasks that are tedious and time-consuming
  • appears unable to listen and carry out instructions
  • constantly changes activities and tasks
  • has difficulty organising tasks
  • fidgets constantly, unable to still still, especially in calm/quiet surroundings
  • talks excessively and interrupts others
  • has difficulty waiting their turn
  • acts without thinking
  • has little or no sense of danger

Remember, these behaviors are not unusual or problematic from time to time. They can simply signal that a child is bored. However, if your child consistently displays the above behaviors, it may point to an underlying issue.

Are you concerned with what you see at home during online learning? Consider a Psychoeducational Assessment for your child to determine what may be interfering with their ability to learn.