Helping Slow Learners: Strategies and Activities for Effective Learning
You’ve certainly heard the tale of The Tortoise and the Hare. Where the slower tortoise eventually wins the race. Parents of children who are slow learners get needlessly stressed, not realizing that in time, their ‘Tortoise’ children might overtake all the ‘hares’ that are running the race.
If that’s not convincing enough, here’s an interesting fact you might not have known already: Albert Einstein was himself a slow learner!
Do we really wish to take out our frustrations on our kids, because they are not getting good grades in class? Might we not rather change our approach for addressing them?
In this article you will find a compilation of wonderful activities for slow learners that will help your little one who might be struggling with the process of learning. But first, a look at what a slow learner really is.
What a Slow Learner Is
A child can be defined as a slow learner, if their thinking skills develop at a considerably slower rate than that of their peers. Bear in mind here, that the child will go through the exact same developmental stages as their peers, albeit at a slower rate.
Needless to say, slow learners learn slowly. However, they cannot link one learning to another unless they are specifically told. Also, they are unable to apply certain concepts in different situations without help. That is why they cannot do abstract teaching, and instead need teaching of the rigorous kind.
That’s not all. Slow learners have social issues, too. As you can see, it’s not an easy journey for them and we must do our best to help them progress.
How to Deal with Slow Learners
The good news is, there are several things you can do to bring about a significant change in the performance of slow learners, and subsequently uplift them.
Repeat each point more often than you normally would
Of course, slow learners need to hear things more often than their peers, to have the concepts being taught soundly register in their minds.
Note: When doing this in the classroom, teachers need to keep other kids interested by asking them questions and having them answer.
Make those Lessons Interesting
When looking at how to motivate slow learners, you want to mix things up. Have them participate in games and activities for slow learners, pertaining to the lessons you teach them. This will make learning all the more fun for them. Moreover, you will find that not only are they able to understand concepts more easily, but they will sharpen their social skills, too.
Use Audio and Visual Aids
When looking at how to deal with slow learners, have you considered the fact that they might be struggling on account of their difficulty in reading?
It might be a great idea to bring in things like movies, pictures and even audio, to help teach them things they would not understand by reading alone. For instance, when teaching a book to students, you could hand out visuals of elements like the characters involved, and timelines of the plot.
Praise and Reward Them
When looking for how to motivate slow learners, this one’s at the top of the list. Make sure that you praise them, even when they achieve the smallest goals they have set out to achieve. Further, offer them rewards for those milestones completed, that will egg them on to work even harder to complete the next milestone.
Guide them to the Main Points of Lessons
Slow learners might be overwhelmed with all that supplementary information that comes along with every lesson. It’s best that you guide them to the salient points. When you are teaching them, make sure you identify and explain the learning points of the lesson. Have them use study guides for tests, so that they can know what information they need to be focusing on.
Set Realistic Expectations
Parents of children who are slow learners should not set the bar too high, where it comes to the expectations they set. Instead, they should be patient with their kids and not needlessly hurry or pressurize them. The mistake you want to avoid is teaching them like other kids who are fast learners. Set smaller, more realistic targets for them and see the positive effects that have on their progress.
Use Educational Puzzles to stimulate their Imagination
When looking for activities for slow learners to get engrossed in, try tossing in some educational puzzles. When you vary their instructional technique by using active learning experiences like this one, the results can be profound.
Improve their Concentration Power
Slow learners struggle with concentration skills, so it is a really great idea to focus on their power of concentration, with a view to subsequently sharpen their learning skills. You can request their teacher to let them sit in the front rows of the classroom, so they can better understand the concepts being taught. At home, ensure they have a space that is quiet and free from distractions, to help them focus.
Try and partner them with a stronger peer
It might be a great idea to provide an invaluable support system for your slow learner, by grouping them with a stronger peer. This will also help the higher-performing peer, as it will give them a chance to teach your slow learner, and in the process firmly cement in their minds the information they have already gleaned.
Teach them the Importance of Learning
Slow learners are often disillusioned by learning. It might be worth your while to talk about distinguished personalities, who like them, were slow learners. Case in point, Albert Einstein. It’s probably the best way to get them to enjoy learning.
Here at EuroKids, each and every child is equally important. We pay special attention to children who are slow learners, doing our very best to give them the wings to soar high. We encourage all parents of slow learners, to give them all the encouragement and support, to help them reach their full potential.