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Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 5, No. 1 - January/February 2013

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Starting a New School Year

By Dr. Joan Brien

No matter what their age, students generally look forward to the new school year as it marks another step in their progress through the education process, and gets them closer to that final year when they can graduate to become part of the workforce.

Some students are happy with their progress during the year, but others may be aware that there are things that they did not understand in some of their subjects.

Unfortunately, in most cases, the opportunity to understand these difficult concepts has been missed, and their new teachers will assume that they already understand these. The result of this misperception on the part of the teacher is that the students will often be left behind and struggling to cope with the new concepts that require a sound understanding of the old concepts.

The summer holidays over December and January are an ideal time to make an effort to understand the concepts that were not learnt sufficiently. One way of doing this, is for the student to be tutored, either by a professional tutoring company or an individual who has the skills required to help the student reach the required proficiency in a short time.

Once the New Year starts, it is often too late to start trying to catch up!

For the "littlies", in Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2, they also can be helped during the holiday period to try to ensure that they start their new year totally prepared for the harder work that they will be presented with over the year.

If you think your child is going to need some help over the holidays, no matter what their age, as a parent, you can approach their current teacher and request some resources that you can use over the holiday period to help your child gain an understanding of any concepts or facts that they may have missed out on during the current year. Once they start back to school, it will be difficult to have the time to help them in the way you can during the holidays.

The holidays might be a good opportunity to ensure that all is right with your child's vision, hearing and visual processing as all of these things can make a difference to how your child copes with the demands of schoolwork.

Vision can be checked by an optometrist and hearing can be checked by an audiologist and visual processing can be checked by a certified Irlen screener or diagnostician. Irlen Syndrome is a visual processing dysfunction that cannot be detected by any standardised educational tests or optometric assessments, so many children go undetected in the school system.

Holiday Checklist

  • Organise holiday tutoring in problem areas
  • Liaise with teachers for resources for students to use during the school holidays
  • Arrange holiday learning experiences for children
  • Check your children's vision, hearing & visual processing

More Information

Dr. Joan Brien

Certified Irlen Diagnostician
Irlen Diagnostic Clinic
Suite 3/136 Nelson St.
Wallsend NSW 2287
P: 02 4955 6904


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