Better known as IEP’s, this phrase has come up quite often as I meet parents interested in joining our program. They explain how their student is coming from a school that determined their child to be “different“ and therefore needing a “different” educational path. The unfortunate part, is that the parent usually explains this determination as a deficiency or a handicap placed on their student; when in fact this is NOT the case. Reality is, NO TWO CHILDREN LEARN EXACTLY ALIKE. The educational system, is just that- a system that is pre-determined despite the need of your child. It seemingly works, if your child fits into the box already determined for them. But unfortunately, MOST CHILDREN DO NOT and instead of changing the system; we eliminate any child who challenges the system. This communicates to the child that their differences are challenges to be ashamed of and that something is wrong with the way they learn. Imagine what this does to children’s self esteem and ability to believe in themselves. It sets the tone for how they view education and the learning process. Even for children who excel in certain areas of learning, by not challenging their strengths, we communicate that it’s ok to do the minimal requirement for success. So, what are your options? Yes, you may find a program in your area, like Finch, who tailors to each child‘s unique learning style. However, if private education is not an option for you, remember- YOU ARE YOUR CHILD’S ADVOCATE. Speak to the team responsible for your child’s education. Even if your child seems to fit in the box, your involvement will stretch that “box” so that their differences are celebrated and challenged for their success. You do not have to settle for what is offered; especially if the offer is not considering who your child is. Next, connect with a community that will provide resources for you and your student. You don’t have to figure this out on your own. Find an educator, a principal, a tutor, or support group to walk with you through this process. Remember, your investment into your child’s education is worth it! Their future depends on it. We’re here to help.
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