June 23, 2024
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Transitioning to School: When Does My Child Need Learning Support?

This year, transitioning back to school or work is still an ongoing process. After a year of uncertainty, pauses and changes in everyday activities and learning, we are now ready to hit the road running. However, transitioning back to school has been a challenge for many.

During COVID times, the inconsistency of programs and expectations for classroom instruction require that children be flexible and adjust to the changes. After a summer of fun and holidays with academic breaks, it’s time to look closely at your child and determine if there is a need to do more to support academic skill learning. Is your child having a smooth or bumpy transition back to the routines and rigor of an academic setting? Why do some children need extra learning help/tutoring, and when should a parent seek help?

Transitioning back to school can be smooth or filled with anxiety and a few bumps in the road that may need further attention. For students with learning difficulties, anxiety, ADHD and attention challenges, school and homework can be challenging. Those children need the extra attention and support, particularly following this past year.

This year is also unique in that we all experienced inconsistencies, and even those children who typically don’t struggle may need extra support.

Being back in school, away from our at-home COVID routine, the school day is filled with physical movement and periods of time that require attention, focus and extra concentration. Difficulties sometimes show up when the child is asked to plan a long-term project, write or tell a story in a sequential form, comprehend a passage, annotate, or retain math information while planning the next steps. Now that school is back full time, so is the homework, and the transition is more than from home to school; the day is longer, and children need to work within a limited time frame, away from the comfort and flexibilities of being at home.

By homework time, most parents are exhausted. Shuttling kids around, taking care of dinner, supervising routines and juggling adult responsibilities all take their toll. Parents try but may not be the ideal “homework monitor.” Many children can benefit from having their learning supported by someone who can unlock their door to self-confidence and improve learning by teaching study skills.

As a certified learning consultant (LDTC) and remediation specialist, I have a great deal of experience diagnosing and explaining students’ learning differences and then developing action plans to provide services to students. In my private practice, The London Learning Center, I provide support to students in grades K-12+ and develop lessons that improve skills, while teaching students how to model what we’ve done together. There is always a collaborative problem-solving solution between the child, teacher and parents, and follow-up to see how everything is progressing and if anything needs to be added or changed.

I call it “diagnostic prescriptive teaching” rather than tutoring, because I am analyzing and functionally assessing what the student is doing during each session. I am not just teaching the subject or idea, but I am providing the student with a toolkit of skills that can be later utilized when I’m not in their view. I am the impartial person who understands learning and can teach children with anxiety, ADHD and/or dyslexia, as well as those who need some short-term support to get started on reading, writing an essay or comprehending what they learn in any subject.

Parents are an important part in the process of transitioning to a successful school year. First, you can see when your child is struggling, whether it be grasping the content of the class, comprehension challenges, time management, study skills or organization. To get started with transitioning, there are several things that a parent can do to help:

Check in with your children’s teachers to see if there are areas in which they are struggling.

Listen to what your child has to say about homework assignments.

Provide a designated place to study and provide supplies and a timer.

Display calendars that show when assignments are due.

Also, know that as a parent you don’t have to struggle alone.

If you find your child needs help or if you have questions, seek out professional, experienced support from a certified learning specialist. If your child is having trouble with time management, has difficulty with skills and homework, exhibits problems with attention, anxiety, reading, writing, comprehension and test taking, then working with a skilled professional is recommended. While you and your child might feel alone in these struggles, know that there are professionals who can help support your child, partner with you and make the transition to a successful school year much smoother.


Patricia London is a certified LDTC, school psychologist, resource teacher and counselor. Her private practice in Englewood offers tutoring sessions online as well as in-person. The London Learning Center provides diagnostic prescriptive tutoring for students in grades pre-K -12 plus. Patti is an expert in the field of executive functioning and language-based learning disabilities. She worked 25 years for the Ridgewood Public Schools and has lectured, provided in-service training, and written numerous articles on learning problems. She works with students with a wide range of needs including dyslexia, ADHD, and anxiety disorders. She helps provide students with support and techniques to understand subject matter while learning efficient studying skills. She can be reached by email at [email protected] or 201-805-4964. Visit her website, https://londonlearningcenter.wixsite.com/londonlearningcenter, for more details and set up an appointment to get started.

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