In dyslexia tutoring, there are many important factors that go into helping a dyslexic child succeed with reading and spelling. For example, it is important that a dyslexia tutor gives the child a solid base in phonics, teaches them the rules that govern how syllables are pronounced, and helps them apply these rules when they are reading and spelling. There is another very important factor that does not fall under the mechanics of reading and spelling, and that is encouragement.
Encouragement can be a very powerful force in life. Sometimes, when we are faced with difficulties, an encouraging word can make a big difference. These encouraging words are a necessity for a dyslexia student. Quite often, by the time that a dyslexic student begins tutoring, they have already struggled in school for some time and felt discouraged by their reading and spelling difficulties. In some cases, a child with dyslexia may have faced ridicule, and accusations that their reading challenges stem from laziness. For these reasons, it is very important that a dyslexic student receive encouragement on a regular basis. Even once they are in tutoring and see that they are making progress, there can be sessions from time to time when they have a particular amount of difficulty; when even material that they seemed to have down solid during the previous session can seem difficult again. This can be caused by fatigue, a difficult day at school, or any number of things.
With this in mind, encouragement can help keep them on track. If a dyslexic child is struggling on a particular day, it is great to remind them just how far they have come. A reminder of the progress that they have made can help them put a “bad day” in perspective, and take pride in the the progress that they have made. Encouraging hard work is also an excellent thing to do. Reading and spelling can be difficult for a dyslexic, especially when they are first starting tutoring, and recognition of their dedication can lift their spirits and give them something to feel good about amidst struggles. I often remind my students of the great progress they have made by showing them the books that they were reading when they first started tutoring. Often, these books look simple to them in retrospect, and it’s a concrete example of how far they have come.
Parents can help so much by encouraging their dyslexic children. When you recognize their struggles and celebrate their achievements (no matter how small), you are helping them on their way to becoming excellent readers and spellers.