For as long as you can remember, school was so hard. You wanted to do anything to avoid it, including avoiding homework. You still worked hard, because you really wanted to make your parents proud of you. Unfortunately, getting A’s in anything besides PE or maybe art class was just impossible for you. As you’ve gotten older, things almost seem harder, and trying to keep up has resulted in depression and maybe even anxiety. Is there a reason why school is so hard for me? There are many reasons why school could be so hard for you, and none of them are what your self-esteem may have told you. Have you ever thought about the fact that your struggles with learning may be a result of the school system not meeting your needs? Maybe it is not you failing in classes as much as it is your classes failing you?
There are four major types of learning styles: visual, auditory (listening), reading/writing, and kinesthetic (hands-on or touch). For too long now, schools have focused primarily on reading and writing, with maybe some visual or auditory, but very little kinesthetic. This means that if the way you learn best is by touching, building, and doing things with your hands, but you are being asked to read, write, and take tests, then it’s no wonder school is difficult for you. Everyone has ways that work best for them to learn, even if some people are good at learning in all of the different styles. However, if you are struggling because your learning style is not really being used, then you have the right to ask for something called differentiated learning.
This type of learning tries to allow for different types of learning within the same classes. For example, if you were studying Algebra, the teacher should use different ways to present the material throughout each chapter. You might have one lesson where you are asked to read and solve problems from a book or worksheet. Then another where you listen more and maybe use music to help teach concepts. Still in that same chapter, your teacher might present a lesson using primarily visual examples, including graphics and images that teach the concept. Finally, you might have a lesson with some kinds of manipulatives, where you can use your hands to demonstrate how to solve problems. Alternatively, your teacher may incorporate two or more types within each lesson. This is the ideal, and it is difficult for teachers to come up with lessons with all four learning types represented. Nevertheless, it is far more representative of different learning types. If one of these types of learning sounds like you, then perhaps you and your parents can talk to your teachers about incorporating more of that style of learning into the curriculum. You can also look online (or find a tutor) for help presented in your ideal learning type that relates to what you are learning.
Another reason why school may be so hard for you is if you have an undiagnosed learning disability. The most commonly known learning disability is dyslexia, which can make it anywhere from difficult to impossible to read and write because the letters appear reversed, upside down, moving around the page, or more. Even the most mild form of this disability can make school very hard for you. However, knowing that you have this disability or any other type of learning disability, you can get extra support from school to help you succeed.
Support for Learning
Schools are legally required to provide support for students with most learning disabilities. They must also provide certain services for diagnosis, too. Your school can put together a team consisting of the school psychologist, counselor, teachers, you, your parents, and possibly other specialists, and work together to create an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) for you. This process can take some time, so it is better to start right away. Through this process, the team will determine which kinds of services will best support you and your learning disability so that school can be at least a little less difficult for you.
Advocating for Your Learning
You have the opportunity to be your own advocate in your learning process. Whether you feel like you need differentiated learning, support for a learning disability, or some other obstacle that you are aware of, you can step up and ask teachers and other staff for help so that school is not so hard for you. You can research ways on your own to help your learning process. Even if reading is what is difficult for you, there are many apps which will read text to you in audio form, which is another accommodation that you can ask for in school, if that helps you. No one knows more about you than you. School is especially hard for many people; you are not alone. You may find, though, that there are reasons why learning is difficult for you. If you need more differentiated learning, or you think you may have one or more learning disabilities, you can get help from school to make learning a little easier for you. Step up and find your own answers; be your own best advocate.
Get help when school is hard for you. Call Embark Behavioral Health 1-855-809-0409 today. Discover better ways for you to learn.