Joshua is a 10-year-old boy and in grade 4. He attends a mainstream school. He mostly keeps to himself and keeps busy by playing on his own, as technology is almost always what intrigues children these days.
I noticed early on in his school days that he was struggling with words, however, I thought it was part of how he was growing and developing while in his learning environment. We considered getting in the help of a psychologist, if it were part of a psychological problem. Little did we as parents know that this was the start of a long journey of more learning challenges that were going to stand in Joshua’s way of expressing his inner knowledge.
He was unable to concentrate for long and he struggled to read. One word took him a few seconds to get through and even then, he could not really say what he had just spelled out. This affected his character as a young boy. He is a shy child and because he was not able to read and understand, his marks was also not good in maths and other subjects. I always knew he struggled with reading, but I always hoped it would get better as he progressed. When I got the results of his term 1, grade 4 exams, it confirmed my initial suspicions. This is when I started realising that I would not be able to help Joshua. My husband and I work 8-hour days and parents do not get coaching on helping children get through a grade. I tried my best to help Joshua, but I knew he was not getting better. As a parent, you are shocked when all of a sudden you get a report card with such low marks, and I thought that in the upcoming exams he was not going to pass. That’s when I started looking for help. I started to Google and ask around for help, to get Joshua in a program so that he could have a fair chance of being better and prepared for future exams — a program to equip him with the necessary learning skills.
During the time spent at Edublox, there has been a big change and I see a confident child. Joshua is more spontaneous, and he talks with much more certainty. The first time he came from the Edublox class, I asked him: “Joshua, how was it?” He replied: “Mommy, I like the class better than my school.” He also said that if it’s possible, he would like to be in this class on a daily basis. With the help of Edublox my child has grown from a 10-year-old boy who shies away from anything that has to do with spelling or reading to, as they say, “packing the bull by the horns”. His self-esteem is better and there has been a a very big improvement in reading and spelling. Joshua still struggles a bit, but he has the courage and the necessary learning tools to know how to resolve a problem.
Tests were a big challenge for Joshua. When he came home from school and said they were going to write a test, I could see how stressed and worried he was. Being Joshua’s mom, I immediately felt anxious and felt that I had to do something to help him. The Edublox program allows for a daily word test to be written. In the afternoons, when I picked Joshua up from the Edublox learning centre, he was super excited to show me his test results. Almost every time he got full marks, which for me as a parent is an indication that emotional and learning growth has taken place. Not only can I see that in his test results, it is also visible in his everyday tasks at home that he does with so much pride.
I have to admit, I was anxiously awaiting my son’s results for the exams that was written post Covid-19. I knew that I was not the only parent who thought their kids were not going to make it. Especially if your child has faced learning challenges for so long. And I was worried, for Joshua has only been with the Edublox learning centre for a short while. However, he has proven that even if all the odds are against you, and it seems that there is no hope, sacrifice, a good support system and Edublox will help you to be better in all your learning curves.
When lockdown started, the kids were not yet prepared for the new school year. Joshua was given work to do, but due to him not being able to read the instructions on the worksheets, it was challenging. The kids were given a magnitude of work to do at home and they also had to adjust to not being in a school or classroom setup. This was a challenge on its own. Joshua would start to do the work and then, all of a sudden, it was as if he got stuck and did not know which way to turn for help. After being with the Edublox learning centre for only 2 weeks, Joshua was able to read, on his own, the two instructions on the pages sent through by his teacher — still with difficulty, but he knew he first had to understand what he needed to do before starting to write.
Emotionally I see major growth. Joshua takes on more challenges where his learning and confidence is concerned. He is also more secure in decision making. In the past I would ask him a question like, “Do you want to do this reading on your own?” Normally he would say, “No mommy, you know I can’t read.” Now he is eager and steadfast in what and how he wants to address a problem. His problem-solving skills have improved, and I can see a happy child getting a fair chance to develop from the inside out and being his best self.
Joshua received his report card the second week they went back to school. I have to admit, I was fearful to open the envelope. During the waiting period for the results of the exams, we have prepared Joshua that he might not pass. We told him that there is no pressure and, whatever the results are, we would be okay with that. I assured him that not passing is simply a chance to do better when you write the next exams. Luckily for us, Edublox equipped Joshua with enough learning tools to prepare and write his exams with confidence and pride. Joshua passed with improved percentages of up to 50% in his subjects.
Joshua still has room for growth and improvement. His reading is still showing difficulties. Spelling and reading in English second language is still challenging.
I know that there is no on/off switch to help a child improve in learning, and that is why I trust the Edublox team to help Joshua. The tutors are helpful and kind to Joshua, and create an environment of professionalism where deep learning growth can take place. I can see many other positive developments in my child. His communication has gotten better. In the time it took to read one word, he can now read 3 – 4 sentences. The way he is able to study for his exams has changed. He can focus longer. In his Afrikaans home language he is still struggling with some words, but he wants to get better.
Not only has his marks improved, he also has a drive to do problem-solving and be confident in his choices when it comes to his schoolwork.
Yolanda & Jeremy Plaatjies