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At Futures Academy, we are constantly researching and sharing relevant topics that affect our students and families. We also have guest bloggers sharing their research and best practices. Read our blogs to learn more! 

A Unique Year Requires a Unique Approach

Unique Learners Image

The 2020-2021 school year has presented unique challenges. At Futures Academy, we believe that  our unique approach to learning and education is best suited to help students grapple with these unprecedented times. 

A Unique Year

Across the United States (and, in fact, the world), educators, parents, and students alike have been feeling the strain of operating amid the COVID-19 pandemic. No matter what school system you're in, the school year likely looks vastly different from other years.

While some students are returning in person, many will do so in a hybrid model where they attend school a couple of days a week and learn remotely the other days. Or...students may begin with virtual learning and return to school once the district officials determine it is safe to do so. (Your Teen Magazine)

 With so much change and upheaval, the ever-present challenges of school have only deepened during this unique year.

Fortunately, here at Futures Academy, we have found that our approach to education has proven effective, even amid the pandemic. This has been especially true for our more unique learners.

Unique Approaches for Unique Learners

Even before the 2020-2021 school year presented its fresh obstacles, Futures Academy has believed that students learn best and most effectively when they're seen as individuals rather than as homogeneous units. Children are unique; and some, in particular, have individualized learning preferences that require methods outside the box of one-size-fits-all approaches.

Even under normal circumstances, the homogenized approach to education is stifling. The best learning happens when teachers adapt to the needs, strengths, weaknesses, and individual interests of their students. For instance, instruction in literacy is one of the most complex and nuanced elements in education; yet it's often approached with rote, inflexible methods that absolutely do not work for everyone. 

Some schools insist that all educators teach children to read using a one-size-fits-all phonics-based approach. While that approach works well for certain kids (such as those with dyslexia or some English language learners), many children learn to read by recognizing whole words, or chunks of words, rather than isolating each sound. (Washington Post)

Because not all children learn to read in the same way, we should not teach them as if they do. This doesn't just apply in basic literacy, of course. The principle applies across the board, with implications for all subject matters, skill sets, and age ranges. Because not all students develop in exactly the same ways, they absolutely should not all be instructed with cookie-cutter methods. 

  • Some students are distracted by movement; others are more likely to learn through tactile engagement
  • Some students flourish with firmly established structures and routines; others are cramped and hindered by such restrictions
  • Some students are motivated by timed exercises and clear deadlines; others find the same pace crushing, crippling, or unattainable 
  • Some students need reminders to be quiet, listen, and stay on task; others need space to question, verbally process, and respond in order to complete their learning process

Students have individual needs, and the way they learn should reflect that. This is especially true during a unique and challenging school year, when students and teachers need to work together to press every educational advantage at their disposal. 

If you're looking for a place where your student can learn, grow, and thrive in a way that both accommodates and amplifies their unique skills, learning style, and personality, we'd love to hear from you. 

We Can Help

Here at Futures Academy, we embrace the power of one-to-one engagement and small-group instruction to best meet the needs of individual learners. 

For more information on our programs, please contact us.

We would love to talk with you about the possibilities, and we look forward to hearing from you!