Guest Author - Susan Kramer
Whether it's in the genes are acquired by environment, sometimes kids and parents have the same challenges. Scientists have identified genetic relationships for some learning disabilities, but not all at this time; nevertheless, parent and child may face similar limitations.
A case in point was my own limitation growing up and trying to learn phonics - to sound out words. One of my children had similar problems. Of course, this gave me a greater empathy with the associated problems in learning to read.
How I adapted to my learning disability gave me at least one tool to help my child learn to read. As I learned by memorizing by sight and became very successful I supported my child by drilling memorization of words. And the proof that this worked is we both have advanced degrees as adults.
Parents, use the insight you gained overcoming and adapting to your own learning disabilities if your child shows similar challenges. It gives him a boost of self-esteem if he knows his mom or dad had to try a different method to learn than the other kids in school.
A tip I found useful with my own problem of not hearing the sounds to learn by phonics was to look very hard at each word so I could remember it for next time. It probably took longer for me to gain a large vocabulary but the words stuck and I even won the 5th grade spelling bee at our elementary school.
Aside from learning disabilities in adults or kids it may be that a different approach in learning style may help smooth over challenges in learning academics.
A kinesthetic approach helps all learners because it is just not movement or motion - by watching others move in an academic lesson in math or language we reinforce visual learning. And similarly, by listening to rhymes or clapping patterns, language learning is improved.
In summary, adults, if you have or had a learning disability and now see it in your child, take the methods that worked for you and see if that will help your child learn, too. We are each different and learn best in our own way. One of the main learning styles of kinesthetic, visual or auditory may be a best way for you or your child to explore and learn more.
For offline reading
Free to Move, Learning Kinesthetically - Comprehensive guide to teaching kinesthetically in a 90 page fully illustrated text, outlining body placement, rhythms, large motor skills, dynamics, creative movement, mini-lessons, and detailed master lesson plan for elementary school kids. Available as an Ebook
Article by Susan Kramer