Making Choices In School

As most of you know I’m a big believer in investing my kids in their education. There have been studies about the importance of choice (and you know how I love studies) but it also feels right. I mean if they CHOOSE their school, they’ll WANT to be there and learn a lot more. Even learning that they CAN choose is important.

Last night I overheard the following conversation:

Max (10) was talking about how something was really boring and repetitive and he doesn’t think kids should have to do work that’s not challenging and if he had a job with boring work he would quit.

Charlie (8) replied:

Well whenever I don’t like school I talk to daddy and he talks to my teacher. Like when I was having trouble with writing… no spelling. Spelling was really hard and daddy talked to Paula and it’s much better now.

There’s lots of layers to this conversation, but some key points:

  • All three of my school aged kids have chosen their school. Max and Ian want to be at Leeds (Public School). Charlie wants to be at Hilltown (Charter School).
  • I want to be careful that I don’t teach Max that “hard work” should be avoided!
  • Max asked his teacher to go up a level in spelling because it was something he thought he had to improve at. He did, and he really enjoyed it. He also said to me a few times how he enjoys math but isn’t as good at it as others because he had a sub for half of last year and therefore didn’t learn his times tables… so I encouraged him to learn them and he has them mostly down pat.
  • Charlie’s been working on the shyness and assertiveness. I do wish she would talk directly to her teacher about these things but a bigger focus for me is for her to NOT hate certain subjects. She was really down on herself about many subjects (struggling in writing and spelling and bored out of her mind in math). She still doesn’t like Math as much at the charter school as she did in public school, but she’s enjoying spelling and writing.

For the past couple of months I’ve rated my parenting success at a 6 out of 10, and I’d like to get that up to a 7 or 8 out of 10 (too much higher and I’ll probably be doing *too much* for my kids for them to be successful).

After hearing this conversation and some of the extra time I’ve put in with kids since getting back from San Fran puts me closer to a 6.5.

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