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Old 12-03-2011, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,713,317 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
Encouragement is different than pressuring, browbeating, and punishing.

Working to the best of one's abilities is key. But not every child is capable of being an "A" student in all areas. Encouraging children to work to their highest potential is obviously a great thing to do, but parents get into trouble when they overestimate that potential. If my kid works her butt off and struggles to get a "B" I'm sure not going to berate her for not getting the "A," I'm going to let her know that I'm proud of her work.

Standards are fine, but not everyone is born with the same abilities.
Some of the parents of kids I teach need to read this. There is NOTHING wrong with a B in chemistry!!!

Seriously, it's my B students who really learn in my class. My A students just memorize well for tests, most of the time. Right now, about 20% of my students have earned A's (yes they earned them) but only three ask higher order questions. Sometimes they ask ones I can't even answer. (Seriously, if anyone can explain why mercury is liquid at room temperature while other metals are not, please PM me )

I was almost a straight A student in college and I can attest that the classes I got the B's in were the ones that really taught me something. The ones I got A's in I slept through. They were just too easy.

As long as my kids can look me in the eye and tell me they did their best, I'm ok with their grades.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Niagara Falls ON.
10,024 posts, read 10,140,888 times
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I raised 8 kids and I can tell you that there is really no right or wrong answer to this question. One of my kids is a Dr. with two specialities, one is a lawyer and I have two that never graduated highschool. I really think a lot of it is based on the characteristics that you are born with. One of my grandsons was born a scientist. He has been interested in his world and what makes it work since before he could talk. My son the Dr. was also just like that. I have no doubt at all that this kid will excel in school and probably end up with a PhD some day just because of who he is. I have another grandson who really seems to be interested in nothing but computer games. Books, the natural world, what makes things go and so on mean nothing to him. I can guarantee you that this boy will have a very hard time in school and will most likely not do well.

I think our biggest challenge as parents is to be able to help our kids develop that which is natural for them and to aviod trying to get a square peg into a round hole.

My youngest son was the worlds worst student. You just could not get worse. He often got an average of zero in some things. He is not lacking in intelligence though but was just one of those people who are not cut out for school. These same characteristics made him not cut out for modern life in general and I recognized early on that if he could not apply himself to something he had a natural interest in he would live his life as a bum at best.

I could see that there was one thing he could be very good at and it took me years of trying to get him just to try it before he did. It was like it was his last straw attempt to get himself out of the gutter and into a decent life.

It was sales I pushed him towards. He loves people and they like him. He's a major social butterfly and always has been one. Once he got a sales job his life has turned around 180 degrees. He's doing well, pays his bills, actually has gotten himself a car and most importantly feels good about himself for the first time in his life that was one long list of failure after failure.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,375,570 times
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I also think that if you are INVOLVED in you kids' lives and paying attention, you will be able to observe for yourself whether they are indeed putting in their best effort or mailing it in. A C that you worked hard for is very different than a C that you got because you blew the assignment off until the last minute and threw together something subpar so you wouldn't get an incomplete. But a parent keeping tabs on what you're doing with your time would know that.
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
427 posts, read 1,210,998 times
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I have to say I disagree a bit when it comes to most people on computers and tv. The direction that the world is going in, computer skills are important, but I do think that depending on age you can guide your kids to programs that are educatonal, or are creative. And I'm not against T.V. either, if your kids are active, it all depends on what you watch, it's crazy but an episode of magic school bus came in handy with my anatomy class the other day, and my little brother who is 6 can name animals I've never heard of from Diego, it's all about balance.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Central Florida
973 posts, read 1,441,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Percentage View Post
Read the post i responded to carefully and then read mine, AGAIN! She said she'd rather her kid get a C in AP Chemistry than an A in food class. What i was arguing is that with a little more effort on both the kid and her part, her child would be capable of getting an A in both classes. Your story about kids committing suicide is sad but has absolutely NOTHING to do with what we are discussing.
I did read ALL of your posts, but just quoted this last one....so to clarify as it IS part of what is being discussed:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Percentage View Post
I agree with everything but the statement in blue. Why shouldnt the kids be encouraged to make excellent grades. I wont tolerate that in my home. The children than earn all As do not have two heads on their neck so i will work hard to ensure my child(ren) maximize their potential.
What you are saying here to me is that you will not tolerate (and that is a very strong word) anything below an A. Or am I misinterpreting it?

AND
Quote:
Originally Posted by Percentage View Post
I dont follow. Are you implying that the straight A students dont have a full understanding of the subject matter? mm ok, i'll leave that alone. But FYI, there are children that earn A+ in the same AP Chemistry or Calculus classes you are referring to, why are you setting the standards so low for your child(ren)?
For some students, a C or a B is not a low standard, especially in an AP class where perhaps, chemistry is not the forte of the student, but the parents or school (if the child is in a program such as AVID), forces the child to take it, or the child is taking 2-4 other AP classes AND is active in other things. So to me, getting an A in food prep if all the other classes are honors or AP, I would be fine with it.

I just wanted you to think about all that you are saying....for to be honest, that is what the parents of the two students who died felt as well. They felt they knew their child's potential better than their child and would not tolerate anything lower than an A. Are you ok with your children getting B's???? That is all I want to know.

Last edited by Sagitarrius48; 12-03-2011 at 12:35 PM..
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Central Florida
973 posts, read 1,441,582 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RebeccaLeigh View Post
I have to say I disagree a bit when it comes to most people on computers and tv. The direction that the world is going in, computer skills are important, but I do think that depending on age you can guide your kids to programs that are educatonal, or are creative. And I'm not against T.V. either, if your kids are active, it all depends on what you watch, it's crazy but an episode of magic school bus came in handy with my anatomy class the other day, and my little brother who is 6 can name animals I've never heard of from Diego, it's all about balance.
I agree with all that you said, but want to add that computer skills are different than spending hours surfing the net and on social network which is mostly what kids do.
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
16,490 posts, read 15,932,856 times
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Great responses, I'm glad that lucknow pointed out that different strategies may suit an individual child better than other strategies.
lucknow stated "I think our biggest challenge as parents is to be able to help our kids develop that which is natural for them and to aviod trying to get a square peg into a round hole."


On another topic.
Sunnysee stated, "Do not believe a teacher over your own kids. Realize that teachers, though they have a difficult job are not all there just out of their love for kids, but they are needing it for an income and don't side with them as if they are "the law." "

During my thirty plus year teaching career I have ran across far, far more parents (in my school in general, not my specific classroom) who blindly believe everything that their child says as opposed to totally believing everything that the teacher or principal says to them. Obviously, you need to look at each child and situation and get the facts straight.


I know that I am getting off topic, and I apologize in advance, but it is an area where I have quite strong opinions. I could give you numerous examples but this is one of the saddest ones in my experience. The longtime mid-day kindergarten bus-driver in my school was a loving, kind middle-aged woman. She treated the children just like her own grand-kids. One of the little girls started to put up a fuss and told her parents that she didn't want to ride on the bus anymore because she was "scared of the bus driver". The situation quickly exploded, the girl (possibly after a lot of parental questioning) told her parents that she thought "the driver was going to hurt or kill her". Her parents immediately called school board members and Central Office and to many of the parents in the neighborhood about the driver. The entire situation was a huge nightmare. It was also a huge puzzle because there had never been any complaints or problems with the bus driver in the years that she had done that job. In fact, she was very well liked by students, staff and other parents. The first parents, and then other parents, insisted that the driver be fired and lose her bus drivers license. In the unlikely event there was any truth to the matter the driver was immediately suspended without pay during the investigation. After several weeks a teacher remembered that they had once overheard the driver say to a student, "You are so sweet, I could just eat you up!" Apparently. the driver must have either said that to the FOUR YEAR OLD junior kindergarten student or to someone else on the bus and the little girl didn't understand the saying. The little four year old must have interpreted that to "eat you up" meant hurt and kill you. The end result was that the driver was asked back to work (but without all of those weeks of lost pay) and told NEVER to use that expression or even talk to the children on her bus. The driver felt that her reputation in the neighborhood was ruined and not only quit her job but felt forced to move away. Of course, a parent must always be concerned and proactive about their child's safety but this situation could have been handled in a much better way. The drivers whole life was turned upside down by a poor choice of friendly words.

In this case the parents totally believed their four year old daughter without checking first with the teacher or driver to see if there could have been some misunderstanding. There were several other incidents in later years in my school where the parents, again, blindly believed their child without getting all of the facts. Incidentally, the little girl tended to have quite an imagination. Maybe the junior kindergarten teacher should have called Protective Services when the girl told the class that she had 100 pet dogs in her living room and slept with 100 pet cats in her bedroom. But, the teacher realized that there probably was a logical explanation (it turned out that the family was house sitting an extra dog and cat in addition to their own dog and cat).
Again, I'm sorry that I'm slightly off topic but I feel that this is a very important issue.

To have your child succeed in school a parent doesn't blindly believe their child over the teacher OR blindly believe the teacher over their child but gets all of the facts to make an informed decision about the matter.
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,375,570 times
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There are many, many ways technology can be used efficiently as a learning tool. But it's naive to think that learning is the top priority if kids are just parked in front of TVs, computers, iPads, etc. for hours at a time as a babysitter, with no supervision or oversight.
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:56 PM
 
15,294 posts, read 16,849,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Seriously, if anyone can explain why mercury is liquid at room temperature while other metals are not, please PM me )
http://www.cengage.com/chemistry/boo....Ch07.CI08.pdf

The answer appears to have something to do with relativity. I don't quite understand this, but perhaps you will.
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Old 12-03-2011, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
427 posts, read 1,210,998 times
Reputation: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
There are many, many ways technology can be used efficiently as a learning tool. But it's naive to think that learning is the top priority if kids are just parked in front of TVs, computers, iPads, etc. for hours at a time as a babysitter, with no supervision or oversight.


Just a note I never said without supervision or oversight, or even implied that, I strongly believe that parents should take an active role in their childs education, My point was simply that computer time geared towards learning, may be a better idea than just limiting computer time. Computers are an important part of our world today, and by computer time i did not mean social media, but learning how to program, or how to edit a movie they make, there are tons of programs out there for kids that are fun and educational, and of course parents should be involved.
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