Skip to main content

Parenting

As you probably know, I have three boys.  They are seventeen, thirteen, and eleven.  They are absolutely nothing alike.  The oldest is self-motivated, driven, and somewhat introverted.  Good grades come easily for him. He plays on the golf team. My middle son is motivated (by ME), driven (by ME), and is the Pied Piper when it comes to friends.  He gets good grades but isn't willing to work as hard as his brother. He plays competitive basketball.  My youngest is self-motivated, wants to do well, and is definitely an extrovert.  However, he has to work hard for his grades.  He plays baseball and basketball.  

Having three boys who are so different has also helped me appreciate my students unique personalities and strengths.   Over the years I have had many siblings in my classes, and I make a point to NEVER compare them!  

Because my oldest son is a junior, we have started to talk about college.  Although he claims he is going to become a gold miner instead of going to college, I am pretty certain he's just saying that to torture me!  I told him that once he realized that there were no In n Outs within driving distance, he'd come running home. We currently  live within walking distance of Cal State San Marcos, but he has no desire to go there!  Darn!  That would save us a lot of money and maybe I could quit teaching before I turn eighty!.  Last year I envisioned him going to a school like Stanford or UCLA.  Now I am not so sure.    I figured with his grades and extra-curricular activities, he'd get in.  However,  looking at the admission rates, I'd say his chances of being admitted are slim to none.  Only a small percentage of students get into these schools. At first I was pretty stressed about it, but now I am beginning to wonder if it really matters that much where he goes.

All of this has led me to question many things?  Is it worth it to put so much pressure on our children to get good grades?  Is it really worth it for a child to take three or four AP classes at a time?  Is it worth it  for children to miss out on time with family and friends because they are so swamped with homework?  I am sure you can tell what my answer would be to these questions.  

As a mom, I really have just a few wishes for my children.  I want them to be happy and kind people, and I want them to contribute to society.  Where they end up going to college doesn't really matter to me.  In fact, they may even choose to go to a trade or technical school, and that's okay.  I am a firm believer in "Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life."  I want my children to be passionate about whatever path they take in life...just like me!

I will always encourage my children to do their best.  I will always encourage them to challenge themselves.  However, I will not encourage them to put so much pressure on themselves that they are anxiety ridden, stressed-out people who do not enjoy life.  Nor will I put undo pressure on them to be something I want them to be.  

Would it be wonderful to have a child who went to Stanford or UCLA?  Of course it would!  However, just because a child  ends up at a school like SDSU  does not mean they will be a failure in life!

I came across this article this weekend which was very reassuring to me.  I hope you will read it. Of course, it is just one person's  perspective.

Looking at the admission rates, only a small percentage of students get into these schools.


Popular posts from this blog

Oreos in China and Read 180

A few years ago I read an article about what happened when Kraft introduced the Oreo to the Chinese in 1996.  It was not a success.  The Chinese thought the filling was too sweet-the cookie too bitter.  Kraft almost pulled the beloved cookie off the shelves. Instead, they began a quest to find out how to make the Oreo appeal to the Chinese. Enter the green tea Oreo, the mango Oreo, and an Oreo in the shape of a straw (not sure that still qualifies as an Oreo).  The revamped Oreos were a huge success! I found the article fascinating and decided to design a lesson around  it to share with my students.

First I showed them a news clip from CNN about the topic. Then, I taught them a few vocabulary words that appear in the article using Kate Kinsella's method.  Next, we read the article together and marked the text. I did a think aloud as I read aloud to them.  After that, students created a T-Chart listing the ten most important words in the text, as well as five main ideas from the tex…

Bottle Flipping

Last week someone posted article on Facebook about the newest trend with middle schoolers-bottle flipping.  If you haven't heard of it, you probably don't teach middle school or have a child in middle school! Consider  yourself lucky! If you know about it, then you also know it's annoying as heck.  Kids (usually boys), toss a partially filled water bottle into the air so that it flips in midair.  The goal is to have the bottle land upright.  This year I have had to ask several students to put their water bottles away because they wanted to flip them.  I know,  I'm mean!  



After reading the Facebook article I thought, "Hey!  I bet I can incorporate this into a lesson somehow."  Using my Oreo lesson as a model, that's just what I did.  First, I found two different articles about bottle flipping.  I went through both looking for key vocabulary words.  I then typed out the sentences with the words and created an activity where students had to guess the definit…

How to Train, Tame, and Enjoy a Seventh-Grader

I remember when my oldest son went to middle school.  I was a mess.  I was so anxious about whether he'd like his teachers, make friends, and be able to handle all of the work.  I think I was one of those parents that drive teachers crazy. No, I WAS one of those parents. I emailed teachers with questions that I could have asked my son (even when I asked him, I didn't trust his answer).  I checked his grades every day.  I constantly asked him whether or not he was caught up on homework. I asked him who he ate lunch with. If he didn't like a teacher, I wanted him transferred to another class.   If he messed up, I wanted to fix it.  If he didn't turn in an assignment on time, I wanted the teacher to let him turn it in late.  If he forgot his lunch, I wanted my husband to bring it to him (thankfully he refused). If he wasn't starting his homework when I thought he should,  I was practically putting the pencil in his hand and opening the textbook. In other words, I was …