Your children’s education is one of the most important parts of their life. You want your child to be successful because it paves the way for a rewarding future. Of course, every family has their own definition of what constitutes success. Some parents may be more concerned with grades than others are. But one thing all parents would agree with is that children should be made to feel comfortable and happy at school. When a child feels secure and happy in his/her environment, then learning will be associated with positive feelings. One factor that has the potential to determine a child’s happiness at school is the size of the school. Some children cannot reach their full potential in large, crowded, noisy schools. These children excel, however, in a small personable setting. The child who has been diagnosed (formally or informally) with ADD or ADHD is one type of student who benefits from a small school setting. Read on to see if your child fits the description and if so, find out why he or she will benefit from a smaller school.
The ADHD Child
ADHD has two components:
1) Attention deficit
This part of the disorder is marked by the following symptoms:
- Inattentive to details
- Does not seem to hear you
- Becomes easily sidetracked or distracted
- Has difficulty with instructions
2) Hyperactivity Disorder
These symptoms indicate the hyperactivity component:
- Squirms often in his or her seat
- Fidgets with hands and feet
- Runs, climbs, jumps, and moves about continuously(usually evident in younger children)
- Known to talk a lot and interrupt others
- Has a hard time waiting for his or her turn
- When in a classroom, forgets to raise his or her hand
- Blurts out answers
Small school accommodations for the child with ADHD
How does a small classroom accommodate this type of child? Here are three ways:
One on one teacher attention
Since children with this condition have difficulty focusing, a teacher who can help them individually is best. With one on one instruction, the teacher can speak directly to the child using visuals, involving them in hands-on learning, and evoking their participation in question and answer time. Large classrooms are highly distracting and have a tendency to overload the senses. These children may get in more trouble in large schools too due to their problems sitting still and interrupting. This brings negative attention to the child, which they may, in turn, associate with learning.
Intimate school setting
Small schools provide an intimate setting in which these children will thrive. Small classroom size means closer relationships among all the students and the teachers. The small school setting encourages children to be supportive of one another – an important element for ADHD children. These social connections are an important part of children learning respect and consideration for one another. The small size also contributes to a quieter atmosphere, which is less distracting and overwhelming.
Many children with ADHD struggle to keep organized and following instructions. Most of them want to comply and achieve in their studies but they don’t learn the same way as typical children. A customized approach to their curriculum is a boost to their learning and self-confidence. When teachers can determine how best the child learns and then customize the material to match the child, then everyone is a winner. Small schools have the capability of making the curriculum more individually focused due to having fewer students with which to work.
At The Tenney School, we are committed to helping students find success in the learning process. We strive to make every child feel comfortable and customize our approach with each one. Connect with us to find out more about how your ADHD child will bloom in a small school setting.