Occasionally a parent will ask us how they should answer their child when their child asks why they need to repeat the Dynaread Review and Word exercises. This article will provide you with some suggestions.
The first thing we would recommend is ask your child WHY they ask. Is it plain curiosity? Is it the repetition itself? Is it the way the exercises present themselves (colors, shapes, fonts, timing, etc.)? Are they having a hard time hearing the words? Perhaps is it because they feel stupid because they need to repeat the words? Etc. Knowing the reason behind why your child has asks the question will give you knowledge as to the best way to answer them.
The next thing we would do is explain the important role of repetition in learning. We don’t repeat the exercises because we want to pester your child, but rather because it helps them remember and master skills. It so happens that dyslexics, as a people group (there are always exceptions of course) require MORE repetition than non-dyslexics to reach automaticity, i.e. to master a skill. They also need MORE effort to undo something learned wrong. Ask your child about a skill they learned when they were younger, perhaps learning to tie their shoelaces. Was that a quick one time effort? They are not the only ones learning through repetition: It’s done everywhere, all the time. Watch this short 2 minute video together: https://goo.gl/9CtMYC. Point out that there is nobody "playing" this tennis player (he starts hitting balls at 0:37 time into the video). There is simply a machine throwing one ball after another. Even expert(!) tennis players use these machines all the time to repeat, repeat, repeat, and repeat the actions involved in tennis. We do many repeats in Dynaread for the exact same reason. It is simply HOW we learn. Proper practice makes perfect.
Another thing you could consider doing is to take your child on a little field trip. Hans (the Founder of Dynaread) once took his son and the friend of his son on a little field trip. The boys were 10 years young at that point in time, and the friend started to clearly have an interest in some of the wrong things in life. Hans took them for a stroll through a bad part of town. They went into an ultra-low-priced accommodations building. Hans pointed out the newspaper covered windows, the mess in the hallways, and so forth. He did not say anything derogatory or inappropriate about the poor souls living there: They all have their story... We may simply be grateful we're not in their shoes. But... the friend got to talk to one of occupants as he came out. The conversation left an impression. Hans then entered a Bar (it was bright sunshine outside, and this place was a dark hole at 2PM). Instantly a waitress ran up and ushered them outside: "Children are not allowed in here!" Hans asked the waitress to explain to the boys why they were not allowed inside the bar. She then squatted down and started a long personal story as to WHY you should never make bars part of your life. She talked about her own life, her own mistakes, the troubles, and so forth. The trip made a deep and lasting impression on both of them. HOW does this relate to your child asking questions on Repetition? Yyou could consider taking your child to talk to someone whom you know is unable to read efficiently. Let them talk to your child and let them tell share about the struggles they faced because they were not able to read properly.
You can also bring up the time factor. Our exercises run very, very short. It is not that we ask a child to work 40 minutes on a single exercise. Ask your child how long it takes them to brush their teeth? How long does it take to dress for a swim? How long does it take to .... [you fill in the blank]? Place the Dynaread exercises in perspective. Our exercises take as long as brushing their teeth (if they do it well :-).
Another suggestion (but be cautious to place this too much in the Dynaread context) is to point out that Life is not only about what we Like to Do. We need to learn to do Right for the Love of Virtue. We need to learn to do the things we are asked to do, and to do those with pleasure and dedication. Taking our pleasure and satisfaction not so much out of WHAT we do, but rather out of HOW we do them. We may not like to clean a dirty toilet, or to muck out a stable, or lay underneath a truck replacing a U-Joint, but... we can take great pleasure in the manner in which, and the attitude with which, we do those tasks.
Lastly, but certainly not least, we would discuss the Dynaread Reader or Lesson Texts with your child. Just talking about the topics helps your child discover that they are actually comprehending and learning what they are reading. And when that awareness is sinking in, then point out that the Review and Word exercises helped them attain that quality.
Although not fully directly related, this article may be of a little help as well.
Hope this answers these sort of questions a little bit! Remember, we are always here to help.
Our Dynaread team members are required to hold themselves accountable for serving our clients in adherence with our core values...
Dynaread has been developed in the trenches of actual remediation, with our feet firmly planted on the ground. Scientific research is essential (and we consistently use it), but we also understand the realities at home and in school. Not all homes have two parents, not all Dad's or Mom's are always home, there is oftentimes no money, schools lack staff or funding. We listen, we observe, we discuss, and we build the best solutions we can for older (ages 7+) struggling readers.