The first semester of school has come to a close, which means report cards are likely hitting mailboxes all over America. For some families, this may bring a sense of pride paired with shouts of joy or “let’s go out for ice cream to celebrate.” For others, it causes frustration, disappointment and another chip off of the self-esteem block.
Getting good grades comes naturally for some kids. For others, every test and project seems like going into a battle. They prepare as best they know how; even then, they win some and lose some. The world puts a lot of stock in a high GPA, and it’s no secret that good grades open many doors in life.
Students who excel academically are likely to have successful, rewarding careers. But, does that mean that students who do not excel academically are headed toward mediocrity? Does not making the honor roll equate to a lifetime of feeling average and unremarkable?
I say no.
Don’t Predict Future Success Based on Test Scores
Just because a child cannot regurgitate information for a test does not mean he or she should be dubbed a failure in life. There are so many ways to contribute to society that don’t involve knowing chemistry properties or being able to determine which train will make it to the station quicker if they are traveling at the same velocity but one has to travel five miles at a 20 percent incline while the other travels eight miles downhill — how many of us can quickly figure that out?
My husband is a good example. He was not an academic achiever in school and the thought of taking an exam gives him hives. But he and I just spent a week in Paris, France, complements of his company because he was in the top one percent of his pharmaceutical company’s national sales force.
Celebrate Your Child’s Skills Beyond The Classroom
Multiple-choice tests cannot measure compassion, wit, resilience, empathy or interpersonal relations skills. Nor can they identify loyalty, creative writing or an artistic eye.
If your child finds school an easy task, then celebrate their success and encourage them to find something challenging beyond the academic world.
If your child struggles in school, then rest knowing the challenges they face and overcome today will help ready them to face even bigger challenges and the possible failures (big or small) that every adult faces at some point. Encourage them to stay organized, do their best, try harder and never settle. Most importantly, remind them that success in life is not defined by how well they score on a test.
K-12 & Teens
Most of my mornings, afternoons, and evenings are spent driving the kids here and there—and then back to here again. Every child is a gift on loan from God. As parents, our job is to raise that child to be an independent adult who can contribute to the world using the gifts and talents he or she was given. It is hands-down the most important job on earth!