From the driven child who wishes for nothing more than to please his teachers and parents, to the laid-back child who is happy to simply go with the flow, every student has his or her own learning style and pace. On top of the various personality traits found within any given classroom, there is also the matter of strengths and weaknesses to take into consideration.
All of these things combined mean that any given group of children can create quite the collection of individual academic needs.
Unfortunately, the traditional school system does not always meet these various needs. The standardized curriculum used in an average school setting tends to be very “endpoint driven” which means 1) the curriculum is focused only on outcomes of the class as a whole, and 2) the entire school year has been planned in advance, leaving no room for further exploration or working ahead.
The result of such a curriculum varies based on the child in question. For instance, a child who is able to get a fairly quick grasp on new subjects and is willing to simply follow instructions may not see many negative effects when placed in this type of setting. However, even this “model student” child could suffer from stifled curiosity.
Other issues that tend to arise in classrooms using traditional curriculum include boredom from children who could be working at a much faster pace and stress from those who may require more time to grasp certain concepts. These feelings can manifest in a number of ways, none of which are desirable.
The solution to this problem comes in the form of customized curriculum. However, while this is the obvious solution, implementing customized curriculum for each and every child in a school is time-consuming, labor-intensive, and expensive to boot. Fortunately, many private schools—such as our own—are willing to put forth that extra bit of effort in order to give students the opportunity to experience the benefits offered by a customized curriculum.
Because customized curriculum is adapted to suit the needs of an individual child, he or she is likely to feel more engaged in the classroom. With the ability to work at their own pace, students can work quickly through subjects and concepts that do not challenge them, pause and dig deeper when something is of particular interest to them, and/or slow down if something requires further explanation. All of this leads to a firmer grasp on all covered material, which in turn helps the student feel more confident in his or her abilities and more interested in furthering their education.
Another bonus of curriculum that has been altered to suit an individual is the ability to find other means of information, along with second and third explanations of a given concept. This helps students learn the art of research—a very important part of a person’s schooling, especially in this day and age. The opportunity to seek out knowledge from various sources ensures students are looking at the lesson from all angles and helps them develop a well-rounded understanding of the subject matter.
Clearly, a customized curriculum is the way to go, no matter what one’s learning style or pace may be. After all, a solid grasp on each and every subject, and the permission to move at the pace that is most comfortable for the student, are both invaluable when it comes to learning new things.
If you are ready to offer your child the gift of customized curriculum in a one-on-one setting, we would be thrilled to hear from you. Please contact us today at The Tenney School to schedule a meeting and school tour. We would love to help your student take charge of their education and future.