Rate vs. Reality

It’s no surprise we all learn at different rates, and, according to some published research, only when we are ready.  The reality is rate shouldn’t matter as long as we’re all learning!

Such was a conversation today among myself, and older learner, two teachers, and concerned parents.  It’s also true some of us just do not do well in school on a particular subject.  In the “good ‘ol days,” many students led productive lives working at occupational tasks not requiring extensive academic skills in four core subject areas.  With today’s educational emphasis more on academic preparation in our global society, these same learners find themselves in need of remediation.  This particular student presented the need for extra time to complete a task, a need for an incentive for success, the need for proper nutrition, and the need for the teacher to seek lesson ideas and resources to make the learning more relevant and meaningful.  Sounds reasonable, for everyone, right?!

So we proposed the following plan to help with daily learning tasks:

  • Reducing distractions, changing seating, and allowing frequent breaks as needed;
  • Keeping homework sessions short; provide activities/breaks before, during, and after homework sessions;
  • Working for a special reward (lunch time with me, conversation with a friend, etc.);
  • Grouping with a patient study buddy on certain assignments, shortening the assignment if warranted, and redoing work if necessary (an incentive to doing it well the first time!); and
  • Eating a proper breakfast, a snack, and lunch everyday at school; nutritional fuel is critical for academic success!

This simple plan is something the learner, the parents, and the teachers can all work on together as a learning team.  Everyone has ownership because everyone contributed to the plan.  Is there a learning disability here?  No!  These learning interventions are simple ways to assist this student who wants to learn but is struggling with the process.  We always encourage you to reach out to us when you have concerns or issues.  We cannot help if we do not know.  Always start with your child’s teacher first as the classroom teacher is the sole judge of academic success for your learner this year.  We are here to serve our learning community; thanks for sharing your learners with us!

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