Some kids have a different sort of classroom environment in these summer months.
As Heidi Werosta reports, it’s much bigger, dirtier, and you should wear boots….but it sure serves a purpose.
Horses can’t just be used for riding. They also help kids learn how to read.
“What does it start with?”
“C ca ca C,” says Aubrey Meier, student.
Aubrey Meier is developing her reading skills while on horseback.
Her teacher, Katie Oakland, says learning on horseback has it’s perks.
Katie Oakland, owner of TR 4 Heart and Soul, says,”They really have a hard time just sitting studying flashcards.”
Kids are reigning in the alphabet while using all of their senses.
Oakland says, “Every time you’re working with a new letter or a new sound. You’re not only using your physical touch, your smell, and that reading recognition, but your crossing mid-line the whole entire time.”
It’s an engaging way to get young riders to read.
Right now there are 5 students in the reading program, with a goal — of being better readers not riders.
She’s says it worked for her own son.
Oakland adds, “We started this program last December and he is now at grade level with reading.”
Oakland comes from a teaching background in special education.
She says every helper here is a volunteer.
Arianna Even has watched the kids transform from being shy to having the time of their life all while learning.
“You can see that they become more confident with their riding and they just have more fun learning,” says Even, a volunteer.
Oakland says, “Do you want to learn the letters on HotRod?
“Yeah,” Meier shouted.
Soon enough maybe Aubrey will be learning words instead of letters before the next school year.
TR 4 Heart and Soul also has a therapeutic riding program.
One of the students is 90 plus years old — the youngest is 4.