If full-time students need extra help to transition into Tall Oaks or have other short-term tutoring needs, their teacher may request help from our Discovery Center director. The academic coaching service is not meant to be a long-term solution to chronic academic problems or learning disabilities. Rather, it helps students complete missed work, fill gaps in their previous experience, or get extra practice or help with an area of difficulty. Parents pay an additional fee for academic coaching or tutoring services. Academic coaching is not offered to à la carte students.
Educational Therapy (NILD Discovery Center)
Tall Oaks Classical School offers an educational therapy program for students with learning disabilities or learning challenges. Our educational therapists are trained by the National Institute for Learning Development (NILD), a Christian organization that has been a pioneer in the field of educational therapy. NILD has developed specific methods of therapy which promote brain development in areas of the brain which are underdeveloped in students who present with learning disabilities or other learning struggles which prevent them from progressing as efficient learners. For example, specific therapies address directionality, sensory integration, the ability to form mental images, short-term memory, visual processing, etc. NILD educational therapy does not “teach according to a child’s strengths,” make permanent accommodations, or lower the academic standards for learning disabled students. Rather, it targets a student’s weaknesses and strengthens them with the goal of moving the student toward independence as a learner. For this reason, the goals of the NILD program and the mission of Tall Oaks, line up very well.
Our purpose in providing an NILD program is to help those families who are already committed to classical Christian education to be able to keep their children in our school. Over the years, we have watched many students with learning differences leave our school or persevere through great hardship to remain here. As we want to provide a classical and Christian education to as many of the Church’s covenant children as desire it, our hope is that this program will reduce the struggle for these students and allow them to stay and graduate from our program.
Parents pay an additional fee to receive these services. Parents who want more information about NILD educational therapy program should contact the Director of the Discovery Center. The following are some of the characteristics of students who may benefit from educational therapy:
- Seems to know something one day and forget it the next
- Incapable of producing neat, well-controlled handwriting
- Reversals of letters, numerals or words beyond first grade
- Performance and abilities in some areas are much lower than in other areas. For example, a whiz at math who reads very poorly or a student who can memorize very well, but has difficulty understanding what she reads
- A poor vocabulary or an inability to understand multiple meanings of words
- Reads without good expression, phrasing or fluency
- Disorganized writing or words missing from writing
- An inability to solve word problems in math
- An inability to interpret maps, solve visual/geometric puzzles or deal with a document with a complex layout (several columns, headings or sections, for example)
- An inability to follow multiple-step instructions
- A resistance to “crossing their mid-line,” that is, to reaching with one hand to the other side of the body to write or perform other manual tasks. (For example, to avoid crossing the mid-line, a student might move his whole body to the left in order to write with his right hand on the left side of a paper or white board. He might pick up a pencil lying on the left side of his desk with his left hand and pass it to his right hand rather than reach over with his right hand.)
- Loses track of the time, spends too much time getting work done
- Difficulty organizing personal space, school papers and backpacks
- Cannot memorize math facts
- Difficulty orienting oneself in space, easily lost in the hallways or busy rooms, or bumping into things when navigating the classroom
- Difficulty ignoring distractions and staying on task.