Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.
I had known all along that my two girls are unique in their own right. In the traditional way of schooling, my eldest daughter seemed to be smarter than my second daughter. Lauren could read and write before she was four years old. My other daughter Marielle was just different from Lauren. In fact my neighborhood tutor thought she was not smart. The tutor said Marielle could not read. I felt bad for her because I didn’t want her compared to her smarter sister. Along the way, I discovered Marielle could relate to me in great detail about a story told in her Nursery class. By sheer luck or was it fate, I stumbled upon “Unicorns are Real”:A Right Brained Approach to Learning” by Barbara Meister Vitale at a book sale. I wrote more about how I used this book to stimulate Marielle’s learning process when she was six years old.
My dyslexic and math-challenged daughter rose above the difficulties she faced through the years and graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2009.
I didn’t know the appropriate word back then. All I knew was my daughters learned things differently. Lauren can only study when her surroundings are quiet. Marielle loves to move around in different places to study. I wish there were more schools back then that gave options for my children’s learning styles. In fact, I believed Lauren did not thrive in a traditional school. She started to lose interest in studying by the time she reached Grade 4. Today , she tells me that she wished she were in a smaller school or got home-schooled.
Lesson learned: Each child has different learning strengths and preferences and the abilities to focus and learn. In fact, I want parents to research more about other schools or modes of learning if faced with frustration on their child’s learning pace. How many of your child’s grades did not meet expectation of their potential?
It is interesting to visit schools so I can share to other parents that there are choices. A visit to Eton International School (ETON) revealed two unique aspects in their school’s curriculum: learning styles and 3D Based curriculum.
Eton uses Dunn and Dunn Learning Styles System to help every person discover and reach his or her highest potential. I already knew this after seeing my two girls finish college. There are two general processing styles: the analytical and the global.
What does it mean?
Global learners, for example, absorb new knowledge faster in an environment with soft lighting and non-traditional seating. They also need to take breaks, eat snacks, go around, and listen to music. On the other hand, analytic learners learn best in an environment with bright light and traditional seating positions. They want a quiet room, with no interruptions or disruptions.
Jacqueline Marzan-Tolentino, the owner/President of Eton even administered a Learning Styles assessment test. After a fun three minutes of coloring the sheets of papers with fellow blogger Arpee, the test confirmed that I am an analytical learner.
You might want to know more about the Dunn & Dunn Learning Styles Model that ETON uses in its curriculum. You will note the Dunn and Dunn model is based on five strands of 21 elements of learning: environmental, emotional, sociological, physiological, and psychological.
Knowing the learning styles of a child, the teachers adapt the needs and learning preferences. ETON takes it further by encouraging parents to take the definitive assessment test, too, so they can also understand the similarities and differences of learning styles between themselves and their children. I love this idea to minimize conflict between parents and their children on their learning style. A “malikot” child would be chastised to sit still and study when in fact, the child learns best by moving his body.
3-D Based Curriculum
I first got introduced to ETON’s 3-D based curriculum when I was their speaker for the 8th Leadership Awards and talked of Parenting in the new digital age. They were launching their new 3D based curriculum using technology from Eureka and thought I’d speak on the advantages of using new technology to help kids today learn more.
It is my belief that new technology in the classroom brings fun and excitement to learning, lessons are captivating and engaging, many abstract subjects become tangible for students . It can also cultivate mastery of lessons and shortened period of teaching.
Eureka, the 3D software forms an essential part of ETON’s K to 12 education in the fields of Science and Math. The software covers over 1000 topics of 3D simulations and 3D videos in Biology, Physics, and Chemistry and in different fields of Math. How can learning not be fun with these teaching aids?
Knowing that ETON will soon use a 3D curriculum in Science and math, I wish they were around in the nineties. My two girls often struggled with Mathematics. Imagine if the Math 3D curriculum was part of their Math classes. I am sure my girls would have appreciated Math more.
Learning angles in Geometry
If you are shopping for a non-traditional school or an alternative to traditional schools, check out Eton International School. Don’t take my word for it. It is important to know what you want for your child. Investigate the school’s teaching methods if it will stimulate or hone your child’s talents, strengths and interests. This might just be the school that match the individual needs and interests of your child. It is important for parents to understand that it is not so much that every child should be taught but to draw out the child’s desire to learn and to discover and reach his or her highest potential.
Visit www.eton.edu.ph for more details.