My daughter is struggling in school. Precious Madison is nine years old and in the third grade. It really doesn't seem to bother Madison at all that she is bringing home D's and even some F's on tests. It certainly bothers me though. I feel that it is my fault. I am the parent who is home, who is suppose to be ensuring that all my children are learning and preparing for studies and tests. It is up to me right? I am so torn.
My oldest, Luke, is ten years old and in fourth grade. He is a completely different student than Madison. Luke is independent and absorbs his studies right off the bat. It seems to come naturally for him. Sweet Madison, on the other hand, her strengths come in different areas. She is very smart but tends to get distracted very easily and rushes to get school work done so she can move on to better things. The rushing causes her to make mistakes, often silly mistakes. Maddie's technical knowledge and kindness of heart(except for her little brother, Micah, whom she constantly fights with and tends to be less than kind to) towards others is amazing and beautiful to see in a nine year old girl. I couldn't be more proud of her!
But I am concerned. I struggle with traditional school in a few aspects. We have considered homeschooling for our children but have not taken the plunge. There have been times, especially this school year, that I have been faced with traditional school teachers not realizing that children learn differently and at different paces. A teacher sees a child progressing at a slower and different pace and a huge red flag is thrown up. To me, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Each child is so individualized and commands different learning techniques. That is what makes us so unique and special! I know it is probably impossible for most school teachers to adhere to all their students many different ways of learning. The teacher has her/his own way of teaching and therefore all their students are expected to learn that way. Especially in a classroom of 25+ children. But this is exactly where I am, and have been, having a problem with traditional schooling. Now that my own children are getting older and coming in to their own, so to speak, at school, I am finding out how each of my three school age children are such different learners. Madison is very hands on and needs a visual explanation to help her absorb her learning. It may take her four or five times, sometimes more, to really grasp what she are studying and be ready to hash it out on a quiz or test. Maybe she gets nervous during test taking. Maybe she is too worried what other kids around her are doing and what number they are on. I just don't know.
Of course my husband and I have talked to Madison about her performance in school. More than once. As I said before, it really doesn't seem to bother her. She is just in third grade. Should it truly be bothering her at this tender age? She gets so stressed and distraught doing her homework at times. She ends up in tears. I end up in tears. It just doesn't seem right. She is in school from 7:45am to 3pm. She comes home with more work to be finished and some nights the workload is very heavy. Am I wrong in thinking homework should be at a minimum? I think homework should be a quick review and more emphasise on installing a love for reading. I believe reading at this age should be a priority. But after the hours of homework, dinner and bath there is no time for reading. Sigh.
Madison is so precious. She is a joy and brings laughter and femininity to a house full of wild boys. She is so smart. I just want to do right by her, you know. I want her to enjoy school and learning. I want her desire for learning to last a lifetime. I do not want her to get discouraged and think for a second that she is not smart. But I am afraid that is what is beginning to happen.
Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we figure all this out. I would love to hear from any of you that might want to share your own school stories. What works for your family in terms of studying? Do you home school? Is your child struggling? Please leave a comment.