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Principal Pat Henderson reads to students at First Baptist School. (Enterprise file photo)
Principal Pat Henderson reads to students at First Baptist School. (Enterprise file photo)

Back to School: Getting ahead of the competition with extra training in the off-season

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news Park Rapids, 56470

Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Aidan is in fourth grade. He likes Science and Social Studies, but doesn't do well in English or Math. He'd love to get some help, but the teacher seems busy, and he doesn't want to feel dumb by admitting he doesn't understand. Every test puts him a little farther behind, and he ends fourth grade with a 70 percent on his Math and a 66 percent on his English. These aren't great grades, but they are enough to move him on to the next grade.

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Of course, fifth grade is even more difficult, and so Aidan slips a little farther behind. He finds it hard to listen to this new teacher, so Aidan ends that year with a 63 percent on his Math and a 59 percent on his English. This is abysmal, of course, but since he did well in Science, Gym, and Social Studies, he is allowed to move on.

Do you get where this is going? By the time Aidan is in his senior year, he will have a comprehension of 60-80 percent of what he has learned. According to one statistic, 20 percent of high school seniors can be classified as functionally illiterate.

This is not a problem, it is an epidemic. Epidemics need cures.

One solution might be to create an environment where distractions are fewer. Bullying is a major cause of bad grades, but this can be fixed when a school teaches character and enforces rules. Principles of treating one another well and respecting authority should be taught to our children, which would produce students who could focus on their work.

Another solution is education that is suited specifically for an individual student. Students should learn to make goals for themselves and work at a pace that suits them, not at a pace that is frustrating and leaves them behind. Students should get the individual help they need throughout the day, not just at the end of the day, when all they want to do is get home.

First Baptist Christian School is the solution for many.

First Baptist Christian School has existed for almost four decades as a school offering quality education that emphasizes both academics and character. Every morning, students set goals for themselves in their own offices. They work during the day through individual workbooks of 25-40 pages at their own pace. At the end of each workbook is a test. If the student cannot obtain an 80 percent, they receive a new copy of the workbook they just went through; there is no moving on until the information inside the workbook has been mastered. No other student knows that they haven't passed because the education is private.

Students who do struggle with a subject receive personal tutoring and help during the time that they need it.

Breaks are provided for students, as well as incentives for good behavior. FBCS considers themselves a partner with parents, and so tries to communicate well so that parents know a child's progress. FBCS is structured, which provides stability for students who work best when there are well-defined guidelines. Above all, First Baptist Christian School seeks to teach boys and girls the life-changing principles of the Bible.

For more information, visit www.fbcpr.org/school. htm, call 732-3321, or e-mail school@fbcpr.org. Refer to our website for our non-discrimination policy and handbook.

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