- December 13, 2017 at 9:37 PM #41614
Has your school invested in a therapy program to help students? What level of success have you had? Is anyone familiar with ELI? We used it a number of years ago with a measure of success, but nothing smashing. Can anyone compare ELI with other approaches? I have an intelligent student who experiences some blockage when it comes to verbalizing what his head knows. Among other things, it affects oral reading and flashcard practice. I’m wishing for something beyond more methods to help him cope — would there be a therapy approach that could actually get to the blockage?
- December 23, 2017 at 9:10 PM #42246
“I’m wishing for something beyond more methods to help him cope.”
I’m afraid I can’t share any experiences with therapy programs, but this statement caught my eye. We all have students who experience difficulties with learning; how can we tell when these are deep-seated problems that may require something like therapy?
- December 25, 2017 at 4:35 PM #42253
I can’t say that I have any experience with therapy-type programs. A good many years ago their was a doctor in our area who did a type of vision therapy that also involved crawling among other things. One of my students was doing the therapy along with a few other people I knew. However, I’m not sure how successful it was. I didn’t see remarkable change in the student I had. After about a year, the doctor died and there was no one to continue the therapy. I think, for most of the patients that I knew the success was short-lived after they stopped therapy.
The question that continues to resurface in my mind is this, “How many times do we wish for a key to make our life easier? We want all of our students to be A and B students. At what point do we become okay that a student’s academic abilities are not on the A, B level? When do we know they can be helped and how much we should push them?” I have friends who are very successful business men, farmers, etc. who found school difficult.
Then the next question that comes to mind is, “Are we okay with letting our students be mediocre students?” I don’t think we should be so how do we make room for the student who struggles without causing him to give up or feel entitled to extra allowances?
This didn’t really help you out on your question, though. I would be interested in hearing some success stories from people who’ve used therapy programs.
- December 27, 2017 at 9:56 PM #42263
Betty YoderModeratorOriginal Poster@bettyyoder
Carolyn, those are really good questions. Thank you for daring to bring them up! If our motive in working hard to help struggling students improve is to make our own lives easier or to build our own reputation, we walk in the flesh and can only expect to deeply frustrate both the student and ourselves in the process. Our Father praises faithfulness, not our version of success. So how do we know when a student has reached his potential? Pushing beyond that is counterproductive. But if I easily lay aside my calling to help equip students to reach their potential because it pulls too much on me, there too my motive is to make my own life easier! It is really good to ponder these things and not quickly move toward a “one size fits all” approach. Each child is unique and I believe it is only on our knees that we can at length discern what would most fit with God’s intent for each individual for the short year or two we have direct influence in their lives.
- January 1, 2018 at 5:32 PM #42309
Thank you, Betty, for those added thoughts. This has been a burden on my heart for the past few years. Sometimes I feel that by trying to “fix” the problem, alleviate the struggle, even the playing field (or insert your own metaphor) for some students we’ve actually hindered their growth as persons. It can be easy to get caught up in the modern philosophy that everyone deserves a trophy, not for working hard, but just for showing up. I’m regretting some of ways we’ve gone about “helping” some students because of where I see them as adults and young adults. The more successful and responsible (in practical and spiritual ways) adults are those who persisted through the struggle. They were supported but not necessarily with special accommodations.
With all that, I’m not anti-special needs, or anti-therapy. We have extra personnel at school who are working with students who struggle. We do need to support those who have needs. But I think we should do so prayerfully and carefully. I also realize there is danger in not recognizing the needs that are there.
- January 6, 2018 at 8:07 PM #42862
The Essential Learning Institute Program can be found described/presented under ldhope.org We’ve used it off and on over the years with moderate success. As with any program, it seems to work better with some than with others. We’ve also used Barton.
All therapy programs depend to a great extent on the therapist/administrator of the program. And in how much trust the student has in that person, and on their ongoing relationship. No “program” can be put on autopilot or guaranteed to produce success by virtue of its objectives or structure. The connections between the student, the therapist, and the program are critical.
Regarding mediocre students…the term is problematic. It should be noted, as Carolyn pointed out, that many of the most successful people in everyday life struggled in school. Their academic scores may have been mediocre in number. But most of the measures for mediocrity include items other than academic scores.
School is part of life. It is hard. By its very nature, it does focus on certain kinds of skill development to the exclusion of others. All students need understanding and support and appropriate help as they struggle. But, as Carolyn aptly noted, it is possible to try too hard to make accommodations. Remember the emerging butterfly.
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