Students with any kind of learning disability usually do not fare well in the traditional classroom situation. While being inclusive seems noble, when there is no time for teachers to make accommodations for the benefit of children with learning difficulties, the disadvantages of including children who learn ‘differently’ in the typical classroom scenario start adding up:
Classrooms are places that are often busy, noisy, time-driven and competitive. Students measure their performance against their peers and peg themselves intellectually by comparing their own abilities with those of their classmates. Generally, children with learning difficulties only see their own weaknesses in this kind of system. Their talents and strengths are seldom acknowledged and so they accept all kinds of limiting labels and feeling stupid, inadequate, slow and inferior to their classmates.
If a learning difficulty is not diagnosed at a very early age, a child might even be labelled as lazy, not reaching potential, rebellious, disorganised, ‘scatter-brained’, slow etc. and these labels can have a lasting detrimental effect on their academic performance and self-esteem.
Besides struggling with their own particular learning issues, these children very often develop test-anxiety because they feel that they don’t ‘measure up’ and make the grade.
As teens, they may feel fed up with school as it isn’t working for them and sometimes they bunk classes, act up, disrupt class, refuse to do homework, behave rebelliously or withdraw emotionally. Many of their parents report that their children suffer from anxiety and depression and some of them even have suicidal thoughts.
Finally, there comes a day when they decide to walk out or when their parents are brave enough to recognise that the school system is failing them and they search for another option.
The GED® and online GED® study programme we offer is not a magic bullet for every challenge that these children may face, but it is a great scholastic solution to consider for many students with learning disabilities and here is why:
Emotionally Safe Learning Environment
By removing children with learning difficulties from the pressures of the typical classroom, you can provide them with an emotionally safe space to learn – a place where they won’t see themselves as the slow, struggling student, the student who can’t, who messes up and who fails.
Students can’t reach their full potential academically if they don’t feel emotionally safe.
By allowing children to follow their own unique learning programme, in their own time, the pressures of time and peers are removed and they begin to blossom on the GED® programme.
Many of these children are also the victims of bullying or verbal and emotional abuse from peers and/or teachers in the school system. Removing them from this toxic environment enables them to focus on learning without emotional drama!
Healing of Self-Confidence
A safe learning environment allows for emotional healing. Students discover that given the time they need, they CAN learn and they can even master difficult subjects that they struggled with before. When their self-confidence improves and is restored, they develop an “I can do this” attitude, which is vital for success on the GED® tests and for life.
This is one of the most significant benefits of the GED®: the healing of their self-esteem is essential for future success in the working world.
Some of our clients have admitted that they previously felt they “weren’t smart enough to stay in school” and that they were depressed, but then they experienced success on the GED® and they were able to pursue new goals and visions for their lives.
Theri Rossouw, the mom of one of our students shared: “My daughter left school at the end of gr. 7 labelled a failure and she was suicidal at the time due to pressure.
She is doing her GED® and that is the best decision we have ever made regarding her schooling. “
Her daughter completed her GED in 2018 and will be working in the USA over the summer in 2019.
Students with learning disabilities need a customised education, one that can accommodate their weaknesses and that allows them to work at their own pace. The online GED® programme assesses at which level each student should begin in each subject and takes them back to basics to revise and fill in any gaps, if necessary, before they tackle new concepts. In this way, the student builds a strong foundation and then progresses from there. They advance when they have mastered each lesson, not when the teacher decides the class must move on. They get a second chance to catch on and learn what they missed in school.
The online study programme is a customised, self-paced course. When students are learning at their own pace, there is no pressure to keep up with peers in a classroom and no need to compare.
Being online, students can focus and concentrate better, instead of the noisy environment of the classroom. They can learn with less distraction and can repeat any lessons or parts of lessons that they missed. There won’t be ‘gaps’ where they got distracted or ‘zoned out’. They may use headphones to help them block out any distracting sounds in the vicinity, if necessary.
No time pressure
There is no time pressure and no deadlines for the GED®. Students do not have to be prepared for tests by prescribed exam dates. Tests can be written at test centres, on certain days of the week, almost all year round. Students can therefore book the test for each subject whenever they feel prepared and confident to write the test. All the tests do not have to be written in a given year or within any particular time frame, so students can take as much time as they need to get all 4 exams written and passed.
Accommodations on the GED® Tests
Students that have been professionally diagnosed as having a learning disability may be eligible for accommodations on the GED® tests. There is an application process to follow in order to qualify for a concession. Accommodations are granted on a case-by-case basis. Students with learning disabilities are often granted extra-time on the GED® tests.
Children with learning difficulties usually grow to dread tests and exams. They feel under pressure to learn for exams and the marks and measuring are usually a reflection of their lack of ability to keep up in the school scenario.
The online study programme offers a confidence-building alternative: when students have mastered each subject, they receive a message of congratulations, which confirms that they are test-ready. Only THEN should they book their test.
The GED Testing Service also offers a mock exam, called the GED® Ready test which they can also take first. This test can be written at home or at a learning centre on your own computer. It will also tell the student whether s/he is likely to pass the test and it will give students a preview of how the official tests will be presented – it is in the same format, just half the length. These measures boost the student’s confidence and help to alleviate the stress and anxiety they may experience before a test.
Easy to Rewrite
If a student fails a test, they can rewrite when they feel ready. No need to wait a year or 6 months to rewrite. In South Africa, the pass rate was over 80% in 2018 and higher than the pass rate in the USA! This means that only a few students fail. As disappointing as this may be to those who do fail the first time, the lesson of persevering and not giving up when they do, is a priceless life lesson and they should be encouraged to do so.
Master of their own Success
When students are removed from school and take ownership of their life and their education, they are immensely empowered. When they complete and pass their last GED® test, it is a great milestone, a great accomplishment for children who were often told that they would never make the grade in school. Their faith in themselves is restored and they are more likely to pursue further study and/or success in the workplace.
Children who have struggled for most of their school career, deserve the chance to try an alternative form of education, which is better able to accommodate their uniqueness and enable them to earn a recognised high school equivalency credential. The GED® offers this kind of alternative.
Enrol today or anytime that suits you!