Education System or Learning Disorder
I will write about a topic that is dear to my heart, education. Being a former teacher out of passion and not educational background, I enjoyed teaching a whole lot. Through out my education life, I was in the 844- system and so I pretty much know how it operates and how things work, however in terms of experience as a teacher, I taught in an ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) system school, got my training there and so I can say I have a pretty good idea of how that works as well.
At the beginning of the year, my husband and I were invited to a friend’s house for a party and while there; I met a mother who has a 4-year-old boy, who in every sense of the word is hyperactive – the boy not the mother-. So we got talking and as is every conversation with a stranger, she asked me what I do from day to day. Now being a stay at home mum, I am always ready to add that I used to teach before my son was born and too a break from work to take care of my baby… you know how that introduction goes I am sure.
When I give that answer, most people ask me how the transition was and if it is easier being at home and the conversation goes on and on about how they would want to be stay at home mum or would want their wives to stay at home if they ever got a child. But not this mum, she was more interested in my former job as a teacher and so she asked me where I was teaching. My answer as always, it is not an 844-system school, it’s ACE it is called Emerald School. So she went on to enquire about how ACE works.
She told me that her son who is in kindergarten has been having trouble writing and identifying number and letters. One day as she decided to ask the boy to read numbers from a chart and the boy had trouble, and he happily reported ‘even the teacher told me that I have a problem with numbers and letters and that I can’t write my name as well.’ The boy went on the give details of what else the teacher had told the 4-year-old boy. The mother was disturbed by the fact that the teacher would tell her son that he has a problem yet he was only 4 years and so she planned on moving her son to a different school. However, she knew that it might not make a difference since almost all school are the same and they seem to be competing.
So as I explained to her about ACE and how they will train children and help them remember numbers and letters and that they emphasis on character more than education in the first years of school, she was totally sold. When I called her a few weeks after taking her son there, she could not seem to stop singing praises for the system. Though the infrastructure could use a major touch up, she was thrilled by the strides her son was taking, he could write his name, recognise letters and number 1-10 and the best improvement was he was calmer and not as hyperactive.
So it turns out that the former teacher wanted her boy to be like the other children and when he could not measure up, she thought he had a problem and was not hesitant to let him and the mother know. The mother had even considered taking her son for a check-up with a psychiatrist at the request of the teacher because for a 4 year old, he should be doing what every other children do. The teacher, did not take time to learn her students and know that they are all different and cannot learn at the same pace.
That is one of main thing I praise ACE and other paced education systems for, they do not only emphasis writing and reading but also character, simple things like using a pair of scissors, colouring within the line etc.
While we as parents should be keen to notice some learning disabilities like Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Attention Deficiency/Hyperactive Disorder ADHD, Dysgraphia etc, we should try as much as possible to make sure that we are not comparing our children and expecting them to perform at the same level as their age mates, class mates or even siblings. Children are all different, do not be too quick to classify your child as a special needs child.
I know we can’t all keep away from the 844 system, we might have to put in extra effort to build confidence in our children and remind them that reading and writing are not the essentials but character and confidence are.
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