Our son was struggling academically. Despite my attempts to teach him reading comprehension strategies, he couldn't recall basic information from a passage he'd just read.
I decided to have him evaluated for a learning disability. I learned that his brain needed a little more time than average to process new information. Rushing him and pressuring him to quickly spit out information paralyzed him.
Quick vs. Deliberate
Kids are increasingly pressured by our media-saturated world to react quickly to information — their minds are flooded by rapid-fire sound bites and info-nuggets. But there is nothing wrong with a deliberate thinker.
My task was to teach him to capitalize on how his brain worked, teaching him to slow down while studying so his brain could process information.
I now remind him to read his textbook passages very slowly, maybe even twice, and to take his time to think about any questions given in the text that are related to the material. This way, he has time to process and respond to questions with confidence.
But I think the greatest tool I can equip him with is the ability to advocate for himself. When he feels put on the spot, I am teaching him to respond with, "Let me think about that." He is learning how to see thoughtfulness as a good thing, especially in a quick-quip world. Slowing everything down has been transformative for him.