Tips for Struggling Students from Plymouth’s Brightmont Academy

A new-to-you nontraditional school is now offering one-to-one student instruction for K–12 in Plymouth.

Parents seeking another option for their child’s education are now being offered just that in Plymouth.
Brightmont Academy is the first of its kind in Minnesota, although the concept is simple: One experienced teacher works with one student throughout every learning session, which could be for a semester or for a shorter period of time during the school year.
Started 14 years ago in Washington State, the franchised program has a track record of success, expanding into 8 campuses in 4 states since then.
Officially opened in Plymouth on September 30, Brightmont is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission, which means credits awarded by Brightmont Academy are accepted for college admission and that high school diplomas achieved are recognized by colleges and universities.
Founder and director of instruction Ruth Wilson sees an overwhelming upside in not only Brightmont’s approach, but also in the diversity of its offerings.
“At Brightmont, individualized learning supports students with a wide range of learning needs for those who have learning challenges, those who want to accelerate or those who need a flexible school schedule,” Wilson says. “Every moment of learning is customized to meet the goals and styles of each student. This means teachers vary pace, learning materials and approach to match what will work best for each student. We also offer test prep and tutoring for K-12 students.”

Plymouth’s campus director Brett Wedlund offers these mid-year school tips, applicable to many kids.

Checklist for a Struggling Student

•    Students and parents are often frustrated when their efforts to improve grades fail. Many have found that raising grades is often not as simple as “trying harder” or “spending more time” on a class. To better understand what might be going on and help your student turn things around, follow this checklist to implement strategies toward improvement. 

•    Homework—Try to determine if completing homework is the problem, and consider incorporating a few of these ideas:  

•    Homework tracker—Find a method to organize and track your student’s progress. Daily planners, mobile apps and Microsoft Office templates are all appropriate methods for tracking homework. Be sure to choose a tracking method that is natural for the student to use.
o    Time management—Discuss some ideas for effectively managing time, such as setting a specific quiet time each evening.
o    Schedule follow-up time—Once your student has tracked the work they need to complete and set aside time to get it done, it is important to follow up with them and make sure the work has been completed.

•    Projects—Sometimes students have the most difficulty completing longer, more open-ended assignments.
o    Create a timeline—Break the assignments into smaller, more manageable steps; use these to develop a timeline that works for your student. 
o    Plan ahead—Talk with your child when you begin to see their progress falter with big projects. You should also ask them which steps on the timeline they expect will cause them problems and why.
o    Brainstorm ideas—Come up with ideas together about how to address any challenges they might expect with this project before they get started. 

•    Concepts—Determine whether or not a student is having trouble grasping the information or if it’s related to the teaching style or pace of instruction. 
o    Talk with the teacher—If your student truly does not understand the content of a course, it is a good idea to discuss this with a teacher. This will allow you to address whether or not your student has the necessary prior knowledge for the course, while also addressing strategies to help the student grasp the course material.
o    Address challenges—If he or she doesn’t have the skills needed, improve them with one-to-one tutoring, or re-start them in a course to relearn the progressive concepts.
o    Understand learning style—Make sure students recognize their own learning style strengths and develop study strategies that draw on those strengths to improve comprehension.

Tuition at Brightmont Academy is based on the specific needs of a student and dependent upon enrollment options utilized. Interested families are encouraged to call campus director Brett Wedlund to schedule a visit and set up a tour of the campus to see one-to-one instruction in person. 763.452.4650.