An Education Parable

I'm NOT a big fan of parables. (Although I am partial the Good Samaritan; I have some personal issues with the prodigal son.)  This being the end of the school year, this educational parable (although I'm not 100% sure that you might call it that) came to me.  When things come to me, I've got to share so...

 My son, who is wrapping up his freshman year in high school, takes 8 classes/subjects.  Each subject is important.  As parents we encourage him to do his best in every subject.  He is smart, but not an extraordinary student.  While we'd love it if he came home with straight As, that's not realistic. (I suspect it's not realistic for most families.)  We encourage him (nag him?) to do his best work.  (Which doesn't always happen, but I suppose that's another story.)  With all of that said, he has struggled with some subjects.  Because we want a well-rounded child and feel that all subjects are important, when we see him struggling with a specific subject, we work to get him help.  It's not that one subject is more important than other, but that he needs help with one subject and as parents it is our responsibility to make sure that he help that he needs.  We don't ignore his other subjects, but we do focus on the area where he is lagging.

 As responsible parents, it is our job to make sure he understands all of his subject and to help him excel.  When a subject or class becomes a challenge, it is time to get help.  Sometimes as parents we can help.  Sometimes that help comes in the form of spending some time after class with the teacher.  Sometimes we need to find another source, like a tutor or a friend to help out, it depends.  There is not necessarily one "right" way; one size doesn't fit all.  We have to explore different options and ways.  What works for one student might not work for another; just like one student may respond to one teacher and/or his/her approach while another may not.  What's important is that the student learns and understands.

 For several years my son had some problems with French.  So we focused on that, but did not ignore his other subjects.  We had a fabulous tutor (who just so happens to be a relative) who helped him.  She focused not just on the language, but on how he learned and used methodologies that helped him understand.    This year he is thriving in French.  But we still keep an eye on it, because backsliding is always a possibility.  He's had some struggles with other subjects and again we've gotten help.  Because ALL subjects are important, but when one becomes an obvious issue/problem, you've got to focus on it.  If you don't focus on it and try to come up with a solution, everything can fall apart. (Including your kid!)

 The point is that all subjects are important, but if there is a problem with one you can't ignore it.  You need to focus on it and improve.  You need to do it because poor performance in one subject can ruin the whole experience.

 So is this a parable?  Kind of?  Maybe?  Maybe not? It's up to you to decide.


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