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Learning difficulties – Why is Year 3 so tough?

November 21, 2022

Around 80% of the parents who contact our team about help for learning difficulties have a child in year 3. So why is year 3 so tough?

Up until year 3, students can often work around their learning difficulties.

For example, students with poor listening skills can often use their visual abilities to work out what they’re supposed to be doing.

And students who are struggling with reading development tend to memorise words rather than phonetically sounding them out.

Year 3 – the year when things step up a notch

Verbal instructions are longer and more complex.

There are less visual prompts both in the classroom and in text books.

Students move from addition to fractions and long division.

Standardised tests.

Real homework and assignments.

And in general the cognitive load increases.

All of this can magnify a student’s learning difficulties.

learning difficulties year 3

Why is it important to act sooner rather than later?

Most importantly, to prevent disengagement.

As adults, we tend to possess a higher level of intrinsic motivation to keep trying even when we’re challenged.

But kids aren’t necessarily as resilient. Unless tasks are scaffolded to their skill level and they see a return on investment for their hard work, they tend to give up more easily. This is especially true for children with learning difficulties.

If a student develops a poor perception of themselves as a learner, they’re more likely to disengage with the learning process and it can be challenging to re-engage them.


learning difficulties resilience year 3

What steps can you take if your child has learning difficulties?

An important first step is identifying the underlying reason as to why your child is falling behind.

This can be challenging because what seems to be the problem is often symptomatic rather than causal.

For example, not understanding maths concepts may be due to difficulties with working memory. Or problems with reading development may in fact stem from an underlying auditory processing difficulty.

learning difficulties struggling year 3

Our experienced team of learning professionals can help

Complete our screening assessment and we’ll get in touch to explain the results and provide advice and guidance.

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Online screening assessment

Free, and only takes 5 minutes to complete. Identify your learning strengths and weaknesses. We’ll get in contact with you about your results. 

learning difficulties Screening assessment

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Book a free phone consult

This free telephone consultation can help to answer any questions you have about our services. At Sonic Learning we are all experienced teachers and health professionals so parents tend to find it very beneficial to be able to discuss their concerns and receive guidance from our team.

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