Helping Students Become Successful
For students with ADHD, individualized education is an excellent way to help children become successful by providing them with a structured environment that allows them to focus on their strengths. In fact, parents and teachers of students with ADHD often find that individualized education is crucial to their students' academic achievements. For these students, focusing on their individual strengths, as well as helping them identify and learn how to improve their weaknesses, can make school a rewarding experience. Students with ADHD often fail to thrive in traditional classrooms because they aren't able to provide the environment, skills, and incentives students need in order to realize their full potential. With smaller classroom sizes and specialized instruction, these students are able to learn and grow more effectively.
Structured Classroom Environments
For students with ADHD, a structured classroom environment is a necessity. Students with ADHD often struggle to complete basic tasks, from turning homework in on time to understanding what assignments need to be completed. At Kentwood Preparatory School, we understand that students benefit from a structured classroom environment where expectations are clearly identified; our teachers provide a structured, organized environment that helps our students meet their educational potential.
A typical student with ADHD may struggle to stay on task, especially when they're confronted with what they consider to be a boring assignment. With hands-on learning, our teachers are better able to capture the attention of our students, providing them with:
- Tactile stimulation that will allow them to engage more deeply with the task at hand
- Hands-on opportunities that allow them to go deeper with their studies in a specific area
- Improved memory about the subject; many students with ADHD are also kinesthetic learners who retain information best through hands-on study
- Increased engagement and interest in the assignments
Many students with ADHD struggle with basic skills that often appear intuitive to their parents and peers. These skills frequently aren't taught in schools. They may lack the ability to organize their desks, their binders, or their course materials in a way that enables them to learn efficiently. They need to develop skills that go beyond academia: careful, structured instruction that teaches them how to get organized and stay organized in spite of the challenges presented by distractions; time management skills that help them more effectively use the time allotted to them throughout their school day; note-taking skills that help them take down information so that they'll be better able to study in the future. Many students are able to pick these skills up intuitively in a standard classroom environment. For students with ADHD, however, learning these skills presents a unique challenge. By providing students with an environment with structured expectations, Kentwood Preparatory is able to provide students with the foundation they need to be successful both socially and academically.
What Individualized Instruction Accomplishes
In order to integrate all these facets of an effective classroom for a student with ADHD, small class sizes and individualized instruction are a necessity. Through individualized instruction, teachers are often able to accomplish incredible things for their students that simply wouldn't be possible in a larger classroom. Additionally, in a small classroom environment, teachers are able to provide a number of important advantages to students with ADHD.
Advantages of Small Classroom Sizes
More hands-on learning opportunities. In a large classroom, it can be hard to both prepare and navigate hands-on activities, which require higher levels of preparation and supervision than traditional reading and lecture-based classes. In a smaller classroom, however, it's possible to include more hands-on activities.
Paying more attention to the individual needs of each student. In small classes, teachers have the opportunity to get to know their students much better than they would in a larger classroom. With small classroom sizes, it's harder for students to fall through the cracks
Increased student engagement. Students with ADHD are known for their habit of zoning out, especially if they're working on a subject they don't enjoy. In a small classroom environment, however, it's possible to improve engagement among all students, keeping those with ADHD on-task and improving their understanding of key subject content.
Better response to an individual student challenges. In an average classroom, teachers have to instruct to the middle 80%. In many cases, the students in the top and bottom 10% are left behind in an effort to provide the highest possible level of instruction to the majority. In small classrooms, on the other hand, it's possible to create more individualized instruction that will help students move past their challenges and develop a deeper understanding of the content at hand.
Our teachers work with individual students to help improve the areas in which they need the most help. For students with ADHD, capturing their attention long enough to improve weaknesses can be a challenge. In a small classroom however, it's possible to provide more individualized instruction to help improve on those week areas, giving students better odds of overall academic success.
Allowing time for behavioral modifications within the classroom environment. Students with ADHD are often labeled "problems" in the classroom, especially when it comes to their behavior. In a smaller classroom, not only is there less stimulation which can lead to decreased distraction and improved concentration, it's possible for teachers to work closely with students in order to ensure that they're able to learn how to modify their own behavior in a more appropriate manner.
Individualized instruction is of great benefit to many different types of students. For students with ADHD, however, it's a necessity. If your child is struggling in a traditional classroom, Kentwood Preparatory School can help transform their attitude towards and enhance their overall academic success. Contact us today to learn more about the populations we serve, the solutions we provide, and how we can help your child.