Young people often learn more from experiences than in the classroom. They feel more empowered by learning new skills and performing in front of others than by getting a good grade on a test. While core classes teach students how to develop critical thinking skills, creative electives offered at therapeutic schools motivate students to feel enthusiastic about their achievements.
As a year-round, therapeutic boarding school, Asheville Academy offers core classes four days a week and rotating arts electives on Fridays that help them transition from an academic environment to recreational activities offered over the weekend. With small class sizes, teachers can provide opportunities for hands-on learning. For example, holding class outside, playing educational games, and using the campus environment as a science lab. This helps bring a “real world” element to the material taught in class that keeps students engaged.
Many middle schoolers struggle to find their niche in a classroom setting and are anxious about their academic performance. They may feel pressure to succeed before they are prepared to think about their academic goals. This can lead to negative beliefs about their potential. Every student has a unique learning style but middle schoolers with learning disorders struggle to embrace their academic strengths. Depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem can affect their ability to stay present in the classroom and their motivation to complete tasks and dive into interesting topics.
Therapeutic schools aim to help students become more engaged in the classroom experience by helping them build a strong foundation of study skills and introducing them to a variety of creative electives to boost their motivation and self-esteem.
Expressive Arts As a Therapeutic Approach
Art is a powerful form of self-expression that is incorporated into a variety of healing practices. Many of our group activities are centered around artistic expression. Art can be a way to explore one’s emotions and communicate nonverbally. Electives offered at Asheville Academy include elements of expressive arts as a therapeutic approach. Aside from being very fun, these classes help students expand their minds in ways the “common core” can not.
Elements of expressive arts include:
- Movement is the foundation for many expressive arts as it improves the mind-body connection by building somatic awareness and lessening physical tension. Dance, yoga, and other physical activities can help young girls build a better relationship with their bodies and become more aware of their emotions.
- Sound. Music can significantly impact one’s emotions and boost one’s mood. Learning how to play an instrument involves a lot of trial and error, but encourages girls to overcome performance anxiety.
- Storytelling. Between English classes and Theater classes, students learn how to write stories and perform them for others. This can empower them share their own stories.
- Silence. By practicing mindfulness, students are more engaged in the classroom environment. Since we have incorporated mindfulness into academic programming, students have experienced an increase in their ability to process information, focus, collaborate with peers, and work through strong emotions in the classroom.
Asheville Academy offers elective courses on a rotating basis based on student interest. Common electives that students can earn credit for include art, music, theater, and physical education.
Asheville Academy Can Help
Asheville Academy is a therapeutic boarding school for girls ages 10-14 who struggle with learning, behavioral, and emotional diagnoses. This program is social, emotional, and academically focused in order to empower girls to move forward. We help girls transition smoothly back into their home and school life. Students gain a greater sense of confidence, ability to manage emotions, and the skills to communicate effectively. We can help your family today!
Contact us at 800-264-8709 to learn more about our academic programming.
Cat brings more than thirty years of experience making an impact in the lives of adolescents. Cat has developed multiple programs helping children, teens, and young adults in a variety of settings and with a diverse range of diagnoses. She has dedicated her career to behavioral health and is honored to be part of the passionate team at Asheville Academy. She recognizes how delicate this age is and is proud of the role she and her team play in helping girls grow and prosper.