Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Word (or more) On the Middle Child . . .

We all know middle children -- they're the glue that you don't always notice but still hold the world together. My middle child is particularly adept at flying under the radar. We're pretty sure he was recruited by some government acronym around age 3, but that's a story for another day.

All my kids have struggles with school. None of them appear to be motivated solely by grades. It's logic that I find hard to counter -- after all, at age 38, who cares that I got straight As in grade school? My contribution to the world, should I be so blessed as to make one, is far more important. In any case, Jake, our middle child, reallllllly struggles with multi-part projects. He slaved over his science project recently. It involved making a musical instrument. He worked all weekend on it and the results, while not quite catastrophic, were not as he would have liked. At the last minute, I was able to persuade him to do a much simpler approach.

The other component of this project was to write a report about your experiences. I was able to convince the boy to write a lot about his failed instrument as that is how we learn things in science -- as much from our failures as our successes. This a.m., I was able to get a gander at his report. Be still my heart! As only Jake could do, he not only covered all his bases, but he was very careful to credit his brother for the initial idea and his mom for the final idea. How kind is that? To give credit to someone who helped you - even to acknowledge that you had help, well, to me that is an A+ project, regardless of what the teacher gives him.

My kids have the right of it. Grades don't matter so much. Who you are as a person is much more important.

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