It’s that time of the year. Again! The tale of the Christmas Fair..

The time is upon us again for the local primary school Christmas Fair. Tradition steps in and we like it! There will be Santa’s Grotto, a tombola, a raffle, the parents association collecting, mince pies, mulled wine, carols, charity cards to buy — maybe even something religious? But it will be the same as last year; and that’s OK because we have always done it this way.
So why change?
Well, if some of our children really didn’t enjoy the Christmas Fayre we wouldn’t make them go would we? Or if we did we would try and make the experience more enjoyable wouldn’t we? We would focus on the bits they liked. We would make the visit shorter. We would tailor the experience. We would adapt.
So when we are educating our children who have learning differences let’s do the same.
If your child doesn’t like the traditional staple diet let’s be flexible. Let’s work with, and ask our teachers to change it around a bit. Find the bit of sparkle our child likes. Realise that they learn differently. Ask them to watch a film not read a book. Make something rather than write something. Run around for half an hour rather than sit still. Measure their creativity and contribution not just their maths and english test scores.
Let’s measure creativity and contribution and not just maths and English!
Why? Well the funny thing is, forcing people to enjoy something they don’t enjoy doesn’t work! Smart leaders and teachers work this out pretty quickly. They find out what people enjoy and let them excel at that and it seems to work just a little bit better! Tradition may call on us to keep doing whatever we do the same way we have always done it but that’s not necessarily the right call. This year at the Christmas Fair, I am taking my girls outside to play “Beat the Goalie”.
It may not be Christmassy but it may well be good for them!!

The STEP programme activates the ability to learn for children with learning differences. Please ask us anything! STEPtoday.com

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