Since 1985, we have helped students get back on track and ready for college.
We often serve students with:
Mild Learning Differences are very common at Bending Oaks, from reading or math comprehension difficulties to mild Asperger’s. Students with learning differences get the benefit of maximum individual attention without sacrificing the group discussion aspect of learning. The personal attention ensures that every student is grasping the material and facilitates the process of helping each student get a better understanding of “how they learn” and how to find academic success. Daily guidance and ongoing interventions help the student to realize their full potential and gain the confidence to further their education post high school.
Depression and/or Anxiety
Adolescence is a difficult time, where students learn to navigate a complicated world. Teens can find themselves overwhelmed with the social changes and other pressures that they face on a daily basis, resulting in a teen who shuts down socially and/or academically. Bending Oaks provides a safe environment with far fewer of these stressors and gives students the guidance they need to mature and make peace with all of the changes that are happening around them. Both parents and students consistently report immediate stress relief upon entering the program at Bending Oaks, often stating that they only wish they knew about us years ago.
Motivation is a major issue for many teens and their families. The battle on the homefront to motivate an unmotivated student can place a huge stress on the whole family system and can damage relationships. Bending Oaks aims to take that stress off the family by taking over that responsibility of motivating the student. We have a very common sense approach to encourage motivation which removes parents as the “bad guys,” thus allowing home relationships to flourish while we gradually help the student find their motivation from within.
Teens who experience gender discomfort often find themselves feeling unhappy, lonely and isolated from their peers. They may feel social pressure to conform or they may even face bullying or harassment. Their discomfort about being male or female may affect their self-esteem and their performance at school and even their health. At Bending Oaks we recognise that is is so important that students not suffer in silence. We pride ourselves on our accepting and supportive environment where students can be themselves without any fear.
School phobia, school avoidance and school refusal are terms that describe an anxiety disorder in children and teens who have an irrational, persistent fear of going to school. Their behavior is different from children who are truant and express no apprehension about missing school, as the behavior is due to emotional distress. Often students in this category end up attempting online school, often resulting in not only academic failure, but even greater social isolation. School avoidance is often the result of or connected to anxiety disorder, depression, learning disability, sleep disorder, separation anxiety or panic disorder which may or may not be directly tied to school, but most certainly affects it.
Homework avoidance conflict is something many parents accept as an unavoidable consequence of responsible parenting. These battles, rarely result in improved learning or performance in school, instead they tend to lead to vicious cycles of nagging by parents with little or no improvement. Our ultimate goal at Bending Oaks is to help students enjoy learning and develop age appropriate discipline and independence with respect to their school and homework. We work to understand each students frustrations and put in place structure that helps them to work through their frustration, to develop increments of frustration tolerance and self-discipline.
Social Isolation Issues
Isolation affects teenagers in a number of different ways and with varying degrees of severity. Isolation from peers can have a marked impact on school adjustment. It may be difficult to focus on schoolwork and having limited relationships with peers denied the chance for valuable learning experiences, leaving the student further isolated. Friendship skills can be taught through activities in a healthy and safe environment such as Bending Oaks. Through the experience at Bending Oaks students gain valuable social skills leading classmates to see the student in a more appealing light.
Traditional or Online School Failure
Online education is not being expanded because it has been demonstrated to be good for students. It has been demonstrated to be cheaper. U.S. taxpayers will spend hundred’s of millions this year alone on online schools that are largely failing their students. Millions are going to K-12 online schools for students who are no longer there, the countless online dropouts. Easily half of online students end up leaving within a year. When they do they’re often further behind than when they started. Online schools produce three times as many drop-outs as they do graduates, that’s the reverse of the national average… something doesn’t add up!
Traditional schools are not for all students. Students who struggle with any issue in the article know this, but online schools are proving to be a fast track to a hopeless situation for too many students.
Time consuming after-school activities/appointments
Studies have shown that homework does play a role in building skills that equip young people to be more efficient and motivated students and prepare them for 21st century careers. By completing homework, students gain soft skills such as greater self-direction, self-discipline, organization, and more independent problem solving. Bending Oaks has created a system of mini homework assignments that are relevant, and engaging lessons that address a variety of study skills, from reading for meaning to budgeting to selecting colleges. Students feel that they are getting more for their time and gaining skills that will be useful as they progress toward college, careers, and independent life. Studies have also shown that most colleges are very interested in the activities that students participate in beyond the school day. That’s because the things you do in your free time reveal a lot about you - in ways that grades and test scores can’t. Accomplishments outside the classroom show what you are passionate about and that you have qualities valued by colleges. So to some extent, put down the books and get out there!! The homework plan at Bending Oaks gives students the opportunity to balance minimal homework with maximum activities, because of our small class size and our Homework Philosophy.
Desires to make positive changes
Being a teen can be overwhelming. There is no other point in life when so many physical, emotional and social changes are taking place at the same time. Teens can find themselves stuck in unhealthy patterns of thinking and behaviors that are at best unproductive, and at worst, stifling. Change can be scary and involves risk. In order to make positive changes, we must feel confident and capable and believe the changes we make will improve our quality of life. Bending Oaks provides an atmosphere where students can navigate the world around them with the necessary guidance, that a small nurturing environment can provide. It can be difficult to be consistently positive in every situation. Growing up in society today is challenging and teens are often compelled to be defensive. Teens are not known for their compassionate attitude and competition and jealousy can be huge factors in the teen life. Some students handle adversity very well while others are quick to build a defensive wall. Bending Oaks aims to help each student tear down the walls, build confidence and success in the shortest time span possible.
Desires to attend college while in high school
Bending Oaks has partnered with the Dallas County Community College District so that our students can take classes at several campuses for dual credit, at no additional cost (other than textbooks). Students can usually begin taking classes for dual credit during the summer between 10th and 11th grades and anytime after that, including the semester after graduation. Dual credit means that students earn both high school and college credit for the same class! Around a third of all Juniors and half of all Seniors at Bending Oaks are enrolled concurrently at community college. Students graduate with anywhere from 3 college credit hours to 40 plus college credit hours, depending on how quickly and seriously they take the challenge! Students attend college classes, but have the support of the Bending Oaks teaching staff when necessary to help with college assignments. Students get the chance to attend actual college classes which gives them experience and confidence that Honors and AP classes do not necessarily provide. Students graduate high school with some or all of their undergraduate core college curriculum completed.
A need for a fresh start or a soft place to land
For so many of the above reasons, students come to Bending Oaks for a fresh start, but more importantly, a soft place to land. When school has been the source of stress or any other area of life has caused a great amount of stress or chaos, it feels impossible to get a fresh start. Opinions have been formed, this year’s teacher knows you by the reputation that precedes you. No matter what, a clean slate in just not in the cards. Students are often encouraged by therapists to change the school environment to give an opportunity for a fresh start, that is just not possible in the current situation. If a fresh start is what your student needs, you should consider Bending Oaks.