Sunday, January 21, 2007

Enrichment works!

I realize it's early days, but my child emerged from his first enrichment class at school last week declaring he loved it. Now the curious thing is he may not have been identified as a candidate for that class without the psycho-educational assessment that was done on him that identified his strengths and the things that are tripping him up.

To see the benefit of even that single experience has given him is enlightening. As far as I can tell it's about feeling capable more than anything else. It makes me fearful to think that many of the children who need these opportunities may be unlikely to be chosen based on their performance in the classroom, which as I've seen first hand is not always a good indicator of potential.

I suppose one can only place hope in the wisdom and insight of individual teachers who foster a classroom atmosphere where every child has the chance to succeed, which fortunately for us our present teachers this year do. What a difference this makes. The child goes from loathing school to feeling like they can actually participate and enjoy some success. There are still challenges naturally.

Another important change for the new year has been the implementation (finally) of a writing program through the learning assistance centre. Previously the focus appeared to be entirely on remedial reading assistance. Children with written output challenges are not necessarily weak readers, yet they often end up in learning assistance for reading programs. Whilst these programs do not obviously do any damage and may have some benefits they do absolutely nothing to address or aide the fine motor problems. I will be posting about the progress and difference, if any, this writing program makes.

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