I just wanted to share a moment I had with my son this week that made me so very very happy and proud. We went to an amusement park for his birthday celebration with a couple friends. They were way over stimulated many times during the day and wound for sound - especially after being in the car for over 5 hours due to traffic issues. A couple times my son would hang back with me or sit out when they went on a ride because he was reading his body and what he needed to do to not get out of control, over heated and so on. This is something that I have NEVER experienced with him before and I know it has everything to do with the new school he started in January and what he is learning there! After so many bumps and difficulties with his previous school it is heart warming to see him learning to cope and read himself. I finally feel like we are headed in the right direction.
Wow Sue, that is wonderful news. Making a major change such as a new school is very scary, and I know you were worried.
So what is it that they are doing at the new school which is having such a positive effect on your son? Is there anything in particular that you can point to as a key to your son’s success?
The founding principals of the school are the key. Not to mention the mutual respect between the teachers and the students. The students are not tracked or labeled. Mistakes or behaviors are acknowledged and moved on from with guidance and understanding. My son loves his new teachers and wants to please them because they accept him for who he is and do not judge him or tell him on a regular basis he is “bad” “will never have friends if he doesn’t change” and so on. If he needs to get up and pace, he can. If he wants to lay on the floor during reading, so be it. Many times you can find the entire class in the library in front of the fireplace in a tangled heap on the floor taking turns reading to each other - books that are “banned” in public school and challenge them. He is also on a campus, so between each class he gets an opportunity to stretch and make his way between buildings. It is K to 8 and the older students are encouraged to interact with the younger ones and some classes are a mix of all ages. Being one of the older students, my son has learned how to help the little ones and in this has learned how to help himself. But mostly, kids are encouraged to be kids. Playing is a HUGE part of their day, as well as hands on learning. And one of my favorite parts is no electronics…no computers or ipads but good old fashion books and thinking things out. He is engaged all the time. Not sat in front of an ipad and told to watch a video over and over until he understood what was being explained. If you want to check out the foundation of how they work follow this link. http://www.rileyschool.org/#!founding-principles/e3o66 It really is a great program. My son is already ahead of his friends at his previous school in only a half of year there.
Wow, Sue, that is really impressive! I had a look at the school website and read about their core values and guiding principles. How fortunate you are to be able to place your son in a school like that!
I’m a retired teacher, so it was particularly interesting for me to be able to read about how the school operates, and to check out the teacher bios.
I’ll bet your son looks forward to going to school every day! Best of luck to you and to him for continued success!
Seenie from Moderator Support
So how are things going, Sue? What are you doing on the summer holidays?
Hey Sue! How are things going now?
I have been out of touch for a bit…but things at the school are still great! We are approaching our year anniversary and with this comes mixed emotions. It means in a few months he will be promoted and we are looking to have to send him back to public school. Time will tell if what he has learned will help him go forward. Each time I think it will he takes a few steps back…but only at home. Some days I just wish he had an off switch…
Great news, NinjaSue! Thanks for dropping back in. I’m sure that you have learned a lot through your son’s time at the special school. Please stay in touch here: this is where many can learn from your experience, and you can support others in their struggle.
Seenie from Moderator support