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What School Can't Provide May Be The Biggest Hurdle Your Child Will Ever Face

February 22, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 144

Our kids are precious to us. They are our future, our hopes and our dreams, yet on a daily basis across the globe these precious gifts are being left behind, lost and in some cases forgotten. Why? In many cases it is because they don't fit the mould, they don't conform to what we expect of them.

Freedom to be our self is something we all cherish, it is our most prized possession yet most schools demand that we conform, that we suppress who and what we are in order to fit their system of assessments and selection criteria. This is where I believe our children face their greatest hurdle and their biggest challenge.

To learn, to become who they are meant to become, within a system that seeks to strip that from them (not because it is evil, nasty or anything like that, but simply because we seek to place KPI's on our children) is harder for some children than others.


Because their learning profile doesn't fit the teaching styles of the system.

Working With Your Child's School

Learning profiles are the keys which unlock learning, they are the "magic pill" so many parents seek. Once you have your child's learning profile, you can identify where your school's teaching methods are falling down. This isn't a blame game or one of throwing stones - after all, your child's school and their teachers are part of your team, you need to work with them not against them to improve your child's school experience.

In many cases, the teachers have students sitting in the wrong area of the classroom. A simple change of seat can make a huge difference to whether or not a child can focus and pay attention.

Other "mistakes" that are commonly made are in simple areas such as acknowledging a students' need to talk a task through to anchor and understand the learning that is occurring. Where can a child be placed and with whom, so that they can converse with someone and not disturb the whole class?

How about the child that needs to move their hands, feet, and/or body to anchor learning? What small simple activity can they do that is not distracting for others?

We use a pouch of "study rocks"- a small satin pouch with three small tumbled stones, usually clear quartz, amethyst and rose quartz - that students place in a pocket and can massage and manipulate when learning. The texture of the stones satisfies the need to move things around, the massaging soothes the mind and the action anchors learning. It is something small that makes a big difference.

Once teachers grasp and understand the different profiles and how they interact in their classroom, they can easily create a learning environment that helps all of their students. However, many teachers don't understand that the effort they will expend in creating this setup will effectively free up more time to teach. Most just see it as more work that they need to do, when they are already stretched to the limit.

That is where you, as the concerned parent of a child that is struggling, come in. It is how you talk and communicate with your child's teacher that sets the tone. When you explain the benefits that they will gain by moving your child, or allowing them to talk, or by providing an acceptable movement outlet (or a combination of all) most teachers are at least willing to trial it.

Then when you explain what you are doing at home - teaching them stress management techniques, allowing your child to listen to music whilst doing homework, systematic tutoring in the areas there are gaps (for example recognising the building blocks of the English language, sequencing, brain integration) and how you plan to manage homework, assignments etc. The teacher is more willing to allow your child the time that they need to improve in the areas where they are weak.

No Matter How Good Your Child's School Is They Probably Have This Weakness...

At the end of the day, modern schools in the English speaking world aren't equipped to provide your child with everything they need to learn. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of our teachers, the system itself hasn't evolved to the point where each child can receive what they need to learn. Content changes, but the basics of the system remain the same.

Obsessive focus on outcomes (test scores, student performances etc) in relation to other schools and other countries has prevented a relaxed, dynamic and flexible system that can cope with a rapidly changing world.

We, as a society, have a tendency to resist change, to want to lock in stone how things ought to be. We fear the unknown, even when the unknown may bring great benefits to us. As a culture, we view change as bad thing- a negative - rather than just a process that the world moves through constantly. Change is neither good nor bad - it just is. We assign it the label of good or bad.

Our school systems were built upon the foundation of the Prussian Military Training System... In the military, the soldiers jump when the commanding officer tells them to - they don't question, argue, present a better solution, they just do. As far as our education systems have come, they can't seem to shake off the rigid and inflexible nature of the system they were built upon.

Many education acts have as their foundation the following principle: "To separate the thinking of the children from that of their parents" because we came from penal colonies and those in charge didn't want to be building societies that had as their basis, convicts and convict behaviour (i.e. petty crime etc).

The Biggest Hurdle Our Children Face...

This heritage is our children's biggest hurdle - the overcoming of the foundation of our education systems. They are not new drafts into the military that need rigorous training in order for them to die for their leaders. They are not petty criminals who need to have the stains of a life of crime purged from their minds.

They are our children; our hope and our future. They are not faulty, broken or imperfect. They are different from us because they need to be different in order to survive the rapidly changing world they will enter as adults. We cannot stop change. The more we resist, the harder it is when change comes upon us.

So, What Can Parents Do To Help Their Child Succeed?

By being aware of the foundation, the cause of your child's difficulty at school, you gain a tremendous advantage. Even if your child's school isn't willing to adapt their teaching methods to suit your child, you now have the ability to help your child succeed.

Once you understand how your child learns, you can easily help them at home - with their homework, their assignments, their spelling and maths facts. By using the simple techniques of brain integration you can open the door to relaxed learning.

The simplicity of the solution is often the problem. We are conditioned to believe that the bigger the perceived problem, the more complicated and difficult the solution needs to be. Not so. Often, we as humans, complicate things unnecessarily.

When I talk with parents at our tutoring centres I often hear - "It can't be that simple!" And I respond with "Why not?"

Why does it need to be difficult, hard to do, dangerous for our child and expensive? Who says that teaching them is difficult and hard? I remind parents of everything they have already taught their child. Eating, putting clothes on the right way, manners, crossing the street safely - the list goes on.

Where these things hard, difficult to do, dangerous for our child? No! With patience, practice and a variety of teaching methods we taught our children many things. Learning to read, write and do mathematical equations is no different. We have been conditioned to think that only teachers are equipped to do the job - we're wrong. Parents can and do have a bigger influence than most teachers.

It is your approach to helping your child - your mental filters, that dictate your success in helping your child. How do you view your child? Do you believe they can do it? Do you feel you are wasting your time helping them? Do you understand how your child learns and what do you feel about their learning style? Do you use positive words and phrases but really don't believe what you are saying?

All of these and more impact on your ability to help your child. A sad, but unfortunately true situation we often see in the tutoring centres is the parent who needs their child to have some difficult and unsolvable problem. These parents love to talk about all the hardships, sacrifices, time, effort and money they are spending in order to elicit sympathy and concern from those they are talking to.

They derive their sense of being a good parent from everything they are doing. Then we come into the picture and change all of that. Suddenly their child is doing well, succeeding in reading, writing, maths. Their behaviour improves, their self-confidence improves and the parent is no longer required to do what they had been doing...

For some, it is too much - they can't let go of their need. Their world has changed and suddenly, they can't prove to themselves and others what good, self-sacrificing parents they are. It is something we all need to face. Myself included.

To some degree, once our child has a label, we begin to use that label to elicit support, concern and admiration from those around us. How often do we say: "Oh, my son has dyslexia - you'll have to forgive him, he can't follow instructions like the other kids..." or something similar? Or "I spend 3 hours every night helping little Johnny with his homework - I need to sit there and help him with everything!" - and what do other parents say? "Really? How do you do it and get other things done?"

I know in the beginning I was guilty of such behaviour and I wasn't even aware of it. In effect I was keeping my son from succeeding so that I could be admired. As I learned more however, I soon realised that I wasn't helping my son by doing this - I was in fact dooming him to a life of struggle. Then I learned about learning profiles and developed the brain integration techniques. My son flourished. He was no longer bound by his dyslexia to a life of struggle - sure, he still finds school tough when he has a teacher who, for whatever reason, doesn't work with the information we supply, but every child experiences that at some point.

He knows he can learn, understand, remember and apply what he is learning. He is a lifelong learner now - he knows how to find the information that he needs and he can read and comprehend that information. What more does he need?

Diana Vogel

Diana Vogel is a sought after speaker, tutor, parent educator and author who is passionate about teaching parents and their dyslexic children the life skills that they need to maximise their chances of success. The mother of 2 wonderful boys, one of which is dyslexic, Diana has seen both the positive and negative sides of the dyslexia coin.

To learn more about Diana and the work that she does go to

Source: EzineArticles
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Brain Integration


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Child Succeed


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