Notwithstanding our academic program, our children are having difficulties that extend beyond the classroom and traditional learning environment. These problems are affecting home life, friendships and their overall functioning. In order for our children to succeed in all aspects of life, including academics, it is imperative that they acquire "grounding skills".
In addition to our education curriculum, which is supplemented with distinctive teaching methodologies and individualized instruction, our program also includes a unique Skills Module System. These Modules may be: a) integrated into the child's general program, b)a specific tangible entity/program in itself, or c) a combination of a) and b).
Learning Skills Module
The general classrooms are designated as individualized Learning Skill Modules. In these modules, students are taught task analysis skills, i.e. how to begin a task, how to stay on task and how to complete a task - including how to break a task down into its manageable components.
Acquiring organizational skills is a vital element of education for our students. Our Learning Skills Module teaches organizational skills related specifically to the students' workspace, desks, notebooks, note taking, copying, time management skills and test taking techniques.
In addition, our students undergo intensive training in listening skills, following directions, focusing on relevant details, sequencing and ordering, learning how to tune out distractions and how to control impulsivity.
Life Skills Module
Our Life Skills Module addresses many of the problems our children experience with life management and social skills. This program teaches organization in terms of establishing routines for appropriate daily functioning, both at home and in the school environment. Module topics may include (but are not restricted to) appropriate behaviors and systems for completing family chores, doing homework, preparing for the next day, eating at restaurants, behaving suitably in the car, visiting others and getting ready for bed.
Social Skills Module
- Making friends
- Keeping friends
- Choosing the correct friends
- Increasing social status amongst peers
Our Social Skills Module deals with social, emotional and behavioral issues. Our children often develop self-image and self-esteem problems - and experience failure and frustration in school and at home. The Social Skills group is a forum in which the issues of low frustration tolerance, problem solving, self-esteem, and over reaction to situations are explored. Appropriate expressions of feelings are also discussed, in a non-threatening, supportive environment.
Most importantly, the students gain insight into their actions and through self-awareness, go on to self-monitor and modify their behavior.
Cognitive Skills Module
Our Cognitive Skills Module works at targeting and modifying behaviors. At Kentwood, behavior is not defined as "badly behaved", but rather as a way of interacting in school and society. These difficulties may include the need for constant reminders, the inability to stay focused, or sometimes even the lack of participation in activities. Since each child is different, this module focuses on each child's individual needs.
Our unique charting system creates a 'living' feedback structure, through which the staff, students and parents can gauge cognitive and behavioral progress (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or as needed). Designed specifically for use in our program, the system works as a motivational tool, which in turn builds self confidence and a sense of achievement. The behavioral management system allows all those dealing directly with the children to detect problems in their earliest stages, consequently allowing for early intervention and effective problem solving.
Please see our "Cognitive Skills" section
Self-Esteem Building Module
Children with self esteem:
- Have self worth
- Believe in themselves
- Take on educated challenges
- Accept responsibility for their problems
- Are motivated
- Maintain interest
- Sustain positive relationships with others
- Have confidence in making appropriate decisions
Poor self-esteem is often a major problem with our students. Research has clearly demonstrated that if a child is suffering from low self-esteem, every aspect of the child's life is affected. A child who has difficulties socially and emotionally may face peer rejection and find it increasingly difficult to cope academically.
Our program strives to produce students who can adjust to school and home. This is achieved by teaching students that quality of life is governed by choices, and that these choices have either favorable or unfavorable consequences. The students learn from the consequences of poor choices, and how to appreciate the benefits that flow from sensible judgment.