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Parents ask schools superintendent for languages
Original post made
on May 1, 2008
Parents and schools' Superintendent Kevin Skelly faced off at a public forum Wednesday over including foreign languages in the district's Strategic Plan.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Thursday, May 1, 2008, 4:48 PM
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Posted by unsolicited advice,yet more
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 7, 2008 at 7:05 am
Ok, "Challenge is good" doesn't have kids in school, and never did.
Proof? the "40 hours per week in school" part.
No kid is in school 40 hours per week, even private schools...
CJ and whoever else figures this is "envy" talking when I tried to give a perspective on aging kids, and figured I didn't have a "gifted" kid (God how I hate that term).
Be careful what you wish for. In this area, the problem is not trying to figure out how to "challenge" your kid enough in grade school, but how to not let him or her burn out from the ever increasingly challenging and competitive atmosphere that will push him or her more than you can possibly imagine, even more than you are doing at home. Your job at home needs to be to teach your kid to lighten up.
Again, I advise, lighten up, enjoy your kid, teach balance, perspective, fun, and how to deal with the pressure to be perfect in a real world where at some point your kid will no longer be "the perfect star".
There is a reason some kids crack up when they hit the MITs of the world. They were used to being the perfect star in a school, only to realize that they are just another average brilliant kid at a top school. This "gifted" thing is a destructive thing to put on a kid. Teach work ethic, perspective, pride in working well on the project or work habits for the test, not so much pride in the actual grade.
WHAAAAAAT? I can hear the younger parents scream. I mean that if your kid is indeed brilliant, and s/he gets "easy As" with minimal work, then s/he learns pride in results...which means that when s/he finally hits a point where s/he has to actually WORK for the results, like mere mortals had to do from the beginning of their education, s/he can feel like an abysmal failure. S/he never developed the internal sense of self and pride that comes for work habits, getting praise for the grade instead of the character and work habits that the rest of the kids develop.
This is the equivalent of the girl getting praise for her beauty, then when it becomes to fade or something happens to scar her face, she falls apart.
The emphasis on pride in what you are born with, like beauty or brains, instead of praise from parents on what you DO with what you are born with, can be very destructive.
Example...when my daughter came home with an A on a math exam that I knew she hadn't studied for, but a B on a science exam that I knew she had spent hours studying for, she was surprised that I told her how proud I was of her B. It was a great learning moment for me to help her learn pride in her ACTIONS.
And then there was my son, who was brilliant in all ways, academically driven.....all As, constant praise from everyone for how "smart" he was. My lone voice of praise for his hard work ( and hard work he also did), his good heartedness, character...all that was drowned out by the adulation he got for his results and natural ability.
The "result" was that my gifted son ended up finally hitting a point where he "challenged himself" to the point of not getting all As on EVERY test, of not being "the best" in everything, not being "perfect"..and hit an absolute wall of losing his sense of self.
So, be careful CJ and others pushing for their "gifted" kid in elementary school. Talk to the teacher, talk to the principal if you don't like the results, maybe have your kid use some of his "bored" time using his natural gifts to help the struggling kids, maybe using some of his "bored" time developing word or math games or puzzles if s/he is "gifted" in one of these areas, (in other words, get creative)..and then, ENJOY YOUR CHILD.