A student recently talked about how they don’t like being told they are “special.” Often “special” is used as a term that makes kids feel different in a negative, not able, not special way. He also pointed out that if everyone is told they are special, then no one is. “It’s like if we found treasure every day, it wouldn’t be a special day anymore.” I’ve also had parents/providers voice concerns that if a child feels special that he/she will think they are more important then others and act in selfish manners… But after much research on the subject they have proven it’s the key to self worth. Healthy mental-health begins with feeling special. So how do we go back to what people like Mr Rogers intended by telling children that they are special? That each and every child is important and unique?
Fred Rogers once said that “feeling good about ourselves is essential in our being able to love others.” Mr Rogers and other individuals who focused on the importance of early education shared research supporting the need for positive feed back throughout a child’s development. Kristine Barnett and other parents who have seen the focus on positive behaviors and accomplishments support that the research is correct. Jacob Barnett is an example of a child given labels and told what he would not accomplish because of such labels. His mother decided to take him out of traditional schooling and focus on his strengths which changed his future and named him as a child prodigy.
This is just one example of why Adventure Academy focuses on the strengths and interests of each student. Adventure Academy is the youth program offered through Mi Families (“my families”) LLC. Mi Families provides programs for families and those who work with families. All of our programs focus on strengths, as it’s been proven to be a more successful technique then teaching through failures and fears, which often result in regression. Adventure Academy provides developmental services for infants through preschoolers and tutoring sessions for elementary stages with parent and student input about personal goals and individual interests.
Through small group interactions in our multi-age programs we encourage goals through each child’s unique interests. Curriculums are developed for all students to interact on a stage before age process. Curriculums such as Mother Goose Time can be adapted for all to participate. MGT themes allow younger children to be introduced to new concepts, while preschoolers use materials as intended and older students research deeper into each topic. This month we have been learning about ponds and how the changing weather from winter to spring changes the pond life across the street. Older students have adventured across and brought back examples of animal and plant life changing and growing with the season.
Our students have been discussing how they themselves have been growing. Observations during our themed activities have helped showcase how their physical appearance and physical abilities have changed. Activities are chosen to help assess individual abilities with large and small motor skills, social and emotional development, language and cognitive progress. Observations are also noted on children’s individual temperaments: activity levels, persistence, distractibility, approaches, adaptability, predictability, responsiveness, mood and intensities of reactions. Each child’s development and temperaments help design their unique goals and plan lessons according to their learning styles.
Infants to pre teens learn together and encourage each other in our one-room-school-house style program. It’s bitter sweet watching older students transition out of our program and infants begin joining in the group activities. My own baby has been joining in more activities as she is able. No child is pushed, but all are encouraged to play and work along side their peers. Peers do not mean same age as in the “real world” we don’t ask family members or co-workers how old they are before interacting with them… Children should learn safe ways to interact with others from day one when introduced to their families and friends. Although we all interact together and with the same materials no student is compared to their peers.
We are a team learning together, but each of us has a different strength to contribute to our group goals. Mi Families has diverse groups for all ages and stages, but all of our groups have the same goal – to provide FUNctional family resources with education through recreation programming. Our group of children at Adventure Academy are meeting that goal by loving learning. Each child loves learning because they learn to love their unique selves. They learn that they are a special treasure. Each learn that it’s ok to progress in their own way and in their own time with their own gifts and talents. Whether your child is behind or ahead of the typical time line they are welcome to join in our learning adventures. We will have summer spaces opening soon!
If you’d like to enroll your child email Christi@MiFamilies.com. Feel free to email about any of the Mi Families programs or network with us on our social media sites! Also feel free to subscribe above to get our articles emailed to you. Articles tell about our different programs. This article shows off what the kids were up to at Adventure Academy this week as we celebrated St Patricks day and learned about all things green … and gold … like the treasure the students hunted for – and found in themselves. Hope you had a magical week with your family or the families you worked with!
Leave a Reply