Did you know that only 29% of 6th- to 12th-grade students felt that their school setting created an encouraging environment? That sounds like a meagre number, and various factors are happening in schools to develop such a negative culture.
So why should you care if students feel encouraged or empowered in their building? It’s simple: students who are taken care of socially and emotionally will perform better academically.
Standardized testing is the primary method to see if students are “learning” each year. But here’s something to think about. Standardized tests only look at the academics students are supposed to cover in a given year.
Do you know what those tests don’t measure? They don’t measure creativity, empathy, generosity, or other qualities that make kids great.
Holistic education is a method of education that focuses on caring about the child. It ensures they grow into responsible members of society. If you want to learn more about the benefits of holistic education, keep reading!
Once the “No Child Left Behind” era began, the whole child was not the focus of education. Instead, the federal legislation focused on the primary objective of making sure students received good test scores. This focus on academics began the decline of the idea that teaching the whole child was vital to student development.
Non-supportive school environments undermine the motivation and learning of your children, making them nervous and constantly stressed about grades. That leads to students not caring about school, increasing negative behaviour and drop-out rates.
We can’t expect social-emotional skills to be taught at home, or we wouldn’t be having the problems we now face in school systems across the country. Below are current statistics from the study on 6th- to 12th-grade students:
We should be preparing children for the world outside of school, not prepping them for tests for 13 years. It’s unfair to the children who rely on their school systems for role models, especially those in high-risk environments or broken homes.
So what is Holistic education? What are the benefits of schools embracing this approach?
First and foremost, if students feel supported in their classroom setting, they will be able to focus on learning how to learn. Yes, you read that correctly!
Students can focus on finding the information they need to know and how to apply that knowledge to the content. They are also more likely to ask questions when they don’t understand something.
In a holistic environment, students can develop better communication and motivational skills. With better confidence comes outstanding academic achievement!
Holistic approaches take the content we usually teach every day and embrace the idea that teaching is also integrated with speaking, interacting, and listening.
For example, in a preschool classroom, the teacher decides they will work on animals and the sounds they make. The teacher will also focus on using affirmations and positive, encouraging words during the process. This lesson will allow the children to learn about the animals and sounds and relate their positive experiences to their teacher and education.
What can you expect if your child is in a school that utilizes a holistic approach? You will begin to notice:
In a typical classroom setting, teachers work with the students to cover the state’s standards. Teachers will have conferences twice a year and only contact parents if behaviour or grades are an issue.
In a holistic setting, parents and the community are involved in learning throughout the whole process. Therefore, parent engagement is vital to the success of a holistic program.
Schools that utilize this approach are likely to host many events throughout the year. These events can be literacy nights or field trips to different places in the community.
Having the community involved makes for a school that supports the whole student instead of only their academics.
Is their learning content important? Of course. But we have to take the other parts of the whole child into account if we want them to leave high school ready to start their lives.
Lately, there has been a lot of focus on the mental well-being of adults. However, children equally struggle with mental health, but it is often misdiagnosed or ignored.
A holistic approach to education allows teachers to embrace their students’ mental health, helping them work through issues and develop productive solutions. Problem-solving is another excellent reason to use holistic education.
There are schools across the country that embrace the advantages of holistic education, and if you are in the Vancouver area, look no further! Pear Tree School is the leading private school in Vancouver, providing a student-centred approach to education. Pear Tree focuses on the skills that a student needs in their everyday life and academic content.
Are you currently frustrated with your child’s school or administration? Do you want your kids in a school that allows them to learn in a holistic education setting? Contact Pear Tree Schools now to schedule a tour!