5 tips to support your student at Challenger School

Good Things Utah

The Utah Region Director of Challenger School, Yvonne Spencer, joined us in the studio to talk to us about 5 different tips to help support your students. Yvonne has worked at Challenger School for many years at all levels, and has an in-depth knowledge of what works well with children and why.

Start Early – Windows of Opportunity

The remarkable, rapid development of a child’s brain creates unique windows of opportunity— a child’s brain processes certain stimuli best at certain times. For example, the brain processes visual cues during the ages of 2 months to 2 years. Then, the door slams shut. If the brain does not get enough stimulation, it will not develop as well as it could. Language centers in the brain slowly close down between the ages of 6 and 11. The best window for learning auditory-verbal connections (phonics) is now—before age six.


Students must be challenged in realistic and attainable steps. When they succeed and achieve, they experience the Joy of Learning. 

Thinking and Conceptual Teaching 

The Challenger School teaches with Whys and Hows, not just Whats. Students learn to make the connections to other concepts—to see the whole picture, rather than memorizing random, concrete facts. For example, phonics is a method for teaching reading that connects with spelling, reading skills, grammar, and composition skills. 

Individualism and Americanism

Challenger teaches children to recognize their individuality and responsibility and emphasizes in upper grades how these tie in with Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Teacher and student interaction

The in-person interaction and relationship between student and teacher allows for a feedback loop by which a teacher discerns how well the student understands. The child begins to develop the skill of communicating their knowledge, thoughts and ideas using words, developing vocabulary and confidence. This is not possible watching phonics videos. Developing social-relating skills also requires students to communicate and mingle, playing and working and cleaning up together.

For more information on Challenger School visit challengerschool.com

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