"Springer has made a world of difference!" says Cynthia, the parent of a current sixth-grade student. "We are much happier!"
I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Leo’s mother, Cynthia, about their first year of experiencing Springer. Though this was Leo’s first year, they knew to expect something positive, because Leo has attended Adventures in Summer Learning since first grade. For five years, he enjoyed a four-week program that can be a hint of what a school year is like at Springer.
The family decided to enroll Leo in the Adventures program so that he could get a jump start for the next school year. This summer boost was tremendously helpful each and every year. Leo loved it because there were kids like him, struggling to learn. As the years went on, Cynthia and her husband began to question whether they should look into sending Leo to Springer for school. They asked professionals they encountered, they asked Leo’s current school, they asked friends, “Is it time? Should we send him to Springer?” And surprisingly, no one could or would give them an answer!
Then fifth grade happened. Cynthia had to brace herself each day for the afternoon and evening that was to come after school. She would spend four to five hours each evening supporting, managing, and teaching Leo, to get him through his homework. Cynthia said, “It was awful.” She knew that all the time spent didn’t ensure that he was really understanding or moving forward in his academics. In fact, his confidence took a hit during this time period. Dinners weren’t enjoyable for anyone – Leo had likely not finished his homework, Cynthia was a bit frustrated, Leo’s little sister had had hours of entertaining herself – anyone who walked in the room would feel the tension.
Sixth grade was a perfect time to consider the transition to Springer. Leo’s confidence needed a boost, and his parents knew he had always felt good about himself in the Adventures summer program.
Cynthia said, “I cannot even express what a night-and-day difference Springer has made for Leo. He was excited to come to Springer but very, very nervous.” Once Leo started at Springer, he was motivated by the idea of gaining “independence” – a Middle School program that rewards conscientious work with extra privileges. At his previous school, he wasn’t able to fill in his planner. At Springer, Leo has been able to accomplish keeping a planner and completing his homework, so that he earned “independence.” This made him very proud.
At his previous school, Leo was a hard worker and tried his best, but at Springer, he has been given strategies and tools that equip him to be successful. Cynthia said, “I am so impressed – now Leo asks questions when he needs to, and I’m confident that he’ll get his work done. I can do other things around the house."
"We are a much happier family. We can actually have dinner in a pleasant atmosphere. Leo isn’t crying anymore. He used to take all of my attention, but now I can give my younger daughter the attention she needs.”
One of the biggest successes for Leo is that he has tools and processes in place that support his learning. In math, for example, he has a list of questions that can lead him to a strategy for finding the right answer. He’s empowered to find answers for himself. Cynthia said that this transformation happened early on – so quickly that she almost didn’t believe that he could do so much on his own! His teachers constantly check for his understanding, and they avoid giving volumes of homework.
Cynthia offers this advice: “Just do it, and make Springer happen for your family. You can’t ever go wrong coming to Springer. They are always going to customize your child’s learning, and your child needs Springer! I love it…I love it…I am so thankful.”
Thanks, Cynthia for sharing your Springer Experience!