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Q My child hates doing his reading homework, what can I do?

A.  Make sure that you introduce the book well. Take about five minutes to look through the book, talk about the pictures, look out for tricky words in the text and get your child to find it, say “Can you find the word X” followed by “how did you know” This question helps you to find out how your child is working out words.

There are many simple strategies you can use in my Active Education Reading Course.

Q My child has trouble even spelling simple words and often gets mixed up with words like no/on or was/saw.

A. Spelling is simple. All children can learn at least 100 simple words which will make it easy for them to read and write.

Find about 5 words that you know your child can spell. Now just work with those 5 to teach them the process of how good spellers learn to spell words. Write these words from memory onto paper, in chalk on the floor, in shaving cream on a table, on a white board. Write them over and over until the child can beat you in a race to write the word.

Ask your child to read the word running their finger along left to right under the word. Ask them to take a photo of the word with their eyes. Close their eyes now spell the word forwards and backwards. Ask them to tell you the tricky bit of the word eg. rain highlight this on a correct version of the word.

Good spellers have a good visual memory of the word. It is as simple as that. Now learn to spell a tricky word using the same technique. Any word can be learnt using this process. This and many more techniques are outlined in my Active Education Writing course.

Q My child has trouble reading and loses their place, rubs their eyes and becomes frustrated when trying to read.

A Check that the book is not too hard. Five finger test (ie five mistakes on the first page the book is too hard. You finish reading the story or find another book to read. Let the teacher know the next day that level is too hard.

If your child continually loses their place or rubs their eyes when reading your child may need a behavioural optometry assessment by a Behavioural Optometrist.

My introductory Active Education Course overviews how to identify a visual processing problem and steps to take to help overcome this problem.

Q My child is always tired and lethargic and is unwilling to get involved in homework.

A. Your child may need a fun break before committing to more mental activity after a long day at school.

Make sure they have a food fuel break including protein such as cheese, smoothie with protein powder or some meat such as ham or chicken. These foods re-establish stable sugar levels and the brain can use them to think.

Set a time to come back to the homework when your child is fueled up and relaxed to work.

Foods high in sugar and highly processed carbohydrates such as sweet biscuits, lollies and chips provide the body with a quick sugar fix but do little to support your child’s body to learn and play.

A quick walk around the block, play with the dog or play on a park swing does wonders for brain integration and family harmony.

Nutrition and brain integration is covered in the introductory Clear Pathways for Kids Learning course.

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