Does Your Child Make Mistakes at School? I Hope So.

Here is a common experience I went through in grade school, high school, college, and even now in my day-to-day events.  This is a common human experience that should be a regular part of every person's life.

There is a task, such as understanding a concept (simple fractions, for example).

  1.  A teacher teaches me the concept.  I look at the concept.  I think.  I try.  I don't quite understand.
  2. I walk away and, depending on the difficulty of what is being taught, I might complain, curse, tell myself that the concept is way beyond my reach.
  3. I try again.  Again, I still don't fully understand.
  4. I try harder.  I turn my head sideways.  I close my eyes and walk away again.  I may struggle and curse even louder.   I come back and if necessary, I ask questions.   I focus.
  5. I understand.  Ahh, I get it.
  6. It feels great!

Does your child, at any point, go through a similar experience at their school?  I hope so. 

If your child does not go through this experience, if everything taught is easy, then something is wrong.  The child needs to be challenged more.

Talk to your child's teacher and request they be taught to the level that they too can learn the all-important skill of trying, failing, and trying harder.  All teachers (in Cudahy and certainly most school districts in this area) are required to teach to a child's ability.  This is called differentiation and teachers should be doing this.

If children do not learn the experience of making mistakes and learning from them while they are young, then during the later years in school or in life, when challenging tasks do arise (and they will), that child may not even want to try. 

They may - instead - give up and walk way. 

The fear of doing something hard, when everything was once extremely easy, is too scary and isn't worth the effort.  I've seen many smart kids turn into smart adults terrified of trying new things they consider challenging.

Do not let this happen.  

Again, the wonderful exhilaration and feeling of "not getting it" to finally "getting it" even now - makes me smile and needs to be a part of every child's life ... early.

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