How to beat grade retention

Why would your bright, creative child be at risk for grade retention? If your child is a right brain or visual learner (i.e. sometimes referred to as a hands-on learner or kinesthetic learner), they have probably lost ground during the pandemic.  Zoom-based learning is far less effective for a right brain or visual learner who thrives on seeing and doing.  As a result, more children than ever are experiencing significant gaps in their education and a far greater risk for retention.

Grade retention risks are now facing students in first, second and third grade.  The biggest challenge is often reading comprehension.   Maturity is also an issue, where the students often have behavior challenges.

The good news is that if your child is a smart struggling right brain or visual learner, they can often make significant gains in months not years, and improve their attention and emotional regulation.

At 3D Learner, we have helped many students to:

  • Beat grade retention and score at, above, or even well above grade level on tests
  • Rediscover their natural love of learning
  • Improve their working memory, processing speed, and self-esteem
  • Improve their attention and emotional regulation

We know that most smart struggling students:

  • Are a right-brain or visual learners (hands-on) who can do far better with experiential learning that leverages their strengths
  • Have some combination of working memory, processing speed, visual processing, attention, and/or anxiety challenges
  • Are far smarter than present results would indicate

Our programs can help the right brain or visual learner beat grade retention and make significant gains in months. 3D Learner’s comprehensive educational assessment reveals important issues that many other assessments miss.  For instance, one parent had a recent psycho-educational test that indicated her daughter had an attention, working memory and processing speed issue. After her daughter completed our assessment, she was surprised to learn that her daughter:

  1. Was a right brain or visual learner (hands-on)
  2. Was a lot smarter than present results would indicate
  3. Had a significant visual processing issue,  skipping words and lines when reading
  4. Struggled with small words, reading comprehension, and sequencing
  5. Had significant attention and emotional regulation issues
  6. Was very strong in 5 of the 11 skills we assessed — she had a great visual memory, was very creative and had a larger vocabulary than most
  7. But she had a real problem with the small words that often change the meaning of a sentence (i.e. words like the, but, what, if)

By understanding how she learned best, we developed an engaging, personalized program built around her strengths and interests. In just months. 3D Learner helped her score above grade level on the standardized test. When they saw these results, the parents asked “Why do schools not teach the way the right brain learner learns best?”  We explained that schools, like most learning centers, focus on a child’s weaknesses.

Schools often do not:

  • Leverage the student’s strengths and interests
  • Identify and address issues like working memory, visual processing, or processing speed
  • Ignite a love for learning, which is an essential part of the 3D Learner Experiential Learning Process.

Her daughter made great process and was actually in the highest reading group the following year.

We see grade retention risks as a great opportunity for parents to make a true life-long difference in their child’s learning.

If you have a child in any elementary school grade who is struggling in school, 3D Learner can help. To discuss your child’s learning style and needs, call us at 561-361-7495.

Frequently asked questions about grade retention & the kinesthetic learner

Question: If many students at risk for grade retention are a right brain or visual learner, why do the schools not teach this way?
Answer: Schools tend to have a one size fits all approach.  There has been a real push towards phonics and phonemic awareness.  Unfortunately, this does not provide the experiential learning most right brain or visual learners need.  Even worse, we have seen smart and even gifted learners face grade retention because their needs were not met.

Question: Many programs focus on phonics and phonemic awareness.  What are the key skills the right brain or visual learner needs to master before phonics will work?
Answer Word recognition and sight word vocabulary are two of the skills needed before phonics will work. Processing speed, working memory, and attention are also skills that must be mastered.

Question: Experiential learning used to be the norm in kindergarten, first and second grade.  What happened?
Answer: If that were still the case, the right brain or visual learner would be more likely to thrive.  The challenge today is that many of the standards are not age-appropriate.  This results in less experiential learning, which negatively impacts the right brain or visual learner and makes grade retention more likely.

Question Is it too late in the school year to help beat grade retention?
Answer It is almost never too late to beat grade retention.  The right brain or visual learner can often make significant gains in months not years, with the right experiential learning.

Question: I am not sure if my child is a right brain or visual learner, or what issues are holding my child back.  I fear grade retention,  Is there a way to talk with your team and to assess my child?
Answer: You can call us at 561-361-7495 or click here to schedule a Beat Grade Retention Conversation

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