Elementary School Grades In Perspective
First off, let's remember that your child's elementary school grades will never be seen by anyone important later in life. Colleges only look at high school grades. So it's far more important to prepare a child for good grades in high school. And that often does not mean focusing on good grades in elementary and middle school.
There are far more important things.
For inspiration let's look at Finland. Finland has the number 1 ranked school system in the world. And they are far more laid back about grades.
- Finnish students are not graded for the first six years of their education.
- Add to that that they don't even start school until age seven
- They do not have standardized testing
Not exactly the high pressure schooling that is being pushed onto American kids.
Ah, but you might say, "What about Asian schools?"
Agreed. Asian schools excell in math and engineering. And yes, generally score much higher than US school children. But also consider the psychological effects of the Tiger parenting common in the culture. It's a shame based culture. Students are pushed with very negative emotions. so as a parent you might consider if that is what you want for your child.
Grades, An Indicator Of Learning? Not So Much
All systems can be gamed. Grades are no different. And the more systems there are in place the more the whole thing gets gamed.
In school students ussually learn to perform for the test rather than explore and deepen their learning. We've diverted away from true learning into the land of standardized testing and putting the importance the top priority on grades.
Don't get me wrong. I believe there should be measurement. It's just a matter of knowing what to measure when. And occassionally stepping back and seeing the big picture.
And in grade school grades are not even close to the highest priority. They are a minor indicator, but not the whole picture.
So what is important?
1) Developing A Love Of Learning
After school the majority of people stop learning. Yet it is very clear that life long learners have happier lives and are generally more successful. And this brings us to the most important point
A love of learning starts early in life and persists for a lifetime
A love of learning is the most important thing to develop in elementary school.
Unfortunately a focus on grades at this age can have the exact opposite effect. Kids can develop anxiety around learning. Shutting them off from the very thing that will bring them long term happiness and success.
To build a love a love of learning a child must first develop confidence in learning
Once that happens a love of learning naturally develops.
Because it's built in. Children are natural learners. It's part of our biology. If a child does not love learning then that is an indication that something is blocking that love. Ussually that would be fear and anxiety. Whe a child has struggled in the past they start to form negative opinions of themselves. Those opinions lead to anxiety because the child does not want their challenges exposed. They fear losing love.
The only solution is to use the principle of Kaizen to rebuild confidence. Along the way you will want to use praise properly to build a growth mindset. Praised used in the wrong way can actually create extreme anxieties while praise used in the right way builds a growth mindset and confidence.
If you'd like a step by step method for doing this the Learning Success System will guide you through it. With easy daily lessons that only take a few minutes each day. Invest in the Learning Success System and you and your child will be on your way to developing that so important love of learning.
#1 Predictor of Success In Kids
Not surprisingly extensive studies by Angela Duckworth show that grit is the number one predictor of success
But how do you build grit?
Well it's actually very clear. Instructions are here.
After Elementary School
Even after elementary school it's important to keep grades in perspective as this video shows
Our schools are not always capable of helping children in the things they need most. They can be overwhelmed with the bureacratic rules they are given and simply not able to focus on what's most important for your child.
Parents can see the big picture and help their child develop that all so important love of learning. It just takes learning a few simple skills and having a good system in place.
When parents are proactive they give their children the tools they need to lead healthy happy lives. And in the end, great grades happen too! Just more naturally
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