It is easy to become frustrated with anyone who doesn’t ‘get’ what the parent understands. As a home learning facilitator it is also sometimes difficult to realise that you inevitably see your own success reflected by the success of your child, if they have difficulty grasping concepts and ideas what does this say about your ability to teach and your decision to home school? Add to this the anxiety that taking responsibility for the academic aspect of your children’s life can bring and homeschooling someone who makes slower progress can be stressful for both you and your child. However, In many ways the slower learner is at an advantage when being home schooled as it is far easier to set a content and pace appropriate to their learning needs at home and they will inevitably get more attention and encouragement with the high adult, child ratio of provided in the home environment.
Three very important ingredients for successful teaching of a slow learner are patience, building in plenty of opportunities to enjoy success and making use of concrete apparatus. Concrete apparatus includes things like uni-fix, blocks, addition and subtraction, table squares for multiplication and division and clock faces with moving hands for counting telling the time in Math.
For language work, word banks, sentence builders, writing frames (graphic organisers) and word tins are all very useful support strategies which can mean the difference between success and failure.
To over learn geographical and scientific processes, use short video clips which are easily found on Youtube to introduce the knowledge then follow on cards and simple quizzes are great ways to demonstrate to slower learners how much they know and understand.
When introducing the four mathematical operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division it is vital that you make sure that your child understand the concepts that underlie them. This is best demonstrated in a practical way with apparatus that can be physically manipulated. There are many branded products available from educational suppliers but you need not spend a great deal of money at all, as large beans, buttons and marbles can be just as effective once the child is past the age of putting everything in its mouth!
Whenever you are going to require a written outcome from a slower learner it is very important to provide as much support as possible. Of course, this does mean extra preparation work for you but this will pay dividends as your child is able to produce written outcomes you will both be satisfied with. Always begin by producing a word bank together and as each new genre of writing is introduced provide models so your child has a good idea of what you are expecting.
All of the ideas and strategies outlined in this article will work just so long as the educator keeps one thing firmly in mind, Slow learners are not no learners and therefore they have a greater capacity to improve than any other kind of learner.