A Parent Essay
Finding the right educational environment for a struggling student can be a daunting task for parents. In this blog post, you're invited behind the scenes of a true story full of challenges and triumphs, as a family navigated the complexities of their child's education before discovering Arete-Discovered.
The Kindergarten Struggle
Early Signs of Trouble
Our oldest struggled in kindergarten. At first the troubles were keeping hands to himself and distractive silliness, but soon, staying on task and inflexibility joined the party.
“Clearly, something must have gotten lost in translation from daycare to kindergarten? He is smart and did great in preschool! Let’s meet with the school and fix this.”
As a proactive team, we implemented various interventions – extra breaks, specialized chairs, fidget tools, and even an MP3 player to minimize distractions. Unfortunately, none of these seemed to make a significant difference.
Seeking Professional Guidance
With the struggles persisting, counseling was introduced, expanding the support team. Despite our learner's remarkable abilities, the academic landscape remained challenging.
“This is a kid who draws plans for his wooden train tracks, has a memory that puts an elephant’s to shame, and at 5 years old knows exactly how to divide 3 cookies among 4 friends. Surely he can get through kindergarten!?!”
We established a 504 plan. He was a May baby - maybe a victory lap through kindergarten would give him a little more time to mature? Nope. We reluctantly pursued special ed services…
By 3rd grade, we were swimming in alphabet soup, but with a lot of help, his test scores started to reach state acceptable levels. At home though, away from his aid, our once happy-go-lucky enthusiastic kid was exhausted, frustrated, angry, and feeling defeated most of the time. And, after all the extra help, he still could barely read or write.
Arete: A Beacon of Hope
The Encounter with Arete
The turning point came when we encountered Chastity Jeff, the founder of Arete. Captivated by her philosophies on engagement, empowerment, and independent problem-solving, we realized the alignment with our child's needs. Arete, a school designed to put these principles into practice, became the beacon of hope we were searching for.
Enrolling our child in Arete's after-school program proved to be a game-changer. The program provided a flexible framework, allowing children to explore, test, and sometimes fail in a supportive environment. Collaboration, creativity, and respect were at the forefront, fostering growth and self-discovery.
The Academy Experience
Buoyed by the success of the after-school program, we decided to enroll full time in Arete Academy. Less than a week into his first semester, we knew Arete Academy was the right choice.
Arete gave him space. Space to breath. Space to try again. Space to pull ahead where “on grade level” wasn’t challenging. Space to explore his interests. Space to be himself.
A Bright Future with Arete
He still comes home exhausted, but from excitement and exertion, not defeat. He’s proud of his accomplishments. He invokes “Arete thinking” like a superpower whenever he encounters a challenge and cites the same when he overcomes the obstacle.
Most importantly, he is eager to learn more and excited to go to school each and every day.
Chastity Jeff's vision and commitment to empowering students proved instrumental. The obstacles that once seemed insurmountable transformed into scaffolding for our learner's growth. We eagerly anticipate the future, curious to see the path our son will forge with the skills and mindset instilled by Arete.
In conclusion, the journey with Arete underscores the importance of finding educational environments that prioritize individualized growth, empowerment, and a love for learning. It serves as a testament to the impact a school with a clear vision can have on transforming a struggling student into a confident, eager learner.