• Frank Clark

Learning Difficulties: Life Challenges

Updated: May 5

We have been discussing learning disabilities that hamper children in school setting and what can be done to help children learn in a safe environment. We have discussed Dyslexia, ADD and ADHD.

There is another issue with which some children must contend that is not commonly thought of as affecting learning. That is the issue of something happening at home which affects a child’s ability to focus on learning. This can be an untimely death of a parent or sibling. It can be the divorce of the child’s parents, or perhaps a parent that is in prison. It can be a child being raised by grandparents. It could even be a family that is struggling financially. All of these situations can affect a child in a negative way.

A death in the family is hard to go through, but it also is an event that has an end. The emotions involved, which are most important to those family members, slowly ebb and are usually replaced by good memories of that person. However, during the time immediately after that death, the school needs to be aware enough to show compassion and love to the child(ren) who are affected. A bye on homework for two or three days while the family grieves is one example of an appropriate response.

Other types of family separation are more emotionally detrimental to children. Those in this category include divorce, which can be particularly challenging. If the parents have divorced, this is often something that affects relationships in the family for years. Often the children do not know where they stand with one parent or the other, and sometimes with both. This creates an emotional drain on them. Some divorced parents work together to greatly lessen this effect on the children. The school’s position here should be to work to bring a place of safety and love to those children. This may often require the school to hold two parent conferences instead of one so that both parents are equally informed and encouraged concerning their children’s progress.

The position of a child where one of the parents is in prison is somewhat similar to the divorce situation. However, involvement of the imprisoned parent is often impossible. In this case, the school’s actions and attitude of love and compassion towards the child of that family needs to be the same as any other student.

Because Parallel Hope School Inc. is operated by dedicated Christians, and its teachers are also Christian, opportunities to demonstrate the compassion of Christ in these situations abounds. The love of God can overcome even the most stressful or contentious situations. The purpose of this school is to help a child to grow in the way that he/she should go, allowing each child to fully function in the gifts that God has given that child.

The school willingly accepts children from families of all backgrounds, and the school staff desires to show the love of God to them. This is a direct result of the fact that God desires for none to be lost. Even if a family never chooses to follow Christ, the school administration and staff still will extend this same care, compassion and love to them the entire time they are part of the school. As a result, their children will receive the fine education that every child attending the school receives, and will be able to thrive as they grow.

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