As parents, we want our children to succeed in life. And part of how they could achieve it is by getting a good education and making the most of that education - learning as much as they can. But what if your child is a little behind in his cognitive abilities? What can we do to help motivate them?
Slow Learner - Is There Such A Thing?
The first step in dealing with a slow learner child is to find the right learning environment. It can make all the difference.
In addition to the right environment, learning how to motivate your child is important. You may need to get creative, but there are many ways you can help them stay motivated and interested in learning.
We despise the term slow learner. To label children as anything at all is deplorable, but to label them as ‘slow’ is demeaning and degrading--not to mention telling them they are not as good as others, especially since there are many ways to deal with a "slow learner" child.
Nevertheless, some children need extra help and specialised teaching to allow them to learn and grow. Does this make them slow learners? Maybe, but remember--if you tell someone they are something long enough and loud enough, they will become just that.
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Signs of a Slow Learner
If you think your child might be a slow learner, here are some signs to look for:
- They have trouble paying attention in class.
- They make careless mistakes in their homework and assignments.
- They struggle with reading comprehension.
- They don't seem to understand what they're reading despite being able to read it aloud fluently.
- They have trouble following along with the lesson in class and often need help from other students or the teacher to catch up on what's going on in class discussions and activities
Types of Slow Learners
The most common type of slow learner is the one who has trouble paying attention, which makes it difficult for them to learn new information. They can learn things if they're interested in them, but it takes a lot more effort than it does for other children.
Another type of slow learner is one who has trouble thinking logically. They often make illogical connections between ideas and have trouble applying the information in new situations.
Another common type of slow learner is one who has trouble with memory. The memory may be selective or non-existent, depending on the individual child's needs.
Finally, some children are simply not good at abstract thinking and reasoning. This can make learning very hard for them because they need concrete examples to understand concepts like math and science.
Slow Learner Symptoms
Slow learners are much like fast learners but must work harder to get the same results.
Slow learners have a lot of trouble keeping up with their peers. They might not understand what's happening in class and struggle to follow or participate in group activities.
Slow learners often have problems with reading comprehension and writing skills, but they usually keep up with their peers in math.
Some people think that slow learners are lazy or don't try hard enough, but that's not true! They just need more time to process information and understand how it applies to them personally.
Slow learners should not be discouraged by their difficulties; instead, they should find ways to work around them! There are tons of resources for people who want help learning more efficiently (and quickly).
Causes of Being a Slow Learner
[caption id="attachment_475072" align="aligncenter" width="670"] A child learning online | Image from Pexels[/caption]
Slow learners are often misunderstood. They tend to be shy and quiet and struggle with the constant insecurity of being behind the curve in their classes.
Being a slow learner can have several causes:
How To Deal With A Slow Learner Child
One of parents' and educators' most difficult tasks is determining if their child is a slow learner because they cannot keep up with others or because they choose not to keep up with others.
So you might wonder how to deal with a slow learner if your child ever happens to be one.
But before you learn how to deal with a 'slow learner,' you should know a child as such is one who:
- Reaches normal infant and toddler milestones later than the average child consistently. These milestones include crawling, walking, speech and vocabulary and motor skills such as clapping, hopping, skipping, recognising eyes, ears, etc.
- Has trouble concentrating--all children have limited attention spans. but those who have trouble concentrating for more than two or three minutes at a time and are unable to recall what they did in that time and/or repeat what they did without instruction or prompting will likely need specialised attention and be labelled ‘slow learners'.
- Struggles with the simplest of concepts and has difficulty retaining what they learn. This is an accurate indicator of a child with a learning disability. But rather than focusing on the disability, focus on finding how to work with the disability to make it less of an issue.
- Is socially immature or reclusive? Children who are labelled ‘slow learners’ will a) notice the fact that they are ‘slow’ or learning at a different pace or b) be singled out by the teacher and/or their peers as being ‘slow’. This is embarrassing, humiliating and demeaning to a child. Their self-esteem and confidence suffer tremendously, and they withdraw to shield themselves from the pain--holding it inside themselves.
A parent’s responsibility
If your child is labelled a ‘slow learner’, slow things down. This is the best way to deal with a slow learner child.
Give them the grace and time they need and deserve to reach their potential. Provide for them the environment and tools necessary to excel. Learning how to deal with a slow learner means having patience for your child to grow.
Think about it--if your child was a gifted musician, wouldn’t you do whatever you could to ensure they could develop that talent to the fullest? No child deserves any less of a chance.
[caption id="attachment_475071" align="aligncenter" width="670"] a mom helping a child learn | Image from Pexe,s[/caption]
How Can You Deal With and Help Your Slow Learner Child
- Provide a quiet work/study area. Distractions are detrimental.
- Keep assignments and homework sessions short. Again, it’s the attention span thing.
- Be accessible. Help your child. Help doesn’t mean doing the work for them, but helping them work through the assignment by giving clues, having them repeat the process or concept with similar questions and problems, etc.
- Ask questions such as ‘what does that word mean?’ ‘do you see how that works?’ ‘Why did you choose that answer?’.
- Read to your child. A simple yet effective way how to deal with a slow learner child.
- Be patient and consistent. As mentioned before, patience is the best way to deal with a slow learner child.
- Do not allow them to give up on their work or themselves. If necessary, take a break, but always return to the task and see it through to completion.
- Don’t be overprotective. Labelling your child as a ‘slow learner’ only makes them feel slower. Don’t ever tell them they can’t accomplish something. Instead, help them find a way to get it done--in their own time.
- Be their advocate. Stay connected with their teachers and make sure your child doesn’t fall through the system's cracks.
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Treatment for Slow Learning
Slow learning is a condition that affects many children. It can cause a child to lag behind other school students, making life hard for the child and their family. Fortunately, you can take steps to help your child learn more quickly.
Working with your child's teacher is one of the most important things you can do to help them learn more quickly. Make sure they understand how your child learns best, and ask them if there are any resources or tools they recommend for helping your child learn better.
In addition to working with your child's teacher, ensure you do everything you can at home to support their learning. Be sure they have plenty of time to focus on homework each day, and encourage them when they seem frustrated or discouraged by a subject or task.
Try not to let your frustration show when you struggle with a particular assignment—this will only worsen things! Instead, talk about why something might be confusing or difficult for them and see if there's anything that might help them understand it better.
Finally, remember that slow learning isn't permanent! With time and support from home and school (as well as yourself), your child will eventually catch up with their peers.
How to Teach a Slow Learner Child
When a child is slow to learn, it can be frustrating for parents and teachers alike. How do you teach a child who seems to have trouble retaining information?
Teaching a slow learner child is not easy, but some tricks can make the process easier. Here are some tips for teaching a slow learner child and helping them succeed in school:
- Make it fun! Use games and activities to get your slow learner excited about learning. Make sure to keep it entertaining and engaging, so they don't lose interest.
- Break things down into small chunks so that your student doesn't get overwhelmed or discouraged by too much material at once.
- Be patient! Slow learners may take longer than other children to grasp concepts and remember what they learned, so give them time and space to learn at their own pace.
When finding out how to deal with a slow learner child, remember that all kids are different. Every child has potential. Not every child will be a doctor, nuclear scientist or college professor. But who cares! If they were, we’d be hungry, naked and wouldn’t have a cell phone to chat on, now would we?
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Updated by Pheona Ilagan
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