dyslexia resources for parents Archives - Lexercise

Does Online Learning Have to be Boring?

Is your student complaining or exhibiting symptoms of boredom with virtual classes? Fidgeting, wandering attention, trouble-making, unexplained sleepiness and mood changes can all be indicators of boredom with online schoolwork.

Thousands of teachers have found themselves in the deep end of the virtual-classroom pool and are learning by trial and error how to teach in this new environment. Many students complain of being bored. Students with dyslexia and other language-learning challenges or learning disabilities may be even more prone to boredom and stress if their online classes don’t measure up.

Over the last 12 years, thousands of students with dyslexia have used Lexercise’s virtual education platform with a therapist, a parent or a teacher to improve their reading, spelling and writing skills. We are continuing to follow the research as it evolves, fueled by input from enormous numbers of teachers, students and parents. Here are some observations and suggestions from recent peer-reviewed journals:

Dr. Erin C. Westgate finds boredom interesting. In a recent article in Education Week, she suggests: 

  • “Dial in on difficulty.” Classroom activities may be either too easy or too hard for the student. Individualized assignments and scaffolding (breaking lessons into smaller segments for a progression of learning) may help.  
  • “Make it meaningful.” Again, the more individualized the material, the better. If students can connect the lesson with work they’ve already done or something they have expressed interest in, they will be more engaged in the new material.
  • “Gamify lessons.” Fun is good. Challenges are good. A student will grow bored with something they’ve seen over and over. 

Importantly, Dr. Westgate also reminds us that “we all have trouble paying attention when we’re hungry, tired, or preoccupied with pressing matters,” so building in breaks is very important. 

Lexercise online therapy for students with learning differences integrates multiple solutions to the challenges noted by Dr. Westgate. Our lessons and games continually measure the performance of the dyslexic student so that each subsequent lesson offers just the right amount of challenge, immediately addresses any language processing issues the student may be having, and offers rewards for achievement along the way. The feedback system built into Lexercise therapy supplements the personal feedback from the participating therapist or parent.

In an article in Psychological Review, Erin Westgate and Timothy D. Wilson ask, “What is boredom?” and examine a new model of engagement: Meaning and Attentional Components (MAC). According to their research, boredom demonstrates missing components in attention and meaning. In other words:

1) what is being demanded of the student is not a good match with the student’s ability

2) the material or activity does match the student’s goals. Both under-stimulation and overstimulation can interfere with attention. As we have mentioned in many previous posts, children with dyslexia are typically very bright, but because of their language-processing differences, they may find the standard-education model for their grade level excessively difficult or boringly easy! Appropriate learning accommodations are essential to the dyslexic student’s progress.

In an article in Medical Hypotheses, linguist Dr. Elena Kkese examines the McGurk effect (put simply, poor integration of visual and auditory elements of speech) in the online classroom situation. Focusing on the particular needs of students with learning disabilities such as dyslexia, Kkese suggests that the virtual classroom “may provide a more suitable alternative” because it eliminates the noise and distractions of the classroom and allows the student to focus closely “on the lecturer’s face and voice.” In addition, the student can “learn more effectively since they could review sessions repeatedly.”  

Using the most current research, Lexercise has built an online learning platform that combats boredom. One of the primary ways that we engage dyslexic students and hold their attention is with reward-rich games and highly individualized sessions.

Learn how Lexercise can help your student today!

Top 10 School Frustrations for Dyslexic Children

The beginning of the school year is a busy time for families of school-aged kids but it also comes with a lot of frustration for parents of children with learning challenges.

We want you to know that it is not just you! We have compiled a list of frustrations we repeatedly hear from parents of dyslexic children. Have you experienced any of these frustrations with your struggling reader? If so, comment below or share this post to let other parents know that they’re not alone. 

Here are the top 10 school frustrations we hear from families with dyslexic children:

  1. “My smart daughter tells me she’s ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ because she compares her reading to her classmates.”frustrated child in a school classroom

  2. “She comes home from school in tears after being called on to read aloud, getting a bad grade in spelling, or running out of time on a test.”Sad teenage girl cries next to her worried mother

  3. “The school has told me for years that he would ‘outgrow’ his reading problems, and each year he gets further behind.”frustrated child doing homework

  4. “The school wants to hold my child back to repeat a grade just because of his reading level.”frustrated child at school

  5. “The school is teaching him to memorize words, instead of helping him to learn to read in a way his brain can understand.”kids learning reading and writing at school

  6. “The school treats accommodations as cheating and won’t even consider letting my child use audiobooks to learn.”mother and daughter at home listening to audiobooks

  7. “The school gives my child too much homework, and it takes him twice as long as his peers!”child frustrated at home with too much homework

  8. “The school says there is no such thing as dyslexia since they don’t have the resources to test or treat it.”child upset at school because of his learning challenges

  9. “The school’s tests show she isn’t far enough behind to qualify for additional support.”child at school is frustrated with the environment

  10. “I paid for a test that proves my daughter is dyslexic – now the school won’t accept the results!”school administrator reviewing a childs evaluation

We all know schools struggle to help dyslexic children, and we wish schools would get on board with what science says works. In the meantime, we are here to help. Contact us to connect with one of our expert dyslexia therapists or to schedule a free consultation on this page.

New Dyslexia Resources for Parents

One of the primary reasons we remediate children faster than alternative therapy approaches is because we facilitate a strong partnership between the parent and clinician. Since we will only work with your child for a number of months, during therapy we need to teach you how to further support your child’s development throughout his/her academic career. To further support parents like you, we have just launched a new feature for our online therapy: Parent Resources.

parent resources

Each time your child advances to a new level within the Lexercise curriculum, your teletherapist can send you a set of individualized materials that will help you work with your child between sessions so that s/he makes faster progress. These materials consist of word cards, sight words, vocabulary development, practice sentences and much more. These parent resources are customized to the level your child is working on and for his/her specific therapy needs.

By making these resources available to parents we hope to get even faster remediation times than the 3 to 5 months we are currently averaging for dyslexic children.