If your child has a learning difference, then you may wonder how you can help them succeed in the classroom. One of your first priorities should be to find a school with teachers who are experienced working with children with various strengths and weaknesses. In many schools, only special education teachers have experience working with children with learning differences. However, it is important that all of your child's teachers understand how to support them throughout the school day.
One key component in many schools with teachers well-versed in learning differences is a strong outdoor education or alternative education program. This is because there are many reasons that outdoor education or experiential education can help students with learning differences succeed.
Allow Different Methods For Learning and Understanding Information
The majority of classroom information is given through through speech or reading. If your child has a learning difference that makes reading or auditory comprehension difficult, then it is likely that they will struggle in their classes. However, in an outdoor environment, reading and speech are combined with hands-on learning. For example, outdoor museums that recreate a certain historical period can help students with learning differences thoroughly understands the issues associated with that time period.
Give Students a Break From Traditional Classroom Stress
In a traditional classroom, your child may feel stress while they try to keep up with their peers. They may experience frustration towards their learning difference, towards their teacher, and towards school in general. Outdoor education gives your child a break from the daily accumulation of stress by emphasizing alternative learning methods. It can allow them to feel successful in their learning and gain an appreciation for learning.
Help Improve Concentration
Time spent outdoors can help increase concentration and creativity, especially in children with ADHD. While children with ADHD are often seen as children who have a difficult time concentrating, any learning difference can require extra concentration from your child. The effort to understand information as it is presented and retain information while studying likely requires high levels of concentration, so the increased concentration from spending time being active outdoors could help any child with a learning difference accomplish more in school.
While many schools accept children with learning differences, a school with a strong outdoor or alternative education program will likely not only accept your child but celebrate them and help them learn to thrive in an educational environment.