It had been an amazing transformation. One that took most of six months to happen, but it had been amazing none the less.
When the private tutor first met the 13 year old boy that summer she thought that she was simply going to work with a young man who needed help with his reading comprehension and his writing. According to the email that the tutor had received from the father of the student, she was expecting an Autistic student who was struggling to succeed in school. Within the first few minutes of that first appointment, however, a bigger story became apparent.
With some prepared lesson plans to assess the young man’s reading and writing skills, the tutor quickly discovered one fact that the father had left out of his email. In addition to being Autistic, this young man did not speak. In fact, he had not spoken for more than a year. The father indicated that his son used to talk at home and until three years ago he did some talking at school. Now, however, the tutor quickly rearranged her lesson plans in her head to accommodate a tutoring student that would write his answers and his questions, but would not speak.
Interestingly enough, the student and the tutor worked through the rest of the summer and “communicated” fairly well. The 13 year old boy was actually a very good writer, and though he was prone to switch to his more favorite activity of drawing the Starship Enterprise, he could actually both ask and answer questions with just a very few written words and hand gestures. He could construct beautiful sentences, imitating complicated parallel structure formats and inserting unique and specific vocabulary. It was sometimes a struggle to keep him focused, but the tutor was also able to cover some of the basics of essay writing format and style that would be covered in future high school English classrooms.
It was a few months after their tutoring began when the young man returned to his local middle school and his eight grade neighborhood public school. Although the school days were a struggle, according to his parents, the young man seemed to look forward to the weekly tutoring sessions with his private tutor. And then, one afternoon in the middle of writing answers to study guide questions from a book that they were reading together, instead of writing his response to a question, he simply turned to his tutor and answered out loud.
Obviously startled, the tutor never flinched about the unexpected vocal response, and instead asked two or three follow up questions that would not have been possible without conversation. The mother of the student, who was sitting in the other room as she always did, eventually came around the corner and acknowledged that this was indeed an exciting afternoon. It turns out that the young man had started talking some at home a few weeks ago. The parents, however, did not anticipate that their son who had not spoken outside of their home for years would actually talk to his tutor.
The tutoring sessions continued, but the parents actually decided that the benefits of private school education, including much smaller teacher to student ratios, might provide the best learning environment. One hour a week of tutoring was not ever going to take the place of an entire school week, but the fact that the nonverbal student had started talking in a one on one setting was an indicator that making use of the benefits of private school education
might be in their best interest.
Families Select the Benefits of Private School Education for a Variety of Reasons
Consider some of these facts about why the benefits of private school education might be the perfect fit for your family and its unique situation:
- 86% of private schools have fewer than 300 students.
- 98% of 12th-graders enrolled in private schools around October 1, 2010 graduated by the fall of 2011.
- On average, private high schools are less than half the size of public schools.
- 30,861 private schools in America serve 5.3 million PK-12 students.
- 80% of parents who send their children to private schools are happy with academic standards.