Differentiation Strategies for At-Home Learning
The new realities of remote learning present unexpected challenges and responsibilities for all parents. For parents of students with learning disabilities, remote learning can be particularly challenging as families learn to best address the unique needs of their children with limited resources. This blog contains some simple strategies and suggested resources for assisting a child with learning disabilities to be put in the best position to succeed while they learn at home.
Learn Through Multiple Modalities
With learning, as with many things, there can be multiple paths to the same goal. A child who struggles with processing with reading may thrive when learning the content through a video or having a passage read to them. Speaking beyond special education, all students can better engage with the curriculum when presented the information in different forms. Our online digital learning platform, Virtua, has several built in features to put learners with diverse preferences in a position to succeed. This includes Virtua school, which presents content in the form of slides, videos, and text, presented in a varied format to keep content fresh and engaging. Additionally, Virtua Library contains over 25,000 ebooks, audio books, and videos that engage learners in whichever form is most intuitive to them. The more a learner uses Virtua, the more the platform curates content that is best suited to their learning style.
Learn to Identify Frustration
A common challenge for all students is frustration. Students may reach a point where they feel like they are never going to understand a concept, and become upset and unwilling to continue working. This can be alarming for many parents, who may feel that they are putting too much pressure on their child. As a parent, it is possible to begin identifying when a student is going to become frustrated. Some ways of doing this are trying to identify which types of learning activities cause students to become frustrated and provide extra encouragement during them, as well as looking for signs such as sighing, becoming quiet, or becoming irritable. When this does happen, it is beneficial to remain calm yourself and, after a break, encourage your child to approach what they are working on from a new angle.
Have your Child’s Areas for Growth Targeted to Reduce Unnecessary Frustration
Virtua School, powered by CENTURY’s award winning adaptive learning technology, is a great resource for minimizing student frustration, as its adaptive learning program identifies student areas for improvement and provides them with nuggets, or micro-lessons, to get them back on track. These nuggets may be in the form of videos, text, or images, and change over time according to the preferences of the student, creating a personalized learning experience. The more a student uses Virtua School, the better the program can ensure that what a student user is receiving the help they need in the learning style that is most suitable to them.
Provide Different Ways to Engage with the Text
If you do want to help your student develop their reading skills, having them work in a program that allows them to interact with the text in a variety of ways. Just like how learning in multiple modalities can help students stay engaged with their learning and reduce frustration, using reading strategies can have the same type of benefits. In Virtua Library, students can opt to have their books read to them using a text-to-speech tool. Students can also highlight phrases they find interesting, or words they need to look up. There is also an option to add annotations to text that can be referred back to later. Additionally, Virtua Library contains a wide selection of audio books that allow learners to engage with literature in a way that may have been completely unfamiliar to them. When I was in a classroom, it always amazed me how access to audio versions of works unlocked the readings for students with IEPs that had otherwise struggled, and developed a general discomfort around academic reading. To learn more what Virtua Library and other resources can do for your child, go to our main page.