Confidence in one’s self is an important factor in educational success. No one child learns the same, but every child has the ability to recognize when they have accomplished a goal. When our son, Anthony, was in Kindergarten Greg and I had meeting after meeting talking about his frustrations when a goal wasn’t achieved. The focus was not on how to help him achieve those goals, rather how to control his behavior when he didn’t reach them. He excelled academically, but somehow that was never the focus. We moved through 1st and 2nd grade with a similar sentiment and following several more meetings with both teachers and principals we were at a loss on how we could translate the amazing mind we knew was within our son into a language that wasn’t dampened or inhibited by behavior plans and workarounds. We wanted to know how he could be such a brilliant student having retained every ounce of what was given to him and then some, but still be unable to be “controlled” in the setting that was supposed to be supporting him. He was not confident. He was frustrated and angry and so were Greg and I. So we decided that we needed to do something, we just didn’t know what. So we started looking into educational alternatives…and we sort of stumbled upon Prodigy. We called to make an appt for a walk through and “meet and greet” of the school.
When we went to the school we met with one of the school’s founders, Amy Grammer. She took us up to the classroom our son would potentially be joining just for a quick look. When we entered the back of the room, the first thing we both noticed was…well, chaos! There were kids everywhere, couches instead of desks, papers all over the walls, paper rings hanging from the ceiling and it was loud…VERY loud. There was one student in particular that stood out because for the most part the remainder of the students were gathered around the teacher in the corner of the room. This one student was pacing back and forth behind the couch area…just pacing back and forth while the rest of the class was engaged in whatever the teacher was going over. I asked Mrs. Grammer what he was doing…and without even breaking flow she told me he was a “kinesthetic learner”. I have no education background but I do have enough medical awareness to know that kinetics equates movement and I just immediately thought to myself “that just isn’t a thing…is it?”. She could see my confusion (no poker face here) and started to explain that this young man was struggling at his prior school for repetitive reprimands for not sitting still and not doing well in school. They drilled down into what made this guy tick and found that he simply needed to move to retain. He went from a near failing student to a not only thriving, but exceeding past grade level kiddo simply from having the access to a program that didn’t make him work in the curriculum, they made the curriculum work for him. I knew I was sold at that second. I knew right then and there that Prodigy was the place we had been looking for. We had found a place where using an armamentarium of educational directives at the pace and application my son needed was the expectation, not the exception, all while being reinforced with daily devotion and a sense of community.
No lies…the first year was still rough. Thank the good LORD for Mrs. Pederson, because she was immediately invested. There was no room for “it might not be the place for him” or any sentiment of failure. He was where he was supposed to be and we all knew that with time and a lot of grace he would excel. And oh how he has!!! Anthony used to hate going to school…there were days that he cried himself to drop off at the front steps. He was overwhelmed with self doubt and concern for isolation and punishment. Within the first year at Prodigy, he hated Fridays because he didn’t get to go to school! We were so confident in the program we moved our younger child over the following school year.
Prodigy isn’t just a school. It is a family. A wild and loud and unique family that happens to be exceptional at teaching ANY type of child. I don’t know if we found Prodigy or it found us, either way it was the best thing that ever happened to our family. We couldn’t be more grateful for the support it has given us as parents or the confidence it had built in our children.