Friday, June 13, 2014

It's all "Relative"

I don't think there is a truer statement than " it's all relative".  My daughter, Emily has always been an excellent student-I hate saying it because it sounds a lil' obnoxious but it's true, she's a "gifted" student.  She's just one of those kids that easily got all A's every marking period in Elementary school.   It was all really easy for her- and honestly (as annoying as it might sound) we never really had to think too much about whether she'd do good on a test..because she always did.  She had other struggles in school but grades weren't one of them.  To be honest with everything else (medically, socially) it was really nice to have the issue of grades, that so many parents/students have to worry about (including my own mother w/ me) off the plate.  So last year when she started "middle school" we thought ok- let's see how this goes?  We had heard from some other it might ALL change in middle school. Guess what happened? Straight A's again.  So we breathed a bit of a sigh of "relief" that her first year went so well, but this year (7th grade) it finally got a little more tough.  She was accepted into a "honors" math class they offer to a select few 7th graders (Pre-Algebra program) and the teacher was no joke- he was a self proclaimed "tough" teacher and it was *understandably a little harder for Emily.  So when she got that first test/quiz back with a grade she had never seen before, on ANY paper EVER.... that was really hard for her.  She beat herself up about it.  She was a bit shocked because that was not what she was used to.  See, it's all relative... most students have probably seen a grade like that before and so it might not affect them the same way, but to Emily it was shocking and she wasn't happy about any of it.  With how hard Emily was being on herself, we took a pretty gentle approach about the whole thing,  we knew she had to maintain her grade average to stay in EXCEL, the National Junior Honor Society and this advanced math program, *to us aside from the academic aspect of being in these programs was the "social" one of being in them- we wanted her to stay with this small tight knit group of the same kids.  (Emily has a VERY hard time making friends) BUT we knew she could still bring the grade back up.  But Emily had to do something she never really had to do too much of before... she had to work!  We had to explain to her that this was a wake up call, it was getting harder & she would have to "work" at it,  & the effort or lack there of she always put in, simply wasn't going to be enough... she'd have to dig deeper.  For the most part she has,  she's still learning that her "priorities" need to change but she's definitely learning. Know what, she's done pretty well....  she's gotten B's all year in that class so far... yep she's still IN school, until the 20th! Believe me the girl has never been so eager to have any school  year over, she's never had to work so hard!  We are extremely proud of her, considering all the changes & struggles she's had this year, it wasn't an easy year FOR her & yet she did it!  What we know, that she won't understand until she's older... is that this was good for her.  It was good to really "work" at something- this year has taught her so many important life lessons.  She's made mistakes this year, she's had to work this year,  but she got through it, she did it & all with out an aide (this is the first year she hasn't had an one on one aide as part of her IEP) I am always proud of Emily, but I am in ways more proud of her B's this year than all the years of A's because she had to work at them & she's grown up in many ways because of them.

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