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How Can My Kid Succeed in School? What Parents and Teachers Can Do to Conquer Learning Problems

ISBN: 978-0-470-38376-6
288 pages
September 2009, Jossey-Bass
How Can My Kid Succeed in School? What Parents and Teachers Can Do to Conquer Learning Problems (0470383763) cover image

What to look for when a child is struggling in school and what can be done at home and at school to help them succeed

This practical resource for parents and teachers explains how to understand a child's complete learning profile-an inventory of his or her unique strengths and weaknesses-and provides helpful strategies that can be used at school and at home to get the child on a path to success. The book walks readers through the process of gathering clues about the child's learning style and provides guidelines for selecting the most appropriate learning strategies that will help spell success in school and life. Pohlman shows how parents and teachers can collaborate to help kids become successful learners, and also guides readers through the process of getting an educational assessment, for those students with particularly challenging issues.

  • Helps readers understand what's going on when a child is struggling in school
  • Explains what to look for at home and at school to gather "clues" to understanding a child's learning profile
  • Shows how parents and teachers can collaborate to help a child or adolescent succeed at school
  • Includes guidelines on obtaining educational assessments
  • Pohlman, from the acclaimed All Kinds of Minds Institute, has conducted or supervised thousands of assessments of struggling learners
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The author vii

Preface xiii

Introduction 1

Part One Conquering learning problems at home 11

1 Looking for clues at home 13

Starting Pointers 14

Deciphering the Clues 16

Making Discoveries During Homework Time 17

Locating Clues in Work Samples 27

Detective Work During Down Time 44

Deciphering Disorganization 53

Bottom Line 55

2 Picking strategies for home 57

Starting Pointers 58

Strategies for Unreliable Attention 60

Strategies for Memory Gaps 66

Strategies for Limited Language 73

Strategies for Weak Graphomotor Function 79

Strategies for Shaky Concepts and Reasoning 82

Talking About Learning 84

Bottom Line 87

Part Two Conquering learning problems at school 89

3 Looking for clues at school 91

Starting Pointers 92

Observing During Independent Work 94

Clues Emerging from Student Interactions 99

Detective Work During Downtime 107

Locating Clues in Work Samples 109

Deciphering Disorganization 117

Bottom Line 120

4 Picking strategies for the classroom 123

Starting Pointers 123

Strategies for Unreliable Attention 125

Strategies for Memory Gaps 130

Strategies for Limited Language 137

Strategies for Weak Graphomotor Function 143

Strategies for Shaky Concepts and Reasoning 144

Talking About Learning 146

Bottom Line 147

Part Three When more help is needed 149

5 Being a “smart shopper” for educational assessments 151

Starting Pointers 152

When Is It Time for an Expert? 153

Search Criteria: Picking the Right Expert 155

What Makes a Good Written Report? 160

You Get What You Ask For: Effective Referral Questions 164

Bottom Line 165

6 Getting the most out of the assessment process 169

Starting Pointers 169

Share What You Know 170

Head Off Simplification 173

Observing the Assessment 182

Bottom Line 186

7 Using what you’ve learned from the assessment 189

Starting Pointers 189

Keeping Your Sights on Insights 190

Navigating Paths to Success 198

Finding a Good Tutor (If You Need One) 199

Keeping Tabs 202

Bottom Line 205

Conclusion 207

Things to Let Go Of 209

Things to Hold On To 212

Appendix one: profile worksheet 215

Appendix two: case story index 217

Appendix three: atlas of neurodevelopmental terms 223

Appendix four: glossary of academic skills 239

Appendix five: glossary of testing terms 251

Index 257

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Craig Pohlman, Ph.D., directs learning assessment and consultation services at Southeast Psych in Charlotte, North Carolina. Pohlman is a highly regarded expert in learning and in improving the success of struggling students. He has conducted or supervised several thousand assessments of children with learning difficulties. Pohlman routinely authors articles and conducts workshops for parents, educators, and clinicians. He is the author of Revealing Minds from Jossey-Bass.

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"Experience with the arts, sports and the outdoors can teach social skills, expand attention span, develop a work ethic and reinforce academics, said Craig Pohlman, a psychologist and author of "How Can My Kid Succeed in School?" (Chicago Tribune, October 25, 2009)
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