School and Grades

Hey Brooke! My 14-year old daughter just started high school 2 weeks ago. Today, she sent me a text with her first 2 week’s grades in one class – and it had a few 100’s, a few 88’s, and one 33. I replied “Awesome!” She sent back “Look closer”. I replied “Looks like you’re doing all the work and getting mostly 80’s to 100. And that one map test looks like it was hard.” She said, “Now I have a 56 in that class” – and I wrote back “It’s early in the year. I’m sure you’ll have lots of opportunities to raise it from a 56. Maybe to like… 57 or 58!” (LOL was her response.)

I’m an Entrepreneur now, but my degree is in Elementary Education and at one time, I was certified to teach Kindergarten through 9th Grade. I personally believe that school is set up to create obedient little parrots – who can then go out and be compliant employees. School hasn’t evolved with the times – and it’s still mainly about memorization over developing critical thinking skills. So I’m not terribly worried that she got a 33 on a test to name, correctly spell, and locate on the map 195 countries in the World. (Heck, 33 sounds like a WIN in my book. I’d probably get a 7.)

Additionally, even if I did think school was amazing, I don’t think there’s any value in saying things to try to make kids feel bad in order to motivate harder work. The concept of yelling at kids, arguing with them, or guilting them to motivate them into working harder seems like insanity. She’s going, she’s doing the work, she’s getting grades. Let’s see what happens. 🙂

AND, from what I’ve heard on your podcast, I’ve kind of gotten the idea that you might share some of these same ideas.

So I’m curious what thoughts/beliefs you share with your sons about school and grades. Do you set any minimum requirements … or even care beyond them going and doing what is asked of them?

I try to be very logical with my daughter about school and life… telling her popular cliques don’t survive graduation… you’re allowed to use calculators and the Internet to find the answers once you join the adult population… and failing repeatedly is actually REQUIRED to learn and grow, not frowned upon. I think that’s helping her keep her perspective when it comes to life during high school.

I’m just curious what your thoughts are on how to un-drama high school around grades. Or heck, around ANYTHING kids go through in school. Thanks!