Doesn't that just make you want to read further?
(Insert a big sigh.)
I am so very thankful that we moved my daughter to a smaller school this year. The teachers are downright astounding with her. She loves being at her school, and other than having "8th grade-itis", which I am assured by her Science teacher is a real thing, she's done very well this year.
And then there is Math.
We are blessed, and I'm not using that word lightly, with a fantastic Math teacher and a curriculum that has helped my daughter perform better than 7th grade - and yet . . . I'm just hoping we finish the school year alive.
Is it OK to say Math is just not her thing? Or is that a cop out? She works with the teacher one-one-one, has the option of taking her math tests untimed and seems to understand the work in practice. But come test time we always have a big dose of "Well, that didn't go as well as we'd hoped."
I recall hearing John Maxwell speak on the topic of weaknesses. He said the exact opposite of everything I've ever believed about how to handle a deficiency,
"Focusing on weaknesses instead of strengths is like having a handful of coins - a few made of pure gold and the rest of tarnished copper - and setting aside the gold coins to spend all your time cleaning and shining the copper ones in the hopes of making them look more valuable. No matter how long you spend on them, they will never be worth what the gold ones are. Go with your greatest assets; don’t waste your time. Don’t let your weaknesses get in the way of you reaching your full potential. Focus on what you do well, and capitalize on that"
I don't think he's saying blow off Math class. I do think he's saying that we need to get through it the best we can without neglecting the areas where she is strong: Writing (her creative writing has potential) and History (she loves it). These are areas to be honed. We tend not to spend as much time on these subjects because she shows a stronger aptitude in them. I can see the risk we take in putting so much focus on math, rather than being pleased with concentrated effort and the best outcome that she can muster. In doing so, we are missing out on the pure gold coins, while being hyper-focused on polishing the tarnished copper ones. We will continue to get extra help in math. We will even hire a tutor for next year, for she does want to do better. But I would love to take some of the emotional energy we've poured into Math and return it to other subjects where she excels, and could be an even stronger student.
I'm already shopping for a regular Algebra I tutor for the Fall. One who is local, does house calls, and enjoys soup. I fully intend on feeding them.
So while we will continue to do what we can in Math, (for putting forth less effort would be negligent), we will consciously place more focus on continuing to build her areas of strength.
What do you think of John Maxwell's approach to strengths and weaknesses when it comes to your child?
Joline Pinto Atkins, an actress who also uses the web as her world-wide stage, can also be found writing at The Cuppa Jo, and Beaver County Times online as the Health and Wellness blogger. She is wife to one (phew - that's good to know) and mother of two amazing children, aged 14 and 10, who are both named after authors. Passionate about fitness, she is an Independent Team Beachbody Coach and sweats out any daily angst by exercising at home, longs for good books, is a redeemed coffee addict, will never get enough of the Gilmore Girls, and won't share popcorn with anyone. Even her own family. Follow Joline on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest!