Have you heard of the combination classroom? If not, then it may be just a matter of time before it debuts in a school near you. With education budgets tighter than ever, these types of classroom environments are becoming more prevalent. So just what are they, exactly? Combination classrooms, also referred to as multi-grade classrooms, are those that accommodate students of different ages and grade levels under the instruction of a single teacher. Most parents panic when they learn of the possibility that their child may be put in the same classroom as children older or younger than them, but research has shown that there’s really no reason to fear. To put those worries aside, let’s examine and debunk some of the myths surrounding combination classrooms.
Do your kids come home talking about how boring school is? Are you worried that most of what they’re learning is either rote memorization or standardized test material? You’re not alone, and unfortunately, your fears may not be entirely unwarranted.
My oldest daughter Kelsey started marching band this year, and she has loved every minute of it—well, almost. If you’re a band parent or if you were in the band yourself, then you know that the typical season starts out with summer band camp—a grueling two-week process in which you attempt to learn the entire show for the season, under the blistering sun no less.
Any child development expert will tell you that a child’s well-being and his or her capacity for learning are intrinsically linked. From the earliest of ages, children require a basic sense of comfort and security in order for their developing brains to be receptive to other stimuli. Most parents and educators realize this, but what many fail to acknowledge is that this prerequisite for learning continues into childhood, adolescence, and even adulthood! Enter social and emotional learning, a model advocates affectionately refer to as SEL.
Look at the title of this post again. I bet you don’t hear that question often. Most people assume that gifted children do so well in school that there’s really no reason to even ask. While it’s true that academics pose little trouble for those kids identified as “gifted,” that doesn’t mean that school as a whole is a breeze for them.
Learning can be difficult for all children at times, but when a child has a learning disability or other special need that inhibits him from comprehending new concepts as readily as his peers, school can prove to be a real challenge.
Have you ever been caught off guard by problems at school? You’re not alone. Even the most well-meaning among us can make the mistake of thinking things are fine in school when in reality, there’s trouble brewing. Later, we ask ourselves how we could have been so blind. If you’re determined to stay on top of things this school year, consider these four important reminders for evaluating your child’s success in school.
When my oldest child Kelsey was a toddler, she was a stickler for schedules. If we did something spontaneous or outside of our regular routine, she would tell me that things felt “topsy turvy.” I’m guessing that this is how some students and teachers are feeling about the latest trend to hit the education realm—the flipped classroom.
As a mom of four, I know one thing for certain—no two children are the same (or even similar) despite their genetic codes. I’m sure many of you can relate. I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard a parent sigh in exasperation at her second or third child’s behavior or mannerisms, shaking her head and saying, “Boy, I wasn’t prepared for this.” Well, just as children behave differently, they also learn differently too!
We have a school-year tradition at our house. Every night at the dinner table, we go around the table and have each child tell about the best and worst parts of their day. Occasionally, someone will have had a particularly bad day and won’t want to discuss it, and of course, we don’t push it, but most of the time, we get the usual complaints—bad food in the cafeteria, an anxiety-producing class presentation, or an overly strict teacher. Most of the time, it makes for good dinner conversation, and we all end up laughing it off. Every now and then, though, I’ll hear something that raises my eyebrows in curiosity or makes me grimace with concern.