Could Your Child Benefit From A Reading and Writing/Executive Function Coach?

Could your child benefit from a Reading and Writing Coach? Many times, students who struggle in ELA (English), also struggle in other classes that require proficiency in both reading and writing. A student who lacks confidence in word recognition, struggles with writing stamina, and is a slow verbal processor, often gets bogged down in biology and global history. Homework takes forever, but your kid just won’t get started. You take away the games, the phone, the hanging around with friends, but all you get in return is resentment.You never used to fight, but now the entire family is brooding and the sense of failure is becoming contagious…A coach can’t make all the pain go away, but the situation may not be as bad as you or your child think. Your child’s procrastination may stem from a sense of inadequacy that stems from her adolescent tendency to compare herself with others. The habit of comparison leads to self-conscious, self-defeating behaviors that inhibit learning. It may be true that her vocabulary is less sophisticated than her best friend’s or that she reads more slowly than her younger brother. In the coaching relationship, we work through beliefs and behaviors that are not working, so we can gain behaviors, beliefs and skills that will help clients become better students. Not the BEST, but better. The best is simply a fiction.
Coaching can be long-term, transitional or project based. Clients may require coaching on a first book, a ten-page term paper, or a family memoir. Skills practiced may be global, or “executive functioning” skills, like project planning, time-management, conceptualization, or enhanced stamina, or granular–like how to paragraph, create dialogue, use quotations or write a literary scene. Reading coaching may also occur at any level (ages 10+) and for any length of time. If your child is a reluctant or advanced reader, coaching goes beyond the book at hand, extending to reading habits and reading progressions–which books prepare us to read higher level books–how do we go from enjoying The Hunger Games to reading more challenging novels? How do reluctant readers get from comic books to Chaucer? The path may be straighter than we think! Chaucer, after all, is comedic, filled with raunchy jokes and scatological humor.
Coaching is not tutoring. But it is also not not tutoring. When enlisting a coach, expect an experienced educator, who will observe work habits, and inquire about client attitudes and client beliefs. Reading and Writing coaches offer support in both granular skill development and in a broader sense, looking at the habits, beliefs and behaviors that boost client productivity and success. DON’T expect coaches to offer short cuts, or to hover over clients as they work. DO expect coaches to foster independence and client growth!
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