Just like adults, children learn at different paces. Some absorb information and process them quickly, while others take a longer time to understand and retain new information. While parents are eager for their children to learn what they are being taught quickly, it is important to exercise restraint and patience when it comes to handling a child who is a slower learner. It does no one good if both parties get frustrated, and parents who lose their patience this way might inadvertently kill the joy of learning in the young one and cause them to lose their self-confidence, and affect their self-esteem.
Identifying a Child Who is a Slow Learner
These are common traits of a child who is a slow learner:
- They tend to have difficulties with comprehension or expression of language.
- They tend to have difficulties in concentrating and retaining new information.
- They struggle with simple concepts and reach milestones later than the average child
If your child is a slow learner, it does not mean they are lazy, uninterested in academics, or not smart. More importantly, it is important to understand that they do not need special education. They just have a delayed ability to grasp new skills and concepts. Also, don’t be confused between a reluctant learner and a slow learner. A reluctant learner is usually unmotivated and non-cooperative, but a slow learner has problems with the process of learning.
What Parents Can Do For a Child Who is a Slow Learner
- Be patient & understanding.
- Provide a quiet study/reading area, free from external distractions.
- Keep reading schedules/homework sessions short.
- Expose them regularly to varied vocabulary.
- Use short and simple sentences when speaking to them.
- Read stories to them and ask questions along the way about the characters and happenings to ensure they comprehend the story.
- Read the same book more than once to your child & encourage them to participate actively while you read. After reading, have a conversation about the story with them.
- To promote phonological awareness, read texts that emphasize rhyming patterns, and teach them the difference between letter sounds and letter names.
- Do not allow them to give up on their work or on themselves. Take breaks as you deem fit, but always return to the task at hand and see it through to completion.
Hope you found these tips helpful – happy learning, everyone! 🙂
To read more of Ms Liz’s awesome tips for your child, check out our list of Educational Materials!