Let me just tell you that our journey with our 8 year old foster son has been one of the hardest things we have been through, ever. He came to us with a lot of a anger, unresolved issues, and lack of love and affection. He has been through so much in such a short amount of time, that no child ever deserves to happen to them. He needed love, nurturing, and lot of affection to heal his wounded heart.
When he first came and started school with us, he was failing his reading class, and the ones that he wasn’t failing, but he wasn’t doing as well as he had previously done in his other school.
When foster children first come into your house, you only know what is given to you, and what the schools have transferred over. When he was in his other schools, it didn’t seem like he was having any major learning difficulties and did really well in school.
We couldn’t pin point what exactly he needed to help him flourish and thrive in school, so basically we tried all learning difficulty techniques and it seemed to have little to no effect on his comprehension ability.
We knew that consistency is key, and we kept speaking positive encouragement to him, and kept trying different ways to help him understand what he was reading and truly what the questions on his tests were asking him.
I will let you know five strategies that we used to help him learn and start to comprehend a lot of what he was learning:
- We started making flash cards with his vocabulary words. He makes them himself and cuts them out on Monday night, and studies them all week to prepare himself for his test on Friday.
- We practice his spelling words and he tries to find him in his “story of the week” required from school. We do this daily.
- We do a “mad minutes” game at home which mimics what he is doing in school with learning how to do fast math, by memory, in a short amount of time (less than 3 minutes).
- Myself or Shane will read to him, and he has to draw out his version of what we are reading on a piece of paper and re-tell us his understanding of the story.
- We ask him the questions at the end of his required reading books he gets from the library (if they come with a set, or we make up our own questions from what we remember reading from the book).
Those are just a few tips that we use weekly to get him to where he needs to be, and he has loved the encouragement and one on one time he gets from these activities!
Plus he is finally PASSING all of his classes for the 4th 6wks report card!! In just two 6 weeks, he has gone from failing and barely passing, to literally shocking all of us with putting in the hard work, time, and dedication each week to now passing! We are beyond proud of him, and we see his love for learning and school and know that he will go very far in life!
©2017 Sheridan Johnson @Journey with the Johnsons. All Rights Reserved.