Top tips for supporting a child who has vision impairment with homework
Monday, 5 June 2017
Gwyneth McCormack, QTVI and Director at Positive Eye, explores ways parents and carers can support a child who has vision impairment with their homework.
Homework can be a tiring activity for a child with vision impairment (VI) when they have concentrated at school all day. It helps to have a setting that encourages a child to participate in homework activities.
Here are some useful techniques and organisation tips to support the process
Create a quiet, distraction free environment for your child to do their homework in.
Set aside a time each night for your child to complete their homework. Provide a drink and small snack before they begin, particularly if it’s before tea time.
Ask your child’s QTVI for advice about arranging the environment to help them maximise their vision (or access). For example using a reading stand, sloped desk, lipped tray (to prevent items being lost), magnifier, black pen or black lined paper.
Read the homework tasks with your child and make sure they understand what to do. If they have a set of questions to complete, you can support them by reading the questions out loud, but be careful not to do the work for them.
Use a highlighter pen to highlight key words, sentences or paragraphs that are important for revision. Similarly, if they use a computer to present work, highlight key text using Word.
Use Bumpons/Blu-Tack/black dot stickers or draw coloured dots using felt tips in the left-hand margin to support quick re-location of information.
To add notes to text, add numbered stickers in left-hand margin and type out the annotations in a numbered list on laptop or handwrite them on a separate piece of paper.
Use Post-its to mark pages and a different coloured/shaped Post-it within the page to mark the line, paragraph or section.
Use a piece of black card to reduce visual clutter on the page whilst reading/revising.
If your child is tiring, break activities into shorter periods of time or space them out over the week. Negotiate more time with the school to accommodate.
Encourage your child whilst they are doing their homework, use positive language such as “You are doing really well”, “I am really proud of the way you are working tonight” and “I’m really pleased with you for doing your homework”.