Educational model using the most effective research-based reading, writing and spelling curriculums for dyslexic students.
Creating a school for dyslexic children is very important for me on a personal level. I have experienced the frustration and anxiety of what a dyslexic person goes through in the public school system, because I am severely dyslexic. Many of the parents of our students also understand the frustration of their children because they also are dyslexic. I am resolved to create an atmosphere lacking the embarrassment, frustration, and anxiety that comes with being dyslexic in a public school.
EMA believes that the traditional education model creates an atmosphere of frustration and anxiety, which creates emotional and behavioral problems for many of our children, especially those children that struggle. The traditional models have children competing with each other and schools also compete with other schools. This competition tears down the self-esteem of the struggling students, many of them never even experience the pride of being successful which is essential for the emotional development of the child. EMA’s educational model deemphasizes competition against other students and emphasizes individual gains. Children with disabilities need to know they can be successful in the same way non-handicapped children achieve the self-confidence they need to continue to make the educational gains. When that is achieved then students will like being in school, because learning is natural and not painful. A child with a reading disability often fights to stay home because of the embarrassment, frustration, anxiety, and not feeling accepted by the teacher and the other students. If education is going to be effective for the reading impaired child, they need to want to go to school. It is only natural for children to want to learn because of their inherent curiosity. Only when children are intellectually abused with statements like but not limited to, “they could read if they were not so lazy” or “how many times do I need to tell you the same thing”. They constantly hear how others are so smart because they read so well, leading them to believe that they are not smart. This deprives them of the confidence they need for a long and successful education. For that reason and others, EMA’s goal is to create a school where a quality education is accessible to children with language and literacy disabilities. EMA is committed to providing the very best program for these students. It is comprehensive in that it not only deals with improving reading levels, but also maintains grade appropriate levels in computer skills, social studies, science and math, while at the same time building confidence in student’s self-esteem. The ultimate goal is to provide an appropriate education in an environment that is anxiety-free.
Zach Osbrach started the first free public charter school for dyslexic students in the United States in 1999. Zach named the school, Einstein Montessori School to be symbolic of Albert Einstein’s educational history with respect to his education and how dyslexia affected his ability to learn. Zach wanted children to understand that many successful people had disabilities and overcame their problems by seeking out an educational system, which matched their natural abilities and also treated their disabilities. Albert Einstein’s history represented just that. When Albert initially attended a public school in Germany that focused on rote memory, Albert did very poorly. Some of the educators at school thought Albert to be slow and even possibly retarded, simply because he didn’t learn in the way they taught. Albert Einstein’s parents sought out the right educational model for young Albert. They moved Albert to a school in Switzerland. His new school in Switzerland deemphasized rote memory and focused on critical thinking, which was the opposite of what he was getting in the German public school he attended. Young Einstein for the first time in his education started to do well and absorb education like a sponge. Zach understood that there needed to be an educational model for children like Albert. He believes that children that are right brained dominant, need to be in an educational model that deemphasized rote memory and emphasizes critical and creative thinking. This model uses Socratic questioning and hands-on curriculum to help build the students natural ability to think creatively. Zach believes that teaching creativity will bring out the hidden genius.