During the six week summer holidays, I organised a dyslexia boot-camp. To help parents/carers learn how to help their own child at home. I also took part in the boot-camp, keeping a mums diary.
The activities in the boot-camp took just 10 minutes a day. I had written all the activities when my little girl first started showing the signs of dyslexia. Many of the activities we had already tried. Yet now my little girl was aged 7, it was a good opportunity to revisit the activities and do one everyday.
So what did I learn from doing the boot-camp, as the parent/carer of a dyslexic child.
1) You are learning, not just the child: To help your dyslexia child, you need to learn how to help them. Doing the bootcamp took commitment, motivation and resiliance. I had to keep going when my little child did not want to and had to try many things to encourage her to learn. Looking after myself and giving myself treats was important too. As explained on the "Adult Champion" card.
2) Child needs lots of encouragement: My little girl some days refused to do any activities. So motivating her was really important. We used the "Reward Chart" card, working towards treats at the end of the week. When she really had enough, we had a treat day, doing the "Yes Day" card
3) Everyday maybe too much: Keeping-up with boot-camp everyday for six week was difficult. Life simply got in the way. Sometimes I was too tired, other days my little girl was sick. We also had family holidays planned.
I told myself it was ok to have a break, then the following week we would maybe do 2-3 activities in one day. Yet having the six weeks to aim for did motivate me to keep going and to do all the activities.
4) Show what you have achieved: To show other parents/carers what I was doing for the bootcamp. I took photos of every activity and by the end of the six weeks I was amazed at how much we had achieved. I also found putting everything we had made on the wall such as the "Self-esteem Sun", showed my little girl all she had done and she was proud.
5) You child maybe too old or too young for some activities: Now my little girl is 7 I found doing the activities much more helpful, then when she was 5.
When we did the "Understanding Dyslexia" cards. We had a really good conversation about the positives of being dyslexic and how it was affecting my little girl. Also the cards that help with emotions, such as the "Emoji Check-in". Helped us talking about why she was feeling stressed, that in fact she was worried about going back to school in September.
6) Learn what works for the child and continue to do it: The bootcamp was designed to help parents/carers, learn how to help their own child at home. Some activities your child may find more useful than others.
7) Tell child's teachers what works for child: Parents, carers of dyslexic children know their child best. Doing the bootcamp I found ways that worked best for my little girl and will be speaking to her teachers about them. My little girl keeps telling me she needs to see pictures not words to learn. To be able to repeat questions back to an adult, like on the "hear instructions" card. This is something I will be speaking to her teachers about doing.
The boot-camp is now all on-line so parents/carers, teaching assistants and teachers. Basically anyone who wants to learn how to help a dyslexic child, can join. You can join at anytime and work at your own pace. Taking six weeks or six months to complete the bootcamp. Work at a pacing at works for you and the child. Learn more see "Six Week Dyslexia Bootcamp, Parents/carers, Teaching Assistants and Teachers".
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