What is ELARP™?
ELARP™ stands for Explore, Label, Apply, Reason, Produce. It is a homeschooling method designed for students who need visual supports and hands on activities for learning. It also offers alternative ways to demonstrate knowledge for those students who don’t test well. It is particularly helpful for:
- Students who have lost interest in doing school.
EALRP Teaching Kits ease the student back into doing work that is fun and educational, but less stressful. Parents find that after starting the day with the Teaching Kit as a kind of warm up, they can move into doing their regular curriculum.
- Students who struggle with academic work in general.
The Teaching Kits are designed to lead the student through five stages of learning: Explore, Label, Apply, Reason, Produce. Each stage requires a higher level of thinking so after exploring the topic, you begin increasing the level of thinking required.
- Students who are two or more years behind in core academic subjects.
This is where the ELARP Method really shines. If you have a special needs child with moderate or severe disabilities, you already know how hard it is to find curriculum that works. Each Teaching Kit provides knowledge that is important for your child’s independence and participation in society. It is flexible, allowing you to teach any information and skill at your child’s level, K-12.
- Students who are on the curriculum carousel.
The ELARP Method works well for students who have trouble with traditional curriculum. It is adaptable to your child’s needs so you end up teaching the child, not the curriculum. And that’s why it works.
Features in every ELARP™ Teaching Kit
Every ELARP Teaching Kit is designed to help both student and teacher. Here’s what you will find:
- Three levels learning objectives. Having three levels of learning in the curriculum addresses the common problem of trying to teach a child with scatter skills. You can teach at any level in each area.
- Teaching tips. The tips are specific to things you will find in this Teaching Kit.
- Teacher’s Learning Lab. This is where you get background information you may need in order to teach the material in this kit or to teach special needs students in general.
- EXPLORE. Many special needs children skipped some of their developmental stages. They also struggle with communication, so they skip asking questions about the world around them. The EXPLORE stage gives you the opportunity to explore ideas and topics at your child’s current level of functioning. It is a great time to re-introduce the world to your child in a structured way.
- LABEL. Students who struggle learn best in context. Whether your child is learning reading, writing, spelling or vocabulary, it is important to take the time to allow your child to master these words. You will likely find they learn words—even words above their current level—faster and easier when they are taught in context. For the LABEL stage, focus on learning who, what, where and when. The LABEL stage is roughly equivalent to the Grammar stage in a classical education model (elementary school).
- APPLY. APPLY builds on the EXPLORE stage. Once you have explored a topic and understand related vocabulary, it’s time to look at how the world works. In this stage the activities are hands on with real world examples of what you are learning. The APPLY stage is roughly equivalent to the Logic stage in a classical education model (middle school).
- REASON. The REASON stage requires higher level thinking. It is roughly equivalent to the Rhetoric stage in a classical education model (high school). Even if your child is not high school age, it is okay to work through one or more levels. By working through the questions, you begin to model higher order thinking for your child.
- PRODUCE. The PRODUCE stage serves several purposes.
- The main purpose is to allow your child to work on a project as independently as possible to show mastery of the material.
- The second purpose is to have documentation for those who need to show proof of progress with a portfolio.
- The third reason to look for clues about your child’s likes, skills and natural abilities.
- Transition to Adulthood. To help in identifying potential paths after high school, I used the 8 Great Smarts (Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences). Although not perfect , it serves as a useful framework, especially if you are familiar with Kathy Koch’s book The 8 Great Smarts. As you work through the Teaching Kits, a pattern should emerge that will help you determine what to do with your child’s future after high school. I’ve included icons related to the 8 Great Smarts so you can easily identify the patterns over time.
- Teaching Tools. At the end of each Teaching Kit are materials you can use to teach such as flash cards, worksheets, graphic organizers and so on. The flash cards are meant for teaching, not drilling the student. Each flash card isolates a small unit of information to be digested, making it easier to learn.
- Certificates of Achievement. For both teacher and student. These are useful in several ways. There is one certificate for each level with the learning objectives listed on the certificate. You can use these 1) as a visual motivator and reward for your child, 2) as a tracking tool or proof of progress for state requirements, 3) for show and tell so others can talk to your child about what he is learning. You can take notes on the back for record keeping or yearbook. The teacher reward certificate allows you to pick a reward for yourself so when you finish a Teaching Kit, mom gets a little pat on the back, too.
If you’d like to learn more about the ELARP™ Method of homeschooling, sign up for the free webinar that explains it in detail. Once you understand how it all fits together, you’ll be able to give your child the precise learning environment and education he or she needs.